Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy B-Day Mr. Poe

I was perusing blogs (I should've been writing) when I came across an interesting fact on Joshua M. Reynolds' blog, Hunting Monsters. Today is Edgar Allen Poe's 200th birthday.

It seems as good a thing as any to blog about, so I'm going to give my own tribute to the tortured soul by sharing a story (boring as it may be) about finding a treasure in the oddest of places.

So, there I was at work, just trying to get through another day. I am one of a handful of people in the office that has a key to the "records room". This room is the catch-all of the building and somehow I'm lucky enough to hold the key to everyone else's junk.

I know you're jealous.

Anyway, I was back in said room on said day, when I noticed a large cardboard box. I can't say what drew me to this particular box. There are dozens filling the room. I go to the box and open it up. To my delight, it is filled with old books. Being a writer and all around lover of books, I tucked it away and went in search of its owner.

A very nice man, named Glenn, was the owner and it was then that I learned Glenn was a book collector. His storage unit (that's right STORAGE UNIT) was too full of books so he stashed the box in the records room for later inspection.

To my surprise, with very little coaxing at all, Glenn says, "I have plenty of books. You're welcome to take any that you want." So, like a giddy little leprechaun sneaking off with a pot of gold, I put the box in my truck and took them home.

Now, all of the books were old, but not many were that interesting. There was an old dictionary, some old turn of the century prairie books, but there were a few gems in the mix. Though they were not in good condition, I found a copy of THE THREE MUSKETEERS and UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. Then I pulled out . . . TALES OF ROMANCE AND FANTASY by Edgar Allen Poe.

Now, it's not in great condition, but considering the publication date is 1894, I'd say it's in good condition.

The pages are browned, and just a bit brittle. There are a few smudges and tears. But every time I look through it I can't help but wonder what all has this book seen in its 115 years? What famous hands might have turned the pages?

So, happy 200th birthday Mr. Poe. Thanks for the book. I would have liked an autograph, but what am I gonna do?


On a completely side note.

Jim over on Ink & Beans asked if I would post a description of my novel GUARDING THE HEALER. Now, call me paranoid, call me superstitious, but I have a bit of trouble talking about my writing if it hasn't yet been published. This may be silly, but it's still true.

I'm still seeking an agent for GUARDING THE HEALER, but I was thinking about posting the pitch I've been using in my query letter.

What I need is opinions. Do you think this is good? Bad? Should I spread the premise of my novel to the world even though it has yet to be accepted by agent or editor? Or is my paranoia justified?

What do you all think?


Jamie Eyberg said...

I love finding books, my oldest is from 1863. I would have to look up the title but I do know it was a book by subscription at the time.

If you aren't comfortable telling anyone the premise of your book yet, don't.

Josh Reynolds said...

Agreed. If you get an unpleasant tingle of warning, don't do it.

Brandy said...

I have to agree with the other two commenters. If you're not feeling 100% great about it then you shouldn't do it. :-) That's just me though.

Chris said...

Yep. Joining the chorus. I don't think there's anything wrong with providing a brief blurb as to what it's about, but only if you're feeling it. It's a brave and foolish man who goes against the vibes...

Gabriel said...

It's not that I feel like someone is going to steal my idea, or anything like that, it's just . . . well, I'm not sure what it is. Vibe is a good enough description.

When I land an agent, I'll be sure to post all the specific until you all become so annoyed with me that you delete me from your lists.

Ink and Beans said...

Blast! I become aware of this discussion thread too late. All right, I'll wait till you have an agent to find out what the book's about. At least I have a title now.

Also, I'm excited to read the story in Edge of Propinquity!