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So... It's been really long since I've updated this things, hasn't… - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Feb. 18th, 2005|06:01 pm]

It's been really long since I've updated this things, hasn't it?

I've been working on my book, working on my job search, and finding myself curiously bothered by a job offer that starts on Monday... I'm going to do some DBA work as a Microsoft contractor.

I strongly suspect that part of the reason I'm bothered by the DBA job is that I'm not really a techie, after all... I'm just a guy who likes technology and can play with it well.

I know another part... the contractor offers a whole week's worth of "vacation" pay after 1960 hours of work (including overtime). Note how that's spelled out; you can take time off, but you have to request it specifically. Oh, and the benefits suck.

I'm a lot more excited by the possibility of teaching math at the community college level, and I'm talking to Green River Community College about that. Maybe I can teach a class or two each quarter, and then get in line for a full time teaching job.

So, we'll see.

In the meantime, I'm working on a proposal to sell my book to an agent, tightening up some editing, and working on some final bits. I'll probably be showing up in here more often, over the next few weeks.

[User Picture]From: siliconivy
2005-02-19 04:21 am (UTC)
welcome back!

good luck with the book & the new job, even if you're not excited by it. I hope it goes well. And even more luck with the teaching thing.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2005-02-20 07:23 am (UTC)
Thanks; I'm feeling a bit better about it now. I suppose I kind-of feel like "okay, let me prove to myself I could do it, if I wanted to. Then, if I leave, it's because I want to, not because I had to." That makes it a bit better.

Nevertheless, my feelings on vacation are that Europe has the right ideas, with mandated vacations around four (or six?) weeks a year. "It cuts into production!" is the gripe against it, and I suppose it does... if you consider production more important than the employees who provide that production.

Alas, the US has often lagged Europe on matters of being civilized.
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[User Picture]From: siliconivy
2005-02-20 08:01 pm (UTC)
my feelings on vacation are that Europe has the right ideas

I agree. I once worked on a project where a number of the client were from Switzerland. The guy I was workign with directly was working all these insane hours (16-18 hours/day) for over a year. His boss finally called him into the office & basically told him that if he didn't take a minimum 2-week vacation, he was fired.

granted the guy so needed to do it, but still, I've worked hours like that & never had anyone tell me to take vacation. ::sigh:: maybe one day.
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[User Picture]From: elimloth
2005-02-19 06:59 am (UTC)
Which building are you in (assuming it is the Redmond campus)?
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2005-02-20 07:18 am (UTC)
It's building 28, as far as I know. That's where I'm reporting the first day, anyway.

Figuring out how to get there is going to be fun. I405-N is not the "road less travelled by", not by any stretch of the imagination!
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[User Picture]From: elimloth
2005-02-22 08:29 am (UTC)
Fancy that! I just moved into building 28. Look for me in 1050.
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[User Picture]From: juliansinger
2005-02-19 07:39 am (UTC)
Hey, cool. I hope the college gig works out.

(do you have a specific agent?)
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2005-02-20 07:06 am (UTC)
No. I know who my ideal agent is, but I don't know if he, or anyone, will bite.

I think they *should*... I think the idea is really good. But, I'll only know once I start writing up a proposal letter (and then a proposal) and get it out there.

(The idea is "write a proposal letter, send it to the agent. If the agent says "I'd like to see your proposal", you overnight it, and then wait, biting your nails down to no more than the second knuckle. If the proposal is a hit, you send the actual manuscript in the time frame agreed upon.)
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2005-02-20 07:20 am (UTC)
Boy, I don't know if that last response sounded as weird to you as it suddenly does to me, but if so, I'm sorry about that.

I *am* really hopeful about the college teaching; I've got a strange feeling that says it's right for me.
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[User Picture]From: ljgeoff
2005-02-19 12:39 pm (UTC)
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<<In the meantime, I'm working on a proposal to sell my book to an agent, tightening up some editing, and working on some final bits.>>

Is that how it's usually done, sell the book to an agent? What rights does the agent have after you've sold it?
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2005-02-20 07:02 am (UTC)
I've been told the best thing to do is sell the agent on a proposal, then the agent sells to the publisher. The agent plays the gatekeeper, and knows who wants to buy what kind of writing.

In today's market, a lot of publishers won't look at an unagented manuscript; if they do, it goes on the "slush pile" and might not get looked at for a long time.

Other advantages of agents including knowing who wants to buy the book for the most money, and making sure that the best deal is obtained on all rights for the book. In return for taking care of all the business end, they get 15%, which every agented writer I've heard insists is perfectly fair (and downright cheap, in some cases).
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-03-11 09:58 pm (UTC)
John, I friended you--hope that's okay--because I found myself wondering how you were and kept coming over to check.

I'm Pat's friend from 'way back.

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