Tag Archives: Top ten

Top 10 Unfortunate Responses to a Book Proposal

I just submitted my first book proposal. Now I’m worried how it’s going to be received. And that led me to today’s Top 10 list. Here’s what my weary and worried mind came up with:

Top 10 Unfortunate Responses to a Book Proposal:

# 10:  “ROFLOL! By the way, when will you sending the real proposal?”

#  9:  “Thanks for letting me read your book proposal. I haven’t slept this good in a long time!”

#  8:  “Were you drunk when you wrote this?”

#  7:  “Dear Mr. Timm, you can’t list Jim Rubart as an endorser of your book just because he said ‘Hello’ to you at a conference. And Nancy Mehl said the restraining order is not just a joke. Additionally, you can’t say that Chevy Chase is co-author simply because you sort of look like him.”

#  6:  “Your proposal was greatly appreciated. Our parrot, Mr. Snarky, has diarrhea, and we are out of newspaper.

#  5:  “Having read your book proposal, I’ve believe the best way to fix the problems within the pages is to hold the entire proposal by the upper left hand corner, and then set the bottom right hand corner on fire.

#  4:  “After reading your proposal, the editors of four publishing houses have met and unanimously agreed that you’re insane. Have a nice day.”

#  3:  “Please be informed that our legal department has carefully studied the marketing plan you submitted with your proposal–along with the photographs and drawings you unfortunately  provided–and we have determined that all of your ideas are either illegal, physically impossible, or would require surgery to undo.”

#  2:  “Dear Larry, while it’s true that Dr. Seuss wrote some really suspenseful stories, and although we agree that some might think of The Grinch that Stole Christmas as a real spine-tingler, you need to send us more recent comparable titles right away.”

#  1:  “I’m sorry to report that a swarm of dung beetles has rolled your book proposal away. Better luck next time.”

 

Okay, friends…if I get any of these responses I’ll let you know. Have a nice day.

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Filed under books, Christian Fiction, editing, Larry W. Timm, reading, Top 10 List, Top Ten list, Uncategorized, Writing

Top 10 Save-the-ACFW-Journal fundraiser Ideas

Several months ago I shared this list on the ACFW email loop, but never put it on my blog. Sooooo, in light of the announcement from ACFW’s Executive Board about discontinuing the Journal due to cost concerns, I’ve decided to post the list here. Many ACFW members have enjoyed reading the Journal, and I still consider having an article in the premier issue a highpoint in my writing life. But the only way to save the Journal is for money to be raised to keep it in publication. Therefore I humbly submit:

The Top 10 Save-the-ACFW-Journal fundraiser ideas:

# 10:  Request a grant from the Federal Government…they seem to have unlimited amounts of “free” money to give away.

#  9:  Create a “Mug-of-the-Month” Club where ACFW members sell their unwashed coffee mugs to each other, with the proceeds going to the Journal.

# 8:  Sell a CD of the ACFW Executive Board singing their favorite show tunes.

# 7:  A telethon featuring ACFW authors acting out scenes from one of their books, while viewers call in and pay them to stop it.

# 6:  An online auction of the “dancing elephant” from the conference in St. Louis a few years ago.

# 5:  Open a museum of “floating body parts” and charge admission. (However, it shouldn’t cost an arm and an leg….bwahahaha…uh hmmm…I digress)

# 4:  Instead of the traditional pitching sessions that happen at every conference, make each writer pay an entry fee to stand on stage and read their manuscript out loud in front of a panel of agents, editors, and cranky reviewers. Panel members get to scream, “Rejection!” and shoot red paint balls at the writer when they spot a problem in the manuscript. The writer that survives the longest gets a contract and also wins one of the mugs mentioned in #9.

# 3:  Have me, Michael Ehret, and Peter Leavell do a benefit opera. We’ll call ourselves the Track-Change Tenors and dress in red tuxedos, complete with red cowboy hats and red cowboy boots. Undoubtedly Michael will demand that red bow ties be optional.

# 2:  A pay-per-view Mixed Martial Arts octagon challenge between writers and the agents or editors who have rejected them in the past (complete with tights and stage names)

# 1:  As much as this one gives me the dry heaves, I recognize that it may work since the majority of ACFW’s membership is female…How about selling a Men of ACFW Kilt Calendar?

I hope this helps. And I pray that #1 will never be necessary.

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Top 10 Reasons People might be glad I’m not going to the ACFW Conference this Year.

The American Christian Fiction Writers Conference is less than a week away. People are packing bags, picking wardrobes, pressing kilts, and preparing one sheets. But not me. Sniff…sniff. This year I will not be attending. And that got me to thinking (ouch!).

Here are 10 reasons people might be glad that they won’t see Larry W. Timm in Indy.

# 10:  No one has to watch the pathetic display where I stand in a corner and try to work up the courage to walk up and talk to one of my favorite authors.

#  9:  There will be a few less dumb questions asked in the workshops.

#  8:  None of those awkward, “I’ve got one ear lower than the other…what’s deformed about you?” conversation starters.

#  7:  Michael Ehret or Peter Leavell won’t have to introduce me with the phrase, “I’m sorry for doing this, but have you met Larry Timm?”

#  6:  No one will have to witness me get on…off…on…off…on…off the elevator until I remember which floor my room is on.

#  5:  The local pizza delivery people won’t have to “stand by for emergency delivery to the crazy guy who claims the voices in his head are hungry.”

#  4:  No murmured questions about the misuse of plaid.

#  3:  There’s much less of a chance of hearing, “Hey, look what I can do with this pudding!”

#  2:  No one has to see my Salute-to-Spandex outfit at the costume dinner.

And the #1 reason people might be glad I’m not going to the ACFW Conference:

#  1: More BACON for everyone!

Hey, have fun everybody. I hope you have a great time.

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Top 10 Wrong Ways To Deal With or Avoid a Sagging Middle

This is not a post filled with diet and physical fitness tips. I’m not what you’d call a real good role model in that particular area. I did buy a pair of running shoes a while back, and if you just look at my feet, I look like a runner. However, if you scan up from there, the illusion is quickly blown (but I digress).

I don’t run. I don’t even hike…wait, did I say hike? Well what do you know…hike rhymes with like! And since you mentioned it, I’d be appreciative if you’d hike over to my Author Page and click Like. It’s at www.facebook.com/larrywtimm I’d love to break the 200 mark by the end of August. Tell your friends to go there too. The person who is my 200th Like may just win something (of course they may not, but let’s not dwell on that now.)

As writers, we all have had to deal with middles (of our manuscripts) that are saggy. Perhaps even sluggish and unappealing (which is how people often describe me). We seek out advice on how to deal with and/or avoid the dreaded sagging middle.

“Larry, do you happen to have any advice on what to do?”

Thanks for asking. But…nope, I don’t know what to tell you to do, but here are some things not to do. It’s my duty & pleasure to introduce…the Top 10 Wrong Ways To deal With or Avoid a Sagging Middle:

#10:  By having a blurb on the front cover that boldly declares, “This is the first novel in history in which the brilliant author has skipped the middle all together!

# 9:  By claiming that the middle has international intrigue just because you put an “o” on the end of every other word so readers will really like the the “el-middle-o.”

# 8:  By including a bibliography of “books that have more horrible middles than mine.”

# 7:  By putting a pop up section in the middle so that when opened paper villains jump up from the page and scare people to death.

# 6:  By printing the middle on edible paper so that readers can “at least get something good from it.”

# 5:  By drawing a little cartoon character in the upper right hand corner that looks likes he’s running from a stick Grizzly bear when people flip through the middle chapters really fast.

# 4:  Put 100 blank pages in the middle so that “readers can write their own snappy middle…if they think it’s sooooo easy!”

# 3:  Fill the middle chapters with 20 car chases, 14 gun battles, 12 knife fights, 10 kissy-face scenes, 8 explosions, 6 sharks, 4 pits of nasty snakes, 3 hurricanes, 2 giant ill-tempered turtle doves, and 1 immodest partridge in a pear tree. (and, no, I have no idea what that means).

# 2:  By putting in a “Smells of the Bible” scratch-n-sniff section.

# 1:  By dedicating the book to “My dear, sweet, recently deceased mother who used her last breaths of life to dictate the middle of this book, right after she single-handedly saved 75 poor, blind children from roaring inferno that swept through their orphanage on Christmas Eve…so they could live to enjoy the box full of puppies and kittens that Mommy had purchased for them from the humane society…with the money she’d received by selling her fake leg. It was a good thing she recently been evicted from her home by evil bankers and that the walls of her old cardboard box in the alley were thin enough to hear the little frightened voices calling for help from the broken windows of the condemned building they called home. The middle of this book meant a lot to my mom…I hope you like it too.”

Now…how does YOUR middle look?

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Filed under Christian Fiction, Christian Life, editing, family, Larry W. Timm, reading, Top 10 List, Top Ten list, Uncategorized, Writing

Top 10 Bad Things to do at a Book Signing

As a continued service to writers, I turn my attention to another part of the writer’s life:  book signings. May this list help you avoid the Top 10 Bad Things to do at a Book Signing.

#10:  The minute you walk in the door, you grab the manager and say, “Alright, Buckaroo, let’s round up some suckers and get this party started!”

# 9:  Over the store intercom system, announce that you’ll be signing books in the last stall in the restroom because “that bean dip from last night is really kicking up again.”

# 8:  Stretch out on top of the table and take a nap.

# 7:  Sign every book in the store, whether you wrote it or not.

# 6:  Glare at the first person who starts to walk by your table without stopping and say, “Ohhhhhhhh, I’m gonna get you in my next book,” then do those hand signals for I’ve got my eyes on you.

# 5:  Offer to sign people’s bald spots.

# 4:  Announce an in-store give away that the store didn’t even know about.

# 3:  Tell people they can get the book cheaper at that place that rhymes with “Ramazon.”

# 2:  Put a sign by your book that says, “Better than the Bible!”

# 1:  Throw books at people and yell, “Pay up front, Miss I-Don’t-Have-Time-To-Stop-By-The-Poor-Author-Table-And-Be-Civil! My kids need shoes too, ya know!”

Now, grab that Sharpie and get going!

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“Top 10 Things I’ve learned at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference”

I can’t wait to tell you all the serious, soul-stretching lessons I’ve learned while tucked away on the beautiful campus of the Ridgeway Conference Center in North Carolina. But that will have to wait…instead I bring you:

Top 10 Things I’ve Learned at BRMCWC

# 10:  I shouldn’t go listen to the super-hilarious Torry Martin speak if I have a full bladder…(don’t worry, I’m sure they removed the chair I was sitting in)…seriously, he is one of the funniest people I’ve ever heard.

# 9:  Eddie Melson loves Social Media as much as I love Dr. Pepper! (Maybe next year I can teach a class on “The importance of Dr. Pepper in a Writer’s life”)

# 8:  As the week goes on, I’m hearing my voices in my head, and they’re all shouting, “Get more coffee! NOW!” (And allllllllllll God’s children said…..”

# 7:  If Karl Bacon, Joe Courtmanche, and I were actually identical triplets separated at birth, society is probably better for it. (I mean those two are nuttier than a bag of almonds)

# 6:  It’s important to read the labels on the bottles you find in the bathroom, because hand/body lotion is not the same as conditioner. But I do now have the most smooth and supple scalp at the conference.

# 5:  Each day ten more steps appear that were NOT there the day before. They! Were! Not! There!

# 4:  The more exhausted I get, the greater the likelihood that I will weep tears of joy at the sight of a pan filled with bacon.

#3:  The reason I wear a name tag is because when I’m trying to pitch my story to an agent or editor I get so nervous I have no idea who I am, so I giggle, thump my name tag holder, and start talking like Yoda…”Ahhhh, me this is…” (Any wonder why I’m still unpublished?)

# 2:  In these here parts, Al Gansky is affectionately referred to as “The Right Reverend, Doctor, You-Got-Music-But-I-Still-Have-N0-Rythym, Father, Hey-I’m-Talking-Here, Conference Director Allllllton Gansky.”

and the # 1 thing I’ve learned so far during my stay at BRMCWC……

# 1:  When I’m out walking around the conference center at night, I scream exactly the same if it’s a man-eating black bear or just the wind rustling a bush!

 

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“Top 10 Signs A Writer Has Passed Their Breaking Point”

Okay, so most writers are willing to admit that we’re a few steps (or miles) closer to insanity than people who are not writers…you know, the “normals.” And writers will readily confess that the writing profession provides ample opportunities for a wordsmith to earn a ride to the loony bin. Here are the Top 10 Signs A Writer Has Passed Their Breaking Point” so that those who love them can prepare for an intervention.

#10:  They send out a ransom note, claiming they’re holding themselves hostage until they get a contract.

#  9:  They start pushing their thesaurus around in a baby carriage.

# 8:  They call their Senator and demand to begin receiving unemployment benefits because “Writer’s Block is the disease that no one wants to talk about…but it’s out there,” and they have it.

# 7:  They try to marry their laptop.

# 6:  They haven’t moved from their desk chair in two days. All they do is slobber and say, “Syn…opsis…synop…sis…SIN…opsis…”

# 5:  They’re arrested for showering in the sink at the public library.

# 4:  When you ask them is they’re okay, they giggle and say, “I’m crazy…no…insane, mad, demented, deranged, maniacal, daft, berserk, unbalanced, unhinged…or maybe I’m cracked, nuts, nutty, out of my head, mad as a March hare…but you must think I’m bizarre, or perhaps weird, odd, unusual, peculiar, strange, uncommon, silly, absurd or…what was the question?”

# 3:  They’re dressed in burlap and standing in the middle of a bust intersection, throwing their books at passing cars while screaming, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘You shalt read these books, you illiterate generation!'”

# 2:  They go up to complete strangers and say, “Do you have any idea how many people I’ve killed this week?”

# 1:  Stunned patrons watch in horror as the writer publicly goes through every stage of grief when they notice that someone is seated in their usual spot at Starbucks:  1: Denial–They shack their head furiously and shout, “No, no, NO! This is NOT happening!” 2: Anger–expressed by flinging their scone at the shocked man and growling. 3: Bargaining–“If you’ll move from MY spot I won’t kill you in my next book.” 4: Depression–They start weeping and singing, “You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille.” 5: Acceptance–They hug their coffee cup, and walk out the door, muttering, “It’s okay…We’ll find a new happy place.”

Help them…help them if you can.

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“Top Ten Really Unhelpful Comments to Read in a Rejection Letter”

Let’s face it: every writer is going to get rejected. But the rejection letter would sting much worse if it contained any of the following “Top Ten Really Unhelpful Comments.”

#10:  Not only will I not represent you, but you owe me $79.65 for toner. I’ve never gone through so much red in only three chapters! (I’m sending toner receipt as a separate attachment).

# 9:  Be in formed that our agency will not be able or willing to take you as a client because…well, that would just be plain silly.

# 8:  Were you sober when you wrote this?

# 7:  But look on the bright side: you’re going to have lots more time for other hobbies since it’s clear you’re not a writer.

# 6:  Thanks for sending me your manuscript, as you’ve made my decision to retire much easier.

# 5:  My agency will not be able to represent you. And, I’m sorry, but I will be able to return your manuscript because I threw up on it.

# 4:  While I’m certainly not interested in representing you, I’m enclosing the address of another agent that you should send this manuscript to…because I can’t stand the guy.

# 3:  In addition to the recommendation that you stop writing immediately, I also highly recommend that you go get a CaT-Scan.

# 2:  After reading only two chapters of your hideous book, I was incredibly envious of the character who died in chapter one.

# 1:  I’d give you more reasons why I hated your book, but UPS just delivered the do-it-yourself Electric Shock Therapy Kit I had overnighted to me. I’ve got a whole lot of forgetting to do!

Rejection hurts, huh?

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“Top 10 Bad Ways To Start an Acceptance Speech When You Win a Writing Contest”

Still working on my version of a theme song for American Christian Fiction Writers, so here’s another “Top 10” list. Many writers–myself included–have entered writing contests. And, possibly, a few writers have fantasized about what they’d say or do if they won and had to make an acceptance speech. Here are ten things to avoid:

Top Ten Bad Ways To Start an Acceptance Speech When You Win A Writing Contest

#10:  By fainting on stage.

# 9:  By way of live video feed from the restroom

# 8:  By saying, “Personally, I think my book stinks! Wow, the other entries in this category must have been really bad!”

# 7:  By crying so hard that you short-circuit the microphone and electrocute yourself.

# 6:  By saying, “Man, this award looks a lot smaller up close.”

# 5:  By saying, “Since I may never actually publish this book, I’m going to read the entire thing to you now. Chapter one…….

# 4:  By jumping on your table and yelling, “Show me the money!”

# 3:  By staring at the editor who rejected your previous book and screaming, “Track Change this!”

# 2:  By declaring, “I’d just like to say to the other contestants, Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na!”

# 1:  By shaking your head in disbelief and announcing, “I didn’t really think this book would win when I printed it off the internet!”

Any other bad things could happen (besides me in a kilt)?

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“Top 10 Signs Your Writers Conference Chose the Wrong Hotel”

Top 10 Signs Your Writers Conference Chose the Wrong Hotel

#10:  After passing a chalk outline in the hallway, you enter your room and the roaches don’t even try to hide. And one of them hangs up the phone and says, “You with room service?”

# 9:  The gift shop is running a special on gas masks & tetanus shots.

# 8:  At the airport, when you tell the taxi driver which hotel you want to go to, he turns blue and falls over in his seat because he’s laughing so hard he can’t breathe.

# 7:  When you ask if the hotel has “wi-fi”, the man at the desk says, “Not since we sprayed a few days ago.”

# 6:  The hot tub is out-of-order because the cook is using it to make his “special” stew.

# 5:  The “Continental Breakfast” is actually served in the parking lot, from the dirty trunk of a Lincoln Continental.

# 4:  The sound system is a hefty lady who stands on stage and screams out everything the keynote speaker just said.

# 3:  You’re sure you heard someone in the kitchen area yell, “Hey, Elmer! Is this a tapeworm?” And you’re having spaghetti that evening.

# 2:  There is no elevator, and the “escalator” is a sweaty shirtless guy–with an abundance of back-hair–who stands at the bottom of the stairs and says, “Jump on my back, I’ll tote ya right up there.”

# 1:  The guy at the front desk won’t check you in until you pull his finger.

Any other helpful ideas?

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