So, two developments today of interest primarily to me only, so feel free to just skip this part.
First: They're trying to save money at work. They think this can be best effected by finally making use of all of the floorspace. (Ever since I've worked at the job, there are always dozens of empty cubicles, not from recent firings, just from inefficient use of space.) So a memo went out and said they were going to try a pilot program — of letting some people telecommute.
So I'm tapping the boss to see if she thinks this is something I should do. Truly, there's no reason why not — all of my direct coworkers and bosses are already 3000 miles away. Other than a copy machine, office supplies and the telephone there's no absolute need for me to be in an office. So we're wondering if there's some way of working from home 3-4 days a week and coming into the office 1-2 days a week. It's being looked into. My boss is away for a week, but I've already forwarded her the memo.
Anyone out there work form home? Good? Bad? Indifferent? I'd love to hear thoughts.
Second: The "other" job — I'm working on the hook for my query. A hook, for those who don't know, is a one-sentence summation of my book that more or less leads off the query letter. And the query, for those who don't know, is the cover letter you've got to send to secure an agent, or publisher. The hook in the query letter I got at a recent convention was very straightforward and plain, but said what it needed to in two sentences.
But this site I found yesterday gives amazing detail and suggestions for all elements of the query, and they say it should just be one sentence. Hooks, for example, are like these two:
Bridges of Madison County
When Robert Kincaid drives through the heat and dust of an Iowa summer and
turns into Francesca Johnson's farm lane looking for directions, the
world-class photographer and the Iowa farm wife are joined in an experience
that will haunt them forever.
The Da Vinci Code
A murder in the silent after-hour halls of the Louvre museum reveals a sinister
plot to uncover a secret that has been protected by a clandestine society since
the days of Christ.
This actually came more easily than I thought it would; again, the synopsis helped a lot. It's a bit of a struggle to avoid what I feel are overly melodramatic phrases ("that will haunt them forever" would qualify for me), because in a way you hear the trailer for the film running in your head: "In a world where…."
So I came up with about five hooks, three of the "When…" part and two of the other kind. I'm not in love with any one, but several satisfy. So I'm doing more practice tomorrow. Writing them actually feels like the work I do in the office at times — and getting started on it can feel like dragging myself into the office on a day when I didn't sleep much. But once I'm into it, it's a useful and thought-provoking exercise. At which I never feel adequate.