Is there a way to speed up my Hoveround power chair?

The title of this post was actually a search phrase that arrived at my blog yesterday, and the image it conjured made me laugh out loud.

In my mind, Granny is speeding down the Parkway doing 85 in her souped-up Hoveround, weaving in and out of traffic and cackling as she kicks up gravel onto the hoods of other drivers.

She's wearing driving gloves and a helmet, and a jacket with sponsors printed on it. TidyCat... Polident... Meow Mix... Red Heart Yarn... Werthers (for the grandkids)... All the key brands are there. Her scarf waves tauntingly behind her in the breeze like the arm of a beckoning siren.

She zooms around a bend and the local fuzz clocks her at 90. They flip on the red-and-blues and hit the wailing alarms in pursuit.

Ah, but Granny's mind is still sharp and her Hoveround is nimble. She slips between the wheels of a gas truck trailer and takes the right lane.

The cops try to cut over in time, but instead find the grill of the gas truck is now tasting their own car's bumper. The trucker honks. The cops screech left. Granny slides down the off-ramp, giving the law the finger and shouting, "Catch me next time, coppers!" She whisks off to further adventures... Like the one-day 50% off basket sale at Michaels.

Never get between Granny and a nice new basket. She'll tuck her driving gloves, helmet and scarf in this brand new Longaberger for safe-keeping... And there they will stay, until one fine morning the southern wind picks up, and the highway calls her name once more.

"Laaaaverrrrrrrnne.... Laaaaaverrrrrrrrne...."
Wishing a great Memorial Day weekend to you, folks!

How NOT to Pitch Your Novel to an Agent or Publisher

So you say you've written a book-- and now you must weed through the thousands of web sites out there written by everyone--

From best-selling novelists to people who once penned their phone number on a cocktail napkin--

All ready to advise you on how to pitch your beloved novel.

Yet very few of them will tell you what you shouldn't do.

And that's why here at Of Cabbages and Kings, we have pulled together a helpful list of phrases that you should never, ever use to promote your novel. Unless you want to give publisher-type people something to snigger at around the watercooler. Which they might appreciate, if only from a place of schadenfreude and ironic sadness.

What Not to Say in Your Pitch Session or Query Letter:
  • "I have sent my 1,064 page manuscript to your offices posted C.O.D. because I am that sure the moment you read it, you will want to sign it."
  • "This darkly romantic Gothic saga is in the tradition of Stephanie Meyers and Anne Rice, if Edward or Lestat were giant talking squids."
  • "My novel is so hilariously funny, I laughed so hard that I cried. Then I wet myself. Then I paused long enough to change my trousers, and start the cycle over again. You've never read anything so uproarious as Mr. Wiggins' Fiscal Analysis of the 90s Recession."
  • "Contains a cast of characters bigger than Tolstoy's and Dostoyevsky's works combined!"
  • "I'm giving you the unique opportunity to be the first to read my manuscript, even before I have. That's how much I value your opinion."
  • "I'm the ideal person to write Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer because of my remarkable experience in the field. I have watched Silence of the Lambs 147 times and..."
  • "Deer Ageint..."
  • "So, in closing, my non-fiction self-help book, Procrastination: How-To Stop Putting It Off isn't yet complete, but I expect it to be ready sometime in 2012. Or at the latest 2013."
  • "I know I sent you this manuscript twice before, but I really think if you would just spend some quality time with it... say, take it to dinner, share a few bottles of wine... cuddle up with it before bedtime... you would see..."
  • "I know you receive so much mail daily, so to save on paper, I have decided to communicate my manuscript to you via telepathy... coming... NOW."

So there's the complete list, folks! Simply scan each query you send for these ten key pitfall phrases, and soon you will be on your way to receiving rejection letters based on more fulfilling reasons--

Like your plot sucks, you didn't happen to go to school with the editor's brother, you never were on a reality television show, or you just mailed your power of positive thinking guide to a publisher specializing in nihilist literature.

Good luck!

And PS- Do you folks have any "Don'ts" to add here? Leave a comment and share them! I promise there will be no rejections... unless you spam.

Humor In Honor of May the Fourth- Star Wars Day

It's May the Fourth-- also known as "Star Wars Day." So to celebrate this special yearly occasion where Star Wars fans don plastic light sabers and bagel ears, and non-Star Wars fans take a moment to wonder what on Tatooine "May the Fourth" has to do with Star Wars, I have pulled together a collection of Of Cabbages and Kings' favorite Jedi-inspired posts.

Strangely, I have a lot of them.

And no, I am not wearing my hair in bagel shapes today.


Jabberwookiee. Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" meets the Star Wars saga in this... unique... parody poem. Click here.

The Force-This! Jedi Simulation Correspondence Course. You can do everything online these days. Even tap into your hidden Jedi power. As long as you have $19.95 plus shipping and handling that is. Click here.

Why the Workday Would Benefit from a Darth Vader Voice Generator. I have decided I want to use this on the gas company, the next time they make me take half-a-day off just so they can do a two minute meter reading. But there are other reasons a Darth Vader voice would work in every day life. The reader comments here are priceless! (I love you guys-- you are so much fun.) Click here.

Darth Vader Brainstorms Naming the Death Star. It began when I wondered about how anyone bought off on TheDeathStar(TM) branding. Click here.

Eddie Izzard's Death Star Canteen with Legos. Lego people act out comedian Eddie Izzard's hysterical skit about Darth Vader trying to get some lunch. Not my work, but a BIG inspiration. Click here.

Thanks for stopping by! And May the Fourth Be With You!