Monday, November 17, 2008

Surviving Life Without a Clue, by Susan Hernandez


Open Query:

With the two simple words "I do" my happiness disappeared like a bat out of hell. Mentally abused and neglected, I was treated like a servant instead of a wife. Coffee precisely 89.5 degrees and don’t forget the cream. My breast cancer was my husband’s justification for cheating. He generously shared Chlamydia with me which took away my ability to have more children, making sex painful and causing miserable mood swings [next mood swing in eight minutes]. I day dreamed of slicing off his genitals and feeding them to the alligators in the canals - making absolutely sure there was no chance for reattachment. I stepped out of a wonderful childhood into a nightmare which left me sitting on the street with gravel ground into my knees.

After my divorce, I was always in the right place at the wrong time or the wrong place at the wrong time. My children and I were evicted from two apartments, my car was repossessed and we ate macaroni and cheese by candlelight more than once. Watching my children dine weekly on free food samples at Costco, my brain started screaming. " WAKE - UP! What the hell are you doing!" I took my education, what was left of my sanity and put it to work in Northwest Florida with a good job in surgery. Taking control of my life has given me peace of mind, a home and this book:

SURVIVING LIFE WITHOUT A CLUE, a 62,000 word completed memoir.

Thank you for taking your time and reading my query.

Susan Hernandez


I Think, Therefore Who Am I? (Memoir of a Psychedelic Year), by Peter Weissman


Publication Details:

Paperback: 260 pages

Publisher: Xlibris Corporation (June 19, 2006)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1425702937

ISBN-13: 978-1425702939


This memoir realistically conveys, in nitty-gritty detail, but with sardonic humor, the highs and lows of the psychedelic drug scene in New York’s East Village in 1967 and San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury during the “Summer of Love.” The wider story is conveyed in discrete, stand-alone chapters, each with its own descriptive title (“Before Almost Everything Changed,” “In the Realm of Mythunderstanding,” “Trew Love,” “You Can’t Call Home Again,” “Fruit Salad for the Head”…), a collage held together by the similar LSD experiences of the characters who constitute an ensemble of “acid heads.” Though different in key and revealing ways, they reflect the youth subculture of the era, trafficking in spiritual and pseudospiritual ideas and misconceptions, anti-establishment politics, existential rumination, sex and sexuality, the grungy details of tenement life and pervasive dreams of transcendence. Through realistic dialogue and careful observation, the author/protagonist portrays himself and his peers—gods and goddesses, swindlers and thieves, loons and gurus, at different times and places—while deliriously high and when, like him, they crash to earth.
Book review (from Amazon):

Utterly engaging and one hell of a lot of fun, I found myself genuinely unable to put this book down. I am a fan of Kerouac, Tom Wolfe (both Tom Wolfes, in fact), and Hunter S., and to me this book contained scattered elements that recalled all those writers, yet Weissman's achievement stands distinctly apart from these others in style, subject, and form. I am a very, very slow reader, so I particularly loved how the story is broken up into manageable chapters, each one feeling complete and self-contained, yet fitting in perfectly with the whole book, scene transitioning to scene as 1967 unravels in a staggering rush. The people are real, compelling characters and the imagery is some of the brightest and most vivid I have ever read. A candle can't flicker and a beautiful girl can't blink in this book but that the reader is there also, seeing it happen. A very impressive book …

E. Campbell, Buenos Aires
Author bio:
The author worked on his memoir for over twenty years, from New York City to Berkeley, where he was a mailman; to Connecticut, where he was a gardener and a reporter on a weekly newspaper; and then back to New York, where he edited a newspaper that was a front for something—he’s still not sure what. He is now a freelance copy editor, working out of his home in Woodstock, New York. In the spring and summer he rides a bike; in the fall he rakes leaves; in the winter he splits wood and makes fires. His wife and daughter, who know him, are accustomed to his reclusive ways.
At some point, as the evening heated up, Richie Klein would burst in on stick figure legs, a speed freak among acid heads, and override the music and the talk with a shouted encomium to his latest mind-blowing discovery.

"Einstein! Relativity! Time is space, man! Time is space!"

He'd meanwhile pace back and forth in a tight line, declaiming in spasms, pivoting on high-heeled boots. Amphetamine-driven, manically, wildly askew, the madman as genius was his voluble excuse for obtrusiveness, his every shouted conviction irrefutable. And then, before anyone could pin him down, Richie would bolt back out, into the night.

Charlie Wu would pop in too, but without flare, on his way home from the nine-to-five job he despised, wearing a cheap, rumpled suit, his tie a loosened noose.

Arnie always greeted him as a special guest, to demonstrate, it seemed, that it was okay with him that Charlie was Chinese. "Wu!" he'd shout across the room. "What're you up to?"

A vision of tired normalcy, the sardonic Wu would stand near the door shaking his head, clearing it of the fumes on a midtown street at rush hour. Snatching the joint held out to him, he'd smoke it like a cigarette, puffing away. But instead of smoothing his worry lines, the grass would set him off.

"The city sucks!" he'd begin, and from there escalate his rant against the world, indicting everyone in the room with his anger: "You lazy fuckers! You lay around, smoking dope, contemplating your navels, blathering about the meaning of reality … You don't know shit about reality! I'll tell you about reality …" And he'd spout the story of his day, a grim tale of a Pavlovian dog responding to an alarm, putting on a uniform, dashing through streets filled with other dogs in order to shoehorn itself into a crowded train so he could get to a desk and sit there hour after hour, doing meaningless paperwork. They let him eat lunch, the bastards, but the food was lousy no matter where you went, processed shit, and after sitting on his ass all day, it congealed in his stomach, which accounted for his chronic constipation. Or else, what with all the coffee he drank to stay awake, he'd have a case of the watery shits.

Once, driving himself to a delirious peak as the daily story built to a crescendo, Wu broke off, turned the radio on full blast and stomped out.

It was the news in full throat. Casualties in Indochina, an explosion in London, a stabbing in the Bronx. The room sat stunned. This was the other world, whose reality depended upon acquiescence. A shared revulsion rippled within the concrete walls of our cloistered shelter. And then someone turned it off, for why would anyone want to know what was happening out there? What was the benefit of it?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Dad, Dog and Fish" (Charles F. Emery III)

Charles Emery's father

Charles F. Emery's Open Letter to Literary Agents

Dad, Dog and Fish is a humorous, folksy story of my life with my Dad, our dogs and our mutual love of the outdoor life. There are serious components as well dealing with death and sickness, as well as uplifting moments endured and embraced by family. The story is peppered with dog logic.

The story has broad appeal; it has something for everybody.

I have not been published; but I am not averse to receiving copious amounts of filthy lucre.

Here is a link to the Dad, Dog and Fish blog with selected material on exhibition:

I would be happy to send to interested AAR agents and/or traditional editors hard copies of the above and/or print copy of the full or partial manuscript. For more information, e-mail me. If you have read this far, thank you for your time.


Charles F. Emery III


About Charles F. Emery III

Charles Emery is a Consulting Engineer and dyed in wool corn-pone humor addict and dog lover. He says, "Sorry, that's it; I have no published work, but I am not adverse against getting scads of filthy lucre."


Excerpt from Dad, Dog and Fish

The light filters through the curtains in the bedroom as the sun dawns a new day. The couple in the bed are crowded but comfortable; a marriage not yet strained by time. The man in the bed is in his late twenties, but the way he wheezes you’d think he was in his sixties. However, his labored breathing is not from a physical malady, but from the weight of his three year old son planted firmly on his chest in deep slumber. Rather than wake his son, the father bears the weight agreeably; the father knows it’s a fine morning.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

An Open Letter to Literary Agents and Publishers

I was driven to Cherokee, caged in a police car.

Destination: The Cherokee Mental Health Institute in Cherokee, Iowa.

I had never been charged with a crime–just with youthful indiscretion and recklessness. The Woodbury County court system labeled me, an 18-year-old girl, as mentally ill, a "fit subject for custody and treatment in the Mental Health Institute" (from my court records).

I, Driven: memoir of a teen's involuntary commitment opens with a short scene: I, caged in the back of the police car.

The narrative then shifts to Santa Monica and Hollywood, California, Christmas Eve, 1968.

Sex, drugs, and hard rock. Rebellion. Hippies. Flower Power. Vietnam. Make Love, not War. Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out. The Establishment. The Generation Gap. Naked John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The White Album. Student protests. Hair. The Doors. Women's Liberation. Richard Nixon. 2001: A Space Odyssey. LSD. Purple Haze.

Blue Moons.

As I grooved on, my frightened grandparents, who raised me, plotted to lure me home to Sioux City, Iowa, to help me "get my head on straight."

The memoir’s primary narrative thread covers the months between Christmas Eve 1968 through May 9, 1969: my psychedelic days in Hollywood, return to Sioux City, involuntary incarceration in Cherokee, and, finally, escape to Pennsylvania. The narrative also includes some flashbacks to Fall 1968 and from my childhood. In addition, there is a secondary 2004 thread contemplating my return to Cherokee–this time voluntarily and as a visitor.

The manuscript is 415 pages (about 86,000 words). My target audience: baby boomers–those who walked my path and those who wish they had (well, perhaps a little). Also, the book is likely to draw a younger audience; the first person primary narrative thread recreates the youthful voice of 18-year-old Jennifer L. Semple, who could appeal to an 18 to 35-year-old reader.

My publications include The Re-feeding Program, excerpt from "The Big Diet" (short story), The Non-Dieting Weblog (2006); Copyright: Ethics Versus Education in Macedonia (article, page 12), American Writer: Journal of the National Writers Union (2005); Persona Grata (essay), Writer’s Digest Online (2005); Are You EVER Going to be Thin? (and other stories) (2004).

Below are links to a book summary, blurb, synopsis, notes on narrative thread, and research note. In addition, I have also included short excerpts from the memoir.

I would be happy to send to interested AAR agents and/or traditional editors hard copies of the above and/or print copy of the full or partial manuscript. For more information, e-mail me. If you have read this far, thank you for your time.


Jennifer Semple Siegel

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Table of Contents for Site

About Jennifer Semple Siegel:



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