Monday, June 29, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
The new website has blasted its way onto the internet in the tradition of Billy the Kid - its guns are blazing, it's relentless, it will conquer, and you will submit to its glory! Behold! http://www.bjasonroer.com
What will you find when you enter http://www.bjasonroer.com ?
#1. A stunning picture of Jaden with his ultra-hip daddy, taken by the greatest and sexy-smokingest photographer ever to walk this earth. She married Jaden's daddy and it's the only decision keeping her from a perfect record of decision-making gloriousness.
#2. Lots of info about Jaden's daddy. Most of it useful factoids for those who need ta know what I do. Some of it about a peculiar and disastrous incident in the snow. All of it spun with the kind of web-weaving, alluring narrative you've come to know from Jaden's daddy.
#3. This is a biggie - pay attention. #3 is: What the new book is all about. More importantly, what a pair of splendid and sassy young ladies thinks of the book. Everyone get up right now and BOW to Amy and Lori for their time, energy, and stupendous lyrical magnificence. Thanks guys!
#4. Links to all things mind-warping, dazzling, and in some cases - informative! This includes my blog, other's blogs, websites for writers, kid stuff - lots and lots of shiny, vivid, 9-dimensional kid's stuff!
Now how's that for a sizzling pile of solid-gold rockage?
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Let's start here. Finished manuscript or not, I knew nothing about the publishing world. Film world? Inside and out. Publishing? Nada con queso. The cheese part was filled with super yummy awesomeness. The nada was like a deceitful, manipulative ex-girlfriend who flaunts her new "way better looking" and "supremely talented" fiancé in your face.
With limited contacts, I in fact knew but a single person in publishing, I was forced to use my sleep deprived, worn out, cob-webbed noggin on some serious action-plan planning. I didn't want to jump straight into the action plan itself - I'm too cautious for that. Scratch that, I'm too lazy. But I started planning, plotting, and scheming. My PPS yielded very little, while my continued lucky streak, which has lasted since the very minute I squirted out into this bright, big world, brought me the contact I needed.
New years eve 2008 offered another miraculous coincidence that I have had the luxury of enjoying for these past 33 years. Our fabulous friends, Jimmy and Jen, along with their daughter/Jaden's current fling-slash-chick o' the hour, Josie, were supposed to come over for a cozy little shindig. Triple J's is the nickname I've given the fearless threesome, and for a bit a trivia - that name later became the name for the fake company set up by Chris Kringle's parents to share his inventions with the world in the novel. Anyway - that crazy,defiant one-year-old Josie decided to stay out til the wee hours of the morning with her 3 cavorting gal-pals for like 4 nights in a row and ended up sick - puking, fever, yellow/green/brown/ mucus spewing yuckiness all over, kind of sick. What Jimmy and Jen had been putting in her bottle, I don't know, and don't want to know. Point is this - it was clearly a no-go on our celebration. Secretly I believe the universe simply won't allow that many people whose names begin with the letter J to congratate in a humble abode at the same time.
Being the swinging, ultra-hip, no-plan-having couple we are, Ellie and I needed somewhere to go. Our other friends, Melbolay (Melissa, Bob and Layla) were having a big ole bash at their apartment across the street and opened the doors to us slackers. In we went, and my career began.
Michelle Tessler is an amazing agent here in NYC with a) her own agency. Pretty sweet! www.tessleragency.com
Go check her out IMMEDIATELY if you write incredible non-fiction! b) a really cute kid. c) an enterprising husband who opened an online business with super yummy and healthy pizzas. http://www.unavoltahomemades.com
d) A wonderful smile that welcomes you to tell your story with ease, like you've been friends for years. She's seriously awesome and tireless in helping someone. e) most relevant - she's friends with Melbolay and therefore was at the New Year's Eve bash.
At that point, I hadn't finished my tweaks with draft 3, but Michelle and I spoke about it and she told me to send it her way when I was ready. As I mentioned, she reps non-fiction (and quite well, I'll add) so she wasn't going to be able to offer me representation. However, she said she had friends in MG and YA and she'd see what she could do.
Fast forward using the scan feature on your remote control and you arrive a few weeks later, when I was ready to pass the manuscript along. Michelle and I sat down for coffee (actually she got tea and I opted for some grub. I'm never more than an hour away from a meal!) and discussed the book a little further. I picked her brain about everything publishing related. As you know, I had lots of catching up to do. At the end, I had lots of knowledge about how to find an agent, how to write a query, and though unrelated to the actual book publishing process, how to pitch a story idea while having smoked salmon caught between your teeth.
After she read a bit of the MS, Michelle said she thought it was well written and entertaining, but that it was so far from her area she couldn't really give me any advice. However, she had two friends she thought I should send it to. Luckily, both of these friends were agents. Not that I wouldn't want her cleaning lady and nanny's opinion, but I figured an agent who worked with MG would probably be better suited to offer advice.
I sent out e-queries to both her friends.
Less than 24 hours later, I got a surprise response.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Ouch! Father’s Day 2008 was radically different than this young buckaroo had imagined it would be. As a filmmaker I am certainly no stranger to the bizarre surrounding me at moments when I’d prefer the bizarre to stay locked up in a tightly sealed, vacuum sucked container in the bottom-most trench of whatever body of water I happen to be around at the given time. But this was a real doozy.
Running on a treadmill is considered safe by most, unless they happen to be 15 feet tall and have legs that straddle the length of a gym in stride. I am no such giant and have been a runner my entire life. It’s in the gene pool. Grandpappy on my mother’s side was a champion. On father’s day 2008, I also became an acrobat.
While rocking out to some Chile Pepper concert-level decibel mania and running at 8 MPH, a lady was finishing her workout and thought it a particularly good idea to roll one of those large bouncy exercise balls along the floor.
Catching where this is going?
Everything was great for about 20 seconds. Then the ball was thrust into the looping track of the treadmill. The velocity was too great for the exercise ball, which clearly hadn’t been pumped up since Hercules did all his great deeds, and it was completely sucked under the treadmill, launching it AND ME 5 feet forward! The treadmill crashed into the mirror, the only thing that could stop the charging steed. I flopped and contorted through the air in ways that seemed impossible since my bones fused together all those many years ago in childhood. Plastic Man was always one of my favorite cartoons and I dedicated this dance to him.
I crashed down within inches of a paralyzing blow, lost conscience, and woke up sitting on the edge of the treadmill, which would have been me sitting up on a stretching mat had it been moments earlier. I had time-traveled a minute into the future and apparently relocated for good measure.
After a frightening hospital visit, which included the color white in a shade that doesn’t truly exist, I was cleared to go home on all sorts of meds that I suggest you get a hold of immediately, take advantage of, and live quite vividly for the rest of your life.
I had been a stay-at-home daddy to my little angel of a son we call Jaden for the previous 3 months. He was then 6-months old and finally got his first paying gig as a ventriloquist, a profession we’d always encouraged him to go into. With my condition less than desirable to care for someone whose only true skill at that point was crapping in increasingly large amounts, olfactory delights, and indescribable color arrangements, we were forced to hire a full-time nanny. My wife insisted she not be exceedingly blond, tan, or thin. She wasn’t even allowed to one of those things in excess.
We found the most charming, lovely person we could find and I was left to my own devices to recover – VERY slowly – while this stranger took care of Jaden and started managing his career. He has now made his rounds on the circuit and has been asked by Jack Benny to open for him in a 1920’s vaudeville road show. I never could have got him past the 1880’s. Our nanny rocks!
Since I was laid up, drugged up, and in an almost constant daze, I had considerable time to let my mind wander. Unfortunately I could rarely retain much of what came to me, though I still have a faint sense of a green flash of light and a woman screaming, followed by an evil laugh. I now wear glasses that seem to have been mended by some charm or something.
Soon, I was able to hold onto my thoughts again, and an idea popped into my head! I decided to write down a story that was an idea that had popped into my head 3 years earlier. I had been so busy with writing and directing films and traveling to film festivals those previous years that I hadn’t been able to really get into it.
The beginning had begun.