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Newsletter Dated: 2/28/2002 2:04:09 PM
Subject: Soup's On!
Andrea Campbell’s Newsletter
*** Greetings! ***
This newsletter is being sent to you because you are a writer, family member, professional friend of Andrea’s, or a fan and reader of her books. If you are new to the list, welcome. There are a ton of newsletters and e-zines out there to read, thanks for requesting and reading mine. I am excited about this venue because it gives me the opportunity to reach larger numbers of people in a much shorter time. It will also contain more personal content and address things I don’t discuss on my web site.
In addition, I promise not to divulge your name or give your email address to any other business or mailing list. If you are receiving this letter for the first time, I hope it meets with your approval and you will continue to read and enjoy it.
Have questions, comments, or ideas for future publication? I look forward to your input and never turn down "helpful hints." This newsletter is a continued work-in-progress and I hope you will stay around to see new features in every bi-monthly issue.
*** Ziggy’s Departure ***
February 26 will always loom large for me. It is the day I passed Ziggy, my Helping Hands capuchin monkey, over to a Continental flight attendant, never to be seen again.
We originally thought we would be able to know where Ziggy would spend the rest of her life—she will be a helper/companion to a quadriplegic, someone who lives in a wheelchair and cannot use their arms or legs—but Helping Hands has found that idea does not work as well in practice as it does in theory. Apparently in the past, foster families have insinuated themselves into the recipient’s life and have not let them feel that he/she is now the parent. I understand how that could happen. I also respect the quadriplegic’s privacy. Maybe he or she does not need to have the press or an interfering monkey parent foisted on them. The Helping Hands program is about adding value to their lives, not complicating it.
I have given up love before (we sent back to Europe two foreign exchange daughters, Jopie from the Netherlands and Ana from Spain, and Ana who stayed for five years!) and I do know that it’s necessary. I also have two sons in college, and can only claim to have experienced of wee bit of empty nest syndrome with only one of them (and they will never know which one). This connection with Ziggy though, is perhaps more emotional, more attendant to love. By this I mean, Ziggy has really never known any other mother. And, just as is done in the wild, a monkey baby clings to its mother, gripping, gripping, gripping for dear life. So, consequently, for the past thirteen years, I have worn a warm, furry body attached to mine. A tail wraps itself around your neck. Small hands grip your chest or breast. The monkey heart will always navigate itself closer to another heart; always touching, small warm breaths taken against your neck or ear.
Her fingers would groom my scalp every day. A compact, intent body would perch on my shoulder, checking every hair, cleaning all scratches by eliminating scabs, and just generally maneuvering each inch of my body. No examination I’ve experienced can equate to this type of ritual. And monkeys aren’t going through these motions to get rid of bugs or stray lint as looks the part, this is an activity that is innate in their psyches, they are doing this for social reasons!
The cage gone will leave a huge hole. My dining-table-office will soon become an "Executive L desk center" and occupy an actual room downstairs. (We kept Ziggy parked next to my computer and on the true living level of the house where the core of activity takes place.)
Experts tell us it takes 21 days to create a habit. Now I will have to actively erase thirteen years of habit. How long will it take me to remember I only need retrieve one first-morning vitamin? When Bob Vila, Cleo, or the Computer Professor come on the television, how long will it take me to not associate them with a squeal or chatter of delight? How long will it take me to realize that my two-mile walks will be solo adventures? What will I replace these empty moments with now?
I hope that forensic science will move up a notch in my plans. I’d like to work professionally by creating cadaver drawings—giving face to those with no identity—or by doing fugitive updates and the occasional forensic sculpture.
Now I can leave the house without feeling guilty. I don’t have to check my watch and keep my away time to within a four-hour window because a monkey awaits my attention. I can visit the courthouse and gather information for one of my proposals. I can get more involved with interior design and actually put that e-book together. I can attend and teach at more conferences. Michael and I can go on a real vacation for the first time in over a decade (who else monkey-sits besides one’s own child? and they are not easy to get)! I can escape cage cleaning and linen and toy washing and buying diapers and wipes and special food and all the hundreds of hours spent in maintenance of one primate so special; the realities of responsibility.
A thank you goes out to Ann, Doreen, Karline, Paula, Dani, Kristen, and all the other dear friends who’ve said I can call on them when the absence of Ziggy gets to be too much. I will call or write you when the emotions well up inside, and I know you’ll understand.
How happy I am that I have been able to immortalize my life with Ziggy in our book BRINGING UP ZIGGY. And just because Renaissance Books did not have the good grace to make it an important book, that doesn’t mean I won’t go on to have it reissued (and with new information about our last year together).
But for now, I will just have to use my mind’s eye to remember Zig and know that she will give so much love to someone else who sorely needs it. I know that I am lucky after all. I have strong arms and legs and will go off to find a new adventure. And I can always revel in the fact that I gave a gift of love like no other.
The universe has other things waiting for me, I just need find them.
*** More Attention ***
I just recently got my copy of another book that I am featured in. Yes, Pamela Grout’s book entitled: LIVING BIG: Embrace Your Passion and Leap into an Extraordinary Life, published by Conari Press is here! It is trade paper, retails for $15.95 and is available at all online stores, including brick-and-mortar booksellers. Pamela is a stringer for People magazine among other things, and one terrific person. And LIVING BIG has some really great, inspirational stories and ideas in it—I am extremely proud to be one of her subjects. Go out and buy her book!
*** Visit Pitsco ***
Since I don’t believe in hoarding information and I concur with Carl Jung’s theory about synchronicity, and also subscribe to my own theory about what goes round, comes round, I offer my services to Pitsco’s "Ask an Expert" site for free.
It has ratcheted up my correspondence considerably, but I feel garners many readers I might not normally get. I am registered with them as an expert in criminal law, primatology and writing, and I receive queries in all three categories—generally from school children doing reports and lawbreakers who need advice!
I especially like receiving mail from youngsters and teenagers because it let’s me get a peek into their dreams, ideals, and homework, (our future leaders). And those accused of crime? Everyone is entitled to some type of representation and many of these people fall through the cracks, and that is not justice either. I don’t act as their counsel, but simply suggest steps they might take to protect themselves in accordance with "our" constitutional rights.
*** Poisontea Party ***
June 8th I will be a speaker/presenter at the Poisontea Mystery Conference at the Ramada Inn on North Glenstone (Interstate 44, exit 80A) in Springfield, Missouri. My part of the program will be based on material from my soon-to-be released MAKING CRIME PAY: A Writer’s Guide to Criminal Law, Evidence, and Procedure. For more information, contact the President of Sleuth’s Ink, Stina Branson at: email@example.com or Sharon Buffington at firstname.lastname@example.org Their chapter web site can be found at: http://hometown.aol.com/sleuthsink
*** Online Instruction ***
In April I will be teaching another online workshop for the Kiss of Death chapter of the Romance Writers of America. This Coffin—College of Felony and Intrigue—MurderOne class will be about Forensic Art called "Faces From the Grave." We will immerse ourselves in all things exciting in the name of criminal identification. Sign up, these courses are informative (I provide at least a book’s worth of information), fun, and cheap! For detailed info visit: http://rwamysterysuspense.org/coffin.html
*** More Online Instruction ***
In May, I will be teaching "How To Write a Killer Nonfiction Book Proposal" for Painted Rock Writers and Readers Colony. This will be a comprehensive, concrete, and indispensable class on what it takes to create a proposal that will get the attention of agents and editors. This workshop is appropriate for writers who already have an idea for a book, but would like to know the complete, correct execution of this marketing product. Get published, and HOW!
*** Author’s Tip: Getting Endorsements (or Blurbs) ***
Asking for endorsements—the comments on a book’s jacket—is a little-discussed issue among writers. I asked this question, "How do you get endorsements?" of writers on a professional list-serve I subscribe to and got these responses:
• Some writers appeal to those who were quoted in their book and feel comfortable asking them for a favor, considering they had gotten a plug to begin. This writer said: "Having your name on a jacket is another way of getting your name in front of people—it benefits them too."
• Another author says that he goes after folks who are famous in the field, asking for quotes, and they generally let him send the book. He says, "My sense is that they figure they can always back out if they hate the book. If possible, I try to say something along the lines of, ‘So and so suggested I write you.’ So I have to start by networking everyone I know, and asking them, ‘Gosh, is there anyone you know who might give a plug?’" My friend also suggests that you have to believe your book is worth these folks’ time.
• One writer told me that her agent made suggestions about who to ask, (publishers may too), but that she will often track down someone’s publicist and inquire about the procedure to request a quote for a book. She also said that she doesn’t use the word "endorsement" because, to her, it sounds like it has other ramifications. She prefers to say "a quote for the book."
About getting them to write what you need:
• Another savvy writer said she makes "specific suggestions [on what to write] based on what I think they’d say about me, even to the point of writing the letter for them." She said a client of hers gave her this suggestion because he claimed it saves endorsement people time, and still allows them to make any changes they choose.
• Personally, I choose people based on whom I admire, and write a letter from the heart. I have approached several people I don’t know, but I >did know< they had a passion about my subject. I generally email my potential quotees, (sometimes a letter may be required) and offer to send them chapters from the book that might pertain to their interests, along with brochure copy about who I am and what I’ve done. I also invite them to visit my web site, so they can get a larger image of what I am about. Securing testimonials for me has always been a positive and reaffirming experience. Plus, if you learn to make "sell sheets," these letters of recommendation can be used for promotion as well.
** Lost a Loved One? **
Have you lost a spouse, relative or loved one? My friend and colleague, Lisa Iannucci, has a terrific web site addressing the stages of despair and the needs of those dealing with death and grief. She also has a newsletter that featured my journal writing book: YOUR CORNER OF THE UNIVERSE: A Guide to Self-Therapy Through Journal Writing. Her web site can be found at: www.youngwidowsandwidowers.com
*** Postscriptum ***
I plan on being in the Hartford, CT, area to tape a television show mid-April and then head over to the ASJA Conference East in NYC. If you are in Hartford and would like to meet, send me a note.
*** Future Newsletters ***
In upcoming newsletters I hope to answer reader’s questions, share a new story or two, talk more about publishing, and provide additional writer’s tips. If there is any area of my life or work you would like to discuss, from autopsy to monkeys, just send me a note. Thanks for the read. : 0 )
Copyright©2002 Andrea Campbell If you wish to quote from here fine, just attribute it to me and my web site.