Monday, August 31, 2009

Keeping or Telling Secrets...

From Secrecy News:

Secrecy News Blog:


Two 90-day interagency reviews of government secrecy policies that were ordered by President Obama on May 27 are now essentially complete.

A review of the current executive order on classification policy is finished except for a few "sticky" issues pertaining to intelligence agency authorities, according to one participant in the interagency process. The recommendations of that review have not yet been transmitted to the White House. A separate review of procedures for handling "controlled unclassified information" (CUI) produced recommendations that were sent to the White House last week, though the contents have not been disclosed.

Both reviews were the subject of considerable public comment, and the resulting recommendations include at least some proposed changes that are directly traceable to public input, the participant said. But he also cautioned against overly high expectations for the outcome, especially given the insular character of the deliberative process, which was dominated by agency classification personnel. "You've got a bunch of foxes designing security for the henhouse," he said.

The recommendations that were produced by the interagency reviews must still be reviewed by the White House and then approved or modified, a process that could take months. A decision on whether to invite additional public comment has not yet been announced.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Two Films & Lots of Books On The Way....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


RWA Golden Heart winner Darynda Jones' FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT and two subsequent novels featuring a heroine who is a private investigator and has a side job as a grim reaper, to Jennifer Enderlin at St. Martin's, in a pre-empt, by Alexandra Machinist at Linda Chester (NA).


PEN-nominated author of UNDISCOVERED GYRL Allison Burnett's DEATH BY SUNSHINE, concluding his B.K. Troop trilogy with this story of a flamboyant, aging New York City bon vivant who visits Los Angeles for the first time and finds himself embroiled in a murder case, to Don Weise at Alyson Books, for publication in Fall 2010, by Eric Myers at The Spieler Agency (World English).

Dave Madden's THE AUTHENTIC ANIMAL: Inside the Odd and Obsessive World of Taxidermy, an intriguing look at the relationship between animals and the humans who painstakingly preserve them in life-like form, to Michael Flamini at St. Martin's, in a nice deal, by Gail Hochman at Brandt & Hochman (world English).


Kerstin Gier's RUBY RED trilogy, in which a 16-year old discovers her family's time-travel gene when she mysteriously lands in the last century, to Laura Godwin at Holt Children's, by Alex Webb at Rights People, on behalf of Arena Verlag (NA).


Winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers' Prize Lawrence Hill's THE BOOK OF NEGROES, to producers Damon D'Oliveira and Clement Virgo, who will also direct, by Ellen Levine of Trident Media Group in association with Jody Hotchkiss of Hotchkiss & Associates.

Tish Cohen's INSIDE OUT GIRL, optioned to writing/producing team Steven Pearl and Allison Burnett, by Kassie Evashevski at UTA, on behalf of Daniel Lazar at Writers House.



John Jenkins's REHNQUIST, a biography of the most influential, and least understood, chief justice in the court's modern era that will probe the origins of Rehnquist's conservatism; show his hand as a young justice intent on approving the death penalty and slowing the spread of abortion rights; and draw vivid pictures of his presiding role in the most important judicial decisions of our time, to Clive Priddle at Public Affairs, by Jane Dystel at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (NA).

Case Western Reserve University comic book scholar Bradley Ricca's SUPER BOYS: JERRY SIEGEL, JOE SHUSTER, AND THE CREATION OF SUPERMAN, the first-ever biography of the creators of Superman, detailing the complex lifelong collaboration and occasional betrayals, private dramas and public struggles, that accompanied their creation of perhaps the most iconic fictional figure of the 20th century, to Michael Homler at St. Martin's, by Scott Mendel at the Mendel Media Group (World English).

BUSINESS/INVESTING/FINANCE... founder Merlin Mann's INBOX ZERO, exploring the popular myths about "email organization," and provides an inspiring blueprint for managing our attention and making things that matter, to Julia Cheiffetz at Harper Studio, by Pilar Queen at McCormick & Williams Literary Agency (world).


UCLA cardiologist Dr. Barbara Natterson Horowitz and journalist Kathryn Bowers's ZOOBIQUITY, describing a new, species-spanning approach to health which explores the surprising overlaps between animal and human disease, and encourages collaboration between veterinarians and human doctors to the benefit of both, to Jordan Pavlin at Knopf, in a pre-empt, by Tina Bennett at Janklow & Nesbit (NA).


Journalist and editor for Foreign Affairs, Newsweek International, and Foreign Policy William Dobson's book on the changing nature of modern dictatorship, telling the story of the hidden, unconventional battle between 21st century authoritarians and the dissidents that target their tyranny, arguing that authoritarian regimes have evolved amidst new technologies and changing definitions of political liberty, to Kris Puopolo at Doubleday, in a pre-empt, by Will Lippincott of Lippincott Massie McQuilkin (World).


Willard professor of classics, professor of history and fellow of the Archaeology Centre at Stanford University, and author of the forthcoming WHY THE WEST RULES...FOR NOW Ian Morris's WAR: WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR, combining history, current affairs and cultural evolution, to explain that in the long-run, war has made us richer and safer, but the next 20 years will be vital to the planet as a race develops between a war to end all wars, and technological changes that may allow us to manage war successfully, to Daniel Crewe at Profile, by Arabella Stein at Abner Stein, on behalf of Sandy Dijkstra at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency (UK).


Thursday, August 27, 2009

You ain't heard it all yet...Listen & watch...

Received this in email. As a writer friend said, "This wingnut has had his threads stripped." I'd say his brain is contaminated and needs bleaching...tho that probably wouldn't help. Try to watch without gagging.



Friday, August 21, 2009

New Books On the Way....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Volume rights to Shane Jones' LIGHT BOXES, a short novel about a small town that wages war against February that was just optioned by Spike Jonze (who is collaborating with Jones on the screenplay), to Tom Roberge at Penguin, by Bill Clegg at William Morris Endeavor (NA).
UK rights to Simon Prosser at Hamish Hamilton, in a pre-empt.

Stegner Fellow and Stanford/UCSF creative writing professor Alice LaPlante's TURN OF MIND, pitched as having a Patricia Highsmith-esque mystery at its heart, in which the narrator, a brilliant surgeon with Alzheimer's-related dementia, is suspected of killing a neighbor who was her best friend and most worthy adversary, to Morgan Entrekin and Elisabeth Schmitz at Grove/Atlantic, for publication in Winter 2011, by Victoria Skurnick at the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (world).
Foreign rights to Goldmann in Germany and Orlando in Holland, in pre-empts.

David Hilton's KINGS OF COLORADO, in which a man reflects back on his childhood when, at age 13, he stabbed his abusive father in the chest and was sentenced to two years at a boys reformatory ranch in Colorado, where corruption was the norm, and troubled boys learned to fend for themselves as they cared for and broke wild horses that were just as willful and untamed as the boys themselves, to Kerri Kolen at Simon & Schuster, at auction, by Laney Katz Becker at Folio Literary Management (NA).


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of the Ethan Gage historical fiction series (NAPOLEON'S PYRAMIDS, THE ROSETTA KEY, THE DAKOTA CIPHER), William Dietrich's next two novels, THE SHAMBHALA IMPERATIVE, alternating between the 1930s and the present, combining occult Nazi theories, neo-Nazis and contemporary science elements in an adventure revolving around a government conspiracy, and another novel continuing the adventures of 19th century American adventurer Ethan Gage, again to Rakesh Satyal at Harper, by Andrew Stuart at The Stuart Agency (world).


Michelle Cove's SHAKE UP THE FAIRYTALE!, a guide that helps single women deal with all stages of "singlehood" and gives them the tools they need to navigate through a changing culture and social order that is still based on "couples," while reassuring single women that happily-ever-after is a lifelong approach to nourishing their sense of well-being, to Gabrielle Moss at Tarcher, at auction, for publication in Fall 2010, by Laney Katz Becker at Folio Literary Management (world English).


Professor of French at Boston University Elizabeth Goldsmith's THE CARDINAL'S NIECES, on the adventures of Marie and Hortense Mancini, privileged sisters raised in the court of Louis XIV who fled their husbands and children to travel throughout Europe, gaining notoriety for their roles as gamblers, cross-dressers, mistresses to various kings, and pioneering women writers, to Lindsay Jones at Public Affairs, for publication in Fall 2011, by Erika Storella at The Gernert Company (world).


Retiring Los Angeles chief of police William J. Bratton's business book about the strategic importance of collaboration in today's networked world, co-authored by management expert Zachary Tumin, to Roger Scholl at Broadway Business, for publication in spring 2011, by Alice Martell of Alice Martell Agency.


Yale historian and author of The Dynamite Club John Merriman's THE PARIS COMMUNE OF 1871, the first account for the general reader of the dramatic uprising in which the working class of Paris took up arms against the French government, inspiring Marx, Engels and Bakunin at the time and later Trotsky, Lenin, and Mao as a model of the 'dictatorship of the proletariat,' to Lara Heimert at Basic, in a pre-empt, to Melissa Chinchillo at Fletcher & Company (NA).

Samuel Johnson Prize-winning historian Antony Beevor's one-volume history of World War II, to Geoff Shandler at Little, Brown and Weidenfeld & Nicolson in the UK, for publication in 2012, by Andrew Nurnberg at Andrew Nurnberg Associates (world English).

Marie Claire editor Yael Kohen's WE KILLED: The History of Women in American Comedy, a first-ever oral history of women in American comedy, constructed from interviews with more than 50 of the nation's most prominent female comedians, recounting the trials, tribulations, and thrills of being a woman in the male-dominated comedy world from the 1950s to present, to Sarah Crichton at Sarah Crichton Books, at auction, by David Kuhn of Kuhn Projects (NA).


Science policy expert Roger Pielke, Jr.'s NO REGRETS: A Common-Sense Approach to Climate Change, an important look at how to get our response to climate change back on track after more than a decade of failure, to T.J. Kelleher at Basic, in a nice deal, for publication in Fall 2010, by Kris Dahl at ICM (World).

24-year-old Brown grad Brian Christian's book about artificial intelligence and communication framed as an inquiry into what makes us human, to Bill Thomas at Doubleday, at auction, by Janet Silver at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency.


Former Nation editor and regular Harper's contributor JoAnn Wypijewski's untitled book on class in America, a cross-country road trip (pitched as in the merged spirits of de Tocqueville, What's the Matter with Kansas? and On the Road) to get at the heart of the strained-and-cracking class structure that defines and divides America, to Eric Chinski at Farrar, Straus, by Bill Clegg at William Morris Endeavor (NA).

Kevin Birmingham's THE MOST DANGEROUS MASTERPIECE, an account of the writing of James Joyce's Ulysses and the subsequent fight over its publication, with appearances by Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Beach, Nora Barnacle, the obsessed censor Anthony Comstock, and the devilishly crafty Bennett Cerf, to Nick Trautwein at the Penguin Press, for publication in Fall 2012, by Suzanne Gluck at William Morris Endeavor.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Carrying On....

Thought it about time I say something in this space. Sure is enough going on in the world to talk about...little of it good.

No matter. Good comes first. In my case, good is breakfast on Acapulco's sidewalk patio. Arrived there this morning, LA Times and San Diego Union-Tribune newspapers in hand as always to find that Castro had already parked a thermos pot of hot coffee, a mug and an ashtray on my usual table.

Now that's what I call special. The staff at Acapulco about spoils me to death.

Anyway, I settled in, pulled the Sports pages out of both papers...I'm not interested in sports...and put them on the far side of the table for whichever manager was on duty, then settled in to begin reading the front section of the Times.

Shortly, Castro came with breakfast. Since I have exactly the same thing every morning, it's not necessary for me to order. Staff already knows what I want and how I want it. I tucked money under the menu caddy and he made change. Works like a charm.

The Health Care plan argument rages on, as does the situation between the Kurds and the Iraqis over that slice of land between them, so the US forces are gonna try and keep the peace there until there's some kind of a mutually agreed arangement between the two areas. This is good, but hope they get it settled soon so our people can come home.

Storms off the Florida coast. Have friends and family both who live down there. Hope they're well prepared in case one of those storms gets to hurricane size.

Arizona idiots are carrying weapons to places where President Obama is speaking. Serious weapons like AK-47s. Are they that unsure of their manhood that they need to flaunt weapons to show how tough they are? Just pathetic. Also dangerous as hell. "Because I can" one of them said. The NRA ought to be outlawed far as I'm concerned. This shit goes too far. Drives the Secret Service and law enforcement people nuts.

Robert Novak, newsman, has died of brain cancer. Onery as he was, he's a loss to the country. And Dan Rather...royally screwed by CBS as far as I'm concerned. I'm very glad he's not giving up the fight.

US Rep Michelle Bachmann is about as nuts as Sarah Palin. Be a cold day in hell before either of those two ever are elected president..and I don't give a damn what they think God wants them to do. They belong in asylums where their demented rants and raves won't disturb the public airways.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And Still More Books...

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Rainbow Rowell's FLAGGED, a fresh take on the office comedy in which a shy but endearing I.T. guy whose job is to monitor the company email falls in love with a girl in his office whose emails are constantly flagged, to Erika Imranyi at Dutton, at auction, by Christopher Schelling at Ralph M. Vicinanza.


Journalist Hilary Davidson's debut THE DAMAGE DONE, about a travel writer who is called back to New York when her estranged sister is murdered, only to discover that the body belongs to a stranger who'd stolen her sister's identity, and that her sister has vanished, to Paul Stevens at Forge, in a two-book deal, for publication in October 2010, by Judith Weber at Sobel Weber Associates (NA).


Bloodroot author Amy Greene's LONG MAN, set over fifteen days in the Tennessee Valley during the Great Depression, propelled by the search for a missing little girl, again to Robin Desser at Knopf, by Leigh Feldman at Darhansoff, Verrill, Feldman (NA).



New-media guru, founder of MarketWatch, and advisor/board member to ten major media and other companies, Larry Kramer's TALESPIN, on the current revolution in communication, the four factors that govern it, and how businesses can survive and thrive amid the changes, to Ben Loehnen at Harper Business, for publication in 2010, by Fredrica Friedman of Fredrica S. Friedman and Company.


Host of The Biggest Loser and star of Days of Our Lives, Alison Sweeney's THE MOMMY DIET, not just a weight-loss book, but a "diet" of nutrition, fitness, and self-care that women can follow to look and feel well, before and during pregnancy, and after giving birth, to Cara Bedick at Simon Spotlight Entertainment, for publication in October 2010, by Jane Dystel at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (world).


Senior foreign policy writer for the NYT editorial board, David Unger's THE EMERGENCY STATE: How to End America's Obsessive Quest for National Security and Reclaim our Democracy, a wide-ranging work of history and political economy which looks at how the foreign policy arrangements and international economic structures originally developed to fight the cold war are still in place, and have not only become obsolete but now threaten our democracy at home and our international economic position, to Laura Stickney at Penguin Press, at auction, by Andrew Stuart at The Stuart Agency (NA).

Jerusalem-based historian and journalist, author of THE ACCIDENTAL EMPIRE and THE END OF DAYS Gershom Gorenberg's THE UNMAKING OF ISRAEL, a penetrating look at Israel's current internal strife, its roots, and its sobering implications for the nation's future, to Tim Duggan at Harper, by Lisa Bankoff at ICM (NA).


Syndicated radio host and TV personality Adam Carolla's THIS YEAR IN RAGE, a collection of funny, insightful, and outrageous anecdotes, philosophies, and rants by America's foremost complainer, spanning sports (steroids in baseball, etc.), the economy, bloggers, dining out, religion, politics, movies, social networking sites, dating, flying/homeland security, and sex, to Suzanne O'Neill at Crown, for publication in Fall 2010, by Dan Strone at Trident Media Group and manager, James Dixon of Dixon Talent (NA).


Founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure (named for her sister), the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, and former US ambassador to Hungary Nancy Brinker's story of two sisters, Nancy and Suzy, their loving bond from childhood through adulthood, the cancer that took one sister's life and threatened the other's, and the passionate promise made that has gone on to transform, and save, the lives of million of women and to raise billions of dollars for cancer research and community outreach, to Diane Salvatore at Broadway, for publication in October 2010, by Dorian Karchmar at William Morris Endeavor (world English).

Gunter Grass's FROM GERMANY TO GERMANY AND BACK AGAIN, the diary he kept in 1990, as the Berlin Wall fell and Germany changed forever, to Drenka Willen at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for publication in Fall 2011, by Steidl Verlag (NA).


Bio-acoustician and pioneering musician Bernie Krause's THE GREAT ANIMAL ORCHESTRA: Searching for the Voice of Nature and the Origins of Music, a narrative journey into the author's visionary theories about animal sounds, their orchestral-like relationship to one another, their influence on our own music, their vital importance to our ecological and emotional health, the dramatic losses they've endured due to encroaching human noise, and the damage that is occurring as they go extinct, to John Parsley at Little, Brown, at auction, by Gillian MacKenzie of the Gillian MacKenzie Agency (world).


Saturday, August 08, 2009

A Selection of Interesting Books....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:



Radio show host, magazine writer and frequent contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle Tony DuShane's CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE JESUS JERK, loosely based on his experience growing up a Jehovah's Witness, to Anne Horowitz at Soft Skull, by Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media.

O'Henry Award-winner and Stegner Fellow Eddie Chuculate's CHEYENNE MADONNA, linked stories of the Native American experience past and present, to Susan Barba at David R. Godine, by Alex Glass at Trident Media Group (World).

Iowa MFA and University of Houston PhD Amber Dermont's PROSPER, set in the privileged world of a New England prep school, follows the handsome, wounded Jason Prosper, who arrives at the academy for his senior year after the suicide of his best friend and sailing partner, only to realize the darkness of his past has followed him, and DAMAGE CONTROL, a story collection, to Lindsay Sagnette at St. Martin's, for publication in Spring 2011, by Ethan Bassoff at Inkwell Management (NA).


Christobel Kent's A TIME OF MOURNING, the first in a new series featuring an ex-cop turned PI, to Daniela Rapp at Minotaur, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in Spring 2010, by Kimberly Witherspoon at Inkwell Management (Na).


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The Key
As usual, the handy key to our Lunch deal categories. While all reports are always welcome, those that include a category will generally receive a higher listing when it comes time to put them all together.
"nice deal" $1 - $49,000
"very nice deal" $50,000 - $99,000
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"major deal" $500,000 and up

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Robin Becker's BRAINS: a zombie memoir, the first-person account of a college professor-turned-zombie who retains his sentience and recruits others like him on a heroic quest to fend off the living while searching for the meaning of un-life, to Gabe Robinson at Harper, in a nice deal, for publication in Summer 2010, by Janet Reid at FinePrint Literary Management (NA).

Ann Garvin's ON MAGGIE'S WATCH, about the deep friendship between best friends, the pressure that loss puts on a marriage, and our deeply human desire to control - no matter how absurd and impossible - everything in our lives to make the world as safe as possible for ourselves and our children, to Jackie Cantor at Berkley, for publication in November 2010, by Eve Bridburg at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency (World).

Kristen Wolf's THE WAY, a cinematic and fantastical re-imagining of the world's greatest spiritual figure, pitched as THE MISTS OF AVALON meets POPE JOAN, to Suzanne O'Neill at Crown, by Susan Golomb at the Susan Golomb Agency (NA).

Radio show host, magazine writer and frequent contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle Tony DuShane's CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE JESUS JERK, loosely based on his experience growing up a Jehovah's Witness, to Anne Horowitz at Soft Skull, by Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media.

O'Henry Award-winner and Stegner Fellow Eddie Chuculate's CHEYENNE MADONNA, linked stories of the Native American experience past and present, to Susan Barba at David R. Godine, by Alex Glass at Trident Media Group (World).

Iowa MFA and University of Houston PhD Amber Dermont's PROSPER, set in the privileged world of a New England prep school, follows the handsome, wounded Jason Prosper, who arrives at the academy for his senior year after the suicide of his best friend and sailing partner, only to realize the darkness of his past has followed him, and DAMAGE CONTROL, a story collection, to Lindsay Sagnette at St. Martin's, for publication in Spring 2011, by Ethan Bassoff at Inkwell Management (NA).

Christobel Kent's A TIME OF MOURNING, the first in a new series featuring an ex-cop turned PI, to Daniela Rapp at Minotaur, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in Spring 2010, by Kimberly Witherspoon at Inkwell Management (Na).

Jennie Fields's THE AGE OF ARDOR, inspired by the facts of Edith Wharton's life -- a miserable marriage and difficult love affair -- the novel introduces Anna Bahlmann, Edith's lifelong conscience and confessor, her former governess turned literary secretary and first critic who previewed every word she penned, in a portrait of two vastly different women responding to changing mores, whose relationship was sorely tested when Edith threw caution to the wind in pursuit of the wrong man despite Anna's opposition, and whose friendship, even so, was able to flourish, to Pamela Dorman at Pamela Dorman Books, in a pre-empt, by Lisa Bankoff at ICM (World).

Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago's THE ELEPHANT'S JOURNEY, based on the real-life journey of an Indian elephant from Lisbon to Vienna in the 16th century, translated again by Margaret Jull Costa, to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for publication in fall 2010.



Historian David Fromkin's NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM, showing how tensions between Britain and the Nazis over the Middle East prior to and during World War II set the course for that area's political history, moving back to Andrew Miller at Knopf, at auction, by Suzanne Gluck at William Morris Endeavor.


Leigh Newman's A SAFE PLACE IN THE WILDERNESS, about the author's life spent growing up in (and moving between) two vastly different American terrains and cultures -- East (blue blood Maryland with her mother) and West (rugged and wild Alaska with her father), and how she built a life across seemingly impossible divides, to Jennifer Smith at Dial, in a pre-empt, for publication in Fall 2011, by Emilie Stewart at Emilie Stewart Literary Agency (NA).


GQ staff writer Alex Pappademas's HERE COMES TOMORROW, featuring essays and insights into how comics, superheroes, science fiction, and other "nerdy" entertainment has become a dominant force in pop culture, to Zack Wagman at Vintage, from Farley Chase at the Waxman Literary Agency (NA).


Daniel Mendelsohn, international bestselling and award-winning author of The Lost: A Author of The Lost: Search for Six of Six Million, Daniel Mendelsohn's ODYSSEYS, a literal and figurative voyage in search of the meanings of the greatest of the Classics, from Homer to Aristophanes and beyond, moving to David Rosenthal at Simon & Schuster, with Sarah Hochman editing, for publication in 2012, by Lydia Wills at Paradigm (world English).


Sister Madonna Buder and Karin Evans's IRON SPIRIT: The Wisdom and Inspiration of Sister Madonna Buder, World Champion Triathlete, about the 79-year-old nun and Ironman competitor known on the circuit as the Iron Nun, to Marysue Rucci at Simon & Schuster, at auction, by Elisabeth Weed at Weed Literary.


Friday, August 07, 2009

An R.N. For Reform....

From R.N. For Reform...

So far, most politicians, constituents and the public in general agree on one fact: healthcare is a right, not a choice.

Given that definition, and given that we are trying to effect reform, why do most proposals seem bent on leaving insurance coverage tied to the workplace?

Why not strip coverage from being a workplace responsibility and/or availability and provide coverage on a per citizen basis, not on a per worker basis? If we're thinking streamlining, why not go all the way?