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Finding new markets to write for


This morning’s plans to visit the library were thwarted by something unexpected. After lunch, M couldn’t sleep, so I asked him if he would like to go to the library instead. “I’m so excited!” he said and bounced on the bed. So we had a quick tea-time snack, put on our shoes, packed the pending library books (two Noddy books, one from the ‘Thomas’ series and one Enid Blyton sleep-time book which was really crap) and walked to the library.

We are lucky that the new Central Library is about a 7-10 minute walk from our house. The road is crappy, traffic is heavy and you might fall into a ditch left open by the perennial construction crews in the Patto area. If you survive that (and the stink from the CCP’s composting pit) then you can lose yourself in the magical surroundings of this modern building.

M loves the new library because it is vast, colourful, and has a lot of kiddie-attractions like rocking horses (poor quality with the ears falling off, but he doesn’t care), big squishy bears stapled to steel stools (which he hugs every time he is there) and little animal-backed chairs for him to sit on. We went straight to the ‘Thomas’ books (which were shelved next to the SAT exam books – go figure), picked four and found a seat. I had three magazines with me and I was hoping to do some homework while M played but hey, we were in a library and no amount of “we’ll read these books at home” could convince him otherwise.

So after a round of Douglas & Donald, Molly, Emily and Daisy (names of trains, if you didn’t know), M was diverted to the various whiteboards lying around where he proceeded to write his name, mine and the names of all the trains with magnetic letters. In between prompting spellings to him, I skimmed through the three magazines I had. These weren’t picked up randomly – oh no. I was doing serious ‘research’. Diary in hand, I went through the masthead, noted down editorial contacts and email address formats. I looked through features and front-of-book sections. I checked if any familiar freelancer names appeared in the by-lines.

When M got bored and wanted to go home, I was nearly done. I can catch up on my reading some other time – that’s not what I was there for, although it would have been nice. I have a few new pages of notes, information that I can use to send detailed queries tailored to these magazines.At the very least, I can send LOIs to the editors,although experience tells me that pitches will be more effective.

We walked back slowly, savouring an unusual afternoon out. M sauntered on the pavement, enjoying the stray dogs around. The heat dissipated as the sun settled lower.

My ideas are percolating. The queries will go out soon.

How do you spend your library time?

Image via Flickr


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