Monday, November 29, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Chuck Sambuchino is an editor and a writer. He works for Writer's Digest Books and edits GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS (guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog) as well as CHILDREN'S WRITER'S & ILLUSTRATOR'S MARKET. His humor book, HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK (gnomeattack.com), was released in Sept. 2010 and has been featured by Reader's Digest and AOL News. Besides that, he is a produced playwright, magazine freelancer, husband, cover band guitarist, chocolate chip cookie fiend, and owner of a flabby-yet-lovable dog named Graham.
1. Have you noticed any unusual gnome activity since your book came out in September?
Not yet. Methinks the garden gnomes are mounting a large offensive of some kind. I think the world needs to be at Def Con 3 right now (alert color: Orange). 90 percent of surveyed gnome defense experts think that a dangerous and grand attack is coming in the next 12 months.
2. Have any gnomes shown up at your book events?
Just the heavily sedated ones I bring with me from time to time. They are harmless and just for show. Mostly, gnomes know better than to mess with me, because they realize that I pulverize little garden warriors for fun and then eat my dinner.
3. Where did you get the idea for your gnome book?
I was thinking about the movie THE FULL MONTY when I recalled a scene with a garden gnome. I started to get creeped out. Then I thought: If gnomes creep me out, certainly they creep out others, as well. That was the beginning.
4. There are rumors that the gnomes have signed a contract with a Scandinavian publisher for a book entitled, Taking Back the Garden: Strike First, Strike Hard. Any comments on this?
I shall double my efforts. Gnomes and gnome allies seem to have infiltrated everywhere! Stop coddling these peddlers of death and instead pick up a sledgehammer!
5. I read in one interview that your family and friends were dubious about the project at first. Are they believers now?
I think the general reaction at first was, "I dunno...That sounds pretty weird." People tend to have short memories, though. I mentioned to a friend the other day that he thought, at first, that the idea was wackadoo. He had no recollection of ever giving that feedback. But nowadays, everyone's excited and onboard the Gnome Book Train.
6. You also wrote 2011 Guide to Literary Agents. Has traveling through the publishing process as a writer influenced you as an editor? If so, how?
GNOMES is actually my eighth book to come out, total, but my first one independent of Writer's Digest Books, done through an agent. After seeing everything I've seen, I've really tried to impart some things to writers, such as 1) Do not put all your eggs in one basket; 2) Keep moving forward through all the rejections and setbacks; and 3) This is a tough business, but the reward is super sweet for those with the patience and determination to forge ahead.
7. What upcoming promotional events should your fans be aware of?
I travel and speak quite frequently, so people should just follow my blog to see all my events: www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog. I also Tweet a lot: @chucksambuchino. My first big event in 2011 is actually WD's own huge writing conference in Manhattan, where we have about 60 literary agents taking pitches during a huge pitch slam. If you're looking for a good conference and want to get an agent, come out to the event: www.writersdigestconference.com
8. I heard that you're working on a new project. Any hints about what we might have to look forward to?
Mwahahahaha. I cannot reveal anything yet, but I am submitting new humor book ideas and working on some screenplays. Who knows what may come of all this?
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
“Are you two tourists?”
“Well, we’re actually visiting our friends’ church here in Elgin and we want to reach out to the community.”
The booklet was actually a track.
“Oh, really. That’s so great. Praise God.”
Recognizing each other as brother and sisters in Christ, we began to just chat. Turns out Nancy and John were teachers from a bible college in Baltimore. Together they had done missionary work in Ecuador for six years.
For Nancy, after she got saved, it was as if God had taken her by the hand and before she knew it she found herself in Baltimore asking herself, how she had actually gotten there.
Their church is connected to the bible school and has a branch in Germany.
Was this God taking me by the hand now? Nancy asked to share some of my own background and before I knew it we were talking about the gifts I believe the Lord has entrusted me with.
The biggest project being the book I started writing several years ago. What had started out as a self-therapeutic journal had evolved from intercultural travel memoirs into an inspired testimony of God’s supernatural intervention in my life. How he turned a bitter past into sweet rewards and a glorious future, free from depression, wrong addictions and dependencies, debt, abuse, self-destructive tendencies...He literally turned darkness into light, gave me a new heart filled with faith, hope, love and purpose to pursue.
Meeting Nancy after having thought about bible college and missions I was tempted to give way to an old habit of looking for direction through outward circumstances- to maybe just pack my bags and go to Baltimore. This time wisdom would restrain me. All that’s left is an echo of the still, small things that were uttered when Nancy reminded me, of my righteousness in Christ.
“It is just so evident that God has your life in His hands. Always remember, that you are already perfect.” My flesh wanted to yell out “No, I’m not!” But then I remembered what God had been speaking to me about in our private time of late, just as I had heard in church so many times. And yet I can’t imagine ever hearing too much of it. When the Father looks at me, He sees His Son, who is blameless, spotless and perfect. His grace towards me abounds and He’s pleased with me just the way I am. He loves me unconditionally.
God knows how I will decide, he’s not surprised. I make plans but He orders my steps.
He knew I was going to make that choice to follow His leading to go to the lake.
That same morning, God had told Nancy’s friend, who was the pastor of this group to go down to the river. Out of our obedience our paths crossed by divine appointment.
Nancy and I exchanged numbers, said our good-byes and as I was leaving I noticed a big bronze sign further along he path, closer to the Fox River’s dam. When I got closer I saw the portraits of two firemen, who had given their lives in an attempt to save another man. Fire Capt. Stanley Balsis and firefighter Michael Whalen. On a warm and sunny day in 1974, in the wake of a dare a man decided to cross the dam by Kimball Street with a rubber boat and got caught in the current right beneath it. Dramatic hours passed, both firemen lost their lives, one after the other. The man despite His act of folly survived.
The tribute ends with John 15:13:
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
It made me wonder how many times firefighters or policemen would have to endanger their own life, because of something that stupid. Leave their families behind, their children, their future. How many times does a guardian sacrifice what’s most precious so that another might have life? And who of those answers the call out of duty to a stranger and who was the one responding to love?
Then I think about that one man, who unleashed unfathomable guilt over having birthed death out of human error.
What if the hero, who died to save is alive? Does this one act not change your heart forever? Does this not shed abroad a love so deep that all you want to do is shower your Savior with thankfulness and love? Knowing that Jesus laid down his life for me, is it not the reasonable response that I would do the same and lay down my own? Leave all of it behind at an instance if he asked me to?
And so, as the leaves are turning and falling to the ground summer parts and I, too, do part from a life that is not my own, but to be a living sacrifice of gratitude responding to love.
Revelation 2:7-8 (NLT): 7Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God. 8 Write this letter to the angel of the church in Smyrna. This is the message from the one who is the First and the Last, who was dead but is now alive.
John 5:21(NLT): 21 For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants.