A lot of people think I have a dream job.Â And it’s true, I feel incredibly lucky to be doing what I love to do.Â But I’ve discovered that even people with so-called “dream” jobs fantasize about jobs they really wished they had.Â Â An attorney once told me his secret dream wasÂ to be a heavy-equipment operator.Â Â Some doctors want to be writers.Â some writers want to be doctors.Â Â I blogged here about shuttle astronauts and Secret Service agents each thinking the other guy had the cooler job.Â
So who do I think has a dream job?Â It’s this guy.
Not only do I envy Andrew Zimmern,Â I’ve also got a crush on him.Â Â He’s the host of “Bizarre Foods,” and he travels the world in search ofÂ strange things to eat.Â Â He hasÂ everything I love in a man: a yen to travel, a sense of curiosity,Â and a bottomless appetite.Â Hey Andrew, you like fruit bats?Â I like fruit bats!Â You like sea cucumbers?Â I like sea cucumbers!Â Yep, I’ve eaten them. And I’ll even eat the stinky tofu.
Call me, Andrew.Â Let’s do lunch.Â And can I have your job?
And regarding my last entry about “How to write a bestseller,” there’s been some discussion in the blogosphere about just how valid those tips reallyÂ are.Â Some have questioned the meaning of “microtension”.Â Is it just babble, signifying nothing?Â Donald Maass isn’t here to define it for you in person,Â but here’s what I think it is.Â (And yes, I do think it’s a great word.)Â It’s that sense that, on every page of the novel, there’s conflict in the air, or that characters are slightly off-balance.Â It needn’t be a flat-out argument or a gun battle or a huge confrontation.Â In fact, you can’t throw inÂ too many major conflicts or what you’ll get is melodrama.Â But small and continuous doses of tension keep the story moving and keep the pages turning.
And no, just because you’ve written a novel of best-selling caliber doesn’t mean it will be a bestseller.Â Too many other factors come into play such as publisher support and plain old good luck.Â But garnering publisher support usually starts off with a manuscript that hasÂ the qualities Maass talks about.