Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sept. 30 - Oct. 6, 2012 Discussions

The news is that there is no news.  Last week,there were no discussions, no news articles and no 11th anniversary articles about the anthrax attacks of 2001.

On Monday, I sent out a final batch of 14 query letter emails to literary agents to tell them about my new book.  I received back 2 rejections the same day, 2 more the next day, and 1 on Friday.  I also received a form-letter rejection slip from book publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux on Monday.

So, it looks more and more like I'll be self-publishing. 

I finished the first version of the Index for my book.  I may go through the book again just to add more entries about Bruce Ivins.  He's mentioned on nearly every page in about 70% of the book, so I tended to just pass over those mentions when I did the first version of the Index for everyone and everything else.  Finishing the Index says that my book will be 391 pages long after I complete the 2-page "About the Author" section.

The next step is to get some quotes from printing companies on how much it will cost me to print 300 copies of the 391-page book.  Once I have those quotes, I can do a Cost-Benefit analysis to see if I should go with a regular printing company or a print-on-demand company like iUniverse.

Meanwhile, there's still been no arrest or news in the Syracuse hoax letter case.  "DXer" on Lew Weinstein's blog lives in Syracuse, and he's saying, "It appears that there’s going to be an arrest shortly in the Syracuse anthrax hoax letters matter."  I hope so.  It's a very interesting case, and I'd like to see how all the various pieces of the puzzle actually fit together.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sept. 23 - Sept. 29, 2012 Discussions

I sent out 5 more query letters to literary agents last week, but I received no responses - not even any rejections.  When I sent out query letters in March and April, I received responses to 60% of them, and there's usually one agent who responds (with a rejection) the same day or the next day.

Nevertheless, I'll be sending out a bunch of new query letters this coming week.  It should be the last of them.  There aren't any more agents on the list I developed a couple months back.

Meanwhile, there's been no news about the Syracuse hoax anthrax letters.  It's a subject I find to be of great interest.  I hope that the FBI is still checking tips or the DOJ is presenting evidence to a grand jury.  I wouldn't like the case to just vanish into oblivion.   

Most of my Sunday comment on my web site this week was about the frustrations of building an index for my book.  What should I include, what should I omit?  It's apparently totally arbitrary.  There are no fixed rules.  So, I'll just do the best I can.

A representative at iUniverse told me that they like to build the indexes for the books they publish.  I shudder to think what such an index would look like for my book which mentions Ivins on at least 60 percent of the pages.  The WORD program for building indexes doesn't even seem to have the ability to combine strings of pages (e.g., combine 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 into 1-5).

I keep waiting for some news organization to publish a long article about the 11th anniversary of the anthrax attacks of 2001.  No sign of anything so far.  But, when is the anniversary?  It's probably either October 5, when the first victim died or October 12 when the first letter was found.  Or it could just be the month of October.  Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Laurie Garrett gave a speech at Harvard a couple weeks ago where she said she thought Ivins didn't do it.  On Monday, October 1, the Emmy Awards for News & Documentary shows will be presented.  Will the error-filled PBS Frontline program "The Anthrax Files" win?  We'll find out in 8 days.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sept. 16 - Sept. 22, 2012 Discussions

The Syracuse hoax anthrax letters were the major subject for discussion last week. Now things have gone quiet on that subject. 

Presumably, the FBI is still sorting through the tips they received.  Or, they may be in the process of making a case.  I'm not sure what is needed to make an arrest in such a situation.  It's a federal crime.  Does that mean that the evidence has to be presented to a grand jury?  Or, if they have solid evidence, can a judge simply sign an arrest warrant?

I would think that if an arrest warrant had been signed, we would hear about it almost immediately.  So, it's more likely that the FBI is either still sorting through the tips (most likely), or they are presenting a case to a grand jury (less likely).

I keep thinking about the Dallas hoax letters, where the FBI announced a $150,000 reward back in May.  There's been no news about that.  I haven't heard about any arrest.  And, I don't recall ever hearing of someone collecting such a reward posted by the FBI.  But, that's probably because the recipient wants to keep it secret out of fear of some kind of retaliation from the culprit's family.

On this blog, there were some interesting discussions last week.  I keep thinking I should build a list of Richard Rowley's beliefs and my responses to those beliefs.  It would save a lot of time if I could just copy and paste a response each time he repeats the same argument.

Lastly, I sent out 3 more query letters to literary agents last week, but I received no responses.  So, I'm planning to send out 5 more letters tomorrow.  My Oct. 8 deadline is approaching.  I could be done with the index for my book in a week or so.  And, I need to either have something in the works with an agent, or I'm going to have to make a decision on how to self-publish.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sept. 9 - Sept. 15, 2012 Discussions

My first comment on Sunday, Sept. 9, was mostly an update on the progress with my book.  I've finished creating the pdf files for the text part of the 6x9 book version, and I'm now about to start working on the Index.  I'll send out more queries to agents, starting tomorrow. 

In my comment, I  also wrote about how "Anonymous" (a.k.a. "DXer") is complaining because I'm deleting his posts to this blog.  He wants to argue about the rabbits Ivins was working with in early October 2001.  It appears that, to "DXer," if Ivins had any work of any kind to do during that period, he MUST have done it at night and on weekends, thus explaining his unexplained long hours working nights and weekends. 

But, records show that there were animal handlers who took care of the menial work involving animals and even checked on the animals.  Autoclaving dead animals would almost certainly be done by animal handlers.  Plus, people don't usually stand around twiddling their thumbs while the autoclave goes through a sterilization cycle.  The machine turns off by itself, so it's more common to put things into the autoclave, turn it on, then go back to your own work, and then to come back to the autoclave later to empty one load and put in another.

There's NOTHING of substance in anything DXer posted to Lew Weinstein's web site.  He just asks questions instead of providing answers.  He posts documents, but the documents don't answer any questions.  They only cause DXer to ask more questions. 

The facts say that Bruce Ivins was the anthrax mailer.  Asking meaningless questions that no one else has the time or interest to answer won't change the facts.  And, besides, when answers are provided to DXer's questions, the answers usually show that asking the question was just a big waste of everyone's time.

My second Sunday comment on my web site was about anthrax hoax letters that someone has been mailing from Syracuse, NY, since 1997.  The letters are very interesting.  Click HERE to go the the Syracuse Post-Standard article about the letters.         


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sept. 2 - Sept. 8, 2012 Discussions

I received a response from an agent I queried on August 20.  It was a rejection.  She couldn't see why anyone would buy a book where the information was already available on a web site.  And, why would anyone buy a book about the anthrax attacks of 2001 if they weren't already fascinated by the case?

I would think that the first people to buy the book would be people who read my web site.  And the rest of the world should be totally fascinated by the facts of the case, since it was one of the most complex cases in the history of law enforcement and helped start a war with Iraq.

But, the agent wasn't interested.  So, now I'm waiting for responses from some other agents I queried earlier, and from two BOOK PUBLISHERS I queried on Monday.

Meanwhile, I've been arguing with Richard Rowley on this blog.  He seems to believe it's okay to allow mentally ill people to work with deadly pathogens in high-security government laboratories.  I believe that is just plain NUTS. So, we don't seem to have any way to find any common ground.

Mr. Rowley also argued endlessly that there must be PROOF of motive in a criminal case.  I showed him sources which said they don't even have to mention motive to prove a person guilty.  So, he changed the argument to be that if motive is mentioned in a criminal case, then PROOF of motive must be provided.  And, he provided a link to a site that says he is wrong and I am right.  Why he didn't first read what is on that site, I don't know.  He didn't cite anything from it, he just posted the link - as if that was enough to win the argument.

I find it difficult to believe that anyone can argue that "PROOF OF MOTIVE" is necessary to convict someone when all the facts say that idea is just plain preposterous.  But, as everyone knows, Anthrax Truthers don't care about facts.  They believe their beliefs override all facts.