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Moe Aye

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How does one publish a book at a young age?

How can you tell if you can trust a literary agent? What does it take for a publishing company like HarperCollins to accept your manuscript? What are the costs of publishing a book with agents and editors?

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    Jan 17 2014: just out of curiosity, Moe, are you writing a book, or do you have a book idea? What is the book about, or what is the idea?
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      Moe Aye

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      Jan 18 2014: I am writing a book, multiple actually because I can never stay faithful to just one book. I have many ideas actually and the recent one is very intriguing, at least to me. I watched the move "The Iron Lady" last night, based off of the life of Margaret Thatcher, the first woman prime minister of Britain. I thought of writing a book (in third or first person) starring a strong-willed woman as the main protagonist as she rises to power in a man dominated society focusing on the strength of her ambition after she makes her escape from a prostitution ring in South America or Thailand with the help of compassionate tourists. I haven't written that one yet, but it's still fresh in my mind. The novel that I am writing now is a tragedy and based off of what teenagers have interest in, which is paranormal subjects. It's from the perspective of Quinn Belsky as she was assigned to be a 'guardian angel' by Death of a spoiled teenager that is going through a traumatic experience as his father is faced with murder charges against his daughter and cheating wife. Later, I'm going to write a shocking twist/connection between the soul (A.K.A guardian angel) and the other main character as they slowly fall in love and she accidently finds that the reason she's dead is because of the person she's falling in love with. And last but not least, the other story was the one I wrote for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which is about the journey of a man as he realized that his selfishness caused his fiancée's life which talks about sensitive topics like abortion, infidelity and murder. It also gives insight on broken relationships and greed.
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        Jan 18 2014: thanks, moe. they all sound good to me. I am surprised you are writing fiction as I remember you're very into debating social and political issues? I myself am really into nonfiction when I read, I haven't read a work of fiction in probably 30 years. Except for one, I have read some works by a somewhat famous author named Ann Patchett, is her name familiar? I read her books because her dad and stepmom were my family's next-door neighbors when I was growing up. I don't know Ann herself very well because she grew up on the east coast with her mom and stepdad. And she lives there. But occasionally she does a book tour where she comes to California and my mom usually goes to her events and buys several of whatever book she is promoting and gives them to different members of the family as gifts.

        If you were to write a work of nonfiction, what would it be about?

        I can't tell you much about literary agents. If you were looking for an acting agent for TV and movies, I believe I could tell you a lot about that as I have done some TV and movie acting (I live in Glendale, California, which is about five miles from Hollywood, CA.) One thing they say about an acting agent is you should never have to pay them an upfront fee, the way they make money is to get you jobs, and then they get a percentage of your earnings. If an acting agent asks you upfront for money, it's probably a scam, and you should get away from that person. I have heard it is the same for modeling agents, and when I look on the web, it says it is also the same for literary agents, if they ask you for money upfront, run away.

        You're a cute girl. I'm pretty sure you could get modeling jobs if you wanted them, would that interest you? I bet you could act, too, have you ever taken an acting class?

        I remember you were often finding yourself clashing with people around you over different issues, and perhaps a little unhappy about it? Has any of that gotten better?
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          Jan 19 2014: I think writing is the only way I can act and stay sounding like a teenager. I've been having trouble with social life because a majority of people at my school aren't very political or share the same interest that I do, and some says that they see no point in it because it doesn't concern them. I feel old already; like really, really old. I'm one of those kind of girls that finds myself in love with Pierce Brosnan while others drool over young artists like Adam Levine and I can't express my opinion without being judged. I don't take it as a bad thing, but it puts me in a spotlight. Sounding old is nothing to be ashamed of, even though not everyone agrees with me in that area. That's why fiction writing gives me a chance to turn myself into a teenager and write about where to shop for new clothes rather than what to discuss in a class debate. Even though my writing is based off of carefree teenagers, I do add global issues in them. It's just hard for me to balance between the two because I can go on forever in a debate rather than in a simple conversation between characters.

          I love to read realistic fictions like The Book Thief, The Storyteller, or Kira-Kira. I haven't heard of Ann Patchett, but I will check her books out. You're quite lucky to have such an interesting childhood. Not a lot of people are so lucky in that area either.

          If I were to write a non-fiction, I think it would be a psychological analysis and biography of Jeffrey Dahmer or Charles Manson. Serial killers are very interesting and that is one reason why I envy authors like Thomas Harrison or Truman Capote. They had real life experiences with high-end criminals.

          I have studied modeling before, not as a career, but out of curiosity. And for me, it's impossible because I am a very short person and models have a 5 feet 7-8 inches rule (I'm 5 feet 1, and have stopped growing). Even though I don't criticize....
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          Jan 19 2014: modeling very much, I don't agree with their way of showing the world what defines beauty. There are many cases that I've researched about anorexic models that have been forced to eat as little as they can just to wear sample size clothing (there was even a girl that had to eat tissues to keep her hunger for food satisfied). I've gone through (not very serious) eating disorders myself for a different reason, but nonetheless, it's quite horrid what designers make young girls do. Basically, almost any career associated with beauty, fashion, and the television media, I can't think about. Thank you though, I'm very flattered.

          I'm quite envious that you've got quite a lot of experiences under your belt with acting and living in California where opportunities appear more often than here in Tempe, Arizona. I live in a little better version of a ghetto neighborhood (according to my 8th grade social studies teacher) and not a lot of people are productive and there's so much crimes lately so participating in community services isn't a choice to build a reputation.

          Being born in an Asian family doesn't help either since my parents are always worried about rape and kidnapping. I understand that too and it's very scary, so I'm not flexible to things that adults can do; a friend of mine told me about how she almost got raped by her father's friend. It really is difficult for a woman to live in a world built for men.
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          Jan 19 2014: Literary agents aren't very hard to find and I know an official Tumblr account of an agent that has helped published John Green's books. Trust issues on the other hand, makes me very nervous, especially since I'm a minor and could cause quite a lot of problems if I ever encountered a scam.
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          Jan 19 2014: Oh, and I've never taken an acting class before. I have considered it for about five minutes while watching a movie, but I tend to laugh too much in wrong situations so that's not going to go well hahaha. I find acting very interesting but it takes serious talent in order to get hired in great movies.
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        Jan 18 2014: actually, moe, I can tell you about a scam I encountered when I was looking for an acting agent. The scam people usually work is that they advertise themselves as an agent. You go and audition for them. They tell you they accept you as a client. Then they tell you that they need for you to get headshots, a package of photos, and they require you to go to a certain photographer. So you go, you get a whole bunch of photos, you pay say $500 dollars. Now your "agent" never gets you any work. But meanwhile he and the photographer split the 500 bucks.

        That is the typical scam. I encountered something different. I went to a guy who advertised himself as an agent. He auditioned me and "accepted me as a client." He told me he needed photographs, but he only suggested a certain photographer, he didn't tell me I had to get photos with that photographer. But most people would go to the photographer he suggests, right? And from then the scam works the same way, you pay the photographer he suggested 500 bucks for photos, and then your "agent" never gets you any work, but he or she and the photographer split your 500 bucks.

        The way I knew that agent was a scam is I looked him up on the state of California database to see if he is a licensed talent agent. I saw that he had no license. In acting, the only agent who can help you is one with a current license. The reason is that auditions, real auditions for different productions, get listed on a certain website. To see these auditions, you have to pay a certain amount of money. But you also have to have a current talent agent license. Let's say you or I wanted to see these auditions, and we were willing to pay the $3,000 a year it costs to see them. The company that maintains the website still wouldn't take our money or give us access to the auditions because we are not licensed talent agents. This is how the industry............
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        Jan 18 2014: protects itself, or to be more specific, this is how production companies protect themselves. By listing auditions on a website that only a licensed talent agent can see, they know that only a licensed talent agent will be able to send actors to their auditions, and they know that a licensed talent agent will screen out people who are not good actors and only send them good actors. If anyone could see the auditions, then scads of people would show up to audition who really have no chance of getting the part, and the production company would waste a lot of time with these people. So in acting, it's essential to get a licensed talent agent, otherwise you can't go anywhere. It might be the same with modeling. Literary agent might be different, because in that case you can write a book on any subject you want and then try to sell it to a publisher, I don't think they hold formal auditions to see if you're qualified to write a book on a certain subject.

        But I'm not sure. If I were you, any artistic field you are interested in doing that needs an agent, I would read a great deal about how to get an agent, and talk to anyone you know or could meet in that field. It's not enough just to do a TED conversation. I have read whole books on acting agents, I would imagine there are whole books on modeling agents and whole books on literary agents.
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          Jan 19 2014: Thank you so much. I'm sorry that you've had a traumatic experience with a scary scam. I don't think I would be able to contain my anger if someone cheated $500 from my pockets. I look for a book on literary agents the next time I get a chance to check out a book. Thanks again!
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        Jan 19 2014: thanks, moe. Are you saying you don't enjoy writing those books you're writing, that you're only doing it to feel connected to your age group?

        Well, as far as modeling goes, there isn't only runway modeling, where height might matter because you are there live. There is something called print modeling, where you are only appearing in photographs. I would think in print modeling the team that creates the photograph can do things to fool the eye of the viewer so they don't realize the model is somewhat short of height. Do you describe yourself as short? Do you have any particular feelings about that, good or bad? Do you do anything to give yourself more height, such as wear shoes with elevated platforms? Is it possible that your inclination to be argumentative has something to do with being not so tall, I think psychologically a not so tall person might feel somehow inferior or like taller people don't respect them sufficiently? I also find myself wondering if being from a part of town that is a little ghetto-like might make you inclined to be argumentative, is it a case where your family doesn't have much money, maybe that could put a chip on a person's shoulder where they feel they have to dispute and clash to show they're just as good as everybody else?

        Personally, I think your interest in issues and political matters is admirable. Do you ever get involved in student politics at your school, such as running for class president? Is there a debating team, perhaps you could participate on that?

        It seems to me you don't get much involved in the discussion of social and political issues on TED conversations? Is there any particular reason for that?

        Do you have any notions on what you want for your future? Do you see yourself having a career? What might it be?

        Can you say more about what you mean when you say it's a world built for men? Are models more vulnerable......
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          Moe Aye

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          Jan 20 2014: I do enjoy writing books and one of the reason is because I feel connected to my own age group. I get to be normal again and experience many things I've never felt through words. I'm not a complete robot though, I've learned to love but I don't overreact like girls who talk about their guys every single second they spend with their friends (which is me. I'm practically the school's therapist by now).

          Even though print modeling is easier, I don't think any models from the industry are as successful as runway models. I would describe myself as short and it's something that bothers me everyday. I never wear wedges unless I don't have other shoes to wear or if I forget to wash my socks. I have to go up and down the stairs everyday and I don't see the point of wearing them if they make your feet sore. I tried it once and after two hours of walking I found myself limping in the parking lot because my whole feet was burning and hurting.
          I do feel inferior to people who are taller mainly because I don't like to be looked down on both literally and mentally; it disturbs me and makes me feel uncomfortable. I feel left out sometimes in the midst of crowds. It's harder for me to buy clothes too! I've never worn a pair of jeans that fit me just right. It's always too long and sags or too tight and short. Imagine how much time I waste going store to store trying to buy clothes for the year.

          My family doesn't have much money but we're capable of supporting ourselves which makes us strong in the survival department. I have a deep hatred for greedy and spoilt children because that is what I think about whenever I read or watch documentaries about underdeveloped countries where families are starving and dying from various diseases. People tend to take more and give less and I wanted to be the role model for others to change.

          I've always wanted to join the school's debate team, but because my dad works nightshifts, so I don't want him to wake up and come pick me up near the...
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          Jan 20 2014: time he goes to work. I can imagine how tiring it must be for him and when I get my driving permit next year, I will be able to join and rearrange my schedule to fit with my family's. Not a lot of people are interested in politics, so about two weeks before my finals last semester, I was able to have informative conversations with my librarian whom I'm very fond of.

          I would like to post political debates on TED, but I can't think of a very good or controversial one. I like to research my arguments before I speak out and now, I just don't have the time with all the studying and time to take care of my health (I've developed a gallbladder disease (not too serious) after three years of poor diet and experiencing major insomnia). So after that incident, my family has been keeping a close eye on me when it comes to diet and sleep. The medication also makes me very drowsy, and it takes my time away.

          I do see myself with a great career as a cardiothoracic surgeon in the future (also considered computer programming and aerospace engineering). The problem is, I've been stressing out about my happiness. Will I be happy with the job? Or would I suffer through mid-life crisis by the time I'm a full-time employee at a hospital? I feel nervous about not being able to feel happiness and live a comfortable life. It's like a parasite in the back of my mind. There are so many things I have to sacrifice to climb the ladder of success and they're things I don't want to give up. Up until now I have no love life. The last time a guy asked me out was in 3rd grade, and I told him he was too stupid to date me and practically yelled for him to grow up.

          What I mean by 'a world built for men', is that I don't want women to worry during the night. I want every women thinking she can walk to a nearby grocery store at midnight; I want them to feel safe. Even though men are also victims of crimes during the night, a woman has more to lose than her money, if you get what I'm saying. That's...
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          Jan 20 2014: why I want to get rid of all stereotypes made towards women and get rid of all worries that women have, creating a safe environment for everyone, kids of all ages to be able to stay worry-free. (Lately I found a facebook page towards a 1960's stereotype saying "All women should stay in the kitchen, pregnant and barefoot.") It posts rape jokes and approves gendercide. I'm not sure if the page is still available because of numerous reports but the fact that a page like that exists is appalling.
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        Jan 19 2014: to being raped than women in other professions? For example, I was reading about a female real estate agent in her 40's. A man arranged to meet this woman in a house for sale, an empty house, with the idea that she would walk him around the house and maybe he would make an offer to buy it. Instead he raped her in the empty house. It would seem a person is at risk in many places? What do you do to protect yourself from rape?

        Do you think you feel competitive with men? What is the nature of the competition? Are you a competitive person?

        I would tend to think that acting is like print modeling, that to some degree the team that creates the movie can fool the viewer into thinking a person is taller than they really are. I have heard that Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman are not very tall, but the people who make movies with those actors create the scenes to trick the viewer into thinking they are taller.

        Actually I'm wondering now if a not so tall person could do runway modeling. Yes, they say that the rules are you must be tall, but then, rules are made to be broken? I'm not sure if you have to be super-thin, either, I believe I see models who are fairly normal in weight?

        If someone got seriously interested in acting, they would probably have to move to Los Angeles. But there are some opportunities everywhere. What if you took an acting class, even if you never act in front of an audience, it still helps you to grow as a person.

        I didn't actually get cheated out of $500. I never went to the photographer the man recommended, it was a case where I started shopping around for photographers, looking to see what my options were. I took so long looking at different photographers that time passed, and then I was thinking that this man who said he would be my agent wouldn't be interested any more. But then I learned I could look him up on the state of California licensed....
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          Jan 20 2014: That is very true. All women are in risk of rape whether they are in a house or not, although walking outside would increase the chances slightly. When I was little, I used to wrestle with my brother a lot and there are times I think about defense moves I can use or carrying a pocket knife beside my foot in my sneakers if I ever have to go to an isolated place during the night.

          I was always a competitive and harsh person. When I was in kindergarten in my country, I wore a new shoe decorated with beads and this kid thought it was wise to rip them off. So I grabbed a large rock during playtime and threw it straight at his head. It hit him, he bled, and I got whipped. I still don't regret it (he deserved it anyways. Gifts from families are very precious to me). I think my straightforwardness and daring side started with that incident. When I moved here I kicked a girl who was bullying me in first grade (She bullied me for three years. I couldn't speak English either so it was easy for her to convince the teachers with a false alibi. Her mom was also a teacher there, so that was just perfect!). I considered punching her, but decided kicks are way better to break a bone. Unfortunately (and fortunately), I didn't break it. I got pulled from class and faced my parents who understood me like no one ever has. I didn't have any friends either so my parents were my best friends. As I grew up, I became more harsh towards people and competitive towards others who think they have what it takes to defeat me in simple things like reciting the multiplication tables.

          It's not just men that I find myself in competition with, it's women too. But boys tend to look down on me because of my inability to speak English fluently and that made me a little more sad than I wanted to, but I was always able to pick myself back up. I started to read more books, I became more educated, and I fought back with words and remained celibate to violence.

          Rules are made to be broken, but it would...
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          Jan 20 2014: be extremely rare for a person to get into runway modeling with 5 feet 1 inches. Plus, modeling is not that great of a career. Most models just get paid in self-esteem, and not a lot of money. Modeling also affects the way teenager look at their bodies, and I don't want to be a part of the negative behaviors. It's beautiful in its own way, but not enough to be innocent. I also don't like working for designers since I'm also an animal rights activists. There's seal clubbing and killing Siberian tigers for fur which is why I'm not a big fan of that type of career.

          Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman maybe a little short than expected, but they have the smoldering looks to make up for it. I'm not a very charming person unless I'm being forced to. I'm not a very beautiful person either and my sense of fashion can be compared to a potato.

          watch this clip --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHh2cpLGzIA
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        Jan 19 2014: talent agent database here is a link where you can see what it looks like: http://www.dir.ca.gov/databases/dlselr/talag.html and when I saw he wasn't there I decided he was probably a scam. Although when I looked him up it was a year or two after he offered to represent me, it is possible that at the time he offered to represent me he was legitimate and had a current license. But I think when I looked him up he was still advertising himself as an agent, so he probably was a scamster. Here is what appears to be a list of licensed talent agencies in Arizona: http://www.ica.state.az.us/labor/forms/labor_pvtemp_agencylist_model_&_talent.pdf this I believe is a state government webpage.

        As I understand it, a literary agent would not ask you for money up front. But let's say, moe, that in your life you somehow get scammed out of $500 somewhere along the line. I agree that it would be unpleasant. Did you say you would be furious? Well, I kind of get that, but sometimes with you I'm afraid you get a little too angry, you could get so angry about it that it hurts you more than the person who scammed you, I guess you could try to make them pay somehow, you could find out which authority to report them to and try to make trouble for them and perhaps get your money back.
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        Jan 20 2014: moe, you say not a lot of people at your school are interested in politics or interested in the things that you're interested in? That's very surprising to me, because I remember when I was in high school, my friends and I used to talk about politics to some degree. But we were probably the more elite, intellectual types. Aren't there people like that at your school?

        I wonder if you should get involved in real grownup politics. Do you favor one of the two major political parties over the other? You could possibly work for one of them, maybe as a volunteer. I have heard about high school students who get a job working during a summer as a congressional aide, so they go to Washington, D.C. for the summer. Here's some information on internships that high school students have a shot at, it looks like there are more opportunities than just working an an aide to a senator: http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?pid=%26*2%3C4Q%2CO%3F%0A

        Although Ann Patchett is the daughter of the man who lived next door to us for quite a few years, I would say I don't like her writing. I've read quite a bit of it because my mother buys her books and has given me copies of several. But in general I don't like fiction, and Ann is a fiction writer, so that might be why. You might like her writing. I only met and talked to Ann once, as a person she seemed very intelligent, perceptive, and quick, and had a good sense of humor.

        What is it that you find interesting about serial killers?

        Do you believe that all models have eating disorders, or just some? But we would have to differentiate between high-fashion models and other kinds of models, wouldn't we? When I say models, I don't just mean high-fashion models, or clothing models. For example, let's say you see an ad in a magazine for a vacuum cleaner. And there is a photo of a.........
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          Jan 21 2014: There are people like me, but they are so similar that we barely recognize each other. I'm awkward with people, and so are they. I'm only comfortable around certain kind of individuals.

          I don't have a favorite when it comes to parties but my family is mostly on the democratic side. There are things I agree and disagree with from both sides so that's part of my dilemma of not being biased. I would love to work for the government and take a trip to Washington D.C but my parents absolutely forbid me to work until college. They found it offensive that I'm trying to find a job once I turn 16 because they took it the wrong way, saying that I don't have to worry about money because they are supporting me. They also think I'm too young to do anything like finding internships or going on trips. I had a chance to go to Africa this year for a couple weeks and once I brought it up, it was a dead "No!" to my face. Well that didn't turn out well.

          I find serial killers interesting because they seemed more like victims than criminals (I'm not sympathizing or anything because what they did are inhumane and horrible). Most criminals I've studied suffered from childhood abuse, shizophrenia and has been tied down with violence due to religious views. Serial killers show what humans can be capable of and it's a frightening yet intriguing thing to study about.

          I think models do have eating disorders, but not all of them. All our bodies are made differently and some people could eat whatever they want and still have a toothpick-thin body. While others may have a pretty face, but can't maintain their body figures so they have to go for the worse. At some degree, there are barely any barriers between a model and an actor. And as for the part-time job idea, I've already tampered with it. I wanted to work as a waitress for a small restaurant, something small, but as always, my parents want me to focus more on my academics no matter what I say or do. It's always the GPA and grades. *sigh*
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        Jan 20 2014: woman pushing the vacuum cleaner on the carpet of a living room. Or you might see a photo of a guy eating a certain kind of ice cream pop, the photo catches him with the ice cream pop in his mouth, and the photo is trying to sell the viewer on buying that kind of ice cream pop. In my mind, both those people are "models," that is best word I can think of to describe them. Can you think of a better word? So when I said I thought you could be a model, I was thinking of all those places where you can try to sell something generally through a photograph, it could be clothes, shoes, furniture, cleaning products, electronic devices, and on and on, the list goes on. But I wasn't thinking it would be a full-time career, it could be something you did part-time to pick up some cash and to get some interesting life experiences, after all, when you are model you get to work with very interesting, talented people. Also, moe, if you agree with me that most ads are interesting or beautiful, even if they're just for vacuum cleaners, as a model you get to see behind the scenes of how those ads are made and also contribute to making them. I'm not an expert on how height might affect you working, as I said before I believe in photos the photog can fool the viewer. I do know you're really cute, plus I get a good feeling from you when I look at your photo, and those are worth something.

        From what I know about the modeling industry, if a person is interested the way to go is to call some modeling agencies and ask if you can come in and have them assess you, tell you if you can work. But, Moe, they should do this for free, if they ask you for money to assess you, I would not do it. In fact, I don't think they should ask for money up front for anything, they make their money after you actually do a job and they get a percent. I do get that you don't like fur, well, probably you could refuse to work on an ad that promotes fur.
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        Jan 20 2014: I would say as a tall person I don't look down on short people, I'm more interested in what their character is. Or their image, how they groom or dress themselves. But noone can control his or her height.

        Yes, it's sad that women can't go out safely. But it might be due to men and women having different body types, men are stronger physically in most cases. Maybe all women should study karate or similar disciplines?

        Do you like being harsh and competitive? I could see the good side as it helps protect you from physical and emotional attack. Maybe there could be a mellower way to defend yourself? Sometimes I sit and talk with my mom, but she can be pretty harsh with me, attacking my character and choices. If I get too mad at her attacks, sometimes I'll just get up and leave the room to cool down.

        How did you choose surgeon? Why cardiothoracic? Are you taking science courses to prepare? What would you have to sacrifice to follow this career?

        If you have health problems, you could try my diet, moe. For about five years now, I've been living almost entirely on skim milk. Every day I drink about two gallons of skim milk, and I hardly eat or drink anything else. It has been very good for my health. But it is an extreme diet, it is hard for me to imagine you would go to such an extreme diet. I got the idea from the Maasai tribe of Kenya, they are famous for living only on food from their cattle, milk and beef. Here is a little bit on Maasai: http://www.maasai-association.org/maasai.html

        I can tell you how I would look for a literary agent, besides reading about literary agents as I said, but I don't know if it would work for you. I would think of different businesses, or people, that have something to do with books. For example, your high school English teacher knows a lot about books. The managers of the bookstores in your area know a lot about books.
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          Jan 21 2014: That is true. Genes are so unfair sometimes but that's life.

          Women should take karate or Krav Maga classes; but it's up to the person and where they live in. Danger can come at anytime, but everyone is busy these days.

          I do like being harsh and competitive; it's thrilling to know that I can crush someone who has equal skills than me. I'm mostly awkward with people, so I stay out of fights and emotional events. My weakness is controlling how I act around the people I care about; and when I care too much, it starts to affect my health. I get tired sitting at nights thinking and planning. Do you ever confront your mom if she's ever hurting your feelings?

          I think by picking the medical field, I fit right in my family's expectations. All my life my family emphasized on two careers; doctors and engineers. First, it's the money. I can support my whole family when I'm a surgeon. I can buy a house for my parents, I can buy my mom a pair of diamond earrings, and I will have enough to support my grandparents, aunts and uncles. I never really asked what I want for myself, but I tend to avoid the question as much as possible even when my mom asked me. It stresses me out everytime and I don't want to be depressed about it again. If I don't make enough money, I'm afraid that my family would be disappointed. My grandparents would always tell me that once I'm a doctor, I'll be able to treat their diseases.

          Living entirely on skim milk seems like one of the most difficult things in the world to do. I don't think I'll surivive haha. I have to eat at least a pear a day and a bowl of rice. I'm impressed that you're able to stay on the diet for five years! I would be dying for a burger by the end of the week.

          I have found many websites from publishing companies about submitting manuscripts and they featured many literary agents on there that I can probably call or email. I have to ask my librarian today for some tips. I want to finish my novel first though.
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        Jan 20 2014: Librarians know a lot about books. I would tell those people I have written a novel, or am writing one, and I would like to find an agent. What do they think is the best way to find an agent? Do they know any agents they could steer me to? I guess you have to hear what they have to say about the best way to find an agent, you may have a way you think is best, but their ideas may be better. It's kind of hard for me to say what would happen next, because we don't know what they're going to say. They may not know anybody, in which case they may steer you to the net, or different directories that list literary agents. For me, I probably wouldn't immediately go to the directories, I'd probably keep trying to find one by word of mouth. But you might be a person who is immediately happy to go to the directories. Anyway, one way or the other you will find the agents. Then I think if it were me, assuming I haven't gotten a better idea from these people I've talked to such as my English teacher and librarian, I'd probably try to make an appointment to go in and meet this agent and talk to them. First I'd send a letter asking to make an appointment, I'd say I've written this novel, I think it has commercial potential, I'd like to meet you (the agent) to discuss whether you'd like to represent me. Or, in the letter you could ask if they'd just like you to send them a piece of your writing. If you don't hear back after a couple of weeks, I'd telephone to see if they got your letter, did they read your manuscript, are they were willing to meet with you (that's usually the rule in business, first you send a letter, you wait two weeks, if you don't hear back you telephone.) But I'm curious, Moe, let's just say you write a letter, you don't hear back, you telephone, they're very harsh with you, they say "look, I'm really busy, I have all the authors I need, don't bother me." How are you going to handle the rejection, in the arts there is often rejection.
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        Jan 20 2014: I'd try to meet with several agents, at the end of each meeting I'd say let me think about it, then I'd think about which agent I liked best or who would give me the best financial arrangements.

        But that's mostly my fantasy based on having looked for other kinds of agents. Like I say, in the first step the people you talk to who know a lot about books might have better ideas than me about getting an agent, in that case you might want to run with their ideas. And as you talk to people and read about agents, you'll probably get ideas yourself about how to look for an agent that may work better for you than my process.

        Actually, another problem is that there may not be many literary agents in Tempe. If it's important to you to meet with them personally, you may have to travel to them. If your dad is tired, maybe your mom can drive you? Or maybe it can all be done by telephone and internet, and you don't have to meet them in person. Well, it should be fun to learn how this field works. Maybe you want to stay local, get an agent in Tempe even if they're not the best agent. Like I say, I don't know that much. In any case, it's a cool adventure.
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          Jan 21 2014: I don't want to trouble my parents so I'm trying to find ways to do it alone. I asked my mom if she'll support me if I'll ever be able to publish my books. She agreed of course, but writing a novel seems so difficult and is definitely a long process. She can't drive either, so I have to rely on my dad to take me somewhere (my brother doesn't help me much and my sister is always at work).
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        Jan 22 2014: hey, moe. But why would your parents object to you having a job for the summer, you can't do academics then, can you? I think some people who apply for medical school do get those congressional or political internships when they're in, like, high school, it looks good on their resume.

        Now is it a case where you really want to be a surgeon? It seems to me that it wouldn't be too happy to do a job all your life only because your family wanted you to?

        Why can't you take some of the issues you argue about at school and turn them into TED topics? What are the issues you argue about at school? I don't know that you have to research a great deal before you start a TED conversation, sometimes you can use the conversation itself to find out more about the issue?

        Oh, I often argue back with my mom. But sometimes I believe she is too critical, sometimes it seems like a conversation is just turning into a pick-on-everything-about-greg fest. Lately I've occasionally just been leaving the room when I believe that is happening.

        I admire your feistiness, but sometimes I think you might be itching for a fight a little too much? Do you ever have a feeling you'd like to just be mellow and have a pleasant, relaxed conversation?

        Sounds like you're getting some idea how to find a literary agent. Now how much do you write, because a novel is really long. Where does it come from in you?

        I kind of have to live on milk. If I eat solid food, my eyes start to hurt, but when I stay on milk, they feel okay. I have the sense that my diet would help any disease, including big ones like cancer and AIDS, but it hasn't been proven yet.

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