Friday, June 26, 2009

A Very Good Point

Thanks for mentioning that people might look in the closets. Of course they will. Even I've been known to do that on occasion. I shall only put things under the bed. If they look under there, well, it's their own fault. They're too snoopy and I don't want them to buy my house anyway. I simply cannot be held accountable for other people sticking their noses where they don't belong.

And for something completely off topic...

So, I have an email account that I only use for querying/corresponding with agents. Do you want to know how I check my email these days? Well, I'm going to tell you anyway.

I log in, then cover my eyes, and peek through the cracks in my fingers to see if I have any messages. If I do, I click on it and start to read from the bottom up. For some reason, it makes it easier. Plus, it's more fun. I've received a couple of query rejections from fantastic agents that I knew were borderline for the genre of my current novel, but thought it couldn't hurt to try. Peeking at the email softens the blow. Extremely useful tactic.

Covering my eyes is also how I watch scary parts of movies. Except that I also plug my ears at the same time. My husband laughs, but it works great. I don't like to be scared. My imagination runs wild.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Well, I guess it worked

I sent out a query yesterday with just the new preface (this agent doesn't ask for pages with the initial email), and got a request for a partial today. I'm really excited. Not only is she fast, but I've read nothing but excellent things about her, and the agency she's with.

I hope this doesn't mean another sleepless night, because this whole week has been a bust for me and I'm already exhausted. Insomnia is L-A-M-E! Especially when there's a zillion things going on with the last week of school, and getting ready for holidays*. Not only that, I can't even leave the house in the usual packing disaster zone in case the realtor shows the house while we're gone. I have a feeling I might be stashing things under beds and into closets. Shhh, don't tell!


*I'm soooo grateful to have a laptop so I can type wherever I go!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

You tell me...

I sort of think the manuscript I've been submitting could use a little something. I've got this preface that's been brewing, but I want to know if it's enough to pique interest, or if I should just forget it because I'm getting requests without it. My husband said it wouldn't make him read further (insert eye roll here), but he's not a big reader, and since this novel doesn't have any boy wizards I didn't really expect him to like it*.

Maybe some more discerning YA readers out there could let me know what they think? I don't need a critique, as I know it's not perfect**, but I'm just looking for a general yay or nay.


Sure, it might be a brave thing to give up on something that would make me blissfully happy – that had already brought me so much light in the darkness - but could it be considered heroic if I wasn’t going to remember what I’d lost? Judging by the dizzying nausea that blurred my vision, I don’t think I’d be as inclined to make the same decision knowing I’d experience a prolonged, rip-out-your-gut aftermath.

My mind reeled, still playing through a dozen scenarios as it tried to preserve the future it had already grown so accustomed to. I’d already made up my mind, but that didn’t seem to make the actual deed any simpler. It’s not every day you say goodbye to the only thing you ever hoped beyond hope was possible.

I opened my mouth to speak the words that I knew would cut deeper than the sharpest surgical steel blade.

Let me know what you think. Tell me the truth (uh, kindly). I can take it.


*This is exactly why I'm not letting him near the book until I've got an agent...
**But hey, if you think it's perfect, feel free to say so ;)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Did you know...

That checking your email inbox eight hundred times a day does not make you get replies from agents more quickly?

Just thought I'd let you know.

In case you were wondering why yours was still empty*.


*Not unlike mine.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

This just in: Bipolar is the new normal

According to the comments on the last post (which I really appreciated, btw), it's completely natural to be slightly schizophrenic/bipolar when trying to write a novel.

Okay, so there were only 5 of us in agreement, but that's a whole 100% of 5 people, and those are some hard numbers to argue with.

Hey, don't look at me - I just report the facts.

Now, if there are people who read this blog who are not experiencing the same symptoms as the rest of us, it's okay. You're just not a writer. Or, if you are a writer, the rest of us would like to know if you're taking some sort of supplement to make you behave in a way that's more conducive to life in the non-fiction world.

So good luck to all my writing-induced bipolar/schizophrenic friends out there. No worries - there's safety in numbers, and we CAN make it through to the end* of the project!


*Just don't go around shouting "The end is near! The end is near!", or people will really think you're unstable.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Does anyone else fall in and out of love with what they're working on? On a regular basis? You would think that I'd enjoy it more, since it all comes out of my brain.

I mean, I can change the situation, I can change the dialogue, add or take away characters; you name it, I can do it. After all, I'm in control and running this show.

Or am I?

These ideas generate from someplace unseen, and they manage to sneak out in a relatively coherent manner (mostly, haha). When I write, I am often surprised at things the characters do and say. Sometimes I don't like it, or I'm puzzled by the turn of events, but it always seems to lead to an outcome that is greater than I could have planned out.

I'm very much a pantser when it comes to writing. I always start out with a main story in mind, and several characters, but after that, it's out of my hands. Sometimes I'll have a few plot points that I know I need to hit. If you hear me talking about outlining, that's what I mean - you'll never find me writing anything extensive in that department. I like to think of myself as a writing conservationist. I tend to wrestle things out in my mind before expending the energy in typing (or writing) it out. This can prove to be very difficult when the things that come to mind don't make perfect sense. I'm learning to let go (sort of), and trusting that the story will play out in a good way.

Did any of that even make sense? I've probably contradicted myself in there somewhere...just go with it :) Anyhoo, it's important to just roll with it, right? I mean, just because this process works for me now doesn't mean it won't change in the future.

That said, my current WIP is KICKING MY BEHIND! Seriously. It's been so hard to get those words down. Don't get me wrong, I think what I've got is good (as far as a first draft goes), but some of what I've written...bugs me. It's a little more intense than I anticipated, and some of the characters I, uh, don't like*. But I know that all the annoying stuff is for the greater good of the story.

Er, hopefully.

The truth of the matter is, I'm too stubborn to give up. So even if I fall in and out of love a zillion times, I'm going to finish this darned thing. And really, when I think about it, I went through this exact same thing with the last novel. I'm thinking this is just part of my own writing process, so perhaps I ought to embrace the hate.

Hmm, I must say that I never thought I'd see the day when I would try to talk myself into loving the hating.

It's fun though**. Mostly.


*Yes, I'm aware that they're not real people and all that. I'm not completely off my rocker. It's not like I hear voices or anything like some of those other writers***

**So long as that doesn't spill over into other aspects of my life, I figure I should be safe.

***Just teasing. I know there are lots of perfectly sane people who hear voices. (Okay, that sounds way worse than it actually is. Forget I said anything.)

Friday, June 5, 2009

It was really bugging me

Seeing that I was a reject every time I pulled up my page, that is. I don't really believe that I'm a reject.

I'm beautiful, I'm smart, and doggone it, people like me.

Phew! I feel sooo much better channelling Stuart Smalley. It's more my style. Sort of. Okay, not really, but it's fun to imitate him. Let's just leave it at that.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A candid moment in the life of an aspiring novelist

I am officially a reject.

Yup, my first rejection came in on last week's partial. It was a form rejection "it's just not for me" kind of thing, which is fine. I know it's a subjective business, even though it stinks. I think I ran through an entire range of emotions in the space of about 5 minutes. Let me outline.

(Disclaimer: Place tongue firmly in cheek while reading. Although these emotions were all true, they were very fleeting. Except for the last 3.)

Shock: I can't believe they rejected me.

Sadness: They rejected me. I must really suck.

Depression: I do suck. I'll never get an agent.

Denial: No, other people read and loved my book. I don't suck.

Pseudo-Anger (it's not in my nature to be really mad at something): How could they not like this? They're crazy for rejecting me.

Epiphany: Okay, they're not crazy. It just wasn't for them.

Revelation: I'm hungry. Time for a snack.

Happiness: Mmm. Golden Oreos. (note to self: add Oreos to grocery list, and look into buying Nabisco stock)

Determination: Back to work!

So there you have it. Pretty exciting, huh?


Oh, and I'd like to report the completion of my 3 chapters. I'd also like to say that I'm never doing that to myself again. Maybe I'm just lazy, but that was really, really hard!