Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Deck the Halls with Bla, Bla, Bla...

Daily Stats
Words: not counting
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: Peanut Butter Blossoms, Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bars (curse this holiday!)
Reality TV: The Biggest Loser Finale

Ok, fan base. I'm sorry I've been so absent lately. I'm taking a month breather to enjoy (survive) the holidays. I haven't written boo, save the first two hundred words of a short story that I need to finish by tomorrow to make a contest deadline. No problem, though, because tomorrow...I'm getting new cappuccino maker! A real cappuccino maker. Not the poopy stovetop kind or a $15 second-hand hunk of crap off of Craig's List. It's a Starbucks Barista. I know...Starbucks...gag me with a vente nonfat caramel-orange-mint-raspberry mocha, but they make a damn good machine. It claims to steam for 4 minutes straight. We'll see if it meets my velvety foam standards. The machine I have now makes the milk look more like Calgon. Blegh!

Anyway, I may not be back until the new year, so happy, merry Yuletide glee to everyone! Come January, it's back to my new book, that I vow to finish by summer. Ahhhhh....summer. I HATES winter!!!! Filthy snow!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Insert Long Sigh of Relief Here

Daily Stats
Words: several handfuls
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino + afternoon cappuccino (my stovetop espresso maker is dying a slow death. Let us pray...)
Evil Calories: Snickerdoodles
Reality TV: Project Runway reruns on Bravo

Ah, the absence of word count pressure. I loved doing Nanowrimo, but I'm basking in the aftermath of not having to worry about meeting that 1600 word per day quota. I can also focus back on submitting to writing contests. I've sent two short stories to the Writers Digest Short Story Competition (one of which is actually an excerpt from my Nano novel), and I have a deadline on the 20th for a Writers Journal contest. Can I say that I really, REALLY hate paying money to submit work to contests. I know both magazines are well respected, and I'm sure they do all they can to actually read everything that comes in (or, they read a random few and use the rest as kindling). It's a bit like gambling I guess, but I'd much rather spend $12 at the Blazing 7's machine (not that I ever win at that either, but...you know....the flashing lights and sound effects are fun).

Friday, November 30, 2007

I FREAKIN' DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

50,695 words!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am now going to watch TV, take a shower, go shopping, call friends who most likely think I'm dead, win back fan base (kitty is pissed) and sleep!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mother of Crap!

Daily Stats
Nanowrimo Novel Word Count: 42,153
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino + afternoon cappuccino (my stovetop espresso maker is dying a slow death. Let us pray...)
Evil Calories: Snickerdoodles
Reality TV: suspended due to Nanowrimo (DVR-ing reruns of Life of the Dlist)

Can't talk!! Have 8000 words to go to finish Nanowrimo!! Story is disjointed pile of doo, but will fix later over copious amounts of egg nog and peppermint bark. Wrists ache and fingers stiff. Hair looks like several different kinds of bad. May Posh Spice forgive me. Have no time for hairdryer or favorite Bumble & Bumble styling wax. Must just write! Write, write, write!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Run, Poor Little Turkeys! Run! Run!

Daily Stats
Words: Three - Give Me Pie!
Nanowrimo Novel Word Count: 25,287
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: 900 pounds of sausage stuffing and pie. Pie, pie, pie!
Reality TV: suspended due to Nanowrimo (another lie, watched Project Runway)

So, it's already Thanksgiving, and I still have 25,000 more words to go on my Nano novel. 25,000 words in 8 days. 3,125 words a day to arrive at 50K by Nov. 30th. There's no farging way. Plus, I just went and got my hair done, and I now look like Victoria Beckham. A little alarming, really. So, I have to spend most of the day checking to make sure I'm not singing bad pop songs. That takes a lot of work. But, I will give it my all. Can't let my fan base down (receiving stern look from kitty as I type).

Gobble, Gobble!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Half-Way Day

Daily Stats
Words: 10,000 (yeah right...I also plan on winning the lotto and suddenly losing all my cellulite)
Nanowrimo Novel Word Count: 18,627
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: Amping up for those chocolate croissants
Reality TV: suspended due to Nanowrimo (big lie, watched Project Runway)

So it's Half-Way Day for all us Nanowrimos. As you can see from my word count, I'm about 6500 words behind, so it will be a day full of words sprints. In other words, it will be a day full of incoherent babble, but hopefully some of it will make sense come December.

On another note, let's talk about Project Runway for a moment. Why, why, why did they keep that goddess loving, tree hugging, patchouli wearing nut job? Now, I agree, that other girl's construction skills were lacking, but to send her home over Moonbeam McHippiePants? Did you SEE the back of her dress? As Tim Gunn would say, it looked like it came right out of the vomitorium. And she didn't even finish the dry-heave inducing thing! It was all shabby at the sleeves. And then she took a nap, most likely to work through the hallucinations from all the acid she dropped before coming on the show. And what was with her lame-ass excuse on the runway? "I should have listened to my instincts and cut it off". Yeah, are these the same instincts that are telling you to put the dress ON and sew it, you fruitcake? Did you see the look on Heidi's face? I'm fairly certain she thought she was nuttier than squirrel poo.

Ok, must go write. Write, write, write. Tah-dee-da!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Go Away, Me!

Daily Stats
Words: curses, I'm so behind!
Nanowrimo Novel Word Count: 15,570
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino (side bar - I asked the girl at Starbucks if they were getting peppermint brownies again for the holidays, and she looked at me as I'd just asked her where the mother ship was landing. What's so odd about inquiring about peppermint brownies? Did I miss something?)
Evil Calories: Pancakes for breakfast! Mmmmmm...carbs.....
Reality TV: suspended due to Nanowrimo

I'm so behind on my Nano novel. As much as I tried to resist, I gave in to that evil force lurking at the end of each chapter. My internal editor. I tried to repel her. I tried to distract her with cheese and pictures of Jason Isaacs, but it didn't work, and I found her taking over and dragging me all the way back to chapter 5 to right (or re-write) all my wrongs.

It's not that I don't agree with her. Most of the drivel that's spilling out of me is sloppy, scattered and, in some cases, completely bizarre. In chapter five, my MC spent a great deal of time pontificating about pickles. Yes. Pickles. Sad. But, I don't have time to do self-examination of mental state right now! Must just write.

So, please, pesky internal editor, leave me alone. Don't you have something better to do, like keep me from asking the baristas at Starbucks stupid questions about peppermint brownies? I give you full permission to go on vacation. Spend the month in Boca with Aunt Bernice and Uncle Stan. Have a mojito. Wear a moo-moo! Seriously! I'll call you when I need you!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Brain go squish

Daily Stats
Words: 1600+
Nanowrimo Novel Word Count: 13,305
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino + afternoon cappuccino + late afternoon cappuccino (I can see through time...)
Evil Calories: cardboard-like cookies on sale at Target. Very bad. But good at the same time.
Reality TV: suspended due to Nanowrimo

Ugh, this Nanowrimo stuff is killing me. It's sucking all my will to be snarky. By the time I've hit my 1600 words for the day, I'm completely dry. Ok...must be snarky. Must dig deep, root around in psyche...has to be something....

Misuse of hazard lights. Yes!

Ok, people, listen. As shocking as it may sound, the hazard lights on your vehicle are not, I repeat, are NOT to be used when you're having trouble finding Bubba's Chicken Shack. Just because you're lost doesn't mean that you can confiscate the right lane simply so you can cram your pie hole. They need to announce this on the news or something so everyone knows. Hazard lights..now hold on cuz this is going to be hard to grasp...ARE FOR HAZARDOUS SITUATIONS! And you not getting your daily allotment of trans fat is NOT a hazardous situation. Your car dead on the side of a pitch black road is a hazardous situation. Your car being towed at a snails pace on the freeway is a hazardous situation. Hazard lights do not give you license to be an asshole. You're an asshole anyway, but do not pull the poor innocent hazard lights down with you!

That's all I got, people.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Afraid to look...

Daily Stats
Words: 1600
Nanowrimo Novel Word Count: 10,597
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino (offensive foam - looked like Palmolive. Managed to choked it down but will have to make amends for it's vileness at some point today.)
Evil Calories: cookies and Szechuan BBQ chips
Reality TV: suspended due to Nanowrimo

I'm actually a little afraid to look back of what I've written so far because I'm just writing like a crazed crack head. I keep doing word sprints, and I'm fairly certain it all sounds like a big bag of wank. Oh, well...plenty of hilarity for December. I am sticking with the storyline, which is good.

So, here's another excerpt. It will make no sense and is completely rough, so enjoy!

“So…this is heaven?” Anastasia asks.

Gabe smiles in amusement. “This? Oh, no.”

With that, Anastasia’s stomach goes cold. Though she never let it show, she was always a bit paranoid about this happening. When she was ten years old, the mail man had left the mailboxes in her apartment complex unlocked, and she and Abby thought it would be funny to take nasty ol’ Mrs. Pike’s electric bill in hopes that her power would be cut off and she could no longer watch The Price is Right and yell “Pass! Pass!” at top volume. Three weeks later, Mrs. Pike had a stroke, and Anastasia couldn’t help but feel riddled with guilt that the stroke could have been caused by a hot tempered call to the electric company. Throughout her life, Anastasia tried to make amends for her crime. She was very diligent about staying away from other people mail, and always overpaid her own electric bill, but clearly it was not enough. Clearly that one offense had cost her her soul, and now she was doomed to hell for all eternity. Though she may be more appropriately dressed for that particular realm, it was a realm she wanted nothing to do with.

Luckily, Gabe sees the panic quickly spreading across her face, and immediately amends his statement. “No, no you’re good. You’re golden. It’s isn’t heaven…but…well, think of it as the front yard. Or the front porch. Or more like a waiting room, really. Are you sure you don’t have any Fran’s Chocolates on you? Not even a Goldbar or anything?”

Anastasia furrows her brow. “No…sorry.”

“Oh,” Gabe says, looking crestfallen.

“So…what happens now?” she asks.

“Right,” Gabe says. “We should get to it. Hey, do you get car sick easily?”

Umm…I don’t think so,” Anastasia says, feeling completely confused.

“Oh, good.”

Before Anastasia can even ask why, she feels the entire world around them shift around at a hair raising speed. Her arms flail around to try and find something to cling to, the trees and grass whizzing past her in a green blur. Just as she’s about to lose her balance completely, things come to a screeching stop. Anastasia looks around, a strange sense of familiarity sinking in. The shops, the restaurants. The gargantuan hill. She looks over at Gabe feeling completely thrown. “This isn’t heaven. This is Queen Anne.”

“Now, some people would argue that statement,” he says, taking a look around. “Queen Anne is very nice place.”

Anastasia gives him a blank look. Queen Anne was one of the nicest neighborhoods in Seattle, but she always pictured heaven a little less pricey and a little more spread out. Queen Anne was basically just a large hill with an excessive number of house, condos and shops crammed onto it, and from the I-5 expressway it looked very much like something out of a Dr. Suess book.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Word Sprints Rock and/or Roll!

Daily Stats
Words: 1600
Nanowrimo Novel Word Count: 10,038
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino (from Nordstrom Cafe, girl made amazing foam, loved her instantly!)
Evil Calories: frozen pizza
Reality TV: suspended due to Nanowrimo (ok, will DVR America's Next Top Model tonight)

I just passed the 10,000 word mark on my Nanowrimo novel! I know you're all impressed, especially my fan base (again, that would by my three-legged cat and the people at Wolferman's who send me email offers for their overpriced muffins every three seconds) Well, I say woohoo for me! Feel free to send me presents, a fruit basket or a pallet of chocolate.

On that note, I'm so tired of writing that I can't come up with anything witty or insightful to say. Seriously, nothing. See below or in archive for wit and charm. Brain mush. Bye, now.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Writing Like Crazed Banshee

Daily Stats
Words: 1600
Nanowrimo Novel Word Count: 6904
Caffeine: morning cup (so far...)
Evil Calories: massive amounts of chocolate
Reality TV: suspended due to Nanowrimo

Ok, I know I was poking fun at all those Nanowrimoers who were doing word sprints yesterday, but after the amusement faded, I saw it as a really good idea. So, I'm going to give it a shot today. So, instead of gracing you with my glorious wit, I'm just going to post the first few paragraphs of my first chapter. It's rough and in desperate need of editing/revisions, but remember, the whole point of Nanowrimo is to just write and never look back.

Anastasia Greene is a forgettable girl.

So forgettable that she’s been hiding in the ladies room on the 23rd floor of the Hugo R. Cranker building on 4th Avenue in Seattle’s trendy Belltown district for exactly two hours, twelve minutes and eight seconds now without anyone running in frantically to see if she’s fallen in. Just muffled voices drifting past the bathroom door conversing about random things such as bad reality TV or the receptionist’s horrid new perm. Topics of the utmost urgency, of course. Things much more vital than, “where on earth is Ann, she’s been missing for hours.”

Anastasia lets out a sigh as she sits propped on the toilet seat with her feet tucked safely underneath her so if anyone were to come in they would be oblivious to her presence. (Yes, she wished someone would come looking for her, but that didn’t necessarily mean she wanted to be found.) She stares at the dingy stall door painted the color of smokers skin, pinkish-grey and morbidly dull. Why on earth would anyone choose that color, she thinks to herself. But then it occurred to her that perhaps the point is to move people through quickly. Paint a bathroom a warm, soothing color, and perhaps she wouldn’t be alone.

She buries her face in her hands and focuses on the hissing of the florescent lights overhead, trying to drown out the tiny voice in her head relentlessly egging her on. “They chose you. They chose you. They chose you.”

Her eyelashes tickle her palms as she looks at the world through the gaps between her fingers. How much easier would it be to face things just like this? She could walk right out of here and straight to the conference room and suffer through the meeting only seeing a sliver of the world, a corner of an ear or a single nostril of the brooding faces that are delivering her fate.

Anastasia likes to hide. It’s an innate response she caters to whenever possible. Once, when she was in fifth grade, she hid in the supply closet outside Mrs. Cobb’s class for most of the day. She’d just gotten braces, and though she’d already prepared herself for all the “brace-face”, “metal-mouth” comments her sister warned her about, she wasn’t prepared for the potential wardrobe malfunctions, and without thinking, tried to wipe her nose with her sleeve and got a strand from her sweater caught in the wire on her front tooth. Trying to pull it out only made it worse, and she ended up with half her sweater unraveled. No one ever came to look for her, though. No one ever discovered her wound up in Kelly green yarn, crying of embarrassment and so hungry she actually nibbled on the end of an eraser.

Like I said, Anastasia Greene is a forgettable girl.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Dry Heaving to the Finish Line

Daily Stats
Words: 1600
Nanowrimo Novel Word Count: 6904
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino + late afternoon cappuccino
Evil Calories: 700,000 Cheese-Its
Reality TV: suspended due to Nanowrimo

So, apparently there are Nanowrimoers who do something called "word sprints". They sit down in 10 minute segments and bust ass to try and write 500 words. There are some people that have already hit 25,000 words. Which, hey, is great for them. However...isn't the whole point of this thing to have a somewhat working novel when November 30th hits? I'm not saying these people don't. They're stuff might be amazing, or just as workable as anyone else who writes in four times that amount of time and is barely making it to the finish line. But If I tried to do that, this is what it would look like:

She ran and ate and then went, "wow, I can see through time". Then the dog barked, making the copy machine eat paste. The duck went, "Quack!", then drove the car to the mall. Coffee coffee coffee coffee, coffee coffee coffee, donut coffee coffee. Clive Owen, Clive Owen, Clive Owen, Ikea, Target, Nordstrom, Trader Joe's, Clive Owen, Clive Owen, Clive Owen.

...And so forth and so on. Would make no sense and I'd be left with two hundred pages of that kind of drivel at the end of all this. So, big ups to those folks who can wind sprint their way through Nanowrimo and still have something to work with at the end.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Absent the Day They Taught Brilliant

Daily Stats
Words: 1600
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino (homemade and weak, very disappointing and shall rectify with trip to Starbucks)
Evil Calories: M&M minis (they're still good cuz they're small)
Reality TV: suspended due to Nanowrimo

Ok...I don't know how to say this without offending the author, but I just read a book called The Dog Walker, and I had to immediately run to my bookcase for an emergency Bridget Jones intervention.

What I mean by that is whenever I read a book that makes me cringe, I must immediately read something that makes me all fuzzy inside. And thankfully anything by Helen Fielding has that effect on me. I must say, in all honestly, that I really hated The Dog Walker. But here's sad thing. It's a NY Times Bestselling book. I am now thoroughly convinced that a) I either missed a crucial part of the book that made it suck less, or b) I'm missing some kind of literary genius gene.

I won't go into detail since I don't want to relive it, but I will say I should have known things were going to go pear shaped when the book opened with the main character, the dog walker, taking a bath in her client's tub while he's not at home. A client she has a big crush on. Sounds funny, yes. But no. It should have been, but it wasn't. Instead it's peppered with blatherings about sex and masturbation. And not in a good way. I ended up hating the main character before I even got past the first chapter. And it just got worse as the book went on.

Anyway, I'm now submerged in Bridget Jones, a book I've read about a hundred times that still manages to entertain me and never leaves me feeling like I need to tear my eyes out.

And I really look for that kind of thing in a book.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Nanowrimo site go "squish!"

Daily Stats
Words: 1600
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: M&M minis (they're still good cuz they're small)
Reality TV: suspended due to Nanowrimo

I am really happy that so many people are partaking in Nanowrimo this year. However, the record breaking participation has sucker-punched their site. I've been trying to log on all day, and have yet to be successful. Not that I have anything to submit word-count wise, since I spent half the day editing. I know, I know, bad me! But in my defense, I've changed from first-person to third-person, and I couldn't very well just leave the beginning in first-person, now could I?

Speaking of third-person...
I am now God.

Well, I'm
a God, I'm not the God. That would be very time consuming, and frankly, I don't feel up for the challenge. When you're just a God, you can be a little more flaky.

The reason that I am suddenly a God is because I'm now writing in third person. Big move for me because I've never quite understood third person. Who are you, strange omnipresent know-it-all, and how do you know so much about what the characters are thinking? But, I made the move because I just feel it grooves better with my story. I can always change it later if it end up not working.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is the lovely thing about being a writer. I'm inclined to say, in all honestly, that I don't write books, I re-write books that were originally written by a novice version of myself. By the time I get to the end of my book, I am an expert, and can go back and fix what I wrote when I was still learning.

Peace, fuzzy, wuzzies!

Friday, November 2, 2007


Daily Stats
Words: 1600
Caffeine: morning cup (so far...plan to participate in several cappuccinos throughout the day)
Evil Calories: M&M minis (they're good cuz they're small)
Reality TV: suspended due to Nanowrimo

Oh, my God, I cannot believe the crap that is coming out of me! I started Nanowrimo yesterday, and I was not prepared for the more idiotic parts of my brain. The whole point is to just write like a bat out of hell. Turn off your inner editor and just go. I'm realizing that this totally goes against my grain. I'm one of those people that could spend two hours on one paragraph. It's also very hard for me not to not go back and read what I just wrote. It's all very traumatizing and I will somehow push through, but I already hate everything I've written so far.

Of course, I need to remember the hilarity that's in store for me when I go back in December and read everything I've written. Will have box of tissues handy for hysterical outbursts.

Just a side note. I wish I had more nano-buddies. The only person I actually know who's participating is my snarky sister (oh, yes, there's two of us!) Which begs the question...how do you make a nano-buddy? What is the proper etiquette? I mean, you can basically add anyone to your buddy list, but is it presumptuous to just add someone blindly without having had at least a conversation in post or something? And even if you do, at what point do you make them a buddy? It's all very confusing and is giving me a complex.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

If I knew then what I know now...

Daily Stats
Words: 1600
Caffeine: morning cup (so far...)
Evil Calories: chocolate croissant
Reality TV: suspended due to Nanowrimo

When I was writing my first book, this is what I thought happened:

Finish book, stick in large envelope, mail to publishing house, receive call from ecstatic editor offering huge book deal, receive enormous check, buy mansion, receive marriage proposal from George Clooney, end up on cover of Vogue.

I miss that period of delusion. I've become all to familiar with the reality of trying to have a book published. For instance...you cannot send your book to a publishing house anymore. Publishers do not take unsolicited manuscripts. You must get an agent. Ok, no problem.

Except I'm currently stuck at "you must get an agent". Getting an agent is about as hard as it used to be getting your book in front of an editor at a publishing house. If you can even get an agent to respond to your query, you're lucky!

But...just to make us all feel better, I've posted a list below of famous authors that were rejected (some multiple times) by either agents or publishing houses.

Ray Bradbury has had about a thousand rejections over his 30 year career according to a B&N interview, and says he is still getting rejected.

Ellen Jackson's Cinder Edna was rejected more than 40 times before it was accepted for publication. Since then, it has won many awards and sold more than 150,000 hardcover copies.

Jasper Fforde received 76 rejection letters from publishers before his first novel, The Eyre Affair, was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2001.

Judy Blume received "nothing but rejections" for two years. "I would go to sleep at night feeling that I'd never be published. But I'd wake up in the morning convinced I would be. Each time I sent a story or book off to a publisher, I would sit down and begin something new. I was learning more with each effort. I was determined. Determination and hard work are as important as talent."

Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time was rejected by 26 publishers before being accepted by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. It ended up winning the John Newbery Medal as the best children's book of 1963 and is now in its 69th printing. (Thanks to Mark Bernstein)

Meg Cabot said that her Princess Diaries got rejected seventeen times before it was finally bought.

J.K. Rowling was rejected by 9 publishers before London's Bloomsbury Publishing signed her on.

Marcel Proust decided to self-publish after being rejected three times.

Lois Bujold wrote three books (Shards of Honor, Barrayar, The Warrior's Apprentice) before her third book The Warrior's Apprentice was accepted after four rejections.

Edgar Rice Burroughs was repeatedly rejected when he tried to sell a book sequel to his successful "Tarzan of the Apes." After Tarzan serializations became popular in newspapers, book publishers suddenly became interested.

Stephen King got the following rejection for his bestselling novel, Carrie: "We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell."

Shockingly, The Diary Of Anne Frank received the following rejection comment: "The girl doesn't, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the curiosity' level." The book was rejected 16 times before it was published by Doubleday in 1952. More than 30 million copies are currently in print, making it one of the best-selling books in history.

The Dr. Seuss books got rejected more than 15 times before the author finally found an editor who accepted his work.

William Saroyan collected a pile of rejection slips thirty inches high (about 7000) before he sold his first short story.

Alex Haley, author of Roots, wrote every day, seven days a week for eight years before selling to a small magazine.

Richard Hooker's book, M*A*S*H was rejected 17 times.

John Kennedy Toole received so many rejection letters for his novel, A Confederacy Of Dunces, that he finally killed himself. Only the persistence of his bereaved mother led to the eventual publication of his novel and its receipt of the Pulitzer Prize in 1980.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach was rejected 140 times before it was eventually published.

Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind was rejected 38 times.

Watership Down by Richard Adams: 26 rejections.

Frank Herbert's Dune was rejected nearly 20 times before being published.

Feel like crawling back into bed? Well, don't. If anything, this list merely proves that determination and commitment to the craft is what will get you published. The way I see, anything with any merit will eventually be recognized by someone.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Agents, feel my wrath!

Daily Stats
Words: 500
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: none...still recovering from donuts

You what is so annoying about this whole "querying agents" thing? Well, everything, really. But specifically, it's that most agents don't even have the decency to get back to you. Now, email queries I can sort of understand. They read your proposal, dry heave into trash can over your idea, then hit delete. But when you send snail mail queries with a SASE, you'd think they would have the professionalism to respond. I mean, give me something. Take two seconds and cram your form rejection letter in there. Or simply jot on a sticky not "hell no!" and send it off. I even provide you with self-adhesive envelopes so you don't have to lick it or anything.

I know agents are very busy. I know they get four billion queries a day and have existing clients to tend to, etc, etc. And I know they aren't intentionally trying to be mean. But here's my thing. If you say that you accept unsolicited queries, then respond. If you're too busy to do that, then perhaps you should change your website and your listing on AgentQuery.com and in the Writer's Market guide to indicate that you do not take unsolicited queries. Believe me, this would make things easier on both of us. It's less postage, paper and hopeful thought for me, and less piles unwanted mail for you.

Let's face it. Those hopeful thoughts just bog you down anyway. Personally, I think it's much better to write under the guise that it's just a big bag of wank and no one will ever read it anyway.

But that's just me.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

what fresh donut is this?

Daily Stats
Words: donut
Caffeine: donut
Evil Calories: nine thousand donuts
Reality TV: donut

Mother of God. I ate many donuts this morning. Many.

Cider mill = evil.

Donuts = good.

Nine thousand donuts = hallucinations and believing that Clive Owen loves me and will show up to take me to dinner. Am picking out ensemble by how closely it resembles donut. Am deluded. Need help.

Will write new book. Book will be about donuts. A donut meets a donut and falls in love, but then the donut moves away and the original donut takes a job as a donut to get over the donut, and then really falls in love with donut she works with. Original donut comes back and proposes, but donut turns him down to be with donut, the one she truly loves. Then they get married and have little donuts.

It will be called Donut.

(...send help now!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

lots of blinking and blank stares

Daily Stats
Words: some
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino (side bar - I got my coffee this morning from the Starbucks at my second home - aka Target - and the same guy is always working, and he always asks me if I watched Dancing with the Stars. ALWAYS! And every time he asks, I tell him, no, I don't watch Dancing with the Stars, but apparently he has no brain, because he asks EVERY FREAKIN' TIME! Note to Starbucks guy: this is NOT sexy! A) I put bronzer of for a reason. Remember my lovely - albeit fake - glowing face, and B) Don't tell people you watch Dancing with the Stars! It's not manly! Do it in secret, and never speak of it again!)
Evil Calories: Apple pie
Reality TV: America's Next Top Model re-runs

I have one word for you today:


Say it with me....REJECTION

Very good. Or bad. Yes, bad, actually.

Yep, you guessed it. After sending samples of my book to my favorite blogging agent, she sent a brief "thanks but no thank" note back. Now, I will say I appreciate the fact that she personalized the rejection. It wasn't some form, robot-written response. She said that she thought it was very well written, and like my two main characters, but she just didn't fall in love with the story like she thought she would.

WTF??? What do you mean you didn't fall in love with the story? It's the best story in the history of time. Clearly you're dead inside!

Oh, I know, I know...it happens, all great writers are rejected, yadda, yadda. It doesn't make it any easier to deal with. But, I still relish in memory of getting that email from her asking for the sample pages. For those few fleeting hours I felt like it was the real thing! Sort of like when a really cute guy asks you out, and you can savor the endless romantic possibilities in the hours leading up to the date. You know, before you find out he wears pleated pants and likes to stick chopsticks up his nose as a joke. Then removes them from his nose and proceeds to use them to eat his curry noodles.


Monday, October 8, 2007

El pooperific day!

Daily Stats
Words: several offensive ones
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: 900 slices of banana bread and maybe a frozen pizza or three. Dozen.
Reality TV: last season Project Runway marathon (Jeffrey is such an ass, why did he win? Uli should have won! I would totally wear her clothes! Jeffrey's are far too heroin chic for me.)

I'm having a bad day. Actually, the badness started last night. First, while I was just sitting down to my pad thai, the power went out. Probably because it was a million friggen' degrees outside and everyone I'm sure had their a/c running at full tilt. Anyway, being on hold with the electric co. for at least fifteen minutes, it finally came back on. When I arrived back to my pad thai, it was cold and my gimpy feline underling had absconded with one of my chopsticks. On my way up to the kitchen to get another set, I stubbed my baby toe on the stair. Hard. To the point I thought I was going to hurl. I actually thought I broke it. It puffed up to vienna sausage size and was glowing red. And today it hurts so bad I can't even put my comfy sneakers on. Now I'm not going to be able to run that 10k! (ok, truth be told, banged up toes aside, I couldn't run a 10k if my shorts were on fire and Marc Jacobs himself was handing out clothes at the finish line)

THEN, whilst dealing with my throbbing toe, I went to pull some juice out of the fridge, and I brought a container of mashed potatoes along with it, which plummeted to the floor and splattered everywhere. Oh, it gets better. Then, I go to run an errand, get in my car, and when I shut the door, a folding chair that was leaning against the garage wall next to my car falls forward and wedges in between the wall and the drivers side door. So, I can't get the door open to move it, and I can't just back up because it'll scrape the side of my car. So I have to try and climb over the console to get out the passengers side door, and I kick over my travel mug in the process.

Anyhoo, it's one of those days where I just want to huddle in a corner. Also, I stumbled upon a really good article written by the agent who requested the sample pages. Listen to these odds:

They receive about 200 queries a week. Out of that, they request 50 samples (I feel good about that....sheesh, I beat out 150 other submissions!) But...out of those samples, they request ONE full manuscript. Sometimes two if they really find a couple that stand out. But that's it. Oy vey!

Oh, well. It was a really good article, and I still love this agent, especially since she's so dang honest. And it's good to know what really goes on behind the scenes.

Who knows...maybe my manuscript will be the one they ask for.

Or maybe they'll take one look at my sample and blow their nose in it.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Holy crap on a crap cracker!!

Daily Stats
Words: none! speechless!
Caffeine: morning cup, midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: no time for bad food!
Reality TV: Rock of Love Marathon on VH1 (oh, shut up, you know you're watching it too!)

Ok, are you ready for this? Fan base, are you listening? (kitty? Mr. Wolferman?)

I got a request from an agent to see the first 30 pages of my book.

I about peed myself.

Now, I fully realize that it doesn't mean anything. Simply that my query letter was enough to peek her interest. It doesn't mean she's going to take me on as a client. But, here's the thing that's so cool. I love this agent. She has a blog that I read religiously, and I just find her so dang cool! So, I'm beyond flattered that she wants to see more of my work. If anything, I feel validated as a writer!

Ok, so it gets even more odd. I feel the only way to explain is by doing a timeline:

Dec '06 - read really good book by really good author and it made me want to write my own book.
Jan '07 - stumbled up this particular agents website, only to realize that she's the agent of the book I read in December that made me want to write my own. Bookmarked page for future use.
February '07 - Begin writing my book
March '07 - Continue writing my book, stumble upon this really cool blog that's written by an agent in the publishing world.
April '07 to August '07 - Continue writing book and reading aforementioned blog everyday because the agent has really great advice. Plus the blog cracks my shit up.
August - Finish book, and while putting it down to work on my submission stuff, I go back to the website I found back in January to look at their submission guidelines, and realize that the agent IS the agent who writes the blog!!!!!! I never made the connection!!!!!

Weird, huh? Anyhoo, I sent off my first 30 pages and we'll see what happens. I know this agent only takes on a few new clients a year, so chances may be slim. But, here's the thing. Now, she knows me as a writer. And if I can't find representation for this book, maybe I'll have better luck with her with my next book. Remember...gotta always look at the upside!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Hugging myself

Daily Stats
Words: 1000+
Caffeine: morning cup, midmorning cappuccino + early afternoon cappuccino (yes, I have a problem)
Evil Calories: French Fries at lunch
Reality TV: Top Chef reruns on Bravo

You know, just when I feel like throwing my computer in the trash and using my book as toilet paper, my brain comes through for me. I'm getting ready to query an agent who likes "anything that makes her laugh", so I had to rewrite my query letter and synopsis to reflect more of the amusing points of my book. And my brain was completely cooperative! I wrote a fantastic query, and an even better synopsis. I'm very happy, and am considering promoting my brain to manager, or giving it a bonus or at least a well made martini.

And to my fan base (yep, my three-legged cat and the people at Wolferman's), I'm getting ready to start my next book. I am beyond excited about it, as there's a really unique supernatural element to it. Oh, and as a side bar...anyone out there want to buy me a new Macbook? Kitty? Mr. Wolferman? Anybody? Don't all speak up at once!

Friday, October 5, 2007


Daily Stats
Words: a lot written and deleted over and over again
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: Banana Bread...homemade, too!
Reality TV: Kathy Griffin's Life of the D-List 1st season on DVD from Netflix

I used to work with a girl who said "frizzlefarts". Where you and I would most likely say, "Oh, crap" or "dammit", she said "frizzlefarts". "Oh, frizzlefarts, I'm late for my meeting." It was annoying as hell. But out of respect for my fan base (again, that's my three-legged cat and the people at Wolferman's), I'm trying not to swear as much. So today, instead of summing up my completely frustration with harsh language, I'm simply saying : Frizzlefarts!! FRIZZLEFARTS!!


Ok, now that that's out in the open, I'm so frustrated. I won't go into detail, but trying to make a career out of being a writer is hard. Currently, I'm revising my first chapter, rewriting my synopsis and my query letter. I have an enormous headache, it's about nine-hundred degrees outside (hello! its October! why am I sweating?) and everything I write sounds stupid.

On the upside (there's always an upside, people) I just read on one of my favorite blogs that Enchanted Inc., a very cool book by Shanna Swendson, is going to be made into a movie. Very excited about that! Now I'm dying to see who they cast as Owen. I actually always pictured him as Luke Wilson. Does anyone else do that? Picture actors in the roles as they're reading? I always do. Like...Becky Bloomwood in the Shopaholic series I saw as Kate Winslet. Not sure who Luke Brandon would be. Maybe Clive Owen? (seriously, could he be hotter?)

Ok, gotta get back to my headache and the oppressive heat.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Can't swing a dead cat without hitting a moron!

Daily Stats
Words: too many wasted trying write/rewrite query letters
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: cookies (many)
Reality TV: DVR'd the Top Chef finale, but still need to watch it

So, I'm sitting in the library trying to have peace and quiet so I can work on my query letters. I'm one of those people that needs silence in order to write. I am very easily distracted by any kind of noise. Child screaming, the latest gag-worthy alternative rock blaring in the background...whatever. This is why I come to the library. No music. Everyone sitting quietly reading. Or at least that's how I remember the library being. But apparently, not anymore. Apparently its OK to bring your slew of children to the library and let them run free and scream at the top of their lungs. And apparently, its perfectly acceptable to run into someone you know and stand in the MIDDLE of the fiction section and exchange stories about your washer/dryer at top volume. I now know that Suzie McFatass, who looks as if she should be more concerned about the motor on her treadmill than the motor on her dryer, is irritated with her husband (poor bastard) because she wanted to go to Sears to get the new Kenmore Elite or Pristine or whatever the crap it's called, and he said "no" because he thinks he can fix it himself, yet he spends all his time bowling which, if you ask me, is probably because she's so freakin' annoying! If I had to listen to you whine incessantly all day about not getting your way, I'd want to get drunk and lob twenty pound balls around too!

Now I'm trying to rewrite the closing paragraph of my query, but I have the overwhelming inclination to inform the agent that if she reps me and sells my book, I must insist that it only be available in libraries where they flog rude, disruptive people like Suzie McFatass with angry bunnies.

On a lighter note, by darling and dearest friend Jenny emailed me today and said she was laughing out loud at my book, and finds herself thinking about it during the day, anticipating when she'll be able to read the next part. Honestly, could I hear anything better?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

what fresh hell is this?

Daily Stats
Words: zilch
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning iced soy latte
Evil Calories: yummy Hershey nugget things I found whilst cleaning out my pantry
Reality TV: Top Chef season finale

Wow, it's been eons since I've posted. Not that anyone is upset, since my fan base consists of my three legged cat and the people at Wolferman's who email me every three minutes (I ordered my dad a gift basket once about ten years ago. Give it up, people, it's not going to happen again!) Anyway, I'm sure you're all dying to know where I am with my book.

The book is DONE! Finished. It's been edited,revised, edited, revised, edited, revised, edited again and if I look at it one more time I'm going to puke. I have never been so sick of my brain in my entire life.

And now I'm on to the truly horrid stuff. Querying agents. It's hell. Pure hell. Much worse than I thought it would be. I hadn't factored in the waiting game. Waiting....and wondering...and waiting...and wondering...(Did they get it? Do they hate it? Did they post it in the kitchen and throw darts at it? Did Jimbo, the half-stoned mailroom guy use it as toilet paper? Did the agent gather up all the other agents to point and laugh at it?) It's emotionally draining. I know, I know, I have to have thick skin, and it's not reflection on me as a writer, bla, bla, bla. Believe me, I've read all the books, taken in all the advice, but it's still hard. But, I keep reminding myself that when my dear friend Shannon read the book, she almost peed her pants laughing. Though...she pretty much almost pees her pants at just about anything I say. But still...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

blah, blah, blah

Daily Stats
Words: 500
Caffeine: morning cup + midday cappuccino
Evil Calories: half bag of Cheetos
Reality TV: Last Comic Standing, Top Chef

I love writing. I really think everyone should do it. You create a whole world with characters, heroes and villains, plotlines, love-triangles, and best of all, you control everything. You are, for lack of a better word, a God.

That being said…I really hate writing. Because at some point, you’ll invite someone into that world, and they just won’t get it. And then you feel like a failure, God-wise. You suddenly stand accused of creating people who do things that don’t make any sense.

But what I think is interesting is that we, the characters in this blockbuster, NY Times bestseller called life, constantly do things that don’t make sense, yet we seek strict, formulaic plot-lines in our escapisms. Maybe its because we’re so ridiculous that we need order and normalcy to feel some semblance of hope.


Ok, as a total side bar, having nothing to do with my book…. I came down with a slight ear infection over the weekend, and had to go on antibiotics. Fine. Cool. Whatever. I’ve taken them a million times before. Cake walk.

Umm…yeah…lemme tell ya a little something about Cipro.

Yes, Cipro…as in, what they use to treat Anthrax.

Holy friggen crap. First of all, I didn’t find out until two days into dosing that you shouldn’t drink coffee when you take it, because it enhances the effects of caffeine. So that explains the palpitations and the fact that every bathroom in my house is clean and all the deli meats in my fridge are filed appropriately.

It also causes dizziness, and you’re not supposed to drive or operate heavy machinery. (WTF? What the hell is this stuff doing to the poor little bacteria infecting my ear?)

Insomnia. I woke up at 2:00am last night and lay awake for three hours wondering how Chewbacca went to the bathroom.

Loss of appetite. (Ok, this one wasn't so bad. See Cheetos confession above.)

So, in my jittery, dizzy, sleep deprived state, I Googled Cipro, and here’s what I learned Cipro is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. It functions by inhibiting DNA gyrase, a type II topoisomerase, which is an enzyme necessary to separate replicated DNA, thereby inhibiting cell division. Wha…??

Ok, I kinda get it. So…if it does that to the bacteria’s DNA…then…what about my DNA…

I will only be cool with this if I get some really awesome super-powers out of it.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Welcome to My Brain

Do you ever feel like tearing your own arm off and beating yourself to death with it?

Allow me to explain. I'm just on the tail end of my writing class and my very last assignment is to write my query letter. (For those who have decided not to subject themselves to the tortures of being writer, a query letter is basically the "look at my stuff, it's neat" letter you send to an agent in hopes that they'll represent your book.)

This is were they say you need to "sell the sizzle, not the steak". You need to be able to catch the agent's attention within the first line of the letter. So, here are a few openers I'm toying with:

  • I just ate my cat! (gross, yes, but catchy)
  • I was having lunch with Clive Owen...(ok, obviously directed more at female agents)
  • My uncle, John Gotti, said... (a little fear of severed horse heads never hurt anyone)
  • Brown! And speckled curly, the sun says, "ding-ding." (makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, and the agent is sure to read it numerous times trying to figure out what the hell I'm talking about)
  • Forward this letter on to ten of your favorite editors, and within three minutes you will win the lottery.
Eh...none of them are really working for me. Granted I'm only on the seventh chapter of my book, so maybe when I reach the end, something amazing will come to me.