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 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 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...