Friday, May 30, 2008


Words: none yet
Caffeine: morning cup so far
Evil Calories: many pieces of dark chocolate
Reality TV: DVR'ed Top Chef

Writing and I are not getting along right now. We have officially hit a rough patch. It's the same old story. We go through the motions, trying to keep things going, but our hearts are just not in it. I know we'll push through, but I don't understand how I can go from feeling like I'm writing pure bliss, to feeling like every word I type is stupid, contrived, ridiculous and most likely spelled wrong. It's like getting a great new hair cut, and being all excited and proud to show it off every day. But then one day you wake up and it just doesn't look cute anymore. It's suddenly all frizzy and weird, and slightly butt-shaped. Was it this way the whole time and you were caught up in the newness that you didn't notice the little flaws? Or maybe the cut was magnificent at inception, but now that you have to deal with it day to day as it grows, it's not as amazing as you thought.

I will admit, part of the problem is that I'm human, and my humanness is catching up with me. I don't care what any writer says, rejection is just hard to take. If you say it doesn't bother you, you're lying, so just stop. Rejection should bother you. Perhaps in the long run, it pushes you more to succeed, but initially it feels like crap on a crap cracker. But I've learned a lot from my cute little mountain of rejection. The biggest is that writing cannot be your only source of joy. If you're a struggling writer, you must do other things that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside to balance things out.

Now, I have lots of things in my life that make me all warm and fuzzy. My husband, my son (coolest child ever in the history of time), running (my first 5K is coming up next weekend!), and, my newest thing...learning how to make French pastries. That way I don't have to make my daily trip to the Whole Foods bakery for their Pan Au Chocolat (which aren't really that great anyway). So yesterday I attempted Madeleine cookies. They exploded in my oven and now my kitchen smells like funky orange rind, but what was salvaged from the pan tasted pretty damn good. And I sat and ate the withered crumbs and actually wrote a few non-vomitous sentences. I think I'm on to something here...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

No, that's not blue nailpolish on my toenails...

Words: zilch
Caffeine: morning cup + mid-day latte (was enjoying it until Shelob the spider climbed up on the table with me. Husband freaked out, grabbed some bug killer and began spraying it like a madman. When all was said and done, my latte was spiked with hydrochloraphormabugbedead.)
Evil Calories: Milano cookies (bought them for sister's visit and forgot about them! More for me!)
Reality TV: Project Runway reruns

You'll notice that I still have not changed my location from "crappy snowville" to something more fitting for the end of May, like "blissful sunnytown" or "so-hot-my-buttcrack-is-sweating-ville". But I have my reasons. The biggest being that IT'S STILL FREAKIN' FREEZING OUTSIDE! What the crap is going on? It's 50 degrees. It was warmer in March! I have made a commitment to my flip-flops, and now I feel like a total scoundrel for wearing my closed toed shoes! I thought we were in the throes of global warming? Not global freeze-your-cans-off!

Grrr...highly irritated.

On another subject...I'm trying to decide if I should put down my current WIP and re-write my first book (since no one seems to have fallen ass over teakettle in love with it, as I'd originally hoped). I feel really guilty just letting it die, and I have a few ideas as to how to change it. But maybe I should just move on. Ugh...torn, torn, torn...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

But When Worlds Collide...

Words: yes, have some
Caffeine: morning cup + midday cappuccino
Evil Calories: donut (shhhhhh, if you don't say it out loud, it doesn't go directly to your ass)
Reality TV: Top Chef

(...said George Pal to his bride, "I'm gonna give you some terrible thrills", like fiction...double feature...sorry, I couldn't write that title without the song popping into my head. Was a huge Rocky Horror nerd...big surprise, I know.)

So, my sister was visiting over the weekend. It was wonderful to see her since we live very expensive plane rides apart. We had tons of fun, ate lots of bad food, went to a Duran Duran concert (oh, don't even get me inner 13 year-old still hasn't recovered). However, we hit a bit of a hiccup on Saturday night when we went to dinner with a few of my friends. After a glass of wine, my sister made the mother of all faux pas. Yes. That's right. She let slip that I used to wear Birkenstocks.

*hides face in pillow*

Oh, the horrified looks on their faces. Especially from my best gal pal Shannon. Well, it was horror mixed with something else...hmmm...what was it....oh, yes, slight rage. See, a few years ago I had to have a "boot intervention" with Shannon. It was necessary! She was trotting around in a pair of knock-off Uggs (Uggs make me shiver, knock-off Uggs make me twitch) They were horrid and she's normally very stylish. We all lose our way from time to time. I just had to give her a little slap and veer her back on chic track. She took it hard, but in the long run she knew I was just trying to help. But now she finds out I used to wear Birkenstocks. Oh, dear...

Then, of course, my sister launches into hysterics and relays a Birkenstock story. Particularly, the one where I got completely hammered at her wedding reception 13 years ago and kicked off my heels and donned my Birkys for the remainder of the evening. While still wearing my maid of honor dress. Oh, yes, there's video of me staggering around like a deranged hobbit doing the YMCA.

I kept nudging my sister under the table, whispering, "they don't know about the birkenstocks! Please stop!" But it was too late. Beans spilled. Damage done. I've officially lost some of my chic street creds.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Words: annoying
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: my sister has been in town. Need I say more? There always seems to be an excuse for ice cream or pan au chocolat
Reality TV: Work-Out marathon on Bravo

So, I've been slacking off on reading my daily agent blogs, and this morning I realized that I missed a really good post last week. The agent invited all of her writer-type readers to vent about what got their panties into a twist about agents and the publishing industry. Perhaps it's best I missed it. Currently I have frustrated writer rage and may have just written something completely immature, like "you all suck and I hate you and your stupid ass face". But I went back and read all the comments (most posted anonymously, mind you) and the most common gripe was not getting a response to queries. I agree wholeheartedly. After following submission guidelines to a T, not getting a response makes me want to tear my own arm off and beat myself to death with it. However, another common gripe made my toes curl. Many writers get treated even worse after signing with an agent. There were people complaining about their agents never getting in touch with them, letting their submissions sit with editors for months on end with no follow-ups, basically letting their books "die". And many of these writers claimed to have very reputable agents. This totally makes me want to hurl. As a struggling writer, you're constantly looking at this first huge hurdle. Getting an agent. But, once that happens, everything is supposed to turn to puppy dogs and butterflies! I can't imagine finally being signed, and then having your agent totally flake out!

I seriously think they need to invent a Prozac drip for struggling writers. I beginning to think being successful in this industry doesn't take talent or persistence. It takes pure, blind luck.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Boy

Daily Stats
Words: none yet, too early
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: waffles
Reality TV: my TV has been taken over by Nicktoons, but I have to say, I'm rather impressed by the cartoons these days. Love Fairly OddParents and Jimmy Neutron!

When I was working on my first book, my darling son was only a year old. He would lumber around like Frankenstein, trying to perfect his walk and his vocabulary was limited to adorable things like "da-da", "ma-ma" and "Volvo" (my car...they're boxy but nice!). Life was much simpler then. When I would write, he would barely take notice of my computer. But now, a year and a half later, the computer has become his nemesis. Mommy on computer = baby rage. My son is the cutest child ever in the history of time. He's also undeniably clever. Dangerous combination. For a while he would close my laptop (while I was in the midst of typing) and say things like, "I don't want it", "I don't like it" or "it's not nice". Now, his new thing is to pull the charger out of my laptop when I'm not looking. He's somehow picked up on the fact that my computer has a crap battery and must be plugged in at all times, or it will die and take forever to come back to life. So now, not only do I have to make sure he's not trying to put the cat in the dishwasher, but I have to assure he's not trying to sabotage my writing efforts.

It's a good thing he's cute.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Knock at Your Own Risk

Daily Stats
Words: many
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: leftover Chinese food from last night
Reality TV: Top Chef reruns

Reason number 87 why I sometimes wish I still lived in an apartment. Solicitors. Did you know that even if you put one of those grumpy "NO SOLICITING" signs on your front door, these annoying people will STILL come to your house? But here's my favorite. When you are busy writing (most likely a pivotal scene that shouldn't be interrupted) and you have to answer the door to someone from a roofing/siding/window company and they say something like this: "I was just walking by..." (Yes, I,too, always go for a nice, leisurely stroll with a stack of pamphlets and a clipboard) "...and I noticed that your gutters need some work." Okay, this is just rude. What right do you have to make comments about my gutters? If you were just "walking by" as you claim, what kind of an asshole comes to someones door and starts picking on their house? And what if my gutters and my pride and joy? And what the crap is wrong with them? They're fine. That dude with the exposed butt-crack who inspected my house before I bought it said they were hunky dory! So, you noticed that my gutters are bad? Well, I noticed that you have a lame-ass job. And bad hair. And you should perhaps let your acid washed jeans know that it's not 1987 anymore!

I mean, God, I stay inside my house on purpose in hopes of avoiding stupid-ass annoying people, but apparently there's just no place safe anymore.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Upside of Rejection

Daily Stats
Words: some
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino
Evil Calories: mini Chips A'Hoy (they're good cuz they're small)
Reality TV: American Idol (not that I care anymore. I swear David Cook could walk out and fart into the microphone at this point and he'd probably win)

I have myself convinced that there are benefits to rejection. I believe that rejection shows you whether or not you truly have passion for something. For instance, my husband loves to mountain bike. And of course, when we first started dating, I was all for trying it. I could be that jock girl with the stylish bike shorts (whenever they're invented) careening down a rocky hill with her hot man at her side. Until I found out that a key element of mountain biking is falling. Like...almost every time you do it. That was it for me. I'm just not okay with falling off a bike. But my husband is. He doesn't love it when it happens, but he's willing to deal with it to pursue his passion. And I guess the same goes for me and writing. Rejection sucks donkey balls, and there are times I wonder why I even set myself up for that kind of beating. But then I start writing again, the sucking donkey ball feeling fades and I get all warm and fuzzy inside. Kind of like that feeling you get when you walk out of a frigid, overly air-conditioned movie theater into a hot and humid summer evening. (Okay that sounded better in my head, but you get the gist...)

Anyway, currently I have no more partials waiting for responses. I am free (for now!) I do still have queries out that have never been responded to, but I not holding out hope. Although I suppose there is possibility an agent is really behind and might find my gem in their slush pile one day. And by then I'll be 80, grouchy and will have trouble remembering to put pants on.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Strange Relief

Daily Stats
Words: a few so far
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: had two beers with dinner last night. Feel like wobbly, bloated tick
Reality TV: Workout marathon on Bravo

Well, this morning I finally, finally, finally got a response from the agent that's had my partial since January. I won't go into detail, but I think it's fair to say that I won't be hitting the road for my book tour any time soon. Okay, I will go into a tiny bit of detail, because I actually find it fairly amusing. I received a form rejection for a non-fiction book proposal. Ummm...yeah...that's not what I sent you. I can only imagine there's some brainiac out there who sent a proposal for a non-fiction book about the desperate plight of the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat who received a rejection saying, "thank you for your hilarious and poignant insights into the life of a thirty-something".

The funny thing is that I'm relieved. I'm not sure this particular "relationship" would have worked out. I usually like someone I work with to actually pay attention to what I do (just a little bit, at least.)

Friday, May 2, 2008

How to Mess Up Your Self-Esteem

Daily Stats
Words: I'm so behind. Why try and keep track.
Caffeine: morning cup + midmorning cappuccino (what is the deal with Caribou Coffee? Their sizes are weird and their coffee tastes like underpants.)
Evil Calories: Mini Chips A-Hoy
TV: Law & Order mini-marathon on TNT

Have you seen the show How To Look Good Naked on Lifetime with Carson from Queer Eye? I feel so, so, SO bad for the women on this show. Not the woman he's trying to make look good naked, but all the other women that they use to catapult the one woman to nakedness. At one point, they take a bunch of women, all different sizes, and line them up in their undies, and the soon-to-be-happily-naked woman had to pick where she falls in the size line. Could you imagine being one of those women? "Yes, we'd like you to be the fat ass at the furthest end of the fat ass spectrum." Who the hell would want that as their fifteen minutes of fame? "Yes, I was on TV as the worst case scenario". Forget it, I'd spend the rest of my life sinking into a container of Haagen Dazs.

I gotta say, Carson, if your main goal is to make us feel good naked regardless of our size, I'm getting mixed messages here.

What's the strangest thing you've seen on TV lately?