Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 24


Another good day, even though an old lady ripped my passenger side headlight completely out of its mount on my way home. She was nice and for once in my starving artist life, I have car insurance. Those little things kept me from freaking out in the middle of Beverly Hills as I shoved my headlight back into place. Anyway...

Last night I had decided that I wanted my next blog post to be about my writer wishes and dreams. I was watching HBO's newest documentary, LUCKY (also the last name of the old woman who sideswiped the hell out of my Corolla. seriously, her last name was Lucky) and a lovely science teacher, who'd won several million dollars in the lottery, talked about all of the things he dreamt of buying if he'd ever selected those magic numbers. His current life isn't one I'd wish for, but he made an excellent point about how the fantasy of being rich and buying whatever he wanted was a large part of the fun of playing the lottery in the first place. I have to agree. I may never be a millionaire off the sale of anything I crank out, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about the things I do want in terms of my writing career, even if some of those things may seem a little ridiculous.

Meanwhile...while I was at work, agent Rachelle Gardner posted a helpful bit on her blog about writers managing their expectations and for a brief moment I was afraid that Rachelle had pooed on some of the fanciful ideas that are bouncing around in my head. She didn't, so I'll share a few things I sort of secretly want. I'm sure I'll add to this list.
1. To have Adam Hughes do the cover art for something I write. AH! is my favorite comic book artist. I love the way he captures the female form, particularly Wonder Woman's form. My book has several female characters and it would be great to see him bring them to life visually. Yes, these are a few samples of his work

2. To have one complete stranger tell me they liked my book. I got to work with the woman who wrote my favorite movie ever, Girls Just Want to Have Fun. She was shocked and flattered to find out just how much I loved it. I'd love to hear just a taste of that from a reader. Just a taste.

3. To get a check to pay off my injured Corolla. It's not a whole lot of money.

I fully understand that none of these things may ever happen, BUT these are the kind of nice thoughts that add to the positivity and make it a lot easier to swallow rejections.

Some time in my adult life I would also like to own one of the following breed of dogs: Husky, Newfoundland (all black), Great Dane, A Chocolate and Yellow Lab. I need to have both or my plan wont work, or German Shepherd. I will name him Norm.

I think I can manage the dog situation and I will keep working towards wishes 1-3 and then some.


 i feel like im getting closer to finding my Ginger.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 23

Yesterday I received another form rejection, but it was the most polite rejection I've gotten so far, so I didn't feel so bad. From there, the day just got better and better. I started a new job that I enjoy. When I got home, I found that the UPS guy had left another bridesmaids dress from J. Crew outside my door. Hooray. I love my friends. I hate them for getting married. I also love that my neighbors aren't prone to thievery. This dress actually fits. Mostly. It's still a little crazy in the bust area, but I only have to wear it once so I'll survive.
After the dress was stored to be ignored until August 14th, I was able to hang out with my boyfriend for a while, which means he sat next to me while I read through my manuscript again. Afterward, he accompanied me to a book signing with Maggie Stiefvater. The night almost peaked when she actually wrote "Rebekah -Haters gonna hate.."* inside my copy of Shiver, but things hit an all time high when she told me she'd received hundreds of rejections before she landed her first deal. I have a long, LONG way to go before something I've written even sees shelves, which I know it will if I keep trying and improving, but it was nice to have more conformation that I am not alone and will not be alone in this journey. It's strange how much you like to know that others have felt your pain. Anyway, she told some great stories and signed our books. We had Chinese food after that.

Today has started off quite nicely, as well. While waiting in line for the DMV to open, I was able to start Maggie's most recent book Linger and after I was handed my number (B022) to wait in another line, I was able to outline a good chunk of my next book in the trusty leather notebook I carry around. I'm back home now, preparing my query package for other agent. Maybe this will be the one. Who knows :)

And since I haven't mentioned it, my book is a paranormal romance between two girls. Yup, two girls.

Tally to Date ---> 4 Out in the Universe
                         6 No!

*she really did write that in my book.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

DAY 19... the wee hours

I haven't updated in while because I've been in a very negative head space. I was put in the negative head space by this bridesmaids dress.

The wedding was magical and the reception was a blast, but the dress was miserable. I got passed the dress because I didn't really have a choice and boarded a red eye to Boston, where I threw up a tainted Strawberry Frapaccino 20 minutes into the flight, all over the flight attendants' station in the rear of the plane. They were very gracious, offering me ginger ale and making sure no one bugged me while I sulked in the bathroom for 40 minutes. I didn't sleep a wink on the 6 hour flight, spent the whole day shopping with my mother and the whole night being a good friend to the bride. 3 hours of sticky sleep later, I was off to the beach with another friend to continue being a good friend. I spent the week sweating in unbelievable July humidity and when I finally got to sit down to send out more queries, I found out my mother had been completely wrong about my father switching over from dial-up to wi-fi. I did make use of my free moments, re-reading my book, AGAIN.

So I came back to LA... mission critical... sending out more queries.

At this stage in the game, I'm submitting to a few agents who would like a synopsis along with your query little. Some want a 1 page synopsis, some want 2 pages and a few want 5 page synopses. So I'd planned on tackling the 1 pager first and of course I ran into a few roadblocks.

Roadblock 1: My Boyfriend
I've noticed on twitter and facebook a lot of people like to complain about their significant others. I think this is weird. I actually like my boyfriend. Actually, I love him. I missed him a lot while I was away (several factors kept him from coming with me... work, my mother's puritanical views. work). I wanted to spend some time with him. So that happened.

Roadblock 2: A Serious Lack of Sleep
I am a little nuts when it comes to my schedule. I usually eat, sleep, wake up, workout at the same time everyday, so sleeping only a few hours a night for a whole week wasn't great for me. I can do it for months on end, but when my body sees that window for rest, it throws up its elbows and jumps through that window. I had a beautiful to-do list written out in the beginning of the week. I was so tired I ended up staring at the television, let my eyes water to re-runs of Amazing Wedding Cakes. Tuesday I woke up in a puddle of my own drool with re-runs of Law and Order SVU on at full volume. Finally I gave in and tried to get 8 hours the next couple nights, but I still felt like I was slacking even though I was researching my butt off.

Roadblock 3: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
It's real and I have it. I thought I was seriously crazy in high school and college because I had to lock myself in a silent, windowless room to get any amount of homework done. I cried in my twelfth grade genetics class because I wanted to get an A and I was having such a hard time focusing. I almost dropped out of college over a Dickens paper I just couldn't seem to write. Now that I know that I have it, it just makes my difficulty with focusing a little better, because I know I'm not crazy. I've tried Adderall. It works GREAT. Totally helps you focus... on whatever you're already focused on. I've set out to write two chapters in a day and have ended up cleaning my entire place top to bottom, which included taking apart a fan to clean the blades. Most ADD meds are mild forms of Meth, in my opinion and coming down from them makes you cranky as all get out. Without the druggies, if I'm on the ADHD rollercoaster, its hard to get off. I'm stuck on the ride at the moment.

So it's Friday. I've researched more agents, got some very helpful resources on writing a romance synopsis from a published author who is a pretty cool lady in general and I bugged some lit agents and assistants on twitter* (got some great feedback). Still, I head to bed synopsis-less and a little sad.

Here's where I keep it positive, though. I have a roof over my head and a nice family who felt really bad that I puked on the plane. The wedding was actually fun and my boyfriend is still nice to look at. I was down in the dumps before I pumped out one of my favorite chapters and an epilogue I was really happy with. I will write this synopsis and then I will write another one and another. True Blood will start to level out in terms of comprehensive story lines. And I will find an agent...eventually.

p.s. j. crew does not cater to big chested women, but the ladies in their call center were very sympathetic to my problems.

*ive added Lit agent's assistant Cassandra Marshall to the sidebar. Her blog is helpful and positive. I need the positive.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 8

Got two more form rejections this morning. Spirits are high, though. Traveling to a wedding this week/weekend. My parents finally got wifi, so my free time will be spent querying aggressively.

Tally to Date ---> 5 Out in the Universe
                         3 Thanks but no thanks
                         2 You have to be joking!

In other news, "Made You Look" by Nas has been in my head all week and I really want this bag. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 3

Like me and all of my personalities, every agent is different. Doing my best to bring my best work forward to find that special one..

After going through about 12 that were too inappropriate for any sort of bookseller that doesn't also carry lube, I settled on a title today. Feel super about that.

Tally to Date ---> 7 Out in the Universe
                         2 No!

 I would like a Sam Summer before bed.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

An hour and 6 minutes before Day 3...

Learned a few more things and I'm not loving my title. What will I do... Will Steph be able to help me...

Day 2

I woke up to a rejection in my inbox. Again, the turn around was pretty quick. This particular agent requested 2-4 weeks for an e-reply. They got back to me in 7 hours. I will be very honest, my query letter was too long and didn't tell the right parts of the story. I lived, I learned, I went in search of help. For a few minutes the sensitive six year old in me wished they'd given it at least a whole day. The quick turn around made me think they skimmed a bunch of queries or simply didn't read mine. In the end the mistake was mine.

Crappy Query = Rejection.

Anyway, I was over my own failing some time around 8:30 am. I need one agent, not all of the agents.  I sent my awesome bf off to work and got back on the query pony.

I resisted the urge to watch Say Yes To The Dress and did 4 things.

1: I went back in search of query letters that actually helped people land an agent. Book Ends LLC has a few sample query letters from their own clients and they are good. I hate mystery novels, but the two queries she posted from mystery writers were so good I'm going to read their books. (BELLC's link is in the side bar -->)

2: I rewrote my query.

3: I had it critiqued.

4: I rewrote it again.

I ate lunch and folded towels in there somewhere. Then I drove across town listening to Passion Pit. All in, a good day. I've learned a ton in the past 12 hours and I'll probably spend the rest of the night learning some more, while trying to stay away from conversations about Qhuinn and Blay and Manny and Payne. I always get sucked into those.

Tally to Date ---> 2 No!
                         3 Out in the Universe 

Amateur Tip: Research query letters. Research 'em hard.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 1... Part 3

I got some really helpful feed back on my query letter from a writers forum this evening. Taking the those tips to do some re-working before I send out more.

In the meantime... Cupcake Wars is on.

Day 1... Part 2

Sent out 4 queries.

- Received one form rejection (a general dear author letter saying the agent has decided to pass on your work based on your letter of summary) exactly 36 minutes after I sent it. 

I was totally okay with this because I spent a week pretty much reading up on how to expect several million rejections before you get some good news. Odd thing was this particular agent was on twitter not 10 minutes later talking about how they blew through a large number of queries in an hour and only approved 6. Didn't let that get me down,though I felt a little bad for the person who's query they openly mocked using examples.

2010 has been a pretty positive year for me so far. I'm going to keep this positivity thing going and hope for the best... ♥

Tally to Date ---> 1 No!
                         3 Out in the Universe

Day 1 of Querying...

So I wrote the book. I'm happy with it and completely okay with the fact that it has a specific audience in mind. I'm not looking for everyone to love me or my book (although that might be interesting for a day or two). I am however looking for an agent to represent this book and bring it to a publisher that is willing to put it in people's hands.

I'm gonna blog about it as I go, cause blogging is the thing to do these days. And we'll see sooner or later what has becomes of this tale I wrote.

This picture has nothing to do with my querying process. I just like wonder woman.