now we wait

First off I want to start off by saying: “BWHAHAHAHA!! I blogged again this month.” Okay, I’m done. Next off I want to share that I’ve submitted 8 times in the past week and half to agents and publishers (one by snail mail). I am no longer lazy or procrastinating… or chicken. I’ve been hitting “send” on e-mails like I hit “purchase” on Amazon. No problem, NEXT!

Now what has been time consuming is getting stuff ready for different publishers and agents. I had a query letter all prepared for agent submissions, and suddenly, they all want cover letters. I had a one page synopsis ready, and they want a one paragraph synopsis… or one that is three to ten pages. They want pasted manuscripts with 1.5 spacing, they want attachments in Courier. They want my query letter to answer their particular questions. Why it’s almost like they want met to tailor my submissions to meet their requirements!–hah, I’m kidding. I just never thought it would take days to get each submission of the same material ready for send-off.

I’ve learned to take my time and to read all directions at least three times. Some agents are vaguer than others and leave a lot to creative interpretation, while some tell you to the letter what they want and what they don’t. It would really stink to get rejected due to improper format. I’d kick myself.

Oh, and tell me why, 200 reads later, I’m still finding typos in the manuscript. Even after other people have read and edited, new typos just pop up. I think a little troll comes in the night and deletes single words like “to” from every 14th sentence on every 15th page. Well, maybe not quite that often, but still. Every time I see where a word is missing from a sentence, I think: When did this happen? Has it never been there? Did I accidentally delete it while editing something else? It’s irritating, but then you think, if me and like fifteen other people missed this, then it’s very likely to be missed by fifteen more people. Hopefully whoever reads my manuscript won’t notice them.

So… now I’m playing the “Waiting Game”. The one where you want to check your e-mail every five seconds, though the agents and publishers say: Give me 6-8 weeks or longer. One says: six months. But it still doesn’t stop you from looking. You get all giddy thinking what if someone got my e-mail, opened it right away because your name sounds cool, read your stuff immediately because you’re awesome, loved it, and can’t wait to contact you. Whoo hoo! (And yeah, right.) If anything, when an agent responds within a day it’s usually an auto-reject. I know; I’ve gotten them before, lol.

Here’s the process I’ve decided on to keep me from going nuts. Since submissions take so long and I get so antsy waiting, instead of doing submissions every week, I’ll do them every other. I’ll submit 2-5 times a week, then take a week off to write new material and hopefully distract myself with what I love to do: write. I’ll still check my e-mail a lot, but I’ll have other deadlines to meet as well. We’ll see how it goes. ūüôā

Okay, random change of subject. I want to talk about this creepy book I’m reading. I run a teen book club for the library I work at. The kids voted to read The Diviners by Libba Bray. I’m listening to the audio book of it, because I had a free audible credit. So, I’m chilling, listening, enjoying it… then things in the book get weird and I flashback to being a little kid looking at Freddy Krueger. The narrator, January LaVoy, is awesome. This is officially one book I don’t want to listen to before trying to go to sleep at night because I’ll end up lying in bed seeing shadows and hearing noises. (It doesn’t help that my water heater makes noises like someone trying to knock the house down with a sledgehammer in the middle of the night for no reason.) ¬†Anyways, I haven’t finished the book yet, but so far so good.

To sum up this post: I’m all over the place, but doing what I’m supposed to do. I’m submitting, I’m going to be writing new stuff soon, and I’m keeping organized (somewhat). I’m anxious to hear some feedback, always ready to hear positive things, but hey if I don’t, there are many other agents and publishers out there that I’ve yet to try!

I will blog again soon, I hope. And maybe I’ll have some news :).

2014-09-07 18.37.44

Hahaha! Okay, yes, I am not dead. Just incredibly, incredibly lazy! But oh-so-much has happened in my life as well. So, I’m no longer in Florida. After a year and a half, I accepted a new position in California. I always told myself I was going to be a California girl, and now it’s happened. It’s hard to believe sometimes, but hey, I’m here and I love it.

I love my new job, I love my new place, my car loves driving through the hills and mountain routes. I’m still trying to make myself a niche here. Finding writing groups nearby is a little difficult, and the things I like to do with groups I’d love to join are often far away. But hey, I try. It’s not exactly torture making a two hour drive to do something fun when your end destination is San Francisco ;). Beautiful city.

So, here’s the story for last weekend. So, I joined a Harry Potter community that had a Start-of-the-Year Feast in Golden Gate Park on Sunday. Members were encouraged to dress up and bring a potluck dish in the tradition of Harry Potter. (I brought healthy cucumber sandwiches because it looked like everyone else was bringing sweets–which were delish btw!) So anyway, I did some impromptu karaoke, wandered some nature trails, saw some sights, met some new people… and got my car locked underground in a parking garage.

Yeah, you read that right. I parked my car in a garage that said it closed at 7:00 pm. No problem, the picnic would be over by six. So, anyway, picnic ends early, My friend and I, plus a new guy we met at the picnic, goof off in the park for a while. Then my friend and I make our way back to the parking garage only discover villainy. The entrance to the parking garage must have closed behind us, because… WHERE IS IT? We wander around, retracing our steps for almost 30 minutes. By the time we figure out how to get back into the garage, the doors are locked and the gate is barred. We sit outside the gate, staring at my beautiful red car through the metal rungs. What to do? There are no phone numbers to call. My genius friend Googled (gotta love Google) the parking garage and we get the number for management. A guy with a thick accent who sounds like he’s singing Italian opera while he talks answers and says he’ll be there to let us in, in a minute.

The man pulls up in a sedan, lets us in, we jump in the car and follow him out to pay the garage toll and head home. As we pay, he then tells us: “Good thing you called when you did! We charge people 450 dollars to park here after seven. Hahahahaha!”

“Hahahaha” my foot, but I kinda think he was making that up :D.

So anyways, that’s what’s been going on life-wise. Writing-wise, hey. I finished yet another novel draft and am making good headway on a sequel to that novel. In a month or so, I’m going to go back and do a full body edit to the draft and have a group proofread it. ¬†Then, it’s back to querying. I would love to attend another writers conference and personally meet with some more agents. So, I’m always on the lookout for conventions in the Bay Area. (Hah, I’m Bay Area now :D.)

So, yeah, I’m back, better than ever… and hopefully, it won’t take another almost two years for me to blog again! ¬†Take care!

Yay, I heard back from the agent I sent my full manuscript and synopsis to.¬† She took exactly one month from the day that I sent it to her.¬† She didn’t give me a standard form letter; she wrote me a nice, brief, note.¬† She said that while I am a promising new author she felt that she could not empathize with the main character enough to be able to champion her story.¬†

I take that as positive feedback.¬† She didn’t say: Yuck, this sucks.¬† Or you need to read these craft book or revise.¬† She just said: You’re good, but this isn’t my cup of tea.¬† Good luck! ¬†Lol.¬† So, now it’s time to decide who to¬†send to next.¬† I really should start sending out to more than one place at a time.¬† In fact, I think I will this time.¬† I already know one place I’ll send it to next; I’ll hit up The Writers Market for some more.¬† I’ll try to do a submission a week :D.¬†

And while I’m doing that, I will not stop writing.¬† I will keep writing my sequel, and hopefully finish it before the summer is up and move on to the last¬†book.¬†¬†I just feel like I should have so much more material than I do.¬† Once I get my apartment in order (oh, by the way, the rest¬†of my stuff got here today, WHOOO), I will be able to concentrate more on writing.¬†

Okay, I’m about to discover the joy of unpacking… again.¬† But yay to hearing back from another agent, and getting a personalized note.¬† And once again, I say:

NEXT!

 

 

ūüėÄ I went to the DFW Writers Conference in Hurst last weekend and had a pitch session with an agent.¬† Have I ever pitched to an agent before?¬† No.¬† Did I try to do a bunch of online research on it before hand?¬† YES!¬† Was I frustrated because everyone said to do different stuff?¬† HELL YEAH.

 

So… I went back to what one of my writing teachers taught me about doing elevator pitches and coming up with sudden headlines that drive the whole work.¬† I pitched and halfway through, the agent said: Stop… I love it.¬† Send me your entire manuscript with the synopsis.¬† Also, what else are you working on?¬† Great!¬† I want the synopsis for that, too.¬† I like what you write.

Now… that’s based on her never reading a sample of my work, so I hope she still feels the same after she reads it.¬† But hey!¬† I’m positive.¬† Hope it makes her laugh in the right places and hope she’s creeped out when she’s supposed to be.¬† Yeah, I made up a word, “creeped” lol.¬† I’m excited!

 

So… thanks JAMES PATRICK KELLY for torturing us… er… making us do elevator pitches during workshop sessions at Stonecoast.

 

Haha, so I got my first rejection e-mail.¬† Wow, you know a few years¬†ago I think I might have been choked up about it.¬† My baby was rejected, and with a form letter no less, but hey, the form letter had my name on it!¬† And they were so quick about it, too.¬† I sent it off yesterday, no joke, and got the reply today.¬† I was expecting to wait weeks for that first “No.”¬† Either the lady really hated it, or I did a major formatting “no-no.”¬†

Haha, anyway I think that was less nerve wracking than waiting for someone to call you back after a job interview.¬† Those guys can take forever to tell you “No way!”¬† This lady took 24 hours… that is, if she even read it.¬† I kinda think she didn’t because it just came back too fast.

So, now I feel accomplished.¬† I actually submitted my work to a complete stranger for scrutiny and I’m ready for more.¬† To rejection, I say: NEXT!¬†

 

There is so much to do!¬† I’m reading this big, thick book known as The Writers Market that lets me know that finishing a book hasn’t even gotten me over the first hurdle.¬† I’ve got the blog, now I need the book trailer, the readings, the PR, and… finally… the agent.¬† After the agent, the game begins.

I’m loading up on carbs and watching my butt grow as I try to figure out how to do all this stuff.¬† Fun stuff, fun stuff, but hey I love it.¬† Now I know why some of my writing teachers say being a serious writer is a full time job.¬† Marry someone to take care of you so you won’t starve trying to follow your dream.

So, hey, I like long walks on the beach (not really), I like to cook and clean (HAHAHAHA, if you believe that go away now), and I’ll work out so my butt won’t be so big after I finish eating up all these carbs!¬† Marry me someone!

Anyways, book trailer up soon!