mugshot cat

So, now it’s time to start thinking about how I’m going to look inside my book jacket and on author pages. I mean, I know some people selfie it up, but I’m not trying to have a selfie in my book. When you see pictures of authors in their books or on their pages, you can automatically tell when those shots are selfies. I don’t want people opening up my book and snorting at my blurry selfies.

I’m a member of a great Meet-up Group and the organizer is  a photographer who believes all women should have a great head-shot for professional purposes. She put together a few head-shot days at a discounted price and offered make-up services. I missed the first one, so when she put the second one I took that as a sign to get my picture taken.

Now here comes the dilemma. I’m infamous for taking mug-shots. I am one of those people who has to smile in all my pictures or I look mean. But you see all these great shots of people not smiling and looking all intense. However, when I try to do these looks, I can picture myself holding a metal plate with a number on it.  So, I went into the photo shoot thinking the pictures would be nice pictures of me, but nothing to write home about because, well, I just don’t take good pictures. I’m the person who runs and ducks and dodges the camera. If I’ve got something to put over my head or face when a camera flashes, I’ll use it.

So, I get to the photographer’s place with my wardrobe changes (excellent reason to shop for myself instead of buying Christmas presents, btw), ready for pictures. I get my make-up done and told how to pose and all the while there’s awesome music playing. I was so comfortable and had a blast singing and dancing and posing, and that blast ended up photographing really well.

I picked out some shots I liked (and those were all before retouch, so I’m really excited to see the end product), and I’ll see which ones I end up keeping. All in all I got some good head-shots today, and a couple of mug-shots, but those were too funny.

Today was great. I’m starting to feel more and more official. Now, I’m just waiting hear back from the editor about story edits. While I’m waiting, I’m still writing. I had to change the ending to the first book, so now I’m rewriting the sequel–again. But this new beginning is really working for me. I’m glad I started anew.

So, next time I post I hope to be able to make comments about the editing process when working with a publisher. Maybe I’ll have one of those head-shots to post too… (and maybe a mug-shot, some of them were hilarious!)

Take care!

 

 

 

 

 

Cat_Dog_01There is nothing like struggling for weeks to write one stupid chapter. You start worrying. What’s wrong? All the other chapters came out so fast. Am I running into that dreaded disease called Writer’s Block? Am I losing interest in the story–because, let me tell you, after a few weeks, you sure are bored with that chapter and you really are becoming disgusted with the whole project.

Then, it suddenly dawns on you. Maybe you’ve picked the wrong character to tell the chapter through. Huh. You start thinking it through, and then realize what you must do. You must scrap all 10-20, sometimes even 30 pages of crap you’ve been hammering out for weeks and start fresh in that new voice. You hate throwing stuff out (and I really don’t. I have a massive file for all my stories called: Cut Scenes), but once you do and start fresh, suddenly, you’re writing. Your chapter’s through in a matter of days and you’re happy and mad at the same time. Happy, because YAY you’ve got a new chapter that you like. Mad, because you wasted 3 weeks working on something that was never going to work.

This has been the case for me for the past month on not one but two stories. Because yes, I’m one of those people who writes real novels and fan fiction at the same time. So both of my stories were at a standstill, but hey, now they’re not. I’m glad to be moving forward, finally!

Why am I blogging right now? Because I’m actually writing right now and so amazed (and mad) at my discovery that I had to share it. I also have to share that I now have 40 plus pages of cut scenes this month.

On the publishing front–I’m still playing the waiting game. (Worst… game… EVER). But, hopefully, I’ll start hearing more from people soon. Most of the agents and publishers have a 6-8 window, and I’m approaching 6 weeks for some. We’ll see what happens.

Until next time!

gaston can't read!

That would be me! I’m the world’s biggest hypocrite. I’m always complaining about people not reading signs or directions and today, I was a repeat offender.

So, good news–I have sent out queries to fifteen different places, agents and publishers. I have heard responses from three, two said thanks but no thanks, and one said, go ahead and send us the full manuscript so we can take a look.

I’m really excited about that, but do you know I misread the directions on submitting to this publisher not once, but twice. The first time, I misread the instructions for labeling my files. The second time, I sent the manuscript to the wrong e-mail address. Both times I corrected my errors, but my gosh. I sure hope this publisher doesn’t think: Well darn, she can’t follow instructions EVER.

I want to blame it on excitement, and just being tired. I keep telling myself not to submit late at night, because I make dumb errors, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Sometimes, I have to submit when I can, or it just won’t happen.

I know I’ve said it before, but preparing materials for submitting takes such a long time. I almost wonder if it’s not harder than writing the book itself.

So, anyway, my full manuscript is in the inbox of a teen lit publisher. I’m crossing my fingers and praying that they like it. But you know how it goes when you send off a submission. Just yesterday you liked your story just fine, but now that you know someone else is going to be reading and scrutinizing it, you’re thinking: Man that story sucks. Lol!

Well, here’s to hoping they don’t think it sucks. They liked the query and the first three chapters (prologue included.) So, we’ll see. And hey, if they don’t like it, it’s not the end of the world. I will continue to submit. There’s power in pressing “send”.

So now, I need to get back to writing new material while I wait. It’s hard, you feel restless, but you can’t put your other projects on hold for months while you wait for responses.

Until next time!

procrastination

 

…a procrastinator.  You know what, never mind. I’m not even just a procrastinator. Maybe I’m just chicken. So, I’ve got two manuscripts that I could be submitting. I get all excited and maybe submit once or twice, never hear back from an agent, and then start editing again. At some point you just have to stop and say: I’m done. I’ve said “I’m done” so many times, but this time I really mean it. I’m done.

I have set a goal for myself. I’m going to submit my manuscript 3 times a week, 2 agents, 1 publisher. I’ve been doing my research, I’ve been formatting manuscripts and query letters and synopses to fit what each place wants. And most importantly, I’ve been hitting: send. We’ll see what happens. I’m excited, but not disillusioned. I’m not expecting to get wild and crazy acceptances from everyone I send to. I’m not expecting to hear from them all and get detailed feedback. Hell, I’m just happy to be able to put entries in my Submission Log, lol.

Okay, so on from that, let’s talk about what I’ve been up to: throwing parties… left and right. Baby showers, bachelorette parties and going to see The Lion King the stage play. Let me tell you that play is amazing: the costumes, the dancing, the music, the story. It was like watching the movie in the theater back in ’93 when I was a kid. It was nostalgic but at the same time, it added new elements to the story. Characters and relationships were deepened, I was in love… and then “Be Prepared” came on. Scar started singing and the hyenas came out…

So, I think they told every male dancer who auditioned for that play, “If you do not have an 8 pack and do not glisten when we rub on oil on your chest, you need not apply.” The hyena troop stomped out on that stage… and yes, they had amazing technique, but the rippling muscles distracted me from that just a bit. Adult Simba was no slouch himself–lucky Nala! I wanted to leap into Simba’s arms too.

Needless to say, it was such a great time I went to see it twice, and they did not disappoint.

So… when my writing buddies ask me what I’ve written this month, I say: Um… It’s all Simba’s fault for being so fine–I mean–talented! But I am getting back on track. I’m going to do something I did a while back and create a writing schedule for myself. I need designated times for editing, writing new original material, and writing other things (fan fiction, my guilty pleasure). Last month, I’d taken to kidnapping myself after work and going to a coffee house with my laptop to write. I ended up getting a lot of new material that way. The only problem with that method is that I ended up at coffee houses filled with cakes and cookies and pies every other day. My willpower is only so strong. (Sigh) So, new pages and tighter pants.

New revelation: Writing is fattening, lol.

Okay, so today is October 4, 2015. Mark this date, because it’ll be another year before I blog again. No, I’m going to blog again this month. In my designated writing time schedule, I am going to plug in a time for blogging too. So, here’s the challenge:Blog more than once a month. We’ll see what happens, lol!

Until then!

 

So… April 10th has come and gone…

I celebrated a happy ___ birthday (Whoo hoo!) I got a shiny, new car as a gift to myself, but today I’m going to have to part with my old one. I’m really kinda sad about it. My old, green car is the first car I bought myself. He’s seen me through ALL of college (hoo boy), ALL my first jobs (ha!), and through multiple states (Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Lousiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida). He’s even been to Disney World (well, close enough to it, we went to Universal Studios 😛 ).

So, today I say, “Goodbye J’son II.” (J’son I was my R-13 clarinet I sold my senior year of high school). I’m taking him to Carmax where he will be appraised and maybe even put on the market. May he find a terrific second owner. But is it wrong of me to hope he breaks down and can’t be driven anymore? I hate to think about a stranger driving MY baby. If I was still in Texas, I would have given him to a family member. If I had a house, he would have been the car that chills in the garage.

Siiiigh… Okay, after all that car talk, let’s get on to the writing business and why this post is called Epic Fail, lol.

Back to my opening statement, April 10th has come and past and I didn’t complete the Stephen King Challenge. I have come to the decision that while I do think Stephen King is wonderful and a novel can be finished in a month… that plan usually works best for people who don’t work full time at jobs that require overtime. If I was still doing a part-time gig, or teaching and had my summer off, I think I could have done it :).

BUT… and this is why the Fail is not Epic, I do have a good start to the novel. I’ve got 70 pages, and over 16,000 words. I’m still excited about the material and moving forward. I still want to challenge myself and set a time period for completion, but a more realistic one. I have a good writing buddy who suggested a book to me called: The 90 Day Novel. Well, I have done the first 30 days, right? So, I’m giving myself 60 more, starting today!

THE NEW CHALLENGE: FINISH FIRST DRAFT BY JUNE 12, 2013.

What is great about that is June 12, 2013 is also the kick-off of the library’s summer reading program, and I’m going to be extremely busy after that date. So, it’s on! I’m ready, and hey, this time, I think I can do it!

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for, I said if I failed the Stephen King Challenge you all would get to throw bananas at me. So… let ’em fly. (Oh, but not at face… or the hair… let’s just avoid the head, okay?… um… okay? …crap.)

watch out for flying bananas