Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Fluffy" Gets A Real Title!

Agent Colleen Lindsay is having a super fun query contest on her blog: Write a query in 140 characters or less!

I decided to try to entice her with a a sentence about Fluffy! I'm also taking this opportunity to introduce you to Fluffy:

FRIENDS WITH DEATH: Mary Kate has 2 problems: an almost dying boyfriend and a guy who calls himself Death who visits her in her dorm room.


I am SO EXCITED to finally tell you about my work-in-progress. I'm having so much fun writing it. I hope to finish in February or March, but we'll see. Here's my current word count:

12533 / 60000 words. 21% done!

Coming up: I'm going to post short blurbs (think of them as mini-synopsis without telling you the ending or ... the "meat" of what I'd put in a query letter) for both THE UNICORN TAMER and FRIENDS WITH DEATH. Huzzah!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Game is Rejection!

I wonder if I'm:

A) growing thicker skin
B) so crazy in love with The Unicorn Tamer that I'm sure somebody somewhere will love it too, thus, am driving forward, full-force, like a train with no brakes ...
C) trying to stay optimistic because it's only January

I think a little bit of B and C.

Query update:

14 queries sent
8 rejections
2 partial requests
2 partial rejections
0 full requests
4 pending/possible No Answers = Rejection

Kinda shameful numbers huh ...

In the new year, I've sent 4 version 2 queries (I'm going to send about 6 more before I decide if version 1 is better than version 2). I received 2 rejections today alone. Yay for the speedy response and well ... nay for the nature of the response.

I'm unnaturally not down ... I've got my eyes on the finish line! Is it bad that my first thought to the rejection was: "This means I can query so and so next ..."??

I hope I'm always this upbeat about rejection. Who knows. Maybe my next query update will be stained with tears and defeat.

On more brighter notes: I woke up at 7AM to enter Miss Snark's First Victim Secret Agent Contest. The response was enormous and all the spots filled up in 3 hours. I am super stoked that I made the cut! I'm lucky #23! Please stop by and critique if you've got a moment. The posts will be up on Wednesday.

Still waiting to hear from Firebrand ... crosses fingers!!! Also, trying to decide if I want to enter Amazon's Breakthrough Novel contest.

I'm making progress on Fluffy! I even have a title! I will post about my new, exciting project soon ... in the meantime, mosey on over to Kelly Gay's blog - she's got a nice post up about writing a series proposal!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Writing as a Hobby

The truth is, very few people get to do what they love for a living. It's more common to hear, "I hate my job" than "I love my job." Even fewer people can make enough money as a full-time, stay-at-home author who gets to write all the live long day (sounds great, doesn't it? but unfortunately, health insurance is very, very expensive). That's where hobbies come in. I think that you should obsessively, utterly, and completely love your hobby(ies) - especially if you don't like your job. Your hobby should make you feel good about who you are and who you want to be. Your job shouldn't define you, but I think your hobby can. Plus, a lot of us can't be in charge of our destiny in a corporate environment. I hope that by working my butt off, I can be in charge of my writing destiny.

I read this interesting post today about quitting your job to be a writer. I think it's a very smart, realistic point-of-view. If you ever dreamed about being a full-time writer, I think you should read it!

I especially enjoyed the part about practice (writing is like any hobby - to be good at something, you'll need thousands of hours of practice) and about rejection (agents/editors won't know about your work if you just leave it on your hard drive ... do not be so fearful of rejection that you don't send that ms).

I do disagree with what the author of the blog says about talent though. She believes that there's no such thing as talent. I disagree with her because I wholeheartedly believe that some people are born with natural gifts. I don't believe that talented people are better than people who have to try and work harder ...

And that's where hobbies come in. I mean, if you're lucky enough to be uber talented (or perhaps just plain lucky), you'd write bestseller after bestseller and get to be that full-time, stay-at-author who gets to write all the live long day. But for us non-magical-genius writers, it should be our hobby to write and to write and to write.

On an end note: I am desperately trying to catch up on my blog reading. I've also added two more blogs this week: Agent Nadia Cornier and Words on Words by Maggie Stiefvater. Read and enrich yourselves fellow aspwriters (aspiring writers)!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Setting My Sights High in 2009!

Happy 2009!

It's time to get my writing butt in gear! After 10 days of being gloriously lazy, it's time to get back to work. I'm in srs bsns mode. I have really high writing hopes for 2009:

-- an agent
-- a publisher
-- a complete YA Urban Fantasy novel

Pretty aggresive goals if I do say so myself. The point is ... to make aggressive goals! Dream those big, scary, possibly impossible dreams. The really sad part is not that you may not make your goals, but that you didn't even want to acknowledge them. So there, I wrote down goals that I may not succeed in. Time to celebrate!

Here are my current goals:

-- polish Chapter 1 and submit it to Firebrand's Query Holiday extravaganza by Jan 15th
-- submit to Miss Snark's First Victim's Secret Agent contest on January 12th!
-- Query 5 to 10 agents by Jan 31st
-- strengthen the partial portion of The Unicorn Tamer
-- read and provide feedback to 10 chapters of Jill's DTY by Jan 11th
-- write another 3,000 words to Fluffy (while listening to the Phantom of the Opera's outstanding soundtrack ... I received 5th row, Orchestra seats to the Phantom for Xmas and you can color me smittened! I think the story and music are perfect inspirations for my new ms! ... hmm ... must find the complete musical on CD ...)
-- read up on Amazon's Breakthrough Novel contest ... anyone entering?

So those are my writing New Year resolutions ... I wish you good luck on yours!