Monday, December 19, 2011

New plan

That's right, I have a new plan. So, I have been getting rejected left and right. I don't even think my book is really being given a chance. I don't blame anyone. What can an agent do? They're inundated with query letters, receiving hundreds every week. It's cool, because it's given me time to take a breath and look around, check out my options. What I'm seeing is that self-publishing is no longer the bad idea it may have been several years ago. Pairing e-books w/ print-on-demand paperbacks is actually a viable option. More and more people are shopping for their books online, so it isn't necessary to be out in the stores; writers who are working hard are able to make a profit while selling their books at considerably lower prices than authors writing for a big publishing house. I'm not saying I won't pursue a publishing contract, but...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Shopping

Christmas shopping. Two words. So simple. If only the actual process could mirror the simplicity.

I went for the second round of Christmas shopping for my wife tonight. She has school in the evening, so I loaded up the kids and headed out to the mall. I went one night last week and made it through a little more than an hour, and one purchase, before heading home to get the girls to sleep. I was determined to make this night different.

Didn't happen. I upped my time at the store by double, but still made the same amount of purchase. Shouldn't the word be purchases, for grammar's sake! Maybe, but I only made one, so I will not add the s. I refuse. It mocks me with its superior air of plurality. No, I didn't make much headway in the gift department, but I wouldn't call the night a total failure.

Can a night be a total failure when it ends with chocolate? I don't think so.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Today is Tuesday.

I thought I had nothing remarkable to write today, but then I is Tuesday.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Good News/Bad News

Good News:  I sent out another query letter. Felt really good about this one.

Bad News:  It was rejected in just under six minutes. Okay, it took about a day, but it felt like five minutes and thirty-eight seconds.

Good News:  I am becoming more experienced as a writer. Seasoned if you will. I'm like a juicy steak, marinating in a pan of juicy, oozing ideas.

Bad News:  I'd rather eat a steak than be one. It could be dangerous. I live near several dogs.

Good News:  At least I have this blog and all the comments I get to comfort me.

Bad News:  I haven't told anyone about the blog. So no one's seen it.

Good News:  I found this really cool website called authonomy where authors get together and share in a lively critique of each other's writing.

Bad News:  It's kind of a popularity contestish type thing. "Hey, buddy, I loved your book. How are you not published yet? Now could you take a look at mine? It's currently ranked in the top 25 and could really use your help! By the way, I gave you six stars."

Good News:  I've recently found Parks and Recreation on Netflix. Wonderful.

Let's end on a good note. Hasta la hasta.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November, the end

It's the end of November. What does that mean? Nothing. I just thought it was worth noting. Still plugging away at the book to get it ready for round 2 of submissions. I'm getting closer. Thanksgiving didn't help get me any closer, and with Christmas right around the corner, I really want to get it out there sooner than later, as later could become much later.

In other news, I got really sick the day after Thanksgiving. It was horrible. Some kind of nausea, let me tell ya. I think it was some kind of food poisoning. My own food, tryin' to kill me! Looking forward to that never happening again.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Not much news

Like I said, not much news today; I just felt like it's been a while and I needed to add something. Not that anyone is looking, but I am, and that's enough for me. Still working on getting the book/query all polished up for its second round of submissions. I'm close, but I'd be closer if it weren't for this thing I like to call "work." Pesky thing, but it puts food on the table.

Anyway, what I really was thinking when I started to write on here, was my daughters' bedroom door. My oldest daughter made a scarecrow at school, and it is currently hanging on their door. It is ridiculously adorable in the light of day, but at nighttime it changes. Oh, does it change. I come out of my bedroom or up the stairs and there floating in the hallway is a terrifying humanoid shape. It really is quite horrifying. We may need to find a new home for the ol' scarecrow.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The truth

So, the truth is I couldn't handle the truth. Not at first anyway. And not for a day or two afterwards. The truth I am referring to is, of course, the truth about the problem with my query letter from agent Suzie Townsend. It was bad news, and I didn't like it.

The tone sounded too young for young adult, and she didn't like my title. Giving those reasons, she passed on my query letter and wished me well with my submissions. My muscles got tight, my eyes did this little squinty angry thing, and I said things like, "Who do you think you are?" and "What a moron." In truth it may have been harsher than that, but I don't remember. But, I was definitely annoyed. First of all, why even mention a title when the title of the book is usually changed by the publication company anyways? And second, how is a book about some psycho skinless lady trying to kill the main character too young in tone for teenagers?  This agent is clearly an idiot.

And then I got over it. It took a few days, but I made it. The truth is, I have never been a big fan of the title of my book, which up to this point has been The Boo Hag. The skinless chick is a boo hag. That's what she's called, alright? Look it up. I'm not the biggest fan of it; it does sound kinda silly, but that's what it's called and so I stuck with it. And named my book after it. Dumb. If you're gonna put the name of the book in the query letter, it has to sound good. It all has to sound good. I'm thinking of changing the name to Skinned. As for the tone, I am confident that this is a query letter problem and not a manuscript one. I need to make the query letter a little darker. I'm also adding a creepy little prologue to the book which I think will help.

All the changes should be made in the next couple weeks, and I will send my manuscript out into the world to face its second run of agents. Good luck to me.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Unintentional comedy

I love me some unintentional comedy. I knew a guy back in college, smart guy, but for some reason he just didn't know how to pronounce words like 10% of the time. And not words he was reading in a book or something, but words he was using in conversation. The best was when he said he wasn't very eloquent, pronounced el-oh(stress on this syllable)-quint. Comedy gold. Or take the movie, Darkness Falls, a horror movie about the crazy Tooth Fairy that comes and kills the children that see her. It packs more giggles than a bunch of middle school girls at their first sleepover. Failure in the horror department? Sure. But, oh what a masterpiece of unintentional comedy.

Well, I had my own little unintentionally comedic moment last week. I was taking my oldest daughter to school in the morning, but before we could go, I had to thaw out my frozen car. I went out to warm it up and, finding a sweatshirt I wanted to wear later, returned to the house where I could leave the shirt so it could not be freezing when I put it on. Simple enough task, right? Well, running up the two short steps to my front door, I lost a shoe. Along with my shoe went my balance. And then my other shoe. In a moment I went from running to the house, to tumbling over my top step, barefoot with my shirt halfway up my back in the balmy 27 degree air. I'm pretty sure my pants ended up marginally lower than they probably should have been too. I can't say that for sure, but my cold upper cheeks told me I was right. Getting up, I stumbled into the house, relieved to find that I was the only one around to take part in my comedic performance.

Now, though, I wish I had been able to share that moment with someone else. While funny in written word, it was unintentional comedy of the highest standard live.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Not yet an agented author

So, somehow it seems that my first five queries to agents have failed to jump from the slush pile and impress anyone enough to be for more. How did that happen? I was thinking I would be mulling over my multiple offers by now. Still waiting back on my query critique from agent Suzie Townsend. I hope I get it, as there was some problems with the agencies email system the day of the contest. We'll see. I am looking forward to getting some info on how to make it better so my manuscript will make someone stand up and take notice. In other news, Grace Potter is a good musician.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Honest question

Why did the warden throw a party in the county jail? Did Elvis even ask the guy? I mean, it just seems like kind of a funny place to throw a party. Maybe it was like a Christmas party or something. I guess that would make some sense.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Can I handle the truth?

So, I'm taking part in a little contest. Agent Suzie Townsend accepted queries, letter only, for an hour this morning, which she promises to provide feedback on. My hope is that she'll read it, fall in love with it, and ask for a copy of the manuscript immediately. I mean, it's an amazing letter. I will, however, settle for some feedback as to how to make it better for my second round of submissions. Can I handle the truth about my query letter? I sure hope so. If I can't handle it this early in the process, I may have a long hard road ahead of me. I mean longer and harder than it already is going to be.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

World Champions

I need to get on here and thank my wonderful St. Louis Cardinals for being world champions. After a crazy game six win, I was more than happy with a less-than-nail-biting victory in game seven. Since my other longtime favorite professional teams (see Washington Redskins) will obviously not be winning a title anytime soon, it's nice to have my Cards. Good job, fellers. And please don't leave, Albert.

Friday, October 28, 2011


I have serious issues. I am waiting on four responses from my first batch of sent query letters. The agents' websites indicated a possible response time, if they respond at all, of about two to six weeks. My queries have been out less than six days, and yet I have checked my gmail account approximately 673 times today. Someone save me.

Two seconds after I posted this entry, I tried to shut my laptop. That's what I was telling myself to do, but it didn't work out that way. I checked again. I'm shaking my head at myself as I type this.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

In the beginning...

There was me. Just me, starting a blog for myself. To soothe my frazzled mind as I pursue the publication of my recently completed book. Or manuscript I guess. We'll call it a book when it gets published.

I guess I don't really have a purpose with this blog. I'm too A.D.D. for that. How could I pin myself down to just one subject? Sure, I'm gonna write about my journey from a mere sender of unsolicited queries to full on published author, assuming that happens. No, not assuming. It's gonna happen. This is my blog, and you know what? I am gonna be positive, dang it. See that tangent I just went off on? A.D.D. Anyway, yes, I am writing about my foray into the published word, but also about whatever else.

Right now, however, all I can write about is my, fingers crossed, soon-to-be-loved-by-an-agent manuscript. It took a good portion of two years of my life to get it ready to go, but it's finally out there. It's so out there that it's already been rejected once. Exciting, right? Truthfully, when I got the first rejection, I was actually a little excited. I have been rejected. I felt like a writer. Then I hated it. How could my manuscript be rejected? I've read it. I know it's awesome. And now, I'm okay. I've stepped back from the ledge. Not that I was ever gonna jump, but my computer was in danger. So, my life now consists of a series of bated breath visits to gmail and glances at my ringing cell phone. And so it begins...