Thursday, July 19, 2012

What Not To Write

Insert Stacy and Clinton here.
So apparently campy fun women's fiction doesn’t have the lure it once had. I'm talking chick lit here. So all chick hating people can exit, stage left. I write chick lit. It's fun because I can put my humor in the story and it comes off well. 

Can you imagine getting into a great sci fi book and having this conversation:

Brock lifted the corner of the transmogrificator, and peeked in. The blue laser shot out and shone against the wall, obliterating a fly that had stupidly flown through the light.

"Damn, that thing really works" he said, eyes wide and face flushed.

"Yeah," Andromeda replied, "I told you it would."

" So, why do your parents have this? Here?"

"If I told you, you wouldn’t believe me."

"Tell me anyway." Brock leaned in, eyes ablaze with wonder.

"Remember when I told you they were in the military?"

"Uh, huh."

"Well…that part is true, only I kind of fudged some of it." Andromeda glanced at the floor, then peeked back up to gauge Brock's reaction.

"Just get it over with, Andy. You're killing me here." Exasperated, Brock ran his fingers through his auburn hair.

"They are in an elite group called the Adironidons, whose sole job it is to keep Earth safe from any other civilization that could harm them. And well, right now they are up to their necks in all this weapon stuff, like the transmogrificator because…are you ready?"

"I was ready ten minutes ago when I first asked you."

"We are about to be attacked by a group called the Ceylons. I've told you everything I know. Now I have to get ready for the dance, and you mister, need to get your tux on. You can't take me looking like that!"

Andromeda went to her closet, pulled out her Louis Vuitton clutch, a pair of Jimmy Choos, and her red Valentina gown. Stubbing a nail as she did so, she rolled her eyes.

"God, I hate when you mess up a perfectly great manicure."

See? It doesn’t work. And that is about all the sci fi I can do. If I had to get anymore in depth, I would have crumbled.

So, my personal What Not To Write?

Sci fi. Definitely.

Fantasy. Not sure, I would have to have a pretty amazing idea which right now, I got nothin'.

Historical Fiction. Blech. No offense to history, after all it did happen, I just don’t care enough to write about it.

Literary? No, I am not that good at lyrical prose.

YA? God help me, I am trying to come up with an idea. I have a few. But, it just doesn’t seem to pull me in and say WRITE ME the way chick lit does.

What to write? I have some ideas. REMOVED IDEAS PREVIOUSLY POSTED. Sadly, there are trolls who will snatch unsuspecting writers' ideas. So, I am learning to be careful.

So, there it is. Hmmm. Lots of choices. So…what do you think?

Monday, July 16, 2012

You say it's your birthday? Well, it's my birthday too, yeah!


Good morning. Another beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest. So today, I am turning…ahem, don’t you know it is rude to ask a woman how old she is? Let's just say, I've got a few more gray hairs than I care to admit. So, things I am not looking forward to on this day.

1.       Squeezing myself into some of my nicer clothes to go out with my friends tonight. The friends part, I love. It’s the squeezing that sucks.

2.       Missing Men Tell All on the Bachelorette. I'll have to watch when I get home, although they really should call it Men Tell Some, because I know damn well it isn’t all that they tell. Still, it makes for some great tv watching.

3.       Checking my gmail account, because it there is an agent rejection on a partial, I'm going to cry. Ive thought about skipping the whole process today to save myself the grief, but I also want to send my three newly revised chapters to the newest agent that has requested them. Let's see…that is 6 agent requests for my partials? (why does that sound naughty?) Pretty good results me thinks. I'm feeling better about the changes Ive made to make my MC more likable and stir empathy with the reader. And I set apart the commentaries from the narrative, so I think that will make my points clearer, thus setting apart my manuscript from all others. I'll cross my fingers.

4.       Getting older. Let's face it. This part sucks. I know as women age they get all "I feel better about myself than I did when I was 20. This age is so great because I'm so much wiser and confident." Blah blah blah. Yeah sure. Like if some magic genie offered you to be in a 20 year old body you wouldn’t jump at the chance. Whatev. Is there is a genie out there who wants to find someone to make that proposition to? Here I am. No questions asked.

I am seriously starting to think about what it would take to become a literary agent myself. Not just so I would finally get an offer representation. Although I would totally be my first client. But because as I become beta readers to people's manuscripts (a beta reader is someone who will read a writer's manuscript and offer honest feedback for revision), I realize I like reading, looking for plot holes, and commenting and helping other writers. I guess that's the teacher part of me.

Anyway, today I'm looking forward to spending time with my family and going out with my bestest friends. (Collective awwww goes here.) So, if it is truly your birthday, have a good one. If it's not, have a great day anyway. And wish me luck as I look into my gmail account. Positive vibes please!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

No honey, I am not seeing another man. I'm just writing.

Happy Wednesday.
It has come to my attention that writing is like dating. In so many ways. This came to me on a week that was particularly hard. I was riding high on 4 requests of a partial and one agent that always asks for a partial, so having 5 agents look at my first three chapters is pretty damn exciting. And encouraging. Last week, I walked around with an air of "hey, look at me. I am a writer and I am so good, 5 agents want me. Take that J.K. Rowling."  Then the inevitable happened. One of the agents I queried was an agent that I really believed would LOVE my manuscript. She was perfect. And immediately she responded by asking for the first three chapters. Perfect, I thought, this will lead to a full then an offer of rep and I will be on my way! Except that it didn't quite happen like that. Instead, she gave me a really nice rejection letter. And this led me to the realization that I was having a relationship whether I knew it or not. 

It's like I am dating all over again, looking for the right person to just "get me". Obviously, she wasn't right. But I suddenly found myself going through emotional roller coasters asking myself the same questions over and over.

What did I do wrong?
Why wasn't it good enough?
How can I change to meet her needs? I can do it, I'll be different, just give me another chance!
Maybe if I beg. 
Maybe if I send enough really nice notes, she'll see how great I am and want me back.
Maybe she'll change her mind and realize she was wrong!

It's like my college years all over again. But this time around, I am going through it in a different way. I am bucking up and moving on. I hurt for a day, then get over it. So, I have to pick myself up, dust myself off and go out there again. Make myself available and vulnerable.

When people say writing makes you have a tougher skin, this is what they are talking about. I realize all the dating foibles I made, and I am realizing how to get rejected less painfully.

I realized through this, that like my MC (who she was concerned was too negative) I am a little negative in my humor and outlook. But then I realized it is not just me. Most of my best friends are a bit on the cynical side. We are teachers after all. We see the real world day in and day out. We see dramas unfold by the minute, and we could tell you heartbreaking stories that would fill the pages of many books. Our humor can be dark and snarky, but hey, that's us. One of my beta readers called it pragmatic. Yeah, I like that.

For example, the old me would have cried and eaten a pint of chocolate Haagen Daaz. This time around, I had a glass of wine, read about more agents and decided maybe this one just wasn't for me. Although we shared a love for fairy tales, David Sedaris, and my character Aidan, perhaps we just didn't connect. I couldn't help but ask myself "what did I do wrong? If I would have done something different, would she still reject me?"

This is why most of my friends in high school were either like minded or boys. I wasn't a girly girl. I wear converse and flip flops (not at the same time) and I prefer jeans and a tank to anything else. I don't paint my nails (although I do like my toenails painted, but that is more just because toenails are friggin ugly). I play guitar and dont wear a ton of make-up. I am not a cheerleader. I am not the prom queen. I can drink tequila without gagging and I love the feel of snakes on my arms. I am pretty cool. And fun. I would hang out with me. In fact, I do. Every day.

So what is with the diatribe? Well, just like my MC, I have to find that agent that is like minded. A girly girl agent all love struck and puppies probably isn't going to see things the same way. Although, puppies are cute. I will have to find the one that is raw and isn't afraid of an F bomb or two. Someone gritty, who has had some shitty things happen to her. Because like me and my MC, they have to understand that life isn't pink tiaras and fuzzy boas.

In my world, there is room for cynicism. But there is always room for hope. So, part of me thinks "bah, I will not ever get published. My life just isn't that cool". But...I will keep trying. Searching for the "one"...Mrs. or Mr. Right. Because ultimately, I believe that this was what I was supposed to do with my life. This is where everything in my life has led me. And I have faith, I will get published.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Okay. I admit it. This week was a fail in my blogging life. But come on! It was an anniversary of the creation of America, people. So I hope that affords me a break.

Now, to the Friday blog. I believe I said this would be media and news related. So...let me check the news.

Here is what I found. Is good no? You are reading this right. Apparently, back when people had their crap together, women would try to gain weight. I know...crazy. Men used to think women with a little meat on their bones was sexy. Go figure.

Sex Appeal

Why Be Skinny?Today, we are the opposite. (duh...we know this.) But what I wonder is...with all fads circling back at sometime (see neon and skinny jeans for evidence), when will the fad of being too thin be over? When will the larger woman become the "new thing" again?

Mind you, I am not saying people should go around trying to be unhealthy. I am just saying people should be able to wear a size 8 or 10 and not feel like they need to drop to a size 2 to be considered sexy.

The OTHER big news this week...yes, TomKat is finis. Kaput. So sad. Poor Katie's fantasy about the whitey tightie wearing hunk with sunglasses is now fodder for the kitty litter bin. It is a tad weird that all Cruise's exes have all been 33 when divorced. Strange. I wonder what that's all about.

I get that she wanted out because he is a little more Michael Jackson than Leo DiCaprio, but shouldn't she have seen that, I dunno, when he forced her into Scientology and said she couldn't have Suri with drugs? Oh, and the whole 'be quiet while in labor thing'...I would have been pissed about that one too. Risky Business, indeed, Thomas.

Well, with the celebration of the country over, I guess I will need to get back to this business of writing. I really need to pour myself into a new manuscript. My YA novel is in "I can't get past this sentence mode" and it is hard to write the sequel to a book that hasn't even garnered a full request yet. But my characters are in my head and need to be released. So maybe I will bite the bullet and just start. Sigh.

I think it will start like this:

Shit. It's happening again. Just when I seem to get myself out of oncoming traffic, my metaphorical car veers to the other side, approaching a head-on collision full speed. This time, at least, he doesn't live next door. Nope, this time, it's my co-worker's "we're-really-serious-we-live-together-I-think-he's-gonna-propose-soon" boyfriend. Shit.

Okay...there. It's started. :) Resume day. See you Monday!

Monday, July 2, 2012

What to Blog About?

Happy Monday. Here is to another week of queries, submissions, postings, and tons of other things. So, recently I have wondered what people actually blog about. Especially the writing community. Here is what I have come to understand...everyone does what they feel is comfortable. So, in attempt to do the same, I will commit to posting at least 2 times a week, 3 if I am really good.

So, in interest of keeping myself on a schedule, I will post Monday Musings (random info, whatever meets my fancy), Writing Wednesdays (basically writing related topics) and Friday fun (this one will be the one I will try to get to...all things new in media or news).

Come back later today for Monday's Musings. Now, off to play with my sassy six year old. :)