Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Same Karma, Different Signs

Status: I'm in an incredibly good mood at the moment, for a number of reasons. Among them is the fact that my falling down, crap fence has been replaced! It's so pretty and new and wonderful! It also doesn't have panels falling over or missing slats making holes just big enough for my dogs to escape. So yay! A second reason is I'm about to go on vacation! I'm visiting my very dearest cousin in Phoenix. Never been there, and I can't wait to see my cousin. Arizona, here I come! The final reason is detailed in the post below.

Number of queries sent: 27
Number of form rejections: 14
Number of requests for additional materials: 0 (but kind of 1??)

Okay. So. As I mentioned in this post, I entered another contest. I took my improved query/opening combo out for a spin. A very successful spin, as it turns out, at least so far. In other words, I'm a finalist! Out of 200 entries, a panel of internal judges chose the 50 best (each of the 5 judges had a group of 40, and picked the top 10 as finalists). So that means I'm in the top 25%. It makes me really proud to know that I earned my way into this contest, instead of being chosen by a lottery.

This contest is the Surprise Agent Invasion contest on a fabulous blog called Cupid's Literary Connection, where any agent can request more materials on any entry for three solid weeks. I have no idea how many literary agents Cupid notified, but it sounds like a lot. Whether or not they come look at the contest, no one knows. Time will tell on that one.

So what's the next step for me? Well, basically, I don't get to sleep for three weeks. I already have the post with my entry saved as a favorite on my computer. I know I'll be checking all the time. Just in case. But I did promise my dearest cousin that I won't be a bad houseguest as a result of this contest. In fact, here's my exact text: "I promise not to obsess while I'm visiting you! I'll check for requests from agents with whatever we decide is a reasonable (read: not crazy/not normal me!) frequency."

And like the totally awesome cousin she is, her reply was, "Lol, that's no problem. I totally understand."

Oh yeah! Karma and signs. I got sidetracked again, and forgot about what I titled this post. At any rate, as I explained in
this post, I think I got into a previous contest due to a karma cash out. And that's what led me to revise, revise, revise. And the revised version got me into this new contest, where there's potential for quite a lot of agents to see my entry. So, that's karma.

As for the different signs, these are a little farfectched, to say the least. But my entry number is 9, which is my beloved husband's favorite number. So he thinks that's a good sign. The contest opens on the 27th (today), and 27 has been my favorite number ever since I got married on August 27, 2011. And it will close on April 17th, and 17 was my favorite number for most of my life. So yeah, like I said: farfetched. But that's okay. It's nice to hope that something wonderful will happen. Sure, it'll hurt like hell if my nice big dose of wonderful never shows. But then I'll just hope for something else. Eventually, as long as I'm willing to work hard and be patient, wonderful will happen.

Oh, yeah. And the "but kind of 1??" in my status refers to being a finalist. That's obviously not actually a request for additional materials (hence the 0), but it's still a positive reaction to my stuff. It's still validation. And it's still not a rejection. :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Inspiration Abounds!

Status: Tomorrow is my beloved husband's birthday! Yay! Which means I will feel slightly less old (I'm a little over 3 years older than him, so for about a month and a half of each year, our ages are 4 years apart instead of 3). He hasn't decided what he wants to do yet, but I'm sure that it'll be tons of fun. Hiking and geocaching have both been thrown out there as possibilities. If you don't know what geocaching is, go
here. And then go geocaching. Because it's awesome.

Number of queries sent: 24
Number of form rejections: 14
Number of requests for additional materials: 0 (but I'm testing out my updated query, so hopefully that'll change!)

Okay, so I read something the other day on the blog of a fellow writer that I thought was AMAZING. It was on the blog of Julie Murphy (which I love), who is represented by Molly Jaffa at Folio Literary Management. Here's the link for her blog: http://andimjulie.blogspot.com/. I would also highly recommend following her on Twitter if Twitter is your thing. And if it isn't, why the hell not? In my opinion, there's every reason in the world to be on Twitter, and no reason not to be (this opinion is quite a recent development). There are so many agents and writers on Twitter, and why not use every resource you can? Plus, a lot of these people are just plain awesome, and I legitimately enjoy reading their tweets. And I just unfollow people if their tweets are annoying.

There I go, sidetracking myself. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. Here is the AMAZING thing that I read on Julie Murphy's blog: "I'm sitting here all teary eyed typing this up at half past midnight. And if you're here, if you're still reading this (full on tears now) and if you're a writer or a painter or a plumber or a dreamer or whatever the fuck it is you are-- keep going. I know it's easier said than done, but I can say it because I'm doing it. I'm going. And as much as I love my agent and as pleased as I am to be working with her, she does not make me a writer. The words on the page make me a writer. My being a writer is no different now than it was in December with my stack of 50+ rejections. So whether you're writing on your lunch break and working that shit 8 hour a day job or if you're living in England and writing a book about a beautiful boy wizard who will save the world-- you're a writer. You are a writer.

"My name is Julie Murphy and I am a writer."

HELL YES!!!!!! Thank you Julie, for putting so beautifully what I've been feeling all through this querying/rejection process. Yes, the validation is nice. Okay, more than nice. Getting an agent, getting published, having my books out there in the world--I want that so much that I almost can't stand it at times. I have daydreams about "the call" with my future agent (I'm persistent...I'm sure I'll get one someday), and yeah, those daydreams are wonderful. I've admittedly made myself cry on more than one occasion, just imagining how happy I'll be when that day finally comes. But you know what? Even if that day never comes (*knocks on wood*), that doesn't change the fact that I'm a writer. And that won't change the fact that I'll keep writing. Writing is what I do. It's who I am. I've written four novels in my 27 years of life, and I'll write oh so many more.

A writer is someone who is just overwhelmed by that urge to put words on the page. Overwhelmed by rampant creativity and an overactive imagination. Overwhelmed by the story that needs to be told.

A writer isn't someone who can just stop. There is no stopping for people like us. Writing is part of our souls.

My name is Ashley Turcotte, and I am a writer. Forever and always.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Confetti and Happy Dances

Just a quick post here. Yesterday, I received my very first comment on a blog post that was written by neither my husband nor by one of my best friends. In point of fact, it was written by a complete stranger. And you have no idea how incredibly, overwhelmingly happy that made me. Here's a rundown of what happened when I saw that comment:

1. *Throws confetti* (Let's pretend that I keep a bag of confetti in my desk for just such an occasion.)

2. *Jumps up and does a happy dance* (This one, I literally did. And I was really glad we've moved to a new office space where I have high walls all around my cubicle, because my happy dance isn't something I want to inflict upon the world.)

3. *Frantically lets her husband know via gchat before running around the office saying "Guess what!?!?" with a preposterous grin plastered on her face*

See how easy it is to make me happy? Still grinning like a fool every time I think about it. :D

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rejection + Hunch = Change (for the better?)

Status: Last week was a tad rejection heavy. I was 100% sure I'd receive one of them (seriously...I even Tweeted about it), but the others were still bright, shiny possibilities in my mind. Ouch town, population me. Also, I've decided not to add a line for "Number of mass rejections on Twitter," and just throw any of those in with the form rejections. But one of my new form rejections was via Tweet, whereby anyone who queried this agent prior to a certain date/time who has not heard anything was rejected. And I'd literally followed this particular agent about 10 minutes prior. Talk about timing.

Number of queries sent: 23
Number of form rejections: 13
Number of requests for additional materials: I don't want to talk about it...

So I have made some changes to my query letter! Yay! But this decision was not made lightly, especially given how much blood, sweat, and tears I put into my old one. (Okay, I don't think I literally put any of those things into my query letter. The most likely of the three would be tears, but I can't recall crying during the query writing process. Not even once. I just remember lots and lots of frustration.)

Why did I do this? Because of all the form rejections. I think it means something is wrong. Or missing. Or...I don't know. Whatever is going on, it's not working. And that's the only part that really matters.

So what did I change? I messed around a little with the sentence structure. I don't think it was really working the way it was. In one part in particular, I think I was just trying to hard. It definitely flows better now, in my opinion. Closely related to sentence structure is sentence length. I had two rather lengthy sentences in my old query. Not Faulkner lengthy, but lengthy nonetheless. I pared them down. I tried to make sure they were easier to follow. I like the result.

And lastly, I added what I believe to be a very important detail. It's something that I think is very central to the story, and makes my book sound more interesting. I had it in my first 10 or so drafts of my query, but my beloved husband convinced me that it's unnecessary detail and that I should take it out. But the whole time, I've really wanted to put it back in. So I did.

I read a Tweet at some point in the last few days. Don't remember whose it was, and don't remember exactly what it said. But it was something along the lines of, "Don't send a query that makes your book sound like a generic example of your genre." And while I don't think that's the case with my old query, and especially not by the end of the query, I think I may have been skirting the line somewhere in the middle. And as anyone who knows me well will tell you, I hate skirts. So that must mean I hate skirting lines, too, right? (Yeah, I know. Now I'm just being ridiculous. That's what happens when I write blog posts on my lunch break.)

So anyway. Back on track. I was skirting the dreaded generic line. Especially in the case of my love interest, who was just a faceless entity with no details whatsoever. And he's one of the most important people in the entire novel. So I said screw that. Screw the advice of beloved husband (sorry, love). And I added a single sentence that I think just adds so very much to my query. It was on the short side, anyway, so I definitely had the room. I'll send a few queries out this week to test the waters. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bella vs. Hermione OR Why I Think This Makes No Sense

Status: Our newest rescue pup, Shadow, is getting along very well with the other three dogs. So far, only problem is Indy has figured out that Shadow is a bit of a pushover, and has become extra bossy. We're trying to break him of that habit.

Number of queries sent: 22
Number of form rejections: 8
Number of requests for additional materials: 0

So I follow Professor Snape on Twitter (why wouldn't I??). He tweeted the link to something very interesting on International Women's Day, and since I keep thinking about it, I figured I should probably go ahead and do a blog post. Maybe that will get it out of my head. Here's the picture:

In case the text is too small...

Next to Hermione: "When the love of Hermione's life left her, she continued to search for the keys to destroying the world's most powerful dark wizard."

Next to Bella: "When the love of Bella's life left her, she curled up in the fetal position, went numb for months then jumped off a cliff."

My first reaction was something along the lines of, "Exactly!" or, "You got that right!" Which is actually kind of odd, because Twilight is one of my favorite books, and I love Bella. Granted, I love Harry Potter more, and I think Hermione is fabulously fabulous. But still. My reaction surprised me. So I thought about it for a bit, to decide if I actually agreed with what this picture is conveying.

And, to make a long story short, I don't. The main reason for this? Was Bella tracking down horcruxes to try to stop Voldemort from taking over the world? No. Was she doing anything at the time Edward left her to try to save the world? No. No, she wasn't. Was she doing anything but going to high school in a tiny ass town in the middle of nowhere? No, I'm pretty sure she wasn't.

On the flip side of the issue, were Hermione and Ron dating/in love/planning the rest of their lives together? Nope. They were still in that angsty refusing to admit their feelings phase. And I'm pretty sure Ron didn't say, "I'm leaving you. I want nothing to do with you. I don't love you. You'll never see me again." He just got pissed and went home.

So, to summarize, I think this little picture is kind of crap. Do I think Bella Swan would've risen to the occasion and kicked some serious ass if she'd been in a situation even close to Hermione's? Honestly, I do. I really do. I think she demonstrates a great amount of strength throughout those books. But guess what? Having your heart ripped out and stomped all over hurts like hell. If my husband suddenly told me that he didn't actually love me, I'd probably be worse off than Bella. I'd definitely need therapy for...well, forever. Because when you fall in love that deeply, that other person quite literally becomes a part of who you are. And having that part ripped off/destroyed/amputated, or whatever else is going to hurt like hell. At least Bella figured out a way to deal with that pain. Eventually. And in that book, when there were several otherwise blank pages that just had the names of months on them? I think that is some of the best, most heartbreaking writing I've ever seen. Just a simple, beautiful way to show the readers how dead and empty Bella was feeling. I still get chills every time I read that part of the book.

And to all those people that say Bella and Edward's relationship wasn't healthy, to you I say suck it. Edward is frickin awesome. And I wasn't even a teenager when I read those books.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Always Learning

Status: We adopted another dog! For those of you who do not know, that now makes 4 rescue dogs in the Turcotte household. This one was kind of an accident, though. I wanted to go to the shelter where we got two of our other dogs (Dash and Indy...we adopted Jujube from a doggie foster home) to donate a bag of dog food. My wonderful husband said we could only go if I promised we wouldn't come home with another dog. I said that we didn't even have to go inside and look at the dogs. Just drop the food off in the bin outside and get out of there. But he decided that if we were going to drive all that way, we should at least go see the dogs. And that's how we fell in love with Shadow. :)

Number of queries sent: 22
Number of form rejections: 8
Number of requests for additional materials: 0

The Secret Agent contest is over! Since I led with the news about Shadow, you were probably able to guess that I wasn't one of the winners. But I still feel like I got a great deal out of participating, so that's awesome. I'll list my reasons below.

#1: Validation. Secret Agent said she'd keep reading. She had some issues that she wanted to see quickly ironed out, but she'd keep reading. That means that my idea is good and my writing (while she thought it was perhaps flawed) was strong enough to get her to read more. She specifically said that she was intrigued. And I just think that's awesome. It makes me feel very good about myself, and makes me want to keep writing and keep trying to get published.

#2: Progress. Instead of getting up in arms about the negative comments I received, calling them all stupid, and stoically believing I'm always right, I thought long and hard about what people said. After all, these are people that know nothing about me and didn't have to offer their opinions. They gave me honest feedback because they wanted to help a total stranger. So I thought about my sentence structure. I thought about my choice of words. And I especially thought about my first two sentences. I get what I was trying to convey. My husband gets what I was trying to convey. And maybe a lot of other people would, too. But there were a number of people who commented on how those sentences just didn't seem to make sense, and they weren't logical. So I took all of this new knowledge and used it to reshape parts of my opening 250 words. These are changes I never would have considered making if I hadn't been part of the Secret Agent contest. And now my opening is much stronger. At least in my opinion. And that of my husband. Which is a good start.

#3: Opportunity. (I hope.) I'm taking my improved opening out for a spin. I entered another contest here. This one asks for title, genre, word count, query, and first 250 words. I think that I present a very strong case for my MS with all of that together, and I'm excited to see if this pans out. Unlike the other contests, this one isn't determined by a lottery, or the first 60 to enter are in, or anything random like that. My entry actually has to be good to be considered. People can enter during one of two windows (one was last night, and one begins in a little under an hour). The first 100 entries during each window make it to the internal judging round. I sent mine in last night the moment the contest opened, and received confirmation that I'm in the first group of 100! Then, of those 200 entries, the 50 strongest are chosen. Those 50 are the ones that will be posted on the blog and judged by any number of assorted literary agents. So hopefully with the changes I was able to make after the Secret Agent Contest, I'll have a strong enough entry to make it into the final round, and maybe get some requests for partials or fulls out of it. It's all about the power of positive thinking, right? That and the power of awesome writing. I know I have the first. I'm hoping for further validation of the second.

Friday, March 9, 2012

(At Least Some) Success

Status: I've kind of been stalking the
Secret Agent contest for two straight days. Also joined Twitter. As for the agent I mentioned in previous posts (here and here), the three week deadline came and went. She must not have gotten my original query. Le sigh. I requeried her this morning.

Number of queries sent: 20
Number of form rejections: 8
Number of requests for additional materials: 0

So yeah. The Secret Agent contest. I have been following that rather obsessively closely. I am just on the edge of my seat over what the Secret Agent has to say. Not just about my entry, even, although that one was obviously most important to me. But I also want to know how (s)he's reacting to all of the other submissions. A large part of that is just that they're my competition, and I want to know what I'm up against. But the rest of me is also just genuinely interested in how a real live agent reacts to all these different MS beginnings.

Is it sad that I made a spreadsheet so I can keep track of Secret Agent's responses? Probably. But I did it anyway. I like to be organized. So far, Secret Agent has said (s)he would form reject 29 of the entries, and would keep reading 14 of them if they were in the slush pile. I only recall one where (s)he came out and said (s)he would request a partial. (And there were an additional two that (s)he didn't say one way or the other, but I would guess that one is a yes and the other is a no).

And guess what! I'm one of the ones Secret Agent would keep reading! Granted, (s)he would keep reading with some reservations. Here's the comment: "I'd keep reading if I saw this in my slush, but the next 5 pages would have to be stellar. I say I'd keep reading because I'm intrigued by the family dynamic and I want to know how this ends up being fantasy, but there are also some strange word usages and grammar errors. I'd want to see if these mechanics improve as the book goes on."

Regarding the grammar errors, I think (s)he's talking about my tendency to use fragments. Perhaps my love of em dashes. I'm not sure. If (s)he doesn't like fragments, I would probably end up with a form rejection. I obviously don't use them all of the time, but there are many places where I think (especially in first person) that a fragment is more natural. It sounds more like a human being. Because human beings don't always speak in complete sentences. So I try to make my writing sound like someone talking, rather than someone sitting down and writing an essay. But maybe it was just that one sentence that would be a problem. Who knows?

So hopefully Secret Agent requests something from me. A query and 25 pages would be nice, don't you think? The winners are announced Monday, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

As for contest #2, I didn't win. Alas. But when the winners were announced, Hannah Bowman (the judge) offered some very good advice for writing pitches. I think I'll work on rewriting mine so I have a better one the next time an opportunity like this arises. Ms. Bowman also invited all contest participants to query her. So I did. And I was very quickly form rejected (hence the change in my numbers up top). But that's okay. It was nice of her to extend the invitation, and there are probably several others that will get requests for partials out of this. I wish my fellow contestants all the luck in the world!

So. Twitter. For people who know me well, I'm sure none of you will have ever seen that coming. I've made some downright disdainful comments about Twitter, over the course of several years. But when it comes down to it, that's where people are. It's where other writers are. It's where literary agents are. And not only is Twitter a good chance to network, but quite frankly, it's also a good place to get valuable information. I've read a lot of advice from agents over the past couple of days. Also saw a contest that was only announced via Tweet (I don't qualify, but that may happen again for my genre), and found two literary agents to add to my spreadsheet, of whom I'd never heard before. And, as much as I hate to admit it, Twitter is both addicting and fun. So follow me @NHNovelist!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Potentially Pivotal Day(s)

Status: I think I may be losing my mind.

Number of queries sent: 19
Number of form rejections: 7
Number of requests for additional materials: 0

Couple of things going on. First and foremost in my mind right now is the Secret Agent contest I mentioned in my last post. The submissions went up yesterday (I'm #43!). Secret Agent commented on the first six last night, and has been working his/her secret way through the rest of them since 10:38 this morning. Being so late in the list is torture. But at least I'm not somewhere in the 44-50 range. Glass half full and all that jazz.

So that's the main reason I'm losing my mind. I want so badly to know! And checking on the progress of Secret Agent is kind of like a really slow countdown to me. Gah! But Secret Agent should finish all of the comments today, and hopefully make a decision by tomorrow. I haven't been following the blog/secret agent contests for very long, but that's the basic timeline from the February contest.

As for the other contest, the woman running it posted on Twitter that the judge will pick the winners within a week (i.e. by Tuesday), or maybe as early as tomorrow! So I'm really hopeful for that one. We shall see.

Then there's the regular query process. Today is the cutoff day for the agent I mentioned in the status section of my Changes (again) post, and I still haven't heard a response. I'm starting to think she really just didn't get my query. It's a pretty disappointing realization. But what are you going to do? If I don't hear back tonight, I'll requery tomorrow and hope for the best.

Oh, and as a side note, you'll notice that my queries sent count went up by one, even though I said I was taking a break. This is because I happened upon another literary agent that just felt right to me. I don't know how to explain it beyond that. I just got a good feeling and wanted to send my query. I did, however, make a slight change to the wording at the end of the first paragraph. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Karma and Signs

Status: Waiting on so many levels.

Number of queries sent: 18
Number of form rejections: 7
Number of requests for additional materials: 0

Remember when I said here that I was going to enter a contest? Well, I actually entered two! Both contests are being hosted on blogs by writers. The interesting thing is that the host of contest #2 actually found her agent via a contest on the same blog as contest #1. Gotta love a good success story. And since I've never entered any kind of writing contest before, I'm very excited!

Okay. Let's talk about contest #1 first. I think I'm only an entry in this contest because I had a great build up of karma that decided it was time to pay out. But before I get to that, I should probably explain how the contest works. It's a secret agent contest on
Miss Snark's First Victim. She does 10 of these contests a year (every month but June and December). Entrants post their title, genre, and the first 250 words of the novel. That's it. Then the entries are posted on the blog, and people can comment on them. But more importantly, a secret literary agent (whose identity is revealed when the contest is over, if memory serves) will critique them. And if she/he likes any of them, she/he will invite those contestants to query her/him. How awesome is that?

But from what I can tell, this is a pretty popular blog. There's even a medal thingy on the side that indicates Writer's Digest named the blog one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers in 2009. So to keep the secret agent from having to read hundreds of entries, only 50 of the entries are chosen. Randomly chosen by a computer, to be exact, in lottery fashion.

So why do I think karma helped me on this one? Because the only place I posted a reminder to enter the contest was my calendar at work. And the universe decided to make me very sick over the weekend, to the extent that I had trouble walking yesterday. Needless to say, I didn't go to work. So I didn't get my reminder. So I didn't enter the contest promptly at 9 am when it opened. Instead, around 1 pm, I suddenly remembered that I was supposed to enter. I rushed to do so as quickly as possible, and then breathed a sigh of relief that I remembered before 5 pm (when the contest closes). I promptly received a lottery number and waited with semi-bated breath to find out if my lottery number was chosen.

AND IT WAS!!! I have no idea how many entries there were, but I have a feeling there were a ton. And yet, the very first time I entered a secret agent contest, my number made the cut. Would it have been chosen if I'd entered the contest promptly at 9 am? I'll never really know, but I've decided I don't think so. Karma was trying to help me out on this one, and made me sick on purpose. I guess if being sick ends up landing me an agent, I won't mind so much.

So if you look on Miss Snark's blog after the 50 entries are posted, I'm number 43. At first, I thought it said I was number 42, and I got really excited that this was a sign. 42: the answer to life, the universe, and everything (and forgive me if I'm misquoting). But alas, I'm actually 43. Still pretty damn excited, either way.

As for contest #2, I entered that one this morning on
Love YA. I found an announcement for this contest on Absolute Write. This one tells you who the agent is up front: Hannah Bowman. After I learned about the contest, I thought Ms. Bowman looked pretty frickin' awesome. Unfortunately, I'd already queried another agent at her agency (that's one of the form rejections listed above), so I couldn't send her my letter. But by entering this contest, I at least get a shot!

So this contest is only for YA (all genres). We get to list our title, genre, word count, name, email, and a one line pitch. The pitch can only be 140 characters long, a la Twitter. My beloved husband and I worked on my pitch for over a week. I was still tweaking it about ten minutes before the contest opened. But I'm super happy with the final product. And thank goodness I forgot contest #1 instead of this one, because this one doesn't have any sort of lottery. The first 60 entries are in, and anything else is out. And in the first two and a half hours since the contest opened, there have already been more than 50 submissions. But I was post #6! Yay!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Changes (again)

Status: On querytracker.net, there's a comment section for each agent where people can post about their experiences/status with querying that agent. I was recently checking out the comment section for one agent I queried, and someone who queried her after me has already been form rejected. I believe this can mean one of two things. Either she liked my query enough that she wants to read my sample pages (essentially moving me on to round two) and just hasn't had time to read them yet, or she never even got my query. I'm voting for choice #1.

Number of queries sent: 18
Number of form rejections: 7
Number of requests for additional materials: 0

So I've changed the name of my blog. Again. I promise this is the last time. But if I do change it again, I'll make sure I delete this post so you'll have no proof.

Just kidding. ;)

I did delete the post where I was talking about the last time I changed my blog's name, though. I did this for two reasons. First, because it didn't talk about anything else, so there really wasn't a compelling reason to keep it. And secondly, because it referenced my profile at the time (which had to do with the blog name), and which has now been drastically changed. So it wouldn't have made any sense, and would've just confused people.

So why did I change it again? Well, for those of you who don't know, my (second) blog name was Reflections from Hundred Acre Wood Studio. This is a reference to my writing room, which I have dubbed Hundred Acre Wood Studio due to my deep and resounding love for all things Winnie the Pooh. Thing is, I've been getting a lot of visits to my blog from people at random places around the world, but don't seem to be getting any repeat visits. I'm also not getting any followers or comments. So I've come to the conclusion that these people are visiting my blog because they think it's about Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne, or the like. Which it's not. It's about writing, and my quest to be published. I believe the new blog title reflects that more accurately.

Also, I'm honor bound to admit that my husband reached this conclusion about three seconds after I told him the blog name. And I kind of ignored him. Oops....

My husband also concluded that my new blog name will make people think I'm a hippie. But since I frequently wear tie-dye and things with peace signs on them, I guess I'm okay with that. I even play acoustic guitar! Well, sort of. I'm learning. But still. Point is, I have no problem with my husband's most recent conclusion. Even if the real hippies were a bit before my time.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Patience = Virtue

Status: I really am being as patient as I can. I'm pretty proud of myself on that front. And I've decided to hold off on sending more queries for a little while. I know that my book is kick ass, so if I don't manage to get even a single bite, maybe my query letter is the problem. If everyone I sent it to so far rejects me, maybe I'll submit my current letter to Absolute Write and see what they have to say.

Number of queries sent: 18
Number of form rejections: 7
Number of requests for additional materials: 0

So I've started to really focus on my new WIP. This is wonderful for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, like Absolute Write, it provides a good distraction from the horror that is patiently waiting for query responses. I like having something else writing/book/career related to think about.

Then, there's also the fact that I should never stop writing. Even if I get Diamond Tears published, I'll need more. It's not like I want to just publish one book and then never write again. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. And no time like the present, right?

And, last but certainly not least, my new project is just frickin' awesome. It's just such a cool idea. I've never seen or heard of anything like it (and I did some searching online when I came up with the idea to make sure it hadn't been done before). Things were a little vague and haphazard at first, but I've done a lot of work firming up the details. I now have a very good idea of how everything is going to work. I have developed the basic plot arc. I've come up with all of the most important characters (though I'm still in the process of naming them) and have been working on back stories. I think this book is going to be really special, and I'm definitely looking forward to writing it.