Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Unexpected Life Lessons

Status: I won an ARC of
Insurgent by Veronica Roth!!!! Since I recently posted about how much I loved Divergent, this is clearly an awesome thing. It should be arriving either today or tomorrow! Can't wait! Also, I sent out a few tests of my new query. I wasn't going to do it so soon, but I just couldn't help myself. Let's see what happens!

Number of queries sent: 29
Number of form rejections: 16
Number of detailed rejections: 1
Number of requests for additional materials: 2

So, as I wrote in the Status section of this post, my beloved husband and I are trying to grow grass in the dirt plot known as our back yard (and this will ultimately loop back to the whole writing thing...I promise!). Okay, maybe dirt plot isn't a fair description. There were a shit ton of rocks, too. We spoke with a grass expert at Home Depot (if there really is such a thing as a grass expert, but he claimed to be one), rented a rototiller, and spent hours upon hours doing everything the so-called grass expert told us needed to be done. Up to and including watering the entire back yard twice a day (we have three sprinklers set up) and walking all four of the pups on leashes in the front yard so they can't sabotage the innocent little grass seeds.

As a side note, the whole walking the dogs in the front yard thing isn't a very good arrangement. For one thing, when we get home from work/being away for any part of the day, they all need to go out right away. Luckily, my husband gets home before me almost all of the time, because the one time I tried to walk them all at once, they overpowered me and pulled me down the deck stairs. Ouch. But he's stronger and can handle them. It was so much easier when we could just open the door and let them run out into the yard. And the running around in the yard is far and away the most exercise they get, and they very much enjoy it. I think they feel quite cooped up, and are going a little stir crazy. My poor babies.

Anyway, back to the main point of this post: grass started growing this morning! We almost gave up and were just beginning to wallow in self pity. After all, the bag of grass seed said it would take 5-10 days, and those 10 days passed with no sign of grass. But then, this lovely morning, tiny little blades of grass were visible all over the lawn. It filled me with such joy and renewed all of my hopes and dreams for a beautiful back yard. One beautiful enough that I'd be proud to host a barbecue. Especially since we replaced our shitty fence and have a wonderful new one. Ah, such lovely visions I have of the future in my beautiful home.

So you've probably figured out how I'm looping this back to writing, but I'm going to go ahead and write it anyway. Otherwise, there wouldn't be much point to this post, would there? Through most of yesterday afternoon and a large part of the evening, I was feeling inexplicably discouraged. And if you don't know why it's inexplicable, you didn't read my most recent post! An awesome agent has my partial, I just did a round of edits that I believe make my book even more awesome, I just wrote what I think is a significantly stronger query letter, and I keep winning stuff. I mean seriously, it's a pretty good time to be me.

Yet, despite all this, I was feeling very gloomy. I think all aspiring authors go through this from time to time. For some reason or another, you get it in your head that it's just never going to happen. You'll never actually get an agent. You'll never actually be published. Your lifelong dreams of being a full time writer (because, let's face it, you've never wanted to do anything else for as long as you can remember) will never be realized, so you'd better get used to your day job. You're just not good enough. And even if you are, for whatever reason, no one will ever realize it.

Damn it all to hell, the grass will never grow, and I just wasted all that time and money. Better invest in Huggies stock, because I'm going to use a hell of a lot of baby wipes cleaning dirt/mud off sixteen puppy paws for the rest of ever.

Well, screw you very much, insecure version of me. Stop being such a downer. Total party foul. Ooh! As soon as I wrote that last sentence, a song started playing in my head: "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to." Well, screw that, too. I don't want to cry. I want to be happier than I've ever been in my life. I absolutely adore my book. I'm so proud to know that I wrote it, and that I created the characters I love so much (and hopefully that doesn't make me pompous or narcissistic (in the literary sense, of course)). Plus, I'm actually getting requests from agents. Both of whom commented about how much they like the voice of my MC when they made those requests. How frickin amazing is that? And, as I said here, even though I want it more than anything, I don't need that validation to know that I'm a writer. A real one. A good one. No matter what, I'll know that I did everything I could this time around and, if it comes to that, there's always time to try again. One way or another, I will leave my mark on this world.

Besides, the grass started growing on day 11. In the grand scheme of things, we've only just begun.

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