Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last Monday I talked about how writers have to make writing a priority. I mentioned that some things just have to get pushed to the wayside in order for us to get things done. I'm a scheduler. I like to know exactly how I will be spending my time. I work two part-time jobs and have two young kids, as well as the freelance stuff I do, so any moment I get is a luxury. I always try to schedule in writing/reading time. For example, in between jobs, I come home for 45 minutes for lunch. Right now, since I'm editing, I like to try and get some reading done. At night, after I pick up the kids, feed them, and send them to bed, I read some more or do some writing until I go to bed. That's when I get the bulk of my stuff done.

Since time is something I have to steal, I covet it, and I get really angry when my schedule gets messed up. I'm only 32, but I understand why old people get so mad when someone/thing messes up their day. It's extremely irritating and throws everything off. Sadly, my kids are just the same. The 3 year old will lose sleep if we mess up his schedule, and the 19 month old gets very cranky. They are a little more flexible than I am, but not much. I try not to let it bother me, to go with the flow, but I'm pretty bad at it.

Now, I don't want you to get the wrong idea. I don't have every day planned down to the minute. In fact, my weekends are pretty open. I like to play those by ear. Since I'm usually so busy during the week, I try to leave that time open to hang out with the family. I still have things to do, but it usually doesn't involve writing/reading, unless I have a deadline. I try to spend my weekends catching up on TV and watching movies. I don't think I would be able to accomplish all that I have if I wasn't a little OCD (OK, a lot, but it works!).

Monday, August 30, 2010

OK, so I know I said on Friday that I was going to disappear for a while, but I had the weekend to think things through, and things aren't as bad as I initially made them out to be. I had a very stressful week last week, and an email I got on Friday just pushed me over the edge. After a couple beers and some time, I got over it. Here's what happened:

A couple of weeks ago I sent out a query, and within 15 minutes, the agent sent a request back for my entire manuscript. I still had some edits to do, so I didn't send it to her until the 21st. On Friday, she sent an email that said she had sat down with my manuscript and realized she had read it before. After checking her files, she realized that she requested it in March and passed on it then. She was pissed (very pissed) that I didn't let her know it was a rewrite. Her email was quite rude. Since I had a bad week, it really hit me. I started questioning my writing ability and thought that I would never write again.

After spending the majority of Friday feeling sorry for myself, I started to think about it. A friend once told me that if I had rewritten the book significantly and enough time had passed, I could send out queries like it was a whole new book. Five months had passed since she had requested the partial, and even thought the story is still the same, I did switch it from third person to first and added a whole bunch of stuff. So, I made a mistake. Perhaps enough time didn't pass and perhaps I should have told her that it was rewritten, but I didn't know. Maybe instead of getting angry, the agent could have handled the situation a little better. Either way, now I know for the future. Why would I let someone like that completely destroy my writing career? Whatever problem she had with me querying like that is HER problem. It shouldn't destroy me.

So, that's what happened. It was pretty upsetting, but I've moved on. I now have new information for the future, and I still have a lot of stuff to write. Yeah, the rejection was a blow, but it wasn't the first and will not be the last.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm going to be disappearing for a little while. I have some things to finish and some soul searching to do. I will come back as soon as I can (you know I never stay away for long!). Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nothing exciting to report today, so I thought I would update you on my submission stats. I only sent out 28 queries this time, and I don't plan on sending out anymore. Like I said, I can't take any more rejection, and I just think it might be time for the story to die. When it causes more stress and isn't fun anymore, it needs to be put away. Anywho, here are the stats:

28 queries
12 rejections
1 full out for reading
1 partial

Pretty exciting stuff, eh.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I am plugging away on my freelance edit. I don't really know what else to call it, so that will have to do. This is the second read through, so it's pretty clean. Hopefully I will have it done in a week.

I received a lovely email this morning from a friend/editor that I haven't talked to in a while. He invited me to submit a story to his anthology. Guess what the theme is? Yup, zombies. I know I said I need to get away from them, but the format of this is different. Plus, if you're good at something... I was so flattered he even thought of me. The max word count is 2,500 and it's due by the end of September, so I have plenty of time to work on it. I'm very excited.

My zombie novella is slated to come out October 1, so I will keep you informed on that, and I will let you know what happens with the new anthology.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I've been thinking about it, and I need to redefine what it means to be a "real" writer. After all, I get a check in the mail every month to write 2 articles for an agricultural magazine. Before the Serial Killer mag started having issues, I was asked to write several articles and the blurbs for every month of the calender, PLUS an introduction to a Manson book. I didn't get paid in dollars, but I got paid in exposure. Then, a publishing company reapproached me to talk about my nonfiction book. On top of that, I've had several short stories and a novel published. If that doesn't make me a "real" writer, I have no idea what does.

I've decided that I am sending out 2 more queries and then I am done. I can't take the rejections anymore. Its OK if no one picks this up. Yeah, its my baby and I poured my heart and soul into it, but it's just a story. There will be others. I just need to step back, take a deep breath, and focus on the positive.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm D O N E! I finished all my edits on Saturday night, so I sent them off. I figured I better so I didn't get side tracked and forget about it. I wanted a shot so bad after I was done with everything, but it was 10:00 pm, and I was soooo tired so I went to bed. I'm still waiting for that shot.

Getting the story done has been extremely stressful. My friend Tamara had a great post (I can't put the link in because this blogger is dumb) about how we have to make writing a priority. It is so true. Writing doesn't happen, we have to make time for it. But life has a way of messing everything up. I try to make time, to write after the kids have gone to bed and I'm done cleaning the house, but then I feel guilty because the spouse needs time, too. Finding time for writing is not about balancing life because something will get neglected, whether its folding the laundry or loading the dishwasher or watching a movie with the spouse (but the good thing about those things is they will ALWAYS wait for you!). You have to be selfish when it comes to writing or you won't get it done. That's when it becomes stressful because you're not a "real" writer and you're just wasting your time when you could be doing something important (at least that's how I feel about it). I'm just glad I'm done. Even though writing is stressful and full of guilt, I'm not going to stop doing it. I do enjoy it. So what if I'm not a "real" writer, I can play the part real well! Now, on to the next project!

I mailed my sample chapters to the publisher, per their request. We're supposed to get back into talks about my project. I probably have a week or longer before I hear back. Gives me plenty of time to finish my other editing!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Three more days. That is the deadline I'm giving myself. Well, that and an agent wants to see my manuscript on Monday. Now that I'm going through the whole thing, parts of it are really good and parts of it make me cringe. I keep wondering what I can do to make it better, but nothing comes to mind. I think I need to workshop it. Get some opinions from unbiased readers, but I don't really have the time. Perhaps later (like in a year), I will do that. I'm really kind of done with this whole thing!

I have definitely decided that I'm going to work on my nonfiction for my next project. It's haunting me, and that email from the publisher didn't help matters. Even if they decide not to put it into print, I will know that it's done. Besides, there are other publishers out there.

This week has been kind of a crappy week. The weather has been rainy, which means that I've had a headache all week. I love the rain, but when the pressure changes, it kills me. On top of that, my children have been acting up. I think it's because of the Lucky Charms. My spouse bought them, trying to be the cool parent. There is a reason I never get those. All the kids want to eat is the marshmallows. They pick them out then leave the rest in the bowl, begging for more. It's easy to explain to the 3 year old that he has to eat EVERYTHING if he wants more, but the 18 month old doesn't get it. And he's pretty insistent. He squeals with an ear-piercing squeak. Frankly, I'm surprised I still have glass in my house. Plus, when you already have a headache...I'm surprised my head is still intact. I'm optimistic about the weekend and next week, though, because the damn cereal is finally gone!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Had a wonderfully relaxing evening last night. I even got a little reading done. I watched Tosh.O and got completely weirded out. That guy breaking his ankle makes my stomach flip-flop! Can you say Holy Sh*t!

I received an email about my book trailer. It's pretty much done, but they have to make some edits on where my book is available. I think it looks great. When it's finalized, I will post it so you can watch it.

Other than that, I've decided to put all my eggs in one basket and hope they aren't tainted with salmonella. By that I mean I'm going to send out queries to all the agents who are interested in my type of book and hope one of them likes it. It's pretty much the last gasp with my YA zombie novel, so if no one wants it, into the drawer it goes. I'm still deciding on my next project, but I have a little time. I hope to keep you in suspense until then! Mwahahaha!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'M DONE! Oh, happy day I'm done with edits. One more read through, and I'm done done. I don't plan on editing this thing again unless an agent/editor tells me to, so I'm probably done editing! Feels great! I'm so planning on sitting my butt in front of the TV tonight and letting my brain go mushy. Tosh.O is on, so that should do well! Then, tomorrow I'll look it over. *Sigh* I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

I'm going to send off my new query, though I haven't decided how many rejections is too many. I'm just going to send a few to maybe test the waters, but I'm a glutton for punishment so I'll probably end up sending close to 70 again.

Next, I have to do some editing, then I'll decide my next project. My original plan was to work on my dragon novel, but I might do my nonfiction. I haven't heard back after the initial email, but I might just get it done to get it done. I need to get away from zombies for a while, so this might be the perfect project. Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Five more chapters to go and I'm done with revisions. I would give a hooray, but I'll still have to read through the thing again. I don't know how much improvement these edits are actually making. Of course, I am looking at it in chunks, so maybe it will be different when I read through the whole thing. Or maybe I'll figure out that I just wasted a whole bunch of time. Either way, I'll be done.

I had a dream last night that I think would make a great story. I won't get to it for a while, but I wrote it down so I shouldn't forget. It's nice to have things lined up; makes me feel like I might actually be able to accomplish something.

I also had a dream last night that my mom had to commit me to a psych ward. I was drinking heavily and cutting myself with knives. The only part I really remember was standing in front of a panel with cuts on my arm laughing maniacally. It was bizarre, but I know what spurned it. I AM going crazy, though I'm not going to drink and cut myself. Plus, I was reading a scene in my novel about someone actually going crazy and committing suicide. And my friend sent me an article about anxiety, so I think all that rolled into one and affected my mind. When I do finally snap, I hope I still have Internet access so I can inform you all of my progress!

Monday, August 16, 2010

I got through chapters 4-15 this weekend. Pretty good considering I didn't get as much time as I was planning. My friend took the kids for 3 hours, as promised, and I got a lot done then, but my spouse decided to help a friend build a fence. That cut a lot into my planned editing time. Oh, well. I'll just have to work the rest of this week after the kids go to bed.

I received an email to let me know that the company who is working on my trailer fell behind so I won't get the draft until Wednesday. I wasn't too worried. I know exactly how that goes!

I also received another email from the publishing company that was interested in my nonfiction book. I haven't heard from them in months! Honestly, I just kind of wrote them off, so it was intriguing to hear from them. Here's what they said:

We are in the process of updating our files and we’d like to continue our discussion on your Slasher Films project. It’s been a while since we last spoke regarding your plans. In our last correspondence with you on December 14, 2009, we asked for some revised sample chapters but haven’t heard back. Is this still an active project for you? We’d appreciate an update when you have a moment.

Of course, I haven't been working on it, but I can definitely pick it back up. I told them that this morning. Haven't heard back yet. The crazy thing is, I was just thinking about that project a few days ago and wondering if I would ever finish it. Maybe I will now! I had plans for my next fiction project, but they can be easily bumped to fit this in. We shall see how it plays out!

Friday, August 13, 2010

What happened the Thursday? I'm sure it was just here. I shouldn't complain because it's Friday, but time is just flying, and I need all I can get!

Started inputting my edits last night. I'll do some more tonight, then I have a whole 3 hours to work on it tomorrow. One of my friends decided to babysit for me as a birthday present. I'm very excited about that. I (hopefully) should get a lot done then.

Other than that, nothing exciting to report. I'm looking forward to getting this done. I'll let you know how fabulous my weekend is on Monday!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Still working away. I should still have my stuff done by this weekend. Been crazy busy with work and kids. Don't really have time to post right now, so I'll fill you in later!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Two more chapters knocked out last night. My goal is to have the edits done by Friday, which should be feasible if no one messes up my schedule, then I'm going to start inputting them this weekend. My goal is to have everything done done by the end of the month. So far, everything is looking good. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that nothing happens!

I received an email yesterday informing me that the draft of my book trailer will be done next Monday. I'm very excited. I will post it when it's final.

The 3 year old started swim lessons last night. It took him a little bit to understand that he couldn't just play in the pool like he always does, then he was nervous about meeting his teacher, but he got comfortable pretty fast. He's resilient. He didn't want to get in the pool, then it was hard to get him out. Kids!

I dreamt about werewolves last night. I didn't think it was a nightmare, but I have a pretty high tolerance for horror, but some people out there might have thought it was scary. It was pretty much like the move "The Wolf Man," except the werewolves were actually wolves and not guys in cheesy makeup. Anywho, they were tormenting this village that was build into the side of a cliff. There was a lot of stuff that happened, something with a church and me trying to stop the wolves, but I don't remember all the little details, but the end of the dream was the wolves succeeding in burying the entire village in a landslide. It was kind of depressing. And those wolves were MEAN! Nothing was killing them!

If you were ever curious where my story ideas came from, now you know!

Monday, August 9, 2010

OK, I meant to post earlier, but I've been a little busy. I got a lot accomplished on my revisions this weekend. I think I got through chapter 16. Nine more to go.

The 3 year old and 18 month old were playing on my bed yesterday, and the 3 year old was wearing his beach towel as a cape. I had safety pinned it to keep it on. He was jumping off the end so he could "fly." At one point, the 18 month old rolled over and sat on the corner of his cape. The 3 year old was in mid-flight and stopped abruptly in the air, crashing down onto his bum. I lost it. I was laughing so hard I was crying. The only thing I could think of was the scene from The Incredibles: "No capes." Luckily, no one was hurt.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I apologize for my silence yesterday, but I was freaking tired! It has been a long week, and I haven't slept for crap! I didn't sleep last night, either. It sucks. But at least it's Friday and I will be able to take naps this weekend.

I finished my second ag article yesterday and sent it off for review. Phew! One less thing on my plate. I got through Chapter 10 last night, but that was all I could do. I was too tired and my eyes kept crossing. I'm thinking I might go back and do the edits on chapters 4-10 before moving on, but I haven't decided yet. I'm too tired to think!

On a completely unrelated note, but one that is funny, I will leave you with this: As I was getting ready this morning, I asked the 3 year old what he wanted for dinner. He mulled it over for a while, then said, "Chicken nuggets." I told him that he had chicken nuggets last night, so he needed to pick something else. He thought about it again and said, "Fish." I told him that was fine and pulled the fillets out of the freezer. As I'm doing it, he turns to his brother and says, "Yeah! (as he's jumping around) We get to have fish tonight!" I hope your day/weekend is as exciting as us having fish tonight.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I finished on ag article last night and had a little bit of time to work on revisions. I set up an interview for my second ag article today, so I'm getting things done! I usually always do, but there has to be a small freak out period before I get my butt in gear!

Other than that, I really have nothing exciting to report. I'll let you know if anything happens. (Don't hold your breath!)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I did very little work on my revisions last night. Very little. I think I glanced at the chapter and marked what I was going to delete. Shark Week started on Sunday, so I was catching up with what I missed. I'd like to say I'm going to work on it tonight, but I have an ag article to write. If I have time later, perhaps I'll see what I can do.

I made hotel reservations for a sci fi literary convention I'm going to in October (http://www.milehicon.org/). I'm very excited. I've been wanting to go to this for a while now, but life kept getting in the way. This year, I decided nothing was going to stop me. I have 2.5 months to wait, but I know the time will go fast. I've never been to a convention, so this will be a new experience for me. I can hardly wait!

Monday, August 2, 2010

I have been working very hard on my revisions. I'm on chapter 9 out of 25, but I've come to a sticky point. I need to rewrite part of this chapter. It doesn't flow with the rest of the story. Not a big deal, I'll just make some notes and continue on my way. When I go back to put it into the computer, everything will be ready.

Other than that, nothing exciting to report. We watched The Crazies this weekend. Not what I'd call a stellar movie, but it did have Timothy Olyphant in it, so it gets points for that. It had some issues. For example, the government is tracking the "spill" via satellite, and they can zoom in and focus on two people. If they can do that, why can't they just take those two people out? Why do they have to annihilate an entire town? Besides, no one, and I mean no one, would be able to detonate a nuclear bomb in the Heartland of America and have no one notice. Not gonna happen. I had the same problem with AVP2. I put the original on my Netflix list so I can compare and contrast. Should be interesting.

We also watched The Blind Side this weekend. That was a good movie. As I'm watching it, a whole bunch of questions ran through my mind. For example, I wanted to know more about what was running through Michael's mind. I know he came from a broken home and didn't have anywhere else to live, but it was too easy and too quick for him to stay at the people's house (I can't remember their names and I don't really want to look it up). What kind of conflict did he have with that? Did he really just concede so easily? He was 16, so it's possible it didn't take much convincing, but it seemed weird to me. Then I was thinking, do you think his real mom tried to contact him after he was drafted by the NFL? Did he ever try to find her?

Plus, I knew Tim McGraw was supposed to be in the film, but the whole time I'm watching it, I couldn't figure out where he was. He's the dad, one of the biggest roles in the film, and I didn't realize it until my spouse pointed it out. I obviously have a completely different notion of what he looks like in my head. I still don't see it!