Thursday, December 22, 2011

Three Things Thursday- Holiday Traditions

Yea, yea, I know I didn't post on Monday yet again, but that's because I had no news to report!  I swear I'll start writing after this weekend.  I will, I WILL.  I will have oodles of time next week to delve back into the WIP, and I seriously can't wait!  I have all these ideas floating around in my head, and my readers have told me that what I have now has been totally "drawing them in" and they can't wait to read more.  Nice lil ego boost, there.  And it motivates me to keep going!  When, um, I have some time to sit down with my laptop again, anyway.

Well, it's Thursday, so that means it's time for another edition of Three Things Thursday.  I thought I would go ahead and discuss my three favorite holiday traditions, some new, some old.  I realize last week's post was also holiday-related, but hey, 'tis the season, right? 

1) For as long as I can remember, we've been going to my Gramma Marusak's house for Christmas Eve.  And I think the tradition of Christmas Eve dinner over there started long before I was even born.  It's my absolute favorite dinner of the year- the traditional Slovak/Catholic meatless dinner, consisting of homemade mushroom soup, fresh Lake Erie Perch (and no one, I mean NO ONE makes better perch than my gram), and pierogies.  I have taken over making the famous twice-baked mashed potatoes, and I daresay I have perfected them. 

2) Back when all the kids were little, and well, my two younger cousins might not remember this as well as my brother and I do, but one of our traditions was "dragging Grampa to the tree to pass out gifts".  Every year, Grampa would pretend he'd be too tired to pass out the presents and would make like he was going upstairs to take a nap.  Then the four grandkids would then have to make a big production of physically dragging Grampa from the staircase, through the living room, and all the way back to the tree.  I'm smiling right now just remembering it.  And getting teary.  Every year at this time, I miss my grampa so, so much.  He died 14 years ago today.  I know he's up there watching over us, enjoying seeing how we've all grown up and how we still all get together for these Christmas traditions.  He loved this time of year more than anything.

3) Our newest tradition just evolved over the last 5 years or so.  Christmas Eve night, after Dan and I open our mountain of presents for each other (every year we say we need to cut back, and every year we still go overboard), we head out to Mentor to hang out with my brother and sister in law.  We order Chinese food, drink wine and watch Christmas Vacation.  Sometimes my parents and Gramma join us, too.  I look forward to that evening the whole year, I think.  There's just nothing better than snuggling up with the people you love, laughing and enjoying each other's company. 

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?  Mine all seemed to involve Christmas Eve...clearly it's one of my favorite days of the year.

Happy Holidays, everyone!  I'll be working furiously on the WIP next week so I might take a lil' hiatus from the blog.  But watch for more in 2012!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Three Things Thursday

This week has been a complete blur, you guys. I just realized I never even did my usual Monday post! Whoopsie. Of course, there’s really not much to report on the word count front, anyway. I think I wrote maaaaaybe 1,000 words last week. And this week hasn’t been any better. In fact, it's been far, far worse (word count so far is one big goose egg!). We’re smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, kids, and that means all I’ve been doing is running around, shopping, baking, decorating, wrapping presents, and collapsing in a heap by the end of the day.

That said, today’s Three Things Thursday is devoted to the holiday season. Here are three things I love about the holidays, in no particular order:

1) Finding (and giving) the perfect gift. There’s no better feeling that picking up something you just know the receiver of said perfect gift will totally love. Especially if it’s a surprise gift-something they didn’t even know they wanted or needed. Or something they mentioned once, a long time ago, that I somehow tucked away in my brain and remembered it at Christmastime.

2) Wrapping presents. I am such a huge dork about wrapping presents. I love shiny, pretty paper and big sparkly bows. I’m not even sure when this happened; I used to be the kind of person who was content to throw everything in gift bags or wrap with whatever paper was closest to my reach. At some point I became obsessed with that wire-edged ribbon and it was all downhill from there. Even though it takes me waaaaay longer than it should to wrap presents, I still enjoy every minute of it, aching back and all.

3) Time off work. I know, this isn’t really a "warm-n-fuzzy" type of holiday thing, but still. I generally save up vacation days to ensure I’ll have the last week of the year off no matter what. This year we got lucky and our office is closed the whole week. I’ll be off from December 23rd all the way through January 2nd. That’s 10 (count ‘em!) glorious days for me to not worry about deadlines and rates and ad copy…ahhhh. And of course I plan on moving the WIP along as much as I possibly can during that timeframe!

‘Tis the season!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Three Things Thursday

For this week’s edition of Three Things Thursday, I thought I would discuss what my top three favorite books of the past year were. It was no easy to task to narrow this list down to just three, because I’ve read some seriously good books this year! And my to-read list is longer than ever, so next year this list might have to get bumped up to five…

Anywho, without further ado, my favorite books of 2011:
1) Divergent by Veronica Roth - The description from Goodreads: Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place her in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.

I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book when I first started it; it was a little slow-moving, but the story picked up mid-way through and I was hooked. It was no Hunger Games, but it was still beautifully written and I was completely sucked in. I’m very excited for the second book in the trilogy to be released in 2012! Also? This book won Book of the Year on Goodreads!  So yea...I'm not alone in my enjoyment of this one.

2) Paper Towns by John Green – The description from Goodreads: When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night - dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows her. Margo's always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she's always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they're for Q. Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.

 I. Love. John. Green. I read all his books last year with the exception of An Abundance of Katherines (which I own but have been waiting to read), and it was really, really hard for me to decide which one of his was my favorite. But Paper Towns was the first book of his I read, so it holds a bit of a special place in my heart. Will Grayson, Will Grayson was fantastic too, though, and Looking for Alaska made me both laugh and cry over and over…if you haven’t read any John Green, please check him out. His newest book, The Fault in our Stars, comes out in January, and yours truly preordered a signed copy! I can’t wait to get that!

3) The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson – The description from Goodreads: The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago. Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

Ok, so I follow Maureen Johnson on Twitter, and she is HI-larious. She co-wrote a book with John Green and Lauren Myracle called Let it Snow- a collection of holiday stories by each author, and so right away I knew if she was friends with John Green I would probably adore her. I was right. The Name of the Star was a good mix of humor and suspense and spookiness and I devoured it in like three days. You should read it too.

Hmm, maybe next week I’ll write about what books I’m most excited to read in 2012. God, I’m a nerd. It’s all good. I have come to embrace my dorkiness.  Because you know what?  All these amazing books out there inspire me to become a better writer.

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's official. I suck.

Yep.  Wordcount total this week: 0

That's a big, fat goose egg,  y'all.  I wish I had some sort of excuse other than I just wasn't feeling it last week but...I just wasn't feeling it last week.  But it was a CRAZY week, too.  I guess that's an excuse.  Monday I dealt with a sick kitty at the vet for hours, Tuesday had a going-away dinner for a friend, Wednesday got my hair did, Thursday was the normal Thursday with the girls, Friday took my cousin to dinner, Saturday was at the wineries on the east side all the time Sunday rolled around all I wanted to do was stare blankly at the TV.  And I didn't even get to do that for more than a couple hours.  I was too busy cleaning poo off every surface in the house (see: sick kitty above), doing roughly a hundred loads of laundry (due to sick kitty), ironing 57 pairs of pants that had been sitting in a wrinkled pile for over a month, making dinner, and finally, organizing my Christmas list by person and store, and then purchasing a few things online as well.  I swear I didn't stop and relax from the entire week until 8 pm last night.

I keep reading these blogs and articles that are all about "making time for your writing every single day".  In a perfect world, I would, in fact, write every single day.  I wish to god I could write every single day. But it's not a perfect world, and, well, I also enjoy sleeping.  Which I did not do very much of last week, again due to sick kitty and other random crap on my mind.

Here's to hoping that things calm down and I finally make some progress this week!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Three Things Thursday

I'm gonna be honest-  I'm feeling a bit stressed out this week.  So, this is going to be a quick little post just to get some of the things weighing on my mind out into the open.  Perhaps if I share them the stress will magically ease up a bit?  Worth a shot, no?

1) I went to my ear, nose & throat doctor yesterday and found out that basically, my sinuses are JACKED UP.  Yes, so JACKED UP that all caps are acceptable.  The main bullet point is that my sinus cavities in my face are so swelled up that I'm getting barely any air flowing through my head.  So, the good news is you cannot call me an airhead.  Bah.  The bad news is I have to go on like 5 different medications and get an allergy test done, all so the doctor can try to pinpoint why the heck I'm like this.  And I am not looking forward to being on meds for the next month, OR getting the allergy test done, cuz I have heard those are not so fun.  But I suppose it will be good to know once and for all what I'm allergic to.

2) My skinny little cat that I've had for nine years is not doing so well.  To make a long story short, he's not eating well, lost a lot of weight and has been sort of lethargic and anti-social, which is so not like him.  The vet charged me $300 to run a bunch of tests that all came back negative, and the next step is to get an ultrasound done to check for cancer.  The ultrasound is $350.  Which I just do not have right now.  And then, if it comes back that it's cancer, I can't afford the treatments regardless.  So yea.  Kind of a lose-lose situation.  I'm just hoping he perks up over the next week with his new meds and stuff.

3) Lastly, the ongoing struggle between working a regular job, having a social life, and finding time to write. I'm aching to write.  I have all these new ideas I'm dying to get down, but the problem is (and I think I've mentioned this before) that I'm not one of those writers who can turn on their lap top, write for an hour, and shut it down contentedly.  I need at least 2 hours to really get going.  And this entire week, I haven't sat down to relax until after 8 pm.  If I start writing then I'll be up til midnight, and then I'll be a super cranky girl at work.  I'm SO looking forward to my week off over the holidays!  I'll have so much time in between watching bad daytime TV and napping to really crank out some high word counts.  Can't.  Wait.

Monday, November 28, 2011

little by little

I don't have too much to say today about my writing.  I'm starting, slowly but surely, to get back on track wordcount-wise, but starting to admit to myself that the possibility of finishing this book by Christmas just isn't going to happen.  I know the revisions helped the story and were absolutely necessary, but they completely wrecked my timeline.  Which, in the long run, is really okay.  I'm doing this for myself, after all.  Because this is MY dream.  And if it takes a little longer to get there, well, it'll be worth it no matter what.  I just know with the holidays coming up my schedule is about to go batshit crazy, and I'll be lucky to squeeze in one day a week to write.  It's a terrible excuse, but it is what it is.  And I hate that saying, too.

I spent a couple hours on Black Friday not shopping, but writing.  I don't have an actual wordcount total for the week, but I'm assuming it was around 1500 words.  When I last left off to start revisions, I was just over 48,000 total words.  Now I'm over 51,000 after all the new stuff I added.  Next week I'll have a real total...time to start holding myself accountable again!  I still hope to get to around 3000 words per week, but again if I'm thinking of completing the entire book by Christmas...I'd have to write close to 7500 words per week.  Um.  Yea.  Probably not happening.

In other news, please send some happy thoughts for my kitty today.  I'm taking him to the vet this afternoon because he's not eating very well and this morning was hiding under the bed, which is always where he goes when he's feeling sick.  I'm sure it has to do with his IBD, but it doesn't make me feel any better to know this.  So far there hasn't been a real "cure" for it, and even though he's been on a steroid for months now he hasn't gained any weight.  I'd like to see him make it to ten years old next summer...sigh.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Three Things Thursday- Thanksgiving Edition

Today is a day not only to stuff ourselves silly and enjoy time spent with family (and probably a glass of wine or two, just sayin'), but also to sit back and reflect on all the reasons we have to be thankful for what life has given us. So for my second edition of Three Things Thursday, here are three things I'm thankful for.  Or, Three Things I'm Thankful for on Thanksgiving (say that three times, fast):

1) I'm thankful for the love that surrounds me everyday, from my amazing friends, my adorable husband, and all of my fantastic family.  You all make me who I am and I would be nothing and nowhere without you. 

2) I'm thankful for the ability to read and write, and for all the incredible books out there that continue to inspire me and open my mind to new possibilities.  (you all know I'm a nerd, right?)

3) I'm thankful for the realization I had a couple years ago of a dream; a dream that may someday be achievable, and for the ideas that fill my mind and spill out onto paper.  I'm hopeful that in the not-too-distant future, perhaps my own words and stories will inspire others the way I've been so inspired by them.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Despite a pretty massive hangover yesterday from a super fun night out Saturday, I actually managed to finish my revisions!  I know, hallefreakinglujah, right??  Now I can finally move on with the story!!  I actually did just that yesterday, too, although I only wrote about 500 words or so.  But I'm over 50K words now!  Progress is good, yes indeed.

I'm thinking when the book is done it's going to be a bit longer than 80k...and I'm saying that because I feel like there's still a lot more I need to get into.  I feel like I've only scratched the surface of the story so far, but who knows.  Maybe the second half will wrap itself up a bit quicker than I think it will.  I know the direction I'm going in in general, but to be honest, I'm never quite sure what's going to happen when I sit down to write.  I guess I'd rather have "too many" words than not enough, although cutting stuff out is going to be difficult!  But I think I can already sense some of the stuff that will have to, we'll see.

Happy Monday!  It's a short week, HOORAY!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Three Things Thursday

Welcome to a new weekly (hopefully) segment on my blog aptly called Three Things Thursday, in which I will discuss three random things at, um, random.  I was originally going to do a post on Friday called Five Things Friday, but I was afraid five things might be hard to come up with every week.  Sometimes my creative juices just aren't a-flowin', especially on a Friday morning after a Thursday night with all the girls. Plus, doesn't Three Things Thursday have a nicer ring to it?

Without further ado:

1. I get goose bumps when I sneeze.  Does this happen to anyone else?  Because every sneeze, every time, I bust out in those little bumps all over.  They go away quickly, but weird, right??  I wonder if that's something I could google to see if there's a physiological explanation for it...

2. Many people know this, but I have the weirdest allergies.  My throat gets super itchy when I eat certain nuts (peanuts & cashews are ok, thank god) and fruits- apples make my lips puffy and itchy, pineapple makes the palms of my hands itch.  I know nut allergies aren't uncommon, but the fact that it's seemingly random nuts (heh) that do it for me make it odd.  Doesn't it?  Also, I have a hard time peeling potatoes.  For some reason when I do this, I either get all wheezy and have a hard time breathing or I sneeze uncontrollably for about an hour after finishing.  Since I'm always in charge of mashed potatoes for family dinners, this causes a bit of an issue.  And I LOVE mashed potatoes, but rarely make them just for myself and Dan for this reason.  Also, I tend to break out in hives for absolutely no reason at all- at least no reason I've been able to pinpoint for sure.

3. In two weeks, I am getting bangs cut for the first time in 4 years.  Like real, honest-to-god thick bangs.  I may regret this, but I am posting it here so that I cannot wuss out.  I mean, it's only hair, right?  It grows back.  And that's why God invented bobby pins and hair clips, right? 

There ya have it!  Tune in next week when I discuss three more completely random things you probably don't give a hoot about anyway.  ;o)

Monday, November 14, 2011

So close, but yet...

Wow.  Where did last week go?  I suppose I can blame it on the time of year...the holidays are coming and schedules just start to get busier and busier until you no longer know up from down and right from left.  So, part of that is true.  I did a lot of random running around last week, went to the gym, hosted the girls for our weekly Thursday TVD night, etc.  What I'm trying to say is I ended up being a bit of a slacker revision-wise last week. 

But I really am SO CLOSE to being done!!  I think I have 2 full chapters left, along with a little bit of the last one I started.  I really am excited to move on with it, too, now that I have where it's going framed out a bit more.  This week should be a little less hectic, so I should finish those last two chapters no problem.  And the one I'm on now is one of my favorites that I've written so far, so I'm sure I'll get through it nice and quick.

In non-writing news, last night- on a school night, no less- Debbie and I made the trek down to Columbus to see The Airborne Toxic Event.  What an amazing show, you guys.  That whole band is so ridiculously full of talent and they would've totally knocked my socks off had I been wearing socks.  All I know is they made the long drive and lack of sleep totally worth it!  I'm so glad we decided last minute to go, and I hope they come back around soon.

So on that note, here's the video of one of my favorite songs off their new album.  It's called "All I Ever Wanted" and is ah-may-zing.  Violin!  Stand up bass!  And not to mention some of the most beautiful lyrics I've ever heard:

"I could tell you that you're all I've ever wanted dear
Through the din of your breathing while you're sleeping here
You wake and you ask me if I'm gonna be here forever
Your face all twisted and your eyes alight
I wanna tell you I can change it when you cry at night
But I'd be lying...
Love is defying"

I wanna be able to write like that.  For reals.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ready to move on...well, almost

In writing news, thanks to a day off and a pretty low key weekend, I was able to get a bunch of revisions done over the past few days.  It's funny how I'll hit a chapter and be like, oh this one will be easy, there's not much to change here...and then I inevitably realize there are a LOT of things to change.  And at this point I'm not even going through and really cleaning up paragraphs and tightening things up, I'm just making the necessary changes to keep the story moving in the new direction.  But regardless, I am hoping to have all those nasty changes made by this coming weekend. I think I only have about 12k more words til I'm where I left off.  And then, my friends, I will be putting myself back on my weekly word count goal of 3000 words per week.

In life news, I just got back from the hospital where I had a CT scan done on my face.  Ok, well, my nasal cavities, if you want to get specific- it's just easier to say my face.  This past year I've been stricken with at least 3 sinus infections, maybe 4, and for someone who up until 3 years ago NEVER had a sinus infection in her whole life, this is pretty odd.  So my ENT doctor ordered the CT scan to see what else might be going on, besides the fact that I have a slightly crooked right nasal passage.  Now we just wait for the results.  And I hope they find something, cuz I seriously cannot keep going on antibiotics every couple months!  It would just be nice to, you know, breathe normally.

In other writing news, November is actually National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. Basically the idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  If I wasn't already over halfway into my WIP, I totally would've joined this.  But since the WIP is already over 48,000 words, I think I would've been cheating a little bit.  Haha.  And I definitely couldn't handle starting a new project while trying to continue working on this one...and this one is too important to stop working on right now.  Definitely something to think about though for next year...I do enjoy a good challenge!

Monday, October 31, 2011

beginning the beginning again...and again...

My readers are probably already completely sick to death of my first two chapters.  I know I certainly am, anyway.  I think I rewrote the first chapter at least three times last week and sent it off for them to read each time.  And each time, I wasn't completely 100% happy with it.  I'm still not sure I am, and I rewrote it one last time yesterday- well, not entirely.  I fixed the transition part that was bothering one of the readers, mostly.  But I did add in a whole new first chapter that's only about 1/3 of a page long.  The book starts from a different perspective now.  Late on Friday night an idea arose that perhaps I should add a few random chapters from Anna's point of view.  Might be an interesting little twist, no?  Her chapters won't be anywhere near as long as Riley or Ella's, just little snippets here and there.  I really like this idea the more I think about it, too.  Thoughts, anyone?

I think I'm done editing through chapter 7 at this point, too.  I know the word count was just over 16k when I finished up last night, so I'm about a third of the way through.  I'm trying not to nitpick too much at this point and just fix the parts that have changed slightly since all my new ideas came about.  The major editing will be done when the book is complete, and hopefully I can still manage to finish up the first draft by the holidays.  But we'll see- I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself.

I don't know why I have such a difficult time writing the opening pages!  Seriously.  I went through this exact same dilemma with IMME, ultimately scrapping the entire beginning and starting completely fresh.  I've already done that with this WIP for the most part, too.  I'm a lot more satisfied now than I was after the first rewrite, so hopefully after a few more edits it'll all fall into place.

In life news, today is me and Dan's 8th anniversary of being together.  It's crazy to me to think we've been together for so long!  But really, the time has flown by.  We've been through a lot together already and I look forward to what else life has to throw at us.  Hopefully all good stuff from here on out.  :o)

Monday, October 24, 2011

here we go again

Well, I don't have a specific word count goal to tell you about this morning.  If you read my last post, you know that instead of moving forward, at this point I actually need to go back and do some major editing/rewriting before I keep going.  Which, ugh.  It's for the greater good, I know this, but it just stinks to have to start all over again regardless.

But start over I did.  Last night I rewrote the first two chapters- not completely, but I took things from the current first and second chapters and rearranged them, added some new stuff, etc.  Also,the story now starts from Riley's perspective instead of Ella's.  I thought that made a little more sense, seeing as how Riley is more the "main" character, being the one haunted by Anna.  I'm going to toss these two chapters off to my readers and see what they think.  I want to make sure how it starts now makes sense before I move on- god forbid I have to start over yet again.  And I know the first ten pages are the most important pages of the book- if you don't "hook" your readers immediately, forget it.  Why would they keep reading it they aren't interested in the characters and the story right off the bat? But anyway, I'm excited all over again for this one and can't wait to keep going with the edits.  And I can't honestly believe I just said that...but it's true!

So it was a productive weekend, even though I'm still sort of under the weather.  I just can't seem to kick this bug I've had for three weeks now, so I guess it's time to finally make a doctor appointment.  We finished the remodel on our laundry room- and I was reminded yet again how much I despise painting- I cleaned the whole house from top to bottom, did a bunch of ironing, cooked a huge pot of pulled pork...ah, how I enjoy being domestic from time to time.

Hopefully before I know it I'll be back to keeping tracking of my weekly word count goals...but for now, back to revisions I go!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Back to the drawing board...square one...whatever...

Sorry for the cliches in the blog title, but it's early, it's rainy and gloomy, and I haven't had nearly enough coffee yet to come up with something witty. 

Anyway, yesterday one of my readers, my cousin Cleen, asked me for more of my story.  I'd written about 20 pages since she'd last read it, so I went ahead and sent it over to her.  But with it I sent questions, asking her what she thought about certain things.  I also asked her what questions SHE had- what sort of stuff was nagging at her as she read?  What did SHE think was going to happen, what did she want to happen, what was she dying for answers to?  It was the first time I ever really asked a reader these types of questions, but I'm not going to lie, here- I needed input.  I was starting to feel confused myself, not sure where I was going with the story (I think I mentioned that before, too).  I needed someone else's perspective on it to re-spark my ideas.

And it worked.

After going back and forth over numerous emails, I had a major breakthrough.  Like, for reals.  I now know EXACTLY what Anna's motivation is, why she's haunting Riley.  The entire story was basically based on this haunting, but until yesterday, I honestly wasn't sure why the hell Anna was bugging Riley in the first place.  I knew she wanted him to find out how and why she died for real, but I was never certain why she did, in fact, die- or what Riley was supposed to learn from it.  Now I do. I still have a few details to figure out, but I know those will come as I write it.  I jotted down a ton of notes and ideas last night, and I can't wait to start implementing them into the story.

Which brings me to the conclusion that I cannot move forward with it until I make those revisions.  I mean, I'd always planned on re-writing the beginning a bit, starting it a little further along into the story, but I planned on going back and doing that when I was completely done writing it.  Now, however, I think I need to rewrite it sooner than later.  There are a few other things I need to add in or swap around, too. 

I'm not sure where these edits will leave me wordcount-wise.  But I know the changes will definitely help push the story along in the right direction.  So as annoying as it will be to sort of start over, I'm even more excited now about this story as a whole.  I think there will be some surprises and twists that people might not be expecting...

For now, though, I just need more coffee.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oh well...

As I mentioned last week, the chances of me hitting my weekly word count goal of 3K was pretty unlikely...and I was right:

Total Words Written: 1,843
Total Hours Spent Writing: 2
Total Word Count Overall: 48,128

I'm SO CLOSE to 50k, though!!!  Gaahhhh.  I'll get there this week, hopefully.  I'm trying not to dwell on it too much, because I've just been so freaking busy!!  I'm pretty sure things will quiet down this coming weekend, though, so I should get back on track.  But I still might take a week off after I finish up the chapter I'm on, let my readers plow through it again and then try to figure out where I'm going with it.

Today is my 35th birthday...holy hell.  I thought I would be freaking out a little more than I actually age bracket and all.  But surprisingly enough, I think I'm ok.  Although reality hasn't completely set in yet, either, and I've been so busy celebrating with friends and family that it's been easy to put the actual number out of my head.  One more day of celebrating, too- with work peeps today (Oreo Blizzard cake, NOM NOM NOM) and dinner with the husband tonight...then reality will set in tomorrow. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ain't Happenin'

I already have a sneaky feeling I won't be hitting my word count goal for the week, you guys.  Like, unless I manage to cram in some time to write tonight, it ain't happening.  And, well...I don't know.  It's been a really crazy, busy week at work, and there's been a lot going on socially, and I'm just tired.  I need a night to rest my noggin, I think.  Some time to just be numb and stare at the TV like a zombie.  Or catch up on some reading.  Although, I would like to finish the chapter I started writing earlier this week...

I do think, however, that once I do finish said chapter I might actually take like, a whole week or so off from the WIP.  It's been going well, don't get me wrong, but I'm now past the halfway point and I think I need a little time to sit and gather my thoughts on where the heck this story is really going.  When I first started writing it, I had a much different idea about how all the events would play out.  But as per yoosh, it took on a life of its own the more I wrote.  Now, though, I'm starting to confuse myself about where I even want it to go.  Maybe a few days off to ponder and write ideas down would be better than actually just plugging away aimlessly?  I don't know...I'm not a professional (yet, ahem), so if any writers actually read this blog, I would love to hear about your writing process for situations like this.  How do you take a step back and regroup, without starting to revise before the story is even complete?

Anyway.  It's my birthday weekend, and once again we're heading out to the wineries tomorrow for some good times.  I can't wait to see everyone!  Wine + Friends + Quality Hangout Time = Happy, Happy Josie

Monday, October 10, 2011

Back on Track

As crazy as the past few weeks have been, I'm proud to say I'm back on track as far as word count goes:

Total Words Written: 3,616
Total Hours Spent Writing: 4.5
Total Word Count Overall: 46,285

Whew.  It was actually a bit of a struggle to work up the energy to sit down and write, too.  It's not that I didn't want to- lord knows I'm dying to get this story done- I think I'm just feeling whupped lately.  I was still a bit under the weather all last week, and add on top of that the fact that we're still working on redoing our laundry room (new floor, molding & tiles, plus trying to organize the piles of junk that have accumulated), the faucet in our tub was leaking like crazy, and the new couch we had to order to replace the one that didn't end up fitting through the door was being delivered on Friday...I had a lot on my mind.  Like, a lot.  Even yesterday, when I sat down on our lovely new, fluffy couch to write, I had a hard time getting motivated.  I ended up rereading a few chapters before I finally started plugging away.  I'll have to really make sure I write during the week this week as much as I can, because this weekend I won't be around much.  It's my birthday weekend, woot woot!  Saturday we have a trip to the wineries planned and Sunday is the big family party for all the September and October birthdays at my parents' house.

Oh yea, and in case you missed my Facebook and Twitter posts- I found my missing flash drive!!  I couldn't believe it.  I went to put on a pair of my comfy pants yesterday when we got home and felt something in the pocket.  When I pulled out the flash drive, I almost fell over.  I have no recollection of wearing those pants the night I lost it- they'd been thrown on the chair in my bedroom and gotten buried under various other clothes.  So, thank goodness, it's been recovered for real!!  No one is stealing my ideas, hooray!!

Anyway.  I'm hoping to top the 50K word count mark by next week...and then my readers will get another little preview!

Monday, October 3, 2011

wah wahhhhh

Ugh. Last week kicked my ass.

Total Words Written: 1,172
Total Hours Spent Writing: 2
Total Word Count Overall: 42,640

What the whaaat? Less than 1200 words?? Boooo, hissssss. As you can see, I did NOT do so hot last week. But in my defense, it really was a crazy, crazy week. Add in a dash of a sinus infection over the weekend, and forget it. I was down for the count.

The good news is this week, life is pretty much back to normal. Meaning I should have ample time to catch back up with Ella and Riley. I'm actually off work today, sitting on the couch covered in blankets and cats and willing myself not to cave and turn the heat on. But this means I'll get writing done today, and hopefully a lot of it. I'm exhausted from being sick and running around, but thankfully, writing does not take a lot of physical exertion. And my mind is more than ready to start plugging away at it.

All right, so on that note, I'm definitely planning on getting back up to my usual 3000 word count goal this week. Hopefully more! As soon as I'm done catching up on my DVR, that is...

Monday, September 26, 2011

fast and furious

No, I'm not talking about that silly car movie- I'm referring to my writing habits last week!!

Total Words Written: 5,043
Total Hours Spent Writing: 6
Total Word Count Overall: 41,393

That's right, over 5,000 words were pounded out over a 6 hour span. That's pretty impressive, if I do say so myself. I mean, considering I wasn't writing for 6 hours straight, but an hour or two here and there. If I had a 6 hour span of time to write, I would get SO MUCH done. Sigh. But anyway, I never even set a goal for myself last week (I don't think- did I?). It's sort of become unnecessary. Now that I'm making sure to set aside an hour or two here and there when I have free time, I'm not so worried about meeting any specific word count goal anymore. Looks like my average is right around 3k anyway, with some weeks a little less and some a little more.

That said, this week ahead is a crazy one. But I've said that before and still managed to set aside some time to write, so hopefully this week won't be any different. I've got my workout tonight, tomorrow Dan and I are going to go shopping for floor tiles for our basement, Wednesday is happy hour for Barra's birthday, Thursday is TVD night as per yoosh, Friday we're getting a new couch delivered in the midst of cleaning up the laundry room for the mentioned floor tiles, Saturday my parents are coming over to help with redoing the laundry room, and Sunday I'm going to the Browns game. Whew. I'm a little tired just thinking about all that. I will do my best to cram in at least a couple hours to write the WIP!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

a good problem

I simply cannot write the WIP fast enough. Seriously. And I just don't have enough time in the day to spend writing it. It's killing me a little bit because it's sort of all I can think about right now. I have notes going about things I want to add or change or develop more, and I'm just constantly thinking about this story. Like, seriously, constantly. I think about it as I fall asleep at night, when I'm blow-drying my hair or brushing my teeth. When I'm at work trying to concentrate on, well, work. It's like Anna is starting to haunt my dreams the same way she's haunting Riley's (my readers will know what that means, heh).

This story is so much more complex than IMME. I feel, anyway. I'm really focusing on developing my character's voices as well as the setting. The characters have more layers to them, more troubles, more doubts and fears. Also, the historical aspects, while pretty minor at this point, take a bit of researching which I barely had to do for IMME. If at all.

Last night I only meant to write a couple pages. I planned on writing for an hour, stopping at reasonable time, calling my mom and then relaxing with Dan and the new Modern Family episodes. Except the problem with this story is that I just CANNOT STOP WRITING. I suppose it's a good problem to have, but it's starting to seriously cut into my time at home. I feel like I'm neglecting Dan, like, a lot. I ended up writing for two hours last night, finishing a chapter completely. After about an hour and fifteen minutes, I was about to shut it down, but I was SO CLOSE to finishing the chapter, and I knew exactly how I wanted it to end, so I just figured I should keep going. So keep going I did. I'm already over 2500 words for the week, just between yesterday and Tuesday night.

I will make it up to Dan this weekend. Sunday is our second anniversary (already!) so we're going to have a nice fancy schmancy dinner out on the town on Saturday, then Sunday we'll have a lovely meal at home. My plan is to spend a little time writing on Saturday morning, then trying to keep the lap top put away the rest of the weekend so we can focus on "our" time. We'll see how that goes, if I can keep Ella and Riley and Anna away for a day or two...

Monday, September 19, 2011

The case of the missing flash drive

Before I get to this post, my word count stats for the week:

Total Words Written: 3,467
Total Hours Spent Writing: 5*
Total Word Count Overall: 36,082

*Part of this time was spent creating a family tree that spans six generations for my main male character, Riley. That's a lotta dates, people. I think it makes sense now the way I have it...I think. I always meant for this story to have some historical aspects to it, but sometimes I feel like I'm getting in way over my head. It's turning into a paranormal/historical/mystery/romance young adult novel. Go figure. But I have to say, it is SO MUCH FUN to write. There's so much I still need to get to, so many ideas I still have, so many twists and turns to create. I hope it's as fun to read as it has been to write it. ;o)

So, many of my Facebook friends already know that I seemed to have misplaced my flash drive last week. Yes, THE flash drive. The one with over a year's worth of writing, including multiple drafts of IMME, outlines & the first, unfinished draft of the WIP, research on literary agents and my query tracking list. YEAH. Go me! Thankfully, I have everything backed up on my laptop, but still. I have looked EVERYFREAKINGWHERE for it, too. I've looked in the couch cushions and under furniture. I went through the trash cans in our kitchen- twice. I've ransacked drawers and emptied my purse out about five times, hoping it will magically reappear. I'm at a complete loss. I remember using it last Tuesday night, and I swear I put it back in my purse as I always do, but when I went to get it Wednesday night it was not there. Poof! Disappeared into thin air. But I am convinced it has to be in my house somewhere. IT HAS TO BE.

I've now purchased a new flash drive, so I'm really hoping the old one will show up at some point now that I've taken the new one out of its package. Sometimes Murphy's Law needs a little nudge, right?

RIP, trusty old flash drive...wherever you are.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Work it

Last night I attended my first spinning and pilates classes in about a year. Eeeek, a year?? I honestly can't even believe it's been that long. Last fall I gave up the fitness classes to take ballet, which turned out to be a bit of a mistake. Don't get me wrong, I will always, always love dance, but the ol' body just ain't what she used to be. My knees, which I have never had trouble with, started bothering me to the point where getting up out of my chair at work became difficult. I quit going after about 6 classes to give them a break, and then the holidays came around and I quickly lost any motivation to go back to class. I tend to hibernate in the winter. And I also tend to gain like 5-10 pounds, shockingly enough.

Spinning is a fantastic, incredible workout. I feel like I get into this weird zone when I'm on that bike pedaling away. Is it hard? Yes. Do I feel like I want to die sometimes? Absolutely. Do I sweat like a hog? You betcha. But I actually kinda love it. It's the one workout where I feel I really do push myself to do more. And I have always been a huge fan of pilates. But last night for the first 20minutes of pilates class I just could not for the life of me get into a groove with it. I felt clumsy and unflexible and kept falling over, until we finally did the floor work. Then things started going better.

Today I feel pretty good. My sit bones are incredibly sore from that damn bike seat, but otherwise I'm all right. So far, anyway. I'm sure at some point I'll start to notice my stomach muscles are sore, too- that will probably happen tomorrow. I'm just glad to be getting back into the swing of working out.

Exercising is a lot like writing for me. Once I stop for a while, it's extremely hard to get back into it. Falling out of any routine always sets me back. Just like I have to make time for exercising, I have to make time for writing weekly to keep myself in shape creatively.

P.S. I forgot to mention my word count goal for the week in yesterday's post. I'm going to set it at 2500, because I'm not entirely sure what this Sunday will bring, and that's usually my most productive day.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Stayin' on it

Maybe I'm underestimating my own abilities these days. My word count goal last week was 2000, right? Well, after spending only two days writing last week, my results are:

Total Words Written: 3,678
Total Hours Spent Writing: 4.5
Total Word Count Overall: 32,575

I know, right? I came close to doubling my original goal! What can I say? I'm really on a roll with this one. I'm so much more focused and organized than I was when I was writing IMME. I never kept track of my word counts with that one, I just wrote and wrote. And I definitely wasn't as strict with allowing myself a couple days a week to write no matter what. I wrote whenever the mood struck, really...which is probably why it took me well over a year to finish it. I really hope to stay on track with this one, and hopefully finish the first draft by the end of the year.

I did allow myself a very lazy Saturday night this weekend, though. I hadn't been sleeping well last week- this just happens to me from time to time- and I did the Race for the Cure on Saturday morning, walking 3.1 miles in just over an hour. By Saturday afternoon I couldn't remember my name or how to boil water. So, since the husband was out with his friends for the night, I sat on the couch and watched a lame Zac Efron movie (I'm sorry, that boy is PRETTY) and vegged, dozing off around 10:30. Yeah. Don't be jealous of my rockstar lifestyle. The thought to do some writing did cross my mind. I even went as far as to bring my laptop up from the basement, but I never even turned it on. Sometimes I just need nights like that though, to sit and not think about anything. And stare at a pretty boy. I made up for it on Sunday, at least.

Anyway, so I'm sending out the latest draft to my readers today, and I'm already super antsy to hear what they think about where the story is going. It's doubled in length since they last read it, so time to make sure I'm really still on the right track with it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Always Remember

The summer of 2001 was a tough one. Things were starting to fall apart, just when I was thinking they were about to move forward. It was a shock. I was devastated. I forgot how to do things like sleep and eat. I couldn't stand to be alone. Quite honestly, I was losing it. Depression set in, fast and strong. And the worst part was that I didn't feel like anyone could understand what I was going through. I felt like the whole world was happy and content except for me. I couldn't talk to anyone about how bad things were for me, because I couldn't bear to hear "everything happens for a reason" or "time heals all wounds" one more time.

Then 9/11 hit. I will forever remember watching footage on the TV at work of the Twin Towers falling, my hand over my mouth, a sick feeling in my stomach. After the Pentagon was hit, we were all terrified it was World War III. What was going to happen next? What city would be hit next? Could it be us? We were evacuated shortly after that, and my drive home took twice as long as it normally did because everyone was trying to head out of the city at the same time. I cried the whole way home. My own personal wounds were still fresh and new, but at least before I'd felt somewhat safe in my everyday routines. It was like my sense of security was completely ripped away from me in every aspect of my life.

Now, ten years later, my personal wounds have healed. I'm stronger than I was back then. I met and married the love of my life, which probably wouldn't have happened if I hadn't gone though that awful summer. I'm working to fulfill my own dreams now, rather than live through someone else's. I will always remember 2001 as a year of great sadness, but good things can come from sadness. Light comes after darkness. Hope can come from despair.

I'm fully aware my own pain from that year is nothing compared to what the families and friends of the victims of 9/11 went through and are still going through. But I know I'm going to get emotional this weekend, thinking about how far things have come. How I got the happy ending I was looking for.

Time does heal all wounds, as they say.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy September!

Ah, my favorite time of the year is just ahead...hoodies, apple cider, gorgeous colors...I love fall! Today already feels extremely autumn-like, with the gloomy skies and the slight chill in the air. I would much rather be all cozied up at home with my coffee and my laptop, but alas, duty calls.

A glorious 5 day weekend came and went, but at least I got a TON of writing done! And I do mean a ton, especially after I had that slump the week before.

Total Words Written: 4,972
Total Hours Spent Writing: 6.5
Total Word Count Overall: 28,743

Do you see that?? I almost wrote 5,000 words! YAY ME. Ah, if only I had a day or two off every week. Imagine how productive I would be!

So I'm getting closer to the halfway point- my total word count goal will once again be 70-80k, just like with IMME. Where I'm at now feels like halfway, too. I wrote a bit of a turning point last week, and I'm still just as excited to keep going. Everything about this story feels like it's flowing better. I'm sure there will be plenty to clean up in revisions, but overall I'm still feeling really good about it.

As far as IMME...I still haven't sent out any more queries. I know, I know...I should keep plugging away with it. I know it's got potential. I just think my WIP has a lot more. I'm too excited about the new one these days or something.

Anyway, being that it's already Tuesday (!) and I haven't had a chance to sit down and write yet this week (I was a complete and utter waste of space yesterday, which I'm feeling slightly guilty about. I had a little too much fun at a friend's party on Sunday and couldn't do much of anything other than eat greasy food and lay on the couch like a lump), I better keep my goal on the lower side this week. I'm going with 2k, and I'm not even totally sure I'll hit that, quite honestly. I'll just have to hope for a very productive Sunday! But at least I got a bit ahead last week. I feel really, really good about that! Maybe next week I'll give my readers another look at it, too.

Happy Fall!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

the struggle

Not gonna lie, last week was a little tougher than the past few:

Total Words Written: 2,679
Total Hours Spent Writing: 4
Total Word Count Overall: 23,772

Hey, at least I was over my goal of 2K though, right? But still a bit under that 3K mark that I've been hitting without any problem for the past several weeks. I'm not sure if that's because I'm getting into the "meat" of the story now and it's getting a little tougher to crank out words quickly, or if I just flat out wasn't feeling it this week. I had Friday night to myself, and I'd really planned on having a super productive writing night. I should've had a super productive writing night. Instead, I found myself staring at the TV, my eyes glazing over while watching several episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, my laptop humming sadly as I ignored it in my lap.

I guess that'll happen sometimes.

I did get a couple pages written that night, but the words just weren't flowing the way they have been. At least I was more productive again yesterday. Sundays seem to be my best writing days by far, probably because I don't feel so guilty for ignoring all the other things I should be doing instead. Or, I get all my chores done early in the day so I can take a couple hours to write in the afternoon/evening.

Luckily, I have a nice looooong weekend ahead of me. I have Thursday and Friday off, so you better believe I plan on spending a good chunk of time both of those days hunkered down in front of my laptop. Well, after I allow myself some time to relax and catch up on 87 DVR'ed episodes of Days of our Lives, anyway...ahem. Anyway, I'm going to challenge myself this week to get out of the slump from last week. Word count goal for the week: 3500 words. Dun dun dun!! Can she do it??

Monday, August 22, 2011

On A Roll

I'm feeling mighty proud about my accomplishment this week:

Total Words Written: 3,135
Total Hours Spent Writing: 4.5
Total Word Count Overall: 21,023

If you remember from last week, my goal was only 2,000 words. I guess it just goes to show that when I put my mind to it, anything is possible. I was determined to hit the 3K mark again even though I knew I had a crazy week ahead. It feels so, so good to be sitting down weekly to write, even in the midst of a hectic work week and busy social calendar. I feel like I'm finally learning how to make my writing more of a priority. Which is fantastic, because it's extremely important to me and there's not much else I'd rather be doing (other than reading, of course). Oh, to be able to sit and write day in day out!! It's like a far off fantasy...but maybe, just maybe, one day it could become reality.

I also got my first round of feedback from my loyal readers (well, almost all of them, anyway) and the response so far has been good. I got comments like "it's so much better than your first one" (which, you'd think might hurt a little, but in all honestly I know deep down that this one IS better), and "I can't wait to read more!" These are amazing comments to get on a crappy first draft, trust me. And I don't think they're giving me false encouragement. If something wasn't working in the story, I can trust them to let me know. They know they won't hurt my feelings- I am well aware that criticism is utterly necessary and I totally welcome it! Provided it's constructive, of course. Anyway, so thanks to Karyn and Debbie for providing me with some feedback last week! You guys know how much I appreciate it.

Well, another busy week and weekend lie ahead. Should I aim lower or higher? Hmmm...As to not stress myself out unnecessarily, I think I'll stick with the 2,000 words goal one more time. If I surprise myself and surpass 3,000 yet again, I think it'll be pretty clear that I should aim for 3,000 every week. It's clearly not that difficult for me to accomplish it, and it's the pace I'd like to keep going at regardless. If I do keep it up, it's totally possible for me to have the first draft completed by Christmas. How cool would that be??

Friday, August 19, 2011

Things I've Learned (so far)

While I haven't been lucky enough to land an agent yet, in all the months I've been researching them and going through the query process I've definitely learned a thing or two about the business of it all. I'm by no means an expert, but here are a few of the things I've picked up in my quest to write the next great YA novel and get represented by someone who believes in me and my writing:

1) DON'T GIVE UP. Perserverence is what ultimately pays off in the publishing world. You may get rejected 60 times (like Kathryn Stockett did) but all it takes is for ONE agent to like what he/she reads. It's such a highly subjective business, hopefully, sooner or later your manuscript will land on that agent's desk (fingers crossed!!).

2) DO YOUR HOMEWORK. I can't believe how many agent blogs I read where the agents have to reiterate over and over again what kind of work they are looking for. Do people really just send mass submissions out to whatever agents they may stumble across on the internet, without even glancing to see what kind of material the agent represents?? I mean...that's just common sense. Why would an author waste their time (and the agent's time, for that matter) sending a YA fiction manuscript to someone who represents adult mysteries? Just seems silly to me.
a) Along these same lines, pay attention to what the agent requests. Do they
want your query & the first 5 pages? The query, your synopsis, and the
first chapter? Attention to detail is very important!!

3) CLEAN IT UP. Before you even start sending out queries, make sure your work is as polished as it can possibly be. Have some trusted readers help with this. After writing 80,000 words or so there are bound to be some errors and typos. Having a second or third (or fourth, even) set of eyes going over your MS can only make it tighter and cleaner.

4) KEEP WRITING. Start your next project while you're querying your first. From what I've read, and as heartbreaking as it may be, your first novel has a good chance of getting shelved. The more you write, the better you get at it. Well, hopefully anyway. I personally feel that my WIP is showing a lot more potential than IMME already. I'll always be proud of IMME- how many people can say they finished writing a novel??- but in the back of my head, if it doesn't go anywhere I know that I'll still be proud of it. And I will move on with the next one.

5) GROW A THICK SKIN. Look, rejection sucks on any level. It hurts, and it's soooo hard not to take it personally. I'm still getting used to it myself. It's hard to remember that the agent is not rejecting YOU, it's your work they aren't feeling passionate about. Again, it's a subjective business and you just have to find that one person who does connect to it. AND, even once you do get published you still have to deal with bad reviews and people who hate your books. People can be freaking brutal. You just have to be confident that you wrote the best book you could and go on with your life.

That's about it, for now anyway. These are all tidbits off the top of my head, so I may think of more to add later.

Happy Friday and happy writing!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

I did it!

Your next installment of my weekly word count series:

Total Words Written: 3,101
Total Hours Spent Writing: 4.5
Total Word Count Overall: 17,748

Ya-HOOOO! I did it! My goal was 3,000 and I even surpassed that, my friends! I'm on a roll with this one, like, for real. The story is taking some twists I wasn't even expecting as I write it, and I'm just allowing it to flow. We'll see where it ends up going...

I think I'll be letting some peeps read through it this week if they have the time. But just like IMME, I feel like the beginning needs to be reworked a little. Nothing major, but I'd like to get that part fixed before sending it to them. It doesn't really matter that much, though. For now, there's no major editing I want done- I'm really trying to avoid revising when I open it up myself, instead just moving forward with the content- I just want to know how they think the story is going. Are the characters' voices strong enough? Are they individual enough (it's from two POVs, Riley's and Ella's)? Do they want to keep reading or are any parts boring, too descriptive, etc?

I can't remember where I was at this time last year with IMME. I think I was closer to halfway done, maybe a little further than that. But if I can keep up this pace, maybe I can actually have the whole thing written by the holidays. Then let the revisions begin!

That being said, I think I'm going to set my goal a little lower this week, mainly because there's a lot going on after work and I won't be around much this weekend coming up, either. Plus, I want to get some more IMME submissions out, too. I've been slacking with that, and it can't hurt to keep going with those. All it takes is just one person to see its potential, right? Anyway, so we'll set the goal this week at 2,000. I'm hoping I can get closer to 3,000 again, truthfully, but I have a feeling it's just going to be one of those weeks.

Today's Happy Thought: September, my favorite month, is only 16 days away! :o)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekly Word Count

As promised, here's my word count for the WIP last week:

Total Words Written: 2,822
Total Hours Spent Writing: 4.75
Total Word Count Overall: 14,524

I'm thinking I'll start setting word count goals for the week, too...just to give me something to strive for. This sounds good in theory, and I know a lot of writers do this, probably HAVE to do this, and I should as well...I think I'm just worried it'll end up stressing me out if I don't meet my goal. But then again, not taking time to write in general stresses me out too! One big ball of stress over here, that's me.

Alright so, we'll give it a whirl, and keep it small this time. I'll say my word count goal for this week will be 3,000. I know that's actually higher than the total amount I wrote last week, but since I don't have a lot of plans this week I'm thinking it should be possible to squeeze in more time to write. We'll see!

What kind of goals do you like to set for yourself, if any?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

bad blogger

It's funny, because I was just thinking about how bad of a blogger I've been for most of this summer, when bam! I see on at least three of the blogs I normally read that they're either taking a blogging hiatus for a while, or just flat out haven't been very inspired to post lately. I fall into the second category. And I've been reading up a lot about how to be a "successful" blogger; things like making lists of topics you'd like to cover, writing your posts ahead of time all at once & posting them later, etc. They make it sound so easy. But I think my problem is that if I have time to write, I want to work on the WIP. And that's exactly what I'm going to start doing from this point on. I just don't feel like I need the added stress of being a "bad blogger" right now...not when I'm busying querying IMME and writing the WIP.

This isn't to say that I'm NEVER going to blog again, of course. When the mood strikes I'm still going to ramble about whatever here. In fact, to make myself a bit more accountable, I'm going to commit myself to at least ONE post a week. And if nothing else, in that post I will sum up how many words I've gotten down in the WIP (new tentative title, btw- This Life) and how many hours I was able to spend writing that week. I think seeing it added up in front of my own eyes will inspire me to keep going with it, to make myself sit down and take an hour here and there to write. Although who am I kidding, I can hardly ever write for just an hour once I get going. And therein lies the problem; it's difficult to schedule writing time when I feel like I need to commit an entire evening to it. Perhaps that's something I should start to work on, too. Anyway. I believe I will do those summary posts on Fridays...or maybe Mondays, since at times I get a good amount of writing in over the weekend. I'll ponder this & let you know...erm, on Friday or Monday.


Today's happy thought: Baby ducks. Who doesn't love fuzzy, wobbly baby ducks??

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I'm a sensitive person. When other people feel sad or upset, I tend to completely commiserate with them. When someone close to me is in a bad mood, I can feel my own mood start to go south. When there's tension in the air, I feel nervous and uncomfortable and want to remove myself from the situation. On the same note, when those around me are in a good mood, laughing and smiling and have a grand ol' time, I tend to laugh and smile right along with them. I think this is why I've always enjoyed reading and writing so much. It's easy for me to put myself in other peoples' (or characters') shoes and lose myself in a good story.

This isn't to say I don't feel things on my own. I can wake completely crabby without really knowing why just like anyone else. And then nothing can snap me out of those moods, no matter how positive the people around me are.

I hate those days.

I'm feeling exceptionally antsy today for some reason. I'm not totally sure if it has to do with all the negativity I'm feeling around me, or if it's just my own mood pulling me under. I should be flying high right now- I'm leaving for vacation in 4 days, after all! And while part of me is totally excited about that (actually most of me is totally excited about that) there's a little teeny part that is feeling blue. Besides my normal worries (which mostly involve not having enough money) I know I'm dwelling a bit on not enough writing getting done lately, and then of course, waiting on more responses to my queries is just never fun.

So, I would like to take this moment to throw some positivity out there. I said that 2011 would be my year and I'm still counting on that, nevermind that the year is already more than halfway over. There's always next year too, right? And if not next year, the year after that. I will never give up, never push my dream to the side because there aren't enough hours in the day to make it happen. Only I can make it happen.

Today's Happy Thought (needed more than ever, apparently): the new baby giraffe at the Cleveland Zoo. I mean, seriously, how cute is he??

Trevor the baby giraffe!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

10 more days!

For almost as long as I can remember, with the exception of a summer here & there, my family has gone on a week long vacation down to the Outer Banks, North Carolina. I think my first trip there was waaaaaaay back in 1985. As my brother and I have gotten older, we still try to make it there every summer with our significant others, with or without our parents.

This year, however, is a little different. My husband started a new job in January and doesn't accrue a decent amount of vacation time until he's been there a year. In fact, he only received 6 vacation days this year- for the ENTIRE year. I call shenanigans on that! No way is that enough time off for the whole year! But I digress. The main bullet point is he would have to use 5 of his 6 days off to go down to the OBX, and so he'd better hope he doesn't get sick or need any other time off for the remainder of the year.

Plus, my family decided that they were finally going to stay down there for two full weeks. We've been talking about doing that for ages. Therefore, even if I had decided to tag along solo, I would've ended up using almost all MY vacation days for that one trip. As much as I love the OBX, I also love having random days off to look forward to. I could've gone down for just a week by myself, but I'm not comfortable with driving in the car alone for over 11 hours. I know, call me a wuss, but it's also a really complicated drive and I don't need to get lost on the back roads of West-by-god-Virginia somewhere. No thanks.

All that being said, my lovely friend Barra took pity on me and invited me along with her family to Isle of Palms, South Carolina this year. I am super stoked for this trip! I can't wait to see Charleston and make some new fun memories with her and her family. It'll be weird leaving the husband alone for a whole week, but it's nice to think that the cats will have someone to hang out with. I always feel bad leaving them alone (even though I'm sure they sleep for 95% of the time we're gone). We leave in just 10 days now...I remember when the countdown was at 60 days!

I do plan on bringing my trusty lap top with me, cuz you never know when inspiration might strike. One of these days I plan to write a summer vacation-based book too- set in the OBX, of course. Or a place inspired by the OBX, anyway.

Happy thought of the day: The smell of suntan lotion on warm, sun-kissed skin...ahhh

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

When Laziness Prevails...

I'm not sure if it has something to do with the heat and the hazy days of summer, but man, sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mojo a bit here. Don't get me wrong, the WIP is coming along, slowly but surely (another 1000ish words down this weekend- and it was a CRAZY holiday weekend, so I'm glad I even squeezed that much in!), but there are a lot of other things I feel like I could and should be doing to move along my so-called writing career dream. And I just...I don't know...I really should...if I could only...meh.

I'm even having a hard time lately keeping up with all the writerly blogs I follow religiously. And then when I do read them I end up feeling...hmm, how to describe it? Disenchanted? Lazy? Jealous? Tired? Like I-should-just-give-it-up-now-because-I'll-never-end-up-successful-like-these-people?

Gah, I know, right? Nice attitude.

The fact is, I know I should be spending more time back over at AgentQueryConnect, reading queries and offering critiques. I should join a writing group (that's actually in the works, I just haven't been able to make it to any of the meetings yet- they seem to always meet on Saturdays when I have other plans already made) and get a critique partner. At the very least, I should set aside an hour here and there to send out more submissions of In My Mind's Eye. I should make my writing time much more of a priority than I do.

All of these things sound so easy to do, really. The problem is LIFE gets in the way sometimes. Especially in the summer. I'm not trying to make excuses (ok, well maybe I am), but it really does get difficult to find enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do. I want to spend time with my husband. I want to hang out with my friends. I want to keep my house clean. I want to see my family from time to time. And while I may not want to work, I have a job I need to go to every day in order to pay my ever growing pile of bills.


So. The moral of this story (blog post?) is that I know what I need to do, now to prioritize and find or MAKE the time for all of this to happen. The last thing I want is to end up discouraged or overwhelmed, so much so that I just give up. I love writing and I honestly do hope that one day I'll see my name on a shelf in one of my favorite bookstores. That's the ultimate dream. And someday I will live it.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Isn't It Good...

This past weekend was fantastic as far as getting some good writing time in. I was super motivated to write, so write I did! My new WIP is now nearing the 10,000 word mark, with about 3,000 of those words brand spankin' new as of Saturday. I'm starting to feel the story unravel as I write it. I'm not worried anymore about the things I was questioning so much in the beginning. I'm just allowing it to come out as I write it. I'm already attached to my characters and I can't wait to get back to them. I was so concerned at first about how it was all going to come together...but I just have to tell you guys, sometimes when I get going even I don't know where I'm pulling this shizz from. Someone once asked me in regards to my last story "How do you come up with so many words?" My honest answer is: I don't know. I don't know where they come from, but they need to get out. And plus, making stuff up is just so much fun. You really should try it sometime.

A little sidenote: my inspiration for this book is the song Norweigan Wood by the Beatles. You'll see it pop up from time to time in the story, specifically these lyrics from it:

I once had a girl
or should I say
She once had me

And when I awoke, I was alone
this bird had flown

That's really all I can say about that at the moment...I actually haven't even worked that into the story yet, but it's coming. Very soon.

Anyway. So my motivation to write this weekend soared. My motivation to run, however, was non-existant. I'm not sure I mentioned here before, but I started training (well, I use the word "training" pretty loosely) to run a 5K- my goal is to be able to run at the Race for the Cure in September. I've been doing the Couch to 5K program for the past 3 weeks- I did week 2 a couple extra times. I had planned on running this weekend, but um, yea. Didn't happen. I'm going to hit the treadmill this afternoon and start week's not going to be pretty. I'm starting to feel the urge to give up on it, quite honestly, and just go back to the elliptical and pilates. I've never been a runner (I can't even count the one year I ran hurdles on the track team in high school, because I sucked so hard) and I'm not sure why I think I can start it up now in my old age. Running and me...well, we just don't click.

Happy thought of the day: Lending friends books I love so, so much. I just handed over Jellicoe Road this morning...that book almost damn near killed me. I love it so. Sweethearts is next for you, Patti! :o)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Reading List

You guys, I am never short on books to read. If my stack starts to get low, I head immediately to Half Priced Books or Amazon and start buying more. It's a little bit of a sickness, I know. And now that I got my Nook the sky's the limit. I can check out new authors who are selling their novels at a steal of a price- usually under $5- a marvelous idea to get your work out there, I think. Also I can download my favorite authors for a lot cheaper than buying a physical copy, AND I can download books from the library! Although I have to say, my library's eBook selection is not so great yet...but hopefully they'll be adding more and more.

Anyway. I thought I would take a moment to share some of the books I plan on delving into this summer. These are all books sitting in my stack at home, or books I plan on buying/getting from the library. Some are just coming out, some have been out forever, but regardless I plan on getting to 'em! And yes, the majority of this list is with it.

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater - I devoured the first two books in the Shiver series this winter. Stiefvater's writing about a girl and her love for a boy-wolf (not really a werewolf, per se, just a boy who turns wolf when the temperature drops) is beautiful and poetic and you can't help but be drawn right in. Forever comes out in July, and is the conclusion to the trilogy. This is definitely one I'm buying a hard copy of to complete my series.

Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines by John Green - I. Love. John. Green. I don't honestly know what it is about his books- they just have the perfect blend of humor and sincerity. I laugh, I cry, I laugh some more, and just generally enjoy every word. The characters are so believable- I feel like I've known people just like everyone he describes. So yea. Can't wait to read more of his stuff.

Matched by Allie Condie - This will be the first book I've read by Condie, so I don't have anything to compare it to. It's set in the future, where your perfect mate is picked for you via a matching ceremony. A computer glitch causes the main character to wonder if her match was get the idea.

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han This is the second book in Han's "Summer" trilogy, and I read the first one back in the fall. It was a lovely little YA romance in a beach setting- I'm figuring the second one will be just as lovely for me to read while I'm on the beach. I don't actually own this one yet, but plan on downloading it before I head out on vacation. I just love books set on summer vacations...a setting I will surely use in one of my own books one day.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver - I have to admit, Oliver's other book that I read this spring, Before I Fall, was a bit of a downer and a frustrating read. But that didn't mean I could put it down. I was completely sucked in to the story, regardless of how much I wanted to punch the main character in the neck. Delirium is completely different though- it's a dystopian, set in the future where you're given a "cure" when you turn 18 so you don't ever fall in love- falling in love = pain and scientists have eradicated it. Very interesting concept...

And now a couple non-YA:

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner - I've read all of Weiner's other books, and this is one I actually bought for my last vacation and never got around to reading. Too many good YA books got in the way, I guess. I hope to finally get to this one this summer- although I remember feeling her last book was just "eh".

My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster Jen's (I feel like she's my friend, so we're on a first name basis here) books are HI-freaking-LARIOUS. I've kinda been putting off reading this one because her latest is fiction and not autobiographical, so I want to hold on to this one for a while. Although I'm sure her foray into fiction is going to be awesomely funny too.

You'd think that many books would get me through the summer, eh? It might...but probably not.

Happy thought of the day: Ok, well this really isn't a "thought", but it still cracks me up- every morning when I'm making the bed, Stewie dives under the throw blanket on the end and "hides". Then we play peek-a-boo for a minute. This happens pretty much every. single. day. and it never gets old.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

No. Just...No.

So I'm totally late in posting my reaction to this batshit crazy article that ran last weekend in the Wall Street Journal. I'm not sure if I had to take the time to gather my thoughts on it or what, but...yea.

As someone who's a HUGE fan of Young Adult fiction, I am completely shocked by this article. A quick synopsis: apparently, this lady went to Barnes and Noble to buy her daughter a book, and she was just appalled at all the terrible, dark and scary books that are out there for teen readers these days. There was, and I quote, "nothing, not a thing" that she felt she could give to her daughter- "It was all vampires and suicide and self-mutilation, this dark, dark stuff."

Excuse me? So apparently this B&N doesn't carry any John Green or Sarah Dessen or Meg Cabot? Really? REALLLLLY?

So then the writer of the article goes on to say that all these books dealing with self-mutilation, abuse, depression, homosexuality- in other words, all things that HAPPEN IN THE REAL WORLD, are basically going to open doors for kids who otherwise would be blind to such topics. That "books focusing on pathologies help normalize them and, in the case of self-harm, may even spread their plausibility and likelihood to young people who might otherwise never have imagined such extreme measures." I suppose she also may think that a group of kids aged 13-18 may end up in the streets fighting to the death for our amusement just because the Hunger Games is so popular.

Look, bad things are out there (ok, well maybe not vampires, but still). And kids are going to experience some of these said bad things, regardless of whether or not there are books about them. I find it slightly hysterical to think that the lady looking for a book for her teen daughter really, truly believes that her daughter has lived THAT sheltered of a life. Provided she does, in fact, go to a regular high school. I think that kids can actually find comfort in these types of "dark" books- just knowing you're not alone in your suffering can make all the difference.

Anyway, so yes, there are books out there for young adults that cover "dark" topics. But there are also TONS of books out there that are light-hearted, funny and still manage to have a message (I'm looking at you, my new-favorite-author John Green).

I'm not saying the writer of the article isn't allowed to have her own opinion on teen literature. I'm just saying, perhaps she should actually, I don't know, READ some of it.

I'm actually too annoyed now to do a happy thought for the day.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Slacker No More

Yikes, my last post was May 17th? Doesn't seem like it's been over two weeks since I posted...time is just flying by these days! Probably because it's finally SUMMER.

We kicked off the start of my second favorite season (fall is my favorite favorite, sorry summer) with a cookout Memorial Day weekend. So I spent some time getting ready for that- shopping, cleaning, setting up the house, etc. It's pretty much our one big party of the year, since it's too hard to do stuff at our place when the weather is crappy (our parking situation blows). We had a good turnout and I'm pretty sure everyone had a good time. Lots of food and cornhole and drinks, as per yoosh.

Then I actually FINALLY got some writing done on Monday. Like, a good, solid two+ hours of writing. I'm super excited for this one, too, and can't wait to get some initial reactions from my trusty readers. Of course the beginning will probably change a few times before it's done DONE, but I definitely would like some feedback to see if I'm going in the right direction. I believe I have around 7000 words, or about 3-4 chapters, so far. Clearly I have a long way to go, but it's awesome to be excited about writing again. I just burned myself out on In My Mind's Eye towards the end there.

In other news, I splurged and bought myself Barnes & Noble's ereader, the Nook! They were having a super sale on the first editions since the second edition is coming out now, so I couldn't resist- I've wanted an ereader for awhile. The best thing about this one is that I can borrow books from the library on it! I already borrowed my first one, too (Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green, my new favorite author) and can't wait to start reading it. If anyone else has a Nook and has any tips or would like to share books (when I finally purchase some, that is), let me know!

Happy thought of the day: Flip flop season!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

When my mantra doesn't work...

I mentioned previously that my mantra is "I will NOT get discouraged, I will NOT get discouraged..." But yea. Lately, I'm finding myself getting frustrated and, well, awfully discouraged. I cringe a little every time I open my Gmail inbox, waiting for the next "thanks but no thanks" email. I'm not gonna lie; that's the main reason I put off sending out any more queries last week. I was afraid of more rejection. And not having any quality time to sit and write the WIP is also extremely frustrating. I know I need to MAKE time, and I'm worried that the rejection is going to start putting me off from writing in general. I don't think that could ever really happen, but let's be honest- I haven't written anything besides these quick blog posts in a good 2-3 weeks now. That's terrible.

I knew when I started this process that I'd be faced with rejection. A lot of it. But I guess no matter how much I thought I was prepared for it, getting so many NOs, right off the bat, totally stung.

I say "so many" like I've sent out 50 queries. Um, try 8. I'm still waiting on 2 more responses too.

I know part of this process is putting myself out there and growing a thick skin. I'm working on it. I still believe in In My Mind's Eye, and I still believe my WIP will be even better. It's just...I want other people to believe in my work too. Strangers, that is. It means everything.

I'm not trying to get all whiny here. Just trying to put how I've been feeling lately into words...and I might not be accomplishing that too well. Sigh.

Anyway, last night this blog post was in my Twitter feed about dealing with discouragement. I would like to thank whoever wrote it (it's not a blog I normally follow, but I will be now), give her a hug, make her some cookies, etc. Thank you for reminding me believe in myself. I am trying.

My favorite part of the blog post:
"...let me remind you that these feelings will pass; that the roadblocks keeping you from a good story or a better contract or simple recognition will be removed; that what works against you today won’t always triumph over you. In fact, you’ll one day look at the setbacks and challenges as minor irritants and be shocked that they once held power over you."

Happy thought for the day: coffee, coffee, coffee

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

all is quiet

Been quiet over here on the blog front for a while...guess that's because it's been quiet on the query front as well. And I've been pretty busy socially lately again- I don't have a single free weekend in May. This also means I haven't had a chance to sit and pound out more of my WIP, which, quite frankly, blows. I think about it all the time and make myself little notes constantly of these thoughts so I don't forget them, but actually sitting for a few hours to just WRITE hasn't happened in what feels like forever.

So, since I'm clearly not writing very much right now (frowny face), here's what's going on in my ever-so-exciting life:

*I've started working out again, slowly but surely. So far it's only been once a week, but I'm hoping to get it back up to 2 or 3 times. I always feel better when I'm working out, but it's just been out of my "routine" for so long now (yea, since October when I took my last ballet class) that it's hard to get back into the swing of it.

*My momma officially retired a couple weeks ago. That seems sooo strange to me. I mean, I'm so happy for her and I know she's going to LOVE being retired, but it's just weird for me to think I have parents at retirement age. We're taking her out on the town on the 21st to celebrate; dinner at the Chophouse downtown. NOM.

*This weekend is the big girly winery trip that we planned what feels like forever ago. I am SO EXCITED to get away with some of my nearest & dearest friends! I know we're going to have a blast...I just hope the weather cooperates. This has been the worst spring ever, and so far it's supposed to be about 62 degrees and rain all weekend. Boooooo.

*Speaking of girly events, tomorrow I'm hosting the TVD girly night at my house for the first time. We're missing a core person tomorrow though, and that makes me have a sad. Karyn will be there in spirit though, as she's dancing away at the Usher concert. Don't worry Karyn, we'll have a group *drink!* for ya too!

Welp, that's it for now. I'm off work on Friday (hooray!) so after I do some running around I'm reallllly hoping to sit down and have time in the afternoon to write & send out a few more submissions. At least one or the other will definitely happen.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

the name of the game... rejection. Sigh. I know, I know- I've barely scraped the surface of my querying process so far (only 8 sent), and I shouldn't expect anything to happen right away. That's not how this business works. But everyday I check my Gmail inbox just hoping, hoping, hoping for someone to answer a query with a "Hey, this sounds interesting. Let me see more." Maybe it'll happen. Maybe it won't. I have to be ready to accept the fact that In My Mind's Eye may end up a bust. And I'm trying to do that by throwing myself into my next novel- which I already feel has a lot of potential to be something really different. But, of course I'm going to think that, right?

I retweeted something from AdviceToWriters the other day- a list of 50 iconic authors who were repeatedly rejected. I'm not entirely sure if this made me feel better or worse, to be honest...I guess a little of both. It made me feel better to know that these crazy successful authors all started out just like me, with a dream to get their stories out there. But then, it made me feel a little worse because if their work was rejected, what kind of chance will I possibly ever have??

On the list:

Dr. Suess
Louisa May Alcott
Agatha Christie
Meg Cabot
Beatrix Potter
John Grisham
James Patterson
E.E. Cummings
Judy Blume (!)
Madeline L'Engle
J.K. Rowling
Stephen King

I was pretty shocked by some of those names. I guess it really does go to show how subjective the business is- all it takes is for one agent to connect with your work. Can you imagine being the agent that passed on J.K. Rowling or Stephen King?? But chances are, if the agent that rejected them had taken them on, they wouldn't have ended up as successful as they are.

Happy thought for the day:
Hanging out with dear old friends. :o)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

the new WIP

As I sit and wait for a few more responses to the queries I sent out last week (and keep my mantra going in my head - "I will NOT get discouraged, I will NOT get discouraged"), I've been thinking a lot about my work-in-progress. Which, quite honestly, has not progressed very much lately, unfortunately. I need a good day to sit and write for a few hours. I was hoping to get to do that over my little mini-spring break, but sadly that just didn't happen.

But I have some pretty cool ideas for this one! I've already written a little teaser for it, which might actually turn into a query at some point. Of course, having only around 5000 words or so written, I'm clearly nowhere near the point of querying, but writing the teaser actually sort of helped me figure out where I want to go with it. Here's what I've written so far:

History cannot repeat itself.

Riley wouldn't let it. He won't let the girl he loves die by his own hand all over again.

The problem is, he doesn't know how to stop it. He's only remembering bits and pieces each night as he dreams. And the first time it happened was over fifty years ago.

Ella is no dummy; she knows something's been bothering Riley since the start of the school year. But she has no idea how big a risk she's taking as she tries to get closer to him. She can't help it. She's inexplicably drawn to him, and no matter how hard Riley tries to keep his distance, for her safety, he's drawn to her too.

Despite his best efforts, history might just repeat itself.

So there you have it. Obviously, I still have a lot of details to work out, a lot of how's and why's and when's, but every day I find myself thinking more and more about this one.

What do you think? Confused? Intrigued? Perhaps a bit of both??

Today's thing that makes me happy:
Cozumel's cheese dip (NOM! And yes, I'm aware that many of my happy things are food-related...)

Monday, April 25, 2011

home is where my heart is

I tweeted earlier today that I would be completely content being a hermit. While that may not be entirely true- I do require some social activities from time to time-I'm seriously extremely happy to sit at home. I never really run out of things to do. And if I were home more often, just thing of all the new hobbies I could try out! I've always wanted to bake more, cook nice dinners for Dan all the time (provided I learn to cook a little better), learn to knit (think of all the outfits I could make for the cats!!), read my neverending stack of books, and of course, have endless time to write. Point being: if I win the lottery, you can bet I'd never be one of those people who keep working because they'd get so bored otherwise. Not this chick.

Today is the last day of my little mini-spring break that I was so looking forward to. Tomorrow it'll be back to reality. I just hope this week is a little less stressful and crazy than the past few weeks have been.

Today's thing that makes me happy:

The chicken parmesan I'll be making for us for dinner tonight. NOM.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

and now...

...I wait.

And try not to compulsively check my Gmail account every five minutes. Right.

I sent out five submissions this morning. My hands were literally shaking as I typed out the first email, checking and doublechecking to make sure I was sending everything the agent asked for. I was paying so much attention to the information I was sending that I actually forgot to end it with my name and contact info.

Whoops. Guess I can probably cross that agent off my list. And that sucks, cuz she was one of my favorites. I did immediately resend it with all the info, but pretty sure the damage had been done. Frowny face.

But, there are plenty of other agents left on my list, and tons more out there that I still haven't even researched and added to it. I really do want to wait to see what kind of responses I get before I send any more, but I have a feeling I might send like three more after this weekend just to get a few more out there.

A shout out to my new followers- thanks for clicking that "follow" button! If you're reading this and still haven't clicked it, please do so! It only takes a second and I promise you won't get any crazy spam or anything.

Today's Thing That Makes Me Happy:

It's Thursday, I'm not at work, I'm surrounded by cats on the couch right now, and later it's TVD time at Karyn's. Life doesn't get much better!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Tomorrow, kids. Tomorrow is the day. The first day of the rest of my life.

Well, hopefully, anyway.

Tomorrow is submission day! I'm off work, so I plan on sending out 3-5 queries. I have my favorite agents picked out for the most part, so I'll start with them. These are agents I feel a connection with through their blogs or the other authors they represent, so it would be a dream come true to have them represent me. And I'm starting small- like I said, only sending out 5 at the most. A lot of agents recommend this- that way, you can tell if your query is "working". If I keep getting rejection after rejection, my query needs to be revised. If I get some requests for partials or fulls, but then still end up getting rejected, it could be the story itself that isn't working.

I'm very nervous to finally start this process, to put myself out there for reals. It's a scary feeling! But also an exciting one. You never know what could happen, right? All it takes is for one agent to connect with my story, or to at least think it has potential.

After I send out the queries I'm going to do my best to stay busy tomorrow, so as to not check my email every 5 minutes hoping for a response. I know it's going to take a while- anywhere from 2 to weeks to 2 months. So there's no point in frantically signing into Gmail every hour. Even though I'm pretty sure I will anyway. But since I'm off, I plan on doing a bit of spring cleaning to take my mind off everything. Is it sad that I'm actually looking forward to cleaning out my closets? I love purging stuff. Makes room for new stuff. ;o) And then, of course, it's VV night at Karyn's. So I should be able to stay sufficiently occupied for most of the day.

I also wanted to take a second to say thanks for reading my blog! The more followers I have, the better I'll look to an agent. Like, ooh, people already like to read her stuff! It means a lot to me that you guys take a few minutes to read my ramblings!

Today's thing that makes me happy: DAYS OFF WORK. Here's to my mini spring break!