Taking The Advice Of Others

Today I’ve done a lot of research on ‘How To Write A Query Letter’ from a few authors who have been very successful in the industry. I mainly focus on the same type of authors who write in the particular genre that I do, Young Adult Fiction. What I’ve discovered today (big over-dramatic sigh) is that my query letter is terrible! Well, maybe not terrible but not what the agents will want to see. However, I am very glad to say that I thankfully (with the helpful direction from the best selling author Veronica Roth) found a great blog from a lady who knows what she’s talking about, Elana Johnson. Although, she doesn’t claim to “know it all” she can certainly write a mean query letter.

So for me I will be scrapping the old one and beginning the new one.

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Busy Day Today

Today a lot is happening in my world. I sent my work off to my second editor who will be going over my manuscript with a fine tooth comb. Most authors have their work looked at by a few different people before it’s marked as “complete” and finally published. I just got the first few chapters back and will be going through it line by line taking things out, putting things in and generally sitting for hours trying to figure out if I like the end result or not (its a very time consuming ordeal).

I will also be finalizing my overview that has been keeping me up all night. So I can almost guarantee that by the end of the day I will either be completely loony frolicking down the street in 30 degree weather or totally exhausted staring at a blank wall for hours. Either way I will be a step closer to the end result!

So for now, I bid you farewell!

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My book printed out. 28 Chapters!

Taking You Back

It’s a beautiful crisp fall day here in Northern Nevada. The trees are beginning their normal transformation–changing vibrant colors of reds, oranges and yellows. Hot coffee is steaming in the coffee pot, the fire is roaring in the fireplace and comfy robes are a necessity on days like this. Sitting here, all bundled up on the couch and looking aimlessly outside my window, I began to think back on the time when I lived in a small two bedroom home with three boys all under 5, I was 28 years old and not a clue as to what I should be when I grew up. I have always had dreams, dreams I would be a famous singer or a back-up dancer for Janet Jackson (don’t laugh you know you had dreams like that also) but like many of you who are older with families your dreams begin to slip away from you as time goes on. And lets face it, even though you keep telling yourself every year that, “next year I will start,” life just always gets in the way and you never end up doing what it is that you love.

Up until that point I think in some ways I stopped dreaming a little and just went on with everyday life. Until one day on my oldest sons birthday in October 2008, this amazing idea for a manuscript hit me. For a moment I didn’t know what to think because this idea was way to good for me to think up. The more and more I thought about the idea, the more I found myself wanting to know how the story would go and more about the characters. So the next month I decided I had to begin writing, even if it was only for me. It was my only escape from the everyday motherly duties. Although in-between my writing I still had laundry to do, diapers to change, meals to make and a house to clean. I wrote whenever I could. Most of the time it was early in the morning when the kids were still asleep or really late at night when the whole world was silent. It was something that I wasn’t going to give up on.

I’m glad to say, four years later I am thankful that I never gave up!

I’ve always said that anything worth doing isn’t easy; and I tell you it wasn’t. In the early days of my writing I lost my manuscript 3 times! I literally signed in one day to find that all three chapters where gone! No getting it back. The second time my computer had crashed and I lost everything and the final time was when my laptop froze and I couldn’t grab what I had wrote. It was then on the third time of the almost laughable situation (because at that point its the only thing you can do without going insane) was when I knew that I really had something. Something was telling me that this ms was something to not give up on! So I just took a deep breath and began to write again. I just wrote without stopping.

So for all of you out there with big dreams, don’t shove it in the closet never to be opened. The truth is you will wake up one day old, looking back at your life and wondering, “what if?” We only get one life to live and I want to make sure it’s a full one.

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Decisions Decisions…

For this past week I thought I would clue you in on a little secret….you ready?

I’ve been STRESSED!

I know I know, a big shocker for all of you who know me…but sadly yes.

Some of you might have seen a few days ago I posted on Facebook that I had some decisions to make and that I needed to go and clean the house and think! (A little nutty right? I mean who actually volunteers to do house work after a long day? NOT THIS GIRL! So you know “this thing” was driving me CRAZY, to do such a spur-of-the-moment thing). But that’s what happened. Because staring at your computer screen and trying to figure it out, sometimes just doesn’t work. So I decided to step away and take a break.

So here’s the deal…

Writing a manuscript and actually finishing it you would think…wow…that’s got to be the hardest part of this whole process. WRONG! The writing was easy, because at first your thought is, I’m writing because I love it, not, I think one day I might actually publish my work. So at first (at least for me) i just wanted to see if I could actually do it. Put everything that was in my head down on paper. Well, a couple of years into my writing I actually did it! I actually completed 27 chapters! To say that the piece was quality was up to interpretation, but none-the-less it was done.

Now comes the part where you might think everything should be a peace-of-cake, right? I mean, all you have to do is re-read your work, change a few things, have your friends read it and that’s it. WRONG AGAIN. That’s not how it works. I think I must have spent more time revising it then writing the dang thing. And I’m still revising it!

But that’s not the part that has me thinking I should take an entire package of Oreo cookies and destroy them one sleeve at a time (I know that sounds a little over-dramatic but you get the picture). No, the part that has me stressing out is coming up with the overview for my book. You know, the part that everyone reads to see if they even want to spend their hard-earned-money on a book that no one has even heard of or go with the safe purchase and buy one of the many books on B&N top 100 best sellers list.

YEP that’s where I’m at.

So for the record I would like to say that if I go off on some random rant about socks at Walmart that are priced $3.99 and I think they should be $2.99 or the driver who is going 34 mph when the speed limit is 35, it’s only due to the stresses of a writer who has been working at this for 4 years.

Today is my birthday!

So another year gone by.  As I was working on my blog today my husband and I (who is the same age as me) were chatting reminiscently about our high school years.  My husband is getting ready to go back and finish his degree in Political Science mentions to me that he found it depressing that he was thinking we both entered high school nearly 20 years ago.  That number just didn’t seem real to me as the words left his lips.

I am one who believes that you are only as old as you feel, so depending on the day I am anywhere from 16 to 84.  All those mothers out there can understand that theory.

Putting aside age and the increasing feeling of seniority, I look forward to the next year of my life.  I am confident that it will bring to fruition hopes and dreams of years past.  This is my year! I boldly proclaim that all of the hard work and effort poured into this project will finally find its resting place among the best of the best.

So be it!

Let me leave you today with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Always do what you are afraid to do.”