Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Order of the Phoenix

Okay, I was browsing some blogs and came across Jack Roberts' (from AW) and he had this link to a four minute preview of the fifth Harry Potter Movie.


Now, I have to admit, I think OotP was the low point in the Harry Potter series, but this trailer looks awesome! And check it out, they have Helena Bonam-Carter playing Bellatrix LeStrange! Since Bella shows up in books 5, 6, and almost undoubtedly 7, that means we'll get to see her a lot! She's one of my favorite actresses ever.

Anyway, check it out; it looks like it will be really cool. Also, they have another new director who made all the guys cut their hair. Hooray!!! No more mops!!! And let me tell you, without a ton of hair on his face, Daniel Radcliffe has Michelle Pfeiffer-esque cheekbones. Whoa. Seriously, the haircuts alone give me a boost of confidence in this director.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

What Kind of Business is This?

So, as most if not all of you have discovered, there's nothing to read online this week. Everyone in the publishing industry is gone. There is little to no news, no new posts (occasional ones by Miss Snark--thank you Miss Snark!) So I have nothing to do . . . well, except cook and clean for like three days straight.

I had some fun Thanksgiving adventures. It was also my anniversary, so my hubby and I had homemade enchilads on Wednesday night and I also made homemade vanilla pudding from scratch. (It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be.) So that was fun. I also made four pumpkin pies and two grapefruit meringue pies (long story). And when I make pies I make them totally from scratch. Meaning I brought the pumpkin in from my porch as step one. No cans in my kitchen.:)

I do have a little bit of writing news. I recieved a request for the full from Lucienne. So even though I most likely will not do anything with it, (but I'm holding onto it for another week or so just in case) I was very complimented to recieve the request. Plus it made me feel a little more confident.

So despite feeling totally cut off from the publishing world, I had a lovely Thanksgiving with my husband's best friend's family (he's also my kids' godfather) and have had company every day after. It's been a great break.

Hope your holidays were equally fulfilling!!!


Thursday, November 16, 2006


Revisions are in. Whew!

*Big Sigh*

Now we get to wait again.:)


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I Have an . . . Understanding . . . I think.

Well, this agent (who I am not quite ready to say is my agent) e-mailed me yesterday and told me she LOVED the ending (her caps, not mine) and had only one very small edit. She also said she is excited to see the revisions when they're done and wants to send it out at that point.

So I think what we have is an understanding.

I think.

But she wants to send it out.:) That's good . . . right? *laugh* So I'll have revisions in in just under two weeks and she should give me a game plan.

Until I have a contract in my hot little hands I'm not going to mention who it is, but I'm willing to say she's from Writers House. (And if you think you know who it is from reading this blog, you may be surprised . . . it's a loooong story . . . that I'll post sometime soon.)

So, yeah . . . I sort of have an agent . . . sort of . . . I think.

Man, everyone else's agent stories were much more clear than this.

Not that I'm complaining.:)


Friday, November 10, 2006

The Agent Phone Call Results.

So, the thing I haven't been telling you is that I have been e-mailing with an agent this week who was halfway done with my book on Monday and was really excited about it and wanted to make sure it was still available (she recieved it over ten and a half months ago.) I was able to tell her that it was still available, but had been very revised and she had me e-mail her the new version and said she would get back to me today. So I got an e-mail today scheduling a time for her to call me.

I had my phone call (yea) and she hadn't quite finished the book due to accidently leaving the last 100 pages at home (boo) but she had several very specific revisions she wants to see and will be in contact on Monday with the rest of the revisions for the end of the book.

So we're kind of working together.

She didn't offer to sign me (which is why I'm not going to mention her name or house yet, but it's one of the big ones) but she seems to really be working toward that. She loves the story and the characters and my writing style.

I really am happy that I am "working with her" (whatever that means) because she has great suggestions and has already helped me make the book better. But I'm fighting dissappointment because with all the gushing she has done about my book all week by e-mail I really thought she was going to sign me then and there. So it's good news, but not as good as I was hoping for.

I feel silly even saying that because it really is the chance of a lifetime, but . . . well, anyway.

She'll be e-mailing me on Monday and if she doesn't make reference to a contract or at least give me a hint that that is what we are working toward, I'll probably ask her to clarify what our ultimate goal is.

It went well though. I feel like she really gets my book.

I just hope it's leading to a contract.

So close . . . so close! Aaahhh!!!!!

Cheerios and Funnels

Okay, this entry has nothing to do with writing . . . at all . . . really.

I have a son who is almost 20 months old (and knows what sound all the letters of the alphabet make:) *insert shameless bragging*) and he loves to get into things. This morning I was playing with my daughter when I heard the unmistakeable sound of Cheerios hitting the floor. If you are a mother, you're probably all too familiar with this sound.

Knowing it was already too late I nonetheless rushed in to try to stop the disaster. There is my son with a super-sized bag or Cheerios (or whatever it is Malt-o-Meal calls their equivalent) upside down. I managed to save about half the bag.

So my table and floor are covered with Cheerios. I figure the ones on the floor are toast, but the ones on the table are salvageable, right? I mean, the table's clean. So I look at the rather small opening in the bag and realize I am going to lose half of the cereal if I try to brush it right from the table into the bag.

What do I need?

A funnel!

Ladies and Gentlemen, repeat after me: Cheerios do not fit through the bottom of a funnel.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Not What I Do Best

Kay, so staying quiet is not really my strong point.

I guess I'll have to limit it to staying quiet about what currently need being stayed quiet about. (How's that for a beautiful, not to mention perfectly grammatical, sentence?:))

I hope to have an update by Friday.

Till then I get to sit nervously at my computer and pretend to be in one piece.

I've been thinking about rejections today. And I hope I don't offend my very pleasant anonymous poster who said, "Because the only difference between an author and a writer is luck."

I have to say, in 95% of all the writing I have seen, that's just not true.

I am a writer, at the moment. I've never been published outside of a newspaper, I have written three books, and have two WsIP. Pretty run of the mill as far as unpublished writers go. I've been writing off and on for about four years and very seriously for about 18 months. *shrug* I'm a writer.

Someone on writers.net (I think--I've been surfing too much the last few days) linked to a study where under-average test takers were asked to self-evaluate their test results. On average, they estimated that they had scored in the 62nd percentile. In actuality, they scored in the 19th percentile. The study suggested that the better you think you are at something, the worse you probably are, and that those who think they are okay and even pretty good, are probably doing great.

I think this applies to writing. In my creative writing classes in college (I have a BA in Creative Writing, go me:)) the people who had prose so beautiful it made you want to cry were always the most hesitant to send their stuff out to literary magazines. But the people who wrote the most agonizing, dead stories were always quick to say, "So, do you think it's ready? I think it's ready."

And what is there to say at that point?

I took a poetry class where there was this bitter, middle-aged, divorced woman who was the absolute epitome of the cliched bitter, middle-aged, divorced woman. They do not get any more bitter, middle-aged, or divorced than this woman. Anyway, she wrote poetry I would give a third grader a C for. It was terrible! The first time it was her turn to be work shopped it was a mess. We would say one very, very small thing and she would get up in arms. "Well, you just don't understand it." "No, XXX was the point of that." "Can't you see that I was trying to do XXXX?" And she didn't just say it, she screamed it! She was downright abusive. And not a single person said, "This sucks," we were just barely scratching the surface.

The next time she was up for critique, I kid you not, two people showed up to class. Me and one other brave soul, plus the professor.

We were again abused and screamed at even though we were trying to say nice things. (We learned from the last time. This time our compliments weren't good enough, I guess.)

My point is that people who think they have created great art and are completely closed off to suggestions are usually writing crap.

I would never comment on this if I had not been there myself. Worse, I really thought I was open to suggestion. My husband read my book and gave me an excellent run down of what did not work.

Clearly he did not understand my book and it was simply not the kind of fantasy he preferred. I brushed his suggestions aside and proceeded to start selling my book. It took a lot of rejections before I took a really good, hard look at my book and made myself think, "This is not the greatest book in the world. If it was, someone would have recognized that by now."

Now I look back at that first draft and I'm a little embarrassed. I have learned to be teachable and because of that, my work has improved. A lot. You know the award for most improved player? Does it go to the MVP? No, it goes to the person who sucked eggs in the beginning, and then became okay.

You know what? I sucked eggs. I'm okay now.

Do I have the greatest book in the world?

Ha!! No. I have a good story that is now encased in better prose than it originally was. That's all I have.

Is it good?

I think it's pretty good.

Can it sell? Maybe. In the hands of a good agent I think it's chances are better.

But I will never be a Neil Gaiman or a Stephen King, or even a Katherine Stone (who, especially in her early books, has prose to make you cry.)

I believe that skill is generally recognized. I know a lot of bestselling authors eventually write crap, but let's compare apples to apples for a moment and just look at debut novels. 95% of debut novels published by the big houses are excellent. Whether you like their genre/style/etc. most of them are clearly well-done. There's five percent that aren't, I grant you.

I also believe that 95% of the writers out there who are unpublished, and have been so for years and years, are not unlucky. They just aren't very good. And I know I will probably be raked over the coals for that sentence but that is what my experience has shown me.

Luck is a convenient scape goat. Luck is what takes a pretty good book and turns it into a bestseller instead of a well-written novel that got picked up by the wrong editor. But even that is stretching things. Bestsellers sell because someone likes them and is buying them. Don't tell me that Dan Brown and J.K. Rowling are bad writers. I don't care how beautiful or average their prose is, if they can tell such a good story that they entice the imagination of millions and even billions of people they are good writers. Period. Writing isn't all about prose--it's also about finding that spark that makes people want to read more . . . as shell out twenty bucks to do so.

The difference between 95% of authors and writers is not luck. It's skill. And you're not going to convince me otherwise.

And in ten years if I am still unpublished I will own up to that statement and declare myself to be without skill.

And you can quote me on that.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Just Might Kick the Bucket.

"Look forward to speaking to you very soon."

I think these words might kill me. Really, I think my poor heart is going to give out before they come to fruition.

A Pantomime

Subject walks to the calendar and circles Tuesday. Puts her hands on hips and shakes her head in disgust.

Looks left.

Looks right.

Crosses off Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Puts a big circle around Friday.

Big Smile.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sssshhhhh . . .

I'm being very, very quiet.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

At Levi's Request . . .

The first Chapter of Symbiosis is posted here. Be aware that the format is a little wonky and there are no indentations.



In the Lap of luxury . . .

Or at least in the lap of good cooking and help with the kids.:)

I am visiting my mom and getting some R&R this week.

Of course, I am fretting about the mail that is sitting in my mailbox right now, but I'm trying to remain calm and relaxed regardless.:)

I tell you what I'm really stoked about right now; I have commenters! Like, multiple commenters . . . other than the ones who are related to me (as far as I know *wink*) Welcome!

So I have two kids, a 3.5 year old daughter and a 1.5 year old son and we went trick or treating last night in Idaho. We're talking 30 degree weather. *Shiver* My daughter gave up after about an hour, but my little one and a half year old son trick-or-treated for over two and a half hours. We were so cold when he final succumbed and we all went home. His filled his Halloween bag to the brim. His hands were in sockies to keep them cold, but by the time we got home thy were all red and a little puffy and didn't get back to their normal colour for about an hour. It was crazy!

But fun. Lots of fun.

Nothing much about writing, but then, it's my week off. . . though I swear I can here my keyboard all the way back in Utah calling my name. *Listens* Yeah, definitely calling.