Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Floating on a cloud today!

I wish I could report that it had something to do with writing and my quest for publishing success....but it doesn't.

Yesterday and then last week Thursday and Friday, I found myself feeling an awful lot like that insane uncle in "One Crazy Summer"...you know, the John Cusak movie with a very hippee-esque Demi Moore?? Hoops helps Cassandra go up against Teddy the rich guy to keep her grandfather's house, and they fall in love along the way and win the big regatta race at the end. Anyway, Hoop's friend's uncle was in his room listening to the radio waiting for the jingle to be played and he had to be whatever # caller to win a million dollars. Well, last week and especially last night, I was totally that guy. I didn't have the wiry hair or the taped glasses...and I wasn't chain smoking, but I was sitting on my bed with both my cell phone and my hubby's...waiting for the song of the day to play.

And then it played....and i dialed and redialed and sat with two cell phones on speaker phone as I sat and as soon as I heard the busy signal, pressed end then send and send again to redial. And I got through more than a couple times......Caller 1, caller 4, caller 20-something, caller 48 (I was on the air for that one), caller 77, caller 90- something..............THEN.....................caller number 101!!!!!!!!!!! The magic number was MINE!!!

And what did this magic number get me??? Nothing actually....BUT I am now in the running to win a trip to Hollywood, CA to see my most favorite guys in concert!!! Only 10 people will qualify for this trip...I have a 1 in 10 shot at winning!

I am 31 and not embarrassed to admit that I screamed and jumped all around my house. I was shaking and could not contain my giddyness. When it was time for bed, my mind started wandering to the maybes and what ifs of winning this trip and after an hour in my bed, was still not able to sleep!!!

So now I have to wait till next Monday when they announce the winner. My fellow New Kids crazed friend is going to try her damnedest to qualify too........then we'd have a 1 in 5 shot at winning......OMG!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Busy busy busy!!

YIKES! This new blog was not supposed to go so many days without a post!!

Apologies to my loyal readers...all 6 of you.

Seems we all have busy days, weeks, months...things just get away from you. You get so immersed in whatever you're doing...and some things just get tossed aside.

I have been looking into some new and exciting things though...for me anyway. One is the Romance Writers of America. Now that I know what I write is definitely in the romance genre....I feel quite at home on the RWA site and really feel like I need to join. Unfortunately the $110 fee is standing in my way. I plan on working on it....sell some blood on ebay or something..I don't know.

I also checked out Amazon.com and what is involved in publishing your work for the Kindle. Apparently anyone can publish and it's free. You set the fees for your work, and amazon obviously gets a cut. I need to read all I can. I just need to make sure that if I do this, that some day down the road, if I say, sell 1000 copies on Amazon, can I then go to a publisher and use that info to get a publishing contract for that book.

And lastly, I've been snooping arond the Harlequin website and I'm excited to find they accept unagented submissions. I prepared a query for A Bitch Named Karma and that will be shipping out tomorrow. I plan on querying Spellbound as well...but will hold on that for at least a few weeks. There are still tons of agents I haven't heard from yet.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Read something yesterday that disturbed me....

I was checking out the Romance Writers of America website. Now that I have realized what I write is indeed romance...I need to learn and research as much as I can. I took a trip to the library yesterday and brought home four romance novels. I need to see what's out there and see where my writing fits, if it does fit at all.

So anyway, I was on the RWA site and clicked on a link that took me to a page for local chapters. I found there is one in western NY. So I clicked on it and each writer introduces themselves and says a little about what they do, where they are in the quest for publication, etc... One women's bio shocked me and gave me a reality check. No, reality crushed me like a monster truck barreling over a Geo Metro. The women said she found RWA in 1989 and immediately joined....she still is not published. This is 2009......she's been on this quest for 20 years!!!!!!

I can't help but fear that will be me. I'll be 40, 50, 60 years old and wonder what the hell happened. I hate the thought of being 80 and having regrets...I try my best to live my life that way. But what if I never find the career success I want??

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I think having passions in your life are extremely important. If we can't get giddy and crazy excited about something...than what's the point?? We all have our jobs and significant others and maybe we're blessed with amazing offspring too. And those things can be fulfilling and you can be passionate about them, but the question is: Is that enough??? This girl needs more out of life. I need something that's all me.

In my experience, everyone has some kind of passion, whether it be a collection, a hobby, a favoite band they must follow all around. Everyone is different and I think that's cool. What is not cool though is being criticized for your passion. If you're not hurting anyone, then what's the big deal??? If your passion is not what other people deem a proper passion, you're ridiculed.

Luckily for me, I'm far past caring what others think about my passions!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Been busy...will be busy for the next few days

I like being busy. I like feeling accomplished...no matter what it is I actually do to keep busy.

Yesterday I didn't get on the computer until about 9:30 last night. Not checking email, Facebook, blogs, all that stuff...not a big deal...it's there when I'm ready for it. But a day away from some kind of writing related thing..whether it be querying or actually adding to a story...that makes me feel a bit unsettled and unaccomplished.

So what did I do and what will I be doing to keep me busy???

I spent yesterday with my girlfriends, crafting shirts for the concert we're attending on Sunday. Yes, we're nerdy like that...but we look so incredibly cute!! We crafted shirts for the last concert we went to as well. (This is my 3rd time in 6 months seeing these guys. "True Fans" we call ourselves.) And we're not the only ones who do this. Thousands of girls...ahem..women....stand in packed arenas with hand-made shirts spouting love for these 5 dreamy idols on stage. We feel zero embarrassment screaming like boy-crazy teens and singing along to every last note.

So that was yesterday.

Today is a lazy day. Well, I shouldn't say lazy. I did manage to send queries to the last 20 or so agents on my list...55 sent in total. (10 rejections so far) I haven't yet tackled the paper-only agents. Come on, people.....let's go Green!!! There are a bunch on my list who will not under any circumstance accept an email query. I don't get it. Writer friends tell me they think it's their way of limiting the amount of queries they get. It's so easy to send an email...it takes actual effort to mail in a paper submission....only a serious writer would go through all that trouble. And while I agree...I just don't understand the agent's need to waste so much paper and postage. (And don't even get me started on the ones that don't even have a website!!!) Yeah, they can recycle...but still. So I may still query those agents...but I'll need to come up with some cash to ship the packets first....... A 50-page writing sample, 10-page synopsis and then the query letter...it's a good $2.50-$3 to ship. And multiply that by like 15.

Tomorrow is a post St. Patty's Day party. Should be fun....parties at this friend's house always are!! After this week of querying and headaches...I need a night of relaxation.

Sunday I plan on attending a small press book fair. My main objective it to chat with some local publishers. The big guys in NYC won't accept submissions from unagented writers and seeing as I am having trouble finding an agent...I might as well check with the small guys.

After hopefully asking some good contacts at the book fair...I will be off to Erie, PA for a night of music and magic!! Jordan, I truly will be "Loving You Forever!!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I dove right in

And sent out close to 20 email queries yesterday afternoon. And plan on sending more today.

And I'm completely terrified.

A writer friend tells me this is the best novel I've written and she thinks this is the one that will get me an agent. The feedback I've gotten from other readers is similar...they love it too. They loved my other stories. If they are a small sampling of the readers out there, and they love it, why can't an agent see that too???

I'm terrified that this will be just another flop.....months and months of wasted effort...again. I've been here before...felt optimistic beyond belief...and had it all smashed, not once, but twice. And it's not like I didn't query my little heart out.....over 150 for the second novel.....

I can't even feel excited this time. And that saddens me. I have written three novels for God's sake! How many people can say that???? I have accomplished something that many many many people say they will do "someday". And I've done it three times. But that will never be enough for me. I will never feel accomplished with having novels just sitting on my hard drive.

So what do I do??? I keep at it I guess. Perseverance is key...I'm told. I have a ton of other ideas in my head...just need to decide which one to pursue next....

Monday, March 16, 2009

Time to Query

Feeling a little sad right now...finally heard back from the agent who asked to read the first 5 pages of my manuscript....didn't like it.

I was excited to start querying....but now I just wonder if I'm just setting myself up for more and more rejections just like this one.

But I guess you never know unless you try...this was just one agent's opinion.

My query is done...I think. I read it over and over and I just cannot think of any other way to make it better.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I think I can understand addiction

Today I received some news and found myself unable to resist. I just *had* to look into the piece of information I came across. Then when I found that this unbelievable thing was indeed believable....I was giddy! Until I told my husband about it and he shot me down with a dose of reality and proceeded to tell me I had a form of OCD.

And he was right; I knew he was right, but something inside me still yearned to make this dream a reality and hoped he would change his answer after I gave him ways to make it work. Nope. But I have accepted it and will move on....

This brief experience gave me a glimpse of what it must be like for an addict...of anything- cigarettes,gambling, caffeine, sex, shoes......whatever...that *need* to have something even when your brain tells you it's wrong and you shouldn't. I can see how addiction can take over your life and make you do things....things you enjoy immensly. And for as much joy as they give you, they bring just as much, if not more regret later on.

Luckily for me, I can keep my addiction in check. I can stand and say I am an addict.....but in all honesty, I have zero intentions of ever recovering!!!! As long as I keep my logic hat on, I will be okay. But if I suddenly come into tons of cash...that hat is being burned!

(And FYI, the piece of information I recieved was an email about a price reduction on a Walt Disney World trip.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'm in query hell

And just when I think I might be coming out....nope....back into the fiery dungeon.

I've reworked my query over and over again an when I post new versions on a writers critique board I visit, it seams they tear it apart for some different reason.

I read samples on websites, some on an agent's blog that I read. They are great queries...and as much as I try, I just can't get mine to shine like that.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A 5-page Partial Request

The partial request. This is step two in the query process. Step one is piquing their interest with my one-page letter...a mere 200 words about my entire story....a short blurb that is supposed to convince them they want more. Then, an extreme rarity, they actually ask for more. This is my foot in the door....my big chance to "wow" the agent in a few pages.

So far, I have only sent out three queries for Spellbound. I wasn't ready yet for a full on query blast. All three were online forms I filled out...simple, easy and quick. One was for an agent who I have queried before. I like her. She's very nice and each time she's given me a non-form letter rejection after reading a 5-page partial. Today I checked my e-mail and sitting there in my inbox was a request from her to read my first five pages.

So now I will send them off...and sit..and wait...and wish...and pray...and wish some more...and pray some more....that this time will be different...this time will be right...this time I will impress her enough that she will offer me representation.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Old Lady section

I have been on the search for new jeans for a while now...seems I could not find anything that was right for my body shape.

My first look was in the junior/younger women's sections, where I buy some of my clothes. At 5'3" and right at the ideal weight for a woman my size, most clothing in that section fits and I like to stay trendy and somewhat hip, but not like I'm trying to look 16. So of course, there are a lot of racks in those sections that I completely skip over. But on the racks of jeans, nearly every pair is so low cut that unless you have zero body fat and/or have never had a child, you cannot possibly wear them without getting that "muffin" affect. I see so many young girls wearing these ultra low rise jeans and they just DO NOT look good!!!! Even the really skinny girls! These jeans take a nice looking body and make them look fat!!! Stacy and Clinton have pointed this out to numerous women with major fashion faux pas. I love them, they are my style consultants, so everything they say is law!

I searched for jeans at my favorite stores...places like Old Navy, GAP and NY&Co. Nothin' there either. Old Navy's jeans have gotten so cheaply made and are just too darn low in the waist....plus every pair seems to be made for a woman with junk in trunk...and that is just not me. There's nothing in my trunk. NY&Co...averages are a mile too long, while petites are floods on me..go figure. GAP....I just cannot sanely pay $60-70 for ill-fitting jeans.

And so my quest for the perfect jeans continued with a trip to one of the larger department stores- JCPenny. I had hope....they have a wide selection of denim. I skipped right over the juniors section and headed toward women's clothing. Grabbed a dozen pairs in different cuts and sizes. Found a few that semi fit. One pair was good but a smidge too big but when I went down a size, it seemed the waist dropped like 2 inches....way too low rise for me. Others were just too big in the hips and thighs and butt, even though they fit fine in the waist. I sighed and put them all back. Hubby was so great....offering words of encouragement...we'd keep looking until I found the right ones!

I checked Kohl's today......and walked to the Old Lady section. I browsed a couple tables with folded jeans on them....miscellaneous brands of taper leg jeans...I shuddered at the mental picture of me wearing them, recalling my freshman year of high school. I looked some more and to my surprise, it seems the high-waisted Old Lady jeans are long gone. A sigh of relief. Most of the jeans have a mid rise waist....exactly what I want...still well below my belly button, but my underwear, ass crack....or worse...doesn't show. Speaking of.......there was a youngish girl in the grocery store last night...probably around 20...wearing a pair of polyester type workout pants...ultra low rise..... with her crack totally in plain view for all Wegmans shoppers to see. It's like a train wreck...how do you walk by and not look???? But unlike a train wreck, I laughed...and wondered how on earth someone could walk around and not know their butt was hanging out!! I prayed my almost 6 year old didn't say "Mommy, look at that girl's bum crack!" So anyway...my point is...CRACK KILLS!! No one wants to see it.

So back to Kohl's. I spied a table of Levi's...not my first choice because of price. Now I am no where near being a cheap person...but I am a huge bargain hunter. I almost never ever buy anything unless it's on sale or I have a coupon and usually the coupon is used on things that are on sale. I hate buying anything unless I can get at least 30% off it's full retail price. No matter what it is...even a $10 tee shirt. I hate paying full price. So, even though $34.99 is not an insane price for jeans, it wasn't really what I wanted to pay. The last jeans I bought were at Old Navy on a crazy sale day for only $12.....but I need to keep reminding myself of the above reasons for why I no longer buy jeans at Old Navy. So anyway, I try on a bunch of jeans, including some Levis and some Old Lady brands- Gloria Vanderbilt and Lee. And they all were pretty decent...except the Levis....they were perfectly amazing. I went back to the table....I had the one and only pair in my size.

And speaking of size...shopping in the Old Lady section has it's advantages.....I was in a size smaller than I normally wear everywhere else!

I leftKohl's with my one amazing pair of jeans. Now that I found what I like, I can start the bargain hunt to find them elsewhere for less money!!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Writer's Cocoon...what the heck does that mean???

Welcome to my new blog! I'm making a new resolution to do this blogging thing and do it right! Resolutions aren't just for Jan. 1st.....why wait 9 months???

So The Writer's Cocoon......wonder what it means??? Well, I often sit here...on my couch, wrapped in an electric blanket (just as I am now)- I'm conformable, I'm toasty, it's my favorite place to be in my house. Across my legs sits my laptop...glowing, illuminating my face. We sit here together in a warm cocoon and create something...something special...