Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I've Just Woken Up (or A Weird Post From the Mind of a Querier)

So a few updates since it's been *cough*eightmonths*cough* since I last posted, but let's not talk about that. I mean, unless you want to? How about I give you the highlights? In that time, I visited relatives in North Carolina, went to Disneyland TWICE (yes, you're permitted to be jealous, I'll wait), learned how to write decent poetry--which contributed to better prose and then a crippling inability to write anything because it Wasn't Good Enough, but ultimately overcame that writer angst and finished edits on my sci-fi novel, MACHINATIONS.

Which brings us to the now. MACHINATIONS is currently on submission to agents, which means my days usually go a little like this:

1. Wake up at 6:30. Feel great about the world. Feel hopeful about life.
2. Get onto the computer. Check email. No responses yet. Okay! No news is good news, right?
3. Research some more agents. Send out a few more queries. Start to wonder if my query is good enough.
4. It's fine.
5. Are you sure?
6. Yes. Stop overanalyzing this.
7. Go about the rest of my day, avoiding the dark shadows of my mind that like to hiss and spit venomous thoughts like, there's not enough voice in your query letter and who are you kidding this manuscript isn't good enough and you're not good enough and maybe you could just take another look to be on the safe side and also you should get dressed you bum
8. Get dressed. I am not a bum!
9. Probably work on a puzzle. Puzzles are great. I'm especially fond of the Cobble Hill brand. 10/10, would recommend.
10. Wonder about my plot synopsis. Is it up to snuff? Too short, too long? Does it show the proper character arcs?
11. Check.
12. Yep. It's good. Be happy with it.
13. Think about it some more. Be less happy with it.
14. Remind myself to stop being so critical.
15. You stop being critical.
16. Well, I'm not the one who's arguing in a numbered list with themselves.
18. Stop being crazy (temporarily). Maybe watch some TV. Shark Week, baby!
19. Or Netflix. Let's not talk about my sudden and overwhelming need to watch New Girl, which I proclaimed to hate when it first came on.
20. Read off and on throughout the day. Currently, I'm reading three books concurrently because I am indecisive and also because I do what I want, Thor! Also also because there are so many good books out right and I want to read all of them. All the books.
21. Youtube. Facebook.
22. Think about what I want to write next. Get excited about it.
23. Still no response from the agents yet.
24. Synop--?
25. Shut up, brain.
26. Watch Primetime TV with family. Depending on quality of entertainment, make snobby comments about how British television is better. Probably mention that [insert show here] would be better with the addition of Idris Elba and/or Oded Fehr.*
28. Read some more.
29. Jammy time.
30. Go to bed, dream of agents and book deals sugar plum fairies dancing in my head
31. Wonder what a sugar plum fairy is. Sounds about a step above the diabetes fairy. Ohoho, think myself so clever.
32. Fall asleep.

And then wake up and do it all over again, basically.

All kidding aside, the query process is no laughing matter. It's hard work and I am taking it very seriously. Humor is just the best way I've found for coping with the pressure and the otherwise crippling self-doubt. Just got to keep your head above water and keep treading! Persistence pays off. At least that's what all the writer forums keep telling me, and I'm electing to believe them. For any of you also on submission at the moment, or anywhere else in the process of getting published, good luck! Stay strong!

* It's true, though. For any show, really.
~Author's note: In this list, I have elected to leave out all instances of eating, in which there are many. It seemed superfluous. Also Reeses-flavored everything might frequently be involved.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Long time, no blog!

... is a joke I will probably make a couple times this year, given my track record with blogging, but never mind that!

Resolution one: be more like Hobbes.
By which I mean a tiger.
Everyone loves tigers.
A belated Happy New Year to all of you! Hopefully you're making progress on those resolutions, if you made them, and if you didn't, hopefully you're still enjoying the nice, fresh start the new year affords. And if you did make some resolutions but aren't making progress... well, I won't tell about that donut if you won't. And exercise? Pfft, who needs to exercise? ;)

Kidding aside, being a goal-oriented person myself, I happen to like New Year's resolutions. Okay, okay. Let's be honest. I like making lists. I like writing things down and then doing this to them. Repeatedly. Nothing makes me feel more accomplished than having a list with a bunch of strikethroughs on it. With every item I cross out, my brain gives me a little shot of endorphin, almost like it's saying, well done, jolly good show, ol' chap, we got off the internet and did something today! Also, apparently my brain is British, but let's not talk about that.

This year, I failed to actually write down my New Year's resolutions beforehand. *gasp* But! I did make some, mentally. Of course it doesn't do me a lick of good to keep them in my head, so I'm going to jot them down here, right now. For the record. Also, because it's fun to look back at the end of the year and laugh.

1. Write and finish another book. At least one. Oh, heck, let's be ambitious and shoot for two.
2. Finish editing Machinations and/or Drop Dead. Or the as-yet-unwritten book, but really I'm so close with Machinations.
3. Send out queries for a book. I sent out queries for Drop Dead last year, no bites, but it was a great learning experience. Terrifying, but definitely an eye-opener to the real publishing world.
4. Get in shape/get healthier. I've been playing Just Dance 4. Baby steps.
5. Read more. Vague, but I think the point is best made simply. Last year I read 33 books, so my goal this year is to beat that number. There's so many wonderful books out right now. I consider this resolution a pleasure to undertake!
6. Write, write, write. And do it with 50% less angst! Okay... maybe 25% less. I don't know. I've perfected my tormented writer whine. It seems like such a waste to let it go.*
7. Learn to be more forgiving. I don't mean toward others so much as toward myself. Especially concerning my writing. It won't be perfect initially, and that's okay.
8. Be happy, be loving, live godly. I think that sums it up.

We'll see how I fare!

Have you made any New Year's resolutions this year? If so, do share!

*This is a joke. Mostly.

P.S. I will try try try to update this blog more often! I tend to get wrapped up in writing, or not-writing-and-wishing-I-was-writing, but I really think getting some thoughts out of my head and onto the blog will help relieve some pressure from my brain. So stay tuned!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Now, I'm not going to say aliens, but . . .

I love a good conspiracy, and when that conspiracy involves aliens I love it even more. Nothing gets my writer juices flowing better than a delicious what if? scenario.

That being said, I recently came across some articles about a possible unidentified flying object hovering around the sun. The pictures are pretty interesting to look at, and NASA's reaction a bit underwhelming for my taste. But even if it just happens to be some cosmic rays or a camera glitch, it's still fun to speculate what else it could be. Maybe some extraterrestrials refueling on the sun? An alien space station, perhaps?

I'll tell you one thing it definitely is: some great sci-fi story inspiration.

If aliens are out there, and they finally make their way to Earth, how do you think first contact will go down?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Unsinkable Ship, Take Two

Asked if Titanic II could meet the same fate as its predecessor, 
Palmer told reporters: "Of course it will sink if you put a hole in it." 
He added: "Of course, if you are superstitious … 
you never know what could happen."

An Australian billionaire is apparently replicating the Titanic to scale, fitting it with modern amenities, and then having it sail the same maiden voyage the original never completed. My immediate reaction was: when can I buy a ticket? and, less dignified, TAKE MY MONEY TAKE IT.

That might seem strange to the skeptics and superstitious out there who see this as a bad idea or tempting fate, but I've always held an unshakeable fascination for the Titanic. As a history lover, I'm frequently exposed to important human events in the past, and every now and then one of them takes hold of my heart and refuses to let go. With Titanic, it started with the James Cameron film and has since evolved into a hungry consumption of documentaries and non-fiction works related to the ship's sinking. Anything and everything I can get my hands on.

Something about the disaster keeps me wondering, marveling at the tragedy. All you have to do is look at pictures of the ship -- black and white and pristine and huge, they called the ship unsinkable and that's exactly how it comes across. Then imagine it disappearing beneath the waves on a black April night, taking over a thousand souls with it. It's as unbelievable now as it was when it happened.

In all likelihood, I will not be sailing the Titanic II's maiden voyage, not out of fear but because of funds. I imagine tickets will sell like hotcakes, no matter the price, as soon as they go on sale. That's fine, though. I'd be just as happy (and probably quite emotional) to watch the Titanic II pull into port in New York -- something it's spiritual predecessor never did. Because, to me, that's what this endeavor represents: A second chance at something great.

What about you? Would you sail on the Titanic II?