Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'll place the sky within your eyes

Instead of doing anything productive, I've decided to waste my time. I have a cold, and I don't enjoy it at all.

I could be writing my book. I've got two of them going, and I enjoy them. Or I could be editing this other girl's. But I'm doing this instead. Wasting time.

I read an article, and they said "real" writers write during the day. They get up in the morning, and then go, working it like a normal job. I cannot do that. I can write for like 12 hours at a time, but not during the day. It feels wrong. It's probably because I'm usually not awake during the day, but I am... and its all wrong. Also, I work in the evening. So that probably effects things.

But I suspect that I will be a night writer. Obviously, what matters it the amount of time and the committment you put into your writing, not that actual time. So I'm might just be the expection to the rule. I am that, sometimes.

Monday, September 28, 2009

everything you ever

I just took a personaloty test, and I enjoyed it because it said that I am a visionary, a dreamer, a talented writer, laidback, and I never lose my sense of wonder. Those are things I pride myself on, and I'm glad they're true.

My internet is being slow and stupid, and I suspect that's from the tremendous wind that is blowing outside.It's super cold in the house, and it sounds like I'm in a haunted house in a bad horror movie or something. It would be a lovely fall day if the wind weren't being so ridiculous.

I'm very excited to see Where the Wild Things Are and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parsanuss, both of which open in a few weeks. I doubt they'll come to Austin, but I'd be willing to drive up to Rochester or the Cities to see them. They seem very magical and wonderous. Which, according to my personality type, I like.

I watched the making of Labyrinth last night, and somehow, learning how they made it made it even more awesome. I really wish I could do that. That's definately a priority in my life now. Doing something that makes puppetry better. Or something. I don't know

I also made a new collage last night. It's pretty fancy.

I haven't heard anything on my book yet, but it's too soon really. The one month exclusive read goes til October 23rd, I think. Or if its until she gets it, then it probably hasn't started yet, or it just started yet. I'm not sure. At any rate, I have about a month. So... yay!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

with my freeze ray I will stop the world

If you haven't seen Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog, I strongly urge you too. It's mostly funny, Joss Whedon's writing is delightful, and Neil Patrick Harris's singing is stunning. Okay, I am going through a musical phase right now (which sounds even odder to me than it does to you), and I might be partial.

The hype over Switched is exciting for me but frightening. I want to believe that it's awesome as everyone says it is, and part of me does. But the rest of me is nervous about jumping all in when there's always the possability of rejection. I'm trying that whole Secret thing so I know I shouldn't believe that. I mean, I'm supposed to believe that everything already has worked out or something. But its hard. Self-preservation is a tricky thing.

I have been ridiculously happy lately. For normal people, I'd imagine this is what falling in love feels like.

My current life soundtrack is: "Rainbow Connection" by Sarah McLachlin, "Across the Universe" by Jim Sturgess, "The Walk" by Imogen Heap, "As the World Falls Down" by David Bowie, and "My Freeze Ray" by Neil Patrick Harris.

Also, of note, I'd like to post this to show what the inspiration for my soon-to-be-hit novel Switched is:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

the lovers, the dreamers, and me

I would gladly spend the rest of my life watching Jim Henson films. If this writing thing doesn't pan out, I'm totally going to puppetry school. And if this writing thing DOES pan out, I'm totally setting up scholarships so other people can go to puppetry.

The magic that Jim Henson created in unparalleled.

Ditto for John Hughes, but at least I don't have to watch films with CGI Molly Ringwald. Although, I did just see Jennifer's Body, but really, that would be more of a bad take on Kevin Williamson than a bad take on John Hughes.

At any rate, Switched was my best attempt at combing my favorite elements of Jim Henson and John Hughes. My biggest inspirations, specifically, I'd say would be Labyrinth and Willow (not Henson, but in the same vein) and Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink. I didn't recreate anything scene for scene, as I shouldn't. That's called plagiarism, not inspiration.

But I think I took the feel. Its not quite as magical as Jim Henson, cause I'm not quite that magical. I think I can be more so in the following books.

But I think if you were to read it, you wouldn't be surprised to know that I spent the last few weeks watching muppets, John Hughes, and Heroes. I want magic, but realism, and I like my focus to be more character centered than fantasy. The fantasy is important, but its the characters that drive it.

At any rate, I finished my final final edits on Switched. My mom proclaims it as the best thing I've ever read and utterly brilliant. At times like this, I wish her opinion counted for something in the publishing world. She hasn't liked a lot of what I've written, though, and she is really impressed with the turn my writing has taken.

It's more simplistic. Less dirty. And more focused on the things I love. I love what I write about. I'm not trying to exorcise my demons anymore. I'm trying to get people to experience the happines I feel. To live in the world I live in, that makes me so completely happy.

I love what I write. I love this book. With Switched, I think I took an original take on a story, one that people haven't before. I cast things differently. Maybe the formula is a little familiar, but there's a enough new elements and changes that it can stand out against everything else around it.

So... please please please let me get what I want.

Friday, September 11, 2009

necessary evils and mortal enemies

I sent off pages and I can't explain how rough that was. I always get so nauseous and panicky attacky. Because this time could. If I just do it right. If write things just right, and market them just right, and they get to the right agent at just the right time. If all the stars in the heavens align perfectly...

I've done the work, but I never know if its hard enough. I never know if my work is polished enough. I read it over and over again. I make other people read it over and over again. I cut things and move things, so the rough drafts look like a rainbow threw up all over them thanks to all my highlighter use.

Sending off queries doesn't bother me that much. Getting rejected from them doesn't either. Sending off pages freaks the hell out of me. That's something. That's somebody actually taking the time to read my books, and that rejection is actually rejecting me. I know it's supposed to be personal, but that's my book. You read my work. And for whatever reason, its not for you. That's the worst.

And every time I send of pages, I'm always sure it's going to be a no, but... I still hope. I still think"this could be it," even though I know that "this" is really just a step in the right direction,. Getting an agent isn't success. It'll help and it's good, but there's still tons more work (and more rejection) before (if) anything gets published and goes on the shelf.

But still... this could be a step more than I've ever made it before.

Or it could be someone rejecting me for reasons I'll never know. It could simply because my work didn't speak to them. It could be because I didn't edit it enough. Or it could because of how poorly written it is. I don't know. I don't think its poorly written, and I try to fix it, but maybe they will. And I'll never know what merits it was rejected on.

My biggest fear is that I sell it wrong. I don't describe it right in the query, so the people that might want it don't ask for it, and the people that ask for it don't really want it. It is a 90k word urban fantasy/young adult. I did take inspiration from Willow, Labyrinth, Pretty in Pink, and Sixteen Candles. I wanted it to be a modern fairy tale meshing those films together.

But is that what it actually is?

I don't know. There aren't any muppet-y characters in it, like in Labyrinth. But I don't know how to write them. There is magic and trolls and an evil queen and kidnapping and things of that nature.

I don't know. Here's what I do know: I love writing. I think I took a made a variation of concept that hasn't been done before (sexy trolls!). My dialogue is very believable. Wendy is funny. Finn is steamy. I think there's something there. I think it's worth reading, and I think people will buy it.

That's what I think.

But I also nearly threw up when I hit send. So that's my professionalism.

Monday, September 7, 2009

grin and bear it

Okay. I understand the nature of this business. That it’s mostly rejection, no matter how good you are.

But I don’t think its fair that because I know that, that I shouldn’t take any of this personally. That I know it only takes one “yes,” that I’m not allowed to feel bad about any of this. Because I know this hurts, it shouldn’t hurt. Because I can’t change it or fix it and I have nothing new to say about it, I shouldn’t say anything at all. Because this sucks and everybody knows it, but that’s the way it is, so I should just take it and smile.

I mean, this isn’t in any way a diatribe about being agents or being rejected or anything like that. I understand where they’re coming from.

But the fact is that it hurts. And most of the time, I think I do a really good job of dealing with it. I get a rejection, and I go, “Alright. Let’s look at another agent” or “Let’s tweak the query letter or the book” or even “Okay. Maybe this idea isn’t quite right. Let’s try writing another book entirely.” I mean, I try to learn from mistakes, turn negatives and positives, and use everything I possibly can to improve my writing.

But some days, it hits me harder, and I just want to cry. And I don’t want anybody to tell me that it’ll be okay, that somebody’ll publish my book someday, because they might not. In fact, odds are against that ever happening. But that’s not the point.

The point is that I don’t want to be told that I’ve said this before. That I go through this about “once every six months.” Do you realize how much rejection I’ve endured in the six months prior to that? The fact that I only take two days a year to sob and freak out is pretty damn remarkable.

The point is that this is hard, and I go through this the best I can. But on the days when it’s not going good, I don’t need any words of wisdom. Or any jewels about how great my writing is and how one day everything will be a magical fairy tale. All I need is for you to listen and remind me of the things that make me happy.

Because, at the end of the day, despite all the rejection and pain, the thing that makes me the happiest is writing. And maybe that’s the point. Even if I can’t get paid to do something I love, at least I can do something that I love. At least I have that.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

wait. they don't love you like I love you

I'd rather be an agent. I'd rather be selling and reading someone else's work. Then I'd know.

With my work, I'm too close. I never can tell. Sometimes, I think its really fantastic. Other times, I think its horrible. Most of the time, I think its just what a book should be. Its just what it's intended to be.

But when I read about the books agents are looking for, and I hear the way they talk about them, and the way I try to talk about mine, it doesn't sound like any book is that amazing. At least not any one that I've read, let alone one I've written.

So I don't know how to tell anymore. Today is a Debbie Downer day. It's my last day of vacation, and I've felt the sting of rejection today. Sending off queries is so exciting, but then the rejections come, and I start feeling vaguely suicidal and like destroying everything I've written.

I know I need a thick skin, and sometimes I really do pull it off. And in my heart, I think my books are good. But today, I'm not sure if I'll ever find an agent that feels that way.

Tomorrow I'll feel more optimistic. But today, I don't.

Friday, September 4, 2009

she's batshit - that's what happened

Now that I have the internet, I have once again entered the exhausting and anxious business of trying to get my book published.

I have decided to focus all my attention on Switched because it isn't as generic or redundant as book about vampires right now. (Not that My Blood Approves is either of those things. But it is about vampires.) And not that many people are writing about sexy trolls and have high school bands referencing John Hughes. I win on those counts

Here is my query letter, if you feel like writing one:

"When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother tried to kill her because she was convinced Wendy was a monster. Eleven years later, Wendy’s still not sure if her mother was right. In my 90,000 word urban fantasy/young adult SWITCHED, Wendy finds herself being “stalked” by Finn Holmes, and she can’t decide if he’s creepy or foxy, or maybe both. Then he tells her that she’s a changeling, and despite her better judgment, she lets him take her back to the world of Trylle – beautiful, powerful, wealthy, and entirely supernatural. Suddenly, Wendy finds herself poised for a throne she doesn’t want and falling for someone she can’t have, and it seems that everything has a very high price.

The story is based on the original interpretation of trolls as cunning and beautiful, but wild and ill-tempered. At its heart, SWITCHED is a modern fairy tale, trying to mesh the worlds of Jim Henson (Labyrinth) and John Hughes (Pretty in Pink). SWITCHED is meant to be the first of a trilogy, with the story culminating in Wendy’s rise to power. I’ve already started writing the sequel and have the outline for the third."

The end.