Sunday, July 20, 2014

Holy Humbling, Batman!

My ego was seriously out of control when it came to writing a query. That has changed!

Oh my gosh! Writing a query SUCKS! I remember when I first started this whole writing thing (with queries and such). I thought I totally understood what it meant to write a query. I even spent the last three years querying books and getting rejections. I was convinced that the query was solid. Well, guess what?! It wasn't.

I mentioned in my last post that I hired someone to assist with my query writing. I'm not sure if she wants me saying her name on here, so I'll hold it in for now, but she's kicking my butt. In a good way. I get to try five times with my query. Each time, she breaks it apart leaving me with quite a bit to think about when I get it back. It's really hard.

I actually commented about how hard it's getting and she said that it should be hard. If it weren't I wasn't doing it right. Three years ago, I would have scoffed it off. Hell, two months ago, I probably would have, but now, I am getting it. She's pushing me like no one has before and this is just with my query. I'm getting seriously nervous about what she has to say about my manuscript. Holy Moly!

This is such a humbling experience. I know I can't be the only writer who has been down this path of having the ego ripped out from under you like an area rug. I am a student all over again. I like it. :)

Anyone have a similar story? I'd love to hear about it. I'm off to work the query again. Good night!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Paying for Help

Part of my entrance back into the writing world was my declaration that I was going to bite the bullet and do whatever it takes to be successful as a writer. So, I hired someone to help with not only my query but my manuscript, Keridwen, as a whole. I received the first set of notes on my query and I have to say, I'm thrilled. The comments were professional, straightforward, and honest. I need that. I haven't sent my manuscript, yet, but I'm ready for some serious feedback. I have to admit, I'm a bit nervous, but this is so needed. 

I'm convinced that I'm just too close to Keridwen. I've edited, reworked, done all of it. It's been read by dozens of people. I've taken every word of critique to heart and have seriously tried. This is what led me to a professional.

All that being said, I'm really excited about it. Looking back at my posts from two and three years ago, there was a recurring theme. I needed someone's help, but my pride stopped me every time. I know I can't be the only writer who has been down this road. That doesn't make it ok, though, and my foolish arrogance turned ignorance is most likely the reason my writing has been halted for so long. It's quite a humbling experience.

Humble Pie has been digested and now I am writing again. I've made changes to my query, knowing it will need more. I'm ready to do it again and again until it's perfect (by a professional's standard) and then do the same with my book. 

This is the year of Jamie, after all. (I should probably explain that later). Only good things can happen from here on out.

Good night!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Feeling Punny :)

My children both bought fish last week after a year of begging and pleading. Though we already own two dogs, two cats, and have been through guinea pigs, ferrets, and more, they broke us. My daughter wanted a Betta, so she got one. His name is Albert. That's a good name, right? Then she thought Albert was lonely, so today we got her Cami (named after my husband's grandmother). They're beautiful fish. I just hope I don't end up with a tank of babies.

My son, on the other hand, is a "writer" like me. He likes playing with the English language, which is pretty awesome for a 9 year old. Anyway, he wanted to standard goldfish. They were .29 each, so I wasn't sure how long they'd last. Their names were Gillbert and Finsley. Like the fish puns? I know I did. Well, Gillbert was the first to go. He lasted one day before sinking to the bottom of the tank and staying there. This was the first pet of my son's to die, so we had a funeral over the toilet. Everyone said something sweet, and my son mourned the loss of his friend. Later that day, we went back to the pet store and bought a much more substantial fish - an Oranda Goldfish. This fish was $5.00. He better live. Initially, my son wanted to name him Gillbert 2, but then we got a little more creative. Now his name is Gillmore. Get it? LOL! More gills. He cracks me up. Gillmore is doing very well. Yesterday, though, Finsley went "belly up". My son woke me up this morning to tell me. I got up, got the net, scooped Finsley out, and again, we had a funeral over the toilet. My husband, son and I all said something sweet. My daughter said, "maybe the tank is cursed." She's 11, going on 20. Anyway, we went to the store and bought another Oranda. This one's name is, are you ready for it, Finagain. Cracking me up! Both Orandas are doing great. We hope these will last a while.

The lesson I learned from this is that being a reader rubbed off on my daughter. She reads a book a week. Being a writer rubbed off on my son. He likes to make stories regularly. Both traits are fantastic and I wouldn't trade it for the world. It makes me smile to see my kids embracing the English language.

That's it for now.

Have a punny day! :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Determined

So, I was talking with a writer friend and asked her if I was crazy. Her response was don't confuse determined for crazy. That got me thinking. I am determined.

When the year began, I declared that for the first time in 37 years, I was going to have a year for me. Now, don't get me wrong. I am still providing for my kids and husband, and being an active role in their lives, but for the first time, I'm really doing some things for me. In January, I quit smoking - cold turkey. I woke up on January 6th and decided it was time. Instead of going downstairs for my morning cigarette, I took a shower and got ready for work. I was done with smoking. I haven't smoked since. I'm incredibly proud of myself. In March, I walked into a Medifast clinic and signed an 18 month contract to lose weight. The goal is 50 pounds. As of today, I have lost 26 pounds. I don't cheat on my diet (other than the occasional cocktail) and I lose weight every week. Again, I'm really proud of myself.

Now, I looking at my writing. I am no longer looking at self-publishing. I am determined to do what needs to be done to find an agent. If that means taking writing classes to get better, joining writers groups, and just writing all the time, then that's what I'm going to do. As I said, I am determined. I want it. I want it like I want a cigarette or a piece of cake. But unlike smoking and eating, I'm not going to quit/give up. I'm determined to work my ass off. I know that it doesn't stop at just getting an agent, too. I know there are drafts, and drafts, and more drafts. There are submissions, editing, marketing, and more. I get it. There's more work than I can imagine, but I'm ready. I'm ready to work hard because I will do what needs to be done.

So that's it. The year of Jamie is now. I know now, it's not crazy. It's determination.