Monday, February 4, 2013

The Shelving Of The Novel with Kitten Pictures!

Hello! It's another Monday. Woo.

~I've been talking a lot about querying lately, which is funny (not ha-ha funny, really) because this past week I made a tough call and decided to shelve CALLING DEATH.

I took my baby by the hand and said, "I'm sorry but it's time . . ." and lifted him onto that imaginary shelf. He looked so sad, guys. But it's like taking your kitty to the vet. They may fuss and cry and not want to go, but tough nuggets. You know what's best.

I wish I felt like I knew this was best. I don't, honestly. I'm just beaten down to the point of no other option. Without knowing exactly why it isn't working for agents, my hands are tied. I'm told the writing is good, even beautiful. Told the voice is great, but then vagueness about a pass. I mean, I know notes from agents are rare and I'm blessed to have gotten as much direct feedback that I have, but I still have no direction to go. So, onto the shelf it goes.

Instead of sulking (we'll pretend I didn't for a couple days after that decision, mk?), I'm throwing myself into the new book. AND, if that isn't enough, I'm setting myself a deadline to have the rough draft done by the end of March. EEP!

It's kinda fun...

~In other news, I can't fit into any of my pants anymore! I've been exercising for, over a year now. Lost 10lb in the beginning, when I went to interval training and weights, gained 5 back. Had to stop watching the scale, though. Muscle weighs a butt-load, dudes! I have abs! And visible arm muscle! I don't mean to brag, but I kinda do too. It's been so enjoyable, getting fitter. The girls I work with in the office and I get together over lunch break every day and knock a one out. I love the workouts we do too, and have even started making up our own.

~I'm DYING for season 3 of Walking Dead to come on Netflix. It's the only show I'd get cable back for. If I wasn't stubborn. I heard so much goodness about it, can't wait! And Downton being back on has been awesome! I make the hubs watch it with me on Sundays. And by make him watch I mean I put it on and at some point during the hour he always falls asleep. But whatevs. He can absorb some good taste in drama while sleeping, right?

~And lastly in news probably no one gives a crap about: Last year we had a surprise in our backyard. A feral had kittens under hub's half pipe in the backyard. SO CUTE. If you know me, this is not shocking stuff. Strays in need FIND ME. And I'm not even joking. Maybe I'll tell you about all the strays and kittens before this litter some day...

Anyway, of course, I had to take them in. Got momma caught in a live trap one night and took her in to get fixed. She lived in the guestroom for 5 days while she recuperated from her operation. You couldn't touch her, you couldn't even see her most of the time w her hidey spot she had under the bed, inside the box springs stuffing.

After that, it took a while to get the kittens. Only 3 were tame enough for me to just snatch bare handed, since we had to wait so long for them to get weened and everything from mom. And then the last 3 got wise to the trap and that was drama. But eventually they found a new home in my bathroom until my cats could get adjusted enough to them. (Are you counting? That just went from 5 cats in my house to 11)

Please ignore the mess. They were LOVED to drag out all the toys at once.

Take that cuteness and add 4 other kittens. Awesome.
And months after that, we had gone through MORE drama and tears and gotten 5 of the 6 homes. All this to say, my house has gone from 5 to 8 to 12 to 11 to 9 to 8 to 6.

Missy Catelyn is our newest member. (she's such a prim lil lady) I just couldn't go through putting her in Petsmart and Petco anymore, it stressed her out and me out so badly. Hubs has proven his love for me yet again by not saying anything about it. He's so patient. He must love me. What man would put up with ALL THOSE cats in his house if he didn't love his lady?

She is an expert fetch player, too. Must get a video of this one day. She's good. 

Happy Monday, guys!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Never Gets Old And Something For The Queriers


Some sweet gals, Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Krystal Marquis, were kind enough to pass on an award to me. They are very fun to know and their blogs are awesome! Check em out!

I was given the Lovely Blog Award couple years ago, but couldn't resist bragging thanking them! I don't play along well with awards anymore, but mostly because I'm out of "interesting" facts about myself. So, thanks to the wonderful ladies, and thanks for appreciating the blog!

I heard this song on the way home the other evening and was struck at how perfectly it fit. So, goes out to all you other queriers out there: (If you're like me and not a huge Buble fan, I'll post the lyrics below. ;)

"Haven't Met You Yet"

I'm not surprised, not everything lasts
I've broken my heart so many times I stopped keeping track
Talk myself in, I talk myself out
I get all worked up then I let myself down

I tried so very hard not to loose it
I came up with a million excuses
I thought, I thought of every possibility

And I know some day that it’ll all turn out
You'll make me work so we can work to work it out
And I promise you kid that I give so much more than I get
I just haven't met you yet

I might have to wait, I’ll never give up
I guess it's half timin and the other half's luck
Wherever you are, whenever it's right
You'll come outta nowhere and into my life

And I know that we can be so amazin
And baby your love is gonna change me
And now I can see every possibility

Somehow I know that it’ll all turn out
You'll make me work so we can work to work it out
And promise you kid I'll give so much more than I get
I just haven't met you yet

They say all’s fair in love and war
But I won’t need to fight it
We'll get it right and we'll be united

And I know that we can be so amazin
And bein in your life is gonna change me
And now I can see every single possibility

And someday I know it'll all turn out
And I'll work to work it out
Promise you kid I’ll give more than I get

Oh you know it'll all turn out
And you'll make me work so we can work to work it out
And promise you kid to give so much more than I get yeah
I just haven't met you yet

I just haven't met you yet
Oh promise you kid to give so much more than I get
I said love love love love love love love
I just haven't met you yet

Hang in there, my query trench fellows, and don't be afraid those of you who aren't there yet. It's not so  bad. Kinda fun, actually, once you get over the disappointment part. But, it's totally true. Just takes one and must be the perfect one.

I'm being a WIP cheater. This weekend I had an idea I  couldn't ignore and put aside the 30,000+ of the WIP I was working on to start it. I have WIP ADD lately. Anyone else? What do you do when that happens, give in or put it back for later? How do you focus on one set of characters and story when another is screaming in your head?

Happy Tuesday, dudes!

Monday, January 14, 2013

These Things We Pass Along

Hey guys!

Did anyone else know there were people on twitter that weren't writers/publishers/agents/interns? What do they do? Okay, I knew that, but still. It's baffling.

I'm working on my patience and attitude these days. Querying has a way to burn the best attitudes, and I surely don't have the best. I actually really enjoy querying. It's exhilarating. But it is still a process that can beat me down, just like anyone else.

I was down at work one day and my boss noticed (whoops, check that shiz at the door, ya'll). He said "Happiness is a state of mind. You can chose to cross that state line anytime." He went on to explain how, while it's normal to feel down and all that, we have the power to choose how we let things affect us. Natural reactions to rejection are anger, sadness, discouragement, etc. But we can chose to find another perspective. We can decide how we let things affect our lives. This is what I'm working on as I continue to query. It's working. Sort of.

It's kind of a process. You have to first recognize when you're letting things get you down. Sometimes it sneaks up on you. And then you have to change your way of thinking. That part is even harder.

HA! "I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow" just came on my Pandora Station. Fitting? Funny. (It's an Alison Kraus station shut up.)

Anyway, my boss is just full of wisdom he likes to pass along, and I'm happy to take. On the rare instances I've opened up with him about writing, he asks me what I'm doing to progress. Each time I make the mistake of saying "I'm trying to get an agent right now" (we have only talked about it a few times this past year). And he gets this look. It's hard to explain. It's like an "awe, poor thing" face. He says trying is a backdoor word. In reality, you're either doing something or your not. When you add "trying" on to anything you're doing, you're giving yourself an out, an escape, an excuse.

This is true, isn't it? Think how often you "try" to do something, fail, shrug, and give up. "Well, I tried, so it's okay." "At least I tried". How often have we had that pounded in our heads? But most of the time, I'll admit, with things I've given up doing, I may not have done the best I could have. I tried. But I didn't go all out for it like I could have. Trying is like driving with your parking brake engaged. Holds us back.

Can we stop trying and just do that shit? Can we change our attitudes and not let things be so crushing to our lives? Sure! Lets.

Happy Monday!

Monday, January 7, 2013

This Is Not One Of Those Posts

Ehem . . . *shuffles in*  


Remember me? Anyone? I'm surprised I have any followers left! But, I'm glad you're all here and I missed you and all the blogs and all the things so very much.

It's a new year (had you heard?) and I figure, since I don't make resolutions because it's just setting myself up to forget and then feel guilty when I finally remember, why not just kick my ass into coming back to blogging? WAY easier than trying to remember to not say "shit" or to drink 12 glasses of water or some shit. (would have failed miserably already. Shit.) Because, this I enjoy. I hope you all believe me when I say I missed you guys.

Reconnected with a few bloggers via twitter this past year, which was neat! FINALLY got into Twitter. It took a while, but now I check it just as often as FB and stay on it longer than FB (we all know why...). So if I haven't found you yet, come find me!

Let's see . . . Hadn't blogged in forever . . . Oh, I remember one of the last posts. Was a downer post about how I was going to blog anyway, even if I was being a downer, right? Maybe . . . either way, that post exists and I'm tempted to take it down because that was a lie. *Raises hand* I admit it. I did not follow through at all, and I am ashamed. I just couldn't bring myself to do it, guys!

But this year is different. This year I will. Because, whether or not I have good news to bring to the blogging table, some things are important to share. Like being a downer. And why. I always said I wasn't going to post about querying, which is mostly why 2012 was so quiet around here. But I'd like to share that with you now, if I may. If you don't want to read it, I won't love you any less.

I started querying in March 2012. PUMPED, people. SERIOUSLY pumped. This was the book. This was it. 2012 was my year! (I have a thing about even numbered years and 2012? Super even. Please ignore the fact that every other year in the 2000 is super even, okay?)

So I queried. Tested the waters. Sent out a couple to gauge response. Things were going along. A tweak here, a snip there. Queried some more. Then got requests! Hazzah! A couple, but lets be honest, the first time an agent says "sent me a full" you start picturing yourself signing books in Barnes and Noble to a massive crowd.

Then I got the first no on the full with no explanation. That's okay, right? I still have another full out and it's early in the game and all isn't lost! Then a second no with no explanation came not too long after. Cue the whu-whu-whu-why sobs.

But, I have amazing crit partners who know how to lift spirits. I dusted off, they helped me up, and got back to it. People, lemme tell you, It was not pretty. To sum up the rest of the year, until late late 2012 you could hear crickets over my MS.

The query was changed (big changes) maybe four times. I lost faith in this book. I lost hope in myself. Every other day I wondered if I should just quit. Then the next day I'd laugh...and laugh and laugh...because that wasn't happening. Not write anymore? Seriously? Instead of writing when I normally do I'd be...doing...what? What is there besides writing? I couldn't tell ya. So, dejected or not, I queried on. I started a fourth book. Moped.

It wasn't until someone said "okay, but give me and R&R" that I got back the love for this again. If I'm being honest, I'd lost the love. It happens. But with the R&R, I looked again at my book, THE book that was supposed to be the one, and went "Huh . . . yup . . . those are excellent points. And not small points either . . ." When shown to me, I thought I saw maybe the reason I'd been doing so poorly. Made total sense! It was an epic *facepalm* moment where I wanted to go back to all those agents from the beginning and apologize and say "try again, give me another go, because I get it now!" But, we don't have that luxury, unfortunately.

So, I stopped querying. I threw myself into the edits. I asked for help, got one of my fabulous critters to go over it again and BOY DID SHE EVER. Pumped, this was it (again). These changes were going to do it. The R&R was going to be big stuff, guys.

And then, half-way through editing, that particular person quit the industry. It was like all the hope I'd regained shattered around me. (melodramatic anyone)

I was angry for a couple days, I admit. There was no word to me, no apology, nothing. I felt, in those two days, I was owed one. On the third day I fully realized that no, I wasn't. And that maybe it wasn't the end of the world. I got very valuable insight into why the book wasn't working, I was making it better, and perhaps, though that door had been slammed shut in my face, it could be for the best. Everything happens for a reason, I believe that. So why was I having a hard time accepting it in this instance?

Bruised ego pushed aside, I finished the edits in time for another full to be sent. And this is where I am in 2013. At first, I thought I was no where different than I was in March of 2012. I've had a few pep-talks about it and because of them, I can't really believe that.

The biggest thing I learn last year was that it takes others to show us what we don't see. You can stare all you like, but if your thinking isn't challenged, you'll never see it any differently.

I'm still not agented, but I am still a writer. I am still querying. I'm not even half as pumped this year as I start querying again, but whatever. And I won't be giving up anytime soon.

Also, I lost another Goodreads Challenge, dangit! *shrug* Aim lower, that's my new motto. (mostly kidding)

How was your 2012? Anything new I may not know? Share! Share! I would love to hear about it!

Happy Monday! Welcome back!

Monday, September 10, 2012

GIGANTIMOUS CONTEST -- Via Sheri Larsen and Her Awesomeness

Sheri Larsen is having an epic giveaway to celebrate her signing with an agent! Whoo! So here she is with the deets:

Today, I invite you to celebrate with me!! I've signed with Literary Agent Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary! And because our literary community is so freaking fabulous and generous, I'm having a Bigger-Than-A-Shopping-Mall GIVEAWAY!! The giveaway consists of:

  •  two separate Rafflecopters with multiple giveaways 
  • and one grand prize Rafflecopter giveaway - to enter for the grand prize, you must enter either giveaway #1, #2, or both. 
There's only one mandatory entry. Everything else is up to you!! I know Rafflecopters can be a pain, but it was the only way to organize such a huge giveaway. The giveaway is open until September 27th. WINNERS will be announced on September 28th. (Entrants may win more than one prize!)

Thank you so much for entering, spreading the word, and celebrating with me!!

Links to Rafflecopters: 

Giveaway #1- a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway #2 - a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grand Prize Giveaway - a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 29, 2012

And Again. Tired of Me Yet?

Yep. Back again. Over there, Matthew MacNish. You know the drill.

Thanks Dudes!

Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Check It Out, Or Not. But Mostly Do.

I promised a couple beautiful wonderful people that I would post a reminder about it. And considering I'm asking you all for the favor, it's the least I can do!

I'm over on Matthew MacNish's blog today and tomorrow. He's going to rip my query a new one. Hopefully.

I would LOVE some feedback as I have put querying on hold until I get notes for reworking my query. It juuuuuuuust wasn't doing as well as I'd like out there. Wasn't doing BAD necessarily. But not good either. So help me get back into the trenches!

I know it's a bit to ask you to stop by two days if you weren't already a MM regular (but really, lets face it, who isn't?) or don't blog/visit both days, so if you can't and do have some wise advice for me, just post it here today or drop me an email. (ce dot murphy at yahoo dot com)

Thanks dudes.

Happy Thursday!