la_belle_laide: (Wildflowers)



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I should have written this 2 weeks ago when it happened, but here it is now:

THERE'S AN AGENT LOOKING AT MY FULL MANUSCRIPT.

It's crazy. I changed the name to something that was similar to the title I dreamed about a few years ago. Actually no, it wasn't even a title I dreamed of; it was a lottery ticket with a word on it. And last month, I came across a scientific theory that sounded similar to that word, and weirdly fit perfectly with my book. I thought, Well, wow! I really like that! And maybe changing the title will get me a few nibbles. So I did, and sent out a query letter, and FIVE MINUTES LATER she wrote back saying she would love to read the whole thing.

I've got to wait, what, typically 6 months for a reply on a full. But I'm really stoked. She didn't ask for an exclusive, so I can query some others in good conscience, too.

Also in good news, my close relative got some good news regarding some medical results today and I couldn't be happier.

Yes, it snowed yesterday and it is miserably cold and not at all spring-like. But that bit of good news, and having a request for a full, is really making me feel all the happies.

Last week I went out with Gold Dragon to see Winter Soldier. It was so dang good and we had a great time together as always. Gold Dragon wanted to hang out after the movie, but I'm one of those Moms now who can't ask anyone to watch my baby past 11. So I took a rain check and we're going to go out to a nice dinner some Sunday instead.

And tomorrow, my best friend Glassworker is going to come over for a hang out.
Work is fine (though my bosslady had a sad occurrence / health upheaval – she's fine now, though,) clients are generally nice (except the ones who book two slots and then cancel them both, leaving me with NO clients on that day, wtf, who does that?!) and I got a raise! Woop! I actually got it sometime previously, but my boss didn't tell me, and I didn't notice it because my paycheck varies so much week to week.

I really miss Kung Fu these days. I especially miss my beautiful training family. Empress went to another school way out west (and she works and goes to college full time now.) Snarklit moved to Brooklyn. Chrysanthemum still trains once in a while when she's around. Gold Dragon works full time, doing graveyard shifts at the hospital and then catching up on sleep. I just miss them. I miss the shape I was in, too. I'm still thin but I have no muscle and no strength. Boo.

BUT. Manuscript. Family member's health scare over. New coat of paint in the living room. Hopefully some nice weather soon. TAX RETURN. For the first time since becoming LMT, I'm getting a return!

I'm also doing the April poem-a-day thing on HitRECord. Most of them suck, but once in a while I've gotten something good, and it's forced me to think, and to write, every day.

And CJ has finally got one tooth that you can actually see now. Every few days he'll say a word or two, then he'll stop saying it. “Fish” (“dick,) “book” (“guk”) “egg” (“ehh”) and the other day he said “Haku” clear as day. He's got some good sign language, too. (Eat, milk, cousin, hello and bye-bye.)

His first birthday party is coming up fast. Though, that is slightly depressing because after that, Jo-chan goes to work and we don't see her until next Fall. Summers are nice, but a little lonely because we get so few people coming by.

Maybe I'll try to get Mom, Boychild's Momma and Boychild to come with us on our Monday Summer walks again. That was really nice last year.

But here I am already thinking of summer, when it's 40 degrees today.

Come on Spring, get it the eff together!


la_belle_laide: (floating woman)



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Auwe, the agent who asked for an 8 week exclusive on my novel (after 3 months exclusive on the first 3 chapters,) decided she didn’t feel “passionate enough” about selling it. >_<

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Bleh. Oh well! Onwards and hopefully upwards!

I don’t think I’ll be giving any more exclusives, though. That came out to five whole months of querying that I’ll never get back.

Err, unless I was super duper into the agent I guess. :) Then I’d consider it.

Still, I think it’s a good sign that this is all totally subjective now. Like, lots of agents have said that they thought the writing was great, it just wasn’t necessarily their thing. And we know it has to be a perfect match.

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AND I’M NOT OUT OF CAKE.

Actually, I don’t have any literal cake. But I do have girl scout cookies. ^_^

Then tonight, my accountant came by to go over taxes with me. Since I pay at the end of the year, I need someone to do all the complicated stuff for me, and I need to dig through every write-off I can find. Like travel, insurance, college loan interest, etc.

And then I heard the tree frogs outside. I have to document that every year. First night of the tree frogs. :)
la_belle_laide: (floating woman)



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Note to self:

March 14 will be the 8 week mark since sending out my novel to the agent who asked for it after 3 chapters. She wanted an 8 week exclusive. (I've since read some notes from other agents saying that exclusives are the worst and we shouldn't grant them, but she was really interested and I got really excited. :D )

If I don't hear back from her by March 14th, then it's time to start querying again.

It does seem like each time I query, I get a little closer; a better reply. So, even if this agent decides to pass, then perhaps that "yes" is right around the corner.

And I have to keep reminding myself: The query letter works. The summary works. And apparently, the first three chapters work, too. Agenting is highly subjective, but some agents have liked the novel—or at least my writing in general--even if they ultimately decided not to offer representation. That's a pretty big deal, right?

So, March 14th, and then I'll stop holding my breath and sweating when I open my mail.

la_belle_laide: (floating woman)



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Today I heard back from an agent I'd queried in November, who requested the first 3 chapters exclusively in December. She wanted them for 3 weeks and when I didn't hear anything, I kind of forgot about it. I was just going to start querying again tomorrow.

But then, after work today, I GOT AN EMAIL FROM HER REQUESTING TO SEE THE WHOLE NOVEL. She wants an exclusive look for 8 weeks. Exclusives are kind of a bummer because you can't query anyone else during that time. But I also think it's worth it. If an agent is interested enough to ask for that, it's a pretty good sign.

This one is really special to me because it wasn't just a synopsis or first ten pages. It was the first THREE, which is 39 pages. Which means, to me, that she thinks the writing is really good. That I'm really good. And if she rejects after this, it's not because the writing sucks, it's just because it's not her kind of thing after all.

This is some really sweet validation. :D

And speaking of sweet validation, my Mom made employee of the year at her job, out of like, 130 employees. They had a party and announced it in front of everyone. It was really cool.

Work is about the same for me. Last week we were really busy, with all the post-holiday gift certificates coming in. But this week, tapering off again. Also, I had to miss yesterday because I had a monthly check-up. It's quick – you pee in a cup, get on the scale, then blood pressure and fetal heartbeat, end of story. But I met a midwife and stayed to talk with her for a while to ask questions. We discussed the fact that I want as little intervention as possible, unless it's an emergency. (Seriously, if I had my way, I'd go and crouch in the forest and bite on a stick till it was over.) She asked me if I was single or if I had a birth partner. When I told her I was single, she was so happy for me. She grabbed my hand and said, "That is so wonderful. Good for you. And I'll tell you something else. Even if you're not single, you're still on your own. There's only so much a partner can do, and in the end, they usually don't do much anyway."

Then I asked her about the flu shot. I haven't had that pushed on me at this place and I've been thankful for that. She said she personally hated vaccinations and flu shots, but that this year she would recommend it. But then I'm thinking, she works for a bunch of doctors. It's CYA; she has to say that.

I asked my boss (acupuncturist and TCM,) and my chiropractor (another doctor) and they were both against it.

I already know what the medical community says about it, because you can't swing a dead cat without someone yelling at you that you OMG HAVE TO GET IT OR UR STUPID AND HORRIBLE, but I wanted both sides of it. Not getting it seems the most rational choice for me, but we'll see.

Well, anyway, I should get back to fretting over the rest of this novel. You'd think this whole situation would instill me with confidence, right? Yet every time this happens, I go nuts trying to "correct" things I suddenly think aren't working. Even if I was totally happy with it last week.

And that's what's up this week so far! Woooot!

la_belle_laide: (Wildflowers)



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So a couple have things have gone on, some good, some bad, some still up in the air.

I'll start with the bad first, because it's what's on my mind. HitRECord, you know, is a nice little community - okay, it's really not so little, but you do get to know some folks. One of my pals there is a gal named Inky. She lives in Hawai'i and for a while we were working on some poetry translations on the site. Then she went away for a long trip, but had to cut her trip short because her boyfriend Niko (Honeyboy on HR) was very ill. Cancer at only 30, unable to get chemo due to a heart condition.

Inky and Honeyboy went traveling around the islands of Hawai'i together for a few short months. During their trip, they were taking photos, writing, tweeting, and exchanging packages of goodies and trinkets with other HitRECorders. Every Friday was Aloha Friday, where we would all send songs to each other on Twitter. Niko sent lots of my favorite music; I'd have fun identifying the singers and bands.

Just last week I went out and bought all sorts of Long Island goodies to send to them: local chocolates, trinkets, and some local honey for Honeyboy. I didn't have a box to send it in; figured I'd get to the store last Friday and bring it to the post office.

But Thursday night, Inky posted to let us all know that Niko had passed on Wednesday evening. She sent his last photo from his phone to his Twitter: a picture of the sunset out his window, titled "Goodbye Sun."

So everyone is heartbroken, and I have this package of stuff sitting here, addressed to both of them, and I don't know if I should still send it.

I came home from work today to find two packages had arrived. One was the HitRECord book that two of my writings made it into.

The other package is from Inky and Niko. It has a card from them. "Sending you lots of aloha and hugs and kisses, XOXO Honeyboy," and "Lots of love to you! XO Inky" They must have put it in the mail that Wednesday. And I just don't know what to do with myself over this. I think I should send the package anyway.

That was the most important, and of course the worst, thing that went on this week. Me, I can feel sad and cry and go about my business, but I know that his family and friends don't have that luxury today. My week still has some happiness in it. I get that.

Some of my happiness this week is, as I mentioned, getting that book in my hands. It's gorgeous, so much better than I thought it would be. The whole intro by Joe is about patriarchy and sexism, and why he changed the ending to the story. The second "intro" is by his Mom, which details the War On Women and why books like this are necessary. She talks for a while about the terrifying bills that are being put on the table (and some passed, barring women from testifying,) and then says,

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My two pieces are in here, surrounded by beautiful art. Here's the funny thing: the first one is on page 39 and the second one is on page 45. I have a thing about numbers adding up to 3 and 9 so I'm like "OMFG IT'S A SIGN."

I also finished up the revisions requested by that one rad agent. I "finished" them, I should say, and then I stressed and stressed, and hemmed and hawed and fussed and revised again, and then once again. And then, yesterday, I sent them out. Now, I'm convinced that I only made it worse. I could only have screwed it up more. I just don't know what to do sometimes, who to listen to!

But also, a few agents held a "Twitter Pitch" contest, which is what it sounds like. You reduce your novel to 135 characters (leaving room for the tag,) and pitch to them via Twitter. Well, the one agent who showed a little interest in mine has a thing against stories with a time travel element. BUT, she also said it sounded cool anyway, and I could go ahead and query her to give her more info. I know it's not the kind of thing she represents, but something must have sounded kind of good for her to say that! So I figured, why not? And queried her, too. Can't hurt. :)

I am running out of agents to query, though. I'm getting a few nibbles and a few "You're good, but I'm not in love with this." What if no one falls "in love" with it? Then, I guess, I shelf it, start up with some of my other books and such. Get one of those to sell. Then maybe someone will be like "Do you have any trunk manuscripts?" Haha, yeah. But I don't want this to be from the trunk. It's my favorite.

So that's more or less what's been going on, aside from the stuff I'm going to put in the locked post. Today is the first really hot hot day, and my first day in shorts (once I came home from work, that is.) About two weeks ago I fixed the aviary door. I just need to put another latch on the bottom, just to be on the safe side (didn't need one for ten years, but I'm not going to make that mistake again,) and then hose it out, set it up, and put my twelve bastard starlings into it. Will probably do that tomorrow. Then maybe I'll get my winter clothes put away. I did that much earlier last year, I think; maybe two weeks earlier. But it's been super chilly this month.

Oh, in the meantime, hey. You can order this gorgeous FEMINIST retelling of a fairy tale, with poetry, stories, thoughts, essays and really beautiful art. Scroll down to the $20 one. ^_^




Yay

May. 2nd, 2012 03:58 pm
la_belle_laide: (Default)
I've always kind of liked editing, revising, stuff like that, on stuff I've written. That's because I like having written things, and I honestly like re-reading my own nonsense. I amuse myself.

But there's something to be said, an extra special *ZING* to revising a manuscript, when you're doing it because a literary agent said, "This is good enough for a second chance, if you'd revise it."

I know that it's no guarantee that said agent will go, "OMG this is now exactly what I want." This happens a lot, I get that. You can revise till the cows come home and you put them in the barn and then milk them the next day and brush them down and feed them and pet their noses, and after all of that, said agent can say, "Sorry, I'm still not in love with it."

I get that, I really do! It's just that, the encouragement means so much. Just knowing "this is good enough stuff for another look" is like, soul-humpingly good.

I AM HAPPY.

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REVISIONS.

Apr. 8th, 2012 12:42 pm
la_belle_laide: (Default)
This morning I woke up at 8, and chilled in bed half awake thinking about the critiques I’ve gotten from agents on my novel. All of a sudden, I had that half-awake revelation, you know the one. YES. I understand. I know exactly what I need to do to fix this. I get it. I got this.

I grabbed my ‘Droid figuring I’d try the notepad function. These are the notes I took.

So here it is, the much-needed revisions to my novel, typed on my Android at ass o’clock in the morning, half awake.

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I think the most important development is great shop hit ice Beth Wtf. That's what's going to sell this novel.

I got this.

Apr. 8th, 2012 10:13 am
la_belle_laide: (Default)
I woke up at 8 this morning (courtesy of noisy crow,) and lay in bed writing auto-corrected notes on my 'droid.

I think I figured out exactly what both of these agents are telling me (especially the last one,) and what's more, how to fix it.

Still gonna need help, NGL, but I had A Moment.
la_belle_laide: (Default)
So here was my reply to the rad agent who asked me to revise and try again:


It is so heartening to hear back from you with this advice. I will be more than happy to revise and edit with this in mind. Is there a time limit I should keep in mind? Is it possible to get a few weeks before resubmitting? And, should I put anything specific in the subject line when doing so?

I really appreciate this feedback and chance to revise. Thanks very much.

Sincerely,

Jules


Is that right? Does it sound any good? I hope so, because I already sent it! It was that or "Mmmmm. Meditate on this I will." And I didn't think that would work out.

But now, I do have to meditate on it. Well, not meditate really, but take a shower, lie in bed in the morning, and think of different ways I can ground the story into this world. Pour cement on it and give some background info in a clearer, more direct way, but without info-dumping.

That has always been my challenge. I love writing about people, and what they do and think and the choices they make and how they react to things, but settings/places/histories have always sort of eluded me. That's the part of writing I really fret about, because I somehow never nail that.

It's taken me years to put that into words.

So I have to take a few days and concentrate. I'm not one of those people who can go in and start hacking things up. I have to think of some ideas first.

Also, I'm peeing my pants in a constant stream.



ETA: Her reply:

Dear Jules,

There's no time limit, take all the time you need, and the cleanest way would to just reply to this email.


SNOOPY DANCING RIGHT NOW.

It's just that, I love when agents are so nice and chill and helpful with things. It muh muh muh makes me happay.
la_belle_laide: (Leander)
This morning—day off because of the stupid holiday—I checked my email first thing, and was surprised (as I always am) to see another email in my inbox titled "QUERY: Qualia." I resign myself to form rejections every time I see that, and I don't expect much else because it's easier that way.

But it wasn't a form rejection! And when I read the first lines and they sounded, you know, personalized, my first reaction was "OMFG, NO, I CAN'T." More like panic than happiness, if we're being honest.

Anyway, here's what she said:

There's something your voice I like and I applaud the scope of your story, but I have to confess I got completely lost in your pages. It felt like I had stumbled into the middle of an ongoing series or novel, not started something at the beginning. You need to give readers a more intelligible introduction to your world, not drop them in with characters and rules they have no context for. I'm not suggesting you info dump but you do have to give us someframework to understand your world with. If you were to revise this or if you have another project, I would be willing to take a look.

Best,
LITERARY AGENT"


If you'll remember last year when I had a request, and then rejection of the ms, that lovely agent told me,

You're a wonderful writer, but in the end, this particular project didn't do it for me, in the sense that I didn't fall in love with it the way I need to with fiction. I think in the end that's entirely a personal preference thing -- I felt your world-building was a bit too abstract, and I wasn't as engaged in your characters' lives as I wanted to be, but that kind of distance and narrative style might very much appeal to someone else.

I AM HEARING THIS LOUD AND CLEAR.

Two things are at play here: One, I might have taken the "start where the action is" advice a little too literally. There are lots of stories out there that don't start in medias res. The Hunger Games (which I've been reading and madly enjoying,) starts with the main character waking up, in fact. And then going about her day. We of course learn early on that it's a Very Important Day, but still, there's about a half a chapter of her wandering around her world.

The world I am writing in is very clear in my head, but I'm obviously making the mistake of thinking that naturally, everyone's going to see what I see.

Two: It's quite possible that I write with too light a touch, since I'm always telling myself "You're too effusive; tone it down, reign it in." Maybe for the genre I'm writing in, I need it to be earthier or something. I am kind of like this in real life, too: sort of an airhead, I mean.

SO! The first thing I need to do is formulate a professional, polite, gracious reply saying something like, "I AM SO STOKED MY HANDS ARE SHAKING appreciate this feedback very much, and would be glad to LEGIT DO WHATEVER YOU SUGGEST make any revisions necessary and then resubmit to your every whim. Paint your house? Bake you cupcakes? Hop on a pogo stick and yodel? I will do this. Is there a time limit on resubmitting?"

Or something like that? I want to let her know how much it means to me that she's willing to give it a chance with some work, and that I'm more than willing to revise like crazy (because I really like revising, for one thing, and for another, if two agents are saying, in essence, the same thing, then this is obviously true!)

And then, to the revising! I don't even know where to start. Let's see; I sent her the first ten pages and a one-page synopsis. I was actually afraid I was dumping too much information into those first ten pages, so I'm stuck as to how I'm going to fill it out, and I know I need some help with this.

Should I go back to the sf/f workshop? Or somewhere else? I'm so flustered I don't even know where to start, even though before today I had it all worked out, what I would do if I needed to make revisions and try again. Someone please do the hard stuff for me!

AND! I also know that, plenty of times, writers make revisions and it's still not enough. That happens a lot. I'm also prepared for that, and anything she (or anyone) tells me will only help me become a better writer. So I'm not putting any faberge eggs into this basket, but I sure am excited!

And I'm also just happy because, this is twice now that a literary agent has said "I enjoy your writing" in one form or another. That means, you know, no matter what, I can do this. IT COULD WORK.

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I'm not a bad writer. I'm a good writer. (But I'm not good enough to explain in words how effing happy that makes me! Here, have another gif:

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Here's another wack thing. Last year, when I had that other agent's interest? That was right after HitRECord published my Tiny Story. This year, this came right after the Red Riding Hood stories.

Clearly, clearly HR is my good luck charm. OH YEAH.
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But anyway. I'm happy and freaked out and excited and I just don't know where to start, okay. Where do I even start?





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la_belle_laide: (Leander)
Meredith Barnes posted an ALL LUCKY SEVENS meme.

1. Go to the seventh or seventy-seventh page of WIP.
2. Count down seven lines.
3. Copy the seven sentences that follow and post them on your blog.
4. Tag seven other authors (on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr--up to you!).

Here are mine!

“You might feel that you walk in terrible darkness,” said one of the men. “But in truth, the darkness walks in you.”
“Shush,” said the woman with yellow teeth, as she looked over her shoulder. “It’s one and the same. Don’t confuse him.” She looked at him again and smiled as she undid the buttons of his shirt. He felt her doughy fingers on him.


Eww.
la_belle_laide: (Leander)
My "elevator pitch" got a good review from queryquagmire!

Who is "Queryquagmire", you ask? And I quote: Please don’t ask me who I am or what publishing house I work for. And if you know me, please try not to use my name on the blog. It’s not that I’m some super villain with a secret identity… actually, yeah. I am a super villain with a secret identity to protect, thank you very much.
If you’re an author or aspiring author visiting Query Quagmire, welcome! I hope you learn a little something from my slush pile tales and walk away unscathed. There’s no need to be offended when I poke fun at a query, and there’s certainly no reason to inform me I’m a heartless bitch. Trust me: I already know.
*Edit: No seriously, don’t ask me who I am. This includes questions about where I got my degrees, where I’ve interned, where I’ve worked, and where I currently work.


What's an "elevator pitch? An elevator pitch is what you say when you meet an agent/editor/publisher etc. in an elevator during a conference and you want to pitch your novel. Basically, it's supposed to be a brief, juicy summing up of your entire body of work, in one or two lines. Like a micro-mini-query.

My "elevator pitch" went like this:

A brain damaged, turn-of-the-century physics teacher travels back in time to prevent a despotic usurper from becoming a technological God in the future.

Queryquagmire said:

This is a great pitch. I would certainly ask for more. You can improve it by noting the market and/or genre. It’s steampunk, is it not?

This pitch works so well because it tells us everything briefly, specifically, and clearly. In other words, it tells me what I absolutely need to know about the book quickly and in a way that’s easy to understand. It would work just as well verbally as it would in writing. It is also lacking in query letter cliches, which is hard to do in such a short pitch.
“Despotic usurper” is a little redundant. But the good news is, you can change this to something that will give us even more juicy information.
~QQ


A;LDFGJHA;OFIGYAOD;IFGHAS!!

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Parts of that are actually the first line of my actualfax query letter, then I just took another word or two from the query to put into the pitch. So "despotic usurper" doesn't work – maybe I can leave it as "despot" or something.

ANYway. I am so happy! Because if that pitch works, then surely some agent is eventually going to really like that hook and ask for more. That did happen once, remember, and I got a request for a full. The full got a really nice, "helpful" rejection (which I will never forget: "You're a wonderful writer but this just wasn't for me...")

Dude, every day I'm closer. Every query sent out is another link in the chain. I am so excited!

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la_belle_laide: (yanyan)


I DON'T KNOW! I HAVE A LOT OF FEELS ABOUT KENSHIN, OKAY. And this trailer gives me a lot of thinks to go along with my feels!

So I'm not sure yet. The cast looks very beautiful, and the action looks pretty badass too. I could love it, maybe, but it had better be damn effing good. You can't mess with a thing like Kenshin. And I hope they don't mess up Kaoru because she was pretty hardcore. So, we'll see about this!

Fangirling aside for a sec, I have a full schedule tomorrow which is rad, because it's been really freaking slow around there. I have one appointment on Christmas Eve and we're closing early, so I'll be losing most of that day, too. Hopefully I will get some good tips tomorrow.

Today I sent out three more queries. I sent them with mucho excitement and high hopes. Fly, little queries! Fly and find us a home!

All right, really I just wanted to put up that trailer. Time to go watch some Torchwood at Mom's, and then chill out here for a bit and get to bed early for tomorrow's appointments. I start at ten, because that's the earliest we ever start there (the owners, two sisters, are so NOT morning people for which I am profoundly grateful,) but with having to take care of the dogs etc. in the morning, I still have to get up at 8:15. Still! That's the earliest I ever have to get up for work and that's really nothing to complain about, is it? Especially after getting up at 6:45 for so many years working for The Bad Place, and at 6 AM on some days when I was in school over an hour away. God DAMN how the hell did I even do that? Eff that.

You know what occurred to me just now? I need some new icons.

Well, yeah. Okay, ta!









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Right, so I just got my 13th rejection on my query letter for my novel. Drat, and I was hoping 13 would be the one, for no other reason than that I really like 13. Triskaidekaphilia? 

So now I need some advice, because at first the query letter was getting good rejections (you know, “You’re a wonderful writer / this is great / someone else will love it, it’s just not for me,”) but now I’m back to getting straight up form rejections, and it’s (more or less) the same query. (You know, with personalized changes depending on the agent.) So I’m not sure if I should change it again or not.
It’s only the 13th, but I’m a little afraid of running out of agents to query, because it’s steampunk sci-fi, and I’m not finding a huge amount of agents who are into that.

But! You just keep on trying until you run out of cake! And I’ve got lots of cake left. It’s so delicious and moist. :D 

I am really holding onto those GOOD rejections, and to that one email from that one agent who didn’t represent steampunk, but offered (out of courtesy - one of his clients is a friend of mine,) to take a look at my ms. He said that the material was great. :) So, there is no way I’m losing hope! It’s going to happen. One of these days. 

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In other news, tomorrow is the first day of Autumn. I'm in the (messy, irritating) midst of getting my winter clothes out and my summer clothes put away (and trying super hard to get rid of some stuff that I don't wear anymore,) and all of a sudden, it's like 75 degrees again. Last week it was in the 40s, and now here we are, back to goddamn summer. I mean, at least make up your mind. Stop teasing me.

Monday was pretty fly. Jo-chan, Boychild's Mama, Boychild, Mom and I all went out Halloween shopping. All I bought was a few pieces to start my Weeping Angel costume, but it was really fun, just being out of the house with people.

Jo-chan is here for her half-week stay. I'm really glad this is working out, with her working for Boychild's Mama and spending half the week here. Last night we all watched the premier of Criminal Minds, and tonight we're going to watch Blink. It's little things like this that excite me. :D

Happy Autumn, my Halloween peeps!


la_belle_laide: (Leander)
This was going to be entirely a Hula entry, but then something cool happened this morning that I need to document.

A friend of a friend (and now an actual friend) is a published author. She's another bird rehabber (the three of us are,) and her book is about life with birds. Her agent also happens to be a Big Name Agent, with Big Name Clients. I don't want to mention anyone specifically. But the dude is superfly busy. ANYway. So my friend Crow Lady hooked me up with Bird Writer who sent an email to Big Name Agent and asked if he wouldn't mind having a gander at my manuscript. He said he would, as a favor to her. This was a few months ago.

Well, you know how it is, people get caught up in life and work (I often take months to answer emails myself,) and it took him a while to get to mine. Today I got a reply from him.

Okay, don't get all excited yet. Ends up, my ms. is not a genre that he can assess fairly and he didn't have any advice, which is totally understandable. (Like, I wouldn't be able to critique a romance novel, or something.)

BUT. His exact words where: "The material seems very good."

THE MATERIAL SEEMS VERY GOOD. Do you see that "VERY" in there? I do! I definitely see the words "very good" in there. I am absolutely taking those two words to heart. And so, I am going to Snoopy-dance around my house for a while because I am a very good writer, and that comes from someone who knows the business of writing.

Then, that other rejection I got from an awesome agent, who didn't really click with the material but said I was a "wonderful writer", remember that? I still hold onto that, too.

I mean, every single opinion counts. When someone likes what I've written, I don't care if it's some random person on the internet who was like "that was neat," or if it's a friend, or family, or anything. When anyone says "I enjoyed that" it gives me all the happy feelings. But when someone in the publishing business says it, it makes me confident that other people in the publishing business will eventually feel the same way, and a few of them will click with me/the story, and someone will pick it up, and off my novel will go to publication. There's the joy of just hearing someone say "I loved this!" and then there's the joy of hearing a professional say, in essence, "this could happen."

It's as if there are separate goals with writing. 1: I love it. 2: Other people enjoy something I've written. 3: Publication. If all three could mash together one of these times, well that'd just be a great big chocolate chip cookie of happiness.

In other words, I HAVE LOTS OF CAKE LEFT.

Okay, I have to take Haku to his rehab in a bit. When I come home, after maybe taking them to the beach, I'll write my Hula entry. :D

la_belle_laide: (D)



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Haku had a seizure at 10 this morning, which is a really weird time for him. Well, I guess they are all really weird times, but I think that 10AM is a first. It was a short seizure, about two minutes, and he bounced right back from it, but still. I never get used to it. He forgets his situation for a short time after each seizure, and he walks around on his injured leg. Because he can't remember that it's supposed to be hurting him.

Aaaaand Sano had massive blow-out diarrhea and vomiting for two days straight. Seems to be over now since I just started giving him rice and sweet potatoes. Still, OMG. WHAT.

In better news! The place where I'm working has an upstairs studio where they teach Yoga. It's a really nice studio, with wood floors and lots of space. Bosslady asked me last week if I would be interested in offering Hula classes up there over the summer.

Extra money, and I get to teach, and dance, which is what I most love to do? YES PLEASE. I really, really, really hope this one works out. It's what I want. Hello, universe! *taptap* Let me have this!

Work is both predictable and unpredictable. I can usually guess how many treatments I'm going to be doing, but I can't rely on tips. Some people tip, some don't. The first week was insane, I made about $90 in tips. But, I was covering for someone who's been there for over a year. Now I'm not covering for her anymore, treatments have dropped off a bit. And actually, some people just don't tip. They don't know they're supposed to, I guess. Or, not supposed to, but that it's super nice if they do. And some people think that $3 is a suitable tip for a $80 service. I guess they just don't get it. So, you just have to learn not to actually count on them.

I'm just happy that I'm making actual, real money. It's not a lot, and I'm not being realistic when I'm thinking that this is going to solve my problems and keep me in my house. I know I need to make more. I'm hoping that within a year or so I'll get a really steady client base and that will take some of the burden off.

I also have the best friends ever. Remember last summer when the pool collapsed? Well, it's been sitting there in shreds all over the yard since then. Most of it was still standing, just a big empty ¾ circle of scrap metal. My Kung Fu brother, Homeslice, came over Tuesday while I was at work and started taking it down. He just PMed me, showed up with a Sawzall (or whatever it's called,) and cut most of it into manageable bits. Now, I can sell them to some scrap metal company! Then they recycle it, which is awesome. In return for Homeslice doing this, I give him some treatments and we're square.

I love bartering. I really think it's the way to get things done. :)

In writing or whatever news, I've got one query still out. I had two more rejections. I'm still hanging on to that one awesome one I got ("You are a fantastic writer and even though this isn't my thing, someone will love it.") I just know someone will pick it up. It's a matter of finding the right match, that's all. So, I'm waiting on a third, then if that one is a "no" (but my fingers are crossed! This agent has a client that I really like!) I go out searching again. I think I like to do 3 at a time. 3 is a lucky number. :)

Then, I'm also translating this epic poem on HitRECord into Hawaiian. It's so freaking huge. And it challenges everything I knew about the Hawaiian language. All the mele that I can so often understand is written in an entirely different idiom. There's no model for something like this. So I have to figure my way around phrases and patterns that I don't know. Hawaiian language patterns are hard for me. But I'm still glad for the challenge because I've missed speaking Hawaiian.

Other than that, the usual. Still spending a lot of time with Boychild, going to Kung Fu, hanging with friends, watching movies, making movies, dicking around on the internet.

But spring is here! So exciting! :)
la_belle_laide: (Leander)



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Today is intensely historic and I can't seem to quit watching Al Jazeera's live feed of Egypt's celebrations. I realize it's not over, and they've still so much work to be done, but the people are just letting loose and partying in the streets and it's a beautiful thing. Just playing the live stream in the background keeps giving putting me in a good mood.

What else is happy times? Well, I have another poem up at HitRECord.

And, freaking, CHECK THIS OUT. My friend RJ, an incredible musician, toon an awesome reading of the poem I did before this one, and set it to music. It's fantastic. It's like, iPod, driving music fantastic. ^_^ He put a lot of effort into it and it paid off.

One of the happiest things that can happen in HitRECord is when you load your own page and you see a new "results" tab under your work. I can't even tell you how gratifying that is. :D

So, and check this out. One of my longtime good friends, a fellow crow-lady, has another longtime friend who has a book published. She was talking to her friend about my attempts to find an agent, and her friend revealed that her agent is someone whose name I dare not even mention, and whose most famous author-client I dare not even name, whose ridiculously well-known and iconic SF books—one in particular—he sold, and I dare not even breathe. ANYway. Ends up that said agent is super fond of his client who is my friend's friend, and he said that he would be open to an email from me. He's not looking to sign any more writers right now; he is closed to queries and even if he wasn't (he made this clear to me,) he doesn't deal with unpublished novelists anymore. BUT. Because he is such good friends with my other friend, he would make some time to, I don't know, give me some tips, some pointers and such.

He allowed me to send him the first three chapters of my novel.

I was like,
Photobucket

And that's how I still feel, awaiting his feedback. WHICH I WILL TAKE LIKE A HXC PRO. I actually kinda pride myself on taking all sorts of criticism as a writer and applying it instead of getting butthurt. There is something to be said for going through a writing program in college. If nothing else, it gets you used to having someone tell you, "This part blows, but here's what would make it better."

In fact in college, I had these two very stern teachers, stern in different ways. One was entirely old-school. He was this older gentleman with perfectly coiffed white hair, still wore 3-piece suits to lectures every day, and spoke in absolute perfect Northeast English. He'd offer devastating criticism with a smile, but wasn't above occasional vulgarity.

My other favorite writing teacher was of an entirely different sort. He was actually a published author of quite a few books, and he dressed in the same exact chalk-stained clothes every single day. He didn't temper his criticism with kindness. Or actually, he sort of did, but it was edgy kindness, like damn it, if you can't have a sense of humor about suckage, then why were you there? If I handed in something halfway decent to him he'd comment, "Fair enough, I guess. But what the hell was this part?" If something truly sucked he would just write, "Honestly?" in red ink. Or, "Must we?" He used to tell all of his students, "If you can only be intelligent for three pages, then please don't bore me with ten pages of filler."

I seriously didn't mean to get on this tangent. I loved college, (the first time, I mean,) and I miss a lot of my professors.

Anyway, today is a good day to send out another query. So I'm going to pick out one or two agents, tailor my stuff to their submission guidelines, and have another go.

I'm never going to run out of cake. :)

Here, look at some pics of my adorable crow with a heart crystal in his beak.

Take my heart from out they beak? )

AWWWW.
la_belle_laide: (Leander)



statistics for vBulletin


Today is intensely historic and I can't seem to quit watching Al Jazeera's live feed of Egypt's celebrations. I realize it's not over, and they've still so much work to be done, but the people are just letting loose and partying in the streets and it's a beautiful thing. Just playing the live stream in the background keeps giving putting me in a good mood.

What else is happy times? Well, I have another poem up at HitRECord.

And, freaking, CHECK THIS OUT. My friend RJ, an incredible musician, toon an awesome reading of the poem I did before this one, and set it to music. It's fantastic. It's like, iPod, driving music fantastic. ^_^ He put a lot of effort into it and it paid off.

One of the happiest things that can happen in HitRECord is when you load your own page and you see a new "results" tab under your work. I can't even tell you how gratifying that is. :D

So, and check this out. One of my longtime good friends, a fellow crow-lady, has another longtime friend who has a book published. She was talking to her friend about my attempts to find an agent, and her friend revealed that her agent is someone whose name I dare not even mention, and whose most famous author-client I dare not even name, whose ridiculously well-known and iconic SF books—one in particular—he sold, and I dare not even breathe. ANYway. Ends up that said agent is super fond of his client who is my friend's friend, and he said that he would be open to an email from me. He's not looking to sign any more writers right now; he is closed to queries and even if he wasn't (he made this clear to me,) he doesn't deal with unpublished novelists anymore. BUT. Because he is such good friends with my other friend, he would make some time to, I don't know, give me some tips, some pointers and such.

He allowed me to send him the first three chapters of my novel.

I was like,
Photobucket

And that's how I still feel, awaiting his feedback. WHICH I WILL TAKE LIKE A HXC PRO. I actually kinda pride myself on taking all sorts of criticism as a writer and applying it instead of getting butthurt. There is something to be said for going through a writing program in college. If nothing else, it gets you used to having someone tell you, "This part blows, but here's what would make it better."

In fact in college, I had these two very stern teachers, stern in different ways. One was entirely old-school. He was this older gentleman with perfectly coiffed white hair, still wore 3-piece suits to lectures every day, and spoke in absolute perfect Northeast English. He'd offer devastating criticism with a smile, but wasn't above occasional vulgarity.

My other favorite writing teacher was of an entirely different sort. He was actually a published author of quite a few books, and he dressed in the same exact chalk-stained clothes every single day. He didn't temper his criticism with kindness. Or actually, he sort of did, but it was edgy kindness, like damn it, if you can't have a sense of humor about suckage, then why were you there? If I handed in something halfway decent to him he'd comment, "Fair enough, I guess. But what the hell was this part?" If something truly sucked he would just write, "Honestly?" in red ink. Or, "Must we?" He used to tell all of his students, "If you can only be intelligent for three pages, then please don't bore me with ten pages of filler."

I seriously didn't mean to get on this tangent. I loved college, (the first time, I mean,) and I miss a lot of my professors.

Anyway, today is a good day to send out another query. So I'm going to pick out one or two agents, tailor my stuff to their submission guidelines, and have another go.

I'm never going to run out of cake. :)

Here, look at some pics of my adorable crow with a heart crystal in his beak.

Take my heart from out they beak? )

AWWWW.
la_belle_laide: (Leander)
Not gonna call it good, but can't call it bad, either. Actually I'm quite pleased. So that rad agent I queried decided that she wasn't the one to rep my novel. I had a feeling, because last week she mentioned in her Twitter that there were certain things in novels that she felt she couldn't rep, such as zombies (and mine has, well sorta robo-zombies.) She also felt that the world-building was too abstract. That's definitely something to keep in mind.

What she also said though, is that she thinks I'm a wonderful writer (that's an exact quote!) and she's sure that eventually I'll find a different agent who will really like what I do.

Meantime, I'm definitely going to go back over the whole manuscript with her words in mind, to see if I can make the world-building somewhat richer.

Still.

WONDERFUL WRITER. A LITERARY AGENT SAID THAT TO ME. :D

I have a good query letter, and the confidence that an actual agent thinks I have what it takes. I'll get there, I swear. I guess it's just not the right situation yet, and that's fine. Still, I can't help grinning like a freak tonight, just because she said that. ^____^
la_belle_laide: (Leander)
Not gonna call it good, but can't call it bad, either. Actually I'm quite pleased. So that rad agent I queried decided that she wasn't the one to rep my novel. I had a feeling, because last week she mentioned in her Twitter that there were certain things in novels that she felt she couldn't rep, such as zombies (and mine has, well sorta robo-zombies.) She also felt that the world-building was too abstract. That's definitely something to keep in mind.

What she also said though, is that she thinks I'm a wonderful writer (that's an exact quote!) and she's sure that eventually I'll find a different agent who will really like what I do.

Meantime, I'm definitely going to go back over the whole manuscript with her words in mind, to see if I can make the world-building somewhat richer.

Still.

WONDERFUL WRITER. A LITERARY AGENT SAID THAT TO ME. :D

I have a good query letter, and the confidence that an actual agent thinks I have what it takes. I'll get there, I swear. I guess it's just not the right situation yet, and that's fine. Still, I can't help grinning like a freak tonight, just because she said that. ^____^

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