Monday, May 30, 2011

Post-Meltodwn Post

I'd like to thank all my blog buddies for their encouragement during my tirade yesterday. It might not have been the offer I dreamed of, but it's a gift just the same. As are all of my blogging buddies. You guys are the best, and I can't thank you enough for backing me up.

In recognition of your awesomeness, I present to you a video that makes me laugh until I pee.
I hope you enjoy. And, in the words of the great BARTLES & JAYMES, "THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!"



Because Jimmy's response is even funnier, check this out:


and, of course, a little beef cake for your holiday:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'M NO HOOKER!

WARNING! The blog you are about to read is little more than a rant littered with whining, speculation and enough self-doubt to make Paris Hilton feel chunky.

That said, grab a cocktail and a handful of Advil...you're going to need them.


Over the last few months I've entered SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS in 2 online pitch contests. One generated a request for the full manuscript (still waiting to hear on that one) and the other, as of this past Wednesday, generated an offer to publish.
Good news, right?! In theory, YES. It is good news. Someone likes my book enough to want to publish it. OR DO THEY???
Here's the skinny: With the help of some blogging buddies I've determined that this company is legit, but not a whole lot different than self publishing. (First e-books, then when enough have sold -- 100 I believe, then paper & hardbacks) True, I don't have to put any cost out of pocket--they pay for everything and the royalties begin at 45%. (Me likey more money). The downside is no advances, I do the majority of my own promotion and...here's the kicker, NO AGENT.

WHAT? NO AGENT?!


Yes, and now we segue into problem #1: The contest wasn't to pitch an AGENT (Realized this after the fact). The contest was to pitch to an EDITOR of a small, independent publishing house founded by authors & editors who were sick of publishers dictating the market. In theory, also cool--but venturing forward w/out an agent? (and a full time job)...

Do I want my book published? YEAH
.
Do I want to sell my book once it's published? DUH
.
Can I do that by myself? (cannot answer...laughing too hard)

And now we encounter problem #2: The editor. She's a nice woman who answers all of my questions in great detail. All except one. She won't tell me if she's actually read the whole book! She requested the first 3 chapters after the pitch fest, which then led to a request for the full 2 weeks ago. Since then the offer came through but she's yet to comment on the story--even when I've asked if there are specific areas that will need revision, etc. Has she read the book? Does it just fit into their now-expanding YA category? When I think about all the work I put into this book--I don't want to hand it over to someone who isn't wildly crazy about it.

Which leads me to my last problem, and it's a killer...


Problem #3: MY PRIDE!
I have to be honest--I feel a little bit like a girl out walking who was mistaken for a hooker. That's not to say all hookers are bad people--hey, we all gotta eat, right? That's just to say that my book, my hard work, my dream--isn't for sale at a bargain basement sale. I don't want to be the Kathy Griffin of the book world. I want to be Jerry Seinfeld, or Chris Rock or...well, you get what I'm saying. I want to be taken seriously and going this route just doesn't seem like the right one. For me, anyway.

So now, as I sit here on this cloudy, chilly Sunday afternoon,I feel like I've just done something horribly stupid. Although deep down I know it was the right thing to do. (Yes, this is the self-doubting portion of the blog. If you haven't thrown the pills back yet, go ahead and do that now). There are 3 other agents reviewing the full MS and 3 partials. I've gone ahead and emailed them all letting them know of this recent development.


Am I hoping this will prompt one of them to realize that MAYBE there's some potential there they might not have seen before, just knowing someone wants to publish me? YES.


Do I think all 6 of those agents are cracking up at their computers right now because I had the audacity to believe this offer was legitimate enough to warrant me emailing them? YES. YES I DO.

Do I think I've now set myself up for 6 rejections all within the same week and that all hope I had of obtaining an agent for this book are about to go down the crapper? YES!!!!


*For clarification: I think self-publishing and this direct author/publisher route I've described above are perfectly respectable and legitimate ways to publish a book. It's just not what feels right to me right now. Props to all the mad-writers out there who've done it successfully!*

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hideous drapes make perfect play clothes!

One of my favorite films (and Broadway productions, so good!) is THE SOUND OF MUSIC. I grew up with full exposure to this classic because my parents (the preacher & his wife) thought it was good, wholesome entertainment for their three precious, never to be tattooed or drunken, daughters. (These are the same parents who allowed us to watch THE THORN BIRDS every year, but forbade us from watching ONE DAY AT A TIME because Ms. Romano was divorced--and said, "G.D. a lot." Don't ask me.) Anyway, I was stumped for blog ideas until a blogging buddy of mine picked up on a not-often-appreciated reference to another awesome flick, ST. ELMO'S FIRE, and that's when it became clear. I MUST BLOG ABOUT MY FAVORITE SCENES!

I'm a movie watcher, book reader, TV junkie--I love to be entertained! And in my 35 years on this planet, I've accumulated a generous stash of favorite scenes. (We writers know how important a good, memorable scene is, right?) So just for fun, (because this blog isn't just about me *not* getting agented or published) I thought I'd share some of my all time favorite scenes with you.

1) I wouldn't be much of a SOUND OF MUSIC fan if I didn't include this favorite scene first: Maria has decided that the (hideous) drapes that hang in her bedroom will make perfectly functional play clothes for the recess deprived von Trapp children. After a day parading around town while they sing like the little Austrian angels they are, the children & Maria are shocked to return home and find that Captain von Trapp has returned early, and that the sneering, "send them to boarding school" Baroness Schraeder is with him.

By this point, the audience has witnessed this amazing transformation between Maria and the children, (it turns out they're not the evil tyrants as first appeared) but what we weren't sure of was whether or not Maria's presence had any effect on the gruff Captain von Trapp. Incensed by her insubordination (drapes for clothes/refusal to learn dog whistle calls) Captain von Trapp attempts to put Maria in her place, when he gets himself all tangled up and actually calls Maria CAPTAIN! And this is it...the best moment. The moment when we see a turn in the story. Maria's influence has reached even the impenetrable Captain von Trapp. Look out, Nazis! There's a fair-haired beauty on the prowl.

2) Say what you will about the TWILIGHT series, but there's one scene (or lack thereof) in NEW MOON that just tore me up. At the end of chapter 3, Bella realizes that the one photo she had of Edward is no longer in her album and it finally hits her--he's disappeared from her life forever--as if he never existed--just as he said he would.

The chapter comes to a close and we eagerly turn the page to see what happens, but rather than an indentation and a number 12 font, we're assaulted with a seven letter word we weren't expecting:OCTOBER. (Wait...what?) We turn to the next page, NOVEMBER. (Oh no!) Another page, DECEMBER. (That bastard!) and finally, JANUARY. (No more, please!) It's the lack of scene in this instance that is so jarring--Stephenie easily could have written, "I didn't hear from him for four months," but she didn't--and thank God for that! This is far and away my favorite *non* scene in all four of these books. (My favorite part contains none of her own writing--interesting...)

3) The tiny organist who squeaks with every step has gone home. The Donger has recovered from his late night debaucheries with the big breasted shot putter. Everything is the same as it's always been--that is until Samantha recovers her Midol-induced sister's veil, and returns to find this waiting for her:





(If I need to explain this at all--there's something wrong with you and your membership in my underpaid fan club is hereby revoked.)

So, these are a few of my favorite scenes...what are yours?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dory Days

We all remember Dory, the fun-loving, slightly forgetful, Regal Blue Tang fish (Peracanthurus hepatus for all you geeks out there) from Disney's FINDING NEMO. Thanks to the vocal artistry of Ellen DeGeneres, the world fell in love with that silly blue fish as she adventured through the dangerous Australian waters with an uptight clown fish in pursuit of his gimpy-finned son.

Loyal. Brave. Hopefulness in the face of uncertainty.

Dory embodied all the qualities we strive for...OR DID SHE?!

Sure she impressed us with her mastery of whale speak but don't forget, dear blogging pals, that she had one major flaw. A flaw that is...CONTAGIOUS! (Insert sinister music here)




As evidenced in the above video clip, we see that Dory is easily distracted by shiny things. And since I've been blogging, I realize I've been contaminated by this debilitating syndrome as well.

You see, I have these amazing, creative friends with amazing, creative blogs that I enjoy checking in on from time to time. (Multiple times a day) For example, my friend Phresh is quite possibly the most disturbingly funny person I've ever met. I know that a pit-stop by the Party Pony will leave me laughing and wondering why God passed out all the creative juices to her. And then there's Anita...Anita my rock. My constant source of encouragement and wisdom. I need Anita! And I can't forget Mindy...geesh, Mindy's like Wonder Woman (only Wonder Woman would have used her invisible jet to catch her rather than tumble down the stairs with no undies. Wait...are her undies invisible?) with all of her amazing interviews and impossible metaphors.

I could go on and on, there are so many of you!

BUT, you knew that was coming, YOU'RE ALL TOO SHINY FOR ME!

I can't seem to help myself when I start looking at all your beautiful, shiny blogs. I want to read, then post, then come back and see if you commented on my comment, then blog hop, then read again...and when I finally minimize Explorer and reopen Word and see that tiny little cursor flashing in the exact same spot it was an hour before--well, that's when I know I've been infected.

The truth is, I want to stare at you all day. But for my own sanity, and the future of my current WIP, I need to limit my exposure. (Just a little).

These are dangerous waters we're swimming in, my friends. Be well. I'll see you often. (Just not as much.) So until next time, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...



Thursday, May 5, 2011

CAUGHT ON CAMERA! A Day in the life of an aspiring author

(To be read in the deep voice of the movie trailer guy. I contend that this does not count in my 55 word limit as it is instructional content.)

For decades these legendary creatures have evaded the public eye. Disappearing into the darkest corners of their local Barnes & Noble--vanishing into the safety of their heavily-curtained living rooms.
"Who are they?" we ask, "these professors of make believe?"
Thanks to the undercover work of Nigel Merryman we finally have an answer: ASPIRING AUTHORS.

(Caption comments are to be read in your best Australian accent, think Crocodile Hunter. However, like most Americans, your attempt to master an Aussie accent will fall short, likely evolving mid-sentence to that of a drunken Englishman from Texas. Since the Rookie Riter cannot seem to master the art of including text beneath the photo, parenthesis will act as a replacement.)

(Working off an anonymous tip, acclaimed undercover journalist Nigel Merryman was able to nab the following photos of actual aspiring authors in their natural habitat.)




(This photo was taken just shy of 6:30 a.m. last Thursday morning. As you can see , the writer is waking up refreshed, happy and hopeful. She is certain that today is the day when she'll finally get the email from that agent. The email requesting a phone call to discuss the future of her book and offer representation.)


(After a quick shower (photos of this event were taken but are currently on display in a private gallery in Charlie Sheen's bedroom) Nigel found our agent looking sharp and relaxed, enjoying her morning coffee and checking her bound-to-be bursting with offers inbox.)

(Because he had eaten two bowls of Fiber One cereal for breakfast, Nigel took a brief reprieve in a Chick-fil-A bathroom before returning. It was just after 2 p.m. when he found the author in this position:)

(From the untrained eye the aspiring author appears more bored than creative. A sad, sad sight. )






(Deciding to take advantage of TGIFriday's happy hour specials, and because the aspiring author has done little more than refresh her email for the last two hours, Nigel returned at 5:30 that evening to find our author no longer bored but slightly agitated.)





(As night sets in on any town America, Nigel records the author as she submits to the inevitable pressures of so many creatives before her:
THE BOTTLE)




(Because he is easily influenced, and thought he had a chance with the chunky blond he was sitting next to at the bar, Nigel returns to TGIFriday's before happy hour disappears, only return at 9:30 pm to find this. It is at this point that Mr. Merryman's professionalism prevents him from taking any further images. It has nothing to do with the fact that there's a seriously intoxicated, half-dressed woman just feet from him who would mount a ten-speed if willing.)

(With their existence proven, I pose the following questions: 1) If this is their daily life, why do they do it? And 2) Why do we care?)
*This post represents my attempt to win the very cool, very verde, Jenny Phresh's trashcan worthy prize for a blog post using only 55 characters.*

Monday, May 2, 2011

My best "THANK YOU"

If there's one thing I've learned in my thirty-five years of right-brained living on this planet it's this: INSPIRATION COMES FROM THE STRANGEST PLACES! Today is no exception.


I've been racking my noggin for days (or minutes, but let's not get hung up on the details) for the best way to thank the amazing authors who have befriended, encouraged, and now honored me on this here blog. (See PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS section to the right.)


I thought about creating my own award, but figured their many awards were probably covered in mantle dust by now. I tossed around the idea of sending flowers, but considering I just cancelled my NetFlix account because my 30-day free trial period was expiring, the odds of me dropping $100 on 3 chicks who don't know my last name is highly unlikely.

OH, NO! Rookie Riter, what are you going to do?!

Fear not, Underpaid Fan Club, it's all figured out. It seems the answer was there the whole time--staring up at me like a freakishly long second toe.


The best way for me to say thank you, is in rhyme. So here goes:

An ode to Blogspot.

Ahem...

"Before this Blogspot I felt so alone,
there was noone to complain to, cry to or moan.
My queries were rejected like a dork at the prom,
my only true fan my sweet, loving mom.

So sad, so pathetic,
so painfully true.
But all of that changed,
when I hooked up with you.

Oh Blogspot, oh Blogspot,
what a savior you are.
Fostering friendships from near and from far.

Some think they are ponies who paint themselves green,
others are dorks submitting art "on the scene".
There's the girl whose poor cat wears a frilly, pink boa
and another whose got a huge second toe-a.

They laugh at my jokes,
empathize with my rage.
They give good advice
and throw roses on stage.

They support and encourage,
sing my name to the masses.
(Too bad when I'm famous,
I'll forget their sad asses).

Without you, Blogspot,
I'd have none of these,
So thank you for giving me just what I need."

Thanks to all my blogging friends who encourage me daily through advice, wisdom, laughter and freakishly private personal information. I know I'm supposed to post seven things about myself--forward the same award on to a few other friends--cut off a lock of my hair and send it to an inmate--but I've never been one to follow the rules. You wouldn't love me if I started now, would you?!