Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Where Are You Time?

I'm supposed to be heading off to work, but here I am sitting at my computer, writing a blog entry. I'll be late. Oh well. Worse things have happened. My boss is my dad (its a family business) and as long as I get there around the right time, he's not fussed. I usually work an extra hour or so to make up for it anyway.
Alright, well this post wasn't supposed to be about working, but I suppose it is kind of relevant.
I've been powering along (as much as possible) with my new work-in-progress, but its frustrating that between working for my folks and my own little family, I just don't have the time to spare on this any more. It's all there in my head; the scenes, the conversations, the feelings, but I just need to find a good chunk of time to sit down and get the words onto the computer screen. Right now, I put my writing behind a few things, I have to. It's not a paying job, no one's waiting for the finished product so it's not that high on my priorities list. However, that being said, if I got published, all that would change. It might sound dumb to some of you, but it would become a paying job, someone would be waiting for the finished product, and it would go high above everything else (well maybe not everything) on my priorities list.
Anyway, I'm sure that's not so interesting to some of you as it is to me. I guess I just wanted to have a complain about how its harder to find the time to write these days. I'll just have to go back to thinking about the good ol' days when I had no responsibility and could spend hours and hours writing. '
Okay, off to work I go (hi-ho, hi-ho...)
PS, one of these days I'm also going to find time to sit down and do a Top Ten Tuesday list, they were fun and I miss them!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

So Wrong and Up For Eighty Dollars

With my ranting about the price of season three of Supernatural the other week, I have to admit that I might not have had all my facts straight. There aren't 12 episodes in the seasons, there are actually 16 (you probably all already realize this and are saying 'duh') Anyhoo, my confusion was due to the fact that here in Australia, the channel that airs SN played the episodes up to the writer's strike, which was Jus In Bello. There were four more episodes after that which they haven't bothered to show here yet. I wonder if they're just going to wait until they can get season 4 and show those last few eps before going straight into season 4, or, as our crappy free-to-air channels tend to do, they might just never bring it back again. In any case, if they haven't aired them by October when season 3 will be released, I will end up paying $80 for the short season so I can see those last four episodes. I am just that sad. Here's hoping they put them on TV before then!

Synopsis War Continues

You would think a synopsis would be easy to write, after all, it's just a summary of your book. Surely if your book is interesting and engaging, then your synopsis should easily be so. Surely if you can write a 100,000 word manuscript, a couple of pages worth of synopsis should be a walk in the park.
Apparently not.
I'd like to say that the sole reason I haven't been published until now is my inability to write an engaging synopsis, but I don't think that would be quite true. Yes, my crap synopsis might not be helping, but surely if the chapters I'm sending out were exciting enough, a prospective agent might overlook the total blandness of my poor attempt at writing the synopsis.
I've looked over my longest synopsis so many times, and the way to make it catching just totally escapes me. I feel like all it says is "boy meets girl, and then they go here, and then they go there, and then this happens, and then that happens and then they misunderstand each other and then they resolve their issues and then they live happily ever after." I mean, who in their right mind would agree to publish or represent such drivel?
Sigh.
On other topics, last night I watched I Am Legend, and really wish I hadn't (for those of you who haven't seen it, there's spoilers ahead). It was so sad. Really sad. I mean, here's this guy living all alone except for his dog in New York post-apocalypse. The people who haven't dies have turned into raving sub-human monsters, even their dogs have got the virus. As the story goes along, he's trying to find the cure for the virus so he can save people. He manages to make a cure work in rats, and then through a series of unfortunate events, he gets injured and his dog, Sam, gets attacked by infected dogs, and of course is in danger of developing the symptoms as well. By this point we've found out through a series of flash-backs that the dog is his last link to his family, who died in a helicopter crash trying to get out of New York when the virus first hit. In my opinion, they were better off. It would have been much worse to get infected. Anyway, so because the antidote worked in rats, he rushes home and gives it to Sam, only it doesn't work and Sam turns vicious. He kills Sam and then kind of falls apart. The short of the rest of the movie is that he finds a woman and kid that were immune like him, and then finally stumbles across the right antidote to work in humans, but by then the infected people have worked out where he lives and he kills himself trying to take them out. The woman takes the antidote to a colony of survivors in Vermont and that's the end of the story.
I'm totally a dog person. My dog is like one of my kids, so I went to bed still in tears last night over the guy in this movie loosing Sam, all the while thinking I could have lived my life without seeing that movie. Sure, the story was brilliant, but I didn't need to know about it and be upset for the next two months. Anyway, I'm not thinking about that any more. I am going to now go write a separate post about Supernatural though.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Synopsis Wars

I'm just about to head off to bed, but just had to say one thing:
Synopsis are the crappiest thing in the world!
Ok, I only say that because I've written three.
One agent wants a brief synopsis of no more than a page. Another agent wants a two to three page synopsis. Another agent wants a detailed synopsis of about five pages. Seriously people, I hate writing them as it is, why make me write three? I wonder how much store a prospective agent actually puts into the synopsis. Probably a lot. Its probably why I haven't managed to catch an agent yet. I can write manuscripts fine, but give me a synopsis to write and I'm stuffed.
Well, after writing my third synopsis, I'm about to fall asleep, so I'd better get to bed. I'll have to be up in another couple of hours to feed the baby anyway, won't I regret staying up this late in the morning?
This book will not sell itself though.

Moving On...

... From the total depressive-ness of my last post. Sorry, I just had to have a moment there.

On happier topics, I love getting started on a new project. I think I may have already said that I've made a start on the second book in the series I've got in mind (here's hoping I sell the first so I'm not starting the second for no reason! I know, I know, I've said it a million times, but I'll say it another million times until someone damn well publishes my book). I've almost finished the first three chapters. These things always roll out quick to begin with, it's the middle I always have trouble with. I know what I want to write, but I often have trouble motivating myself to get any decent slab of work done at a time. My problem is that I start thinking about other things and want to go off and work on those. But lately I've been a little bit more disciplined, concentrating on one thing at a time instead of three. I think it's resulted in a better quality manuscript for the book I'm trying to sell at the moment. Anyway, we'll see how it goes.
Better get back to it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sick Again

The title says it all.
After being so well while I was pregnant and breastfeeding, my endometriosis has returned with a vengeance. In some ways its worse now that I have a baby to worry about. If I get sick my husband has to take the day off work to look after her, and this time around its harder to recover from an 'attack' with continually getting up through the night and being on my toes 24/7 looking after a baby. My husband does help a lot. I'm really very lucky to have him. But still, the worries I had about my health suffering and rippling out to affect other things in my life once I'd had a baby have been founded. I always wanted a big family, three or four kids, but because of my health, it seems I can barely cope with one! And anyway, I was always warned that I wouldn't be able to have kids at all. Now I wonder if our daughter wasn't a miracle and we might never be able to get pregnant again. At least we have her, but I do hope she doesn't have to be an only child.
Meanwhile, although I'm only working in my parent's shop at the moment, I still feel horrible and guilty when they all have to organize themselves around me because I'm sick again. I really hope that it's the last job I ever have to do. I need to get my manuscripts published so I can work from home. I can't physically cope with full-time hours (believe me, I've tried. I ended up in hospital) and I just can't see myself continuing on this vein. Now, more than ever, that I've got my daughter relying on me, I just can't afford to get sick over and over. Its going to wear me down, both physically and emotionally.
So here's me praying to God, or the angels, or whoever it is out there who listens to prayers: please, let this time around be 'the one'. Let someone take on my work so this weight will be lifted off my shoulders and I can go forward knowing that I'll be bringing in some form of income (sure, it won't be much, but it'll be something.), that I won't have the stress of having to find another job, only to know I'll potentially loose it because I take too many sick days. That I won't have to spend half my daughter's life in bed because I was too sick to get up. I don't want her to see me that way. I want to be healthy and happy for her, more than anything.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Leaps and Bounds

I just had to blog and say that I wrote 5000 words today. An unbelievable feat! For some reason, my daughter uncharacteristically had 2 two hour naps. And in those 2 two hours, I managed to write the first 5000 words of the second book in the series I'm trying to find an agent for at the moment.
I always get going quickly on a project, and usually find myself having a 100 page (or 25,000 words) slump. It'll be interesting to see how I go with this book now that I have my daughter to work around. Of course, if I get the first book published, I'll soon find myself working to a deadline, so I probably really can't afford to be slack.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

For Real?

I found THIS on another blog and just had to share it.
Basically it's an abusive letter someone sent an agent after they were rejected. My only thought was "is this person serious?"
Do they really think by sending an agent such a letter, that agent might change their mind and say "gee, that person seems really lovely. I've obviously missed something important here, better request their manuscript."
To me, such an action would more likely result in instant death of your career. Despite what some people may think, the publishing world seems to be a small one. Many of the agents know each other (going by a lot of their blogs where they have each other linked), and they all work with the same editors. If you sent even one abusive letter in a moment of anger, I'm sure it wouldn't be long before other agents and publishers know your name and know to avoid you like the plague.
I can understand writers getting upset. They've poured their heart soul, and a good dose of sweat and tears into this work, and all the while they're probably imagining an agent or editor jumping up and down saying "this is the next New York Times Bestseller! Here, take this ridiculous sum of money."
For every NYTBS, there was probably a million people who never got a word published.
Yes, I love my work, I'm passionate about it, I have belief in my abilities, I keep a positive attitude, and most of the time am running on blind faith that this will all pay off one day. However, I don't and never have take one rejection personally. You want to know why? When I started out in this business, I was so serious (and still am) about this being a lifelong career. And the last thing I wanted to do was shoot myself in the foot, so to speak.
So when I sent out my first round of queries and proposals all those years ago, I continually told myself that rejection is part of the business. You literally could not find one writer out there who hasn't been rejected at some point or another. My belief is that there's already a set number of rejections in my path that I'm supposed to take (I'm a big believer in fate and things happening for a reason), and every rejection I get makes that number smaller and smaller. It brings me closer to my yes. So yeah, I'm happy to keep working along, and in a small (crazy) way, I'm happy to take those rejections. As long as I'm getting to do what I love, then I'll be satisfied.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Rant Continues... Apparently

I got an email from ezydvd (coz, you know, now you can get them to email you when something you're waiting on is going to be released) and it was about Season 3 of Supernatural. I thought, ok, so it was a 12 ep season. That pretty much sucked. I knew it was going to be pricey. And yeah, I'll pay $50 dollars for that, even though it's half a season and really only should be around $35 (going on the fact that a full 20 or 22 ep season is about $70) So I get the email. You wanna know how much they want for the piddly little half season that it was (albeit, we are talking about two sexy, sexy boys here. And some of those eps went back to the good old days of season one where everything was funny and there wasn't so much "Sam, you're a freak of nature, the demon has plans for you. Evil, evil plans. You're all brooding and sometimes drunk about it. Dean's all torn up about the fact he's going to have to frickin' take you out when you go dark-side, etc, etc.")
No?
You don't want to know? Coz you know it's insane right?
Yes.
$80. That's right. 80-freaking-dollars. WTF? Are they crazy? No. They're not. Because some of us stupid females who are in love with Sam or Dean (or both because we can't decide who is hotter) are going to pay $80 for 12 freaking episodes because we're SUCKERS. Not me though. I am just going to wait until its cheaper. I will not succumb. I won't. No. NO. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rant On

So I was over at the BookEnd blog, and one of the agents there wrote an entry asking writers to vent their frustrations and complaints about the treatment they receive from agents and editors (the brave woman!). And it got me thinking, like a lot of things do.
It would be easy for me to go on and on about how some agents never wrote back to me; about how I just got an email back from an agent I wrote to three years ago (at least they wrote back, right?); about how one day I got a letter expounding the extreme crapness of my book, and the very next day I got another letter telling me someone else thought it was great and wanted to see more material; about how I hate waiting; about how I hate that they say "you'll hear back within 12 weeks", but then you don't and then you send email after email and feel like a serial pest even though your trying your damnedest to be polite and still you hear nothing; about how every other unpublished author striving for success seems to think it's next to impossible to get an agent without an offer from a publisher, but it's also just as impossible to get an offer from a publisher without an agent...
I'll take a breath now. This is not an easy business. People get upset when they get rejected. They send nasty letters to offending agent. Agent might take it out on the next poor, unsuspecting hopeful writer. People are left feeling disillusioned with the whole process. It leaves you wondering just what in the hell are we all doing? I suppose getting a book published is a bit like being a movie star, or your band making it big. For every person who makes it, who has the dream career, seemingly unending success, even those who are only moderately successful, but are still getting their work published, there must be a thousand or so left behind who just never make it. Sometimes, staying positive, maintaining an optimistic and constructive attitude is as hard as waiting for that answer in the mail.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Partial Success

This is just a very quick entry (since I'm supposed to be working) that I've had some success. 'The Agent', as in my number one agent on my list who I would love more than anything to be my agent, has requested a partial, the first 3 chapters of my manuscript. So they're going out into the ether this week, and then I've possibly got a 12 week wait to hear back from her. In the meantime, I'm debating how many more query letters/proposal packages I should send out. I know it's not a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket, and I do have several other queries in the works, but I don't know whether I should add to this number or not. Oh well, I'll have to think about it for a little while I guess.
Obviously all of my problems would be solved if 'The Agent' got back to me with a big fat "yes."
Truly, I am more excited about this manuscript than I have been about anything else since I started writing seven years ago. I only hope my excitement is founded.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Confidence or Arrogance?

You know, for all the talking I do about getting published "one day" I suddenly had the thought recently that I hope I'm not coming across as totally arrogant. I am fully aware that I am a good writer, just as I am aware that I could spend the rest of my life writing and still have something to learn about writing the day I die (and yes, I've said that before).
Saying I will be published is my way of being determined, of having a positive attitude in the face of numerous rejections, is me visualizing that day. Because everything I've read has told me that even if you've written the next Best Seller, the only way you're going to get published is to be determined, to persevere, to learn with every passing word, to show the agents and editors that you will not go away, you're in this for the long haul. I have a goal. I've never been one to give up. I fact I'm pretty stubborn. Seven years of (so far) unpublished work is what I have to show, and I couldn't be prouder of it.
I will be published.

Why Do I Blog?

Over at bookends, the agent there posted a question, asking: why do we blog? She answered (in short) that for her it was to do with networking, publicity, popularity, things that will help build her career.
I'd have to say that my own answer would be very similar. Originally, I set the blog up in preparation of having my own author web page. Obviously I haven't actually done anything about it yet (they're not cheap, and I'm not earning anything from this career yet!) I knew that it was becoming expected of authors to have blogs these days. Much easier to blog than answer fan letters and emails I suppose.
Secondly to that, I did want to have somewhere a prospective agent could find out a little bit more about me in a more relaxed environment than what is presented in query letters and proposals.
Thirdly, (and this is where the enjoyment comes into it) my husband, friends and family can really only take so much of me talking about my writing. And half the time they don't know what I'm up to with it anyway. Its not because they don't care, or aren't supportive, its just because they don't find it anywhere near as damn interesting as I do. I'm sure once I actually get published, they won't be able to hear enough about it. In the meantime, I really think they think that I'm not actually ever going to get published, and one day I'll just give up and go "oh well, that didn't work out!" So if I want to go on and on and on about sending out letters to agents and how excited I am about my WIP, I can. And there's nothing anyone can do about it!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dilemma

Apparently I'm all for the one word titles at the moment.
Anyway, to the point of why I decided to blog. With my current WIP, towards the end of my book I introduce a team of elite special forces soldiers (a certain team of them, not SEALs, they've been done to death, but a different elite special forces team) which play a small part in the continuing evolution of the storyline that runs over the entire series. After this series is finished, there's a possibility of branching into a kind of spin-off series (I suppose you could say) featuring this team of SF soldiers. I've done SO much research (my eyes are about to fall out of my head) and am going to start making notes in some form of order so the information is useful to me, however I know that some of the questions I have (such as how many would typically be in a team that is deployed for certain missions, what would typically be their rank etc, etc) would be best answered by someone who actually is one of these SF soldiers. Well, after searching and searching and googling until my fingers were about to bleed from the finger nails, I finally found a site where these SF soldiers have a discussion board. These soldiers are obviously pretty full on, and I don't know how they'd react to me joining up and going "hi! I'm an author. I'm writing a book about you guys, sort of. Can you tell me..."
They might just go "what the f*%k?!?! why the f*#k don't you just f#^k off and leave us to save the f^#*ing free world?" And from briefly reading the board, this is a good guess as to what they might say.
But on the other hand, if they do decide to help me and then I decide the info won't fit in with my storylines and I decide to take 'artistic license' will they then also be pissed off? This is why I need an agent! An agent would tell me what she thought was best, or hook me up with someone who could help! Maybe I'll just wait until I have an agent and cross the bridge then. I really would like to have the help of someone who can give me accurate information about what happens with these SF soldiers, just because I do like to write accurately. Anyway, I've been in front of this computer for far too long.

Done!

The results for that competition were finally posted, and I'm sorry to say that I didn't get a mention. I'm not too disappointed about it. Although the first 100 words are important in immediately drawing a reader in, its the overall idea I need to be able to sell to an agent.
So, in saying that, I'm happy to report that it is done. That's right, I've sent my first proposal out into the ether. I don't want to jinx myself, but I have a good feeling about this one. It's somehow different to the others I've worked on. The whole thing has been different, like I've finally found my place, its stronger, clearer, more put-together than some of the other stuff I've worked on.
I did have a dream a week or so ago that I'd gotten the good news and I was about to sign the contract. And you know what else makes me think I might actually get somewhere with this one? In the past, I've always sat around and thought "it'll be great when I get published because this will happen, and this will happen and I'll be able to write as many books as I like and know they're actually going somewhere." But the other day I was thinking about it and I suddenly went "oh my god, if I get published, I'll be working to a deadline. People will be relying on my work. What if I run out of ideas? What if I get writer's block? What if I think I can do it but I JUST CAN'T?" It was a moment of total panic. And I'm sure I'll have many more when I do eventually get to the point where someone says "yes, I will be your agent and this house will publish your book."