xerinmichellex: (lillian gish2)
I finished the bulk of my manuscript edits yesterday (yay!) as well as put together my query letter (whew!); so I am left with one more read through to nab any grammar mistakes I might have missed (yuck!) and write the synopsis (double yuck!). Because writing conferences and book fairs are approaching, my hope is start querying in the next week or two (gulp!).

Whilst doing that, I've got my next project all ready. I mentioned it in this post. It is looking to be a contemporary novel, with some horror and suspense moments thrown in. I do have another Sci-Fi novel I'm plotting out, which is surprising considering I thought my current manuscript would be the only Sci-Fi novel I would right--never mind I never expected to write Sci-Fi in the first place.

I'm off to watch a few Doctor Who episodes...for research purposes. *does shifty eyes*
xerinmichellex: (Queen Victoria)
What did I do all day yesterday and again at 7 o'clock in the morning today, and wish to never do again? That's right, shovel snow!

The big, bad winter storm hit us in Chicago during the wee hours of the morning yesterday and continuously-with-a-capital-C snowed for 24 hours. According to Tom Skilling, our faithful weather man, we received 12 inches of snow. The mounds at the end of our driveway beg to differ. The trick to dealing with continuous snowfall is to stay on top of the shoveling so you don't have 12 inches of snow to shovel all at once. My mother and I, every couple of hours, trudged outside and shoveled the snow like it was manure. Dear readers, I wish I was shoveling manure, because there is no way a freakin' cow could dump enough feces in two hours to match what was just cleared off the driveway. I am over winter.

It stopped snowing a few hours ago allowing me to clear off the dandruff from above. (Seriously, the angels/the big guy upstairs need to invest in some Head and Shoulders.) Unfortunately, because of the below freezing temperatures, there is a nice coating of frozen snow I could not lift up. The perfectionist I am, I don't care anymore. Besides, the mounds of snow were mocking me, and threatening to avalanche. I was given no other option but retreat.

Because of the snow, the earth in Illinois decided to shake it off earthquake-style--as one normally does in this sort of situation. We bypassed it here in Cook County. The 3.8 quake happened in DeKalb, a couple counties over. Trust me, if it did hit here, I would not be wasting my time in writing this post when I have suitcases to pack and flee Illinois. There was no serious damage from what I hear, just a jolt of shaking that awoke the DeKalbians at 4 o'clock in the morning. Again, I'm glad it avoided Cook County because I would be the one to panic and gather up all the cats and bunker down in a doorway. I panic at tornado warnings, even though I've never experienced one. Micro burst, yes. On a school bus, no less, when I was in middle school; and then our bus driver dropped us off at the neighborhood entrance that was littered with tree branches (I am not kidding), told us good luck, which was followed by my next door neighbor having the bright idea to terrify us thirteen-year-olds as we walked to our respective houses with the information that micro bursts happened in pairs, so we best be getting home before another one hit, which would most likely throw us off the street and into a tree. Thanks for that, Mr. B. But I digress.

I am slowly editing through my WIP. I completed a chronological read-through last weekend, which includes me taking notes to document where plot holes have formed (there is a major one I just plugged up) and places where things need to be added (I speak good technical words). My goal is to add another 10,000 to bring the word count up to 80,000. Okay, I don't want to insert 10,000 words of crap--I just know there are places where I can fill it out more. So, the maximum I want to add is 10,000 words. I've already added 1,000--9,000 more to go!

Fingers crossed I can have this manuscript finished by the beginning of March. I am itching to start my next project. Query Hell...not so much.
xerinmichellex: (Umbrella Academy)
Sad news: My status query was replied with an apology for the delay and an ultimate pass on the partial. As I predicted, the rejection from Agent Z hurt. Ouch. I know, I know, I should be glad and honored that someone as MAJOR! as Agent Z looked at my manuscript. I am--truly I am. It's just...come on, man! can't I catch a break?

Of course this rejection comes right after I made the realization that I don't care about the best seller's list, movie adaptations, millions upon millions of fans, etc. I just want my story out there. I want other people to read my stories--read what I have to say amongst the other authors out there. More than anything, I think I'm looking for validation. Also, I love to write. It's the only thing I really want to do with my life.

It is just frustrating and hard to put in the time and effort when it feels like it was all for naught.
xerinmichellex: (lillian gish)
Quick update:

I received my R from Agent X today. It must be Send Out Query Rejections Week. Ah, well. I'm still riding the high from Agent Z's interest, so I'm not in a complete meltdown. Yes, the rejection of my full is upsetting. But, I cannot argue against someone who likes my concept, but doesn't feel like it is a good fit for their agency. (Those are Agent X's words in the rejection, not my assumptions, I swear.)

I'm also distracted by butchering up my querying manuscript. I did mention I wanted to really, really impress Agent Z. Doing so requires another look at my manuscript. So, what I am saying is the editing is helpful. Now, if Agent Z rejects the partial and I don't have any others out, I might have a problem. And yet, I'm too terrified to send out more queries, fearing that one of those would be a quick responder and I'll miss out on Agent Z. That is my conundrum. Did I mention querying is hell?
xerinmichellex: (Default)
I meant to take it easy today. I really did. I was planning to play on my Sims 2, relax and unwind. Most importantly, not write because I feel like I needed a break. First though, I had to check my email. Cause, you know, I'm psychotic. There were three from literary agencies--two declines and one from an agency that I sent via snail mail. I thought it was odd...but, could it be? Could it be a request to see more?

Long story short, it was, it was! Another partial request (brief synopsis and the first 50 pages) from Agent Z, who happens to be MAJOR! I mean, MAJOR! as in representing some MAJOR! clients and part of a MAJOR! literary agency. MAJOR! as in I thought I was pissing into wind by sending her a query. MAJOR! I tell you! Which sent me into a MAJOR! panic attack. I am still hyperventilating.

I soooo want to impress Agent Z (did I mention she's MAJOR!?) that I scrambled to check over my first 50 pages. Unsurprisingly, there were things to fix. There are always things I need to fix. I have a problem with leaving well enough alone.

So, that partial has been zipped into an email bag and sent. Oh, gosh! I don't know how I'm going to sleep. The rejection--if it comes--is going to be so painful, I can already tell. Oh, gosh, I think I need a drink. Or a dozen.
xerinmichellex: (Default)
And so, Agent Y rejected my partial yesterday. Truth is, I had a feeling it was a rejection when I received the SASE, that I avoided opening it until later in the evening. It was a blow, but not a catastrophic meltdown which led me to curl up into a ball and suck on my thumb in my room. I have accepted that, just because I garner partial/full requests, they will be rejected. It is the only thing keeping me sane at this point.

I still have my full out to Agent X and haven't heard anything else on the 7 (maybe 8?) queries that are floating out in cyberspace. Agent X's email stated to give her between 1 to 2 months before following up. I have yet to hit the one month mark, so there we go. I am adding to my list of a few more agents to query in the coming weeks. Also I am writing, writing, writing!

In conclusion, I am disappointed in the rejection, but not to the point of sending Agent Y an email chastising her for not understanding my vision. See, there is a bright side!
xerinmichellex: (Default)
Playing a quick game of catch-up because yesterday was busy. First, I received my cat's ashes. My mother felt the need to open the can once we got her home. There's not a whole lot of her in there (I'll spare a photograph). She was a tiny thing when she died--only four pounds--but I thought there would be more, considering the size container they gave us. The vets also did this paw print for us, with her name on it and everything.

Kitties! )

What else could possibly happen yesterday? Well, I received another request for my querying manuscript. Yes, it seems Agent Y wants to play in Submission Apocalypse! Given it's taking me a couple years to get any positive responses, I am not complaining. Agent Y wanted a brief synopsis, first 50 pages, and...an author bio. I bit my nails at seeing that in her email. I'm the first to admit I do not live an exciting life. Nothing I've done has any baring on my writing. And agents don't care if your junior year English teacher said he liked a certain line in one of your papers and that has been your best compliment you've ever received and that's what keeps you going.

I ended up hobbling something together that looks like this: Erin _____ grew up under a steady diet of stories about supernatural creatures and superhuman heroes. She found she had more freedom in telling her own stories about extraordinary people, once she ditched her plastic dolls for a computer. THE WATCHER is her first novel.

Yeah, me? Not so interesting. Also note, agents want the bio in third person...which opens up all sorts of awkwardness while you write it...

Now that package has been sent out. I am still waiting on 7 more queries, so I'll keep you, my two little friends, updated.

Oh, I also broke our coffee pot last night. Though, it was my father who set it in the dishwasher so precariously that it wasn't my fault it fell out when I slide the top shelf out. I'm just sayin'. So, my parents broke out this coffee maker they bought when they got married.


Say hello to this sexy beast circa 1984.
xerinmichellex: (Default)
Just sent my synopsis and full manuscript to Agent X. I hovered the cursor over the send button for a good five minutes before I actually clicked it. Now it is gone, out of my hands. Even if Agent X doesn't work out, I'm still happy to get the request. It is a good morale booster.

Nothing much going on. I did rack up a couple more rejections in the course of receiving my request. I am working on something right now; hopefully, I can get it finished and post it here later today or tomorrow. Until then...
xerinmichellex: (v for vendetta)
I've had an interesting morning. I fired off about six more query letters around 10 o'clock in the morning. Within two hours, I got two rejections and...wait for it...A FULL REQUEST! I finally got a request for my manuscript! Ahhh! After two years, I don't feel like such a moron for sending out query after query. And, it's not a partial. IT IS A FULL! Meaning the whole, entire thing!

Oh my gosh. I could paint the whole picture of me checking my email on my phone, sipping my Starbucks, after I returned home from picking my brother up at school, being disappointed--but numbed--to my two rejections, and nearly falling out of my chair from reading the nice request from Agent X. Instead, I'll just say my heart has never beat so quickly. Well, okay, it was about as fast as when I'm careening to the end of finishing my manuscript. But it was still thrilling and means so much more than typing that final sentence.

I just...wow! The most I had to look forward to was The Vampire Diaries premiering tonight and then Supernatural. So, I'm going to make sure my manuscript is tightened up and then I'm sending it off to Agent X. (I'm being superstitious about naming the agent just because...I am. Of course, writing this may just curse me. Great, now that's in my head.)

I still cannot believe it...I may need to lie down...

xerinmichellex: (UmbrellaAcademy)
So that second read through hurt. A lot. My back's sore from being hunched at a computer desk for 6 days. For being a dancer for twelve years, my posture is horrible.

With Book 2 done, I have that itch I had after completing Book 1 to write the next volume. It ain't going to happen. With it quiet on the Query Front, I need all the completed manuscripts I can write. Part of the itch comes from Book 2 being The Book of Foreshadowing. It isn't littered with plot threads that don't pay off until the end. My series isn't like the first couple of seasons of Lost where the produces were like, "Shit! We don't know how long this is going to last. Get Bai Ling and we'll come up with a story between her and Jack! We need the filler!!!!!" A lot of the foreshadowing pays off in the next book; hence my desires to begin it.

I'm not. I've got another manuscript in my que. It's different, but I think it's going to be shorter than my other stories. My fingers are crossed it will be finished by the end of the year. For those playing the home game, that would mean I will have written three manuscripts this year. (To be fair, one was started at the end of last November, but wasn't really worked on until the new year.) And people wonder why I don't have a life.

It's done!

Jul. 29th, 2009 07:45 pm
xerinmichellex: (UmbrellaAcademy)

The good and the bad of this.

First, the good: I finished the first draft of my WIP when I wanted to! Yeah! The bad part is that it isn't a novel I can query. The novel is the second book for the YA series I am currently querying for. When I began querying Book One, I decided to start the second novel since I had the itch to write it. I went on a furious writing spree and, three months later, it is done. (I usually take four to five months to finish a novel, for the record.) It's also interesting that Book Two is longer than the first book. Not by much, about 11K words more. Keep in mind, this is all before editing. A lot could change.

So, my statistics are three completed novels; two that could be queried for and the other in the waiting if Book One isn’t agented. Those new to Query Hell, it is highly frowned upon to query the second book in a planned series, if the first one doesn't find representation. It seems like a no brainer: If the first novel doesn't sell, what's the point in having the second? Believe me, I didn't intend for my next completed manuscript to be the sequel...it just felt right to write it. Another tip for Query Hell: Always start another, separate manuscript, should the one being queried not sell. It takes your mind off of the process and when you're done querying Agent #200, another novel is ready to be thrown into the submission wheel.

I'm very happy that Book Two is done. It's amazing to watch the series begin to take shape. The first book ends with the "audience" thinking one thing. Book Two comes along and there is a whole other "thing" going on in the series. I like stories that develop over time--where there is one story being told, but it needs multiple books to tell it (think in terms of Lost). It is very exciting to see the world that is forming in this series. And it only gets better with Book Three and beyond.

Editing for Book Two still needs to be completed, and then I plan on re-editing my other novel outside of the series. Then, it's on to the next manuscript, which is different from what I've finished. Instead of dealing with paranormal/fantasy/SciFi, I'll be immersed in a road trip, psychological thriller. Fingers crossed to have this new one finished by the end of the year.

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