xerinmichellex: (emilie autumn)
1. 4 more days until I turn 23! 4 more days until the Emilie Autumn concert! 4 more days until I ride the "L" and hopefully I won't get mugged! Which reminds me, I still need to figure out what I'm going to wear...

2. Speaking of Friday, I hope the weather holds up. This is what I looooooove (/sarcasm) about the Mid-West: One minute you're battling a below freezing windchill, and the next, it's sunny and 50 degrees outside. All the SNOWPOCALYPSE 2011 snow is melting, the streets are flooded, and it's 40 degrees outside. It's supposed to be 58 degrees and rainy on Friday. Of course, this is the Mid-West. Predicting the weather 4 days ahead of time is done at your own risk.

3. I'm in the middle of revamping a manuscript (the one I queried, um, two years ago). It's amazing what happens when you change one tiny detail. It's like a Plot Avalanche because one detail is different, it chain-reacts into changing other details, while opening up an entirely new way to do things. There's other changes--added characters, an entirely different second plot, etc.--so I'm looking at a new story. (Bonus: That means I can sub it to the agencies I submitted the original version to.) But I'm worried that there might be too much. I'm still untangling the whole dang thing. I just hope I don't unravel a whole plot point and realize It. Does. Not. Work. I can forgive a lot of things in a novel, but if the plot makes no sense, it grates my nerves to no end.

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!
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 gish2)
I've been mum about queries because...well...there's really nothing to say. I haven't sent anymore out since Agent Z's request, but there are about 10-12 still floating around. I received one rejection last month from a query I assumed got sucked into the internet black hole. Since then, nothing.

Because it has been two months since I sent in my partial, I sent a status query to Agent Z's assistant this morning. So...yeah... Status queries can either bite you or help you. Sometimes you find out Ms. Agent never received your emailed submission. Sometimes the email on their end got lost in the internet stratosphere. Sometimes you hear back from Mr. Agent, sometimes you don't.

It isn't fun to send a status query because you don't want to bug Mr. or Ms. Agent. (My fear.) I contemplated sending one, but didn't commit to it until I read this blog post by Jessica Sinsheimer of Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. Her post calmed my nerves and helped me craft a non-bugging, polite, and concise status query.

That's done then. I will update when I hear back from Agent Z's assistant.
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)
The WIP I was struggling with last week has stalled out. I tend to do this. I get gung-ho about a project after finishing one, I start it, I seem to make lots of progress with the story, and then....nothing. My appetite for the story leaves me. My "muse" wanders off to show me another story she fancies. I'm beginning to think I caught my brother's ADHD.

Watching Ginger Snaps and reading Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead and Blue Moon by Alyson Noel did not help. For the life of me I cannot read another novel and write my own at the same time. Bless those that can. I am just not one of them. The three stories above were a deadly mix because I've had a story in my mind based on supernatural beings for a few months now. Against my protests, that was where my "muse" decided to hang out.

My reluctancy to begin writing this story is quite simple: It is meant to be the first in a series. The manuscript in Query Hell is also the first book in a series. Upon its completion, my whole focus has been to do a stand alone novel as my next one so, if I land an agent for the aforementioned novel, I could go back and focus on my series. Again, bless those authors that can juggle two--or more--series. I don't think I am one of those. In fact, I know I am not one of those. My grand plan was to write one novel per year in The Watchmaker Series. (It's why the sequel has already been completed.) I do not want to be bogged down by two series. Yes, I could always not query the supernatural series. But what's the point in writing it if not to query it, should Agent X or Y or anyone else who wants to join in not represent my current work? I would like to spread these series/all my novel ideas out in fear I'll be burnt out by the time I'm 40. Yeah, probably an overreaction. What can I say; I’m a writer.

Nevertheless, Book One in the supernatural series (coming up with book titles is not my forte) looks to be my next project. Unless my darn muse/story demon decides to walk out on me again... For fun, I've posted the first "chapter" of my new WIP below. It's meant to be a snippet of the main character's journal; so not really Ch. 1. A dreaded prologue, perhaps?

*snipped*
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.
xerinmichellex: (UmbrellaAcademy)
Research. I was online most of the day grabbing those last tidbits I need to complete my editing on Book 2. What did I learn? Well for starters I realized I have a semi-huge, very important fact I need to fix. Not so much a fact, but a plot point. Turns out, butane is a gas compound and only is a powerful accelerant when mixed with propane. So, that's going to be fun tomorrow.

Also, Aromaleigh's killing me right now. Why did you have to send me that 20% off coupon? You know I can't stay away. Why?! 

Here are some of the other kernels of research for ONE project. Yes, somehow they all fit within ONE story.

1. Anne Boleyn was executed in 1536. Her crimes were incest and adultery, with a pinch of witchcraft to even it all out. (Man, Henry VIII really disliked her.)

2. The average amount of time someone can hold their breath under water is one minute.

3. Drawings of yoga positions are hilarious.

4. It's only suppose to take 21 minutes to get from Beverly Hills High School to LAX. Go figure.

5. Flash over during a fire? BAAAAAAADDDDDD.

6. I also found a transcript for Jim Jones' final speech at Jonestown before all his members drank the Kool-Aid. That is some scary stuff right there.

Hmmm...looking at this list, I think I should I delete them out of the recent search menu. Don't want the parentals to worry. I also shouldn't be surprise if the FBI come knocking on my door tomorrow either. 

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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