Finally back!

It’s been a rough few months, healthwise. But I am starting to feel a bit more alive.its-alive

That pretty much sums it up. lol

I haven’t felt well enough to do much of anything. Last month I managed to send out 8 queries, 2 short of my goal. So this month I am going to try and send out 12 to make up for it. I am super excited to do NaNoWriMo again this year. I will be attempting to write a novel in a genre I’ve never done, this time it will be suspense. Last year I did a Creative Non fiction novel and it may be one of the best things I have ever written.

I am not a fan of plotting my stories, I prefer to write organically and see where it takes me. It can be fun, and very surprising. It can also be frustrating. I completely pantsed NaNo last year and I am debating whether I want to do that again. One problem I run into is my memory and mental fogginess can be a real issue. There are days I can’t remember what I wrote the day before, or I can’t think of words to explain what I want to happen. Simple things, like the sky is blue, can completely derail me and on those days I simply don’t write.  It’s not so bad when I don’t have a deadline. But, with a tight one like NaNo it does lead me to consider changing my somewhat wicked pantsing ways.

anne-lamott-quotes-wayward

My mind puppy is pretty flighty. So I might plot things out before getting started.

I am excited about this project though, it’s fun, no pressure and a great way to stretch my creativity and hone my mad writin’ skillz. 😛

Meanwhile book 2 of the Secret series is percolating away in my brain. Maybe after NaNo I will actually get writing!

 

 

Research is fun.

I am prepping for book 2. That means I am reading a lot of stuff on survivalists and preppers in cities. There is quite a lot of difference in prepping for living off grid versus living in a city. Researching is probably one of my favorite things about writing. It’s so fun learning the different ways to do things and what we’d need. Plus of course how many people could and would survive if they weren’t prepped. That is the biggest thing right now. Deciding how people who weren’t preppers could have survived. Maybe they just got lucky and were in the right places when it all went down. Maybe they knew it was going to happen.

The-Most-Interesting-Man-In-The-World.png

True story. 😀

Here are a few websites I particularly enjoy.Even though I do tend to get absorbed into reading things that have nothing to do with what I am writing. It’s all so interesting!

http://prepperswill.com/

http://survivalist101.com/

http://www.topprepperwebsites.com/

I’ve learned so much and am halfway towards bugging out. 😉 Seems like a good plan these days.

When I started The Secret Colony I knew next to nothing about Preppers and Survivalists. Now I am pretty sure I could be one.

Trying new things

I am long overdue for a blog post. I’ve been taking turns between being very busy, not feeling well, being unmotivated and back to busy again. Amongst all that excitement I wrote an article for a mommy page that I follow on facebook. It’s an emotional piece about watching my daughter grow up, I don’t think it’s a perfect fit for the mommy page, but it was something new to try and if they don’t like it I will send it to some other online magazines. I have ideas percolating for pieces for some other online magazines too, it could be a fun experiment.

In other news, I have sent 15 queries out this month! I am really enjoying this part of the process. Finding agents that are interested in what I’ve written, researching them, tailoring each query letter to each person. There is a lot more to this than I’d ever imagined. I have a serious appreciation for the agents that take the time to send a rejection. Whether it may have a bit of a personal touch, or is a form rejection. It is so much nicer than not getting one. I’ve already surpassed my goal of sending 10 queries out this month. That is very good because next month is busy and I am not sure how much time I will have, or how I am going to feel.

Meanwhile, I am planning to start book 2 of the Secret series. I feel that I can not “pants” this one like I did the first one. I have to be careful to get certain pieces in the right places. Which means I need to make some sort of outline. So I’m going to work on that. It’ll be a whole new adventure.  Tentative start date will be in August. So you know, probably some time in September. 😀

13435467_1821980981365259_4086280084073799265_n

 

 

The Feels. And a little progress.

My daughter is driving on her own for the first time today. I am full of feels so I wrote this poem to try to channel them. I used to write poetry a lot, but it’s been a long time and it’s not very good, but it’s helping a little. I thought I’d share here since I am trying to keep my cool on my facebook wall. LOL

Fly little Bird

We’ve practiced for this moment 
You’ve grown and matured.
You watch and learn, you question.
Today you are ready to go.
By yourself. Alone into the world.
We’ve taught you well.
You are prepared.

But am I?
Am I ready to watch you drive away?
Without me by your side.
Guiding you, encouraging you.
Look at you go, my beautiful babe, my girl.
So strong, so capable.
My bird. She flies.

bootnest
Had to add some levity, because THE FEELS.
On a different note, I am making real progress on getting queries out. I sent an easy one the other day. Query+first 10 pages. Just for grins and giggles. Now that the first 10 chapters are prepped I just need to start sending them out. So that is what I will be doing for the next week. I plan to send 10 out, I think. Then I’ll wait, building the next list of agents to query and in a August I will send out more.
I’m hoping that by doing it in waves like this it won’t be too overwhelming for me.
query-letter31

Accomplishments and Expectations.

The other day I had a casual friend ask me if I’d sold any books. I giggled, and responded that I haven’t even sent my query letters out for representation yet. “Oh,” he said. “So, you haven’t really accomplished anything.” He wasn’t being mean or snarky, but he does have a different idea of accomplishment then I do.

When he said that I about fell down and roared with laughter. Instead, I laughed softly and said. “I wrote a book, dude. That’s a huge accomplishment.” And it is. I’ve written my book and it’s gone through edits and revisions. I’ve learned how to write a query letter, and a synopsis. These are not easy things! So each step is an accomplishment. Especially when you deal with Fibromyalgia and assorted autoimmune diseases, each one messes with cognitive function and makes things harder than they should be. It takes me much longer then it ever used to, to get things done. But that is ok. I do eventually do it.

So, accomplishments. I have them and they make me happy, I am well on my way towards my next accomplishment. That will be sending out my first flurry of agent queries. I’m on pace to reach my goal of getting them out by the end of the month.

That brings me to expectations. When people find out you’ve written a book and hope to publish, they have the expectation that it goes pretty quickly. If you’re a writer you know the process takes years. My expectations are fairly modest. I expect myself to accomplish the goals that I set. Period. One at a time. And I have been doing that and it pleases me.

It’s harder to explain that to people who aren’t familiar with how I work. And don’t know how the process works. Expectations are the way to disappointment. I don’t expect everyone to love my book. I don’t expect to find an agent right away. I do however, expect to send out a LOT of queries. I hope, that an agent will love it enough to want to represent it. The best thing we can do for ourselves is ignore other people expectations. Focus on our goals and be proud when we accomplish them.

victory

 

 

#slacker

Not gonna lie, I’ve been a bit of a slacker the last few weeks. My brain took a much needed,  but frankly unwanted, vacation from the world of synopsis writing. But now it is time to get back to it. I feel like my synopsis is as good as it is going to be, at least until I get some responses from agents asking me what I am trying to do, and hopefully pointing out my errors. 😀

I love this picture by The Oatmeal. It pretty much encapsulates my last three weeks.

13392965_10208837421560211_351956635_n

So, over the next week I am going to tidy up my first 10 chapters, practice formatting and then, start sending out the queries. I need to focus on my agent list, it tells me clearly which agent wants what, so that will help me send out everything I need to in a timely manner. As long as I FOCUS. Ugh. I have been having a tough time with that recently. My brain is everywhere, except where it needs to be.

My health issues are mostly to blame for the lack of focus, and I usually am pretty good at riding it out. But it can be very frustrating, especially when there are things I really want to get done. Like my queries! I have learned though, that it is better to wait, because I make stupid mistakes if I try to rush it. It’s difficult to accept sometimes, but I am learning.

So I am starting to feel better, my brain is getting less foggy. Now, I have my goal of prepping my queries+synopsis+chapters for sending by next weekend. 😀

 

Well then. Stupid, tyrannical synopsis.

My nemesis, that thing that has baffled me for months now, is almost finished. I researched my little heart out and I have read approximately 5 gazillion successful synopsi. Synopsi? Either that’s the plural of synopsis or I just made it up. whichever, I like it.

I’m actually feeling pretty good about it. I squeezed every last bit of extra out of it, then I had to reinsert some because I left it dry and practically unreadable. It has some emotion to it now. I’ll probably tweek it a bit here and there before I pronounce it ready.

I’ve tried having people read and critique the synopsis. But I have realized that is a fairly impossible expectation. How can they now if it has all the relevant info, and nothing superfluous if they haven’t read the book? So, I am going to have to go with my gut on this one and aim for the fences. I don’t know how many swings I’m going to have to take before I get a hit. But that is ok. I’m patient. Next on my list is spiffing up the first 10 chapters. That won’t take long though. With any luck, (ahem, discipline) I should have my first round of queries to send out by the end of the month!

I have a list of agents,

Some need query+synopsis

Others need query+synopsis+first 3-10 chapters.

I am excited to really start querying!

On a different note, I had two more injections in my spine today, these are regular maintenance for my back. I am proud that I am being responsible about this and getting them done in a timely manner. Instead of putting it off so long that I have to get even more. I had two done, two weeks ago, and now these today. With any luck I’ll be good to go and my back will be manageable, or dare I hope….comfortable? At least for a while. 😀 I am playing softball again this summer, so my back has to at least be manageable and up for some running. I played last summer, for the first time in years, and sucked pretty badly because I was so sick. I feel a lot better this year and I am starting PT soon so hopefully…just hopefully there will be less suckage.

So heres to successful querying and a fun softball season!

Never-let-the-fear-of-striking-out-get-in-your-way