On Greatness, and/or Being Great

A man known as Shakespeare once wrote*, “Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” – (Twelfth Night: Act II, Scene V) *I say “known as” because I recently watched the movie Anonymous, and now find myself doubting along with numerous other skeptics. Regardless […]

Can I Get a Revision? Amen!

Everyone has their hang-ups when it comes to writing. For a lot of people, finding the time or motivation to write is their biggest problem. For a friend of mine, it’s discovering the confidence to write, and keep writing until the end of a story regardless of whether it comes out the way she imagined. For me, it’s […]

I Feel the Need…

It’s time for another confession, and (brace yourself) this one is really naughty. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had the tendency to rush things. I started walking earlier than my brothers did, I used to sneak and finish my homework before class was over, and my first word wasn’t “mama” or “dada.” It […]

On “Selling” Yourself as an Author

Almost six weeks into the querying process for my first novel, and suddenly I realize: I’m going about this all wrong. I’ve been looking at this whole thing like it’s dating–which, in my defense, there are a TON of parallels between the publishing process and trying to find “the one”–but it’s really a lot more […]

You said it, Louisa May.

I always loved that part in Little Women, when precocious young Amy sagely advises her older sister, “You don’t need scores of suitors. You only need one. If he’s the right one.” I think in that way, publishing a book is a lot like hunting for a husband. In the midst of all the silence, […]

A Dead Silence or a Pregnant Pause…?

Heads up: this is going to be a really stupid post. For one thing, I’ve just finished watching the movie Jennifer’s Body (totally underrated horror-comedy, IMO) in my pajamas, in the middle of the day. So my mood could be accurately defined as “fatalistic, with a hint of self-deprication.” That said, here’s the rhetorical question of […]

On Leading a “Double Life”

A few months ago, I decided to tackle “Piece of Advice #3” (of 3,000,000) in C.J. Redwine’s book, Query: Everything You Need to Get Started, Get Noticed and Get Signed. (Link to the book) Though most writers/authors/agents/publishers would most likely agree that no one book can possibly hold ALL the secrets an aspiring author needs to […]

The Queerness of Querying: Part 2

The other day, a fellow writer/author on Twitter (@LianaBrooks) asked a very pertinent question. “How do you pick who to send your first queries to? Longest response time? Best bet? Longshot?” She already knew how to find the literary agents, but sorting them was a different kettle of fish. Here’s my (humble) opinion on the subject: *Disclaimer–this […]

A Writer Thinks Wishfully

I know I’ve focused a lot on the “intangibles” of publishing lately. On the disappointments, the mood swings and the sometimes inconceivable personal reasons behind manuscripts becoming books (or not). And I know that I promised to cover all the Querying Process; the good, the bad, the ugly. Unfortunately, so far, there hasn’t really been […]

On If, not When

Every aspiring author has a few nights of weakness. Nights where they lie awake, questioning whether they have the sanity or the willpower to continue in their chosen career. (And if you don’t have this problem, I’d really like to meet you. So I can punch you in the face. No offense.) For most of us, the mental hamster […]

The 30 Second Pitch: Yipee-kai-ai-ay…

It’s the bottom of the ninth. The bases are loaded. Babe steps up to the plate… Here comes the pitch. It’s time to shine, writer friends. Maybe you’re stuck in an elevator with your dream agent in this totally metaphorical situation. Or maybe you’re huddled in the back of a walk-in freezer in a Marriott […]

Some Like it Hot…

You know the expression, “Strike while the iron is hot?” I’m pretty sure I’ve ranted about this before, because even typing it just now gave me a mad case of blogger’s deja vu. But what’s the deal? Why are we hitting people with irons? Are we Russian mobsters in a 1940’s detective noir? Anyway, the dodgy semantics of […]

The Queerness of Querying: Part 1

Much like the art of passing love notes in the third grade (when you suddenly realized that you didn’t have to tell Chaz Littlefoot that you liked him in person; that you could instead share your feelings via the written word), querying agents in writing is a strenuous process which has a lot of inherent pros and cons. […]

Take it like a Goat, Dude!

I’ve always thought the expression “take it like a man” was a hilarious one. Not because I’m super feminist or anything (though, to be fair, I did start a club in college called Manhaters Anonymous…about a year before I broke down and married one of them), or because men (at least the ones I know) are usually big […]

On Shooting for the Moon

I’ve just begun the querying process, and let me tell you something, folks. In my life, I’ve done a lot of crazy, terrifying things. I’ve gone snowboarding pell-mell down Pepi’s Face in Vail, Colorado when the ice was thicker than a Chicago Pizza crust. I’ve gone whitewater rafting more times than I can count, and have almost […]

The Shawshank Revision

There’s an aspiring writer like me behind every book in America, I guess. I’m the girl who can find the words. Nouns, adverbs, even adjectives if you’re partial, an adverb to sell your point with gusto in a dramatic situation. I can find you damn near any words, within reason. But are they the right words? Ah, and […]

QUERYING for REALsies.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. It’s that time. The time has come. Starting today, I will be live-blogging the exciting and much puked-about thing known as the Querying Process. You’re welcome. Today, I started reading a great book called Query: Everything you need to get started, get noticed and get signed, by C.J. Redwine. So […]

Querying for Guffman

Here follows an example of what my query letter would say in a perfect world. (i.e. A world where social awkwardness and brutal honesty is the equivalent of charm and …big boobs.) Hello there, you lucky bastard you. I’m writing to announce that I’ve written a 100,000 word labor of excruciating fictional genius called _________. […]

The Cow’s Not Even for SALE!!!

So, you know that saying that all mothers in the 1950’s used to apparently tell their daughters? (At least I assume this to be the case, since every mom I’ve met repeats it often and with great enthusiasm. But just in case you’re male and/or have been raised in some kind of sedentary wilderness, I’m referring to the “why buy the cow […]