Monday, January 21, 2013

First Interview!!!

Back the beginning of the month, I submitted a query to be interviewed at I answered a bunch of questions and then waited for them to tell me, "sorry, not interested". Yes, I'm still have that pity party after the agent rejected me. 

But they were interested. I got an email from DavidN, who asked several other questions, to which I promptly replied.

So I now have an interview on the web. You can read it at:

Please do read it. And leave a great reply. 

~ o ~

Just a quick update on my indecision about Counting Crows: I plan on doing a bit of editing -- may even put off the current story for awhile -- and then publish it on Amazon, etc... To quote my friend Kim, don't expect to get an agent on the first book. She suggested, as have many others, that I go ahead and publish it virtually. And that's what I'm going to do. If I get enough of a following, I won't need an agent.

With that said, life is back to normal.  And the cat quilt is finished.


Today, the number of hits on this blog site topped 3000.  Yay, for me.  And thanks anyone and everyone who has visited.  I appreciate the attention and support.  Love you all!!

Monday, January 14, 2013


Today, I got a reject from the last agent.  She was the first to actually provide some constructive criticism.  Her email went like this:

"Unfortunately, I just don't think I'm the right agent for this project. While I really loved the way the book opened, I was disappointed that the family curse faded into the background as the book progressed. I also just thought the pacing was rather slow and there wasn't enough tension to keep me turning the pages."

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if there is a right agent for my story, because even though Donald Maass says that literary and genre should merge, there don't seem to be any agents out there right now who are interested in representing a work that merges the two. 

Counting Crows sits somewhere between being literary and romance and urban fantasy, but the agent is absolutely right.  For a genre book, it moves too slowly.  For a literary novel, it's too romancy. 

So what do I do now?  I'm not sure.  Seriously, not sure.  Sometimes I just want to give up. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Slumping it ...

I am having a hard time writing lately, including this blog.  My motivation is down, way down.  Maybe I'm just tired, but my motivation is focusing on other areas, in getting things done that have been on hold for awhile, like hanging the TV over the fireplace and finishing the cat quilt.

Over the years that I've been writing, these slumps happen. Especially if I'm trying to juggle too many thing.  Usually when I accept that I need some down time and take it, the drive to write returns.  So that's what I'm going to do. 

That's not to say that I won't be thinking about writing.  I just need the free time to build the story.  And I need to give myself permission to do nothing if I feel like it.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Not Writing

So a week has gone by with lots of good intentions, but nothing put on paper.  That isn't to say that I'm not thinking about writing, about the characters and their story obsessively.  Sometimes the pressure almost drives me crazy, but I can't seem to open the MS Word document and type the words.

Yesterday, I laid on the sofa and watched a movie called Starting Out in the Evening.  It was about an aging novelist, working on his last novel, with lots of other plot lines going on, including a very young woman doing her thesis on his prior work.

One of the scenes went like this.  She has asked him how he decides what to write.

~ o ~

"I start with a character. Usually just a fleeting glimpse of a character. With Tenderness, I had a picture of a woman being asked to leave a museum because she'd run her hand over one of the statues. I had no idea who she was or why she was touching the statue. I wrote the book to find out."

"How do you find out?"

"You just sit down at the typewriter and follow the character around. It's like being a detective. You write page after page after page just finding out who they are. You wait for them to do something interesting." He sighed. "That's one reason why it takes me so long. Sometimes they don't do anything interesting for a long time. And sometimes they never do. There are five or six books that I've begun but never finished. I would spend a year or two, even longer, following these characters around, but they finally never did anything that was interesting enough."

~ o ~

I'm sort of doing that, just not at the keyboard.  In my head, I'm following my characters around, eavesdropping on their conversations, on their life.  I've built a couple of scenes in my head, or at least snippets of scenes.  Most of the time, I'm not sure how the character got there.  Like his image of the woman in the museum, I have flashes of things happening that haven't solidified in my head.

Where am I getting hung up?  Let me give you an idea.  I know that Beryl has an issue with stairs.  I know how she reacts to them.  I just don't know why. (I have a few ideas, but whatever I decide may affect the character of her father or mother.)  I know that her mother commits suicide, but I don't know how.  I know that Beryl sees her dead brother, but I don't know how crazy she is.  Is she totally normal except for the fact that she sees and talks to Jeryl?  Or is she off the scales looney-tunes?  And if she is seriously, all-in crazy, how do I write her character?  First person or third person.  Because she wouldn't know she was crazy, would she?  And finally, how do I bring in the back story, the real back story, not just what Beryl remembers, especially if she is deeply, proundly bonkers? 

All these things, and many more, need to be answered.  But then again, this is the fun part.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Yes, it's that time again.  Another year rolled.  Yet here I sit, still agent-less, and it absolutely has an affect on my attitude, on my perseverance. Just like water wears away stone, it's always in the back of my mind that no agents have found my work worth representing, but I am fighting to remain positive about my writing skills. 

So the only resolution I have for 2013 is to enjoy myself, and that includes writing.  I don't have enough time left in my life to make myself miserable over someone else's opinion.  I have so many things to appreciate, to be happy about, that fretting about not having an agent isn't something on which I want to waste my time.

Here are some of the truly important things in my life:

(1) I have wonderful friends, supportive and generous friends, and I like most of my co-workers.  Sure, every company has its share of assholes, so most is a good thing.  Most of my friends are from work.

(2) And then there's my family.  I love them, even my mother, and they love me, even my mother.  Like my friends, they're supportive and generous. 

(3) I have a loving pet, my cat, BlackBeary; although at her age, her medical bills are also putting a dent in (4). I love her so much. She sleeps beside me every night, and no matter how late I sleep in, she doesn't wake me up in the morning for her breakfast. But she does get insistent once I'm up.  Meow. Meow. Meow. Breakfast. Breakfast. Breakfast. Every morning she runs down the hall ahead of me, constantly looking back to make sure that I'm right behind her, just in case I forget how to get to the kitchen.

(4) I have a good salary, one such that I'm not living from paycheck to paycheck, like I used to when I was married, but that's a story for another day.

(5) I have good health, and dental, even though my part of the implant work (oral surgery) I had done on the 21st is putting a huge dent in (4) right now. I have health insurance, which many people in our country do not.

(6) I was finally able to make my pilgrimage to Scotland in 2012, something I've dreamed of for years.  And my brother was able to go with me. 

(7)  I have a job I don't hate, a secure job.  I'm intelligent, financially secure, a good cook, a good friend, a good guest.  I'm happy and confident, mostly.

And I'm a good writer.

With that said, there are a ton of good things about my life that I didn't list, that I don't think about until they happen, but it's a good life.  Published author or not, I've got a good life. 

And I will be published.  I just need to be patient.