Wednesday, June 30, 2010


It was just brought to my attention that comments weren't working on this blog. I've changed the format so they should be all right now.

Though since I have yet to publicize this anywhere, I doubt I have too many reading and trying to comment yet. Still, I figured I'd say something just in case. :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A little venting

I'm starting to come to a sad realization that my timing is very, very off. You see, back when I started writing (early 2000s), I was a big fan of vampire fiction, which at the time wasn't the craze it is today. Since this is what I enjoyed reading, it was what I enjoyed writing. So I did. I wrote a couple of different books featuring vampires in various ways. And now that I finally have one polished and edited to a point where I feel it's ready to start sending out, that's what I've done.

The problem? I'm starting to suspect agents are sick of vampires, thanks to Twilight and the trend it started. I've had a few query letters rejected almost instantly lately, and after reading a recent blog post by one of those agents where she mentions vampires as being one of the trends she's seeing too much of, I'm worried that my timing is all wrong. Maybe I shouldn't be querying this particular book right now. Unfortunately, if I drop this one, the only other book I have to focus on that doesn't involve vampires (what can I say? I've always loved vampires!) still has a supernatural aspect to it (again, I'm writing what I like to read). So I don't know what to do. Keep on going with what I've been doing and hope I eventually land on an agent that isn't tired of vampires yet? Or give it up and start polishing the other book, and hope it gets a better reception?

I knew vampires were popular right now, and that this might be a problem. But I also thought that, since vampires ARE so hot right now, new books about them would still have a chance. Maybe a year ago that was the case, and I waited too long. I don't know. I'll see what kind of response the rest of my queries get, but after the last two coming back with rejections the day after I sent them out, I'm beginning to doubt myself. For an agent to reject that fast either means I really suck (and I'd like to think that's not the case), or they took one look at it, saw "vampire" and ran screaming the other way.

Damn, this is depressing. Maybe I need to just start from scratch and find a new idea to write. But then I'd worry that, a year or two (or three) from now when it's done and ready to start querying, THAT might be the new trend and I'll have the same problem all over again. How are writers supposed to predict these things?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Round Two!

I sent out my next (small) round of queries today. I was feeling a little bummed about the two rejections I've gotten so far, but reminded myself that this is normal. Every writer deals with rejection at some point, so this is just par for the course. It sucks, but what can you do but move forward?

This group included more agents that requested actual sample chapters rather than just a query letter like the first group. I find it harder to send those, mostly because I don't trust email to keep the formatting right. I can't send the pages as is: double-space and paragraphs indented. That's just asking for trouble, because chances are the email systems will lost the spacing and it'll come out as a solid block of text on the other end. I know I wouldn't want to read it like that, so I'm not taking any chances! Hopefully agents understand this and won't mind the non-standard formatting of single-space paragraphs with blank lines in between and no indents. That seems to be the standard in terms of email formatting and web publishing, so I'm crossing my fingers that it's acceptable. That seems to be the one thing not mentioned on any agency sites. Some suggest saving to an RTF file to remove weird characters, which I do, but that doesn't change the spacing. So now I have two queries out there (the third accepted attachments) that I'm worrying over, paranoid they will look strange on the receiving end. If only more agents accepted attachments (though I completely understand why they don't). Pasting my baby into the body of an email is far more stressful than I anticipated!

I swear, sometimes I wonder if I'm only happy when I'm fretting about something. I get that from my grandmother.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First rejection and random tech rant

I got my first query rejection this week. I was prepared for it, so it didn't crush me or anything. I've done enough research about the publishing industry by now to know how difficult it is to get an agent's attention, and I know even some of the best writers out there got rejected dozens of times, if not more, before landing that first agent. So I'm all right about it. Disappointed, sure, but not discouraged. Yet. I'll probably send out another small batch of queries soon, now that it's almost been a month since the first ones went out. I know not all agents reply if they're passing, so I can't sit around waiting forever. Got to keep on trucking.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's hot

I know it's summer, and it's pretty much hot everywhere (unless you're in the Southern Hemisphere, that is), but I live in Florida, where it is really hot. According to the Weather Channel's site, it's 88 degrees with 49% humidity, but I swear, it feels hotter than that. Maybe it's the heat of the sun beating down? I don't know, I only know that it's HOT. The highs this week are forecast anywhere from 91-95, and with humidity and whatnot, the heat index (aka "feels like") tends to be a few degrees above that. So we could be nearing heat indexes of 100 later in the week. And it's still only June. Ugh. In the winter, I love it here. I grew up near Chicago, and I do not miss those winters AT ALL. The summers, on the other hand, can get pretty miserable here. The price we pay for mild winters, I suppose. Though this past winter was hardly mild. We had a few big cold snaps (low 20s sometimes) that killed a lot of the plants. Yards looked awfully sad for a while there.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

So, I've finally done it

I sent out my first query today.  *nervous squeal* It's just one agent so far, because I don't want to do a mass e-mailing to every agent on my list right off the bat.  I'd rather keep it small, say 3 at a time, for now.  Which means I should pick out 2 more to send while I'm in such a brave mood.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Where I kick my own butt just a little

So, as the title of this blog states, in addition to being a writer, I am also a designer and a crazy cat lady.  In a perfect world, I can juggle all 3 in total harmony.  Sadly, the world is not so perfect, and sometimes things have to take a backseat.

All month (more than that, really), one of my cats (Ana) has been having an allergic reaction to something.  Most likely a flea bite, but really, it could be anything, even the pollen in the air.  Whatever it is, it's making her extremely itchy, and she's licking off a good amount of her fur.  The other cats have also been somewhat itchy, but not to the extent she has.  I've tried everything: flea collars, other flea treatments, bug bombs in the house.  Finally, this week I decided to bite the bullet and take her to the vet.  She'd been getting worse, and was clearly miserable.  She'd taken to sleeping on top of me every night, as though she was trying to find solace from her troubles in me.  It was sweet, but also heartbreaking to know she was suffering and I couldn't help her. Then she started shaking her head all the time, sometimes rather violently, and I figured it was time to get medical attention.  Her sister had also had a weird balance thing, so I thought maybe there was an ear infection going around, and hauled them in.  They were not happy.  And at the end, neither was I.  $400 spent, and no real answers.  Just a few shots (for the cat, not me) to help the itching and heal some scabs from all the scratching, a box of Revolution flea treatment, a couple of ear tests that came up with nothing substantial, and a bottle of ear medication to give them anyway, just in case.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Well, that week was a bust

I had the best of intentions this week, I really did.  I was going to do more agent research, settle on a couple “top choices,” and send out at least one query. If I was feeling really productive, I was even going to dust off one of my other completed novels and start polishing it up.

Instead, I had a minor personal crisis come up that took away all my focus, and I never quite got back to my plans before the week was up.  My vision disorder (I have cone dystrophy, which means my vision cannot be brought all the way to 20/20 with a prescription. Instead, it’s about 20/60 with glasses/contacts) caused me to fail the eye test when I went to renew my driver’s license, and I had to make an emergency visit to the eye doctor.  Thankfully, I was still within the parameters of Florida law, and didn’t lose my license. Cue the HUGE sigh of relief. I love to drive.  I love my car (a 2010 Kia Forte SX). I did not want to lose either the car or the right to drive it.  So naturally, the fear of such a thing happening shook me up for a few days.  By Thursday I had my new license in hand and could finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Shiny New Blog

I'm not sure whether or not I consider this my first blog. On the one hand, I've been journaling online for years now. On the other, I never consdiered any of that to be blogging. Maybe because no one other than my friends ever read it, and I've always considered a blog to be more of a public thing, where anyone could be interested if the topic appealed to them. Or maybe it's just becfause I was using LiveJournal, and not Blogger, so I was more prone to think of it as a journal. It's right there in the name!

Anyway, that's all semantics. Point is, this is my first journal/blog intended for the masses. Not that I think I'm going to have masses flocking here anytime soon, but the purpose of setting this up is to correlate with my beginning quest for publication, so if I'm ever lucky enough to actually get a book deal down the line, readers will have a place to go online to see what I'm all about.