Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Writing Gods Are On Vacation

Where I do not know, but honest to God, I had to post this.

I have come to the conclusion the universe is sharing some of the greatest things ever written for amusement. And I appreciate this gift because we are fortunate in it.

First, in my earlier post, we had the poor author who lost her mind over a review that was anything but bad.

Second, thank you Smart Bitches, Trashy Books for bringing Walkin' Dusty Roads to my attention.

One of the most important rules in writing is limiting the amount of metaphors you use. A couple here and there are fine, but one almost every sentence? Really cheesy, dorky ones? Oh yeah, that is proof, that in this instance, the writing gods are on vacation. When crap is published I will be the first to admit I get pissed I am busting my hump, but at the same time I love it. The world does not need only Shakespeare, we need authors that spew the purple prose. Or do we?
Let me be clear that I will be downloading the free sample onto my Kindle later in the hopes of discovering more dandy lines like the ones that follow:

"Dusty took her in like a vista, her full, round breasts straining for freedom like corralled wild horses"

"Dusty’s intense blue eyes were like a cobalt summer sky, and she suddenly imagined herself flat on her back in a verdant field, languidly staring up at the cloudless day."

"The areolas stared at him like dark, exotic eyes." *note- one is an areola, plural is areolae

"They kissed deeply, their mouths like sensual open caves, tongues swirling madly, thoughtlessly."



Author + Bad Review = Cringing Amusement

While I live for the day I get a book review, this article from e-reads, twittered by Kim Lionetti from the literary agency Bookends, is a warning to those authors who lack professionalism and a thick skin. This is one of the reasons I choose not to self publish. Not because I lack the two things I mentioned, but because editors exist to hopefully prevent the nightmares that this book seems to overflow with.

I have followed the Bookends blog for some time. One because they provide invaluable information, not that I always follow it which makes me an ass, and two they are from New Jersey. Shout out!

My most recent finding on their blog was the owner Jessica Faust stating you can solicit more than one agent at a time. This opinion varies from agent to agent. I had read not to do such a thing, then elsewhere it said you can solicit fifty at once, etc. I am going to go with Ms. Faust and hit a few at once today. I have nothing to lose at this point. Pride? Dignity? Please sister, I am trying to sell a book, I have pride in my work but I relish the opportunity to get it out there. More so I relish a critique, an editor. A pat on the back or a kick in the ass, it is all the same now.
What I am trying to figure out is if this book does not move, it will be my newest novel I am working on that does. I have high hopes for myself, but I also know if your first book is not receiving a peep your query sucks and maybe, so does the story itself. Blood, sweat and tears mean nothing if you can't get it to the masses. This learning curve is bumpy, but I appreciate it best I can. If I didn't I would throw up.

How about this snow were are going to get? Ridiculous!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Research makes it more interesting

While I might have been raised Catholic, we are not taught the bible the way other religions are. They get schooled right out of the gate knowing how to quotes favorite verses and the depths of every bible character. This means I have to hanker down with my New International Version bible every time I look for something to help assist with my story telling.
Now, since I have mentioned before that the novel I am currently working on has to do with Angels and all things holy and unholy, this requires me to diligently research all avenues of religions. Of course I get to use creative license as well, but I like the background information for a variety of reasons, one of them being, I may actually want to use a variant of it in the body of the story.
The research itself has been enlightening and frustrating. Today I sat through some online sermons of the more reformed, hipper Christan churches.
The three I chose are Liquid Church in NJ, Reality LA in California and Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA.
My personal preference is for Pastor Tim Lucas at Liquid Church. I thoroughly enjoyed the way he speaks to the audience, using personal anecdotes, it can reach even the most hardened people. I really enjoyed that when he would quote scripture, it would pop up on a screen behind him so I could find it in my bible and follow along. Their current series is about fasting, but I recommend you go through the archives and check out past series as well.
Reality LA was my next choice. Pastor Tim Chaddick's sermon on A Religious Journey to Hell was what I chose to watch and while the topic and the story of Hosea was interesting, I felt a sort of disconnect. He was not big on telling you where verses were. He would say Romans 1 and assume you knew what section he was talking about and that sucked for me.
The Gospel of Luke and the topic Jesus and the Law was today's lesson at Mars Hill Church as taught by Pastor Mark Driscoll. Let's just say I was transported back to a scene out of Ethan Frome and began to wonder if I should cover my head while listening. He is huge on what big sinners and hypocrites we are for judging one another along with religious hypocrisy. Which ironically, religious hypocrisy was also covered by Reality LA in the link I posted so there are interesting parallels. Pastor Driscoll did move onto divorce and I found it fascinating to listen to how people do not have biblical grounds for divorce.
Keep in mind that Mars Hill and Reality LA have heavy Calvinistic undertones. Now. that does not mean it is wrong, it just depends how much you enjoy fire and brimstone preaching. This is not something I am a big fan of and found it off putting at times. Again, I was raised Catholic and am past being told how big of a sinner I am. I get Jesus saved us and took on our sins and that we are just imperfect images of God. At the same time, I am doing my best to listen and keep and open mind to see how people interpret the teachings and how they pass it onto their congregation.
Next up will be me looking for more sermons from different churches. I also hope I can find some for Islam and Judaism as well.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Self Publishing and a touch of the blahs

I have been toying with the idea, but to be honest, I would prefer a publisher with money for marketing, an editor and artwork. Self publishing seems a way to go, but only if you are ready to take on every single step that a publishing house would take. An excellent post by Jim C Hines regarding this issue is one that should be read. Also, check out the comments because there is great feedback in there as well. Props to Amanda Hocking for being level headed and not nasty about publishing as a whole.

My new net book arrives today and I am giddy with power. FINALLY, I can get back into my groove.

I solicited an agent February 28 and it is now March 20. While slightly disheartened, I will have to gear up a new query letter to be sent out by next week. Oh the agita I have. I try not to let it get me down, but it does my friends, it does.

Massage wise I am going to take a mastectomy course. The more modalities I acquire, the better chance I have of getting hired by a hospital. So we will start there then do pre natal. I would not care if I just worked per diem, I just want to work. To be able to do massage and write is a perfect world for me. Actually, getting paid for both skills is the perfect world so come on, NO WHAMMIES!!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

So here is what is going on

My net book should arrive soon which means I can soon get back to being a writer who can work at night and when my hubby is home. There will be no fighting over the use of the computer. There is not know either, but I hate to ask him to let me work when he is watching "House". For now I work the best I can during the day, but it had not been as easy as I thought it would be.

I have been applying to jobs, mostly in hospitals. All sorts of part time and full time positions. Be it secretary, assistant, etc. I have drafted and sent out a letter to one local hospital. along with my resume, in the hopes of being able to get hired as an oncology massage therapist.

We went to brunch at the Peacock Inn in Princeton with friends the other day. It was very delicious and then we went with them to check out an area called Riverside in Princeton where they are thinking of buying a home. What struck me was how overpriced the homes were. I know NJ is out of control when it comes to homes, but this was beyond even what I would consider "Jersey normal". We saw a house for 750,000.00 that needed to be gutted and clearly would be 300K in other places and even lower out of state.

Still have not heard back from the last agent I solicited. I will start looking at a few other potentials if I do not hear form her by end of week.

My hubby and I have decided we are going to do the landscaping of our front yard ourselves. We have been researching how to lay a walkway properly and we bought containers to plant some lovely foliage until we figure out how what we want to plant permanently. Sure it is quite the project, but it should be a good one.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Interior Design and Spring

I am one who loves to move furniture around. Almost too much to my husband's dismay. Our living room is an awkward space since the former owners put in a faux fireplace when they knocked down a first floor bedroom wall to expand living room. We are now considering turning our bright Bermuda grass colored room into a television area and turning this odd living room into more of a lounging/reading room. Of course, that means working with the furniture we have and get it to look comfy and homey.

I am a sucker for over the top lush interiors because, I would not do them myself, but I do love them in a superb county home in England. Apparently they are remaking Jane Eyre for the thousandth time and Apartment Therapy has these lovely interior stills from the movie.

I am still enjoying my Thursday Next novel, The Well of Lost Plots. It is a little bogged down with some of the tech speak of their world, but it moves along so well I can excuse it. I swear, I will say it every time though, I wish I wrote these clever novels. They are a breath of fresh air.

I have seven purple crocuses in my front yard and they make me long to begin planting. I bought some lily of the valley bulbs/roots to plant under my lilac tree. The whole area where there was a brier patch will become a planned meadow with herbs, wildflowers and ground covers. I am so excited to get started, but darn this last frost, when will it be??

And if I was to travel cross country, I want to do it in this Airstream by Matt Hofman. Ooh la la!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Welcome to Wednesday

I have sent out another agent inquiry. I am also seriously considering self-publishing on Kindle. What worries me is I do not want to put out a book with errors, be it grammatical or misspellings. Then you will have people complaining they paid $0.99 for "crap". I have seen worse things written on Amazon, trust me. Granted, you make the money directly, but I can't charge a lot for something I would want out there to the public. I also struggle because while a publisher makes more money on the book then the author probably does, I prefer having someone else hash out the marketing plan and foot the bills. BUT self-publishing may be the way to go. I can take advantage of the technology, promote myself and hope I can make a decent living while earning fans of my work. Much to consider indeed.

As for my personal reading, I picked up the third book in the Thursday Next series - The Well of Lost Plots. I also grabbed The Big Over Easy - A Nursery Crime by the same author. Can't wait to start reading.

Pecan-crusted catfish was on the menu last night and dare I say it was delicious. I made mixed greens, mustard, collard and kale and brown rice to go with it. Very yummy.