Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Querying as a Jane Austen Adaptation

When it comes to reading Ms. Austen's novels, I'm pretty lazy. I've read Pride and Prejudice several times, but I'm really bad about zoning out and setting it aside for long periods of time. Then I get frustrated and watch one of the movie versions. Oh, Movie Versions. What would we do without thee?

The other day, I was watching Persuasion for the millionth time. The version with THIS guy:


And I couldn't help sympathizing with Anne Elliot, our heroine. Really, any of Austen's heroines. With each unfortunate situation, I kept thinking, THIS IS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW. She's practically querying her manuscript! All she wants is an amazing agent that loves her book to marry for love (not that it hurts if he's well connected to the big six off), but with each man she starts to consider as a match, she's disappointed. She goes for a long walk with her family and the possible agent of her career love of her life, and she's the only lady that's not asked for the full manuscript escorted over the tiny bridge. Her cousin William starts to make eyes at her, even though he's obviously shady, but all along she's trying to get the attentions of Captain Wentworth. He's her dream agent come to life. For the majority of our glimpse into Anne's life, the Captain is quite unattainable, despite his own stolen glances and compliments to her writing and voice.

Before you start querying, you hear about the "ups and downs," but I don't think you quite "get" it until you're up to your neck in rejections and close calls. There are a lot of downs, but there can also be some ups that really mend the damage the downs caused. Take the criticism and learn from it. Take the praise and don't let it go to your head. Continue to study your craft and strive to get better daily.

Let those rejections roll off, because just like in the novels, the heroine always ends up with the right guy.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Five: Fall TV and Shows Past

1. TVD: I am really really really impatient for The Vampire Diaries to start back up. Have you seen the teaser for the new season?!?! I mean, it's a huge spoiler if you aren't caught up, but DANG. #teamdamon

2. Castle: Last season's finale wasn't exactly a cliffhanger, but the preview for the new season looks super exciting and reviews are good! Love me some Castle and Beckett.

3. Once Upon a Time: I almost gave up on this mid-season, but I stuck with it, and now I'm curious what's going to happen next. They already killed off one of my favorite characters and Prince Charming gets on my nerves in the real world, so twil be hard to keep my attention. Better be good!

4. Revenge: Holy moly how this show is like watching a movie every week. It's so exciting and twisty and full of pretty. Can't wait for the new season! #teamjack

5. New Girl: I really miss the funny this show packs in a 30-minute punch. #teamnick

ALSO: Can't wait for Bones! Can't wait for new Big Bang Theory! Can't wait for the new season of Downton Abbey in January! AHHHHH!!

Missing:

1. I miss amazing shows like Lost and Alias. Come on J.J. Give us another winner.

2. SO upset Jane By Design was canceled. The decent shows always get canned in favor of smutty, pointless ones with no good messages. What's wrong with America? GIVE ME A FREAKING NIELSEN BOX! I'LL SHOW THEM WHAT I WATCH.

3. Now that the show Bunheads is a thing, I'm realizing how much I miss the Gilmore Girls. You can tell the shows are similar, but it's not the same. That dynamic between mother and daughter was so special with GG. Then there was Christopher. And Luke. Bunheads needs to throw us older ladies a Christopher or Luke, right?

4. Pushing Daisies. I'm not sure why I'm not over this yet since it was several years ago now. It was so quirky and funny and adorable. And the narrator was the same guy who did the audio books for Harry Potter!

5. Arrested Development. I watched this series for the first time nearly a year ago thanks to Netflix instant, and oh my if it wasn't one of the funniest things I've ever seen. They keep teasing us with talk of a brief season to catch us up before a movie release, but could they be any SLOWER?

What shows are you looking forward to coming back this season, or what new shows are starting you can't wait to try? Any shows you still miss that are long gone?


Monday, September 3, 2012

GUTGAA Blogfest Meet and Greet

I'm taking part in some of the activities in the GUTGAA-Gearing up to Get an Agent Blogfest this month hosted by the lovely Deana Barnhart, and this week is the meet and greet! I look forward to meeting the other writers involved!

Getting to know me:

I'm quickly approaching the big 3-0, so that's exciting (not). I've always enjoyed being creative, whether with crafts, painting, music, photography ... and I started taking writing seriously around the time I graduated from college. I even brought paper to my graduation ceremony so I could work on my first novel (I mean, what else was I going to do all those hours they were calling off names?).
Born and raised in Texas, I still live here with Handy Hubby and our two boxers, Duke and Mylie.
And this is my blog, soon to celebrate it's third blogiversary!

-Where do you write?
Sometimes in my home office, sometimes on my laptop at the dining table, on the couch, in bed, at Starbucks. Sometimes in a notebook I keep stashed in my purse. 
-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
Well, at my desk would be a row of Ball jars filled with pens, sharpies and highlighters. At the dining table I'm surrounded by research books, on the couch would be... the back of the couch since I sit on it sideways, in bed would be my nightstand, and at Starbucks, often Joy Preble will be to my left, churning out another awesome book. 
-Favorite time to write?
I'm probably most productive at night when it's dark and I don't feel like I'm missing something stuck behind a computer. 
-Drink of choice while writing?
I'm mostly a water drinker, but sometimes if I need a boost I'll reach for skim milk or apple juice. I'm probably the only writer that doesn't drink coffee, though I do love the way it smells when I write at Starbucks!
-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
I need music most of the time. I prefer movie scores (Danny Elfman, Alexandre Desplat and Hans Zimmer are some of the favs right now), but if I'm unfamiliar with the song lyrics I can listen to music with words (If I know it, I'll sing or type the words instead). Sometimes I listen to KPOP, because I REALLY don't know the words and never will. 
-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
The MS I'm querying was inspired in part by my trip to Italy, and in part by my intense brainstorming session to try to set a story over there. 
-What's your most valuable writing tip?
If you don't have at least two really good critique partners, find some! Make sure they're honest and can balance the encouragement with actual constructive feedback. We're artists, we're needy. We need to be told how awesome we are, but we also need to know where to improve. Make sure your critique partners are helping you get better rather than holding you in place. Also, find a reader you trust--someone who doesn't write, just enjoys stories--because they can spot inconsistencies and plot holes your critique partners might not have found. Everyone looks for different things. I'm very very very blessed to have my critique parters and readers. They are made of awesome!