March 30, 2010

Breast Health Clinic Visit

I had an appointment at the Breast Health Clinic today. In case you missed earlier posts, I have four lumps in my left breast and one in my right. So, needless to say I have been stressed about it, especially since I am being followed for one of the lumps. But good news. The specialist told me today that as far as he can tell the lump in question is of very little concern and he doesn't know why I am being followed for it. Gosh, information that would have been useful six months ago after my mammogram and ultrasound. Hmmm.

March 28, 2010

My Mother Has My Full MS

My mother just called me to make sure she has my entire manuscript because she is on page 100 and she is hooked? Did I just enter an alternate universe? I fully expected my mother to point out every flaw and dissect every scene. I am speechless and also incredibly smiley right now. My retired mother reads about a book a day so it is a HUGE compliment to my work to have her engaged in my MS.

Again, speechless...

March 25, 2010

What I'm Thankful For This Week

Update: 42 queries out. I am seriously not sending anymore until I get more responses: 11 rejections, one request for a partial, and the rest have yet to respond. Meanwhile, I am compulsively checking my email like a hundred times a day. My heart rate has been teetering in the 110s and 120s so I am going to move onto something more positive.

Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Here are two:

1. There are some really great people out there who actually want to help others and see them succeed.
Exhibit a. I actively participate on Charlaine Harris's blog and one of the other participants offered to send me American stamps after my meltdown the other day. Just because she's awesome!
Exhibit b. Carol Mason, author of The Love Market, has been kind enough to offer me some tips about querying and agents via email. She seems positively lovely and if you haven't read her books you really should.

2. After speaking on the phone with a small publishing company today about my frustrations with querying, the owner offered to critique my first chapter. So not expecting that. Much more valuable than the form rejections I have been getting. :P This is me sticking my tongue out to form rejection letters.

March 23, 2010

American Stamps in Canada cont...

For those of you who have found yourself in a similar position to what I was in today (see blog post below), there is a solution. You can call the United States Postal Services and they will send you books of stamps in the mail. The agent I spoke with said that you can also do it online, but I tried and it wouldn't let me. It kept saying that you couldn't purchase them internationally at this time. So there you have it. Success. I can send SASEs to the US in seven to ten business days.

American Stamps

So, I was supposed to send my partial, a synopsis, and SASE to an agent today. Little did I know that you cannot buy American stamps in Canada. Instead, you get these coupon voucher things that the recipient can take to the post office and buy stamps with.

Do I think an agent is going to trek to the post office, wait in line on my behalf and get some stamps? Ah, no. I almost cried when the lady at the post office said she couldn't do anything for me. Visions of a big 'Rejected' rubber stamp floated through my mind because I am not able to follow the agents directions properly. I have read on numerous sites that they do NOT want international vouchers. What's a girl to do?

Wait and see... Please God, let her have mercy on my Canadian soul. Please appreciate the fact that I can purchase American money in Canada, but not American stamps??? What the hell is with that? I just don't get it. I don't.

To be continued...

March 22, 2010

Request for partial

Ahhhhhh! Do you know how horrible it is to have the best news in the world and no one will pick up their phone so you can spill!!! I had my first request for a partial manuscript today and it was from one of the agents that I was hoping for! (Ok, enough of the exclamations marks now) So tonight is all about re-reading my book a million times and making sure it is picture perfect. I can honestly say I have already reread it about twenty times already, but it doesn't hurt to go overboard in this instance.


March 21, 2010

Nine rejections to date. Go me! Also, lost a filling last night after battling the toffee center of a Skor bar. Those things should come with a warning label. Oddly enough, I had a filling on the other side of my mouth done a week ago that is still bothering me so now I can't chew on either side of my mouth. What a wonderful kick-start to summer weight loss.

I have an idea for a book that I thought I'd share with you. It's really out there so be forewarned. My husband and I got into a chat the other day about wine and communion. As a student nurse, I had to point out to him that it is incredibly unsanitary to drink the wine (how many people sip from the same cup) and that you're just asking for disease (virus, bacteria, whatnot). He laughs at me. Then, I go off on a tangent talking about how that gave me a great idea for a book.

So, basically the idea is that someone pissed off with the church (death of a son/daughter, miserable life, whatever, reason matters not in the idea stage) and the guy basically plots against Christians by spiking the wine with some disease that will cause all church goers to become deathly ill. (They will die and leave the world with all the non-religious folk, some of which will be pure evil). For the record, I am not religious so I don't believe all non-religious people are all evil. And his life will become much worse than it was. Moral of the story, be grateful for your lot, because things can and, sometimes, do get worse.
This is how my mind works. I am constantly turning conversations, objects, dreams, etc into stories. And sometimes they are seriously messed up.

March 19, 2010

No nibbles. Not a one. Sigh.

I am still going through my manuscript, trying to perfect it in the off chance that someone might recognize my awesomeness. (Ha ha!) And I am still going insane checking my email and driving my husbands absolutely 'round the bend. Someone with a British accent called me last night while I was out with my girls and we had a twenty minute conversation about what the woman said in case she was an agent who couldn't help but call rather than email. (I know, high hopes) I had queried an agent yesterday that was British, so that is why I was being so clearly neurotic. But it was unknown name and the only Brit that calls me is my mother. Plus, she asked for me by my whole name and it was the evening when she called. Ah!! I am driving myself mad!!! I feel like I need to disconnect my email for a week to get over this blossoming addiction. So, I feel the need to surgically remove the laptop from my lap. Until next time...

March 17, 2010

27 queries and five rejections later. Four of the five were form letters--so disheartening. One said that though my material wasn't right for her she was confident it would be for someone else. Very promising, but then again, I have to wonder if she is just being nice. Either way, I'll take it. Do agents ever actually give you feedback. What sucks? What is great? etc, etc. I kind of hoped someone out there might give me a little guidance, but I am beginning to think that was a bit of a pipedream.

Anyone have any querying stories to share? Positive? Negative? Let's share. There's comfort in numbers.

March 13, 2010

Fourteen queries and two rejections later... I screamed with joy at my first rejection. Is this normal? I wasn't really expecting praise and 'please, oh, please, let me be your agent.' I think that I am just so proud of myself for trying. It is really hard to put yourself out there. My work makes me feel insanely vulnerable and I am driving my husband nuts with questions about my book. I thinks he's avoiding me.

So what did the rejections say? Short and sweet. 'Thanks but no thanks.' 'Not a right fit.' I like this one. I used to work in HR and 'not a right fit' is a very polite way of saying not interested. Still, I am smiling and I am happy and I am looking forward to whatever else comes back.

Yesterday, I found an agent that I really wanted. I was so excited. I reviewed my manuscript one last time and made a few changes. I really wanted her to like it. BIG MISTAKE. I read it over later that evening and found I missed a couple of typos that I didn't catch before sending it out. For me, I seem to glaze over typos unless I print it out. Lesson learned. And now, she will probably think me 'undisciplined.' Heard that one before from a writing competition.

Other than that, no big news. School is dying down. I passed most of my courses already. Two big projects to do and two exams and that is all she wrote for 2nd year Nursing, except for clinical. Exciting. Exciting.

March 08, 2010

Sending my first query letters

Just a quick note. I just sent my first five queries. Ahhh!!! I'm freaking out. Chances are that most of them won't respond, if any, but I am really looking forward to hearing what they have to say. I'll be sure to share no matter how bad the responses. It's no holds barred with me. No sugar coating.

March 05, 2010

Writing my synopsis

I cannot find the words to express how much writing a synopsis sucks. Why is it that I can write a book with relative ease and writing a one-page summary of it makes me want to pop pills? What is important? What isn't important? I just can't seem to sum it up and I have no idea why it is so difficult.

Yesterday, I printed off my book and gave it to my first reader--my husband (He hates the books I read and my genre of writing so I can't wait to get his thoughts on my baby) Printed, the book was is literally fatter than my Medical-Surgery text, which probably cost the amazon an entire tree. He was going to hole punch it and put in a binder, but I squashed it. I don't want my book in a binder--binding maybe, but binder, no. This ain't no school project!

I am also giving a copy to my mother. This should be all kinds of awesome. My British mother is the epitome of 'punch-me-in-the-nuts-honesty.' Should be fun, fun, fun. I'll let you know.

March 01, 2010

"Are you gonna eat that?"

I heard the funniest thing today. My friend was in a car accident near the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border. (I'm not a dick--the funny part is coming) So my friend, her husband and two children sat in the car for close to an hour waiting for the tow truck. Before the tow came, another truck stopped and a man got out. My friend thought, "Oh, isn't that nice. He's come to help us." Not so. You see my friend's car collided with a deer. Instead of asking my friend and her family useful things like, "Do you need a ride? Can I call you a tow" or offering her help of any kind, he said, "Do you mind if I take that?", referring to the deer. The neanderthall strapped the deer to his car and took off. WTF? I suppose, waste not, want not, but seriously? "Do you mind if I take your roadkill?" Only in the sticks.