Monday, March 29, 2010

Now an Award Winning blog!

I want to thank Alicia Frey for awarding me this "Creative Writer" award - and motivating me to upload my first image ever!

I think most people know the rules. I make five false statements and one true one, and any reader so inclined can guess which are which.

1. You owe me twenty bucks! Yes YOU, reading this. You forgot? You're reminded now. Paypal will be fine.

2. I have an agent sending out my manuscript to major publishers, but I'm not supposed to tell because the process sometimes takes awhile, and editors may be less enthusiastic if they think the manuscript has been going around a long time and rejected by everyone but them. My agent said it was fine to include her in this list - as long as I made another statement that everyone would think was true.

3. I used to read while driving sometimes when traffic was moving slowly.

4. Unlike Bill Clinton I inhaled in college, but only a few puffs. One of my companions congratulated me on my ability to get high cheaply, and bemoaned his own 'high' tolerance.

5. I own a time machine, or at least a homonym of one. It's used to dry certain herbs.

Since a bunch of the fun storytellers I know online have already received this award, I'm going to doublecheck the others before passing it on.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Public Query Slushpile

Another good place to get free no-strings-attached help with your query is the Public Query Slushpile. There are some excellent forums devoted to the same purpose, but they mostly have one thing in common. They remind you of their reciprocal nature. You are expected to give other people query advice - and advised that you will probably receive more and better advice if you help out some other people first.

This is very reasonable - but I think it's awesome that there are a couple of places that this rule doesn't seem to be in effect. I already posted about Evil Editor's blog. Since people are polite and friendly at the Public Query Slushpile I kept looking for the fine print, but nobody even suggests it's not nice to receive without giving. I was so touched I did my best to help out some people anyway. I feel bad for them - I'm still having trouble with my own query.

So how's your quest for a query workshop and/or writer's workshop going?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Waiting for a response

I'm not always as calm and patient as A. J. Frey when waiting for a response to my writing:

I am never more neurotic than when I am waiting on a review. I pray in time this will get better for the publishing business is all about waiting. I know this, and that is why I make sure that my crazy is kept internal. Well, with the exception of this post. The only reason that I share this so openly is because I don’t think that I am alone.
--- “Please love me.” ---

Unfortunately I had already sent the review of chapter one (which had lots of fun stuff) when I read this. Unfortunately, because I've been reading that waiting is such a major and persistent part of the writers life. Waiting to get a request for a partial or full manuscript from an agent, waiting for them to read it, waiting for editors to respond when your agent is sending them your work. Clearly the most helpful thing I could do is help her get used to it.

How do you help, or 'help', your fellow writers?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Between Fact and Fiction

Natalie Whipple is holding a contest. It's a fun contest, you don't have to remember to comment on her blog every day and blog about her and tweet about her and refer people. You just write, which is what writers do anyway? Well, actually we procrastinate, but if anyone wants to hold a procrastination contest, save yourself trouble and just send me the prize.


Objective: People say never to open with the weather, but I want you to do just that—make the weather opener interesting. It doesn't have to be entirely about the weather, but weather's gotta be somewhere in your 250 word limit.

First Place: Choice of 30-page crit, query/synopsis crit, or a full color drawing.

Second Place: Choice of 20-page crit, query/synopsis crit, or full color drawing

Third Place: Choice of 10-page crit, query crit, or black and white drawing.

My entry was sent in very late at night, so I didn't get distracted and miss the deadline while tinkering with it, so it's not perfect or polished, but it still makes me smile:

It was raining cats and dogs.

Cats anyway, though only one puppy, plus the water. Two cats jumped nimbly from a flooded second story window box. Despite a moment of shock, I managed to catch the black, white, and brown puppy before it hit the pavement. It was very wet, but I had no regrets, even when the wind stole the umbrella I had just dropped. I backed into a doorway to plot my next move.

Surely nobody could have been cruel enough to throw the puppy from one of the windows above me. Could they?