Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Wrap-Up

The stats for May:

*60 hours of Butt In Chair time
*7 chapters completed
*Act I completed
*24,827 words total

I'm particularly happy with the word count, because for the first time EVER I'm not running long!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Listify Life: Week 10

Things I Splurge On/My Indulgences:

1) Books. No shocker there.

2) Fancy artisan cheeses and sausages. It's the Italian in me.

3) Moroccan Oil hair conditioner. It costs a fortune, but it smells so good!

4) Occasional pro housecleaning. There's no reason I can't just do it myself-- I'm not too busy and the house isn't too big-- but sometimes it's just really nice to have someone else do it for you.

5) Nail polish. Just drugstore stuff, but I already have hummina hummina bottles, and I don't need any more. At all.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Great Agent Hunt

(A tip o' the hat to Joely, who always calls it The Great Agent Hunt .)

I've been meaning to write a post about trying to get an agent for like six months. Here's the short version of the story:

I finished the book forever-amen in August. Between September and November I sent out 10 queries, including two that were requested via the #PitMad twitter pitch contest. The quick and dirty stats:

7 rejections, either form e-mails or silence after the no-response-means-no deadline.
1 non-response from someone who claims to respond to all queries.
1 rejection that seemed to be genuinely personalized and was encouraging.
1 request for more pages, followed by a rejection.

I wasn't crushed or anything-- I've read too many threads on Absolute Write to feel like 10 rejections is a lot, or even a cause for concern. Writers get a whole lot of no's for every yes. But it's still deflating when your fantasy that maybe this will wind up being the one part of the process that's effortless for you is dashed.

With all the craziness this winter, subbing The Owl Bearer was honestly the last thing on my mind. Then I got happily absorbed in Mender, and TOB kinda wound up suffering ex-boyfriend-book syndrome.

(I once read an interview with Amy Tan in which she said that having to tour to promote a novel you wrote a while ago while you're in the middle of writing a new novel is like being in a new relationship, madly in love, and being forced to dissect your relationship with your ex-boyfriend for hours every day.)

Anyway, long story short, I haven't sent out any queries for like six months and I've been starting to have the same cringing guilty-avoidant feeling about it that I do about any book I've neglected too long, so last night I sat down and banged out ten more e-queries. And I'm going to do #PitMad again in June. And then I'll send out ten more queries, and ten more, until I either land an agent or come to the end of the line for this particular book. But by then, Mender might done...

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Numbers, Redux

Two-thirds through the month = time to check in again!

I'm at 45.5 hours out of 60 for the month of May.

I'm now 3/4 of the way through Chapter Six.

Currently sitting at 21,000 words. I'm thinking that's about 1/5 through the book.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Listify Life: Week 9

The Top Three Books In My To-Be-Read Pile:

(I am interpreting this to mean the next three books I intend to read.)

1) Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins. Summer-themed YA Romance short stories. I pre-ordered this what feels like years ago, after I read the Holiday-themed collection My True Love Gave to Me. It was fluffy awesomeness, with some big YA names included, and a reasonable amount of diversity. It's arriving on my kindle for Mac tomorrow, and I am clapping like a demented circus seal over it.

2) Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson. Also being released tomorrow! I've been salivating to read this since I read Library Hungry's review of it. I didn't pre-order, but will most likely buy it the second I've torn through Summer Days and Summer Nights.

3) The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. I: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson. I listened to half of this on audiobook last year, and was blown away by what I heard, but then ran out of time to finish it. I've been meaning to get back to it ever since. I recently bought it at a used book sale, and intend to go back to the beginning and start over. Anderson also wrote Feed, and having read that and half of this, I am pretty much in awe of him. Both books are astounding, yet I would never guess they were written by the same guy.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mid-Month Check-In

We're halfway through the month! Crazy, right? It's remarkable how time flies when one's life isn't mired in constant crisis.

I'm at 32 of 60 hours for the month so far.

I'm nearly done with Chapter 5.

I've written a little over 17,000 words in Mender thus far.

I still have some fuzziness about what happens in Act III, but have decided to just write as much as I'm sure of and then take a break for another round of plotting the second half of the book.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Listify Life: Week 8

The Songs I Never Get Tired Of:

So, so many. I started scrolling through my iTunes and was immediately overwhelmed by the sheer volume of songs I listen to over and over again. I have limited this list to the first 20 that occurred to me. Note that for some of these, I never get tired of the artist's entire body of work.

1) Take a Chance On Me-- ABBA
2) The Sounds of Science-- Beastie Boys
3) Qué Onda Quero-- Beck
4) A New England-- Billy Bragg
5) Everybody Wants You-- Billy Squire
6) Comfort Eagle-- Cake
7) Where Do the Children Play?-- Cat Stevens
8) Rock the Casbah-- the Clash
9) Rock n' Roll Suicide-- David Bowie
10) Wonderful Night-- Fatboy Slim
11) I'll Have to Dance With Cassie-- God Help the Girl
12) I Don't Want to Get Over You-- the Magnetic Fields
13) Good Intentions-- One AM Radio
14) Like Janis-- Rodriguez
15) My Old School-- Steely Dan
16) Mambo Sun-- T. Rex
17) Runnin' With the Devil-- Van Halen
18) Sweet Jane-- Velvet Underground
19) Baba O'Riley-- the Who
20) Out of Mind, Out of Sight-- Wilco

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Numbers, Numbers

We're a third of the way through the month, and as of today I'm at 21 hours of writing, which is just slightly ahead of on target for 60 hours this month.

I've written 14,000 words and completed four chapters. By chapter count, I am halfway through Act I.

I'm feeling good about how it's going so far. I'm about to switch to a new POV character, so that should be interesting.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Lisitify Life: Week 7

It'll be a short list this week!

Things I Collect:

1) Books. I'm trying not to collect quite so many these days!

2) Globes. It's not an organized collection, but a quick tally tells me I currently own 7 globes, including one of Mars.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

It's Going!

7 hours of 60 so far.

I'm done with Part 1, which is three chapters and 10,300 words.

I don't know that my final drafts are getting better, but my first drafts sure are. So far this is the best first draft I've ever written. It's almost weird that it doesn't suck.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

New Month, New Goal

It's May! I almost didn't notice, since it snowed up here this week.

I'm feeling ready to stop dicking around with plotting and crank out the remaining 90% of the first draft. I know I want to do a "number of hours" goal, since those have worked well for me in the past-- but I've been dithering over the number to pick until literally right now.

I'm going with 60.