Monday, September 23, 2013

Time to Query

I am of the school of thought that there are good times of year and not so good times of year to query. I've blogged about this before, as have many others, but here's a little B-Word Bulleted Breakdown on the matter:

Not So Good Months to Query:
  • January- because 1) everyone (and their mother) is waiting for agents to get back from holiday breaks to query, 2) because a lot of those agents will be going out on submission with their clients during this month, and 3) because of a couple big conferences which many agents attend. 
  • July- because of family vacations and heat waves.
  • August- because its still too hot and school is starting soon and one last vacation must be taken before getting back to the grind. 
  • December- because of all the unpolished NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month where hundreds of thousands of writers write complete novels) submissions streaming in and also because the holidays.
 Good Months to Query:
  • February- because the agents may have more time to catch up on their slush piles after some distance from the holidays.
  • September- because there's something about the freshness in the air, kids settling down and going back to school, and adults getting down to business, as evidenced by this post of my agent, Sarah Davies: Pounding of the Hooves. So if you're thinking of pulling the trigger on querying, DO IT! NOW!
  • November-Most everyone is so busy working on their new, shiny NaNoWriMo project that they have no time for querying and therefore agents might have a slightly less gargantuan slush pile.
    DISCLAIMER: I could be 100% totally wrong on all of this.  I am only speaking from my own personal experience. Your best bet is to research your favorite agents individually and find out what they are doing and when.


    What's your two cents?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Getting Slapped In the Face

Yesterday afternoon I was trying to take a nap on the couch when my 3 year old comes over to me and says, "Mom."

I don't answer because I want her to think I'm already asleep.

She slaps me on the face and says, "Mom."
I act like a dead fish and take the slap like a man, holding to my strategy.

She pulls at my hair and says, "Mom!"

I keep my eyes closed, determined to convince her with my peaceful protest that Mommy needs a nap.

Then she proceeds to say, "Mom," twenty-nine more times (yes, I counted) until I finally open my eyes and am forced to make a decision. Should I:

a) sweetly stroke her face and say, "What can I do for you, honey?"
b) growl at her like a werewolf until she sees the fire in my pupils and runs away
c) hold to my guns and command her (in a scary voice) to, "Leave me alone!"
d) curl into the fetal position and pray for a miracle to draw her away from me
e) plead with Mr. Humphries (at the top of my lungs because he's upstairs) to come and help me; or
f) pull her into my arms and cuddle with her until she falls asleep with me.

What happens?

g) I close my eyes and let her keep on saying Mom a few more dozen times because honestly, I'm just too exhausted after a very busy week that I'm totally capable of sleeping through that broken record. I know, I proudly accept the Mother of the Year Award!

But let's be candid--sometimes we run ourselves into the ground. I know I do. Finding inspiration, fuel, energy, balance can be difficult. But we push through it and usually there is a reward on the other end. Sometimes it's as simple as a square of chocolate, a good movie night, a beautiful scene written, a nice little twenty minute nap...but it counts.

What kind of face-slapping have you endured lately? And what kind of reward have you found for pushing through it?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Thing About Birthdays...

They add up. One minute you're celebrating your Sweet Sixteenth and the next you can barely remember that far back. And though many birthdays were just flat-out forgettable, some were pretty awesome:

Like my 8th birthday when I had a party at my house, and we played Bingo with M&M's, and someone gave me some "Electric Youth" perfume by Debbie Gibson. So rad!

And then there was my 20th birthday where me, my sister and my best friend went to Rosarito, Mexico for some lobster, cheap shopping, and maybe a little dancing. (I lived in San Diego at the time, so it wasn't a big deal). Three single young girls, what could go wrong? We got pulled over by some Federales, forced to exit our vehicle, and directed to stand still on the side of the abandoned highway while the men with machine guns searched our car. Not so rad!

And how could I forget my 27th birthday when I was informed to start prepping for my emergency C-Section the following day? Awwwww...some!

***I'm going to do everyone a solid and not show any pictures of this event. You're welcome.***

And of course there's this years birthday (no, I'm not telling you how old I am!) where me, my sister and other best friend went out to dinner and a show--Michael Jackon's One by Cirque du Soleil. I bought myself some shiny pleather stretchy pants and a Michael Jackson-esque jacket and made some memories. Yes, some of them might have been embarrassing ones. And no, I was not drinking.

So whether your birthdays are 80's rad, life-threateningly scary, or borderline inappropriate, they happen. Every. Single. Year.

What's your most memorable B-day?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Writing and the Iron Man

Not this one:

I'm talking about this one:

Right now I'm sitting in a Starbucks along the race route for the 2013 Iron Man 70.3, and dang it's inspiring!

These athletes are flat-out, crazy-pants, freaks of nature! (In the best possible way) They have 0% body fat, 0% give in, and nothing but determination in their eyes. I am in total awe. How hard have they worked to get to this race? How many hours of praiseless training have they invested? How much pain, suffering, and self-doubt have they suffered? How many slices of cheesecake or scoops of ice cream have they sacrificed in order to properly fuel their bodies?

Probably a lot.

I want to have that kind of determination in my life. NOT IN RUNNING, BIKING, and SWIMMING, of course! Maybe just in the things that matter to me. Like writing for example. Maybe I can work a little harder, train a little better, put more of myself into it, make it a top priority in my life. That way, when I run through metaphorical finish line (because let's be honest, there's no cheering section waiting for when a writer finishes a book) people will want to reach out and give me a high five!

What could you be doing to train better at what you want to accomplish?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cluster F

And no, the F does not stand for Friday, or Fun, or Fabulousness. Let me explain...

Last weekend, a barrage of less than ideal events transpired:
  • Friday- got some eyelash extensions done and had a bad reaction to the glue. I let Mr. Humphries drive and tried to sleep it off as we traveled late to Southern Utah for the holiday weekend. Never mind that my little nap got interrupted by a flashing lights, a police siren, and someone other than Mr. Humphries asking for the ""insurance and registration, please."
  • Saturday- woke up looking like Sloth from Goonies, due to the continuing allergic reaction to the eyelash glue. Asked my mother in law if she had any Benadryl, but she only had the Children's kind. I thought I should be fine to take the dose for "children over the age of six."
  • Later Saturday--I vaguely remember attending the Peach Days parade before I wandered off and passed out in the car. Six hours later I woke up at the in-laws house, not able to recall all the details of how I got there. I totally roofied myself on CHILDREN'S BENADRYL, people!
  • Sunday- went for a walk on the golf course with the kids to stretch my strung out body, and got attacked by mosquitoes. I forgot to bring protection, yanno a machine gun or some freakin' bug spray, and we ended up with probably a thousand bites if you count cumulatively between the five of us. Mission failed, Soldier.
  •  Sunday night- tried to go see Austenland the movie (because it's not showing in Vegas), but my GPS took us to a residential cul-de-sac, and Mr. Humphries' GPS took in a full circle without leading us anywhere. We missed the movie. I might have been a little devastated.

I won't go on...but I could! It was just one of those weekends. There were some great times in between the madness, but yeah...CLUSTER F.

Ever have one of those weekends?