Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bum Shots and Bargains...

So I got sick. Again. And because the symptoms descended with astonishing speed and thoroughness, the brilliantly gifted and caring doctors from whom I sought relief decided to stab my ass with not one needle, but two. That's right ladies and gents, I managed to procure the attentions of multiple needles in the same office visit. So it's a good thing my bum is accustomed to the abuses associated with things like the crash landings that result from unplanned departures from the backs of large herbivores. Otherwise I might have had trouble handling all that action back there. As it was, my exquisitely adapted derriere took on those shots like Sergeant York taking on those German soldiers. Along with the shots (one for nausea, and the other antibiotics) I got three different pills: More antibiotics (take with food) more anti-nausea (so I could eat the food for the antibiotics) and pain-killing cough syrup (so I could weave through the house in a stupor and find something to run into or fall over). Amazingly, everything did what the docs said it would do. So now I'm feeling much better, although I HAVE misplaced a few things, likely because of that cough syrup. The car keys will probably turn up in the fridge, the TV remote in the spatula drawer and who knows where that spoon I was using for the liquid vita-C is... possibly stuck in the belly fur of one of the dogs... But at least I'm better! The bruised bum lives to ride (and probably fall) again!

Kind of like in writing... I'm officially back in the saddle and writing like crazy, and loving it. And I'm so not worried about the queries I have out right now. I'm totally immersed in my WIPs and loving where they're taking me. I WALLOWING in each one like a feline in catnip. And that's what it's all about. The writing. My first love is writing this stuff. I want to get published successfully because that could potentially give me even more opportunities to write. But if I never get published, I'll still have a stack of things I've written, things that some day a daughter, or son, or niece or nephew will read. I'll have something I made, something I loved, to leave behind. Which makes me happy.

And on that note, I'd like to show off the sort of Brand Name stuff I'm into! Everyone (most everyone) has a Brand they call their own. More and more nowadays, it seems that Brands are all kids think about or are interested in. Brand Names have been elevated to a ridiculous station of importance. But I'm okay with having one favorite Brand. For me, it's Etienne Aigner. I simply adore the classic taste and beauty of Aigner items. That said... I almost never pay full price for them. I can't help it. I drool over those luscious folds of leather with their graceful straps and glinting, appropriately placed, buckles of bling. And then I think about how many hay bales or bags of grain I could buy with the price that's listed on said luscious folds of leather. I'm not saying that I've NEVER bought an Aigner full price. But I can say that out of the double digits of Aigner items I own I've only paid full price for one or two. I prefer to filch the bargains. And I'm pretty good at it, if I do say so myself.

Like with the writing, it's about the process. The hunt. I might not get this years hotness, but I'll get the steal on last years missed gems. Just like I might not get the publishing deal of my dreams, but I'll see my dreams made into a hard copy that my children can enjoy some day in the future.

So without further ado, I present, Aigner by Artemis!

Jacket: Vintage Aigner, $25, marked down to $15 at an antique store
Purse: Vintage Aigner, $50, marked down to $42 at the same antique store
Boots: Brand new, $140, marked down to $40 at a shoe outlet

And that's how I roll with my Brand of choice!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

So Here I Sit...

It's raining outside.
The horses are fed.
The cats are fed.
The Demon Chickens have complained about the weather and been fed complimentary crackers for their discomfort (three eggs yesterday, go Towanda!!!)
The dogs are in old-doggies-got-snacks-they-didn't-need comas.
I'm alone in the house.
I've got coffee at my hand and a cat on my lap.

And here I sit. Not writing.

I've got plenty of ideas. I'm working on three WIPs at the same time. (I can't believe that's happening, but thus far it's been smooth sailing). My fingers are actually itching to write. So why aren't I? I'm currently processing the possible snags that are keeping my fingers from latching onto my pen.

A large part of it is that I've got queries out on my YA. I imagine that one day I'll get to a point where that won't affect me so much. But right now it does. And it's worse because I've had a couple of requests for fulls. Those agents passed in the end (I'm not hating on them in the slightest, just having fulls requested was a new, big step) but they all had good things to say about my YA. And they had specific reasons for passing. One already had a client working on a project in the same vein as mine, close enough anyway that they felt obligated to stay devoted to their client. If I was that client, I know I'd want that devotion, so that's fine with me. The other agent said that the story just didn't grab them the way they felt they should have been grabbed. I get that because I can't paint on commission for the same reason nor can I read a book just because it's a bestseller. If it doesn't hook me, why read it? The insidious poison in these rejections is that both agents said they'd look at other projects if I had any (either the projects are something they don't rep, or they're WIPs so that's out right now) and the second also said that they'd look at revisions on my YA. But they didn't tell me what to revise. Not even a hint. Yet another agent said that my YA didn't fit into what she currently wants to focus on but that by just what she read, she feels it's strong and well written and bound to land me an agent.

Of course, the first thing I did was squall because I was rejected. Especially after the full requests, which were terrifying and totally exciting all at the same time. That took around 24 hrs for each rejection, less for one because immediately upon receiving that rejection, we had equine high drama at the farm and I didn't have time to pout. Then I was elated that these agents had RESPONDED to me! They had actually written letters commending my writing and telling me that they thought I have what it takes to be successfully published! That was followed by a brief (fifteen or twenty minutes) regression of pouting because they thought I was good, but not good enough FOR THEM. This isn't true of course.

Now I'm on to the dithering stage which is by far the most frustrating and least productive. When I'm pissed off, I can throw hay bales around, groom horses (nothing gets dirt out of a horses coat like angry elbow grease) or find something that needs to be pounded, hauled or dug up at the farm. When I'm elated I have the patience of a Saint and can deal with the most obnoxious baby horse behavior, even when it includes the kicking and stomping of my body parts (reminder, baby horses pitching fits = three hundred pounds of temper tantrum). I also tend to act like a goon and make everyone around me smile.

But when I'm dithering because I don't know what to do with my writing, it's a disaster. It's like being told you have cancer, but no one gives you treatment options, although they say that you're going to make it. I mope, then I try to write, then I consider revising my YA and pull it up on the computer. Then I sit and stare at it because I don't know what to do. I look at my main character and try to decide how she might be more likeable. Then I'm afraid to change anything for fear of making her less like herself. I examine the setting, but I don't change anything because I've been told by the agents that my world building was great. I look at the timeline and tweak. Then I go back and change it because it was fine and the tweaking looked like tweaking. Then I abandon the YA I'm peddling and go back to the three I'm working on. Then I stare at them and wonder if they're as strong as the one I'm peddling. I don't want to regress in my writing. Meanwhile, everyone around me tries to help cheer me up. The most successful is the young (ten whole years younger than me, and a total whippersnapper) guy I work with, code name Carlos. This is because he simply picks me up and throws me over his shoulder and runs until I squeal like a piggy and feel like I'm sixteen again. But it still wears on me, thinking that I might be failing myself by not rewriting but also thinking that I might be screwing up my YA by changing something agents have said they enjoyed.

So here I sit...

Although now that I've blathered all of this, I have to run like a mad woman because I'm finally going to see Avatar with my prego sis, code name Fenris, and my daddy. Fenris will have to pee in the middle of the movie, she's already warned me (it's a prego thing, she says) and my daddy might well nod off. But it'll be fun nonetheless. And maybe when I come back home I can write some. Or edit some. Or maybe just stare at the words some more...