Thursday, February 10, 2011

He Was Found in the Wreck With His Hand on the Throttle, Scalded to Death by the Steam....

Five points to whoever recognized that line as being from 'The Wreck of Old 97'! Ok, so no one's been scalded. At least not to death. But I HAVE come to a few conclusions recently. One of them is that I will NEVER, no matter how hard I might try, make it as a barista. It's just not in my cards. Ever. Why, you ask? Well, the answer is simple, considering that our little farm coffee pot manages to fry some part of my body on a daily basis, I just don't see barista in my near future. I mean, seriously, I've burned my ARMPIT. How does someone manage that??? An ARMPIT for crying bananas. Welcome to my life.

The other conclusion that I've come to, and this one is a little less amusing, if not exactly 'woe as me over the cliff I go' hair rendingly dramatic. The conclusion is this: I am not happy at this point in my life. The reason that I am not happy at this point in my life is that I feel as though my writing is 'going nowhere'. I put the 'going nowhere' in quotations because it isn't really a physiological truth. Your writing is never stagnant. Never. No matter how unchanged you perceive it to be, it is, in truth, progressing. It just doesn't always feel that way to YOU. *sigh* This is a normal thing for anyone who's trying to break into the commercial writing industry. I know it's normal because I've had authors (successful authors) hug me and tell me it's normal. But they couldn't tell me exactly how it was going to feel, because you can't describe a feeling like that to someone who hasn't felt it. Now I know. And I'm done with knowing how it feels to think that no one, nowhere established in the industry has any faith or interest in you. I'd say I never needed to know what it was like to feel this way, but I think you do need to know, so that when you HAVE made it into the industry, you have compassion for all of those frustrated hopefuls. And on that note THANK YOU to every successful author, agent, editor, and anyone else in the industry who has been kind and supportive to me. I would not be where I am, trudging onward towards my goal if not for all of you :)

So, the question is, how do I adapt to this unhappy stage? To start, I think I have to let go of EVERNOW. I don't mean actually let go. But it might be time to stop querying it. Stop entering it in contests (although I'm still in Brenda's 'It was a dark and stormy night' blogfest/contest) stop looking for agents who are seeking dystopian work. Stop (for now) working on the companion novel. Just stop. I don't want to stop. I think Evernow says something. Especially with the world today, I think a book about a girl who refuses to settle for warfare and instead struggles for peace with a race unlike her own is a book kids should read. But I will stop. For now. And I'll work on something else. Red Chief most likely. I do love my pain in the ass, back-talking to Faeries, bad tempered Eimhear, and I think that it could be commercially successful too. So, onward! Although I admit that I'll glance back over my shoulder more than once...

What about you? Does anyone out there (published or not) have a book that they think will actually have a good impact on people reading it? Anybody (published or soon to be) have a book that is not slated for publication that they would sell a kidney to get into print simply because they believe in it?


  1. Oh sweetie, hang in there! And good for you for writing something that matters:) If you tuck Evernow away for a little bit, you can always bring it out--again, sometimes it's all about timing--the right agent at the exactly right time...which is, well, hard. And sure, you can work on Red Chief--it sounds like a great one! But you also have another option--what an exciting prospect to start something new and fresh--to meet and love a whole new set of characters!

    I'll even give you an idea--I think you should write a middle grade/early YA book for boys about blossoming adolescence/body odor and call it ARMPIT :)

    PS- I seriously laughed out loud when I read that line about burning your armpit with the coffee pot! Hope it healed okay :)

  2. Big hugs from a similarly unpublished/ unagented author. I'm in a very similar place... finished novel queried within an inch of its life... totally edited and overhauled... queried again. Nothing. It was slated to be the 1ts of a trilogy... for which Books II and III are already half written.

    But if I don't get any bites during the early 2011 round of queries, it's going on the shelf. It has to. As authors we have to maintain forward motion. Always. Next story... Next story. Because if you nevr get off the current one... and it never gets picked up, your career is over before it began.

    It's almost cliche to hear about published authors with anywhere from 2 to 5 fully realized novels in a box or on a shelf somewhere where light shall never touch them. It happens.

    So, in terms of adapting to this unhappy stage... go write the next one. I am. Because truthfully, if you admit it to yourself, *writing* is where you're *most* happy. Go back to that place... soak up the magic of beginning a new WIP... because it is... magical.


  3. Totally know where you at. My first book is coming our in September, but I wrote a book before that and it's now safely in a drawer, never to be seen. I though it was kind of nifty, but no one was interested. And before I wrote books I wrote plays. Even got an MFA in it. After graduation I spent years querying with plays to not a single drop on interest. I think unless you're a writer it's kind of hard to understand the impact of all that silence.

    You're doing all anybody can do. Keep going. Keep fighting. Keep writing. I always figured that if my career wasn't moving forward right then I could at least make sure my writing was. Throwing myself into something new was always the thing that made me feel better.

    Good luck!

  4. I have this vision of our first books hanging out together on a shelf, kind of like the "uncool" kids at the same lunch table in high school. Our books want to play with the other ones, the published ones, but they are shunned to the lame table.


    we all know how successful the "uncool kids" (Bill Gates comes to mind) do after they mature!

    Christi Corbett

    PS. I have this niggling feeling you're going to do well for the first line contest. Call it "women's intuition" or whatever, but it's my hunch your KICK ASS line is finally going to be recognized.

  5. Thanks everybody! I've had a dose of G.I. Jane (best line ever is Viggo quoting David Herbert Lawrence's Self-Pity) and now I'm back on a writing rampage! It's so unbelievably comforting just to have people say 'I know how you feel and it'll get better!' I thank you for that :)

    Christi our books can be Goonies together! And eventually they'll find the pirate treasure of publication. Who knows, maybe they'll pick up a few more Goonie book friends along the way. Then we can have a Goonie Author club!

    As for the first line contest, don't count yourself out! That's a pretty smoking first line you've got too. Actually pretty much all of the first lines are ones that nabbed me on some level. There were only a few that left me with ??? floating over my head, so it's going to be interesting for sure! Thanks for the vote of confidence though :D

  6. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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