Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Hey All!!!
So, I found out today that the query letter I thought was ready for submissions wasn't all that ready. To say that I'm heartbroken is a bit of an understatement. I'd sent it to various sites and had many folks look it over, and thought I finally had gotten it right, only to find that it still isn't there. It's not even close to being there.

In the pursuit of my writing career and the skills needed to succeed with it, writing query letters is my one big Achilles' Heel.

I'm going back to the drawing board with this one...though I have to say that I'm not feeling very hopeful right now. We'll see.

Happy Writing Everyone!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Hey All!!!
So, I recently read a really amazing post on YA Highway about how trying to get published is like hoping for one of the seats to turn around for you when competing on The Voice. It rang so true for me when I read it, especially given one of the recent rejections I'd received from an agent I queried.

See, I've been making the rounds in the querying game. I've done this dance before, mind you, but not with as much determination and resolve. The two previous times I tried to query, I found myself sending letters to about twenty or so agents. Each time I at least got one or two requests for pages, which eventually ended in rejection. Now I've always had good encouragement from those who've asked me for pages - responses such as, "I really like your writing, but I don't think the concept is unique enough for this packed market." Or, "You have great descriptions, but the market is too crowded." But there was always something - most likely my lack of true determination - that would cause me to immediately stop and decide to either do a major re-write or to shelve the story all together due to thinking the timing wasn't right.

This time, when I entered the querying fighting ring, I told myself that I'd be bold. I wasn't leaving this fight until I'd submitted to darn near every agent and publishing house I could, or die trying! But, unlike my other two attempts, I'm not really getting any bites - and that scares me a little. And there's nothing in form rejections that let you know if it's just that the book isn't in their tastes, or if you're a terrible writer and should throw your hands up now and quit forever (or just write for your kiddos and loved ones). So it's hard to navigate the ups and downs of the querying process and not get discouraged.

This changed for me a bit on last Friday, when I received what felt like my millionth rejection. I opened the email, waiting for the punch to the gut I'd come to expect, and found a light at the end of my tunnel. She explained that she liked my writing, but isn't a big fan of urban fantasy. She also encouraged me to continue and stated that she felt sure I'd have representation in no time!

So when I read the post on YA Highway about how querying is all about tastes, and how it's rare that every agent you submit to will ask for pages, or will offer representation, it really hit home for me. Even though this dream seems impossible at times, I have to know in my heart and gut that I'm good. It's all a matter of time, folks. One of these days, one of these agents or editors is going to recognize my awesomeness for what it is and will help me to make my dream into a reality. It might take time, and a hell of a lot of hard work, but I'm in for the long haul. And I WILL. NOT. GIVE. UP!!!

How do you all handle the querying dance? What motivates you to keep going?

Happy Writing!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012


Hey All!!!
This weekend I was faced with one of the many things that can completely derail a writer when he or she is attempting to be as productive as possible, the inconvenient and always annoying illness - more specifically, in my case, my chronic sinisitis. There I was folks, kicking butts and taking names in my awesome ability to research the heck out of a wide range of topics while waiting for my story to present it itself to me, and then my nose starts acting up!!! To say that I was angry, well, that doesn't even cut it.

I found myself laid up in my bed (or on the couch, depending on what time of the day it was), able to do nothing more than sleep and mindlessly watch bad television while heavily medicating myself so I could function.

So, what did I do to try to keep productive while incapacitated?

I changed my viewpoint of the situation I was in.

Instead of being angry with my bum sinus cavity for acting an ass, I shifted my focus on resting so I could get better sooner. See, normally I work myself to the bone, only stopping to rest after office hours or during the weekend. It seems sad to waste perfectly good Paid Time Off hours on being sick, so I try to avoid this at all costs. But this time I took a day or two off to really focus on getting better. Being at work while sick isn't really helping myself or anyone else, and it prolongs my illness by days, I'm sure. And when I was feeling a bit better, I focused my time on reading more and researching agents and publishing houses for my two books.

So, when it comes down to it, sometimes resting oneself can be just as important to being productive as writing, reading, and any other activity a writer may be involved in.

Happy Writing!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Hey All!!!
So, as always, it's been way too long since I last posted. I definitely have to get better at this regular posting thing. In the months since I last spoke to you guys, nothing much has happened. I got comfy in my day job, got financially stable for the first time in a few years, and am feeling more like my good ol' writing machine self. I have a new story that I'm working on, while querying the one I just finished polishing. I've amassed what feels like a ton of rejections, but I know that that's the business and will keep on trucking (said while putting all feelings of failure in a box so I can completely ignore them =) ).

The biggest issue I'm having right now is with really getting into my new story. I always have what I like to think of as a lull in excitement/activity when it comes to my writing. These lulls happen right as I start a new project - before the main character's voice starts taking up serious space in my head - and when I'm about 3/4 of the way through - when I'm having to trudge through to the end. But I have to say, the sense of anticipation that I get while waiting for the character to really start speaking to me is both tortuous and exciting all at once.

So what do I do while I wait for this roller coaster ride to start up - why, research of course! Since I know my main character is Pakistani, I'm going to look up everything I can on that culture - food, clothes, religion, etc. I want to know what it's like for those who live in Pakistan, and those who have migrated to other countries as well. What are the issues that face a young Pakistani girl in this day and age. And I have to say I've been very inspired by the tale of Malala Yousufzai, a young girl who was shot in Pakistan for daring to continue with her education and for speaking up for young Pakistani girls there. In doing this searching, I'm hoping that Alana will begin speaking to me and my story will begin to take shape.

What do you do when you hit a lull in your writing? How do you break the surface of a new tale.

Until next time - and hopefully it won't be as long!!!