Question for the Universe



Why do a million things pop up when you're trying to go on vacation?  No really, a million! Already this morning by 7:30 I had called the bank (who was on east coast time, thank goodness), the motor vehicle licensing department, put in two loads of laundry and moved an entire entertainment center/ large TV in order to unwire and rewire my internet so that I could have internet access on a day when I most needed it... I'm not complaining (okay, maybe a little) but, really, I'm just posing this question to the Universe:

Is it me or is it you?

Am I the one who subconsciously puts everything off until it's absolutely necessary at which time I suddenly "realize" it has to be done, or are you the one throwing these boulders in my path?  Because if you're the one who makes me drive way far away, just to fix a small clerical error with my health insurance so that I can get my prescription refilled before leaving town, well... that's just so mean.  Please stop.  That is all.

The Books I Could Put Down

Sometimes I read a book like this:
And Sometimes I read a book like this:


And lately there's been more of this:
Than this:
Which leads to this:




I never used to put down books, but lately, I don't waste my time.  I'm not sure what changed.  Maybe I just became a mom and lost my patience.  (That didn't sound right...) Maybe I just became a mom and lost my patience for anything that wastes my time.

Are you a die-hard, must-finish, book-reader or do cut your loses and move on?


Immaterial

I added a "My Books" page to my blog with brief descriptions of my books.  There's not a lot there, but as I do more I'll add more.  Who knows, maybe one day I'll even get ambitious and add some homemade trailers or something. 

If you follow my blog, you've probably already seen stuff for my first two books, but for the first time I'm revealing a bit about my third book, Immaterial.  I hope the picture* and tag-line give you a little preview of the flavor of the book. 

*The images I collaged to get the picture are not mine

Just Relax

Doing yoga with a kindergartner running around in the house is not a practical (or relaxing) endeavor.  I don't know why I thought that things would be different this morning simply because said kindergartner was in the bathtub.   My meditation time this morning went a little something like this:

*Sitting Pose**Deep breath*   in with the good out with the bad...
"Mommy, the water isn't touching my toes!"
*Forward Lunge**Stress levels rise* "There is plenty of water in the bathtub. Just wash your hair."
*Garuda Mudra* Activate blood flow, increase circulation, listen to my breath, calm beating heart.
"Mommy, I need you to come in here!"
*Ignores**Downward Facing Dog*
"Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy..."
*Warrior One**Stress levels rise to twice what they were before starting yoga* Just keep breathing. Maintain relaxation and focus.
"Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy..." 
*Pauses DVD* *Walks into bathroom*
"What do you need?"
*Son looks up and thinks for a second*  "Are you exercising?"
*Deep breath* in with the good out with the bad...

Sometimes keeping balance in my life can be tough.  I feel an urgency to finish my books, acquire an agent and get published.  But I know from experience I am better off when I take the time to do the other things that are important, like exercising, taking care of my family, reading and giving service. In the end I believe I accomplish more than I would if I just ignored everything and wrote all day long.  Yoga is just one of those things that helps me find that balance.  Some days are just more "balancing" than others. 
What do you do to keep your writing life in balance with everything else?

Writer Reality



We've been sick around my house this week.  Consequently, I've been doing a lot of something I rarely ever do: watch TV.  For some reason, despite the queasiness, I've been drawn to Food Network.  They have several reality shows that pit chefs against each other in timed contests.  My favorite is "Chopped."  You may have seen it.  Chefs are given a mystery basket with three or four items that they have to use to create an appetizer, main, dish, and dessert.  They're given a new basket each round and only thirty minutes to finish each course.

It's intense.  Or maybe I'm the only having an anxiety attack watching Food Network. 

The show got me thinking, why are there no reality writing shows?  There totally could be.  Picture it:

Round 1:  Four computers, a panel of agents and editors and an envelope containing a setting, a character and a genre. Thirty minutes on the clock and ready, set, TYPE! The person with the best flash fiction wins the round. 

Round 2:  The writers have thirty minutes to write a synopsis and query based on their flash fiction.

Round 3:  Thirty minutes to prepare a verbal pitch and marketing plan which they must then present.

I'm tired just thinking about that show.  Maybe instead we should just throw a bunch of writers in a big mansion with their finished manuscripts and one agent.  Then we could send them on dates together.   Some of the contestants would naturally click with the Agent who would then ask about their manuscript.  Other contestants would carry their MS around with them wherever they went, shoving it under the agent's nose when he was talking to other contestants or relaxing in the hot tub. 

At the end of each episode we could line all the contestants up and the agent would give bookmarks to anyone he wants to stay in the mansion for another episode.  There would be crying and hissy fits and ripping of paper. It would be a runaway hit! (Are you paying attention Mark Burnett?) 

Yep, that's TV I would watch.

Poetry of a Beatnik Housewife

Integration

Slippery
Slimy
Segregated oil covering all
Powerless water
Rushing
Rising
Scalding metal and skin
Plunge deeper
Work faster
Fruitless labor
Only soap can break the barrier
Ah miracle of lemon scent
Rubbing
Scrubbing
Bubbling to a higher plane of existence
Clean!
Clean!
Hands softened in the watery basin of life's long day
Emerge calloused and cracked in the dry air of brief reprieve

Why I Haven't Queried My Books

I don't talk much about my writing on this blog (weird, since it's a "writing blog"), but today I'm going to.  I've had a couple of people ask me if I'm querying recently.  And the answer is well, no, I'm not.  I'm actually finishing up my third novel, and I've never really queried (I've sent out like five really novice queries).  Does that make me weird?  Maybe.

If you were to ask me why, I'm not sure I could give you a clear cut answer.  The timing just never felt right.  I did love my first novel, a YA contemporary fantasy.   I loved the story.  I loved the characters. I didn't love the writing.  So, I revised it over and over and over and over again.  Somehow it just never reached the standard I wanted it to. 

The writing in my second novel was much better.  Again, I loved the story.  The problem was it was a tough genre to market.  I had unwittingly written myself into a literary corner with a college age character in a Chick Lit Superhero Romantic Comedy (say that five times fast). 

Now I'm finishing up my third novel.  A YA SciFi Dystopian.  It's quirky. It takes place on the moon. There are lots of made up words. It's written a strange voice and my character is withdrawn and and counts everything around her (as in literally counts everything).  I LOVE it! I will definitely query it when I'm done. 

So, I've been around in the blogging/writing world for about three years now.  Most of the friends I started with are agented.  I've seen their struggles and learned a lot.  But I've never experienced it. I guess I just wasn't ready.  But now I definitely am.  So in the next few months (as soon as I finish my book) I will be putting myself out there and getting my poor little writing heart trampled on like the rest of all you brave souls.  I would love to hear about your querying journey.