Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One Step Closer

I just signed with an agent! All of the late nights hunched over my computer, the countless hours spent on researching agencies and licking submission envelopes, the missed beach trips because I had to edit...all of these things are paying off. Someone in the publishing world thinks I have potential. I am still having difficulty believing that it's true. In fact, I was afraid to mention it until I had the signed representation agreement in my hand.

The day I received it, I tore open the envelope, clutched it to my chest and called my parents to share the wonderful news.

"Hey Dad, guess what? I have an agent!"
"That's great...so how much money are you going to get?"
"Err, umm, it doesn't really work like that. First I have to edit, then we go on submission and hopefully, a publisher will buy it."
"Then how much money are you going to get?"
"Well, the average debut advance is about $15,000."
"That doesn't seem like much...you know we have a friend who is a writer. She doesn't seem to have any trouble getting published..."

In a few short sentences, my father managed to stomp out my excitement with the steel-toed boots of reality. Thankfully, my mom was a bit more enthusiastic.

I realize though, for those not so heavily immersed in the publishing world, getting an agent or getting published doesn't seem like a big deal. They have no idea how many talented writers are out there, struggling, just to be noticed. They also don't understand how we can write for the love of it, with no promise of receiving any praise or money for our work...but we do.

We are all bound to receive criticism or cynicism in our writing journeys, so always remember why you write and celebrate the milestones: crafting the perfect scene, getting a full request, signing your first agent agreement...even if you are celebrating by yourself.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bad Kiddy Books

If you are not following @SlushPileHell on Twitter, you simply must. Today this buried-in-slush agent started a Bad Kiddy Books contest (#badkiddybooks) and the entries are hilarious. Some of my favorites, including my own:

So You Made a Mess: the BP Guide to Dealing with Spills
Pop! Goes the Poodle: 101 Fun Things to Put in a Microwave
The Bipolar Express
Phonetics: Who Gives A Phuck?

There are hundreds more. Contest ends at 5:00 p.m. EST, but the laughs never will.

**UPDATE**
Top 25 best (of the worst) kiddy books posted here!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Where the Genius Happens

Taking a cue from Le Rejectionist, I am posting photos of my home office, that I recently redecorated, in order to promote the creation of genius.

In my old office, I had my printer sitting on the desk, which did not leave room for my cheese puffs and beer. So I created a workspace off to the side where I could store my printer, extra paper for printing those 300 page manuscripts and of course my full collection of Twilight books and Harry Potter series.

Bookshelf and hanging wall files from Ikea

What writer's den is complete without a quiet area to sit and read and a very ferocious guard dog to protect your written genius?

Fainting couch and pillows from UrbanOutfitters
Mirror from
Target
Invisible bookshelves from
Amazon.com



I love, love, love this old vanity I got at a yard sale about 7 years ago for $5. Probably the best $5 I ever spent because I hide all my junk in it. The painting is one a friend made for me for an engagement present, the cat picture is a piece of art I bought in Portland, OR, and the chalkboard is there because I wanted a chalkboard. I don't think I need to explain why Madonna is there.

Dusty Girl Chalkboard from Uncommon Goods

Ahh and this is really where all the magic happens, where I toil night after night writing pages and pages of some of the most beautifully crafted prose and absolutely not watching videos on YouTube or participating in Twitter chats.

Desk and Chair from Target.com
Wallpaper from
Graham & Brown

What about you? Where do you write? Share it here in the comments or share it with Le Rejectionist so the world can see where you make your genius.