Sunday, April 28, 2013

What's in your cart?

We’ve all been there. 
You are at the store, a few unmentionables in your cart, when suddenly you run into someone you know in a casual or (worse yet) professional way. You cast a furtive glance down to the items in your basket and try covering them with your jumbo bag of chips bought just for the purpose of camoflage:  Tampons, a box of L’Oreal with a girl half my age on it, an E.P.T. (it’s for a friend), bleach for that  ahem-- facial hair, hemorrhoid cream, and other assorted ”feminine hygiene” doo-dads that I would do well not to mention. (I can only imagine the fate that awaits one purchasing adult incontinence products.)

Okay, so maybe one wouldn’t pick all of these sundries up in one fell swoop—especially not with that new chatty old dude they just hired at Walgreens as a checker.  But still, you know what I’m talking about.

One’s shopping cart tells many tales, and those checkers must know us very well, mustn’t they?  (Not to mention the Big Boxes in the sky which track all of our purchases.)  The checkers know if we’ve had a bout of the flu, are picky about our organic produce or let our kids gorge on pop-tarts.  They are the ones who know if we’re buying things on food stamps or purchasing yet another bottle of cheap wine or a box of Trojans.  (Note:  Do not buy those two things together.) 
I wonder if their tongues wag in the break-room or if there is some type of code, like doctors, which keep them from telling tales on the customers.

I recently wrote a shopping scene in my WIP which kindled a thought.

What’s in your hypothetical cart at the local Walgreens for Writers? If you were just popping in to pick up a short list of acoutrements necessary for the writerly life, what would those items be?  In my basket I’d have a few superlative, organically-grown adjectives; a really kick-ass thesaurus; a killer metaphor that everyone would, like, totally understand (without it being too obvious of course); a gynormous eraser the size of my head, and a “How to Land an Agent: touch-up kit”.  (It was a buy one get one kinda thing.)
Oh—and a cheap bottle of wine.

Would love to hear your grocery list of must-haves.  Go for it.  I won’t tell.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

One novel...with pin feathers.

Hello Lovely Blogmates! 
The oncoming Ice-Age is loosening its grip and Spring has finally sprung here in Wisconsin (in spite of the smattering of snow yesterday) and, I am back from my blogging hiatus!
(Insert sounds of crickets chirping here…) 

Where have I been, you ask?
(More crickets and one pin dropping.)

I was—ahem, finishing my M.G.  novel “Gia” henceforth entitled “Dreamwalker”. (I think.)  Yup.  Put a fork in her, she’s a done deal.  Well, except for that final tweaky edit of course but that’s all knick-knacks and throw-pillows as far as I’m concerned.  I have written "The End" and an epilogue to boot.  I have survived the pregnancy, given birth, and now I gotta raise the durn thing to fly on her own.

Now begins the superfun job of writing pitch letters, crafting my short-yet-intriguing synopsis, hacking away at the twitter-pitch and my never-need-to-use elevator pitch, boring all my blog-readers with T.M.I. about my progress, and... the dreaded query.  (If I had a really drippy, spooky font I would’ve written “query” in it, but for now you will have to use your imagination.) Just the mention of the "Q" word puts my stomach in knots.  Why is it that silly thing gives me the twitchy eye and has me reaching for the nearest tonic with which to sooth my jangled nerves? 

Might I ask you seasoned pros what you do upon finishing your lovely WIPs? 
Do you use beta readers? 
Do you read your novel backwards?  (I'm told this not only catches all the typos but gets you to drooling and babbling incoherently until typos cease to matter anymore.) 
Do you set your novel on the counter like a good pot-roast and let it rest before diving in for the cut? 
Do you enter queries and the first 250 into contests all hell-bent-for-leather and let her do some work while you’re busy shoring it up? 
My game plan is a final edit, (and then another one), research agent lists like I’m looking for the missing link and start querying for an agent.  Thus far, I'm taking the conventional approach. 

How’dya do it Peeps?  How did you land that lovely agent hook, line and sinker?

~Just Jill