Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last post of '09

Man, I really wish I'd known we had class shirts when I graduated. They said, "The last class to make you say, 'Oh!'" Or something along those lines. I was amused, at any rate. But I totally missed the memo on grad shirts.

Anyways, that was completely off-topic. I just couldn't help but think of it when I titled this post.

To get back on topic...

Stuff That Happened This Year:

1) I turned 18 and became legally old enough to vote, go to big-people jail, and go into the adult section of video stores. Mind you, I haven't actually done any of these things yet.

2) I joined AW after lurking for several months and met all sorts of wonderful people. :D

3) I graduated high school, technically (*is still taking three online courses to get a total of 38 credits*).

4) I worked in a university bookstore, which was painful as heck.

5) I worked on a movie/TV set which was, at the very least, an interesting experience. :)

New Year's Resolutions:

1) Blog on at least a semi-consistent basis. (These random unannounced 3-6 week lulls will stop! Honest, they will. *shifty eyes*)

2) Finish my WIP. (It's almost finished! Almost! In all it's 200K+ glory.)

3) Solve the whole 200K+ problem. XD

4) Overhaul and re-query The Boy Who Stole My Heart Car, because chronically passive characters are baaaad.

5) Get into some sort of physical activity so my muscles don't atrophy by the time I'm 20. (Gotta have one health-related resolution, right?)

And that's about all I have to say. What's everyone else looking forward to doing in 2010?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Eek! Bad Blogger! That is to say, My First Blog Post In Three Weeks.

I know! I'm an awful blogger!!

I kept meaning to post. Honestly, I did. I don't know how many blog posts I half started, but I did start them. I just never actually finished them. :x

So now I will post something! Even if it isn't of a literary nature.

Yesterday was my first day volunteering for a local film company.

I got to do the clicky thing at the beginning of takes!

<-- You know, that thing. Which is in fact called a slate. And I only messed it up twice! XD

I also met and had lunch with Michael Ironside. No one seems to know who he is (I had to IMDb him) but he's been in a lot of stuff. I actually recognized his voice more than his face.

But anyway! He told me film business was like elephant excrement, give or take a word, and I should run while I could before the stink got stuck. I'm pretty sure he was kidding. :P

The good news is I'm a smidge more certain that I'm doing the right thing by planning to apply to film production programs in uni. Since I've only got a month left to make up my mind, any minute increase in certainty is a very, very good thing.

Oh! There was also uber delicious chicken for lunch! Point 2 for the film industry! They feed you!

So anyhoo, there we have it. My awful, tiny, un-writing related blog post.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Epiphanies and Christmas Lists (Wow. I just failed miserably trying to type epiphany the first time. XD)

Today, people started asking me what I wanted for Christmas. My obvious answer was, "BOOKS!" But of course they needed me to be more specific than that, so I went and browsed book listings to hunt out titles and authors.

While doing this, I realized three things.

1) Amazon is much cheaper than bookstores. I like this. I should start using Amazon.

2) There are a lot of bad book covers out there. Interestingly enough, the three books I want for Christmas are three of the few with decent covers, but that's besides the point! I was scrolling through the top seller lists on Amazon and was seriously repulsed by a lot of the covers.

3) I want a lot of books that I can't have. Why can't I have them, you ask? Because they aren't published yet. XD One of them is on its way!! (*cough*The DUFF*cough*) And another is soon to be on its way! (*cough*CoS*cough*) But sadly a lot of books I want to read have not even been finished yet (*cough*HURRYUP*cough*), let alone found agents and publishers. *tear*

Hmm. I think I know what I want for Christmas. ARCs and beta rights!!

Anyway, that's about all I have to say today. Now I must scuttle off and work on my physics so that I've actually accomplished something by the time my physics tutor gets here.

Ta! :)

ETA: OH! About that Christmas list. It currently includes Living Dead Girl, Break, and Hush Hush. Any other ideas?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

I haven't posted in over a week. Bad blogger! Bad!

I can't even blame NaNo madness, since I gave up on that. You know those characters who just won't. Shut. Up? Well, those are the sort of characters I've got in my WIP. They wouldn't let me leave them. Not even for a couple hours. They kidnapped me and duct taped me to a chair, I swear.

So I followed the advice of everyone who commented on my last post and surrendered. :)

The good news is I have now slashed 48 386 words from my WIP!! In fact, I have probably slashed more than that, but I replaced some of them with shiny new words so they didn't really count.

*scuttles off to find shiny new words to tease with*

Mmkayy. Found something. Anyone else tweak their teasers incessantly before posting and become completely unsatisfied with them? XD It's a smidge on the long side, and also a smidge on the dark side. And um, yes, that is all.


I hesitated, chewing on my lip. Finally I said, “Maybe I should come then.”

Sade was shaking his head before I had finished talking. “No. No, love. You don’t want to see that.”

"You just said it wouldn’t be that bad.”

“Compared to seeing someone get riddled with shrapnel, it isn't.”

“Then maybe I should get used to it, if it’s worse on the lines.”

He glared at me. “You’re not going to be on the lines.”

“Yes, I will.”

"No, you won't.”

"Yes, I will!”

He lit his cigarette, biting back a retort. “I’m not going to argue with you.”

“You already are,” I muttered.

“I-” He stopped, and blew out a stream of smoke. “I’m going to be late. Someone will come get you when it’s over, alright?” He started to walk away.

I went after him. “I want to come.”

He stopped, looking skyward, and turned back toward me. “Mina, please.”

I had the faint sense that I was being ridiculous because I really did not want to go. But my going to Dez’s execution – I shivered just thinking the words – had somehow become tied to me going out to the lines with them. “I want to come,” I said again, “If Miko’s going, I should go too.”

"Go inside.”



"I want to come.”

"You don't.”

"I do.”

"You shouldn't.”

"But I do!”


"Why not?”

“Because I’m the one who has to shoot him!"

"I – what?"

He looked away. "I don’t want you seeing that.”

I stood, unable to do anything but stare for a long moment. “Why you?” I asked finally.

"Because I'm the bleeding CO.”

"Oh,” I said softly.

He looked at the ground. “Please, Mina. Go inside.” And he turned and walked away.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Right. So. Day 1 of NaNoWriMo has begun.

I went to the local write-in today and met some highly entertaining people. However, the vague semblance of an idea I had sort of crashed and burned. Maybe it was the venue. I'm bad about writing with other people around. And by bad I mean I can't do it. Especially when I can't see my screen due to the angle at which the sun is coming through the window.

I did manage to write about 2K, but it was an uphill battle, and I have very little (read: no) desire to continue. These characters have a story, but they're being darn quiet about it at the moment, while the characters from my WIP are shouting at the top of their lungs.

I suspect my WIP characters may have sent goons to threaten my NaNo characters.

Anyway, at this point, I'm considering changing NaNoWriMo into NaNoSlashMo (National Novel Slashing Month). Let's see if I can axe 50K from my mutated WIP in a month.

Decisions, decisions.

Anyhoo, I'm off to write a bit of my WIP, in the hopes that Sade and Mina might shut up long enough to let me write a bit more in my NaNo book.

How's everyone else doing with NaNo? Or non-Nano?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Menial Monday

I'm really only blogging because I feel like I should, not because I have anything momentous to say. XD

I was informed I won't be getting any hours at work until January, by which point I probably will have found another job. With any luck I might be able to get a job at a real bookstore for the Christmas season. *crosses fingers*

In other news, I'm the only person in the house who isn't sick with a cold. *dons germ mask and hides in closet* Apparently one of the local high schools is four cases away from being closed for H1N1. This is the high school my little sister attends. *hopes little sister doesn't have H1N1*

Umm. Let's see. I also had some very yummy cake today, stuck a cookie on the end of an umbrella, and had a NaNo idea begin to niggle at my brain. We'll see how it goes.

And! I have a poll. Because I'm still stuck trying to figure out what makes Love Interests like Gale/Peeta, Edward/Jacob, Mr. Darcy/Mr. Bingham (did I spell that right?) so infatuating.

It should be over in the sidebar momentarily. =D

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just Finished Hunger Games


That's about all I can say at the moment.

Friday, October 16, 2009

17 First Lines

When I'm at work and I have nothing to do/don't want to go find something to do, I hide in the English section and sneak-read bits of the good books. The other day I decided to make a study of the opening lines of all the fictional ones.

I discovered the following:

Of the 17 books...

1 forced me to read the rest of the paragraph.
3 were good, but I did manage to put the book back on the shelf.
2 were so long that they ran onto the next page.
7 described something (2 people, 5 weather), often with lots and lots of fluffy adjectives.
4 (5 actually, if we count the one that ran onto the second page) were the beginning of a backstory-dump. (1 of these dumps was interesting.)

0 began with dialogue.
0 began with an immediately evident high-conflict (or moderate-conflict) situation. (Although Golden Compass and Execution did come out with it pretty quick.)
0 began with any sort of interaction between characters.

Am I the only one who likes to open with the latter? Or are these statistics inevitable and purely resultant of the fact that I found these book in the English section of a university bookstore?

Thoughts, anyone?

I'd continue to ramble but I may be able to hash this out into a TWFT post for Sunday, so I'll stop now. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Me + Hunger Games = <3<3<3

The other day I scurried off to the bookstore and bought The Hunger Games and Catching Fire.

Just finished rereading Hunger Games. Am in love. Can't start reading Catching Fire because I actually have to sleep tonight, seeing how it's only Thursday and I have to go to work tomorrow.

*considers phoning in sick and staying up all night to read*

Alas, I need the money.

But anyway, loveloveloveLOVE Hunger Games, to the point where Catching Fire is in danger of being chucked across the room if it doesn't go the way I want. Ah, the perils of being a good book.

*basks in warm loving feelings and tries to stop slipping into present tense in her WIP*

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Long Arm of Campus Security

Sorry. No Teaser Tuesday today. All the writing I did over the weekend was a touch morbid. I shan't subject you to it.

BUT! I got my first parking ticket today. Which I don't plan to pay. =D

I'm really quite proud of myself. It took them two and a half weeks to catch me. Now I shall have to start playing musical parking spaces. Parking in a new lot every day, nestling into a tight little spot where they'll be hard pressed to reach my windshield, hanging a lot of things from my rear view mirror so they have to squint for a long time to figure out whether or not I have a parking pass.

Assuming they'll threaten to tow my car after the third ticket, I should be able to keep my job for another nine weeks or so, before I can no longer safely park in the parking lot. Then I shall have to find a new employer -- ooo, look at that! Assistant Curator at the military museum. $13/hr. That sounds promising! =D

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Sea of Staples

Step 1) Remove staple.

Step 2) Move receipt to other side of paper. Re-staple.

Step 3) Place paper in correct alphabetical spot in mammoth binder.

Step 4) Repeat.

That's what I did for eight hours straight today. XD I went through three stapler-fulls of staples and created a very impressive mountain of used staples.

It wasn't so bad, though. It meant I got to sit in a non-boiling room and listen to my ipod all day while daydreaming about my characters.


Tomorrow, I suspect I will get the pleasure of photocopying the alphabetized OSAP forms. =D

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oops. =D

Just a quick update to let everyone know that if you're setting up a phone system, it's a bad idea to make people dial 9 to get to an outside line.


I was phoning people about their book orders today at work. We have to dial 9 to get out. I was making a long distance phone call, and I accidentally double-clicked the 1.

Campus security promptly arrived.

I rolled my chair away from the phone.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Minimum Wage

Warning: The following post contains a rant.

Working for minimum wage ($9.50 here) is lousy.

Working for minimum wage means you get paid $76 for a full (eight hour) day. When those eight hours are spent on your feet doing menial work (let's say, oh, straightening books on a bookshelf), $76 seems like a major rip off!

It seems to imply that a day of your life (24 hours) is therefore worth $228.

If someone came up to you and offered you $228 for a day of your life (as in, you would have one less day to live) would you agree?

I wouldn't.

*stops grumbling*

We shipped some books to someone in Jamaica the other day. (Or was it only one book? Can't remember.) Her name was Donna and the shipping cost $75 - an entire day's salary for me. Probably more than an entire day's salary when you take taxes off.

Have you ever considered what kind of a percentage the government gets of your salary between income taxes, sales taxes, parking meters, road test fees...Okay, I'd better not get going on that can of worms. =P

Anyway, I'm off to enjoy my free time! Ta-ta!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Word Wednesday (and other stuff)

I got a job! *prances around*

I mean, it's minimum wage and sounds like brutal hours, but heck, it's MONEY!! *is broke*

I'm going to be working in the college bookstore, which, sadly, seems to mostly sell text books, but again, IT'S MONEY! Also, I get the impression I'll be doing less book-selling and more coffee-fetching/loose-paper-sorting. It sounds like I'll be some sort of manager's assistant, or something of that nature.

Goodbye, free time! Hello, money I can use to pay off that library fine!!

Okay. Now, onto Wordy Wednesday!

triage |trēˈä zh; ˈtrēˌä zh |noun1 the action of sorting according to quality.2 (in medical use) the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties.

Because they use it on M*A*S*H all the time and I wasn't 100% sure what it meant. And:

fyke |fīk| (also fyke net)
nouna bag net for catching fish.

Because I hit the F key at random and when I realized that only gave me words that started with 'fa' I added a Y. And I might actually have the opportunity to use this word in my WIP, since my MC's family spends a lot of time on fishing-ish boats.

Oh, also, I have a longwinded, convoluted post over on the TWFT blog. Which you should go look at if you haven't already. =D

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Teaser Tuesday


Rachel was back, and she looked peeved. Presumably Samuel hadn’t been visible through any of the windows she could get at. But instead of giving up and heading back to the car, she was gearing up for round two, which seemed to involve climbing Samuel’s tree to scope out the upper story.

As we watched, she leaped for one of the lower branches, caught hold, and started scrabbling up the trunk so she could hook her legs over the branch as well. A minute later, she was hidden from sight by the foliage. All we could see were shaking leaves as she clambered from one branch to the next. Finally, near the top where the leaves and branches thinned, we saw her. She hung onto the trunk and perched on a branch that was as good a vantage point as she was going to get.

“Can she even see inside?” Jay asked.

The answer, apparently, was no, because he had no sooner voiced the question than she started edging away from the trunk and towards the house. It was slow going, and a good thing she and I had not traded clothes again because scooting along a branch like that would likely have been very unpleasant in a skirt. As she made her way outwards, the branch started to droop under her weight, and wiggle, and wobble. When she had to lie down and cling with both her arms and legs I started to worry that the tree was better suited for kindling than climbing.

“Does that look safe to you?” I asked.

Before he could answer, there was a resounding snap and Rachel’s branch parted company with the rest of the tree.

Rachel screamed, Jay and I launched ourselves out of the car, and when I tried to go bounding across the road, I discovered I had shut my skirt in the car door. And, better yet, the door was locked, the keys were still in the ignition, and Jay was already on Samuel’s front lawn and really too busy trying to prevent Rachel from breaking her neck to be bothered with something as trivial as detaching me from a car.

Dangling from another lower, but thinner branch, Rachel got her senses back and started screaming, “Help! Help! Curse you, Isaac Newton! Why couldn’t we live on the moon? He-e-e-elp!”

Speaking of this book, I should really be sending out more queries...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Creepy Government Buildings

Today, I went to a government building to get my name changed on a piece of ID. There was nobody in it. There were merely two phones sitting on two little tables in front of two lists of phone numbers.

After checking the sign on the door a few dozen times to make sure I was in the right place, I sat down and started calling those phone numbers. They put me on hold. For a long time.

Then sketchy janitorial staff started walking by in the hall, looking at me like those cannibals in that movie looked at that tasty castaway.

I left.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Angst-Fests and War Updates

My battle with the library rages on. My fine has somehow amounted to $76 now, which means I'll be skulking about in the corners of bookstores, sneakily reading their books for some time yet. Furthermore, I apparently still have a book out. But it's a book I have neither seen nor hear of, so I retain the theory that I do not have it.

Now, onto angst-fests.

They run rampant in YA books. Teenaged hormones, coupled with alcohol, and Dark Pasts are just the perfect recipe. Sometimes they're fine - justified, understandable, a prime opportunity for Character X to show off his/her vulnerable side. Other times, however, they are annoying as all heck! They make the reader (and occasionally the writer) want to strangle the character just to make them stop whining about their Problems.

For the majority of the past week I have been re-writing a scene in my WIP. The re-write started mainly because I needed to change a reference to a preceding event that had been remodeled. Then I saw it: the Angst-Fest!!

My darling Love Interest (that is, my MC's Love Interest, who I also adore to the point of it being a touch unhealthy) was spewing angst and misery all over the page!

I thought to myself, "Well! That can't stay!" and immediately scrapped it and began re-writing. I assumed the Angst-Fest was a product of my not knowing Love Interest very well when I first wrote the scene (it's way back near the beginning of the book) since he is quite the anti-angster in all subsequent scenes. That is, he doesn't talk, sulk, or angst about his Dark Past, nor wallow in Guilt and Self-Pity about it. (Sorry, but I couldn't actually resist giving him a Dark Past.)

Anyway, after 514 rewrites, a few handfuls of cold pills, and several boxes of Kleenex (necessary because of aforementioned cold, not because I was having hysterical fits about not being able to come up with a decent rewrite)...we came full circle.

I went from Angst-Fest, to Anti-Angst-Fest, through all the shades of grey, and now I'm sitting back in Angst Land. Or right on its border. Sighhh.

I assume this means that Angst-Fest is the right way to go. I mean, I have toned it down and directed the Angst at something that he would, in fact, maybe, possibly Angst about a little bit when he's as intoxicated as he is, but still I worry. I don't want people getting irritated.

And so I ask you, dear readers, at what point do Angst-Fests become annoying? What makes them torturous and eye-roll-inducing rather than an acceptable plot point? Do your beloved characters have Angst-Fests? When have other author's done it right, or done it wrong?

I'd love to know!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wordy Wednesday

It's that time again! Time for me to go scrolling through my Mac dictionary to find an appealing word.

schnitzel sh nitsəl|nouna thin slice of veal or other light meat, coated in breadcrumbs and fried.

I love this word, but I've actually never known what it was. Now I just have to find a place to try one (like the Schnitzel House I always pass on my way to Toronto!!).

Next word:

ubiquitous |yoōˈbikwətəs|adjectivepresent, appearing, or found everywhere : his ubiquitous influence was felt byall the family | cowboy hats are ubiquitous among the male singers.

I've heard that one too, but when I scrolled by it in the dictionary I couldn't quite come up with the definition. So, for future reference, there it is!

You may now consider your vocabular horizons expanded! Yes, I just made up the word vocabular. ;)

ETA: I found another word!!

While reading this lovely blog, I came across I word I had not seen before. While able to glean the definition from the context in which it was used, I thought it still deserved to be added to the post.

imbibe |imˈbīb|verb [ trans. ] formal often humorousdrink (alcohol) : they were imbibing far too many pitchers of beer | [ intrans. ]having imbibed too freely, he fell over.figurative absorb or assimilate (ideas or knowledge) : the Bolshevistpropaganda that you imbibed in your youth.chiefly Botany (esp. of seeds) absorb (water) into ultramicroscopic spaces or pores.Botany place (seeds) in water in order to absorb it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Three days of alliteration in a row! Yay!!

I'd fluff this post up a bit more, but I've done absolutely nothing since last Friday (all that productiveness wore me out) and unlike some people *cough*Kody*cough* I can't think of awesome literary topics to blog about. (That's code for "Go check out her awesome post about modern adaptations." I've been mulling it over since I read it.)

And now, onto the snippet.

I'm going over my WIP, re-writing chunks of it, so this snippet is from near the beginning.

“It’s so cold,” I said, in what I hoped was a pitiable tone. It was my and Layla’s favourite line, when we were vying for boys’ attention. It hadn’t failed yet. At the least they offered to walk us home. At best they put their arms around us.

It didn’t work so well with Sade. “Put your coat back on then,” he said.

“I’m already wearing my coat,” I replied, trying to find it in the dark and put it on without him hearing the rustle of fabric. “And I’m freezing.” I decided to be a little more direct. “I need something to warm me up.”

I heard him move, and for a brief moment I thought my ingenious plan had worked, but then a blanket landed over my head.

“You really should be careful what you say, Mina,” Sade said lightly, “Anyone else might have thought you were trying to flirt.”

I was glad it was so dark inside, because I was sure my face turned bright red. I choked for a moment before managing to say, “Why in the world would someone think that?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Sometimes people just seem to get the strangest ideas.”

Hmm. I have a feeling I've posted this somewhere before. Apologies if you've already seen this! (Especially since I don't think I've changed this at all in my editing. :P)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Frivolous Friday

I'm not actually planning a series of Frivolous Fridays. I just liked the alliteration. As a matter of fact, this Friday has been surprisingly non-frivolous. I've actually done a lot.

Things I have done today:

1. Applied for job at motel (front desk lady looked happy to see me - good sign? Or is she supposed to look that happy to see everyone?)
2. Applied for job at library (decided I don't actually want to work there, since the librarians looked very not happy to see me. Maybe they know about the size of my fine...>_>)
3. Filled out and delivered that form the doctor's office has been wanting.
4. Spat and cursed at the book I'm querying, because I have a partial request and I can't decide what, if anything, to tweak before sending it.

This has been my most productive day this week, by far.


5. Sat outside and admired the wildlife (a loon) for a while, thereby getting required Vitamin D and keeping pet dog happy.

I've also developed a fondness for Reba McEntire, particularly the songs Maggie Creek Road, Fancy, Somebody, and Love Needs a Holiday. *headbangs to Maggie Creek Road*

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wordy Wednesday

I doth declare this day to be...Wordy Wednesday!! Bow down before it! For without words we would all be stuck grunting and gesticulating to communicate. Books would be replaced by interpretive dance and there would be no discrete way to ask someone where the bathroom was.

On Wordy Wednesdays I shall post a random word that I like for whatever reason, and then I shall ramble on like I usually do.

In fact, today, since it's the first ever Wordy Wednesday, I shall post two words! And now, without further ado, here they are!

hirsute |ˈhərˌsoōt; hərˈsoōt; ˈhi(ə)rˌsoōt|adjectivehairy : their hirsute chests.
I liked this word because it came up when I was playing Cranium with my aunt and cousins, and I was really excited when I knew what it meant. I happened to know what it meant because I had looked it up in a thesaurus when in need of an adjective with which to insult someone. Insulting people with words they don't understand is always such fun.

gadabout |ˈgadəˌbout|nouna habitual pleasure-seeker.

This one I got by scrolling through my Mac Dictionary until I saw a word I liked the sound of. ^_^
And there we have it. Two lovely word for Wordy Wednesday.
In other news, I've deciphered the first eight bars of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. I'm quite proud of myself, since I have very minimal amounts of musical skill.
I am also trying very hard to find a job. Jobs are sorely lacking up here, especially for high school graduates with sketchy amounts of work experience. But I shall persist! Because I desperately, DESPERATELY want to run to the store and buy CATCHING FIRE, and I can't do that until I get some sort of pay check.
Anyway, that's all! Got any particularly enthralling words? Post 'em! :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Rejections and Rock Climbing

Hey, guys!

NB wasn't in love with the partial. *sigh* Ah, well. He's got nice rejection letters. They don't make you feel like decaying excrement.

*continues to shoot off queries to unsuspecting agents*

In other news, I went rock climbing this morning. My atrophied muscles are not used to such activities. They are now going into shock. Seriously, I can barely type. =P My forearm muscles are Dead. With a capital and everything.

And, um, yes. That was pretty much it. This is a short blog post. =D

ETA: Also! The Bee Killing Spray is giving me a headache, which I suspect is a bad sign. *waves goodbye to brain cells*

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Round and Round the Query-Go-Round

Look at me, blogging almost every day this week! I'm quite proud of myself. ^_^

I sent out 2 more queries today. I want to send a couple more, but it's not working out so well.

One agent wants to know when/if a query is a multiple submission. This is fine. I threw in a line telling her it was. However, she also says she would like to be informed of other agents' interest. NB's got a partial (*seat bouncing*) but she can't want to know that...can she? My sensible side says no. My egotistical side says maybe/if I mentioned that she might get a touch more interested.

Another is to an agency who only lets you submit ONE query to ONE agent. No shooting a second query off to another agent at the agency if the first one rejects you. So I'm biting my nails and wondering if I should elaborate on the flattery or if one of the other agents would be a better fit.

And then ANOTHER agent is one I pulled off the list of Most Queried Agents, but she doesn't respond to non-personalized letters. I'd love to personalize it. Really, I would. But I don't know what to say. She gives very little information about herself and her preferences and I don't really want to say, "I'm querying you 'cause you were on the list of Most Queried Agents..."

And then yet two MORE agents want synopses included, and since I've been silly and haven't written one yet, I can't query them until I come up with a halfway decent synopsis.

So, yes, it's slow going.

In other news, the bees around here are going nutty. I went to McDonald's with my cousin and the kid she's babysitting this morning and they were dive-bombing us the whole way back. It was scary! Running with a two-year-old is also a touch exhausting, so I'm totally being a couch potato for the rest of the day. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Query Letter Hell

I just have to get this out of my system really quick.


I just sent my first query (to NB, so I'm just waiting for the form rejection to pop up) and this miserable piece of technology known as a Mac (which is obviously in cahoots with the evil Hotmail goons) decided to put HUGE spaces between everything.

It looked like this while I was typing it out:

Dear Mr. Bransford:

Standardized tests say that Abby is a mathematical genius...

THEN, after it sent and I went and checked it out in the Sent folder (afraid I had done something stupid like forgot the sample pages, or something) I realized it looked like THIS:

Dear Mr. Bransford:

Standardized tests say that Abby is a mathematical genius...

And it did that ALL through the query and the sample pages.

I can't even send another email really quick saying GARRR, sorrysorrysorry!! because I'm not 100% if it will show up that way to him, and I don't know how to send him a fixed copy. Seriously, I don't know what I did. I just put one space between the paragraphs. Probably had something to do with copying and pasting from Mac Word (another stunning display of craptastic-ness)...

Anyway, excuse me while I go beat my head against the wall...

ETA: Oh, yes, I should add this. I GOT A PARTIAL REQUEST!!! SQUEEE!!! All those head dents in the wall were unnecessary!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Yay for the first ever Teaser Tuesday!

And an even bigger yay: I have a title for my finished book! (The one I'm going to start querying as soon as I finish fiddling with the first 10 pages.)

It is, THE BOY WHO STOLE MY HEART CAR. It comes courtesy of a friend of mine. She's brilliant. ^_^

The following is a snippet from aforementioned book - or a potential snippet, anyway. I'm thinking of adding it (or something like it) since it seems to address the previously unaddressed issue of why my MC didn't phone the police. (I needed a better reason than her phone being coincidentally dead.)

And so, without further ado:

“What did the police say?”

“The police?”

“When you told them someone tried to steal your car.”

“I didn’t tell them.”

“You didn’t?”


“Why not?”

“Well, he didn’t actually steal it,” I said quickly, “So I assumed they couldn’t really do anything. And even if they could, I’m sure they wouldn’t have found him. And if they had, he would have known it was me who ratted him out, and he knows where I work, so that would have been dangerous. And he had very nice manners.”

Rachel blinked at me. “Nice manners?”

“Yes. Aside from the attempted car theft, I mean.”

Sunday, August 23, 2009

No Sleep

Okay, so yesterday's post didn't grow, but I'm posting again today, and two post two days in a row is odd for me, so it's pretty much like I expanded on yesterday's post.

You'll have to excuse my badly worded sentences, though. I haven't slept in over 24 hours, which means I'm very fuzzy-headed.

I call it research. I've been making my characters pull a lot of sleepless nights lately. Now I know first-hand what the symptoms of No Sleep are. Brain fuzz, clumsy fingers, giddiness, slowed reaction time, general stupidity...Fun times, fun times.

This lack of sleep is due to a retirement party I was hosting last night. It was nearly a disaster. It was supposed to be a surprise and the guest of honour wound up at the wrong place because the person who was supposed to be luring him to the party didn't get the message the location had changed. It was all very exciting.

Now I can't decide whether or not to go to sleep. I'm afraid if I do, I'll wake up feeling like sludge. *ponders*

Okay, so this was a rather useless post. I promise, next time I'll talk about something literary! (OH! Like how one of the old members of my drama troupe somehow got a SF publishing contract with Random House - lucky little duck.)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shortest Blog Post Yet! (It's temporary. Promise.)


TWFT is giving away a copy of Hannah Moskowitz's book, BREAK. Go check it out!!

(I swear I'll add more to this post later. Promise, promise, promise!)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Must. Blog. (About Queries and Trailers and Movies-based-on-books, oh my!)

Bad blogger. Bad.

Blogging once a week is not good.

What can I blog about today?

Uhm, I've compiled a list of agents to query. Yes, let's talk about that! QueryTracker only lists 4 Canadian agents. Only two of those agents accept email queries. *headdesk* And the government complains about a lack of Canadian art/media.

Before I actually send these queries, I have to think of a title. Since I've been saying this for the past 3 months, I have a feeling I'm not going to come up with anything brilliant without some help. *goes to pester betas*

Oh! Here's something semi-literary. They're making Lovely Bones into a movie. It's got an awesome trailer. '

*loves Peter Jackson*

He directed Lord of the Rings.

*is secretly a massive LOTR fangirl*

I had the first two movies memorized, once upon a time. And my goal in life was to become fluent in Elvish.

Yah. I was one of THOSE fans.

People always say the movies aren't as good as the books. (In general - I'm not specifically referring to LOTR.) Sometimes, I'd say it's quite obviously true. Other times, I would have to say you're comparing apples and oranges.

LOTR, for example. I think the movies are phenomenal. On some days I would say they were better than the books. These are the days when I'm feeling ADD and couldn't possibly read 12 pages of description about a forest. But on other days I'll say nothing can compare to Tolkein's writing. (Speaking of which, if that man tried to publish LOTR now, I think the agents he submitted to would have simultaneous heart attacks at the sight of his word count -- Oh, wait. Someone did a post on this already! Almost, anyway.)

Most of the times, however, I stick with saying movies and books are two completely different art forms and should not be compared as they frequently are.

That being said, when movies are based on books, there is a certain onus on the production crew to stay true to the author's vision.

So! I ask you, which movies-from-books were amazing? Which would you say just cannot be compared? And which would you say butchered the story so horrendously that you can no longer look at the book without cringing?

Wow. That was a really all-over-the-place-post. This is what happens when I stay up until the wee hours of the morning writing... ^_^

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry shortcake, huckleberry pie, who's gonna be my lucky guy...

Anyone remember that jumprope game? And then you'd go through the alphabet and when the rope got caught on your feet you had to pick a boy whose name started with the letter you were at and he'd be your future husband, or whatever?

It was like, the most awesome-est game ever when I was 7. But unfortunately the guy I had a crush on was named Adam, which meant I had to purposely trip right at the beginning so I would be able to say his name. That or make it all the way through the alphabet once and then trip when we restarted at A. Things improved when I met Sean.

Anyway, the real reason I was talking about strawberry shortcake was because I made some yesterday. It's the first thing I've ever baked unsupervised and I didn't burn the house down! It even turned out to be edible. *dances around*

On a more literary note, the library sent me an angry letter about my $33 fine. I'm supposed to pay is "as promptly as possible". Heh. Heh. Heh.

I miss being able to go to the library.

Writing-wise, I'm still slogging away on my WIP and trying to come up with a title for the book I'm about to start querying. I'm also trying to learn how to use Dreamweaver so I can make myself a pretty website and look all marketable and such. Which reminds me - I have to buy a domain before someone else nicks my name.

Anywhooo, enough babbling for one day. I have Calculus, and Physics, and Computer Programming assignments to do. *grumbles*

Monday, August 3, 2009

What Was Supposed to be a Post About YA Word Counts, But Turned Into a Post About the Book I'm Querying

I should start blogging more consistently. Should, but probably won't, despite my best efforts.

I went and handed in a resume at the local Staples yesterday. Apparently they're hiring like mad this week, so hopefully I'll get an interview.

Ugh, I've just spent the last 20 minutes writing a brilliant post about the length of YA books today, and then I realized it would probably be put to better use posted on the TWFT blog, which means I can't post it here, now.

So instead! I shall post the synopsis for the book I'm hoping to start querying with, as soon as I can write NB a query without sounding like a squealing fangirl.

Standardized tests say that Abby is a mathematical genius. In her world, things are black and white. One plus one always equals two. The sky is blue, the grass is green, and car thieves are bad people who wear balaclavas and haven’t shaved or showered in several days. Or so she thinks, until she leaves work one day and stumbles across Jay.

Jay is a car thief. In fact, he’s in the midst of stealing her car – with the coffee she just served him perched on the roof. But Jay doesn’t wear a balaclava, he smells quite nice, and claims he doesn’t want to be stealing cars.

Black and white bleeds into grey when Jay is sent on a potentially fatal car thieving expedition and Abby realizes she does not want him skipping town. This leaves her with only one option. She has to help him. Somehow.

This book reeeeally needs a title. And possibly a different last paragraph in the synopsis. Hmmm. What do you think?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

How I Fund the Local Library

$33 and something cents. That's how much of a fine I have on my library card thanks to my darling little sister. Grrrrrrr.

In other news, I went to the orthodontist today and they made impressions of my lovely teeth. The top set went just fine, but the bottom set decided to get stuck. There was a minute during which I was sure I was going to be walking around with teeth-impression putty stuck in my mouth for all eternity.

Dental Technician: It never gets stuck. *pulls harder* Sometimes it just needs a little coercion. *pulls even harder* We'll get it off. *starts to sound panicked* Really, these things never get stuck!

No worries, though! It did eventually come loose.

I'm really feeling for the Americans right now - those who have to pay for all their own medical bills anyway. This twenty minute appointment cost $300!! (Luckily, I ain't the one paying for it. ^_^)

On that note, I reeeeally need a job, because this whole make-a-million-on-a-best-selling-book-within-the-next-month thing isn't working out as well as I'd hoped. So I'm going to be productive and go stare at my resumé until it magically looks good.

Friday, July 24, 2009



I literally, just this instant, realized I have overdue library books. Or, more accurately, my darling little sister does. But it's on my card, because she doesn't have one, so it's really all the same. BUGGER! I swear, I single-handedly provide funding with my fines.

Deep breath. I'm okay.

In other news, roofers are wanna-be murderers. I was staying with my aunt this week and she was getting her roof redone. After waking me up at 7 in the morning by demolishing the roof above my head (or so it sounded like) these roofers proceeded to hurl shingles and chunks of metal down on anyone who dared to venture out of the house. We had to sneak out the backdoor and around the side of the house to avoid brain damage. *cowers*

My WIP is now over 200K. Yep. That's right. Any and all future agents who might've been interested are now running away from me as fast as they can. That's okay though. I'm going to do major editing before I start querying. *revs up chainsaw*

Well, before I do that - editing, I mean - I suppose I should really finish the book.

Speaking of querying, though, I have a semi-decent summary for my Untitled YA (needatitleneedatitleneedaTITLE). Now I just have to weave some subtle, personalized flattery in and I'll be set. Yay!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


OMG! I can't believe I haven't blogged about this yet.

TWFT = Teens Writing For Teens

We have a blog, we have a Facebook group, and maybe Twitter. (can't remember)

Anyways, I posted an article on the twiftie blog back on Thursday, so it's a bit down the page now, but it's here. With all the other awesome twiftie posts.

Okay. That's all. I just realized I hadn't mentioned that yet.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Query Letters

It had to happen sooner or later. I mean, what aspiring writer doesn't put a post about query letters on their blog at some point?

This post has, of course, been prompted by the fact that I am currently drafting the first-ever query letter for my still-untitled YA novel. (Yes, I'm going to have to think of a title before I send the queries off.) Since there are a bazillion websites and blog posts on how to write a query letter (believe me, I know; I've been looking at them all) and because I am by no stretch of the imagination good at writing query letters, I'm not going to talk about how to write one. Rather, I'm going to rant about - er, point out what I think are some of the most common difficulties when it comes to writing query letters.

1. Finding an Agent to Query

Again, there are a bazillion sites to help with this. But it does take some time, and often you have to do some specific research on particular agents to see what books they've repped, maybe even read those books, and find a way to personalize your query to them. All of this = time consuming, but necessary.

2. Writing a Synopsis

It's hard to sum up months of work, with all of its remarkable characters and brilliant subplots, in a paragraph. It's even harder to make it sound good. I can't offer any pointers here. When I figure out how to mash thousands of words into about a hundred, I'll patent it and let you know!

3. Tone

It's always safer to air on the side of professionalism. But sometimes it can be tempting to try to be funny/glib/cute/otherwise more appealing than a boring old professional. It can be especially difficult to resist when the agent you're querying has a witty blog, the tone of which is so captivating that you just HAVE to match it. (i.e. Nathan Bransford *flatteryflatteryflatteryjustincaseIlinkmyblogintheemailandheclicksit*) As of right now, I'm still leaning towards DON'T DO IT! (Try to be clever and witty, that is.) It's too risky. No agent (presumably) is going to reject you because your query letter was too polite and professional. They might, however, reject it because you were too unprofessional. Even if you are hilarious.

Alright. I'm pretty much done complaining about discussing the hard parts of query-writing. Now I should get back to actually writing them. *procrastinates*

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Sun Was Coming Up...

After watching the first twenty minutes of The Hitcher last night, and getting totally freaked out, and then Googling the ending and deciding I didn't want to watch anymore, I wrote 7.1K words in my WIP! *is proud of self* For any of you who don't regularly count the number of words found per page of a word document, that's approximately 13 pages. (For me with all my one-liner dialogue, anyway.)

To accomplish this, I had to stay up until 5:30 in the morning! (I was getting such a rush writing, I wasn't even tired.) The sun was on it's way UP when I went to bed. I contemplated getting breakfast before going to bed. It amuses me.

Anyway, those 7000 words were the product of a decision to start re-writing the last 170-ish pages of my WIP. I realized I'd spent the whole half of the book talking about how horrible it would be if X happened. Then X happened really wasn't such a big deal. So, now it is a big deal! I'm making my characters' lives more difficult and it's FUN! Muahaha!

That's about all I have to say - although I did feel oddly inspired to do one of my Calculus assignments yesterday. It's all done now. All I have to do is submit it to the drop box.

Then I really must get on with editing my Untitled YA (or trying) to edit it, so that I can send it to my wonderfully marvelous betas. I might just send it to them as is. I've been looking at it for so long I don't know what to do with it anymore. To change the ending, or not to change the ending. To water down the MC's clumsiness, or to leave her as a practically lethal weapon...Questions, questions, questions.

Alright. Now for real, that's all I have to say.


Friday, June 19, 2009


*sounds like she's quoting Braveheart* (Did not enjoy that movie, btw. We Were Soldiers was good, though.)

But I'm not quoting Mel Gibson. I'm merely rejoicing because I wrote my Chem exam and I am DONE SCHOOL! (At least, in-school school. I've still got three online courses to finish, but I'm determined to ignore those at least for today. Especially because my online teachers ignore me so diligently. *bitter grumbling*)

Now I can WRITE! (And look for a job.) But mostly WRITE!

Except I'm worrying my WIP is having problems. Which I will list here, both because I'm procrastinating and because it's all I can think about right now and therefore all I can blog about.

1) It sounds like I'm preaching about the health risks of smoking. (Which I'm not trying to do!)

2) One of the major characters is probably using too big of a vocabulary, given his lack of formal education. But I'm not sure.

3) The relationship - or "relationship" - between my MC and her love interest (the same troublesome character mentioned in #2, actually) might bother some feminists. But I can't help it that my MC is a slow learner and is at the bottom of the metaphorical ladder, while the LI (love interest) is nearer the top and might occasionally come across as controlling because she'd get herself blown up/shot/arrested/involuntarily pregnant if left to her own devices. *wishes her MC was more aware of her surroundings/not so sheltered*

Anyway, I'm off to mull this over a bit more and then WRITE! (Or revise, perhaps. Shrink LI's vocabulary, make the conversations about emphysema and lung cancer less preachy and more snarky...)

Tootaloo! :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

<3 Historical Fiction

Instead of studying my Chem review like I should be, I'm on here, writing Blog Post #4!

I just finished reading REMEMBRANCE by Theresa Breslin. It's an historical YA fiction set in WWI. Without going into too much detail, because I really should at least glance at my Chem before I go into class for the review, it has made me develop a liking for historical fiction. 

It also made me remember my grade 10 history classes, because when you're reading along and Soldier Character #1 writes a letter saying something along the lines of, "We're heading for battle around Passchendael..." you have to stop and think, "Passchendael? That gives me a bad feeling for some reason." Then it dawns on you and you think, "Oh, bugger. There goes Soldier Character #1. Man, I liked him, too." (Not that he necessarily dies. Not spoiling anything here. That's just what I thought when they were at the Somme, or Passchendael, or Ypres.)

Okay, well, maybe I'll add some more/make this slightly less incoherent later, but I really must go and do something productive now.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

5 Days Later...

It's definite: I'm going to be a horrible, inconsistent blogger.

But the sad thing is, nothing much has happened in the past 5 days. Hmmm. Let's see...

News Update

Good News:
- I didn't fail my Chem test! Hallelujah!
- I got a perfect on the evil titration lab we did a few days ago
- I found someone to beta read my book*
- The bee is out from under my windshield**

Bad/Mediocre News:
- I have to go back to school at 6:30 to do the sound and lights for a dance recital. Wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't already had to sit through the show at an obscenely early hour this morning. (Obscenely early = 9 am)
- We're almost out of fish food for the fish
- I'm coming to the conclusion that the MC in the Book* is static, rather than dynamic, and therefore lacks a decent character arc
- And, um...I didn't win the lottery. Not that I bought a ticket, but it would've been great if a winning ticket had magically materialized on my doorstep.

* This book is the one I entered in the Delacorte Press Contest. It had a title, but I'm beginning to get embarrassed by the title - which was only really good when paired with a sequel, which might not happen now - so I think I'm changing it. When I get around to querying, after my lovely beta finishes with it, maybe I'll post a synopsis. 

** The bee news could've gone under either heading, really - good news, or mediocre - but I decided to be positive and put it under good news. Because it is good. In the sense that it's now gone. The bad news is that it's gone because I forgot about it this morning and turned on my windshield wipers. (It was raining. It had to be done.) But the bee carcass ended up flying up and getting stuck on the windshield for a minute, until the wipers swiped it away again (possibly mashing it onto my hood - I haven't looked). It scared me, and I nearly drove into a ditch. But I didn't actually. So that's good.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dead Bees and Writing Crises

I should really be studying for my Chem exam right now, but...

I was just reading Nathan Bransford (the literary agent)'s blog, and he had a post today about how the economic crisis is basically making it a heck of a lot harder to get published. Which is great news for me! (Yes, I'm being sarcastic.) 

So, in an effort to step up my game (also in Mr. Bransford's post), I went and took another look at the book I'm getting ready to query with. And now I'm thinking the hook may not be hooky enough (even though I chopped off the mundane beginning in the hopes of digging the hook in quicker), my MC is lacking a character arc, and the ending is funny (not in a good way). Part of the problem, I think, is that I wrote this book to submit to the Delacorte Press Contest and it had to be between 100 and 224 pages. I took this to be the page count after it was formatted, so, single-spaced, it had to be under 112 pages, approximately. This may have led to a rather abrupt 'I've only got twenty pages left to wrap things up in! AH! *throws climax at readers*' sort of ending. And it didn't leave a lot of room for my MC to arc.

Anyway, the point of that all is I'm having a complete panic attack and I really need a beta reader and the obvious option is my little sister, but when I asked her to read it she said, "Sure! For $23." ... Money gouger. So now I need to look elsewhere. 

And my WIP is alarmingly long. Over 167k now. Apparently agents get nervous about things over 120K and downright terrified when they see anything over 140K. Oops. So, I either have to get out the editing sheers or split it into two books. Especially 'cause it ain't even finished yet!

*shrivels up* 

In other news: there's a dead bumble bee stuck under my windshield wiper. How it got there, I do not know. I drove to school yesterday and when I came out to drive back home, there it was with one leg stuck under the wiper, wiggling around and generally distracting me from things like oncoming traffic. 

I tried to let it out when I got home, but I've never actually tried to lift a windshield wiper before and it didn't work out too well. I think I lifted it off the windshield, but I didn't have a great vantage point (was trying to stay as far away from the bumble bee and its stinger as was possible). But for whatever reason, it didn't move, so either it was slightly smooshed and stuck there, or I didn't lift the wiper enough. Anyway, I had a minor girlish freak out at the grossness of the situation and I accidentally dropped the wiper so that it snapped back onto the windshield. 


It's possible that the bee got killed then. Or it died overnight. (I'm sorry, bee!) But for whatever reason, it's dead now, and still stuck under my wiper. I'm not sure how to get rid of it. Most of my plans involve long sticks and biohazard suits, neither of which are readily available. (You think I'd be able to find a stick somewhere, considering the number of trees around here.)

Anyway, I really should be getting to work on that Chem review... (We watched Captain Kirk fight the Gorn today in class. There were redox reactions involved somehow. It was very entertaining. *loves the progress we've made with special effects*)

But seriously. I should go...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The First Post EVER

On a whim, and because I procrastinate far too much, I decided to create a blog. 

However, I was by no means intending to post something instantaneously. So, for now, this pathetic excuse for a first-ever blog entry will have to do, while I muck about with settings and features and all that fun stuff that lets me avoid my Physics homework. 


Okay. So. This blog was intended to be partially used as a tool to increase my marketability, and so on and so forth. This gives birth to some problems, such as: what background do I use? I have to look somewhat professional, so I think all the gothic, glittering, swirling backgrounds are probably out, no matter how alluring I find them. Also, for readability, I think it has to be somewhat light-coloured, but not neon bright, and not too distracting on the sides...

Sheesh. Blogging takes up almost as much brain power as Physics.

Even later:

*does a happy dance* I made the pretty banner work. You wouldn't believe how difficult that was to do. Way more trouble than it should have been. 

Anyway, I've decided to do a halfway decent post now. I really ought to focus on more literary subjects, maybe, but I can't think of anything at the moment (probably because it's 10:18 pm) so I'll tell you about the Beef Broth Incident. 

My sister has a cold. 

So, when she said she was hungry, I offered to make her some chicken noodle soup. Trouble only arose when I went out to the kitchen, raided the cupboards, and discovered that there was onion soup, mushroom soup, cream of celery soup...but no chicken noodle.

Feeling very clever, I thought to myself, I'll just boil some pasta in chicken broth and voila!

I saw a can with the word 'broth' on it (chicken broth is the only kind of broth I have ever seen in our cupboards until today), grabbed it, opened it, and poured it into a pot. However, as I was adding water, it dawned on me that the alleged chicken broth was a rather odd shade of dark brown.

I looked at the can again...and discovered it was beef broth. No chicken broth to be found anywhere in the cupboard. (Nothing much to be found at all, actually, in the cupboard or the fridge, because it had been a while since anyone had been to the grocery store.)

I glanced around. My sister was safely in her room. She hadn't seen the can. So I chucked it and kept cooking, since I had nothing else to make her and I figured she might be feverish enough to not notice the colour.

Ten mintues later:

Sister: What's wrong with it?
Me: Nothing.
Sister: Why's it black?
Me: It's not black. 
Sister: Yes it is.
Me: It's brown.
Sister: It's black. You burned the soup!
Me: I did not! That's just...what it looks like.
Sister: Is not! What's wrong with it?
Me: Nothings wrong with it. Just try a bit.
Sister: No! It's black! It's probably old!
Me: It's not old. There's a perfectly good reason why it's that colour. Just try it.
Sister: What's the reason? Tell me the reason!
Me: ...You'll like it.
Sister: Why is it black?
Me:'s not exactly the regular chicken broth, per se.
Sister: Then what is it?
Me: (from behind my anti-germ mask) Beef broth.
Sister: Beets?! I hate beets!
Me: No, no. Not beets. (wait for her to look relieved) It's beef.
Me: You eat chicken broth. Chicken is meat.
Sister: But that's chicken. Beef is like, the meatiest meat of all!
Me: Ugh.

And the moral of the story is: Don't try to fool vegetarians who eat chicken broth into eating beef broth.

But anyway, I really should get to bed. Have to get up bright and early in the morning!