December 3, 2012

Monday Miscellany

Hello, friends. It's been a while, but I'm still here. So what's been going on around these parts lately? (Other than watching made-for-TV Christmas movies and Just Friends for the millionth time while eating chocolate-covered peanut brittle?)

Peace: Something I'm trying to find right now.
1)  Querying
As I've already mentioned, I'm deep in the query trenches right now. It's exciting, but it's also kind of a blow to the self-esteem at times too. I'm trying to adopt the I'm-one-step-closer-to-finding-the-one mentality, but when rejections start rolling in, it's certainly tough. My friend Sara Biren created that little Rejectionista badge to the right for those of us who've had our stories rejected but are still plugging away at writing, querying, whatever. I have to say, while rejections suck, they definitely make you feel legit as a writer trying to get published. It's par for the course, a necessary hurdle that all writers have to jump on their way to publication. (Or at least that's what I keep telling myself, anyway.)

2)  Reading
While I'm waiting for responses to my queries, I've been spending a good deal of time reading. I always read a lot, but lately I've felt like I wasn't reading as much as I'd like to. November had some great reads (The Book Thief, Between Shades of Gray, and Ruby Red) and December is shaping up well too (Sapphire Blue and Meant to Be). Was a little less then wowed by Days of Blood & Starlight which is a bit of a bummer. As usual, Laini Taylor's writing amazes me, but the story this time around kind of didn't. While I was reading, I kept thinking, "Needs more cowbell romance" aka Akiva + Karou. It was more fantasy than the first one was too. I like fantasy, but this felt like a big shift. Oh, and I missed Prague.

3)  Writing-related
So my NaNo grand total was just over 20K words. Meh. Not a staggering number of words, but it moved my already-in-progress story much closer to the end, so that's good. I haven't been spending much time writing lately (I've been reading), but I hope to return soon. I am considering taking part in Pitch Wars, though. I wasn't going to, but after looking into it further I think it might be worth a shot. As my CP, Elodie, said yesterday: "We've got nothing to lose and everything to gain." Very true. I have a finished MS and a query, I've picked out who I'd like to work with, now I just need to apply.

Meep.

4)  Other
December Photo A Day: I've been aware of this for some time (Katy Upperman is a fan), and I've always wanted to take part. December's list of photo ideas seemed kind of fun, so I decided to join in. Yesterday's topic was PEACE (see above).

All Things Christmas: I'm that person usually. The one who's itching to dig out the Christmas decorations while parents are still wiping Halloween stickiness off their children's faces. I blame Starbucks for this (they always roll out their Christmas drinks and stock the first week of November in Canada). But for whatever reason, this year I've been less festive than in past years. I wouldn't say I'm Grinchy or Scroogey, but despite the fact that we've had snow for over a month now, I haven't been getting that warm and cozy holiday feeling. But the tree is up, I've been watching tons o' Christmas movies and listening to tons o' Christmas tunes, and I think I'm finally getting there. My mom is coming to visit this week (and staying for a week), so we'll be baking Christmas goodies, playing board games, watching more Christmas movies, and lots of fun stuff. I'm definitely looking forward to it!


How about you? What have you been up to lately?

33 comments:

  1. Other than eat three days of chocolate from my advent calendar, I haven't done anything holiday-ish yet. I need to fix that this week--now that I have a completed first draft, it's time to enjoy the season.
    Querying is such a roller coaster of emotions. I always feel back on FINDING NEMO advice: Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. (Or querying, as the case may be)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh definitely jump on the Christmas stuff now that your first draft is done! That's a great way to celebrate. So is eating more chocolate. :)

      Delete
  2. Ugh, querying can be so exciting and scaring at the same time. Good luck with it ;)
    Oh, don't tell me that about Days of Blood & Starlight -- I've been looking forward to read it, but I'm a romance kinda girl. There need to be at least a little bit, otherwise I won't like it as much.
    Yes, I agree with Elodie, go for the PitchWars. You had nothing to lose.
    The only thing I did that is Xmas-ish is setting up the tree in our living room. And I'm still looking for something to hang on our door, but didn't find anything I liked it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT wasn't bad, I just enjoyed the first one better. I hope you like it!

      I ended up taking the plunge and sending out applications for coaches in the Pitch Wars things. I figured (like Elodie said), I've got nothing to lose. And now we wait. :)

      Delete
  3. Keep plugging away with the queries, Jaime! And all the best to you on that front. :) I'm in a post-NaNo relax-and-do-other-things mode. Of course, "other things" includes catching up on reading, and thinking about the next project. I'm trying not to think about revision/editing. That's for January. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Colin. :) I think I'm going to hold off on querying more until after the holidays. A lot of agents are already closed to queries now anyway. Plus, I think I'd like to just enjoy the Christmas season. Awesome that you're taking some time to relax now, especially since it includes reading. I'm thoroughly enjoying the reading I've been doing lately.

      Delete
  4. That Rejectionista badge is adorable! Querying is awful, Jaime, and it never gets easier (at least, not for me!). It will pass though, and soon you'll find an agent who connects with your work and all the angst and frustration and sadness suddenly feels worth it. Promise! Oh, and I love that you're doing the December Photo a Day... Your PEACE image is perfection!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't the badge great? I can't imagine that querying gets any easier. I think maybe you get a little more used to receiving rejections, but I don't expect it will be any less tough to take. C'est la vie, right? :)

      The December Photo A Day thing is kind of fun. Now I'm just hoping I remember to do it every day.

      Delete
  5. I'm considering Pitch Wars too. You make such a great point about nothing to lose and everything to gain. Must make my final decision rather sharpish!

    Yeah, a growing pile of rejections isn't fun but the good thing is we all know how it feels. Shall I make you a nice cup of tea so we can commiserate together?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I say go for it! The process was actually pretty easy. It took me very little time at all to send off the application emails because I already had a finished WIP, a query, and my top three choices for potential coaches.

      I think a cup of tea and commiseration sounds great. Wish we lived closer (as in, no ocean and tons of land between our homes). :)

      Delete
  6. Querying is a pain in the @$$...and you're right - no one escapes rejection . Not even JK Rowling ;) You'll get there, I promise.

    I loved MEANT TO BE!! Hope you enjoyed it. I saw you are reading TIME BETWEEN US. I liked that one too but felt **SPOILER** there was no conflict **SPOILER**. Ah well. I finally picked up THE NIGHT CIRCUS and am 100pages in and loving it :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the fact that so many top-notch authors received scads of rejections makes the whole process suck a bit less. I just have to keep reminding myself that even they got rejected.

      I'm getting that TIME BETWEEN US is kind of like THE TIME TRAVELLER'S WIFE??? I only just started it, but I'm thinking it might have some similarities. Isn't THE NIGHT CIRCUS great? Such a breath of fresh air and so beautifully and vividly written. :)

      Delete
  7. I hear ya on querying. And the rejections always seem to come two at a time. But, I'm kinda busy following a peepee puppy around the house, waiting for her to squat so I can swoop her up and run to the grass. You know, training stuff. It's tiring. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so right about the rejections coming two at a time. I got two on two days back to back. The silver lining? They sent a rejection letter and did it quickly. That's so much better than sitting around wondering.

      I saw the pics of your puppy and she's adorable! :)

      Delete
  8. I'm excited about Christmas this year, too - my husband and I are getting a tree for the first time in years and my town's Christmas parade marched past my apartment a few evenings ago, so that also helped up my holiday cheer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exciting that you're getting a tree after so long. I love having mine up every year--it's what really gets me into the mood for Christmas. :)

      Delete
  9. Seriously, there's no hope for any of us if you aren't feeling the Christmas spirit yet. Liam's playing The Nutcracker right now and was horrified when I told him I was more in the mood for TRON Legacy Reconfigured. Can't help it if I'm stuck in a sci-fi rut, can I? I did put up the tree and we have some new decorations this year, so that's fun.

    Maybe you should print off your rejections and make origami Christmas ornaments out of them. Kind of the paper version of when life hands you lemons make lemonade. Then you can take pictures and post them on your blog. Kidding (sort of, because that would be kind of fun). Anyway, don't be too discouraged about querying. I'm sure you'll hear some good news soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I'm feeling somewhat Christmasy now. It'll only get better once Mom's here too and we start doing some Christmas baking. :)

      As for the origami rejection ornaments, I'm not sure I want to stare at those things the entire holiday season. :P

      Delete
  10. Every month I mean to do photo-a-day but I always forget! This month I'm going to jump in even though it's a few days late. I might even have convinced some of my friends to do it with me :)

    Querying is such a rollercoaster--fun and scary and exciting and depressing, all at the same time. But as they say, it only takes one person to say yes. Hopefully you find that person soon! I'm sending good vibes your way :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been wanting to do photo-a-day for a while now, so December seemed like a fun time to take part.

      As for querying, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that one person who decides they like my story. :)

      Delete
  11. Querying does totally suck. You have such a positive attitude for it all, though!

    I see that you read MEANT TO BE, though, which I've been lusting after for the cover alone. Does it live up to that incredibly gorgeous cover?? Pleasepleaseplease say it does.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm trying to stay positive because that's about all you can do, right? MEANT TO BE was good. I was hoping for something a little more, but overall it was good. :)

      Delete
  12. Hang in there with the querying. I know it's tough, but you can do this! :-D

    ReplyDelete
  13. 20k is awesome!!! And sometimes your CP seems wise, very wise :P
    Please tell me that JUST FRIENDS ended helping you getting into that holiday spirit! :D
    Your tree is beautiful by the way...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Elodie. :) It definitely puts me much closer to the end of my story, so that's good. And JUST FRIENDS worked wonders helping me get more into the holiday spirit. Might have to watch it again sometime this season... :P

      Delete
  14. I have apparently been so busy doing whatever it is I've been doing that I forgot to leave a comment! My two days off from writing were not NEARLY as productive as I wanted them to be, so I'm instituting a rule that I get up and out for a walk by 9am every single day--I want to be walking at least a mile a day, just to get back to where I was in New York (and that's before taking into account a job that kept me on my feet all day, as opposed to this whole "sitting and typing" thing.) I'm hoping that will keep my energy up as I push through the end of this draft/continue doing a million chores (how do we have so much laundry? Where do all these dishes come from???) Anyway, keep your spirits up and enjoy Christmas. (And if you want me to look at your query before the next round, I'd be happy to--not as a query expert, but as someone who fell in love with your MS.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need to start working exercise into my daily routine, like yesterday. I keep saying I'm going to do it, but then I get lazy. I try to walk to appointments I have downtown (30 minutes there, 30 minutes back) so that's better than nothing. Sitting on my butt all day is wreaking havoc on my knees.

      I think I'll definitely take you up on your offer to look at my query. It needs help, I think. :)

      Delete
  15. I'm just now starting to query and I'm nervous about all the inevitable rejections. I love the idea of the Rejectionista! Good luck. We will both get through it - hopefully with some good news soon!

    20K words is pretty awesome for a month, if you ask me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is definitely nerve-wracking, but there is that hope that finally someone will love it. :) Good luck to you with your querying! :)

      Delete
  16. Oh Jaime... you're DOING IT... and I'm so proud/stoked for you! You're in the thick of it--and I think you're amazing. You're one of my favorite bloggers and I'm SO invested in your journey. <3 <3 <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Morgan! This totally made my day. :) I've really been enjoying reading about your own journey.

      Delete
  17. I really loved Meant to Be!! I have Ruby Red but I haven't read it yet. And don't give up on the querying!! I'm right there with you!! :-D

    ReplyDelete

I ♥ comments. They make me smile.☺