So I got inspired to write a blog post and then I realized that it was November so I should put a quick word in about NaNo and then I realized I could totally make it fit with the post I wanted to write, and then I realized I needed more coffee since this morning there was only about half my usual amount and then I thought well I’ll just write the post and then make the coffee but that sounded like a terrible idea so I started making the coffee and thinking about what I was going to write and it was all coming together beautifully and I was like oh I’m totally going to remember this and then I paused and thought I’m never going to remember this and I thought should I just go write some of this down but then I looked down and I was holding the coffee beans in my hand and so I thought well I haven’t even put these in the grinder yet so let me just do that but then I thought well I may as well just set the whole thing up because then I’ll have some time to write it all and so I’ll just keep thinking about the post and then I won’t forget it.
So now it’s about an hour later and I’m sitting here with my deeee-licious cup of coffee, and I have zero recollection as to what my original post was going to be.
Pause for my mid-morning Halloween candy break. Man, why don’t I eat more Milky Ways during the year?? They are really so yummy.
I know I should really change the title to Reasons #592-595 why I could never be a Writer, but I really don’t want to because I feel like if I keep staring at it, I’ll eventually remember what my original plan was.
I remember there was something about being all inspiring about NaNo and stuff. You know, go forth and write, all ye writers! Just do it!
I remember a bigger, older guy we called “Dad.” I guess some things never leave you.
You want to know something funny?
Wait, why do I always ask that? Of course you want to know something funny. I just remembered what the title meant. It was about Jack Handey because I looked at last year’s NaNo post and it started with a (slightly altered) Deep Thought.
I think I’ll make referencing Jack a new NaNo tradition.
So then I remember thinking how much I didn’t want to put that same post up again and Just Say (Na)No was sort of about that, like I just can’t do that—to you, to me, to the universe.
And then it also made me think of another Deep Thought, one I actually got to throw into a conversation last week and I was really excited about it because I don’t think I’ve ever been able to use this particular one before, although it seems like it would be an easy one. That used to be a goal of mine, you know, to use Deep Thoughts in conversations. I mean, before I had real goals. I mean, it wasn’t a goal exactly, but I just liked to do it.
Ok, never mind.
Anyway, it was Halloween and I was walking home from Kmart with my last minute banjo skeleton guy (that guy was awesome, btw) and other decorations and candy in my bags, one in each hand (hardcore fans, do you see where I’m going with this??) and some woman stopped me on the street and asked if I had a minute for her cause, whatever it was.
And I said, “Sorry, got these sacks.”
Yes! Double fist pump.
Anyway, in my head there was a really smart connection there between that and the just say no and how you shouldn’t just say no to writing and you should just say yes (profound, right??) and just write and not worry about how it sounds (clearly I don’t) and then edit it later (clearly I skip that part).
But if you don’t write anything, there’s nothing to edit.
So just say no to all the people who will tell you that this writing is a piece of shit. I mean, tell you that about your own writing. Because that’s what editing is for. And that’s what December is for. And January. And the entire rest of the year.
But November is for just getting those words down. So just go do it.
Huh, I guess the title really didn’t work. In fact not much of this really did. But you know what? It’s November, so I’m not going to worry about it.
Also, I’m not a writer, so I’m probably not going to worry about it in December either. I may start worrying slightly if February rolls around and I haven’t done another blog post. But I’ll try. Probably a lot of supportive comments would help.
Good luck to all of you doing NaNoWriMo! I hope you set goals, meet them, exceed them, and then some.
I feel like all my posts that comment on WordPress always have that annoyed tone to them.
Well, I’m thrilled to report that for once I’m completely delighted with WordPress. Although ironically, it’s for something that would probably annoy anyone else. Although maybe not.
Anyway, I was trying to load this site so I could post this post (which incidentally, has nothing at all to do with WordPress), and it was taking some time to load, and WordPress so kindly put up a little box with flashing lights and the phrase “Beep Beep Boop.”
So that phrase reminds me of another story, which unfortunately can not be told here because this is a family blog.
Ha, just kidding. This isn’t really a famly blog, and that’s not why I can’t tell the story. But this is sort of a publishing blog (sorrrrt of) and so I can’t tell the Beep Beep Boop story (although it’s really more Beep Beep Bop), but suffice it to say that screen cracked me up and kind of made my day. Go, WordPress!
Anyway, the real post today is about how EVERYONE’S A WINNER!!!! Which normally I totally hate when that happens. I think I may have done a blog post about it once, but it may have been forever saved as a draft. Or a half draft more likely.
But it’s true! In this case, everyone IS a winner!! Because Amazon AND bn.com are both running sales right now offering Tawna Fenske’s Fiancee for Hire for only $0.99! So I thought that price was ending on Monday. But you can still get this title for that amount!! I don’t know how long this will last anymore, but I don’t know what you are waiting for. This book is amazing.
In the meantime, there’s still only one winner for the necklace contest from last week, and that winner is Kara. I knew from the moment I read your entry that yours was going to be my favorite, and despite some truly great entries, yours is still my favorite, hands down. Congratulations, Kara! On having a husband who washes dishes (awesome!) and on winning the necklace! Please email me your address and I will send you your necklace.
OK, children. With that, and a beep beep boop, I bid you farewell.
OMG I HATE WORDPRESS. It turns out the only reason I got that Beep Boop nonsense was because I was writing my post on someone else’s blog. WTF?!? Then stupid wordpress didn’t want to let me copy and paste it to mine and I thought I was going to have to do the whole thing over again!!! I managed to do it but only because I’m actually getting kind of good at this blogging thing, don’t you think???
So I know it’s really important to know how to read (I mean, duh, how else would you read all the important news on my blog??), but it’s really important to know how to read.
Want to hear something funny? I mean, of course you do, since you’re still reading. If you didn’t want to hear it, you’d just click away to some other boring blog.
When I typed the “how” up there that I wanted to italicize, my whole body moved forward, like I could italicize it by sheer force of will. Clearly this is all part of my master plan with the universe where I think it and it happens. So far, it’s not working. Instead, I just probably looked like those kids who throw their bowling ball down the lane and then make shooing motions with their hands in a desperate attempt to keep it from going into the gutter.
Ok, fine, I do that too.
Anyway, believe it or not this actually is very vaguely related to my original point. Although I’m moving into dangerous territory since I’m pausing to copy and paste something below and risking forgetting all my original points. But can’t be helped.
Uh oh. It’s like two hours later now and I don’t know about you, but I have no fucking clue where I was going with that story above. I do really like bowling though.
I remembered!! I can’t believe it!! But the title of my post actually reminded me. Go me for actually making the title something relevant this time. Woo hoo!
Anyway, I wrote that title and thought that it’s annoying that WordPress doesn’t let me italicize in the title because you might not read the title correctly (grrrr, WordPress!) It’s not How lucky are you? It’s really, How lucky are you??
You know why?? Because I have another contest today!! So many contests this summer. How lucky are you??? Get it??
You know what, let’s just cut straight to the contest. So I guess now you can read it as: How lucky are you? Let’s find out.
SOOOO, Tawna Fenske has a new book out this week called Fiancee for Hire and it’s only $0.99 right now!! Also, I have to say that the heroine in this book completely cracks me up and maybe reminds me a teensy bit (read: a ton) of Tawna herself. So obviously that means this is a Must. Read.
One of my favorite scenes in this book takes place as Kelli and Mac are registering for their fake wedding at Williams Sonoma. Incidentally, this is also when I realized that Kelli is Tawna’s book twin. Although I think Tawna may be a better cook.
Anyway, I’m like a negative helper in the kitchen–I just make a bigger mess of everything–but I kind of have a secret love of all the gadgets, even though I have no idea what most of them are.
The Contest and Prize:
In Tawna Fenske’s Fiancee for Hire, veterinarian Kelli Landers wears a special necklace bearing a paw print charm and a freshwater pearl that belonged to her grandmother. Do you want to win a replica of it for your very own?
Tell me your most (least?? either works) favorite kitchen gadget in the comments.
My favorite is the automatic Pop Tart dispenser we installed during our #renoventing last year. It’s so awesome.
Get a copy of Fiancee for Hire!! Tell me kitchen gadgets!!
What are you waiting for?!?! GO!
Winner will be picked next week. I am the sole judge and will decide based on whatever I want. Only for the US. Sorry, foreigners! You can still tell me all about your gadgets. :)
Look, I put an emoji in! Shit, this is opening up a whole new can of worms. Ok, I actually only know how to do a smiley face and not true emojis or we’d be in real trouble.
Ok, I’m really done now. Go compete in this contest and buy Tawna’s book already!
So this was really a poorly designed contest (are you surprised?? Do you need a reminder of that completely crazycakes one??), because no one really seemed to know exactly what I put on my kindle–full manuscripts? partials? books? queries? all of the above?
Yes, yes, yes, no. But then usually I ask people to send a synopsis too and sometimes that gets sent to my kindle and it’s not like I was actually going through and counting. Also, the number changed from the beginning of this contest to now.
But none of this really matters since as I’ve mentioned before, there’s usually no correct answer and I like to judge you so I will just do that here and pick my winner.
514! At least that’s the answer as of this morning. I have no idea what it was when I first wrote the post. But definitely in the 400’s.
Also, the winner is Kaniesha, because she really wanted it. She revised her guess (hey, this was a no rules contest) in order to try to win.
And Kevin A. Lewis, because even though I don’t wear my kindle around my neck, I like that he can see how dedicated I am.
And Celia Lewis, because let’s face it, even though I was annoyed at how soon she thought my sLYSTem would break down, she was the closest on that one.
Ok, winners, email me with your address and I will send you your prize!*
*Prize reminders (if you didn’t win, feel free to pre-order):
ON THE FENCE by Kasie West
ILLUSIONS OF FATE by Kiersten White (ARC)
THE FIRE ARTIST by Daisy Whitney (ARC)
Gimme a W!
Gimme 3 more!
ON THE FENCE by Kasie West (7/1/14)*
ILLUSIONS OF FATE by Kiersten White (9/9/14)***
THE FIRE ARTIST by Daisy Whitney (10/14/14)**
Win these books!
Oh, wait. You need to know how, right? Click here.
Answers must be given on the I’m So Organized post. But feel free to mention here how excited you are for these books.
Winner will be chosen by Friday 6/27. Could be before then so you better answer fast.
*Thanks to lovely shipment received today, this will be a finished copy, not an ARC.
**The cover has changed so this ARC is especially cool.
***I didn’t want Kiersten to be asterisk-less, so I’ll just say this cover is gorgeous and the book totally delivers.
So someone emailed me and told me how fast I am at responding to my queries, just like it says on my blog.
That doesn’t really have anything to do with this story, I just thought I’d share the compliment since you guys have been a little slow on the giving me compliments side lately.
Anyway, I started emailing back about how unfortunately, the rest of my submissions saga is true too, and I can sometimes be slow to read but that’s why it’s good for you to give me helpful reminders every once in a while etc. And then I went on about how one day I was going to be so organized and I’d have a system etc. etc.
And then it happened.
I decided that today should be that day!
Instead of yet another email describing this incredible system that I was going to implement, I decided to just do it.
As an aside, that would be such an awesome slogan for my blog. Do you think anyone else uses that one?
OK, back to The System.
I think part of the problem is that for years I have been envisioning this System where I would just think about a manuscript–you know, that one about that thing that sounded pretty good–and it would immediately get called up to the top of the lineup on my kindle and then I would read however many pages until I decided that I wasn’t interested (wait, I requested this??), The System would just immediately know to email the author with a kind, gracious, it’s a business of opinions and mine is just one kind of email but even more personal and better.
But today, I don’t know what it was, but I realized, this System is never coming.
(Wait, other agents, if you have a System like this, can you let me know?? Thx.)
So I just made my own system (read: list).
Check back next blog post to see if I’m actually using this. And what happened to all the submissions I had pre-list. Yeah, probably not pretty.
OMG, I just came up with a name for this system. Wait for it…
Wait, maybe the sLYSTem?
Do you think if I title my file the Slystem I’ll never find it again?
Ok, to win a bonus pack of books or ARCs or something to be determined by me, at some point, guess how many manuscripts/books I currently have on my kindle in a disorganized mess. My kindle is probably 6 months old. Maybe 9 months? Closest guess wins.
But you also need to tell me how great you think my slystem is.
Oh wait! How many manuscripts/books, and 2nd guess: How long do you think it will take before you think my slystem breaks down? GO!
So it just occurred to me that as fascinating as you probably find all my ramblings about blog passwords and crazy contests, this could also be a great place to tell you about some amazing new books.
IN THE SHADOWS by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo. A spellbinding story of love, mystery, and dark conspiracy, told in an alternating narrative of words and pictures.
What?? Does that mean it’s TWO stories?? Why yes, yes it is! There are two, separate but related stories – one told through words and one told through pictures – that come together in a spectacular conclusion. This book is not to be missed.
At the complete other end of the spectrum from dark and creepy (but amazing), so maybe not the complete opposite since this is amazing too, we have MAGGIE MALONE AND THE MOSTLY MAGICAL BOOTS by Jenna McCarthy and Carolyn Evans.
So I’m super duper excited about this one (I mean, I’m excited about all my books but I’m about to tell you specifically why I’m excited about this one) because this is my first middle grade book!!! And that means it is the first book of mine that my 8yo got to read. And my 10 yo niece. We are all having so much fun with the kickoff book in the Maggie Malone series.
Maggie’s boots let her step into the life of someone else for the day, so we have a blast talking about whose life they would step into. FYI when my 8yo first read it, he said Peyton Manning (pre superbowl debacle) or else Magnus Carlsen. But now that he’s watching The Voice with us, I think he wants to be Carson Daly. Not even one of the singers. Go figure.
And at the complete opposite end of the spectrum (wait, the spectrum here is obviously a triangle. I get it now), we have Tawna Fenske’s latest romantic comedy, FRISKY BUSINESS. I can’t think of another author whose books make me laugh like Tawna’s do. And even Kirkus wrote about her and FRISKY BUSINESS saying, “up-and-coming romance author Fenske sets up impeccable conflict and sizzling sexual tension.”
I highly suggest you go visit a wildlife sanctuary in real life. But in the meantime, pick up a copy of FRISKY BUSINESS and let the good times begin.
OK, I thought I could do covers too. Let me see if I can manage it. Oh man, oh man. I need to go back to blogger school. Can’t get the covers on. At least not in any kind of timely fashion. The sequels could all be out by the time I manage it.
Actually, Only Maggie Malone has a sequel (and even a book 3), but that’s not the point. The point is, just go to Amazon or BN.com and order a copy. You’ll see the cover there. Or of course walk into your local store and buy a copy.
Hey, tell me in the comments, when was the last time you visited a physical bookstore?
This post really makes no sense and has nothing to do with anything, but it’s a change from that annoying Nano post so I’m just hitting send already since I’ve tried to finish this about a thousand times already. Oh, and also, I’m going to San Diego this weekend to the SDSU Writers Conference! Read here why I love writers conferences. You know, so this post isn’t a total waste of time. Oh, and also this one on Top 10 Dos and Don’ts. Actually, it was just don’ts, but whatever.
Ok, on to the original post, which has been written over the past 3 weeks or so.
So I went to a website recently, and it asked me for my password, and I tried one but it was wrong. So I tried another and that was wrong too. I kept trying different ones until I got locked out.
So I hung my head in shame and finally clicked on the send me some hints link.
I straightened up in my seat, cracked my knuckles and got ready to answer my questions. I will best you, you stupid f**king password.
OK, sorry. Back to the questions.
1. What’s the name of your 1st pet? Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
On to #2.
Wait, just as a quick aside, in case you’re ever trying to hack into all my blogger and post as me or something, that’s not what the name of my 1st pet was. That’s just an awesome phrase that 5yo has picked up that we all use now. According to a Twitter friend, it originated on a UK television show (please tell me in the comments if you know of some other origin), so I guess 5yo gets up in the middle of the night and turns on the telly.
2. What’s your favorite sport?
I look at the computer skeptically and say, that’s the question I chose?? Are you sure?? I mean, I like sports! A lot of them!
To put this in terms that I would imagine my blog reading audience would understand (like the way I assume I have a blog reading audience??), what if they asked you for your favorite book??? I mean, you see what a crazy question that would be, right?? How would I possibly remember what I put it there? My answer at the time that I entered it might be completely different than it would be when I needed it!
So my favorite sport might not vary quite as much as my favorite book, but it still felt a little…soft.
Another quick aside, I got distracted maybe two sentences ago by some actual work. So I just came back and picked up the story where I left off. But all of a sudden I realized I had no idea where I was going with this. So I went back to the beginning of my post to see what my point was. I mean, this must have just been a (very long) side trip on the way to some major point I was trying to make.
But no. My post begins with this story.
Soooo, I could just finish telling you the story and hope I remember what my point was, or I could just make something else up, or I could do what I sometimes do and just save this as a draft and never post it. But holy smokes if I see that stupid (N)ANnOuncement post one more time I may lose my mind. Not only is it not November anymore, it’s not even December. And pretty soon it won’t even be January! Although I suppose if I wait long enough it’ll just be November again. Hmm.
Nope, still got nothing. Anyway, tell me what your favorite sport is and when I figure out mine, well, I won’t be able to tell you since then you’ll be able to get into some unnamed website.
Some other stuff happened and now it’s another whole day. If I don’t just post this, I may lose my mind. So here goes nothing. I mean really.
So tell me your favorite sport in the comments, so I can hack into all your accounts.
Oh one, more quick thought. You know, because this post wasn’t random enough. I hit preview before I published and read it through one last time (self-torture and all), and there was a little square telling me there are sometimes ads. I had to crack up at the thought that #1, someone would want to advertise on my blog, and #2 that they might get stuck with this post. If I advertised and got stuck on this post, I think I’d demand my money back. Also, what kind of targeting would they possibly have put that came up with this post?? Can you find me a crazy blog that talks about anything and everything from being lazy to being crazy to writing and hacking? Perfect! Advertise my services for… Oh, maybe a shrink?? Anti-depressants??
Tell me what ads you see in the comments. I don’t get to see them.
That’s right. Today I have a (N)ANnOuncement to make.**
What’s a (N)ANnOuncement? I’m so glad you asked. It’s kind of awesome. And I think you’re going to agree.
To understand (N)ANnOuncement, we need to look at the word itself.
To understand mankind, we need to look at the word itself. Mankind. Really this is made up of two smaller words. Mank and ind. What do these words mean? It is a mystery, and that’s why so is mankind.
Love you Jack!!!
OK, back to looking at (N)ANnOuncement, it’s made up of two smaller words, NANO and Announcement. What do these words mean?
Well, NANO means it must be November 1, so it’s time for my annual, inspirational (re)post on NaNo and why I love it. And announcement must mean I have an exciting announcement for you!!
With that, I give you my official why I love NaNo post, which conveniently also doubles as Reason #567 that I could never be a writer (apparently you’re supposed to write new material every once in a while):
It happens every year, but I forget. Sure enough, this year I tweeted about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month for those of you living under a rock (or living without someone in publishing in your life (which might as well be under a rock, since publishing people are all that is good and special in the world, right??))) and how much I love this event.
And whoa (or holy krakatoa!!). The response was instant and unbelievable. An agent? Loving NaNo?? No way. Agents hate NaNo. Agents complain about all the crappy, rushed manuscripts they get on December 1st. Agents blah blah blah.
Well I don’t speak for all agents, but I can speak for one, and I love NaNo. I love the energy and the optimism of it. I love the hope.
When I was in college (the last time before this blog that I did any substantial writing), I wrote all my papers the night before they were due and I thought revising meant hitting spell check.
I have since looked up the definition of revisions, and realized that it requires mucho time and effort. Which of course is why I don’t write.
But you do.
You’re writers. So just write. Just get the words down and worry about them later.
And that is the essence of NaNo.
Querying your 3rd manuscript and feeling like you want to give up if this one isn’t it, just go NaNo. Stuck on a plot point in the middle of your WIP? Take a break and go NaNo. Your agent is on submission with a manuscript and it’s making you crazy?? Just go NaNo!
I don’t know what situation you could possibly be in—published or not—that taking a one month break to NaNo would be a bad idea. What’s the worst that could happen? You’re not left with anything useful at the end? I just don’t see it.
I don’t see the pages at the end of November as the finished product (and neither should you), but rather as a new starting point. And personally, it seems like a much better starting point than a blank page.
NaNo isn’t the time to worry about query letters and rejections and marketing budgets and shrinking shelf space all the other worries of the publishing industry. NaNo is the time to get the words down. There will be plenty of time for worrying later. If you don’t have a story to worry about, you don’t have anything at all.
So does this mean I want to see a bunch of NaNo queries in December? Of course not. I’m speaking to you as professional writers. And professional writers edit. And then edit again. And again and again and again.
So rise to the NaNo challenge! And then later you can worry about the post-NaNo challenge…the one where you work your editing magic and make that NaNo baby publishable.
But you know what? I believe it can be done. And I love to see it happen.
*I can’t figure out how to cut this so you only see Mork saying Nanu Nanu, but the whole thing is kind of fun to watch if you’re old and dorky like I am and used to watch this show.
Starting TODAY, Wolfson Literary Agency will be OPEN TO QUERIES. Please check my submission guidelines for more information.**
**Due to the NANO portion being a copy of an old post, I’m not actually sure that any of the old links work, but just for you, I updated the link on the Announcement portion. See how thoughtful I am? Let the (non-Nano) queries start rolling in… I mean, after you’ve followed the link to my guidelines and all.
Oh yeah, tell me how awesome you’re feeling in the comments. Or maybe you have a Halloween candy hangover. Tell me that too. Just talk to me!
So, this has been a really long year (school year to school year) but there have been moments, even little pockets of awesome, and I’ve tried to share them.
Yesterday, with the release of THE GREAT PANTY CAPER by Tawna Fenske, I read a blog post by Coliloquy co-founder Lisa Rutherford, and it brought me back to many such great moments, not only in this past year, but in every year since Lisa and Coliloquy have come into my life.
I started reading a couple of my old posts from when I was first announcing Coliloquy-remember the days when I was so BERSERK with excitement, I could barely keep my thoughts together?? Remember the Shibumi Tsunami of excitement??? No, I don’t either. That’s why I linked to it so you could go back and read it. Duh.
Anyway, I hate that I haven’t had enough time lately to share that kind of excitement with the world (you know, assuming the whole world reads my blog) on a regular basis, but I do know that I still feel it.
My own personal tsunami (aka #renoventing) is coming to a close, and I hope for more time for more regular updates here.
In the meantime, go buy some books!!!
Also coming this month: FAR TOO TEMPTING (formerly called The Break Up Album) by Lauren Blakely. Readers are saying this is the best Blakely book yet!!! Or maybe that’s what I said? No, no, early readers, definitely.
Holy crap!! I almost forgot the best part!! Coliloquy is offering a bundled sale of ALL 3 OF TAWNA’S BOOKS!!! $4.99+$4.99+$1.99=$8.99!!!!! Um, what the hell are you waiting for????? (I know, I wish I knew how to do blinking special effects and stuff, but I don’t)
Tell me how much you’ve missed my blog in the comments.
PS-the title was supposed to refer to the excitement in the air or something but I sort of forgot about it until I saw it posted and then it looked just weird and a little creepy. Gotta run so I have no time to change it (even though I realize this is longer but I have no time to change it to something clever, but at least I can put this it’s really not meant to be creepy disclaimer.