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.
So I just went to look at my blog to see if there was a new post (what, I already admitted I do that) and yeah, it was still that tumbling post I wrote last week.
Then I looked at the date of that post and thought, Holy Freaking Crap!!! How did they do that??? It’s like I tumbled through time and Tumblr stole my summer. I mean, that’s what must have happened, because there’s no way I wrote that almost two months ago!!! Because I’ve just been sitting here staring at tumbles this whole time. Crazy! And not the good crazy.
Anyway, it’s practically Fall now, so let me tell you what’s going on (BESIDES THE FACT THAT I’M MOVING #RENOVENTING).
So much book news. In the Just out and about to come out we have:*
THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Kasie West
QUICK FIX by Linda Grimes
PLAYING WITH HER HEART by Lauren Blakely
EAT, PLAY, LUST by Tawna Fenske
STARRY NIGHTS by Daisy Whitney
THE CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White
TRICKED AND TREATED (in Lovers Unmasked anthology) by Lauren Blakely
THE GREAT PANTY CAPER by Tawna Fenske**
THE BREAK-UP ALBUM by Lauren Blakely
And more awesome books to come after that. But that will take us through October. And hopefully I’ll have time to breathe and find my way out of the giant tumblr void I’m stuck in. There’s really cool stuff there though, did you know that???
Check out those books!
* Please note in an impressive show of fairness, I alternated between links to BN and links to Amazon.
** This book is not available yet for pre-order. However, it is a Shultz sisters mystery (cue wild applause), so I have linked to the Publisher’s page where you can read about and then purchase (at Amazon, BN, OR independents) the first and second parts of the series. This novella stands alone, but I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to read the first two. So I was just being helpful. You know, since that’s my middle name and all.
*** Ok, now I’m really done.
So I was eating my raspberry Pop Tart, and I thought I would go check out Daisy Whitney’s blog and see if maybe she posted a new Tokyo video or something for her new book WHEN YOU WERE HERE. These videos are so awesome (don’t even get me started on how much I love the book) and I’ve been seeing them pop up in reviews and here and there but sort of randomly.
So I go to her blog, and she hasn’t posted in a really long time!!! And instead, there’s some nonsense about how she may or may not be updating there, but you can probably find her at her new Tumblr site.
Well La Di Da Miss Daisy Fancy Pants!
So I click on the Tumblr link and get taken to this slick fancy site and sure enough, there’s a video I haven’t seen all about the vending machine culture in Tokyo (I particularly like the Minority Report one–nice, Daisy!) and it’s awesome.
So I decide to follow her. Even though I think I’ve made it clear at some point when I first learned about blogs that I have no idea what that means to “follow” someone’s something, since then I still have to go search it out. I’m a lazy follower, internet. I want the content delivered to me. But I digress.
Anyway, then I remember vaguely that a while back, Kiersten White created a Tumblr (is that what you do?? create a Tumblr? create a Tumblr page?? A Tumblr site??? Make a blog on Tumblr?!?! I don’t even have the words to describe this. Clearly I am in over my head). So I search for her only to see that she has been posting stuff there practically every day!!!!
Here I thought oh, well Kiersten’s been so busy what with having a new baby. We can’t expect her to be blogging all the time, you know. Keep in mind this is a huge turnaround from the days when I used to have a panic attack when Kiersten hadn’t posted on her blog by 10am EST!! But no! She’s just on Tumblr (at Tumblr?? moved to Tumbler??? into Tumblr?!?)!!
So I follow Kiersten too.
Suddenly, Tumblr wants to know who I am. I’m thrilled! I figure they’re going to deliver the content to me! They ask for my email address, yadda yadda yadda, and then they ask how old I am. As if the fact that I just wrote yadda yadda yadda doesn’t give it away.
I’m onto them. They know I have no clue what’s going on and as soon as they see how old I am, I know they’ll know I know they know (I’m not sure what happened there but I’m on a roll so just keep going). It’s totally a trick question!!!
I sneak a quick look over my shoulder to make sure no one is looking and quickly drop 5 years. Cross my fingers and…Boom I’m in.
I’m doing a little celebratory dance, until I realize that somehow I didn’t just sign up to follow Daisy and Kiersten, but somehow Tumblr thinks I’m going to do a Tumble myself. WTF?!?
And just like that I realize they totally had the last laugh. Because I only know how to type that, and they’re somewhere in Tumbleville posting those little dancing gifs of a bitchy girl saying, “Suckerrrrrr!” then falling down laughing. Then doing it again. And again. And again. Like 50 gazillion times and you can’t look away.
Anyway, they can’t trick me into Tumbling. At least I hope they can’t.
I’m not sure who “they” is in this scenario, but I will say that I’m slightly concerned since I used to think that “they” could never get me on Twitter or blogging, and I think we all know what happened there.
Anyway, in other news, I somehow found a Tumble called Shit Rough Drafts. It’s really funny. I don’t even know how to link to a Tumble. Unless I did it. Because then I guess I do know how.
Oh, also I’m totally changing the name of this post to something else. But I’m not sure what yet. Clearly this is a well thought out plan. Link to a Tumble. Do a Tumble. Tumble This! I know there’s no E in it, but that’s half the reason it irritates me so much. (Previous title: It’s a Trick Question (sorry, but )
Ha! I think I got interrupted by actual work there. I’m pretty sure I was going to make some brilliantly witty comment about rough drafts being shit applying to titles too.
Anyway, tell me your favorite Tumble in the comments! I need good Tumbles to follow. Even though I’m not really sure how to ever find them again. But just in case I figure it out.
Oh yeah, book news! THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Kasie West (yes, the same Kasie West who wrote PIVOT POINT) is coming out this Tuesday July 3!!! It’s awesome so don’t forget to go pick up a copy! And QUICK FIX by Linda Grimes (Book 2 in the ongoing adventures of Ciel Halligan from IN A FIX) is coming out August 20! And MIND GAMES is still $1.99 but that could end any second! It’s worth the read no matter the price, but hurry… And don’t forget WHEN YOU WERE HERE by Daisy Whitney. This gorgeous book is worth navigating Tumblr for. I don’t know what higher compliment I could give.
Yes, this is the lamest post ever, but…what she said.*
*The only reason I even added that line is because WordPress won’t let me link to the title of a post. WordPress, Grrr.**
**If you click on that link, you’ll be taken to a whole post about a WordPress, Grrr*** moment. I should trademark that phrase. Incidentally, that was another Kiersten White cover reveal post. Damn she writes fast.
***I can’t put make “WordPress, Grrr” a tag because the comma splits it up into two tags. GRRR, WORDPRESS!!!! #DammitSiri