Friday, June 21, 2013

A Rocky Road

Lately, I've been craving something that I just can't put my finger on. And I'm not talking about food. There's been an ache in my soul for a certain kind of book, and while a few of the ones I have read lately were good, they just weren't it.

I don't know what it is I want.
And I'm finding that's the case with a lot of things in my life.

When will there be a number two? (when talking about babies)
Where should we buy a house?
Do you want to go back to work?
What will you do when you're finished writing (insert book name here)?

There aren't a lot of things that are certain in my life, except for my family and my writing, and I tend to cling to those things like white on rice. In a way, it provides a sense of risk. I don't make plans; I live each day as it comes, kinda like how we live paycheck to paycheck. It could be bad, it could be a negative aspect in my life, but I refuse to let it become a hindrance. Instead, I think of it as an adventure. A wild ride. A rocky road.

So when asked if I intend to write full time, I laugh. I don't intend to do anything. If it becomes something that can provide for my family, awesome. If not, well, I'll write anyways. Because it's what I like to do. And, because, I feel like I'm good at it and it makes me feel like I've accomplished something academically.

If you would have known me four years ago, in the peak of my senior year, you would have thought that I'd be the one graduating and going to some awesome college and getting some super useful degree. I was good at school, good at learning and doing and all that stuff. I was the one who got good grades without trying. I applied to three schools and got into all of them. And when I chose Nova Southeastern University, the school my father went to, I had high hopes for my future as en English major.

But it didn't happen.

I hated it. I hated being away from my family and friends, I hated living on campus and I hated the fact that it was nothing like in the movies/books. I ended up leaving after three weeks and then began my journey through state college and sucky ass jobs.

Life didn't turn out how I thought it would, and I always felt the need to prove people wrong.

They said I was too young to get married.
They said we were too young to have a baby.
They said I needed to go back to school.

But I didn't know what I wanted, and school didn't seem to be my dream any longer, and so I started to write, and in doing so, I'd like to think that I proved those people wrong, too. I like to think that I made something of myself, as a wife, a mother, and a writer. Those are the things that define me, and sometimes I like to add to that list.

Maybe tomorrow I'll be a painter. (doubt it, since I'm a really bad painter)
Maybe I'll pick up piano again, and become a pianist.
Maybe I'll join an adult soccer league, and become a soccer player.

I do know that I intend to live my life like a story. I intend to grab onto those ohshit handles and hang on while riding down this rocky road. Maybe I'll never really find the book to satisfy that craving, but I'll never stop searching, and I'll most likely never know what it's like to be a best-selling author, but it will never change the fact that I am a writer.

In the long run, it won't matter that I didn't know what I wanted, only that I never stopped searching for it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Updates

Today (or yesterday?) at midnight, the giveaway for Toxic ended...

And the results were fantastic! Over 900 people entered to win, with almost 700 of those people adding my book to their TBR lists. Yay for more traffic! And congratulations to the winners. You will be receiving your paperback copy soon!

So, this weekend was crazy busy, but I still managed to finish The Fault in Our Stars in, like, two nights. I could not put it down, even though I knew nothing good would come of it. The story, I mean. Suffice it to say that a book about teenagers with cancer is never going to be a happy book. But at the same time, it was a happy book. It made me laugh and it made me cry and to me, that's the most important thing; that it made me feel.

If you're interested, you can read my updates and full review here.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the giveaway! Keep checking back for more Toxic news and Tailspin updates.

It's Monday! Which means you probably want more sleep, an alcoholic beverage of some sort, or both, but at least it's only four more days until the weekend!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Take a Chance (On Me)

So, a few posts ago I talked about a book that I wrote last year that I'm trying to get traditionally published. I've sent it to at least fifteen different agencies, six of which I'm still waiting to hear from and about six of which gave me straight up no's. As for the other three? No response, which I guess is their way of saying no.

The thing about this whole process is that it's entirely subjective. Most agents won't pick up something they're not personally interested in because they feel like they won't be able to market it properly. That doesn't necessarily mean that nobody will be interested in it, particularly the would-be buyers. At this point, so early on in the game, it's easy to give up. It's easy to put it aside and forget about it (like I have done for the past few months.) It's not that the no's get to me on a personal level. They really don't, surprisingly. It's just that taking the time to put together queries and synopsis(es?) for each and every agent is a lot of work. More work than the actual writing the book part, believe it or not.

Its' times like this, when I'm obsessively checking my email, waiting for a subject line to read RE: Query: Originals, that I begin to wonder if I should just suck it up and self-publish again. If I should forget about the dream of seeing my name on a bookshelf in Barnes and Noble and get it out there sooner rather than later. What can I say? I'm impatient.

As of right now, I will continue to query agents in the hopes that one will take a chance on somebody like me; a beginner, a technical nobody, a barely college student with no degrees or certificates or hardly an life experience.

That's not the way I see myself, of course. In my eyes Originals is the best damn YA apocalyptic/sci-fi book to grace the face of the earth. I realize I'm a tad bit biased, of course, and try to take a realistic approach to the world of publishing. But really, who knows what could happen? Anything is possible, right? Right?

Toxic is continuing to do well, nothing really exploding on the sales end, but I didn't really expect it to. It's a slow trickle, the methodic drip-drop of water from the bathroom sink in the middle of the night. (I finally revised the contents and the cover, making it read and look more professional.)
Tailspin is in the middle of a major brick-wall. It's hard writing from the perspective of a guy when you're not actually a guy, so I've often times found myself highlighting and deleting until there's almost nothing left. It's frustrating, but at the same time, I know that I'm learning as I go. (Cover in the works...still...possibly forever. I hate stock photography with a burning passion.)

Even though it's Friday, I'll let you know what I'm reading since I'm always reading. Especially on rainy days like this. (What's up with this weather, anyways? Sunshine state my ass.)

Hardback read:

This book has received an insane amount of positive reviews, which makes me leery yet excited to read it. In my experience, books with high ratings doesn't necessarily mean high quality. I guess I'll find out for myself soon enough. 
 
Kindle read:
 
Not gunna lie, I picked this one up mostly for it's cover. Oh, and it was free. It's a YA sci-fi, which used to be all I read, so I'm definitely excited about it, despite the 3.5 out 5 stars rating.                         
 
Hope your weekend is exciting! And maybe not as rainy as mine is predicted to be. TGIF?