Sunday, March 15, 2009

Aches and Agents

So, I joined a new gym...Brick Bodies. Let's hope I get a brick body soon enough. Well, do I really want a body like a brick? They're pretty hard and no curves whatsoever. But I digress, I really enjoy the gym so far. I have my first meet with a personal trainer on Tuesday. Apparently, they take all of my measurements, height, weight, BMI and feed it into a computer (gulp) then show me what I'll look like in 6 months if I commit to 3 times a week and stick to a sensible eating plan. I'm really kinda stoked to see that because I think it will be a real motivator.

In 6 months my mother is having a "gala" 60th b-day party and I'll have to wear a gown. I would say that I'm looking forward to turning heads but as the majority of the party guests will be 60 years old or older...or family, I don't want to turn any of their heads! I just want to feel nice in my gown and sexy should I have a date to bring with me.

I started using the gym from the very day I joined last week. I just took a "Body Pump" class. It's aerobics with weights...can you say, FEEL THE BURN!!!! Good Lord! I'm still hurting! Saturday, I took a "Body Flow" class, which is yoga with some mild pilates. I've discovered I'm only flexible when both of my feet are on the ground :D Who'd a thunk stretching and bending and being one with the freakin earth would work up such a sweat! I looking like someone had dunked my head in the toilet! (not that that has ever happened to me!) but I looked like a drowned rat! My hair is cut in a style where one side is longer than the other. Well, the shorter side started drying and thus grew frizzy. I looked CRAZY! But it was a lot of fun. I'll do it again, but I'll wear a bandanna the next time-lol.

Friday at work, my cell phone alerted me to an email. I had received an email entitled: Query Submission. Whenever I see this, my heart always skips a beat. I've gotten so used to seeing, "Thanks you for your submission, Unfortunately..." Or, "Sorry, while your story has merit, it's just not right for our list..." that when I read the words, "We would like to see the first 30 pages of Light Bringers..." I had to read it like three times to make sure I wasn't hallucinating!

I was so pumped that I couldn't do any more work Friday! Good thing the email came at 3:45pm so I was only slacking off for 45min...not that the hospital would like that either-LOL.

I'd queried this agent last year and was rejected. I decided to try again because I'd made considerable changes to the manuscript and to the query letter. I took the ms from 102k words to 76k words and restructured the query to just the introduction, summary and closing since I don't have any publishing credits to include. I know this made a difference.
zellie_bean really helped me see the redundancies in my story and pull out text that, while I may have loved the witty banter or clever phrasing, didn't move the story along. It's empowering to look at your work and be objective enough to say, I love this sentence but it's gotta go. I still, and suspect I always will, struggle with letting go of some things but I realized that they don't have to stay away. I can use them elsewhere if I can work it.

So it's been a good week. I'm still plugging away at my queries and the dreaded 1 page synopsis as I still have about 45 agents left to query!

And can I just say, I and LOVING the Fray's new song, You Found Me. It's kinda depressing but man I LOVE songs about something! Enough with singing about sex, and money, and drinking...songs about something deep always RULE!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Agents Queried

Okay, so I've sent off NINETEEN queries today and man, am I TIRED! Well, I started last night after midnight then went until about 2am and then started again this morning. It's an exhausting task especially if you are like me and check the websites again for just to make sure I got the information right. I'm glad I did that too because I ended up finding someone better to query on some of those sites.

So anyway, I already got one rejection...that had to be at the speed of freggin light! LOL. I'm not too upset about it, I was really pushing it to query him since he said he was really only looking for YA if it was Urban SF...a genre I've never really heard of, but since I had YA Urban Fantasy, I thought I'd give it a shot.

Here are the Agents I've queried today:

Jenny Rappaport
Shawna McCarthy
Robert Astle (or rather filled out the online form)
Rachel Zurakowski
Whitney Lee
Caitlin Blasdell
Ann Behar
Kirsten Manges
Alyssa Henkin
Nicole Kenealy
Cameron McClure
Sarah Burnes
Robert Brown (the one who rejected me already-lol)
Jaime Weiss Chilton
Rosemary Stimola
Wm Clark (online form)
Sara Crowe
Jack Byrne
Robert Fleck

So now I have about 30 more to submit to. The rest of them want sample chapters to go along and some are snail mail only so I'll be printing things out over the next few days.

Wish me luck!!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Starting the Query Submissions Again!

Well, I'm just about to start my...well, I guess this would be my second attempt to query this manuscript. Right now I'm sending out to agents who only want query letters and no sample chapters. As I look through the websites and query submission guide lines (even though I've thoroughly checked all of these before when I compiled the list) I'm finding things that annoy me about some of the agent bios.

Now, agents blog quite a bit and I've seen a common complaint from those who blog about people sending them genres they don't represent. While most agents state clearly what they want or rather what they do not rep (such as screneplays, poetry, picture books etc.) there are quite of few of them who list things we, as aspiring writers, do not need to know.

I'm not really interested that the agent has lived in Maine most of his life with his chocolate lab. Some agent bios go on and on about them liking wine tasting and traveling, but have NOTHING in the bio about the type of manuscript the agent is looking for. Truthfully, it's not helpful to know that the agent likes wine and has been to Spain.

I'm ranting and probably won't make any agent friends with my complaints--sorry, not trying to be a jerk. My point...if agents want to make sure they aren't bombarded with useless queries then they shouldn't waste space on the bio section telling writers about their dog and how they've developed a love for needle point. Sure, give us the credentals and resume type stuff, but if you're going to squeeze in some info that has nothing to do with your agenting abilities, please--for the love of God--put in what you want to represent!

On the flip side of this...there are some agents who spell out very clearly what they want and STILL get crazy submissions. Well, there is nothing to be done about that, sadly. So my point, tell us all you want about your travel and your pets, but also tell us what you want to see and more importantly, what you don't want to see.