Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Shall I Rant or Shall I Rave?

Or shall I do neither.

For those that read that I post here daily, and noticed I haven't in a couple of days (again!), my apologies. I've been...dead. My brain won't function and I feel like I could collapse at any moment. I'm trudging through life at the moment, forcing one foot in front of the other.

And yet at the same time, I'm missing my blog and oh how I LOVE the comments that flitter into my email. Every single one makes me grin like a teenage boy about to get some.

Whoa. There's a nasty thought. Especially since I have a teenage DAUGHTER! ~glower~

So we had our Austin monthly meeting. First, I have to whine that two of my all time favs, Emily McKay and Julie Kenner, were not there. (To see who the heck they are and why I love them so, check them out on the left in the list of my fav. authors. Bet you end up lovin' 'em too.) And then you'd know why I was bummed! BUT, Samantha Saxon and Robyn DeHart (Yes, that is her real name, actually) gave a fabulous meeting on getting:

~dramatic pause inserted here for effect~

THE CALL!!!!!

Man, talk about having a crapload of questions. Which is real riot, since I have nothing out there to get the call ABOUT, but that's beside the point. They gave insight to things I'd have never thought about. And made me realize two things:

1) I want my damn .com. Period. Even if I have to buy the nimrod out. (Note to self: Talk to attorney tomorrow about the legalities of sitting on a site name that's going unused.)

2) I'm aiming for St. Martin's Press Publishing House, and I didn't even know it until last night.

Okay, I lied. They made me realize THREE things:

3) I'm freaked out about this agent stuff. I mean, I really liked the one at the SARA conference. I like her personality and she's got moxie, it seems. But damn, don't be chargin' me for freakin' copies. I think that's petty. And yeah, okay, it may be petty of ME to think it's petty, but that's how I feel.

Thankfully, Deidre Knight is on Charlotte's RWC list this week and is taking questions. So I asked her if she charges for that type of stuff, like if it's a standard in the business or not. I also asked her about romantic comedy, because that really seems to be where I'll find myself. I may read suspense, and I may write suspense, but I think I'll find my "home" in the romantic comedy category. And that idea makes me smile.

Okay, off track. Back to the agent issue. So, as I said, Deidre Knight is on the RWC lists, and I really, REALLY like her personality. But, she's writing now as well as being an agent, and I find that I have a real problem with it. She said it's fairly common, because agents have a love for the written word themselves or they wouldn't be in the business they're in. And maybe that's true. I don't know. But I do know how hard it is to find the time to write, and I can only fathom how hard it must be to be an agent and the phone calls and the meetings and the whiny, insecure emails from their authors (okay, so if they don't get emails from ME, personally, then the ones they get may not be whiny and insecure, but that's how I think of emails because that's what I imagine myself writing. If you're an agent reading this, ignore that line. I'm really a super confident and secure person. Really. I am. Promise. Actually, in all honesty, if you want to know what I'm like in real person, read this with a bit of a Texas accent and you have it. I'm EXACTLY the same in real life. A lot of people from online are different, they find they're bolder online, or some crap like that, but This. Is. Me.)

God bless it, I can't stay on topic today to save my LIFE! So, all that crap up there to say this: I want to get a feel for agents before I really put my list together. I have this odd little personality of mine that I know will clash with people. I don't want to bother to query those I know I won't like in the end. Soooooooo, things like listening to the agent at San Antonio, and reading the emails from Deidre Knight are really cool. But how do I do that, get that same "feel", from rest of them out there? Makes my brain hurt trying to figure it out.

So then the obvious answer comes to this: Agent appts at Nationals.

Pardon me while I hurl from the nerves at the mere THOUGHT.

No, really, it's not that bad. I've changed my mentality since last year, and last year was SO new to me that I went to my two interviews totally clueless. This year, I know what I want, and I'll know it when I see it. Last year I interviewed with Kim Lionetti and Mary Sue Seymour. Both were super sweet. I don't think either would be a good match with me, though. So I listen, and I read, and read some more, and I make a new list of those I hope to see at Nationals (Deidre, this is aimed your way! And Fogelman, too!) BUT, I cannot waste their time at Nationals in an appointment just to see if I LIKE someone or not. Therefore, I have to have something to pitch.

Okay, another hurling moment. Ugh.

So, that leaves me where? Needing a FREAKIN BOOK TO PITCH, that's where! I have the one I finaled in the Merritt with (No, there's STILL no word on my damn certificate!) but, that book needs soooooooo many revisions. Yeah, I guess I could do them now, but I want to pitch comedy.

So now what? Put together a proposal. Which means a synopsis (please refer to my rant on the basic requirements for a synopsis) and the first three chapters. I have, currently, four new WIP from where I had these little ideas for romantic comedies and they do write quickly and well from my brain to my fingertips and onto the computer screen. (Hard to believe I can even write a book at all if you're reading my rambling thoughts on this blog, huh? But I can!) So, I need to pick one, and from that, shoot for a completed project by mid-July. Do I think I can do it? Not one doubt. Do I think I WILL do it? I'm not sure.

For those that follow, whether by will or by force of reading on here, my medical condition is moving in a new direction. I was just on the phone with an attorney, as my case for disability was denied. ~mock shocked face~ So there's more stress right there as we start the appeal process. Grr.

Let me end my blog entry today with this, which takes us back to the monthly meeting last night. Robyn DeHart said the following, and it made such an impact on me that I wrote it down. She said she heard it from Stephanie Bond, but regardless of who originally had the idea, it's a good comment that speaks volumes:

GOOD writing is not accidental.

I have a dear, dear friend who is up my butt right now about my writing. And having talked about needing the proposal for the appts in Reno, it shines a spotlight on that saying right there. It's not accidental. It's not about "maybes" or "what ifs". It's about me sitting my lily-white down and WRITING. My ideas and my thoughts do not one once of good if they are not nurtured and tended to. I am so, SO bad about putting off writing (as most writers can assertain to...because man! That floor needs to be mopped NOW. Look at that dust! Anyone got laundry? Anything else I can use to distract me from the act of sitting down and doing what needs to be done?!?!?) This friend, who shall remain nameless, is telling me I have got to create a schedule and WRITE. Make the time. I know this. I do. I just don't DO it. But he believes in my writing so much that he's the person that pushed me on the Merritt. Told me to overnight it (I ran out of ink and couldn't send it priority mail and thought I was out of the running) and said that if I did not follow through on it, he'd not speak to me anymore (That was a bluff. I think. Hmm.) So I did do it, with his nagging, and look what happened. I finaled in my first contest on my first manuscript. (He's a better friend than I am, because I'd have said "Told ya so!" He didn't.) So when he tells me he's going to create a schedule for my writing if I don't do it myself, I have no doubt that he will. My first instinct is to grumble and push back, but my second instinct is to say "Holy crap, he really does believe in my talent."

So yes, there's the talent. Now there has to be the action. So here's my action:

I hereby decree that I will have one of my romantic comedies in shape enough to pitch it to agents at Nationals.

There. You are all witnesses.

Now if only I could get Gina to stop asking about my synopsis progress! ~wink~
Love ya, girlie butt!

Thanks to you who write to me. I appreciate it, truly, more than you could imagine. And if you read this entire thing, you're either bored to TEARS and there's nothing else to do, or you like mental anguish. Huh. We have something in common it seems.

27 comments:

Courtney said...

I read your blog almost every day because I think you're funny. :) I'm an aspiring writer to but I have way less discipline than you so I mainly have books in my head and a few paragraphs in notebooks stewn around the house. Keep writing. I'll be buying your first book.

Courtney said...

And I should learn to proof-read before I publish. *an aspiring writer, TOO* Sheesh.

D said...

*Chuckling*

Yep, your very much your personality on and off line.

Just don't beat up the agent you finally pick too badly, even when you think you were right all along. You never know what facts you didn't have access too.

But the real question is are you still a flyoholic?

And who this is will drive you nuts for months *lol*

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Well crap. Now I'm sitting here trying to figure out who "D" is. I have an idea, but not really sure, and I don't think the person I'm thinking of would sign it as "D". Hmm. Totally and completely uncool.

So, here's the facts, as I try to figure out the mystery:

1) Not someone I talk to everyday, or they'd know the answer to the fly question without having to ask it.

2) Because of the fly question, it could be anyyyyyyone from the boards, WD or mirc. Yeah, that's only like 4385703475 people.

3) It's someone I know in real life.

4) The other "D" fits the comment, but I didn't know that person knew about flying.

5) It has to be someone that I email with, because that's where the link to this blog is located. Hmm.

6) I have no bloody idea. Tell me already. I don't like that "for months" part at all!

Grrr.
bren

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Hi Courtney and welcome back!!! You're so sweet. I'm glad you think I'm funny. Others apaprently do as well, which is why I'm aiming my writing at comedy now. Lord help us all, huh? LOL

I hope to be published soon. I have this feeling, which is odd. But I don't even have any completed work (completed being POLISHED, and that one is RS and not comedy.) But the feeling is there.

Like D said (grr again...whomever you are), I think I may be beating them up already. I'm really bad about that. Apparently, according to Deidre (who, btw, signs emails by "D"), the charging of fees isn't that unusual at all. And neither is the writing. So I think I'm going to target personality and connections, and of course, I'd like a big house behind the name, but that's definitely NOT a requirement (still looking at you, Mr. Fogelman!)

Courtney: are you in any organizations? I'm in RWA, of course, and ARWA (Austin's RWA chapter) and KOD (Kiss of Death, the online RWA suspense chapter). But you can also join other writer loops like Charlotte Dillon's RWC lists (you can find it at her site listed on the left of this page.) And just like this post says: JUST DO IT!

Amy said...

OK, Brenda, we're holding you to it! Get that butt in the chair! (If you need further butt-kicking, just head over to our blog. My CPs specialize in it.) *g* Good luck!

D said...

You got all but #5 correct. Does that help?

Brenda Bradshaw said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brenda Bradshaw said...

Well crap.

Nevermind, I read the reply wrong. All BUT #5. (sigh)

~heads for more Darvocet~

Just tell me.

D said...

When you finally figure it out...months from now, you'll know my personality would never let me "Just tell you."

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Hmm. What makes you think I'll figure it out? Or that I'll even try? You say you know me, right? And how am I at power-exchange? You should know the answer to that. -grin-

Nic said...

Hey sweets! Nic here. actually Stephanie Bond' quote was "Good Writing Is Not Accidental".

On a different note, you looked just darling as all get out at the meeting! See you at the synop woekshop w/Kenner.

Nic said...

Ok, that should have read workshop. So much for typing onehanded! (Can't drink otherwise. No straws in mi casa.) Hee!!! [vbg!]

D said...

But, I know your one weak spot, not knowing something. While you may pretend that you don't care, nor are trying to figure it out, eventually it will get to you and you'll ask again, or comment, or pull out some hair. Ok, maybe not the last part.

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Hey Nic! Of course I got the saying wrong. You were sitting next to me when I wrote it. Why didn't you tell me I wrote it down wrong?! HUH?!?

I am planning on going on the 23rd, BUT, $20 is just giving me 1/2 a tank, and it took a 1/2 to get me to Austin and back on Tuesday. And I have two birthdays (27 & 29) to pay for. So...I don't know. I WANT to go, I adore Kenner so, but ~sigh~ We'll see.

Now I have to go and edit my freakin' post. ~grumble~

Brenda Bradshaw said...

D~ You're someone from mirc. And male.

And you don't know me as well as you think you do if you think I have only one weak spot.

Now, if you're a friend of mine, your use of the "D" would be relevant. If you picked a random letter, than that's just beyond redemption.

And, if you know me well, then you'll know I'm stubborn as hell. And right now, I'm dealing with stuff regarding the eldest born and the games of high school whores, so I'll most likely take my anger out on you since you're playing little games, too.

D said...

Wouldn't be the first time. And d wasn't random, not by any stretch of the imagination.

But for now I shall wander off to read other blogs and make comments there and leave you to you and yours.

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Wouldn't be the first time for what?

D as in your nick or your real name? If you're going to engage me in a game, let me know how the board is set up.

And if you're a REALLY good friend of mine, wander to the eldest's blog. She needs support right now.

Nic said...

Doll, I think D meant it's not the first time you taken your anger out on them. That's what I got out of the comment.

How ya doing today? Read you were off your cocktail for today and it was bad news. Will keep you in my prayers.

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Oh, first time for me to take my anger out on you. Yup, Nic, when I re-read it, that's when I figured it out (doubled my meds tonight...3 Flexerils and 2 more Darvocets...~sigh~ Kinda slow on the uptake.)

And yet he returns. Must be the masochist in him. Dream sweet!

Bren

Nic said...

Speaking of Shandi's blog, just posted something to her on there that you might want to check out. Smart kid. Definitely yours with that acerbic wit and sharp 'tude of hers. HEE!

craterdweller said...

Just a suggestion about your quest for a .com. There's nothing particularly special about the .com ending (at least not worth buying the domain from someone that already has it registered). Many writers have used the .net (terry brooks and wil wheaton to name just a few). Also, there is nothing illegal about "parking" a domain, it's done all the time. Good luck with your writing and your quest for your own domain.

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Hi craterdweller and thanks for the comments! There's just something about it that bugs me, which I can't put my finger on.

Do you mind letting me know how you happened upon my blog? I like to know these little things so I can keep track of what generates visitors and what doesn't. Thanks :)

craterdweller said...

Well I'm sure you've already considered that there are more than one Brenda Bradshaws in the world and he's registered the domain for reasons totally unrelated? :P (You seem to have a sense of humor from your blog so I'm pretty sure you'll get that I'm joking)
I've seen a few of your posts to the JCF yahoo group. Thought I'd check out your blog and wish you luck.

Brenda Bradshaw said...

I do have a sense of humor, and because of all the time I spend on the net, I'm pretty good about reading the tone of others, so no worries!

Yeah, yanno, the entire Brenda Bradshaw thing is quite funny. My maiden name was FAR from normal, and my 1st married name wasn't normal either. I told my now husband I was excited to have a "normal" name. Well, as a writer, it may be a bit tooooo normal. (sigh) But I really don't want to use a pen name, so what's a chick to do?

I LOVE the JC loops!!! She's my hero and I'm so excited to meet up with her in Reno. I know her loop is for fans as well, so are you a fan or do you write, too?

Hope you drop by more often and I hope you enjoy reading the mental anguish of my world (if you can't cry, may as well laugh, right?) :)

Bren

craterdweller said...

Not a writer myself. I participated in NaNoWriMo to offer support to the husband (he's just starting as a sci-fi writer). I'm mostly a nerd/geek/(insert name for someone that spends way too much time on the computer). I've tried out various blog hosting services and just recently registered my own domain (which is why I thought to let you know about some of your other options). One more piece of advise about registering your own domain, it is publicly searchable information - meaning address, email address etc. You may want to look into a registry service that lets you mask that information. You really want to guard your personal information carefully.

Nic said...

Sweets, I found my counter at www.statcounter.com. It's free.