Waiting game

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Still playing the query waiting game. My thumbs have become quite good at twiddling. I could be a competitive thumb-twiddling champion.

Six weeks have passed since I sent this book’s first query. Alas, no word yet. I’m used to this from when I queried my previous novel, so I know it’s normal, but I’m extra-excited about this book, and that first agent in particular who was my tippyest-top choice. Unfortunately, I may have to consider that one a rejection. Agencies with a “no reply = no” policy are tough for authors when you can’t help wondering if your query got buried in their inbox, or worse, if it got eaten by email gremlins before it even arrived. A reply of any kind is a relief. But after six weeks, I’ve decided it’s time to send out another batch.

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Happy 2017! New blogging system plus my writer bucket list

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Welcome back and happy 2017! A couple news items:

Firstly, I’ve started going by my middle name, Noel. (As in, the Christmasy pronunciation of Noel. NOT the one that rhymes with *roll* which is what my eyes do whenever someone says it like that, hehe.) My full name will still be listed on my blog and Twitter, as that is what I’ll be published as, but amongst friends and such I’d like to be called Noel. 🙂

Secondly, I’m adopting a new system for how I’ll be blogging each week of the month:

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I call it… “Le Rejection”

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I wish my rejections came in old-fashioned letter form, like in the good ol’ days, so I could make a papier mache sculpture representing my despair. Working with my hands always makes me feel better.

Haha, it’s okay, I’m not actually despairing right now, but I have my moments. I know how the publishing industry works, how long it takes even for the most talented writers, that even J.K. Rowling got rejections up to her eyeballs. I know all that, but I still wake up sometimes with a weight on my chest and think, “It’s not going to happen. It’s just not going to happen.”

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Then, Now, and Later: reflections on yesteryear and hopes for 2016

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Welcome back! Man, feels like the last time I saw you guys was last year! Har har har. Dad jokes.

Today is a special day because it’s exactly one year, to the date, since I posted my debut blog entry. Happy blogiversary to me!

January is a time of gazing adventurously at horizons to come, but it’s also a time for reflecting on the last 12 months. I’m in the mood to get reflecty. Whaddaya say?

Writing progress made in 2015:

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Query letters

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No two words are scarier than that pair up there, except maybe “land shark” or “I’m pregnant.”

Queries are the bane of every writer’s existence. If you’re comfortable with them, or even weirder, if you LIKE them, you are extremely lucky and also what’s the weather like on your planet? 😛

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The agent hunt

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If you’ve been reading for a while, you may have gathered that I’m querying agents. If you’re new round these parts, then, uh, I’m super successful! I’ve sold millions! Oh, you’ve never heard of me? I’m big in Japan.

Anyway, I’m querying agents, and I thought I’d talk a little about how I do my research in case it helps anyone who’s starting this for the first time. Not that I really know what I’m doing… Uh, I mean, I TOTALLY KNOW WHAT I’M DOING!

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Warrior Writer

warrior You know how in action movies, when Mr. Fighty Hero Guns Yeah must break into some computer’s mainframe (what does that even mean) and the music is all thumpy, and the camera’s zoomed in on his eyes, and one solitary trickle of sweat is snaking its way down his temple, and he gets to the point where one press of a button will change everything, and then –

— click —

— he presses it —

— everything’s quiet for a second –

— and then some building blows up?

Well, imagine all of that, only instead of Mr. Fighty Hero Guns Yeah, it’s me, and instead of hacking into the mainframe, it’s querying my dream agent.

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Back to the drawing board

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Last Friday, after three and a half months of finger-crossing, I received a verdict from the agent who was reading my first novel, Milo & Violet. Alas, it was a pass. My first agent rejection! Woo! I’m in the club! The reason she gave is that the book is too much a blend of genres, which is the least-negative reason I could possibly hope for, so that’s cool. Forging onwards!

When I started this process I made a vow that with every rejection I would treat myself to an éclair or some other form of scrumptious. Because something good should happen when you get The Big R, right? Right. Though I might just be looking for more excuses to eat éclairs.

“Grandma’s in the hospital? I’ll get the éclairs.”
“Oh gosh the toilet is overflowing. Better eat an éclair.”
“It’s Tuesday. Éclair!”

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Conference? More like PROference!

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The SDSU Writers Conference was this weekend, and it was absolutely fantastic! I was so amped up I couldn’t sleep. Stay asleep, anyway. The first night I conked out at 10:30 and then woke up at 3am, my brain cutting off my sleep like a bartender cutting off a drunk. “Alright buddy, you’ve had enough.” Four and a half hours is the equivalent of a couple a’ beers in this metaphor, and I’m no lightweight. I can hold my sleep. So really braintender, what gives?

But anyway, let’s start at the beginning!

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I got that

Me: “I wrote a one-page synopsis, and a two-page one, just in case.”

Craig: “That is preparation!”

Me: “Some advise that you should even have a three-page synopsis as well.”

Craig: “Just to be safe, you should bring any and all synopses you could possibly need. Seven and a half page synopsis? I got that!”

Me: “Synopsis with all the vowels removed? I got that!”

Craig: “Synopsis composed of nothing but MS Paint doodles? I got that!”

Me: “Synopsis delivered entirely through interpretive dance? I got that!”

interpretive dance squirrel

Guess I have a lot of choreographing to do before the conference.