On Editing…books, but more importantly, life.

“Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not. ” ― C.G. Jung

This week I’m working on edits the editor sent back for Somewhere With You. There’s something both freeing and frightening about seeing your work all covered in red and the realization that on page 144 that you’re still making the same damned mistakes you made on page 14. And then on page 145 you SWEAR to yourself you’ll never make that mistake again, because damn it you’ve just spent two days (or two weeks, or two months) of your life rectifying something so ridiculous.

But here’s the thing, or the lesson for me anyway: we make mistakes and hopefully we learn from them– but that doesn’t mean they all of a sudden stop showing up. Oftentimes, they do so over and over, and for what?  Just to make sure we really got it, this time? :) Your guess is as good as mine. It’s a funny thing, life’s way of testing us.

And while this may sound negative, it’s really not. I figure, if we aren’t messing up, we aren’t trying anything new, and if we aren’t trying anything new, we aren’t learning, and if we aren’t learning…well, in my opinion, we aren’t really living.

Speaking of that, recently, I did a little “spring cleaning.” I wiped my calendar (mostly) clean, removed several things that no longer felt right, in order to make room for those that are a little less “certain.” One of these things happened to be joining an indoor soccer league– which as it turns out, is, um, no joke. The last time I played soccer was 20 years ago and I clearly remember leaving the team due to my inability to take organized sports seriously. It seems not a lot has changed. :) It also turns out there’s a difference between having a competitive nature and a serious one. For me, the two do not appear to be mutually exclusive, :) Always a fun lesson to learn, for sure. So yeah, fail forward, I say. It’s pretty fun, pretty freeing, and pretty fucking scary. But scary trumps boring any day of the week.

“In life, there are no mistakes, only lessons.” ― Vic Johnson

Thoughts In A Coffee Shop.

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” ― Dr. Seuss

It’s Friday evening and I’m sitting in Starbucks–well into the final chapter of my upcoming novel. From here a final proofread and final edits on my part and then it’s off to the editor so she can work her magic. Victory is so close– I can almost taste it.

I’d like to mention that despite what the cover might suggest (with all its warmth and beauty) that Somewhere With You is not exactly a light and fluffy, feel-good read. It’s fun and charming in places, yes, but that’s not the whole of it. I’m just not sure I’ve mastered the art of light and fluffy–yet.  :)

In the meantime…below, is a little insight into the way a writers my mind works. It’s probably proof that it can be a scary and yet a thrilling place–always down the rabbit hole, so to speak. :)

As I sit here pondering my characters and the issues they face and how to wrap it up and tie it all together a van from an adult rehabilitation hospital pulls up and ten or so patients and their caretakers file out. I observe from a distance as they enter the coffee shop, place their orders; and suddenly I’m struck by the beauty of this life and all we take for granted. I’m struck by how self-centered we can be as human race, how we complain about anything and everything, not stopping often enough to be thankful for all that’s worth being thankful for. I type a sentence about this very thing and look up as one of the patient’s stops in front of me. He asks me what I’m working on, about the specifications of my computer, and we spend a few minutes chatting. He wishes me a good night and I think about chance conversations and how much they add to our lives. I think about the man who is walking away and all of the adversity he must have faced in his life–yet here he is finding pleasure in such small things, coffee and a conversation with a stranger. And I hope the conversation brightened his day as much as it did mine. I think about the aunt who helped raise me (she had muscular dystrophy) and how much her adversity has shaped my life. I recall the time she picked me up from kindergarten and fell as we were walking back to my house. I think about what it felt like to watch someone struggle to do something I considered so basic and yet feel so helpless, unable to do anything about it. I think about how she managed to get back up and how she still kept showing up day after day. Then, I consider my lack of tolerance for people who make excuses about why they “can’t” or “haven’t” and consider for the first time in a long time that maybe it’s ok to feel that way.

I watch the barista, how patient and kind she is and how she knows the patrons orders by heart and I’m suddenly a mess thinking about all the good there is to seen in this world—if only one looks for it.  I think about how sometimes we focus so much on the big things that we loose sight of the joy that can be found the seemingly insignificant.

I put my head down and go back to work. Three hundred or so words later I glance up and see a man coming up the street walking past the coffee shop towards the strip center. I realize then that this man is my father. And I wonder how it could be possible that the person responsible for putting me on this earth could be so close–and yet so far away. I do not leave the coffee shop to speak to him. I simply observe and get back to it. I type this and I contemplate the confluence of joy and pain. The paradox of beauty and heartache. I think about how it can be that a stranger can suddenly not be (a stranger) and one that shouldn’t be is…

Oops…I did it again. An Introduction.

“You cannot know how lucky you are to love until you’ve felt the immense pain of having to let that love go.”- Britney King, Somewhere With You

Once upon a time I said I probably wouldn’t quote myself again…BUT today is special. BECAUSE today happens to be the day I’m introducing my latest novel, Somewhere With You– tentatively scheduled for release on 4/14/14.

Please consider adding it to your Goodreads TBR’s by clicking here.

I really hope you like it. :)

Somewhere with you cover share

Synopsis: 

This is the tale of first and last loves. And those that come in between…

Jack Harrison is a relentless overachiever who leaves little in the way of compromise. A businessman to the core—he’s hell-bent on being at the top of the food chain. After all, no one can trip you up if you’re on top, as he likes to say. The problem for Jack is there’s only one thing that continually trips him up—and that’s her.

Amelie Rose, with a name like poetry and a heart of gold, as her father always said, is a free-spirited photographer who has managed to land a job at one of the top travel magazines in the world. This is both a blessing and a curse since Amelie never stays in one place for long and has refused to commit to anything—ever. 

It might seem to the casual observer that these two have almost nothing in common. But fate would disagree. The story chronicles Jack and Amelie’s lives from childhood into adulthood, beginning when they meet as then eight- and ten-year-olds at summer camp specifically designed for children who’ve lost too much.

As fate steps in, and that first summer seals the deal, they come to depend on each other in ways neither of them expected, with each summer bringing them closer than the last. As they come to terms with life and loss, with hanging on and letting go, they’ll teach each other that some bonds are meant to last. Together, they will travel the world, meeting in various places where they’ll come together, and fall apart, all the while struggling to discern if the other could possibly be the one.

This unlikely love story takes us on an adventure where two people come of age, fall in and out of love, and question the role timing plays in it all.

Their story is proof that neither time nor distance—perhaps not even death—can destroy what love creates.

 So it seems the only question left to ask is whether love is enough?

 

Somewhere with you front share 

P.S. A HUMONGOUS  thank you to Lisa Wilson of Pixel Pixie Design. I know I am a royal pain in the the ass to work with, especially when I have a “vision” in my head of what it is I want. Each step of the way you surprised me, never batting an eye at my insanity. I am so grateful. Thank you. Thank you. xxoxoxo

Time Marches On.

Today marks one year since my Grandma died and quite frankly I just want to say that anyone who says it gets any easier is lying. It doesn’t get easier, not at all. Just different. For the past 365 days there hasn’t been one of them that I haven’t wished I could pick up the phone and call her or drive to her house and soak up all the advice I hadn’t asked for. Not one. My five year old daughter dreamt of her a month or so ago and I swear that the dream was so like my grandma, the things she would’ve said and things she would’ve done that it admittedly made even me go hmmm.

Anyway, I had intended to write something “eloquent” to mark the occasion (<–that’s my best shot at sarcasm) I really don’t have anything eloquent to say on the matter. That and I’m so close to deadline on my third novel that even if I did, there isn’t time. Which is probably a blessing, really. Any (eloquent?) thoughts I have on how bad it sucks to miss someone can be found in the book. ;) Speaking of time, I don’t know what it is about me…I give myself three to six months to write a book and then try to crank it out in three weeks. It’s almost as though I need the pressure. I try really hard not to beat myself up about this um…”process” I’ve created but…in the end I know myself and I’ve decided that maybe this just is my creative process. For me, I always find the story is in the story. It reveals itself when it reveals itself. It can’t be forced. It just is, if
that makes any sense.

To be honest, there has been so much fear around this book– although I’m not sure why. Since its inception I’ve so doubted my ability to pull it off. And I know, if I understand anything at all about marketing that I probably should not be telling you guys this. ;) But, I also know that fear and pressure push me. Tell me I can’t do something and…I’ll work ten times harder to do it. I’ll always be my toughest critic, anyway. The betas are loving it, so there’s that.

Lastly, there’s a PR book/cover reveal scheduled for sometime in March. Since you’re all so great I’ll announce it here first– sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I’m hiding out. Writing, writing, writing. And panicking. I’d forgotten how much I love this space. So, SO very much pressure. It’s fun, irrational, served up with a side of moody. And it seriously gives the term “March Madness” a whole new meaning. ;)

In case you’ve forgotten, busy is a four letter word.

One of the common themes I heard last week during the women’s network event I hosted was that there are a lot folks are struggling with being overwhelmed because life has become “so busy.” I get asked often how I “do it all” and I always laugh because…uh, I don’t. If I had a nickel for every time someone said “I don’t know how you do it with five kids, I can barely manage with two” I could retire, yesterday. While, I’m more work-in-progress than expert on any of this, it seems to come up often so I thought I’d share what has worked for me. I’m not suggesting that my way will work for you. But I’m also not exaggerating, not even a little, when I say it changed my life.

I, for one, am really over the whole “busy” thing and have been for a while. Grief has been an excellent teacher in that regard. Maybe you get this a little more so when you lose people you love and have to process that death is not a destination. It’s not somewhere, down the road, waiting for you to get there. It’s coming for us all. So, yeah, it’s cliché to say but… life is short. And I found myself in a place where I had to ask what was most important that I got out of it. The result has been (dare I say it) that I’m immeasurably happier now. I spend time doing more of what matters: I read more, I play more, I laugh more. And I love more. The best part of it all is that I also do “nothing” more.

Unfortunately, it’s popular in our culture and even celebrated to be “busy.” You know how it goes, ask someone how they’re doing and they’ll usually respond by telling you how busy they are. And while I have nothing against hard work, I believe busy is possibly the worst four letter word there is. “Busy” gives us an excuse to say someday to the things we really want. We’re too busy now, so we say next time, later on. Busy becomes an excuse for not doing what we know we should be doing.

The lie we tell ourselves is that we’re busy now so we can “have it all” later. When the truth is, it’s impossible to do it all and do it all well. If you aren’t enjoying the journey, my guess is you’re sure as hell not going to enjoy the destination. When I realized this, which like most lessons was learned the hard way, I realized that it was imperative to determine what my priorities were, say no to the rest, which meant letting go, and trust that I was doing the right thing. At first, it felt really strange. I even wrote about it this time last year. 

If you want to get around the bullshit, cut through the red-tape and really get to know someone, try this, it blows minds. The next time you’re in a conversation ask the person you’re speaking with what they really want out of life. BUT only if you really care. And I do mean really care. First, this person will look at you like you’re crazy, then after you assure them that, yes, they heard you right and yes, you’re serious, they’ll usually offer up something arbitrary. But if you don’t let them off the hook, they’ll usually end by saying, well… in a perfect world_____. But since we’re most likely not ever going to live in a perfect world and because you’re going to need an answer when they turn the question back around on you (and they will) you’ll want to first ask yourself what it is you really want. And then begin each day by honestly answering whether or not what you’re spending you’re time doing is getting you there. It’s not easy. Being brutally honest, is scary. But so worth it, I think. For me, doing a few things really well feels a whole lot better than struggling to do many “just good enough.”

One of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned was that if you take on more (and more and more) no one is going to stop you. They will let you do it. Have at it, they’ll say. This goes for bosses, spouses, children, and so on. The majority of people are not going to say “No! Wait! You know what…you have too much on your plate as it is. Let me handle that.” They’re just not. It’s up to us to set those boundaries. And it’s very hard to set them if you don’t know what your priorities are, if you don’t know what it is you want, what you’re working towards.

For example, this is how I determine what gets done on a daily/weekly/yearly basis. Every decision I make is made with my top three priorities in mind. Obviously, your priorities will likely be very different than mine– but I want to give you an idea nonetheless of how I broke it down to figure out what made most sense in my life. My top three are: my health, my family, and writing books. In that order. Health comes first because obviously if I’m not taking care of myself…I can’t very well take care of anyone else. For starters, exercise is very important to me. Not because I really like it but because I know that if I want to feel well (mentally and physically) and have the energy level I need to accomplish what it is I want to accomplish, I have to workout. I surround myself with people who are better, faster, stronger than myself (it’s motivating) and I schedule workouts like an appointment, an hour each day, at the same time, first thing in the morning. This way nothing else has the chance to interfere. Because if I let it, and I will, then it will. :) But this hour is my time and I’d be really annoyed with myself (and honestly everyone around me) if I couldn’t even take an hour for myself.

My family is my second most important priority, for me this means being there to pick up my children from school each day, spending the afternoon, evening, and weekends. This time is spoken for and comes before anything else I put on my calendar. Clearly, this may simply sound like motherhood in general–but what I’m trying to get across is that I (typically) don’t schedule work after 2:30 (at least not until they’re asleep) or on weekends. This way I don’t feel guilty over competing priorities. Work stays firmly in the work category. It also means that I have to be fairly smart about and extremely protective of the time that they’re in school.

Lastly, are my writing goals and running AWN. As far as writing goes, I have an idea of how much time it takes me to finish a book and I schedule writing time daily. Nothing else happens during this time, but writing. Unless it’s of greater importance–meaning it’s one of my first two priories. What works best for me is setting a daily word count goal by reverse engineering the number of words I need until completion and not letting myself quit until I’m there. Because there’s marketing and all the rest that goes along with writing–it’s too easy to do something else that is oftentimes less painful.

In terms of AWN and networking in general, unfortunately there’s a lot I have to say no to these days. It’s not fun– but I simply can’t have coffee with or accept every lunch invitation that comes my way, as much as I’d like to. The solution has been opening up a few time slots each month for this (typically before an event) and by attending at least one other large-scale event and inviting others to come along. It’s more fun that way. :)

The other thing I want to suggest, if you’re like me, and have found that you don’t have enough time for the number of people who want to meet with you and “pick your brain” then you may need to find a more effective way to meet their needs. Don’t be afraid to make it work for you, too. If you know me, then you know that I’m all for helping people. That is after all, why I believe that AWN has been as successful as it has. But again, this is where boundaries come in. You have to know where to draw the line, so to speak. If you find that you’re coming up against the same issue, the same questions, then it might be worth asking yourself if there’s a need (a market) for what you’re offering. Don’t be afraid to charge for your time. This could mean charging a consulting fee, it may mean setting up a seminar, or writing a book.

Long story short, it becomes a whole lot easier not to fall into the “busy” trap when you establish what is a priority and are ruthless in making sure what you’re doing is in line with that. It’s easy to say no if you understand that when you say yes, you’re often essentially letting something else go. And sometimes, there’s a higher price to pay than you realize…

P.S. In writing related news, I get asked a lot what is happening on the agent/publisher front (which probably deserves a whole blog post in itself) but for now I’ll just say that after really evaluating my options, my current and future goals, and then weighing all of that with the amount of freedom/flexibility I want to have, I decided to forgo the agent/publisher route and stick with what I’ve got going. :) In addition, the publishing landscape is changing so rapidly right now. But I won’t go in to all of that here. If you’re interested there’s a plethora of mostly decent information you can find on the interwebs starting here.

On The Importance of Truth-Tellers and Booking It.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
― Rumi

Excuses. I can make them with the best of ‘em. Being a writer–and by that I mean using my imagination on a daily basis to make stuff up, seeing things as I want them to be, well, I’ve always been pretty good at believing the stories I tell. Even the stuff I know doesn’t serve me well. I am the queen of buying my own bullshit.

Thankfully, I’ve gotten really good at surrounding myself with people who are willing to tell me the truth. Especially, when they know (and I know) it needs to be heard. Case in point: “Change isn’t supposed to be easy, Britney,” he tells me. “If it were easy, if accomplishing this came easily– don’t you think everyone else be doing it? Don’t you think you would’ve succeeded already? You want what you want. So, quit making excuses about it. You know what it is you need to do…do it. Start by putting the energy you’re expending now…whining to me to better use by just getting to it. YOU have to believe you can do it. Not me. Not anyone else. You’re right that it takes seeing what isn’t there. But you know how to do that.”

Hmmm. Hard to argue with that. ;)

It would’ve been pretty easy to call up someone who I knew would let me play small. Someone who would pacify me, tell me that it’s all right, that there’s always next time, next year…sometime in the future. But these days, I know better. And that has been the greatest gift. My hope is that you also have truth-tellers in your life. It’s liberating, that’s for sure.

Now, on to book news… I’m really pleased with how things are going since the release of Breaking Bedrock last month. It was a little nerve-wracking to write a sequel, seeing that many sequels aren’t received well. It was also different knowing that there was an expectation, something I had to live up to. But thus far, both books are selling well and the reviews have been favorable. Thank you all for making it what it is.

Next week the blog tour kicks off. I’m excited to see what folks have to say as many of the bloggers are reading Bedrock for the first time. Also, I’m told there will be giveaways. Keep an eye out for those via FB and Twitter.

Speaking of giveaways…I’m starting a new “Friday thing” called BGIF (Be Glad It’s Friday or Britney’s Glad It’s Friday, whatever ;) where I’m giving away my books as well as spreading the love by giving away books I’ve read and enjoyed. The first one is Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I think this book may be one of my all-time favorites. I read it in a day and it caused a (book) hangover for weeks. I still think about it. More on that, here.

As for what I’m working on now, a third novel, (perhaps a series, I’m still deciding) well…I’m not going give too much away just yet…but the photographer and cover designer have been booked…so, more details soon.

Done. Done. Done. The Story Within The Story…

“When you are in the middle of a story it isn’t a story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood; like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard powerless to stop it. It’s only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you are telling it, to yourself or to someone else.” Margaret AtwoodAlias Grace

The quote above actually explains a lot about the sentiment behind Breaking Bedrock. The story within the story. It’s the idea, the revelation, that it’s hard to know the rhyme or reason things happen, the way they do, when you’re in the thick of them, and that it’s only afterword’s, in hindsight, looking back that it all makes perfect sense.

This morning I finally wrote THE END on Breaking Bedrock and I have to say that feels pretty damned good. Like I can breathe. Like…I just needed to get this story out so that I could move on with things. It’s hard to explain, really, but it all seems a little transitory. And there is something about finishing a book that’s like nothing else I can explain. It’s part giving birth…part crossing the marathon finish line. There’s a certain high you get, that’s for sure.

As an added bonus, judging by the feedback I just received back from the betas, it’s a keep you on edge- in an evil but yummy- work you over sort of way- heartbreaking, yet.. all flows well, kind of story. Oh and the ending blew minds. In a good way. Not in the annoying cliffhanger way I gave you guys last time. Personally, I love cliffhangers…but that’s just me… and I know most don’t. Anyway, I’m satisfied with how everything turned out in the end and I think the readers will be, too. And on that note, I have to say, that sometimes, it’s nice when you shock the shit out of even yourself. ;) A decent analogy, I think, would be the way you held that newborn baby (or newborn babies) in your arms for the first time, in so much awe, and in all of that amazement and wonder, and knowing, you find it quite funny that only thing coherent thing you could possibly even think to say might be: “Damn. Wait a minute…you mean I did that???” So instead of speaking, you simply smile to yourself and think: Yes. YES, I did…and it’s pretty fucking amazing, isn’t it?

Oh and speaking of “working it”…here’s a little something silly and happy and awesome…just because I love it so.

Head Down & Going Under.

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” ― Jane AustenNorthanger Abbey

I’m drowning in words and word counts over here, my eyes keep crossing, I’ve got the blank stare thing going on, and I can only move my neck to the right. But I guess all that’s to be expected when one forgets how to pace themselves. That and of course it’s probably just what happens when and if ones characters decide to start being little shits,and inform you that what you’ve written for over the past six months, is no where near worthy or deserving enough of how their story should unfold.

So…for the past week and a half the voices in my head have practically forced me to write over 3K words per day– that’s about 6+ hours of straight up writing (for me), in case you’re wondering. As of today, I have about 25K to go to get Breaking Bedrock where it needs to be before my deadline. WHICH IS IN ELEVEN DAYS. AND IF YOU CAN’T TELL BY THE CAPS, I’M FREAKING OUT ABOUT. JUST A LITTLE BIT. ;)

Anyhow, today also marks the start of NaNoWriMo and I have to admit that this year I’m “cheating” a little bit. Well, I’m not exactly cheating per se, but instead of writing an entire novel, the first 25K words I need to “win” will go to BB, and the second half of them to a new project, a standalone, which I’m excited to get started on.

The good news though is despite the fact that I can’t see straight, I’m getting decent feedback from the betas, which helps a lot, and kinda sorta makes up a little for all the work my characters urged me to scrap. Also, my husband happens to be beta reading for me this time and he sent me a text the other day which read: “MOST ENGAGING CHAPTER YET” and he’s so tough, you guys (seriously you have no idea), that I’m feeling pretty good about where the story is heading.

Now, back to it, but first a teaser from Bedrock:

collage 4

P.S. This is what I’ve written to this week:

AND THIS:

P.S.S. There’s a giveaway for Bedrock going on over here.

How Trying To Land An Agent is A LOT Like Finding A Lover…

Please note, this post is meant to be pretty tongue and cheek so don’t take it all literally. Unless of course you want to, well.. in that case, do.  And, yes, I realize that I’ve only been querying for a little less than a month and that it takes some people years to land an agent. I do know these things and so lets just say that patience isn’t my strong suit. I also hear those of you who are wondering why in the world I’d trade being indie in order to go the trad route. I hear you. Trust me. :) This isn’t meant to be a debate about one or the other. I’m pro both ways. Or any which way, actually. I’m sharing this because I know many of you are going through something similar. Whether it’s a job, a lover…or like me an agent that you’re trying to land, sometimes it does help to know you’re not alone. And that there’s an upside to waiting, hard though it may be. 

I’m on deadline so I’ll have to keep this short and sweet. Also, I just moved the said deadline up by three weeks so it’s looking as though Breaking Bedrock will be released around mid December or so.

There’s big news and no news on the agent front. My manuscript is in the hands of a handful of agents at the moment. That said, I’ve also received a handful of rejections in the past week or so. Just a quick statistic I’ve heard on landing an agent. Most NYC agents receive somewhere around 400-600 queries a month, of which they request (maybe) 25 manuscripts, usually offering to represent only 2-3 of those. To say the odds are tough would be a little bit of an understatement. That said, I’ve had requests for 10 fulls thus far from some of the most well respected agents in the industry. So, I know based on statistics that something in my query must be pretty good. That said, still no offers of representation. Yet. Which brings me to tell you how trying to land an agent is really pretty similar to finding a lover….

First off, just like with a lover…I don’t want just any agent. Obviously, I want someone with similar goals who believes in me and my work. But first it takes getting the right person to notice me in the slush pile…and that is a feat. Just like with dating you have to hope what you’re offering up is music to their ears. And DAMN IT if that music isn’t SO subjective. You have to be generous when describing why you’re querying any particular agent. And you guys, I’ve found myself saying things like “your writing/blog/twitter feed just spoke to me” but, of course, only when it was true. So…then when they notice, the next step is laying it all out there. Which is a bit like being naked and saying “This is me. And THIS is what I’ve got. Take it or leave it.” And having them leave it. ;)

Just like with lovers…there’s the waiting. Is he gonna call? Is he not gonna call? He loves me. He loves me not. Then comes the dreaded rejection. With agents it can come in a few forms. There’s the form letter, which means: we’re really not a good fit and saying anything more is a waste of both our time. There’s also the more specific, but sucky nonetheless, and perhaps even worse, the: “it’s not you it’s me” kind of stuff which you know almost always means it IS about you. And my personal favorite…”I’ve made mistakes before and this could be another one of them.”

But all that said, rejection is just the beginning. Par for the course. What happens when you put yourself out there. It’s business. I get it.

And I’m guessing that finding an agent who offers representation is a little like being lovers AND married to one another. It’s kind of a big deal. Which makes me appreciate each and every experience, every rejection, every no that I’ve received. For everything that didn’t work out the way I’d hoped it would, I’m grateful, it makes me just that much more thankful for all that I have been given in life.  As it is with love, waiting sucks and rejection hurts…but finding a good match, someone who not only wants what you’re offering but is worth having…well, I believe that is the sweet reward of persistence. And just as it has been with love, I’m banking on guessing and hoping…that it can happen with agents, too.

P.S. Here’s a little something silly about fitting in and finding your kind. Dance party, anyone?

Rejection Smection & How Not Following The “Rules” Can Lead To Good Things.

“It does help, to be a writer, to have the sort of crazed ego that doesn’t allow for failure. The best reaction to a rejection slip is a sort of wild-eyed madness, an evil grin, and sitting yourself in front of the keyboard muttering “Okay, you bastards. Try rejecting this!” and then writing something so unbelievably brilliant that all other writers will disembowel themselves with their pens upon reading it, because there’s nothing left to write. Because the rejection slips will arrive. And, if the books are published, then you can pretty much guarantee that bad reviews will be as well. And you’ll need to learn how to shrug and keep going. Or you stop, and get a real job.” – Neil Gaiman

There isn’t enough double dutch chocolate ice cream in the entire universe to make this week any better. So far, (and mind you it’s only Wednesday) I think I’m at a grand total of four “after careful consideration and several of us evaluating your project we’ve decided it just isn’t for us or our market” rejection letters this week alone + a few rejections (three cheers for motherhood!) unrelated to books. I’m on a roll, it seems. :) That said, there are three agents who have requested my full manuscript, it’s been in their hands since late last week and as the saying goes “no news is good news.” By the way, any good juju sent my way in regards to those would be wholeheartedly appreciated.

Anyway, I know that rejection is par for the course, in life, and especially in the literary world. But to to say that it makes receiving it or that the plethora of rejection this week still doesn’t suck would be a blatant lie. And typically I’m not a liar. That said, I really try not to let it get me down (too much), because it’s all subjective anyhow, and for every rejection letter I get I’ve made sure to counter by querying a new agent. In and out. In and out. :) I just hope there isn’t a bottom of the barrel sort of thing when it comes to literary agents. Here’s to hoping there’s a replenishing source. :)

I do save each rejection letter though (in an email folder that says DO NOT OPEN)… so that someday (god hope!) I can look back and smile a little at how hard I worked and how bad it hurt at times. Also, if I’ve learned anything, it’s that each time I’ve been rejected in the past (from jobs to houses to boys) it has ALWAYS led to something more fulfilling than what likely would have been. Every. Single. Time. So, yeah, there’s that.

Which brings me to why I’m so glad I didn’t follow the traditional “rules” and go the agent route to begin with. If I hadn’t self published Bedrock, I would still be sitting here, unpublished. I wouldn’t have sold any books, I wouldn’t have hit a bestseller list (in several categories ;) ), I wouldn’t have gotten to see my book in a real book store (by far the most magical place on earth) and most importantly I wouldn’t have connected with so many wonderful people.

All that said, I just wanted to say, as much to you, as I needed to hear it myself, that no matter what it is your working towards and how far off or impossible it seems…to keep going. Even when rejection is flying at you faster than you can blink, when “paying your dues” is kicking your ass, and nothing seems to be going your way. Tell yourself whatever it is you need to tell yourself. Just don’t give up. You really are tougher than you think.

P.S. Here’s what I’m writing to this week: