Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!!! :D

Hey guys!

Just wanted to wish everyone a VERY Merry Christmas!

And remember: "The best gifts in life will never be found under a Christmas tree! Those gifts are friends, family, kids and the one you love!!!"

I hope you are all enjoying special time with family and friends!

Happy Holidays! :)
X <3 O

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ouch...that one hurt....

Hey guys,

So unfortunately this afternoon I got a form rejection from the agent that had my full manuscript. I feel....a lot of emotions actually. I know that you have to have REALLY thick-skin when you go out there and try to get into the publishing world....but that doesn't mean it still doesn't hurt, you know? Though I'm sure he's understandably VERY busy with reading a lot of manuscripts, I sort of wish he'd said a little bit more than the form, not even what he specifically didn't like necessarily, but just a little bit more than I'm a "fine storyteller" but they just didn't fall in love with it enough to represent it, you know? Now my mind is like spinning; is that the nice way of saying my writing isn't good enough? Is my story all together actually just bad? Should I completely revise my story? No one else has requested it, does my query letter stink? And the list goes on and on.

I still want to thank all of you for supporting me though. As down as I feel right now (he only sent the email like an hour ago), I'm not going to give up in getting this book published; I still have a lot of agents I haven't heard back from (although they basically have the same query letter the other agents got, so I don't know how much hope I have in this query letter anymore). I really believe in this book, and I just can't let it go so easily! Hopefully I'm not deluding myself into believing that this book is publishable....

Back to the drawing board I guess...well, sort of...

X <3 O

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I feel like the Jeopardy song should be playing in the background

And the waiting game continues....

It's so hard to wait patiently; you just want to know whether or not the agents like your work, or even want to look at it! Querying has definitely taken my patience to a whole new level. I think the hardest part is that of the nine queries I have out right now, only four agents will definitely respond within their respective time periods; the other five will only respond if they're interested. And also, it's hard because a few of the agents got back to me right away, so when some of them don't respond right away (probably because they're understandably busy), even though they haven't gone beyond their stated response time, I automatically think "Oh my goodness they probably hate it and rejected me already and I just don't know it!" Needless to say, I still check my email everyday, multiple times a day!

But I love when I'm able to do things that get my mind of the querying process (besides school and homework of course). Yesterday I started tutoring a young boy named Omarion, who is a fourth grader at an inner city charter school in a town nearby my college. It's through a tutoring program that one of my friends started this year, and even though I just started yesterday I'm really excited to continue doing it next semester! It was his first day at the program as well, so I think we're a perfect tutor-student match for each other! He's really sweet and polite, so I was so happy to help him with multiplication yesterday (he didn't have any homework, so we just went over his 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8 times tables for an hour since he said he had the most difficulty with those). I've tutored before in high school (both kids around his age and high school students), so it felt really good to be able to get back into it! :D

Oh, and you know how I was stressing out about re-reading my manuscript one more time? Well I did last weekend. Granted I only took two days to go through it (literally 14 hours each day; that's like ALL that I did Sunday and Monday), I found SO MANY silly mistakes!!!!! So as soon as I was done on Monday (well, more like early Tuesday morning), I sent it to the agent who had requested my full manuscript only a week previously (which  is another reason why I wanted to send it too him sooner rather than later, in case he'd already started reading the old copy or was about to); and I was honest with him (just basically saying I found stupid mistakes that I just couldn't expect him to read through...). He didn't respond to the email, so hopefully he got it, and hopefully he'll look at the new manuscript....and I didn't change the plot at all when I edited, it was just the sentence phrasing, spelling, things like that (though I'm sure it's not "perfect" in that a few errors throughout a 300+ page manuscript is probably inevitable).

But yeah, at first I wasn't going to because I saw someone ask a similar question about re-sending a manuscript to an agent if you find mistakes, and everyone (being like 4 people) was telling him not to (granted this person only had a few mistakes in the last few chapters, whereas mine were throughout!). So I didn't; but then something told me to look it up again to see what other people thought, and I found an actual agency who answered this question, basically saying that I should do whatever I feel is right (since it's obviously eating away at me for a reason, and you don't want to regret not at least trying if the agent were to turn down your work, you know?). So that was enough of a push for me to resubmit my manuscript, so fingers crossed he accepts it and he likes it! :)

And I thought it'd be fun to give you guys a little "query update" at the end of my posts whenever I can, so here's the first one!

Query update:
Full Requests (that are currently out): 1
Partial Requests (that are currently out): 0
Rejections: 5
Responses (that I'm currently waiting for): 9

X <3 O

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December = No Mo' NaNoWriMo!!!! :/

Hey guys!

So we are officially in the month of December...which for writers means that National Novel Writing Month is officially over! Did anyone participate in NaNoWriMo? If you did, did you finish 50,000 words on time? I really wanted to participate this year, but I didn't have time too... hopefully next year I will though!!!

Now that it's December, I'm starting to get scared. Scared because (1) in a couple weeks most of the agents I queried should be getting back to me, (2) because December starts the flood of NaNo-querying to agents, and (3) I don't know if I could handle trying not wait until February (when the flood settles down) to query anyone else (although I may have to; I don't want to be lost in the sea of NaNo'ers).
But then again my overall feelings are mixed; because I'm happy to be taking that initiative in trying to find an agent, and yet I'm nervous for when I get ANY news, and I'm also nervous because that one agent has my manuscript (which I probably why I'm stressing over going through my manuscript again... Do I want to because I know it will most likely benefit me in the future? Yes. But will I be kicking myself in the butt if I find a lot of things to edit since I already sent to one of my top agents? You betcha!)

But yeah, I haven't gotten any updates from any agents in the past few days; but I'll make sure you guys are the first ones to know when I do!

Oh, and something else REALLY awesome that happened this week that I haven't told you about: I met THE John Irving! After listening to him read a scene from his new book coming out next year (In One Person), he signed my A Prayer for Owen Meany (one of my FAVORITE books) afterwards!!! I'm really shy and I was SO nervous about meeting him, so I didn't have a conversation with him like most of the people in line did ... I didn't know what to say! I just asked him how he was, and he said "good;" then he signed my book and gave it to me and I said "thank you so much!" and then I left. Pretty boring, I know; but it was still really cool and I'm just proud of myself for even going in the first place because I am so shy (and he's such an phenomenal writer!).

Hope you all are having a just as AMAZING week as I am having! And remember....TOMORROW'S FRIDAY!!!!!! :D

X <3 O

Monday, November 28, 2011

OMG I'M LIKE FREAKING OUT!!!! (and it's not even a yes...)

Haha sorry, I just wanted to update you guys on my querying progress!

So over the past week, I have sent out a query letter to twelve agents (what can I say; I'm addicted to querying haha!). But I have made some rules for myself: The main one being "No entering the double-digits!" Ie: I'm not allowing myself to querying more than nine agents at a time (for one thing, I don't want to go overboard; and for another, I don't want to find out after number like 30 that this whole time there was something wrong with my query letter which ALL of my top agents have, you know?). So you all have probably done the math, and realize that I've gotten 3 rejections so far (which isn't so terrible, right?).

After the first two rejections, I immediately recognized something though: "fantasy" is not really considered the same as "dark fantasy" (which is what I would consider my manuscript to be) to many agents. So I can sort of see why those 3 agents rejected me and said that my project wasn't right for them....not to mention my first chapter is sort of on the dark side (which is funny because most of the other chapters aren't, so it probably makes my story look darker than it actually is....).

But anyways, I'm getting off topic....THE GOOD NEWS!!!:
One of the agents I queried just replied a little over an hour ago saying he'd be happy to take a look at my full manuscript! Now, I know this doesn't mean anything...there's still a pretty good chance that he'll reject it....but I'm happy to know that my synopsis and query letter at least gives my work potential, right? :D

So yeah, that's why I'm freaking out! I opened the email and just assumed it was going to be another rejection, so I was REALLY surprised that it was pretty good news :)

Now I'm debating whether I should quickly read through it one more time (which is going to take hours, but it TOTALLY worth it!) before I send it to him; I'm a really paranoid person and I don't want him to reject it because he finds mistakes in grammar/spelling/wording or something like that (which I don't think there are...but still!). So I'm thinking I'm going to try to quickly read through my manuscript one more time, and then send it to him tomorrow....I think I'll sleep better knowing I looked it over once more, even if I do read it rather quickly!

So that's my news! I'M SO EXCITED because I've been living by the motto "expect the worse; hope for the best" but more on the "expect the worse" part; and I didn't expect any good news anytime soon! Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me with this one guys; he's one of my favorite agents!!! :D

X <3 O

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!!!!! :D

Just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to all my amazing followers!!!
Hope everyone is having an AMAZING day surrounded by family and friends :)

X <3 O

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Let the Querying (*cough *cough rejections) Begin!!! ;)

Hey guys!!!!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I'm going to try to post more frequently starting today!

So after reading a very helpful agency's blog that answered the question I've been wondering for weeks now (ie: How long does it take an editor at a publishing company to respond about whether they're interested in your manuscript?), I've decided that I should maybe start my search for a literary agent now, for a number of reasons...

1) I have a feeling as NaNoWriMo is nearing the end (which I didn't take part of this year :( ...but I really want to one year! I hope all those who are participating are getting close to their goal if they haven't reached it already!), participants' query letters are going to start flowing to agents come December (though I hear that January is the worst and is called "Query Season"). Hopefully I will get good news before I get lost in the flood of query letters in agency inboxes (but who knows!).

2) In answer to the question about editors, I found that they can take months and months to respond....and that's only when you have an agent! Seeing as I don't have one, the editor that currently has my manuscript probably won't look at it for a while (which is understandable).

So I figured, why not start the long process today, right? Maybe it will help move my manuscript up from the bottom of the pile if I have a literary agent representing me. Plus, it has been made VERY clear to me that I should have an agent negotiate my publishing contract for me (should I be lucky enough to get a contract one day).

I sent my first query letters (along with a sample of the first chapter) out to four agencies (hopefully that wasn't too much or too many to do at once) less than an hour ago. Wow, it was so exhilarating, and nerve-wracking at the same time; pushing that "send" hands starting sweating a little! But I'm really happy I did it! I believe one of the agents said that they'd get back to me in two weeks if interested, two said within four weeks if interested, and one said within three weeks with his response. I'm so nervous! I've already been frantically checking my email everyday waiting for the editor to respond (which I now realize was somewhat silly on my part), so I'm sure my anxiousness is only going to heighten from here! But yeah, I'm really excited to see what the future has in store for me, and hopefully I get good news one day (even if it's not with these four). Until then, I plan on just continuing to write my sequel to this novel, and maybe start on another novel which I have outlined and am really excited about.

I read a quote on another blog that really expressed the right kind of attitude to have (and I plan on adopting from now on): "Expect the worse, and hope for the best." :)

My fingers and toes are crossed; hopefully everything turns out well! :D

X <3 O

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Starting my Sequel!

Hey guys!

I just wanted to share with you all that I officially started my sequel today! I am very excited about it; I have outlining this book since when I was writing my first book back in the summer. I officially "finished" outlining it at the end of October (although I have been continually adding to it since then). It is only today (well, technically yesterday, November 12) that I started actually writing it. I am at nearly 6300 words, and have written the prologue and the first two chapters.

I can't say enough how excited I am about this book! I really hope you all get a chance to read it (and my first book) one day!!!

That's all for now! :)

X <3 O

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Beginning (well, sort of...)

Hey everyone!

Welcome to my blog! I never thought I'd say that, haha...but I'm so happy to be here! :)

Gosh, I don't know where to start...I guess a little about me would be a good place... ;)

Okay so, I am a student who absolutely LOVES to write in her spare time (and in her not-spare time). In terms of writing, I am a "late bloomer" if you will: I only started writing this past April, and I've been in love with it ever since! I came across it when I was applying for a creative writing class I wanted to take. I figured that hopefully taking this class would be the most enjoyable way for me to get my school's English requirement out of the way. And then it happened: to my surprise, not only did I write my first story (only 4 pages I might add, but still a story nonethelesss), but I also got into the class! It was from then on that I really fell in love with writing.

So fast forward a couple of weeks: I started writing in my spare time, mainly trying to write books (which looking back now is VERY ambitious of wonder those books are still unfinished ;)). But the cycle of starting books and not finishing them soon changed in the Summer of 2011, July 29th to be exact. That was the day I started the book I am currently looking to publish. Is it difficult and highly unlikely that I will ever get my first novel published? Of course! But all I can do is be optimistic about achieving my dream of getting it published, right? :)

Fast forward to mid-October (after editing, editing, and editing some more!): I was able to build up the courage (because I am a very shy person) to ask my creative writing teacher (an amazing author in his own right) if he could possibly help me figure out what the next step I should take should be. Being the awesome teacher that he is, and with the help of one of his friends also in the publishing industry, he was able to provide me with a list of editors I could send my work to. Excited as I was, I took two days to type the best email I could conjure up (including a synopsis of my work) and emailed the editors on that list. Only one responded to my email, and I am so blessed that he said he'd be happy to look my manuscript over! I'm a BIG believer in the saying "everything happens for a reason," so looking back on it I'm VERY happy that he is the only one that responded (I don't know what I would have done if that others responded, or what I'm going to do if they do respond sometime in the future to be honest, because they are all such AMAZING editors at top publishing companies).

Now here I am, November 8, 2011, waiting to see what this amazing editor thinks of my story, to see if my manuscript has any potential at all. I would be ABSOLUTELY THRILLED to get even the smallest of compliments from him, so I'm am definitely waiting on the edge of my seat for his email! But I think I still have at least another month or two to wait until he gets back to me, and I'm completely okay with that if it helps me get that much closer to achieving my dream in the future. :)

So that's all for now! Hopefully this helped you learn at least a little bit about me, and I'm sure there will be A LOT more to come! I'm really excited about this blog! :D

X <3 O