But my dusty blog will be undergoing a serious facelift. I’ve been out, adulting…doing things like having a baby! So, for those who have children, you already know that exhaustion is a very legitimate excuse for letting a blog incinerate on the back burner.
Yeah, come talk to me again once you have 3 kids in the house—1 being a nonchalant teenage boy, 1 a theatrical diva-bunctious 6-year old, and then a 15-month old in f’n diapers, 2 dogs—that just had a litter of puppies, and are in your late-30s (wait, is 37 considered “late” now?) w/ aching bones that don’t give a shit about your life. Besides all that, I’ve been trying to align my career w/ what I truly want out of life.
That’s when I decided to revamp my blog, give it a true purpose, one that will not only benefit me but other writers as well. So, stay tuned for flashing lights and spewing champagne. (Okay, not quite.)
This is the 2nd contest I’ve entered for “Like Yesterday” and the first I’ve won. I might be on the right track with this manuscript – just might be. But this contest wasn’t about winning; it’s about helping to shape queries and the opening words of a manuscript. As all writers who seek agent representation know, if you don’t reel in an agent w/ a query and then snatch them w/in the first page, then chapter 2 or 20 won’t matter. I’ve learned a great deal from this contest, as I’m sure the other participants did as well. I’ve already tweaked my query again b/c of it.
Someone (my BFF actually – love her!) commented “Feelings much?” when I Instagrammed a screenshot of what I was listening to—Ed Sheeran’s album. Well, hell…even *I* can’t be hard all the time, right? But I HAVE to say this: this guy’s album has carried me through this manuscript. It was there w/ me during several writer’s blocks and even now, as I write a particular scene that has me
(Damn you, Oprah! :: wails :: ) And let me tell you, Dear Ol’ Ed ain’t helping! But nonetheless, I enjoy the ease of his voice while I’m creating a voice of my own in my writing. Here, have a listen. Enjoy. You can thank me later. 🙂
I decided to review We’re Family…Right? ten months after shelving it, thanks to that full request I received during my break. Dare I say…I was appalled…by the word structuring, word choices, hell…the writing as a whole.
I can’t believe that a year ago, I believed that I submitted “a work of art”. Boy…reality can be so cruel.
Today, I learned the real meaning of “You’re not a true writer until you’ve written several books…that you’ve filed away to never see the light of a publishing house.” Ok, that may not have been the exact quote, but its many variations can be read across the web. And you know what? It’s true. “Why” you ask? Because simply put – the more you write, the more you learn, the more you grow and a better writer you become. That was one reason WFR wasn’t great (IMHO, of course), but it’s also because I realized that writing in a certain style doesn’t suit me. It was the second novel I’ve written in first person. :: face palm :: I thought it was the only style for me that allowed me to project more emotion into my writing. Oh, how wrong was I. Like Yesterday is in third person, and I can [prematurely] say that it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I am not only able to share the feelings of one character but several. It gives my MS an added dimension that my first two MSS lacked. I have more freedom with sentence structure as the narrator takes on a different persona than the characters without restriction.
So, what do I do w/ WFR? I’ve always had the intention of converting it into a family saga, but rewriting it? I don’t know if I even have the slightest of care. I do want to produce a family saga, but I’m not sure if that family is the way to go. We shall see. Like Yesterday is my #1 priority right now. Perhaps if this “work of art” (lol) lands me an agent and, subsequently, a publishing deal, then I’ll make that call.
Wow, that was one hell of a break! I didn’t expect to take so much time off, but apparently, my life knew otherwise. In case you haven’t noticed (ahem…*whispers* look at the WIP meter), my fingers and creative mind have been busy. I can’t believe that I’m over halfway to meeting my 80k goal. :: cues music :: It started off with me just slipping to the side to get a week worth of writing done, but then…I couldn’t stop. It’s still going strong, and I’ve grown even more excited about this project. So, hopefully you guys haven’t deserted me. Eh…it was the holidays, so I’m sure you all have been swamped as well.
While on break, I received a full request…for We’re Family…Right?…to a query sent…almost A YEAR AGO! I was so taken aback that I didn’t know if I should send the MS immediately, do some editing and then send it, or reject her request since that project has been shelved for a while (and good riddance since I’ve learned SOOO much from writing Like Yesterday that WFR needs some major edits). I understand that agents are busy people, like the elves at North Pole on Christmas Eve type busy, but a year later seemed so bizarre. However, she did request and thanked me for being patient. She could be insanely slow at checking her email, lost internet connection for the year, been consumed in the careers of her current clients, or my query could’ve been filed in the “maybe” pile until she had time to reconsider. Who knows, but I still appreciated the request, especially since she’s an agent known to sell my type of book to large publishers.
This literary industry is so unpredictable but often times offers the best surprises. Albeit a year later, that email was just the pick-me-up I needed. Merry Christmas to me! 🙂
Ashlee is a talented writer of Young Adult and historical fiction with two completed novels to her name. Do take some time away from your day to check out her blog to see what she has to say about her works and her journeys through the fascinating history of Europe.
Thanks, Ashlee, for following, and good luck with landing new literary representation!