Sunday, April 24, 2011

Throwing a Leg Over

At forty-ahem-ahem, riding horses is no longer as carefree as I wish it was. I've had a couple of bone-breaking falls and the ground just doesn't forgive as much as it did when I was younger.

But...I bought Chelsea as a yearling from a friend of mine and she and I bonded. Tight. Unlike Zena, my other "my" horse, Chelsea will leave the herd to be with me, drops her head willingly in the halter, and all in all trusts me.

So I made the decision that I would be the first to ride her, and I accomplished that amazing goal last summer. Having ridden for most of my life, I'd never actually trained a horse from the ground up.

Well, she and I have had the entire winter off and in honor of this day of rebirth, I decided it was time to throw a leg over again. I spent the last few weeks reminding her about work and learning, then saddled her yesterday and worked with her and today we did it. Back in the saddle again.

Is this like writing? Yes and no. Every day I approach my WIP it is like fear, excitement, and can I do this all rolled into one. Riding is like that too. You must trust your instincts, listen to your horse, and remember, one small step at a time gets you where you need to be.

Happy Easter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Serendipity or why Social Media is important

It's been a madcap crazy writing month.

I'm going to tell you a tale of WHY social media is important. So here goes. In December, I sent an e-mail to amazing agent who is closed to queries, BUT, AA had done an interview citing that AA was looking for just my type of book. In said e-mail, I said "May I query you?"

So, with permission, I queried with first chapter in February. Nada. Zip. Nunca.

In March, I joined the March Madness writing challenge which turned into April WIP Madness writing challenge. Another participant reached out to me and said "Hey there! You seem cool. Let's swap fulls or partials."

Since I thought the manuscript I'd sent was dead in the water I sent this to my new BFF from social media. Two days later, I kid you not, I got an e-mail from Amazing Agent saying "I'd like to read more. Send the full."

So, feeling like maybe I just had a teensy bit of tweaking to do. I e-mailed new social media BFF and said "You ain't ever gonna believe this...."

Then she e-mailed me back and said "You ain't ever gonna believe this but a couple of my crit partners are AA's clients and one of my real life BFF's is AA's co-agent."

Weird. Right? Right. So, she did me a favor and did a speed crit of my manuscript and I did a flurry of last minute tweaking. And even if it never gets past this point, this moment of serendipity has been very cool.

And that is why social media is important. You make BFF's. And rub shoulders with people who know people who know Amazing Agents. And your work gets read. And people like it. And that is good. Yes. Good.

Maybe, one day, I'll be able to say, I got AA because of social media. But until then, it's back to the WIP and the waiting.

Peace out.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Just your typical Saturday

It did start out typical. I swear. Woke up, drank lots of coffee, pleased to have half and half rather than milk in the house, got my Saturday writing done (which is usually 1500 words over my week day 500) including fun romance scene. Was it foreshadowing? I mean a girl on girl YA is not that out there, but what I saw in the barnyard. Oh my.

So, I put on my farm shoes, keep on my pajamas, don't bother with my glasses or my hair or my teeth, and go out to a-feed the cats, b-give the horses hay, and c-open the door to the Taj Ma Cluck, our uber cute chicken/duck/guinea shack. And that's when it happened. The fowl came rolling out around me, like I was the stone in the stream. They raced down the bank, the chickens intent on cat food, the guineas intent on trees, the ducks intent on the pond. Except for the teal-headed male duck. It seems, he was rather intent on a hen. That's right, a chicken. And she didn't seem to mind him so much. And right in front of me, no modesty, I swear, they did the deed, the down and dirty, the wild thing. It was hot drake on hen action. Inter-species mating in action. Until another hen saw, and she flew all over that duck like he was satan, she saw him as the sinner he was and pecked without mercy. But by this point, it didn't matter, in the words of Ray Stevens "It was too late, she'd already got a free shot."

And how was your Saturday?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Story Ideas from the mouths of babes

Being a teacher and a writer gives me unique advantages. I hear a lot of stories. Stories I can sequester into the recesses of my brain and pluck to mold for my own one day use. Here are some I heard this week.

  • Vampire mates with werewolf, has strange mutant one-off spawn. Strange spawn miraculously finds the only other mutant vampire werewolf and they mate, producing offspring that can't be killed. (3rd grade girl)

  • Cousin hopped up on drugs slept out back in the trailer used for storing hay. Took a big dump in the non-functioning toilet. Mom chased him off with a shotgun. You know, he just wasn't raised right. Even his own Mama hates him. (5th grade boy)

  • Flubbernuggets are taking over the world. There is a cereal killer that has invaded Flubberland, attacking Mr. Cheerios and Hot Cocoa Puffs. We're going to create Flubber News. (group of 5th grade girls)

  • There's a grey and white cat. It looks like the moon. (3rd grade - ESL girl)

  • A boy has a sick mother. He decided to go to the rainforest to look for a potion. There he finds a miracle monkey who leads him to a cure. But when he gets back his mother is even more ill and he has to return but he can't find the monkey. His mother dies. (5th grade boy)

This is just this week, what I can remember off the top of my head. I love the imagination of children.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Kiss and Tell

All I want to say is that writing a first kiss scene is super fun. Yep. Super Fun. Sigh.