Tag: aspiring writer

As Yet Untitled.

Insert-Title-Here

For those of you that don’t know – I’m going to give you the five-cent description of my novel. It is, at its heart, a romantic comedy about Kate Shaw, a 30-something starting over as a new lawyer (don’t get carried away drawing author parallels – besides, I’m 40-something). The twist is that, in this slight alternate reality – marriage doesn’t exist. All relationships are based on 7-year contracts which can renew or expire (or, more likely, wind up breached). So, much like there are men in our world who only date married women, this world has similar men who only date women already under contract. These men are called…wait for it…contract killers. Get it? (And yes, I realize women can be contract killers, too.) But, beyond this, it’s about Kate and her funny love life and her even funnier lawyer life.

Okay. Long story short, The Contract Killers was the name of Book 1 of the trilogy. The concern has been raised that this title sounds too thiller-y and might mislead the potential audience. So we need to <gasp> RE-TITLE the book. (Cue the Death Star music.)

While I loved my original title, I definitely see the need to change it. But how? I’ve spit-balled about 30 suggestions at my agent and editor but nothing is hitting home. So, while my manuscript is already in copy-editing and art is working up the cover design – I HAVE NO TITLE. Which is giving me anxiety.

So now – I’m putting it out to you. Because you are brilliant and creative, and had the perfect title all along that you didn’t even know you had. And because you want to be sure I include your name in my acknowledgments.

 

 

Advertisements

You Can Lead a Horse to Wine, but You Can’t Make Him Write a Novel.

Lead a Horse to WaterI’ve been thinking about motivation and the thought occurred to me that perhaps if I only allowed myself wine *when I was writing* – I’d get this next book knocked out PDQ. (That means “pretty damn quick,” for you laymen out there.) But, then again, that would require discipline. And self-control. And saying no to wine. Plus, I have about another 40,000 words to go. And that might be a lot of wine.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I googled “wine” and “horses” (don’t act like you’ve never done that) and I got that dandy picture above. But I also found this:

Horse bottle holderWhich seems kind of inappropriate. But, I actually have this bottle holder except that mine is a moose. Now, I’m not sure if it is the horse that makes it look pornographic, or if I’ve been in denial about the fact that my moose appears to be getting raped by a wine bottle, too. And maybe Steve wasn’t being a pervert when he told me what it looked like my moose was up to.

I linked the picture to a store where you can buy your very own so that if you felt like the only thing missing from your life was a horse deep-throating a bottle of wine – your life can now be complete.

My Writer’s Streak.

Writer's Streak

Apparently, when you are rep’d by Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary Agency, you become a member of the Wolf Pack. And, once my announcement came out, the other members of the Wolf Pack informed me of a Wolf Pack tradition. They told me Michelle’s authors put a streak of color in their hair when Michelle gets us a book deal. Shenanigans, right? Have no fear. I insisted on photographic evidence. Which was happily provided.

And since I have never been one to tempt fate – or miss an opportunity to do something ridiculous with a totally valid excuse – or, frankly, resist peer pressure when I don’t feel like it – here is my new writer’s streak.

And since, as Linda Grimes put it, some judges are lacking in a sense of whimsy, I strategically placed it so that it could be overlooked in court. Unless I meet a super whimsical judge, in which case, game on.

Writer's Streak 2

It’s Official! My Agent Just Accepted a Two-Book Deal From Tor/Forge Publishing!

Man, this writing thing is a long and winding road. And this is the moment you dream of but doubt will ever actually happen…the book deal.

I was lucky enough to gain representation from the amazing Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary and now we officially have a book deal! We just signed a deal with Tor Publishing for the first two books of my trilogy, The Contract Killers. (Which, despite the title, is actually a funny romance with a twist.)

So this wanna-be published author just became a gonna-be published author and dreams really do come true if you stick with it long enough and never give up.

Damn it, Mom. You missed it by four months. And you believed this moment would happen more than anyone. I ❤ you always.

Inspiring, My Ass.

Image

I’d like to thank Heather for the nomination that comes with a homework assignment. Just kidding. Sort of.

I don’t know how inspiring I actually am when the only uplifting thing I’ve written had to do with my goal of emulating my dogs’ blasé attitude. But, what the hell. I’ll play along. (And thanks for thinking of me, Heather 🙂 )

So, I know nothing about this, but apparently I’m supposed to give 7 facts about me:

  1. I’m 5′ 10″ but was never coordinated enough to play any tall-girl sports.
  2. Until I was about 19, I made everyone refer to my hair color as “strawberry blonde” because I refused to be called a redhead (now I embrace all my gingery splendor).
  3. Halloween is my favorite holiday. (Binge on horror movies AND dress up like a super hero? Yes, please.)
  4. The theme song for the TV show, “Angel,” is the ringtone on my phone.
  5. I played a hooker in a less-than-B movie about 16 years ago.
  6. My favorite book is A Tale of Two Cities (despite hating it in high school when we were forced to read it…thank God I re-read it as an adult).
  7. I have a useless, irrational phobia of mosquito hawks. (But they’re harmless! They eat mosquitos! No shit, Sherlock. They are also creepy and terrifying…and I’m pretty sure they can smell my fear.)

Okay – and part deux – I pass along the homework assignment nomination to bloggers I find inspiring. Problem is, as a general rule, I don’t follow “inspiring” bloggers…I follow funny ones. So here is my list of bloggers inspiring me to keep up my attempts at humor:

Truth Shall Set You Free So Don’t Be a Crybaby. Just the name is glorious. But her posts are, too.

Gone Catawampus. Really genuinely funny stuff. She even has a funny post about death. That is talent.

Sparklebumpsthebookwhore. She’s inappropriate and hilarious. The perfect combination.

Jonas Lee’s Imaginarium. Okay…he’s nicer than the rest of us and the closest I have to “inspiring” (mostly because he lets me call him “Avocado”).

Laughing Coyote Productions. Just found Deb a couple of days ago and was dazzled by this post where she explains the importance of lying in your biography. And somehow God passes her a note from the window of his truck on a busy thoroughfare. Delightful.

Idiot-prufs. Start with this post about a rejection from a children’s book publisher. It’s hilarious.

Underachiver’s Blog. No, I didn’t misspell it – that’s the way she’s got it. And this post is inspiring…when she says something does taste better than skinny feels…and that in her world Prince Charming likes a woman with a good backside.

Yes, I’m think I’m supposed to list more, but those are the ones that come to mind right now. I am always on the lookout for hilarious bloggers that make me LOL in inappropriate situations, though, so if you know of more, share!

A Serious Post About F#!*ing Profanity.

Okay, people. We need to talk about this.

Totally kidding. I love profanity. A little too much. When I go skulking about, blog-stalking, it’s a little disturbing how fast I hit the “follow” button when someone uses the “F” word in their intro paragraph. You rebel, you, with your devil-may-care attitude, you just made me smile with your bold irreverence.

Unfortunately (depending on your perspective), I limit myself to the kiddie-table of swear words here. Why? Not entirely sure. Oh wait – my parents would not approve. I think that may be about 92% of it (an overly high percentage for a 41-year-old). And they don’t even read my blog. Sigh.

But, I am (more or less) of the don’t-say-fuck-unless-they-say-fuck-first philosophy. (And, yes, I realize I just said it.) But my parents don’t say the F word, so I don’t say the F word around them. And I don’t say it around my teenagers. And they don’t say it around me. So I talk like a sailor around my husband and friends…and my girls talk like sailors around their friends…and we all live in a penthouse suite in downtown Denial-ville. And we’re happy there.

My parents actually live there, too. My mother is my best reader and absolutely loves my latest novel. It’s first-person and the main girl talks a lot like me (shocking, I know). Well, everyone in the book swears. Top-shelf swear words, too. No kiddie-table crap. However, mom didn’t really have any issue with the swearing unless it was my main girl doing the deed. Really? Yes, really. Denial, party of one, your table is ready.

So, I like using it, but pretend I don’t say it for my parents’ sake, pretend I don’t know it for my daughters’ sake, and thankfully have never accidentally used it in front of the judge. Winning.

I Have Done Nothing to Earn This Memorial Day Beer.

Happy Memorial Day. I occurs to me that I may be the single-most undeserving person of a day off today. I’ve never served in the military. Nor have my siblings. Even my father got passed up for Vietnam through a series of events that clearly meant he was not supposed to go. I’ve never had a single person I know die in service. Or even get injured. I know people who know people…but that starts to feel like playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon – Memorial Day Edition – and I suck at that game.

Point being, I sit here on this Memorial Day completely unscathed by war and military service. But, from the bottom of my unworthy heart, my nebulous and non-specific gratitude is sincere as I send it out into the ether.

I Want To Be My Dog When I Grow Up.

Image

Jack and Sawyer

These are my dogs, Jack and Sawyer (yes, just like in “Lost”). They are the loves of my life (but don’t tell my husband…Steve is holding out hope that it’s him). They are rescue dogs, meaning a little damaged, a little neurotic, and 110% devoted.

But to get to my point. If I ever do, in fact, grow up, I want to be just like them. Because dogs get it right.

Jack and Sawyer have no aspirations. They are utterly and completely satisfied with precisely where they are (unless they hear the leash jiggle…then they are utterly and completely satisfied if they are going for a walk).

Jack and Sawyer have zero ego. They don’t get embarrassed that they’ve put on a few extra pounds, shed incessantly or occasionally lick their behinds. They don’t get their feelings hurt when I tell them they have bad breath or that they need a bath.

Image

Jack making a spectacle of himself.

Jack and Sawyer don’t strive for success. They don’t compare themselves to other dogs and wonder if they are living up to their full canine potential. They don’t run three miles with me only to think to themselves, “we’ll run five next week, for sure.”

Jack and Sawyer live for today. Because dogs have no sense of time. But also because they don’t plan for tomorrow. They don’t let today pass them by because they think tomorrow might be better because I promised to take them in the car. No, they are going sprawl out on the floor like it’s spa day and they have the VIP package. To hell with tomorrow.

ImageJack and Sawyer find joy in the little things. That patch of sunshine on the deck. The sound of me coming through the door after work. A doorbell ringing in a TV show making them feel justified in barking as if a herd of cats and mailmen is trying to break in through the front door. The fact that, while typing this, I’m rubbing Jack’s belly with my foot, making him sigh contentedly.

Jack and Sawyer forgive. When Steve yells at them for getting into the cat’s litter box for an afternoon snack, or if I get annoyed because they tried to cuddle when I was leaving for court in a black suit, they let it go. Sure, it could be because they have a short attention span, but I choose to believe it’s because they just don’t have it in them to stay mad.

Although Sawyer does a decent job of holding a grudge after a bath. Obviously Jack does not.

Image

Sawyer giving me the silent treatment after a bath. Not Jack’s style, though.

So I’m going to not think about whether or not an agent will call me tomorrow…or that stupid ruling the judge made yesterday. I’m not going to wait to be happy till I get published, or make more money or lose 10 pounds. I’m going to enjoy the wine in my glass, the way Jack and Sawyer wag their tails whenever I smile at them, the way Steve winks at me when he catches me looking at him.

Hell with tomorrow.

Dear Lord, Make Me Funny.

Image

Although I would settle for you making everyone else less funny so that I seem funnier by comparison.

My husband is a big Joel Stein fan and just bought his book “Man Made.” He told me I had to read the intro. Just the intro. It’s hilarious. Well, turns out, Mr. Stein’s intro is funnier in four pages than I am in 41 years. I’m not certain of the conversion rate on those two units of measurement, but I’m pretty sure it makes me sad.

Because you can’t fake funny. Some people just are. I am not. I do have funny moments. When I’m drinking. Because alcohol makes me funnier makes me think I’m funnier. But the rest of the time? My cat is funnier than I am. (In my defense, though, she is hilarious.)

Although, according to my friends, I do excel at being unintentionally funny which is better than nothing. And probably puts me somewhere between Sponge Bob and Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the funny-meter.

Funny Meter

When ‘Looking Good’ Becomes ‘Looking Good For Your Age.’

Let me preface this by saying, my age has never bothered me. No, really. Thirty? Psh. Forty? Bring it on.

I am now 41. No biggie. I’m holding up well (sort of). I have no problem telling anyone how old I am, whether they ask or not (which sometimes confuses the checker at the grocery store). But, a week ago, I picked up the local business journal and it had the annual “40 Under 40 to Watch” article. And it occurred to me…even if I was rocking it in my profession, I no longer qualify. Why this was news to me, I have no idea, but it was an unpleasant realization (probably compounded by the fact that I’m a 41-year-old who is only TWO years into her profession and by the time I’m rocking anything, it’ll be time to retire).

Then, last weekend, my husband cruelly reminded me that he was only 40 and that I would turn 42 before he even turned 41. (We’ve been married almost 17 years and he has actually always been more than a year younger than me so, again, this should not have been news to me.) 

Well, I have the sneaking suspicion that I’m actually starting to look 41. I find that my age-related-zen may have relied a little on the fact that everyone thought I was younger than I am. And were continuously shocked that I have a 19-year-old daughter. Alas, the shock is fading.

It doesn’t help that women, in general, seem to look better. All this “40 is the new 30” crap? Absolutely true. So, if I had a time machine and could go back to 1987, I would be an amazing-looking 41-year-old. In 2014? Not so much. Case in point: my 20-year high school reunion. If movies teach us anything, it’s that you go to your HS reunion for the sole purpose of seeing the popular girls who were mean to you transformed into fat, frumpy, bitter divorcees. My classmates did not get the memo. Frankly, the lack of cellulite and wrinkles was disturbing.

So apparently they raised the bar when no one was looking. But, life’s little truths still remain…true. 1) age is just a number, 2) living well is the best revenge, 3) always wait 30 minutes after eating before going swimming, and 4) all you need is love.