Why trunked novels are like ex-boyfriends

We all have trunked novels; ones that failed miserably during our first experience with queries. Or, ones that never even made it to query. I’ve been thinking that these are a lot like ex-boyfriends and this is why:

1) When the idea to write trunked novel/date a-hole jerk first came to us, we thought it was the BEST. IDEA. EVER.

2) While writing trunked novel/dating big loser, we told our wise friends about it and they all gave us that look that said, “Oh isn’t that nice!”

3) When we sent our first query/attemped to make dumwit go to very important event, we thought it would go wonderfully and we would move to next step immediately and without pain.

4) 97 queries later/97 failed attempts to make Mr. Moron act like real boyfriend in public, it finally occured to us that maybe this wasn’t the one.

5) 25 more queries later/25 more attempts, just in case we were wrong…

6) We gave up. We decided we weren’t fit to write/date. We spent 7 hours Googling “old lady with cats”, you know, just in case. We drank a box of wine. Ate a case of Oreos. By the end of it, old lady with cats seemed too high a bar.

7) We told our wise friends that it was us, not the book/jerk with Bud T-shirt, and our friends said, “Um, maybe, you should, you know, write something that isn’t about talking asparagus/date someone who doesn’t chew his own toenails in public.”

8 ) We realized it wasn’t us. It WAS the book/what was that guy’s name again?

9) We trunked the book/told a-hole to take long walk off short plank.

10) We started again.

P.S. Above comments are in no way meant as an insult to my own trunked novels. As for the ex-boyfriends, well, they are “ex” for a reason…

Why I Write

1. The voices are going to speak to me either way. Might as well give them names and bizarre affinities for root vegetables.
2. TV? Movies? A social life? Pft. Who needs ’em?
3. I’m no longer single and find it difficult to live without constant rejection.
4. If I didn’t write, I would have no one to talk to on Twitter.
5.  My kids don’t find my jokes funny so I might as well tell them to all of America instead.
6. I love going to family gatherings where relatives stuff their mouths with cheese doodles before awkwardly asking me if I’m “still doing that writing thing”.
7. The one thing I love MORE than going to family gatherings where relatives stuff their mouths with cheese doodles before awkwardly asking me if I’m “still doing that writing thing” is going to family gatherings where relatives stuff their mouths with cheese doodles and avoid asking about my writing because they don’t want me to feel like more of a failure than Cousin Harold. And he’s in jail.
8. It would not be wise to call my co-workers dumbasses and writing opens the doors to a world where I can vent these frustrations on critique partners instead.
9. Writing gives me something to blog about that is unlikely to incite someone to leave a rat’s head on my doorstep.
10. Doesn’t everyone want a job that has a slim chance of  possibly, in five to ten years,  paying 7 cents an hour?

A Book Obsession

Many of you have seen the commercial merchandising chaos of such books as Twilight or Harry Potter. I’m here to tell you about one almost as big that many of you don’t know about: Anne of Green Gables. Anne of Green Gables was written by Lucy Maud Montgomery who grew up in the small town of Cavendish, which is in Canada’s smallest province, PEI. Having grown up in Canada (1000 miles away from Cavendish) I read all of the Anne of Green Gables books as a kid. I watched the Anne of Green Gables movies. I dressed up as Anne of Green Gables. I had Anne of Green Gables dolls. Okay, I also wrote an Anne of Green Gables spoof. Even so, my obsession is nothing like what you would see if you went to Cavendish, PEI (pictures below taken last month, my 3rd visit to Cavendish):

Lucy’s Home

This is the sign marking Lucy’s homestead. If you turn here, you get to the Lucy Bookstore and then to Lucy’s house itself.












The Souvenirs

I didn’t take photos of all of these but Cavendish is filled with Anne of Green Gables souvenir shops and even the shops that are supposed to sell things like, oh, food, still have an Anne of Green Gables souvenir section. For example, there are no less than 20 different kinds of Anne dolls:






And then there are these Anne hats EVERYWHERE and if you are really mean, you can make your son wear one:









Then, if you actually go to Avonlea, the real Anne obsession begins. You see the school house:






The food and drinks (yes, those are Anne potato chips!):

And then there are the actors, wandering around Avonlea, never wavering from character and often spontaneously breaking into scenes from the book:






Imagine, if you can, what it would be like if someone did this to YOUR book?

Bad Query or Bad Personal Ad?

To: +All People in New York
Subject: AWWMB Seeks AWLS

Dear Whoever You Are:

I’ve already been rejected in every major city so I decided to try yours. Yeah, I know I’m not your type but I figured, what the hell? You can’t suck any more than the others who have dumped and/or taken out restraining orders against me. And for the record, I was not hiding in that planter on 5th. I lost my contact just like I told the officer. Whatever. Even if I didn’t, I know you hang with that loser who I completely dissed on my blog last week so your standards aren’t exactly high.

Before you respond (which I know you’re already desperate to do!), I should tell you that I’m in this for the money. As soon as I make a ga-billion dollars, I won’t need you anymore. I’ll be so famous Oprah will want to start her show again. And that sparkly guy who doesn’t wash his hair will be just begging to make a movie with me.

I’m not going to bother to tell you anything else since I’ve attached a 400,000 word synopsis of everything I’ve ever done. You don’t need to read it right now. I showed it to my third-grade teacher and she said it was very special and she would know because she once taught a guy whose brother made a killing on something once. Or was it that he killed someone? Whatever.

You have five minutes to answer this or I’m writing a blog post about why you suck. And I’ll even call Oprah too.  Not like she has anything else to do after next week.


Why getting an agent is like getting a boyfriend

A friend of mine recently joked that his search for an agent was like his past search for a date and it made me ponder. There really are several similarities to these quests. For example:

  1. You will set your sights highest for your first query. (You will start by picking the most attractive guy in the club). After 467 rejections, you will query any agent you can find. (You will try to talk up the guy who’s passed out in his own beer).
  2. One request will put a skip in your step for days. (One date and co-workers will ask you to please wipe the insipid smile off your face).
  3. A rejection from a query will create disappointment. A rejection from a full will drive you to drink. (Getting ignored in bar=not great but you’ll move on. Getting, “I hope we can be friends” at end of date = 4 bottles of wine and a case of Cadbury Dairymilk)
  4. One you have an agent, you will stalk your phone. You will program it to ring differently if your agent is calling. You will check your messages every hour. You will check for a dial tone on your home line, even though your home line has never lost its dial tone. (Yeah, pretty much same thing with boyfriend).
  5. You will obsess about your agent finding a better client with a better concept and kickass title. (You will obsess about boyfriend hooking up with a better girl with a better smile and a smaller butt).
  6. The first time you meet your agent in person, you will obsess about how you look, what you say, if you have spinach in your teeth… (Yep, same thing!)
  7. Every single sentence you write, you will wonder, “Will my agent like this?” (Every single thing you do/wear/see, you will wonder if boyfriend will like this).
  8. You will imagine that all of this will go away once you sign a 3-book deal with Random House. (You will imagine that all of this will go away once you have a ring on your finger).

But then…

Then, you’ll meet YOUR EDITOR!