Wednesday, August 1, 2018

August IWSG and Celebrate the Small Things

Good Morning, Insecure Writers! What's new and exciting? It's time to spew forth our worries about all things writerly. Thank you to our host, Alex J. Cavanaugh and his merry band of co-hosts: Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover, Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowery.

August's optional question: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

Pitfall #1: Thinking publication is a good idea.

Chester Zoo

Do you have the emotional skin of a rhinoceros? The patience of Job? Absolutely no expectations of success? 

If you can answer "yes" to these questions you are a liar might be ready to attempt publication. 

But why? Why put up with the heartache and headaches of querying agents who, for some odd reason, always start their rejection with "Thank you...". Instead of cushioning the blow, I'd prefer a succinct "Nope", unless they have a specific nugget of advice, which is rare. 

Why agonize for hours how to "personalize" a query that will most likely get rejected? Why spend eons pondering the mind-numbing options for self-publication/marketing plans?

STOP NOW, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE! Go back and edit you story again. Stay in your happy place. 

Pitfall #2: The query letter

Nothing Beats a Fountain Pen

You've spent weeks writing the thing. You've had it proofread by at least three, eagle-eyed fellow writers. Should you hit send? NO. FOR THE LOVE OF CHRISTMAS, DON'T DO IT!

The second you do, you'll realize you misspelled the agent's name, or forgot to change the agent's name from the last version of your query, or that somewhere in there is a "to" where you need a "too". The second you think a query is done, put it to bed for 24 hours. At least. 

Pitfall #3: The Twitter Pitch Event

Twitter icon fluffy

I've mentioned this one before. At least 3 times. So let me repeat it again. Twitter Pitch Parties often involve agents and publishers. Getting a "like" is so exciting, you'll want to send off your query/partial/bio the absolute second you get noticed, just in case the "liking" party comes to their senses and realizes their mistake.

Don't do that. 

Research your "liker(s)". (Hmm. That sounds vaguely dirty.) If you want an agent, query them first. If you want a publisher, make sure your book fits their requirements. Decide if you're cool with their quirks--like an upper word limit of 85K or possibly raising a sum of cash via GoFundMe to pay for publishing costs.

A Little Luck

Good luck. (You'll need it.) 


This weekly blog is an opportunity to share the good things in life, be they big or small. It's hosted by the amazing Lexa Cain and her co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and
Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog.

This week I'm celebrating:

1. An Awesome Read:

Gill Sims wrote this hilarious take on parenthood that will make you believe she's been secretly watching your family and taking notes. I brought home a copy from the library and every time I turn around, my husband has spirited it away to a quite corner to read. Grr. Give it back, now. MINE!

2. Completing a big project.

My mom gave my daughter a bit of cash for her birthday with the suggestion that she might like to start a succulent garden. Yeah, right. Like that was ever going to happen. 

Then the row of holly bushes on the side of my house up and died on me. So my daughter demanded asked if we might put in a garden there. 

And we did:

It's a big area. The entire project took about a month.

The most expensive part was a pallet of flat rocks. We found the stumps and curling bits of bark at a recycling center. 

This was my daughter's idea: a pallet garden. Yep, the very pallet the rocks came on.

Another of my daughter's creations: the broken pot planter. She broke it (and glued parts back, oops) by herself.

This hidden staircase is my favorite contribution.

That's not water, it's plastic wrap and polyurethane. 

White sand and glass beads plus more polyurethane make a sparkling faux river. Apologies to the environment.

Requisite fairy house.

My back is killing me and I may never get the dirt out from under my fingernails, but it was totally worth it. Now if I could just get the chipmunks to stop destroying everything... I swear, they must think we did all this just to make them a fabulous playground. Come on, garden supervisor, go get 'em!

Chipmunk? What chipmunk?


Have you published your writing yet? Good or bad experience? How do you relieve the stress of parenting? Alcohol or chocolate/sugar? Like to garden? Know how to get rid of chipmunks?