Monday, January 27, 2014

Blogger's Block

I love sitting down to write a blogpost whenever the inspiration strikes. When the inspiration doesn’t strike, however, it can get downright painful. Like this morning.

I knew Monday was coming for awhile. Because…well, yesterday was Sunday and the day before that was, well, you get the idea. *ahem*

So, anyways, I knew I had nothing new to blog about. But I still thought I’d give it a shot. To try and keep up with newly-set goals and all.

9:15 a.m. Paris time: *Katie sits down in front of the computer* I really need to write something for today. Now’s a good a time as any. Baby’s fed and playing peacefully. I’ve got coffee. Wait, no I don’t. Finished that cup. Should I have a second? Wait, that was my second. Would a third give me heart palpitations? Maybe I should Google it…

9:32 a.m.: *sits back down in front of computer. With coffee. And an egg, cheese and ham English muffin* Okay. It’s time to blog. Right! Good!



That’s a funny word. Blog.



You know what? I don’t like the way my mouth feels when I say it.

Blog. *shudders* Ew.

Blog. *shudders* Ew!


There aren’t a lot of words that start with ‘Bl’, are there? Let me think…Bleep. Bloated. Blasphemous. Blooper. Okay, I guess there are a lot, kind of.


Wait, is blight a word? Or am I confusing it with ‘smite’? Maybe I should Google it…

9:45 a.m.: *sits back down in front of computer with newfound knowledge of what the word ‘blight’ means* Oh, look at that! The baby needs to be put down for a nap. I’ll just think of a blog topic while I’m in the shower. My imagination always perks up in the shower…

10:15 a.m.: *sits back down in front of computer* I’m ready! Wait. No. I still don’t have a topic. Geez! What the hell happened to all that shower-induced imagination? I guess I must have blown it all on my audition for the imaginary judges of The Voice.



Okay. I’m a writer. And as a writer, all I really need to do to write for this writer’s blog is to share what’s on my mind. As a writer. About writing.

...what is on. my. mind!

What is on my mind...

What the hell IS on my mind?!

Oh my god, this is hopeless!

Tell me, how do you guys find something relevant to blog about on a regular basis? After four years of covering everything from writing and querying to itchy noses and smelling melon butt, I think I’m just about plum out of ideas.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Disciplined Writer

After last Monday’s post about being rusty when it comes to writing regularly, I’m proud to announce I finally chose which project I want to continue with and finish before summer, and I added a total of ten pages to it in the last week and a half. Strangely enough, it was the project I’d written the least on over the last year that held my attention.

I haven’t worked on it every day, like I’d hoped, but progress is being made and I have a pretty clear idea of where I’m going and what needs to be done so I’m feeling optimistic. And when I need a reminder of what my goals are- I have SA Larsen’s Writing Rebel’sCreed 2014 in my side bar to help me stay motivated:

It’s slow going, and I know I’m capable of writing a lot (a lot) faster than this when in the throws of a wip, but I’ll take what I can get.

How fast do you usually write your rough drafts? And what elements affect your pacing when you’re starting a new project?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Well, it killed my soul a little to do it, but I wouldn’t be the Creepy Query Girl without some Querying Stats to offer. So this morning I went rummaging through my email to try and compile some numbers. As some of you might remember, both of these manuscripts saw major R&R’s with an agent who left the industry. 

So the stats here are from after those rewrites.

Kissing for Coffee was my first attempt at an agent rewrite and even though it took me awhile to get over not getting signed after all that work, I still queried it pretty regularly for awhile and it garnered a bit of interest. The full manuscript is still currently out with two agents.


Queries sent: 46

Replies: 21

Rejections: 16

Requests for material:  5

Pending replies: 2

I only started re-querying Fossegrim in September and haven’t queried it very widely, although I really should since it saw substantial agent revisions in the spring. I’m currently waiting on a reply from an agent who requested the partial.


Queries sent: 10

Replies: 6

Rejections: 5

Requests for material: 1

Pending replies: 1

Even though I haven’t abandoned the dream of traditional publishing, I admit that my motivation to query agents has waned. It’s frustrating, time consuming, and the return rate is so extremely slow, I can’t help dragging my feet when it comes to looking for, and querying new prospects. Plus, I admit that now a’days, self-publishing seems to be a more viable career move for debut authors than attempting the agent route. At least, when you read articles like this:) So that also chips away at what is left of my motivation. I’m sure, however, my tune will probably change once I have a new story ready to put out there:)

How about you? Are any of you out there still querying? Do you find yourself querying less and less as time goes by?  

(Don't) Surprise Me!

I have nothing against surprises. As long as they’re good surprises. That said, I really don’t like surprises when it comes to my preferred forms of entertainment. If my husband says “Want to watch this movie with me?” I automatically reply “What’s it about?”. To which he most often says “I don’t know.”


I can’t. I can not just sit down and watch a movie, not knowing how it’s going to make me feel. So, much to his dismay, my husband has to wait the five minutes it takes for me to Google the title and watch the movie trailer on YouTube before I can give him a definite ‘yes’ or ‘no’. 

And yes, it drives him crazy.

But what he doesn’t understand is that my poor psyche just doesn’t let go of books and movies as easily as his does. After watching The Sixth Sense, I saw dead people for weeks. And I pondered alternate endings for Revolutionary Road every night before bed for the longest time, because the real ending totally depressed the hell out of me.

So I have to know. How will the movie make me feel and do I really feel like feeling that way right now? :) The same thing when it comes to books. I always, always read the back cover, and if it’s an internet order, I’ll also read a few reviews before plopping it in my basket. And when, despite all of that, a book still manages to surprise me in a bad way, well, let's just say if I were 'Joey' from Friends, it would end up in my freezer.

This summer my husband brought home a copy of Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. I read the back cover, and it seemed harmless enough. So I took it with us on our camping trip and quickly read through the pages of Mamah Cheney’s love affair with a married Frank Wright.  

Until the ending when, out of nowhere, *spoiler alert for people who are like me and don't know their history.*, she and her kids get axed and burned, literally, by one of the servants.

Hold on. Wait, WHAT?! I frantically Wikipedia-ed the true-life story of Mamah Cheney and literally threw the book on the floor like it was alive and biting. Son of a ….! This wasn’t on the BACK!!! *hyperventilates*

Damn book nearly ruined my vacation.

How about you? Do you guys pick stories that fit your mood or just go with the flow? Do you find it easy to let go once the book/movie is over or does the bad/depressing/scary stuff haunt you for awhile?

Monday, January 13, 2014


I guess you could say the last six months, I never really stopped writing.

Because, technically, there were a couple carefully crafted emails that must have totaled 300 words. And some lengthy facebook exchanges with family and friends. And let's not forget the frequent standard status updates. Oh! And I wrote out quite a few checks without my hand actually cramping. So yeah. Totally kept those writing muscles loosened up. 


But when it comes to my works-in-progresses, frankly, there hasn’t been much work, or progress up until now. Over my hiatus I tinkered with one project in particular, but got hung up on details that stunted my mojo.

I always admire writers who have a set ‘schedule’ and write a certain number of words every day, rain or shine. I think, if I’d had different luck with my last two projects, I might have found the motivation to be more disciplined and push my muse awake instead of waiting for her pretty eyelids to flutter open on their own. As things are now, I’ve really had to take motivation where I could find it and ride it for as long and as far possible. Which, these last few months, hasn’t been very far.

This weekend, I took out the four different manuscripts I’ve begun over the last year and a half. Two of them barely made it past the outline and first three chapters. The other two puttered out somewhere around 30k. My goal is to finish at least one of these manuscripts before summer vacation. And to do so, I’m going to try and take a page from the disciplined-writer handbook and make myself write. every. day. At least a page, if I’m really not feelng it. -But hopefully a half-scene or more on a daily basis. And this time, regretfully, bills and facebook statuses will not be included in the word count:)

What is your writing schedule like? Sporatic or disciplined? Where do you find your motivation and how to you keep going when you’re totally not motivated?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2013 in Review

While looking back on 2013, one word jumps immediately to mind : tired. I can’t say my resolutions went unmet since, to my knowledge, I didn’t even bother making any this year.

Ever since signing on with the S.A.H.M. Corps (stay at home mom corporation) in April of 2012 and the addition of our fourth project (i.e. baby Phoebe) in February 2013, ‘the job’ has been keeping me more than occupied. It isn’t the hardest job in the world as good ol’ Oprah used to say. But it’s about as hard as most other full-time jobs, I imagine.

The co-owner of this enterprise has a paid occupation on the side (thank goodness), so most of the heavy lifting falls to yours truly. The salary isn’t great, but the benefits are worth the long hours and sleepless nights. My employees are often lazy, cranky, and always looking for a hand-out. But they’re also fun to be around and do their best to make this operation productive.

Our youngest recruit, 10-month-old Phoebe, is especially impressive in her determination to maintain a sedentary lifestyle. No crawling, shuffling or walking as of yet. In fact, she mostly just sits there and grunts like a small, pink, jabba the hutt while her sisters bring her toys and drinks and cater to her every whim. 

I think she might be the smartest one of us all.

So, after almost a full year of crawling through the post-partum fog and keeping my long-running family operation afloat, I finally feel ready to take a tentative step toward my goal of writing the-game-changer book and getting published.

Catching up is going to take awhile. I don’t think I’ve read a single book on the 2013 YA bestseller list. I've missed a lot of writer's world news in the who-got-agented/book deals/pubished/self published this year. And it would seem the tides of self-publishing have turned once again and debut S.P. authors aren’t seeing the success they once did due to market saturation. Pair this with the increasingly slow pace of the publishing industry, and agent/editor return and I have to wonder- 

Ya. What the hell are we supposed to do now?:)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Awkward Reunion

Me : Oh, hey !

Blog: *blinks groggily* Who the hell are you?

Me: It’s me! You know…the one who started this blog.

Blog: Oh. Yeah. You. *swats away fly*

Me: You don’t look so good.

Blog: Yeah, well, that’s what happens when someone’s been abandoned for four months.

Me: I never noticed how blindingly hypnotizing your background was before. It’s giving me a headache and toothache simultaneously.

Blog: Imagine living here…

Me: Okay, well, I know it’s been awhile…

Blog: Four. Months. FOUR MONTHS! You didn’t even say goodbye!

Me: I know, I’m sorry! But I didn’t know I was leaving. It was one of those sporadic spiritual leave-of-absences that people just up and take sometimes when a higher power calls. You know, like Jesus in the dessert. Or Forrest Gump. Or that crazy guy that just up and decided to walk across Australia one day.

Blog: I see. So tell me, Forrest, what did you accomplish during this impromptu journey? Any writing to speak of? Did you discover the truths to the universe? Get nominated for a nobel prize? Orchestrate the next technological revolution?

Me: Uh...*wrings hands*. Well, I did a little writing, yes. And I managed to keep my kids alive and the house from burning down. So there’s that. And, uh…there was some binge watching Gilmore Girls somewhere in there- all seven seasons!

Blog: *arms folded* Color me impressed.

Me: Look, I’m really sorry. But I’m here now and I’d like to make it up to you. You look a little tired and washed out. Let me give you a make-over. Unbraid that pink and beige armpit hair of yours and give your place some fresh air. Maybe even start cleaning out and organizing your content?  And I’ll try to start posting regularly again. What do you say?

Blog: *sniffs* Well, I guess I really could use a bath. And it has been a little lonely around here. *frowns skeptically* Okay. You gotta deal. But you take off on me again and I just might have get jacked up on viruses and kill your computer. 

Me: Note taken.

Sometimes I feel like I went to sleep one day in September, and when I woke up, we were already January 1st! It’s 2014? Wait, what?! I wish I hadn't neeeded to take so much time away from you all and this blog in order to ‘find myself’ but, it turned out to be a necessary thing. It’s a new year, so if ever there was a time to stand up, brush myself off and start over, it’s now.

So, tell me- who’s still out there fighting the good fight? I’ve missed you all!


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