This is Not a Real Journal

I Feel Queasy 0_o
i wont give up


wait for it.... wait for it....

A query letter for Grey Eyes has been sent to a book agent! *pause for gasps all around* Yep. You read that right, a plea to consider my book has been e-mailed this morning to an agent. *pause with hand over heart, trying to get a grip on my nerves*

So the quest for getting published has begun! It is exciting, terrifying, sickening, thrilling. This is a time for positive thinking and courage.

All credit goes entirely to Heather. I woke up this morning to find she'd written a query letter while I was sleeping in, and she was ready to send it. I've been saying I'll do it for months now but have yet to actually start.... So she took it upon herself to get the process going. It's so nice of her I could cry. But maybe that's just the nerves. Had I known today would be the day the first of the query letters would go out, I wouldn't have been able to sleep last night. I'm nervous about it even though I know that the worst that can happen is they'll say no, which won't be the end of the world becuase there are plenty of other angents...

The policy this agent has is that she doesn't send a reply if she isn't interested. So if I don't hear back in six to eight weeks, I can take it as a no. She used to reply to all queries, but can't anymore. I wish she still did, if only to have the rejection letter to show off. ;-)

When Heather read the letter to me in order to get my approval on actually sending it, it became obvious to me that writing and sending query letters isn't  half as difficult as I was letting it be. It takes some thought and work to write a few concise paragraphs that really sell your book and I'm the worlds worst salesperson, so I was lettering that be bigger obstacle than it really is. A poor salesperson I may be, but I have faith in my book and writing is my thing SO WHY IN THE WORLD HAS IT TAKEN THIS LONG TO START?

Simple answer, fear. My biggest fear isn't public speaking or snakes or spiders, but the thought of people judging my creativity. So much thought and work and fun goes into a book that it becomes a kind of reflection of the writer, in the way that a child is the reflection of it's parents. So actually doing something positive and a little risky, like putting the book out there to be judged, is outside my comfort zone.  

Everyone in Writer's Anonymous, my best friend Lindsay and Mom have been helping me in huge ways by reading my proof copies and giving helpful feedback mixed in with all kinds of praise, so, eventually, I would have started sending queries of my own based on that support alone, but by blind-siding me with an already written query letter ready to send, Heather took that first difficult step for me in a way similer to throwing someone into the deep end of the pool to teach them how to swim. It was like a slap in the face that she knew I could handle, a push to do what I'm capable of.

Thank God for sisters, and for support teams in general.

Now that the process has begun I feel like I can keep it going. Because I want this. I want more than anything for an agent to take on my book and get it published. I'm trying to stay positive without getting my hopes up too much. It's just the first letter, and few great sucess stories start with "Well, it was the first ever query letter that I sent and...."

If this agent isn't interested, I'll just move on to the next. "No" won't be the death of me, it'll just be incentive to try harder.

I'm here and I'm cool, that's the way that it is
I'm not dead. Just wanted to make that clear, since my lack of entry in... way too long might have had you believing otherwise. While  we're on the topic, when I do die, put this on my tombstone:

Moon, worn thin to the width of a quill,
in the dawn clouds flying.
How good to go, light into light, and still
giving light, dying.
                                                                                                                                               -Sarah Teasdale

So what's been going on with me? Everything and nothing. Translated to: I've been writing as much as humanly possible, having a blast disappearing into a broad range of stories about all kinds of things way cooler than real life. That's the everything part. Then I've been enjoying my summer vacation and doing as little work as possible. That's the nothing part. :P

Pause here to comment on how "writing" does not fall under the category of "work" as used above. Writing is work, but it's way too much fun to ever actually feel like work. That's why it's all I ever want to do.

I've also been doing a lot of reading. Suddenly, I'm surrounded by people with manuscripts and proof copies, and these awesome people have been letting me read them! All of them are so cool! I'm so happy to know so many people who want the same things I do and  who love doing what I love to do. I'm excited for in twenty years when we're all famous and our biographers are talking about how we all knew each other when. I never really bother to think about too far into the future except to think of things like that. 

One book I read was the one my mom wrote. (I am so excited for her, you have no idea! She's been wanting to write for years and most of them were spent with me telling her that she should, and her telling me back that she can't. But now she has!) It's a young adult story about a girl who plays the part of superhero for all the nerds in her town by sticking up for them, and she ends up falling in love with this guy. It's funny and sweet and even has some heartbreaking parts. It's going to be awesome. It's never to late to chase your dreams.

Then, I finally got my second proof copy of Grey Eyes back from having loaned it out to be read. (Angela said she read it twice. That's awesome.) I read it over and found lots of things to improve on, but also found several things to be proud of, so that made me feel good about myself as a writer. Then, on top of that, there is more talk from the movie-makers in the writing group to make Grey  Eyes into a movie. That's unbelievably flattering, but mostly it just sounds like a lot of fun! It is definitely a movie I'd like to see, being a book I'd like to read, being a book I wrote. Doubts about being able to do this for a living and actually GO SOMEWHERE with it have fallen away at this point. Didn't realize how much I was letting them get to me.

Now to get back to work. Or play. It's either and both to me because it's writing.

Lazy Dayz
hakuna matata
Ah, so it's been a while. Sorry. I've been enjoying my vacation far too much. I can't be bothered to be productive these days.
Let's see... what is new?
  • Bought an old movie that I've been wanting to see and I don't care that its a cartoon and I'm a grown up. It's called Castle in the Sky. Hayao Miyazaki rocks! I've seen only about half of his movies and I have loved every one of them so far. Kiki's Delivery Service, Ponyo, Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away. They are Japanese animated movies--basically Miyazaki is Japan's modern day Walt Disney and he awesome.
  • Went and saw Water For Elephants, a movie made from a book and it managed to pull it off. Bravo. That was fun, I hadn't been to the movies for ever!
  • Saw the movie Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. That movie is so funny. I am buying it the very next chance I get. It had me, Heather, and our parents in stitches. I love it! And in it Michael Cera makes faces that look so like my little three-year-old-nephew, CJ, that it's uncanny. And hilarious.
  • Have been regularly seeing a lot of an old friend, which hasn't happened since high school! We're basically sharing TV with her, the things she can't watch on line. It's lot's of laughs, and progress on knitting/crocheting.
  • The latest Doctor Who episode did not disappoint. In fact, it surprised. Was not expecting to fall in love with a... box. Never thought that would happened. Awkward but sweet. That's Doctor Who. And the upcoming season finale of Castle? Oh goodness gracious, how I love television. Oh, you know what? Scratch what I said earlier. I have been in love with a box my whole life! :-P
  • Been watching children nearly every day of my vacation. But hey, they're cute. And it's summer so they play in the yard where it doesn't drive me crazy when they run in circles and yell. I can sit on the porch swing and read. Heck. Yes. Plus, it smells so wonderful out in our yard: honeysuckle and muskadimes and cut grass.
  • And, yes, I have been writing. I've been dabbling in original things but mostly letting loose with a string of fan fictions co-written with my sis. As she says, a  writer writing fan fiction is like a musician playing the music of other bands with no thoughts of fame or money, doing it just because it's fun and relaxing and entertaining for others and mostly just because they love to play. Which is just want  I needed to hear because I tend to make myself feel guilty if I go a day without working on something of my own. But this is my vacation, so I should be enjoying, not punishing, myself.

I heart inspiration
freaking love
So today I passed part one of spanish finals, an interview with a native speaker. In spanish.
... It really wasn't as bad as it sounds. I also turned in the final project for Composition Studies. So I only have the written part of the Spanish final to go. That's wednesday morning.

I am really looking forward to having no classes and no homework to deal with. I have been writing little snippets and things, but I haven't really written anything for ... too long. There are so many things that are whirling around in my head right now that are inspiring me to write!

1.) Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. It's so complicated and stressing yet intriguing and magical and awesome. I'll read a chapter and then have so many new ideas for my epic that I have to stop to jot them down. I. AM. LOV-ING. IT.

2.) Doctor Who. I know I've mentioned it before at least once on here. The writing is so fantastic. (Some of that is Steven Moffat. He co-created and writes for Sherlock, another thing I love, so that guy is one of my heroes.) The bad guys are always new and TERRIFYING in a way where when you watch it you only think,  "Geez that's kinda creepy", but then you find yourself alone and in the dark and then you're like, "I don't want to think about that. I don't want to think about that. STOP THINKING ABOUT THAT." 

3.) Mixed Up Poetry in Writer's Anonymous. The things I wrote last night are intriguing me--gears are turning and stories are developing!

4.) Excitement from friends in the writing group to read the newest proof of Grey Eyes--for some of them it will be their second read but they show as much enthusiasm as the others. That's always encouraging. THANKS GUYS!

I Am Capitalizing All The Words In This Title Just For The Heck Of It :-)
scruff junkie
 I'm going to copy Nikki and make a list of things I love right now. Because its fun.

20 Things To Love
1. Collaborating with Heather on our stories.

2. Fan fiction, because sometimes it feels good to start and finish something. And then get almost instant feedback on it. All the readers on are a nice bunch of people.

3. Jim Dale's voice. (In an attempt to flee annoying songs and commercials on  the radio, Heather and I have started listening to HP on tape in the car to school. Fun.)

4. Doctor Who. Always heard good things about it, never bothered to watch it until the other day. It's so silly and full of cheesy science-fiction that it's addictive! Plus, it's British television. Enough said.

5. All the new GREEN in the world!

6. Castle. The season is nearly over. Three episodes left. WILL THEY MAKE ME HAPPY OR SAD?

7. The air-conditioning that is newly fixed. Hallelujah.

8. The coming end of the semester--and the prospect of having no classes this summer. The first summer free of homework since '07 after graduating high school before going to tech school. I'll try to get a job. It will be fun.

9. Ranch Dorritos. Yum.

10. Laughing with old friends.

11. Heather's maaaad drawing skillz.

12. Previews for cool new movies. The Conspirator looks really good.  That preview was playing just now.

13. "Riding a dog like it's a small horse is FROWNED UPON IN THIS ESTABLISHMENT!" Silly commercials.

14. Deathly Hallows Part 1 is coming out on dvd this Friday. Seriously--heck. yes.

15. The song "I Will Find You" from The Last of The Mohicans

16. Josh Groban. There are something like 50 days until I go to a Josh Groban concert! It'll be my first concert.

17. E-mails full of fun and exciting news.

18. BBC's Sherlock. Tck!

19. The story of Dorian Gray. Creeeeeepy

20. Instructions like this: "Don't blink. Don't turn your back on it. Don't look away, and don't blink. Good luck." (There's some more Doctor Who love for you.)


How to Spot a Good Book
hakuna matata
So last night, a tornado came within a quarter of a mile  of my house. In walking distance  from here, trees are twisted and fallen, telephone polls broken in half, the roof is ripped off my mother's cousin's house and another roof off a chicken house. (No one's hurt that I know of, thank goodness.) My poor cousin was home alone as it passed right by his house.

What was I doing? Was I asleep during the night as the hail and little tree branches thunked into my roof and lightening kept the window illuminated, and the power kept blinking on and off, and on and off again, or as thunder crash overhead?

No, of course I wasn't asleep--I was reading a book.


Water For Elephants
, by Sara Gruen. Heather and I had found it in a bookstore while Christmas shopping months and months ago. We bought it for a friend with every intention of reading it when she was finished. We didn't think it would take said friend years get around to reading it. I started hearing good things about it from people, and then I saw a preview for the movie they made of it and decided I had to read it. Not wanting to wait for Christina to get around to it and finish it, I went out and bought a copy.

Heather and I started reading the book on the way to class in Dalton yesterday morning (reading so much better than listening to the same five songs on the radio over and over.) It was funny and intriguing and we didn't want to put it down for Spanish class.

Last night we knew it was a Tornado Watch. We knew it was a really bad storm. We knew it was midnight. But we also knew our morning class had been canceled and so there was no reason we couldn't stay up, finish it, and then sleep in.

So while a tornado ripped through very near by, Heather and I were reading by flashlight, annoyed that the power wouldn't stay on, too worried for the fictional characters and the intense predicament they were in to care about the intense predicament we were very nearly in.

That, my friends, is a good book. I recommend it for anyone who likes the circus, forbidden love, crazy-dangerous enemies, Chicago speakeasies, the great depression, elephants, and trains. :-) It is reminiscent of The Notebook, but it is not so focused on the love story. The affair is a key part, but really the whole book is more about Right vs. Wrong. Also, it is incredibly graphic in some parts (FAIR WARNING FOR THE DELICATE MINDED.) But like I said, it's a good book. It is funny and sweet, intense and heartbreaking. I'm really glad I bought it.

Rainy Days and Monday's
disturbing vader
Today is a rainy day and a Monday, but I'm not down. Positive thinking, people. I woke up this morning, proclaimed it wouldn't suck, and it didn't. On the way to class, I got to stop at some train tracks and watch a wickedly long train go by. I love trains. Heather and I always turn off the radio and roll down the windows to listen to the sound of the wheels on the tracks. And the graffiti on the  sides is interesting. We have some talented lawbreakers in the world.

Anyway, Spanish didn't suck because we didn't do partner conversations. Hell is other people, especially in spanish. After class I attacked a research paper with enthusiasm and made progress, which is good because I avoided doing it all weekend, leaving me today and tomorrow to write it. yikes.  I'll get it done, though, so no worries.

Then on the way back, I got to stop for another train, so that's twice the train fun. And then we stopped for tacos. heck yes.

And finally, because it's monday, one of my favorite shows,  Castle, is on and in what has become a really fun tradition, an old friend will be over to watch it! Its no secret that TV is ALWAYS better with friends.

Covers and computers who hate me
The second proof copy arrived today! The cover turned out darker than it looked in cover creator, so its kind of hard to make out the cool pictures I found. It's my fault, I was using pictures with low resolution... but it still looks cooler than the cover of my first proof copy. :-) 
I'm posting the cover here, even though I said I would rather wait to show it in person, because it looks better on here...

Tried to post it here from another website. no luck. Tried to put a link to the pic. No luck. Tried to upload and post. no luck. Tried to crop and upload... computer being TO SLOW in uploading. So neh. I'm over it. Go to facebook if ya wanna see. It's faster anyway.

hakuna matata
 I've been extremely productive on the writing front recently!

Friday I spent the entire day revising scenes in Grey Eyes, after a little over three months of putting off even thinking about it! Then I actually remembered to attend the writing group meeting! Hoozah! I'm glad I did. Our task was difficult, but EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED! (Plus, my most dedicated fan did a lot of the hard stuff for me. Heather knows this book as well as I do, but isn't so deep into it that she's trying to make the tiniest detail so important that it has to go into the hook line, like I was.)

Saturday I ran errands with my mom and then went to a friend's house. She and her mom were away for a wedding and so Heather and I house/dog- sat for them. I did this because 1.) I love the Nacho dog to pieces. 2.) She has NO internet connection, and NO cable, and her amazing DVD collection is hidden away in a closet! Can you say perfect environment for Sticking Butt to Chair and Getting Things Done? I got right back to work. This time editing. Heather helped again, because she's awesome like that.

Today I finished some revising that I decided I had to do during the editing process of Saturday. Then I saved the whole thing (92,375 words... yeah, I said it.) as a PDF and uploaded it to my Createspace account so that I could work on the cover! I love designing covers for my stories! I literally spent six straight hours playing with their cover creator until I spent all of my options. Then I lined up my favorite ones and the process of narrowing it down began! Heather came home form work right about then and gave me an awesome tip. Then, once I figured out how to make her idea actually possible, I did it.

And I found my cover. It. Is. So. Cool. I'd post a print screen here--but I would rather wait to reveal it in hard copy form.
So now both the cover and the PDF are submitted for review. As soon as I hear back that it's good to go, I'm ordering my 2010 NaNo Winner free proof copy!

It is so unbelievably... relaxing to have this practically done--FINALLY! It's been hovering over my head since December 1st whispering *you'll never get me published by ignoring me...* over and over again. Actual publishing may still be a while off, but it's comforting to have taken at least one more step there...

lyricus fabulous
Josh Groban - Believe
Believe in what your heart is saying
hear the melody that's playing
there's no time to waste
There's so much to celebrate

Believe in what you feel inside
and give your dreams the wings to fly
you have everything you need
if you just believe

Simple. Lovely. Really, really hard to remember sometimes...

But speaking of Josh Groban, a very dear friend of mine has secured three tickets to his concert  when he comes to Atlanta on his Straight To You tour 2011!!! On June 8th I will see Josh Groban LIVE with my sister on one side and one of my very best friends on the other! This makes me so unbelievably happy I could die. I could throw up love juice and die. Sounds weird. But that's how excited I am. This man  and his music pushes my happy buttons into the realm of weirdness. Deal with it.      :-)

Now to honor some lyrics that he wrote, and that he might actually sing at the concert, seeing as how it's on his latest album:
Josh Groban, Bells of New York City
There's a pale winter moon in the sky coming through my window and the park is laid  out like a bed below.
It's a cold dark night, and my heart melts like the snow. And the bells of New York City tell me not to go.
It's always this time of year that my thoughts undo me with the ghosts of many lifetimes all around
but from these mad heights I can always hear the sound of the bells of New York City signing all around.
"Stay with me. Stay with me. A refuge from these broken dreams.
wait right here. awake with me on silent stone filled streets."
Sing to me one song for joy and one for redemption and whatever's in between that I call mine.
With the street lamp light to illuminate the grey and the bells of New York City calling me to stay.
The bells of New York City calling me to stay.

I adore the piano part of this song. So haunting and awesome. I think I've said it before but I'll say it again. I LOVE the piano. <3 <3 Speaking of cool piano, some guy was playing the grand piano in the corner of the student lounge on campus today. People do it a lot, but this time it was soothing, beautiful music and it made my lunch superb! Lots of things to be happy about in this world if we just look for them... spanish homework is not one of them, though. :-/

Since I'm here I'll give an update. Let's see... Totally and completely missed Writer's Anonymous last Friday. *Face palm* absent-minded much? To be fair, that day I had to get up at 7:30 in the morning to go on a rescue mission to change my mom's flat tire. A simple mission in theory, but not when the rescue car craps out halfway there! Grrrr. Vehicles are the bane of my existence!

Then the very same friend as scored the tickets had a birthday--pizza, good cake, a crazy chiwawa, an adorable baby girl, some Harry Potter musical parody, Johnny Depp wooing Kate Winlest with Neverland, and two awesome friends made Monday night a blast. 

That's enough for now. It's noodle time. nom nom :-)


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