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It’s That Time Again: Publishing is Coming To A Halt

The week before Thanksgiving is usually about the time when all things in the already snail paced publishing industry come to a screeching, grinding halt. I recently asked an agent on twitter why that was. She basically called me stupid (has anyone else noticed more and more agents are getting a little IDK rude with all the social media? Overly comfy or something?) She said “Why do you think? Christmas. Haunakah. ..” I forget the rest but I recoiled. Youch. I was just asking and I guess I never really accepted that as the whole answer. I mean the holidays are happening everywhere and as far as I know publishing is the only one that shuts down for two months. I was thinking the answer might be more industry specific, like something went on around this time that slowed things. Maybe tons of NaNo winners sending thousands of queries at once, or perhaps this is the time of year that publishing houses take their editors to those camps where they learn and bond. IDK what I expected but, more and more, I’m expecting rude over polite – which is too bad really.

So, writers, if you have a polished manuscript and a query you’ve been hesitant to send, Carpe Diem. It’s now or hang on to it a few more weeks because you’ll go crazy waiting for feedback while most agents and editors are out on vacation enjoying their families and lives beyond the office. Its pretty late in the game really. Maybe using this time to read it one more time is best. Send it after the first when things are back up and running. Maybe even in February to avoid the rush on New Years day. LOL.

This down time can be a drag or it can be an opportunity. I say take the opportunity. Anyone else got something they’re holding on to until after the holidays?

Hello? Daylight Savings? What’d I Ever Do To You?

We’re a couple weeks in to daylight savings time and I’m a cranky lady. While daylight savings is designed to give us another hour of daylight to live our lives and an extra hour of sleep on that one faithful night every year, it really does neither of these things.

1. I’ve worked a number of day shifts. I’ve started at 7am. I’ve started at 8am. I’ve even left home at 6am. It never matters. It’s always dark when I leave and dark when I get home. Fall and winter are cold dark months. That’s just what the apple’s made of.

2. I don’t get an extra hour of sleep. Ever. When I was young and childless, I’d throw my hands in the air on the dancefloor as the DJ announced “It’s now two-o’clock AGAIN” Woot! Dance! Par-tay. Nowadays, I’m a mom and moms simply don’t have the pleasure of significant rest, especially writer moms, and especially this time of year. My kids are all screwed up by this time change and they now wake me up at 5:30am. No amount of coffee can fix that. I’m up until well after midnight trying to get a few minutes alone to plot and edit. It’s like having a newborn for-evah. No sleep makes mommy a mean lady, or at least a super-grouchy and less intelligent lady. No sleep is eating my brain cells by the bushel.

Dearest Daylight savings,

You aggravate me. You confuse my children and you are wrecking my writing. By the time I get all adjusted to you and the holidays have whizzed past, you will rip the rug out from under me and propel me forward, taking your hour away again. My grandma would call you an Indian giver (please no Native American protesting in my comments. She’s an old lady). Next year I want  a coffee IV delivered and additional babysitting, housekeeping and  cooking help in exchange for going along with your special torture.

I’d also like confirmation of your agreement in writing.

Is anyone else having a tough time adjusting?

My Mailbox IMM & Mailbox Monday

This week I got nothing but toy catalogs in my mail. Sad, but so true. The upside was my trip to the local Borders where I did something I’ve wanted to do since college. I bought myself a new copy of my favorite book. It was the book that brought me around the corner from reading because I had to – over to the reading because OMG! What is wrong with these people *flip pages, devour words and scream!* The book: Wuthering Heights. You see, I was a very late bloomer on the reading front. I didn’t read the classics in highschool like I was instructed. I skipped The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men, whatever I was assigned, I was just way too awesome to read. I preferred Mtv and Cosmo as my entertainment passtime. Then came college and Freshman English. I was assigned Wuthering Heights and I was slightly more motivated because I was paying my own bill and as broke as a joke the saying was back in the stoneage – aka the1990s.  So, about three pages in, I was hooked. This was no flouffy mushy romance. It was dark and twisted. The characters had zero redeeming qualities- except their love for one another. Well, my copy is worn. The pages in the center are falling out and it has a giant rubber band around it so I don’t lose anything. Now, I have a brand-spanking-new copy of my all time favorite and just in time for Christmas. I read it every fall since the first time I opened it. Also- for the record, though I adore Stephenie Meyers and Twilight and am forever appreciative that the Twilight series sparked an appreciation for my precious through her series, I did not choose the re-released edition with the Twilight inspired cover. I simply refuse to associate my tortured Catherine with Bella Cullen. My opinion. I opted for a nice leather bound copy which I hope to pass along to my daughter one day when she discovers the mysterious draw that is Heathcliff.

In My Mailbox is a meme from the Story Siren designed to help book lovers unite, meet, greet and follow one another in our quests to find the next most awe inspiring, tear jerking, mesmerizing or just entertaining new tome.

Mailbox Monday is a meme hosted this month at Knitting & Sundries. This is one more incredible way to get to know one another, build your following and find great new sites to add to your dashboard.

So, what’s in your mailbox?

All Writing Matters

This is my 150th post. It comes at a perfect time because it serves a point: All writing matters.

Recently, my fabulous crit partner Valerie Haight emailed me to say she was perusing my blog archive and noticed a major difference in my writing – of blog posts- since the first few. They were riddled with errors and “thats” and other bad habits I’ve worked hard to break over the past few months. Val pointed out something so important to writers, and the proverbial light bulb tried to flicker on LOL. We writers have to write. We do. We should be writing everyday if possible. We should be writing diversely. We should be stretching our boundaries and comfort zones and just writing the snot of everything. It all matters. Contests. Blog posts. Tweets.Whatever – just write!

Personally, I’ve come a long way. That’s all I’m saying. No not everything I write is super-awesome. Eh. Most of what I write really really isn’t, but that’s the point, isn’t it? How will we get super-awesome if we aren’t writing?  I look at my first manuscript, Bequeathed, and I giggle. It was my first attempt at writing for publication and I snicker when I think of all the agents who received that query, rolled their eyes and sighed loudly before banging their heads all over their desk, keyboard and carpet. To those: I am truly sorry. Truly. At the time, though, I thought my writing was Sa-weet. *snickering more*

So today I suggest you write. If you’re working on a manuscript, get busy, carve out thirty minutes for it. If you don’t have a current project, enter a free online contest, or submit a short story for consideration in an anthology, Cup of Blessings or Chicken Soup for the Soul, Blog, offer to guest blog for someone (Um, I would accept that offer – just saying) Tweet, write. You’ll reap the rewards in the near future. Promise.

What will you write today?

Blog Hop & Follow Friday!!!

It’s time for the Blog Hop & Follow Friday! I love this part of the week because since finding these memes, I’ve met so many awesome bloggers, writers, readers *sigh*. So to all of you hopping with me I’m smiling widely like a doofus and waving frantically!! I hope you see me!

Blog Hop is hosted over at Crazy-for-Books and Follow Friday is hosted at Parajunkee. These memes were created to help make the web smaller, and introduce us bloggers to one another. We can find sites and meet people and follow those we love! We increase our followers and we get some fun new sites to add to our dashboards too. Its a big win-win and I am thrilled to be taking part again this week.

So the question this week at Crazy for Books is: “If I find a book that looks interesting, but is part of a series, do I always start with the first title?” I do. I know. How sad and non edge living is that? I just figure there will be information in the previous titles that I will want, so I try to get the books that came before it while I’m there. However, in the event that the earlier books aren’t available, I will still buy the book. For example, if I’m at Borders and the first book isn’t on the shelf, I won’t skip buying book 2 or three. I’ll just get what I want and love it, then get book one later. BUT if I know its a series and all books ahead are there before me, I will definitely buy them all and start at the beginning.

ParaJunkee’s question is: “What’s my usual monthly book budget?” Small. I really have to use my library and be smart about the money going to books. For example, I’m eyeballing some fun titles over at Amazon because they are running their buy 3 get one free deal. I LOVE that deal ;)

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