Friday, February 16, 2018

So far, all rejections

Last year, I sent out query letters with the chance that an agent would request a manuscript -- and I'm glad none of them did because I hadn't finished editing the said manuscript.

Had an agent requested the manuscript, it would've been a polite "no thank you." The manuscript would've had heart, but I would've been offering up the heart of an amateur. The one that hasn't done the research.

The one rule that says, "If an agent asks for the manuscript, do not give them a polished turd."

A year ago, "When the Waves Came In" was exactly that.

It was substantial, with wonderful characters, a great plot, witty dialogue and some grammatical pot holes, as well as giant swatches of missing description. There were vast rooms that needed painting, and I hadn't gotten around to creating the murals.

Had an agent said, "yes," he or she would not have received my best.

Fast forward a few months later and the manuscript is as polished as I can make it -- it's not easy working on fiction in a vacuum, being the only person who has seen it and knows what's happening. I know what's happening too well. I went back through each room of the novel, made sure all the painting was finished, but I'm sure I missed a spot or two.

I guarantee a room or two still need another coat, but a writer can't know this on his own.

So, I handed out five copies to people, hoping they would like what they read.

I'm used to sending up posts on Instagram and blogging on a website that is instantly public, but a novel?

Something that has a beginning, middle, denouement and an end.

If someone doesn't like a blog post, or think it's poorly written -- well, I probably thought it was poorly written first. I just went ahead and published it. I'm not making money off of this -- and I'm just writing to my pretend audience. Essentially, a blog post (or essay) is written for my own enjoyment. It's just not costing me too much -- just my annual payment to keep the My Bucket of Parts domain name.

But a novel?

There's a real future there. One where I begin to really gain an audience, where I'm paid for my words -- and while the first novel may not necessarily make the most, hopefully it opens up a door for more books.

I hope.

So far, two readers have stated similar critiques. They both enjoyed the book. There are elements that left them with questions, which I need to address.

Since the updated edits, I've continued sending out letters to agents -- about 20. So far, I've gotten mostly form rejections, but there have been a few gems that keep me going. One stated "despite it's many charms" they didn't feel right for the project. Another rejection, a more personal one, said that the query letter and first few pages were well-written, and although they also thought the project was not right for them, she stated that an agent will probably ask for the manuscript.

Well-written? An agent will probably ask for a manuscript?

I'll take it.

It may not have been a yes, but it was definitely a wonderful no.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Triumphant Return to the Blogosphere

The red carpet is rolled out.

I'm wearing my best Armani suit.

All the agents want me, and all the publishers are dying to take a piece of my brand.

I'm waving at all of you, and the the hashtags are flying on Instagram and Twitter.

But as I look around, I realize I'm the only one here -- well, me and my three adoring fans.

Hello, three fans!


You mean those aren't agents and publishers, just cardboard cut-outs? Well, then.

I offer no promises this year. With each undertaking of this so-called Blogpostathon, there's a threat that another 'Thon will go unfulfilled.

I don't want a 'Thon to go unfinished, but among the scraps of yearbooks and teaching and burn-out and creative deserts, there's no knowing if I'll finish this thong.

Whoops. I mean 'Thon. Not thong.

There will be no thongs in the making of the 2018 Blogpostathong -- er -- 'thon.

My fingers just stumble upon the 'g' like it ain't no thang. It's just the speed in which I type -- which is 100 words per minute.

I'm crazy fast. Crazy.

Back in high school, I, for whatever reason, signed up for a FULL year of typing.

Of typing.

Of listening to the teacher chant letters as our fingers tapped the keys of any given letter.


I mean, my fingers should cascade across the keyboard like Liberace, a blur of dry-cracked winter skin and the music of plastic keyboard keys. I may have learned in high school, but I worked on my WPM during college.

I have AOL Instant Messenger to thank for that. Talking to people across campus, across the state, and even in other states through text on the computer. All for free. It was the way to keep in touch. It was texting before texting was texting. It eliminated the need for calling cards and long distance phone bills. It allowed for my generation to construct clever away messages. Some days, it wasn't about actually talking to people, but seeing what wit they dug up. We were able to choose fonts and colors. It was a way to create a digital identity without selling my soul to the devil, Russia, or the Dark Web.

I will need to keep practicing...since I have 39 more days of writing ahead of me.

May the posts flourish. May this be a successful 'postathon.

And may you keep your tomatoes.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Friday, January 26, 2018

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Puptuals

"American Dogthic" by Grant Hound. #ThePuptuals #shelties #sheltiesofinstagram #illustration #mbop

Friday, January 19, 2018

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Puptuals

While you're all watching washed-up Jenny McCarthy bring in the new year, we've tuned in to a much classier joint. #ThePuptuals #nye #sheltiesofinstagram #shelties #mbop

The Puptuals

Instead of a sparkly ball full of Swarovski crystals, we decided to hitch up Maeve for our final countdown. #nye2018 #nye #thepuptuals #mbop #sheltiesofinstagram #sheltie

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Puptuals

It was late in the year, but my Nigra and Maeve illustrations are my #bestnine. I feel like they help convey what it's really like living with these two. Their personalities are massive, they communicate and talk to us, and apparently, they're my employers. #ThePuptuals

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Puptuals

Coming to a manger scene near you! #ThePuptuals #theholidarian #mbop

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Puptuals

#ThePuptuals...just hanging out on some sassy orange chairs. #mbop

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Puptuals

Starry Starry Maeve by Vincent Van Gofetch #mbop #thepuptuals #starrystarrynight #vincentvangogh #sheltie #sheltielife #sheltiesofinstagram

The Puptuals

The Nigra Lisa by Leobarko da Vinci #thepuptuals #mbop #painting #monalisa #sheltie #sheltiesofinstagram #sheltielife #cartoon

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Puptuals

Meet Winnie. She's Nigra's llama. She may be showing up a time or two with Nigra and Maeve as they continue their adventures as The Puptuals. #thepuptuals #theholidarian

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Puptuals

My mom just had minor eye surgery: a lens replaced. I sent her a little card with the help of #thepuptuals. Maeve looks so good in red frames, do you think? #sheltie #sheltiesofinstagram

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Puptuals

The Nigra with the Pearl Earring by Jodoggas Vermeer #thepuptuals #mbop #painting #girlwithpearlearring

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Puptuals

American Dogthic by Grant Hound #thepuptuals #mbop #americangothic #art #painting

Saturday, November 11, 2017