Mar 4, 2015

Let's Go on Adventure

Adventure.  I love that word.  It reminds me of books I used to read as a kid and my favorite movies.  Adventure makes me feel young again.  Why don't we go on adventures anymore?  Why don't we use that phrase?
Let's go on an adventure.

I often wonder what my kids would think if I woke them up one day and said those words.  Let's go on an adventure.  Would they think of traipsing through the woods?  Traveling somewhere far?  Would it involve something dangerous, funny or scary?  I'm so afraid that they would pass on my suggestion and opt for staying home instead.

Everyone loves adventure.  I truly believe that, but I know too many who would rather steer clear of the unknown and stick with what's comfortable.  Perhaps, that's what books and movies are for.  We don't need to put ourselves at risk if Indiana Jones/Harry Potter/Dr. Who are willing to do it for us.  But if we don't adventure, who will tell the stories?

Adventure is often an euphemism in our family.  When we're traveling and things don't turn out right or the trip takes a strange turn, you'll hear us say: well that was an adventure.  It often means that whatever happened was not what we wanted or expected.  Getting lost in a big, foreign city.  Adventure.  Albeit, not one we wish to experience.  Still exciting, still new, still something that makes us feel alive.  And what could be better than that?

Living abroad, the sense of adventure is always there, lurking around every trip.  With every new place we see, we shed another layer of fear of the unknown.  We get a little bit more adventurous.

And what we want most for our kids to gain from this experience is that being adventurous doesn't always mean jumping out of an airplane (please don't) or hiking to a mountain peak.  Adventure can mean trying new foods you've never tried, speaking with locals in cultures you've never spoken with before, making a new friend, being open minded and level-headed. But mostly, it's about creating new memories.

It keeps the soul fresh.  It builds character.  It adds to the layers of who we are.

So, whether it be traveling, falling in love, making a change in your life or having children of your own, please just go on an adventure.

Thank you to Mia and Vashelle for the excellent prompt today!  Read the rest of the Write or Die posts at the link up here.

Write or Die Wednesdays

Mar 3, 2015

Query Letter Support Group: Organization

Hey query writers!  How's it going out there?

Hang in there, friends, because today I want to talk about keeping your sanity during the query process with a little organization.
Keeping the process of query letter writing organized has helped me tremendously with tracking when, where and to whom I am sending out my requests to be sure that I don't send to the same agent twice, and so on.
As always, go with what works for you, but I wanted to show you what has kept me sane.  At least I'm told I haven't completely lost my mind yet.  Hopefully. *eye twitch*

First things first.  You're going to write a lot of query letters.  A lot.  Probably not single digits, and maybe not even double digits.  Yes, it's possible you will send over a hundred query letters.
Enough to want to keep track.

What you want to track is the date you sent the letter, the agent's name, and the agency.
On top of that, I want to know if they requested a full or if they respectfully declined.

Enter Spreadsheet.

So, this is basically what my process looks like.  As I add the agents to the list, I leave them white. (Unless it's a press or imprint, in which case I'd like to know that)  If I receive a rejection letter, I change it to pink.  If they request a full, I change it to blue.

Why is this handy?

Well, a simple sorting trick will allow you to alphabetize the list be either agent name or agency.  Say you got a rejection from one agent in the agency, now you can query another agent in the same agency.   Don't query two agents in the same agency until you get a no-thanks from one.

Also, if you get a request for full, this system allows you to see if you have any other requests out there.  (Not that you're likely to forget such joyous news, but you get it).  If this happens, you should always notify the first agent who requested the full and let them know another agent has requested one too.

I'll tell you now, my tracker has many more than four on the list. So many more.  Every time I see a new agent pop up somewhere, I have handy place to turn to to see if I've already sent them my stuff.  I can't imagine what a mess my brain and desk would be without this system. I hope it helps you!

Tell me: Do you have a system for tracking QL's?

Feb 28, 2015

Reading Playlist: We Were Liars

I'm currently reading this little gem.  I'll have my review ready next week, but reading today inspired me to mix up a reading playlist, something I haven't done in ages.

This book is so mysterious, creepy, tortured, lonely and bitterly beautiful.  These are the sounds inspired by my reading…

Have you read this book? (Don't tell me how it ends)  I already know I will have so many things to say about it when it comes time to review.

Hope you're having a fantastic weekend!

Feb 23, 2015

(P)Inspiration Boards

I've always used Pinterest to collect images, quotes and dream casts for my writing.  It's about time I start sharing them.  So, here you go.  Some writer-ly (p)inspiration…

The Inspiration board for The Hereafter:
Follow Jessica's board The Hereafter on Pinterest.
The Hereafter is all cozy and ethereal.  There is a lot outdoors, in beautiful and haunting landscapes.  I see a lot of foggy, dreamy, flannel, woodsy settings.  Something perfect to curl up with when it's dreary outside.

The Inspiration board for The Fiddler (work-in-progress):
Follow Jessica's board The Fiddler - Chronicles of Bohemia on Pinterest.
The Chronicles of Bohemia series is Steampunk meets gypsies and street performers.  It's set in a alternate/futuristic Prague.  There are magicians, fortune-tellers, living statues, artists, evil clock makers and charming fiddle players.  I love finding that sweet spot between mechanical and magical.  And MUSIC.  So much music.

Follow me on Pinterest for more.

Feb 19, 2015

Book Review: The Foretelling

Title: The Foretelling
Author: Amanda Richardson
Series: Charlotte Bloom Book #1
Rating 4 stars!

When friend and fellow blogger, Amanda Richardson gives me books of hers to read, I always know I'm in for a treat.  I gladly accepted this one in return for an honest review.  Thanks, Amanda!

Charlotte Bloom is an everyday woman.  Struggling with infertility, a loveless marriage, and that all around feeling of being lost, Charlotte does that crazy thing we all want to do sometimes.  She threw herself on the first plane she could find to Europe.

I love a good female protagonist that isn't perfect, but realistic and relatable.  I was sucked into her life, and even when her marriage crumbled and she whisked herself away to Wales, I wanted Charlotte to take me with her.  I was on her side the whole time.

I was a fool for the setting in Wales.  The family-run hotel, the lovable staff and the local villagers.  I picked up the book every day just wanting to go back to that place that felt so homey and wonderful.  Add Irish groomsman, Alec.  Done for.

What I loved about this story was that it was a romance, but it wasn't a super cliche romance novel.  The male love-interest was multi-layered and interesting (and hot).  A modern day Mr. Darcy, he was a bit of pill for the first half of the book, but a super hunky, lovable pill.  I loved his relationship with Charlotte and digging deeper into what made him tick.  If I had any complaint, it was that I wanted more.  More Alec, all day.

I cannot wait to read more of Charlotte's adventures and that delicious romantic tension with Alec.  Amanda has a way with creating characters that feel so incredibly real that it's hard not to get attached.

Buy The Foretelling here.