I’m serious. It’s totally and completely against the law to sell your kids on eBay. You can actually go to jail for such a thing. So no matter how tempting this idea may seem for your personal little demons angels, I strongly encourage you to find a different outlet for your frustration.
It doesn’t help that the father of my little demons angels is as big a child as they are. It doesn’t help that he tickles them in sacrament meeting, and does butterfly kisses on their cheeks during prayers. It doesn’t help that he giggles at things they should get grounded for (I giggle too, but at least I’m discreet about it!)
Bing has a bright red spot on his forehead right between his eyes where he’s healing from the other night when they decided to play tag with airsoft guns. And I know I am a bad mom to allow them to play with such dangerous things, but at least they were all wearing protective goggles. Murky’s back pack is shredded along the entire bottom from where he decided to try it out as a sled. Rae gave me a top ten list of why it was unfair she had to clean her room yesterday.
Today, I sent Bing to my store to grab some cream cheese from the fridge. Murky followed Bing over and locked him in the store. I actually told them I was going to sell them on eBay.
Another idle threat has been born.
This along with the idle threats of:
- If you don’t stop teasing each other this instant, I swear I will rip out your tongues and beat you with them.
- I’m running away! (This is a true mark of my maturity. Isn’t it the child who is supposed to make such threats?)
- If you guys don’t do , then we won’t read any more of our current book. (As though I have any will power when it comes to books)
- I’m sending you all to military school! (this will never happen)
Because in spite of everything, I would miss them terribly if I sent them to military school. And they might come home well behaved and less fun to be around.
Every day when I consider the things I am grateful for, the kids and that silly man I married top the list. Them along with flyswatters, cars that start, and heat in the winter and AC in the summer.
Since they top my gratitude list, I guess I won’t be selling them on eBay . . . even if today it seems like a good idea. At least they give me good writing fodder.
I went to an SCBWI conference this last weekend. It was one of the better conferences I have been to in a while, including some of the out of state stints I’ve done. Friday night they had a mix and mingle thing for published authors, the editor, agent, and illustrator director they brought in for the conference. I love mingling with authors. These are my people. Just thinking about them makes me smile. I spent a wonderful time talking to Amy Finnigan, Mette Ivie Harrison, Rick Walton, Sydney Husseman, Stacy Whitman and many others. It was great fun. I also got to meet Jill Dembowski from Little Brown. I spent a small while chatting with her and realized I was guilty of hogging the editor, not because I meant to, but simply because she was so much fun to talk to and we both love books. It’s so easy to converse with others who love books. Once I realized I had started a monopoly, I hurried to move her into another group where others had a chance. She just acquired a new series that sounds simply awesome. I’d give more details, but don’t know if that’s allowed so I’ll just say that in 2010 look for a way cool book from Little Brown.
The next day was the conference. It was held at the city library in downtown Salt Lake. I hadn’t been to the library since they built it. This is the great tragedy of living in the middle of nowhere. The library is beautiful. I mean really truly breathtaking. And the conference? Fabulous. I actually learned new things (and I’ve been writing a long time folks) Jill spoke on what makes authors stand out in her eyes. Her thoughts were poignant enough to merit repeating, so here they are:
The first thing she said was, “Buy Presents!”
Of course we all laughed, and she said she was just kidding. But there are “gifts” you can give your editor that are not only acceptable but hoped for as well.
These are a few of the things from her list:
- Write well
- Don’t be a jerk
- Don’t be a jerk
- Don’t be a jerk
Really honestly, that is all you need to gift your editor with. Prove you aren’t difficult to work with by truly *listening* to what they have to say. And do everything in your power to WRITE WELL. They don’t need chocolates (well they probably do . . who doesn’t really?), but your contract will not be dependant upon providing chocolate (I hope I’m not wrong . . . Kirk? Am I wrong? Do you need chocolate, or tickets to the world series maybe?)
Of course this is information for how to act both before and *after* getting a publisher. Jill went on for a bit on how to improve your chances of being noticed by a publisher in the first place. Here’s that list:
- Do proofread. Editors understand an errant comma, but do your absolute best to turn in your best.
- Do research the publishing house, their list, and their editors.
- But DO NOT stalk! Don’t look up the editors on Google Earth and spy on them via satellite.
- Do know competitive titles to what you’ve written. What other books is your manuscript most like?
- Do know what makes your manuscript stand out from those competitive titles.
- Do know the marketplace in terms if what is available and being published.
- Do NOT try to cater to the marketplace. Just because vampires are hot right now does not mean that’s the type of book you should be writing.
- Do have a great web presence. Have a website, a blog, facebook, myspace etc.
- Do get an agent.
- Do NOT lie about your credentials. Here’s the deal; I write in a very niche market. Of course I have to play nice and be honest. I know everyone (and I mean everyone) in my little niche. You might assume that the rest of the publishing world must be this vast sea of authors, editors, and agents, but you would be wrong. It’s still a small world, where everyone knows everyone. You mistreat someone along the way, you tell one little lie about a publication, a contact, ANYTHING, and it will come back to bite you in the backside. I promise you. Because these people are mostly all friends. And they get together and talk. Not saying they’re all gossipers, but that they communicate. Be smart. Be honest. Let your work stand out and shine . . . either that or as Jill said, let your normalcy shine. (that made me laugh–authors? Normal? Yeah right.)
- Don’t complain about agents, or publishers, or other authors on your blog. This is bad form. Don’t do it!
- Do say thanks. A little gratitude for the time an editor or agent spends on you goes a long way. They work hard for you. Appreciate it enough to vocalize a thank-you.
The last tidbit of advice Jill imparted was this: The latest trends in writing is GOOD STORIES!
My work in progress is at 42,000 words. And I wasn’t even doing Nanowrimo.
First of all, Michael Crichton died November 4th at the age of 66 from cancer. So sad that his death was glossed over by the major news of the presidential election. I am a big fan of his writing. I always found myself being able to see things from a different point of view–one I’d never considered before–after reading his books.
Some quotes I like by Mr. Crichton: “If you don’t know your family’s history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree”
and my favorite: “In science, consensus is irrelevant.”
One of my favorite articles he’d written can be found at: http://www.crichton-official.com/speech-ourenvironmentalfuture.html
In fact . . . this article holds one of the base points for the book I am currently writing. We lost an interesting thinker on election day. I, for one, will miss his viewpoints and opinions.
Next on my list for reasons I picked a bad week to quit cussing . . . I did something incredibly vain. Though I take little responsibility for the actual fault. The blame goes to my sister in law who wanted to surprise me with a really cool gift for my birthday. She convinced my mom and my sister to go in on it with her. They paid for a gift certificate for me to get permanent makeup. More specifically, I got my lips tattooed.
Seriously, I am not kidding. It was unprecedented pain, like a million tiny razor blades churning my lips into raw hamburger. I had a “block” for the pain, but whatever they use for those blocks is not the same stuff dentists use because it had worn off in ten minutes. The other hour and forty minutes was spent with my fists clenched tightly at my middle and tears running out the corners of my eyes. I would have stopped the whole procedure halfway through, got off the table, and walked away forever, except then I’d look like some half baked mutant.
The technician person kept telling me I was almost done. I finally stopped her mid-sentence and told her she was a horrific liar.
When they handed me the mirror at the end, I almost laughed and cried all at once. I looked like Goldie Hawn in the First Wives Club when she had her collagen injection on her lips. I looked absurd, and swollen, and I confess I had the thought that it was no less than I deserved after doing something so frivolous and vain.
Today I look better (less like a harlot, and more like a child playing with mommy’s lipstick) The jury is still out on whether or not I am glad I did this. My advice to anyone thinking about it is, “Pay the extra money and go somewhere that will knock you out first.” I do believe I will be happy with it in a couple of weeks, after I’m all healed and not having to put on lipstick to go out. I’ll let you know.
In consolation to all this, I wrote 2000 words yesterday. This equates to 8 pages in a 12 pt font, 1 inch margins, Times New Roman. Not bad for a day’s work.
I survived Halloween and ALL the children who were at my house for the occasion. My boys decided to do a major sleepover so I had six male ten-year olds and four female in-and-out teenagers (who showed up and disappeared throughout the night better than any ghost and finally determined the boys were too annoying and went to sleep at another person’s house).
My house is trashed. Seriously. Trashed. But we had loads of fun. Scott dressed up as a nerd trying to be a tough guy with one of those tattoo shirts. Hilarious. Every time I looked at him, I cracked up. I wore my witchy woman shirt, which–in spite of being true all year long–is really only appropriate to wear on Halloween. Rae was a corpse bride and she looked wicked awesome! The boys were an executioner and a dead druid. They just wanted to look creepy. So I woke up early on my ONLY day of the week to sleep in and painted faces, adjusted costumes, and giggled. It was odd to say morning family prayer with my kids dressed up like casket remnants, but we’re a little odd as a family anyway. Scott and I hung out at the store together doing candy duty while our kids roamed the town and tormented our neighbors. I really love hanging out at the store with my husband. It’s just cool to have been together 21 years and to still feel a flutter in my stomach when I look at him.
My daughter’s candy bag weighed in at just over ten pounds. And they have dental check ups next week . . . talk about bad timing–or is it good? I did make them pay the annual Troll-toll (I’m the troll . . . no big surprise to anyone )
The above picture of my dad is after an eye surgery he had a month ago. He looked scary enough that when he came to visit and took off his sunglasses, I stepped back in literal fear. He looked Halloweenish.
Saturday night, Scott and I drove up to the northern world and went on a double date with Jeff and Jen Savage. Jeff is the author of Farworld (and no I didn’t forget my contest winners! I will be mailing those books out this week!). Jen is a kindred spirit and bosom friend. I just love these guys. I can’t say it enough. Jen is just hilarious and so much fun to be with. It’s good to have great friends.
I don’t know that I’ll get a chance to post again this week, so remember to vote everyone!!!!
PS. My work in progress is turning out awesome! I broke 100 pages today at over 28,000 words. I love my characters and am in love with my manuscript. Thanks Again, Jeff . . .