Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Thursday Thunk

1. Have you ever started your Christmas tree on fire?
NO!!! I would be so sad! :(

2. How many rings do you wear?

3. I say "dog barking", you say _________ ?
Shut up!

4. How many pictures are in the room that you are in.
Counting...13 not including any type of art. oh wait...25. I just saw a whole bunch more on top of my book shelf.

5. Do you decorate the outside of your house for Christmas?
Yes, of course! Fake garland and white lights go around the porch railing along with red bows.

6. What's your favorite Christmas song?
I don't think I have a favorite, although my Christmas singer favorites are Kristin Chenoweth, Mariah Carey, Whitney Housten, Michael Buble, and Josh Groban.

7. What do you fill your Christmas stockings with?
I don't fill stockings. That's Santa's job! This year he brought me candy, make up, and LOTS of knee high stockings!

8. How many times a week do you charge your cell phone?
Just once.

9. Do you own any exercise equipment? What are they?
Yes, a treadmill we bought last year. We also have weights hidden somewhere but we don't really use them. I'm trying to start on the treadmill again, finally.

10. What's your cookie jar look like?
A white goose with a blue bow around it's neck! We've had it forever.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a wonderful, safe holiday. My mom and dad and I just finished stockings and now I'm waiting for Mom to finish our delicious Christmas traditional breakfast which consists of yummy egg's Benedict, hash browns, and orange juice! Then we'll get to opening presents.

I have the all the 25th - 5th off (except the 29th) so soon it'll be time to start querying again!

Have a great day.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just a Dream...

I had a dream last night that I got a response from an agent regarding a query letter I sent out. They said my book was amazing and they loved it so much! But, alas, they couldn't represent me because the publishing industry is not wanting books from unpublished writers right now. Even though I was sad, it put me in such a good mood that this agent loved my book!

I don't think I've ever actually dreamed about my writing before. What does it mean? Is this my subconscious telling me I need to try again and get some short stories published in magazines before going after the big dog? Dreams are so thought provoking...I will have to grok about it (why, yes, I am currently reading Stranger In A Strange Land and am loving it immensely). But I think I might have to take this one with a grain of salt considering I also dreamed last night that was in a race, swinging across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on pieces of fabric, trying to avoid the giant boobies that were hanging on the walls. Yeah. Well, needless to say, I won.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thursday Thunks

I know this is only supposed to be about my querying but what's a writer without things to stir your mind and write about? Here's a little thing called Thursday Thunks. In their own words it's:
a blog meme for those who need a little kick in the butt to find something to post about. Your blog posts/answers to TT's can be type or pictures, doesn't matter! YOU pick, not us, we just give you the assignment (yep, just like English class... only we won't grade your spelling & grammer).

I read about it on my cousin's blog, The Spotted Sparrow. She makes AMAZING arts and crafts that you should go look at and buy right now (end shameless family plug).

1. If you had to have a brain transplant and had to choose between a cat brain and a dog brain, which would you choose?
2. Why do you think bananas are shaped the way they are?
Probably through fruit evolution.
3. Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip?
Mayonnaise! Miracle Whip is much sweeter and therefore strange as a condiment.
4. Do you use keyboard shortcuts?
Yessir, especially during my day job. Crtl+C and CRTL+V save my life and seconds of awkward phone silence.
5. Are you a member at InsanityCafe Forums & Arcade? If not, you should be.
Nice plug TT. No, I've never heard of it. But if it means fun and games, perhaps I will check it out tomorrow.
6. Where I live it was a low of -19 degrees this morning - what was your low last night/this morning?
Pretty much about 21 million years ago as in the ice age. It never gets that cold here.
7. Do you like hard boiled eggs?
I like the white part and only the yellow if it's mixed up for delicious deviled eggs!
8. Have you ever drank green beer?
Why, yes I have. It t'was once upon a summers eve in the city of Aachen, Germany (shameless cousin plug again).
9. Whats your favorite cleaner?
Windex and Pledge, depending on what I'm cleaning.
10.White or whole wheat bread?
Both. I try to do whole wheat though.
11. Everyone has some type of phobia - whats yours?
SNAKES! UGHHH nasty!! And not much of a phobia but I also dislike worms and caterpillars. Pretty much anything with too little legs or too many. And big spiders.
12. Aren't you glad there weren't any Christmas related meme questions?
No! I love Christmas! I hope there are some next Thursday, seeing how that's Christmas :)

I hope you use this to help you thunk!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

GREN Rejections!

Well, I've only submitted to three agencies for GREN, so it's not too exciting (one of which I'd queried that bad? It's a different story...). I did these around May, I believe.
Here they are:

Thank you so much for sending the ___ Agency your query.

We’d like to apologize for the impersonal nature of this standard rejection letter. Rest assured that we do read every query letter carefully and, unfortunately, this project is not right for us.

Because this business is so subjective and opinions vary widely, we recommend that you pursue other agents. After all, it just takes one "yes" to find the right match.

Good luck with all your publishing endeavors.

Dear Author:

Thanks for your query. I apologize for this form response, but the volume of mail I receive makes it impossible to send individual replies in every case.

As to your material, I am afraid I must pass. I represent a very full list of fiction writers, and must be highly selective in adding to it. I realize that it is difficult to judge your potential from a query alone; nevertheless, please know that we give serious attention to every letter, outline and writing sample that we receive.

Thank you for contacting me, I wish you the very best of luck in your search for representation.

Thank you for sharing your work with us. Unfortunately, it is not a good match for ___ and we will not be able to offer you representation.

I hope you excuse this form letter, but it is really only representative of our lack of time and not a lack of respect for your work. Please understand that there are many reasons why we must turn down potential clients. We look for material that immediately grabs our attentions and emotions, and that we believe will do well in the current publishing and bookselling market. But sometimes we even pass on well written, marketable projects simply because it is out of our realm of expertise and would be better represented by another agent with different taste or experience.

Thank you again for sharing your submission with us and we wish you the best of luck in your search for the right agent.


So that's what you get when you send your heart out on paper. I much prefer the little one lined responses (like I got in some TOS rejections) because I feel like it's the agent actually writing back to me and apologizing instead of getting some page long e-mail about the book world.

There are more querying adventures to come!

TOS Rejections!

So today I decided to rummage through my painful e-mail saved stack of TOS rejections. I wanted to share them with you so my pain is your pain. Okay, it stops being painful after the first few (unless it's an agent you really had your hopes set high for). I am just putting what the agents sent me, removing all names of the agents/agencies because I respect them and completely understand. Some have been shortened down...they're mainly the basic templates sent to authors and they're really long and explain the woes of the industry...

Here it goes:

This project is not for me, but I wish you the best with it


At present, we are regretfully going to pass by the opportunity to consider your work for representation. The query letter has to strike a chord which leads us to believe that we will not only resonate deeply with the material but also will be successful in selling it in the current market conditions. Out of necessity, we are frequently forced to pass by material which shows potential. We recognize that in doing so we miss opportunities to represent fine and worthwhile material, but we also trust that if you persist you will eventually connect with the right agent at the right time for your success.


Thank you for your recent query. Although your project sounds interesting, we unfortunately do not feel it is right for us at this time. We encourage you to query other agencies, and we wish you all the best in finding other representation. Thank you again for thinking of The Knight Agency.

**Woohoo! Someone actually said it sounded interesting!


Thanks for writing, but this isn't for me.


Thank you for sharing your work with me. I know that writing a book is a time-consuming and emotional process, so I appreciate the effort you have expended to reach this point in your publishing journey. Alas, I must reject what you have been kind enough to submit.


I'm sorry, but I am probably not the right agent for this work. I
wish you the best of luck with the project.


Dear Author:

Thank you so much for sending the ___ your query.

We’d like to apologize for the impersonal nature of this standard rejection letter. Rest assured that we do read every query letter carefully and, unfortunately, this project is not right for us.

Because this business is so subjective and opinions vary widely, we recommend that you pursue other agents. After all, it just takes one "yes" to find the right match.

Good luck with all your publishing endeavors.



So that's what I have! I do have a few more TOS queries, but they were sent through the mail and I can't find where I've stashed the papers. I'll post them once I find them.

These posts may not be too interesting yet but I think they will once you're with me and together we send them out and wait for responses.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Queries About Queries

In my first post, I mentioned query letters and defined them as this:

A query letter is a formal letter sent to magazine editors, literary agents and sometimes publishing houses or companies. Writers write query letters to propose writing ideas.

But queries are much more than me they are the most terrifying aspect of the attempt-at-publishing process. Here you are, begging for an agent/publisher to just *LOOK* at your work. If the query letter isn't good enough, they won't even glance at your writing. I'm horrible at them, mainly because of the dreaded...hook. Just writing it down gives me shivers (note the italics - that's me shivering).

- condensing my 125,000 word novel to a brief ~200 word description...doable
- finding a good way to say I have no previous publishing accomplishments...okay
- writing that first sentence that's supposed to draw the queried in so they'll want to read your writing sample andrequestmore-andoffertorepresentyou-andgetyoupublished-andfulfillyourlifelongdream???...eep.


Do they even read past my first sentence? Because I'm sure mine are horrible are reek of "I have no idea what to put here, please just read my story anyway" (which I hear smells really bad).

Anyway, here is what is expected in a query letter, as provided by the Nelson Literary Agency's FAQs:

Query letter breakdown by paragraph:

  1. Introduction: explain why you are contacting our agency. Were you referred? Why are we the agency for this project?
  2. Manuscript pitch: what is your novel or nonfiction proposal?
  3. Credentials: for fiction, what is your writing background, stories sold, programs attended, mentors, awards, etc. For nonfiction, Why are you the person to write this book? What are your credentials?
  4. Conclusion: Thank the agent for taking the time to read your materials, etc.

What do you think...does that seem hard? No? is!

**Examples of my rejections are soon to come. I'm trying to post as often as possible and am going to force myself to a minimum of once a week. Here's to going above and beyond that!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

In The Beginning

Hello and welcome to my new blog! I am a writer (at least, I like to call myself one) and you can call me DC. I have created Endeavors of a Lonely Writer to track my attempts of entering the Publishing World. I'm sure it will be a long, slow, hard, heart-wrenching one, but I thought it would be interesting to track.

As a writer, I have written things, including two books. One we will call TOS - The Tower of Secrets - (all posts linked to TOS will be in purple) and GREN - The Grenich Tree - (all posts linked to GREN will be in green). Last January, I began sending out queries for TOS to various agents, all coming back with rejection (post re: this will follow) and over the summer, I sent out a few GREN queries as well (also, post re: will follow). Now January is approaching once more and I've been inspired to start querying again. For all those who don't know what a query is, see below:

A query letter is a formal letter sent to magazine editors, literary agents and sometimes publishing houses or companies. Writers write query letters to propose writing ideas.

Every writer must query to find representation, unless they are interested in self-publishing, which I am not. I'm starting off with agents, mainly because I think I'd be too scared to work directly with a publisher but, along the way, I may query a few. Writers expect to face hundreds of rejected queries before getting that one blissful response where some amazing agent/publisher asks to read the whole book...and then, hopefully, represent it.

As I said, the purpose of this blog will be to track the queries (I'll probably put a more detailed post regarding these up later) I sent out for TOS and GREN, as well as other books in the future. I have a number of other story ideas in my head as well as a couple half written novels on my computer (and in my head).

Before we get into all that, how about a little about me? Well, I'm still pretty young. Okay, quite young. Twenty-two, fresh out of college, with my first "real world" job. Who knows if I'm even a good writer? I'm very private about my work, which really isn't a good thing, and I've just started sending my book out to members of my extended family. I don't have much time to write now that I've started my 9-5, especially since my best writing time used to be around 1am and I don't stay up past 11pm now.

And what exactly do I write, you ask? Fiction. I enjoy making stuff up. I dabble primarily in the Fantasy genre (sword, sorcery, magic, elves, etc.) but am open to writing Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi, and other genres.

So here begins the tracking of my long list of rejections...I never thought I'd be making something like this public, but away we go!