Monday, June 15, 2009

I Don't Understand Sesame Street

Look at me, blogging twice in one week. That's something, anyway.

My two almost-three-year-olds are watching Sesame Street. They don't usually watch this particular program, as unlike apparently all other people from my generation, I have no fond feelings for Sesame Street from my youth. I was a weirdo, I guess.

So, it turns out, not only was I not "into" this ubiquitous program as a kid,  I don't get it as an adult. It changes so fast...they'll start a plot in the beginning with a five minute skit, then drop it completely for 45 minutes of random programming, then return. Like my kids will remember? Or care? And, they have adult celebrities on all the time, explaining things or being guests. Here's the thing: my toddlers DON'T CARE about Sarah Jessica Parker. She's just a lady. So why bother?

Obviously, for the parent. My mom told me that part of the concept for Sesame Street was to play to kid's short attention span. But in the 30 years since they came up with that plan, haven't we learned that we're fostering the short-attention-span syndrome? 

And then there is Cookie Monster. I'm not the world's most politically correct person (really, really) but I thought they were going to change Cookie Monster into something else? If that was going to happen, it hasn't--at least not on my PBS station. Maybe public outcry was against it? Whatever. I don't need something else teaching my kids that cookies are the best food out there. Really. I think they should've changed it. Blast me if you will.

All of this is just to say I think its easy to sucked into a pattern, and then just stay there. Like this is the way it has to be. And, at the same time, lose the sense of who your audience is. My kids don't care about celebrities. Only I might be impressed...but I'm not the target. By the same token, I can't be writing a YA book that's really for an adult or a younger kid. Doesn't work. At least, in my opinion.

I had another thought about how played out urban fantasy is and why that stinks for me, but I'll shelve that for another day.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Why my posts are so few and far between, and how it will someday be different...

Here's the deal: there are way too many "aspiring writer" blogs out there. Seriously. I don't mind posting, but I feel like there needs to be a reason for me to post, other than to spout off my mouth. I don't know, maybe people enjoy my spouting. Anyhow, I'm still in-process when it comes to finding a voice for this blog. Do I want to describe the minutiae of trying to get published? Obviously not, otherwise I'd update this lots more. The truth is rejection hurts, and while I admire the writers who just throw it out there and admit to every R in their mailbox...I'm not sure I can do that.

On the other hand, I'd like an outlet for this, my not-so-secret life. 

For now though, I think I'll just make it a goal to write more on here, to get in the habit at the least.

Two agents are currently looking at my "new" manuscript...or the revised version. I need to go over this one with a fine-tooth comb, but I still feel like it is stronger than the original "polished" manuscript. So I'm glad that I've got two agents looking at it. Crossing fingers and toes. 

Meanwhile, I read Aprilynne Pike's new book, Wings. It was good: I liked the pacing and the originality of the idea. The selfish part of me was sad it was also about fairies. Funny story: when I started writing WEBS I was a bit embarrassed to have fairies figure so prominently in my story. Now, of course, I see that fairies are really, really, popular. So popular that it might be a deal breaker. It's almost like I was writing a vampire story while being totally oblivious to the Twilight phenomenon. Oh well. It is the story it is. I mean, I am happy to revise but I don't know how I could take fairies out. It is an update of Sleeping Beauty, after all.

I also just finished Brooklyn Rose, a book written a few years ago by Ann Rinaldi, a longtime favorite. It wasn't though, my favorite of her books. I did like the glimpse it gave into turn-of-the-century life. Rinaldi is amazing at capturing setting and voice. Which gave me a new idea for a book, myself. Well, not a "new" idea. But An idea about how I could make a long-term dream concept become an actual plot. So we'll see.

Along those lines, I'm reading a nonfic book by Pope Brock: Charlatan. It's about one of the most successful quack doctors in US history. Fascinating, actually. I again am having an idea here...wouldn't it be fun to write a story about the daughter of a fictional qauck doc? Esp. because the time this particular doctor was popular spanned the depression. How would it be to be the teenager daughter of a successful quack doctor when everyone else was suffering? Is it possible to be a redeemable person growing up with that kind of example? How would it feel?

The downside to those two stories is the crazy amount of research I'd have to do. I'm not opposed to research, I've just not written a historical before. I've got two other stories I've actually started, in addition to the sequel to WEBS should it actually get picked up, so those two are WAY on the backburner. It's fun to think like a writer though. How could this be a story?

I think that's enough for now. Maybe I'll start posting bits and pieces of my works-in-progress on this, to keep me honest.

One other thought: why do I live in a state that doesn't care about hockey? Seriously, I will cry if the Red Wings lose tonight.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Upon review of my query letter, and my manuscript, I'm pretty thrilled anyone was interested at all. I've gotten a little good feedback, and I think I'm ready for some major revision AGAIN. But still, it was a good time to query. Meaning, I felt like I had gotten as far as I could on my own and needed some more help--either that or it was ready. 

Back to the drawing board. Sort of. I think I'm almost there, actually.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

One other thought

I have been reading some other writer or wanna-be blogs lately (and there are a LOT of us) and I noticed...many have two little boys. Why might that be? Does having two little boys drive you insane and make you want to write, or is there some other correlation? 

And will my writing desire fade when this next baby comes, and I've got a GIRL?



I have barely started the query process, and may I just say...blech. 


An agent I am really, really excited about has my manuscript. Well, two of them do. Both are great. Seriously. Imagine a happy dance. Sadly, I'm pretty sure it is like a 10% chance that they'll want you (or less?) even if they've requested your manuscript. Still...

Here's hoping.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Queries almost ready

I realize I haven't posted in quite awhile. I don't think anyone has been crying too hard. I'm not 100% sure this is where I want my blog to go anyway. Still trying to decide who I am...

Anyhow, my purpose in posting tonight is to say: 

I think I'm about ready to query.

My query letter is pretty much done. I'm working on a few different synopsis variations. 

I think I might throw up.