Kneeling at the Altar of the Word Count Gods

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Dear Lovely Laser Eyes,

I understand you’ve got gobbledygook in your brain. You’ve decided to cut the word count of your novel from 121,000 words to 70,000 words? You’re sick.

~Concerned

Dear Concerned,

It sounds like self-punishment, I know. But I think it might be self-love.

Whuuut?

Last week, I got some advice from an author with a lot more experience in publishing. I asked her for some help with my pitch package. She took one look at my word count and told me, “No agent will look at your YA book with a word count of 121,000.”

When I was writing my book, I knew the word counts of YA were hovering around 60-80,000 but I ignored those numbers. Now, after getting over two dozen rejections from agents with zero requests for partials or fulls, I’m ready to kneel at the altar of the word count gods.

My goal has always been to publish traditionally. If you want to publish traditionally, you have to play by the industry rules.

Wish me luck, writer friends. Hopefully I’ll return with my sanity.

 

Play These Songs on my Deathbed

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Seeing my mom decline has been one of the saddest experiences of my life. It has made me see that our system of dealing with old age is broken.

Should we be keeping people that have Alzheimer’s and dementia alive? I personally don’t want that for myself and I bet most people, if given the choice, wouldn’t either.

I’ve talked to several people in my generation that say, “yeah, I’m going to get a pill and take it when the time comes.” Suicide when the time is right.

95% of the time, that’s not how it goes down. Where did I hide that pill? I forget because Alzheimer’s crept up on me. Or, one minute you’re happy, you’re 85 and still loving life and then you have an event. Like a stroke. Your brain is affected and you can’t think for yourself anymore.

I’m going to die someday. That’s inescapable. So I want to be able to plan my death. I want to be able to go further than just have a “Do Not Resuscitate” order in my will. What if I get Alzheimer’s or dementia? I don’t want to put my family or myself through that. Planning how I die should be my right as a human being. To say that when I don’t remember who my loved ones are, put me to sleep! Have a ceremony for loved ones so they can say goodbye. Make is special. So they can recount the good times we’ve had and laugh and cry.

Play some Oscar Peterson,images

play some Madness, Madness-012

and of course, play “The Final Countdown”. europe-the-final-countdown

 

Querying Agents and Other Forms of Self-Torture

Dear Lovely Laser Eyes,

Where in the hell is your book that you finished, like last year?

-Confused

Dear Confused,

Holy crap, I hear you! Where IS my book? I’m trying to find an agent. What a pain in the ass!

I’m trying to publish traditionally. I want that roaring machine behind me! I need the Frankenstein jump start on getting my book out there. How long am I going to give it? Probably six more months.

If not, I’ll self-publish of course. In the meantime, I’m going to keep writing as much as I can.

My strategy so far has been to query 6-8 agents and judge the response. If there are no partial or full manuscript requests, then tweak the pitch package. I’m on my third round and so far, no love.

The thing is, I know the book is good. My beta readers have scored it on average at 8.5 out of 10.

So what’s the deal? I think it’s a tough sell for agents because it’s told in first person, multiple point of view’s. While I was working on it, I got inspired watching “The Wire” television series. I loved seeing the story from so many angles. It’s so comprehensive and fascinating. That’s what I’ve tried to do with my book by telling it through seven different characters.

I’m going to keep trying, tweaking my pitch package with the help of people I’ve met on Goodreads and my writer buddies. With fingers crossed, I hope to find an agent that will be psyched to represent me.

If any of you have advice, I’d love to hear it!

 

 

 

 

tumblr_mlz7aaY5Ai1rnrss4o1_540I weren’t nothing but a kid but I ain’t forgot him.  Never will.  Not ‘till the day I die.  He killed them all.  ‘Cept me.  I hid under the stairs of Miss Maggie’s bed house, blood soaking through the slats from a killed woman whose disrepute bled out all over me.

He rode in on a hazy Sunday afternoon.  His horse had half his face scraped off and his teeth were bared, brown and awful.  The gunslinger didn’t look much better.  Skin peeling off his body and his head buzzing with flies.  Them both risen outta some month old grave.  People that seen him screamed and ran.  And he just dropped ’em.  He walked through and shot any person that stood against him.  He was the judge from hell.  Collecting on sins that they thought was secret.  But he knew about ’em.  Brave boys full of whiskey lay dead in the road.  The bullets ripped right through him but he jes kept comin’ and no one escaped but me.

And when he was done, he took his prize.  Like the Indians taking their scalps, but he took worse.  He ate the insides of them heads.  Took his time, too.  Fed his horse the same and rode out of town slow through the moonlight.  I ain’t never seen or heard of him since.

~ Lovelylasereyes

Judge from Hell