Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fear of Unknown


I've been reading a book called "Plan B; What do you do when God doesn't show up the way you though He would" by Pete Wilson.  I've been a little disappointed with my life so far.  My four year plan of being married or engaged by the time I graduated from college didn't happen.  I've got six months and it's not happening.  I've also been disappointed with my writing, the struggles of getting published.

There was a particular chapter that interested me.  He talks about how his child was afraid of the dark and he had to check under the bed for monsters or things that went bump in the night.  It wasn't really the dark that she feared.  It was the fear of the unknown.  I admit t hat I still sleep with a nightlight on and I don't like the dark.  Maybe I also fear the unknown.  My plan was to be married and have a baby so I could be a stay-at-home Mom and write.  I don't have a Plan B.  It's scary.  When I graduate, I don't know what I'll do for work.  Though I'm hopefully traveling to New Zealand a few months after, I don't know what that will be like.  I'm afraid of the unknown.  I'm a planner and I'm pretty sure that God laughs when we make plans because our plans will never have as much meaning as his.

I shouldn't have a reason to be afraid of what's to come.  I need to trust that God will be with me, no matter what.

Also, I finally decided to buy a Kindle.  It's supposed to come in the mail tomorrow!  I'm very excited to start reading on it.  My goal is to reread "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien this summer.  I first read it when I was twelve.  Quite a difficult series for a twelve-year-old.  I can't wait to read it again and see all that I missed! :)  What better to read a story about a small  hobbit that changed the course of history with his journey.  Frodo wasn't afraid to travel to the end of the Middle Earth to destroy the Ring and protect his way of life.

I also absolutely love the love story between Aragorn and Arwen!  A beautiful and ageless love.  Viggo Mortensen... alas, you are incredibly handsome! :)

Hope you had a wonderful Tuesday!!

In Christ,
Krista M

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Decision Made


Happy Memorial Day weekend to all of you!! :)  I hope that you all take some time to celebrate those men and women that have served our country.  I don't really have any terribly exciting plans.  I took an online exam today for my Human Sexuality class, wow that just even sounds awkward.  Then I sent three more query emails; and I have a list of a few more that I can send to.  Now I'm watching Gilmore Girls on the SoapNet Channel, ahh... I need a hobby... okay, I need to work on my hobby; writing. :)

The reason for this post is... I've made a decision... I'm going to NEW ZEALAND!!! :)  I'm young, not attached to anyone and I've got the ability to pack up and go.  Not exactly sure when I'm going to go yet, but I'm hoping to go in August of 2012.  I graduate in December and that gives me a few months to work before I go, saving money.  Also, my lease at my apartment will be up at that point.  I'm super excited!!!!  I still have to officially apply for the program and make sure that I get my Visa, but New Zealand... I've been dreaming of going since I first saw "The Lord of the Rings" and it's just amazing... wow, I'm excited.  New Zealand...

And I'm trying to convince my cousin Emily to go with me. :)

Have a great long weekend!!  And here's a little video that I found to remind us of what this weekend means.


In Christ,
Krista M

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why We Write

Athletes start at a young age, little girls and boys in leotards tumbling across the floor.  We sit in class, listening to the stories that the teacher reads and can’t help but be more interested than the other children.  When they stop listening, we are leaning forward on our carpet squares, soaking up each word.

When gymnasts are practicing early in the morning, we are up late, scribbling down the stories that we dreamt about that night and unable to sleep.  We go to school, and work – writing on scraps of paper, desperate for a few moments to write, but unable.  We come home and clean the house, wash the dishes, play with the kids, help with homework, bathe the kids and tuck them in before starting the laundry and finally sitting down to write with a cup of coffee, staring at the clock.  The night drags on and after hours of writer’s block on that difficult scene in our novels, we stop and fall into bed before beginning again. 

After hours and hours and hours of writing with carafes of coffee beside us and pain in our backs from the uncomfortable computer chair, we complete our manuscript.  We take a short break, step outside and finally get a little pink color on our pale cheeks.  It is okay to talk to our friends again and we suffer from caffeine heads from the decrease in coffee.  After a little while, it’s time to start editing.  It doesn’t matter how hard we tried while writing the first draft, we still have to cut out chunks.  As a gymnast pulls chunks of skin from their hands as they cry, we do the same as we lose some of our scenes and try to tape new ones over the sores.  We laugh and cry as we try to perfect our stories.

Running down, throwing oneself upon the vault as they are tossed and flipping through the air, we send out query letters to agents, attempting to find the one that will advocate for our story.  Letter after letter, email after email is sent and the waiting begins.  Days, sometimes weeks pass before the rejections begin.  No matter how many times we try to be positive, another letter cracks our tough skin.  It’s not enough.  But without that agent, we can’t get into the publishing company.  We beat ourselves up, trying to be published and read, our books residing in a bookstore or a library.  We just want to justify this thing we call writing.  It pains us, but we love to write and it’s our passion. 

Use poor word choice; rejection.  Make a few typos; rejection.  Leave your name on the title page if they asked you not to; they won’t even read it.  It’s harsh.  Based on 300 words of a pitch, not even your book, they reject us. 

After a few chocolate therapy sessions, we write another query.  Someday, we hope to make it and find ourselves in an article about writing or have a movie made about our book.  Readers will write letters to tell us what they thought and we will spend hours reading them.  It’s not about the money, but the fact that someone is reading what we have suffered for and toiled to write.  Being published is like the Olympics for a gymnast, standing and receiving a gold medal as the national anthem plays.  It’s our moment, the one we’ve worked so hard for.

We begin as children, listening to stories and dreaming of the ones we could tell.  We end as authors, our thoughts printed in written word and on the hearts of those that read it.  That’s why we write.

In honor of having over 1,000 views on my blog, I've written this testament to why we write and struggle to become authors, even if it seems too difficult.  Thank you for reading and let me know if you like my piece or if it needs a little more!  Maybe more coffee? :)
In Christ,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Two days in a row


I got home from work today and checked my email, another agent rejection.  This one didn't think that my book was a good fit for them.  Alright.  That's two days in a row getting rejection letters.  I still haven't heard anything further from the agency that asked for my book proposal.  Patiently waiting for more from that one.  I keep reminding myself that things might just take a little longer.  I might have to do another round of agent searching or more revisions.  Uh... yikes. 

People wonder why I don't really like celebrities that get published.  Because they are already famous, the publisher wants that "name" that will sell.  For example; Justin Bieber has an autobiography.  That frustrates me.  He probably didn't even write it; it was a ghostwriter.  Thousands of pre-teen girls will have bought it!  He's young, too young for a biography of his short few years.  I can think of many other people that have more interesting stories.  Also, I've read a picture book by a famous actor.  It wasn't quality research and used words that weren't even age appropriate.  The child wouldn't understand parts of the story.  But it was published... I'm not saying that I would ever want to be a publisher and they do need to make money... but... some things that get published are crap.  It's just my opinion.

At least my speech went well today.  It had to be 5-7 minutes.  Mine was 7 minutes 12 seconds, a little over and I'll be docked for it, but oh well.  Only two more speeches and it's done.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Simply No

Hi all,

Just a quick update for today.  I received a rejection response from one of my queries today.  They didn't think it was the correct fit and were filled with plenty of new projects and agents.  Alright, that was a fair rejection.

Now, I have to get back to writing my speech for tomorrow that I am not excited about... oh well... I just have to get through the last three weeks of this class and I'll be done with speech.  I like that this class is only 4 weeks long, but it's one speech a week and I really hate public speaking!  I can do this, I can do this... maybe.

Anxiously yours,

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Considering a journey

Hi all,

I still haven't heard anything else from the agents that I queried.  I sent another email yesterday to an agent and I'm being patient.  They say that for most after 30 days if you haven't heard anything; you can consider yourself rejected.  It's so modern, if they can't find the time to reject you, they just ignore it and you reject yourself.  Kinda lazy in my opinion, but that's alright.  Agents are quite busy.

I'm finishing out the first week of my summer classes.  It's much more work than I originally thought it would be.  I've been very distracted and kinda stressed out about things.  Not finding time to relax or write.  I've been thinking about what to do when I graduate.  I was looking into a program called BUNAC, which helps US citizens over the age of 18 find jobs overseas.  They captured my interest because they work in New Zealand, which is my dream country to visit, though I admit I don't know much about it.  "The Lord of the Rings" was filmed there and ever since I saw the first movie, I fell in love with the beautiful country.  I'm considering going there after I graduate.  But it scares the crap out of me and I'm not sure that I could do it.  Be away from my friends and family for so long.  I would love to be the first in my family to travel and live overseas for a while.  I don't know.  It's just an option for after I graduate.  Nothing definite.

Haven't been doing any writing lately.  I've got some nasty writer's block, though I hate that phrase.  I don't know... Stress is doing strange things to me.  Any ideas on how to get past this writing block?

In Christ,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Proposal Writing

Hi all!

So, as a follow-up to my post about the 5 query emails that I sent on Sunday.  I actually received a response from one of them on Monday, asking for my book proposal, synopsis, and the first three chapters of my novel.  I was shocked!  I was talking on Skype with my friend Kayla and I kinda scared her when I got super excited!!  After that, I realized that I have no idea what a book proposal was.  I'd heard of query letters and researched them fully, but never a book proposal.  I felt like such a newbie, having to Google "How to write a fiction book proposal".

Book proposals, I've discovered, are kinda like resumes in the way that they are unique with each person and that everyone will tell you what to include and what not to include.  I found myself flipping through dozens of different forms for book proposals and not sure which one was right!  Turns out, I used the main points from two of them and spent three long hours working on my synopsis today and two hours working on the rest last night.  It was grueling!  But, I'm done.  I submitted it to the agent and now it's back to the waiting game... Be nervous and wait to see if she likes it.  If so, she will request my entire manuscript, which is ready is she wants to read it. :)

Either way, I'm trusting in God that things are gonna be okay.  Yay for learning new things about writing!! :)

In Christ,

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Querying Agents


Now that finals are over and summer has begun, it's time to start querying agents and actually writing that new novel I began a few weeks ago!  Today I sent 5 emails to different agencies that work with publishing young adult fiction and Christian fiction, which is harder than I thought.  I have a pretty solid query letter that I'm confident about, so I'm actually not that nervous to send them.

One thing that frustrated me was the number of agents that won't accept submissions from previously unpublished authors.  Okay... let me try to understand this... Publishing companies will not accept manuscripts from unpublished authors or unsolicited manuscripts, so they recommend finding an agent that will do the leg work and help you find a publishing company suited to your work, but then the agents will not always accept unpublished authors, so you need to have published a novel first, but you need an agent to be published.... It goes on and on.  How are you supposed to get hand hold on the cliff of publishing, big enough to pull yourself up if your fingers are being stepped on by both the publishing company and the agents???  It's quite confusing.  I see why some authors stick only to self publishing, which can be done so much easier.  You are the publisher and your own agent.  Easy?

Maybe they are trying to make it the road less traveled, but that's not really working.  I'm gonna be a published author.  Okay, let me correct that last statement.  With God's will and a little bit of luck, I will be a published author. :)


Thursday, May 5, 2011

An Award and 7 Hairy Men... I mean 7 Random Facts


I had an extremely long day at work!  But I was excited to see that when I got home I got a wonderful award from Christine Murray!  Thank  you so much!  It definitely made my day!

Ok, here are the rules for this award: 

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 5 new-found blogging buddies.
4. Contact the winners to congratulate them.

Random Facts -

1.  I am the second oldest of five children, with ages ranging from 24, 22 (that's me!), 18, 7 and 4.  The little two are adopted; my parents are foster parents.  Alyson, who is 7 came to live with us when she was 15 months old and Hunter was six days old.

2.  I am deathly afraid of spiders and all other sorts of bugs.  In order to get courage to kill them, I like to throw shoes until I hit them while listening to "Goodbye Earl" from the Dixie Chicks.

3.  My absolute favorite movie series is "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and because of that, I have an unquenchable desire to visit New Zealand someday and see where they filmed such an amazing movie!  I also love playing Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit with my best friend Molly.

4.  My favorite holiday is Halloween, I love getting dressed up and eating candy-corn while watching "Hocus Pocus".

5.  Once, while coming home from a jazz choir contest, I depantsed myself.  I was sitting on the floor the bus and didn't realize that my shirt was under my foot and stood up.  Luckily it was dark and I don't think anyone saw my silk white slip.  Embarrassing!

6.  When I'm sad, I like sitting in the dark in my living room and watching the end of "A Little Princess" so I have a reason to cry.

7.  I once had a dream that I married Viggo Mortensen... yummy. :)

So, the people I'm passing the award onto are....

1.  Alison
2.  Danielle
3.  Jessica
4.  Kathryn
5.  Catherine

Hope you are all having a great day!  I have one more final tomorrow and it's summer! :) 

Krista M

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Accidental Minor


Sorry I haven't written anything this week, I'm in the middle of Finals Week.  Three down and one to go.  I was talking with one of my friends today and working on my resume, which is not impressive.  She commented that I had taken quite a few English classes.  I went into my degree audit and realized that I've taken 21 English credits and you only need 18 credits for an English minor.  All I need to do is turn in the paperwork and I have a minor! :)  That makes my day!  I don't have to do anything extra, just get a C in my Creative Writing; Fiction class in the fall, which will be extremely easy!  Yay! :)

I've made a decision to find an agent for "Down in the Creek" and forget about self-publishing for now.  It's something that I would try after I've given up hope for an agent and the traditional publishing.  I'm fine with my first book being self-published because it is a little controversial based on the ending.  I would like to be a published author and be found in a library!  Self-publishing doesn't really put you in the library unless you are amazing.   I  need to start querying agents!!  As soon as I finish my finals...

Hope you're having a great day!

Krista M