Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Query 2.0*

Let me preface this by saying that I really took everyone's comments from Query 1.0 to heart. So if you read this and think, "Wow, that girl didn't listen to anything I said!", you'll know that I just have issues. (Let's hope that's not the case!)

I'm just going to post the pitch and the query, since I haven't made any changes to my opening yet (still in first draft mode).

So here goes!

QUERY 2.0:*

Dear Mr. or Ms. AGENT:

Drew Cleary knows immortality spells are forbidden, but he figures the rules don’t apply when no one knows you’re a witch. What he doesn’t realize is that showing off his new ability with a knife trick at a high school party is a quick way to end the night with a hexed bullet in his chest.

Thanks to another probation violation, the suddenly not-so-immortal Drew is sent to a school for at-risk teens, his last stop before jail. The adjustment to a new town, a new school, and yet another foster home would be easier if Drew didn’t have to deal with a bunkmate from hell, a crush on a girl who knows just how to make him crazy, and a message from a guy claiming to be Drew’s father.

Apparently, Drew’s in danger, and he has to make a choice: trust the man who went out for ice cream ten years ago and never came back, or turn to the girl who seems to know more about Drew than she’s letting on. The choice Drew makes may cost him his power, his heart, and, ultimately, his life.

Completed at approximately ___________ words, [insert title] is available upon request. I have attended several Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) workshops, and I maintain a blog at I am currently working on another young adult manuscript.



* After LiLa's very wise words, I made a couple of small revisions--namely, removing a reference to this being my first manuscript, and removing specific names mentioned in paragraph 2. I include this here in case anyone reads LiLa's comment and thinks ... "Huh? What are they talking about?"


When Drew Cleary messes around with magic that he shouldn’t have, he ends the night with a bullet in his chest, violates his probation, and gets shipped off to a school for at-risk teens. As a foster kid Drew’s used to change, but that doesn’t prepare him for a bunkmate from hell, a crush on a girl who knows just how to make him crazy, and a message from a guy claiming to be his father. Apparently, Drew’s in danger, and he has to make a choice: trust the guy who abandoned him ten years ago, or turn to the girl who seems to know more than she’s letting on. The wrong decision could cost him his power, his heart, and, ultimately, his life.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ta- Ta- Ta- Tuesday. Ta- Teaser Tuesday.

As promised, here are the first 200'ish words of my latest WIP. By all means, please leave feedback. Any feedback. Even if you hate it. I promise, I won't cry (for too long). Because Lila and Weronika seemed interested, I'm also including my query (*grimaces--I hate queries). I'm throwing my 2-line pitch in as well, even though I'm pretty convinced that it's, well ... lacking. Lacking what, I'm not sure. But lacking.

Without further ado ...


Dear Mr. or Ms. AGENT:

Most witches have never been immortal, but Drew Cleary is different. Or at least he was, until he got a little too cocky at a high school party and ended the night with a bullet in his chest. Problem is, this wound isn’t healing like it should. When his injury causes him to violate his probation—again—Drew is sentenced to a new town, his tenth-or-so new foster home, and his senior year at BCMI, a school for at-risk teens. BCMI is Drew’s last stop before a jail cell, not to mention a hideout from the people who seem to want him dead. He tries to lay low, but one hasty move exposes him for who he really is—to the girl that he wants to hate but can’t, and to the people he’s been hiding from for months. On his pursuit to take down the people who have set out to hurt him, Drew discovers that everything—and everyone—is not what it seems, a fact which may cost him his power, his heart, and the very mortality he once felt insignificant.

Completed at approximately ___________ words, [insert title] is my third manuscript. I graduated from law school in 2007 and now work as an attorney for the state of Florida. I read and study the young adult fiction market on an ongoing basis, and I have attended several writing workshops. I am currently working on another young adult manuscript.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.




Chapter 1

A bullet burns a tree to my left, and bark splinters against my cheek. I hear their feet crunching against brittle leaves, twigs snapping under their weight. They’re closer now.

Another shot grazes my right ear. I reach up a hand, panic numbing my fingertips. My skin comes back clean. No hint of red. No smell of pocket change.

I run a little faster.

Shot number three buries itself in the grass, lost to the clutches of the forest.

The bullets won’t kill me, or at least they shouldn’t. I’d rather not take that chance.

I jump a corroded fence and splash into Cherry Creek. The warm water sloshes against my ankles, coaxing me downstream. The trees are closing in on me now.

I step on something slippery and lose my balance. Air slips through my fingertips as I fall. I land on something sharp, and my ankle twists. Turns. Snaps. Bone is in a place it shouldn’t be, wriggling its way to the surface. I pull myself forward, trudging through mud on my hands and knees, my broken ankle slowing me down. Rocks and tree limbs cut into my skin, sending my blood into the shallow water.


Drew Cleary is a 17-year-old wiccan who gets sent to a school for at-risk kids as punishment for his latest probation violation. While he’s there, he makes a hasty decision that exposes himself for who he really is—to the girl he wants to hate but can’t, and to the people he’s been hiding from for months. Drew has to find out who to trust, and quick, before he loses everything.

And th- th- th- th- th- th- that's all f- f- f- folks!

Seriously. Tear it up. All of it. No, really. I mean it. :)

p.s. Thank you in advance for ANY comments. I love you all!

Me's a thinking ...

... that I haven't posted much about writing lately. And that's probably because I haven't DONE much writing lately. (Work fried my brain. All that I had left was the mental capacity to fix a glass of water. And to check my email, of course.) This week, I'm kicking my butt back into gear. To start, I'm going to post the first 200'ish words from my WIP, the same 200'ish words I plan on toting around at the SCBWI as I beg for change (a.k.a. other YA writers with projects to be critiqued), until strangers feel sorry for me and toss a quarter into my cup.

Except, uh, I'm at work and my words are at home. So, alas, it will have to wait until this afternoon. Maybe I'll even include my party pitch (the 1-2 liner that sums up your story, or at least that's what it's supposed to do). My query freaks me out. Don't know if I have the [insert inappropriate man units] to add that one.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I pick you. And you, and you, and you, and you.

The lovely Abby Annis has awarded me a Superior Scribbler award. How awesome is that?

Now I get to return the favor to 5 super worthy bloggers. And the winners are ... *drum roll, please:

1. Lisa and Laura Write -- b/c they're just freakin' awesome and never fail to make me laugh. And, oh yeah, they have an agent and they post about their WIPs and submissions and did I mention I'm a teensy weensy bit jealous? No? Good.

2. Kori over at Author in Progress. Because she writes like a madwoman--seriously, I'm talking thousands of words a day when she gets going--and makes me want to do it, too.

3. Little Ms. J - Jeanette Schneider. Because no matter what she posts, she always makes me think, "Why didn't I write a blog about that?!" And because she's so darn honest about her (rather fascinating) life that I can't wait to see her memoir in print :)

4. Purple Clover. Because she's Little Ms. J's sister, and sisters are awesome. And because she started this JuJu writing challenge for the summer that really kicked my butt into gear. I'd probably still be sitting on 5k if it weren't for her.

5. Jamie D of The Variety Pages. Because she posts flash fiction and serial novels and has contests involving macrophotography. And she has a nail art blog that makes me smile.

And that's all she wrote.

If you all wanna play along, here are the rules:

1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.

2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.

4. Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit This Post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Point one and point two. And okay, point three.

1) I finally watched Stranger than Fiction, and I have to say, I liked it. A lot. Some of my favorite scenes were with the author/narrator--like when she stood at the edge of her desk and imagined what it would be like to fall from a building, or when she sat in the rain and stared at a bridge, waiting to see a wreck. She was pretty awesome, and as crazy as she was, I kept thinking, "Man, I wish that was me!" Or "Why didn't I think of a storyline that clever? I'm sure I can write a screenplay ... I mean how hard can it be, right?" (Yeah. Right. Sure.)

The movie did leave me with one (okay several, but one main) question, so help me out here if you can: What happens during her rewrites ... or is she this magical author that doesn't DO rewrites?

2) I went some place new today. A building with checkout ladies and tables and chairs and computers and DVDs and paintings and ... what was that other thing ... Oh yeah. And books. Lots of them. For the first time since high school, I went to the library. My thoughts:

-- Heads should be put on the body at an agle. Ya know, tilted about 90 degrees to the right. Either that or there needs to be a way to stack books so that I can see the title on the spines without pulling a neck muscle.

-- I live in/near the boonies, in a religious and conservative town, so I didn't expect much in the way of YA. Well, at least not the type of YA I lean toward, anyway. They surprised me, at least a little. I didn't see any Ellen Hopkins on the shelves, but I did find Scott Westerfeld and Laurie Halse Anderson (I checked out Chains) and that newer book "Generation Dead" and some other interesting looking ones, and that's a start, right?

-- This ain't a Barnes and Noble. So it's probably best to leave your cell phone in your bag or in your car. Trying to whisper a conversation with your sister so you don't piss off the 2 teenagers sitting at the table with 8+ books each in their stacks isn't the easiest of tasks.

-- It's pretty easy to get a library card. You just need a driver's license with a local address. And if you're name is Jessica, put your middle name, because they have a LOT of Jessicas. Or so the lady says.

-- The cool looking abstract art on display isn't for sale. Damn it. No, really. It isn't. Both ladies said so. Deal with it. Move on.

-- The books are covered with something weird and plasticky, at least the hardbacks in the teen section. It gives the books a saran wrapped, previously frozen, wayyyy past the expiration date, high school science book heebie-jeebies type of feel. I'm not making much sense, but still. I don't so much like it. Although thinking about a book jacket, trading from hand-to-hand without a condom, makes me want to cringe.

-- It's easy to lose an hour staring at books with your weird crick-neck. Now, if only I can get my work hours to move so quickly ...

3) a couple of episodes of Boston Legal + 2 hours of So You Think You Can Dance + medicating kitty for his ear infection + a hyperactive puppy + court month from hell - sleep/rest/meditation = exhaustion. So much exhaustion that I believe I fell asleep mid-sentence typing this thing up (or maybe that's just because I'm boring? Eh, whatever.). There goes my midnight writing/editing time. I'm out.

Happy dreams to all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wilbur gone wild.

I don't know how things work in big cities, but in the itty bitty town not toooooo far (i.e., not far enough) from where I live, this is what makes the news.

If only the pig had learned the magical phrase:

"Don't tase me, bro!"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

10 things I hate about 10 Things I Hate About You

First off, let's be clear: I'm hating on the ABC family ripoff t.v. show, not the movie. I triple-heart the movie. It's one of my guilty pleasures. Now, on with the list of the 10 things I "hate" (hate's a strong word, but "dislike" didn't have the same ring to it) about the show:

1. Patrick Verona = nope. No way. Just not my thing. He's not a true bad boy; he's a bad boy wanna be. And he's just too ... blah. Not all that cute, not all that snarky, not all that likeable.

2. Cameron = too awkward to be likeable. No wait ... maybe he's not awkward enough. No wait ... maybe he's just a sucky actor. Whatever it is, he doesn't do it for me. Now, I never found that Joseph Gordon-Levitt (spelling?) guy attractive, but I still liked him enough to root for him. This guy? Ehh.

3. Joey Donner/Donnor = no longer an entertaining douche. Now, just a pathetic ball at the end of Chasity's chain.

4. Bianca = lost little goodie goodie too-nice new girl who wants to be popular but looks like she should just whip out her violin. (Nothing against the violin players out there. I'm sure you were all super popular in school. But the band geek metaphor was around long before I was, so I'm utilizing it, darn it.) That likeable bitch charm that Larissa had, this girl lacks tenfold. Who knows--maybe she'll come out of her bashful new girl shell and become the popular bitch I know she can be.

5. Kat/Cat = Too. Much. Makeup. If I can see the gloss and the blush and the mascara, it's a bit ridiculous. No self respecting feminist/popularity hater tries that hard. Just ask Julia Stiles. TV Kat/Cat has the spunk, so I'll give her that. And to be honest, she's probably one of the brighter stars out of the group as far as acting goes. But ... she's just trying too hard, which ends up making her look a little poser'ish.

6. Most of these kids walked out the door the morning of filming and left their acting chops at home. But it's like that with almost any show. Have you ever noticed how one of your friends comes over to your house, and she/he catches about 15 minutes of your FAVORITE television show EVER, and all she/he can say is, "Wow, that acting really sucks! How do you even watch that?" And you're thinking, "Oh NO she/he didn't! I think I might cry now." So maybe it's like that. Maybe they'll grow on me.

7. Yes, I said "grow on me," because no matter how much I think it sucks, it still has something that kept me from canceling the series' recording or turning the channel. Which means I'll be tuning in next week. And probably the next, and the next, and the next ...

8. No Heath Ledger. Sigh ...

9. They've kept the names for the main characters, but they've veered so far in the plotline from the movie that one has to wonder: why even bother with the movie's skeleton? Why not just come up with a new teen comedy and give the kids different names? The movie was out 10'ish years ago, so unless the show is aimed at the 20-somethings like me that loved the movie and miss it so terribly that they're willing to live vicariously through the t.v. show, I just don't get it.

10. Did I mention no Heath Ledger??

So that's my peace. Who knows ... maybe I'll do a 180 by next week. Stranger things have happened. Like squirrels that fly. That's pretty weirdo when you think about it.

**Warning: I posted this in a state of almost-asleep delirium. My apologies for things that don't make any sense. Like the flying squirrels bit. WTF?