I have a Young Adult novel I slaved over for the better part of a year. I took it to the New York Fiction Pitch last April and had two editors (one from a big six house) and two agents ask for the full manuscript. Not just a treatment or a synopsis, mind you, but the whole shebang.
And it turns out that I have a great book that they really enjoyed reading, but they're looking for a quirky teen story with a sarcastic guy or girl with LGBT issues, an eating disorder, suicidal tendencies or a terminal disease.
That's not my book. My girl is wicked smart and incredibly resourceful, her guy is sarcastic, but compassionate, and this is a Sci/Fi fantasy without any vampires, werewolves, angels, demons or dystopian societies.
In other words, it's something new. And I guess they're not looking for that.
But maybe you guys are. Or your young adult/teen kids are. So I'm putting it out there and I'm asking for your help.
My son screams "Voldemort" every time someone sneezes Once, he was watching Goblet of Fire And Harry was dueling with Voldemort Just as Voldemort threw a curse, I happened to sneeze David was sure Voldemort cursed me into sneezing So he shouts Voldemort! Every single time someone sneezes Even if it's the cat
Yep. Sick as a DAWG (and when you're from the Southwest, I assure you, that means you're really, really freakin' sick - as we say in the Philly burbs).
I'm going to spend today in bed, grateful beyond measure that this is the ex's weekend with the kids. In the meantime, here's a really awesome thing I want to share:
Humans of New York is doing an amazing thing, and it all started with this picture and story:
"Who's influenced you the most in your life?"
"My principal, Ms. Lopez." "How has she influenced you?" "When we get in trouble, she doesn't suspend us. She calls us to her office and explains to us how society was built down around us. And she tells us that each time somebody fails out of school, a new jail cell gets built. And one time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter."
I was face down, and all was quiet, except for the pounding. It was incessant. It was LOUD. It was unbearable. I had to move. Experimentally, I flexed a leg, only to find that the motion made the pounding louder, if that were possible. I focused hard and summoned all the energy I could, and raised my head. Or tried to. My face was stuck. I tried again, and this time, it worked, my face feeling like it was peeling away - taking some skin with it - from wherever it was attached.
You know the kind of friends who always say wonderful things, soft, fuzzy, warm and coddling words that let you know how extra-special you are?
Yeah, my friends aren't much like that. Instead, I get the friends that tell it like it is. The ones that bust my balls as often as they break out the pom-poms to cheer me on. The ones who say wonderful things but aren't afraid in the least to tell me to get off my ass and fix my life.
And I love them fiercely for it.
Take last Thursday, for instance. The kids were at their father's for the evening, and I headed out to Wegman's after work, a favorite place of mine to set up my laptop, and take advantage of some free wi-fi, and write, write, write.
That's just what I was doing, until he came along.
He rode the bus alone today, and I'm the one who put him there. I'm the one who carried him on, bewildered, forced him into the car-seat, kissed him and reassured him in vain and then watched his tear-streaked face through the window as the bus pulled away.
My brothers were fighting again, beating each other with whatever they found lying around, battering each other into the hallway, then through the doorway into my room, where they began reaching for whatever they could to continue the assault. The elder of my brothers reached down and grabbed my beloved stuffed Snoopy, whirling about to slam it into his opponent's face. Ouch! Those beady plastic eyes hurt when they hit! My brother reached out on the next swing, grabbing Snoopy's head. A tug of war ensued as I stood on my bed, screaming. Then, it happened.
Snoopy's head came off, stuffing went everywhere, and I reacted like any five year old who just watched her best friend get decapitated. They got a stern lecture from my father as my mother sewed Snoopy back together again, reinforcing the importance of not touching someone else's stuff. Yeah, you stupid boys! That was my stuff. MY STUFF. And my stuff is important. Much more important than your stupid old stuff. Leave my stuff alone!
Thirty two years later, my brothers and I stood in the doorway of my old bedroom. My father said softly "I put a lot of stuff in here. Look through it and see if there's anything you want." We sat on the floor, opening boxes of stuff, sifting through stuff, dividing up stuff. In the end, we all took some stuff, but nothing could change the fact that this was my mother's stuff, and she wasn't here anymore.
So here I am, coming off a year that featured a whole lot of promise that fizzled the hell out, and I landed a freelance job that made me feel really good inside.
The job was for an anthology of stories themed around veterans, and the client wanted a rather lengthy story - 5,000 words. The client also wanted it by December 31st, which was going to be problematic with some of my other writing commitments and the holidays, but a few back and forth messages (all recorded on the freelancer message board in the project workroom, thank goodness) and we had an agreement that I could extend to January 2nd, in light of the holiday.
Let me tell you, I wrote one slam-banging story. It was really, really good and I was terribly proud of it. What's more, I knew it was exactly what the client was looking for.
See, I was all alone for New Year's Eve. My kids were with their Dad, and my father (who's been visiting for a week) had to get back on the road yesterday.
So I did some writing, some cleaning, some more writing…
Then I watched a movie and folded some laundry and ah, hell….I was just bored. Seriously bored.
It was cold out, but not wretchedly so, and I have a gorgeous place not fifteen minutes from my house with hiking trails, a big gurgling stream, nice flat boulders to climb on and over, and I really could use the fresh air.
I slipped on my hiking shoes, zipped up a fleecy hoodie, grabbed a bottle of water, and off I went.