Yeah, So, Some Crazy Things Happened Recently

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A week before I was headed for the writing conference, I started doubting myself. My thought trail went like this:

  1. Is my writing good?
  2. Am I ready for this conference?
  3. My writing is really bad.
  4. Definitely not ready.
  5. I NEED TO CANCEL MY REGISTRATION FOR THE CONFERENCE!
  6. There’s no way I’m going to get all my money back if I cancel the week before, so I might as well just go and see what God does.

Let me tell you, friends, this conference was worth every penny.

The first day, I woke up early and registered for an appointment to pitch to my preferred agent. I wanted to work with him so badly that I went to this conference just so that I could meet him. I had spent the past 5-6 weeks reading everything I could on him and watching all his videos so that I would know exactly how to pitch my books to him. My plan was to pitch a Christian young adult contemporary romance novel and a Christian dystopian novel for adults.

After meeting another conferee who encouraged me in my writing journey, I walked in to my first class and, determined to be positive, gave everyone a huge smile. I recognized a woman in the front row as one of the former submissions readers for the agent I wanted to pitch.

I ran into her later in the day and told her that I thought her online videos were super fun. She introduced herself to me and said that before the conference started she was praying to God for Him to reveal someone to her that she needed to encourage. She knew when she saw me that I was that person.

It meant a lot to me because I still felt nervous and overwhelmed about the conference. The woman was super helpful when I told her that I had an appointment to pitch with the agent she used to work with and helped me refine my pitch for him. I felt it was obvious, then, that it was meant to be that I would get a contract from him eventually since God wanted her to encourage me.

HAHA– I was wrong.

I went to the pitch session, and he told me that I was a good writer, but that my manuscripts were caught between markets, so neither would sell. Basically, what he meant was that my books had a mix of elements geared for both the Christian and general markets, so it wouldn’t work for either. I had to pick one.

I was thus rejected and consequently crushed. Those of you who know me well know that I’m an emotional person. It’s both a blessing and a curse to feel things deeply, but that night it was a curse.

I felt stupid for the mistake I made in my manuscripts. When I went to the worship portion of the night, I began crying. In the flight portion of the fight-or-flight mode, I walked out of the auditorium. I just couldn’t be there any longer.

I know I overreacted, but it is heartbreaking when you have spent MANY, MANY hours working on your manuscript only to be told that your story idea won’t sell. Plus, writing is incredibly personal, so you feel almost like someone rejected your innermost self.

After that, I went to meet one of my friends from college who lives nearby, and it felt good to get everything off my chest. Shout out to Dave for listening to me, encouraging me, and being a high-caliber human being. When I got back to the dorm, a few women told me they had seen me crying and encouraged me to persevere in my writing. It meant a lot to me.

However, the next morning I woke up feeling downtrodden. I didn’t want to go to any of the sessions. I had scheduled an appointment with an editor that the agent I spoke to the day before recommended I talk to, but I wasn’t hopeful much would come of it. She is an editor mostly for speculative fiction so I wanted to see if she could give me direction on my dystopian novel.

I told her the premise, and she agreed with the agent that it had elements suited for both the Christian and general markets and therefore couldn’t work for either. She asked if she could read the first few pages, so I gave it to her. I was ready for her to start criticizing it, but then the best thing happened.

She started laughing. And she kept laughing again and again as she continued reading. It was a HUGE confidence booster for me. My novel has elements of comedy/satire, and it meant a lot to me that she got my sense of humor. She told me that she thought my writing was funny and the main character quirky.

I’ve had people in my life think my sense of humor too offbeat and/or not understand it, but this editor got me. She not only appreciated my humor but also understood the message I was trying to convey. She helped me brainstorm how I could rework it for the general market, and then she gave me her contact information and told me that she’d love to see it once I reworked it.

I was super encouraged. An editor said she’d love to see my story!

In the last session of the night, the director of the conference announced that there were a few manuscript critiques waiting to be picked up in the hallway. (A few weeks prior to the conference, we had the option to send in the first chapter of a manuscript for a faculty member to critique, so I sent in my young adult contemporary romance.) For some reason, I thought I was going to get my critique sent to my email. So, I hadn’t picked mine up yet. I went over to the table and saw it there. When I picked it up, my first thought was “It’s probably not going to be a good critique.” I flipped to the critique page and looked for the name of the faculty member who had critiqued it. It was the editor I had talked to earlier that day who was interested in my other book. Even better, she left me a great critique. At the bottom of the critique, she wrote that she would like to see my book proposal and full manuscript.

I was in shock!!!! For those of you who are wondering, let me explain why she liked it more than the other agent. The elements that he didn’t like were added in after I sent in my critique. So, she read a different version than he did. Also, if you’re curious what those elements were– I wanted to have my main character post a provocative photo online (something a lot of teenage girls seem to do these days.) However, the agent told me that including that in my story–though it wasn’t graphic–it was only mentioned– is too “edgy” for the Christian market. Anyway, I have since decided to rework  my story a lot, which includes cutting those edgy elements but also writing it for the general market.

So, I was beyond thrilled with my critique. Usually the best a writer can hope will come from a writers’ conference is to have an agent/editor ask for the proposal and the first three chapters, but she wanted my whole manuscript.

I plan to send it in by the end of the year. I will be looking for people to read/edit it in hopefully 2-3 months. If you are interested in helping, please let me know.  Also, just because she wants my full manuscript doesn’t mean I will be published. It means she is seriously interested in my book, but her publications team could still reject it. So, pressure on!

More importantly, I learned a huge lesson in all of this– GOD WANTS ME TO TRUST HIM. HE WANTS ME NOT TO BE AFRAID.

I should’ve trusted God the first day I was there when I had a woman tell me that she felt God laid it on her heart to tell me to be encouraged.

I should’ve trusted Him because I know He is faithful.

But I didn’t. I wasn’t happy in the waiting.

When I found out the next day that an editor was interested in my writing, I rejoiced. Then, I was happy in God. I was happy that He did something good for me.

I hope to learn more to trust Him in the journey. Any helpful thoughts on doing this, let me know.

Thank you to everyone who texted me and prayed for me before I went to the conference. It meant a lot to me.

 

 

 

 

Serious Thoughts – Writing Update

I know I’ve been writing a lot of satirical/ridiculous posts lately, but I wanted to write something serious. Contrary to popular belief, not everything in life is a huge joke to me. (Although a lot of things are haha.)

I just wanted to update you on my pursuit of being an author. I am headed to a writers’ conference this week, so please pray for me. While I’m not expecting a book contract or to get published anytime soon, it would be nice if I could network with people who might be able to help me launch my career and possibly get agents/editors interested in my work.

Other thoughts:

  1. Music- I’m still OBSESSED with Lord Huron. I will likely write a blog soon about this obsession. I read the other day that one of my favorite indie bands, Fever Fever, is making an announcement soon, which will hopefully be about new music coming out.
  2. I think I need to spend less time on the internet, specifically on social media. The one bad thing about starting a blog is that I look forward too much to checking if people are reading/liking/commenting.
  3. I LOVE nature so much. I get so overwhelmed by the beauty of the outdoors, and my heart just feels like it’s about to burst.
  4. Hope. There is always hope. ❤
  5. “Whatever you do, just don’t look back.
    Oh somebody needs the light you have.
    Whatever you do, just don’t lose heart.
    Keep on pushing back the dark” -Pushing Back the Dark, Josh Wilson

FYI- I may start writing more serious/reflective posts.

This is my favorite music video of all time. It has an epic, sweeping, adventurous, dreamy, mysterious feel to it that really captures my imagination. Not to mention it is incredibly romantic. ❤

Unbeknownst to Fans Theorizing About Song Meaning, Con Artist Musician Watches From Afar Knowing The Lyrics Don’t Mean a Thing

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“The lyrics really spoke to my innermost being,” said fan Lisa Harley about her favorite pop star Tommy Schneider’s brand new single Gotchya.

Tommy revealed in an exclusive interview that Gotchya isn’t the epic, poetic tour de force that his fans think it is. “I literally pulled the lyrics out of my butt.”

Over the last week, fan theories trying to solve the mystery of which of Tommy’s ex-girlfriends Gotchya is about blew up the internet. “It’s funny. Fans think this one line in the song about a larger-than-life romance is about a supposed lover I had the summer I spent backpacking through South America, but it’s actually just inspired by my love for tater tots.”

“I am thinking about getting the lyric about the larger-than-life romance tattooed on my arm,” Lisa gushed on Tommy’s Facebook fan group. “It’s incredibly profound. Not to mention emblematic of everything that is good, beautiful, and lovely in this world.”

Although few musicians will actually admit this, Tommy said he is ashamed of his fans. “It’s crazy that these nutso fans are all worked up about figuring out the meaning of the song. It’s like, get a life, people. I picked the words because they sounded dope. That’s all, folks.”

When pressed about why he didn’t set his fans straight about the insignificance of the lyrics, Tommy laughed maniacally.

 

Woman Who Checks All 52 Boxes on Man’s List of Female Ideals Rejected After Shocking New Development Reveals She is Imaginary

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Despite going on 77 dates in three years, long-time bachelor Tom Avery has yet to find a woman that meets his specifications. While his close friends suggest it might be helpful to eliminate a few of the requirements he has for his future wife, he maintains that all 52 of them are absolutely necessary. Since being set up on a blind date that turned out to be a prank, he added “must be a living human” to the list, making the grand total of womanly must-haves 53.

Mariah Landers, who recently went on a date with Tom, admitted to feeling uncomfortable around him. “At the restaurant, he said he wasn’t compatible with women who eat chicken on Saturdays, which was a bummer since chicken cordon bleu was on special. And it was Saturday.”

“I’m a super flexible guy,” Tom responded to accusations of his pickiness. “I always let my date pick her chair when the waitress shows us our table. And I let her pick out her outfit before she gets there!”

“I get why people are so depressed these days,” Tom stated. “It’s a cruel world that we live in where I can’t seem to find one—you know, I’m not asking for multiple—just one woman that has pretty eyes, is proficient at Russian folk dancing, has a PHD in somatic psychology, likes videogames, is smart enough to hold an intellectual conversation but now too smart that I feel dumb around her, and has less than two moles per limb, to name a few.”

When pressed about the validity of his wife wish list, Tom said, “Having a lot of things in common is the key to a healthy relationship. Seriously, if her second-favorite Pokemon isn’t Charizard, what kind of foundation do we even have to build our relationship on?”

Tom also mentioned that if Kate Upton were to become single and go on a date with him, the list would immediately be nullified.

Woman Looking for Serious Relationship Asks for Three Letters of Recommendation and Notarized Statement of Intent Before Agreeing to Online Date

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Tanya Smith has had enough of dating men who aren’t interested in marriage. To weed out the Play Boys from the Prince Charmings, she has adopted a new strategy in online dating.

“I like to make it clear on the first date that I take dating seriously,” Tanya stated in a recent interview. “I have a little, you know, lightweight portfolio I like to carry that includes my five-year plan, my wedding ring preferences, and a timeline of the most noteworthy, personal moments of my life along with a bulleted list of how they transformed me into the dazzling woman I am today.”

Tom Avery admitted to feeling uncomfortable on his first and only date with Tanya. “The conversation got super serious super fast. About five minutes into the conversation, I asked her if she liked Taylor Swift or Selena Gomez better, and she asked me where I thought the relationship was going.”

Looking back on their date, Tanya said, “I shouldn’t have agreed to go out with him. One of his references said he enjoyed different types of music.  I’m just not looking for that. If you like hip hop, that’s fine. I just need you to commit to one. For all eternity.”

Tom claims that at the end of their date, Tanya asked him to sign a contract in blood promising not to ghost her before their second date. He politely declined.

“It’s not creepy,” she informed him.

After several dating disasters, Tanya asked eHarmony to include a question requiring all men to rate their morality on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being Tom Riddle bad boy and 10 being Atticus Finch nice guy, but nothing ever came of it.

Highlighter Experiences Dating Woes Due to Need to Always be the Center of Attention

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According to the office supplies on Natalie’s desk, Highlighter has become frustrated with the dating scene due to reasons purportedly beyond his control. He claims that his need to be the center of attention is innate to his character and cannot be altered.

“I just want someone to love me for who I am,” Highlighter stated in a recent interview. “I think my grabbing personality is attractive. I like to leave my mark on the world, you know? It’s just who I am, and I don’t think I should have to change to find true love.”

He is currently nursing wounds from his recent break up with Calculator, who provided the following statement regarding their relationship. “Highlighter doesn’t perceive how his non-stop talking equates with self-centeredness. He actually thinks people enjoy hearing him talk that much.”

Paperclip, the resident matchmaker at Natalie’s desk, thinks Highlighter would be better paired with Sticky Note, who rumor has it is incredibly clingy. “Highlighter and Sticky Note would be the perfect pair,” Paperclip said. “She is willing to tolerate a lot just to be with someone. Even narcissism.”

When asked if she would consider dating Highlighter, Sticky Note revealed, “I could totally see myself with him—I mean, only on occasion, not every waking minute or anything like that… I really respect Highlighter. You can tell just by looking at him that he’s more educated than a lot of the other folks around here.”

As of early May, Natalie reported that a dating app for her office supplies is in the works, tentatively titled Plenty Office.

Belief That Truth is Relative Gains Momentum on Day That Countless People Claim to Have the Best Mom in the World

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Revolutionary son and zealous absolutist Troy Miles became distressed after scrolling through his Facebook news feed and finding seventeen posts from friends alleging that their mom was the world’s best mom. Refusing to join the masses, Troy posted on Facebook that, since he had no way of ascertaining that his mom was the best in the world, he felt that he could accurately celebrate her as a mom who overall does well but is lacking in a few key areas of mom mastery. He even wrote these words in the sparkly butterfly card he bought her.

In response, Troy’s mom, Hannah, said, “While I commend Troy’s honesty, part of me wishes I didn’t finish reading his card feeling like I got a bad grade on a test.”

Troy confronted his best friend, Buck, about his Facebook post asserting his mom’s superiority to all the moms in the world. “Sorry to break it to you, but your mom isn’t the best in the world. Dude, she fed you squirrel for breakfast growing up!”

Buck admitted to falsifying his mom’s competency on Facebook but declined further statements.

As he scrolled through his Facebook feed, Troy became deeply troubled imagining what people would begin passing as truth now that absolutism was no longer championed as a virtue. “Will people start saying that two plus two equals five? Or that eating pizza for breakfast isn’t a good life choice?”

A man with a scientific mind, Troy created rubrics and sent them to his Facebook friends as a sample experiment to try to determine who had the best mom before sending them to everyone in the world. Unfortunately, he found that they rated their moms 10/10 on all criteria, thus invalidating his experiment.