"Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
The very next day, you gave it away,
This year, to save me from tears,
I'll give it to someone special."
MERRY CHRISTMAS. JOYEUX NOEL. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS
'Cause I'm just that freaking colorful.
Anyways. Merry Christmas invisible people. I had an okay Christmas. I'm growing older (we'll talk about that later) and have lost the Christmas spirit. Christmas songs just don't entice me anymore. My lazy family was too lazy to put up the Christmas tree. Christmas commercials are cute, but they don't conjure that warm-hearth-chestnuts-creepy santa-snowman image anymore.
I'm getting old.
What happened? Well, as for my Christmas gifts, I got two CDs of the Beatles ( <3)
Now that I'm finished talking about my life, I have to confess a couple of things.
First off, I still sleep with a teddy bear. His name is Beethoven the Bear (see previous blog http://www.trespasse.blogspot.com/). He has white, cheap, fur, red soles, an unraveling polyester red bow, and a deformed face that lops to one side, I believe the left. If you hadn't figured out yet, he's from the Dollar Tree. But I still love him anyways. Before I fall asleep I rub his hand for good luck. It works...most of the time.
Next, I've been really interested in the publishing world lately. I've been reading agent's blogs...specifically Nathan Bransford and Janet Reid. Two both very talented literary agents. And I have to make a confession (the whole point of this whole thing). When I grow up...I want to be... a literary agent! Now don't scream, you'll make me more deaf than I already am. Though you are probably thinking, wait? When I grow up?This leads to my next confession.
I'm 14. Yes. That means freshman in high school. Now, why am I confessing this? Because this whole blog is going through a makeover. That's right. It's going to be more like a What I learned blog, rather than a useless rant of what's going on in my life. That's why I was so quick to go over my Christmas. I could rave on about the magical deliciousness of See's candy. Or I could talk about the movie Avatar, which lived up to my expectations, though did not exceed them. No, I will be talking about what I learned about the literary world. Query letters, synopsis, agents, publishing, good websites. I'll cover it all. Later though.
You'll get to go through the process of learning avec moi (for those who are french ignorant: with me!) Why? Well, it may very well be that I may have another two month absense, but I just really want to talk about the world of writing. NOW NOW NOW. Just like I don't like to write essays, (which we'll go over later on *jots down on post-it*) I don't want to write about the thoughts that bumble about in my head (like, why are there people working on Christmas!? Firemen and policemen I understand, but at least give the fast food workers a day off. Even the lonely ones.)
I just want to learn more about this new, shiny world on how books are made. It's probably what lead to my desire to become a literary agent, something I'd enjoy doing rather than.... being a pharmacist. *face turns green*. That doesn't mean that I just want to be a literary agent to crush people's dreams or show the agents nowadays who's the boss, I just have developed this deep fondness of everything literary. Except literary essays. Essays are my bane. They will be the death of me.
I hope you understand. I'll be living my literary life here. You'll get to hear my excited news when I send off my very first query letter (exciting!) to when I get my very first rejection letter (...er...you live you learn!...). Maybe by posting what I've learned here will help me better understand this brand-new-book smelling world (if you don't know, it smells a lot like toothpics and the back of small bookshops). Through the eyes of a 14 year old, of course. We have to be new and fresh! That doesn't mean I'm changing the blog name. Or my pseudonym. I like both. And besides, What I Learned isn't as exciting as The Last Laugh en francais, now is it? (And I know I'm supposed to put a squiggly accent there, but I don't know how on this old keyboard so just imagine it!)
As for moi...
Nanowrimo. I left you with my last post that I will be treading through the Nanowrimo mountain for the very first time! And I reached the summit with...50,601 words was it? Yes. As for my nano book, which will remain by it's initials here - TROAP. I aimed to edit it, make a query letter for it, wish it well and send it off like a proud parent sending their stupidest, er, not the most intelligent child to college in the best wishes they won't be trampled by elephants. Er, yes. But after I tried to edit it, I...and here's the climax, got BORED WITH IT. Yes, bored with it. Absolutely the worst thing I could say, now could it? Oh, well. Not as worse as being thoroughly disgusted with it, I lit it on fire. Which is quite impossible since, in order to do that, I would have to burn my whole laptop (lovingly named Toshishi, don't ask.). *Sigh*. The writing was too hurried. I'm afraid the Create Space Free Proof Copy will have to be for another, book, for I can't stand reading TROAP right now. Maybe next time when I have fresh eyes. So do I plan to let it sit there? Idly standing by as I write my next novel, which I will NOT LIGHT ON FIRE because it's going to be written with time and care. That is not called procrasination, though I haven't written a darn thing since two days ago. Anyways, I like this new one much better. I think there are more stakes involved and some actual, solid reasons for my character's actions. It's eerily a lot like The Little Mermaid, Anastasia, and Avatar put together. But back to the question...
If you remember my last, died-too-young blog, V Blase, I was about to enter in the second annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. I never made it past the pitch stage. Confound that confounded pitch! I still don't know what it is or what's supposed to be in it. *Is throroughly confuzzled*. Maybe I'll learn. *raises a knowing eyebrow*. I hope that eyebrow thing didn't scare you off. You know what's scary? Santa Claus. He breaks into people's houses, if not by chimney then through your back door. He invites children to sit on his lap. He says, "Ho, ho, ho!" way too much. And he knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness' sakes! But I digress...
TROAP will have the honor of going through ABNA. I will quick edit it, write a crude caricature of what's supposed to be a pitch. I know what you're thinking - what's the point? What's the point?! The point is that nothing's at stake. What if I make it through the pitch stage (whoa, how did I do that?) but don't make it past the excerpt. That will make me feel good. And why the heck not? Janet Reid said make mistakes, make many mistakes. So, this may be a mistake. But what the heck do I have to lose?
(If this is in the color aquamarine you know it's got to be important: QUERY TIP: QUERY WIDELY! Don't limit yourself to a select group of agents. Nobody's going to arrest you, most agents go by email, so everything's basically free. That's what I'm going to do - query widely. Though, I'll try to keep the agents I query somewhere around my genre.)
Well, about my age.
I know agents are wary of young people. Nathan Bransford talked about young writers below the age of 18 on his blog. But he never said if he represented them or not. I'm not sure if I should include this in my queries or not. I'll learn once I get my novel finished! (Currently, it's around 2,000 words... -_- And I haven't even introduced the antagonist yet. GAH I'M BEHIND). Though, he also talked about those diamonds in the rough. (insert that one scene from Aladdin here). I hope I'm a diamond in the rough. I know they don't like young people because most show immaturity. Some don't know how to write. Some don't know how to spell. For example:
Like, omg! I'm fourteen and I luv writing! Mabey ill get published! My novels freaking awesome of corse it will. I won the spelling bee in second grade. I'm already a freaking star, bby! Purple is my favorite color!
Or something along those lines.
Once I find the exact post somewhere in cyberworld, specifically http://www.querytracker.com/ I'll post it.
As for now...
Not all of us are like that. We are not all like, OMG, I'M PAINTING MY NAILS PURPLE. Some of us are actually very talented, like Australian Steph Bowe whose book will be coming out in 2010. (CONGRATS! You represent the young writers who can actually write! *proud*). She's that success story I hope I will get to become. *sigh*. Daydreamer here...
Anyways, if agents won't even look at our work just because we're under the age of 18, I think that's pretty messed up. Now, I'm not naming names. In fact, I don't know any agents who do that, though I'm getting this weird you're-too-young-grow-up-and-become-experienced-then-contact-us-then vibe that I don't really like. If I am to gain experience, shouldn't I gain it now whilst I'm young and vibrant? (er...scratch the vibrant part). This is something I will be debating: whether I should or shouldn't put in my age. When I query Nathan Bransford, I definitely am because he says specifically to do so if we're under 18. As for the others (remember, I'm querying widely!) I'm not sure. I'm leaning towards yes though, because I shouldn't be ashamed of my age, right? I just don't want them to judge me early on. I want to be compared with the adults, I want the agents to be truthful when they send me those rejection letters. I don't want them all soft, all you're too young sweetie, get a bit more experienced and try again. I already know that. My competition are the adults, not the other kids in the spelling bee.
I've rambled too much. Join me later on for cliches I'm noticing, and my views on self-publishing. They're from a fourteen year old and from me, so you know it's got to be interesting. :P. I'll be putting up a sidebar link to all the websites I've really found useful so far and other things writing related.
After the break,
& HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS
just in case commercialism has made us forget...