Thursday, January 31, 2013

Yeah, He's Compensating (and writerly updates)

(Although some stupid drivers are amusing...)
This is a bit different than my normal posts. Okay, who am I kidding? I had a blog called "Spontaneous Chatter" that was dedicated to all of the random things that float around in my mind. But I don't actually care enough to update 2 blogs so I just decided to combine them, which means anyone following this one for my writing updates is going to hear pretty much every weird thought that goes through my mind that I decide it worthy to blog about. And by "anyone" I mean that poor, unfortunate soul that actually spends five minutes reading this inane, rambling nonsense. But seriously - wanna talk about random? Let's talk about one of the most OBNOXIOUS things you see when driving (and that's discounting obnoxious drivers themselves, cause that's a whole other story):

Truck testicles.

No, you did not read that incorrectly. I have a question to voice to the world. Seriously. WHAT the HECK is up with truck testicles?? No, I'm not being profane, or gross, or making a euphemism. I'm actually talking about those complete idiots that decide that jacking up their truck isn't enough, so they go buy plastic balls and tie them to the backs of their trucks.

Seriously? C'mon bro, if you've jacked it up to such a height that you need to pole vault into the car and women wearing monstrous stilettos still need a boost, you're already telling people that you're compensating for something. Adding balls to your truck does not negate that fact. It just makes you look like more of an idiot. So, please, for all of our sakes, DO NOT make your car a "dude." It just makes you look like a bigger girl.

You're welcome.

Also, avoid the giant Ed Hardy stickers. Really, not only do you look like a complete and total moron, but you're actually a hazard on the road. How the heck can you see in your review mirror if you have these giant letters blocking three-quarters of your back window? Just not smart. Every time I see those dang things I just get this image of a cartoon truck with a huge, fratty hat on the hood. It's not a compliment.
I even used my mad artistic skills to bring this image to life...

Oh, and in the world of writing, definitely made my deadline. BAM. 92k in 30 days. My next challenge? Figure out what next novel I'm writing for my Advanced Fiction class. I've got two months for this creature, but it is definitely a hard one to crack. Seriously, you can write and write and write and get absolutely nothing (kind of like this post), and then write some more only to find yourself sitting at your desk five hours later having consumed an idiotic amount of goldfish and created nothing but a deformed novel-baby that should be shoved right back into the womb and never seen again. Graphic enough? You're welcome again. I'm in a sharing kind of mood tonight.

So, between those two lovely ideas (seriously, Thursday nights my brain is shot. I shouldn't be allowed near a computer, let alone my own blog), I retreat into my literary world. To write, or not to write? Is it right to write this night? Oh rhymes... But here goes the poll: historical fiction a la ancient Rome with a slightly "magical" twist or should I go hardcore and just hit up the supernatural romance with a psychotic serial killer? Oh the choices of life...

Until next time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Life is Real

I'm not normally a ridiculously impatient person. Really, I'm not. I fill my time to keep myself from becoming impatient. Often this results in slight bouts of craziness when I have TOO much to do, but I think I might actually have the opposite problem this semester.

I'm in my last semester of college. This means Real Life is looming, right around the corner. It's creeping forward with this awful gaping mouth ready to swallow us almost-graduates whole, chew us up a bit, and spit us back into the Big Bad World. Some of us might have jobs lined up. Some of us have internships that might lead somewhere. Some of us don't.

I like to think I had my "stuff" together at some point. I mean, I had an internship in London during my sophomore year, I've kept busy with 18 units of classes almost every semester, I've got two sort-of jobs that give me a sort-of income so I can have a little fun. It works. It keeps me busy. But after becoming a part-time student this semester, I came to the HUGE realization that... holy hell, life is actually real. Like, gaping maw, chewing jaws, spitting us out into the world isn't just an analogy. It's a fact.

A cold hard fact that makes me kind of wish I could magically tap on a fortune cookie and be all: "yo, tell me what to do, bro." Or, I guess, something along those lines (preferably in less surfer/douchey language). Win some, lose some. But, in all seriousness, I've spent the last weekend (because I get 4 day-weekends due to my schedule) looking for a third job, internships that don't conflict with my current jobs or classes, et cetera. I feel like a maniac. On top of that, I'm actually close to fulfilling my goal of writing a novel (at least the first draft) in a month.

I started the 18th. My deadline is the 17th. I'm at 81k as of today, which means I've got somewhere around 10k words before I'm finished. At least that's what I'm estimating, looking at my current point in the story.

And yet EVEN THAT hasn't kept me from wondering what in the hell I'm doing with my life. I know what I WANT to do. I want to be a writer. I bleed writing. But seriously, it's kind of my obsession and the one thing I've remained committed to all my life (definitely failed in the whole relationships aspect of commitment so far... thanks books). Okay, maybe some commitment to happy hour as well once I became legal, but in all seriousness, I know that the road I'd love to take.

But then you get all those lovely articles about how damn hard it is to make it as a writer. Oh, I KNOW. Thank you world, for that one. But I guess it wouldn't be as much of an accomplishment if it was easy. Doesn't make my happy, though. If anyone who reads this (if anyone does) needs someone to write for a magazine... online journal... let's do this. I'm all about "How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days."

Anyhow, I applied to grad schools. Of course, that was on a whim and I have no idea if it'll actually pan out, or if I want it to pan out. Life is confusing. Life is hard. Life is real. Life kind of sucks sometimes, even with happy hour.

I've managed to kind of block this fear with some time with friends, some classes (I get - not have - to write another novel for one of them in about 2 months), and lots of gym and writing time. Although I definitely missed out on my run today as I pounded out 11k words. I kid you not. My mind is absolutely fried. But I love it. I've also been trying cooking experiments. Seriously. I made the best friggin omelette the other day. Check it:

I guess this blog was a mini rant, but also a kind of outlet for me, and for anyone suffering the same fears right now. Yeah, the Big Bad World is rapping at our door right now. It's gonna come and get us if we don't buck up and meet it face-on in the next few months - or whatever amount of time it is for you. I'm coming to terms with that, just like I'm coming to terms with the fact that I have no idea what I'm going to do. Will the agent want to represent me? Will I make it into grad school? Will I find a job or internship that works now or will I have to leave it to fate and hope I can find something upon graduation? Will that damn fortune cookie tell me what to do? (Seriously... let's crack one open and get a real future...) It's a scary time, I'm not sure which road I'm walking down right now, which is a new thing for me.

I guess what I have to say, after all of this, is to keep looking forward. Something's going to happen at some point. I just hope it's a good something. Good luck to everyone else out there struggling with the same fears and realizations!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Spontaneous Chatter, Prayers, and Updates

Well, I started another blog to talk about spontaneous stuff, but I seem to have the attention span of a goldfish when I'm not blogging about my adventures in London (which gave me something to actually write about on a weekly, if not daily, basis). So, I guess some merging will be done on here. Some spontaneous chatter, some writer's journey gabbing, and the like.

I drew this awesome picture up of my adventures (well, misadventures and battle with the dewey decimal system) in my university library, but after thinking about it I figured that kind of spontaneity might be better left hidden. It was an embarrassing battle. Regardless, current updates:

Break is amazing. Seriously, best schedule ever: Wake up, breakfast, work out, write, go out, sleep, repeat. It's fantastic.

AND it allows for my to do NaNoWriMo round 2! Yahoo! For all of you Non-NaNos out there (once again, do people actually read this? Doubtful....) that's National Novel Writing Month, done during the month of November. You try to pound out 50k words in 30 days and feel super accomplished if you do. I wasn't able to get the 50k I wanted this month due to school work, which is why round 2 is beginning in my life, especially with way more time, no finals, grad school apps, and the like.

And, well, I have a little bit of incentive now.

But first, prayers to all of those who are suffering and hurting right now. My heart goes out to all of the families that lost people in the recent shooting.


Although it's a terrible transition, now my novel-writing update:

December 18 = beginning of my 30 day adventure, lots of outlining and writing done
December 19th - 8k words completed
December 21st - 17k words completed
December 22 - 21k words completed

Today's December 22. Have yet to hit up the writing world, but that's because I was busy buying Anberlin tickets and scheduling a pedicure. Sue me. Girl time is necessary. So are concert tickets for my favorite band. Besides, this counts as writing. Not my minimum goal of 15 min a day (or preferably a chapter a day), but writing nonetheless. Besides, due to the fact that The Intouchables left theaters again (I really need to stop waiting for the family to get onboard and hit up the movies with me...), I have plenty of writing time tonight. I'll get that chapter out. Woohoo rough drafts.

Anyhow, The Big News. I feel like I should have some sort of dramatic music for that titillating introduction. Bum bum bum. There we go.

I wrote a novel - ACTIONS AND MOTIVES - about 2 years ago when I was living in London. I wrote it in about a month while sitting in my local pub (seriously, best experience ever). I'll give more background if anything ever comes of it (hopefully!). But, I sent out queries, got the form rejections, continued editing and editing and editing (seriously though... I've hardcore edited this sucker at least 20 times), and randomly got this email over Thanksgiving break:

Needless to say, I was stoked. Not only because this was my first positive response, but because I'd given up on even hearing back from this agency. I mean, it had been MONTHS. But then, out of the blue when I was least expecting it - BAM! Good things. Seriously, I might repost my positivity post from my other blog just because it's the way to go about life. 

Anyhow, I immediately edited, formatted, and sent those pages out with my fingers crossed, but not TOO much hope. I mean, it was just a partial. Plenty of room for rejection. Besides, I had up to 12 weeks of waiting. I couldn't get too excited. 

So I went back to school, had my 22 birthday (talk about shenanigans), powered through those aforementioned finals, the GRE test, grad school applications, and woke up December 14th to a call from my boss asking if I wanted to work early. Um, yes! That meant I got to go home 2 days early! Best surprise ever. So, I got ready to go ride horses (best job ever), decided to check my email, and might have had a small conniption. 

But really. 

Are you ready? I'm actually not sure if I should be posting this, because there's still plenty of room for this to go, well, the sad, rejecting way, but because no one really reads this, why the heck not? Might as well document:

Seriously?!?! Like I said, unbelievable morning. 

So, I won't go into any more details. I still have a long wait ahead of me and I'm filling the time in by working on the sequel, just in case. Might as well get a version of it written up, right? I have to kind of know where I'm going. But, at this point, this is the most positive response I've received so far, and it rocks. I'm on the road to achieving my dream, and it makes me just want to give a shout out to anyone and everyone right now who doesn't think they can achieve theirs. 

You can. It just takes some positivity and a lot of willpower, but it's possible. 

So, happy holidays and a few selfishly crossed fingers that I might continue to move forward in my own endeavors!

Annie King

(am I allowed to end with my name? It feels so pretentious, like I'm actually writing to people. Hah. I'll indulge myself this once...)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New Beginnings

Well, once again I find myself severely amused by the fact that I can get... oh, a few people following me. But, such is life. I mean, who wouldn't rather waste 5 hours a day staring mindlessly at facebook as opposed to reading a blog for 5 minutes? Okay, a little bitter, but that's probably due to the fact that I've been sitting at Starbucks for the past 3 hours due to the fact that I have yet to get internet set up at my new apartment and it makes getting ready for classes tomorrow highly ineffective.

So, updates, because I like hearing myself speak, or, I guess, seeing myself write.

Multiple rejections, but I guess it's just making me push forward even more. I'm still entered in those aforementioned contests (go to the previous post for the link). You have to make an account of comment or "heart", but hey, if you want to spend a few seconds supporting me, I'd be most appreciative.

I'm thinking about taking one of my adult novels and YA'ing it (making it young adult) and seeing how that checks out in the writing world and market. Maybe I just need to send out a different thing to get some positive feedback. We'll see. I'm going to get through my first week of classes and really crack down this weekend on some more writing. Hopefully this lack of internet will push me forward, although it would be useful in the whole researching of agents area.

I've literally been sitting at Starbucks hoping that this idiotic school website will start working so I can actually view my class schedule. Seriously, at this point I have no idea where my 8am class is, or even what it is. Really, quite a good start to the year if I do say so myself. Oh well, senior year.... I am hoping that the site will right itself out because calling the school has been absolutely useless. I think I'm going to harangue them a bit later and try my luck again. At this point, I'm just happy to be out of the apartment in sort-of in the sun.

My new apartment is actually quite amazing. Nothing like the beach shanty/doublewide I lived in last year (and that really was a fun experience). I've got a closet with more space than I know how to fill, a bathroom where I can actually stand up straight in the shower (wahoo!), and a delightfully large room that I have FINALLY set up to completion. And I've gotten food and a ridiculously comfortable bed. So life is pretty good. Granted, I'm ready for life to start, if I ever figure out this whole class thing.

Well, I've got a nanny job set up again, same family, so I'll have a little income, which is nice, my class schedule is easy, which opens up socializing time, and I really am ready for a little bit of scheduling once again. I can't wait to get back into the swing of academic (albeit much lighter than last year) life before that whole real world thing. Anyhow, updates for now seem complete. Let's hope tomorrow goes smoothly, although I can't seem to make myself care THAT much.....

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back in the Game!

Alright, as if it didn't take me long enough to get myself together and start WRITING again. Geez. I have this thing where I'm all like- no, I'm editing. That TOTALLY counts as my writing time each day, cause I'm working on my novel. Right?

Wrong. So wrong.

I have this uncanny ability of brainwashing myself into thinking that I'm trying really, really hard, where in actuality I'm catching up on my television shows and doing a pinch of editing on the side and coming up with ideas that I really need to act upon while I'm working out. But then I come home, tell myself I totally deserve a TV show break after working out for 2 hours, and we all know how that goes. Suddenly it's ab-workout time and then shower time, and then, hell, I'm not staying up, I'm going to bed! I'll work on it tomorrow.

One word: FAIL.

But seriously, how am I going to find an agent if I'm doing all this nonsense on the side? Don't get me wrong, editing is highly important. But so if getting feedback from other people and trying out competitions, writing smaller pieces to hone my skill, and the like. So I finally got my head back in the game (HSM reference? Ugh, even I groaned... ha) today after a hugely inspirational launch party yesterday.

I doubt anyone is reading this right now, but I'm still going to shamelessly advertise.

I attended Sarah J Maas' debut novel (THRONE OF GLASS) launch party yesterday and

1. It was amazing finally meeting this gorgeous, inspiring, unbelievable writer. Seriously. I came home and wrote for hours.

2. I came home and wrote for HOURS. I haven't done that in forever, so I have to thank her for writing a brilliant novel and inspiring me again. Go check it out. Seriously. I've been in love with this story since it's fictionpress days and it didn't fail to make me fall in love all over again.

Today I haven't left my computer other than to work out and take care of my animals. I did a bunch of editing to get my mind moving, a little agent research for a secondary novel I'm contemplating publishing in the case that ACTIONS AND MOTIVES isn't up to par right now, and wrote a 2000 word short story and a 4000 word short story.

I'm not normally much of a competition person, but I feel like I NEED to get into that if I want to get my writing out there, even if it's the little pieces on little websites. So, I've got a 2000 word excerpt/novella thing that's taken from my other novel DEATH TOLL RISING (the excerpt was unimpressively named exactly the same because I was lacking title inspiration at that moment). I also will have a 4000 word piece up under a competition called "Defy the Dark" in which I had to write something that takes place at night or in the dark, any genre, and if chosen as the winner, I could see my work in a novel of short stories or on a website.


I need something like this, if only to get my writing out there and get people reading. Because I know I have the drive, now I just need to really make myself the best I can be and get people reading. Support does wonders people, it really does. So if I can ask you to just follow this blog, leave a comment here or there, or even given my shorts a look (or a "heart" for the website I'm using, listed below, which basically acts as points towards making me a finalist) that would be AWESOME. Seriously. You'd be helping me move forward in my hopes and dreams and all that novel writing stuff ;)

For now, I'm signing off to do some more editing and revising of my currently untitled 4000 word piece. Wish me luck!

Here's the site:  FIGMENT. Death Toll Rising is the one you need to "heart." I'm like a day old on the site, but any publicity helps!

You might have to make a username, but hell, it's like 2 minutes out of your facebook time. You can do it.

Friday, February 3, 2012

First Setback

Well, I knew that this day would come sooner or later- that is, receiving a reply from the agent. Of course I hoped and prayed that I would get an acceptance and all my dreams would come true, et cetera, but I do have to make friends with reality from time to time and realize that life isn't ALWAYS that easy.

Today, I received my first rejection letter for ACTIONS AND MOTIVES. And yes, it was sad, yes, I was disappointed, but I have to keep reminding myself that I'm new at this whole "sending my manuscripts" out thing. And this was the FIRST agent I sent this novel to. The chances of getting a yes right from the beginning were so unbelievably slim to begin with, and I have to remember that fact. I also have to remember that there are hundreds of other agents out there, and hopefully one of them will take an interest in my work. I've edited like nobody's business over and over again, to a point where I'm pretty satisfied with the novel itself. So now it's all about the research, compiling a list of potential agents, and sending it out. I've done the hardest things- writing the query letter and the novel itself. It's a waiting game now, a strengthening experience in which I'll probably paper one or many of the walls of my beach shanty "apartment" with rejections. But I'm also going to leave a hole in the middle of those rejections, because I'm hoping, praying, that one day soon I'll see the same words I saw when I applied to Pepperdine University:

"I am pleased to inform you...."

I know I can do it. It's just about the WHEN now. So, thanks to everyone who is following this, everyone who has been giving me support. I'm going to need it and continue loving you for giving it as I go through this process of trying to accomplish my biggest goal and my largest dream. I leave you with a quote I got out of a fortune cookie months and months ago. It's the only one I ever saved and now, I'm glad I did save it.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Think I Can...

So I figured I would update this sporadically, basically when I received good news, felt the need to blog about my life in order to entertain myself (and hopefully others), and the like. What I didn't expect was to receive UNBELIEVABLE news so quickly. By unbelievable I mean that I've actually take one step further in my progression of "becoming" a writer. 

Okay, so I'm already a writer. I mean, I write, I've completed a few novels, but I've never progressed past that stage. I've never felt like anything was up to par, ready for the market, etc. Of course, it's always been my dream to publish before graduating, so I kind of needed to move forward on that whole journey, but I've got this thing. It's not called Procrastination, but I'd definitely label it somewhere along the lines of Fear. But I don't admit that I'm fearful, so don't quote me on that one. Basically, I write, I'm proud, I edit, I research, and then I kind of find a New Idea. And the excitement begins again as I write another novel. Seriously, I've got like... eight completed works, three or four in progress. It's insane. So, with Actions and Motives, I finally took a chance and looked my Fear right in the eye and gave him a good kick.

Or, you know, I took initiative and reached out to a fellow writer whose work I admire and love and will shamelessly advertise for the rest of her career. But I'm getting to that. Basically, my first step forward in this journey consisted of me asking an amazing woman to take a look at my first few chapters. And she did. And she returned those chapters with such utterly helpful editing advice that I asked if she would be interested in reading a bit more. And, to my astonishment and delight, she said yes, and then followed up by asking if I'd have any interest in sending my work to her agent. 

This is where the movies cue a kind of animated, comical JAW DROP. 

Now, while I definitely danced around in a ridiculous sort of manner, I also know that the chances of getting an agent to rapidly are slim. Very, very slim, but honestly, the compliment lies in the fact that someone was willing to promote me. I couldn't have asked for a better confidence booster and a better way to look Fear in the eye one more time and say: "Hey, Man, I'm going after my dream now. So back off." 

Today I received an email from this writer, soon-to-be published novelist, telling me that her agent was more than willing to take a look at my query letter and the first 50 pages of my manuscript. I received this email after 6 hours of class, I was bitter and starving, and upon opening it I almost dropped my ipad in shock. Then I proceeded to dance around the Pepperdine mailroom area in what was probably a crazy display of pure joy, shock, and wonder. But seriously. This is the next step. This is the point that I haven't reached yet, and it has proven to me that I CAN move forward. That I CAN do this and I CAN accomplish my dream. 

So thanks to everyone who has supported me through my writing ups and downs and who continues to do so now. I don't know how this will end, but I know that I have the courage to pursue this with so much more tenacity now. I've held an internship in London, I've gone to a class taught by the writer of Braveheart. I can do this. 

Let's go back to the elementary basics: The Little Engine Who Could. "I think I can, I think I can..." 

Funny how some things are current years later. Anyhow, hopefully I can get some of you following this, because as much as I love hearing myself think and then typing it out, I'd love to share these moments with family, friends, and those who I don't know that wanna take a chance on me. Who knows what will happen? I just know that I'm damn well going to work to make this dream come to life. 

A big thank you to sjmaas for helping me get back on this road! Seriously- go check out her journal, and her work when it gets introduced to the world! I can't wait!