Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The hungry, hungry muse

The muse is a little like the hungry, hungry caterpillar--only there isn't that butterfly guarantee.

I tried my first "real" food last night. My stomach thought I was nuts. That's the payback on this particular flu. Even after it's gone your stomach just really wants to protest any food. What? Eating? No. Let's stay empty for eternity. Blech.

Apparently, though, I'm better because my brain started up at five a.m. and kicked me out of bed. Today, I swore I was doing a rewrite on Honor Among Thieves. So, naturally, the muse wants to play around with Matching Lies. In the past, I've thought, "Okay, I'll just write a scene. Then, I'll be done." One scene blends into another and, all of a sudden, I've written 5K and the day is gone. I'm not falling for that today. Nuh uh. I'm on to your sneaky ways, Muse.

The husband might be home today, though. I think the stomach flu finally took him down. I'd like to say it's his own fault but, really, I've been smothering him with my arms and legs in the night, and he's too nice to tell me to go away with my germy ways--my hot, sexy germy ways. Actually, just hot--I think I've been running a low-grade fever for a week or so. Ahhh marriage, je t'adore. The love and germs between a man and a wife are just touching, aren't they? (Why did the word "touching" sound slightly crude in that sentence?)

Anyway, so the plan.... There is always a plan. It may fail miserably, but it is there. My plan is to do a final rewrite of "Honor Among Thieves" over the next few days. I want to get it below 98K. We'll see. Diana did a line by line for me, and I'll tackle that--as well as some issues my mom found. I also have a hard copy that Stephanie and I have both smacked the heck out of. It's covered in ink. Then, next week, I'll work on getting it sent out to DAW again. I keep thinking, "What's the worst they can do? Laugh in my face and explain their form rejection always contains helpful pointers from a second reader?" Then I think, "That sounds kind of sucky. Can they really do that? Is there a form rejection for that?" Okay, so the plan is a bit wobbly and anxious, but it's a plan.

So, when a publisher asks for an exclusive, that's just among publishers, right? Can you still query agents? (Actually, honestly, I'm tired of querying agents. I know it's the right way to do things, but I put my heart and soul into it, and they always find a holiday to reject me on. These personal rejections sting a little more. Not that I want to go back to the good old days of "Pass and God Bless" but there is something that really nips at you a little more when they care enough to tell you exactly why you should find a different agent to pester.)

Can you tell I'm a little heartsick about the whole thing today? I'm really trying to really go back to querying this year, but I'm feeling like a sissy. Maybe I'll send along a fill in the blank rejection with my query.

Dear Wendy Sparrow,

While your story was brilliant and made me tingle all over, I'm just a very busy soul with (other clients/a bitter divorce, and I'm cynical/playing Sudoku/sleeping/reading "the next Harry Potter.") Don't lose hope. I'm sure that (the circus is hiring/you must have a day job/another agent will recognize your brilliance/this can't be the best you can do.) Keep (writing/querying/your manuscripts to yourself/blogging--it's your real strength.)

My best (regards/restraining order/toothbrush/agenty farewell/and dearest desire is to smother you with money, but I can't--so toodles)

Agenty Person

Okay, time to get to work. (Wendy cracks knuckles and looks at the time.) Crap. It's time to get the kids ready for school. Bah! Stupid muse and her tricksy little ways. We hates her, my precious. (Sorry, I feel a little like gollum this morning.)


  1. I hope you're getting lots of re-writing done this morning. I LOVED your fill in the blank rejection letter and the gollum impression. You make me laugh.

  2. Hang in there! Perseverance is key even though that's the hard part! (It's tricky like your muse...) Good luck!

  3. Hahaha. You have such a gift with humor in your writing. I consider myself a sarcastic person, but I can't ever make that come through in my writing. You--you can. That's inspiring. Good luck today!


  4. At least your muse is persistent enough to be annoying. Mine has floundered in a pile of life-generated crap. Sigh.

    Your agent letter brightened my day. Not that I should be getting that much enjoyment from your frustration, but I couldn't help it. :)

    I hope you have a very productive re-writing day!

  5. I fall in love with you all over again when I read these agent letters of yours. No one does them better or funnier than you. I want more, is that selfish?!

    You know you always have my wishes for good luck when you query/send to publishers/edit/write/exist, but here's it is again: good luck!

  6. LOL! Yeah, the rejection later is hilarious =D

    I hope you can get your muse under control! Darn them!

  7. Oh!! Zee Blog!!! She iz beeeeutiful!!!

    I love it, adore it! Kisses! Mwah! Mwah! Gorgeous :) :)

  8. Je t'adore, n'est-ce pas?

    (My parents can correct me, but I believe that means: you adore it, isn't that so? All I know of French I've learned from listening to them speak in idioms and short phrases. Oh and Pepe le Pew, of course. Le sigh.)

    I finally dove in and got that third row. Nice, huh? Check out my row and my rack... of books.

    It's amazing what I'm motivated to do when I don't feel like doing a revision. If only cleaning had made the list.

    Le sigh.

  9. I just realized just how much I missed you doing your absence. Okay, so that's not wholly true. I already knew. It was like a raw, aching chasm in the middle of my chest, but now I am remembering and the pain is fresh in my mind. Oh, and by the way, nice rack:)

  10. I love you. You are so funny without ever being vulgar.

    God, I need help in that department sometimes.

  11. I laughed all through the Agenty Person's letter. Your posts always make me smile. One day you will trick that muse right back. Right now you can only be as persistent with querying as it is persistent with bugging you. :)

  12. Agent querying can be a soul crushing experience. At least with personalized rejections you know they liked it enough to give you feedback. I hope you find a place for your novel. Your rejection letter was hilarious.

  13. Wendy, I can only curse in foreign languages and order beer, so you're definitely up on me in that department :)

    Good luck with your rewrite. I'm tackling one myself if I can ever walk away from Blogger and Twitter long enough... Happy Friday!