Adventures in Queryland Days 29-I’ve Lost Count: Spring break in Seattle!

Submittable says I’ve been in Queryland for 2 months and 14 days… but who is counting? Not me. Nope. Not with such things to distract me like spring break in Seattle, the #RevPit contest on Twitter and my 9 yo son informing me he needs AT LEAST seven hours notice for things like haircuts and trips to the grocery store.

Huh. Apparently, he’s not a fan of spontaneity. I suppose I respect that, since I think being put on spot is a drag. Good for you, kid, for setting those boundaries early.

So, yes, Seattle. It was awesome! We did the touristy things like attend a Sounders game, visit the Space Needle, the Fremont Troll and Pike Place Market. Bubble Gum Alley, yo, and the Starbucks that started it all. Pretty cool.



My brother, who we stayed with, also drove us out to Mt. Rainier one of the days, too. Beautiful. Those drop-offs, though. Scary. Good thing my brother drives like a maniac. Nothing makes you feel like a pearl-clutching old lady more than a nice drive on curvy-ass mountain roads in the misty fog. It simply invigorates the soul, you know?



One of the best parts, though? My book takes place in Belltown, Seattle… And I got to walk through Belltown. It was so exciting to actually be there, to see it with my own eyes and experience it like my characters would. To top it off, I had a coffee in the Starbucks where my jaded heroine, Liz, has a job interview that keeps her in Seattle… which eventually leads to a love/hate relationship with her co-worker and worst nightmare Leo.



“Liz tucked herself into the corner of the Starbucks on 1st Ave and waited for what she hoped would eventually be her new boss to arrive. She’d walked down to the coffee shop an hour before, to mentally prepare. She disliked interviews, but she hated being late even more. 

The aroma of freshly ground coffee beans was divine, and the din of other people’s conversations was comforting. It meant they were talking to each other and not her. Liz shed her wet coat to hang it on a nearby hook and let it dry. Chucking her bag on the chair next her, she pulled out an old copy of Tales of Edgar Allen Poe. She liked her reading material grim.” 


The trip was amazing all around. Well, except the part where our flight was delayed two hours on top of an hour layover in Salt Lake City. Oh, and when we hit several different Walgreens, spending nearly $100 for various children’s cold remedies (poor buddy was miserable), at the beginning of the trip. We managed to visit the farmer’s market and Sonic Boom Records in Ballard before I got sick, though. Prince was not impressed with my weak immune system and, clearly, Madonna didn’t care.



It took a full week to finally conquer the crud. I actually *just* stopped coughing all night a day or two ago…

But I digress. Seattle, you were a lovely host and, Washington, you’re beautiful. Thank you for taking my mind off being in Queryland. 


Adventures in Queryland Day 10-28: Stalk PitchMadness Feed + Upcoming Contests.

Okay, so I haven’t been stalking the #PitchMadness feed for the entire 17 days since I last fired this thing up. Only since February 24th, so like, what is that, six days now? I don’t know, I’ve lost count. I’ve been in creeper mode too long, I guess. Not full creeper mode, mind you, because I’ve been interacting and making new writer friends, but let’s be frank. A lot of that time has been spent lurking. Stalker-ish tendencies aside, it’s been really fun, actually, being part of the #PitchMadness community… but also really eye opening.

First, I’ve come to the hard reality that I’m not as funny as I think I am. I cackled out loud so many times while reading other people’s tweets, it was borderline ridiculous. There are some funny mofos out there with some serious gif skills.

Second, I’m learning what makes a good pitch and how important it is to hook your reader within the first 250 words. Yeah, you read that right. Not pages. Words.

Anyway, while I was learning/lurking, I actually broke Twitter on my phone at one point. Lucky thing I had my laptop. Because, as you may have gathered, the PitchMadness feed has been like crack to me these past few days. But, I can’t stop, and as Miley Cyrus once said, I won’t stop. Not until it’s over on March 6th. That’s when they announce who made the cut. Only 60 finalists move on to the next round. There were over 1,300 entries. Yeah.

*fingers, toes and eyes crossed*

Hold on… I’m being compelled to mention that during my time away, and before my PitchMadness addiction, I was also stricken with the worst bought of sickness I’ve experienced in years. That was three days of hell I’ll never get back–wait, I don’t want them back. Hell can have them. Why I feel the need to mention this, I don’t know. Vengeance against the gods, maybe?

Moving on, I also signed up for Rafflecopter. You know, in case I decide to hold a giveaway… like when I have an actual book. I don’t know, though, that might take a while. I hope not, but it’s probably a good thing to keep things real with my ego. I crocheted more infinity scarves than I know what to do with at this point (take that, ego), so maybe I could practice my giveaway skills with those?

And now I shall reward your patience.

Carissa Taylor has a list of Twitter pitch contests on her blog for 2017 that’s pretty comprehensive… and pretty darn awesome. If you have a finished and polished MS and are ready to query, you should check it out.

Two contests coming up fast are #SonOfAPitch on March 6th and #PitMad on March 23. If you write YA, there’s also the Red Light/Green Light Writing Contest on March 9th. Looks like they’re also going to host a CP match up later in the Spring. 

All righty then. Thanks for stopping by! See you in another 17 days.





Adventures in Queryland Days 7,8,9: Continue living life semi-successfully.

Well, let’s see. Where’d I leave off? I feel like so much yet nothing has happened since my last post. I guess we’ll start with Ikea.


Oh, Ikea. Is it just me or are you cursed? Because there hasn’t been one time that I’ve gone into your vast wonderland of ready-to-assemble furniture and haven’t either a.) gotten into an argument with my spouse b.) found myself back in the lighting department for the third time because I tried to cheat the system and exit without using the arrows c.) been able to stop myself from hunting down a plate of meatballs even though I think they’re kind of gross.

This time, my visit was cut short because I needed to go pick up my son from school.

I mended my sick baby bird back to relatively good health so he wouldn’t miss his basketball game. He loves his BBall. Go Jayhawks!


I squeezed in a little craft time over the weekend, too.

I’ve also been been creating backstory for the characters in my next book. The series I’m working on involves Greek gods, so using what’s online (and in the multiple books I have on Greek gods) to develop personalities for them has been super fun.

My first book centered around the God of Love, Eros, and the love of his life Psyche. Their story has it all… passion, adventure, trust issues… How could I not write about that? img_0474

Another amazing love story is Apollo and Daphne. Well, more like love-hate story. Then there is crazy Dionysus and Ariadne. Jealously-filled Hera and philandering Zeus. The list goes on.

Ugh. Even if these books never get published, I don’t think I care. I’m just so driven to write them.

Anyone else out there obsessed with writing stories about the Greek gods?



Adventures in Queryland Day 6: Freak out about your MS.

Not gonna lie, most of today was spent trying not to think about what’s going on with my manuscript. Laundry didn’t help. Making a list of agents to query didn’t help. Eating the rest of my son’s Goldfish crackers didn’t even help. And I really love those things.

On top of that, my delusions of grandeur tumbled down my shirt into a pile at my feet. You know that short window of time where you think your MS will stand out because it’s different and unique and magical, with the power to stop an editor or agent in their tracks and contact you right away, because you are the exception? Yeah, well I think it’s safe to say that window is now officially closed.


I know, I know. It’s only been a week. Patience is a virtue. I’ve got to wait my turn. Pay my dues. That which doesn’t kill us only makes us… cranky as hell. I get it.

Except, the unknown is killing me. I need something big to distract myself… well, would you look at that. Brenda Drake’s 2017 Pitch Madness contest. This doesn’t seem like it would ratchet up my anxiety about having my manuscript read/judged AT ALL. Sounds perfect.

I do it to myself, don’t I? I see a grease fire and immediately throw water on it. Oy vey. Here’s to hoping tomorrow is full of better emotional mojo.


Adventures in Queryland Day 5: Bob Villa some stuff.

Today’s adventure in Queryland started with this:


But I just couldn’t even, so I sent him to school that way. Next I set to work on this:


The diverter was toast. So after two trips to Home Depot for tools I will never use again, this happened:


I was feeling like quite the badass until, oh, this happened:


Which explains how water is getting into the hell portal basement. It’s a much bigger problem than switching out a beat up old faucet, though. This, my friends, calls for a real Bob Villa. And most likely some new gutters, since our current ones clearly work worth a crap.

So yay that I was occupied all day today, but boo I have yet another thing to obsess about. I knew I should have just kept outlining.


Adventures in Queryland Day 4: Outline like a mofo.

I gave myself a full week to relax. Do other things besides write. But it didn’t work out so well. That’s right, I lasted four days before getting back on the writing bucking bronco horse.

So what did I do to occupy myself while in Queryland today? Well, I’m glad you asked. I outlined my next book.


This time around I followed Michael Hauge’s principles of story writing. I saw him speak at a conference back on January and, you guys, it was worth every penny. His philosophy made sense to me, and I wished I had discovered his method a long time ago. Like, before  I started my first book a long time ago.

His story mastery principles can be applied screenwriters and novelists alike, and his six stage plot structure is ah-mazing. It really spoke to me. It said, “Try me on the second book and see what happens. I bet you won’t regret it.”

So far, I haven’t. So far, I have a story full of plot points that is already sparking scenes in my head. Because, yes, I’d be lying if I said part of me wasn’t worried I won’t be able to write the second book…


But, I mean, look at that roadmap! It still needs work, but the story is filling out way faster than I expected. The use of index cards makes it easy to add, delete or swap plot points, and if you’re a visual person like me, see how they all connect.

Uh-oh, is there where the other shoe drops or something? Where a cartoon anvil drops on my head and bursts my bubble? I imagine I’ll find out soon enough, when I actually sit down to write it, but until then… I’m going to try and ride this high for as long as I can.

Adventures in Queryland Day 2: Stick to what you know.

Adventure #2 in 3… 2… 1…

I decided to buy myself something today. Pretty, right?




Very wrong. Incorrect, even.


Clearly, it was a mistake. I’m talking Vivianne from Pretty Woman goes back into the snooty designer boutique and buys out the whole damn store mistake. Big. Huge.


Look at that. It’s ten shade darker than the tube! In case you’re wondering, the name of the brand is Cherimoya and the color is Tulip… Beach Blanket Bingo is more like it if you ask me. Or Summer Glow Stick.

Also, it’s supposed to be a “liquid matte” lipstick, which apparently means you put it on with an applicator and then it drys like concrete three seconds later. I had to chisel it off. Seriously. My lips still hurt!

Why was I even buying lipstick anyway? It’s not like I even go anywhere fancy. Unless you consider Target fancy. On that note, somebody take my keys. The endless possibilities have gone to my head.

Tomorrow, I write. (But it’s the weekend, so I’ll probably just do laundry instead.)





Adventures in Queryland Day 1: Wonder ‘Now what?’

I did it. After almost two years of working on the manuscript for my first book, I finally queried it. As of the day before yesterday, February 1, 2017 at 3:30 pm, it is officially sitting at the bottom of an editor’s slush pile.

So. Now that I’m in Queryland, I’m not sure what to do. I’m definitely going to keep writing, but I thought I’d give myself a few days off, you know, to relax.

Or something…

200-1 copy 6.gif

Yeah, right. It was a nice thought, though, wasn’t it?

Needless to say, when I woke up this morning I was like a deer in headlights. The possibilities of doing something other than obsessing about whether my book is any good or not writing seemed endless, overwhelming even.

Should I go shopping? For clothes or makeup or shoes or other random stuff at Target I don’t need? Should I binge-watch Vikings? Read Hunger Games again? Go for a walk in the 19 degree Michigan weather? Should I finally, FINALLY, pick up the clothes from off my bedroom floor?

I went with taking a shower before three in the afternoon. Baby steps. Want to know what else I did to occupy my time? I Rosie Rivet-ed the hell out of a new shelf.

That’s right. I put together a shelf. Queryland Adventure #1 is as follows:

Upon opening the box and pulling out the instructions, I immediately found myself on a wild goose chase for a phillips-head screwdriver, a flat-head screwdriver and a hammer. It’s here I want to ask you something. Why is it, whilst needing three very specific tools, you will find a plethora of them, but never the ones you need?


Here’s what else I found during my search for said tools… A bank thingy, a 1950’s gas mask and a candlestick all walk into a bar… Wait, how the eff are these things even in my front closet?


Finally! After twenty minutes, a trip to the basement and then the garage, lo and behold, a phillips-head screwdriver.


But then I had to take a break. Because, I’ll be honest, searching for that screwdriver almost broke my will. Plus, everyone needs a little chai tea in their life. And also, I checked on my submission. Ha, ha ha… my adventures in Queryland are going to be GREAT, I tell you. JUST GREAT.


Who says putting together a 40-pound shelf is a two person job?


Voila! The result of my inner Gwyneth Paltrow is impressive, no? Well, minus matching see-through canisters, beautifully labeled wicker baskets and the conscious uncoupling from snacks. Sacrifices.


Whelp. That about covers it. My first day in Queryland. I’m sure I’ll have more adventures to share soon.  Until then…


Soooo, guess what?

No, not chicken butt.

My writing pal/Wonder Twin/EFF reminded me that it was Brenda Drake‘s #PitMad on Twitter December 1st. After asking her (my Wonder Twin) twenty times (consecutively) if I should twitter pitch, I went through with it.

The result? I will be sending a query letter and LOL Paranormal Romance manuscript out into the world soon. Like, in the very near future soon. Probably much sooner than my OCD would prefer, but nonetheless… SOON. Wish me luck.



I’m actually not sure what sub genre my MS best fits into yet, but it’s got gods and goddesses versus shifters and vampires. Seeing as Mythical isn’t a sub genre of Romance, I’m going with Paranormal for now. The LOL is because it’s full of humor and wit, or at least I like to think it is, anyway.

Hmmm, LOL Mythical Romance… did I just invent a new sub genre?

Probably not.