Sunday, November 23, 2014

Baker's Dozen Contest Over and Agent Submissions Begin

My logline and my first two hundred and fifty words of my MG was ready to be submitted for the Baker's Dozen Contest on Tues. the 4th. I got online at 8am that morning and found myself copy/paste challenged on the blog form. When I figured that out, I found myself revising. Ugh! Clock ticking...I finally finished and hit the  submit button and...nothing. I was too late. The cut off number was 150 manuscripts. I had another chance on Thursday to make it in the next batch of 150, and this time, I took in account the three hours ahead submission time. I had everything completed a few minutes before six and at 6am, I hit "submit" and I got in, which made me feel like a winner. Hey, for me, being functional at 5:45am deserved the blue ribbon!
Friday the 21st I found out I wasn't part of the thirty-five manuscripts that were chosen for the agent auction block. I wasn't that disappointed. I got a critique out of it, I dove into revisions on my pitch and my first page for both my YA and MG, and I got  to be a part of an online writer's community. I look forward to seeing the winners posted and critiquing some of them. It's always a gift to see other writer's work. Our imaginations and experiences are so diverse which makes it exciting and fun.
I'm preparing to submit to the agents from SCBWI OC's Agents Day October's conference and I'll research the agents from the Baker's Dozen Contest list and perhaps submit to a few of them as well. I'm happy to say all my major revisions are completed, though the chapter I added will need to be reworked. Now, if I could only bake a pie : )

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Butterflies and Feathers-YA signs

I love signs and reading into them. Synchronicity of life awakens when you pay attention to them. Animal Wise by Ted Andrews is my main reference book. It gives the behavior of various animals, birds, bugs and sea life and what they mean/symbolize. While snorkeling last week, I observed for the first time a moray eel disappearing into the sea grass. Moray eels form symbiotic relationships with certain kinds of shrimp. The eel swimming into my life may mean an unusual symbiotic relationship is on the horizon and like the eel, I must be observant to recognize this opportunity. I'll let you know how that unfolds.

Butterflies and feathers were the signs that the protagonist paid attention to in these novels that I meant to blog about awhile ago. Love in the Time of Global Warming by Frances Lia Block has Penelope's decisions confirmed by the presence of butterflies. After an earthquake and tsunami hits southern California, leaving Penelope alone in her waterlogged house, a butterfly(transformation) leads her on a Homer influenced odyssey. I loved the characters she hooked up with a long the way and the relationship that evolved with the transsexual. But the giants and antagonist added a sci-fi/super hero-villain vibe that I couldn't connect to. The biological father revealed, fell short. "I am your father," might as well be a Star Wars copy right. Because of the well-defined characters and relationships and signs, I'd definitely read the sequel, if there's one.

The feather was a sign that kept reappearing for Cameron in Going Bovine by Libba Bray. This YA has one of the best first lines I've read. I'll admit it took me several pages before I realized Cameron was a boy, probably because he uses so many words.Women use twice as many words than men do. (something I learned late in life ). Besides the brilliant first line, I loved the irony. The fast food joint that Cameron works at, a Buddha Burger in Texashad me laughing. Cameron is diagnosed with mad cow disease and so, the odyssey here, begins. It's basically Wizard of Oz goes YA complete with teen angst and sarcasm with a punk rock angel to soften the edges. Libba is an amazing weaver of story. At this point, Going Bovine is YA classic- a must read.

Remember: when you follow the signs, like Penelope, Cameron and me, magic happens.