Additional Information

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sleep Deprived, Going Crazy

Since I don't have any exciting news to share regarding the queries I sent out, I'd like to tell you about yesterday morning.  I have been averaging five to six hours of a sleep a night for more than a year.  In fact, I quit sleeping through the night about four years ago.  As you can imagine, being sleep deprived can wreak havoc on a person.  And I am no exception.  In order for you to understand the following story, I need to tell you two things.  First, a couple weeks ago I sent a message to a writing buddy of mine.  I waited a few days for a response which never came.  So I checked my inbox, and there was no message, which indicated I never sent one.  But I remembered typing the message, and remembered exactly what I typed.  Second, I listen to the radio every morning as I am getting ready for work.  And from 5:30 to 6am, instead of playing music, the radio station broadcasts an Ag report show.  Okay, keep those two things in mind, and the following will make more sense.

I did not want to get up at 5am yesterday, but that is the time I have to get up so I can get ready for work.  Though I rarely ever hit the snooze button or reset the alarm, I decided I was too tired to get up, and when the alarm went off, I reset it for 5:30.  I closed my eyes and tried to sleep.  But I didn't sleep long.  I mostly just laid there, waiting for the alarm to go off again.  After waiting what seemed to be too much time, I glanced at my clock.  6:06! Crap, now I overslept! So I jumped out of bed, rushed to the kitchen to get my coffee brewing, and as I stood there, I thought, "I really am sleep deprived and going crazy.  I know I reset the alarm.  I remember doing it.  Just like I was sure I sent that message to my buddy.  I am going nuts! Remembering things that didn't actually happen."  I went back to my bedroom, turned the radio on, and then went to the closet to get something to wear to work.  As I stood there staring at my clothes, the commercial on the radio ended and the Ag report came back on.  And I thought, "Oh my gosh! They're running behind too.  What is going on?" Then it dawned on me.  I didn't reset my alarm; I reset my clock thirty minutes ahead.  So thinking it must be close to 5:30 or a few minutes after, I go back to the kitchen to get my coffee.  I look at the clock on the stove.  5:52! What? I glance at the clock on the microwave.  5:45! And then, as if someone is standing with me and can answer, I said out loud, "What the freak time is it?"

I was so confused.  And yes, I was losing my mind.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ready To Query!

I am ready to start the query process...finally! So I thought I'd share with you the query I will be using.  Here it is:

Dear Agent,

Emily has seen her dad knock her mom around enough to know she’s better off away from her parents, especially when they’re drunk. She seeks comfort by confiding in Nicky, the boy next door, who often speaks of finding a girl who shares his faith in God. Since she doubts the God he believes in, she lets him leave for college without revealing her love for him.

With Nicky gone, each day for Emily is another day of picking up broken beer bottles. But Emily wonders if the faith that comes so easily to Nicky can fill the void caused by his absence. She’s willing to try the faith thing, but crying out to God doesn’t save her when she’s forced to the floor by a family friend and her clothes are ripped off. So much for trusting in Him. When the blood and bruises aren’t enough to convince her parents she was raped, Emily aches for the comfort and love only Nicky can provide. Telling him she was raped won’t be easy. But telling him how she feels -- about him and about God -- will be harder.

SHARDS OF GLASS is a 90,000 word YA novel. Thank you for your consideration.


Name & Contact info listed here

There it is! I'll probably start sending out small batches at a time.  If I don't get any requests, I'll revise the query and send out some more.  Feel free to leave a comment with what you think.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Writing Queries

Here it is the middle of January, and I am bummed by the fact that I have yet to start subbing my novel.  My original plan was to start querying agents last fall, but you all know that hasn't happened.  I'm still trying to polish my query.  And now I am forced to set a new goal, which is to start subbing by February.  *Crossing fingers*

Anyway, I admit I am no expert on writing queries, but I thought I'd share some helpful information that I've learned by writing my query and by critiquing others.

1. When writing your query, be sure to answer three questions: What does the protagonist want, what does he/she have to do to get it, and what happens if he/she fails?

2. Don't waste words with descriptions that don't add anything.  Example: life-threatening rattlesnake, poisonous brown recluse spider, expensive Tiffany's diamond, furry kitten, etc.  These things are understood and not necessary to be stated.

3. Queries are not summaries, so don't cram every event into the query. 

4. The average query should be no longer than 250 words. 

5. Ending the query with seemingly random information never works.  If the query revolves around John catching his father's killer, don't end with "John must catch the murderer.  If he doesn't, he'll never forgive his mother" unless you've established that, for example, John thinks his mother is responsible.

6. Your protagonist should be active, not passive.  What does he/she actually do?

7. Don't let the query process defeat you.  (Okay, that has nothing to do with putting your query together, but it's important too!) Writing queries is rarely easy, but keep trying until you have the perfect one.

Hmmm.  It's a short list.  I'm sure I have much more to learn!

Happy querying!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January Blog Chain ~ Winter Nightmares

Today's post is in response to the Absolute Write January Blog Chain.  This month's prompt is "winter nightmares."  It can be fiction or non, and mine is a true story from last year.  Enjoy!

It was frighteningly cold that Tuesday night in February.  Freezing rain left the roadways coated with a perilous sheet of ice, and I let out a slow breath as I pulled into my driveway unharmed.  My husband and I, being used to losing power at the slightest wind, took stock of the weather as soon as I was inside.  The forecast was ominous.  The winter storm was threatening a large portion of the midwest along with the eastern seaboard.  When the power went off the first time, we considered our options.  We could stay the night with my husband's grandma, which would put us both closer to work and, therefore, make our morning drive not so horrible.  Or we could take shelter at his parents' house, putting us fifteen miles further from our jobs.  As the power kicked back on, we dared to think we would be okay.  Perhaps we could just stay home.

As the lights flicked off and the house became silent once more, we grew anxious.  Could we make it one night without power? It was just one night.  Time passed, and we knew the power was not coming on anytime soon.  We can make it one night.  But our entire house ran on electricity, and we had none.  The electric stove would be of no use for making dinner.  The electric water pump which piped water from our well was disabled.  And the water in our electric water heater would soon grow cold and drain itself at the first flush of a toilet.  What could have been our saving grace was the fireplace, but the only wood we had was already buried outside underneath an inch of ice.  The wind howled and the drops of ice beat against the roof as we made a decision to head to my husband's grandma's.  We called to give her the news, but alas! Her power was out now, too.

We packed our bags and gathered our dog's necessities, prepared to seek warmth from my husband's parents' house instead.  We locked our doors and drove away, certain we'd be home the next morning.  My husband's 4WD truck could not get him to work the next day, and he called me.  "You are NOT going to work today."  If his truck couldn't go 32 miles, my little front wheel drive car would not go 55 miles.

Later that day we attempted a trip to our house.  Chickens depended on us for food and water.  We cared for them the best we could and drained our faucets of what little water they held so no pipes would freeze.  Then we returned to my in-law's home.

We were without electricity for five days.  Each day we checked on our house, and our chickens, and each day I fell on the ice covered snow.  It became comical.  I slipped fourteen times in one day.  Thankfully I was never hurt.  When we were able to return home, I was grateful it hadn't been worse.  Some people were still without power.  And at least we had had somewhere to go.

Check out this month's other participants and their posts:
Alpha Echo
writingismypassion (you are here)
Ralph Pines
in one
more to come, check back soon...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Finally Taking Action

One of my Christmas presents was the set of LEFT BEHIND books.  Before this weekend, I'd read every book except the last one which is KINGDOM COME.  (Well, I haven't read the three prequels yet, but that's irrelevant at the moment.)  I have loved this series since Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins began writing them in the '90's.  For reasons I can't explain, I am fascinated with "the end times" which is revealed through several prophecies in the Bible.  And I think the aforementioned authors do a great job of using scriptures to create a fictional account of what we can expect in regards to the end of the world.  LaHaye and Jenkins have done more than their fair share of research, and it shows in their writing.  So why am I telling you this?

I've been inspired. 

Surely it's no surprise that I'm passionate about writing.  But I also have a passion for American History and for Revelations, the last book in the Bible.  And over the last year and a half to two years I have felt God leading me to take action.  The phrase "Freedom Fridays" has been bouncing around my mind since I started this blog, and I think it's time for me to answer God's call.  I believe there is a lot of misinformation out there about the Constitution, the idea of separation of church and state, and the authority of the Supreme Court.  So sometime in the not too distant future, I will begin the "Freedom Series."  Posts for the series will be on the same day each week.  I may stick with Fridays, but I may not; I'll have to let you know that at a later time.  And I will continue posting on other days updates about how my book is coming along, how the query process is going, etc., and whatever else I feel like posting about.

Additionally, I am currently writing devotionals for The Olive Branch.  And there, I will begin writing a series about Revelations.  Those posts will be posted once a month, probably on the first Saturday/Sunday of the month, though I have not decided that for sure.

So how is all this related, and why am I inspired? Jesus is coming back some day.  It could be today, tomorrow, next year, or centuries from now.  I don't know; nobody knows except God.  But I want to do my part in making sure people know the truth.  I am aware there are many who will not agree with what I have to say, and that's okay.  And I will encourage any feedback/comments, whether in agreement or not.  These two series will not be about preaching to people.  They will be about reaching people with the truth.  If someone disagrees with what I post, it will be important to discuss that opposing viewpoint.

For my praying friends, I ask that you pray for me.  I have never done anything like this before, and I admit I am way out of my comfort zone.  But this desire has been placed in me, and I cannot ignore it.  God gave me a passion for writing, not for speaking.  And I want to use my that passion for Him.  I hope you'll stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I've never been a fan of making New Year's resolutions.  Perhaps I'm in the minority by saying this, but I think they're a waste of time.  It seems like January isn't even over yet when people start talking about giving up on their resolutions.  So what's the point? There are always things we can improve, but if something is important enough, why wait until the new year begins?

Now I am a believer in goals.  I think we all need something to strive for, and perhaps that's the point of making resolutions.  That being said, my goals are things I'm always striving for, regardless of the year.  And what are those goals?

1. Live my life in a way pleasing to God.
2. Become a published writer. 

You might think that's a short list.  It sure looks that way.  But in my opinion, they're rather broad.  #1 includes appreciating my friends and family, my health, and all the blessings I've been given.  Also included is setting a good example so others will see Christ through me.  And that can be broad too; every little action I complete is an example.  #2 isn't simple either.  There's a lot of work involved in getting something published.  Writing, editing, polishing, querying, submitting... you get the idea. 

So there you go.  If I've stepped on any toes, that wasn't my intention.  And if you've made any New Year's resolutions, I sincerely wish you the best.  As I said, it doesn't hurt to have something to work for.

Happy New Year's!