Seven Things On A Sunday

Well, hello! That was quite the unexpected blog break! It was high time I checked back in to let you all know that I am still alive and well, and (just as importantly) still writing. Life and ELEGY have been keeping me busy, but in the best possible ways. I tend to avoid blogging unless I can make the time to sit down and put some thought into what I'm sharing.

So what have I been up to this past month? Here is a list:

1.) I entered ELEGY into another contest. I'd heard about Cupid's Literary Connection, but had never had an opportunity to enter. So I got together with my Pitch Wars teammates, Katie Bucklein and Melody Marshall, and we all quietly submitted our query letters and first pages. I was beyond thrilled when we all got picked! You can find my letter and first page here.

2.) I wrote a synopsis for ELEGY. After much turmoil and hair-tearing, I finally condensed my entire plot and my MC's character arc into two double-spaced pages. *collapses* Writing synopses is hard, yo. I think it turned out well, though, hopefully!

3.) I queried. A lot. I'd like to tell you that the heart palpitations and clammy palms go away after a while, but they really don't.

4.) I got an iPhone. Goodbye granny phone, hello technology! I'm still getting used to the fact that this tiny gadget in my hand can give me the summary of the day's stock portfolios, deposit checks to my bank account, and give me the exact time and temperature in Udaipur. Not too shabby.

5.) I figured out some major plot points for FOTL. This new shiny has been put aside in favor of prepping/querying my old shiny, but I did get some brainstorming done. I'm still petrified about writing this book, though, after reading about all the ways a writer can go wrong with Asian characters in YA.

6.) I did a lot of reading. I reread THE NIGHT CIRCUS and am more convinced than ever of its magical powers. The writing is just so lovely, without ever veering into purple prose territory. Right now I am reading REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly, which one of my Pitch Wars coaches recommended to me because, like ELEGY, it is a dual-timeline narrative and deals with music, obsession, and parallel stories. And it features what many might consider an unlikable protagonist. I'm really enjoying it so far!

7.) I'm almost caught up on Game of Thrones. I started watching the show after trying to read Book 1, and had a *little* less trouble keeping the characters straight in my head. There are just so damn many. I like the fact that there are plenty of great female characters, although it's odd/amusing to me that a show can feature powerful women and objectify them all at once. I got sick of seeing lady bits after a couple of episodes. But anyway, great female characters. One of my favorites is Catelyn (who I am surprised to hear is widely hated). It's refreshing to see a character who is strong and self-assured without having to put a sword in her hand to make her strength literal. I'm going to attempt to do the same for my MC in FOTL.

Now that things have calmed down a bit for ELEGY, and I'm just waiting on queries, I'll have a lot more time to work on my new book and catch up on my CPs' stories.

I am also getting very excited for the SCBWI conference that I'll be attending in early May. I've never been to a writers' conference before, so I will need all the tips and suggestions I can get from those of you who have! I was lucky enough to score one of the coveted manuscript critique slots, and I signed up for some great sessions, so I am pumped!

Are any of you going to be there? Do you have any advice on conference dos-and-don'ts?


Haddock said...

Good to see you back. Meanwhile you have accomplished a lot during that (short) absence.
I am sure ELEGY is slowly going to catch up.

storyqueen said...

Write what scares you. Somebody famous said that, I don't remember who, but I think it applies. You are a good enough writer to write the story that calls to you, so don't fear FOTL.

Embrace it.


Vicki Rocho said...

Congrats on the contest! Well deserved, and I hope just the beginning of good things to come.

Donna Hole said...

Going to a conference can be exciting. And you've sure been doing a lot over the last month or so. Remember, blogging is an addendum to the writing career, not the focus :)


Natalie Aguirre said...

Good luck with the querying and the contest. I've never had much luck with contests like Pitch Wars (not done that one). I'm planning on mainly querying too.

Laura Marcella said...

You have a lot going on! Congrats on the contest!! That's so so exciting.

I thought I was the last one to get an iPhone a year ago, lol. Sometimes I miss my simple, non-distracting Razr flip phone, though!

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Tiana Smith said...

Oooh, I SO want to go to a writer's conference. I think after I finish my Cupid story and start querying it, I might be able to finally convince my hubby that it's time :) Good luck with the query waters on Elegy. I can't wait until you have some good news to share!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's cool you were all picked.
I'm finally caught up on Games of Thrones as well.

Medeia Sharif said...

Wonderful things. Good luck on the queries and contests. You've been productive during this break. :) I love my iPhone, which I've had for two years. I'll never go back to the slow, crashing Blackberry.

workofheart09 said...

How jealous am I of your iPhone?! :)

As always, my fingers are crossed so tightly for you and ELEGY. The heart palpitations and clammy palms will be so worth it!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Whoa, you've been busy and doing great things. Congrats on the contest! I loved reading the opening.

Meika Usher said...

You are a MACHINE, woman! I'm impressed with all you've done since your last post. iPhones, by the way, are all at once fabulous gadgets and horrible distractions. I got a lot more writerly things done when I didn't have Facebook and various games at my fingertips! They ARE great for those middle-of-the-night epiphanies, though. Until you drop them on your face while you're typing, anyway...not that I've done that.

Anyhoo, congrats on the contest, the synopsis and braving the query world!

linda said...

Yay, glad you're back! Best of luck with querying. Checked out the post you linked to about Asian characters in YA and was saw a link to one of my rants! That was a surprise, haha.

LD Masterson said...

Wow, you've been busy. That's a lot of good news. Best of luck with the contest and the queries.

Julie Dao said...

Haddock: Thank you! I did accomplish quite a bit during the absence, so that's always a good thing.

Shelley: I now have that on a sticky note on my computer. Thank you for the encouragement <3

Vicki: Thank you, and I hope so too!

Donna: I'm VERY excited about the conference. And thank you for the reminder. It is difficult to remember that sometimes :)

Natalie: Thanks so much! I've never had luck either (not with my previous ms anyway), so this is all very new. I'm grateful.

Laura: NOPE. You were not the last!~ LOL. I do miss my granny phone sometimes, because iPhones are so engrossing.

Tiana: I hope you get to go to a writer's conference sometime soon! I'm nervous and excited about mine at the same time. I think it'll be the best of experiences, but overwhelming at the same time.

Alex: Thank you! And I just got season 3, so I'll REALLY be catching up :)

Medeia: Thank you very much! I never had a Blackberry, but I've heard that many people have a love-hate relationship with it. I'm loving my iPhone.

Shari: <333 Thank you!

Tricia: Thanks so much. I'm glad you liked the opening!

Meika: Hahaha thanks! I agree with what you said about iPhones. They are the most DISTRACTING THINGS EVER. I've definitely dropped it on my face while typing. <3

Linda: Ah, long time no see! So great to hear from you :) That's awesome that they referred to you! That was a great post!

L.D.: I sure have! Thank you very much!

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