Waiting to (be Read)

A guide to writing query letters. The Life of Pi. The entire collection of Roald Dahl. Steering the Craft. And a My Head Hurts list of other titles I have shoved in this little cubicle.
They are all waiting To Be Read.
I've purchased or been given these books withing the last 18 months or so and have yet to open one of them (well, except for the Roald Dahl collection. I got that just because I wanted to re-read them. Because I'm so totally available for that, right?) The first 12 months don't count because I was writing a book and was lucky if I had time to read a menu. And the last six I've had my nose stuck in queries, research, and when I had the time to indulge, my nook. It wasn't until I emptied and reorganized the bookshelf that I realized I was still sitting on a goldmine of good reading...and that was after I carted two box loads out to the mini van for donating.
I won't lie. I almost donated most of these, too.
"I don't have time."
"I'll never read them."
But I didn't. I'm a writer. I can't throw away words.I might not have time, but I will get through this To Be Read cubicle of mine. And not to point out the obvious or the fact that I had this book before I started querying month ago but didn't bother to look at my own bookshelf, but I'm thinking I might start with that query letters guide. You know, just in case I ever plan to give that a try, maybe, someday.

Vlog on

I have a million blog posts in my head, sitting right alongside the 25k I waiting to be placed on the screen to finish up the book. That's right, people. I'm almost done with a book. Like, an entire one. The thought is way too surreal.

Anyway, I want to go the easy route today because I'm way behind on my writing schedule and really need to be a good little writer. So I'm going to use this post to let you know about a new feature I'm adding to my blog as of tomorrow. It's going to be called Story Time Saturdays and the plan is to showcase vlog posts showing myself or other writing peoples reading favorite stories to their children. Reading to Buttercup is a huge part of our relationship and I want to share that. I have a few writers lined up to share story time with their own kiddos and will choose my own favorites to throw in once or twice a month. More if the well runs dry.

Keep in mind, though...while Saturdays post is going to be family friendly, Friday's post might not be. I promise to do my best to limit the F-bombs to Sunday to Thursday...but please keep my #pottymouth tag in mind when sitting down with your kids to listen to a new tale on Saturdays. Bottom line? Just have the video cued up and ready to be safe if your kids can read. I'm still living down The Great Dam Gammit Incident of 2008 with my own child, and don't need any added guilt to add to my already tarnished Mom of the Year award points if your kids start repeating what I say.

And with that, I'm off to work on that making myself a famous writer thing.

To the Pain

the pain of the macho "What do you want me to say? I'll write whatever you want."

It's Rick Najera speaking. He's holding a copy of The Pain of the Macho in his hands, pen ready to personalize the first page for me.  My response is nothing but a "blink, blink."

"Come on," Rick says. "Tell me what to write."

I imagine sweet little lies. Empty words of praise that might look good on paper but ring false to anyone with a heartbeat.

Pauline Campos is the best writer I've ever met!

Pauline Campos will be more famous than me!

Pauline Campos is so good I'm going to ask her to become part of my Hollywood team and she can work from home because it's just safer that way!

The man might be a comedic genius and a highly respected actor/writer/director who told me my work has serious potential doesn't suck, but he only met me 24 hours earlier. To ask him to lie to me verbally is one thing.

On paper?

That's just sacrilegious.

"I really have no idea," I said out loud. "I don't want it to be bullshit."

Rick stood there for a moment, probably amazed by both my lack of a filter and the fact that I didn't want him to whisper meaningless sweet nothings that would just piss me off when he handed the book back. I hadn't planned on buying anything else that would add to my already busting-at-the-seams suitcase, but we all got yelled at by the higher-ups at the conference for not supporting our fellow writers during the first book sale/book signing. So I bucked up, bought the smallest book there, handed it to Rick, and made a mental note to send my receipt for having a 55-pound suitcase back to the conference organizers for guilting me into buying more books (I already had five on the nook written by conference faculty that I paid for) with a demand for reimbursement.

I almost asked what he had been asked to sign in other people's books, but decided I really didn't want to know.

"Let's try another route," Rick said. "Where do you want to be a year from now?"

Ding, ding, ding!

That one was easy and I answered without hesitating.

"I want my book on the New York Times best seller list and America Ferrera pegged to play me in the movie based on my book."

Rick smiled and began to write. This is what he "put out into the universe." Which, he says, means it has to come true...

*****

This break is brought to you by our sponsors, Chicken Scratch and Man Writing, as the author of this post tries to decipher what was written. Please, ladies and gentlemen, your patience is appreciated...

*****

Um...I think it says:

This book was my beginning. Yours will end up on New York Times with America playing the lead. Best, Rick Najera

*****

Disclaimer: And I only got that far because he read it out loud to me before handing back my book. There's something to be said for memory retention, people.