Do It Again

Every day we start our way and face,
the grind, grind, grind, grind,
ground up joy, can’t lie, can’t say, it’s okay,
doesn’t matter anyway,
We’ll make it work, put in the time,
doesn’t even have to rhyme.
Look away, pages say, life gone by,
bye, bye, bye, bye,
bought the lie, felt the pain, put our faces to the rain,
and feel it all wash away.
Lay down, take a rest,
put hope,
to the test,
chase it down with love now,
Don’t hide it.
Makes each breath alive and,
breath, breath, breath, breath,
gasp for air, no time to spare,
then say it’s done,
we have won,
another day.

Cooking / Writing 101 – don’t burn your chances

Some recipes are complicated like eggplant rolitini. There’s the eggplant to prepare, the sauce, the ricotta filling. I’m thinking of the entree from Luigi’s where I used to live. I haven’t made it myself but maybe I should since I miss the Italian food from the northeast so much. There’s nothing like it. I did make a recipe the other day. It wasn’t very complicated : Chorizo in a simple sauce of fire roasted tomatoes, red, yellow and green peppers, a heavy dose of fresh garlic, basil and oregano.
The kitchen smelled amazing. I plated it with linguini and topped it with some Asiago cheese shavings. If there were a good bakery in a thirty mile radius, Italian bread would have been on the side. (Is there a complaint in there?) We had such anticipation of enjoying the savory hot spice of the chorizo with the fresh light sauce. It was going to be a feel good dinner. But that’s not how it went. I put that plate down and my husband took a taste so fast that he burned his tongue terribly. He couldn’t enjoy the rest of the meal. It was so disappointing.
While I prepared the meal, I was thinking of how good it would be. The aroma took over the kitchen. My husband smiled every time he walked past the simmering pot. He kept asking, “What did you put in it?” (Does he not trust me? I haven’t secretly fried up tofu crumble to pass as beef taco for a long time.) I told no secrets but said it was all good but the whole point of the effort was so that the meal would be enjoyed. (Fortunately he was able to, as left overs the next day.)

It kind of reminds me of sending out first pages or a query letter and a moment after or worse yet a day later, reading through it, and finding an error. It never fails! All the work, the build up, the careful typing, reading, re-reading, and still there’s one mistake, one faux pas and it’s ruined.
Well not exactly, there’s always tomorrow. Fix the problem, present the dish again, I mean, the writing and get on with it. Don’t give up! This post is for me, the one who sent out one round of pathetic query letters and has been revising for several months now.

Write on (and cook on, while you’re at it. Writer’s need to eat too!)

“I Sent You a Letter”- thoughts on query letters

Sent out a query letter yesterday. Have you ever done that? After months of relentless writing and editing, refining, cutting swaths of thousands of words, it all comes down to a one page letter.
It is easy to do the actual submitting these days with e-forms and email but without having a referral from a conference and delete being as simple as pressing a picture of a trash can, the work and tension of preparing a query submission hardly seems worth it.
Therein lies the dilemma. What’s the point of writing a novel, putting heart and soul in it if it doesn’t have the joy of lighting up on a Kindle Paper White or being bound in a book that cracks when you open it? As hard and hopeless as it is there is really no choice but to press on.
The march to publication is fraught with trials and tribulations of the worst kind: doubt, weariness, despair, gym class inferiority, running on empty promises to myself, okay so maybe it’s not that terrible. There is the thrill of creating an adventure for characters, the satisfaction of editing and knowing its better with each draft, and really if you’re not a diehard optimist, you better give up now.
I’m not giving up. I don’t expect this first query to result in a bite. Yes, I’m setting my expectations low to insulate against rejection but hey, I got the first letter out! Small steps, small rewards. I’ll take it.

This is not the first time I’ve sent out query letters but the first time for this novel that I think is highly marketable. Past experience has been that despite the ease of ‘delete’ all the queries I sent out came back with a polite, supportive response except the one that said no answer should be considered no interest.

Here’s my opening lines to my query for Kill Words :

Kill Words is a fiction, New Adult novel of 77K words that follows Maisey from her innocent action of blog chatting with Tyler Rowan to fighting off those who are ready to sell her naivety as a commodity.

I welcome comments and suggestions!

Thank you! Write on!

Writer’s 10 Second Rule

There’s an urban myth that if something falls on the floor and it is picked up within ten seconds, it’s as good as if it never dropped, perfectly safe. Microbes have not had time to contaminate.

Our kitchen floor is particularly good for this rule because the floor is a soft linoleum. When a chunk of buttered Italian bread hits the floor, it bounces. Catch it on the first bounce and all is well.

The truth is microbes are fast little buggers. They don’t play by the arbitrary rules humans set up to make tough choices easier or better yet help busy moms save that lollipop to avoid ear splitting screams. With the said rule declared, we save otherwise lost causes. Why? Ultimately, the human body is built to combat invaders, and being germophobic is a luxury most of the world can’t live by, even in a COVID-19 world. Adjustments are made in expectations; risks are accepted, and life goes on. The rule provides an escape hatch to practical sensibility.

Give yourself the same break. If your story falls flat (or any endeavor), if rejections pour in and critiques feel overwhelmingly critical, don’t abandon it as a lost cause. Brush it off, pick out the dirt, slice off the bad part. You’ll avoid calling your less than perfect creative work, ‘trash’ and maybe quell some ear-splitting screams from your heart. Look at it again. Did you see that bounce? It’s coming back up to you. Catch it!