Wednesday, November 3, 2010

well, just... well

It's been an interesting week thus far. My hypochondriac father has decided he's dying. He FINALLY quit smoking after 50 years and a bout with lung cancer 5 years ago. He doesn't understand the reason he feels so awful is the nicotine withdrawals. He's been to every doctor in his HMO over the course of the last two weeks and he swears they don't care about his predicament. There is nothing wrong with him. Every x-ray, cat scan, MRI and every other damn test they've done on him has come back negative. They've been telling him for months he has to get out and WALK. That's all he has to do, and he refuses. Oh, the curmudgeon is driving us all over the edge.

My hot water heater blew up last Friday morning. I finally had it fixed on Monday, however, I still had no hot water as of yesterday morning. Justin, the little plumber, showed up at noon on his lunch hour to play with the reset button and the breaker panel yesterday and YAY, I could finally take a shower and do the dishes. Good thing too, I had one plate and cup left clean for Monster Baby. (Bet you thought I was going to say I stank. We did shower at my folk's house.)

I'm still picking up from the tornado. More than likely, I'll still be picking up next spring. I also finished filling in the massive hole in my backyard. YAY! Hopefully, next summer I'll be able to ride the lawn mower straight down the backyard instead of riding around in circles.

I've also sent out the first 3 of my queries for NaNoQuerMo. I'll tell you what, now I know why I've been stalling. It's scary stuff man. To think after all this time, I might have a shot at landing an agent. (Not that I'm conceited or anything, it'll only take one rejection to bring me right back down to earth...) But I like my book. I like my story. A lot of people do. If an agent does and requests, I think I'll probably pee my pants. This query go-round has so much more at stake than it did last year with MASQUERADE. This is the big time, probably my last shot before I have to find a real job. Like my brother used to say, "This ain't no behbee's game."

I decided to bring all my agent "stuff" with me yesterday when I sat in the pick-up line for Monster Baby and got myself a manageable list of agents. When I got back home, I went online and looked up all the agents and their web-sites. I then made another list for those who rep women's fiction and historical romance. Then, I wrote the list in order of who I want to be my one and only agent extraordinaire.

Which, I think, any of the three I've queried so far would be terrific. I know I shouldn't have queried the top three first but, I like to shoot the moon. Hey, you never know right?

Why does the telephone always ring right when I'm in the middle of a big scene? Not that I answer the phone between the hours of 8am and 1pm but I have to listen to the machine to see if it's my parents. Why do the dogs bark at someone or something in the yard right when I'm thinking of the most fantastic line I've ever composed and I have to get up and see what or who it is? Why does my stomach growl when I've finally figured out the best way to end a scene but haven't written it down yet and by the time I get back with my PB&J my mind is a blank?

Could someone please tell me why I'm a writer? Wasn't life easier when I was a chef?


Kristi Faith said...

Just remember, you are still taking steps forward and that's a huge advantage to most. :) Keep it up!! :)

Les Edgerton said...

Good luck, Anne! And, I disagree with your thought you shouldn't approach your top three first. You did the right thing. I'd always advise working the top down, with agents and publishers.

I'm keeping a good thought and pulling for ya!

Liza said...

Your are a writer because there is no choice. You just are.

Matthew Rush said...

Very exciting! Can't wait to hear good news.

Christine Danek said...

Good luck. You are a writer because you are awesome. You are a great writer. You work hard and it shows. You will get that agent. I know it.
Good luck with the other stuff too. I hear ya--when I'm in the zone I always get interrupted. It stinks when that happens.
Take care.

Linda G. said...

Well, my theory is that all writers are closet masochists. ;)

lotusgirl said...

*crossing my fingers for you*

Mac said...


Christi Goddard said...

I queried the ones I knew would be the fastest response first, just to go ahead and get the feeling of rejection out of the way and plod on :-)

Anne Gallagher said...

Kristi -- Thanks! You too. Big steps, baby steps, doesn't matter. Just keep moving forward.

Les -- Thank you so much for the advice. I'm glad I made the right decision. And thanks for stopping by. It's always good to see you.

Liza -- Because I just am. So true for most of us I think. Thanks for that.

Matthew -- Thanks. I hope to be able to share it soon.

Christine -- Awww, thanks. You're awesome too. And I know once you come through your revisions, good things are going to happen for you as well.

Linda -- I'm still laughing. Yes, yes we are.

Lois -- Thanks. I've got to get a hold of you for lunch soon.

Mac -- right back at ya! You'll be hearing from me soon! Like maybe today. Well, if I get the next 100 pages done.

Christi -- I sent out to the ones who only wanted queries first so I can get my synopsis together. Oops, wasn't supposed to say that out loud. *sshhhh*

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

you should get your dad a dog. That will get him walking.

Summer Ross said...

Good that he quite smoking- though I think all the doctor visit would drive me crazy too.

Sounds like its been a crazy two weeks for you. But go you, there you are doing the best you can with what you have and making it work.

As for why are you a writer...well only you can answer that question.

Happy revising, and good luck with the agents!

Domey Malasarn said...

A tornado, no hot water, and a father on nicotine withdrawal! I'm surprised you could get anything done at all. I'm glad to see you are making progress though, Anne! Good luck with the querying. I hope you get an agent you love!

Patti said...

Trying to decide who to send a query too, is almost as much work as writing the book. Good luck with it.

Anne Gallagher said...

Sarah -- He has a dog. My mother walks it.

Summer -- Yeah, just do what we can and call it good.

Domey -- Thanks. I hope you get out of your corner.

Patti -- Absolutely as much work. It's worse than finding a plumber who'll come over the weekend.

Em-Musing said...

If your manuscript is as entertaining as this blog post, you're going get an agent soon. I can feel it. And chef? Interesting.

scott g.f.bailey said...

I second everything Domey says. I don't know why we're writers, I really don't. It's hard work.

Bish Denham said...

I feel for you Anne...Sorry your dad's being difficult.

And by the way, did you know you can heat up water on the stove? :)

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Hope your Dad feels better soon! And why are you a writer? Hmm. That's like asking why you're female, or why you breathe. Just the way it is. :))

Anne R. Allen said...

An exploding hot water heater AND a tornado? Plus a sad dad? Ouch.

Good for you to send out your three queries. I haven't sent out today's yet, but I'm working on it. Each day of NaNoQuerMo, I've reworked the query. I sure hope I can finally get one I like. I'm concentrating on newer agents this week. My first 10 queries went to big-name dreamy ones. Silent NOs from almost all. So depressing.

Good for your dad to quit smoking! It's natural for him to be anxious: nicotine is the best anti-anxiety drug in the world and he just gave it up. He probably needs a little Ativan. And chocolate. Plus lots and lots of walking, of course.

Anne Gallagher said...

EM -- Awww, thanks. That's sweet. And yes, I was a chef. For a lot longer than I care to remember.

Mr. Bailey -- I don't know why either. Something in the water perhaps.

Bish -- I heated water up on the stove. I washed dishes by hand. I hated every minute of it. When I lived at the beach that's how I had to do my dishes everyday (for 30-odd years) and now I have a dishwasher, well... let's just say, I don't want to go back to the "old days" again. Selfish I know.

Nicole -- Yup. Just the way it is. Like my eye color.

Anne -- Yeah, big name dreamy agents. It's what keeps me going. If I get a request from any of them, I think I'll just explode. As for my dad, he's just being a curmudgeon because he can be. He doesn't do anything he's supposed to and the rest of us have to put up with his bull hockey.

Donna Hole said...

Life was much easier when all I did was READ book for entertainment - but it was less exciting.

You're so proactive on the Query front. Good job. I hope you hear something positive soon.


coffeelvnmom said...

Good luck, Anne. My dogs do the same darn thing... I'm right in the middle of the GOOD STUFF, one sees someone out the window, gets the other two going too, and after screaming "SHUT UP!" ten times I have to get out of the chair, go to the other side of the house, see that, of course, no one is out there by now. By the time I get back to my chair I'm in a totally different mood!

Sorry about your dad driving the family looney. Nicotine withdrawal is something fierce... and if he smoked for that long, I can't imagine how hard it is for him to keep from doing it anymore. Yay for him! Maybe that's part of the reason he's convinced something is wrong... the time he used to spend smoking is now being spent on worrying, instead!;)

Good luck with querying. I hope it's a very short process, and you end up with one you absolutely love. =)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

My father sounds like yours. He got a nick in his skin one day and decided he had flesh-eating disease because they talked about a politician who had it (in Canada). Yep, he even went to the physician.

Our water heater died in the spring. Very annoying.

Anonymous said...

This is a most entertaining post!! Your father reminds me of my brother. Just get out and walk, little brother, and you'd feel a lot better. He hasn't given up smoking and knows he may get lung/throat/whatever cancer, but he HAS stopped drinking; and I love him, but what can you do with either a brother or a father!?!

I remember Orson Scott Card says that there are much easier ways to make money than by writing! But I DO wish you success in finding an agent!!!

Finally, excuse this personal note; but a glitch on my blog forced me to delete it and start a new one. Didn't lose anything except followers! Which is just as well, since most so-called followers only check in once and never return. So now I'm going through the printout I made of my “followers” and re-signing up with the ones I want to keep following/the ones I hope will keep following me--when they can. My signature link here goes to my new blog that’s almost the same name and looks the same. I hope to see your cheery face there!

Susan R. Mills said...

First off, I'm sorry about the difficulties with your dad. I'm in the same boat right now. Second, your life sounds chaotic enough without the query woes. I wish you the best of luck in that department. Finally, I still owe you a B&N gift card. Please know I haven't forgotten, I've just gotten a little caught up in my own life's chaos. I'll be in touch soon. Hope things start looking up for you personally and writing wise! :)

Shannon said...

You've got a lot going on, but you seem to be taking it in stride. =)

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you on the agent search! Best of luck!

Susan Fields said...

It's certainly not easy...I guess we just do it because we love it. Best of luck with your queries!

Lynn said...

You are a writer because you have something to say, and today I had the privilege of reading it. Thanks!

Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

Christine said...

Hugs to you and don't give up! You are a writer because you are driven to share your stories. Period. You can't stop. So push through it and keep going cause I want to keep reading your blog and your stories.


Talli Roland said...

Quite the week, Ann - big hugs! Writing is one of the hardest jobs I've done... but oh so rewarding! Keep soldiering on!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

WOW! Lots going on! If you haven't already you might want to check out Victoria Mixon's piece about why you should quit writing and why you shouldn't. Very enlightening!

I wish you the best of luck with your queries! I still love MASQUERADE. I hope you know that. :)

Tracy said...

I couldn't help but laugh about your dad. Not that it's funny for you, I'm sure. But because I know what that's like. I've got a particular someone I know who always has something wrong with her! It's at the point where everyone once in a while I catch myself wanting to say "Well then just go ahead and die already if you're so sure it's happening". I don't say it...but I think about saying it.

Yay for the querying. I know what you mean about the stress. I constantly tell myself it's not the end of the world if rejections start coming in...but I'm so keyed up I have to read the email at least three times before I hit "send". And I'm so relieved once it's gone and I can't fuss over it anymore I get giddy and want to run around like my dogs after they've gotten a bath.

There should probably be some sort of drug they can give to querying writers. We need it!

The Words Crafter said...

Girrrrrl, just DANG! I'm sorry it's been so crazy for you. And when a parent is driving you nuts, it's a mixed bag of emotions-been there. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

I agree with the shooting the moon strategy. It's what I would do. Good luck.

Gremlins. I always blame gremlins for headaches, hinky technical difficulties, mysterious and otherwise bothersome happenings. Gremlins.