What Unsolicited Querying Feels Like

So. I wrote a novel, and now I’m looking for an agent to represent me. This is a long process that I’ve just begun, and all my querying has been unsolicited, which means I come out of nowhere to these people and usually end up in their enormous slush piles. I’ve read that I shouldn’t give up until after about 100 query letters. This is what that feels like.
(Click to embiggen!)

Please don’t ask me what the novel is about. I’ll let you know when, well, probably after a couple drinks. But when you try out for a musical, I’m not all, “Hey buddy, sing me your audition song!” That’s mortifying, and a post for a different day.

About Those Race-Swapping Photos

Have you guys seen those photos about race swapping everyday interactions? A lot of people have been excited about them and Oprah gave them the stamp of approval for her magazine. My initial reaction was like, “Oh, I get it.” Followed by anger.

First, allow me to first cushion the hell out of what I’m going to say. There is space for photos like these, and that they may have made a positive impact in a discussion about racism in America is great. I’m no Oprah; I don’t have that magic of being a significant social influencer for millions of people. These photos very well may be what the (fake, TV) doctor ordered.

There are things these photos do well. They portray relatively simple scenes with seemingly low-stakes in everyday situations for women and girls. I like that aspect. There should be more discussion about race relations between women and the effects of power dynamics in everyday life. That’s important stuff.

So why was I pissed? It’s complicated.

Continue reading About Those Race-Swapping Photos

Pop Culture & Bad Archeology

Poor, neglected blog! I was writing so much other stuff that I didn’t take time to write for you. But I did pay real money so you can exist on the Internet for at least two more years, so there’s that. [/end Aunty Mommy “apology”]

So, dear reader, you may be thinking, “What hard-hitting, incisive, thoughtful post are we going to get now? Surely, there’s so much going on in the world that you can’t not talk about it.”

Yeah, no. Look, I know I should probably get into it, but when’s the last time you’ve tried analyzing shitty things happening instead of just acknowledging them? It’s not that I don’t care; it’s that it takes a lot out of me. I was an emotional husk after doing a piece about the Global Gag Rule. I made Mr. Squish watch The Last Unicorn with me, and I cried at parts that weren’t even sad. I don’t feel like revisiting that in my free time.

But what I do have energy for is complaining about pop culture!

Continue reading Pop Culture & Bad Archeology

Scented Candle Expectations

I’ve been perusing The Hairpin, and Kelly Conaboy’s scented candle reviews are truly excellent. I have written my own scented candle nonsense, but it got me thinking about my actual candle-related expectations. You’d think having only ever bought maybe five candles ever, and at least two because I thought Mr. Squish would like them, that I wouldn’t have strong feelings about this.

But I do, dear reader. Continue reading Scented Candle Expectations

Fighting: boredom and frustration punctuated with panic

I haven’t touched on any of the whole  “Trump’s going to be the president” thing in any of my blog posts. Mostly because the thought is exhausting and depressing, and everyone else is talking about it anyway.

However, I do want to address the rather desolate expectations some people have of the next administration. People are talking like disaster is imminent.

They’re probably right, but not how you think. Continue reading Fighting: boredom and frustration punctuated with panic

A Short Story for Halloween

Happy Halloween, dear reader! It’s been too long since a bit of fiction flitted across this blog, and so, I give you a spooky tale for Halloween.

The Bathtub

Image: Yelp
Image: Yelp

The apartment I shared with Laura was clean, spacious, and incredibly hostile, as passionate romances also spur passionate break-ups.

After a week or so of couch surfing, I found a sublet in my price range a mile or so from my classes. Closer to campus were new complexes with attached gyms and single bedroom units well beyond a T.A.’s budget. My new place was one of the classic, yet dilapidated houses infested with young people that were common further from school.

It must’ve been a stunning place when it was new: a grand, old Victorian with broken stained glass windows and faded green shutters. The porch was unsettlingly soft, and the plaster stank of pot. But I was morose and the price was right. Continue reading A Short Story for Halloween

Stupid Haikus 3

The haiku is a classic Japanese poetry form, and the best poets use it to convey emotion, scenery, and a sense of place. Haiku is often also used to convey the essence of seasons.

These are haikus only in so much that I am following the 5-7-5 syllable scheme, and, this time, I’m using autumnal free stock photos as “inspiration.”

3624676 - autumn composition
Copyright: funlovingvolvo / 123RF Stock Photo

Continue reading Stupid Haikus 3

Yes, Virginia, It’s Sexism

I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Hillary supporter, but I also don’t go out of my way to try and convert others. I just don’t have the wherewithal to slog through conspiracy theories and paranoia like a political ice breaker.

When all you do is shout,
When all you do is shout, “Benghazi!” I have a difficult time engaging in discourse with you…

However, I do want to point out the sexism that Clinton been subjected to through out this campaign that is couched as legitimate criticism. Now, Shakesville has a much more comprehensive list, but it still isn’t every sexist thing that has been lobbed at Clinton. (Ain’t nobody got time for that.) Continue reading Yes, Virginia, It’s Sexism

Nature’s Beautiful?

There’s a lot going on in the world right now, but for a moment I will turn away from the intensity of fear and hope in order to navel gaze. I am apparently a millennial after all.

I love nature shows and documentaries. I am especially susceptible to their excessively emotional scores. So when I watch something like this:

I usually end up verklempt.

via GIPHY

Ohmygod that was so beautiful and the world is full of breathless mystery and I swear I’ll never eat meat again and I’ll hug a dog and look into its huge, warm eyes like Krishna’s mother seeing the world in his mouth and I’ll bike everywhere like a Communist to save the Earth.

When I’m confronted with actual nature, that is, in real life without a score, it looks more like this:

My heart’s in the right place, kind of, but I have no idea what the hell is going on. Then I have an Italian beef or something and drive three blocks somewhere.

Perhaps there’s a message here about the difference between eliciting emotion and eliciting action, or perhaps it’s more evidence that sometimes I’m just kind of a crappy person.