Sunday, September 26, 2010

What I Love to Hate, and Hate to Love.

What causes us as a species, to love with so much compassion, or to hate with such conviction? What ties us together and at the same time rips us apart? Is it our humanity, divinity or complacency?

I don't know the answer. I know I am complex enough to feel a multitude of emotions in a flash of a moment. I know the golden rule when it applies to me and I know the curse when it doesn't.

Why is it as a pedestrian I hate the cars speeding past me in the crosswalk and as a driver I hate the pedestrians taking their own sweet time to cross? Why is it okay for me to talk on the phone while driving, while everyone else is breaking the law? Perception and convenience has a lot to do with it.

Hypocrisy? You bet. Are we raised this way, maybe, but what is it going to take to bring us together as a race, the human race. We bet on losses and trade on probability. Is it wrong? I don't know. Is it right to cheer for destruction while we rally for restoration? Or borrow from one to pay another? Could it be that we are so conditioned to believe in duality that we apply it to every aspect of our lives (health, finances, happiness, and experiences). Does everything we taste, touch, smell, see, and hear have to mirror an equal negative to each positive? Maybe.

I can tell you what I believe. For every action there is an equal and relevant reaction, (better known as cause and effect). I knock over a glass of water, the water reacts and spills out of the glass. I hit my thumb with a hammer, it's gonna swell. It's the basic science of cause and effect. We all know the saying, "What goes around, comes around" or "Do unto others, as you want others to do unto you." So I try (I said try) to live this way. I believe what I put out there, will come back to me. I see examples of this all the time in my daily life. On days I am frustrated or sad my demeanor becomes a magnet for drawing it into my life. If I adjust and "fake it 'til I make it", I see what starts to happen around me.

When I consciously redirect my thoughts to deliberately smile at people, guess what? People will smile back. When I make the mental choice to see the good in people around me, good begins to surface around me. It only takes one drop to create a ripple that affects the masses for miles. Is a bucket of ocean water any "less ocean" when you bring it up on the beach? Ocean water is ocean water, whether it's in a bucket or swelling in its massive form. Are babies less alive than adults? Get where I'm going?

Just because things at a particular moment don't seem like they should be, doesn't mean they aren't what they are supposed to be. There is the same amount of sugar in my coffee when I scooped it into my drink as there was when the heat of my drink dissolved it. It just took on a different form. So who's to say I can't be happy on a crappy day or grateful for a situation that is less than ideal? It is those events that shape me into who I am today and the sooner I own them and look at them as opportunities to learn, change, and grow, the sooner I realize it is in my power how I am going to react. No more do I have to react to a situation, because other people expect me to.

I sent out several queries to agents and about half replied with a, no thanks. Am I down or feel any less publishable? Not even. They weren't meant to represent me. Out there, in the massive industry, known as literary agents, someone is waiting for my story. My belief and reaction, rely upon the knowingness that the right and perfect agent is out there, waiting for me to query them.

How I react to situations, will dictate my day and right now, my day is pretty darn good.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Where Did That Come From?

Sometimes I feel like a hamster running for its life in a plastic sphere.  My legs are working as hard as they can to get me to a safe corner of the room before some little kid grabs my hard plastic prison bubble and shakes it.   Who in the hell put that in my way? 

Hey~ when did they get that chair?  Whoa, I don’t remember that pile of clothes there a couple of days ago.  My stubby little legs push hard on the upper part of the ball, hoping I can maneuver around the pile and low and behold there are stairs.  Yeah, I remember them being there.  No biggie, I’ll just tumble with the ball as it bounces hard, magnifying the crashing sound as it hits the floor and I go head over heels.  Whew, no broken bones or drops of urine.  (Must be a good day)

“Wait, hold on.  What are you doing?  Put me down!”  Suddenly my sphere goes dark and I’m sailing through the air, so high up I think I am going to suffer from drastic elevation change syndrome(if there is such a thing).  Great, my ears are plugged.  I hate roller coasters.

I could only hope this kid will take me somewhere new.   Please, please, take me somewhere I haven’t been, maybe a bedroom or the kitchen.  I guess that would have been too easy.  Low and behold, bright light infuses my hard plastic bubble as my prison ball drops fast~ right back to the place I started.  Oops, did I do that?  Super, now I’m stuck smelling it.

How many of us go from the caged exercise wheel to the plastic prison ball in our own lives?  Are we truly experiencing the exhilaration of living life, or are we on the tread-wheel of complacency, just spinning until we decide to jump off.  If we could just run a little faster in our prison torture ball, maybe we could make it behind the TV.   If we spin the exercise wheel a little faster, maybe we’ll feel like we’ve accomplished something. 

It is time we jump off and boycott the wheel and fight tooth and nail to stay out of the plastic see-through rollie ball that ends up smelling like pee.  Take a moment to find something that makes you feel productive, supported, and special.  Maybe while you’re cuddled up in your little cardboard box filled with shredded newspaper; visualize what you want for your life.  

What is it that makes you smile ear to ear when you think about it?  What puts a boil of excitement in your gut?  What makes you want to take on the world? Find that, take that, and focus on that.  Hold that belief as your reality~ then the next time you get shoved into that hard plastic rollie ball, you’ll see it as an opportunity, rather than a prison sentence. 

Take on the day!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I Got Your Synopsis—Right Here!

For the love of Pete! Not only do some agents want the— ever so hard to write query, and the first chapter or two of the book that took you a year or two to write, but they want you to give them a one or two, maybe three but not more than a four page synopsis of your book. Frickin drain me of every last drop of creativity!

Okay, most of you know how I've struggled to boil my book down to a query under 250 words. Give the agent a hook, then reel them in with details (but not too many), and God forbid, don't tell them the ending. Tease them into wanting more. Kinda like a strip-tease, but with my words. Except instead of getting lucky at the end, I get dressed and make him sleep out on the couch.

Well—LET ME TELL YOU, the query is nothing compared to the Synopsis. If a query is like a strip-tease, than a synopsis is like a crash course in how to please your man. (AH-HA, you didn't think you were going to read a NC-17 post today did cha?)

Follow me here— my analogy of pleasing your man is like writing a synopsis. (Step by step)

  1. You gotta get your hooks ready. You send the kids off to stay with your melodramatic mother. Don't worry, its okay, because you don't need a lot of time. Then go get your best negligee, the smaller, and quicker to remove, the better.

  2. You tantalize his taste buds with the best known aphrodisiac— dinner, *NOTE* (cut the recipe in half so there is not much time wasted here). You tease him over the candlelight and blow kisses to him as he swallows his last bite.

  3. Once you have his attention, you pull him seductively into the bedroom. Rose peddles liter the floor making a defined path to the understated, yet self explanatory piece of furniture you call the bed.

  4. Pay close attention to detail. Candles, aromas and music are a must. Set up, tempo, and mood are invaluable here. Don't waste time with answering the phone or talking about his day here. (Heavy conversation only wastes time, and you are limited by the return of your children from your mother's house.)

  5. Be cognitive of your time. If you find you are running short (on time), foreplay must be narrowed down. Limit kissing, go straight to the clothes removal, and sorry ladies, heavy petting must be modified to light discovery. Time is of the essence, but attention to detail is a must.

  6. Once you've got him ready and engaged, do not, and I REPEAT, do not leave the bed. You mustn't stop until you both have reached the euphoric state of kinship. Sexual satisfaction must be reached. If a utopia(istic) state is not obtained, or your kids are banging on the front door, you must go back, and revise steps 2-5 to fit within the allotted time frame.
If nothing else is learned from this post, at least you walk away with an outline on how to please your lover in 10 minutes or less!

Good Luck!

Once I reach the pivotal point of a somewhat perfect synopsis for my novel, I'll let you know how it feels. Who knows, maybe I'll even post it for you to read. Until then, I must go back and rewrite, revise, and reread.

Now go forth into your week fulfilled and satisfied. And keep smiling, it's contagious!


Monday, September 6, 2010

I Have a New Website!

(Horns tooting) Dunt…dun… duh… (Please—please, take your seats. I must remain humbled). I am proud to announce with the passing of time, (one full day of sweat and digit cramps) that I, Gretchen de la O, have entered into the virtual world with more than just a Facebook account or Twitter twitting, I can even go so far as to say, further than this blog, in which I fill with my ramblings. Yeah, you guessed it—I am now a proud, keeper of the keys, to my very own website! No need for Q-tips (nothing’ smaller than an elbow in your ear anyway), yeah you heard right, a website!

Really, please thanks for the standing ovation, but as we all know, there ain’t no rest for the wicked, (which by the way never knew what that song was about until my son told me. Remind me to tell you later!)

Anyway, it’s time for me to get down to the nitty-gritty and give my little plug.

It is a free (yeah it will have some form of ads) website builder called OMG talk about easy-cheesy. I was turned onto this company by a fellow writer who used it. She has a great site (check it out). I got sucked into building my site for a day and a half. (Well, it really wasn’t a day and a half, if you factor in soccer games, laundry and cooking 5 minute meals.) However; it did take some time and it was so much fun. Importing, linking, RSSing, and every other type of time consuming technical aspect of creating a website was so fast using their pre-designed tools (My cat could have built my site-not really). What was so cool about it, was it let me import my own pictures, links, and music. Yeah, I could pay a monthly fee and go ad free and link directly to my very own created web address, but who cares, if I can still get you linked to it through my blog.

Eventually, I will migrate to the subscription on Wix as the popularity of my website grows. For now, I just want to get my name out there, and establish a place where people can come and hang out with me, virtually.

So without further ado, click Here, to check it out, then come back and tell me what you think.

BTW- Ain’t no Rest for the Wicked is about prostitution. Who knew!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Writing a Query Letter is a lot Like Lice Removal

I have come to the conclusion, writing a query letter, worthy of sending out to agents, is a lot like de-lousing my child's head.

Let me explain.

So I have been working and struggling to get my query letter for my young adult novel, cleaned up and to the point. I had a bunch of adjectives I didn't need, but I felt they completed the query, until- I was able to comb through it and pick them out. Just like the little tiny nits that tried to take over my son's head, so were these adjectives (I call them my "ly" words). I removed all "ly" words, but a couple, and boy did it sound a lot better.

I proof read and looked at each and every word, seeing if they were right and perfect. I wanted to make sure I didn't leave anything that would pollute my query. Just like when I had the painstaking job of combing out each section of my child's head, making sure there was nothing left that could re-infect him. (oh I know, don't even go there, I'm still totally freaked out)

My hands ache, my wrists are toast, and my neck's so stiff I can't turn it to save my life. But at least now I have a pretty decent query and my kid is lice/nit free.

Yeah, I had the people that totally freaked out and were negative. Just like when you tell people about your dream of becoming published. They tell you how hard it is or how much work it's all going to be. I know it's hard and to have people reminding me it's hard, is as ridiculous as believing all kids with lice are dirty.

Anyway, it's time to focus on the next step~ querying agents, show them what I can do. Just in time to have my son cleared to go back to school. Hurray for hard work. Now is not the time to rest on my laurels, I have queries to email and bedding to wash.

In all I've became a little wiser to querying and lice removal. I've learned that most people still hold major fear towards querying and head lice. I understand the amount of work it takes to stay in control of your emotions. And I've learned that, "hurry up and wait" isn't always fun.

The bright side, because you always have to find a ray of hope in a pile of hot steaming crap~ My kid's hair has never been as clean and realistically, I count my blessings every day that I have a healthy, strong, and resilient little dude!

So I go forward hugging my kid, scanning his head, and get back to making the best query ever!