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Monday, July 12, 2010

Meter Monday - and a lesson about computers and tea

Hey all, it's Meter Monday again, where I share what I've accomplished with my writing and invite you to do so too. First though, do you like my new blog design? I thought these pictures were pretty cool and I like being back to the neutral colors instead of black and yellow. And yes, I bit the bullet and went with the addicted to books title - at least I'll be consistent now!

So on to my accomplishments for the week:

1. I've been toning down my "Cruella de Ville" character to make her more 3-dimensional, which surprising wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. All of the elements to give her a reason for being the way she is were already there - I just had to explain things a bit differently. The more difficult part about this that I've been discovering is that now I have to go through the whole manuscript to make sure that her character is consistent throughout and this means looking not just at the scenes that she's a part of, but also at the scenes where she's just mentioned. In other words - I'm running through the whole manuscript again. I'm about a third of the way through already, but the thing is it's so difficult not to focus on other things while I'm doing this. I keep saying to myself, "focus on Maxine", and instead I keep doing little nit-picky changes that have nothing to do with her.

2. I attempted to strengthen my MC's mother, and give her a bit more personality, but I ended up not liking what I wrote and have since erased it all. So a little lost time there, but I know better what I want to do with her now, so I suppose wasted words aren't wasted afterall.

3. I did a little more research on agents and have a list of about ten so far. My big conundrum now - what do you do when agents say that a no from them is a no from the whole agency?? Obviously you're supposed to pick the one that you think is the best fit, so you're not wasting your one shot with them, but how do you really know which one will be best? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

4. I finished The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen and I will post a review soon.

So now for my little lesson about computers and tea. I did a bad thing last night and spilled a bit of tea across my laptap. It hit a few keys, but most of it (say about a tablespoon) landed on the tracking pad. I wiped it up right away and I thought the computer was okay. It worked well for about 20 minutes, then suddenly, ack! It started acting weird. I shut it down, restarted it, still acted funny. Then I "confessed" my mishap to my husband - the computer guru - and he just shook his head and told me to hope it's okay when it dries. I'm typing now, so obviously it is okay - well, for the most part. I can't use my right and left click on the tracking pad, although the pad itself is okay. But, I can plug in a mouse and that works. Hoping, crossing my fingers, that nothing else happens to it.

Of course, after the fact, I looked up what I should have done. I give this information to you in hopes that it will never happen to you, but if it does then you'll be smarter than I - think liquids + electronics = BAD!! Okay, so I lack street smarts, this is not news. Obviously I should have shut the whole thing down, unplugged the computer and waited for it to dry before continuing to use it. Some sites even advise turning the keyboard upside down so that the liquid doesn't hit those parts deep inside or taking it apart and drying it. Some even advise washing it with distilled water (tea and coffee contain acids and can eat away at those little components inside). So, there you have it. My computer lesson for you from one who is not computer, or electronic, savvy.

If you have a computer disaster to share please do so - it will make me feel less stupid. And of course, let me know what you've done this week!!

Have a good one,


Karla Nellenbach said...

Looks like you accomplished quite a bit this week! YAY you!

When it comes to agents, I think the best way (if there really is one) to choose one out of how many at an agency is to look at the authors the agents rep. Go for the one who reps authors that write in a similar genre and/or style.

As for computer mishaps, I try not to eat or drink anything close to mine as I am Queen Klutz...that said, my cat has caused a few mishaps in the past, mostly because he thinks he needs to lay right on top of the keyboard while I'm typing :)

Nomes (inkcrush) said...

you've had a great week - your MS must nearly be ready to go - goodluck with choosing who to query. It's done pretty differently here in Australia... so no idea about it over there.

I put my iPod through the washing machine and it died, but no computer stories :) (yet...)

And, I like the new blog look - very sleek and light and airy :)

Angie said...

Thanks Karla, that's a good idea about which agent to go for and I think I've resolved not to eat or drink around my computer, or at least to give myself a wide berth from now on.

Nomes - I wish I was nearly ready to go. Alas, I know that I have quite a bit to do yet. Sorry to hear about your ipod. Crossing my fingers that you never have computer problems. Glad you like the blog. :)

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem when researching agents. Sometimes there are quite a few at an agency who might fit. The problem is that with writing being so subjective, how do you know which one might like your work. On the one hand, if they represent other books like yours, that might be a good sign. On the other hand, it might also mean they don't want anymore. AHHHH!!!

I guess it's all hit and miss and a little bit of luck and skill.

My other problem with getting agents is that I write more traditional YA fantasy, not urban. Do I submit to YA agents or fantasy agents? So far, I've gone for YA agents who also list fantasy as something they represent. We'll see how it goes.

Angie said...

Shari - these are my thoughts exactly. So confusing!! Good luck with your querying. :)



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