What follows is what you would call a composite in the journalism world, Based On a True Story on the Lifetime Channel, and enough reason for the psychiatrist to up my Prozac dosage seeing as how the conversation didn’t actually happen.

Well, okay, it did. Kind of. But I basically spared y’all the commercials over the past two years and boiled it down for for everyone to be able to follow along. Except for HC_Palmquist, who didn’t realize until she was halfway through reading the first drat that she doesn’t have to be physically present to be this funny.

Me: I finished the book. Now what?

HC Palmquist: You write a query. My sister has a workshop she teaches for that. You should sign up.

Me: I’ll look into it. After I send the Pure and Obvious Genius I have penned out to the top agents on my list and wait for them to all start tripping over each other with contracts in hand. I promise to at least look like I wasn’t expecting it when the day comes.

Four minutes and no responses later…

HC Palmquist: So how’s that Pure and Obvious Genius thing working out for you?

Me: *Honestly confused* I’m not sure. I don’t have any responses yet. And that’s mainly because I’m not counting the ones that said no.

HC Palmquist: Maybe you need to check out CJ’s workshop?

Me: I’ll look into it.

HC Palmquist: Sure you will.

Me: Okay, I won’t. It’s not like I need that kind of help. I mean, I’m not an inexperienced writer or anything. I didn’t start writing yesterday, you know. I even have Published Clips from the newspapers I worked at and freelanced for. Hell, I stepped over puddles of blood at the scene of fatal car accidents to avoid pissing off the fire chief, for crying out loud, and stood This Close to People Eventually Convicted of Murder while covering their trials. I think I can handle a fucking query.

five minutes and six query revisions later…

HC Palmquist: How’s the query writing going?

Me: I think I’d rather present The Husband with an itemized expense report showcasing my extensive “Oh So and So sent me THAT RAMDOM THING I FOUND ON ETSY thing for free hoping I’d mention it on my blog collection and wait for the steam to stop pouring out of his ears.

HC Palmquist: But the experience! The Clips! The pools of blood!

Me: Right…I can do this thing…

Fifteen minutes and nine more revisions later…

Me: I can’t fucking do this. How the HELL am I supposed to convince a perfect stranger who has no idea how utterly AWESOME my book is that my book should be a, you know, BOOK in the BOOK STORES on their SHELVES for PEOPLE to BUY with a one page letter? I SUCK at writing letters. That’s why God invented email.

HC Palmquist: Don’t tell me you haven’t looked up agents that accept e-queries.

Me: *Eyes shimmer with faint hope*

HC Palmquist: But you still have to write it in the same format.

Me: Shit.

Two minutes and forty-five revisions later...

Me: I think I finally have something here.

HC Palmquist: Good. Maybe this time you won’t embarrass yourself completely when an agent finds a query with your name on it in their inbox.

Me: You mean like that time I wrote Muff Top?

HC Palmquist: Yeah. That.

Me: I was really hoping that one would have worked based on the humor factor alone. I mean, really. That would have made a kick-ass How I Got My Agent story for  Chuck Sambuchino.

HC Palmquist: No arguments here. Now, back to the query…and the workshop?

Thirty minutes and fifty more queries circulating in Publishing Land.

Me: This one is SO going to work. I mean, it’s PURE and OBVIOUS GENIUS REVISITED. And Friends A-Z all agree it’s SOOOOOO much better than the first one I sent out (shut up) so that means it’s practically perfect. Now, how long is appropriate to wait before agreeing to a contract? I don’t want to look desperate or anything.

HC Palmquist: At least three seconds. Anything sooner and you just look like a whore.

Me: Thanks for the tip. *Sits back to wait for Happy in the Inbox.*

Six months later and still waiting….

HC Palmquist: So, not that you are interested or anything, but my sister is offering her last query workshop ever next week.

Me: I think I’m signing up.

HC Palmquist: *Falls over dead*

Me: Seriously. I obviously have no fucking clue what I am doing and need serious guidance and CJ obviously knows what she’s doing.

HC Palmquist: *recovering quickly* Ok, I’ll send you the link.

Three days later

Me: Why didn’t you tell me my query SUCKED ASS and I needed this workshop LAST YEAR before I blew that shiny first impression with that crap copy? WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME YOUR SISTER IS A QUERY GENIUS???????

HC Palmquist: *Wondering if I know what Twitter is and how I have never heard of CJ Redwine, the fact that she has an agent, a book deal, and a clue.* Oh? *blinking innocently* Right. My bad.

 

I need a platform.
And while Platform The Secret Agent Monkey seems to have taken over my blog, I doubt he alone is going to make me Famous Enough to get an agent or a book deal. But don’t tell The Husband that. I’m still working on convincing him that I need a finger monkey or my dreams will never come true.
Until that happens, I need to come up with some other Platform Building plans. Right now I am considering any and all of the following:

*Move to Jersey Shore. Make friends with Snooki. Steal a Bumpit. Make it work with my Mexifro. Say something to piss Snooki off (on camera, of course) and let her beat me up (on camera, of course). When she offers hush money to keep me from suing, I counter offer with a contract with her agent and give her back the Bumpit I stole from her dressing room. It didn’t work for me, anyway. Then? Wait for book deal.
*Divorce The Husband. Move to Hollywood. Shack up with a Rock Star. Divorce Rock Star after granting exclusive interviews to the paparazzi hiding in my garbage cans. Move back in with The Husband (who was totally in on the plan) and grant more exclusive interviews to the paparazzi I invited over for pizza. Wait for book deal.
*Get pregnant with 15 babies at the same time. Force The Husband into a reality show he wants nothing to do with. Make sure to get all the free plastic surgery I can while my 15 minutes is still riding strong and a few more when no one will touch me except for my garbage paparazzi crew. But I draw the line at the reverse claw mullet. My Mexifro already has enough “character.” Wait for book deal.
*A murder rap. Wait for book deal.
*Buttercup’s cute enough, me thinks. Talk The Husband into moving to Questionable Parenting-ville so we can join up with the Toddlers and Tiara’s circuit. I figure just a few appearances is enough to get my name out there before Buttercup is scarred for life. (side note: this plans is banking on a sizable advance, since I’m gonna need a chunk to spring for the preventative therapy to keep my kid from going all Celebrity Rehab on me when she gets older as payback.) Also? Wait for book deal.
*Rob a bank. Get lipo and a boob life. And a tummy tuck. Oh, and cap my baby teeth.  Approach Sports Illustrated and get the cover. Parlay that experience into a television show host gig. Divorce The Husband so I can hook up with an ex-actor-turned-musician who is now only famous in Europe and in the States for being married to me. Wait for book deal.
*Buy a time machine with the leftover funds from the bank heist. Become a cute child actor who grows up to be a messed up adult who also happens to be broke now because I spent my millions on too much crack and crystal meth. Clean myself up, find and marry The Husband, have my Buttercup, and hire a ghost writer to pen my story, because being famous once is usually Famous Enough for a memoir to actually happen, even if it’s socially acceptable to not even be expected to write it yourself. And? I probably wouldn’t have to wait very long for that book deal.

I’m still working out the kinks, of course. The Husband is being all You’re crazy and Just Be Patient and You wrote a great book and it’s cute, but seriously?

I’m just me. I’m not a name. After I end up on the cover of The National Enquirer?

Oh yeah. That’s the ticket.

Platform? Here I come.

 

I got tired of sitting here with my thumb up my ass waiting for responses to a few queries still floating around in Publishing Land, what with not having a clue what I had even sent out to whom and all, so I took the initiative (read: HC Palmquist made me do it) and trolled through my gmail account to set up a proper excel sheet. You know, so I’d have half a clue.

I cringed at some of the quick form rejections, smiled at the You Don’t Suck, The Market Does responses, and even did a little jig when I saw an invitation to query an agent with future projects.

Then? I saw this:

Dear (Mystical Gatekeeper Agent Person),
When you see my query you also will see a very obvious typo…in the
title of my book. While I am known to typo more often than should be
legal, I am well aware of how to spell “Sane.” Unfortunately, I am
coming down with a cold and shivered while attempting to make the
correction. That is when my fingers hit send for me before my head
fixed the word.
I understand if this takes me out of the running for consideration.
But I did want to take a moment to explain myself.
Please have a wonderful weekend.

Sincerely,

Pauline M. Campos

So, who’s surprised that I never heard back from this agent?

Anyone? No?

Yeah…I figured as much.

 

@LukeRomyn: It’s a sad day when you Google yourself and the results tell you to get a life

Oops…that’s been happening to me a lot these days. I’m in the middle of my personal Sit and Wait after the Queries Phase hell, and believe you me, I am about ready to get a restaining order on myself with the sick sad obsessive online searching.

What will an agent find if they are interested enough to look beyond the query? (Read: I may have dropped one too many F-bombs in tonight’s tweet stream.)

So I decided to take a break on my new self-stalking hobby and stalk Mercedes Yardley instead. And for kicks? I asked her to stalk me.

Cue the Jeapordy theme.

Answer: Spend entirely too much time on facebook, twitter, fouresquare, and their own blogs under the guise of “research for their next project.”

Question: What does a writer actually do?

Mercedes is one of my favorite people on twitter. And not just because she beta read my entire manuscript in record time, either. And also not because she actually liked it. A lot. And definitely not because my middle name is her first. (Ok, that was really the reason I started following her, but our relationship has since moved far beyond the superficial. Seriously. I may even introduce her to my mother soon. After my mother gets a twitter account, that is.)

For the sake of my art, let us all pretend that Mercedes does not yet have an agent and is still toiling away in the Land of the Unpubbed like the rest of us, shall we? That makes it easier for me to justify Google stalking.

Let the games begin.

Did you know that Mercedes:

*can be found here on Twitter? Her most recent tweet to (how cool is this?) author Luke Romyn (as of the writing of this blog post) is as follows:

@mercedesmy: But…I want to believe.

*Blogs at A Broken Laptop. (Kick ass name, by the way.) A quick search of her blog tells me and my ninja-like skills that she loves stillettos, has killer legs, likes to build snowmen out of old liquor receipts and cocaine (after the kids have gone to sleep, of course), is gorgeous, knows how to market herself (hello PLATFORM!), and is just made of awesome.

*is not the first Mercedes Yardley you will find on Facebook. Trust me.

*is as eloquent as she is snarky (Just follow her on Twitter if you aren’t already.)

And that’s just page one. If you have no life like me or are an agent and in the business of doing this sort of thing for a really good reason, you’ll also find Mercedes on SheWrites (which also serves as a nice reminder to stop stalking myself and my friends for five minutes tomorrow to set up my own page. Ok, maybe six.)

I can’t wait to see what Mercedes dug up on me. I’m guessing lots of self-deprecatation and typos.

But really, it’s just a guess.

Now it’s your turn. Google yourself. And report back in the comments.

 

Dear Santa,

I hope this blog post finds you well.

I am sure you have already received Buttercup’s Christmas list. And yes, I am perfectly aware that your sled is only equipped to carry so much,with the gifts for children all around the world thing and all, so I am already trying to explain to her that you probably won’t be bringing everything on her list.

Don’t worry. The Husband and I have got your back. We went out and bought a few things on your behalf and will sit back happily while she praises the man in the red suit who somehow managed to make breaking into homes not only socially acceptable, but a much anticipated event. Props to you, Santa.

Anyway, you can let the Elves know that the Sing-a-Ma-Jigs, Unicorn Pillow Pet, and Disney Princess Movies are already taken care of. We might even spring for the Dora the Explorer Power Wheel Jeep. But the rest is all you. And we’d appreciate it if you could possibly return the favor by sticking “Love, Mama and Daddy” on a few of the things you happen to drop off. Because really? It’s only fair. And? We’re now broke.

I’ve already had a few friends and family ask me what I want for Christmas. I’ve already got my two front teeth, so that’s out. And The Husband and I are already on the lookout for another puppy, so don’t worry about poking holes in a box for something cute to breathe out of. But really? My list isn’t really that long. I’d like a few books, maybe Stephen King’s On Writing. Perhaps the complete Harry Potter series because I have never had a chance to read it. (I know. I know. Shut up.)

I’d also like something sparkly. But don’t worry. I’ll ask The Husband for that. So you’re off the hook again. (See how considerate I am being?)

So what do I want you to leave for me under the Christmas tree? My laptop, opened and logged in to my email account (You got into my house, big guy, so let’s not be modest here. We know you’ve got the skills), with a brandy new and very pretty new message from my dream agent. One that, very clearly, states they love me and my manuscript. A contract would be nice, too. But you can save that for my birthday. It’s the day after. I can wait.

Just think! I’m saving you space in your sled again to allow for more Christmas cheer. I’m thinking that should count for some points, yes?

I’ve been a good girl, Santa. Pinky promise. And? I’m leaving you some cookies on the table. But forget the milk. Since Rudolph’s the one doing the actual driving, feel free to help yourself to the liquor cabinet.

Sincerely,

Pauline (a.k.a. Aspiringmama)

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