So this one time a writer finished a book she thought was just dripping of awesomeness and, because she figured those silly old rules about letting the story sit and the very real need for multiple revisions and advice about maybe hiring an editor all applied to Writers Less Incredible Than She, the first set of top agents had said writer’s query in their inbox faster than you can say “Rookie Mistake.” Oh, and the one agent — named Michele Martin from MDM Management — that she was referred to by a pretty friend never actually got a query, but instead got a simple email stating that Tiffany Romero had referred her.

Of course, she got turned down. By all five of the agents she had queried and had assumed were going to make her the next Exception to the Rule. BASTARDS! Didn’t they know WHAT KIND OF TALENT THEY WERE DEALING WITH?

Obviously…..not.

The writer shook off the rejection (it MUST have been a glitch in How The Universe Operates, after all) and started researching the next five agents or so. And lo and behold, there was an email from the agent she had emailed on Tiffany’s referral. The agent wanted to talk.

On. The. Phone.

With me. (I mean…oh screw it. It’s hard writing about myself in third person without falling into a fit of girly giggles, so I’ll stop.) So yeah….the agents wanted to talk with me! Maybe she was going to sign me! Maybe I was the exception to the rule. Maybe…

Maybe I needed to keep querying and slow down and practice not squealing while speaking with Michele the following day. Of course, there was no contract to sign after our conversation. There were suggestions to tighten the manuscript and how to make things work better and where I needed more and why this area needed much less and Just Cut That Part, Okay? So I sent out another few batches of query letters and tightened my work.

After the next batch of rejections, I figured my query sucked and wasn’t getting past round 1 at the agencies they were going to, so I took a query workshop and came out on the other end with a query that sucked so little it was positively pretty.

So I sent that bad boy out to even more agents while I worked on making the manuscript Not Suck with Michele (turns out what I thought was literary gold was no more than first draft dribbles..who knew?). All told, she probably worked with me for three months before gently bursting my Bubble of Happiness by telling me that I had talent but the manuscript just wasn’t ready. She suggested an editor and invited me to resubmit after I had revised. A Lot.

I told her to bite me (in my head) and thanked her for her time (in an email).

That’s when I pulled the plug on queries and put my manuscript in a forgotten pile and went on with my life by keeping busy with the strangest hobby which involved writing more and submitting my work to Other People. I know, sounds strangely like work and building a platform, but don’t let yourself be fooled. I was actually just pretending the book I had written didn’t exist and this was just one way to stay crazy busy enough to do just that.

And then one day I found myself being offered a featured blogger spot at Lissa Rankin’s Owning Pink.

Another found me giggling like a school girl in front of an ice cream truck when Leah Segedie asked if I wanted to be an editor on Bookieboo.

The email inviting me to bring some funny to An Army of Ermas had me at hello.

And the one asking if I was interested in contributing to 30 Second Mom would only have been answered faster if the subject line had read “A yes gets your face on an iPhone app.”

And I guess all that got me enough confidence to start submitting individual pieces and that’s when Hippocampus Magazine accepted an essay and Funny Not Slutty decided I was worthy and THE POINT IS I FINALLY GOT OFF MY ASS AND GOT TO WORK!

Somewhere in all that craziness I also put my ego away and reread my manuscript. You know, the one that Michele had said showed promise but wasn’t ready? Yeah, funny thing. Turns out she was right. I mean, it not only sucked, it also S-U-C-K-E-D. So I took her advice, hired Brooke Warner to edit, and busted my booty turning that manuscript around.

Eventually, I found myself at the Point of No Return. My manuscript was ready to go out into the big wide world or back into hiding. I decided to put on my big girl panties.

That’s when I got my pretty new(ish) query out and sent it off to five agents. Right after that I emailed Michele.

And on Valentine’s Day I was signing a contract to be represented by Michele Martin of MDM Management, who was originally referred to me by Tiffany Romero of Bloggy Bootcamp and Other Social Media Awesomeness and also now represents Lissa Rankin, who runs Owning Pink, and the synchronicity of the whole bit tells me that some things are just meant to be.

Moral of the story?

It’s entirely possible that my query letter still sucks. I wouldn’t know. I got my agent with an email.

 

I’m combing through my archives in an effort to maintain just a little bit of sanity while trying to do a massive revision of my manuscript, maintain the blogging schedule because I’m OCD like that, and do that motherhood thing. Santa may be receiving a letter from yours truly in the near future asking for a maid, a cloning device, or a one way ticket to Fiji (his choice), but until I actually have time to write it, it’s all about the archived blog posts and a liberally poured glass of wine.

Or five.

And because I am now officially dairy-free, may I suggest coconut milk ice cream as a nice alternative for The Reverse Sundae?

 

sundae

Sometimes, you just gotta live it up. No matter what diet or eating plan you are following, carrots sticks and chicken breasts are going to get boring if you don’t treat yourself every now and then.
So what’s a mama to do?

Live it up, of course! But play it smart.

That’s how I came up with what I like to call the Reverse Sundae. I was up late one night working on my book and decided I wanted to have some ice-cream. Six months ago, that would have meant a huge bowl, ignored serving sizes, and enough sugar to put an elephant into a coma. But things have changed. I’m working with a nutritionist now, eating as clean as possible and learning more everyday, and best of all, I no longer suffer from the All or Nothing mindset that used to doom me and my good efforts the moment I let a pinkie toe off the proverbial wagon.

So I went down to the freezer and pulled out my Haggen Daaz Five Vanilla ice-cream pint and prepped the counter to slice up some fresh berries and a banana. I also made sure to get my dessert bowl out of the cupboard…the huge bowls I used to use are no longer the first thing I reach for.

Once the berries were slices and nearing the top of my dessert bowl (about a cup of fruit, I think), I placed two smallish scoops of Haagen Daaz on top of my fruit. If I had to do this again, I’d probably say I used less than a serving size and may use even less when I make my next Reverse Sundae.

And that’s it! I grabbed a spoon and headed back up to my computer, enjoying every single bite of cooled and creamy fruit as I wrote. I got my fix, a nice serving of fruit to go with it, and felt great about my decision, my new creation, and myself when the last bite was done.

Give it a try and see what you think!

This post originally appeared at Bookieboo.com!

 

Okay, so the title of this post was originally The Julian Project Part 4, but I figured the one I went with was way less likely to be ignored.

Let’s cut to the chase. I met Jenny at BlogHer10 in the bathroom where she was holding court during the party she was hosting without actually being there. Leah grabbed my hand, walked me right in there in front of Her Royal Majesty of all Blogdom and proceeded to gush about my mexifro. That’s when I may have done something stupid and promised to post a photo of my troll-doll awesomeness just for Jenny and Leah when I got back to my hotel room that night. In retrospect, I’m thinking I totally peer pressured myself into looking like a bigger schmo in a puppy dog effort to impress the seniors in high school, but whatever. Leah eventually asked me to be an editor on Bookieboo and Jenny remembered my name. So it’s a win all around.

Fast forward to today: I contacted Jenny about my pathetic to date efforts to raise some funds for The Julian Project. The thought of losing my child is not something I can even fathom, and I wanted to do my part, which brought be to asking all of you to help.

Five dollars. That’s all. In honor of Julian’s age when he died.

But so far, my efforts have…well...sucked.

Attempt #1

Attempt #2

Attempt #3

Attempt #4

So I scratched my head and thought, “What totally awesome Thing could I bug someone for that would attract flocks of people to my site just for a good cause?”

Naturally, my mind went straight to the metal chicken.

That’s when I reminded Jenny that she might possibly remember my name and she very kindly agreed to donate one of her Beyonce Photo Statue Desk Sculptures for the cause. I’ll be honest in saying that I don’t care if you got here just because you saw The Bloggess in the title and donated because you wanted the desk chicken and decide never to come back although you will certainly be missed but that’s not what this is about.

What this is about is trying to do our parts to lessen the financial burden incurred during a long fight with leukemia and making life just a tiny bit easier for little Julian’s parents. So donate $5 here and leave me a comment on this blog post letting me know you did so I can keep track. One commenter will be randomly selected to receive the prize after the deadline (midnight, EST, on Oct. 12), and we will all live happily ever after.

The End

 

I’ve been holding out on you. I’ve been holding out on me, too, but more on that later.

First, the stuff you may have actually noticed if you follow me on twitter, stalk me on Facebook, have circled me on G+, or you’ve stopped by here at least twice while sober: I’ve been doing a lot less talking and a lot more doing lately. Sure, I still tweet more than most some, but I’m pretty sure that if I could do math, my current percentage of time wasted sending out tweets and status updates into the universe with the hopes of The Agent of My Dreams stumbling across some of it, being blinded by my wit, and throwing a contract in my face JUST BECAUSE versus where it was when I started this whole crazy ride about two years ago? Probably down by at least 942.5%, or thereabouts.

Instead, I’m doing what the real writers do…which is, get this…write! Right?

I stopped tweeting every time Buttercup did something fabulous and got a regular gig with Owning Pink. I chose to focus on my platform instead of planting a Facebook garden and kept the ball rolling at Bookieboo. I reminded myself of my desperate need for a finger monkey instead of getting back on twitter to tell you how I did the first two things and got an official spot on the An Army of Ermas team and then wrote an essay that was accepted for publication in next month’s edition of Hippocampus Magazine

And then?

I got word of another acceptance, wrote another essay that I’m planning on sending out into the world, applied for a book reviewer position with Hippocampus, GOT THE POSITION, and wrote back with an OF COURSE I ACCEPT before I realized what had actually happened. I’ll be reviewing non-fiction: memoir and craft books. So if you want to contact me about a potential review, I left plenty of clues in this post for potential stalkers to get in touch with me.

There’s dreaming and then there’s doing, people. I’m no social media writing expert and I don’t play one in my Twitter profile, either, but I will say this…

Doing seems to be a hell of a lot more productive.

Go figure.

 

One step forward.

Two steps back.

Three steps forward. And I’ve already won.

I should have seen it coming. I know me. How my head works. I’m an all or nothing kind of girl and maybe it has to do with the leftover eating disordered baggage and maybe it doesn’t, but it doesn’t really matter. This is where I am right now.

Two weeks ago I was months into a clean eating, loving to and making the time to work out, feeling good inside and out kind of routine. Then I decided to sprain my ankle while making a sandwich for The Husband, because obviously I was supposed to hire a personal trainer first and Get In Shape For That Shit. Or maybe I didn’t do enough pre-sandwich-making stretching. Either way, the result was me in an emergency room, my foot in a brace, and orders from the nurse to keep my ass parked on the couch for a few weeks.

It didn’t happen instantaneously. I didn’t wake up the very next day and decide that raiding the pantry for salty carbs and chocolate because I was still holding strong. I was still focusing on how healthy I felt. Forget taking weight “off your shoulders.” Taking it off my middle by reducing the bloat with limited sugars and processed foods made all the difference for me.

Until I woke up on the other side of yesterday and realized where I had landed. On my face. Hiding from the scale. Doing the Mommy version of the Toddler Potty Dance, only my dance is way less cute because it involves trying to shove my fat ass into the jeans that fit me perfectly two weeks ago. They still button, mind you. But unless I’m going for that Purposeful Muffin Top Look (and what the hell is that about, anyway?) it’s a total nu-uh, Mama. Try again. There, that pair. Shut up about how they look. They fit. Right?

I did an hour long yoga session the night before last.

I polished off a package of dairy free gluten-free chocolate chip cookies last night.

I passed up on serving a heaping side of bullshit and instead wrote about the reality inside my head. It’s not always funny. But it is me. And this is what I need to write about for now. I’ll continue to go through the motions for a few days or so, maybe a week. I’ll pay lip service to giving a damn, eat a few more things that I shouldn’t, work out less than I should, and eventually wake up on the other side of tomorrow reveling in the success of having weathered another storm.

One step forward.

Two steps back.

Three steps forward. And I’ve already won.

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