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.

 

But I am relatable. (Shut up, spell check. It’s a word, dammit.)

I’m overworked. Stretched in more ways than I ever dreamed imaginable.

I? Come last on my to-do list because Motherhood comes first. And that, my friends, includes the dishes and the laundry and the dusting and the mopping and the schlepping around of the Mother of All Diaper Bags because I must at all costs be prepared for The Unknown. Even if we are just going to Walgreens for vitamins and OJ.

It means cooking dinner while packing The Husband’s cooler for work while chasing the damned puppy out of the kitchen while saying “uhuh” and “okay, baby” in response to questions and stories you aren’t really paying attention to while promising to make it up to her later with some one on one time. Her turf. Her rules. This means I go by Mama Prince and have to wake my sleeping Princess with True Love’s First Kiss. Then we giggle and color and I love that she doesn’t give a flying shit about staying in the lines.

It means I showered today at 4 p.m. and put a brand new pair of pajamas on (read: yoga pants and an old T-shirt) and never bothered with a bra because who really gives a damn when I knew I wasn’t leaving the house?

Nick Jr. is king in my house. If she is awake and in the room, nothing with commercials, sex, violence, swearing (shut up, I save it for the blog) is allowed. Which means that The Husband and I can recite entire episodes of The Backyardigans and know when The Fresh Beat Band has come out with a new song before we know that that something exciting has happened in the Wonderful World of Adults.

What doesn’t it mean for me?

Motherood (and my reality) doesn’t include nannies or television interviews because of what I do or who I am married to. It doesn’t mean record deals or millions of fans across the globe who give a shit about who I am or what Target brand I wore while teaching Buttercup to ride her new new wheeler on training wheels. There are no tabloid covers, no paparazzi hiding out in my garbage cans. No plastic surgeons, no drivers, no live in help of any kind.

Which brings me back to the (slowly shrinking) muffin top I’m still sporting because My Un-Famous Reality  doesn’t always allow me the time to attend to, well, me. Not all the time, anyway.

I know. I know…Other Moms do it. I get that. But I’m still trying to figure it all out. My daughter will be four in June and I’m still trying to figure myself out, for crying out loud.

And?

That’s my story. That’s who I am.

Look in a mirror. If you see a variation of my reflection, you are my target audience. You are who I want to connect with.You are the reason I wrote my book.

I’ve been querying, trying to get an agent. Not long enough to start crying, but definitely long enough to have received feedback that’s making me wonder why I didn’t just lie about my reality and call it fiction, because apparently that’s where it’s at (and yes, I am over-simplifying here) if you aren’t already famous. It’s called a platform, and they are required for getting a non-fiction book on the book shelves.

That’s the part that brings me back to the Me Not Being Famous Thing but still having written a book that seems to require me to be famous for you to ever see it. Agents are telling me they like the project but momoirs are tough to sell. That Moms just won’t buy a book buy a Nobody from Nowhere when they can buy a book by Celebrity Mom from Hollywood.

I get it. Publishing is a business. It’s about the bottom line. But I don’t get how an experience as universal and unifying as motherhood is limited to the Rich and Famous. I want to relate when I read.

I want to see myself and my struggle in those pages.

What about you?

 

I thought I just had to rewrite a song. Then I checked out TBFF Juliette’s blog and find a full out blog post prefacing her little zombie-themed holiday ditty and find myself feeling all inadequate.

Cuz I got nuthin’.

So instead of embarrassing myself while trying to be witty and typo-free at the same time (which is probably about as likely as real life BFF Mel successfully walking and chewing gum simultaneously) I’ll just stick with the basics.

* TBFF Juliette was asked to host a 12 Days of Christmas blogathon.

* TBFF Juliette agreed.

* TBFF sent me an email indicating she now wouldn’t be sleeping until next week and proceeded to tell me that because she was in, I was automatically required to participate.

* I considered telling her to bite me (which really? If you know me, you know this is only a phrase I save for my very best friends. Which actually makes it a compliment.)

* I then decided I want to stay on TBFF Juliette’s good side seeing as she has The Walking Dead backing her up now. My posse consists of a 4 pound puppy, an 18 pound mutt, and a sarcastic 3 year old. Juliette wins.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
An idea for a brand new book.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Two new shiny chapters
and an idea for a brand new book

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me
three plot holes,
two new shiny chapters,
and an idea for a brand new book.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Four hours wasted tweeting,
three plot holes,
two new shiny chapters,
and an idea for a brand new book.

On the fifth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Five thousand words,
Four hours wasted tweeting,
three plot holes,
two new shiny chapters,
and an idea for a brand new book.

On the sixth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
six beta readers,
five thousand words,
Four hours wasted tweeting,
three plot holes,
two new shiny chapters,
and an idea for a brand new book.

On the seventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
seven likes on Facebook,
six beta readers,
five thousand words,
Four hours wasted tweeting,
three plot holes,
two new shiny chapters,
and an idea for a brand new book.

On the eighth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
eight new rejections,
seven likes on Facebook,
six beta readers,
five thousand words,
Four hours wasted tweeting,
three plot holes,
two new shiny chapters,
and an idea for a brand new book.

On the ninth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
nine query rewrites,
eight new rejections,
seven likes on Facebook,
six beta readers,
five thousand words,
Four hours wasted tweeting,
three plot holes,
two new shiny chapters,
and an idea for a brand new book.

On the tenth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
ten tweets supporting,
nine new rejections,
eight query rewrites,
seven likes on Facebook,
six beta readers,
five thousand words,
Four hours wasted tweeting,
three plot holes,
two new shiny chapters,
and an idea for a brand new book.

On the eleventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
eleven foursquare updates,
ten tweets supporting,
nine query rewrites,
eight new rejections,
seven likes on Facebook,
six beta readers,
five thousand words,
Four hours wasted tweeting,
three plot holes,
two new shiny chapters,
and an idea for a brand new book.

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
twelve agent offers,
eleven foursquare updates,
ten tweets supporting,
nine query rewrites,
eight new rejections,
seven likes on Facebook,
six beta readers,
five thousand words,
Four hours wasted tweeting,
three plot holes,
two new shiny chapters,
and an idea for a brand new book.

Merry Christmas, ya’ll. Now go make Holiday Merriment on Juliette’s blog. If you want in on the zombie survival crew, it’s a good way to make nice while there’s still time.

 

@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.

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