Saturday, July 30, 2011

Caffeine And Sleep

I'm a hard worker. I'm headstrong, I'm stubborn, and I get things done. I don't let people push me around.

And why does this matter?

Last night, I left the lovely state of Georgia after a wonderful afternoon later than I meant to. It took 8 hours (and almost an empty tank of gas...scary.) to get home. I arrived at 3:30am. I got Baxter settled back in, and then called New Mike (sorry I'm calling you New Mike publicly if you read this, but I've mentioned other Mike a lot!) to let him know I arrived safely. (I hear rumor he was worried. I have heart problems and took a caffeine pill before departing, which he discouraged me from, and he REFUSED to let me take a second when the first took too long to kick in. The single dose of 200mg resulted in me having a panic attack on I-95N, and not being able to breathe. Lovely....) Then went to sleep.

Less than four hours passed until I had to be up, shower (because I hadn't showered the day before), and get to work by 8am. So, I worked (and got SLAMMED) at the Front Porch from 8am-4pm. I couldn't breathe through most of it. My heart was giving me trouble but I kept on. I've been at Kitty Hawk Kites since 4pm and will remain here until 10pm.


Because I'm going to Seattle on Tuesday to ideally start the rest of my life. And I am strong enough to work my ass off, and get money to help send me there. I work three jobs to support my writing habit (and my dog). I will get my break, mark my words.

Also. The eye looks much better. Will post a picture sooonnnnnn. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I have a black eye:

Because I went on an adventure with my sister and my new friend, Mike. Said adventure consisted of paddleboarding. On such endeavors, we're trained to always, always hold onto our paddles when we fall. So...being sisters, we decide to go on the same paddleboard in very choppy weather. We decide to try to stand. She falls, clutching her paddle. Her paddle collides with my face. A couple of days later, this is what I look like.

And this coming week is PNWA. Which means that because I have a black eye, I look like a trouble maker. Which means, at the airport, I'll probably get searched (wait, I get searched every time I go! Like that time after I'd gotten in a car accident and then I just started crying and soothed my woes with Starbucks). Lovely. 


The good news is...

Maybe at the conference, it'd be a good ice breaker. :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Overcoming Anxiety

I wrote a few months back about how I try to PUSH MYSELF out of my COMFORT ZONE, and how I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to reading. Tonight, I took a huge step in the direction of overcoming that:

Dressed in girl shorts and a nice shirt with make up on my face, I stood before a small crowed in a coffee shop in Nags Head, North Carolina. Granted 90% of the people there were to see me (I'm not kidding, my sister, and several friends showed up and rocked my world)...but I prepared to read when the mediator said, "Lynne, are you ready?". (Also--when he asked for my name, I said Lynne, and he asked "L-y-n-n?" and I said "L-y-n-n-E" and he was like "It's not like the spelling matters as long as I know who I'm calling, right?" And I thought about Kellie...and how sometimes spelling really does matter.... It was nice to know she was still with me tonight.)

Before I read one of my pieces, I showed the audience my paper, which looked something like this:

Those scribbles? Those notes saying Breathe or Look Up are tricks that I learned from my high school communications teacher. She pushed me to read slowly (though I hear I was still a bit fast tonight, I'll work on it!), to look at my audience, and to just breathe. Though my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest, and my face got wicked red, I read what I wrote, mostly about my life.

And then was asked to read more.

When I read and looked at the crowd (a few times), I caught eyes with people...they were actually listening to me. Like, really. It was amazing and I felt high. 

I ended up reading a total of three poems (Smoke and Mirrors, Revolutions, Hands) and three short stories (Airplanes..which actually made a couple of people in the audience cry, which was AWESOME, especially because they'd read these pieces before, Sleeping Arrangements, and Good Girls and Bad Guys).

When all was said and done, I was approached by the mediator who gave me his card and told me that he'd love to have me for the next Open Mic, and that he really, really liked my writing. He also told me some information for Dare County Arts Council (like when they meet and stuff, and how they have critique groups! Yay!). So...after this, I was beaming and then approached by another man.

He, too, was a reader, and there were a couple of his poems that I really liked, and he told me that I did really, really well, and said that I came across very confident (funny, because I was scared shitless).  He said that my pacing was good, and that I didn't stumble over my words! Yay!

Moral of this very long story is...I'm pushing myself, every day to be a better writer.

But being a writer, isn't just writing. It's speaking, it's going out there and making yourself known, even if you start off in a small coffee shop that you work nearly 40 hours a week at. It's being brave when you'd rather go home and take a nap, or find it hard to catch your breath. It's writing words like Breathe and Look Up on your papers, because every step you take will push you in the right direction.

On a side note, the saddest thing about tonight is that a few select people weren't able to make it. The biggest one being my little man, Baxter:

I think when I get published, I'm going to try to find a place that is pet friendly so he can come with me. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

YA Highway: Villians

The question this week:
Who are your favorite literary villains/antagonists, and why?

Literally had to go look at my goodreads to refresh my memory a bit. Most of the books I read, I don't really consider anyone a villain. 

Kissed by an Angel did a decent job of setting the step brother up to be a even go so far as to kill the cat. That took me WAYY off guard. The author did a great job of keeping me rooting for him, until I wasn't rooting for him anymore. 

Wow. This book was really, really intense to the point I had to take a couple of breaks reading it just so I didn't freak out. The brother in this novel was a complete douche. I mean, I fight with my sister, but this guy had it all...There was no limit to his evil. 

Old school, but Izzy Willy-Nilly
I didn't like the guy...but so quick run down of the story; Girl goes to a party. Girl likes a guy. Guy says he's not too drunk and drives her home. Well...they crash. He walks away, she loses her leg (and her position on the cheer leading team). He doesn't apologize, visit her in the hospital, he goes after other girls. He's an all around jerk. But...I think what she does is awesome. those are my recommendations for the night. Thanks YA Highway!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I've never read the Harry Potter books. I blame partial brain washing from the church I attended (they told me it was demonic...), and various other excuses...but beyond that, I've never had an urge to. But something about LeakyCon started putting a want in me. (That, and I've been seeing it pop up more and more in thrift stores which means it's super cheap!)

Anyways, long windedness aside, I'm a young writing. I'm an unagented, and for the most part, unpublished author. It's hard writing countless queries, seeing millions of rejections, and having the constant feeling of "Why am I even doing this?"

And then I drove 12 hours, (broke down in GA twice to an overheated car that was low on oil because a jerk left my oil cap off). I sat through numerous panels at LeakyCon's Lit Day until I saw Arthur Levine's keynote. Originally, I wasn't going to go because as I said, I never read Harry Potter. Huray! He edited the book! Yea...I really didn't care. But something brought me into those rooms (even though my badge was wrong and I again had to argue with the people at the door. Ugh). 

Mr. Levine spoke about a woman named Jo (JK Rowling) who was on government assistance (and I thought about my food-stamps card in my car), a single mother, a woman who had a book about a boy who didn't belong. A boy who was treated like shit and lived under the stairs. The more I listened, the more I finally started to appreciate the character, the woman, the struggle that we all go through. (Plus, he used a lot of food references, so that helped, too). It gave me goosebumps, and though JK blew up and went on to make millions (and no longer need assistance), I too believe in my characters. If I am ever able to write something that affects so many people in such a great way I will die a happy, happy girl. I really don't care if I made millions (it'd be nice, but not necessary). I really just want my writing to affect people (in a good way).

Moral of the story is, though that keynote, I found some more inspiration to keep trucking on, to keep querying, keep writing, and in the end, maybe someday read the Harry Potter books.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Leaky Con Lit Day

And so 
 Came and went. Lit Day registration was rather hectic...

But in the end it was an awesome experience. I met amazing people like:
 Stephanie Perkins (author of Anna and the French Kiss) and
 Scott Westerfeld (author of the Uglies triology) and John Green (who I sadly wasn't able to get a picture with, but who wrote Looking for Alaska).
I also got to meet and greet with some amazing editors and literary agents (like Jennifer Laughran, Katie Schafer-Testerman, Barry Goldblatt, etc) and pick their brains which was a lot of fun...especially after some drinks:

But if you must know, my favorite thing about LeakyCon's Lit Day was probably just being there...being part of something amazing. I've never read the Harry Potter books but this experience definitely made me want to. It was really cool just to meet everyone and listen to what they had to say. It was a good practice run for PNWA.

Sorry this isn't more detailed, but a quick run down of what happened: My car broke down twice in GA, then I made it to Orlando and slept forever. Went to the conference, got back last night at 2:30am, didn't sleep and worked from 10am-6:30pm. I'm very, very tired. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Thank You Janet Reid

I'm not sure if any of you follow Janet Reid's blog, but you should if you don't. Go back through her archives and find this:


So, after this advice and changing my intentions of conference attending, I am ready. I have pages printed, I have queries printed, I have business cards. I am ready for this, if anyone is willing to look at anything or critique anything. Even if they tell me what I wrote sucks, it's a starting point.

Be better, get better.

I'm ready.

(And off I go. No...but really, I probably won't blog until I come back. Tomorrow I work all day *I'm actually writing this at work* and then I'm powerkiting, buying clothes for the conference, and then packing, doing laundry, and cleaning out my car. Then I'm off!!)

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Hey guys,
Sorry I'm kind of out of it, I'm working hardcore this week to pay off my Ninja I bought last week and to pay for LitDay, so I'm a little preoccupied with editing/pitch rehearsals. Hope all is well!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Conference Prep

The LeakyCon Lit Day is rapidly approaching and while I feel unprepared something inside me tells me I'm ready. It's weird because I've never really been nervous about a conference. But...this round of conferences is different.


Because the previous times I've been to conferences it was for educational purposes. I wasn't pitching; I was finding out about the dynamics of the publishing world. I was seeing what people had to say. And now, with three and a half novels under my belt, I at last feel like I'm ready for this.

And so, I'm nervous. My intentions have changed. I'm not attending this conference purely for educational purposes. Ideally, I'll walk away with an agent, but if not, that's okay. I'll at least learn and maybe get critiqued on my pitching.

In all honesty, I need to work on my pitch. I need to do what Janet Reid has told her follows and Be Prepared. I need to print off x-amount of pages, query letters, whatever else I can do that may help show an agent that I'm ready and I'm willing to work for this.


Because I'm ready for this.
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