The other day I was looking at my website analytics and noticed an interesting data point. There was a huge spike in the number of hits on June 22nd–over a hundred people visited my website.
According to James Scott Bell in his book, Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between, every successful story contains what he calls a “magical midpoint moment” or “look in the mirror moment” where a single moment in the middle of the story pulls together the entire narrative… I had previously associated this “mirror moment” with fiction, and only fiction–one of the many secret ingredients in a well-crafted story that engages an audience. Now I realize it also applies to me.
I can’t believe this is happening. Can you?
Sometime in January, the universe sneezed, our space-time continuum shifted, and our metaverse got switched with another. Somehow we got stuck in someone else’s pandemic novel. Or this is proof we’re all living a simulation, like Neo, and somebody with a warped sense of humor introduced a new glitch in the Matrix. I guess it depends on whether you like getting your stories from books or movies. I’m a writer. I like books. I also like cool sci-fi movies. Don’t make me choose favorites.
Last week I saw a viral post going around on Twitter. Of course, I read it–and found nothing in the letter to support her accusation. What I read was a heart-felt letter of support from a devout Christian to his Hobby Lobby employees.
Hello world! I got myself a new website! Why? Because, it turns out, getting my awesome debut novel published is going to take longer that I expected. Which means I’m not bringing in a paycheck. Because folks, while Wix is a very cool and easy to use, it’s kind of pricey at $168 a year when you don’t have a published novel to sell.
Earlier this year in May, I ran across a homework assignment in my son’s state-mandated, eighth grade sex-ed curriculum that infuriated me.
A few interesting things have happened in the past few months since I published my last blog post: 1. Obnoxious emails that appear to be sent from my own email address, the one I use to query literary agents, began filling up my spam folder.
I did a DuckDuckGo search for the words “when is a final draft finished novel” (I try to avoid Google) and found, at the top of the search results, a class offered by the Iowa Summer Writing Festival titled The Final Draft: On Finishing and Knowing When You’ve Finished Your Novel. In other words, the answer to this innocuous question is valuable enough to be turned into a commodity that can be exchanged in the free market for money, like pork bellies.
When I began querying literary agents this past spring, I believed they would fall in love with my awesome first chapter and my amazing writing (go ahead, laugh). They did not. After thirteen rejections, three no-replies, and an overpriced online Writers Digest course on what literary agents look for in a query, I think I know why.
As a parent of two children, I read Ms. Szalai’s review of Senator Ben Sasse’s book The Vanishing American Adult because I want to raise my kids to become responsible, self-reliant adults. I did not expect a condescending, political diatribe.