Friday, September 18, 2015

I HAVE AN AGENT!

This is going to be a long post (That I may or may not have had queued up in my drafts for a couple weeks) so bear with me.

Today, I officially signed with a literary agent. I know, I can hardly believe it either. I've been working so hard for that past six years, I wish I could time travel and give 17 year-old Leslie a high five. So, let's start from the beginning.



My journey started back in 2009 when I started querying my first book. God, that book and query was terrible.. I made almost every mistake in the book. I trunked the book my freshman year of college and focused more on school and theatre.

In November 2012 I participated in NaNoWriMo and wrote Suspension of Disbelief. I reached the 50k, but didn't finish the book. In the summer of 2013 I finished the draft and started a long process of rewrites and revisions. I graduated college, moved to a new state and started a big girl job.

I started querying in August 2014. This time, I did more research, had people look at my query and critique it. I even had the guts to enter Sun vs. Snow earlier this year and got on Team Sun. My mentor Jenn Blackwood helped me whip my query into shape.

Flash forward to the beginning of September 2015. I was at dress rehearsal for a show I'm stage managing when I got an email notification. It was about fifteen minutes before we started the run, so I checked it on my phone. An agent asked if I was still interested in representation and if we could set up a phone call. I literally threw my phone and screamed. I responded quickly to set up our call and after a minor freak out, I regained my composure and started the run.

One the day of "the call" I was incredibly nervous. I did all the research, prepared questions and read all of the "Getting the Call" blog post, but I still felt like I was under prepared. The agent was great, she was professional, kind and answered all my questions. At the end of the conversation I was in such a state of shock, I had to ask it this an offer of rep. Seriously, I think at early on in the conversation she said she'd like to work with me and we continued as the conversation as usual, but in the back of my mind I was waiting for those words. She said it was an offer of rep and I was over the moon.

So without further ado, I am pleased to announce that I am now represented by Rachel Marks of Rebecca Friedman Literary Agency!!!

I have a long road ahead of me, but I am excited to see where it takes me.

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Ready, Set, Write! Week 4

Ready, Set, Write is a summer writing intensive hosted by Jaime MorrowErin L. FunkAllison MillerKaty Upperman and Elodie Nowodazkij Over the next few months, I'll be checking in with
the ladies and other bloggers about my writing each week.

Sorry I missed last week. Life gets crazy you know.

1. How I did on last week’s goals: I didn't set goals, last week. I didn't finish my weekly book either, bad Leslie.

2. My goal(s) for this week:  Camp NaNoWriMo starts on Wednesday. I'm pushing through to finish this book. My goal is to write at least 1,500 words a day. I'm not critiquing for the next two weeks or so, just to clear my head.

3. A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised
N/A

4. The biggest challenge I faced this week: I honestly don't know were my weeks go anymore. I get into a routine of nothingness for a day or two and the all of a sudden I have plans or leave the house. Then it's Sunday and I feel like I got nothing done all week. It's a terrible cycle.

5. Something I love about my WiP: The novel that I'm going to write next month, is the one I started in April. I like it because it's different from what I normally write. It's about sisters and it's written in a dual POV. Very challenging.

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ready, Set, Write! Week 2

Ready, Set, Write is a summer writing intensive hosted by Jaime MorrowErin L. FunkAllison MillerKaty Upperman and Elodie Nowodazkij Over the next few months, I'll be checking in with the ladies and other bloggers about my writing each week.

1. How I did on last week’s goals: I did all right. I focused more on edits,

2. My goal(s) for this week:  Keep writing goal applies for every week, so nothing special on that front.
I want to finish reading a book. I haven't read in awhile, so it will be a nice change of pace. I also want to add to my overall summer goals, reading at least 10 books this summer. It shouldn't be too hard.

3. A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised
“Keep me out of sunlight, don’t get my hair wet, and most importantly don’t ever feed me after midnight.” 

4. The biggest challenge I faced this week: This was just a busy week in general. I went out of town twice and spent a lot of time with family so not much got done.

5. Something I love about my WiP: I like to laugh when I write, so try to add a funny one-liner whenever I can.

Happy Reading!


Monday, June 8, 2015

Ready, Set, Write! Goal Setting

Ready, Set, Write is a summer writing intensive hosted by Jaime Morrow, Erin L. Funk, Allison Miller, Katy Upperman and Elodie Nowodazkij

Over the next few months, I'll be checking in with the ladies and other bloggers about my writing each week. I'm so excited to do this again. It really helped me push through and finish projects last summer.

Since this is the first week, it's strictly goals, but starting next week I'll be answering these five questions.

1. How I did on last week’s goals
2. My goal(s) for this week
3. A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised
4. The biggest challenge I faced this week
5. Something I love about my WiP


Over all goals is to just keep writing. I am doing Camp NaNoWriMo again in July so I want to finish that project. I started it in April, but time got the best of me and I didn't reach my goal.


My goal for this week: I'm in a critique group right now and so I'm working on feedback given to me on Bring Me Your Dreams chapters. The novel I wrote last year during Camp NaNoWriMo. In return I'm critiquing their chaptesr. My other goal is to get though as many chapters as possible this week.

I'm excited to get stated.

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Quick Update

What I'm Working On: I finished a major round of edits to Bring Me Your Dreams, my Camp NaNoWriMo Novel from 2014. I'm just doing the nitpicky stuff right now. I'm doing a critique marathon this summer, so it's ready for that.

Goal for the Week: I'm not sure. I'm planning on working on my April novel in for the July session of camp. I'll probably take a look at it, see what needs to be done. Maybe complete an outline. I think that's what slowed me down in April. I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to do next.

Other News: Ready, Set, Write is this month, my Monday post will be replaced with it. Personally, I love blog hops it really keeps me on a schedule, because you know how irregular I can be. It will be nice to catch up with some of the writers form What's Up Wednesday.

I'm also the Booking Coordinator for the webshow Whiskey, Wine and Writing. I'll be working with Natasha Raulerson and some other wonderful ladies on the site booking guest for the show. I'll also be doing a series of vlogs on their channel as well. So stay on the lookout for that.

Well that's about it for now.

Happy Reading!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday Five: Treat. Yo. Self.

When you're deep in the query trenches, it's important to find ways to treat yo self whenever the process get you down.

1) New dress?



2) Fresh new lipstick?



3) Breakfast at a nice restaurant?


4) Want to see the Avengers? And buy popcorn? Extra butter?


5) New books?

I've been reading like crazy lately. I finally finished Heir of Fire a couple weeks ago. Now I'm reading Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard. Next up Miss Mayhem and then Wicked Will Rise. Call me butter cuz I'm on a roll.

Be warned, Treat Yo Self days should be used sporadically. You don't want to break the bank. Find ways to treat yo self without spending money.

Happy Reading!


Monday, April 20, 2015

In Tech

So I missed last week's blog for various reasons i.e. Leslie's never ending tale of technology woes. But here is a quick post about

What I'm Working On: I'm very very behind on my Camp NaNo project. because of stress I lowered my word count to 30,000 words, but I still haven't been able to write much.

Goal for the Week: Just write at this point I don't care if I finish or not, I just want to keep the momentum going for this story. I like it and I really do want to finish, but it just won't be this month.

Other News: In tech week at work right now. Super busy, but it's a good busy. It keeps my mind off other things in my life. I have a dance show this week and then four more concerts all next week. YAY!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Five: Looking Forward to the Weekend

Yes, that was a Rebecca Black reference. So sue me. Why am I looking forward to the weekend? Well I have a lot to do and it's

1) Today I will be seeing Hamlet at a local theatre and I am so excited. I've seen Hamlet a couple times, this one however has a female Hamlet. A black female Hamlet. It's going to be good. Representation matters.

2) In addition to seeing Hamlet today, there is a reception before the show for young professionals. I really need to network if I want to break into the theatre scene here. I've done a little here and there, but this is my first "event." It's going to be fun.

3) Saturday will be my catch up day for NaNoWriMo. Because of work, and other things, I decided to cut back my word count to 30,000 word this month. I feel as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. More details on Monday.

4) On Sunday I'll be ushering for A Midsummer Night's Dream at another theatre company. Midsummer is my favorite of Shakespeare's comedies.This is stuff I should have been doing when I moved here. It was just a matter of time and money. I still don't have much free time or money for that matter, but when you usher you see the show for free and I'm doing a matinee so I was able to fit it in.

5) In between all of this I'm going to attempt to finish Heir of Fire I've been reading chapters here and there, but I've never took the time to really get into it. I know when I do, I'll get sucked in and finish in no time.

Bonus:

 


Monday, April 6, 2015

Falling Behind

What I'm Working On: I'm a day behind on my Camp NaNoWriMo novel. It was the holiday honestly, I didn't have time to get a word in and by the end of the day I was too tired to write. That means I have to kick it into overdrive.

Story-wise, I'm loving the story and I'm slowly creating two distinct voices for each narrator. I might need to go back and add more to the beginning, because I need more background before the inciting incident. I don't know, I'm just going to keep moving forward with this. If I decide to revise it I will defiantly add a chapter or two towards the beginning.

Goal for the Week: Write, Write Write. Since I'm slightly behind, I'm going to try to write 2000 words a day to catch up. That way I won't stress out about writing 3333 words all in one day. I can do it. I just need to get into the right mind set.

Other News: I need to read more. Sometimes I feel like it's been reading or writing. Why not both? I just need to prioritize more.

Well, that's it for my writing for this week. How is everyone else doing?

Happy Reading!

PS Half priced Easter Candy. Oh boy. Have you tried speckled robin's eggs? So good.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday Five: Random Thoughts

So for my first Friday Five I honestly can't think of anything to post. So I'm just going to list five random thoughts and things that have been happening lately.

1) Pitching contests are happening this week. After Sun Vs. Snow I told myself no contests, (except #Pitmad last month.). It's just too much stress and pressure. Granted querying is too, but it's less public than pitching contest. Sometimes I worry that I'm missing the opportunity. Oh well.

2) Camp NaNoWriMo: The first session of camp officially began, and I'm off to a good start. It's so easy to fall behind with these things, but with a good support group and the right motivation, I can do it.

3) The Weather. It's finally warming up in my area. I want to start wearing my dresses, but I don't have the appropriate shoes. It's too cold for flip flops!

4) Cadbury Mini Eggs = So good. I was at the grocery store the other day and I saw this tiny little bag, my first thought was "who is this going to feed?" I then looked behind me and low and behold there were the normal sized bags. It was a good day.

5) I miss reading, I've been half finishing books lately and it's kind of a bummer. When you go go long without reading, it's difficult to pick up in the middle. There's a heap of books on my dresser waiting to be read, and I plan on buying the sequels to Rebel Belle and Dorothy Must Die next week. WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME.

Welp, those are my five random thoughts. Maybe next week they'll be less random.

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 30, 2015

New Beginnings

Recently, Jaime and Erin closed up shop on What's Up Wednesday. It was sad to see it go, but I completely understand  their decision. WUW was my only motivation to keep blogging regularly over the past couple years. Now that it's over, I have to wonder, where do I go from here? I'm not going anywhere, obviously, I still have a lot to accomplish.

That being said, new game plan. I'm going to try to post twice a week for the month a April to test the waters.  

Monday-Weekly Writing Update. No cute name yet. I'll basically give an update on what I'm working on and my goals for the week. (Kind of like WUW, but only for writing) Hopefully as time goes by, it becomes less formulaic and more natural. I'm just testing the waters.

Friday- Friday Five: I did this in the past where I list five good things that happened during the week or new favorite things. Now seems like a good time to bring this back.

At this point, we'll see how it goes and if I can keep up with it.

What I'm Working On: I have several things on my plate. But more importantly the April Session of Camp NaNoWriMo starts on Wednesday. I have the basic plot of my MS and my two main characters mapped out. It's those little plot details and minor characters I haven't really gotten to yet.

I'm really excited to this project because I have a personal connection to it. I've been avoiding working on this for a while, but it's time for this story to come out. I'm really excited. I like to describe it as Freaky Friday meets Sister, Sister. But that's all I'm going to say for now. ;)

Goal for the Week: Starting Wednesday, my goal is to write more than the 1667 word minimum every day in April. I try to stay two days ahead to prevent falling behind, but sometimes it doesn't work out. If I start out strong an push trough I know I can do it. I'm going to get crazy busy at work by the end of the month, so staying ahead will help.

Other News: I joined a cabin created by Natasha Raulerson, one fabulous lady I follow on Twitter. She co-hosts the webshow Whiskey, Wine and Writing on Youtube. She's been getting us pumped about this session of Camp. Hopefully with word wars and the support from my cabin, I can get through this in one piece.

Well, that's it for my writing for this week, How is everyone else doing? Who's doing camp or trying to finish a manuscript in April?

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What's Up Wednesday 3/18/15


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme for readers and writers to give updates on what's happening in their lives. If you want to find out to find out more check out Jaime Morrow's blog and Erin Funk's blog to sign up.



What I'm Reading:
 
Blargh, I need to actually read.

What I'm Writing:  I finally decided what I'm going to write for the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo. The story idea has been stuck in my head for years, but I never had the drive to start it. Now I've got a spark and I'm just going to roll with it. The challenge with this novel is that it's in duel first person POV.  It's new, but I'm up for it.

My goal this week is start a basic outline and character sheets.

What Works For Me:  Learning about my characters. Before I start writing, I fill up pages in notebooks with physical descriptions, personality, objective, like and dislikes. It helps me get the voice down pact for when it's time to actually start writing. Doing two POVs means two distinct voices so that's going to be fun.  


What Else I've Been Up To: MY BIRTHDAY IS IN 2 DAYS!!!


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What's Up Wednesday 3/11/15


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme for readers and writers to give updates on what's happening in their lives. If you want to find out to find out more check out Jaime Morrow's blog and Erin Funk's blog to sign up.



What I'm Reading:
 
I read Unethical and Foolproof by my Sun vs. Snow mentor Jenn Blackwood. My first time reading NA and it did not disappoint. I'm going to attempt to reread the Harry Potter books, but I haven't actually open it...

What I'm Writing:  I finished my revision this week finally. It's still very rough. I'm at that scary point where I'm not attached, but can't move forward without some outside critique and feedback. It's weird, because in the past I didn't share my work until I was completely happy with it at like draft #5. But it was harder for me to receive critiques. But this one is different, I'm letting my baby go. I guess I'm growing and learning as a writer.

It's also, #pitmad today. I told myself no more contest, but I thought why not? It's only a day. I learned how to schedule tweets, because I'll be at my internship all day. That will keep my mind busy.

I'm also participating in the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo. I have know idea what to write. I'll either try to complete my unfinished MS from November or finally start the story the that's been in my head for years. I'm not sure what to do yet.

My goal this week is just to take it easy and not stress out. Maybe start an outline for April.

What Works For Me:  Did you really think I had an answer to this one?



What Else I've Been Up To: Working hard. It's been snowing a lot and it's finally warming up, that means my birthday is near. It's in less than 2 weeks, and I'm excited. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but it's going to be great. Whoot.
Other than that I'm doing all right in the life department. I'm not complaining, yet.
Oh, I marathoned Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt last weekend. Soooo good. The theme has been stuck in my head for days.



Troll the respawn, Jeremy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What's Up Wednesday 2/18/15


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme for readers and writers to give updates on what's happening in their lives. If you want to find out to find out more check out Jaime Morrow's blog and Erin Funk's blog to sign up.



What I'm Reading:
 
A I'm getting back into The Witch Must Burn by Danielle Paige. I loved Dorothy Must Die, and these prequel novella's are holding me over until the next book.

What I'm Writing:  Plucking and plucking and plucking and plucking. I've been a little lazy so that doesn't help either.
Now that Sun vs. Snow is over, I dove right back into the slush with my shiny new query. Fingers crossed you guys.

What Works For Me: I'm just going to leave this blank...

What Else I've Been Up To: It's cold and gross out and as much as I would love snuggling up, I can't cuz I got responsibilities. Adulting is hard.
As much as I would like to tell you about exciting things happening in my life, I really can't. Not now anyway. If anything happens you will be the third to know (after my parent and Facebook)
What's up with you? How is your week going?

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What's Up Wednesday 2/11/15

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme for readers and writers to give updates on what's happening in their lives. If you want to find out to find out more check out Jaime Morrow's blog and Erin Funk's blog to sign up.



What I'm Reading:
 
A week flies by so fast doesn't it? Life happens you get busy and forget to pick up a book. I intend to finish Heir of Fire this week, but I left it at my internship and I won't be able to pick it up until later today.

What I'm Writing:  Plucking away at these revisions. Nothing special. I'm not at the place where I'm discovering something new about the story and characters. Bits and pieces yes, but there wasn't an ah-ha moment. The story needs to be torn apart, I'm not attached enough so that's good.
I need a critique partner or two. I've searching for one for a while. In the past I've tried, but it was a mixture of not clicking and bad timing. Hopefully I can find someone to work with and it will last.
Thankfully, I've had help, one of my closest friends reads for me. She helped me substantially with SoD edits and revisions.

What Works For Me: ????

What Else I've Been Up To: Sun vs Snow has kind of overshadowed my thoughts these past few weeks. It will be over soon. It's so stressful. I mean, it's one thing to query and pitch to agents privately. But this adds an extra layer of stress and pressure. No more contests after this. I'm going back in the slush where it's safe.
On the plus side of things, I've made some friends on twitter. It's great to have a support group. W all share a common goal, and I know one day we will.

What's up with you? How is your week going?

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What's Up Wednesday 2/4/15

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme for readers and writers to give updates on what's happening in their lives. If you want to find out to find out more check out Jaime Morrow's blog and Erin Funk's blog to sign up.



What I'm Reading:
 
I just bought Fairest by Marissa Meyer. IT WAS SO GOOD. I was concerned about reading a novel from the POV of the series' antagonist. I didn't want to like her, especially Marissa created a well rounded character, I understand her and her motives, but in the end, she is a villain, I want to see her defeated.  It's surprisingly short for a Lunar Chronicles book, I finished it on the bus.
I also have so many half started books that I need to dive into. I need a weekend devoted to reading.

What I'm Writing:  I made it into the Sun vs. Snow contest. I'm reppin' Team Sun and I'm so freaking excited. My awesome mentor Jen Blackwood and I have been emailing back and forth about my entry to make it perfect for the agent round next week.
This really gave me the boost of confidence I needed. Trying to break into this industry is so difficult, and at times the process gets to you. I just have to keep reminding myself that it's so subjective. All I can do is keep writing and growing. It only takes one yes.

What Works For Me: Blarg. Um actually writing?

What Else I've Been Up To: I've been keeping myself busy with work, the internship and writing.

What's up with you? How is your week going?

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What's Up Wednesday 1/28/15

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme for readers and writers to give updates on what's happening in their lives. If you want to find out to find out more check out Jaime Morrow's blog and Erin Funk's blog to sign up.

After a long blogging hiatus, I'm back at full swing-ish

What I'm Reading:
 
I just bought Fairest by Marissa Meyer. I love the Lunar Chronicles. When I heard that we would be getting prequel before the last book, Winter comes out, I immediately thought "I CAN'T WAIT THAT LONG!" But I'm excited to read more about the villain of the tale. Plus, we still get to meet Winter.

What I'm Writing:  Revising the novel I wrote over the summer. I want to finish these revisions within the next few weeks. I have to make an effort not to go at a glacier pace when working on a revisions.

What Works For Me: I still don't like this question, because I'm still figuring it out.

What Else I've Been Up To: I recently started an internship at a local theatre. I still have my day job, but this is giving me a great opportunity to network with more professionals in my field.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I entered the Sun vs. Snow pitch contest. I'm having a good time bonding with the other participants on Twitter. We won't know who gets selected until next week, so cross your fingers.

What's up with you? How is your week going? Seriously, let me know. I feel like I've lost touch with this crew.

Happy Reading!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hiding Under a Rock

Hi everyone, happy 2015. Just poking my head up from under a rock to give you an update.

If you didn't already know, I'm deep in the query trenches. It's brutal. So I've been hiding under a rock for God knows how long.

It's hard to go at it alone, sometimes you feel like you're the only one facing the rejection and pain, but you're not. There are hundreds of writers out there at the same point in the process as you.
I personally haven't even tried reaching out many querying writers, but I know they're out there. My fellow blogger Miss Cole has been chronicling her adventures in querying and Coping with Rejection. It's nice keeping track of other's progress and as I slowly rejoin the community, hopefully I'll find other writers under that rock as well.


That being said, I'm going to try to get back in the swing of things. I'll be getting back into What's Up Wednesday. I miss that community. Maybe I'll do independent posts and updates every couple weeks. In the meantime, I have a  books to read, a novel to revise, chocolate to consume.

Speaking of chocolate, the chocolate side of "Reading, Writing and Chocolate" hasn't been as prominent as the other two features. That will change.

Right now on the East Coast we're about to be hit by a huge blizzard. While I'm not in the heart of the storm, it's still freezing up here. On a cold winter day I love snuggling up in a blanket and drinking hot chocolate. I don't like reading and drinking hot chocolate in danger of ruining the book. I'm clumsy.

Happy Reading!