Random Wednesday: Behind The Scenes…

I’ve been working on my second manuscript and if you are a regular reader of my blog, this really isn’t news. However, this week’s topic is “behind the scenes of my current project” which brings us to, well, my current project.

Let’s reel it in a bit more and answer the question, what goes into inventing a story?

Answer: A BILLION THINGS!

For one, no one’s full time job is writing. Okay, I can think of a few lucky bugs but those people are not living posh lives using mother of pearl spoons to serve caviar on ritzy crackers. No. They just sit around eating store brand Ritz crackers. Or, a pound of peanut M&M’s with a suspicious amount of M&M’s missing peanuts. That writer knows who she is. But realistically, we all have a lot to juggle to make this writing thing happen. And even when we have a good thing going, it doesn’t take much to fall off the wagon. Before you know it, a month has passed and you have missed more than one scheduled blog. Forget working on your manuscript, you probably haven’t even looked at it.

But you thought about it.

And that’s a start.

And that’s exactly how mine started. I thought about the characters and I started to outline them and build dynamics between them. Even with characters as a start I had to build a story around them. What were they doing? What were they going to do? Most importantly, what happened to them to make them who they are?

This is where I searched, not “researched” but just simply searched. What did I find while working through my day that caught my attention and held it? Why? How can I use this in a story?

For example, I had in my possession a VHS tape from my Dad. The tape was titled “Challenger.” Back in the day my Dad would set our VHS player to record events whether it be a sports game he didn’t want to miss or copying a movie off TV to watch again later. On this day he decided to record the Challenger lift off and caught the explosion. The rest of the tape were clips of news reports from that evening and any report he could catch the following days, weeks, and even months. He had hours of footage. Many news anchors and so many mustaches. I watched it all again recently, sitting in front of my TV, like a little kid watching the Saturday morning cartoons. I could not get enough of it. Of course, we know now what happened but after watching the hours and hours of footage my Dad had captured, they still only speculated. The tape ends as the news reports get shorter and shorter. Leaving off with more questions than answers. 

I wanted so much to incorporate this into my story but, I couldn’t find a way to fit this with my characters that made it feel right. I moved on to the next thing that caught my attention. Just ends up this was story I went with…

Sue Klebold. Sue Klebold is the mother of one of the Columbine shooters and I read an article about her and her life after Columbine. This gave me an idea…

My current story which is work-in-progress titled The Guilty Ones is about a sister and brother living their life in the shadow of their older sister who died, but not before she attacked her own high school. The story takes place several years later when the siblings are now adults. They begin to question their feelings of guilt, their life choices, and who their sister was and why they feel she did the things she did. What they discover about her, and their family, is more than what they expect.

At this point I’m about 75% through and I’ll be honest with you…I killed off a few people when I got bored and I have zero clue where this story is going. It’s a rough draft. Those people might live in the final edit. Or they might not exist at all by then. This is the fun thing about writing.

While I like my first manuscript, I see so many mistakes now once I’ve started to work on a new story. I realize I have grown as a writer but at the same time, this is only my second attempt and I’m still finding my personal formula for what works and what doesn’t. This is where many writers would say “read.” Read to learn what you like and want to write. Read to get ideas for a story. Read and educate yourself on writing techniques and editing. Then read more, just to take a break and fall into another world for a little while.

Behind the scenes of any writer is a laptop and a mess.  Piles of crap everywhere. But our goal is by the time it gets to you, our crap makes sense and most of all…you enjoy it.

Thank you for reading. We, and I personally, hope you enjoy the work we do. Because while it’s for our happiness and feeling of fulfillment to create something new, we do it for you and your entertainment.

You, the reader, are always on our mind.

Thank you.

TO THE LADIES!

Bronwyn Green

Jessica Jarman

Kayleigh Jones

Gwendolyn Cease

Kris Norris

Paige Prince

And our newest blog group member…

Torrance Sené

 

 

 

Random Wednesday: Nostalgic Movies

Nostalgic movies aways sound good in theory until you watch them again years later and realize, it’s best not to revisit your heroes. Here are my top 5″And I used to like this movie because…why?” Movies

Movie #1: The Last Unicorn

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Boob Tree and Jeff Bridges. This movie has a lot of weirdness but as a kid I loved this movie. For one, there is a unicorn. But a prince, a magician, a cat who has more personality than I do, and we can’t forget the drunk skeleton. Though my husband did until I yelled out “UUUNNN -IIIIIII- CCCOOORRRNNN!” To which he responded “OH YEAH! That part.” I’m not going to try to explain this movie. It’s best left at just knowing there is a boob tree without actually having to watch that scene. But the deal breaker when watching is as an adult is Jeff Bridges voices Prince Lir. As an adult I associate Jeff Bridges with The Dude.

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This guy, not as cool as The Dude.

I have issues. I realize this. I just can’t get over the voice acting. Also he sings and it’s just really uncomfortable.

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Sorry Mr. Bridges.

Movie #2: Little Shop of Horrors

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This movie is beyond ridiculous. Plant from outerspace is matched with a guy who is down on his luck. Together they change the world and eat a few people. The plant does, not the guy. Feel I should clarify that. I repeat  – the main character Seymour does not eat people. I want to also note that this movie is a musical and with enough alcohol…let’s just say I no longer drink and watch Little Shop of Horrors for reasons my husband won’t let me forget. Really that is the only reason this movie is on the list. I am embarrassed at how I can’t watch this movie without singing along. (Husband edit: I see no problem with this.)

Movie #3: Mac and Me

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I don’t even fucking know. We’re just going to keep moving.

Movie #4: Super Mario Bros.

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Do you have any idea how many hours I have invested in this video game?
Do you have any idea how excited I was for a movie version?
Do you have any idea what this thing is?
I DON’T EITHER! It sure is hell not from the video game. Google says it’s a goomba but I refuse to believe this because this is a goomba from the actual game…

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I hate the person who green light this. I’m still okay with you, John Leguizamo. You’re still cool.

Movie #5: Teen Witch

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Besides the fact that the guys face in this screen shot is priceless, Teen Witch was by all accounts a fun movie to watch when I was younger. Everyone had their John Hughes movies and while they are classics, nothing is as good as Teen Witch when it comes to coming of age movies. Then it was on Netflix not to long ago. I watched it and hid my face in shame. I use to love this movie but there is a particular rap song you just really need to see for yourself.

That’s all I’ve got for this post. And below are the other girls who I dare to top that.

Bronwyn Green

Paige Prince

Jessica Jarman (Who visited recently. It was nice seeing you!)

Gwendolyn Cease

Kris Norris

Random Wednesday: Promptly Penned

Okay, I’ve got business to attend to so lets write this bitch.

“Promptly penned” is where we pen a story that was prompted. Going for brevity on the explanation.

Enjoy.

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This would normally be where the story ends, if this were a story; the world has been saved, the prince found his bride, and there’s nothing left to do. Only this isn’t a story and the loose ends that are left belong to people that aren’t the prince, or the dragon, or the little goose girl. Fantasies lead you to believe there isn’t a story beyond the last page of the book. The bears come home and Goldilocks runs away but, what about the baby bear who no longer has porridge?  Do they go to bed hungry, having to portion what is left of their meal for them to eat? Do they eat at all? Losing their appetite after finding their home and sanctuary violated. Though to be honest, who goes out for a walk with uncovered food on the table? You’re just asking for ants.

But here I am, sitting at a round table with a real cloth, table cloth. Not the sticky and scratchy vinyl stuff. Watching the wedding party dancing on thickly lacquered wood floors, lost in deep thoughts. Thoughts about where stories really end with a few tangent thoughts about what the bartender over in the corner has on his mind. Doubtful it’s the porridge he left cooling on his dinning room table. His eyes glance up to the bride and groom dancing the night away, enjoying a dream come true and I helped them. I threw the party where they met, I encouraged them to court when both asked me about the other, I invited them to my house for events where they could attend as a couple, I listened and counseled them when they fought,  and encouraged them to work through the rough patches. I’m also pretty sure they banged on my couch. I’m not exactly thrilled about that last part but my dog also puked on the same couch so the defiled rating for that piece of furniture is pretty high.

Their story as husband and wife will continue to a two part movie sequel involving buying a house (part one) and having kids (part two). My story was part of the script until it was cut out and left on the writer’s floor. An important detail but not necessary to the fantasy anymore. I’m just a loose end to someone else’s fantasy and my story is unfinished. Today, I think I am going to write the rest of my story. I will be the Frasier to their Cheers, the Mork and Mindy to their Happy Day’s, and the Torchwood to their Dr. Who. Sure, it’s a spin off story at best but, the bartender is smiling at me and for the record; Penguins of Madagascar is still a better movie than Madagascar. By all accounts, I still have a good chance my story can be the fantasy I dreamed of.

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Thank you for reading. Here are the other participants:

Bronwyn Green

Jessica Jarman

 

 

Random Wednesday: Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

I’m back! And I failed Nano!

Life got in the way of writing. However, the goals are simple and I know I can finish my manuscript before November. I can’t say nothing was accomplished, I still wrote a large amount. I just have a little more to go. Then I can pack that mound of word vomit away and edit it another day. Like the fact that after 50,000 words in I realized two characters are named after my mom’s dogs.

It was completely unintentional and I plan to fix that in the future.

Any rate, this installment of Random Wednesday asks the question, if you could rewrite any book, what book would it be and why?

Good question, here is the story:

Many years ago we were at a friends house, doing what friends do, hanging out. A guy in our group came up to me and my future husband to tell us about this amazing book he recently read. He’s not the smartest cat in the clowder and he’s named after a car so, for the sake of this story, his name is PT Cruiser.

PT Cruiser is the kind of guy that hops jobs not looking for a career but just to find that job he can make the most money at without it being too demanding and inconvenient. His full time dream is to be in a band that has some level of success while this pasty tattooed guy screams inaudible nonsense into a microphone. The fact that he picked up a book in the first place was overly impressive and that he liked it so much he was recommending it to his book-ish friends was something both my future husband and I took note of.

Whatever this book was, it was serious business. Very metal indeed. “It’s got vampires. You’ll fucking love it.”

The book was purchased and sat on a shelf in the “need to read” pile for sometime. My now husband had a busy hobby schedule and I found some free time before he did so I decided to pick up the book and read it first. I don’t like vampire books and was only reading because PT Cruiser talked it up. If this book captivated a non-reader so much, it has to be good.

Chapter 1 was completely awful. I sat on my couch arguing that I didn’t buy a word of what this teenage girl was saying, feeling, and whining about. Chapter 2 didn’t get any better. Chapter 3 – Game Over. That bitch went right back on the shelf and was used to hold the better books up.

Then it happened.

This book quickly became a best selling phenomenon. It took months of me hearing about Twilight that I finally made the connection, “Holy shit. That’s the shitty vampire book! We own that!” It was so popular my niece carried a copy in her purse at all times and my mom, who also isn’t a dedicated reader, picked it up and asked me if I had read this book yet because it was “amazing.”

At this point I felt like a cult was pushing me to join them in a suicide mission. How could these people love this book? Why don’t they see what I see. To this day, I still don’t understand.

My husband did eventually read it in it’s entirety. But only as part of an agreement with another friend who also recommended Twilight, that she would read Harry Potter. He was not persuaded to finish the Twilight series, she did read all of the Harry Potter books.

I get it. People make fun of Twilight for one reason or another because that is the fun thing to do. I’m not doing that here. I read the book all hipster style, before it was cool, and determined it was not worthy to push forward. I can honestly say without prejudice, I did not like the book and felt it was poorly written. I could not connect with the main character and found the writing lacking. Twilight was not able to hook me into the story and for that reason, I shelved it.

If there was a book I would rewrite, it would be this one. Problem though…I still don’t like vampires and while I wouldn’t mind reading a book that might convince me differently, the market is saturated with vampire books. While working through agent profiles I have actually seen the words, “Please, no vampires” more than once. To find the one book I might enjoy is a needle in a haystack.

Maybe one day, I’ll take a stab at vampires. Pun intended. If there is a story out there I want to read, maybe I just need to write it myself. Until then, I’ll write poorly written literary fiction with characters accidentally named after a couple of boxers.

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Stolen from Google Images. I do not know these dogs. Boxers are stupid dogs. CORGIS FOR LIFE!

Glad to be back and as always, the ladies…

Gwendolyn Cease

Bronwyn Green

Paige Prince

Random Wednesday: Brain Dump. What’s on your mind?

Writing.

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I am once again, participating in Camp Nano – July edition – and I’ve upped my word count to finish manuscript #2.

Pretty excited at the prospects of having another project down. But once I am done, I plan to bury it in the back yard and forget about it until manuscript #1 is re-edited.

I’ve learned a lot over the course of several years from how to start a project to how to finish one. It’s a lot harder than you think the first time you do it. But writing gets easier once you realize it’s not as scary.

That doesn’t mean my first attempt at a manuscript isn’t a big steaming pile of horse shit. It very much is a steaming pile of horse shit.

It needs work. I knew that then. But I see it even more clearly now, how and why it needs work.

What this means though, is that I will not be participating in blogging this month for the reasons that I have to prioritize and I simply don’t have enough time for blogging and writing to reach the word goal I have set for myself.

But once this month is over, I can relax a bit. Instead of two projects looming over my head, I’ll just have one. It’s important to walk away after you finished and let your work sit for a bit so you can see it again with fresh eyes. And forget the reason you killed off a character in chapter 7 was just because you pulled a George RR Martin when you were out of ideas.

As far as other things on my mind…

We visited some friends for a few hours this weekend. They have a pool and a grill which was abused by an EXCESSIVE amount of lighter fluid. While there, our friend let his one year old float around in the pool for a bit. Upon him leaving the pool his diaper was removed due to the amount of pool water it had absorbed and the fact that the velcro straps  were barely holding it all together.

NAKED TIME!

That moment when you just let your kid run freebird in your backyard.

My husband commented asking if he needed a towel, our friend said no, he was fine. Until little man started crawling, not on his hands and knees, but his hands and feet. Butt square to the air, jangling of the jingleheimers for all to see.

My husband said, “This is new. How long has he been doing this Exorcist move?”

My friend responded, “Oh that, yeah. Maybe he could use a towel.”

Being a parent is fun. Sometimes it’s a lot more fun watching your friends being parents for the first time.

Special shot out to… you know who you are…and letting your kid flash his butthole to the neighbors. Very interesting 4th of July interpretation for how the US felt about the British during year of our independence. Your kid has a good sense of symbolism via interpretive dance.

 

Hopefully these girls have better things on their mind:

Bronwyn Green

Gwendolyn Cease

Paige Prince

Kris Norris

 

Random Wednesday: Nostalgic Notes – Clothes

Have you seen the movie 10 Things I Hate About You?

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Then you have a really good idea what clothing styles were like when I grew up.

Us flat chested chicks dressed a lot like Gordon Joseph Levitt. That would be the dude all the way to the right. Add a ponytail and welcome to Jessica’s style of the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

Let’s break down this cast photo because this really is a great representation of what life was like back in my day.

  1. “Spaghetti strap” tank tops. In the line up, that’s girl in #3. These damn things were wildy popular and nipples. Nipples everywhere. You had two choices, either you show the world your gum drop buttons or try to find a bra could be finagled by using clear straps, color matching the straps to the tank top, or the dreaded strapless which resulted in a boob shelf that looked a lot like uniboob-inner tube. Eventually clothing designers came up with the built in bralette for these types of tank tops. Gives a little more support but still – nipples.
  2. The crop top, girl at #5. I’m a long torso’d individual and all fucking shirts were crop tops. I’m going to propose the theory that short shirts is what lead to the tramp stamp tattoo movement. Shirts were short and whether you liked it or not, your lower back was doomed to show. Might as well decorate it.
  3. “V” neck shirts as seen on #7. V necks are okay. I’m actually wearing one right now as I type this. However, during this time period things went a little overboard. Like really overboard. It became something of a V neck shirt, to a deep V shirt, to a plunge. I think this might have actually been the first time “plunge” was used as a fashion description. Thanks Jennifer Lopez.jennifer-lopez-vogue-8apr15-rex_b
  4. …And thanks Matt Stone (Also note Trey Parker in the spaghetti strap dress) Matt Stone & Trey Parker (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
  5. Can we quickly talk about 3/4 length sleeves? #5 and #7. 3/4 length sleeves are the shit. I don’t need to comment much about that.
  6. Fashion trend not pictured: Metallic. Metallic was a big accent during this time. We’re talking metallic shoes, metallic belts, metallic purses, or small metallic accents on coats. Let us not forget metallic nail polish.
  7. Fashion trend not pictured: Clear accessories. This was the generation of the Columbine School Shooting and for many schools, like my own, backpacks were banned. Quickly, styles became more accommodating for having to carry more crap on your person (women’s cargo pants as one example) and ways to get around the rules such as, clear bags.  Clear bags are still available and some schools still require them but there was a time when they were not just a necessity but were also considered cool and part of fashion.
  8. Can we talk about denim for a moment?SPEARS TIMBERLAKEThis was never popular. It was a stupid decision even then. I had to cover this for the blog though. #NeverForgetDenim2001

I can keep going because it was a fun time. If you need to know more google “Spice Girls” and it that should about cover it.

Thank you for reading and here are the other girls:

Bronwyn Green

Gwendolyn Cease

 

Random Wednesday: Asshat Parking

Promptly penned flash fiction! It’s June and I’m taking it as, you probably know what this is about now and no longer need an introduction. This week is using the prompt:

Person A: “How long have you been standing there?”

Person B: “Longer than you’d like.”

The ladies participating are:

Bronwyn Green

Kayleigh Jones

Page Prince

Kris Norris

Please enjoy, Asshat Parking

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A Ford Excursion is already a behemoth of a vehicle, why not lift the fuck out if it.  It might be a slight exaggeration to say the tires are bigger than my reasonable compact designed car engineered for optimal city driving. But “exaggeration” itself could be the most appropriate word for my experience. I would make a bet that if I asked the owner of this confederate flag emblazoned oversized processed food grocery getter why the truck was lifted to a staggering, and clearly illegal height, I would get an answer laced with profanities and racism.

“I like em tall, easier to plow over those mother fucking slow ass piece of shit cars on the freeway. You know the ones, going under the speed limit and packed to the fucking gills with wet backs. You know, If they’d learned their English, maybe they go the speed limit.”

Let me make a statement before I continue on: I’m completely okay with profanities.

But if we’re also going to discuss stereotypes, I think this red neck pot might be calling the immigrant kettle black. And just as well, I might be too. I’m making a judgement call on the person parked like an asshat in front of my favorite Chinese place.  Big truck, confederate sticker, two tires settled on one side of the parking space and another two tires in another. Sure, the wheels aren’t even remotely straight and the eyesore is parked at an angle even Euclid would find intriguing. Maybe, just maybe, once I step inside I’ll find the owner to this truck is not at all what I envisioned.

“Hey! Sweetheart. I want my regurar.

“Yes. Sweet and sour? Crab rangoon?”

The lady was large, both in height and girth. Her hair was pulled back into a tight greasy bun. The frequency of this hair style was often based on the advanced traction alopecia around her face. Her stance was confident. She kept her shoulders rolled back, leaned with her elbow on the counter as she kicked up one dirty flip flopped foot over the other.

“Yes. Crab rangoons. You know I always get them. Not sure why you are asking. You got to work on those listening skills.”

“Yes.” The girl nodded. “10 to 15 minute.”

“Minutes. We don’t say ‘minute’ we say ‘minutes’ because there is more than one. Don’t they learn you that before coming over?”

I closed my eyes and chanted to myself while imagined my heels clicking together, please don’t be a stereotype, please don’t be a stereotype, please don’t be a stereotype…

“Teach.” Her voice was soft and clear.

“Excuse me?”

Opening my eyes I see the girl behind the counter straight faced and holding herself ridged enough to seem ten feet taller than she really was. “The word is ‘teach’. You meant to ask, do they teach you before you come over. No. We do not all have such opportunities. We do learn politeness. Do you they learn you politeness here?”

“I have been a customer here for five years and you don’t get to talk to like that.”

“No. This is my business and you do not be rude to me weekly for five year. Please. Leave.” The girl holds out her hand in gesture to the door.

“Bullshit.”

“No. Leave. Goodbye.”

“You fucking chinks have shitty food anyways! I can get cat from somewhere else. I don’t need your service. I don’t need this shitty place. Get fucked.” The woman throws up her middle finger into the girls face before walking out. She attempted to slam the door behind her but the pneumatic feature prevents the door from going farther than a fraction of an inch. Rather than the dramatic crash she was going for, the door just lightly hissed as it gradually closed behind her.

“Oh!” The girls eyes widen. “How long you been standing there?”

“Longer than you’d like.” I said. “But that was amazing and let me tell you, I’m so glad I got to see it.”

 

 

Random Wednesday: Unsupportive People And When Kicking Them In The Balls Is Ok

My husband spilled a slurpee in this car recently and I felt like I died a little on the inside. Not because of the car interior. But because he couldn’t eat his slurpee.

Before I get too far into this story I need to explain something.

Slurpee n. A slushy iced beverage favored with a carbonated beverage. The “carbonated beverage” part is key to what makes this beverage from the gods unique from anything else. Why do I need to explain this?

BECAUSE THE PEOPLE OF GREEN BAY WISCONSIN DON’T KNOW WHAT A FUCKING SLURPEE IS! They judge and sneer at you when you ask for a slurpee like you’re a freak that just asked for a bag of dead kittens.

“A what? I have no idea what that is. Do you mean a slushy?”

No. It’s a motherfucking slurpee not to be confused with a slushy which is much less satisfying. We can compromise at “frozen drink” but only if it’s coke flavored and that’s because copyrights are involved.

And either way, a beverage of royalty status does not belong splattered on the car seat, cup holder, pant leg, and floor mat.

I felt sad, not because ice crystals were slowly melting into fabric instead of on ones tongue. Not because of the flavor is now transformed into a syrupy mess instead of a belly satisfying sticky sweet substance.

I was upset because my husband deserved a little break and if what he wanted with his break from the work day stress was a slurpee, then I fully support his purchase. Just as much, I feel crushed when he feels crushed that after all his efforts, the reward was ruined.

It’s important to praise him for his hard work, to listen when he gets overwhelmed, to calm him off the ledge when he gets an email that something is wrong right as he is walking out of the work door to come home. It’s important to understand the emotional value of a slurpee.

This is support.

It’s easy to do when it’s something tangible. Everyone has dropped a slurpee, everyone has had work issues, everyone has that dream just out of reach, or that limit reaching breaking point.

What’s different about writing is whether or not people take you seriously and understand what it means to you. When you have a set back in writing, it’s an emotional set back. No one see’s the digital pages spilled over the floor quite like a writer does.

I have sat with a lot of “writers” and they have never written anything. These people just simply have the desire to write and there is something fearful about putting words on paper because it exposes what is in your mind. This fear to write often devalues what writing actually means to that person. Just because they might not be at the same level as the next person does not mean they long  or love to write any less.

This is where support and encouragement are key.

At any point someone tells me they want to write something, anything, I let them do the talking.

Why do you want to write?
What do you want to write?
What prevents you from writing?
What have you tried to help you write?
What would encourage you to write more?

But what is most important is to understand what they are going through and identify with them to understand how they are feeling.

Like when someone else drops a slurpee. You know what that feels like. You love slurpees, too.

But the topic is about how to deal with unsupportive people. Yeah, we’re several hundred words into this post and I’m just now getting on topic. Now, hold on to your butts…

I’ve never met an unsupportive person in the traditional sense of “unsupportive.”

Rather, I’ve meet annoying as fuck people. I call them the “me me me’s.”

No one has ever told my I can’t do something, that my writing isn’t going any where. I’ve never been told to give up, to move on, to stop trying.

What I have encountered are people who have gotten pass the fear of writing, found confidence and now, no longer understanding to the people who supported them and need support from them.

Example:

A) Supportive person: Yes, I have finished a novel. Have you? No? Well how can I help? What problems are you running into that is preventing you from finishing?

B) Nonsupportive person: Yes, I have finished a novel. I already have an agent and in the editing process as well as working on cover art. What’s your email address? Let me add you to my newsletter. I typically write about male banshees. Banshees are female in folklore but I wanted to branch out and be unique. I gave them dicks.

This really happens. (I made up the banshee dick part but the rest of it is true.)

I was at a writer’s conference not too long ago and there was a guy there who was speaking about how to land an agent. We’ll call him Tom. His name might have actually been Tom, I honestly don’t remember. Tom has had the same agent since 1997 and a lot of writing success. Which is really good, it’s nice to see an author with longevity because the business can be fickle. But his advice was out dated and “me me me.” I can tell you a lot about Tom. I can tell you how often he emails his agent, what projects his agent has gotten for him, the different genres he written in, what he has found success in, failures in, and how some projects were picked up easily and others failed to pick up at all.

I walked away with jack shit about agents.

Nothing Tom lectured about was relevant to today’s writer and methods on how to find an agent. He had no advice. He just talked about himself.

Don’t be that guy. Don’t be Tom.

But people like Tom are unavoidable. He is not the first Tom or last Tom I will encounter. I really wanted to know first hand what it’s like to work with an agent as a new writer. This is something I am new to and need help with. Tom had an opportunity to be supportive and there were willing participants in the crowd longing for his advice. All I learned was the 9/11 attacks ruined traditional querying because of anthrax fears. Yes, he really talked about this rather than suggesting something more relevant such as, “Pick up Writer’s Market which is full of information about agents and what they are looking for including pet peeves to avoid and how to write a query letter with examples. Cross reference agencies in the book by searching the agency online and seeing what that agency is specifically looking for. They don’t want to waste their time just as well as you shouldn’t waste yours. Give them only what they ask for.” Well, at least that’s what I would have said if I was giving a lecture on how to land an agent. Not gone on about the events of 2001 during a lecture about the writing business in 2016.

In 1997 while Tom was sending letters though the U.S. Post Office to land an agent, I was probably flipping through a Delia’s catalog while watching re-runs of My So Called Life. I assure you, things change. Even in 2001 when email became the preferred method over post mail, he already had his agent and wasn’t completely sure how querying was different. His recommendation was not to use Wingdings as your email font.

Very insightful.

When you encounter these people, still listen. Still ask questions. Still engage with them. Bottom line, they are writers with feelings too and their work should still be supported.

And if all else fails and the “me me me” starts to make you feel down and inadequate.

Just imaging kicking banshee dicks while they are talking.

Problem solved.

Please read my support team and the team I support.

Bronwyn Green

Jessica Jarman