JENN KELLY

the journey from writing a novel to ... what were we talking about again?

Month: December 2010 (page 1 of 2)

Vain Things…

You know how the little things get you really excited? And to anyone else they may seem, ridiculous? Or vain?  I have a few things I get excited about. A new book, new nail polish or lipstick (not that I wear much of either but it’s still exciting), a perfectly made soy chai latte, a new t-shirt by Matrix … but something that always excites me is new magazines.

There’s just something about sitting and flipping. Looking at pictures, reading fascinating stories, the glossiness of the pages… I don’t know. I just love it.

I currently have a subscription to: Vogue (please don’t laugh), Bon Appetit, Cooking Light (although I may have let that one go), Vegetarian Times, Harper’s Bazaar (just stopped it) and other writing magazines I pick up along the way. Yes, I have a stack of about 50 I haven’t had time to read yet. And yet I can’t stop the subscriptions, no matter how badly I feel about neglecting them, because they always send me the best deals for them. Bon Appetit for 20$ a year, Vogue was 30$. They are practically giving them away! And when I don’t have a subscription to them, I long for them at the grocery check out and then pay full price. It’s sad really. But it’s such a small treat for the grand total of a hundred dollars a year.

And yet, one magazine was missing.

I have been waiting 5 years for this magazine to contact me and offer me a brilliant amount for a subscription.

And today they did.

Vanity Fair for 28$ a year.

I am now complete.

 

Being Brave

I’ve already mentionned that I’m looking for an agent. I gave myself until January 1 to do it. Which meant hunkering down and ignoring the call of the wii, the walks outside and the movies on tv to read my literary agent book and hi-light what looks good.  Now I’m researching them on the web.  And today I searched a few and then had a moment of boldness.

I had met an agent at the Word Guild Writer’s Conference in Guelph back in 2009. Or maybe it was 2008. Oh I hope it was 2009 or I look like a bum.   Anyway, let’s call him Fred. Fred and I hit it off really well and he gave a talk on platform. Which was fascinating, but scary.  I pitched him and he told me to contact him. I did and he turned me down. Rejection #43.  And I let him go.

As I’m going through the agents that have already rejected me, I have to pause.  Which ones should I bother trying to contact again?  The ones who never responded? The ones who actually sent me a personal rejection? The ones where they had their assistant do it? (Last one would be a ‘no’.)  There’s the pride factor of being all, ‘well, you rejected me and look how famous I’m gonna be and your boss is gonna be peeved at you’. Which of course is never a healthy way to be, although for the ‘what-if’ game, it’s fun for ten minutes.  Then there’s the ‘am I good enough now?’ thought.   And there’s the ‘I don’t want to pay an agent if I’m already in!’ thought.

It’s terribly confusing.

And makes me stare off into space quite frequently.

Which is lots of fun. But I have no time to do that. I have to find an agent.

Watching: Cars

Listening to: Pachelbel Canon (the gaffer listens to it while he sleeps. has since he was a baby. am going to play it at his wedding to see if he falls asleep. also have baby video of very large poop mess he made to shame him at wedding also)

Eating: salad with pecans

Reading: Narnia. Harry Potter. Demons and Angels. Depends what room I’m in.

New Year’s

Yes, I know it’s only 4 days to Christmas and I should be thinking of Christmas-y things.

But I’m feeling like I need to be kind to myself today. Not sure why. It might be because I seem to have pulled something in my lower back. You know that feeling when you want to turn a certain way so you can crack?  Well, it won’t crack. Also? I went to the gym and brought my snuggly cammo pants but when I put them on, for some reason the knees were soaking wet. My gym bag was not wet, nor was my water bottle inside. It’s like someone put them on and then kneeled in water. Very bizarre. So I had to put on hubby’s honkin’ jogging pants.  Which is normally very comfortable, but for some reason my feet are cold. Which has nothing to do with pants.

I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions. They make me crazy. So I think about dreams. Last year, around this time, or maybe after January, I can’t really say for sure without digging out my old journals and if I do that, I’ll become fully immersed in my own writing as Oscar Wilde says: “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.” or my other favourite being: “to lose one parent may be regarded as misfortune – to lose both seems like carelessness”.  But then I’ll become completely involved and forget what I was doing. So last year I told myself that I would write another novel (check), go to Georgia, North Carolina, Paris (check, check, check) and create a potager (check).

So this year I would like to:  go to California, go to North Carolina again (already planned and paid for, mostly), write another book (possibly two), and … be kinder to myself.

I’m not explaining the last one. It’s self-explanatory.

Um… I’m done ruminating.

quotes taken from The Importance of Being Ernest. Which I highly recommend you read. The movie is fine enough, but I love reading jokes for my own.

watching: nothing

eating: nothing

listening to: my neighbour or someone breaking into my garage.

reading: Narnia

the weekend

This was a very busy weekend.

It all started on Thursday. I did two presentations at Our Lady of Peace (and Bayview Public on Tuesday!) and it was exhausting. Friday I shopped. Gosh you forget how busy the stores get. And how people forget how to drive. It’s fun. But while at Chapters (shamelessly promoting my book) I met a lady from Newfoundland who was just so fantastically encouraging! I pointed out I had written the book in her hands and she hugged and kissed me on the cheek. She says every Newfie does that. Wow it was sweet! A new friend! And Chapters sold out! Yay!

Saturday I was in Perth at Janie Knits. It is the coolest shop.  Janie has an old stone house that she and hubby remodeled, and her shop is in the front.  A huge porch greets you with a red screen door and the porch is filled with knit goodies. Then inside are two rooms, FILLLLLED with yarns. You name it, she’s got it. I found myself drifting around just to touch everything because it was so soft! I did get to meet some very cool kids and Janie provided some yummy cookies. And yes, I broke down and bought some ‘rapunzel’ yarn of a wickedly cool mixture of blues and purples. I will attempt a cowl. Even though I can’t knit.

Sunday I was at Solstice Books in Wakefield (I can’t find their website) and it changed hands a little while ago and now Jeanette owns it. It’s now located directly across from the Wakefield train dock is, where the old antique store was. She did a gorgeous job renovating it and it’s such a cozy place to visit! And she has a wide variety of titles and selections, all artistically placed inside.

Today’s mail allowed for a huge fan letter from Bayview, and I’m not quite sure where it’ll fit on my wall, but it’s going in the memory book (somehow) for sure.

Am slowly looking for an agent. I bought the recent edition of Writer’s Digest and was very busy reading it. Oh procrastination! Thou hast an awful sting! Am also debating which writing publication to purchase.  Horn Books looks good, although it’s tempting to get Publisher’s Weekly. Can I justify 184$ to read it online? (299$ for the paper copy!) I’m sure I’d learn more from that than reading Vogue…

drinking: homemade salted caramel hot chocolate. ick.

listening to: live 88.5! House of Pain, baby!

watching: nothing

reading: How to Find a Literary Agent. or something like that.

 

More Change…

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas… lalalalaaa!!!! Love it.

It’s time to find an agent.

I didn’t think I needed one, as I have an excellent relationship with my editor, the lovely Kathleen. She never steered me wrong. As far as I know. But if you’ve been reading, Kathleen is leeeeeaving to go to another publishing house. Of which publishes Amish Romance. But I realized that now would be a good time to find someone who will ‘fight’ for me. And believe in me. And my writing.

So I have a couple of contacts, and I bought myself the ‘Guide to literary Agents’ and I think I’m in for a good sit down.  I have enough lattes to sustain me, but it is so dull sitting for so long and researching! I could be napping!  But I’ve given myself a goal. As of January 1, 2011, I must send out my queries. Ick. I hate writing queries. I’m not very good at it. Which may explain why I’ve had 72 rejections. And now I have to write another query.

Dear so and so important person,

I am a writer. Sorry, an author. I have written a darn funny book that seems to be doing very well. So well in fact, that there will be another one next year.  I’m expecting to be offered another contract as I am brilliant. And funny.  I also have ideas for picture books and am playing with an amish romance.

I know you have no idea who i am and I have not won any awards since 1992, but I have a lot of potential.  I need someone to coddle me, take care of me, not rip me off, and deal with my 2am neurotic emails. I expect encouragement cards, the occasional Starbucks gift card and chocolates.  I, in turn, will make you very proud as in public I am kind and sweet and fantastically funny. I will also write anything. And I’ll give you my best.  And I send great prezzies in the mail.

your soon to be bestie,

jenn.

 

might not work….

 

reading: Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe (it’s that time of year)

eating: salted caramel hot chocolate

watching: Stranger than Fiction (I wish I were Maggie!!!!)

listening to: my dog snore.

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