Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Everyone (anyone?) who reads my blog…
Knows that I’ve been on a quest to find an agent to represent me…
And my manuscript, How Em Found Her Cha Cha.
I’ve shared my angst of writing dozens of versions of query letters…
The disappointment of getting rejection letters…
And now I have to share…
I’m so excited!
I sent a query via email on Monday…
And yesterday afternoon when I checked my inbox…
There was the request and a thank you!
I didn’t send the partial immediately.
I wanted to sit with the joy of just that feeling.
I’ll send the partial off after I post this…
Then I’ll wait again knowing that rejection is just one keystroke away.
But it’s OK.
At least I got a request for a partial.
And I have to thank Elana Johnson who is a contributing author at QueryTracker.
No, not for the request for a partial…
For me changing my query—again.
She posted over the weekend on her blog, that QueryTracker was going to have a contest.
Participants had to submit a one sentence "elevator pitch"…
Along with the first paragraph of their manuscript.
Well, no matter how I tried…
I couldn’t get any sentence of my query letter down to a one sentence pitch.
And so I revised.
And then I came up with not only a one sentence pitch…
But a whole new query letter.
And I felt exuberant!
Almost electric!
(But then, it could have been the caffeine)
And so, on Monday…
I not only submitted my one sentence pitch to the contest at QueryTracker blog…
But also my new query letter (via email) to an agent.
I won’t find out for awhile about the contest.
And I’ll keep you posted on the partial.
But this morning...
Before I submit the partial...
Please allow me a moment to share my exuberance.

Always, Em-Musing

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Something interesting happened at the dentist the other day.
I was having two old crowns replaced with two new ones.
But that’s not what was so interesting.
No, it started when I sat in the dental chair.
Boy! Talk about old!
No, not the chair—me.
It seems the older I get…
The bigger baby I become.
Or maybe it’s the writer in me…
Because lethal scenarios played in my head…
While two pairs of hands were crammed down my throat.
Like, what if I inhaled one of the cotton logs used to sop up my spit?
Or what if the goo used to make an impression wouldn’t ungoo?
And they had to break my teeth to get it off?
Or what if some of bits of the goo flew down my throat and hardened in my throat and I died?
But none of this is what I want to share.
What I want to share with you started when the dental assistant first swabbed my gums with a topical anesthetic.
And I mean A LOT of it!
Some of it dribbled down my throat.
Would it numb my lungs and I’d suffocate!
Then I remembered, I “swallowed” it, not inhaled it.
Silly me.
But that’s still not what I want to share with you.
After two hours, I finally left the dentist’s office.
It was almost noon.
I wasn’t hungry.
Unusual for me.
Then one o’clock rolled around.
Still not hungry.
Two o’clock.
Nope, still not hungry.
And then it occurred to me!
I had swallowed lots of drops of the topical  anesthetic.
Besides numbing my gums…
Maybe it numbed my stomach?
And stopped my hunger?
Maybe I’ve discovered a new weight loss technique!
Can’t very well go to the dentist everyday.
I can by Orajel…
And swallow some.
It’s got to be safe, because you can use it in kid’s mouths.
I was going to go to the grocery store today anyway…
Think I’ll pick up some Orajel and…
l keep you posted.
Always, Em-Musing

Monday, March 29, 2010


Who me?
Not me.
Couldn’t be.
Than who?
I must be channeling some other author.
Because an idea for a new story flew into my head this weekend…
And won’t go away!
Normally, any self respectful writer would welcome this intrusion in their head.
Well, not me.
Because what flew into my head was a YA story.
I’ve never wanted to write YA!
And I don’t plan on it now!
Neal won’t go away.
Yes, that’s the name of this kid that keeps talking to me.
(All you writers know what I’m talking about, right?)
Otherwise I’d better see a shrink!
But really…
While I appreciate that other writers write YA…
And the market is HUGE for YA…
I’ve never had the inkling…
Nor the desire to write YA.
But Neal just won’t go away!
Fine, Neal!
I’ll write down some stuff just to get you out of my head!
Oh, no!
This kid just won’t shut up!
I'll keep you posted

Always, Em-Musing

Friday, March 26, 2010


I’m proud of myself.
I’ve killed five wolf spiders in the last few days…
And only screamed once.
It happens every autumn and spring…
That the wolf spiders find their way in my apartment that is.
And now that I know this…
I anticipate the time when…
My cat stands like a statue…
Waiting for a spider…
That she knows is lurking…
Behind a cabinet or something…
To scurry out from behind it.
And then before my cat arches her back…
Ready to pounce…
I’m off the couch with shoe in hand and …
Ha, HA!
My poor cat then just looks at me as if to say, “Can you leave me no joy?”
Now you might be wondering…
Why I just don’t spray for the spiders.
Well, I guess killing spiders with my shoe…
Even though it terrorizes me…
(Not to mention how yucky it is cleaning up their smashed ugly bodies)
Is healthier than breathing in toxic fumes from spider spray.
Because even after I’ve been assured that the spray is only harmful to spiders…
I don’t know if I have that much trust.
Because I’ve heard the “it’s safe” story one too many times.
Only to hear years later…
About a new weird sounding disease that’s popped up…
Like mesothelioma.
So I’m afraid that…
After years of being exposed to spider spray fumes…
Another weird sounding disease will pop up called…
And I'll wind up getting it.
And then there will be millions of TV commercials saying...
If you've ever been exposed to spider spray...
Call me crazy, but for now…
I’ll trust killing spiders (and my health) to me, my cat and my shoe.

Always, Em-Musing

Thursday, March 25, 2010


 have a killer query!
Or at least I think I do.
But then…
And even just a few minutes from now…
I could change my mind (and query letter)…
Does it ever end?
Does the doubt ever go away?
Will I ever find the perfect pitch?
For heaven’s sake!
How could I love one version of my query letter…
Submit to a few agents…
Only to look at that same query letter after I’ve come back from a relaxing weekend…
(And two rejections)
And think…
“You’re over analyzing,” one friend said.
You get one shot.
If it’s a stinker…
Well, then…
This query will be stinking up the nostrils of many, many agents.
“Then write another book,” another friend said.
“But I know this story is a winner! I feel it in my bones,” I answer.
“Maybe you’re getting arthritis.”
“Not funny.”
But she might have a point.
I need to send this latest version of my query letter to all pertinent agents…
Before old age and arthritis set in and…
I can’t even sign my name to the letter.

Always, Em-Musing

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I need more time!
To write/edit/read/respond to blogs.
Yeah, I know...
So does everyone else in the world need more time.
But boy, what would I do to get more time in my day?
And that got me to thinking about time.
At times, time is so adjustable.
“Time flies when you’re having fun” is the old saying.
And that’s true for me.
When I write, it seems like I no sooner sit down in front of my laptop, my mug steaming freshly brewed Trader Joe Bay Blend coffee, the sun’s not even up yet and…
The next thing I know—dinnertime!
But when I have a sinus headache, the day feels like five.
Or think of just ten seconds.
When a woman is in the throngs of hard labor, those ten seconds can seem like eternity.
But when you’re saying good-bye to a loved one, those ten seconds zoom!
It seems to me that pain makes time feel longer. Sort of stretches it.
I’ve got an idea!
What if I’m in pain when I write?
Oh, not so much pain that I can’t stand it.
But a little pain.
Enough to make the day drag on.
Hmm? I have to think–
Ah ha!
I’ll just take one of those big clips that keep bags of chips closed…
Grab a hunk of my skin and–
This will work.
The pain on my arm is bothersome, but I can take it.
Well, maybe not all day…
But if I can endure one hour...
It'll feel like two.
So I figure...
1 hr pain factor x 7 hours a week x 52 = 364 extra hours divided into 85,000 words (a good length for a novel) = 234 words to write in one hour.
I could have a whole new novel done in a year. Not bad.
Well, that doesn’t include editing and rewrites.
So maybe if I keep the clip on for two hours...
I could do the edits and rewrites.
And then...
If I kept it on for three hours...
Maybe I could finally get to post comments on all the blogs that I read!
I’ll keep you posted.

Always, Em-Musing
 P.S. Why isn't there a "divide" symbol on the keyboard? Or is there one and I just can't find it?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Maybe it’s just me…
But as I got into my SUV yesterday…
I was struck with the thought…
That modern technology should make our lives easier.
Not crazier!
Last week I managed to change all the clocks in my life one hour forward…
All except this one in my SUV.
Why does this one have to be so difficult to figure out?
I love clocks that all you have to do is turn a button on the back.
I love clocks on coffee makers that you push just one button to change the number.
I love my alarm/radio clock that clearly says–Time–Hours–Minutes…
So you know exactly which button to press.  
I love watches that all you have to do is pull out that little thingy and twist.
But the clock in my SUV?
Who made it so impossible to figure out?
And why?
I should be able to look at the instrument panel and easily see how to change the time.
I shouldn’t have to pull out the manual to do this.
Yes, I should be able to pull out of my memory how I did it the last time.
But I can’t.
I loved the clocks that were in other vehicles I've had…
When the hardest thing to figure out was finding a pen to push the little indentation under H and M.
And of course, last week driving around…
I’d glance at the clock and think, Boy, time is going by slowly and maybe I could go–
It’s an hour later than I thought!
And then I’d swear that just as soon as I got home..
I’d figure out how to change the clock!
But just as soon as I got home…
Whoosh! Gone!
So then the next time I got in the car…
The clock! Still not changed!
I swear!
I need to change the clock while I’m in the car.
Where is a railroad crossing with a slow-as-molasses train creeping by?
Or construction on the highway with traffic backed up for miles?
Or a long line at the drive-thru window at the bank?
Or my brain…
When I need it?

Always, Em-Musing

Monday, March 22, 2010


Reality TV can be a real nail-biter.
Especially when my life is part of the evening's show!
Yesterday was reality TV at its best.
Our nation’s congress was in session.
On a Sunday!
Voting on health care bills.
I watched the quips and snips…
The logic and reason…
From commentators.
On both sides of the aisle.
And the vote got down to the wire!
And now my life could change.
For better…
Or worse…
Through sickness…
And health.
But …
Not till the death part.
Because if the bill isn't what they promised…
I’m going to go into the voting booth this November…
Find the representative that took a vow to honor me...
And divorce him!
Aye vote on that!

 Always, Em-Musing

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


You may be wondering…
Just what the heck I’m doing...
Well, I didn’t want to have to resort to this...
But after the last straw happened this afternoon…
I’m chanting away the bad vibes...
And then...
I'm going to send myself good ones.
Because last Thursday after the bank lost my driver’s license…
Friday, after my morning flight was cancelled...
Yesterday waiting 5 hours in RSW airport and getting an email query rejection…
Last night having my luggage lost in Detroit
And just today locking my keys in my car…
I figured positive thinking isn't working for me lately.
So here goes-
Hey wait a minute!
It’s St. Patrick’s day!
Maybe I can attract some "luck of the Irish!"
But then, I’m not Irish.
But then, everyone’s Irish on St. Patty’s day.
That's it!
I’ll find an Irish blessing.
(Or Irish beer)
And see what happens.
Here's a good blessing.
May the best day of your past
Be the worst day of your future.

Always, Em-Musing
P.S. Maybe it's working already. My luggage was delivered today, nothing missing :)


You would think sitting on my arse for five hours…
Stuck in an airport would be…
But it was OK.
Actually it was more than OK.
I had my laptop with me!
And praise the powers that be there was free WiFi!
Woo Hooo!
So, with laptop on lap…
And an available plug by the large window with the sun streaming in I–
Noticed cat hair on my keyboard!
And so I cleaned my keyboard.
And then the screen.
And then (with a Starbucks iced coffee nearby I...
Skyped a friend and talked for awhile.
Checked Facebook and caught up with my friends and family.
Read current and past blogs from agents and fellow writers who I follow.
Cleaned the junk mail from my email.
Responded to emails that I needed to.
Sent an email news release of an upcoming MVRWA book lovers event.
Read all the entertaining emails that I had saved for months because I never had the time to read them.
Got a–
Rejection email from an agent I had queried a couple of weeks ago.
Right there while I was sitting in the airport.
And a form rejection no less.
Oh well.
At least this agent read my query and responded back.
And I know my query isn’t floating somewhere in the vast unknown of the Internet, lost, forgotten, or overlooked.
So, after a few days of heaven down in sunny FLA
I’m back in Toledo today.
Back to sending out more query letters.
And back to probably more rejec–
I’m going to think positive.
Because the sun is shining here in Toledo this morning...
My laptop is clean (literally)...
And there will be an agent who responds to my query and...
Thinks my manuscript is AWESOME!

Always, Em-Musing

Friday, March 12, 2010


Yesterday the imps followed me.
Thankfully, I made it to coffee with my writer friends.
And while I was with them, they put some good mojo on two query letters that I had in my purse.
What followed was nothing short of crazy.
No, nothing with the query letters.
I mailed them just fine.
But the rest of the day...
That's when the crazies (or imps) hit.
The bank lost my driver’s license…
While I was standing there!
Just vanished into thin air.
Or into someone else’s transaction.
Like in the plastic tube/capsule that shoots over to someone’s car...
I'm thinking it was because the teller was multi-tasking with my transaction and two others.
Thankfully, I had time (barely) to get another one.
I’m traveling by plane today and absolutely have to have it.
And just when I thought the crazies were over…
I came home last night wanting to email yesterday’s blog to my friends and contacts when–
All my AOL contacts were GONE!
Couldn’t find them.
I did everything I could think of to get them back.
But they were gone.
Frustrated, angry, thinking I was losing my mind…
I just shut the computer down...
Drank a Dox Equis beer ...
And went to bed.
(obviously not worrying about the calories)
Thankfully, this morning ...
My contacts are back.
The imps are gone.
I’m packing up the laptop…
And heading to Florida for a long weekend!
Hope there are no imps down there.

Always, Em-Musing

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I wonder if the electronic world …
Has “off” days?
Or “bad” days?
Or, “I’ll sabotage everything the writer is working on, ha, ha, ha!” days?
Yesterday was one of those days.
Everything I formatted …
Wouldn’t stay formatted!
Especially for this blog.
My fonts wouldn’t stay fonted!
My spacing would stay spaced.
Every time I previewed my blog…
It looked great!
Then …
I would hit “publish” and check it out and–
It looked crazy!
Then I tried to print an envelope to send out a query…
Using the same printer…
The same format…
And the same type of envelope as I always do.
But yesterday, my printer decided to print anywhere it wanted to on the envelope!
My return address was way off the top.
The delivery address was way at the bottom.
I wasted half a box of pricey envelopes.
Finally, I got one I could use.
I checked the spelling and address of the agent…
I folded the letter…
For heaven’s sake!
Why did the fork sitting on the plate on my desk…
Just jump off the plate and onto my one clean perfect envelope?
Yes, I probably shouldn’t have had my plate sitting on my desk.
And Julia...
Though most things go better with butter...
I don't believe query letters do.
But I do believe that besides the electronic world having "off" days…
There are also electronic imps.
Or maybe even butter imps.
Or “I’ll sabotage everything the writer is working on, ha, ha, ha!” imps.
So this morning as I'm writing this blog…
I'd better go before the "spill coffee on the laptop" imp…
Or the "delete everything on the writer's hard drive" imp…
Or the "I'll sabotage whatever it takes so the writer can't meet her writer friends for coffee ha, ha, ha!" imp …
Shows up.
See ya!

Always, Em-Musing

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I just saw Janet Reid’s comment about ellipses on her 2/14//10 blog, Query Shark.
They drive her bonkers because most people misuse them.
I know, I know, I know …
I use A LOT of them too.
But in defense of my use of ellipses…
I use them mostly in my blog.
Not my manuscripts.
So if a would-be agent happens to check out my blog …
Please don’t think that I am an abuser/misuser of punctuation.
Because there’s a method to my writing my blog “this way.”
“This way” being clipped sentences, phrases, ellipses, and endashes.
Maybe I’m wrong ...
But I don’t want a thought/sentence to run-on and into the next line too often.
Because my mind (and I’m thinking the reader’s mind too), wanders.
Even after one sentence.
For heaven’s sake!
If my own mind wanders, and I’m the writer…
I can only imagine that the reader will be long gone if I don’t keep it short.
So here’s my philosophy…
I think of bloggers like food grazers.
So many blogs to read on the Internet/ so much food on the buffet table.
Only so much time to read/ only so much room in the stomach.
Therefore …
If it's easy to read/bite size…
Then the reader/eater…
Won’t get too full and …
Hopefully will come back often to read/graze.
FYI,   here's the definition of ellipsis from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: 

The most common form of an ellipsis is a row of three periods or full stops (...) or pre-composed triple-dot glyph (…). The usage of the em dash (—) can overlap the usage of ellipsis.Ellipsis (plural ellipses; from the Greekἔλλειψιςélleipsis, "omission") is a mark or series of marks that usually indicate an intentional omission of a word or a phrase from the original text. An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought, or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence (aposiopesis) (apostrophe and elipsis mixed). The ellipsis calls for a slight pause in speech.  The triple-dot punctuation mark is also called a suspension pointpoints of ellipsisperiods of ellipsisor colloquiallydot-dot-dot. 
And if you ever saw the movie, Mamma Mia ...
Then you know just how much fun dot-dot-dotting is.   

Always, Em-Musing

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I wasn't going to blog about the Oscars today …
It’s just so “yesterday.”
But a few things astounded me.
The first was that Farrah Fawcett was not mentioned in the memoriam tribute montage.
Here’s the weak explanation Bruce Davis, the executive director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, gave, "It is the single most troubling element of the Oscar show every year. Because more people die each year than can possibly be included in that segment. You are dropping people who the public knows. It's just not comfortable."
He thought that boring dance sequence near the end of the program was more important?
And specifically this part of his quote bothers me, “who the public knows?”
Sorry Mr. Davis, I didn’t know (and I’m sure most of the view audience didn’t either)
Many of the people you included in that montage.
But you thought it was OK to dismiss someone as important as Farrah? Or Bea Arthur? Or Ricardo Montelban? Or Henry Gibson?
Just put your big boy panties on, suck it up, put your ego on the shelf and apologize.
I mean, Jane Fonda even tweeted about it, "And where was Farrah Fawcett? She should have been included," Jane tweeted. 
And that was the other thing that astounded me …
Jane Fonda tweets!
Recently, during coffee with some of my fellow writers …
And more specifically my fellow writers from MVRWA…
We were pondering the merits of tweeting.
Do we have time to learn yada yada yada.
Well, I think it’s time I learn to tweet.
I mean, if Jane learned to tweet…
I need to put my big girl panties, suck it up and ...
Learn to tweet too.

Always, Em-Musing

DISCLAIMER: There are some members of MVRWA do in fact tweet. I wouldn't want to sin by omission.