When I was fourteen I knew everything. I’d seen everything. I was right about everything. You couldn’t tell me anything.

When I was twenty-four I was wrong about everything. I screwed up everything. You couldn’t get me to believe in anything.

When I was thirty-four I figured out some things. I saw some things. Learned some things. You couldn’t convince me to change a thing.

Today I’m forty-four. I’ve seen a lot of things. Been through some shitty things. Came through big on some great things. Learned good things. Listened to some better things. Realized things, like things don’t matter. When I thought I knew everything, nothing made sense. When I surrendered to the fact that I knew nothing, my life started to mean something.

I’ve known it all. Seen it all. Loved it all. Left it all. Lost it all. Found it all. Ate it all. Created it all. And most importantly – lived through it all.

Is hope to be found;
in things I buy underground.
From plants and pills;
my world spills;
into the next.
Until nothing beats
inside my chest.

Four years ago I went to a writing conference. I learned that I was doing lots of things wrong when it came to my writing, but mostly when it came to querying agents.

I thought spell check was the same as editing.

I thought 120,000 words for a YA romance was totally fine.

You get the picture.

I met a lot of great people and ate a very overpriced salad.

We were all there for the same reason:  To get an agent.

The last day of the conference they had a speed-dating session with the agents. It cost extra. I paid the extra. I went to a class to learn how to pitch my story. I stayed up most of the night perfecting the pitch. I came up with something amazing. Much more amazing than the queries I’d sent out. I went to the session feeling very confident. Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst.

I pitched six agents. Here were my results:

Agent One:  Seemed marginally interested in my story. Told me to query her with a synopsis and the first three chapters. I was like WTF! Didn’t I just pitch the synopsis? Ok, whatever. I was just happy she didn’t reject me to my face since she was one of the first agents to reject my query via email.

Agent Two:  She said she LOVED the pitch and the fact that it was a contemporary romance, not fantasy. She asked me to send her the first three chapters and to make sure I noted it was requested material.  This made me really happy. Especially, because I had queried this agent via email a year earlier and received a rejection.

Agent Three: Same as two. Loved the pitch. Asked for the first one hundred pages. She was also one of the agents that rejected me the previous summer.

Agent Four:  She said I had a great pitch and referred me to Agent Three. She didn’t rep YA.

Agent Five:  Said she liked the idea of the story, but only if it was really dark. (Side note: Because of this comment I actually made the story dark. Dark was the element I was missing, so thanks Agent Five) She asked for the first three chapters. But more out of pity. She liked me more than the story.

Agent Six: Said the story seemed very relatable and asked for an official query, synopsis, and first three chapters.  Again, this is an agent that rejected this story a few months earlier.

I left the conference with so much hope and confidence that I would get signed. The agents all seemed to like me, like my book. I was on my way!  The next day I crashed my car. It was the universe’s way of balancing out my life. Suddenly, the path I was on didn’t seem like it was the right one.

I ended up sending an unedited version of Thizz to Agent Three. She had the most success in my genre and I thought we would work well together. She sent back a rejection within five days. I was sad.

I spent the next year rewriting. Then I went back to the conference. The theme of the weekend was that self-publishing would kill my chances of being a writer. I learned that agents don’t want authors that write multiple genres. They want pretty packages they can sell. That is what they bought from me last year. I sold them on my book because I am a good sales person. Not a good writer.

I did some soul searching and thought about the other agents that requested chapters. Could they sell my book better than me? What if I want to write an adult romance or a fantasy, is that allowed?

The answer was no.

I don’t fit into a box. I’m so outside the box. I fucking stomp on the box.

I shoved the names and information of all those agents into a drawer. I will never query them anything I write. Because I’m not writing for them, I write for me. I want to decide the name of my book, what the cover will look like. I’ll take all responsibilites for typos. What I won’t do is compromise who I am.

When it comes down to it. I’m not a writer. I’m an artist.

Sometimes I hear a song that inspires a scene, a character, or just a feeling. I’ll buy it, load it to my iPod and play it every chance I get. I play until it’s just another set of chords and words that don’t stop me in my tracks and force me to absorb its melody into my soul.

I play it until I kill the magic.

Sometimes I hear a song so inspirational that I refuse to buy it. I want the magic to last longer than a couple of weeks. I only allow myself to hear it by chance. I let fate decide because there is no better feeling in the world than driving in your car and hearing your favorite song on the radio. For those three or four minutes nothing else matters.

I have a song like that right now. It’s not so much the words or even the melody. It’s her voice, the way she delivers the lines. The way she pauses on the piano. Her is voice the same one I hear in my head as I write my new book.

As I get down to the last two weeks before my deadline, I’ve decided I need to hear this song more than once a day, if I’m lucky. I can no longer live with a few chance encounters a week.

So, I bought it. Now I’m feeling sad because I only have a few precious weeks with the magic before its lost forever.

Hopefully, at the end of those two week, I’ll be left with one of the best things I’ve ever written.

My Eyes

You’re my eyes when I can’t see;
the destructive life I tend to lead.
Drugs or drink.
Sex, love, or how I think.
Although we often disagree.
Through your eyes I will see.
The person I am destined to be.

I’ve been dying to share this news since last year!
My book was chosen for The Bookworm Box!  

I am so honored to be included among past authors like E.L. James, Colleen Hoover, Tarryn Fisher, R.S. Grey and Jamie McGuire.

What is the Bookworm Box?  It is a monthly subscription box that comes with 2 autographed books and lots of fun swag. All proceeds go to charity. You can learn more at: www.thebookwormbox.com

If you don’t have a subscription, that’s ok. You can still score my book on Amazon.

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