Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 12: No More Queries for a While

Please excuse the poor structure and misspellings. I have not slept in 24 hrs...

Today my roommate pointed out to me that my query rejection to request ratio is 1:1, which makes her think that the query will fetch more requests as long as I keep sending it out. That being said, she also notes that my manuscript rejections were form rejections. We concluded that there's something off about the manuscript. When reading it through the first few chapters, we spotted a few places where the conversation is fun but pointless. Now I'm going through the thing again, assigning points to the pointless.

Moody guys on the floor going around cursing everyone else. Some of the girls and gay guys suspect that it's because the year is almost over and none of them have had a date. Too bad they don't like NyQuil...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 11: Another Partial

Another partial request, though this one's asking for an author bio. I'm a little intimidated. Writing-wise, I have very few achievements (except the ability to wrangle A's from teachers who start quarters with "I do not give A's" /end german accent and joke/) and the fact that I'm an undergraduate student can't help either.

I can draw, but I'm not sure how much that's going to help...


Queries sent: 8
Responses: 4

Partial Requests: 2
Whole Manuscript Requests: 1
Query Rejections: 2

Partial rejections: 1
Silence: 3

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 10: Start of New Manuscript

While working on my other manuscript, I wrote detailed outlines for the rest of the series (4 books in total, follows concept not characters).
Yesterday I realized how much I hated waiting, so I started another book. I got about 13k words in before the day was over, and about 1/8th of the way through. Moving a bit fast, but I'll go back and edit later.
Today I realized I still hate waiting, and have decided to send out more queries. One of my friends asked me why I wanted to publish a book so much, and it got me thinking. I don't know if it's the right way to go about it, but I want to go to graduate school not as another statistic, but as something different, like Tiramisu at a cake-baking contest. Not the most moist or the sweetest, but still good.
In a way, I think it's okay to be both literary and scientific. It doesn't have to be an "either or" like the university has designed it to be. It doesn't have to be a contest. Why can't people diagnose patients during the day and paint a picture at night? Society preaches specialization because it's efficient, but not for the individual. Because personal happiness is less useful than group progress. To the individual, his happiness is worth X amount, but to everyone else, it's worth less. Just as having a hot date is good for those involved, but worthless to bystanders. Social progress benefits everyone, which then leads to the work of others benefiting the self.
By this logic, people are naturally selfish.
Money. What good is a pile of money if the only thing you do during the day is watch TV? Anyone can do that. Anyone can enjoy life. So what good is that money?
Freedom; that's the only I can think of that's useful. To buy what you want, to have access to resources, to alleviate boredom. That's the point of money. People constantly worry about being bored. And yet, if we learn to entertain ourselves with our minds, then all of that is worthless. Someone who can dream is happier than someone who buys dreams, each lasting only for a moment.

I need to keep editing my manuscripts... Manuscripts; the word still sounds funny.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Day 9: More Queries and Silence

No replies so far, so I sent out two more queries. More waiting.

I finally got tired of waiting, so I started another book. The more I write, the more I realize that reading is crucial. Many of my female friends are avid readers, and they seem to be able to hold an intelligent conversation. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the guys. I'm normally not a feminist, but a few (not all) are starting to make me feel I should be one. The average conversation topic ranges from the type of girl they wish to "do" (blonde, thin, buxom, ect...) to why the rest of us are not improving ourselves.
I would rather not comment on a person's outer appearance past "pretty" and "plain", but at one point, I felt like pointing out that as "unappealing" as "the rest of us" are, they themselves could a) use a shower, b) use a shave, and c) hit the gym. Or at least try not to fail out of school. Again, this goes back to entitlement. I'm afraid, in twenty years, I will find my old college buddies in their midlife crisis, without hair or a job, whining about their shrew of a wife. Does common sense no longer exist?

As a side note: one of them, after I asked him to "at least not show up screaming drunk while everyone else is working," pointed out that I, along with the rest of the literary world, are "so snobby. I mean, you guys sit in bookstores and read for fun." What do I say to that?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 8: Full Request, Names and Entitlement

First, I've been wanting to say this all day, so I'll say it now:

Okay, now that that's over, I can get back to my manuscript. This is the God-knows-how-may times I've edited this thing, and I'm still changing the wording here and there like it was a bloody rough draft. I feel like I'm getting into a car only to realize that it drives differently everyday. Today, it seems to be going sideways only.

The strangest thing happened today. My friend looked over at my computer, gave me a evil grin, and said "How's retirement, Blanche?".
She finally stopped when I threatened to call her "Scruffy" from now on, but I think it's her way of telling me the name sounds old. If anyone hasn't realized by now, "Blanche King" isn't my name; it's something I picked for brevity's sake. Now I'm thinking the name sounds old... but I still like it.

Another topic: Entitlement.

While visiting a friend's house during break, I had a chance to discuss the concept of entitlement with some of the better-off people of society. I've already heard the opinions of the middle and lower classes on social injustice, but the upper class had some interesting points to make. For one thing, some feel that they are all being judged based on the actions of a few, as in saying "all rich people are snobby " is the same as saying "all poor people are lazy". Neither holds any truth, but both are equally hurtful.
The general consensus is that, while some have inherited their fortunes, many have made their own, only to be later condemned for it. "We followed the rules and earned what we have. There's nothing shameful in either of those." I have to say they make a good point.
Looking around my university, I see different study habits. I see the ones who go out and get drunk every night (and puke all over the hallways...ew) and then the ones who set up a daily studying schedule and go to every class. As an economics major, I have to plead opportunity cost: effort made will pay, effort not made will not pay.
The concept applies to society in general (with few exceptions) and yet it is by the exception that we judged society. For example, a young man may have suffered a parental loss and had to drop out of school to care for his family. As a result, though he worked hard, he is not paid well for his effort. Similarly, a young man may not have worked at all in school, and using his parent's money, he paid his way into a brand name college and subsequently received a large trust fund. Both situations are statistically rarer than their counterparts (that man, after hard work, will achieved what he deserves).

So after much thought, I've decided to change my views to follow opportunity cost. Economically, it makes sense. There is no such thing as "no one deserves that much money". If they do not deserve it (most of the time) they will not have it to begin with. And even if they do have it, chances are they won't have it for long.

Teaching a man to fish is better than giving him a fish.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Day 7: Games, Chemistry, Query and Contest

Sent out another query. She's a popular agent, so I don't know how long it's going to take for her to reply. Oh well, es la vida.

I've been editing my manuscript and playing Sims all yesterday. The thing looked fine the last time I went through it, but I found more things I didn't like when I was reading it today. (Maybe it secretly changed itself when I'm asleep?) Either way, more cutting and rewriting for me.

As for today, the problem is Acetic Acid 5%. I have its formulaic weight, solubility, pH, specific gravity and density, but where in the world am I suppose to find "role as an explosion and fire hazard"? Isn't it enough that it is a fire hazard, and therefore should be kept away from the Bunsen burner? Anyways, back to work...

Check out this contest for YA writers. It could be your lucky break. =)

Oh, on a side note, I've discovered an interesting double standard while talking with some of my guy friends. According to them, it is acceptable for a man to look sloppy and/or fat, but not for a woman. Yet, similarly, it is okay for a woman to be unemployed and respectable at the same time, but not for a man. By their logic, the two balance each other out, and so illustrates (in the big picture) that sexism does not exist. I'm not saying I agree with them, but it is a new perspective for thought.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Still Day 6: Twilight Debate

Living in a college dorm practically screams mixed opinions. Many debates have arisen lately between the few who enjoy Twilight and the masses who don't. (Correlation of preference here: as age goes up, enjoyment goes down) The arguments on both sides are acceptable, but not always reasonable. For example, Edward Cullen is many things, but "retarded [censored]" is not one of them. As I type this blog, people around me are exchanging opinions.

My Thoughts:

I do not like Twilight, not as a book or as a movie. It is not the popularity; it is the buckets of corn it's managed to create out of modern teenage girls. People can no longer walk across campus without being lectured about "the ideal man", and anyone currently named "Edward" must now deal with the "reeeaaalllly?" and the "I'm sorry".
Unfortunately, many women have failed to recognize the fatal flaw in Edward Cullen: he is a cheesy prat. Pretend for one minute, ladies, that you are not Bella Swan, but one of her human friends. How would you feel if, after years of getting the cold shoulder from this guy, he instantly takes a liking to the new girl and starts spewing stuff about them being soul mates? Trash can, anyone?
That being said, I don't dislike Stephanie Meyer. In fact, I appreciate her. Quality characters or not, she's opened up the literary market to more Young Adult fiction. More people are buying books. More people are reading books. Education all around. So for that, she deserves a round of applause.

Day 6: Cover Trial and Rejection

Yesterday, I heard from one of my other queried agents, and she rejected my query. My first rejection; I was kind of excited. Now I have one partial, one full, one rejection, and one waiting. Patterns, anyone?

While taking a break from studying, I made this. I know I'm not allowed to pick my cover if I do get my book published, but it's something to look at while I dream.

Queries sent: 4
Responses: 3
Partial Requests: 1
Whole Manuscript Requests: 1
Query Rejections: 1
Partial rejections: 1