Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

As of this very moment Matt is sitting in the living room, waiting for me to come out so he can open his gifties.  I cheated and already opened most of mine.  Which I pretty much do every year so it isn't any different this year.  But for some reason he wanted to wait until Christmas morning.

I just wanted to get a jump on writing out thank you cards...

Okay that's a half lie.  Sometimes I just open the presents whenever I want.  So there.

Anyway, don't want to torture him any longer so I'm heading out but before going I really wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy, super Merry and joyful Christmas day!  And if this isn't the holiday you personally celebrate then I hope whatever that one is/was becomes the most awesome of celebrations too!

Its unlikely I'll be back over before the New Year as we're going to have some out of town company over the turn of the calendar so while I'm at it hope everyone enjoys their New Year's celebrations too.

This year I resolve to pay no attention to anything that sucks.  People, places, things, etc.  I only want to put focus on the best of stuff in the world and see where the ride takes me!

Enjoy the last few moments of 2011 everyone...bring it on 2012...

Love ,
Jenn (& of course Matt)

PS If I've disappeared lately its for two reasons...


And this:

After the New Year I'll share all the details about both I promise!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Where Have All the Tomboys Gone?

The other night I went to my second meeting with the Scottsdale society of Women Writers. This is quite a dynamic and enthusiastic group of women who all have the same common goal of writing, publishing and selling their work. At least those I’ve met are interested in that path. Many of them have already been published traditionally or have self-published. And self-publishing is an act that I’m coming to learn is slowly becoming more traditionally accepted form of publishing as well.

We sat around the good viewing side of the table, there were six of us at our table, and chatted while we waited for dinner to arrive and the leader of the group, Patricia, to get things kicked off for the night. I was wearing my name tag in guest red but had just joined that night and it felt great to know that next month I’d be sporting member blue; no longer just a guest but one of the people who can call herself a Writer. As we talked about the projects we’ve all worked on, our lives in general and what our current success has been in publishing, I suddenly realized that a few of the women at our table were asking me about the steps I’ve taken in publishing my novel.

I am not yet published, this first manuscript that I wrote during (the dare known as) NaNoWriMo in 2009 had its edits completed in mid-2010 and I’ve been shopping it ever since. My time doing research to find out the proper steps and ways to go about getting a 60,000 word Chick Lit novel into mainstream publication has armed me with a whole bunch of knowledge but no contract with an agency as of yet. But I still felt great that I could contribute to the smaller group at our table with a little bit of information on how they too could get their work out into the world. Maybe those yet unpublished authors at our table would find quicker success than I have and I hope they all go for it!

My book, I professed, is a specific sect of a specific genre. Generally when I make these kinds of statements the person I’m talking to nods and says “oh, that’s nice” but they don’t ask the follow up questions. These ladies asked exactly what genre it was, what makes it more niche-y and I was overjoyed to describe it! I need to create an elevator pitch as if I was the book talking, it will help with queries, so the more I can narrow down by saying it out loud the better.

I told them that it qualifies as Chick Lit but my female main character isn’t like typical girlie-girls. She’s not all about shoes and purses, she’s a tomboy who loves The Bruins and beer and jogs almost daily. One of the women at my table said “ooh, cool!” and I almost ran over across the table to hug her. It hit me in that moment that there have got to be hundreds, if not thousands, of women just like my main character out there. Women that would think a story about a tomboy and her friends hanging out at bars, building businesses, and finding love in Boston is cool. I mean, I’m that way. My character’s disposition and activities came out of my imagination so while she isn’t a carbon copy of me, there are still a whole lot of “she’s the me I’d be if I could create the dream me” moments.

I agreed that I thought it was pretty cool. It’s not likely I’ll ever write a girlie-girl story with a high heel wearing, Prada bag carrying, powerful and rich type of girl simply because that is not me.

So while I pondered the fact that there is a definite market out there for my work I started to wonder if I already know that entire network of people. In theory of course, I hope more than the few hundred women I know will enjoy my book. I guess I mean that if I’m a tomboy and most of the gals I know might also be considered tomboys it must be reasonable to deduce that there are many, many others out there too. Maybe even some Agents.

Next step: find an Agent who likes a good Porter and an Irish Townie who knows how to kiss, can’t live without hockey, and is there in a crisis for her friends regardless that she too is essentially in the middle of a crisis.

Or at least find an Agent who wants to read about that girl because although it nerves me, I can’t wait to stand in front of the group and talk about my soon to be published novel.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Landmarks, Boston Style

I was watching a Bruins game a few days ago and during a commercial when they panned around the Garden something hit me.  Many of our famous bronze statues and landmarks that we send tourists to check out are sports related.

Is this a regular thing in other cities too or are we unique in our fandom of sports? 

There are certainly the random-historical-dudes-on-horses statues in the Public Garden, Boston Common and other places.  But when they pan over the TD Garden sign & down to the ground during Bruins games the camera rests on the insanely popular, well photographed, and very cool bronze statue of Bobby Orr flying through the air during his famous shot. 

In fact the shot is so well known in Boston it is simply referred to as “The Goal”; I’d wager that hockey fans everywhere know about it though, not just those of us from Boston.

Ted Williams putting his huge cap on a little fan’s head is at the entrance to Fenway, and, as I said, Orr is at the entrance to the Garden but look around beyond major league stadiums and you’ll discover all kinds of neat bronze people. 

At the Roxbury Crossing station on the Orange Line of the T, tucked into a corner of the quad on the Northeastern campus, you’ll find a fantastic bronze sculpture of Cy Young.  Allegedly placed where the exact pitches were thrown from in the original baseball stadium, he’s one big guy watching over the students who come and go from class.

Take a walk down to Gate D at Boston College’s Alumni Stadium and you’ll come face to face with the brown, metallic version of one of the greatest football players ever to grace New England with his talent on two teams – the BC Eagles and the Patriots – Doug Flutie.

Head to Quincy Market to catch Red Auerbach hanging on a bench, hop the Green Line to Kenmore and catch a pass from a bronzed Harry Agganis outside the arena named for him, and if you happen to run the Boston Marathon be sure to locate the statue of George V. Brown in Hopkinton as he stands ready to tell you to go.

Not only are there players, coaches, directors and inspirational people associated with Boston sports sprinkled all over the city but there is actually an entire tour dedicated to the thrill of finding some of them!  It’s called The Boston Sports Trail and quite possibly as important (if not more important) to the residents of town than the Freedom Trail or and other historical landmark. 

Mostly because in Boston, the sports are a historical landmark!

If you want to get more info on The Boston Sports Trail for next time you’re wondering what to do on a random Saturday afternoon, you can check out this link on  Not everything I mentioned above is even on this trail, but there is also a lot more than I mentioned in this post, so I definitely suggest digging into your Google searches for the bronze gods & goddesses of Boston and hunt down even more sports greats on your own!

All I can say is I know what I’m doing next time I’m visiting my hometown!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Tale of the Pop Princess Turned Novelist

I’m not progressive, edgy, hipster, or any of the other things that used to separate a person from the crowd of “cool” kids and now in some miraculous twist of fate, they allegedly make you the cool kid. I like boys and cheezy girlie heartstring type romance stories. I like comedy and the color fuchsia. I like pop music, a good hook, and lyrics that have absolutely nothing to do with anything.

And you know what? I saw “Chasing Amy”, I know that “Idiosyncratic Routine” doesn’t get as many fans as “Bluntman & Chronic” but Adams' character had fans. People did actually line up at the front of her table and ask her to sign their comic book. She wasn’t completely cynical and bitchy like Lee’s character but she also wasn’t an idiot like Affleck’s character either. She kind of fell somewhere right in the middle.

That’s the type of writer I’m aiming to be – just edgy enough it will keep all the cool kids interested in today’s have-to-have-it-last-week society, but also hopeful enough so the people who still believe in love will have a sense of everything being right with the world. Ah, balance.

And that’s exactly what my book is so I think it is high time the thing gets published. Seriously, I’m just sooooo sick of talking about it being in the pre-published stage. I want to start talking about it in the published sense! That manner where I tell people to come to my book signing, go to buy it, perhaps even load on your eReaders.

Must. Garner. Agent.

I had queried an agent that I thought sounded PERFECT for this project, she’s semi-cynical, but fun, and just reading her blog I knew our personalities would mesh. That is very important because I can’t have an agent, and she can’t have me as a client, if we don’t get each other. She’s going to be like my BFF, boss, Psychiatrist, the person who hangs up on me and the person who fish-slaps me back to reality for the next (God willing) 10-20 years. 

Its like a marriage of sorts when you set up a long-term Agent relationship.  Or so I'm told, I would like to find out.

About seven weeks ago I sent her a pretty nicely crafted query for my MS and in her auto responder it specifically says that if it’s been more than six weeks to go ahead and nudge her with a re-query.

Okay now I’m a little nervous. I’ve never done that before. Most agents say that if you don’t hear from them there’s pretty much a reason for it. Yeah, you know the reason. But I knew from the start this Agent was a little different – like I said, kind of like me which is why I was drawn to her to begin with. Plus she handles Chick Lit. Plus we’re similar in age so that 10-20 year thing could actually be a reality.

So basically I don’t want to go and fuck it up now. I don’t want to not re-query and have my letter out in the abyss, but at the same time what if she sent me back a form rejection the first time? And then she simply forwards that without so much as a personalized 'sorry you didn't get my hell no the first time'.  Could my poor little recoculous Writer’s ego take that kind of a hit when I’m already planning what kind of basket I’ll send her to thank her once we’re on the shelf at B&N or wherever?


I’m going to do it, and I’m just going to get it out of the way right now. I’m going to trust my gut instinct and send out what I feel to be right. And then if nothing else at least I can say I didn’t sacrifice who I am just to get this project off the ground floor. But I can still keep my fantasies of celebrating our birthdays together over a cup of tea as we laugh about how we became rich and famous together.

And I promise, I’ll keep the cursing to a minimum.

In the query at least.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Proofreading, Just One More Service I Provide

I think there is a huge market out there that should be looking to me to help them and I’m offering those services starting today. That market is, specifically, the people who post content online but clearly have no clue how to re-read, review, or proofread their own work for mistakes. Or perhaps they are just too lazy and don’t care.

Can someone please explain to me how these people maintain a readership and sell thousands of self-published books every year? Perhaps they would have an even bigger following and sell even more if they were able to make the best possible use of the English language. I am here to help them get there.

In the many years I’ve been online I’ve started to notice a trend where people post things they clearly never read through a second time (let alone a third or more) and mistakes are blindingly evident. One of the first places I saw it occurring on a regular basis was job postings.

Nothing made me want to scream more than reading through a job posting that was asking someone to be “detail orientated”. After a while I started applying for jobs by editing their job posting and emailing the revised version back to them with a copy of my resume.

It made me feel great knowing I was helping them even if they never took advantage of the changes I had suggested (I never really went back to look). I felt I was the detail oriented candidate they were allegedly looking for so it naturally surprised me when I didn’t land a single one of those jobs. Go figure.

Now, the writers of online content have upped the ante. Yes, I said Writers. I’m starting to question if perhaps what I should have been doing back then was posting my resume to include all those website links that I proofread and edited for spelling and grammar because not only is it still happening in places like Monster, but Writers are doing it too. Again, yes, I said Writers.

Writers not knowing how to spell? Writers not proofing their own blog post at least once before it goes out on the internet? Writers that are selling thousands of copies of their book on Amazon, have people complimenting their posts and all the while they can’t format a complete structured sentence???

Yes I’m on a soapbox. Yes I totally hold myself to a higher standard in my own writing. Yes I also acknowledge the fact that I definitely write in a conversational tone on my blog and uber literary types probably cringe at my work sometimes. But at least I flipping know how to spell definitely.

So that’s it. I’ve had it with reading articles every morning that alleged Writers have posted, just to become frustrated; popping a vein because it reads like a third grader’s paper.


And no I’m not sorry for shouting, this shit is serious.

I’m saying it out loud, here and now, that I am available for hire. I truly want to help you to be better. Please, for the love of WORDS, just send me your work before you put it out on the internet. I will do my best to make it read professionally. I’m not even going to charge a lot, just get me at my fiverr listing and I'll start working to proof and edit your 2000 word piece. My turn time will be quick. I’ll pull a contract together and all that happy crap. You can just send me money through PayPal.

This is a service I’m willing to provide for the following types of content:
• Blog posts
• School papers (15 pages or less, over 15 let’s talk)
• Articles
• Interviews you’ve done
• Merchandise listings
• Other stuff just email me

Please, please, PLEASE help me clean up the internet’s bulk of information to read more smoothly. In this world of acronyms we can’t let the placement of them in sentences, or the spelling of words around them, to exhibit lessened intelligence.

Hire me today.

randomlunacy11 at yahoo dot com