2.04.2011

A Touch of Masochism and other stories

A query letter, as I understand it, should be in the range of 250-350 words. At this moment, mine is at 355. One of my spare documents contains over 5700 words of cut-and-pasted failures. As for the amount of time it has taken, I couldn't say; a half hour here, two hours there, again and again over the course of several months.

But if getting published is an Olympic sport—the closest analogy I've come up with—such an investment of time makes sense. I'm preparing for the qualifying race.

That, at least, is what I tell myself when I start worrying about using time wisely.

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A couple of weeks ago, I linked to blogger Darcy's excellent post on emotional purity. Darcy continued the series with stories from readers and then a gracious conclusion, so for anyone interested, those are worth a read. As I said before, my own parents understood grace enough to get free from the dangerous ideas before they did real harm to our family. But I know too many stories...

Along the same lines: former Quiverfull daughter Hillary McFarland has a beautiful blog, Quivering Daughters, devoted to the encouragement of girls who grew up in authoritarian families. Eric Pazdziora, who sometimes comments here, writes guest posts there from time to time.

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Maia napped on my lap yesterday afternoon as I worked, and around midafternoon I got sleepy. I took a break and turned on a couple of YouTube videos. She twisted her head around, rested her chin on my hand and watched the videos with me.

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Writers' link of the week: A keynote address by Rick Riordan, on the top five misconceptions of writing. A quote:
About five years ago NPR did a survey of people walking through a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Washington D.C. The question they asked: Do you think you have a novel inside you? 81% said yes. But what separates the idea from the reality? A lot of insanity and a touch of masochism.
The rest is very much worth reading, an excellent depiction of the realities of the writing life. If you read through the whole thing and you still want to be a writer, you probably already are one. If you finish the piece absolutely thrilled about writing and the idea of someday being an author... well, you and I have a lot in common. :)

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Music of the week: My sisters and I used to do this sort of thing. And the only reason we never did Mumford & Sons, I'm sure, is that the band didn't exist back then. It's been probably six years or more since we sang together regularly. I was always the girl with the guitar.



I can't begin to say how much I miss that.

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Funny of the week: Cake Wrecks meets the Superbowl. I'm rooting for the sparkles. Also, I think Sauron would probably take Voldemort in a fight.

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Off, as usual, to clean house... and cook dinner... and write a query letter and work on revisions. Have a great weekend, everyone!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the link and the shout-out to QD. Hillary also has a lovely book, available on the website, that is a must-read if the subject is remotely interesting.

    In a less irenic tone, Evil Editor offers hilarious but instructive mockery of volunteer's query letters. (I'd recommend starting with his FAQ to get up to speed.)

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  2. Well, I've probably got a novel inside me & I've got a touch of insanity & I think I can do the masochism thing but just not in regards to writing. My infliction of pain involves reading Christian blogs & also sometimes non-Christian blogs & then wanting to swear off the Internet for good as a way to converse with people.

    I skimmed through Darcy's blog post & skimmed through the Quivering Daughters one too. I guess my concern would be that in rejecting one thing we don't swing all the way into rejecting another, proper thing.

    That is to say, there's nothing wrong with encouraging purity & holding it out as the standard. Especially in this day & age when young people are encouraged to be anything but pure & chaste. But it's also not as simple as giving out a list of twenty rules of purity & never looking or talking to a member of the opposite sex until one day you wake up magically married to Mr. or Mrs. Right.

    In the same way, there's a difference between being authoritarian & between exercising authority. Our world has a hard time distinguishing between the two anymore, especially in regard to paternal authority.

    Maia probably needed a break yesterday too. Napping, after all, is hard work. Which is why cats often have to take a nap to rest up from their nap. :)

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  3. Eric, Evil Editor... haha. I'll have to spend some time on his site. Also, I've considered getting Hillary's book, both for myself and other people. It might just happen.

    George, I couldn't agree more. I was fine with linking to Darcy and Hillary without qualification only because neither of them has left their faith and neither is advocating the popular lifestyle.

    Regarding your first paragraph: LOL. I'm glad you haven't sworn off my blog. I like your comments. ;) And Maia's napping as we speak.

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