Posted by Anna Campbell Nov 10 2011, 12:02 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, Facebook, Social Media, Twitter, writer's life
by Anna Campbell
Do you Twitter?
Well, I assume if you’re a wren or a finch, you probably do. But we don’t get a lot of comments from our avian visitors. Even the Rooster is too busy creating mayhem to spend much time hanging around the daily blog. By the way, if you’re a fowl and you’re just lurking, come and say hello. We promise to add some cracked wheat to the margaritas! On the other hand if you’re just foul, we’re happy for you to remain incognito.
I long resisted joining Twitter. Partly because when I joined Facebook, for a while there, it took over my life. Eventually I had a word with myself and my deadline and realized I was allowed to dabble but not hang on all day to see all the jokes and the funny pictures of dogs and the “It’s fine in South Carolina” posts that kept me so riveted. So with great difficulty, I weaned myself to a peek now and then. Well, maybe a LEETLE more than that but at least real life (compared to cyberlife) now occasionally gets a look-in.
Then Facebook did a bad, bad thing (without unfortunately dressing up as Chris Izaak to give me the news) and banned contests. I’d been having a wonderful time building up the membership of my fan page and meeting lots of new readers and suddenly that avenue wasn’t open to me anymore.
So in high dudgeon (my dudgeon is usually of the miniature variety), I decided to investigate Twitter after all.
It’s taken me a while to get the hang of it but I must say I really like it. The short message thing really works and it’s a wonderful spot just to do a blast of news about something like a prize on the Bandits or a new book by a friend of mine. I still find long conversations work better on Facebook, although I certainly see people who have extended chats on Twitter. It’s also great for finding out little snippets from all over the world. As a museum geek, I’ve signed up to all sorts of interesting places like the Metropolitan Museum. They have a lovely habit of featuring photos of their costume collection for my viewing pleasure. And I love being able to retweet an interesting post or good news or something that takes my fancy.
One of the really fun things about Twitter is that every so often someone famous follows me and I have no bloomin’ idea why I hit their radar. This morning it was Kevin Costner for me. I kid you not! KEVIN COSTNER!
You also find out interesting things so it’s educational. Current affairs. Publishing news. I’m following a site that gives the complete works of Shakespeare line by line. We’re on THE WINTER’S TALE at the moment. And these days, most of my breaking news comes from Twitter.
Just in case you Twitter, here are some useful links:
Anna Campbell https://twitter.com/#!/AnnaCampbelloz
Romance Bandits (and check out the individual bandits too – most of us Twitter with bells on, which can get VERY noisy) https://twitter.com/#!/RomanceBandits
Metropolitan Museum of Art https://twitter.com/#!/metmuseum
I Am Shakespeare: https://twitter.com/#!/IAM_SHAKESPEARE
And if you’d like to join my Facebook Page, it’s: http://www.facebook.com/AnnaCampbellFans
I sing the praises of Twitter!
So do you Twitter? Do you Facebook? What do you think of social media in general? Wonderful opportunity for international understanding, the devil’s handmaiden or just a lot of useless noise?
And because I’ve been suffering contest withdrawal, I thought I’d do a giveaway (in a way that won’t annoy Facebook). You all get two chances to win this one. Join my Facebook Fan Page (or tell me you’re already a member) and you get one entry. Follow me on Twitter (or tell me you already follow me) and you get another entry. TWO commenters win a book today, your choice from my backlist (see Books page on my website http://annacampbell.info/books.html if you need help choosing). Good luck! I’ll announce the winners tomorrow night!
Posted by crocodesigns Sep 13 2011, 3:00 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, writer's life
Thank you so much to everyone who kept the blog going on Saturday when I was off having a wonderful time at the Brisbane Writers Festival!
Just to let you know I’ve swung by and answered all the comments – what fun to hear about all your best-laid schemes going oft agley!
The two winners of their choice of my backlist are:
Congratulations, girls! Please email me on anna @ annacampbell.info (no spaces) and let me know which book you’d like. If you need help to choose, please check out my books page: http://annacampbell.info/books.html
Posted by crocodesigns Sep 10 2011, 4:02 am in Anna Campbell, Backlist, Bandita Booty, Mammoth Book of Ghost Romance, writer's life
by Anna Campbell
Welcome to the launch of…
What’s that you say?
Guys, so very, very sorry but we were meant to have one of the infamous lair launches today (in fact people have started calling the Banditas the ladies who launch).
We had the cabana boys on standby. Extra margaritas. Deck chairs lined up with Sven on duty for massages. We’ll just have to have a party anyway!
Sadly, publication of THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF GHOST ROMANCE which I was so looking forward to introducing today has been delayed until late next year. You’ll all have to wait to meet Calista and Miles and Isabella and Josiah. Goodness me, they’ll have to wait for their happy endings too which is MUCH harder on them, I’m sure!
I was all geared up to tell the world about “The Chinese Bed”, my story in the anthology, including a contest on my website (thank you to the people who have entered – you’re already automatically entered in the replacement contest where I’m giving five people their choice from my backlist).
Do you know where the quote “the best-laid schemes” comes from? It’s a poem by Robbie Burns called To a Mouse, on Turning Her up in her Nest with a Plough:
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men
Gang aft agley,
An ‘lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
Hmm, not sure if the cabana boys count as mice or men – Paolo looks scared most of the time. And after a few margaritas, I’ll feel neither grief nor pain!
Actually I think the mouse in the poem has come along to offer her condolences. Either that or Ermingarde hasn’t been undertaking her rat-catching duties the way she’s supposed to. Sheesh, you can’t get good help these days!
I had originally planned on doing a giveaway of the anthology here today (another best-laid scheme that went agley). But hey, why should you suffer? Two commenters today will win their choice from my backlist (which explains the covers illustrating the blog). If you’re not sure which book you’d like, please check out my books page on my website: http://annacampbell.info/books.html
Just tell me about a best-laid scheme of yours that went astray and you’ll go in the draw.
Speaking of best-laid schemes, I’m away at the Brisbane Writers Festival this weekend so I may only be around sporadically (no, not because I’m drowning my sorrows in a barrel of margaritas or a barrel of cabana boys – you guys have SUCH naughty imaginations!). But I WILL get back, promise!
Now, where did that mouse get to?
Posted by Caren Crane Jun 12 2011, 5:01 am in Caren Crane, childhood memories, life events, memories, photographs, Significant Milestones, writer's life
by Caren Crane
I had a lovely daughter graduate from high school yesterday and it was one of those Significant Milestones that should be Caught On Film. I have a few pictures, most of which I am not in because I was taking the pictures, but I have some. They are now held hostage on my digital camera because I am too…let’s not call it lazy, rather unwilling to take the time to upload all the pictures to my PC (although I did this one time, just to have a picture for this blog post!).
I have masses of picture prints from other Significant Milestones sitting in boxes in my dining room and guest room closet. (My husband would have consigned them to the attic and did not understand they would be ruined by being stored there!) I have no plans for these pictures, except to take them out from time to time and look at them or share them with others in the pictures. “Oh, look how cute they were then!”
I do not scrapbook (which I need to, because I’ll forget this picture was Rachel’s last day of school someday). I don’t make cheesy photo collages to hang on the wall of the stairwell. There are no lines of framed school pictures from kindergarten through graduation on a mantle or wall or dresser in my home. I do have photos I have stuck in frames from time to time, more from shame and fear of being the Worst Mother Ever than any other motivation. I also have a very fragile and changeable collage of photos covering my fridge (ask anyone who has been to the house!) that spans the past couple of decades. I think there is even a baby picture of me up there!
I have great photos that I feel I should do something with, but I realize I probably won’t. I may get them scanned one day – or I may give them to one of my kids to scan one day (seems much more likely). I don’t want to lose them or be without them. I also would love for my kids to do what I still do at my mother’s house: take down the boxes of photos and sift through them, remembering, laughing and smiling. Come to think of it, my mother never made scrapbooks or memory albums either. She tossed packets of photos in a drawer or box and still has them there. Maybe it’s hereditary – or maybe, like me, she’s just not a visually-oriented person. Then again, I’ve never thought she was the Worst Mom Ever, either. I am always thrilled to sift through and unearth the treasures that await me in her precious boxes.
So maybe I’ll upload my photos to a memory stick and take them to Walgreens and have those Significant Milestones turned into pieces of colored paper. Then I’ll stick them in a box, put them in the closet, shut the door and let them age a bit. By the time they are pulled out, sifted through, smiled over, laughed at and remembered, they will be Treasured Memories. I may even be in a few of them!
Do you make memory albums or scrapbooks or do you toss the photos in a box or file or drawer? Any particularly wonderful photos from your own Significant Milestones you would like to tell us about?
Posted by Anna Campbell Dec 10 2010, 5:10 am in Anna Campbell, Five Things, New Zealand, travel, writer's life
by Anna Campbell
..to a Desert Island!
When this post comes up into the light of the lair, I’ll be heading for the end of my wonderful two-week cruise on the ‘Pacific Dawn’ (that’s it on the left) to New Zealand.
I’m so excited about this. In return for giving a couple of talks about romance writing, I get a free cruise. How cool is that?
I’ve never been on a cruise before and I’ve always wanted to go to New Zealand. So all round, it’s wonderful. I look forward to sharing lots of photos with you in next month’s Bandita blog.
I even went wild and bought a digital camera for the trip. It takes me forever to adopt new technology – which may turn out to be the subject of a future blog. Perhaps called Lugging the Luddite!
I’ll be stoked if I take a shot as pretty as the one of New Zealand’s South Island on the right! Isn’t that beautiful? Wow!
So needless to say, I’m in the throes of packing because I leave on Saturday (it’s the 25th November here right now – Happy Thanksgiving!). So far, I have a huge number of Anna Campbell books for giveaways, and ten books from the TBR for me to read, and all my Christmas cards to write, and the work in progress which I’m hoping is going to get some attention in amongst all the excitement. And I need lots of the sort of clothes I wear at RWA conferences. Thank goodness, it’s a boat and there’s no excess luggage charges!
So as I started putting out all this stuff that I’m taking with me, I wondered what were the five things I’d take to a desert island. And I came up with:
1. Richard Armitage (hopefully he can build and hunt and light fires and do plumbing and foot massages!)
2. A year’s worth of Smith’s potato chips, especially barbecue flavor
4. 50 cases of champagne (hmm, I’m starting to like the sound of this island!)
5. MOBY DICK. Because while Richard is off catching dinner, I might actually read it in the absence of other entertainment
OK, what five things would you take to a desert island?
Oh, and if you want the Banditas as company, we count as one item. Oh, man, perhaps I should take the Banditas and their cohorts instead of MOBY DICK. We’d have a WHALE of a time!
As this is my last post for the year, I’d like to wish you and yours a very happy Holiday Season.
Thank you so much for all your wonderful support during the year. And thank you to all my wonderful Bandita sisters. You and the Bandita buddies are definitely something I give thanks for, not just today which happens to be Thanksgiving, but every minute of the year.
See you all next year!
Oh, and now for the bad news – I’m not sure what email access I’ll have on the ship so I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to respond to comments.
But hey, guys, party on!
Posted by crocodesigns Jul 18 2010, 4:27 am in Aunty Cindy explains it all for you, multi-tasking, writer's life
posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy
About a year ago, I stumbled across an online site that calculated a more complete horoscope than just your sun sign. In addition to being a Sagittarius with Aquarius rising, one of my other important ‘houses’ (and of course I don’t remember which one) was in Libra. Maybe this is why I’m constantly trying to find balance.
I have this tendency to go overboard (I know, I know, no surprise) in certain areas. And I’ve learned from vast prior experience that the “too much of a good thing” definitely applies to me. So when my natural enthusiasm (and any horoscope book or site will tell you, we Sagis are always enthusiastic) for something new gets a bit out of hand, I find myself working hard to counter balance.
In my everyday pursuits, I can often go too far in one direction or the other. I used to ‘pull all-nighters’ in the reading and writing arenas. Or I invested waay too much time and effort on a particular project. Or I decided to add avocados to very dish I prepared because they were just sooo darn tasty, and they were on sale so I bought fifteen!
Getting the picture?
So what has this got to do with writing? A few things, actually.
Back in the “good ole days” when I wrote in and around my Dreaded Day Job (where I invested too much time and effort), I started many a story. I LURVED the idea, the characters, the setting and I would rush home from work, nuke some dinner and write for an hour or two before I had to put myself and the child to bed. On the weekends, I’d spend every spare moment scribbling (yes, I had little or no social life).
This writing frenzy usually lasted about four or five weeks before I burnt myself out. Then after a few weeks of actually catching up on housework, yard work, and family obligations, I’d get another story idea and the same scenario would repeat itself. It was only after I left the DDJ that I learned how to balance my writing and the other aspects of my life. And I actually FINISHED manuscripts!
Alas, that was not the end of my balancing act.
Once I had finished the first draft and started revisions, the perfectionism set in. Maybe I have Virgo in one of my astrological houses too, because I could not leave my manuscripts alone. Actually, I wasn’t so much a perfectionist as I was a tinkerer. Every time I got ready to send something out, whether to an editor, agent, or critique partner, I’d see something I just had to change.
It was only after I joined the ranks of published authors that I finally overcame my tinkeritis. Deadlines will do that to you. So in this case, it was a matter of finding my balance or DIE! (That’s another thing about us Sagis, we tend to be slightly over-dramatic.) I gradually learned to embrace the mantra of ‘doing the best I can at that point in time.’ A much better alternative than adapt or die!
Now that I’ve moved into the heady realm of multi-published author, I’m struggling to keep my balance again. At this time last year, I’d just finished writing the first draft of Book #3 when I went to RWA National in Washington DC. While I was there, I signed copies and talked about Book #1, while at the same time I was planning the promotional tour for Book #2 (which started in August)! ACK!! Do you see why I was tipsy without tasting even a wee drop?
I survived that craziness none the worse for wear. But now I’m at it again! For the past three weeks I’m been on a wild and crazy blog tour for The Wild Irish Sea. Yes, it’s been fun but also exhausting. Plus it has seriously cut into my writing time for my current work-in-progress. Oh, and did I mention I’ve also been on the great agent search? ACK!!!
I really had NO CLUE how much more than simply writing a good story was involved in this publishing game. But, of course, now that I’m in up to my arm-pits, I’m not about to stop. Seeing my books on the shelf and hearing from readers who have enjoyed my stories is even better than those yummy avocados! But I desperately need to work on my balancing act.
This multi-tasking is highly over-rated!
So this is where I call on my Banditas and all the BBs for help. What do you do to maintain or regain your balance? Yoga? Color-coded agendas? Lamaze breathing?
Any and ALL suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Posted by Susan Sey Jan 31 2010, 5:05 am in Money Honey, Susan Sey, writer's life
by Susan Sey
I hit a writing milestone just before Christmas. I turned in Book 2 on my first contract. Now you’d think Book 1 would be the milestone, wouldn’t you? The first one, the big kahuna. The one that merited The Call we writers love to talk about for years and years to come. But I’ll tell you the truth–it’s Book 2 that I’m really proud of.
And why am I prouder of Book 2 than Book 1? Because I wrote Book 1 (Money, Honey, coming July 6 from Berkley Sensation–have I mentioned that?) under absolutely no pressure. Nobody cared if I wrote it, nobody cared if I finished it, nobody cared what I did between “once upon a time” and “happily ever after.” It was my book, my baby, & somebody–goodness only knows why–liked it enough to buy it. That was lucky. Not that I’m knocking luck–I’m darn grateful for it–but with Book 1, I presented the publishing world with a done deal.
Book 2, though? That’s a different story. That one you write with somebody looking over your shoulder from start to finish. It’s the one you have to outline before you write, & get the outline approved. Then you have to write something approximating the outline, and pray you’ve managed to turn the outline into a story that has even a little bit of the verve & charm that sold people on the first book.
It wasn’t easy, I’ll tell you that much. I wrote Book 2 two separate times–not two drafts so much as in two completely separate books. I wrote it the first time in about eight months. I wrote it the second time in two months. I don’t recall anything between Halloween & Christmas, I truly do not. But I finally got it right. I did the work & I’m proud of it.
I thought I was in for a well-deserved vacation but my agent has recently informed me that we should now be thinking about what we want to propose to my editor for a follow up to Book 2 (now sitting on her desk awaiting jugment.) So for the past two weeks, I’ve been racking my addled brains for fresh story ideas. For some gorgeous, high-concept pitch that’s going to convince the powers that be to take another flier on me in an economy that (to put it politely) blows.
I’ll tell you this–for all the flack romance gets for being formulaic, this was not as easy as it should have been. If there’s a secret formula out there for writing a best-selling romance, will somebody please send it my way?
In fact, hey, why don’t you? If you had to write a recipe for your perfect romance novel, what would it look like? Do you like your heros dark & broody? Funny & smart? Dangerous & suave? What about your heroines? Shy & sheltered? Kick butt & unapologetic? When a dog takes center stage, do you cringe or melt? Give us the skinny!
Posted by Anna Campbell Jan 10 2010, 5:02 am in Anna Campbell, housework, Neil Young, Rust Never Sleeps, writer's life
by Anna Campbell
When I was in my third year at Queensland University in Brisbane, I moved out of residential college and into a dilapidated old wooden house on stilts across the river from the uni.
It was a really magical year for me, still one I look back at as one of my happiest ever. I used to get the ferry to uni – how cool is that? I did a lot of wild and wonderful things – much research for future romance writing! Snork!
I shared the house with two other girls and one of them – let’s call her Katrina largely because that was her name – had a huge craze on Neil Young.
Perhaps I was out and about so much because I really, REALLY didn’t take to his music and in a rickety old house, we couldn’t escape each other’s musical tastes. Which was a slight problem when our original friend moved out and a cello student moved in. It sounds romantic to live with a musician – believe me, all those scales and technical exercises lose their charm pretty quickly. Like within five minutes!
Of course, anyone who shares a house with me is completely privileged to listen to classical music (at the time, I was into very noisy opera – yes, women with horns superglued to their helmets!) or David Bowie or Human League or world music or whatever else I played. But that’s another story.
Anyway, one of those endless, lugubrious Neil Young albums (in complete contrast to my endless, lugubrious operas) was called RUST NEVER SLEEPS. Oh, man, did that man need someone to come and tickle him! He was not a happy bunny!
In my life since, RUST NEVER SLEEPS has turned into DUST NEVER SLEEPS.
Housework is on my mind at the moment because for the past couple of months, I’ve had a string of visitors. I love having visitors, especially at this time of year when you can sit out drinking under the pergola and look at the lake and then go for a swim to cool off. But as sure as eggs, visitors means I have to clean the house.
OUCHY OUCHY OUCHY OUCH!!!!
I firmly believe housework can kill you. And as proof, I offer this picture. Wilhelmina Jane Smith, shown here, was a healthy, happy, vigorous shop dummy until she picked up that vacuum cleaner. And then it was all over, Red Rover! R.I.P., Wilhelmina!
At least death by vacuuming is quick. Poor devils tortured with the sponge mop can linger for days before they finally achieve a merciful release.
One thing I really hate about housework (and believe me, the list is long!) is that you do it, everything looks fabulous, Vogue Interiors could take photos of the shine in your tiles. And that lasts for all of about five minutes! It’s entirely frustrating! Then the place is back to looking like an angry bear has been through it on a rampage. Which means you just have to turn around and do it all again. Completely inefficient!
Is there any housework I don’t mind doing? Actually I don’t mind ironing which is odd as it’s a job a lot of people REALLY hate. I make a cup of tea, I put on some music, and just go off into my own world while I do it. It’s rather Zen! I wouldn’t say I love it, but it’s not a complete pain. And I’m delighted that now I work from home, I don’t actually DO very much ironing.
Um, what else? There must be something else…
Tidying the bookcases. Love anything to do with the bookcases.
Laundry. I actually don’t mind doing laundry. I love the clean, fresh smell of washing straight off the line on a sunny day.
No, I think that’s it for household chores I don’t mind.
As far as chores I hate, I despise cleaning the bathroom. And sadly, that’s one you can’t get out of. Unless you expect your visitors to run screaming in horror from the ghoulish vision. That’s even a job I have to do when I’m NOT getting visitors.
I think the only thing that will ever get me enthusiastic about housework is something like the picture on the right. Snork!
So are you a great housekeeper? What’s your favorite job in the house? What’s your least favorite job in the house? Are you a ‘house is tidy all the time person’? Or are you a ‘scramble to tidy the chaos once the visitors arrive’ kinda gal? And are you a Neil Young fan? Perhaps we could arrange for Hunky Hal (above) to tickle Mr. Young with the feather duster!
Posted by Anna Campbell Oct 10 2009, 4:30 am in 1980s, Anna Campbell, Cyndi Lauper, Depeche Mode, Katrina and the Waves, Martha and the Muffins, music, Soft Cell, T-shirts, writer's life
by Anna Campbell
This morning, I was wandering around the house trying to get enthused about doing some work. I had the TV on to one of those video channels on cable TV.
I heard this short electronic fanfare and suddenly Just Can’t Get Enough by Depeche Mode was playing. My morning suddenly started to sparkle. It’s such a happy song and it never fails to make me smile.
So I started to think of other songs that always make me smile. I thought, for the sake of brevity, I’d stick to the 80s. Partly because that’s when I was as up with current popular music as I’m ever likely to be. Partly because I was of an age (early 20s) when the music around at the time really sticks with you!
Maybe also because a lot of ’80s music is just happy anyway.
One of the songs that always makes me smile from that decade is Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. Maybe because I was a girl and I wanted to have fun! I loved Cyndi Lauper – never really took to Madonna who was the other really big female star of the time. That song is such a buzz!
Actually girl singers back then had some great feel-good songs out then. Who can forget Katrina and the Waves’ Walking on Sunshine? Or what about the Go-Gos and Our Lips Are Sealed? Walk Like an Egyptian will probably make a lot of lists but I got SOOOO sick of that one so I groan instead of smile these days when I hear it.
Other songs from the ’80s that invariably lift my spirits include Ant Music by Adam and the Ants, Echo Beach by Martha and the Muffins (“My job is very boring, I’m an office clerk!”) and probably my favorite of all, Tainted Love by Soft Cell. I’m not at all surprised that wonderful song was sampled recently for a number one single. But nothing beats this version. Marc Almond’s aching falsetto is full of pain and anger but somehow that driving rhythm puts this song into feel-good territory.
And speaking of falsetto so high only dogs can hear it, what about Take on Me by A-Ha? Yet again, you hear that keyboard intro and your life starts playing in a major key! Because I was living in London and didn’t have a TV when this was a hit, I didn’t see the video until a couple of years ago. I still think it’s really clever with the mixture of animation and real action.
Oh, and another song that inevitably makes me smile is Feargal Sharkey’s A Good Heart. Not sure why, perhaps because I was traveling at the time and it brings back great memories, but it definitely falls into the making Anna feel good category.
So what are your feel-good songs? They don’t have to be from the 80s! Let’s dance our way through the day! Oh, and if you click on any of the songs, you get to see the groovy videos!
Posted by crocodesigns Aug 18 2009, 6:29 am in Aunty Cindy explains it all for you, The Treasures of Venice, writer's life
posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy
While certain other Banditas were busy cavorting around Europe (AHEM!), Aunty came home from RWA National and had to sequester herself deep in the writing caves of the Lair in order to meet a deadline. Well, I no sooner extricated myself from the deep dark recesses than I was called to Jury Duty!
HRUMPH! I scarcely had time for a brief neck massage from Sven before I had to do my civic duty and show up at the county courthouse at the horrifyingly unholy hour of 8 a.m. Now everyone who has spent more than five minutes here in the Lair knows that there are very few things that will entice Aunty to pry her eyes open at such an early hour. Cruises, flights to exotic locations in far away time zones, and scantily clad hunks all fit into this category. Doing ones civic duty by participating in jury selection does NOT! It is not that Aunty is opposed in any way to our fine judicial system with a right to a speedy and fair trial, but PLEASE, start at a bit more civilized hour.
After arriving promptly at the county courthouse, it quickly became clear to me why very few courtroom dramas, be they books or movies, mention the jury selection process. For the most part, the whole thing is BOOORRRRING! A classic case study in “Hurry Up and Wait.”
First there’s the long wait in the shuffling check-in line along with the other 299 people who were told to report at the exact same time. UGH! Then it’s time to wait for names to be called for the first panel. The clock drags ever so slowly while a movie is started on the overhead TV (a comedy with Robin Williams which I’ve already seen and did not find amusing). Eventually, three panels are called and I’m not on any of them.
Just when I started to think I’d get a lunch break without being called, a third round of names is announced and I’m in it. I walked to the elevators along with the 59 others, then waited to be let into the designated courtroom. After about fifteen endless minutes, we were allowed inside where once again, there are not enough seats, so 20 names were called to sit in what the judge refered to as “the bleachers” (the jury box and a row of seats in front of it). I wasn’t one of the chosen 20.
The judge started to lecture all of us on “presumed innocence” and “burden of proof” before he decided it was time for lunch and turned us all out for an hour and a half. Blessed relief! All 60 of us arrived back promptly. The judge and his assistants and the two attorneys did not. After another interminable 20 minutes, we are called back into the courtroom and the endless questioning of individual jurors began. Everyone in the jury box got asked the same questions over and over, and everyone gave basically the same answers over and over.
Those of us not in “the bleachers” began to nod off. The judge noticed and gave us a ten minute break. When we returned, roughly half the people in “the bleachers” were let go and eleven more names called to replace them. Lucky me, I wound up in the second group. Now I had to actually appear semi-conscious. But I lucked out again, and the judge decided to send us home early and told everyone remaining (in both the audience and the bleachers) to be back at 9 a.m. tomorrow.
I did appreciate the extra hour of sleep, but was still not happy when I returned the next morning. Most of my fellow potential jurors seemed to share my opinion, especially after twenty, then thirty, then forty minutes passed while we all sat in the hallway. Finally at 9:45, the judge’s assistant opened the door of the courtroom and told us we were all dismissed. Turns out the defendant ‘cut a deal’ with the district attorney while we all cooled our heels! ARGH!!!
All right, now that I’ve finished my whiny tale of woe, I’ll admit that I couldn’t escape the parallels of jury selection and writing.
First, you work and slave weeks and months over your baby/masterpiece until you have it in a resonably readable shape. Time to start the submission process! First you craft (with the help of your CPs and other writer-buddies) a flawlessly clever query letter, which you dutifully send off to meticulously researched agents and/or editors.
Then comes the hurry up and wait part!
With any luck at all, you will hear back from your query somewhere between six hours and six weeks. Again, with some small modicum of luck, you will receive at least one positive response, and you will then send off your partial manuscript and synopsis. This time, your wait will most likely range from six weeks to six months, maybe longer.
Now you will need a very large measure of luck and the correct star-allignment in order to receive the much coveted “request for a full.” After screaming and telling all your online and in-person friends and unsuspecting family members, you hurry up and send your entire manuscript.
Weeks and months crawl by as you try not to think about your full manuscript that is under consideration… Who am I KIDDING?!?! I open my email every darn day holding my breath, and I know YOU do too! When the phone rings unexpectedly, I leap on it like that proverbial duck on a June bug.
Waiting and hoping for that magical SOMEDAY when “The Call” happens! And eventually, oh yes, that wonderful, mystical day really does arrive! But are your “hurry up and wait” days over? Aunty is sad to inform you that they most certainly are NOT.
You will still need to hurry up and wait for your revisions to be done and approved, for your copyedits to arrive, for your cover to be created. And most of all, you have to wait and Wait and WAIT for your finished book to actually be released.
This takes months, sometimes YEARS! And when you write and sell another book, you get to do it ALL OVER AGAIN!
But unlike Jury Duty, it is absolutely WORTH THE WAIT!!! Aunty guarantees it!
When was the last time you had to hurry up and wait? Are there some things (like a massage from Sven) that you don’t mind waiting for? And have you ever been called to Jury Duty? Did you hate it as much as Aunty?