Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm Not in the Mood...

Warning. This whole post is a fucking downer.

Matt and Tina gave me awards in which I was supposed to reveal ten things about myself and ten things that make me happy, respectively.

To be honest, I'm not in the mood. As I put it to Sierra, I'm currently engaged in a lacrimose, self-referential pity party. I'm down, I'm blue, I feel like I'm living that old Cream lyric, if it wasn't for bad luck, you know I wouldn't have no luck at all.

Today's the six-month anniversary of the start of AgentQuest (TM) and more and more it feels like WriterFail (TM). Last week I nudged on my last remaining partial (it'd been well over three months) and two days later got a form rejection in reply. (This, by the way, seems to be a common experience: if you need to nudge, the answer's a foreordained no.) Leaves me one full out there in Agentland (TM) and I know the answer, if it deigns to be more than a form one, will be something along the lines of Sorry, but your book's just not unique, the market sucks, I'm not in love with it, yadda yadda. When that rejection comes in I'll be back at square one with nothing to show for the last six months except a heap of disappointment and a seriously shrunken list of potential agents to query.

Mirthful, hopeful idealism crashes up against the jagged-rock seawall of realism. Story of my life.

In addition, there's just been a train wreck of other crap going on which I can't begin to discuss without first downing a couple of glasses of scotch and boring the bejeesus out of you.

Usually when I get down I fall back on my children, reminding myself how much I love them, how special they are. After one woman I loved was killed by a drunk driver when I was 28, and the one who came a couple years later broke my heart over and over and over, I spent my thirties in a wasteland of loneliness and despair. The one thing in life I knew I wanted for sure was to be a father and it looked like it would never happen. Finally, finally, it did and I have loved it all even though my failings as a parent have been legion.

Now, my wife and daughter confuse my son's voice on the phone with mine, a reminder that all too soon he will be an adult and go off to college. My ten-year-old daughter's blossoming Dolly Partons are the subject of my hatred because they, too, are constant reminders that my little girl will soon be nothing but a memory, replaced by a young woman. Can I be happy for her and hate her metamorphosis at the same time?

Then what, what's to fall back on when the kids are gone? A loving, fulfilling marriage? See "jagged-rock seawall of realism" above.

And writing? Why am I not writing? Don't I have ideas? Oh, I have ideas. But are they unique? Are they special? Are they inspiring? Are they evocative, true, fantastical, moving, interesting, [insert adjective here]...? If I spend another year or two or more writing another book only to face the same WriterFail... What the fuck is the point?

I need a vacation. Bad. I just can't afford one.

To steal from Amber, fuckitspice, I'm going to go weed the fucking garden.


  1. Ceeeeeee-RIPES. You need to WRITE YOUR STORY. Abandoned by your love at 28! Crushed and beaten blue by a woman in your thirties, until you found yourself alone and despairing while your age crept steadily upward! Then, you meet your wife and have the gorgeous children you always wanted! BUT now you crave publication and validation on your creative work, to no avail! It echoes your earlier heartbreak! But your intrepid hero, Travis, is resilient and after a solo journey to Borneo where he wrestles 30-foot pythons and narrowly escapes being eaten by a tribe of cannibals (a hilarious scene, by the way), he returns and finds his children waiting, with a hug, and his wife hands him a letter that came for him while he was's from an agent....but it's been TAMPERED WITH and Travis can only read the words "" and then he embarks on a quest to find the pack of pirates (literally, likes) that carefully cut out the letters in the note with an Xacto knife...(that can be book 2, possibly).

    Get writing, man!

  2. I agree with Sierra. Maybe getting something down on the page is better than nothing being there at all. Maybe a few blurbs here in there that don't really tie to anything will give you that "aha" moment. And your story sounds pretty darn interesting, to say the least. Use that, make it your fuel - the feelings and words to make it go.

    You can do this. We know you can.

  3. Here "and" there. My bad. Didn't edit. I was typing straight from the heart.;)

  4. Now see... This is why igave you the sugar doll award. I knew you wouldn't let me down.

    The ladies are right. Your life story needs to be told. Besides, who ever heard ofa writer who "made it" when things were going well?

  5. Um...I gave you the option of NOT following the rules. Boo, Trav. You're making me want to slit my own wrists.

  6. Agree, write your story.

    Or down a bottle of pills. Your book will be published after you're gone, and you'll be famous!

    (Just joking, clearlyspice. Don't die.)

  7. I also want to say that querying your novel for six months without success does not Writerfail (tm) make - that's not being fair to yourself and what you've accomplished in writing this novel. At all. Nor is the perceived likelihood of some project you might be contemplating to appeal to what you think is/may be the market a reason to write or not to write...unless you're just doing it for the money.

  8. Hear, hear. You could be that poor guy Jacob whatshisface who queried like 11,000 times.
    (see the pimpmynovel blog)

  9. Sorry you are so down. Sounds like a lot of stuff all at once for you. My kids are little so I can't imagine when they get to that age and how hard that must be - I am not looking forward to that at all! As for writing - just keep going. Keep querying, write a new novel, drink some scotch, etc - just keep going! From what I hear, persistence is the only thing that pays off.