Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Many Happy Returns

I'm dragging butt this week (I know, I know it's only Tuesday) because the full time circulation clerk at work is on vacation. Sitting at the desk is really, really boring. It does, however, lend me time to practice my pitch. In my head, because I can only imagine the looks I'd get if I was saying it out loud. Yesterday was sooooo long and I have another afternoon of it when the part-time clerk goes home at one.

And it's my birthday, so I'm trying to figure out ways to stop time before the official minute of birth rolls around. I'm 19 ten years running if that tells you anything. I was feeling pretty cranky this morning because it thunder stormed all night and I didn't get much sleep, then when I got up, my back was killing me because our mattress is evil wrapped in white polyester. So I'm thinking I have a whole day of boringness to look forward to with an egg sandwich for lunch.

Until I checked my e-mail. And found this link: Congratulations to the Finalists in our 2011 Weta Nichols Fiction Writing Contest. Because my name is on that list! Of course, the first words out of my mouth were a little too vulgar to share. I was shocked. Because under my name is the title of the novel I least expected to final. It has a bad rep in contests. You know the one I mean. The Treasure Hunter's Lady. I figured if I finaled, it would be with Jacob's Harvest, the historical romance.

There were 99 entries. From around the world. My legs went temporarily numb,my eyes welled with tears and my heart dang near burst through my chest. All with happiness, of course. Whose legs go numb with happiness? It's weird, I know.

Wow, I can't believe it. What a great b-day present.

Now, for a little cajoling. Come to the Ozark Romance Author's 2011 Conference. Or else. I'll be there and who doesn't want to see me? I know I do. ;)

Also, and very importantly, happy birthday to my mom. Yes, we share a birthday. She tried to convince me for years that mine was the 27th so she could have her own, but obviously the truth came out. Love you, Mom!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

And, here's the pitch!

The Ozarks Romance Authors Annual Conference is coming up July 23rd. We're having an agent and an editor who will be taking pitches that morning. So, I signed up. Scared of her shadow lil' ol' me decided to take a risk by sitting down in front of a real live agent. I figured, why not, no one is going to laugh me out of the building.

It's one of those things where if I don't do it, I'll kick myself later for not doing it. I don't have anything to lose, because let's face it, I'm all out of pride. I try really hard not to second guess myself, but when you've been at it your whole life, well, it's like trying to kick any habit. It's tough.

Instead of agonizing over my pitch, I'm agonizing over what to wear. I figure this is not a bad thing. There's a slight chance I can write my way out of wet paper bag. There's an even better chance that I will go to the pitch looking like the redneck-hillbilly nightmare that I am. As in, I just don't have business or business casual clothes because no one cares what I wear to work as long as all the, um, "naughty bits" are covered. I go to work in a t-shirt and jeans 4 out of 5 days a week. And you can bet your pretty smile I'm wearing shorts or cut off jeans on the weekends provided the weather is melt-your-face-off hot.

The good news is the conference is the 23rd of July. Which gives me ample time to both practice my pitch, which I've discovered is similiar-ish to a query letter and find clothes. I have discovered multitudes of awesome clothes (on clearance, no less) in the malls. None of which seem to suit me. I own this super-awesome skirt that I can't find anything to wear with. I have this really cool new shirt that needs pants that I don't own. Fashion is not my forte.

Remember, first and foremost, don't be nervous (yeah, right). I'm looking at it this way: Last summer I did a zipline. I did fine on the line, but when it came to jumping off the platform which was 100 feet in the air, I almost had a fatal. If I (finally) got the courage to jump, I should be able to conquer this pitch.

As I ponder my clothes dilema, I'll leave you with some links to help you learn to pitch. Here's hoping you and I both get something out of them.

How to Pitch A Literary Agent

ThrillerFest Pitching Advice

Making A Pitch