Thursday, June 24, 2010

Punch a sign in the face today and get free tickets to nothingland

You hear it all the time. "It was a sign, I know it. It's fate. It's totally meant to be. It's this, it's that." Whether it's about the agent you keep running across on various sites (it's not a sign, it's called stalking),  the fact that the clock is stuck at 9:59 every time you look at it (okay, maybe that's just me), or how so-called contests pop up with (what seems to be) the opportunity you've been waiting for. It doesn't matter. Signs can officially suck it.

Let me tell you a little story about Candyland. It goes a little something like this:

Candyland was a fair (olive) maiden who loved to cook plunge toilets write. One day she decided to write a book because it's sooo easy to write a book, like anyone can do it (all saracsm). After many months of toiling, the book of sucketh made it's debut into the world like a naked, whiny baby in need of milk from the teet (the revision teet, that is). Candyland loved that baby so much, she spent days, nights, hours that didn't exist transforming that whiny baby into something called Suck #2.

When Suck #2 was a few months old, Candyland queried agents near and far, short and tall, awesome and awesomer. Until Candyland had a revelation: "Why don't I write the book in reverse?" Lightbulbs went off and exploded over her head. Until the rewrite sucked too.

Fast forward through betas, rewrites, various distractions and a complete depression where the book sat untouched and unloved for months. Then Candyland had another revelation that she can't share until her book sees the light of day: *giggles* More query letters were sent and Candyland started getting ridiculous requests to read her baby. She was so excited, the feeling in her gut knew she'd found an agent somewhere in there.

Annnnnnnnd here we are.

Every last agent has responded. All with fantastic news. Apparently, I can kind of write. I may have a compelling high-concept book, I have a strong voice and one went so far as to say she'd sign me right now.....if she was looking for fiction.

I've spent so much time and energy looking for a reason to stay positive, looking for a sign to tell me what to do. When the point is, my story is the sign. I wrote it. I obviously believe in it or I wouldn't still be slaving to find it a home. I'm a writer. It's what I do. My advice to you Candylanders? Lose the signs, and believe in yourself enough to make your own effing sign. Power to the peeps.

Have you felt a fate-like moment lately? Tellmetellmetellme

Candyland. OUT.


Linda G. said...

You know, I'll bet your blog post today is going to be seen as a sign--to keep on keeping on--by a lot of writers in exactly the same place as you. So pat yourself on the back for offering that special Candyland brand of wisdom you do so well. :)

Anne said...

"Signs signs everywhere there's signs"

I look into every little sign I get. The last one was while I was waiting for my response to @kortizzle's everybody wins contest. It was only supposed to take a week or so to hear back so when she took longer, I got antsy to query.

Just as I was about to click send on my query letter (before awesome Elana's help) to the agent I really really want I got her response the exact same second.

I have some work to do before I send out anything. Which sucks, but I'm glad I know (because knowing is half the battle) and I'm even more glad I didn't ruin my chances.

pseudosu said...

OMG!!! My last project had so many signs attached to it it was ridic!!

Just a couple--

The day after I read a suicide scene to my crit group, a body was discovered that had committed suicide in the exact same manner (backpack of rocks in a river) over 30 years earlier & remained undiscovered until that day-- with photos in the pockets that helped identify victim-- same as my character.

Also-- iDisk ATE my whole friggin' ms at one point-- GONE-- (no b'up-- i know. Me = moron) and it took 6 weeks to recover it-- but they got it all back.

Now??-- "We're on a break."
Go you!

Dawn said...

There's absolutely no doubt in my mind you can write and I think this period is fairly typical for writers on the verge of breaking out - a mentor once told me that you'll find that agent, get offered that contract, etc just as you've all but given up. Seriously, Candy, I only have to read your blog to know you've got what it takes. Don't give up. This is a glitch in the process, yes, but I've got a feeling it's a normal glitch and will right itself very soon.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Ah Candy, I hear you. You just have to think that you are alive without that book written until it gets acknowledged. The book will find a home at some point, until then you need to live life like it was being lived before you WANTED something this bad. Keep on keeping on and you'll get there eventually.

I know what I have just said is easier said than done, but there's just no other way around it. It's all I can do to keep myself sane. The only thing.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I like signs. I like creating signs. You should write a book about signs. I bet that's the one the universe want you to write. ;)

I agree, some days the signs can suck it.

Jen said...


Signs can suck it... you said it best my friend! You make your own signs and mine is that I will write my damn book and I fill find that damn book a home... just like you!

Keep it up Candyland... the world is our playground, and if I have to rub sand in someone's hair to get farther... then I might just do it!

LR said...

Yeah, if there's one thing I've noticed from everyone's stories, it's that the publishing stuff is a process. I don't know anyone (personally) who just wrote a book, got an agent like nothin' and sold it without any difficulty.

So we just have to stick to our guns and continue, cause there's always somebody else whose story of perseverance is even more outrageous than our own. :)

Lenny said...

hi miss candace! yep believin in yourself is real important and im glad you do cause you are such a cool writer. i get lots of signs mostly from my brothers like one night a empty juic bottle and cracker box got under my pillow for a sign i forgot to take out the garbage. ha ha.
...hugs from lenny

salarsenッ said...

Yes, I have. It seems I should stop...writing, that is, blogging, maybe even breathing. For some reason, more and more keeps piling up on my plate, pushing, needling me almost to the point of cruelty.

But when I take a deep breath and look for a moment I realize this is not about the industry, my family, my friends, fellow bloggers, or even the irritating town workers who toss my trash cans across the freaking street each time they empty them. It's. About. ME. And finding the real me in, throughout my stories, and sharing those revelations with the world in hopes to inspire and help others. And YES, I will be published as long as I persevere...and so will you. You are an inspiration to me; never forget that. We need to stick together and all will be good.

I know what you mean about signs. But don't you think after you recognize a sign it's all about what you do with it? Dwell on it. No. Take from it what you can and move on. Ultimately, you must believe in you (meaning me, too. LOL). Each one of us.

Peace, sweets.

Jaydee Morgan said...

I'm not really into signs and such. I totally agree with you, though, that just writing your book is the only 'sign' you need. Keep at it, keep writing more books, and eventually, all that hard work is going to pay off - that's the 'sign' I believe in :)

Lisa K. said...

I agree completely. It's too easy to read into every little thing. It's so much better to just trust in your abilities, focus, and believe that hard work is what will pay off in the end. Thanks for an excellent post.

JustineDell said...

I love you! Seriously - will come be my neighbor?

Wonderful post and congrats to the great news! It's good to get the stamp of approval and feel legit, isn't it?


Creepy Query Girl said...

*Creepy lifts her glass of cheap champagne* 'Here here!' *she slams it back down on the table* What's that quote again? The harder I work, the luckier I get?:) I'm in the same boat sweety pie. I still got some partials out there but I feel like I'm gonna be in this state of literary purgatory forevah...Keep at it sweets!

Matthew Rush said...

No fate like moments for me - but I know if I never give up I will one day be cool!

Patti said...

I've never believed much in signs, because for me they never pan out, so I think believing in yourself is the best way to go.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Yay! I see 200 followers on your sidebar!!! Congrats, girl.

I agree with Allomorph - she is all about wisdom today. And I hear you. I just received two rejections today, sitting happily together in my inbox this morning, waiting to double-punch me. It sucks! Hang in there, though. We're in it together. :-)

Tahereh said...

OH CANDACE. this post just punched me in the gut.

because i know exactly how you're feeling.

i know it sounds EPICALLY lame, but you just HAVE to hang in there. these are the moments that make us.

it's brutal.

my heart is with you so hard right now.


Carolyn V. said...

I know how you feel. I've just been there, but it's nice to know I can write! Now I just need the right plot. =)

Joanne Brothwell said...

This post is timely for me, Candace. Just last night I asked my hubby "should I just shelve it (my ms) and write something else?" He replied with a resounding "NO!"

I guess this post is a sign for me.