Carpe Diem! Joining the Dance.

It dawned on me this week that querying is changing my life in ways far beyond writing. I’ve always been good about actively pursuing my goals and sniffing out opportunities instead of waiting for them to come to me. However, I’ve always taken the lone-wolf approach–learning the ropes by reading books, researching on the internet, and taking pride in doing everything on my own. The key here is that I was really quiet going about it, especially on the internet, leaving no tracks while I soaked up the websites’ advice. I never commented, never subscribed, never shared pages I thought were interesting.

That all radically changed the moment I started sending out queries. It started with me following agents and authors on Twitter. I don’t really like Twitter, but for keeping up with publishing people, it’s priceless! You get to hear about what state they’ll be in next, what they watch on tv, and what writing pet peeves they have. Then I started this blog and realized I have a ton to talk about. Weirdly, I became almost as enthusiastic about this blog as I am about my stories, and I kinda sorta really wanted people to read it. And how do you get other people to read your blog? Read theirs, of course, and leave a comment. If you scratch their back, they’ll scratch yours, and you’ll sometimes make a new friend.

I suppose this is called networking and everybody knows about it already. But to me, it’s participating and being part of the performance, not just an audience member.  I could never do this sort of thing in person, I’d be mortified. I’m naturally confident and talkative, but get painfully shy if I’m required to spontaneously introduce myself to someone who doesn’t know me. I hate forcing myself on people. That’s why I love the internet. Nobody gets annoyed if a random stranger decides to jump into a  forum and put in their two cents. It’s less exposed, but you are sprinkling yourself around, starting to feel comfortable not being anonymous. Next thing you know, I’m leaving feedback on places totally outside my sphere of expertise. I even wrote on the food magazine Bon Appetit’s site because there  was a funny article about Star Wars cereal. After getting over the daunting hurdle of sending out a query to an agent, these small endeavors seemed invitingly easy.

Yes, those are the kinds of thing that makes me feel bold and adventurous :-\ BUT I also filmed a video for youtube’s “Life in a Day” project, when I would normally have thought, “Hey, that’s a great idea…but too much of a bother”. I’ve been taking more chances in my life, trying new foods, traveling, entering contests, having long conversations with people on planes. Heck, I even made a tiny, yet drastic change in my novel: I decided to change the good guys from “Mages” to NotSureYet . Mages was too fantasy-ish for a sci-fi novel and I never liked it in the first place. Only problem is that now I have to change my title of my novel from “Earth Mage” to AlsoNotSureYet. I’ve got lots of title ideas, I just have to pick one. This will be the 3rd title change on this project! My friends/family are going to be SO confused, the poor dears.

The important thing is I’m making the most of my time. Even more, I’m making lists of stuff I missed out on this year and I want to be ready for next year. And it feels great! This is why I love summer, because I have the brain capacity to stretch myself like this. I can seize each day and make a significant footprint in it. Carpe Diem!

Quick update on the querying: I haven’t sent out any more queries because I’m revising my query letter to make the tone more quirky, like my novel. I still haven’t heard back from 2 agents, but that’s not all that strange.

Possible names for my No-Longer-Mages (Feel free to suggest others):

1. The Medwin

2. The Virote

3. The Xantara (Shantara?)

4. The Khalon

5. The Tavor

6. The Gifted

7. The Sotirios

8. The Pareil

Basic Background: These are elite warriors who defend the Atlantean solar system with their mental power called Telos (named after the prefix of their skills–telepathy, teleportation, telekinesis, etc). Their enemies are the Dantes (previously called Sorcerists), who are usually fallen Telos users. The Mages serve the light Telos entity called Eliah and the Dantes serve the dark Telos entity of Ifara.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ashleygabrielle
    Jul 28, 2010 @ 05:51:04

    Your post made me feel a bit guilty… I’m always the one who loves to read everyone’s blogs, but never bothers to comment on them! So that’s changing now. :]

    Of the names you’re pondering instead of “Mages,” I thought “The Gifted” sounded the most intriguing. It’s one less fantasy name for your readers to try and remember, and seems kind of mysterious to boot.

    Good luck querying!



  2. missmystra
    Jul 28, 2010 @ 06:00:44

    Haha! YES! I’m rubbing off on readers! Good for you, Ashley!

    I like “The Gifted” a lot too because I ideally wanted something that would be really straightforward, but sadly, so many have been used already. Calling them the Guardians, the Protectors, the Chosen, all verges on cliche. But the Gifted isn’t too worn out yet…I hope.


  3. Bethany
    Jul 28, 2010 @ 07:22:41

    I was wondering why you don’t just call the Mages, the Telos? Is that a stupid question? I’m writing my first scifi (literarydystopiansteampunkscifiYA) so I’m uncharacteristically nervous about making suggestions to ANYONE. 🙂

    Oh, I just leave comments without introducing myself, btw – except that you know I’m from WriteOnCon and I added you to my blog surfer already.


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