Why Are Query Letters So Daunting?

Hi all!

So I’m now at the point in the process that I feel like I should be writing query letters to agents, as I really want to try going the traditional route with publishing this particular book. It is the most thought out, worked on, and detailed of all my books, and I think it came out better than I imagined it would when I began.

But I find the process of searching for an agent to be so counter to my personality that it just terrifies me in a lot of ways. I’m shy, but I’m supposed to talk about my work and myself? Ugh! I’m a timid person by nature. I’m working on that, and in a lot of ways I am so very much better than I used to be, but I still even have a hard time telling the cashier at the grocery store that the item scanned in at full price instead of the sale price listed on the shelf.

There should be an easier process.

I have no clue what it is, and maybe this is already the easiest way, but it is so difficult for me. It feels like I’m a seventh grader who has to stand in front of my English class and give a ten minute presentation about Jack London (with visual aids made by myself, no less) because the teacher thinks it’ll be good for me. Yeah, that was a real thing there. I nearly wet myself when I did it, too.

So what would be the easier way? I’m not asking because I want to get out of this, I’ve already figured out that this is the game and it is how I have to play it. I’m just asking as a sort of academic exercise. An ‘If I were Queen for a day, I’d make this change’ kind of thing.

Yes, I like to do those things. Ask my wife.

Anyway… just venting. I’ll be writing some queries soon.

What else is new? Um… not much. I’m going to go to the eye doctor today. Our hamster is getting more used to us, but still nibbles on our fingers a lot. It was so hot here yesterday that I thought I’d evaporate. Things like that.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Why Does Racism Still Exist?

A woman in Wichita got a hateful, racist letter from a neighbor recently. This just kills me inside. I have never understood racism. I have never gotten what gives anyone the idea that they are superior based solely on skin tone or ancestral background. It’s idiotic. It’s illogical.

I think everyone, everywhere, is guilty of some racism. For most of us it is unintentional. I know I personally have said or acted in ways that, upon later reflection, I beat myself up for because it was possibly a little racist. Even when it’s unintentional, I have to do better. We all do.

When President Obama was elected, I was surprised. I knew there was enough racism in this country that it would be difficult for an African American to be elected to that office. Whatever your thoughts are on his presidency, you have to admit that is has brought the racist backlash out. It has sometimes come out on such a level that it has taken me by complete shock. I knew it existed, but the level has just destroyed a little bit of me, maybe a naive and innocent bit, that thought we were getting better as a society. And it has made my heart ache over how evil we people can be to each other. I no longer have the delusional idea that things were so very much better. Now I know that we have so very far to go still.

And I state this for the record: If you like or dislike President Obama for his policies I am fine with that, but if you like or dislike him because of his race then I ask that you please not buy or read my books, and please leave my site and never return.

Racism only makes sense if you come from a place where you see everything in the world as us versus them. The U.S. vs. Russia, Men vs. women, caucasians vs. minorities. It’s stupid. People have ALWAYS used race to control and manipulate others. Why do we continue to listen? Why let others have that power over us, where we will let their poisonous ideas infect us? We have to be better than that.

We continue to get evidence that racism isn’t going away anytime soon. People like the ones who crafted that awful letter to the grandmother in Wichita, and the people like the ones who wrote this letter in Seattle, keep reminding us of that. But we have to speak up when we see or hear it. We have to make it clear that people who think that way are not welcome in our lives. And most importantly, we have to make sure kids know this is wrong and that people who think others of a different race are inferior are just themselves the inferior one, that all races and mixes of race are completely equal. The only way we will ever get rid of racism is to do so in our children. Then we just wait for the ignorant racists to die off from old age. Until then, we have to do better at calling out the racists. If we can’t stop their racism then maybe they will at least shut up about their racist thoughts if enough others make it clear it isn’t acceptable. Maybe they’ll know racist actions will never be allowed. It’s a lofty goal, I know, but a worthwhile one.

Until then we need to keep trying to be better people. I have to, you have to, and everyone in all our lives have to.

Some Reading Reccomendations, and it’s Feeling Kinda Summery

Good afternoon, everyone!

And by that, I mean good afternoon to whoever my lonely reader is:)

What I’ve been reading

Okay, listening to, I suppose. They are audio books that I have been listening to while doing other things. The Ammonite Galaxy series, from Gillian Andrews. At least the first three. They’re actually pretty good.

The first book, Valhai, is about a planet (Valhai) where the inhabitants, Sellites, make their living selling the genetic material of teenaged children from other planets. What’s worse is that they make these planets think this is an honor, so the people on those planets voluntarily send their children off to be harvested, not knowing they are being kept long enough to go through training to make them look better to prospective buyers, then left to die once a buyer has procured the reproductive material they need from them. But the children are kept in cells inside a lake, which later becomes aware as a sentient creature that inhabited the planet long before anyone else. Between the now sentient lake, who is friendly with the teens, the two teens who want to escape, and one Sellite teenager who doesn’t agree with all her people are doing to these others, things start to fall apart.

It’s very good. I’d say it gets a good solid 4 out of 5. Probably more like 4.3 or 4.4.

Book two, Kwaide, continues the story. Now they are back on the planet one of the escaped teens was born on, Kwaide, looking for his twin sisters. It’s hard going, especially for the teens who aren’t from Kwaide. They find his sisters, but they are no longer the same people he remembered. In fact, they seem to be on the wrong side of a civil war that he is partially responsible for beginning.

This one was probably not quite as good, but it was good. I’d probably give it 3.9 or 4.

Book three is called Xiantha. It’s a little darker at times. They travel to a planet where they come across some clues to the sentient lake creature’s past. They then take a bit of a vacation on the planet Xiantha, which they went to in order to find out what happened to the genetic material pulled from one of the girls in the first book. While on Xiantha, they discover a plot by the people from Valhai to reinstate their breeding program, get rid of the sentient lake, and kill the Sellite girl that helped the others escape before. One of those in on this plot is the Sellite girl’s own brother. They almost succeed, and not everyone makes it through this one alive, and not everyone who does makes it unscathed.

I liked this one more than the second. Nearly as much as the first. It’s probably a 4.2 or so.

Summer may actually be coming!

Seriously, it has felt quite Summery on some days. We’ve been going out walking a lot in the mornings, and we haven’t even needed a light jacket or anything this past week. It has been downright sunny, too!

Hang on a sec.

Let me just go back to that one. It hasn’t been raining. It has been warm enough that we actually even went down to the pool and dipped our feet in for a while. Yeah, the water was freezing cold, but we did it anyway. The air was warm, at least.

Ah, Summer! Gotta love it!