Novel, Published Author, Queries, Self Publishing, Writing

My Exquerience April 6, 2022

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“He who gets the most rejections wins!” “You have to go for No!” Those are two beloved quotes to cheer me on, from two of my favorite people.

It’s been one week since I submitted my first query of 2022. So far, no word. After I submitted, I received an email that included a link where I could go and check the status of my submission. As of yesterday, it’s still in review. I have no idea if that means they’re reading it, or they haven’t gotten to it yet. Either way, there’s really no news to report.

I have a spreadsheet with agencies, contact information, and the agent who I’ve researched that might be a good fit for me. As I was going through that this morning to see who the next lucky agent will be, I noticed that some of the agents I thought would be a good fit, probably aren’t. This is why extensive research is needed. For some reason, I had a few agents on there that, after really looking at their profile, I realized they aren’t for me, and I’m not for them. They want science fiction mixed with romance. I skimmed their profile and saw romance. After carefully reading it again this morning, I realized there’s nothing sci-fi about my books… except for maybe that most of the male characters I write would never exist in this world, they’re too perfect. Hmm… did I just find a loophole??

As most writers do, I tend to get in my head when it comes to my work. I know putting myself out there is the way to make things happen. I know that “No” is part of this process. The image below came up in my Facebook memories today. It’s very encouraging, and I find it interesting that I should see it on a Wednesday… the day of the week when I work on queries.

When my father read my first book, Set It Free, and I was finally able to look him in the eye again… I mean seriously, what part of “Don’t read the sex scenes” didn’t he understand?? Anyway, he was very complimentary, and he said that my writing put him in mind of Janet Evanovich. So, I love this post of hers for the encouragement, and I love it because my dad thinks I write like her. Aww, thanks, Dad!

Up next is a new agent to query. Looking at their submission guidelines, they want the first 50 pages of my book. The last place only wanted the first 25 pages. I wish it was more uniform across the board with every agent, but it’s not. This is why homework is needed.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read about My Exquerience. Stay tuned for more!

Queries, Self Publishing, Writing

Feeling Twitchy

I recently wrote about the journey I’m going on in finding a literary agent. My Query Experience, or as I like to call it, My Exquerience.

The goal is to do something every Wednesday, whether it’s search for an agent, work on the actual query letter, or submit a query. Well, this morning, I opened my handy dandy spreadsheet that I’ve created of a list of agents who might be a good fit. I clicked on the link to the one at the top of my list, read her submission guidelines… and almost threw up.

Seriously! Even as I’m writing this, my hands are shaking, and I have that rush of nervous adrenaline coursing through my veins. I haven’t even sent anything, or filled out her submission form, and I’m shaking like it’s opening night and I’ve forgotten all my lines. And it’s not even Wednesday! I’m just trying to set myself up for a strong tomorrow.

I guess it’s a good thing. I always say, no matter how many books I publish, I still get sick to my stomach when I think about people reading my work. I tell myself, that if I’m feeling twitchy, it means I care. Well, I must really care about finding a literary agent, because I haven’t been this nervous in years!

If I’ve learned anything since I’ve published my first novel, and in marketing myself on social media, it’s this. Does it make you nervous? Do it anyway. Does is make you sick to your stomach? Do it anyway. Are you afraid people are going to roll their eyes, laugh at you, or gossip about you behind your back? Do it anyway. You get the gist. No matter how it makes you feel, all those uncomfortable, scary feelings. Just do it, because you’ll always wonder, what if… I don’t want those what ifs in my life. I know the rejections are there. I’m expecting them, and embracing them.

I’m also embracing this twitchiness that I’m feeling. I’m going to sit with it for a while and visit these emotions. I’d offer them a cup of coffee, but I think the last thing this vibrating energy needs is more caffeine. This is important to me. So very important. I want this. And if wanting this means there’s a whole lot of twitchy going on, then so be it.

Stay tuned! Tomorrow, I submit the first query of 2022!

21 Days of Wisdom, Meditation

21 Days of Wisdom, Day 2

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I just finished Day 2 of the 21 Days of Wisdom course that I’m taking. Today was a little different than yesterday. We focused on our breathing, and techniques on how to snap out of drama and a negative mindset.

Today’s breathing was interesting. She referred to the technique a few different ways. Breath of Fire or Skull Cleansing. Because I’m a research nerd, I Googled both terms and I found that it is also known as Skull Shining. The technical term is called Kapalabhati Breathing, and it’s a series of exhales through your nose while contracting your stomach muscles. The Google search brought up a lot of information that’s a little overwhelming, but it’s definitely something I hope to learn more about. Check out the search here.

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It’s only day 2 of this course, but so far, I like it. I haven’t done anything like it before, but I’ve always been interested in this. She teaches first thing in the morning, which is the best thing for me. I’m an early riser, so anything that’s going to take this kind of focus is best for me when I’m at my most alert. I’m the same with exercise. If I don’t do it first thing in the morning, I’m not doing it!

I also liked that we were taught a technique on how to flip your mindset. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, there are ways to pull you out of that and that was our main focus today. If you’re interested in learning more about this instructor, check out her YouTube Channel.

I’m looking forward to sharing more with you each day. Thanks for stopping by, now it’s time to go slay the day!

21 Days of Wisdom, Meditation

21 Days of Wisdom, Day 1

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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

21 Days of Wisdom         

Day 1

A client of mine was leading a workshop and she encouraged me to join. I knew about the workshop because I create monthly emails to go out to her subscribers. I was intrigued, as I am by all the products that she sells and the classes that she offers. Though I was interested in the workshop, I didn’t think I’d do it simply because I have a hard time focusing on meditation and self-centering. In fact, only two days ago I told a group of people that I’m not cut out to meditate and focus on my breathing. It’s just not me. Just like I don’t like to run, and I accept that, I guess maybe I don’t want to meditate. But, I’m an open-minded person, so I thought I’d give it a try.

First, we set the mood, if you will, with a candle, incense, or essential oil of your choice. I didn’t do a candle, simply because I have a fan at my desk and when I’ve tried a candle where I sit, it distracts me because I’m worried it’s going to blow out or get away from me somehow. I didn’t do incense today, either. No special reason, but I might tomorrow since we’re doing this for 21 days. I have a lot of oils and I didn’t know which one to use. I happened to have a Clary Sage blend in a rollerball on my desk, so I used that today. In my research I read that common oils to use in meditation are lavender, sandalwood, frankincense, or cedarwood. I have all of those except for sandalwood. Since I have 2 bottles of cedarwood, I’m going to use that, so I put my oil to good use.

Next, she led us through some breathing exercises and hand placement. At one point, she had us with our palms together in a prayer position, then we rubbed our palms together to open our hearts. This was interesting, because the simple act of doing that had my palms vibrating with energy. It’s been almost an hour after the class that I’m writing this, and my palms are still vibrating.

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I won’t get into the entire details of the class because I don’t remember every tiny detail. I was trying to focus, which is not my strong suit in meditation. Overall, I enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to the rest of this 21-day journey. I liked how she talked us through it and reaffirmed that mind wandering is going to happen, and it’s ok. Simply smile at the interruption as you would a young child, acknowledge it, then focus on your breathing.

I think this is a great way to start the day. I feel centered, calm, focused, and strangely, energized.

So, stay tuned if you wish, because I am going to document each day and I’m looking forward to my results at the end of 21 days.

Time to finish a chapter today! Thanks for stopping by!

Job Interview, Workplace Drama, Writing

Current WIP

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Through my years working as a receptionist, administrative assistant, and an executive assistant, I’ve experienced some pretty crazy things! From bad bosses, to outlandish gossip, I’ve seen it all and I’ve heard it all. Some situations are so out there, you’d have to actually be there to experience it in order to believe it.
At one point, I started to outline a book sharing all of my experiences, but I decided to do something different instead.

For the past 2 years, I’ve been working as a virtual assistant. (Check out my Facebook page here!) I’ve taken my years of office experience and I’m now offering my services to solo professionals and small business owners. I specialize in helping them with all the admin pieces of their businesses, like email newsletters, website updates, and calendar management.

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If you’ve followed my writing, you may remember that a few years ago, I started to document the interviews I was going on in my search for a new job. Some were great experiences, some of them were absolutely ridiculous, none of them ended with a job offer.

So, you may wonder what one has to do with the other. Administration and writing fiction. Well, instead of writing a non-fiction book about my observations as an admin, or about all the tea I could spill, I decided to merge the two.

My current work in progress, or WIP, is titled Executive Decisions. It follows the story of blogger Lauren Lane, who has had a year filled with 17 job interviews and not one offer. In the 17th interview, Lauren meets Drew Hanson, the CEO of Hanson Enterprises. Drew peeks at her blog ten minutes before her arrival and decides right on the spot that he’s not going to hire her. During Lauren’s interview, he even quotes her writing back to her about her job interview experience.

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While most writers might be thrilled to have their work quoted back to them… Remember that scene from When Harry Met Sally? Harry’s friend Jess says, “No one has ever quoted me back to me before.” This should be a writer’s dream for Lauren, but not the way Drew Hanson does it. A run in after their interview shows the reader that these two might never see eye to eye. Instead of doing the mature thing and moving on from a bad interview, Lauren decides to take the low road for a bit and make Drew a perfect example of what a bad CEO looks like.

I have been having fun writing this book! When I write, my characters become real to me. It’s been nice to have Lauren to “share” my experiences with. She’s bold and honest when it comes to speaking up about the interviews she’s had, along with crazy workplace drama that she shares along the way.

I write contemporary romance, so somehow these two make peace and have an epic love story. Stay tuned for this one, you won’t want to miss it!

In the meantime, Meant To Be, book 4 in the Heart & Soul series will be available on October 5. Take a look at my author page on Amazon to see all of my books.

Thanks for stopping by!

Writing

It’s Been Awhile…

I haven’t written much lately… well, let me rephrase that. I haven’t written a blog lately. I know in the past, I’ve chronicled my writing journey, as well as my job interview experience. I don’t think I have the energy to get into what life is like in the job world. Let’s just say I’ve been unemployed since April 2020. More on that later.

I’ve been writing, a lot. If you read my books, you’ll know that I published book 3 in the Heart & Soul series. Through The Storm follows Alexandra Lorraine and Slater Heart as they navigate the scandal of a lifetime. They’re finally together, making up for lost time, and dealing with a media frenzy. I truly love Alexandra and Slater, but I haven’t been writing in the Heart & Soul series lately. More books are to come that follow them through life and introduce new characters, but it’s been put on pause for now. I’m really getting inspired to write other stories. Stand alone novels that have happy endings. My very first novel that is not part of a series is releasing on 2/14/2021. The Art of Zen. It’s an opposites attract love story.

So, what have I been working on for the last year? Well, I finished Zen last February. For a year, it’s been through editing and having people read it who I know I can trust to give me honest feedback. Now I’m ready to share that with you. I’m excited about this one. Like I do with all my books, I fell in love with these characters, and I hope you do, too! Up next is Where We Belong. It’s a friends to lovers story. Two people are brought together by a family tragedy. Through their grief, they rebuild their lives and fall in love.

When I finished writing Where We Belong, I felt like their story wasn’t completely over. In my heart, I knew there was more to it. So, this is now book one in a trilogy. I’m almost finished writing the second book in this trilogy titled, Coming Home. The second book tells the story of a man who returns home and falls in love with someone he knew from the past. They’re both coming out of troubled relationships and form a friendship that turns into love.

I also co-wrote a novella! My first collaboration, and my first novella. It was an interesting experience to learn another writer’s process. It is a holiday story that starts on New Year’s Eve. It’s called The Wish. We’ve gotten some good feedback on it and I’ve learned that people like fast reads. My books are long. The kind that can take either a few weeks, or a snowed-in weekend, to get through. To write something this short was a challenge for me. I’m glad I did it and grateful for the experience.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. I’m finishing up Coming Home, then I need to check in with Alex and Slater and get the fourth book from the Heart & Soul series published so you can all enjoy their journey. It’s titled, Meant To Be. Thanks for reading this post, and make sure to spread the word if you’ve read and liked any of my books!

Until next time,

Brooke