All posts by Jodi Henry

A Writer’s Brains–it’s crowded in there.

The thing about writers is we live in our heads a large part of the time and it’s a pretty crowded place. Filled with the conversations and lives of people, some are strangers, others we’ve known for years, and sometimes we get the random visitor who really has no place there and checks out after a few short hours. There’s the billion other things we “really should be doing.” And the nagging self-doubt and ridicule. The fear of failure and the shy glimmer of possibility. The inner editor that never shuts their mouth. Sometimes there’s a little cheerleader there too, screaming praise like it’s confetti.

This paragraph in picture form:
aka, what the inside of a writer’s head looks like.5913206471_11fdcefb64_b

We often lose perspective of the simple things, like writing. It is a line that begs us to walk it. And it’s hard some days putting one word in front of the other.

Like life.

Because for a writer writing is life; words are our feet; thoughts are our heart and soul divided unwillingly between so many people in need of their own voice.

The page is where we bleed and battle and love and die a million times. And, somehow we come out stronger for each page we trudge through.

Happy Reading, Happier Writing,

JLH

The Seven Stages of Query Letter Grief

In preparation for World Fantasy 2014, I sat down to write a pitch, because YES two of my top ten agents are on the list of attendees and even though my book isn’t complete, I’m going to pitch the thing. Really, all I’m hoping for is a “add WFC2014 in the subject line of the email when you query me” to get me out of the main slush pile and into a much smaller slush pile. Anything beyond that will have me flipping my shit and finishing the book double time.

But to get to the streamlined elevator pitch, I had to start with the much longer yet somehow not long enough query letter.

I sat at my computer screen for like three hours and those three hours turned into a full day, then two days, and my screen held

 nothing.

NOTHING.

NOTHING.

Writing query letters really makes me feel like:

{not to be confused with constipated}

That face translated into words:

  • My book has no plot or conversely, it has too much plot and I just can’t weed out all the crap that isn’t important.
  • I don’t know my own story.
  • I’m going to throw my computer.
  • Maybe I could bribe my 7 year old to write my query for me.
  • Maybe he could write the story too.
  • I should never attempt to write again.
  • Blogging about how much I hate queries might help.

 

aka: the seven stages of query letter grief.

There was no happiness.

I have something that wants to be a query letter and is a million and a half words too long to ever be an elevator pitch. So I may have to use some sort of physical restraints on said agents while spewing forth my entire query. Or have an amazing hook that will make them stop and listen to everything that comes after.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Possibly from jail. But let’s hope not.

For now,

Happy reading. Happier writing.

J

When Life Gives You Turquoise Hair Forget the Lemons

They say you should never grocery shop while you’re hungry. You come home with things that, when you look at them together do not create anything edible.

The AA batteries you’ve forgotten a million and a half times since you initially noticed you needed them. And chicken nuggets you could swear you needed but find, once you get home, there are three partially used bags in the freezer. Cocoa powder, a purple onion, feta cheese, and a bottle of your favorite red wine blend (14 Hands “Hot to Trot”), round out the list of the unusual.

When all you really needed was a lemon, which you forgot because a girl with striking turquoise hair walked through your line of sight.

And, of course, you did the most non-creepy thing of your life and stalked her through the store…learning her. You may have snapped a picture of three while eavesdropping on her plans for the evening and stuffing cocoa powder in your basket. Okay, so maybe you didn’t, but I did.

“But I have a legitimate excuse, officer!”

The stern look he gives is enough to shake lesser women. “And what’s that, Mrs. Henry?”

“Uh…erm…I’m a writer?”

Then the officer offers himself up for possible bodyguard duty in any of my future stalking adventures…

Or, at least this is how I pictured it happening as I studied the snapshots I’d stolen of Miss. Turquoise Hair.

Writing is right up there with being a spy, in more than one sense, apparently. Both are occupations that require seclusion of self, and at the same time, hinge on the existence of other people despite how much we try to avoid them. And we get to do cool things like stalk people in grocery stores.

All in the name of research, obviously.

Happy Reading. Happier Writing.

J

PS: Miss Turquoise Hair is currently doing the Tango with a plot and, yes, it involves lemon juice.