Tuesday’s Tunes: New Year Edition.

“Play on when you’re losing the game
Play on ’cause you’re gonna make mistakes
It’s always worth the sacrifice, even when you think you’re wrong
So play on…”
~Carrie Underwood, “Play On”

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve always found January, especially the first few shiny and new days, to be innately rejuvenating. Reinvigorating. Refreshing. There’s something very inspiring about the chance to have a clean slate all over again. It’s sort of like a new manuscript – the pages are blank, just waiting for us to fill them with our discoveries, our journeys, our stories.

It probably comes as no surprise that my plans for 2012 involve linking my own story to those of my characters. Though, if I’m being honest, those tales are already connected. The ties are written in an indelible kind of ink that has less to do with printing and more to do with feeling, with understanding, with relating. That makes each day I sit down to work a new adventure, and let me tell you, I couldn’t WAIT to get started today. I’ve spent the last week updating my lit agent database, and even though there’s still a long way to go and many more names to add – how many colors do you think my spreadsheet will be filled with by the time it’s finished? – now that agencies are reopening for 2012, this morning was the start of Querying Week. You’d think the roller-coaster that is querying would have taken its toll by now, and to be sure, there are certainly times when it has, but when I sat down at my desk today, it didn’t feel that way. Somehow, even after querying ROM all of last year, it still felt just as hopeful, just as filled with possibility, as the morning I sent off the first letters to the first agents.

agent database

Fellow writers must be laughing at me right about now.

You’re excited to be querying again?

Well … yes. I am. Because even with its emotional challenges, even with its put-your-heart-on-the-line vibe, querying is what it takes to share your baby with the world. It’s given me some really great and memorable experiences in 2011 and I’m optimistic that the same will be true this year. We can’t predict the future, of course, but I am wishing and praying so, so much that 2012 will finally be the year I – and ROM & its sequel(s) – can take the next step on this journey. So, along those lines, the song for Tuesday’s Tunes today is one filled with positivity and encouragement.

“Play On” – Carrie Underwood: This is the title track from Carrie’s third album and also the one she named two tours for back in 2010. It’s uplifting, it’s imaginative, it’s a song that reminds us obstacles are only challenges to overcome. If we believe in something, if we hold a dream, then we have to keep pursuing that shooting star until it becomes reality. We have to play on.

This week, I’m doing that by sending ROM into the world all over again. Next week? I FINALLY get to begin formal brainstorming and planning for the new novel, and I’m so excited you’ll all probably hear me squeeing in joy. There are so many blank pages to 2012 and I can’t wait to fill them with good, wonderful, lovely things. I am going to make SURE this year is better than last. I am going to play on and on … and on some more.

How about you? What song is motivating you this New Year?


8 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Tunes: New Year Edition.

  1. Hah, I too am eager to be querying. Got a little while to go, but I understand your feelings exactly.

    While I keep on keeping on, I’m very excited and optimistic for you! Go get ’em, girl! You can do this.

    • Thank you so much! As you know, having support and cheerleaders makes such a difference in this crazy journey. I’m so lucky to have great people along for the ride.

      And – I can’t wait until you’re on the querying trail, too, because I just know amazing things are coming for you and your MS. 2012 is going to be your year!

  2. Yay! I’m so excited for you! I don’t think you’re crazy at all for being excited about querying. Yes, it’s tough – the research, the rejections, the customizable paragraph written for each specific agent. At the same time, though, there’s so much possibility. THIS agent and THIS query and THIS book – they could all come together, collide, and explode into something wonderful. YOU JUST NEVER KNOW. You don’t know which agent will be the one, or which query will be the one, and the not knowing is both impossibly agonizing and impossibly exciting at the same time.

    Let the obsessive email refreshing begin, my dear! (Oh, wait. You already refresh your email obsessively, don’t you? Admit it. I know you do…)

    As for starting your new book, that is wonderful! It’s such an exciting time. I’m still waiting, and also critiquing for one of my CPs, but I couldn’t help it – today I cheated, and opened the document for my new book, and I worked on it for a while. I just couldn’t wait. It was delicious, and now I can’t stop thinking about it, like being in a relationship with someone, and then getting an electric crush on someone else before you can break it off with the first person.

    Oh, and I thought you were doing Query Tracker? Your spreadsheet is beautiful, but QT is very helpful, too, especially if you’re a stats girl.

    Good luck! Please let me know how querying goes.

    And, yes, I know this is way longer than a comment. It’s an email. Or two. I just can’t help myself. I’m too excited for you! (How many times can I use variations of the word ‘excite’ in one comment, anyway?!?)

    • LOL – well, in all fairness, our emails usually end up being multiple pages long, so your comment seems like a perfectly normal length ;-)

      Thank you, as always, for all the support and excitement. It’s been such fun to share our writing journeys! Oh my gosh, and yes, I couldn’t agree more with everything you said about the querying process. Ah, the agony, but ah, the hope….

      (But me? Obsessively refreshing email? I’m sure I have no idea what you’re talking about. Ha.)

      I am SOOOOO EXCITED to start working on the next book. Like, abnormally, unnaturally, ridiculously excited. I may even be contemplating the idea of buying a new set of colored pens to brainstorm and plot. YAY for you sneaking in some time to work on yours, too! So have you gone back to it again or are you trying to hold off?

      I’m using QT, yes, but I’m a little compulsive about organization so I have the spreadsheet, too. My laptop’s been having some issues (or a lot of issues, boo) connecting to the Internet lately, and it makes me feel better to have an Excel database, too.

      Thanks again for your excitement — means the world!

  3. Quite hilariously, I wrote a blog entry about how much I hate the first few days of the New Year… Polar opposite of how you feel about them ;)

    But all that aside, I can’t wait to see how your hard work, passion and dedication to your craft are rewarded this year… and THEY WILL BE! I am so excited to finally be reading your manuscripts.

    I think I will just keep playing on and on… and on, as well. I believe that eventually, if we keep doing our best and working our tooshes off… our dreams will happen. :)

    • You know, though, it’s kinda cool – polar opposites, but with the same goals and aspirations for 2012.

      I’m super excited that you’re reading them, too, and can’t wait to hear your thoughts. I’m also super, super, super excited to read yours. I already know how phenomenal they’ll be.

      Also – LOVE the way you think. With hard work and doing the best we can, who knows what’s possible?! :)

  4. I’ve always loved the January lull after the busy holidays because it’s such a great time to immerse myself in whatever writing project is at hand. The very best wishes to you with your querying … I’m hoping you get lots of requests for material!

    • I couldn’t agree more – there’s something both peaceful and inspiring about the calm after the holidays. How can you not want to write, write, write? :)

      Thank you so much!

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