Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Good Wednesday, Everyone ...

This morning at 4:30 am the heavens caved in. I mean the thunder nearly knocked me out of bed. Lightning flashed, turning the night into day for several but brief moments. Who could sleep? This June had to be one of the WORST in Chicago history. At least it has for the last NINE years I've lived here. Once one of the most beautiful months, June has now been under Dementor attack for the past four weeks. With every room lit, I wrote this post.

This reminds me of our favorite beginning ... It was a dark and stormy night ... lol. I just need to tweak it a bit.... It was a dark and stormy morning ...

For days I have worked on my newest query for my second novel. After yet another contest, I had received some vital feedback and had changed my query... FINALLY it was ready. This particular agent asked for the first three chapters as well. As I ATTEMPTED to highlight the first 10,000 words of my ms, my frustration levels skyrocketed. My beloved Macbook has issues with this simple task. About three years ago it was a slight problem, but now it's a torture devise. My tack board is going. I need to have it replaced, but since I could never live without my best friend, it remains a problem. What is one to do? I wish I could buy another and use that while this one gets fixed. HA. I wish! Anyway, this is not the question I am posting about.

After an hour or so I had finally highlighted the section. I closed the ms and didn't save it because I had added nothing. To my HORROR, I had closed my query instead! NOOOOOOOOOOOO! And it wasn't saved. TWO weeks I had worked on it. And of course, the last day is when I had done the most changes. I FREAKED! Who wouldn't? This hasn't happened to me in YEARS. I am usually so careful.

Cursing, I had closed out everything and gently slammed my best friend shut. Hours later, I did some blogging, but REFUSED to work on another blasted query. It was an omen. Time to work on something else. Three years I had put into this novel. I had a few requests for fulls, but nothing came of them. I needed a mind-blowing query to attract at least TEN agents. That's what I want... kicking feet in a small tantrum. Its dark and the Dementors are EVERYWHERE. LOL.

SO, yesterday I pulled up my invisible sleeves and tapped away. Would this query be the one? I had decided to create something completely different. I had been told by a few that my queries read more like mini synopsis'. A thought came to mind. My intros! Create a query in the form of an intro. "How many blogger buddies praised your talents with these?" I had asked myself. So I did, concentrating on the one unique feature of this story. The relationship between the two boys... not focusing on the mc's trauma of physical and mental abuse inflicted by his dad.

Will it be successful? Who knows? Today, after posting this, I will once again attempt to highlight the first ten thousand words and send this out to the agent. The funny thing is, I feel good about this new query. As you all know I try very hard to keep positive and turn negative situations around. Losing my previous query, may in fact, have been a blessing in disguise.

Have you ever lost any pages and created something even better? I'd love to know. Food for thought on this very gloomy Wednesday.

It is now 7am and it's still dark outside. Will these damn Dementors ever leave Chicago?



  1. We're going through this thunderstorm thing too. It's getting old.

    One time I lost a small scene I wrote, but realized it right away, so I'm sure it was pretty much the same. Other than that I've been lucky not to lose writing.

    Good luck with the querying!!

  2. Hey,

    (I was going to write my usual "aloha" but don't want you to think of warm, golden sunny beaches...

    Oh... :)

    All I can say is I have lost EVERYTHING once and many chapters/large pieces of writing.

    I do, however, stand united beside you in your corner.

    If it doesn't delete us, it makes us stronger, right:)

  3. Sorry you lost the whole query! But you're right, you've probably written something better as a result.
    While I've never lost something major, I did scrap an entire story and rewrote it from scratch. The result was my first published book.
    We had a dementor attack yesterday. It's been raining for days here.

  4. I have a good feeling that you're right about the lost query being a blessing in disguise. This new approach sounds like a winner to me and I won't be surprised if you end up attracting 15 agents, never mind 10. :)

    Hope those Dementors will leave you alone in July. Surely they have to move on soon.

  5. Send the Dementors this way. I love thunderstorms but the UK sadly lacks them. We're lucky if we get a few rumbles a year :( Even though our Junes are wet and muggy, there's no thunder as a result.

    I've lost a whole story before when my old computer went down. Couldn't retrieve it either. Now I'm a paranoid writer with numerous copies saved in different places - just in case. People think I'm going overboard, but until they lose something like that, they'll never understand :) Hope the new query works out for you

  6. It really sucks that you lost your query that you spent so much time working on, but maybe it was a blessing in disguise, and your new one is even better.

  7. I am so sorry the MAC gremlins struck! I have this problem with Word for MAC all the time, and it drives me bats. Track changes and comments just plain do not work, and every time I work on a critique for someone, or try to make notes in the margin of my own mss, it closes or freezes every few minutes. So yes, I absolutely know what you mean, And to make you feel better, maybe, at least a little, your subconscious will still remember the info! PLus, as a bonus, your query will end up having energy that you may have edited after too many edits. At least for me, this has always been true, You've got this! I have no doubt it will end up even stronger.,And if you need yet another set of eyes, holler!

  8. I have lost things before and it is HORRIBLE! So sorry :(

  9. When I was editing Solomon's Compass, I had worked all day on one chapter. The scene had been nothing but trouble, even during the writing of it. I edit on a printed copy, and all the pages were filled with red ink. I was in a rush because people were coming for dinner, and I still had lots to do. I cleared off my desk and shredded the stack of papers that I was finished with.

    The next morning I learned I had shoved the papers I didn't need in the manuscript folder and shredded my edited chapter.

    I wish you a Dementor-Free July!

  10. Thank goodness I've never lost anything that major. My laptop had trouble with the auto-save feature in Word (it would stall and lock up the doc), so I got back into the habit of saving every so often manually. I DO have it set to prompt me if I close without saving.

    Anyhow, you very well may be right about your query. Best of luck! :D

  11. SO love your positive attitude! Sorry about the loss, but as you said, it may have been a blessing in disguise. I love querying. I can't wait to start again! Best of luck to you. (I've lost my entire laptop with ALL my pictures, documents, everything. My brother-in-law is currently trying to save whatever he can off my hard drive. Fingers crossed!) Christy

  12. I once lost a whole book I was working on. I had worked the entire summer on it and had poured my blood sweat and tears into it but for some reason I had neglected to back it up. One day the computer just died- just like that. It was there- and then it was not. Everything was gone and when I took it to a computer place they said everything was lost. I started over. What else can you do? Years later the lesson is learned and I don't think that book was my masterpiece in any way shape or form (far from it actually!). It was just a lesson learned: Backup, backup, backup!

  13. Losing work is every writer's bête noir! I'm so sorry that happened to you, but I've often found that when it happens to me (after I get done screaming and cursing at a machine) what I write in replacement of the lost thing is much better.

  14. I also lost a whole book. It was when I was still writing under cover and had to expose myself. Fortunately my dad was a computer wizard and he was able to recover the book by running some sort of search scan. My dad was amazing!

    Glad you're liking the new query. Your story like intros are awesome, so I'm betting this will pop!

  15. Hi Mike .. that sounds a ghastly set of situations... just glad you took the positive route out and drafted something different.

    I hate losing work .. I'm usually fairly careful - but blogger floors me occasionally with its max 4039 characters ... and I haven't realised it'd not taken. I did that the other day when I'd dashed back from London to go to a talk about the Arctic and Greenland along the coast - I had to re do the comments ... took me 45 minutes I didn't have!

    I have an external drive too -

    Cheers and good luck with those Dementor thunderers .. ours are often in the Channel .. Hilary

  16. Sometimes this happens to me. What I write the second time around is always better. Sometimes you must get the bad ideas out of your head before the good ones can filter in.

  17. So sorry that happened! I think every writer has experienced that sinking, sick feeling of work lost. I know I have so I can commiserate. I'm glad you've got such a good attitude about it and I really hope this new query is the one! Good luck.

  18. Some of the weather you've been suffering came our way last night and we're expecting more tomorrow. I have lost things and then made them better. You do write great intros. I hope it works out for you before the dementors get you.

  19. It's how you recover that counts, Michael.

    I scared myself last night as I was looking through my photo files. I thought I was removing one file, hit delete, and all of a sudden the folder for my blog photos was empty. I nearly had a heart attack before I remembered that they were sitting in my pc's recycle bin, so I was able to restore them.

    These things happen when we're distracted. Hope the weather gets better. I'm working on my query letter as well. Good Luck!

  20. Oh yes, I had lost several of Secondhand Shoes once. I was so upset. But it all turned out well.

    Hugs and chocolate,

    The weather has been special everywhere.

  21. We've been having some wild thunderstorms here in Pennsylvania, too. The kind that turn day time into night time.

    I know what you mean about not giving up my laptop long enough to get it fixed. I would curl up and die.

    And it sounds as if losing your query might in fact be the best thing that could happen. We all have a tendency to keep hacking away at something that's not working instead of starting fresh and taking a different approach.

    Good luck! Perhaps your new query will have just the right hook!

  22. Don't send the dementors here. Well, actually, I don't mind rain so long as the winds stay normal, lol!

    We've had lots of sunshine and perfect weather for haying. I'm just thrilled we haven't had the weather we had last year. Dry as a bone.

    Doesn't your computer automatically save? I haven't lost anything major, thankfully, but I can imagine the panic if I did.

    Wishing you the best with this query. Sounds like you have a great idea to focus on!


  23. Oh Chicago.

    When I came home from France a few weeks ago I flew from Paris to Chicago. I was then supposed to fly to Nashville, but there were tornado warnings and all of the flights to Nashville were cancelled for the night.

    Absolutely everything was booked so I had to fly to D.C. at 11pm (was supposed to be 9:25 but lightning delayed it) and I arrived around 2ish in the morning. I then had to hang out in the airport (alone) until around 5 when I could go back through security. I finally left D.C. at around 8 and made it home at 10, after over 24 hours of traveling.

    Needless to say I was not a fan of Chicago that day :P. Sorry for the long comment. I hope the query works out!!

  24. Oh my gosh, Michael. BLAST with the query... all that work. GONE! You must've been SO FRUSTRATED... !!!!

    But as always, here you go looking at the positive. It really is your life motto. So impressive and such a great example. If everyone could have that outlook!

    (And I wish the dementors would come visit me! I'm not a fan of the sun... bring on the gloom!!!)


  25. Oh God, not the query!!! I am so paranoid about losing files. May the new one be ten times better though.

  26. Ah, that sucks Michael. Sorry to hear all that work was lost :(

    I think using your skills writing those awesome intros would be an awesome'd suck them in and not let them go until you were ready!

    Go for it and best of luck :)

  27. Forgive a question from a PC person but doesn't the MAC have an auto-save feature?

  28. A very vivid picture you wrote here Michael. I am not a lover of Thunder and lightning, as being Epileptic the sudden flashes don't agree with me.
    Very interesting post and I hope your summer returns.


  29. That certainly sucks but I'm a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. There's no doubt in my mind you were meant to lose that query. Whether it's in favor of writing a better one, or something unforeseen, there is a purpose. Pump your fist in the air and move forward! I hope the Dementors leave you alone soon. :)

  30. I lost an entire 90k manuscript when my computer crashed several years ago. Do you think it taught me to back up everything to a memory disc, or save every time I open a document? Not really; it could never happen again, right?

    Well, it does occasionally. Later I save so many times I couldn't figure out which was the current WiP and what was three months old. I've resigned myself to being a ditz, and losing things sometimes :)

    Glad the query turned out so well Michel. I knew you'd get it figured out.

    We had our horrible thunder-storm a couple weeks ago, just like yours. Then it got sweltering hot, and now its raining again. Weird weather.


  31. Oh no! I am sorry that happened! I think it has happened at least once to every writer, and it is kind of like getting stabbed in the stomach.
    I am sorry yours got erased, but glad you were able to write another you liked even better. Hopefully all of the agents you send it to will agree!

  32. I've lost a 300 page manuscript before :( Now I back up everything. The world of technology can be a frustrating thing. I hope you find a patronus soon (I think that's the thing that gets rid of dementors).

  33. Oh Michael!
    What is the incantation that Harry Potter uses to disperse the Dementors? He holds up his wand and and says...

    The worst thing that has happened to me is not the loss of a manuscript or a query letter, but the loss of a photograph from when Elisabet was only four and Erik six. It was the best photograph I ever took of them at an age when the were so innocent. I did not understand about how to save pictures and saved it the wrong way. I only have a fragment left. I want to cry every time I think about it, It is the tiny little photo of my daughter that is my avatar in my Etsy shop parltradet.
    The larger picture was perfect so cute. And all I have left is her face. I had borrowed a camera from my former husband. This was before I bought my own digtal camera and the reason I wanted to have my own camera. But my children will never be that little and sweet again.
    Hope you feel better soon Michael. Hope you get good response from your query.
    Best wishes & hugs,
    Please go to my shop to look at the photo of Elisabet here:

    parltradet - Elisabet's face

  34. Ive written two versions of the same chapter because I'd thought I'd hadn't written it yet...and mashing to two together turned into something great!

  35. Oh my, Michael, that is horrible. I am so sorry you lost all that work. But maybe you are right- maybe it is a blessing and you will come up with something much, much better. Those maybe, what if questions might be the answer. Best of luck. I will be thinking of you. :)

  36. My husband drills it into my head 'hit save every few minutes' and I still forget sometimes. When I do that and something disappears, I hold my breath....sometimes it's there and sometimes it's not. I have a massive mental tantrum, then eventually, get back to replacing/rewriting, or whatever. I'm so sorry you lost yours, but I agree, it may have been for the best. You have a good feeling about it. Good luck!

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  38. Oh no! Soo frustrating when stuff like that happens.
    I'm excited that it led your query in a whole new direction though :-)
    Love that sunshine-y photo of Chicago in your other post!