Fluff, Uncategorized

My Eclectic Mess — An Update of Sorts


Contrary to what this blog may have proven so far, I’m a thinker.  I sit.  I ponder.  Hours go by.  And, by the end of it, someone is usually starving. 

I’ve had a lot of thoughts about items to share — none of which merit their own post.  So, stick your fingers in your ears and sing, “la, la, la,” if necessary, but here’s what’s on tap in the near future:

  • Guest Posts: Yes, friends, not only do I have my first ever guest lined up for this coming Monday, I have a whole series of posters who will be joining me this month.  Remember when I wrote about how reading children’s books helped me become a better writer?  Well, this group of fabulous writers are willing to share their own stories of finding inspiration in unexpected places.  So, check back on Monday when the fun begins. 
  • New Year’s Deadline #1 is rapidly approaching: You know, the one where I’m finally going to kiss my MG manuscript goodbye, and send it off into the land o’ agents?  I won’t curse myself and say that the book is ready, because we can get all Socrates-like and say, “Is anything ever really ready?” and then moan about our togas, but you may infer what you wish.  I’m currently tackling the all-important query letter by alternately reading archives of Query Shark, and hiding in a corner weeping.  Seriously, I’m just happy to be giving this a shot.  Really.  Really.  It’s about the journey, man.
  • A Challenge of Historical Proportions: I first learned about the YA Historical Fiction Challenge from the talented and gracious, Becky Levine.  Hosted by Sab at YA Bliss, this challenge encourages you to read 5, 10, or 15 YA or MG novels in the historical fiction genre during the year 2011.  I’ll be reading and blogging about five books.  Though I greatly enjoy HF, I haven’t read much in this age range recently except for my beloved, Little House on the Prairie.  Which brings me to…
  • The Reinstatement of Literary SMACKDOWN: I know there’s only been one so far — between Laura Ingalls and Anne Shirley — but it was SENSATIONAL!  (See how when I write things in straight caps it makes you believe what I’m saying is true?  What do you mean, no?).  If my graphic designer, cough, 14-year-old daughter, is available to help me with photo-shopping, we may be good to go next week.  I can’t tell you who’s competing, yet, but when I find out, I’ll call you on your cell phone.
  • A New Theme: I’ve been thinking about playing around with my blog’s design since it’s always seemed a bit hard on the eyes.  So, if you happen to come back and find things have been changed up a bit, don’t be alarmed, you are not hallucinating.  Or, maybe you are if you’re currently taking large amounts of drugs, or haven’t slept more than three hours a night for the past two weeks…Hey, why is Oprah riding through my living room on an Oompa Loompa?

There you have it — my thoughts.  Or, rather, my eclectic mess.  You can unplug those ears, and run away now.  And, hopefully, you’ll return…

So, what’s on your mind?  Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Burning secrets unfit for your therapist?  Hit me. 

*Find me on Twitter @amandahoving

32 thoughts on “My Eclectic Mess — An Update of Sorts”

  1. “I’m currently tackling the all-important query letter by alternately reading archives of Query Shark, and hiding in a corner weeping.”

    Ha! My colleagues just heard me laugh out loud at that one.

    But it also made me remember something important. When I went to dinner and a reading for Lisa Scottoline a few months ago, she told someone else (not me! I didn’t have the guts to ask!) that she’d be more than happy to hand a manuscript to her agent. If we had the wherewithal to finish a novel, she’d be happy to help route the almighty document to the right place. Doesn’t it take your breath away that a famous author would ever make such an incredible offer? She said it to a room full of people! (That’s why I assume it’s ok to repeat it here.)

    Anyway, here are some details to lead you to Lisa’s site. Buena suerte!



    1. Just read your post, Maura…what a fabulous night! And, yes, so incredible that this generosity can be found in the writing world from the best-sellers down to the peons. Thanks for the info, (and the good luck)!


  2. OH! You are going for it. GOOD LUCK! I’m going to check out QueryShark now.

    My goal for 2011?

    Imitate you.

    That’ll make something happen.

    Loved this post with its’ peek into your brain.

    Very nice.


  3. Oh.
    This is SO random. Aagh, hold on, let me untangle my brain…lol

    Query: Go for it. Keep it short, keep it concise. Keep it confident but not overinflated. Goodness, who am I to be giving advice on queries? 😀

    Yes, yes, let’s have another Literary SMACKDOWN!!!! Honestly, PLEASE DO!!!! (Are the capitals working for me?) How about with one of my characters and one of yours? Hmm? A duel?


    1. Thanks! It’s good advice. I’ve written many queries (short stories, articles, etc.) — some successful, some not — but the NOVEL QUERY just feels a bit more intimidating.

      Glad you’re so excited about the SMACKDOWN. Maybe we can have a duel once someone other than ourselves knows who our characters are 😉


      1. Ooh, sounds like you’re actually published too. That will come in handy when it comes time to write the dreaded query. Something I didn’t have. 😦

        Good idea about our characters. 😀


    1. It did feel good to finish the edits, but it was a long time coming. Chocolate is the only celebration I need, and I’ve had it in ample amounts, don’t you worry.

      Thanks, Todd~


  4. Literary smackdown sounds AWESOME! I haven’t been reading long enough to have read the first one (thanks for pointing it out). I have some feature posts on my main blog, Indigo Moods, but they have nothing to do with writing. I’m thinking of great writing ones as we speak…er, write.

    I am so far from a query I haven’t even researched it in passing. If your book is as good as your blog, you have nothing to worry about. You’re going to rock that query’s socks! Good luck! 😀


  5. Author! Author! How does that sound as a giddyup incentive toward finishing the query, sending it and…then…the pins and needles waiting for the yippee-ki-ay. Best wishes to you.


  6. I’m a bit confused as to what this literary smackdown is (err, what is it) but it seems AWESOME. Which is what counts.
    Your reference to togas reminded me that my uni has an annual toga party and perhaps this is an underlying subliminal message that “we are not ready” for the new year despite actually being Socrates-like in our intelligence. I will put this to people this year, while we’re all in togas, though probably not until we’ve had some lethal punch.


    1. Literary SMACKDOWN portrays two similar-ish characters duking it out to find out who’s the stronger one. There’s a lot of sweat involved.

      Go easy on the lethal punch…avoid all things purple.


  7. “A true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art.” — George Bernard Shaw

    Yeah, I know, easy for him to say because he had a WIFE to take care of stuff and no kids, but I think your willingness to put aside hunger (your own or anybody else’s) bodes well for your success 🙂 Best of luck with the queries, and looking forward to the smackdown!


  8. Very exciting about sending off your baby into the unknown! I’m pretty certain it will not come back to you with a degree in history and beer pong – but maybe a shiny new bound cover! All professional and published! Wouldn’t that be great?

    Sounds like the year is lining up nicely for you, A!


  9. New themes are fun! I love tweaking the themes on my blogs from time to time. It gives them a fresh look and keeps me interested too. Have fun, Amanda, you’ll come out on top.


  10. I will definitely have to do some research on your site for the SMACKDOWN sounds very interesting. Best of luck on your query letter and manuscript. How exciting to be at that point in time. Jeanne


  11. ugh–the land o’ agents. such a scary, scary place…

    …best of luck. i’m giving myself until the end of feb. to finish editing and start sending out queries like it’s my job. lordy.



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