lizedelbrock.com

Hey faithful friends and readers. It may have come to your attention that I’m blogging about once every six months and when I do, my content has changed from my crazy family adventures to writing adventures. I’ve decided to take a hiatus from the Edelspot as I focus on my next endeavor. If you miss me, or want to find me, I’m over at lizedelbrock.com and I’d love to have you join me there.

xoxo,

Liz

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My Pitch Wars Story

I wrote a book. I edited it, printed it a few times, shared with family as “beta” readers and had chapters critiqued by CPs. I was ready to become a published author. I queried a few agents. I got a few rejections, heard a few crickets. I stopped querying.

I knew my story wasn’t right, but I was working in a vacuum. I didn’t have a big enough community and I was floundering. So I put the manuscript to the side for a break and some perspective.

On August 3 when Pitch Wars opened for submissions I saw a tweet about it. An opportunity to work with a mentor sounded like exactly what I needed. I was excited and terrified all at once, and scrambled to write a synopsis and updated query letter. I submitted and waited with baited breath.

And mentor Rebecca Petruck chose me.

She chose me. You guys I fell to the floor and started weeping. Which sounds dramatic, but when you have a dream and no idea how to achieve it, finding someone who believes in you even a teeny tiny bit is a lifeline. And Rebecca is the loveliest teacher and cheerleader to have in your corner.

She immediately had me do a new outline for the book, with several major character changes. Already I could see a new story taking shape. It was my old story, but darker and more exciting. And then it was time to work.

I had no idea what I was capable of. I wrote 40,000 new words in four weeks. And while they weren’t my best words, they were good ones. Rebecca provided feedback on my total revision and then it was time to do more work. I read, edited, rewrote, edited more. I read aloud and then on my Kindle. And then Rebecca started line edits for me and I dug back in. Again. Wash, rinse, repeat.

This has been an exhilarating, exhausting, and completely worthwhile experience. In just a few days, my pitch and first page will be posted for agents to review. And if it resonates with any of them, I will send them this brand new book I’ve written and edited in just over two months. But if it doesn’t, I’m still coming out of this a better writer with a better story. I’ve learned so much about the mechanics of story, about my personal tics and (sometimes bad) habits. I’ve met other fabulous writers who are chasing this same dream. I’ve been given a community to go to when I need advice, commiseration or celebration and a mentor that continues to provide me insight and support.

So this is my Pitch Wars story. It doesn’t have an ending because really, Pitch Wars is just the beginning. And I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Two

photo-1415045550139-59b6fafc832fToday is the two year anniversary of my Dad’s death. His deathiversary.

I’m not sure what I want to say about it, but I can’t let it slip by without acknowledging it is here, it is happening. Just a reminder that he isn’t with us and it’s because of this one, single day. His cancer diagnoses changed our world. This day blew it apart.

I still think of Dad when I need to make a decision. When I see other grandparents doing fun things with their grandkids. When I want to buy a new gadget. When I’m planning a vacation. When I do something good. When the kids do something good. Honestly, it doesn’t hurt so much all the time now. The grief. Instead it sneaks up on me randomly, and the pain is quick and sharp and then gone again until the next reminder.

During one of his last days, Dad and I had a conversation that pushed me to get serious about chasing a particular dream. Today I am in NYC for a writing conference. It doesn’t feel like a coincidence that this big milestone is happening on the exact anniversary of his death. It feels like it is meant to be. Today, while my thoughts are on both the past and the future, he has a hand on me. Guiding me, steadying me, supporting me. Today it doesn’t feel like Heaven is so far away. And for that, I’m grateful.

Valentine’s Day is for Lovers

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to offer up the dating advice of my six-year-old. You are welcome.

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This may not be widely known, but there are four steps to falling in love.

Step 1:

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First pick someone you like.

Step 2:

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Next talk to them.

Step 3:

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Then get in touch with them.

Step 4:

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Last you got yourself a boyfriend.

Kate’s four-step process is simple to follow, although it may bring to mind a few questions. Like, why does the girl in this instructional have such a giant rack? (I don’t know. Kate likes boobs?) What are they talking about in each step? (Imaginary friends/animals. Naturally.) In step three, how are they getting in touch? (Texting with their iWatches. Again, naturally.) So what are you waiting for? With Kate’s four easy steps to falling in love and getting yourself a boyfriend, you won’t be spending this Valentine’s Day alone.

YOU ARE WELCOME.

 

This week’s list

A quick list of what is in my world this week.

cover225x225Reading: I’m currently reading The Apothecary by Maile Meloy. I picked this series up because it was at my favorite store for buying things I’m not planning on buying: Costco. And don’t play like you don’t know what I mean. In for eggs, milk and coffee, out with a kayak, a wheel of cheese, two rabbit cages and three books. Every. Damn. Time. Thanks Costco!

The Apothecary is set in 1952 and while I’m only about 75 pages in, I’m loving the world that Meloy is building. There is action, danger and a hint of something magical, so you know I’m hooked.HFH6U1U5T4

Writing: Since it is January, most of what I’m writing is purely for business. Editorial calendars, blog posts, marketing plans. And I’m still (STILL) editing my current middle grade novel.

Listening: I’m always on the hunt for new music to add to my playlist. I usually have to listen to music when I’m writing, with two young kids, two dogs and a husband who works from home, it’s the Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 3.55.50 PM.pngonly way for me to block out the world. But YOU GUYS. Today a friend told me about a website called RainyMood.com and it is LIFE CHANGING. It is the sound of rain. That’s it. The sound of a rainy day. And I love it. I am going to hole myself up in my office, draw the drapes, put on a little rain and write for days.22_packing

 

Drinking: Tea. Hot tea. Specifically this TAZO sweet cinnamon spice blend.
Because it is January and coffee and wine are bad for you and I will stick to my resolutions for at least another full week, thank you very much.

I hate tea.

Purchasing: I just went out and bought a new planner for 2016. Truth be told, I’m underwhelshoppingmed by it. I wanted one with lots of stickers and motivational statements and maybe a robot that would actually make me use it. But I just couldn’t work myself up to spend more than $50 on something that, experience tells me, I will use for exactly 62 days and then will abandon somewhere in the depths of my desk. The one I got? Meh. It was $14 and will serve its purpose. I’m not gonna sing about it from the rooftops, but I’m also not going to have to skip girl’s night to pay for it. (Planner pictured: Sugar * Paper 2016 planner, Target, $14.99)

Coveting: You know what I am coveting most right now? A double double from In-N-Out animal style with fries and a shake. HELLO LOVER. But instead I will go cut up an apple. New Years Resolutions are ruining my life.

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons being unpublished is the worst

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#amediting

So, I’m an unpublished author. That means, I write, and I write, and I cry into my coffee and I edit (a lot) and then I write some more. And no one gives me any money for it, because advances are for Kardashians and presidents. But I love it, so I keep at it. It’s fun, and exciting. And yet, there are certain times when being unpublished is just the absolute worst.

Like when…

People ask you what you do. And you say you are writing a book. Trust me on this. They will immediately avoid eye contact, make a polite noise and then change the subject. To something awful, like the weather. Or the video of the dog riding the Zoomba they saw yesterday. The odd person will actually ask what it is about, but before you finish your 30-second pitch, they will have moved on to how their sister’s cousin wrote a book and it is being turned into a Hollywood blockbuster. And then they might muse that THEY always wanted to write a book. Maybe they will just whip one out so they can get a movie deal. Which will make you, the unpublished author, struggle to keep  your head from exploding.

Like when…

You read an article about how bookstores are becoming obsolete. Which leads to utter (and, irrational) panic over whether or not you will ever get a book published in time to actually see it on a shelf in a physical store. Which might lead to elaborate, and slightly premature, planning of an Amazon Warehouse break-in that includes bookcases, product display work and flash photography/selfies. All while you really should just be trying to finish writing the damn book in the first place. #priorities

Like when…

You meet published authors, who are so totally nice and supportive but realistic. And they tell you how it took them TWELVE YEARS to get an agent, and you die a little inside because TWELVE YEARS. *sob*

Like when…

You know that having an online presence is so totally important to getting an agent or book deal, so you have to put together an author website and a twitter account and a Facebook page and yet YOU HAVE NO BOOKS. NO. BOOKS. So you try and tweet cool book-type things and make friends with actual successful (published) writers and yet, still. NO. BOOKS. You will feel like the ultimate imposter. Just be cool. Be cool. Maybe no one will notice. BUUUUUUT don’t forget to hashtag it all. #amwriting #amediting

Speaking of… you’ll have to excuse me. I’m going to go tweet this now.