Monday, March 29, 2010

Three Things Plus More Wrap-Up

Since this is my third post in a row on agent blogs, and I'm not used to talking so long about one subject, I decided to throw in a few random thoughts about my life at the moment.

#1 - I bought a new vacuum cleaner last week. I absolutely love it - it works so well it makes vacuuming a joy. Seriously. I vacuumed the entire lower level of our house yesterday just for fun. It's amazing how excited a twenty-nine-(hee hee)-year-old woman can get about a vacuum cleaner.

#2 - My daughter makes her First Communion on Thursday. At our church, First Communion isn't a veil and gloves type affair, but I did buy her a new spring dress for the occasion. Of the approximately twenty-five dresses to choose from, she tried on about twenty. When her high school prom rolls around, she may have to rent out her own dressing room.

#3 - WIP progress is slow, but slight progress is being made. I'm hoping to send it out to the second round of readers in about six weeks. As I commented on another blogger's blog last week, I'm trying to sprint to the finish line, but life just keeps getting in the way.

And now (drumroll please), on to the wrap-up:

Since so many agent blogs were suggested on last week 's Toss-Around Thursday, I split the list in two. Here are several more awesome blogs for you to check out:

Query Shark: readers submit queries and some of these are selected and critiqued on the blog. Cool!

Kristin at Pubrants: Some of my favorite features of this blog were the blog pitch workshops, the Agenting 101 blogs, and Q&A posts where Kristin answers reader questions. I'm definitely going to be spending a lot more time at this site.

Bookends: This blog has some good info with posts such as Query Formatting, Follow-Up to Submitting a Partial, Pitch Lines that Don't Work, and Questions to Ask Before Signing with an Agent (I hope I need to read that one some day!) The site accepts reader email questions and has an impressive list of "Must Read Posts" on the sidebar.

Dystel & Goderich: This blog includes posts by different agents at the agency, and I especially like the little sidebar feature that tells what each agent wants to see more of - good info!

Bent on Books: This blog includes a guest post by Susan Hawk, the new children's book agent at The Bent Agency, and a detailed post on Rookie Mistakes.

The Swivet: Here I found an interesting post by guest blogger Ari Marmell, fantasy author, and the #Askagent Twitter chat ("agent/editor/writer free-for-all, where a group of agents, editors, and other book industry pros open themselves up to questions from writers for a couple of hours or until they drop from sheer exhaustion") looks very interesting (but alas, I don't Twitter.)

Chuck Samuchino: This is one of several Writer's Digest blogs. I found some great stuff here, including applying Donald Maass's Writing the Breakout Novel to blogging, a Worst Storyline Ever Contest (now closed), and New Agent Alerts.

Mark McVeigh: I'm partial to agent Mark McVeigh, since I won a 15-minute Skype chat with him, so I know from personal experience he's a great guy. His blog includes some good information including book launch party invitations, book trailers, and cool industry news.

I found some great stuff on all these blogs. Like me, you probably don't have time to keep up with all of these, so if you were going to check out just a few, I'd recommend Miss Snark (love those contests), Mary Kole at Kidlit, and Kristin at Pubrants. That's just my humble opinion though. In any case, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the agents on this list.


Happy Tuesday Everyone!

39 comments:

Old Kitty said...

Hi

Thanks so much for the handy links - will visit them asap!

First I just wanted to say Yay! to your new vacuum cleaner. I remember being so happy and excited when I got a new Dyson one last year cos it was the Pet one that really, really worked like magic!!.

And second, I'm very excited for you and your daughter's first communion! Of course she has to try all the dresses! LOL! I hope you all have a lovely communion day!

And third - good luck with your WIP!

:-)

Take care
x

Susan Fields said...

Old Kitty - we have a cat, a dog, and three kids. I can't believe I survived with that old vacuum as long as I did! And thank you for all the good wishes - hopefully it will be a good week for First Communion and the WIP.

KarenG said...

You won a skype chat with an agent? That is so cool! What a creative & clever prize for an agent to offer. You ought to do a post on how that went, or maybe you already did, before I started following you?

Theresa Milstein said...

Great list. I follow a few of these and now I have even more to check out.

Congratulations on the vacuum cleaner. : )

sarahjayne smythe said...

Congrats on your win. That's made of awesome. :) And congrats on your daughter's communion.

And thanks for the links.

Jemi Fraser said...

These are all great blogs. They are so full of good information - thanks for the hnady link list :)

Bish Denham said...

Great links, thanks! New vacuums that really suck are always wonderful. And congratulations on your daughter's First Communion.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Thanks for the great links! I'm jealous of you and your new vacuum (LOL) -- mine sucks (not a pun!!)

Have a great day!

Susan Fields said...

Karen - I wish I knew how to paste a link into a comment, but I'm technologically challenged so I'll just tell you instead. I gave some of the highlights of my Skype chat with Mark McVeigh on my March 2nd post. Again, I apologize, I wish I could give you the link so you could see it without going through the old posts. Also, Kathleen Ortiz is giving away an 8-minute Skype chat with herself and Suzie Townsend - contest details to be announced on her blog on March 31 (tomorrow!)

Susan Fields said...

Theresa - thanks for the agents you suggested! I especially thought Chuck Sambuchino's (oops! I just noticed I spelled that wrong in the post) Creating the Breakout Blog post was good stuff. I'm going to be studying that in more detail.

Susan Fields said...

Sarahjayne - thank you, thank you, and you're welcome! My daughter's so excited about her First Communion (but not as excited as my mother is, I think - we switched churches two years ago and my mom thought my daughter was going to get cheated out of her First Communion, after both her siblings got to have one.) It'll be a special evening, for sure.

Susan Fields said...

Jemi - you're welcome! I'm glad you like the list. It's really nice for me to finally have these links close at hand, I've been meaning to do that for a long time.

Susan Fields said...

Bish - thank you, we're extra excited about the First Communion because my older daughter is going to be a helper at that service - my younger daughter really thinks that will be neat to have her big sister involved.

Yes, that's the great thing about this vacuum - it has suction! What a concept!

Susan Fields said...

Nicole - run, don't walk, out to your nearest vacuum store and get yourself a Simplicity vacuum. I went in intending to buy a much more expensive vacuum, but the clerk sold me on the Simplicity, and I couldn't be happier with it (and I saved a lot of money.)

Susan R. Mills said...

That's awesome about the skype chat with Mr. McVeigh. And the vacuum cleaner. I got a Dyson a couple of years ago, and I also vacuum just for fun sometimes.

Jackee said...

Yay for 29 yo's with vacuums-made-easy and for daughters in dresses!

Susan Fields said...

Susan - oh good! I'm not the only person crazy enough to go around vacuuming for recreation (maybe that's a Susan thing?) Vacuuming the ceramic flooring in the kitchen was the best - it felt so good to watch those crumbs get sucked up from inches away!

Susan Fields said...

Jackee - I agree! My older daughter wouldn't touch a dress or even shop until she was 12, but the younger one's a natural born girlie girl.

Talli Roland said...

Thanks so much for the links and good luck to your laughter for her First Communion!

Talli Roland said...

Um, yeah. That should be 'daughter'! My fingers are typing words independently of my brain!

Susan Fields said...

Talli - don't worry, I read it as "daughter," but it did make me smile! :) And thanks - she's excited!

Kimberly Franklin said...

A new vacuum! I so want a new one. Mine sucks!!! :)

Susan Fields said...

Kimberly - You should so go out and get yourself a Simplicity vacuum! It wasn't as terribly expensive as the others I was looking at, and I can't imagine being any happier with it. Having a good vacuum is sooo nice! And I should know, because I suffered for years and years and years with bad ones.

Sharon Mayhew said...

Susan--I got an oreck before I moved...I love it, it's so light! Ummm, I have a pretty good idea which daughter tried on twenty dresses. :) You're not the only one with slow progress on their wip this week...I was NOT productive at all today. :( I've been giving a final go on Beg, Borrow and Earn, but after running and kickboxing today I was so tired and unfocused I couldn't do anything....Tomorrow will be better. Spinning and weight training are less stressing on my (old) body.

Tess said...

There is a vacuum out there that makes that chore a 'joy'? Wow, sign me up! :D

Joanne said...

Thanks for the blog links, I hadn't heard of some of these. And enjoy your daughter's First Communion ... Maybe she can wear her dress for an Easter dress too?

Lola Sharp said...

Life does have a habit of getting in the way.

We have a Dyson, and I still do NOT like vacuuming, especially the stairs.

Susan Fields said...

Sharon - yes, I'm sure you do know which daughter I'm talking about, though Jillian's come along way since our unhappy little trip to Kohl's so long ago. Less exercise...more wip!

Susan Fields said...

Tess - I'm sure the joy part will wear off eventually, but I'm going to enjoy it for now!

Susan Fields said...

Joanne - yes, she'll definitely be wearing the dress for Easter. We even bought new shoes to go with it, which I hate to do because they wear them once and then never again, but I knew we'd be getting at least two wears out of this dress!

Susan Fields said...

Lola - I couldn't agree more, I don't think I'll ever like vacuuming stairs, no matter how great the vacuum is. Our house has three levels and a T-staircase, too, so there's no shortage of stairs. I think once we get past Easter and the constant days off our school district likes to give the kids, I'll be able to get more work done on the wip (I hope!)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

These are fantastic links, Susan! Thanks for rounding them up for us. :-)

Congrats on your daughter's first communion - that's such a special day. And good luck with your WIP.

Susan Fields said...

Shannon - you're welcome for the links, and thank you for your good wishes. My daughter and I are going to make her first communion cake when she gets home from school today - she's so excited!

Wendy aka Quillfeather. said...

Great links! Thanks Susan.

PS. I have to agree. There's nothing quite like a new vacuum cleaner!

Susan Fields said...

Hi Wendy - I'm glad some of you out there share my vacuum love, I'm not as deranged as I thought!

Southpaw said...

A new vacuum that suck up all the nasty from the floor is wonderful!

I like all the agent blogs you've written about. I've had to bookmark these posts so I can check them all out.

Thanks.

Susan Fields said...

Holly - I'm so glad this list is helpful to someone else, too! Clean floors are wonderful, especially with a cat, a dog, and three kids.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Hi Susan!

Congratulations on your daughter's First Communion! My mom attended Catholic church as a child and she dressed up in the white dress and veil, etc. Growing up I wished we went to a Catholic church instead of a Baptist one so I could "dress as a bride," too. :)

BTW, The Miss Snark link you gave us isn't actually "Miss Snark" -- she's Authoress, Miss Snark's First Victim. Miss Snark's blog has been discontinued for a while now, but I think it's still floating around out there on the web, crammed with excellent information. Anyway, hope this clarification helps!

Amy
P.S. And NO,if anyone's wondering, I am not Authoress!
P.S.S. And you're right, there's nothing like a good vacuum cleaner to brighten someone's day!

Susan Fields said...

Amy - thank you for that clarification! I saw that Miss Snark's blog was discontinued (but you're right, it is still out there) and I assumed that she'd started a new blog with a different name (First Victim) but now that you explain it, it does make sense.

My older two children made their first communions in the Catholic church (as did I), so I'm a little concerned my little one will be disappointed this isn't nearly as big a deal in our new church, but she's got a new dress and she got to help decorate her cake, so hopefully she'll be happy.