Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yup...these are our readers....

It has come to our attention that a certain someone from Aachen, Nordrhein-Westfalen (seriously, you can't make this stuff up) came across our blog by searching for "baby bump" -porn.

Apparently, German perverts are following our boards like my kids follow ice cream trucks (and if you know my kids, you KNOW that's saying something). Yeah, that's just our luck. Can't keep the German pervs away, but the agents are nowhere to be found.

No news is good news?--We think alike Lisa.

So we haven't heard anything since early yesterday, which is better than getting rejected. Considering there is no news to pass along to our devoted readers, I have nothing left to do but upload a video clip of Lydia. She is a pretty mellow baby, so making her laugh is extra hard. She felt like laughing a little this morning when I was tickling her.

video

Monday, September 29, 2008

A very special post..

In honor of our very first official blog follower, Sarah! You are hilarious and we are looking forward to the many entertaining comments you will be posting in the future. And I'd also like to add that your blog picture is far more flattering than ours. Well done! Also as a prize for being our first blog follower you will receive a complimentary advance copy of The North Shore: First Impressions, if and when it is published.

We have some other honorable mentions as blog followers, including Tara and Casie, but they haven't taken that final leap and signed up to be an official follower yet. Perhaps this post will put them over the edge...

So, a big shout out to all 3 of you reading this blog. When our book is published we'll definitely be thanking you in our acknowledgements page.

P.S.
Another request for the first 3 chapters today! Whoo hooo!!

How is this even possible?

I don't want to make it sound like we are totally obsessed with celebrity's post-baby bodies, but we kind of are. Perhaps it has something to do with our own post-baby bodies, but whatever. How is it possible for Jessica Alba to look this good less than four months after giving birth? And, she's not hiding anything--it's all out there. I just don't understand it.

As I was trying to figure out the answer to the above question, I clicked into a helpful slideshow that re-visited Alba's baby bump days and I stumbled across two equally confounding pictures. The image below was supposedly taken on February 13th.


And this last picture was taken on February 24th. She sure did pop in 11 days. Possible, but still a little suspect.


Now I'm not trying to accuse Jessica of anything crazy like not actually having the baby, I'm just saying she looks remarkably good after giving birth a few months ago. Thanks to Jessica, Nicole, J.Lo, Halle, and the list goes on, the post-baby body bar has been set ridiculously high for celebrities. I wonder if they ever wish they could be compared to someone a little bit more average. If so, they can always check out BabyCenter's birthboards where moms have so generously uploaded pictures of their own, usually average, post-baby bellies.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Not that I'm obsessing...

But in case anyone is wondering it's officially 1:13 PM in Australia right now and a certain agent is possibly finishing up her lunch and possibly reading the first 50 pages of our book, and then possibly thinking that she absolutely has to finish the rest or she'll expire from the suspense of wondering what happens to Elle and her gorgeous sister Jane.

So that totally explains why I'm sitting here catching up on TiVo'd shows and refreshing our hotmail every 2 seconds. It's totally rational, right?

Our cheeks are burning...

from smiling! This morning we sent another round of queries and this evening we received a request for a FULL! Not a partial, THE ENTIRE BOOK! We couldn't be more excited. I'm not even sure what to compare this feeling to, but it feels damn good. So now all we have to do is keep our fingers crossed that the agent likes the entire book. But really, how could she not? :) Oh, and I guess agents do work on the weekends!

Queries...

Well, I've just finished sending off the last of our queries and now the only thing I have left to do is sit around and wait for responses. Something about sending queries literally gives me the shakes. It's so scary to send something that you've worked so hard on to complete strangers with the hope that they'll love it enough to want to take it on as their own and help you get it published.

Anyways, my husband is sick of hearing about it, Laura and I have already analyzed every possible aspect of this and the only thing left for me to do is blog about it, so here I am. We'll keep you posted on how things are going.

In the meantime, we're starting book #2 to keep us from going crazy and so we stop driving everyone else crazy while we're waiting to hear back from agents. Time to start outlining and developing our new characters! A week ago we weren't ready to start the process all over again, but now that the queries are out we both agree that The North Shore: First Impressions is truly finished. Time to start The North Shore: Second Chances...wish us luck.

Teddy and Moonglow

Tonight I got to thinking what exactly inspired Lisa and I to write this book. I could list a bunch of things--celebrities/fashion, our love of reading/writing, being a teacher and wishing for great YA books, hoping to land a job that we LOVE, etc. But I got to thinking about my childhood and the nights when we would all pile onto Lisa's bed and our dad would tell us the story of Teddy and his dog Moonglow. Teddy built a spaceship in his garage and he and Moonglow would travel to outerspace and partake in different adventures. Every story was different and we loved all of them. So maybe the seed was planted on those nights. Maybe because of our dad's stories, we were destined to write a book of our own. So, here we are dreaming big thanks to Teddy and Moonglow and our dad who thought them up.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Do agents work on the weekend?

We have about 25 queries outstanding and have only heard back from 7 people so far. Some requests, some rejections...it's killing me not knowing what the rest of the agents think of our book. I'm sitting here refreshing our e-mail account over and over and over again hoping that there is some really hardworking agent out there reading queries over the weekend.

Have you ever heard the song "Annie Waits" by Ben Folds 5? It's one of my favorite songs and it has been playing on repeat in my head for the past 4 days. Yes, for the record, it has only been 4 days since we sent out our queries. Impatient much?

It's definitely time to start the next book Laura, because I'm going crazy over here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Requests...

So, having had our share of rejections and requests at this stage in the process I can definitely say that I infinitely prefer the requests. It's so hard not to get carried away when you hear back from one of your dream agents that they're interested in reading more of the book that you wrote.

Of course, then you have to wait. And wait. And wait some more. I knew the waiting part would be difficult, I just didn't realize how difficult. I'm so proud of our book and I just know that if it gets published that it will do well, so it's so hard to wait. And it's even more difficult to have people tell us that it's just not for them.

And so we wait. Wait for the perfect agent who is going to love our book as much as we do and help us make our dreams come true. Ok, the rhyming was totally unintentional and sounds really cheesy, but whatever, you get my point.

Off to go check my e-mail...I'm like a woman obsessed.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

In case anyone is wondering what I'm doing tonight...

  • Doing actual work for my actual job (30 minutes)
  • Hitting refresh on our joint e-mail account approximately 100 times (5 minutes)
  • Watching the Office (which is hilarious, by the way, Andy wanting 6-pack abs before Angela sees him naked, I almost peed my pants) (47 minutes - I fast forward thru commercials)
  • Hitting refresh on our joint e-mail account approximately 100 times (5 minutes)
  • Talking to Laura about how amazing our book is and how any agent will be lucky to have us as clients because it's going to be a best-seller (41 minutes)
  • Researching our potential next book (60 minutes)
  • Hitting refresh on our joint e-mail account approximately 100 times (5 minutes)
  • Talking to Laura about how amazing our NEXT book is going to be and discussing how lucky an agent will be to sign us because we're not only super-fun, we're also literary geniuses (42 minutes)
  • Hitting refresh on our joint e-mail account approximately 100 times (5 minutes)

Brace yourselves...

I added up how long Lisa and I spent talking for the month of September and it is a whopping 2,061 minutes--over 34 hours. I'm not even sure if I feel comfortable posting that. Here is a little taste as to how the majority of those conversations went...

Lisa: Do you think we are gonna get published?
Laura: Yeah, I really think we wrote a good book.
Lisa: Really?
Laura: Yeah, I really do.
Lisa: I'm gonna look up how quickly the agents respond again.
Laura waits on the line while Lisa researches.
Laura: Tell me what you're finding.

And the riveting conversation continues.

I love Project Runway except for...


Kenley needs to cool it on the attitude. Not only is she mean to Tim Gunn, but she talks back to all the judges. The outfit you designed sucked, deal with it.

The waiting game...

is NO fun! But in the meantime, we are going to start our second book. That ought to keep us busy. And, seeing that neither of us can sleep at night, we should be done in no time. Who's ready to edit another book? Mom? Tara?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Agent? Anyone? Anyone?

I also had crazy dreams last night. The weirdest by far was that I was watching the morning news and one of the Cleveland reporters who moonlights as a literary agent (my subconscious is seriously whacked) put out a broadcast that we should contact her because she was unable to get in touch with us and loved our book.

So random. So sad.

Status of our joint e-mail account: EMPTY

Dream

I had a dream last night that when I checked our email this morning, all of the queries we sent out were rejected. Definitely possible and definitely not a good feeling. And then, to make matters worse, my high school AP English teacher, who I think always assumed I was really dumb, came to help us "fix" the book. Right before I woke up, I yelled at him, "I am literary, I am!!!!!" Strange.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our first rejection...

We sent our first round of queries tonight and it was the most amazing, nerve-wracking feeling you can possibly imagine. I actually made Laura hit the send button because I couldn't do it myself. But after it's all said and done, I know that we've written the best book we could possibly write, and I believe in our book and I believe in all of the people who have helped us along the way. So, whatever the outcome may be, I think I'm kinda, sorta ready for it.

And it's a good thing I am because not 2 minutes after we sent our queries we got our first rejection!! Talk about a buzz kill! The agent said that it just wasn't right for her (and after looking at her website again, it wasn't). Regardless, here's to hoping that there's an agent out there who is right for our book because I think it's pretty special...not that I'm biased or anything.

Keep your fingers crossed for us...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Almost there...

As the final edits roll in, I am definitely feeling the butterflies typical of the home stretch. Emails to agents have been saved as drafts in our hotmail account and every time I log in to make changes, I am PARANOID that I am going to accidentally hit "send." I'm sure it wouldn't be the end of the world, but I cringe just thinking of having to tell Lisa about my mistake. So...we're almost there and we can't wait to get the ball rolling!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Note to self...

It is NOT a good idea to let your kids stay up until their father returns from a business trip at 9:30 pm.

And it's really not a good idea to let your 3-year-old drink about 8 ounces of water while he's waiting for his dad to come home.

Also, not a good idea to completely procrastinate on a presentation for work because you're obsessed with a novel that may or may not get published.

And it's a really REALLY bad idea to stay up until 2 am working on said presentation. Especially when your 3-year-old wakes up in the middle of the night because he wet the bed (can't imagine why that might have happened).

In spite of his good intentions it really was not a good idea for your husband to put the 3-year-old in footie pajamas, because when the 3-year-old inevitably wakes up at 6 am to go to the bathroom AGAIN, he screams bloody murder when he can't get the pajamas off and wakes up the entire house in the process.

So you're working on about 4 hours of sleep, the kids have 3 hours less sleep than they're used to and everyone is totally crabby and spends the morning fighting and screaming (and yes, that includes me).

Oh, and about that presentation you sent at 2 am last night, it sucks and the crazy German guy who requested it calls you at 9 am when both kids are screaming to tell you how badly it sucks and how he'd like you to re-do it.

Seriously people, learn from my mistakes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Obsession...

Ok, so as you all know we're in the final stages of editing our first novel. This has been an incredible process so far. I think we just feel really lucky to have good readers (and good friends!) who have been so willing to read and critique our 55,000 word book.

Lately, our work on getting the book finalized has bordered on obsession. It's all I can talk about, all I can think about, and pretty much sucking up every free moment of time I have. Well, all of my free time that I'm not spending watching trashy tv anyways.

I have no idea if this is normal or not because I'm not a professional writer and I don't know any professional writers, but for some reason I feel this huge amount of pressure to finish this book and send it out to potential agents. I guess it's just wanting to know one way or the other if our book is actually any good.

Anyways, thanks to those of you who have been providing edits and helping us put the finishing touches on our book. Soon enough we'll be querying agents and then the real fun will begin....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Praise for The North Shore: First Impressions...

Well, we've sent our completed manuscript out to some serious critics and the rave reviews are rolling in.

"...enjoyed the novel immensely." --Dianne (Lisa's best friend's mom)

"...really entertaining...MUCH more interesting than Freakonomics." --Joni (our mother)

"...LOVE IT!" --Tara (Lisa's best friend)

"Smart, witty, and hilarious! The characters are real, believable, and so interesting..." --Casie (Laura's best friend)

"..had a few out loud laughs that caught me off guard" --Erik (our sister's husband)

"I'm going to throw your computer out the window, you're on it ALL the time." --Ken (Lisa's Husband)

"You'd better not get your hopes up too high.." John (Laura's husband)

"Is mommy on her 'puter again daddy?" Jack (Lisa's 3-year-old son)

"WAHHHHHH!" Lydia (Laura's 5-month-old daughter)

Privileged




Ok, if you know me, then you know I'm a total tv junkie. I just can't help myself. I love fun television and I have to urge all 3 of you that are reading this pathetic little blog to check-out Privileged. The show is totally adorable and based on a book (which I'm totally checking out from the library asap, because if there's one thing I love more than good tv, it's good books), and you all need to set your TiVo's to watch tonight. It's about this writer who gets fired from the tabloid magazine where she works and gets a job tutoring two high school billionaires instead. Great clothes, witty dialogue and an entertaining premise - it's really funny and totally fabulous. You'll love it, I promise.

Also don't forget every one's favorite hell-bound fashionista, Rachel Zoe will also be gracing your television screens this evening. Ooh, and 90210. And that new show with Pacey Whitter, who can pass up Pacey Whitter? I seriously need to get a life.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I can't believe I'm still watching this stupid show...





But I am.


Thoughts on tonight's episode of the Hills:



  • Heidi and Spencer need to invest in some acting lessons for her sister if they are going to continue to allow her to appear on their "reality show." It causes me physical pain to literally watch her read off of cue cards on the show. You're making like $75,000 an episode the least you can do is send the poor girl to drama school.



  • Justin Bobby is BACK! For a while I was worried that America's Sweetheart, Justin Bobby, had inadvertantly cut off his balls when he cut his trademark dirty long hair. I mean last season he was riding off on his motorcycle with other girls while Audrina ate his dust and now he's agreeing to attend white tie affairs with her? Ugh. I hate the kinder, gentler Justin Bobby. Fortunately, he didn't show up. Does this mean that the real Justin Bobby is back? I'm totally crossing my fingers.



  • OOh, Heidi is wearing a Slade-style beret. Can someone please let them know that berets are only appropriate if you're a French mime?



  • And they are totally setting up a tear-jerker LC/Heidi reunion for the season finale. It must be in their contract or something. The writers for this show are brilliant. For the record, if Heidi's sister brings Lauren and Heidi back together and somehow rids the planet of Spencer Pratt I'd forgive her for just about anything...even her terrible cue card reading.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Times are good...

After working for many, many hours this weekend editing the first draft of our book, I realized that we have gotten to the best place in the book writing process. We are finished, which is the best feeling in the world, and we are editing, which is usually easier than actually writing. We have yet to get rejected by agents (if that even happens :), so we still feel like we have written a little gem. We aren't sure of the outcome and are still in a position to dream about all the money we are going to make and how lucky we are to be doing exactly what we've always wanted to do with our lives. It's a good place to be.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Competition...




So, it looks like we've got some stiff competition in the YA author world...Lauren Conrad has decided to "write" a series of young adult books based on her rise to fame from Laguna Beach all-American teen to reality superstar.


You might be wondering why I use quotes around the term "write," well I have to admit that I'm a little skeptical of L.C. actually writing anything. She just doesn't strike me as the most articulate person on the planet. For those of you who watch the Hills, it seems as though she spends an inordinate amount of time chewing and nodding, and when she does speak it tends to be things like "shoes make me happy," and yes, that is an actual quote from Lauren herself. Also, I'm pretty sure that most of the lines she does say on that show have been written by some sorry intern over at MTV. So really, this book deal isn't really all that much different than her reality show, someone else will be writing things that she will pass off as her own.


I'm sorry, do I sound a little bitter? Ok, fine - I'm bitter. The truth is, that if by some combination of fate and extraordinarily good luck L.C. called me and asked me to ghost write her book, I'd have my unfashionable ass on the next plane to L.A. with my laptop powered up and ready to write whatever her spoiled little heart desires.


I guess as an aspiring writer it just makes me a little jealous to see how easily a three-book deal falls into the lap of some starlette that has supposedly completed an outline. I suppose that just means our book, written by two completely unknown sisters from Cleveland (seriously, Cleveland has to be the least trendy place to live in the country at this point) will have to kick some serious ass and get published based on the merits of our writing - you know, the good old fashioned way.



The whole point of this blog is to document our writing process and really I'm just using it as a huge excuse to procrastinate.


Anyways, thought we were overdue for a little book update. The amazing news of the day is that we've finished our first draft!!! We're adding some final touches to the last few chapters right now and then we're both going to dig in and do some MAJOR editing over the weekend, but if all goes as planned we'll be sending the book out to our beta readers early next week.


Once we've got the feedback we need, we'll finally start submitting queries, and we're hoping to start sending those out early October. Sending that first query is going to be completely terrifying, but I think that we're sort of prepared. We've done a ton of research on agents and the process of aquiring an agent, so let's hope that helps.


P.S.
Our fabulous new website is going to be unveiled soon. Our genius, amateur web-designer, sister has something in the works and we'll definitely post the link here as soon as it's complete. I'm sure our dedicated readers will be waiting on pins and needles (and yes, that means you Mom and Tara).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rachel Zoe...I die...




So, I'm totally catching up on tivo'd tv tonight, and one little gem that I've taken in is the Rachel Zoe Project.


The verdict? Shockingly entertaining. I think Rachel Zoe is one of the least likeable people on the planet. She just seems so mean and I've heard all those awful rumors about her feeding her starlette clients drugs so they can stay skinny and look good in all of the samples she pulls for them. ALLEGEDLY. [I can't get sued if I say allegedly, right? I guess I really shouldn't even worry about such things considering that there are approximately 2 people reading this blog, oh well].


Moving on, can you ever bring yourself to turn off a show where someone actually collects Birkin bags? And every time she sees a dress she loves, she squeals, "I die" or if it's really fabulous, "I D.I.E." I'm totally working that into my vocabulary.


You can tell that she's just not a nice person though. I mean, she even looks a little evil, right? Still for some reason she's also compulsively watchable. And you KNOW I'll be tuning in.
Seriously, it's like the people at Bravo are creating shows exclusively for me.

I'm a changed woman...

A month and a half ago, I spent an embarrassing amount of time perusing the April 2008 Birth Board on babycenter.com. At first, I merely browsed, clicking on posts I found interesting. But before long, I felt inclined to post answers to questions such as "Do you like your humidifier?" and found myself desperately trying to create and upload pictures to a photobucket account so I could participate in "Picture Uno" along with all the other moms. All of the sudden, I began using abbreviations such as DH (dear husband) and LO (little one) and at my lowest, created new threads entitled "LO Struggling to Nap, Help!" or "I think LO is constipated."

I am proud to say that my addiction to Babycenter is safely behind me (and no it has nothing to do with the fact that they changed the format of the birth boards and I can't figure out how to post anymore). I owe my recovery to my DS (dear sister) who yanked my ass out of my mommy community and into the world of blogging. Now I spend a pathetic amount of my day thinking of ways to be funny.

Did someone forget to feed the cast of 90210?




Is it just me or do these girls look HUNGRY? For the love of God, someone get these poor actresses a cheeseburger stat.

On a side note, the new 90210 is pretty entertaining. Granted, my standards aren't that high, but really, can anyone resist watching crazy rich teenagers do ridiculous things like fly to San Fran for dates? It's hilariously bad, and I can't ever turn down hilariously bad.

SSSHHH....

Never a dull moment. The kids woke up this morning both in very clingy moods, this is going to be one of those really long days with them, I can just feel it. Fortunately, they're still pretty cute, even when they're fighting and generally driving me crazy. Here's a video of Mia trying to say sshhh...she started doing it after Jack yelled at her.


video

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sick and wrong...




Ok, I'll admit it, I'm totally procrastinating. I have loads of work to be doing and a book to finish, but somehow I find myself obsessing over Nicole Kidman. I mean, seriously? SERIOUSLY? There are so many questions racing through my mind as I look at this picture I don't even know where to begin.

She had a baby 2 MONTHS ago. 2 months after I had my kids, I looked like an overweight midget that was approximately 5 months pregnant. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm sort of obsessed with crazy Hollywood conspiracies, so you know what's coming here....was she even pregnant in the first place? Or was this some elaborate fake pregnancy thing that's part of an even more elaborate plan to get back at Tom Cruise? OR better yet, maybe she actually did have the baby and there is a Hollywood OBGYN who is some sort of evil genius that has discovered a way for starlets to grow fetuses that exist solely on oxygen and diet coke?

My conclusion here is that she must have sold her soul to the devil to end up looking this good 2 months after pushing a small human out of her body, and I guess my only real question is: where do I sign?

Speaking of Gossip Girl...

Yes, John and I tune in to Gossip Girl every Monday night. And yes, we hold discussions during commercial breaks--John: Blair really can't do anything in this situation, the duchess still has all the power. Laura: Did you really just say that? But, Serena and Dan waking up on the beach together? I never thought I'd say this, but where are their parents? Is Serena's mom still honeymooning? Has Dan's dad gotten back from his summer tour? Shame on both of you--just look at what your crazy kids have been up to.


Thoughts on being a mother and an author...

I set up Lydia's bouncy chair to face the bed in the master bedroom. I do this every morning as I am making the bed, so she can watch me and hopefully internalize how to one day keep her own room clean. When John (my husband) came home for lunch today, he asked if Lydia watches me while I take naps. Funny. Contrary to popular belief, stay at home moms do more than just lay on the couch and eat bon bons all day. In fact, now that I am a stay at home mom and attempting to pump out my part of our first novel, my day is full of creative processes. For one, I have to figure out how to write while keeping Lydia happy. See image 1.

And this often ends with her trying to claw her way out of a high chair or bouncy seat, visibly unhappy. See image 2.


So, she often ends up seated comfortably in my lap (see image 3) as I attempt to type the novel that will hopefully help pay for the childcare necessary to write more than a paragraph at a time.

And no, those aren't bon bons, they are actually Toll House chocolate chips. John ate the last of the bon bons last night during Gossip Girl.

Jo and Slade...


Ok, this is my last post tonight, I promise. I've got insane amounts of laundry to fold, but this simply can't wait.

I need to know, am I the only person in America watching the trainwreck that is "Date My Ex: Jo and Slade?

The first thing you need to know is that Slade is Jo's d-bag ex boyfriend. And apparently, he's also the proud owner of his very own Claire's Boutique Frequent Shopper Card because every episode he shows up in a new (and shockingly) more feminine accessory. Whether it be a man scarf or a kicky little beret (you seriously can't make this stuff up), he never disappoints.

Anyways, the highlight of the finale tonight was when one of Jo's dates actually gave her a teddy-bear that housed a recording of himself giving a little speech about his love of Jo, and [SPOILER ALERT] he won. Now this is good t.v.

God Bless Bravo.

Monday, September 8, 2008

First Day of School...





So, in between working full-time and writing my first novel, I'm also a mom. And today was Jack's first day of pre-school.

Is it totally crazy that I was more nervous than he was? I seriously almost threw up in the car. How can my baby be ready to go to school? Jack of course made a new friend the second he walked into his new classroom and cheerfully told me I could leave. So much for separation anxiety...

So two pictures. One of Jack all grown up...and one not so grown up (so I can pretend like he's still my baby for a little bit longer).

And so it begins...

It all started with a late-night conversation on Sunday July 27th. Two sisters, bored (quasi) housewives and a dream of making a living doing what we love - reading and writing. 2 hours later (you should see our phone bills...not pretty) we had an idea for our first novel. A brilliant idea, in our most humble opinion.

We started with an outline (because we're anal like that), and a week later we were writing our first chapter. And here's the thing...it was easy. I would write a chapter and e-mail it off to Laura, she would edit and then write the next chapter, always trying to one-up me. And now, a month-and a half later, we're putting the finishing chapters on our first draft and getting ready to send it out to friends and family for some serious editing.

So, we're either literary geniuses who write amazing, best-selling books in under two-months, or we completely suck and don't yet realize it. Keep reading and find out...