Saturday, February 25, 2012

Young Daniel is my boyfriend. I call him Young Daniel sometimes and decided you should too. I haven’t told him about this yet, but I’m sure he’ll be pleased.

Well hello again! I hope you’ve had a good week. It was a pretty quiet one for me, largely spent trying to understand Twitter. I’ll confess that my prior Twitter experience is very, very limited. I’ve checked out Jenny Lawson’s Twitter a few times but mostly I’m a total neophyte.

Still, my page looked sad and lonely so I came up with a hashtag: #fairytalesforgrownups. It’s basically all about mashing up mundane, everyday occurrences with favorite fairytales. Here are a few examples from my Twitter:

Having a coffee maker that grinds beans and self cleans, and also serenades you in the voice of Angela Lansbury. #fairytalesforgrownups

Growing long enough hair that the delivery guy can climb it, so then you don't have to get up when your pizza comes. #fairytalesforgrownups

I showed my many tweets to Young Daniel and he just looked kind of bewildered. He liked them better once I explained what the hashtag was supposed to mean. The fact that my hashtag requires explanation shows that Twitter and I are probably not a soulmate match.

I also found a bit of time to write. I’m about a quarter of the way into Book 2 in my young-adult dystopian trilogy. I’m pretty excited about it. The setting’s just been so much fun to describe. I’ve started sketching out ideas in a sketchbook. It’s been very helpful, but also a little depressing. I really, really can’t draw.

But what we should talk about is the first book: Renaissance Lab. The book’s been on submission to agents for a few months now. I was lucky and got some manuscript requests fairly quickly—now all I have to do is wait. 

Querying is a nerve-wracking business. There's no doubt about that. But for now I'm just trying to focus on the positive. Renaissance Lab was a blast to write. I fell in love with my boarding-school-esque setting. I deeply enjoyed watching relationships develop between my characters. I even pushed the book away toward the end, because I didn't want it to be over. 

Once I did get up the courage to finish the book, I edited. And edited again. Then I handed it off to supportive friends and readers, and edited even more. 

I worked to make Renaissance Lab as good as I possibly could. Whatever happens now is out of my hands. 

Remember, you guys, proving to yourself that you can execute an entire book is never a waste of time. No matter what the outcome.

Now I know I hinted last time that there might be an excerpt of Renaissance Lab in this entry, but I’ve already taken up too much space rambling about Twitter and waxing philosophical about querying. Tell you what—I’ll give you guys an excerpt in the next entry and it will explain the name of this blog.

Yes, you read correctly! Velociraptor Hands is not just some random phrase I drunkenly typed into Blogger at three in the morning. It actually means something! 

Also, I wasn’t really drunk. Stay in school, kids.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

For the record, I don’t really think the Knights of the Round Table were losers. It’s called acting, people.

If you’re an agent I’ve queried, then: Hello, good sir! I was about to say or ma’am since I queried both men and women. But as a lady, I think I’d rather be called “sir.” People say good sir all the time but you never hear anyone saying good ma’am. It’s depressing.

I’m currently submitting my young-adult dystopian novel, Renaissance Lab, to agents and am (im)patiently waiting to hear back. As implied above, agents tend to Google the writers they have any interest in working with. Do you know what comes up first when you Google “Jillian Karger?” A video of my twenty-year-old self performing a passage of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight for my Acting Medieval Literature class at NYU.

If you’re curious about what we did in Acting Medieval Literature, it’s exactly like it sounds. We memorized chunks of medieval stories and performed them as storytellers of the time would have. It was possibly the most impractical class that has ever existed. It was also utterly fascinating and a total blast. Hardly any of us were good enough actors to pull off being serious medieval storytellers, so most of us played our pieces for laughs.

Now this video does a few good things. It proves I really did go to NYU, in case any agents thought I was lying about that. And it shows I won’t melt into a puddle of nerves if I ever have to do readings of my work. But do I really want agents’ first impression of me to be me fake coughing and calling the Knights of the Round Table “losers?”

Probably not. It’s better if they find a blog in which I write about fake coughing and calling the Knights of the Round Table “losers.” Then they’ll probably look up the video anyway because I’ve spent such a big portion of my first blog post talking about it.

I’ll try to post here every week or so, maybe more. I’ll be writing mostly about writing and books, and a bit about TV and movies. Sometimes you’ll have to endure my attempts at humorous anecdotes. I get mad at the weather and other intangible/inanimate objects on a daily basis, so most of them will probably be about that.

Stop by next time, when I’ll be talking a bit more about Renaissance Lab. There may even be an excerpt in it for you.