Monday Madness: Death by Furniture, Bidding, and Beta Readers

Morning Monday!

Death by Furniture:

Yesterday I decided to be She-Hulk and move a giant couch down a flight of stairs by myself. In case you’re thinking that was a bad idea. I have to say, the pain in my back, my neck, my shoulders, and my legs agrees.

Still, I managed to maneuver a three seater couch through the narrow passage way in my front room, and then set it up so I could walk it down the stairs. It got stuck on a bookshelf, and when I found the girl power to dislodge it, I didn’t think about things like gravity and the whole couch came crashing down the stairs on top of me. I braced it with my back, two by fours cracking against my spine, and stopped on the second last stair. My Dad walked in a second later and I squeaked from underneath it about being stuck. He lifted it up and I escaped only to realize we were far from finished. Now the evil couch needed to be stood up and manuevered out the door, which took more girl power.

That left my living room bare, and I thought about an author on twitter who said “If I say two bean bags and a wicker chair is a fully furnished room, then that’s what it is.” I tossed around the idea of bean bag chairs, but I have a Bugg (boston terrier crossed pug) and that would quickly turn into a disaster. Instead I stalked Kijiji all day waiting for someone to post a reasonably priced couch. You know, not a $400 LaZyBoy leather reclining loveseat. Around two hours later someone posted a fantastic 5 piece set, which I bought and spent two hours toting back to my house in my van and my Dad’s SUV. My arms almost gave out, and I almost slipped under my van (thanks ice) but I managed to recover enough to get the couches. The only downside was the rain (thanks rain.)


Moving right along to the rest of my Sunday . . . Writers 4 Red has been hosting auctions throughout March to help out the American Red Cross, which will in turn help the people in Japan. Authors and Agents have been getting involved and offering up books, critiques, and other goodies to raise money and awareness for the devastation in Japan. Jennifer Laughran in particular posted two auctions, one was for ARCs (mmmmm) and the other one was for an MS critique of the first 50 pages. Well the second auction exploded, people were bidding up to $1000. A couple days before it ended she extended the auction, upping the ante to a FULL MS critique, and she would do 5 of them to the top 5 bidders that donated $1000 or more.

I was one of the bidders, along with four other people.

Now I don’t know how to explain the rest of this but here it goes. I saw the enticing message on facebook that anyone over $1000 would get a full MS critique. I had been watching the auction from the get go and saw it get up to $525. I was going to bid $600 and see how it went, but stalled off because when I used to bid on Ebay I used to wait until the last minute. When I finally went back to the auction to put in my $1000 bid for the full, someone else had posted $1500. I still wanted to donate so I posted my $1000 bid. Jennifer got confused for lack of a better term and asked if it was a real bid. I posted back that I’m not poor, I just think $1500 is a lot, and that regardless of my bid being lower, it was a real bid. She responded saying that in general auction format, people bid higher than the last person, even if it’s by $1.00. I didn’t respond, I did ebay for years . . .

So then Jennifer posted on twitter a couple times reminding people that she’s not charging a crazy amount for a critique, the money is going to charity, and she doesn’t want anyone donating anything they can’t afford. I posted back because I thought this clearly had to be inspired by lack of auction etiquette. It all got resolved then and I dropped it.

Last night the auction ended, and Jennifer posted my $1500 bid. I had to go back and clarify that my bid was always $1000, and so more tweets back and forth about it, and finally it was all copasetic. I have to say, that was fun, let’s not get confused in the future Jenn!

The end result of this auction is that myself and three others are getting a full MS critique from Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown Lit. And despite the cafuffle with the bidding stuff, it feels like a step in the right direction for me. (Also, she raised nearly 5k with the two auctions and we get to help Japan.)

This leads me to my next issue, BETA READERS. I realize this is an awesome opportunity, but I’m not going to be stupid. It’s different when I’m sending in a query letter and expecting to wait 6-8 weeks for a response. That gives me time to comb over the MS one more time and do a quick clean up if need be. Besides, it’s not like an agent has asked me for a full of my MS yet. Then again, it’s not like I’ve gone query wild either, aside from two blind runs last year with a very different idea about the story, I didn’t get many hits.

I did what any writer does, and wrote another book, the second book in the series, which I still think is made of awesome. I also outlined the third book, and have set myself up for 2 trilogies using the same characters.

So, knowing that I have this opportunity, I’d like to see if there’s anyone in the book blogger wold who would like to be a BETA reader.

Here is a short two sentence synopsis: SURRENDER, (YA Fantasy, 95k) is about a flame trying to be a girl and a watcher trying to be a boy before death separates them. The boy betrayed the land, he brought war to their shores, he brought the ones who hunted the flame.

And that ends the Monday Madness, leave comment or e-mail me at rhiannonpaille at gmail dot com if you want to help me out!