Life Is One Big Query Letter!

query-letter

Or at least it should be . . .  if we were always allowed to ask for what we needed and wanted. For instance I wrote a book, I yearned to get it published, so I sent out Query Letters to agents describing what it was about and why I thought it would be of interest to certain readers. I waited for a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ regarding whether or not I could go to the next step and submit the first twenty pages. Simple.

Now let’s do this with EVERYTHING! Shall we?

Dear Neighbor,

I just moved into the home that was for sale across the street from you and I have a couple of kids whose hobbies include football, shopping, and…and that’s it! I think they’d make the ideal new friends for your son and daughter that I see walking harmoniously together out your front door every morning to catch the school bus. I’d be more than happy to send my daughter’s diary as well as video clips of my son’s game when he was quarterback. Thank you for your consideration!

Little Miss Menopause

 

Dear Gynecologist,

Your receptionist told me you’re not accepting any new patients, however I am of the opinion that you’ve never palpated breasts like mine before and it’s a unique experience no medical doctor should miss. Additionally I’m more agile at slipping my feet into those stirrups than any female this side of the Mississippi — and nobody can undress and get into a paper gown faster than I do. Think you’ll knock three abrupt times, then swiftly open the door to surprise me standing naked? Think again! You ain’t never had a patient like me. In conclusion, may I have my previous OB/GYN forward my medical charts for your perusal? Thank you for your time.

Little Miss Menopause

 

Dear Daughter,

I certainly hope this query letter finds you doing well in college. I’ve been following you on social media recently and I have some thoughts on how you’re leading your life, which I’m certain you’ll find fascinating. Just to give you a little teaser: You’re not dressing appropriately for your internship, the guy you’re dating isn’t from a very good family, and the Bloomin’ Onion you ordered last night from Outback Steakhouse is a heart attack waiting to happen. Please be aware that my advice is destined to become a bestseller, but I wanted you to be the first child to have the opportunity to utilize it. May I send you the complete outline so you can browse through it at your leisure?

Your Mother

 

Dear Parker Brothers,

Through the years I’ve enjoyed your Scrabble, Boggle, Clue, and Risk boardgames. I recently invented a new game I like to call, “Natural Consequences” in which milk spoils when not put back in the refrigerator, husbands don’t get sex when they forget to pitch in around the house, and children’s grades suffer when they don’t study. With your permission, may I send over a few people willing to act out all the fun in a live format for you?

Little Miss Menopause

 

Dear Firstborn Son Who Moved Far Away,

It has come to my attention that we don’t communicate anymore. I cannot remember the last time I heard your deep voice explaining the difference between fission and fusion.  I know a brilliant nuclear engineer and a scatterbrained creative writer don’t have a lot of commonality, but I’ve made a list of stuff we’ve shared (which you may not now recall) during your formative years. Just to give you a sneak preview, one of the things was spontaneous Bear Hugs. May I submit the rest of the list in the hopes that we can find our way back to yesteryear? I miss you son, I really miss you.

Much love always,

Mom

328f0-keep2bcalm2bquery

Readers: Who Would You Send a Query Letter To?

Advertisements

Rejection As The Best Motivation?

crop380w_istock_000012132005xsmallDear Editor,

I received your recent rejection notice and unfortunately it’s just not what I’m looking for at this time. It’s certainly a well-crafted piece and I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, rejecting other aspiring writers. You may try me again in the future with something more upbeat.

Sincerely,

Stephanie D. Lewis

Aha! Rejecting the rejection letters! That’s the smart thing to do. I wish I could say that IS what I do. Instead when my writing gets turned down, it motivates me to try that much harder to get published in that particular venue. I become obsessively relentless. In fact, I seem to stop submitting to all the other places that actually like my stuff, in order to pursue chasing after the one place that clearly wants nothing to do with me. Sounds perfectly healthy, right?

On the off chance that this is typical human nature behavior and other people have similar responses, I’ve decided to take up rejection letters as a new hobby to see if it also motivates those around me to try their very best.

Recent Rejection Letters I’ve Sent

Dear Children,

Thank you for making your bunk-bed this morning. However, I regret to inform you it’s not exactly what I had in mind. The top sheet was all bunched up below the comforter, (simulating a sleeping body that creeped me out) the pillows were strewn haphazardly, and there were 8 used tissues crumpled in the center of the bottom bunk. Even the cat turned up her nose and slept in her Kitty Krib this morning.  Perhaps bed-making is not your niche and you would be better suited for playing Wii or skateboarding instead.

All my best,

Mom

Dear Bride-To-Be,

I am in receipt of the Halloween costume dress you picked out for me to wear as your maid-of-honor. I am sorry to be returning it at this juncture in time, but it’s just not a good fit for me. Literally. Also the eggplant color is horrific and if you think any woman would ever wear this again as a festive party dress, you’re sadly mistaken. I do appreciate you thinking of me in this capacity and look forward to future gowns you might submit for me to wear as I walk down the aisle to stand up for you at your wedding.

Thank you again,

Stephanie

ps. You two are all wrong for one another. Don’t be surprised if you get a rejection letter from your groom.

Dear Chef at Outback Steakhouse,

Thank you for auditioning this filet mignon on my plate. I’m sorry but it just wasn’t up to the caliber of flavor and tenderness I’m accustomed to. Feel free to try me again in about twenty minutes with more of your recent accomplishments, especially any vanilla offerings drenched in hot fudge and whipped cream that might be presented “on the house.”

Signed,

Your Customer at Table 9

Dear Dr. Goldstein,

Thank you for recently diagnosing my constant mood swings and elaborate white lies as Borderline Personality Disorder. While the acronym BPD is certainly impressive sounding, the whole label just doesn’t ring true for me. I could just be tired, irritable, and disenchanted with constantly getting asked to be a maid-of-honor. Ever think of that, Doc? I would like to invite you to submit a second opinion of my delicate condition in a few more weeks. However if you suggest I’m pregnant, you’ll never work in this town again.

Thank you for the recent appointment!

Stephanie D. Lewis

Dear Faithful Blog Follower,

It is with utmost appreciation that I thank you for taking the time to read “Once Upon Your Prime” and click the “Like” box. You certainly do so with aplomb and bravado. However lately your comments seem a bit jaded as if this is the 13th or 14th clever posting you’ve read in a row from me.  Though that may be the case, the redundant use of the word “genius” becomes rather tiresome. Ho Hum. At this point in time, due to the high volume of comments I’m currently receiving on “Once Upon Your Prime” (a whopping 3-5 per month!) I will be closing this particular section, so do not attempt to leave even an original comment as it will be promptly exiled.

Thank you for your understanding,

Little Miss Menopause

So far, the reverse psychology method of my rejection letters seems to have elicited some interesting results. a) A military style bed so tightly made, I could bounce a quarter off of it. b) A stylish black bridesmaid dress that I will proudly wear to my next funeral. c) Roasted chicken so garlicky I wouldn’t dare kiss someone even with ten breath mints. (But healthier than steak and the chef only spit on the parsley!)  (D) A physician’s diagnosis of “Just being your everyday, garden-variety bitch.” E) Followers who were so offended at my quirky humor, they promptly unsubscribed to my blog.

Oh dear . . . please come back my dear reader.  It was just an experiment in human nature.Mad-Rejection-Letter.jpg (1)

Things You Do Daily Count As Real Writing!

This is substantial writing!

This is substantial writing!

You may not realize it, but you’re a professional writer every single day. Here are ways to elevate the work you already do to get noticed and possibly garner yourself a book or movie offer!

GROCERY LISTS:  First of all, always give them a title. Try “More Than Just Food!’  or “My Hungry Family: Must They Eat Every Single Day?”

Here’s my sample grocery list with a creative spin from yesterday.

  • Bagel Thins  (The greatest thing since sliced bread!)
  • Loreal Preference Hair Color (ha! I’m not covering up gray. I’m actually intentionally dying my hair gray!) Click HERE. 
  • Chips Ahoy cookies (Can I fool the PTA into thinking they’re home baked?)
  • Kitty Litter (Our cat died 8 years ago. Huh? Whoa…mystery….intrigue! )
  • Milk (Forget “Got Milk?” How about “Got Milkshake?”)
  • Ice-cream (Ahh, now we’re talking!)

MESSAGES YOU LEAVE AROUND THE HOUSE:  Never discount any of these notes.

  • “If you take a brownie from this platter, I WILL know. Even if you rearrange them.  And don’t justify dark chocolate is now healthy for you so it can be for breakfast. These are for our new neighbors to welcome them!”
  • “Please make sure door is closed so cat doesn’t get out. (And YES! Our cat has been dead for 8 years. But nobody seems to care that I just don’t want flies in the house.)”
  • “Please Take Out This Kitchen Garbage Because Contrary To What You Learned In Art Class, This Is Not Surrealism.”

RECIPES:  Especially Rock Cornish Game Hen, Buffalo Chix Wings or Grilled Chix Tenders ingredients.  Hey, we’re talking Classic “Chick Lit!” here.

LOVE NOTES:  Either to your significant other or to your kids.  Copyright them!  Try “You had me at Hell!” and “Love means never having to say, “I’m sorry but I hate calamari!”

MISC. SCRIBBLES:

  • “Sorry I hit your back bumper.  Can you call me so we can settle this for cash?  My husband will kill me if our premiums go up”
  • “Please excuse Zachary from P.E. today.  I washed his white gym shorts with our red bath towels. Yes, again.”
  • “Have a great day. Good luck on math test and please bring home the tupperware which holds the carrots you won’t eat.”

FORMS: They all count! Permission Slips, Insurance Claims, Sweepstakes Entries, Library Card Applications, Referral letters, etc.

  • “Please pick me!  I never win anything. I need this 3 day trip to Nevada because “Viva Las Vegas!” is my favorite Elvis song. If my voicemail is full when you call this number, please call back.  My kids ramble.”
  • “I give permission to my son/daughter to go on the zoo field trip on May 4th and to punch that Brandon Katz in the nose if he calls her ‘tuna breath’ one more time.”
  • “To Whom It May Concern: This is a testimonial for Dr. Craig Spanky, OB/GYN. Do not hesitate to put your feet in his stirrups as he always warms his speculum.”

See?  You haven’t been giving yourself the credit you deserve.  You’re working overtime in the writing field.  Now go take a well-deserved break!

For anyone who can handle my more serious side – – please visit me on the magazine XO JANE right HERE and leave a supportive comment if you like. It means a lot to me!

TOTALLY COUNTS!

THIS TOTALLY COUNTS!

Should You Have a Soul Makeover?

We have some wrinkle cream for you!

Well then we have some wrinkle cream for you!

Women in our society are in a no-win situation and it’s gotten out of hand. First the media destroys our self-esteems by pointing out all the things that are physically wrong with us. Next the beauty industry and cosmetic surgeons (who conveniently sponsor the media with their advertising!) sell us their expensive solutions to “fix our problems.”

I recently decided to reject this crazy system and focus my time and energy (but not my money, since there’s nothing to buy!) on my inner essence instead. I read books, kept journals, took long walks on the beach and fostered close connections with family and friends. Everything was going swimmingly until last week when I stumbled upon an online website for Soul Makeovers.

Immediately I envisioned “before and after” pictures, along with thunderous applause on the Oprah show as my Spirit strutted onto the stage (doing the Soul Stroll Shuffle?) in updated clothing, hair and makeup. Right? Wildly curious, I called the number.

“Soul By Nicole, can I help you?”

Me: Hi there. I was just checking to see what your gimmick was? Are you selling timeshares in Hawaii or um, sexual favors?

Nicole: No gimmicks. But oh dear, you sound like such a poor lost soul.

Me: Nope! I’ve done my share of soul-searching. I’m good.

Nicole: What about cleansing your soul?

Aha! Here it comes. There’s a battery operated exfoliation brush with expensive soaps! I just knew it.

Nicole: You can start by baring your soul to me.

Ooh! R-rated stuff. See? I told you so! Massage parlor is just around the corner, wait and see.

Me: Well Nicki girl, it’s like this. I’m sure we’d be kindred souls, but I’m gonna pass on all your promotional junk.

Nicole: I’m not selling anything. But confession is good for the soul. And I promise not to tell a living soul.

Alright so maybe I’m too suspicious. Sounds innocent so far. She just wants to have a little girl talk, maybe confide in each other. What’s the harm in that? I told her I was in.

Nicole: That’s the spirit! Let’s meet for lunch. I know a good place for soul food. When did you last feed your soul?

Cleansing and feeding. Now it’s all adding up. Luxury Spa packages! Betcha she works on commission.

At the restaurant, Nicole orders filet-of-sole on an onion roll. I order the salad bowl with an egg roll.

Me: Nice to meet you. I rode the Soul Train here. I thought maybe you’d suggest lunch in Korea?

Nicole looks blank.

Me: (elbowing her) You know, Seoul Korea. Ha-ha-ha.

Nicole: Oh, you’re a droll soul.

Me: Yes, I write humor. Can I pour you some water or should I just pour my soul out to you instead?

Nicole: Let me ask the questions here. I’m taking a poll. What’s your soul goal?

Me: Well I want to be a famous writer. Oh yeah, and I’m trying to get away from commercialism and buying another tube of lipstick.

Nicole: Actually it’s the eyes that are the window to the soul.

Me: Yep. I don’t want mascara either.

Nicole: Have you thought about a soul-mate?

An online dating service. I shoulda known she was a matchmaker!

Nicole: Someone you can love with all your heart and soul. Share a soul kiss with?

Me: I already have a man. Maybe you know him? Old King Cole. He was a merry old soul.

Nicole: Well bless your soul, you are quite the little comic, aren’t you?

Me: C’mon Soul Sister, the jig is up. I don’t have time for this. Let’s rock and roll your soul. Whatcha selling?

Nicole: I’m not the one selling anything. You are.

Me:  Me? What am I selling?

Nicole: It’s obvious you’re a tormented soul. So there’s someone I want you to meet. . .

Lucifer: Name your price!

Me: Why you little devil, you. I wish you would’ve been upfront from the start. I already sold my soul long ago. To become a writer.

"Fetch me Little Miss Menopause!"

“Forget my pipe. Fetch me Little Miss Menopause!”

Forget the Winter Olympics – – It’s The WRITER Olympics!

The Lord of the Olympic Rings!

The Lord of the Olympic Rings!

Why should athletes get all the glory?  I say change Winter to Writer (it’s just a few letters off after all) and let’s give ourselves some world-wide recognition!  You’ve already missed a little bit of the games, so read on and I’ll catch you up and “make sure we’re on the same page” with this concept….

The Opening Ceremonies of the Writer Olympics 2014 was a Best Seller Yeller, as the noisy crowd shouted for their favorites in “The Parade of the Publishers,” which now only slightly overshadows “The ebook Strut” and “The Librarian Stomp.”

The Author’s Oath (which was solemnly quoted, chapter and verse) by all Olympic Hopeful Indie Writers, went as follows:  “In the name of all the traditional house competitors, I promise that I shall take part in these Wordplay Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them from the Library of Congress, committing myself to a profession without slander, plagiarism, thesaurus abuse, and Doritos – – and to always have an ISBN # in the true spirit of readership, for the glory of Hard Covers and the honor of my Acknowledgments Page.

In lieu of the traditional Lighting of the Torch, a few avid readers found an out-of-the-way, quiet, little Nook where they began to Kindle some firewood, their whoops and hollers heralding in the “Let the Book Burning Begin!” ancient festivities.  There were mainly “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy books in the heap and a few diehard fans stood by with whips, biting their lower lip, rolling their eyes, and smirking. It was easy to read between the lines however, and know they were all thinking, “Holy Crap, E.L. James!”

The official events that many anxiously look forward to include: **

    • The Writing is on the Wall-Climbing
    • “The Short Story 1,000 Word Dash”
    • “Synchronized Synonyms”
    • “Modifier Dangling
    • “Blogganing Tobogganing”
    • “Novellathalon
    • “Cross Country Cliches”
    • “The Writer’s Hack n Hurdle”
    • “Page-Turning Relay”
    • “Plot Thickening & Jumping”
    • “The Final Daft Draft”
    • “Pen-Vaulting”
    • “Freestyle Query Letters
    • “Multiple Submission Slalom
    • “Figure of Speech Skating” (On Thin Ice)
I gotta "get the lead out" and win this thing!

I gotta “get the lead out” and win this thing!

      But first we turn our attentions to the Gold Medal Winner of the Minimalist Writers Award for this (very) brief interview:

Reporter:   Congratulations, you must be honored to join the ranks of Hemingway and Carver?

Minimalist:  Y

Reporter:  Where will you display your gold medal?

Minimalist:  Fireplace

Reporter:  Would that be over, under or inside the fireplace?

Minimalist:  Y

Okaaaaay. Well now here comes the winners of the Children’s Rhyming Classic Genre.  Their claim to fame – – the rewriting of “Horton Hears a Who” – –  Let’s give a really warm welcome to stone cold Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, who look really great for a couple of dead comics.

Reporter:  Hi Guys, WHAT  was your motivation for revising  WHO  Horton actually  hears?

Abbott:  WHAT

Reporter:  No, WHAT was the inspiration?

Costello:   That’s right.  The inspiration for WHO.

Reporter:  That’s WHAT I’m asking. So HOW did you come up with a modern day  WHO?  HOW?

Abbott:  WHY?

Reporter:  Never mind.  When WHO speaks, Horton Hears What?

Abbot: Yes, WHAT.

Reporter:  Horton Hears WHAT?  Just tell me, dammit. WHO is the one that Horton hears?

Abbott:  WHEN?

Reporter: Tell me now.

Abbott:  Tomorrow.

Costello:  Third Page!!

Okay, I guess they’ll tell us tomorrow.  Moving right along, we now catch up to long-time Olympic Champion Author in the Contemporary Horror event, as well as Suspense and Science Fiction events – – Always a good sport, here’s . . . Stephen King.

Reporter:  CUJOs  err, Kudos to you on your 79 medals, Mr. King!

Stephen King:  Yes,  IT was THE SHINING moment.

Reporter:  I understand you were in a lot of MISERY when you finally crossed THE GREEN MILE?

Stephen King:   Man, I thought I was in THE DEAD ZONE for sure.

Reporter:  THE LONG WALK when you were UNDER THE DOME must’ve made you feel like a BAG OF BONES?

Stephen King:  Yeah.  For a minute I almost thought CARRIE or DELORES CLAIBORNE would take the lead.

Reporter:  Nah, they didn’t have  THE TALISMAN  that you have.  But thank you. You’re just an open book to interview.

Well, that’s all the time this  dog-eared, bookworm reporter has for now. I’ll see you next time at The Writer’s Olympics, where we’ll have our expert judges (who will be judging a book by it’s cover) announce the finalists for the Gold Medal ceremony.  However I hear the entire name “The Writer’s Olympics” will be revamped to “The Hunger Games.”  Sheesh, some authors can’t seem to stay in their own lane  genre.  Oh well….it was just a matter of time, I suppose, before we started this New Chapter in sports recognition.

** Note:  All Jousting events have been cancelled since it was determined that indeed, “The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword.”

What’s your favorite WRITER Olympic Event??  Tell me that (and more!) in the comments section.