Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Welcome to Writings, Workouts, and Were-Jaguars! Let me begin by explaining what we'll be doing here. And my crazy title.

Why Writings? I'm a writer on my publishing journey and will share every stupid (and not-so-stupid) move I make. Hopefully, you'll keep from repeating the bad and follow the good. In addition to my embarrassing wanna-be-writer blunders, you'll also get loads of info on agents, writing contests, query (book pitch) help, critique groups, book giveaways and reviews. If you're on this journey with me, I'll hook you up with everything I can get my virtual fingers on. For today, check out the first four chapters of the very talented Robin Brande's newest YA novel, DOGGIRL (<click). If you're an animal lover or simply a lover well-written stories about high school awkwardness and not fitting in, you'll be glad you did!

Why Workouts?  I spend most of my day, well, writing. So the only part of me getting worked-out are my fingers. And sometimes my brain, but I'm not sold on how many calories that burns. We should all get some physical activity, if only to stimulate blood flow to our imaginations. Today, I'll play tennis. And golf. And practice hitting home runs. How does a mother of four very busy kids do this? One word: wii! It may be virtual but it gets me off my actual cushion. And it doesn't bother my allergies.

And finally, why Were-Jaguars? Were-Jaguars are the obstacles keeping us from getting what we want. In my case, they really are were-jags. Were-jags, or Balam, are my novel's antagonists, keeping the heroine from her goal. I've had a few agents critique my query, and they all stopped reading the moment they hit the term were-jaguars. Thus keeping me from my goal. I'm still working on that one. What are your were-jaguars and how do you get over them?

Thanks again for stopping by! I promise next time, there will be more to see and do. In the mean time, ¡buen provecho! (bon appetit)


  1. I love the concept. If I understand correctly, the were-jags serve a double function as both a metaphorical expression of the hurdles and obstacles in our lives as well as the physical manifestation of those obstacles. I can't wait to read the book. Any idea on when it comes out?

  2. This will be an interesting and exciting journey to follow. Do agents really reject your work bc of the use of "were-jags"? What do they tell you to do instead? This is Bob Z., btw.

  3. Hi! Looking forward to more posts!

  4. I also love your use of Mesoamerican myths and legends. This is a rich part of Latin American culture which has received almost no recognition among American authors.

  5. Voice from the past: Why is it so dark in here?


    You know I'll be with you every step of the journey, as long as you want me there.

  6. I'm following! Good Luck with your blog!

  7. Thanks everyone! I appreciate you stopping in and saying hi :)

    Retadin1 - you are wise and have great taste :)

    Wideboy - I had two agents generous enough to give me a little feedback. The first wrote: NO. Were-jaguars. Are. No. The second wrote: Were-jaguars? I like the Latin spice, but were-jaguars... not so much. Both later came back to it (this was on a live query critique of about 50 queries) to say more about the were-jags. One suggested I use a more generic term like strange creatures. The other asked what they were - shape shifters, wolf hybrids? So I haven't decided if I'm using the wrong terms and being confused with were-wolves/shapeshifters. Mesoamerican were-jags are neither: they are permanent creatures that have both human and jaguar charateristics. Or if I'm querying the wrong agents. One stated she was not a fan of legend/epic fantasy, which mine clearly is. Thanks for asking. I'll keep everyone posted.

    I have great friends :)

  8. Hi Shiela! Here via AW. Nice start to your blog. :) I recently decided to launch a writing blog and am glad to see another person just starting out, too.