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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Taking the Leap

In my hometown, in the forest behind the cluster of development cupped by the hanging valley from which it gets its name, there's a canyon with a gorgeous set of hiking trails that was the backbone of my childhood. Visitors can cross the suspension bridge, peer over its side at the falls below, and explore the verdant temperate rainforest wilderness. About a ten-minute hike upstream, there is a place where the canyon walls open up. More than a century ago, a rockslide crumbled away the western slope, leaving room for the river to expand into a pool safe enough to swim in, and with spots sloped ever so smoothy as to jump from the heights.

I loved jumping as a kid. Loved swimming in the glacier-fed water, scrambling up the cliffs and throwing myself off into the icy depths on a hot summer's day. It was thrilling, and freeing, and cold-as-all-hell, but so very fun, especially to my younger self who loved showing off to tourists, and even encouraging them to come in, because in my mind, the water truly was fine. And one of my favourite lines when encouraging dawdling others to try doing what I did was, "Don't think about it. Just say eff it and jump."

(Okay, I was a teenager, so it was a bit more cheerfully foul than that, but you get the idea.)

I haven't been able to return for a few years, owing to being way too busy and now living across town so actually *getting* there takes way more time, but it'll always hold a place in my heart. And even if I don't, recently something occurred to me.

I'm still jumping. When sending queries, that is.

Except this time, I've been the dawdler. The one thinking too much before taking the leap, even though I've done my research, found agents who rep my genre, personalized the queries, and I know that the water is cold but that it won't hurt me. When all is said and done, I do make the jump, I do hit send, and it's scary and exhilarating and gets my blood racing just as much as throwing myself from a cliff once did.

And I think this is an important exercise in self-confidence. My jumps were never willy-nilly (for even as a teen, I made sure to check the water for the "safe" spots before going, to make sure I didn't hit rocks or people), so even then I did so from a state of preparedness. But the dawdling now isn't helping anyone, least of all me.

Querying is a scary thing, but it doesn't have to paralyze me.

So I've started jumping again. Not literally that'll have to wait until June at least but definitely in the figurative sense. And maybe it's scary to hit "send", and maybe the waters of rejection are cold, but damn, it feels good.

* * *

Speaking of taking the leap: Next month is March Madness for Writers! (and artists of all kinds, really.) It's all about setting extreme goals and smashing them, with daily check-ins. Once again, I'll be hosting Mondays. You should totally join us!

Oh, and did I mention, there will be PRIZES?

Today, you can sign up at Denise Jaden's blog to share your goals. Set your goals today, February 27th, and be entered to win the very first giveaway of the month!

And here's a list of all of the hosts for March. Every time you check in, you're entered to win a prize!

Mondays – Visit LS Taylor at
Tuesdays – Visit Shari Green at
Wednesdays – Visit Shana Silver at
Thursdays –  Visit Denise Jaden at
Fridays – Visit Tonette de la Luna at
Saturdays – Visit Carol Garvin at
Sundays – Visit Angelina Hansen at

Hope to see you there!


  1. Querying again is indeed a scary thing, jumping back in. It takes me forever even once I'm done just to hit the mouse button to send the thing. Sadly, unless more emagazines that pay crop up I'll have to actually start sending to snail mail only mags, and I frankly hate paying for potential rejection. May as well self-pub it and pay for potential rejection, if that's the case.

    One the novel front, I have found a couple more potential places to send to that I haven't already, one even offers an advance, but it's only $250-$500 for romance. However, it seems they value erotica more and will offer up to a grand. But erotica's not quite my thing. I can write it, but it's not a natural thing for me. I tend to keep those scenes in a separate folder.

    I might join March Madness again. Not sure what my goals will be, since I'm editing a work and want to finish another, or how finding work will interfere though.

    1. Go for it, Daniel! It'll be fun, and no matter what happens, something good will come out of it. Best of luck with the publishers, too!

  2. I know that hold-your-breath-and-just-jump feeling as I hit the send key, too. I haven't done a lot of querying -- I tend to enjoy the writing part too much -- but eventually the leap has to be taken for the writing to have much purpose. I'll be procrastinating during March since my goal involves getting started on a new w.i.p., but I'll get back to it eventually. Looking forward to sharing in the Madness with you. :)

    1. Can't wait, Carol! I love that we start on a Saturday. It's a great way to get it all started.

  3. Yeah. Signed up for March thing, but sick. I am already behind. Sorry.