#cringeworthy

Inquiring minds want to know my thought process when my mom decides to expose the inner most workings of my private life for the viewing pleasure of the entire world. It’s a process of emotions.

First, there’s dread.

Taylor Swift Dread

My stomach drops like an Adele record every time I see an email notification on my phone. Could it be another post from my mom? Will it ruin my social life?

 

Second, there’s anger. 


The Wonder Years meme

I’m like a teenager girl version of the Incredible Hulk. Another post? Sadie ANGRY! Sadie SMASH! Or if I’m feeling a bit more self-contained, it comes out like the ultimate Wonder Years/Kevin Arnold stare down.

Third, there’s embarrassment. 

Embarrassment

If my mom’s posts make YOU uncomfortable, imagine how I feel! If I don’t look at you while I’m walking down the hallway, it’s because I’m too busy hanging my head in shame. My life is one #cringeworthy moment after another.

Now if you excuse me, I’m going to find a dark closet to hide in for the rest of the day.

In truth,

Sadie Peck

The Truth About the Birds

birds photo

I can’t believe I’m about to share this with you. In reality, I’m sure you’ve seen this before and that’s why you’re here to begin with, but just as a refresher:

My mom started this little blog of hers as a project for a community college class. Like a meme of a grumpy cat, it went viral. Then it spun out of control. That’s how I got the name Sparrow. That’s how you know every miserable detail of my life (or at least you think you do). That’s why I’m here today, writing to you. How would you feel if your mom posted this for the entire world? If you’d feel anything other than sheer mortification, feel free to leave your comments below.

From FEATHER MY NEST circa 7th grade:

It’s not every day your daughter turns into a woman right before your very eyes. They may slowly climb the ladder of maturity, going from frilly socks to mature footwear, from curly pigtails to flat irons. But this weekend was different.

This weekend, my daughter got her period.

I. Can’t. Even.

Seriously, I can’t continue if I want to keep my lunch down.

If you think it can’t get worse, trust me, it does. She continues on about the mother/daughter bonding experience of puberty.

Ugh, I hate that word. Puberty.

There was no bonding. There was no experience. There was my mom announcing to an entire boat of family friends (including my biggest crush) that I’d officially become a woman. There were tears. There were glares. There was no “moment.”

Is that the Mother Bird you picture? No? Well there’s plenty more where that came from.

Read on my friends…read on…

In truth,

Sadie Peck aka Sparrow

Stef’s 2015 Year in Review

It is said that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but I happen to believe it’s right after Christmas when year-in-review and best-of lists swarm all forms of media. I guess I’m a sucker for nostalgia. This year, I’m making a short year-in-review for what has proved to be my most monumental year in writing (to-date, of course. I’m hoping it doesn’t go down in history that way).

I often get asked where I’m at with all of my writing projects. This should help sum it up, along with providing some tidbits I’ve learned about my writing, the publishing industry and myself.

2015 started off with a resolution or some may just say a goal (perhaps a recycled goal) of getting an agent.

I received suggested edits from an agent during a Twitter contest the previous year and was invited to revise and resubmit. I worked from September until January to polish up my manuscript and get it out. I waited for a response from the original agent, and after waiting six weeks, decided to put it forth into the world. I sent my manuscript to agents who also represent picture books as that is another interest of mine and to my pleasant surprise – ended up in talks with five different agents, three different offers and one agent signed and sealed by the end of the process! Amazing! Living on top the world! Right? Well sort of…

As with all writing roller coasters, it’s back to the computer for more edits. I was so excited for the direction THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BIRDS took after my edits, I couldn’t help but excited about the whole process.

In the meantime, my first creative non-fiction children’s book PLUTO SINGS THE BLUES and my second entitled DO IT MYSELFIE were polished up and officially sent on submission. Which is where those stand now and right before the end the year, THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BIRDS released itself into the publishing wild. So I am currently being reviewed by a variety of amazing editors. I pray that, just like the Bachelor (see Bachelor Agent Post), I will find my match made in heaven and you will someday in the not too distant future be able to check out my work.

Until then, I’m working on a yet to be titled contemporary YA work and praying hard every night that my writing finds its match with the right pair of eyes!

2016…Let’s do this.

xo stef wade green

#DIYBookClub – July

It’s July already? Not sure how that happened. July is a time for summer celebrations, BBQ and for many…travel! That’s why the #DIYBookClub July pick is to read a travel book. I’m particularly fond of travel writing and typically read a book about whatever place I’m traveling to. Some of my favorites include: IN A SUNBURNED COUNTRY by Bill Bryson and IT’S ALL GREEK TO ME by John Mole.

Well, th51GkRO+9b9L._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_is month I am not traveling (unless you count between state borders), so I am going to pick up a travel book I never actually read when I was in Ireland years ago. McCARTHY’S BAR by Pete McCarthy. I mean, I love a guy who has the motto: “never pass a bar that has your name on it.” I’m sure the people he meets along the way in this book will make it worth my while.

I’m hoping this book takes me back to the rolling green hills of the Irish countryside and the smooth taste of Guinness on tap. Where are you going this month? If you’re not going anywhere, travel like me! In a book!

 

#DIYBookClub – June

I signed my son up today for the summer reading program at the library and wished they had one for adults! But for now the #DIYBookClub is going to be as good as it gets. So without further ado, the category for the June #DIYBookClub is:

Read a book by an author you’ve read once and liked.

51L7YKlAiuL._AA160_This is a fun one for me. I often shy away from reading a second book by an author (at least for awhile) so I don’t keep too narrow of a scope in my reading. But when you read something you really like, chances are, the author will have more! And why wouldn’t you want more!

So this month, I am reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, author of Eleanor & Park. I loved Eleanor & Park – the characters, the setting, the message – and I’m digging the premise for Fangirl. A Potterhead or Twi-hard or pick-your-fancy fan who is having trouble letting go.

Now I probably won’t get a cool pencil or my name up on a bulletin board for reading this, but I’m looking forward to digging in!

What will you be reading?

 

xo stef wade green

Why finding an agent is like being on The Bachelor

The Bachelor

Those of you who know me, or follow me on any form of social media, know that I am a reluctant yet faithful watcher of The Bachelor. I fought the good fight for almost a decade before caving in to the deliciously ridiculous “reality” of it all.

Those of you who know me, or follow me on any form of social media, also know that quite recently I officially got an agent. A real one. I swear.

If you don’t know me, or follow me on any form of social media, my name is Stef Wade and I’m a young adult and children’s writer, now represented by the lovely Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis and…I watch The Bachelor.

I’ve read countless posts about writers finding their dream agents. How they queried, how they researched, how they joined contests and sold their souls for one tiny peek at their manuscripts. For the record, I did all that too. I was not one of the few lucky people who send one query or meet someone in an elevator and bam! Agent!

It took years of writing and determination, but I will spare you those details. What I will tell you, is:

Why getting an agent is like being on The Bachelor (or Bachelorette):

I’d like to break this into two sections. Today, I will focus on section one.

Section 1: The Contestant (before an offer of representation)

My mom meme

You’re just looking for someone to love you

Before you receive an offer of representation, you’ve likely spent days, weeks, years dutifully, or not so dutifully, searching for the perfect person. Just like all those lonely Bachelors and Bachelorettes out there, you cannot BELIEVE why someone doesn’t want you; why the good ones always pick the undeserving; why you have yet to be chosen.

But you march on even if you feel pathetic, or are actually pathetic. It doesn’t matter because you freakin deserve a break. You want to ride that horse into the sunset. You want the writer’s equivalent of that appearance on Dancing with the Stars.

bachelor kelsey

You spend as much time making yourself sound good as a contestant getting ready for a date

You’ve written your query letter, an audition tape portraying only your best traits, your stories best parts and why you are the most original person to ever exist. You and…everybody else. You hope that by adding an extra layer of foundation or doing a few extra sets of squats at the gym that you will catch his eye. If you look good from the outside, the inside has to be the same, right?

bachelorette

The probability that you’ll be over looked far surpasses that of getting chosen

Some agents get 200-300 query letters per week! And some people have that many dates. But you’re not one of the toss aside at the first typo letters, nooooo, you are smart and witty and character driven. You will make yourself stand out. You’ll kiss that guy if your life depends on it, even if it makes you look completely ridiculous in front of millions of viewers. You will win that contest that 1000 other people shut down the internet while entering. You will kill that pitch session regardless of how sweaty your palms gets.

Likely you will not.

At least for a while.  You might be the person that hangs on, getting full manuscript requests, the one who goes on only group dates but sticks it out until the Bachelor or Bachelorette realizes there is nothing very special about you or that they just don’t connect with you.

ashley-s-bachelor-paintball

The pressure makes you go bat shit crazy

You say the rejection doesn’t bother you. Your favorite catch phrase is “onward and upward!” a mantra attached to your bedside table. But the pressure that your very life goal and possibly livelihood depends on one person’s personal connection with your first ten pages or your elevator speech on how great of a person you are and why you deserve love is enough to make you lose your flippin mind. You might even lose your mind in the Mesa Verde like Ashley S.

chris-harrison-meme-say-your-goodbyes

Rejection emails are a less public rose ceremony

Every time you check your email, you’re standing in your sequined, low-backed evening gown, trembling in your high heels, unsure if you’ll get that rose. You will get the rose. You’re sure of it. He likes you. There’s no reason he wouldn’t.  They read your query, or your first fifty pages or the whole damn thing so there is no plausible reason why you wouldn’t experience pure bliss in the next few moments.

Instead, in front of America, you’re sent packing with mascara running down your face, looking overtly downtrodden and depressed as you roll away in your luxury limo crying with a desperate lack of self-confidence that you will regret showing later on. You didn’t find love today.

I’m sorry to tell you, you are not the next agented writer…

xo stef wade

#DIYBookClub – May

It’s May and it’s time to mix it up. This month’s #DIYBookClub selection is a true challenge. Something that may pull at the inner fiber of your very being. The challenge, shall you choose to accept it, is to pick a book from a genre you’ve never read before. Perhaps this will be easy for you. Maybe you’re a strict sci-fi reader (which makes me question why you’re reading my blog, but that’s okay) or maybe you only switch between NYT best sellers and the picture books you read to your kids. If you’re like me, you like to explore new genres, which is precisely what makes this challenge more difficult. What haven’t I read? I had to find a reader’s atlas to figure that out. Book Genre MapBook country.com created this awesome interactive genre map that allows you to check out genres in each category, as well as sub-genres when you click on your specific “country.”

In my genre quest, I found I steer clear of one major category, be it YA or Adult fiction…Horror. I don’t like blood and guts, I don’t like to be scared. I rather enjoy sleeping at night.

The things they carriedI don’t believe I’ve ever dabbled in war/military fiction either, which sounds only minutely less daunting to me. And therefore, is going to be the winner for this month’s #DIYBookClub pick. I’ve decided to read Tim O’Brien’s THE THINGS THEY CARRIED.

I’m looking forward to reading this and to marking off one more destination on my virtual reader’s map!

What will you be reading?

 

 

#DIYBookClub – April

Okay, I know, I know, April is almost over. But you can’t blame me, I’ve been a bit…well…busy. I have however picked out and read my #DIYBookClub book for April. This month, the challenge lies in defying everything your mother, grandmother and your eighth grade teacher ever told you…judge a book by its cover.

Love Letters to the DeadWe’re all guilty of this in one way or another. The cover, the title, the name of the author on the front of the book. Maybe you like white space, or big strapping men with rippling ab muscles on the cover, whatever your fancy, this month it is your challenge to go to the bookstore, the library, or flip through your Kindle and just pick a book based by the cover.

There were quite a few choices for me on this one, but I ended up reading Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. I was transfixed by this ethereal-y creepy cover. The colors! The floating writer! The scripted capital font! The little accolade at the top by Steven Chobsky didn’t hurt either.

I enjoyed the overall layout and direction of this book, a young girl grieving the loss of her sister, writing to famous people of the past to tell them her story and get some clarity. A few pages in, I realized I’d read about this book before, so perhaps I was a subconsciously biased in my picking. But I did love the cover and thought I picked it just for that, so you should do the same if you haven’t already!

What are some of your favorite covers? What are you drawn to?

And to get your prepped for next month, start searching for a genre you’ve never read before!

xo stef wade green

 

I’m So Excited, I’m So Excited…

Do you want to know why I’ve been saying this?

excited

And doing this?

vip-excited-celebration-o

And acting like this?

tumblr_mbqr1xlqx71r2e4eh

As you can see, I’m super excited to announce to you that I am now represented by the lovely super agent Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis!

We’re already hard at work and I’m well…excited…about the projects we’re working on. I’ll give you more details in the near future. But for now, I’ll just do one more of these…

dancing-baby

xo stef wade green

#DIYBookClub: March

It’s March. The hope of spring is creeping around the corner. And what does spring mean? Spring cleaning! So while you procrastinate cleaning out the garage or taking down your Christmas lights (you know who you are), the March category for the #DIYBookClub is one spring cleaning task you can easily wrap your hands around.

Olive KitteridgeThis month, we’re picking the book that has been at the bottom of your to-read pile for the longest. This can be your physical book pile, your Goodreads list or that book a friend told you to read ten years ago and you never did. In the spirit of cleaning house, I’m choosing a book from the pile next to my bed that never seems to get smaller. This month, I’ll be reading Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. It won a Pulitzer, it’s been made into an HBO miniseries and it’s been collecting dust in my room since 2008. I’m excited to read it and move along to the next dust collector.

2008 may not seem like that long ago for some of your to-read piles. What are you reading and more importantly, how long has it been there?

Please share with us. And for my short thoughts and ratings on the books I’m reading, follow me on Goodreads!

xo stef wade green