Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In Which I Take Liberties with Shiznit (and Other News for Writers)

All visitors who came to our house last week were given this dress code.
Indeed, last week was a very unpleasant week. If you noticed my absence, well, first of all, thank you...now you have an explanation (that being: my head was otherwise occupied with the toilet). I took pictures to document the horror, but this blog is only PG-13, so no photos for you. Suffice it to say we have all lost weight.

On the bright side, I am now fully caught up on The Real World, which I hadn't watched since 1996. And guess what I learned? "Shiznit" is not piglatin. It's actually very versatile (i.e. useful) urban slang. Generally, it is used interjectionally to express emotional excitement or satisfaction, as in, "Shiznit! Off da chain, yo!" Or it can be used as an adjective as in "Holla! That shawty's the shiznit!" (transl. Greetings! That fine looking woman is the best!) Oddly enough, shiznit can also be used to mean the exact opposite, as in excrement. Finally, it can be used to express dissatisfaction, as in, "Oh shiznit!" I think it is only a matter of time before we see shiznit used as an adverb, as in "Shiznit awesome, yo!" But that could just be hopeful thinking*.

In other news, I'm working on a contest since I have now hit that big milestone of 100+ followers (Ya ya, take a look!) In fact, it's going to be a joint venture with none other than the brilliant Simon Larter who, in a cosmic twist of fate, has also reached 100+ followers. Simon and I have recently discovered that we, in fact, share many similarities, not the least of which is our penchant for dancing starkers on a full moon (just kidding--Simon prefers to wear clothes). But more on that to come. Maybe tomorrow. If I can get my shiznit together.

But you know who else is practically a triplet with Simon and me? Sara McClung, hell'z yeah! Cuz she also reached 100+ followers at the same time (feel free to ask her about her dancing habits). Now, in honor of this righteous feat, Sara is having her own super shiznit contest...(drumroll please....): The Sara Passed 100 Followers Contest. Now, didn't that drumroll get you excited? As well you should be, because it's a pretty kicking...err shiznit contest where you can win some bloody shiznit books (Note: "bloody" is another one of those uber versatile words). So go go go go and follow, enter, win (or don't win...I'd rather you save that little treat for me).

There. Aside from some blog awards, which I will get to on another date, I believe I'm caught up on the news. Oh wait. No, I'm not. Um, personal writer news...AETERNUS (something like draft 512, I think) is finished and in the hands of CPs. Shortly, it may also be in the hands of beta readers. I'm severely limiting the number of beta readers, at least for now, because I like my heart, and I'd rather it didn't explode. Still, I'm not sure how to go about this beta process. How do you guys handle beta readers? Hard copies or electronic? Same format used for agents? Wrap in a bow? Draw illustrations? Issue them a gag order? Any special advice? I'm a little wigged out at the thought of handing my baby over to other peeps, even shiznit ones...so please advise.

But now that AETERNUS is, for all intents and purposes, done (until CPs get back to me and show me what a nightmare piece of shiznit AETERNUS is), I now have query on the brain (I also have another manuscript sitting pretty waiting for editing, but more on that later). Does this mean I'll be querying any time soon? Noooooooooo. Even if I had the A+ go-ahead from CPs and beta readers and a stellar query letter and partials ready to go, I would not be querying right now. And I would strongly advise you to hold out awhile as well--now is not the time. I mean, you can query now, but you'd be foolish to do so as the slush pile is about the size of Snoop Dogg's mansion right now. Because for soooooome reason, everyone is raring to find an agent in January. If you don't believe me, just check out Nathan Bransford's shiznit article Query Deluge. If that doesn't teach you to wait until February (or possibly May), then by all means, go ahead and compete with the January madness--I'd rather not compete with you anyway.

Okay. Now I'm done. Aren't you glad I didn't vlog this? Well...I am.

*I realize only very uncool people like me actually use "awesome." But "shiznit awesome" has a rather shiznit ring to it.


  1. This post was, uh, the shiznit? But unless I miss my guess, "shiznit" only and always refers to No. 2. It's just got a "zni" in the middle 'cause Snoop Dogg rolls that way. However, if it makes adjective or adverb status, I'd be shiznit happy to use it in sentences often.

    I think if I watched more than half an episode of The Real World, my head would explode and/or I'd shiznit mah drawers. I can't do that kind of reality TV, fo' shizzle.

    Anyway, do let's chat about this whole tomorrow thing. It could be the coolest thing since sliced shiznit. Just sayin'.

  2. Man...Simon beat me to it...but I'm totally going to say it anyway! This post was the SHIZNIT! After reading it I honestly feel the need to use the word shiznit in everything I say...because well, I haven't actually used it in quite a while and it's fun...indeed the word shiznit IS the shiznit!

    I was actually wondering where you had gone...SO glad to have you back and glad everyone's back to feeling better!!!

    And great call on postponing the queries...been hearing the same thing! Not that I'm lucky enough to have any WIP to that stage yet. Good luck with the CP's!

  3. Aaahh, the upside of sickness...quick weight loss. Glad you're better! And smart advice about querying. I've always heard, "Oh, it doesn't matter." But really, it does. :-)

  4. Wow. You got a lot goin' on in your world. Love how much I learned about slang in this post. And congrats on 100!!!
    I commented on your comment in my blog. Told you what you need to do to correct your code. Easy fix if you wanna check it out. :)
    My Blog

  5. I'm not worthy, Carolina. 100+ followers. Wow, you could start your own religion with all this shiznit.

  6. Oh, Simon, how you do me proud. Really, who needs MTV, when I have you, my very own urban dictionary. Hahaha! Seriously. You amaze me. And yes, I'll be on later this evening. Will track you down. We'll do this shiznit.

    Kristi, it is fun, isn't it? Oh, how I do get carried awa. You should have seen me when I first discovered all the uses of "Like." OMG, like totally, I was like, such a valley girl. And yes, do do do hold off on the querying. I'mfairly sure it's pretty stiff right now. An overworked agent is a hard one to win over.

    Robin, thank you thank you! Certainly not my prefered method to fitness. And truth be told, I was starving, all while nauseous. Bizarre, no? It's good to be back.

    Karen, oh yes, thank you! Will go check it out now! And thank you for your comment. So glad to be of service ;) And the congrats...much appreciated, sweets.

  7. LOL! Oh, Carol you make me laugh! I'm so glad you're back because you're the Shiznit! : )

  8. M. Gray, you crack me up...funny funny lady. Oh how I adore you.

  9. Kimberly, hahaha! Why thank you, m'dear. It's good to be back. And so nice to be the shiznit. That's a first, fo shizzle.

  10. Wow, that was an info loaded post. I don't even know where to start....SCHiznit..That's the word translated to German.

    How do you find your beta readers? How are they different from CP? (I know, EVERYONE knows this but me, but...)

  11. Glad you're feeling better! Being sick is no fun at all - even with the Real World to help.

    Can't wait to see what you and Simon have cooked up :)

  12. I'm so glad you're feeling better. Everyone's already said it, but this post is the shiznit! I just passed 100 followers too! I need to get a contest going, I love Sarah's (and she's adorable).

    Congratulations! I can't wait to see what kind of contest you're cooking up! :)

  13. *gasp* I use awesome ALL. THE. TIME.

    And I always feel so...giggly-weird when I say shiznet. xD LOL

  14. UGH! That has been going around where I live. *fingers crossed* I do NOT want that. Glad you're better. I really have enjoyed reading your blog posts. And I appreciate the visit and follow.

    I plan on querying in early February. I am ready. My MS is itchin' to hit the road. Query is polished and I even have a synopsis. So here we go.

    Just don't use 500 beta readers. Three is a good number. Keep it manageable. A writer can have too many eyes reading the MS.. You know?

    And I just have one more to say to you. SHIZNET! :-)

  15. Elle, ooooh, a translation for my word arsenal. Now that's shiznit awesome! As for the difference...I guess I look at it as Cs are generally other writers who will critique your work, investigating closely, offering advice, whereas beta readers can be non-writers who just like books in your genre and can give you a reader's POV on your book. I have a couple of writers beta reading for me as well as a few non-writers. I think it's especially important to try and find betas in your target audience. But that's just my take; and since I'm no expert, well...

    Jemi, thanks hon! We're cooking away over here ;)

    Mireyah, me too dear...me too. But hearing that you also say awesome makes me feel wayyyyyy cooler. Why I'm feeling kind of shiznit awesome, now.

    Diana, why congrats on your 100!!! Excellent! And yes yes! Do get a contest going! Fun times....

  16. Robyn, I really hope you don't get it. Not fun. No, M'am. And thank you for your lovely comments. It's been a pleasure to follow your blog as well. Congrats on getting your ms all spit and polished ready. Wow! That's so exciting! Good luck with the querying! Crossing my fingers for you!!!

  17. I'm an "awesome" abuser. Shiznit is new to me, though. I see some fun coming from this! Bring on the shiznit! :-)

  18. Shannon, but "awesome" is just the shiznit...can't help but use it. It seems to work so perfectly for all those...awesome things ;) But, hey, I must say, I'm liking your new phrase. Bring on the shiznit...very nice. I could use this.

  19. I've never used a beta reader--I'm not even sure what a beta reader is. Where do you find them? :-P

  20. I'm glad you're doing better! Right now, we're in the very middle of Sick Hell with 2 kids who have seasonal flu. I guess it never ends, does it?

    Congrats on finishing your latest round of revisions (I'm in that boat with you right now...I'm about to chuck one of my books across the room I'm so tired of it.)

    Mystery Writing is Murder
    Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

  21. Soooo I was going to e-mail you and A about this, probably will... but I am confused about what a beta reader is...

    Um. and my vote is for you VLOG baby VLOG :-)

    And so far, my dear, Aeternus is the SHIZNIT!

  22. Alexandra, just sent you an e-mail! I found mine through friends who are interested in the genre and who I know like to read.

    Elizabeth, oh my! how awful for you. Good luck and take care not to get sick yourself. Poor babies. And thank you for the congrats! We shall both persevere and overcome. You'll be done before you know it ;)

    Sara, sent you an e-mail! And um, I doubt I'll be vlogging any time soon! Oh my, at least not until this summer ; And wooo-hooo! So glad you're enjoying my Shiznit Aeternus...dude, I'm totally using that word wrong. You know what, I'm determined to make it into an adjective. It works, doesn't it? But okay, I have to admit that "my Shiznit Aeternus" sounds like something vaguely awful.

  23. Wooohoo this post is the shiznit. Also I hope you can get caught up on The Real Writers because I totally wrote them after reading your comment (I commented back on my blog) but you Carolina were my total inspiration for the series. Congrats on the 100+ followers:-)

  24. Frankie, I will definitely get caught up on the Real Writers!! And oooh, how I love to be an inspiration ;) I'm a muse!!! I'm gonna go check your comment now.

  25. My heads spins from the sheer genius of this post (and hopefully not from the shiznit that's going around). Glad to hear you're better!

  26. Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog today. I enjoyed skating around your blog. Good to meet another writer. Good luck with your work!!

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. Girl, you know I think you're totally the shiznit!! Also? I'm super happy you've managed to extract your head from the clutches of the toilet (beware the Ty-d-bowl man!) and that you're on the mend. :)

  29. Hmm...shiznit. I LIKE this word! I've been educated today:) But do you think my oldest daughter would be embarrassed if I use it? It seems like every time I try to act cool I end up looking like a dork.

  30. Wow, we really are kindred spirits. Anyone who can watch a Real World Marathon and is over the age of 21 is destined to be a friend of mine. Glad to have you back!

  31. Congrats to you, and the others you mentioned, for reaching 100 followers!

  32. Glad you're feeling better! I also abuse "awesome," as well as "awkward." Apparently I adore adjectives that begin with "A."

  33. Welcome back! I was wondering if you were still recovering or just taking a break!! :)

  34. 100 followers is definitely reason to celebrate. Congrats!

  35. Tricia, you are a dear! Oh the flattery! Thank you.

    Scobberlotcher, ok 1st I love this name... Very cool. And 2nd, you're welcome. It's a pleasure to meet you as well.

    Rhonda, Oh thank you thank you! And it so happens I did see that horrifying tidy-Bowl man. Let's not go there *shivers*

    Melissa, I absolutely am certain she would be horrified!!! As would mine. She would never let me live it down! Better not risk it!

    Lisa and Laura, kindred spirits, for sure. I didn't realize what I was missing out on all these years. Did you know they actually have S*X on that show now???? Holy schmokes...I had to get with the times. Btw, I totally new we were kindred spirits when you used "twatting" in your vlog.

    Lindsey, thank you! Very kind of you.

  36. Heather, I love "awesome"! It's such a perfect word. And much easier to say than awe inspiring. I say go for it and use it as frequently as possible. Except, perhaps, in your writing. Unless your title your book HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU SAY AWESOME?

    Eisely, why thank you! It is good to be back. I do take breaks on occasion, but this time...well, an unintentional break. Gah!

    Bethany, thank you! Fun times ahead.


Make your comment stand out. Use bold words. Or italics. Whatever.