Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sales Fantasies

Okay, folks, listen up!

I'm revising all previous fantasies. I don't want a castle, though I would like a little house. Really, what I want is to sell enough books to be able to afford car insurance in Detroit.

A castle would be cheaper.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Truth is Stranger than Fiction

I spent the entire month picking out a car.

A new shiny car.

A Chevy Sonic.

New cars are expensive--extremely expensive--but I did not care. The Sonic is one of the cheapest cars on the road, and I got a relatively good price. After three separate test drives I put down a deposit on one in Cyber Gray Metallic with a nice stereo system.

I spent a lot of time picking out this car and going through the process--time when I could have been writing.

Then I started looking for insurance and I realized something. Technically, I recognized three things: (1) I'm a new driver, (2) I'm young, and (3) I live in Downtown Detroit. The cheapest car insurance I could find (and I called everywhere) was the same monthly price as my rent.

I can't write two checks like that.

So, new plan! No shiny new car! No pretty Chevy Sonic! No Cyber Gray Metallic! No small car that I felt comfortable driving in!

Nope, I'm going to buy the cheapest used Pontiac Vibe I can get my hands on and only insure it for liability. No comprehensive coverage. No collision. Nothing. Just minimum liability and a song in my heart.

My insurance will still cost twice what it should be, and I don't care. It'll be less than rent.

And, there you have it... truth is stranger than fiction!

Manuscript Rundown

Okay, folks, here it is:

1. Manuscript sold to Entangled's Indulgence line, finished with final edits, awaiting final approval and a cover quote. I don't know if I get to say who's doing the quote yet but it's never exciting!

2. Manuscript submitted to Indulgence and returned for edits before possible acceptance. I'm working my way through it. Although, I've spent most of this week trying to buy a car, so it's not going as fast as I'd like. Also, I'm getting a Chevy Sonic! Cyber Gray! WooHoo!

3. Manuscript out there in the ether hanging around at Dead Sexy. Getting positive preliminary comments, but I'm not sure what's going on with that.


4. Manuscript rejected by Harlequin.

They are my Aegean stable. The task that I cannot possibly complete.

In other news, The Billionaire's Surprise Baby is at forty thousand words--going slower than I'd like but still root-toot-tooting along.

Okay, that's done... does anyone have any thoughts on how to get the best price on car insurance?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Car!

That's right, boys and girls! I'm getting a new car! My first car! My only car!


As of an hour ago I am the proud owner of an invoice for a Chevy Sonic in Cyber Gray Metallic.

Congratulate me.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekend Commitments

Sorry I haven't posted all weekend. I was in all day training Saturday and Sunday. I am now qualified to train others about doing non violent direct action, so if anyone feels a yen to have a sit in then call me.

Unfortunately, that means I didn't get much writing done either. I only wrote two thousand words, which admittedly is two thousand words more than I had before. It's just nowhere near my goal cor the weekend.

Additionally, I looked in my closet and realized that when I moved I did not, bring any hooded sweatshirts. So, I had to go buy one from the bar downstairs. It has the bar's name on the front: the dirty trick. There's a skeleton playing poker on the back. And, now I'm ready to go to tonight's hoodie March. Everyone else should find one near you and go. If you have no idea what I'm talking about then comment and I'll explain.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

A slight digression... or obsession... about cars

Okay, I can't decide whether to get a new car or a used car.

If I get a used car what kind of car should it be? A Pontiac G8 or a Chevy Cobalt?

If I get a new car what kind of car should it be? A Chevy Sonic or a Ford Focus?

Questions? Comments? Thoughts of any kind?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Book Sales and Fantasies

In a previous post someone (shout out to Ruth) asked whether I would buy a Dodge SuperBee if my novel made buckets of money.


I'm kind of in love with the 66 Mustang right now, and the Charger--- but I digress.

If I earned buckets of money I'd go someplace awesome on vacation. I'd buy an Eames rosewood lounge chair. I'd try out fancy restaurants and stop sitting in the gods at concerts.

But first, I feel like I should take a page out of Sojourner Truth's book. Tue forward to be exact where she said (and I'm paraphrasing): 'Buy my book so I can buy a little house.'

Sojourner Truth's house is still standing in Florence, MA, and--as my mother loves to point out--it's not so little.

Here in Detroit a castle can cost less than a car, but if you're looking for a walkable neighborhood than the price goes up.

I've never wanted to live in a castle-- that's a lie.

Secretly I desperately want to live in a castle, or a school, or a church, or a giant county building thatooks like Wayne Manor, or any of the other bizarre property deals in Detroit.
But, imagine the cost of maintaining it.

My current desires are more modest and reasonable.

Buy my book so I can buy a little house.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Driving Test Scheduled!

I have a deep dark secret that I tell everyone.

I--Aleah Barley--do not drive.

I know, you're shocked, amazed, bowled over, but it's true. I write about cars, I read about cars, and I talk about cars until I'm blue in the face.

But, I'm still that person. The one person who lives in Motor City without a driver's license.

That should all change tomorrow at noon! Because, I just scheduled my road test.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Line Edits are Hard.

You ever read the original Cinderella?

The one where she's sitting in a fireplace picking peas and beans from the ashes. Sorting them into tiny piles.

That must be what it's like to be an editor. And, trust me, I don't want that job. There are some skills I just don't have, but I can appreciate them in others.

I am appreciating as hard as I can right now.

I just got my line edits back tonight, and--because I know that I've got a lot of stuff coming up at work--I'm trying to get through a big chunk of it tonight. Every other line has an edit, sometimes multiple edits on the same line, but I am appreciative.

I swear.

Thanks Ruth!

I made the mistake of leaving my computer alone with my cat. And this is what he wrote.

Title says it all. He thinks he's going to be the next Hemingway

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Submission Round Up Correction*

Okay, I just emailed with a bunch of people and updated my notes.

I have one manuscript submitted to Indulgence and one manuscript submitted to Harlequin.

My manuscript at Dead Sexy is provisionally accepted (they have to figure out who will be editing me/it).

My first novel's in for line edits.

I've got another complete that needs some editing before submission.

And, I'm thirty four thousand words into the Billionaire's Baby Surprise.

Then there's my real job...

This is definitely the year that's going to turn me into a babbling fool.

*I'm willing to admit when I'm wrong. Also, happy Terry Pratchett footnotes!

Submission Round Up

Okay, I just looked at my notes and things are moving right along.

I have one manuscript submitted to Indulgence, one manuscript submitted to Dead Sexy, and one manuscript submitted to Harlequin.

My first novel's in for line edits.

I've got another complete that needs some editing before submission.

And, I'm thirty two thousand words into the Billionaire's Baby Surprise.

Then there's my real job...

This could be the year that turns me into a babbling fool. Or, it could be the year where I become a successful human being.

Three guesses as to which one seems more likely.

It's too hot!

Trying to write in my small studio apartment is like trying to write in an oven... With hot water bottles (my cat and my computer) competing to sit on klmy lap.

It's sixty degrees here, but I'm in a fifth floor apartment with direct sunlight.

And I can't open the windows.

Some or you may find this ironic because two weeks ago I was complaining about my windows not closing.

Shut up.

My window is still open the two inches it wouldn't close, but that doesn't exactly help me get a breeze going. I chose a corner unit for the cross ventilation possibilities, damn it.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Got Up. Didn't Write.

I swear. I love the piece I'm working on. It's smart (I hope), funny (I hope), and so full of troops it would make even the most hardened editor smile. I just cUt seem to find the time to work on it.

So, this weekend is all about writing. Once I get home from work.

Next question for the multiverse, I've got a completed manuscript that I'm hanging onto because i want to write a linked book (can you call them squeals in category romance?).

Should I just send in the first one and say 'this is my idea for a second'?

Also, thank you everyone who' s following me! Now I don't feel like I'm talking into as much of a void. What could make this blog better?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beauty in Decay

When I tell people the location where I work they shudder. The mythology of Detroit allows every neighborhood to be the worst, and people who've never driven by tell me that the intersection is dangerous.



It's also beautiful, with big old houses, tree lined streets, and the river nearby. This old house magazine recommends it as a place to find a beautiful place for not slot of money.

What do you think?

If I could only remember...

You ever get the feeling that you've forgotten to do something?

You left home and maybe you didn't lock the door.

You know you showered but maybe you didn't wash your hair.

I do that all the time. One of the things I keep more careful track of is my writing submissions, so imagine my surprise when I emailed an editor to ask what the status of my submission was and she responded with 'eh... oops' (paraphrased).

I submitted in October.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Writing rooms

Okay, I know this is slightly out there. I think that Detroit needs a writing room... Or two.

While I realize that writing rooms often occur in places with high rent where people don't have space to write in their apartments/can't afford an office. There are other benefits of belonging to a writing room, including a heightened sense of community, a place to take lessons/find a critique partner, and an attempt at professionalizing something that can often be done in your pajamas.
In addition, writing rooms provide a safe space to do interviews, a conference table for business meetings, and a place where you don't have to buy coffee every hour in order to justify your existence.

So, I exhort you, people with entrepreneurial spirit.

Come to Detroit.

Buy a building.

Rent a space.

Start a writers room, and i'll be your first member.

Come on. I need access to WiFi.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Top ten list of things to do while loitering on a bus corner in Detroit after dark.

1. Curse the bus system.

2. Imagine all the places they'll find pieces of your body.

3. Wish you were at home with a cat.

4. Listen to your stomach growl.

5. Curse Barnes and Noble for closing at 5.

6. Use up battery juice on your phone by writing a blogpost.

7. Eat drugstore candy.

8. Plot your next novel.

9. Plot revenge on your cat for stealing your socks.


10. Be utterly grateful to the guys who finally split a cab with you so you don't have to keep waiting for the bus. Thanks guys!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rainy day blues...

It's raining in detroit, and the motor oil is running like blood in the street. Though in this city you never know.

With my current round of edits sent off to my editor, I'm stuck working on my next novel. (Working title oscillates between 'the billionaire's baby surprise' and ' unplanned pregnancy is okay if you have enough money for private school').

Only, I don't feel in the mood to write romance. Decisions, decisions. Power through and write about my devilishly handsome captain of industry and his clumsy one night stand/broke business partner, or start something puppy with lots of gore?

Questions? Comments?

Line Edits

I'm starting line edits, nyah, nyah, nyah.

I assume that means I'm getting near the end of the editing process.

Woohoo! (Does a little dance.)

On a slightly more tragic note, my glasses broke and I spent all day yesterday replacing them... and my sun glasses.

I like my new glasses.

I love my new sunglasses.

Unfortunately, it's raining.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Now for some writing news

You can tell that the bus came late when I have time to post two entries from my phone in the morning.

Anyway, I just got my first round edits back from Ruth over at Entangled. The woman's a genius editor, and laugh out loud funny when it comes to thinking of names. The current title is Too Hot to Handle, but that's not for lack of something sillier.

I love working at entangled so much that I've got a second submission in with them. Cross your fingers for good news.

And, on the 'still to be written' front, I've got a one night stand, boss-employee, billionaire playboy, accidental pregnancy, trope ridden manuscript on the back burner. (Just got back to where I was before I accidentally didn't save last weekend). Thirty two thousand words in (ok, thirty one thousand and a bit) and i still like the characters. WooHoo!

Bright skies and beautiful days

Ok, haters, this is just a heads up... Detroit in the morning is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. You can take New York and stuff it. We've got gorgeous architect designed buildings, some great art demo facades, and an impending renaissance that's supposed to take us out of the economic doldrums.

If we don't get taken over by an emergency manager first.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How to find the time...

So, I recently signed a contract for my first novel "WORKING TITLE HERE" to be published by Entangled Publishing. About two weeks later I got an awesome new job and moved cross country to work many hours a day doing something ELSE that I love. I'm currently trying to finish edits for my first novel, submit my second novel for publication (cross your fingers), and finish work on something else entirely. Today my editor asked me if I knew any writers who could write cover comments for my novel. I don't know any writers at all, I barely have time to breathe let alone meet people in my field. Sigh. Shakes head. Wanders off looking confused.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Yep, I did it. The dreaded 'do not save.' Slick move. I just lost four thousand words... and my entire weekend. Sigh

Sunday clothes

So, I have my itunes on shuffle. Right? And what should come up but,'out on your Sunday clothes' from the Barbara streisand movie Hello Dolly.

The basic premise is that you can't be blue dressed up in your (fancy) Sunday clothes.

I've been thinking something similar all morning. There's no way to be unhappy in my Sunday clothes. But, in my case Sunday clothes means a pair of black yoga pants and a sweatshirt advertising my third (but certainly not last) elementary school. The sweatshirt has a series of different brightly colored peace signs on a white background. Or, what used to ve a white background. It also has fifteen years of coffee stains and a cut off decline.

Dolly would be so disappointed.

Still, everytime I catch sight of my reflection in a mirror I'm reminded that there's "no blue Monday in my Sunday clothes."


It's a beautiful day in Detroit, Michigan, the sun is shining, people are walking around, and i'm stuck in my apartment writing. Not that I've written much. Today feels kind of useless, but i know that the instant I get back to work on Monday I'll have more ideas then I know what to do with.
Isn't that always the way?
In other news, I'm going to start my driving lessons today, and my cat's finally figured out a way to relax.
The best way.
With a good book.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Today I sent out a major edit for a major edit... Which I'll probably have to so again.

I've come to the conclusion that editing is hard, and i need some tricks of the trade. So, big bad universe, what's the best way to edit?