Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All the Pigs Have Died!

Two topics today. Bacon and quitting. Don't they go together swimmingly? Let's examine.

On Bacon:
Okay, so Quinn thought he'd be reeeaaal clever and ask: "If some virus or something caused all the pigs in the world to die--meaning, no more bacon--what would you do?"

I'm not even sure I can answer this question. I mean, seriously. How about: medicate myself with another salted cured meat. Would that work?

Probably not. #savethepigs!

Katie Ganshert asked: "When did your love affair with bacon first begin? Was it love at first sight? More of a falling in love as you get to know each other better type of thing? Have you ever gone through rough patches?"

I've loved bacon for as long as I can remember. Totally love at first sight. And doesn't every relationship have it's rough spots? Yes. Bacon and I...we're sort of evolving into new areas right now. You know, maple sugar, chocolate. The possibilities really are endless.

And dude! I just got this book from my editor. My life is now complete.


On Quitting:
Carolina Valdez Miller asked: "Have you quit? I mean, have you ever just said, "I can't do this anymore," and stopped writing? At least for a while?"

Oh, I've definitely said, "I can't do this anymore," and it was said in extreme frustration. But did I quit? No. I might take a break and watch my favorite movies (Two Weeks Notice and Pirates of the Caribbean) or make too much food or curl up with my Pillow Pet. But I haven't actually quit writing.

Kathryn Packer Roberts asked: "Do you have a book(s) that you absolutely loved and had to shelve to move on to the one you are publishing? How did that feel and why did you end up coming to that decision? Do you think you will ever go back to that/those books?"

1. Yes, I queried another novel before POSSESSION. Yes, I loved it. Yes, I thought it was good. I was wrong.

2. Shelving that book felt like ripping out my heart, sticking it in the microwave, and watching it explode. I had to shelve it because deep, deep down inside the tiny part of myself that knows things knew it wasn't "the one." And I'd queried every agent on the planet and they all said no. That convinced me, too.

3. No, I don't think I'll go back to that book. I like the characters and the concept, and I might rewrite it from blank pages using their names and the overall idea, but that's it. In the far distant future. It's not a project that's even on the stove right now.

What about you? Have you ever quit? Are you contemplating throwing in the towel? Why? And most important: What would you do if pigs landed on the extinction list? (Perish the thought.)

55 comments:

Candyland said...

Dddduuuudddeeeeee you already know the answer to this! Everyday (right now) feels like a struggle with one bad thing happening after another...

On a good notes, if the pigs were about to go extinct, I would whip out my time machine and REWIND so you can gather as many as possible for yourself. Yes, I love you so much, I would give you all the pigs in the whole wide world :)

Theresa Milstein said...

Jews wouldn't miss bacon so much. Luckily I'm not kosher.

I've wondered how many novels I should write, how many years I should say I'm a writer, yet not be published before I should give up. But then I remind myself I'm only as good as my next word, sentence, and so on. I'm bound to improve. Maybe.

Jemi Fraser said...

Your post title made me laugh out loud :)

I've backed off from pushing myself to the next step and taken breaks when life gets too crazy - but I've always enjoyed writing so I can't imagine quitting :)

Jessica Nelson said...

Sure, I've thought about pursuing a different career (quitting, lol). This is a hilarious post! If pigs die out, maybe you'll take up eating squirrel? *grin*

Renae said...

I can't imagine every quitting. Yes I get frustrated and take breaks, watch movies, get some Starbucks, you get the idea.

As far as the pigs go, that would be a sad, sad day at my house...my son loves bacon!

Quinn said...

Haha! Love that you answered my question.

Since pigs aren't yet extinct though and you don't have to switch to a different salted, cured meat, I have another question for you ... have you ever had samgyeopsal? I don't know if you have many Korean restaurants where you are. Samgyeopsal is pretty much like thick bacon that you fry at your table. It's seriously like the main thing that people eat here if they go out. The only thing is, Koreans don't let it get crispy, so you gotta fight them off so your pieces actually survive to make it to gorgeous crispiness. I recommend you try it. Thick bacon and it's an entire meal -- well, you also get sidedishes and rice and some kind of stew.

Ted Cross said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ted Cross said...

Yes, I am shelving my first novel and hoping to rewrite part of it after I have completed some others first. I don't want to give up on it, though.

I love bacon, too, but I rarely order it in restaurants because so few people cook it right. I want it so crisp that it can snap. I hate any trace of fat on it. Burn it, baby!

Jen Daiker said...

Oh.My.Gosh you scared me. I thought this was going to be an extremely morbid post because the title scared me.

Thank Goodness I saw I love bacon and #savethepigs as I was scanning so I looked past my initial reaction and read.

#SAVETHEPIGS!

I love the book your editor sent. How super fun!!!

Magan said...

LOVE your explanation on what it feels like to shelve a novel. I recentlly did that and it just stung. I loved it, loved the characters, but I knew it wasn't THE ONE. It's like a bad break-up...in a couple years we can maybe be friends again, but for now the MS has to stay hidden in a word document.

If all the pigs died I'm sure there could be bacon made out of other types of meat and then seasoned or chemically engineered to TASTE like real bacon. I.E. Turkey Bacon.

Matthew Rush said...

I think I need a pillow pet.

And I'm way too stubborn to shelve a novel, I'll just keep re-writing it until I go mad.

B.E. Sanderson said...

I saw something on Food Network that there's a restaurant serving deep-fried bacon. =o)

Don't worry, Elana. Pork products are here to stay, and if something did happen to the pigs, mankind would find a substitute.

I've contemplated quitting so many times it's like an old refrain in my writing-life song. Now when thoughts of quitting bubble up, I just smile wistfully and forge ahead. After all the rejection and the criticism and the writer's block and the squirms and the re-writes, edits, papercuts, hard drive crashes, deadlines... who wouldn't at least think about chucking this crazy endeavor for something saner - like bomb disposal? ;o)

Jonathon Arntson said...

What's a pillow pet?

And you know my trials and tribulations with writing well enough. Up and down, all around. Well, like you, I won't quit, I'll morph.

Michelle McLean said...

1. I've loved every one of your books and there isn't one that didn't think was good enough to be published...just sayin' :D

2. Turkey bacon isn't all that bad...you know, should pigs all up and die...of course, I think turkey bacon is flavored with actual bacon so there may be a problem there :D

3. I thought I was reopening a shelved project...but in the process of rewrites, it's pretty much a new book with same characters and general idea - and I'm loving it all over again :) Now we'll just have to see if anyone else does LOL

Summer Frey said...

I actually really like turkey bacon. I have a Pavlovian-response to the smell of turkey bacon and instant hazelnut lattes, because that was what I ate for breakfast every day one summer during college, when I worked at the library...

Em-Musing said...

Pigs extinct? There are too many men...oh,wait, you're not talking that kind of pig. Just kidding, just kidding! I love men! And as long as my brain can produce new wrinkles, I'll never give up.

Kelly Lyman said...

I love bacon too, but it has to be cooked just right. Sometimes it's a bit too undercooked for me and other times it is overcooked. I feel like the only person who can cook it the way I like it is my mom. As for writing and quitting--yes, I think about quitting all the time. I feel like I keep writing and writing, but I never get any better, even though I read up on techniques, etc. I'm feeling right now that I just don't have the natural talent or that natural voice and never will. But, I enjoy the process of telling a story and creating so I keep on doing it. I just shelved the story I've been working on for 2 years (which is SO discouraging in itself) and now I'm trying to do character profiles and a rough outline on my next idea. We'll see how it goes!

E.J. Wesley said...

Good Lord! You have to work on naming these posts or you're going to give me a coronary! I was packing up my gear to head into the good old family survival shelter, when thankfully I read the post and discovered there would in fact be more bacon. No pigs=apocalypse in my book, and I was prepared to not surface for the next 50 years. And yes, you can infer that I have my own underground hog farm ...

Angela Felsted said...

Chocolat on bacon, seriously? I'll have to think about that.

And shelving books and moving on? Yes, it really does feel like I've put my heart in the microwave and it's about to explode. Good analogy. I love your blog.

Nicole L Rivera said...

While I don't share a love of bacon (vegetarian for 4 years, now moved up to chicken and turkey only). However, I did shelf my first manuscript (which I did as a series of 2 books so technically my first 2 manuscripts). Did it hurt? A little, but I was working on two other projects when I made the decision, so I didn't have time to think about it. I think that's important, while querying work on something else. The rejection hurts less when there is another project to be excited about.

Tracey Neithercott said...

You know, turkey bacon tastes almost as good. I think you'd make it in a pigless world.

I love how you described shelving a book. While disgusting, that analogy is spot-on.

Julie said...

Funny timing for this post... last night, when serving a lovely vegan soup to my friend, I said, "You know I love eating a mostly vegan diet (for the health reasons not the philosophical ones), but this soup would be so much better with a giant ham hock in it." :)

And I've considered not marketing and seeking publication at times, but never considered not writing anymore.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

You had me worried there. I thought we'd have to switch to imitation bacon. And that stuff is just nasty.

Glad to hear you've never quit. But also equally inspiring that you've faced that frustration of thinking you should and gotten through it. ;)

Patti said...

I don't think I've every wanted to quit, take extended breaks, yes, but not quit.

If pigs died that would be awful, they are the magically animal, don't you know.

Michelle Merrill said...

I don't really think about quitting. I love to write and right now it's just a hobby. Do I want to be published? Sure, who doesn't? Will I be frustrated until I am? No. There's no point. You know, that all might change one day but I hope it doesn't. Writing calms me and I need calming quite often :)

As for the bacon. Check this out.
http://www.voodoodoughnut.com/menu.php
Look at the Bacon Maple Bar. I've heard it's so good!

Ghenet said...

I took a few month break from writing when I was planning my wedding this year. But it was just a temporary break and I don't see myself taking another extended break anytime soon. I've never seriously thought about quitting and hope I never do!

Tere Kirkland said...

LOL, I just got that book for my husband for Christmas!

I've never felt like I needed to quit, but I do need breaks sometimes. But I need breaks from my day job, too. It's the same thing. Sometimes we just get a little burned out and need to recharge our batteries.

Hope you have a relaxing holiday!

Jennie Englund said...

Will you maybe revisit that first MS someday?

Hope you're having a fun winter break!

Kristen Knight said...

Um. How did you know! I bought this for you for Christmas. http://bit.ly/e2DFyh

Jill Kemerer said...

Mama loves bacon! I guess I'd have to switch to turkey bacon, although I think we all know the grease/crispy factor just isn't there.

No, I haven't quit writing, but I've had some low lows.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

There's been tons of times I've wondered what the heck I'm doing when it comes to my writing. Fortunately I have a lot of writer friends who talk me off the ledge. I'm starting to feel more confident . . . at least until I start querying again in the New Year.

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

Thanks for your answer to my questions. I am at the same point you were, shelving my cherished book and starting a new one. That was a difficult decision and one I had to think a lot about. Even though I had a lot of people say they loved the book/idea, I just felt like I was patching something broken every time I did revisions. Now that the decision is made and I have a super great idea for my next book I am actually excited about it. A fresh start. It feels great. This time I can use everything I've learned right at the start and not patch it up later. Can't wait to see where this idea takes me.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Oh, my! A world without bacon really would be sad. As for the quitting part, yes. I took over 6 months off before I re-wrote this MS. I nearly gave up then, but fortunately there are a few who believed in me even when I didn't. I hope this time's the charm. If not, I'll face that heartache and start over. Just like you! :-)

Heather said...

I would not be a happy camper if pigs went extinct. They are too tasty. Save the pigs!

As for quitting, I did actually. I quit for many years but a swift kick to the head brought me back to what I love to do.

L.T. Elliot said...

I've thought about quitting. Sometimes still do. I think it but I don't know that I'll ever do it.

As for the pigs, I'll just ditto what you said: Perish the thought!

melissa said...

I refuse to acknowledge that a world without bacon could ever exist! I mean, it makes EVERYTHING better!

Lisa_Gibson said...

STS = Save the Swine! Omg, totally perish the thought. I don't think I could completely do without pork, bacon especially. If you ever get the chance you should go to this restaurant (I've never been) www.boccalone.com.
I've quit writing a book because I just couldn't connect to the characters any more at that point. I may go back some time but for now, no. :)

Talli Roland said...

If you love bacon, never move to England. Ever. They have THE WORST bacon in the world here, all fatty and thick and limp and greasy. Just... yuck.

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Okay, I had a genius and inspiring comment all ready to go and then I saw Talli's comment on the bacon in the UK sucking and I'm just floored. So much for my dream of moving to London! :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

I do think about quitting about every day. Why? Because I'm not sure I'm good enough, it's extra work, and I already have a career I'm good at with a lot less "no." But I do like writing so for now, I'm hanging in there.

Krispy said...

Well, I'm always wondering what the heck I'm doing and if anything will ever pan out, but I don't let it get me down (at least, I try not to). :)

I was trying to answer your second question about pigs by thinking of a suitable replacement for bacon and...I can't. I just...there IS no suitable replacement!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I haven't quit because I've barely started! Although working on the sequel to my book makes me wonder if I can even do it again.
No pigs? Veggie bacon.

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss elana! mostly people that know me could know i dont never quit! not ever! i could get feeling down some times but i get back up and go. i could for sure get down if pigs got extincted.id be-achin for bacon! ha ha. yikes! no bacon? no pork chops? no pigs head soup and more worse no pig snout snacks? ack! for sure youd need to do a save the pigs campain. save those little oinkers! :)
...hugs from lenny

Shari said...

I would be very sad if all the pigs died. I loves me some pulled pork.

As for the quitting, yes, I quit all the time, but then I start up again. I'm not sure what's up with that. I'm either determined or pathetic. I'm not sure which.

tiemeinwords said...

I don't think I've ever gotten to the point of saying "That's it, I'm done writing!" ...but then again, the only time I've heard people say that is when they're going through edits or trying to meet deadlines and feeling all that pressure. I've yet to reach that stage, so I really can't say anything, except that this is all I've ever wanted to do, and I can't imagine giving it up for something else.

As for all the pigs dying... well I REALLY can't comprehend that one. It's too, too terrible...

Shelley Sly said...

How you described your shelved novel is exactly how I feel about my first-ever-queried-manuscript. I might do a major rewrite in the distant future, with the same characters but much stronger plot, but I'm so not writing it anytime soon.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday with lots of bacon! :D

Riv Re said...

"save the pigs" Isn't that kind of ironic? Save the pigs so we can kill and eat them!

RaShelle said...

*sigh*

I think about quitting.

I'm not quite on the bacon bandwagon you are . . . BUT I love ham. So I'd still freak if pigs became extinct.

Jeff King said...

For the past 2 weeks I have struggled with quitting… it took some deep soul searching to move past my depression/ self-doubt that my writing has invoked in me.

The main reason I couldn’t give up, was the characters in my head. They saw their untimely death, and wouldn’t let me end them in that manner. Their story must be completed, even if it doesn’t meet a high standard of writing.

At least the story will be told, and they can rest-in-peace, maybe then I can move on.

I couldn’t imagine a world without pigs, and I hope I never have to.

Amber Cuadra said...

I've never quit writing, per se, but I have stopped writing. I had about a year and a half where I wrote hardly anything. My ideas weren't flowing at all, so it wasn't that I quit, it was that I just couldn't write. I tried to write, and nothing happened. No stories, no good characters, nothing. It was terrible. I think after experiencing that, I don't think I could ever quit on purpose.

I love bacon... let's not even think of a world without pigs and bacon... O.o

Nicole Zoltack said...

I've never quit but I have had long periods of unproductivity. I am a writer so I can't forever quit what I am. Just isn't possible. And pigs won't ever become extinct so there's no need to worry. :)

Charli Mac said...

Elana, your next book can be about a dystopic society that has no PIGS! But one girl has the power to sense them. One teenage girl has THE SNOUT! She smells crispy bacon anytime a pig is near. But she must fight the pig lovers who are hiding them. It's the BATTLE FOR BACON!

Lum said...

Yes. I've quit, but never forever. And I guess I'd miss bacon! :-)

Maurice Mitchell said...

If all the bacon were gone along with all the turkeys I guess I would have no choice to make Tofu Bacon.
http://recipes.epicurean.com/recipe/1131/tofu-bacon.html

Yes, I love bacon too much to quit.

Ishta Mercurio said...

Have I ever quit? No. But I have taken long breaks from submitting anything, which is kind of similar. I definitely go through periods of living with the "crazies."

And if all the pigs died, I would go to a lab where they keep pig cells for research and experimentation and I'd take those cells and I'd clone a bunch of pigs. Obviously. There cannot be a world where bacon doesn't exist.

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