Query Your Day Contest!

July 28, 2009 | Karin's Blog | 15 comments

And heeeeeeeerrrrzzzzz, Jody!


Thanks, Karin, for letting me ‘guest-blog.’ Karin and I go way back. Well, no we don’t – but we will some day. We met in the blogosphere via our mutual friend, Margaret (Margaret and I DO go way back). Karin made the mistake of responding to one of my emails, and now she can’t get rid of me. I’m pretty sure she thinks that letting me guest-blog will get me to leave her alone for awhile. It won’t. I’m just sayin’.


I’m single and call the San Francisco Bay Area home. Actually, I don’t live too far from Karin, which makes stalking her totally do-able. I’m an artist, graphic designer, cartoonist, writer, web developer, horseback riding instructor, …..I basically never decided what I wanted to be when I grew up. If you like a good dose of snark in your day, visit my blog: http://seinblogjlw.blogspot.com/. Most of my humorous artwork is directed at fellow horse enthusiasts, and you can take a look at it on my online store: http://www.cafepress.com/jlwdesigns. I’m also developing a comic strip (http://www.sfredhead.com/macandjill.html) that I hope to syndicate (yeah, and I hope Tom Selleck leaves his wife for me, too) and try to work in some graphic design and web design projects to pay those pesky bills.


But enough about me.


Lately I’ve become fascinated with the whole concept of writing ‘queries.’ I have had individual works published, but the Road to Publication for the humorous essay is quite different than for a novel. There’s a real talent to capturing the essence of a story in a two or three paragraphs query. I wondered if it was something I could even do. But I didn’t want to have to write a whole novel to find out.


Thus was born the Query your Day contest. The rules are simple: take a typical day in your life and turn it into a compelling query. Is your life a romance? A mystery? A crime? A fantasy? Give it any sort of spin you’d like. Think of it as a writing exercise that will let us learn a bit more about each other and be entertaining to boot.


Two lucky winners (one randomly drawn, one I select as my personal favorite) can pick the item of their choice featuring the “My Life: Stranger than Fiction” design, here: http://www.cafepress.com/jlwdesigns/6823909 . So….let’s hear about your life! Just post your query entry as a comment to this blog. Don’t obsess over it. Just have FUN.


Since I don’t believe in asking anybody to do anything I wouldn’t do myself, I’ll go first:


Introverted, menopausal redhead Jody Werner has finally arranged her life exactly the way she likes it: simple and drama-free. She works at home doing the artwork she loves, has a cute little studio in a blissfully quiet neighborhood and gets to spend the glorious California summer afternoons at the barn with the horses. The cherry on top of the sundae that is her life: she has the freedom to nap anytime she wants. Ah, life is good.


She’s looking forward to another blessedly uneventful day in her “I-refuse-to-turn-on-the-tv-and-hear-any-bad-news” paradise….until the phone call from the mysterious entity known only as The Banker.


The Banker tells her that before her loan application can be accepted, she has to come up with two years back tax returns. Oh no! That means a journey into the black hole that is her filing system; the swirling, bottomless abyss into which paperwork disappears, never to resurface.


Aided by The Ladder (which creaks and wobbles the higher she climbs) and The Flashlight (which takes sick pleasure in randomly blinking in and out of usefulness) she embarks upon the treacherous journey into The Attic in search of The Box.


But finding The Box is not enough. Working against time, she must assemble two years of back tax returns in the proper order AND find a logical explanation for the decided dip in income for 2007. There is only one way to summon this kind of creativity on short notice: she must sacrifice herself at the altar of chocolate and caffeine.


With a solution (and chocolate-smeared tax returns) in hand she hurries out the door only to discover that her car has a flat tire! While waiting for the roadside assistance people, she gets a call from the barn. Her horse has lost a shoe! Now she has to get the flat fixed, deliver the tax returns to The Banker, locate her farrier and still find a way to get in her afternoon nap. Will she make it, or will the universe add insult to injury by extracting the ultimate price of unplanned expenditures AND sleep deprivation?


I am seeking validation for the non-fictional masterpiece that is my life. Jody’s Day is a complete waste of your time at 75,000 words. I’d be happy to submit the full manuscript for your consideration, provided you give me ample time to find it in The Box.

Love it!

Thank you Jody!  So here’s the deal, 10 queries a day for the next week, no more than 200 words, in the comment section.  Jody picks her winners, I’m going to pick a few myself. 


Let the fun begin!



  1. B.E. Sanderson

    That’s hilarious, Jody. Thanks for giving me a smile to go with my coffee. =o)

  2. Margaret

    Hey, Jods!
    Nice to see you trolling around the blogosphere! I don’t think I’m eligible to enter this contest, since I would be asking YOU for help!
    Jody was a wonderful help with my middle grade query–she kept pushing me and pushing me, and when I went too far and lost my ‘voice’, she reined me in!

  3. Edie

    Jody, I checked out your cartoons and love them! I’ll be gone most of the day, so don’t know if I’ll have time to write a query, but yours is great!

  4. HollyD

    A Mother’s Life is a 90,000 word non-fiction story of Holly D.

    Six-thirty in the morning I stumble out of bed and into the kitchen to make breakfast. I wake up kids #3 and #4, pack their lunches while they eat then send them off to get dressed and brush their teeth. Kid #5 wakes up and needs a diaper change and the cat demands her bowls be filled.
    Kids #3 and #4 are ready but one has to pee and one cannot find her shoes. Both buses arrive as I finish brushing #4’s hair that stops at her butt. The lunches are stuffed into backpacks while we race down the driveway. Kid #5 and I wave like crazy before going back inside and starting the whole process over with kids #1 and #2.

    Eight-thirty in the morning and a sink full of dishes, two loads of laundry, a house to vacuum, and both bathrooms to clean all await me before the kids come home from school and dinner needs to be made.

    Ten o’clock at night, the kids are tucked into bed and I get to write until 2:00 o’clock when I fall into bed.

  5. Zina Lynch

    “Mom I want cereal”; “Mom I want creal”; louder now, “Mom I want cereal!”. It begins, my day- I seriously overslept it’s OMG, 10am and my 3 year old is laying next to me staring me in the eye. Time to get up, wash two bowls and spoons so we can eat, serve HRH in front of the tv, turn to go back in the kitchen for my breakfast only to see my 3 year old granddaughter, who had just come upstairs from her apartment, standing in the doorway; “Gramma I’m hungry-I want a bath”. Back to the kitchen to wash another bowl and spoon.
    Later I head to the bathroom before I start to clean the living room ;where not a breath of air stirs and can be confused with a sauna, I need to try to finish sorting through all the boxes of Stuff in there from the kitchen remodel because the LR is my bedroom now, why? Because I have bad knees and so I gave my bedroom to my 24 year old who has just finished college. Just as I head in my other daughter brings up the 5 month old grandson- she’s leaving for work. I sit to do my bussiness and see red- no literally- I see red; my monthly week long buddy has shone up along with his cousin, Headache. Crap- I can hear Skype going off- my husband calling from Iraq, damn one way video again, but we can hear each other at least. Now to try to tell him my daughter’s boyfriend has hinted he would like her to move in with him, not even goig to tell him he has been staying the night here with Stephanie- I want him home when that heartattack happens. It’s 2:30pm now and I still have yet to get 1 box sorted, emptied and thrown out.

  6. Jody

    Thanks for the comments, all!

    B.E. – glad I gave you a smile. NExt time I’ll aim for getting you to laugh so hard that you spit your coffee all over your keyboard.

    Edie, I believe the contest is running for a full week, so if you’re inclined to participate you’ll have plenty of time! Thanks for checking out the cartoons.

    Holly gets brownie points for being the first official entrant! Way to be a girl scout. 🙂

    Come on Margie, didn’t I teach ya NOTHIN’? You can do it! Besides, one winner is randomly drawn, so your chances are as good as anyone’s.

  7. Jill James

    The Too-Full House is a 80,000 words story of Jill James, who yearns to have an empty nest but the kids aren’t cooperating. By day, Jill cleans up after everyone and gets not a word of thanks. By night, she runs away into her fantasy world of being a romance writer. As the fantasy world grows and becomes more real, Jill fears she won’t need an empty nest, she’ll just run away to the romance fantasy world she has built and never return.

    Thank you for your time and consideration for my story. A pat on the head wouldn’t go remiss either.

  8. Jody

    So far you’ve all gone a long way toward validating my decision to not have children 🙂

  9. Karin Tabke

    OMG! I am exhausted after reading these! I’m so glad my kids are grown. No. Wait a minute. They’re still demanding!

    craling back into my current wip where i can find some peace.

  10. Laurie Kapkowski

    My Life As A Writer, is a 90,000 word, romantic comedy, where Laurie Kapkowski often finds herself waking up between a hot man and two other females. Oh, did I forget to mention: Trixie her Chihuahua, and Bella, her crazy cat, are allowed in bed.
    By day she is a mild mannered corporate programming manager, where arguments abound between the hot SVP, who won’t admit he’s gay and the handsome VP without a brain. Yes men have no place in Laurie’s life as she isn’t afraid to use no at any opportunity.
    Her nights are filled with laugher and love as her adult daughter and husband keep her laughing, when she can hear them, that is, past the 5 barking dogs, or when she isn’t submerged in the fantasy world of her own making. If only she could figure out what her handsome husband and beautiful daughter mean when they say they want to be reincarnated as a writer?

  11. B.E. Sanderson

    Okay, I managed to whip something together…

    Her husband may bring home the bacon, but she’s making quiche with it.

    When she started this adventure, B.E. had no idea her life as a corporate assistant would somehow lead to being a housewife. If only it were that simple. Now she spends her day banging away at a keyboard, homeschooling her teenage daughter and convincing one overly large feline that every day is not Tuna Day. Top it all off with whipping up new recipes while trying to diet, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

    Complete with a pinch of tarragon, a few red pens, and a sprinkling of teenage angst, Quiche Me You Fool is a 80,000 word novel look at reality covered in cat hair.

  12. Donna

    Tom is mine!!!

    You cannot have him. Pick someone else.

  13. Donna

    I just ‘tweeted’ about this wonderful contest.

    Couldn’t resist. LOL

    Tom is still mine.

  14. Jody

    You are all going to have to duke it out with me for Tom. I have a green belt in Tae Kwon Do. I also have my National Rifle Association Expert rating. Do you REALLY wanna start with me???? 🙂

  15. Jody

    I used to tweet a lot. I stopped eating so much Mexican food and the problem went away.

    Oh wait, that’s not what you were talking about, was it?


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