In Which I Did Not Go To Coyote Ugly

I know, I KNOW. You’re so disappointed. HOW could I have trekked 3.5 hours all the way to Nashville, Tennessee, and not partaken in the klassy happenings at Coyote Ugly?

Like this: I didn’t.

(Also, I just tried to find a not-too-scandalous photo of the Coyote Ugly girls to post here. SPOILER ALERT: there aren’t any.)

ANYWAY.

While I didn’t end up anywhere that encouraged dancing on bars, I did walk all over Vanderbilt University’s campus (which is bigger than I thought, by the way) and I ate a lot of fantastic food and played with some babies that were not mine and–

And I got re-inspired.

“What do you mean, Anne?”

OH, I am SO GLAD you asked.

See, here’s the thing. After 3.5 years of actively pursuing traditional publication only to find myself agentless AGAIN and wondering if this dream will EVER turn into reality, well.

I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired.

And in fact, I’ve sort of entertained the idea of quitting altogether.

But my husband keeps reminding me of what Beth Revis said at Decatur Book Festival last year. She wrote ten books in ten years–none of which were picked up–before ACROSS THE UNIVERSE was published and hit the NYT bestsellers list.

The lovely Beth, my inspiration forever and always. Also, is it just me, or is she channeling McGonagall with that eyes-over-glasses look?

Now, I don’t know if she was trying to find an agent with those ten books, or if she had an agent but couldn’t sell the ten books, but DOES IT REALLY MATTER?

So basically for the past several weeks I’ve been chanting “Ten books, ten years, ten books, ten years” under my breath like a crazy person (because that is exactly what I am) and trying to maintain some kind of momentum and excitement about writing.

Which brings me (finally) to getting re-inspired in Nashville.

See, the book I’m querying right now takes place in London, but I’m planning to write a Book Two which will take place in–you guessed it–Nashville, Tennessee.

And until this weekend, Book Two seemed like a pipe dream, to say the least. But once I got on-site and started seeing things that would fit perfectly in the story . . .

. . . well, I got a little bit excited about the whole thing again.

There is something very special about being on location where your story will take place. Yes, Google Maps is a great tool (except that it locks you out of college campuses, which I get, but BOOO), but BEING there–smelling the air, feeling the breeze, hearing the chatter of the people around you–well, it brings the potential of your story to a whole new level.

You may have guessed that Vandy will play a large part in Book Two. Luckily, some of the kids I teach end up going there for college, which means I now have pictures of the inside of a dorm building I want to use. Heh. (Thanks, SL!)

(Also I totally got to sneak up behind this other kid I taught in a Quizno’s and be all SURPRISE IT’S YOUR HIGH SCHOOL SPANISH TEACHER!)

(That might have been the worst moment of his life.)

So, in summary:

1) I did not dance on any bars and/or wear scandalous clothing.

2) Nashville ranks high among my favorite cities, the others being Chicago and New York and London and Madrid. Yes. It is right up there.

3) I have an excellent sense of place for Book Two, which I WILL write and which WILL be published in some form or fashion, come hell or high water, though the devil bar the way, etc. and so on and so forth.

Here we go. Giddy up.

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10 thoughts on “In Which I Did Not Go To Coyote Ugly

    1. Anne Riley says:

      Well don’t worry, because as soon as it is written, I’ll be calling you to do just that!

  1. Harley says:

    First, I would’ve LOVED to see your former student’s face when you snuck up behind him in Quizno’s.

    SECOND AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, Yay for getting inspired again! You’re a great, great writer. The world would be sad if you gave up. But you shouldn’t do this for the world, you should do this for you. You’re great.

    Third, WHY NO DANCY DANCE ON BAR TOPS? What happened to the adventurous living? 🙂

    1. Anne Riley says:

      The adventurous living has its limits, and sadly, one of them is that I try to stay away from doing things that could end up on YouTube. I mean, yeah, I put my vlogs on YouTube, but that is OH so different.

  2. Jodi says:

    Oh, how I wish you could bottle it. I thought I had lightning in a bottle a few months ago, but now…I honestly just couldn’t care less. See, I’ve got these four little humans that depend on me, and life just ain’t getting ANY easier. I hope when I get over this latest road bump, maybe I’ll feel something again. But for now, I’ll just live vicariously. 😉

    1. Anne Riley says:

      Girl, sometimes you just gotta take a break, and you have had a LOT going on lately. It’ll come back. I’ve been there.

  3. Ansley says:

    I second Harley in question 3….although the fact that you have students in and around that area might be the answer to such a question. Although….you kinda have to admit that when you first saw that movie, you wanted to dance on a bar top to LeAnn Rimes. We all did. No shame.
    Also, I hope your trip means that you’re feeling better…being sick is awful, esp when it sticks around like bad BO. Not that I’ve ever had bad BO.

    1. Anne Riley says:

      Yes! This antibiotic seems to be doing the trick. *knocks on wood* *knocks on more wood*

      I’ve never had BO, either.

  4. Jessica Love says:

    Yay for inspiration! I need some right now. Hmmm…my WIP takes place in Vegas and nothing say inspiration like Vegas, right? I need to book a trip.

    I love those photos, and I’m glad you had a good visit!

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