Wednesday, October 25, 2006

*Grumble, Grumble*

It's snowing.

And sticking.

Probably won't last the afternoon, but still.

I hate snow. I hate winter. I hate cold.


My daughter's loving it. Go Figure.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Back in the Race!

Okay, today was just an awesomely fabulous,incredible day.

Ask, why; go ahead.

Did you ask?

I don't care if you asked or not. Kristin's back in the running for my book!!!

*This is me doing the happy dance.*

But that's only the first reason.

My revised full is, at this very moment, on a truck headed to California for Nephele. She wrote me back (on Sunday,no less) and told me I had great timing because my manuscript had just reached the top of her pile. She said send the better version along. Whoo-hoo!

I have to say, that didn't take too long.

I've decide that October/November is a great time to sell your manuscript. The obvious reasons are because it's not summer (summer in the publishing industy sucks), it's not September when everyone is catching up from summer, it's not December (which is almost as bad as Summer), and it's not January when everyone is catching up from December. But the reason October/November are better than, say, February-April, is because November is NaNoWriMo (Nan-oh-ry-mo). Yes, ladies and gentlemen, November is National Novel Writing Month.And writers seriously freak out over this. They do NaMo marathons and try to finish like 50,000 words in one month. It's crazy!

So my take is that even if only ten percent of the writers take a short break from submitting to do their NaMo stuff, that's still ten percent. It also means that in early December agents are going to be awash in NaMo babies and will be wanting something not, to read instead.

Or maybe I'm just telling myself stuff I want to hear.*Shrug* But you know what? I don't care. I'm just happy I have a partial and a full of my revised book out. They should arrive in Cali and Denver on Wednesday.



Sunday, October 22, 2006

I Did It!

I was brave and bold and . . . sent a very polite e-mail to Nephele asking if she would like to see my revisions. *Sniff* I'm so proud.:)

Nephele has had my full for about 4.5 months (from what I hear she normally runs about 6-7 months on her fulls) and she has the old version. I was thinking I would wait for her reply and hope she offered to see revisions, but based on some feedback and advice I received over the last week I decided it would be kind of rude of me to have her read the whole old manuscript only to be disappointed in it and still have to read the new version if things worked out that way. So I sent her a very nicely worded letter that really talked up my new revision and asked if she'd like to see it. *crosses fingers* All I can do now is wait and hope. And hope, and hope.

I don't think I'd have e-mailed her at all if I was not so darn excited about this new version. It is seriously as perfect as I can make it. I am sick of the sight f it and don't want to do another thing with it, but I'm also so darn proud! It's a good piece of work. I'm very, very happy with it. And I want Nephele to be happy with it too.:)

I get butterflies thinking of this week. I will hear from someone this week. I should, at the very least, hear from Kristen, but I imagine I will also hear from Rachel and maybe Nephele. We'll see.:) I will let you know!


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Crap . . .

Seriously, I can't focus. I'm so nervous I have that ache in the pit of my stomach.
What's wrong with me!?!
I have racked up over 150 rejections on two books. I'm an old pro at this. So why does it feel so serious now?
Well, let's see:

-This the best book I have ever written; even better than this same book I wrote last time. (Does that make sense?)

-This is this book's last chance.

-My recommendation now comes from an author who has been number one on the NYT Bestselling list for over seven weeks now. (As opposed to a semi-popular debut author last year.)

-I have sent it out to four of the best of the best.

-I have this inner voice telling me this time, this time, it's going to work.

-I have this other inner voice telling me, come one, everything you've ever written is utter crap.

-It's cold. (And yes, that does make me more nervous! Shut up!)

So I guess I have some reasons. (Some? Ha! *snort*) But it's very distracting.


That's really all I had to say.

I should hear something from someone next week.

For what that's worth.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

And we're off and running.

I got several of my edits done earlier than I thought, so I sent of a few queries today. I'm going slower this time; fewer agents. Mostly because I'm on such a tight budget.:) But here are my five at the moment.


Hmmm, it didn't occur to me until just this moment that they are all women. No real reason for that. My next five include Ethan, Steve, and Matt. *Shrug* Guess it's ladies first.

I'm trying to feel confident; all these queries went out with five sample pages and these pages are definitely as good as I can make them. They catch my attention when I read them. *Laugh* for what that's worth. I'll keep you updated.

Meanwhile, Lady Diane is still out to:


Happy waiting to me.:)


Saturday, October 14, 2006

Everything has changed.

I am so excited.

The ending of my book has changed. The entire last 100 pages; totally different. Well, not totally, but almost.

I was cleaning up (I have always said I do my best thinking in the shower) and the thought occurred to me . . . what if she lives? And I adored the answer.

She's going to live.

And it changes everything.

You'll have to call me if you want more than that.



I discovered a new singer today while I was at the gym watching CMT because it was the busy time and I couldn't get on one of the DVD Players. (I'm watching Matchstick Men.) She's actually the actress in the movie Broken Bridges (anyone else heard of it? I hadn't till today. I'm not completely sure it's even out.) Anyway, her name is Lindsey Haun and she sings a song called Broken, and it is so gorgeous! My hubby found the mp3 and downloaded it for me and I have listened to it about twenty times since then. She has a really clear, beautiful voice and the song is a pick-me-up piece. This is one of me favorite lines followed by the chorus:

"No matter how much your heart is aching
There is beauty in the breaking

When you're broken in a million little pieces
And you're trying but you can't hold on anymore
Every tear falls down for a reason
Don't you stop believing in yourself
When you're broken."

Anyway, nothing to do with writing, but the song is positively gorgeous!!!!


Friday, October 13, 2006

Okay, There really is a point.

To the last post which is just a picture. It is so I can have a picture on my profile. Look to the right. See where it says "View Complete Profile?" Click on it. Go ahead; I'll wait. (Lalalalalal) Isn't that cool!?!? Now when I post comments to other sites that I frequent it will have my pictures. Yea!

But I had to have the picture hosted online somewhere and where better than my little blog here.:)

So I have to brag, even though it's really my sister's news. She had a paper in her nutrition class that the professor said she was going to grade solely on grammar. (Which sounds really weird to me; you'd think there would be some content expectation in there somewhere!) But she wrote the paper and asked me to go through it with a fine-toothed comb. So check it out, she e-mailed me yesterday and she got the highest grade in the class!!! See, I do know something about writing. I was all proud of my sister's grade . . . weird, I know.:)

I'm getting ready to dive back into the world of querying with my new Symbiosis. I do so with a tad bit of hesitance because it is a really rough road with incredibly small odds.

That and I'm starting to get sick of my book . . . but from what I've heard, that's a good sign. (shrug) What do I know?

There is a difference this time though, and it's one that I think is very positive. When I queried before I was always hesitant to send the five sample pages that most agents say to send. That's because my first five pages were kind of boring. But, my little brand-new author mind said, They are important! No . . . they weren't. Notice the use of past tense here? The first five pages of my manuscript are now my first one page, and I get my first line that really makes you smile within the first page . . . as opposed to about page ten in my last version.

So now, with a 145,000 word novel that moves quickly on every single page, I have a query letter that I am not very confident about, and sample pages that I am certain of. Quite frankly, I'll take this over the other. As Miss Snark often says, the best books are often intorduced with the worst query letters; that's why you send sample pages. She said straigh out a couple of weeks ago that most of the submisisons she recieves are either a good query letter, or good pages . . . but they come together a surprisingly small percentage of the time.

I don't think I have a bad query letter, it is just so hard to really capture the essence of a novel like mine in a few short sentences. I was reading Rachel Vater's blog this morning (I've become a huge fan of hers; she is now coming in a very, very close second to Kristen in my race of favorite agents.) and she talked about what your personal writing style is. Mine is characters. I create characters that people feel for. I think my second strength is plot, but when you have characters you are really concerned about, it gives the plot more importance. But how do you word that in a query letter? Dear Agent, I have a book full of people you are really going to care about. Right.

None the less, I think my first five pages are now good enough to suck in the reader.

So I guess what I am saying is that I am going into this new round of submisisons with mixed feeling. Another part of that is that this is my novel's last shot. It has been about eight to ten months since I submitted this novel last, so most--if not all-- of the agents will not recognize my name or the characters' name. (And, of course, they won't recognize the title because it is new.) However, pushing it a third time is just not going to happen. It's now or never time.

And I feel almost ready.


I want this thing to shine, so I am not rushing it, but I've gotten to the point where I am starting to question my own judgement. Am I over-editing? When I start to second-guess myself I'm just going to have to be done.

Sorry this post is so long and rambling; I have been feeling rather sober as well as hopeful about this next round of submisions and it has awakened my random musings. Hope you all have a great day.


Saturday, October 07, 2006

If I Don't Hear From Some of These People . . .

I'm going to scream!!! Well, not really, but I feel like I have been without news for a long time and it's frustrating. (sigh)
I have Partials that have been out for 3 months, 2 months, 7 weeks, 6, weeks, 6 weeks, 5 weeks and a couple that haven't been out long enough to fret over yet. But I also have a full that has been out for 5 months and another for four months.
As Homer Simpson says, "Aww, the waiting game sucks; let's play Hungry Hungry Hippos!"
I am all up for the marble munching game right at this moment.
However, as you can tell from my woefully infrequent blog entries, I have been keeping myself very busy revising Symbiosis. I am reading it out loud (yes, all 145,000 words) and when I am done I will probably read it out loud one more time a little faster just top make sure it all still sounds right. Then it goes out to betas. Anybody want to be a beta? (laugh)
There was a post on yesterday in which some nitwit asked just how good a manuscript needed to be before you sent it out. He was like, "I know it still has some things I need to fix, but I want a professional opinion on it and besides, agents know manuscripts are going to need a bit of work, right?" I laughed out loud. I have definitely learned (from doing it the wrong way sometimes) that there will always be problems that you cannot see. But if you can still see problems and you think it's ready to send out, that is your biggest problem. You want your manuscript to be as perfect as you can possibly make it. The agent will find new things and make it as perfect as the two of you together can make it.
Now, as perfect as you can make it changes. For example, the manuscript I sent to Nephele four months ago was as perfect as I could make it at the time. But after getting some emotional distance from it and getting some great feedback from a really great beta online (I'm going to see if he'll beta for me again when I am done) I now have the capacity to make it better. Because of that, I would now consider it sloppy and lazy to send out the exact copy that was my very best work four months ago. Get it?
However, even though the book I have now is worlds better than the one I sent out half a year ago, it is still a far cry from my best work. I am about a fifth of the way through my first pass reading it out loud and polishing it. Then, as I mentioned before, I will take a second deep polish, then send it to betas, let their critiques sit for a while, then apply the ones I think will make it better. I will deep polish one more time and then . . . and only then . . . will I once again consider it my best work. Then it will be back out to agents and hopefully a better turnout this time. We'll see.