Monday, February 26, 2007

The Waiting Game Begins . . .

I told you all this post was coming.

My book is going out tomorrow. Jodi sent me her submission list this afternoon and, let me tell you, it is impressive.

It must be a mistake.

No, really, I'm working really hard to convince myself this is real. You should see this list. Some major, major players in the fantasy world. I am so stoked!

So the last really big waiting game begins tomorrow. I know there is always more waiting in the publishing industry, but at least after this one there's a contract involved.;)

I am calm, I am patient. I am calm, I am patient. I am calm, I am patient.

(Are you convinced?)


So . . .

I was in the mood for peach cobbler this morning. So I made a pan of peach cobbler and though, Hey, the kids will love this! I mean who wouldn't want dessert for breakfast . . . even if it is dessert with fruit in it.

Apparently, the two and three-year olds and I are not of like minds.

My daughter (3) was like, "I don't like peaches, I want Chex."

Go figure.

But hey! More cobbler for me.

I'm going to the gym now. *groan*


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Feeling a Little Lonely

So I'm feeling a little lonely . . . and not friendship-wise!

I know a lot of authors. I know authors in a lot of genres. Let's see: YA, Commercial Fiction, Horror, Women's Fiction, Literary Fiction, Romance.

You know what genre I don't really know anyone in?

You got it. Fantasy. (And Levi, you don't count, you write YA Fantasy.:) Correct me if I'm wrong. . . Although in terms of thematics and world-building, you're probably closer than anyone else.)

On top of that, most of the people I sort of know who write fantasy, write bad fantasy . . . like, really bad. (And no Scott, I'm not referring to you, you ALSO write YA fantasy.) So I'm kinds looking for someone else who writes high fantasy that has had some kind of success either in the agent world or publishing world.

And I don't know how to say that any better without sounding like a snob. Because I don't mean it that way. I know so many people who are so talented and write the most wonderful books that I am certainly not under any mistaken impression that I am the cream of the crop.

More like the only sprout of wheat.

The obvious answer is to join SFWA, but, oops, you have to have some kind of sales before joining. (It's one of the first things I want to do after I have a sale, but . . . )

So basically this is just me whining.

I've also looked at the good side! If high fantasy authors with agents are fairly rare then that will make my book even more attractive to editors, right? . . . Right? *Shrug* Who knows.

So, anyone a friend of a friend . . . of a friend (??) who writes fantasy?


Friday, February 16, 2007

Have You Got the Urge?

I do.

It came back a few days ago. I have the urge to write again! It's been about a month. While I'm sure that stress played a part, I think mostly it was just time. For about 18 months I have had the urge to write almost continually. During that time I wrote 3 and a half books (two of which were eventually blended into one.) I think that's pretty good. But like everything in life, I needed to take a break.

So for about a month, I had very little enthusiasm for writing at all. I did write a little here and there, but it was without any kind of gusto.

Sometimes I wonder if this is what writers are referring to when they talk about writer's block.

Maybe it's my naturally optimistic outlook on life, but I think brief--and even rather long--hiatuses (is that a word?) in the creative process are beneficial, and even necessary. Don't we all need breaks in life? Even from the things we love?

I love being a mom, but when I've had enough, I go to my mom's house and let HER be the mother for a few days. (I love you Mom!) My husband loves going to school, but those summers off are quite a blessing. My son likes to run around like a crazy man all day . . . but trust me, he needs a nap.:)

I think most things in life are cyclic. To steal that one verse from the Bible:

To everything there is a season
And time for every purpose in the publishing industry.
A time to write and a time to edit,
A time to add and a time to cut,
A time to create and a time to refrain from creating.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

New Project

I have a new project.

And by that, of course, I mean a new book.

A completely new book.

I got this idea in the middle of the night and it kept going over and over in my head as I dreamed and tossed restlessly. At about 5:30 AM I realized I was not going to be able to get back to sleep so I gave up and just laid there and thought about my story. At 6:00 I had to get up and go start the first chapter. And you have no idea what kind of motivation it takes to get me up at 6:00 AM.

But it's a beautiful first chapter.

These characters are talking to me already. They are fully formed in my mind with jobs, looks, personalities, hobbies, etc.

Don't ask what it's about--I'm not telling anyone yet until I see for sure where it's going. I'm not even telling my husband anything about it yet. He knows I'm writing something new, but I'm keeping it to myself right now. No offense.:)

It's fun to be working on a new project but it has to ultimately be a back burner project. My YA adult needs to get done and done quickly (for several reasons I'm not going to go into here) and my romance needs to be fixed first since it is basically done, but needs some tweaking and polishing and I hate unfinished projects. Hopefully I will also soon need to get really going on book two in my fantasy series.:)

Also, this is a very broad project. It is somewhat literary in nature and the scope is just bigger than anything I have taken on thus far. It is emotionally very heavy and will require a lot of thinking before I can actually write the whole thing. It really could be the best thing I ever write.

Or it could fizzle after 20 pages. I guess we'll see.

But isn't that the joy of starting a new book?


Monday, February 12, 2007

The Waiting Game Ends!!

I am done with revisions!!

Well, for Jodi at least.:)

She'll be readying her submission list this week and has cleared a few things off her plate in the last couple of weeks so she can be ready to give lots of attention to sending my book out. Yea!!!

She will be sending me her submission list later this week so I will know where she is sending it for first (and hopefully last!!:)) round.

Stay tuned for our next entry . . . The Waiting Game Begins.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Letting my Blood Pressure Settle

You'll have to excuse the lack of interesting posts for the next week. I am on vacation at my mother's getting some much-needed stress relief.:) She feeds me great food, helps watch my kids, and gives me some good writing time to boot. So I am trying not to think about the publishing industry as a whole too much this week. I promise to be back with more interesting stuff next week.

In other news, I'm having a boy.:)


Friday, February 02, 2007

A Fungus Amongus

Well, not really a fungus (though my hubby often thinks that's about where agents rank on the evolutionary scale. He's allowed his opinion--I'll take my agent instead.:)) but there is a new agent making a splash on the agent scene, and even made a comment here the other day. Nathan Bransford (who rejected my query three times BTW *laugh*) has a very fun blog that you can find here. He has also been answering questions on Absolute Write and something he said made me really think and became the topic of today's blog.:)

"Here's the thing about writing. It's tough. Writing is really, really tough, and yet the old cliche is true -- the writing is the easy part. Then there's the long slog of finding an agent. Then the fortunate ones find an agent and there's the long slog of submissions and finding a publisher. Then the really really fortunate ones find a publisher. That's the point where people think life is a bed of roses, but I'm here to tell you it's not. There are bad reviews and the pressure of whether your books are selling and the uncertainty of whether you'll have another book published and the fear that you just got lucky. Even if you strike gold and write a bestseller there's the pressure of writing another one and the huge expectations of your publisher.

Meanwhile, that's also the step where people think you can just sit on a beach and be a novelist, but it's virtually impossible to make a living as a full-time writer unless you're a mega-bestseller or have other means of supporting yourself.

In short: this is a really tough business. So is it worth it?

I really do believe that it's worth it if you love it. But it's important to go into this business with the right mindset. And I think having the right mindset entails avoiding the "if only" game.

The "if only" game goes something like this: "If only" I had an agent I would be happy. Then that inevitably leads to the next step: "if only" I a publisher I would be happy. "If only" I sold X copies I would be happy. Which leads to "if only" I were a bestseller I would be happy. And so on and so on. Happiness is always just over the horizon.

In my opinion, the only way to be happy in this business is to somehow avoid playing that game and appreciate every step. There's not a bed of roses waiting for you after every hill. Even if you haven't found an agent it doesn't mean you're a failure or that you shouldn't be happy with the accomplishment of writing a book.

So I think that's the one thing I'd like to convey -- try to enjoy every step and even though there's so much waiting and frustration in the business it's fun to write, and sure, it's great when it pans out and that means people buy your book, but it's not everything."

Writing is tough. Mostly from the business end, in my opinion. And that is something you really learn once you take that first dive into the industry: whether it's getting your first contract, or signing with your first agent. Writing is tough. Getting it just right is tough. Waiting around for people to get back to you even though the time they said has already passed (I'm not bitter!) is tough! The nerves are killer, the level of honesty you have to have with yourself is brutal, and for most of us, the money's lousy.

So why do you do it?

And I don't mean why do you write, because I am assuming that underneath everything, you all write because you love to write.

Why do you work so hard to take the commercial route?

For me, I have that far-off dream of being a bestseller someday. Probably won't actually happen. But I really really want to see my book in print and on a shelf at B&N. I want to have fans. (Probably because I'm my own biggest fan. Ha!) I want people to love the story I told. And not just family and friends, I want LOTS of people to have the opportunity to read my book.

Why do you do it?

And what are your goals? I have lofty dreams, but real goals? Here are my two. I want my book published in hardcover and I want to see it translated into another language.

As far as I'm concerned, the rest is just frosting.:)