Friday, December 29, 2006


You Passed 8th Grade Science
Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!

Okay, I never do this, but it was fun! I got this from Orion's site (and she rarely does this kind of thing either so you know it was fun!) So, uh, I totally guessed on two or three of the questions so I can't believe I got them all right . . . but hey, go me!:)


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Valley of the Sun!

Well, this is just a small to let you all know I am out on vacation for a while in beautiful, sunny Phoenix. Yea!

A little piece of writing news, I got an e-mail forwarded to me from Miss Snark on Sunday. An agent e-mailed her about my hook and wants to see the manuscript . . . not that the manuscript is finished, but I was pretty stoked anyway. I believe Miss Snark said that has only happened once in the previous three CoMs. So I felt very complimented.:)

I am expecting to hear from Jodi the first week back in business (which for her is January) so I probably won't blog till then.

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday season!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Boy do you guys get the inside information.

Okay, this is really late breaking news that has nothing to do with my novel.

I'm getting Snarked!!!

I just got the e-mail from Miss Snark asking for 750 words.

The hooks not up yet, but if you are following the Crapometer, look for entry number 249/246. I love this project because it has voice. Like, major voice.

You'll see that in the future because *I get to send words!* Whoo-hoo!

*Big Grin*

BTW, I told Jodi not to stress about e-mailing me since it is such a busy time of year . . . I think she really took that advice at face value. I don't imagine I will hear from her again until January. Sorry for thos eof you who may have been waiting on the edge of your seat. *Haha, right.*


ETA: Hehe, Miss Snark's comment was--and I quote-- "yes yes yes yes yes." :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

And the News Is . . . .

That Jodi's had a lot of last minute meetings come up, but that I am off to a great start and she will get me notes by the end of the week, she promises!:)

*Laugh* So today, since my life is boring, I am sending you here. This is Orion/Pat's site (I really need to put a link up) and she has lots of exciting things happening. Her book sold in the last few weeks to Putnam (everyone ooh and ahhh . . . good.:)) She also writes so lyrically even on her blog and always has gorgeous pictures of the beautiful Pacific almost every day. Go check it out. I read it when I'm cold. :)


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Very Small Update!

Jodi e-mailed me yesterday (I was sick and in bed *bleh* and didn't get it till this morning) to let me know that she is halfway done with my revisions and is loving them. She has just a couple more notes and will send them to me by tomorrow.



Monday, December 04, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!!

As you can probably guess from the title, this has nothing to do with writing. It's my mom's birthday today and, as she gets a big kick out of my blog, I thought I would dedicate this entry to her.

Happy Birthday!! (I won't say which one.:))

My mom is the most patient, loving, understanding person in the world. And if you don't agree, it's because you never met her.:) My mom is the only person I have ever known who does not have a single person who dislikes them. Seriously, no one dislikes my mother. That's not biased; it's fact. No one can think of anyone who does not like my mother. She's one of those few and far between people who no one can dislike. (I don't really take after her in that way.;))

She supports me in everything I do (she's the coach, my dad's the cheerleader . . . and he looks great in that skirt. *snort*) and is always happy for my successes, big or small. My hubby is going to lawschool full time and I am a stay-at-home-mom, so we're not really in gift-giving mode right now, so Mom, here's your present.

Happy Birthday and I love you!!!


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Order of the Phoenix

Okay, I was browsing some blogs and came across Jack Roberts' (from AW) and he had this link to a four minute preview of the fifth Harry Potter Movie.


Now, I have to admit, I think OotP was the low point in the Harry Potter series, but this trailer looks awesome! And check it out, they have Helena Bonam-Carter playing Bellatrix LeStrange! Since Bella shows up in books 5, 6, and almost undoubtedly 7, that means we'll get to see her a lot! She's one of my favorite actresses ever.

Anyway, check it out; it looks like it will be really cool. Also, they have another new director who made all the guys cut their hair. Hooray!!! No more mops!!! And let me tell you, without a ton of hair on his face, Daniel Radcliffe has Michelle Pfeiffer-esque cheekbones. Whoa. Seriously, the haircuts alone give me a boost of confidence in this director.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

What Kind of Business is This?

So, as most if not all of you have discovered, there's nothing to read online this week. Everyone in the publishing industry is gone. There is little to no news, no new posts (occasional ones by Miss Snark--thank you Miss Snark!) So I have nothing to do . . . well, except cook and clean for like three days straight.

I had some fun Thanksgiving adventures. It was also my anniversary, so my hubby and I had homemade enchilads on Wednesday night and I also made homemade vanilla pudding from scratch. (It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be.) So that was fun. I also made four pumpkin pies and two grapefruit meringue pies (long story). And when I make pies I make them totally from scratch. Meaning I brought the pumpkin in from my porch as step one. No cans in my kitchen.:)

I do have a little bit of writing news. I recieved a request for the full from Lucienne. So even though I most likely will not do anything with it, (but I'm holding onto it for another week or so just in case) I was very complimented to recieve the request. Plus it made me feel a little more confident.

So despite feeling totally cut off from the publishing world, I had a lovely Thanksgiving with my husband's best friend's family (he's also my kids' godfather) and have had company every day after. It's been a great break.

Hope your holidays were equally fulfilling!!!


Thursday, November 16, 2006


Revisions are in. Whew!

*Big Sigh*

Now we get to wait again.:)


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I Have an . . . Understanding . . . I think.

Well, this agent (who I am not quite ready to say is my agent) e-mailed me yesterday and told me she LOVED the ending (her caps, not mine) and had only one very small edit. She also said she is excited to see the revisions when they're done and wants to send it out at that point.

So I think what we have is an understanding.

I think.

But she wants to send it out.:) That's good . . . right? *laugh* So I'll have revisions in in just under two weeks and she should give me a game plan.

Until I have a contract in my hot little hands I'm not going to mention who it is, but I'm willing to say she's from Writers House. (And if you think you know who it is from reading this blog, you may be surprised . . . it's a loooong story . . . that I'll post sometime soon.)

So, yeah . . . I sort of have an agent . . . sort of . . . I think.

Man, everyone else's agent stories were much more clear than this.

Not that I'm complaining.:)


Friday, November 10, 2006

The Agent Phone Call Results.

So, the thing I haven't been telling you is that I have been e-mailing with an agent this week who was halfway done with my book on Monday and was really excited about it and wanted to make sure it was still available (she recieved it over ten and a half months ago.) I was able to tell her that it was still available, but had been very revised and she had me e-mail her the new version and said she would get back to me today. So I got an e-mail today scheduling a time for her to call me.

I had my phone call (yea) and she hadn't quite finished the book due to accidently leaving the last 100 pages at home (boo) but she had several very specific revisions she wants to see and will be in contact on Monday with the rest of the revisions for the end of the book.

So we're kind of working together.

She didn't offer to sign me (which is why I'm not going to mention her name or house yet, but it's one of the big ones) but she seems to really be working toward that. She loves the story and the characters and my writing style.

I really am happy that I am "working with her" (whatever that means) because she has great suggestions and has already helped me make the book better. But I'm fighting dissappointment because with all the gushing she has done about my book all week by e-mail I really thought she was going to sign me then and there. So it's good news, but not as good as I was hoping for.

I feel silly even saying that because it really is the chance of a lifetime, but . . . well, anyway.

She'll be e-mailing me on Monday and if she doesn't make reference to a contract or at least give me a hint that that is what we are working toward, I'll probably ask her to clarify what our ultimate goal is.

It went well though. I feel like she really gets my book.

I just hope it's leading to a contract.

So close . . . so close! Aaahhh!!!!!

Cheerios and Funnels

Okay, this entry has nothing to do with writing . . . at all . . . really.

I have a son who is almost 20 months old (and knows what sound all the letters of the alphabet make:) *insert shameless bragging*) and he loves to get into things. This morning I was playing with my daughter when I heard the unmistakeable sound of Cheerios hitting the floor. If you are a mother, you're probably all too familiar with this sound.

Knowing it was already too late I nonetheless rushed in to try to stop the disaster. There is my son with a super-sized bag or Cheerios (or whatever it is Malt-o-Meal calls their equivalent) upside down. I managed to save about half the bag.

So my table and floor are covered with Cheerios. I figure the ones on the floor are toast, but the ones on the table are salvageable, right? I mean, the table's clean. So I look at the rather small opening in the bag and realize I am going to lose half of the cereal if I try to brush it right from the table into the bag.

What do I need?

A funnel!

Ladies and Gentlemen, repeat after me: Cheerios do not fit through the bottom of a funnel.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Not What I Do Best

Kay, so staying quiet is not really my strong point.

I guess I'll have to limit it to staying quiet about what currently need being stayed quiet about. (How's that for a beautiful, not to mention perfectly grammatical, sentence?:))

I hope to have an update by Friday.

Till then I get to sit nervously at my computer and pretend to be in one piece.

I've been thinking about rejections today. And I hope I don't offend my very pleasant anonymous poster who said, "Because the only difference between an author and a writer is luck."

I have to say, in 95% of all the writing I have seen, that's just not true.

I am a writer, at the moment. I've never been published outside of a newspaper, I have written three books, and have two WsIP. Pretty run of the mill as far as unpublished writers go. I've been writing off and on for about four years and very seriously for about 18 months. *shrug* I'm a writer.

Someone on (I think--I've been surfing too much the last few days) linked to a study where under-average test takers were asked to self-evaluate their test results. On average, they estimated that they had scored in the 62nd percentile. In actuality, they scored in the 19th percentile. The study suggested that the better you think you are at something, the worse you probably are, and that those who think they are okay and even pretty good, are probably doing great.

I think this applies to writing. In my creative writing classes in college (I have a BA in Creative Writing, go me:)) the people who had prose so beautiful it made you want to cry were always the most hesitant to send their stuff out to literary magazines. But the people who wrote the most agonizing, dead stories were always quick to say, "So, do you think it's ready? I think it's ready."

And what is there to say at that point?

I took a poetry class where there was this bitter, middle-aged, divorced woman who was the absolute epitome of the cliched bitter, middle-aged, divorced woman. They do not get any more bitter, middle-aged, or divorced than this woman. Anyway, she wrote poetry I would give a third grader a C for. It was terrible! The first time it was her turn to be work shopped it was a mess. We would say one very, very small thing and she would get up in arms. "Well, you just don't understand it." "No, XXX was the point of that." "Can't you see that I was trying to do XXXX?" And she didn't just say it, she screamed it! She was downright abusive. And not a single person said, "This sucks," we were just barely scratching the surface.

The next time she was up for critique, I kid you not, two people showed up to class. Me and one other brave soul, plus the professor.

We were again abused and screamed at even though we were trying to say nice things. (We learned from the last time. This time our compliments weren't good enough, I guess.)

My point is that people who think they have created great art and are completely closed off to suggestions are usually writing crap.

I would never comment on this if I had not been there myself. Worse, I really thought I was open to suggestion. My husband read my book and gave me an excellent run down of what did not work.

Clearly he did not understand my book and it was simply not the kind of fantasy he preferred. I brushed his suggestions aside and proceeded to start selling my book. It took a lot of rejections before I took a really good, hard look at my book and made myself think, "This is not the greatest book in the world. If it was, someone would have recognized that by now."

Now I look back at that first draft and I'm a little embarrassed. I have learned to be teachable and because of that, my work has improved. A lot. You know the award for most improved player? Does it go to the MVP? No, it goes to the person who sucked eggs in the beginning, and then became okay.

You know what? I sucked eggs. I'm okay now.

Do I have the greatest book in the world?

Ha!! No. I have a good story that is now encased in better prose than it originally was. That's all I have.

Is it good?

I think it's pretty good.

Can it sell? Maybe. In the hands of a good agent I think it's chances are better.

But I will never be a Neil Gaiman or a Stephen King, or even a Katherine Stone (who, especially in her early books, has prose to make you cry.)

I believe that skill is generally recognized. I know a lot of bestselling authors eventually write crap, but let's compare apples to apples for a moment and just look at debut novels. 95% of debut novels published by the big houses are excellent. Whether you like their genre/style/etc. most of them are clearly well-done. There's five percent that aren't, I grant you.

I also believe that 95% of the writers out there who are unpublished, and have been so for years and years, are not unlucky. They just aren't very good. And I know I will probably be raked over the coals for that sentence but that is what my experience has shown me.

Luck is a convenient scape goat. Luck is what takes a pretty good book and turns it into a bestseller instead of a well-written novel that got picked up by the wrong editor. But even that is stretching things. Bestsellers sell because someone likes them and is buying them. Don't tell me that Dan Brown and J.K. Rowling are bad writers. I don't care how beautiful or average their prose is, if they can tell such a good story that they entice the imagination of millions and even billions of people they are good writers. Period. Writing isn't all about prose--it's also about finding that spark that makes people want to read more . . . as shell out twenty bucks to do so.

The difference between 95% of authors and writers is not luck. It's skill. And you're not going to convince me otherwise.

And in ten years if I am still unpublished I will own up to that statement and declare myself to be without skill.

And you can quote me on that.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Just Might Kick the Bucket.

"Look forward to speaking to you very soon."

I think these words might kill me. Really, I think my poor heart is going to give out before they come to fruition.

A Pantomime

Subject walks to the calendar and circles Tuesday. Puts her hands on hips and shakes her head in disgust.

Looks left.

Looks right.

Crosses off Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Puts a big circle around Friday.

Big Smile.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sssshhhhh . . .

I'm being very, very quiet.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

At Levi's Request . . .

The first Chapter of Symbiosis is posted here. Be aware that the format is a little wonky and there are no indentations.



In the Lap of luxury . . .

Or at least in the lap of good cooking and help with the kids.:)

I am visiting my mom and getting some R&R this week.

Of course, I am fretting about the mail that is sitting in my mailbox right now, but I'm trying to remain calm and relaxed regardless.:)

I tell you what I'm really stoked about right now; I have commenters! Like, multiple commenters . . . other than the ones who are related to me (as far as I know *wink*) Welcome!

So I have two kids, a 3.5 year old daughter and a 1.5 year old son and we went trick or treating last night in Idaho. We're talking 30 degree weather. *Shiver* My daughter gave up after about an hour, but my little one and a half year old son trick-or-treated for over two and a half hours. We were so cold when he final succumbed and we all went home. His filled his Halloween bag to the brim. His hands were in sockies to keep them cold, but by the time we got home thy were all red and a little puffy and didn't get back to their normal colour for about an hour. It was crazy!

But fun. Lots of fun.

Nothing much about writing, but then, it's my week off. . . though I swear I can here my keyboard all the way back in Utah calling my name. *Listens* Yeah, definitely calling.


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.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I admit it! I'm addicted to Submitting!

No really, I am. They should have some kind of Submittaholics anonymous. I love submitting to agents, especially by e-mail. I love getting requests for partials and fulls. Even if they get rejected, I like having stuff requested. It's a high.
However, that can get me into trouble. Case in point, I started submitting for Lady Diane before it was even done. Bad idea. The first three chapters were done and polished so I figured, hey, I have a nifty little website that tells me how soon agents reply and what they generally request. So I won't query agents who generally request fulls or reply to partials right away. Worked for a while, was fun to have stuff requested. But I did quite a lot of revising and ended up sending out two partials that were so rough they still had typos in them. (forehead smack) And one was to my very tip top choice. (stomps on own foot.)
So what does that have to do with now? Well, I am done with my slashing of Symbiosis (yes, I went back to the original title:)) and I want to send it out. Before I finished I told myself very firmly that I would finish the slashing, spend a couple of week tightening and re-writing, send it out to a couple of beta reader with a red pen, get results, apply, write a query, spend a week sending it through critique circles, and then start on my rather short re-query list.
So how the *&%$ did I end up with a manila envelope containing a query, synopsis, and five sample pages (not to mention a SASE) sealed and ready to mail out this morning to one of my top choices?!?!?!
(sigh) Silly me. Luckily, I went online and did some blog reading and stumbled on Caitlin's site (no link, sorry) a woman who is represented by the person that manila envelope is addressed to. She mentioned that she spent a full three months revising her manuscript after she got it back from betas. She worked on it till she was sick of looking at it and did not start querying until she knew is was as ready to sell as she could possibly make it.
She also got an agent in 3 1/2 weeks.
That's commitment.
So I did the smart thing; I took that little envelope and put it in my dresser drawer and recommitted myself to the process I originally outlined for my self. It's the whole losing weight thing. I want my pie (requests from agents) now, but if I decide not to eat the pie (wait) then I get much closer to my ultimate goal. (getting skinny/getting an agent/yanno(TM))
Man, I want to send that envelope right now. But I'm not going to. You know why? Because I have a fabulous book and it deserves an agent and then a publisher. But If I send it out naked, it's not going to get either.
So now I am going to start on more revisions. You all have a fabulous day.:)


Monday, September 25, 2006

My Baby Has No Arms or Legs.

I've just finished my hacking mission. I decided I was way too long-winded in my two fantasy novels and thought I would try slashing everything that didn't belong and combining them into one book.
Get this; I cut 60,000 words. That's about 220 pages.
You ever seen someone who was not heavy, but maybe pleasantly rounded but who was really pretty. Then, you see them like six months later and they've lost twenty pounds and bought a new wardrobe. You gawk and gape and say, man! I had no idea you could look that good.
That is what happened to my books--now one book in two parts. It is a smoother, sleeker, more fast paced novel with a fully rounded story arc in one stand along unit. I am so excited. I changed the ending of part one and made a lot of other little changes throughout the whole book. I chopped off it's arms and left but what I am left with is pure heart.
I saved the original version, don't you worry. And some day when it's published. (When, Ha!) I will have a website and put up outtakes like my friend Stephenie does for her books.
It was really really hard because I liked every scene I wrote . . . well, almost every scene. I took out some parts I really loved, but they either had nothing to do with the story, or they hindered the plot. Still, very difficult. I wrote 220 pages that I essentially threw away.
But it was good throw away. I'm happy with it.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Royal We and Me

So I've been corresponding with royalty this week.
No really. I exchanged e-mails with an in-name-only prince of Bulgaria this week. He had a question on and I had a good answer. So I e-mailed the prince.:) It was fun.:)
So my apologies for being so tardy on my blog entries. Audrey has been sick for at least half the day for over a week and today is the first day she had felt good all day . . . so far. So I have been really, really busy trying to keep up and catch up on housework, I've started a new book, Kenny and I have been doing some entertaining, and it turned to winter this week. Yikes! Seriously, we had to turn on the heater.
On the upside, I've had my full manuscript requested by Marcy, who is one of the bigguns.:) Strangely enough, you won't find her on the website because she is rather new to Sterling-Lord, but has a fabulous reputation from before she joined them.
Hmmm, what else . . . I've had several rejection come in, but no one wants to hear about that.:) I still haven't hear anything from Nephele or Joe about Chain, but I'm doing some fun things to that too. We'll see how it turns out.
Thanks for reading--sorry it is boring these days. Hopefully it will get very exciting something soon.:)


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

#1 On the NYT Bestsellers List!!!!

Check it out. New Moon is number one!!! Hooray Stephenie!!!!


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah!

Okay, so this has nothing to do with writing, but I got a gym membership today! And I'm paid for three years! And it comes with childcare! And in total it adds up to less than 20 dollars per month! And there's a chance that the guy made a mistake and it's actually only supposed to be two years. (shrug) But he wrote three years on the contract and even threw in two months for free so, hey, 38 months at Gold's Gym including childcare for 600 bucks ain't half bad. We're getting settlement money from my accident so Kenny let me treat myself.:) I am so stoked! I was dreading what I was going to do once winter set in and now I don't have to! Yea me!!!


Thursday, August 31, 2006

Wow, My Husband is Never Here . . .

And even when he's here, he's not "here." Do you have any idea how many books I am going to get written in the next three years? Probably five. Of course, that depends on how much editing I am doing for the big, huge publishing company that is publishing all my books. Oh, yeah.

(Shakes Head) Whew! Sorry; I had a quick trip to fantasy land. But I'm back now.:) You know, back to the land where my house is a mess and my daughter has stripped off all her clothes and is running around buck naked. Yea! (rolls eyes.) What is it with three-year-olds and clothing?

No news to report. Well, except that Elizabeth rejected my first ten pages with a little note suggesting I research more because she thinks a something I put in there is incorrect when, in fact, it is completely correct and I have the research to back it up. (rolls eyes.) But that's okay. She was pretty far from the top of my list even before the research comment.:)

Well, I am going to go work on Soleil now.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

More News

Hello all! You know, all four of you.:)

It's been quite productive week for Lady Diane. A three steps forward, one step back kind of week. I received a rejection from Kristin (which I was expecting, because I sent her a partial too quickly and it still had several typos in it, etc.) disappointing, but not nearly so much as last time. Maybe I'm getting used to it . . . or something.:) But I had three other agents request it so I am still in double digits. The fun one is my request from Marlene, because she has read the first five pages. So what it is is a long partial request off of a short partial, but a request off a partial is still a request off a partial. The other two agents are Jessica R. from a really exclusive NY agency, and Elaine, who runs a small but very distinguished agency and literary law practice.

And I'm really tired so . . .


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I'm Back . . . really this time.

Okay. Our roof is on, my final polish of Lady Diane is done (full went out today, yea!), and Kenny starts school tomorrow. I think it is safe to say you will all be getting slightly more regular updates from here on out.

The Chain and the Sword: Still out to Nephele and Joe. Nephele mentioned on her blog that she is almost caught up with her reading so a response from her should come soon. I know Joe has not read it yet (or at least not finished it) because I queried him and he mentioned he was still reading but that I could send him chapters of L.D. too. (More yea!) I sent nudges to Mary Beth and Shawna and have not heard back from either. At this point I am not planning on ever hearing back from either. So it is all Nephele and Joe for Chain right now.

The Cymbals and the Crown: The first draft and first edit have been done. It still needs at least two rounds of polishing but right now I am concentrating on other things. Besides, if Chain gets published I'll probably (ha! Almost definitely) have to make changes so there's really no point in putting polishing at the top of my priority list right now. But my dad called me two nights ago just to tell me how much he enjoyed it; so it is getting rave reviews already. (wink.) I did send it to Stephenie and when she gets a chance (probably when she is flying to tour locations) she'll read through it. I'm totally patient on that one. :)

Lady Diane: This book has been done for a while, but I finally got it's fine polish finished after Stephany requested the full on Friday. Currently Lady Diane is out to: Joe, Mary Sue, Kristin, Elizabeth, Jenny, Jessica, the full to Stephany, and as of today, Kathy. I'm very pleased with the reactions to this book and am looking forward to hearing back from a few more agents.

Soleil: (Sigh) My new book. I am about ten pages into it and still making some decisions about the plot. Soleil is another historical romance that is about the next generation after Lady Diane. It involves a lot of theatre and more Basque and French culture and I am really excited about it. I'll put up updates on that one as I go.

Some more news that has nothing to do with me is that Stephenie's book, New Moon, came out about a week ago and, as I predicted, it debuted on the NYT Bestseller's list for Children and Teen books. I'm not sure when it will come out on the public list (authors always get to know ahead of time) but I am so excited for her! Go buy her book!:)

Kenny starts school tomorrow. Our vacation is officially over. And I'm okay with that. I'm ready to get back to a regular schedule and not have to stop in the middle of the day and think, "What day is this again?" Schedules are good. Really!

Okay, that's my news. You may now consider yourself updated!


Monday, August 14, 2006

A Good Week!

I think it's going to be a good week. I don't have any reason for that, I just feel like it is going to be a good week. And I am so confident in that that I am proclaiming it for everyone to hear! Read . . . whatever.
So, in addition to the five people from last week,two more people have requested my stuff. One of them is Mary Sue and the other is Mr. Joe, who some of you may remember is reading (still, according to his e-mail grrrrrrr.) the full of Chain. Yea! You should check out his link; they have a new website. Still waiting to see if Nephele is going to bite at the second book but . . . hmmm, we'll see.
I also have a client due in five days with her second, so I expect her to go any day. I got my doula bag completely restocked today so now she can go into labor.:)
I have several outstanding queries and should hear back from a couple of partials soon, so I will keep you all up to date. Have a geat week, just like me!:)


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Feeling Better

As some of you may know, books are never finished. Even Stephenie has told me that she still has a thing or two she wishes she could go back and change in Twilight. But they do reach a point of finality. L.D. is at that point. Yessss! I'll continue reading over it throughout the entire publishing process just like I did with Chain, but it is finished as of last night. I'm quite happy with it.:) I am also rather happy that within the next three months or so it will be sent to a publisher. Whether I send it or it gets sent by an agent has yet to be seen, but by Christmas at the latest it will be headed to at least one publisher.
So the blogs I frequent all have this unifying theme this week . . . probably because I frequent the blogs of a bunch of female agents who are all friends.:) It about firing your agent and the appropriate way to walk away. I, of course, and thinking "Fire you agent? Fire your agent? You're kidding, right?" My disbelief comes on two levels. One is that an agent is very important in the publishing business. Necessary? Perhaps not. But generally invaluable if you can get one. Which leads to the second level of disbelief. By the time I query an agency, I have done a ton of research and looked them up on several very reputable sites. I have checked sales records, current clients, looked for personal feedback, etc. I do not send a query out to anyone that I am not positive I could completely trust with the management of my manuscript. If you've done that the chanced of your ever having to fire an agent go down to pretty much zero. You can't just take the first thing that comes to you without doing some research.
However, the whole topic started with Kristin who was frustrated because she had received a certified letter firing her and she thought everything was peachy keen. Apparently not. So then a whole conversation started about how to end a business relationship without looking like a jerk and even as I'm reading the comments all I could think was, "Why the heckle would you fire Kristin? This is Kristin we're talking about! Miss absolutely-at-the-top-of-my-list-no- exceptions, Kristin!" But I guess someone thought she just wasn't doing a good enough job. (shrug)

I'll tell you what I am happy anout though . . . convention season is over!!! Yea!!! The agents are all home now. I was driving me nuts trying to decide when to send queries and how big a delay I should expect before panicking, etc. But they are home now and I should hear from several this week.:) I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Real Update

Okay all, here's the lowdown on my project.

Lady Diane is a very accurate, very meticulously researched historical romance set in France and Basque in the 1600's. I wrote up a query for it when I couldn't sleep one night and sent it out on a whim to Jenny who wrote back and asked for a piece of it. Since then I have had five requests vs. 2 rejections. (Till this afternoon I was 5-1.) It's an incredible amount of attention, especially considering this one doesn't come with a recommendation from a NYT bestseller. Basically it means that I have a very marketable idea. Whether or not my writing holds up has yet to be seen. But, for what it's worth, here is my list of people who currently have my stuff.





And, of course (drumroll please) Kristin

I will be sending it to Nephele, especially since she is currently reviewing the full manuscript of Chain, and Ethan.
You should check out Nephele's link because they just got an awesome new website. It's pretty.:)

So that's where I am with that. I'm sending Diane out to a small number of agents this go-round and if I don't get any bites I'll go straight to publishers and hope for the best. But this book is already getting about 4 times more attention that Chain ever did . . . so here's hoping.:)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me! . . . yesterday. :)

It was my birthday yesterday and I had a great day. Also, I didn't plan this, but it was nice how it worked out--I finished the first draft of a new novel on my birthday. Whoo-hoo, go me!
Today I got around to getting my wheat from the cannery and ground my wheat and made my bread. It is rising on the counter as we speak. Hooray again. It's been a good couple of days. Writing has been a lot of fun and my kids are finally settling in and behaving on a more regular basis.
I'm was feeling really old yesterday (I'm 25, no denying I'm an adult anymore.) But I woke up this morning thinking I really should feel pretty young. How many other twenty-five year olds do you know who have done everything I've done? I have a bachelor's degree, I've been married for four and a half years, I have two kids, I am a certified doula and childbirth educator, I've done some graduate studies, and I've written three four hundred page books. I think that's pretty darn good. So I'm not feeling quite so old today.
But neither and I feeling very prolific, so . . . till next time!


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

News from the Big Apple.

So Kristin, one of my favorite agents whose blog I follow pretty religiously, is in New York this week. (Her office is in Denver so several times a year she heads up to New York for a week to pitch books to editors.) So here is a little excerpt from her blog tonight.

"Also, what fun to hear a romance editor talking about wanting to see historical romance again. Let me tell you. It's been a while since an editor has asked, 'what do you have going on for historicals?'

Could it be a turning trend? Too soon to tell."

I also read an interview with Jenny saying that she would really like to pick up a historical romance, and several of the publishing companies are emphasizinging their historical lines. Do I have timing or what? A spicy historical romance set in exotic Basque is just what they need in my not-so-humble opinion. :)


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Oh my Goodness! I laughed so hard!!

So this is stolen from Miss Snark who I really need to put up in my links because she is hilarious! But I haven't gotten around to it. None the less I want to give her credit.:)

Every year, English teachers from across the country can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are last year's winners.....

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the ! ;East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up


Wow, my life is really boring.

Actually, the main problem is that at the moment I am staying rather close-lipped about my current project. A lot is happening, but I'm going to blog about it later. You'll have to ask me about it.
The good news is we are almost completely moved it! The better news is that our renovations are also almost completely done. Yea! I have started decorating and my house is starting to look like my house.
I've been thinking a lot today about agents. It seems impossible mot to when Lady Diane is getting such good attention right off the bat. Why is that? As you've probably read in past posts, I don't put much stock in partial requests; it says more about your query than your book, IMO. But I have to wonder what is making the difference with this query. I've gotten better at writing queries, I can't deny that. But you tend to get better at anything with practice. However, I thought my final query version for Chain was pretty good and I had the recommendation of a NYT Bestseller to boot.
But this query is standing on it's own two feet. No recommendation, no awards, no nothing. Just the words on the page. I knew it was good when I wrote it. I got all excited about it and sent it off to Jenny that night. But why is it good? What are the agents seeing when they request more? Is it the storyline? Young girl married off against her will? Is it the setting? Basque is rather exotic and not frequently written about. That's one of the reasons I chose it. Maybe it's the little line at the bottom saying it is my third completed manuscript. That says I can finish a book . . . and not just one.
I don't know if it is any one specific element. All I know is when I wrote the query, it felt good.
I'm falling into the hope trap again. But so much more rides on this. I am selling one book to an agent, but behind that one book is the hope of two more. And an agent will look at that. They'll want to see what else you've written. Sometimes before they sign you; but sometime before. Most agents are really looking for a career writer; someone who they can depend on for regular royalty checks. Having two or three of five, etc. books under your belt already really says something. I'm such a natural optimist I can't help but be hopeful. Still, I think I have reason. A good query is so important. Take my record with Chain for example. I sent out about one hundred queries. Out of that hundred, nineteen asked for a partial. Out of those nineteen, two asked for the full. Out of those two . . . well, I haven't heard back from either yet.:) Nineteen percent partial reads. That ain't half bad. Really, it's not.
But . . . say I send out thirty queries and have twenty-five ask for partials? That's a heck of a lot less work. On top of that, it's over 75% requests.
Part of me, a big part of me, doesn't think it will take nearly that long this time. I'm kind of thinking this is it. A story line that is garnishing a 100% acceptance rate--and from an agent as awesome as Jenny--has a much better chance than one getting a 20% acceptance rate.
I sent a query to Kristin today . . . well, technically Kristin's assistant, Sara. Sara reads all the queries these days, and even if she didn't, Kristin is in New York this week. But they've been getting back to queries in one to two days lately, so I should find out how query #3 does tomorrow or Tuesday. I am hoping to keep up my 100% rate!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

James Barrie

" You're not hopeless. You've just misplaced your hope. Look around for it, you'll find it." J.M. Barrie

I found this quote on one of the writer's forums I frequent. As Dr. Who says, "Brilliant!" It's just become my mantra.:)
I found my hope on Friday, actually. I got into my e-mail and had a request for a partial from Jenny. Believe me when I say she is big time! It's kind of fun because this makes me 2 for 2 on my new query. 100% request rate! Can't do much better than that.:)
I'm still waiting to hear back from Nephele, and am still maintaining hope on that front. I think my fantasy is aimed more at a female audience than a male one, so I am encouraged by the simple fact that she is a woman. Weird, I know.
But my new thought is if I can't find an agent for my fantasy, my romance is getting really good attention right off the bat. If I can get an agent for it, then I kind of inherit an agent for any other books. Which means I can most likely get them to shop the fantasy as well. See, I found my hope.:)


Monday, July 03, 2006

Hot Off the Presses!!

Guess what I'm holding in my hand . . . no really, guess.:) I have my reader's copy of The Cymbals and the Crown. I will be bringing it when I drive up to Utah tomorrow night. And sorry to disappoint most of you, but Richard gets it first. (shrug) After that you can all fight over it. (laugh) Just FYI, you'll have to excuse the typos and misspelled word, etc. I got the story down so you guys could read it (and it is complete at 100,000 words) but I didn't have time to go back an polish . . . that will come later. I am moving to Utah tomorrow!! Yea!! I won't actually get there till the wee hours of Wednesday morning, but I'm leaving tomorrow.:) I'm so excited. And I'm excited for you guys to read the sequel. I really, really like it. It's a lot more thought provoking than the first one, but still has plenty of action. But it has a ton more people and most of them are so wonderful. (sigh) I'm in love with half of my characters. Anyway, you'll have it soon!


Thursday, June 29, 2006

No News is . . . Boring!

Sorry I haven't been blogging much, but as my list of agents I am waiting to hear from gets smaller, my submitting life is getting . . . well, boring. And rather than bore you with what is NOT happening, I am just not blogging.
I did send out a partial yesterday, but it was not for Chain, it was for my Other project. Nonetheless, that was cool too.
I should finish up my editing on Cymbals tonight or tomorrow and then I just have to do two-hundred pages of disk changes. (groan) That means I have to take the changes that are currently hand-written and type them all in. Boring as I'll get out, but at least it doesn't take that much time.
So when I move up next week, who ever grabs it first gets book two . . . how's that for motivation to come help me move in?:)
Just to make you jealous, I am hoping to get it out to one of my readers down here on Sunday. (I guess that mean a niener, niener, niener is in order?)
Well . . . that's pretty much it. No news at all. Sorry. (Shrug.)


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Damyon is the Man!

Well, I gotta tell you, I've been working on some scenes I forgot to add in the first time around and one of them includes Damyon breaking some bones . . . with his bare hands, of course. He is so the man. Damyon is one of those characters who I hope so badly everyone will love as much as I do. (sigh) He's wonderful.:)
To those of you who are waiting, I have less than eighty pages left in my edit and, though it will require a lot of polishing before I consider it finished, it will be ready for readers in about a week.:) Yea! Finishing a book is such a rush!!


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Bubble, Bubble, Toil, and Writing.

Well, I have a new project bubbling, but I'm not quite ready to say anything about it, but ask me next time you see me and maybe I'll spill.

I've taken a few days' break from editing Cymbals, but got back to it today. Kenny is done working and so I get a little bit more time to work on it and am still hoping to have the first heavy edit done before we move . . . in 10 days!!!! (and a few more exclamation points for good measure)!!!!!!!!! I am really trying to get it done before we move because I have a guy named Aaron (who was the lead in the play I just directed . . . you try writing a book while you're directing a major musical!) who gave me a great critique and wants to read the sequel and he is moving in August. Pretty much the only time I can be sure to get it to him is if I am still here to make sure one of my sibling-in-laws took it to him. So I have a week to finish up the last eighty pages and then get it all typed in. Not much time but I think I can do it . . . unless, of course, the lid bubbles off my new project . . . then I might be doing some major scrambling. But that's another story. Hehe, literally, another story.

I'm still feeling rather discouraged, but I think it has as much to do with wanting to move as anything. I love my in-laws and it has been a really good experience living here with them, but I want out. I told Kenny the other day that I am fighting the shrinking box. I was doing pretty good until I went up to work on my house. When I came back from that the box had shrunk to infinitesimal proportions. Everything seems discouraging right now. It is major work to rally my spirits enough to face the day . . . after that effort, I don't have enough energy to rally my spirits on the publishing front. (shrug) But that's life.

On a brighter note, Kenny and I are singing in church tomorrow and it is this beautiful song by Sally DeFord that we've sung before and just love. So that will be fun. And I'm really tired so I need to go to be. Wish I had news for you guys, but I don't. Sorry dad.;)


Monday, June 19, 2006

Sigh . . .

I got a rejection from Kristin this morning. I'm starting to really believe that all of the agents are going to pass on it. I also got a stellar review from a reader who had some excellent advice which I will put into the manuscript before I get it all polished up for publishers. I don't really have much to say, I'm just feeling discouraged.
On top of that, I've been listening to a book on tape by Danielle Steele. It mentions that it is Danielle's 66th bestselling novel and it is SO badly written. It's like a first-draft that no one bothered to read over twice. Inconsistencies, repetition of phrases, ridiculously unreasonable character flaws, it's truly awful! The story is interesting enough, but the writing is abysmal. So I'm listening to this thinking, how can this crap get published while my book is scarcely getting a look!?
(sigh) So It's one of those days.
It was really disappointing to get a rejection from Kristin. I really thought that she would like it. I'm trying to remember that Nephele still has the full as does Joe and that I still haven't heard back from some of the other partials I have out. But it's hard to focus on that.
Sorry this is such a down post, but I'm frustrated. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Heading out of Town!

I am leaving tonight or tomorrow morning to go to Utah to get all of the painting and renovations done on our house before we have piddly little things in the way like, yanno, furniture. So I will be out and with no (or extremely limited) internet access for the next nine days. Miss me!!:) I will spend about an hour each night working on Cymbals and will hopefully make some good strides on it. It is currently 92,000 words long and I will not even feel comfortable with it until it is over 100,000 words and I am shooting for 105,000 which is how long Chain is. I am having so much fun with it and cannot wait to share it with you! So I think I will leave you with one more little teaser. Have a great week, I know I will!!


She’em stopped. Norine walked a few more paces before turning around to look for him. “Do you remember me?” he asked.

Norine shook her head. “Should I?”

She’em grinned. “You tried to kill me at Fala ab Candidus.”

Norine’s eyes widened. He’s a spy! He’s one of Gambrin’s men. She spun and tried to run but he grabbed her wrist. She tried to twist her arm away but the man’s grip was like a steel vice!

She’em chuckled. “Not like that, Miss deMontrel. I was one of the rescue party.”

Norine stopped struggling and tried to calm her breathing. She smoothed her skirts and tried to salvage a speck of her shattered dignity. Of course he wasn’t a spy; Ferren wouldn’t leave her alone with a spy. But she still felt anxious and awkward—as if she were stepping too heavily and breathing too loudly.

She’em looked at her. “May I call you Norine?”

“Certainly,” she answered automatically, then blushed again wondering what exactly he was asking. She looked pointedly at her wrist and She’em released it. She turned and continued walking down the hall. She’em fell into step beside her.

“I came running after you when you were leaving The Ruins. You threw a piece of the wall at my head.” He laughed, his deep baritone voice filling the hall. “Not that I blame you. I probably looked rather savage."

Norine ducked her head in apology. “I don’t remember. Everything is still a blur.” She paused. “I hope I didn’t hit you.”

She’em looked at her playfully. “I’m too fast for that.”

He was staring at her. She couldn’t help staring back. When had she stopped walking? Abruptly, she cleared her throat and turned, mounting the stairs with hurried steps. When she reached the opulent suites Ferren had stayed in the last time he was here, She’em opened the door for her.

“Should I light your lamps?”

“I’m quite capable,” Norine replied tersely.

“Of that I am sure,” She’em said with a grin and a quick bow. Then the door closed and he was gone. **


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Full Sent!

It's interesting to send out fulls. Because, quite frankly, partials mean nothing. As do fulls requested off of a query. Because all that really means is that they liked your query. In fact, they have companies that will read your manuscript and write your query for you just to get your foot in the door. So if you hire someone and get fifty requests for partials does that mean you are a better writer or have a better story than someone who only got ten requests?
Of course not.
What matters, in my not-so-humble opinion, is what they say after they have read your writing. That is why rejections on my query are so easy for me to shrug off. They didn't like the two paragraphs I wrote about my book. So what?
But rejections on partials are quite discouraging because it means that they looked through a window into your story and said, "Meh, that really not much of a view," and they turn away.
But a request for a full after reading the partial is important. Agents are simply too busy to request the full manuscripts on stories they are not seriously considering representing. They don't ask for fulls just to find out whodunit, or whether the couple is going to get together at the end. They don't care that much. There are too many manuscripts in the world to justify requesting one you are not very seriously interested in.
Which, of course, leads the writer--me--to the next obvious conclusion. Nephele is seriously considering representing me. And I admit, it is a bit of a stretch, but not much. Because that is what a request for a full implies. Then, as much as I try not to, I start planning for the future in my mind. What will I say when she calls? Can I have the sequel ready for her to read if she wants to? Where will she submit it first?
I did the same thing with Joe. I don't think that way about him anymore because I haven't heard from him. On the other hand . . . I haven't heard a no yet.
But with Nephele I have a new piece of white paper to defile with my colorful, child-like hopes. It's far from a done-deal . . . but it's miles up from the slush pile!
It's been an interesting few days because I was feeling really, really low the other night and suddenly, with one request for a full, my hopes are resurrected and stronger than ever . . . at least until they deflate over the next few weeks.
The phone in our house does this double ring thing if the call is long distance and, quite frankly, I don't know how much longer my poor heart can put up with the drastically increased rate of beating I require from it each time I hear that double ring. But, almost without fail, it is Amy wanting to talk to her mother. (sigh)
And the waiting begins again tomorrow. The compulsive e-mail checking, the ears perking up at long-distance rings, obsessively checking Kristin's blog, trying to get some idea of where I stand with her, and, of course, watching for the mail truck. Ahh, the life of a writer. Didn't know it was so glamorous, did you?


Friday, June 02, 2006

This is Me Squealing! Aaahhh!

Well, I've been kind of bummed the last 5 days because Joe's exclusive ran out and he still has not gotten back to me. So I was thinking I would go ahead and nudge Nephele since it has been eight weeks today since she recieved my partial and she says she responds in six to eight weeks. So I sat at my computer with a blank e-mail in front of me and just as I was deciding what I would say, I decided to wait. I was busy this morning because I am watching my friend's kids (4 of them) while she is out of town. So I shut down my computer and decided to let it be . . . at least until tomorrow. So I had a small break from babysitting and got into my e-mail and had an e-mail from Nephele. So, of course, I braced myself for a rejection--most of the others have been, why not hers? But she requested the full! So I will go out tomorrow morning and get a new ink cartridge and two packs of my uber-paper and print her out a nice copy and send it out. (sigh) It might have to wait until Wednesday because I am still babysitting till tomorrow evening, but by the end of the day on Wednesday it will be on it's way to California! Yea!! The moral of the story is, don't send out that nudge when your gut tells you not to! That would not have been the best impression. (This is me doing the happy dance.) Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah! Hey!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Teaser Time!

So it has come to my attention that that some of y'all out there are actually reading this. So I thought I would have some fun. Some of my best ideas come to me when I am doing my first edit (which us why none of you have read book two yet) and boy I had a doozy today that I have been playing with. I thought I would post a teaser . . . just to get you excited.:)


“So,” Tenni said under her breath, squeezing Norine’s fingers, “your brother’s an excellent kisser. Did you teach him that or is he teaching you?”

Norine hands dropped for just a moment and Tenni seized her opening, slamming the heel of her hand into Norine’s face. Norine’s eyes pulsed with pain and she staggered backward, blood pouring from her nose. Tenni’s jaw dropped. “I-I’m sorry,” she stuttered. “I aimed too high, I expected you to—ugh!” Norine’s head slammed unto her stomach, throwing her to the ground, knocking the wind out of her. She gasped for air as Norine slapped her face, making her see stars for an instant. Tenni gathered her wits as Norine raised her arm to strike her again. She kicked her leg up and caught Norine around the neck, dragging her back down to the floor. The other women around them squealed and screamed as the two women rolled around on the floor, striking at one another’s faces and kicking wildly.

Suddenly a pain like nothing Norine had ever felt before shot up her arm as it twisted behind her. She opened her mouth to yelp, but heard Tenni first. Norine opened her eyes to see Damyon holding both women with their arms tightly behind their backs. Tenni was whimpering quietly and Norine could not stop tears from welling up in her eyes as she gasped at the searing pain in her shoulder.

“That’s enough of that,” Damyon said, his voice low, but snapping like a rawhide whip. “If I let you go will the two of you be civil?”

Hehe, this a fun scene.


List Dwindling.

Well, I recieved a rejection yesterday from Scott, so my list is down to Joe, Kristin, Mary Beth, Nephele, and Shawna. And I still have queries out to Robert (no weblink, sorry), Michele, Christine, and Miriam. After I hear back from these people, I'm done. I'm finished querying agents. From there I will go straight to publishers and see where the slush pile gets me.:)
Joe's exclusive expired yesterday and I still haven't heard from him. At this point I'm afrain no news is probably bad news but I'll hold out a little bit of hope. I expect to hear from Kristin any day between now and in two months.:) And the same with Mary Beth and Shawna. I am thinking that I will nudge Nephele on Monday because her blog mentioned that at the end of last months they had some e-mail issues. So I would hate to be sitting around waiting for another two weeks if she either already sent a reply and her computer screwed it up, or she never recieved it at all. (shrug). I'm getting way discouraged. Ammon told me his friend Josh (who has had a copy of my manuscript for six months) was going to give it back because he just didn't have time to read it (goes to school, works full-time, you know the type.) Well, like the day before he was going to see Ammon he had a spare hour and started to flip through Chain. Well, now he won't give it back! LOL! Things like that make me feel good because I know that readers would like this book if I could just get it out there.
I will pass 90K words today on Cymbals. I am anxious to get it done and out to my betas for two reasons. First, because I know they all want the end of the story! And I know they will really enjoy it. The first book never made me cry . . . the second book does so frequently, even though I know what is going to happen. If someone liked the first one, I suspect they will love the second. Scuze me tooting my own horn, but the first book is great--the second book is fabulous! The other reason if that people will tell me they like my book again. I need that sometimes when all these agents are telling me they don't. (sigh) So what I expect to do is work on both books throughout the summer, and in the fall, when my hubby starts law school, I'll pass the time by sending it out to publishers. I'll start with the big ones (Tor, Daw, Baen, Ace, etc.) but I have some fun-looking smaller presses on my plan B list . . . boy I hope I don't have to get that far.
I just don't want to shelve this series. It would be one thing if I was just getting lukewarm reviews from my betas, but out of the fourteen people who have read it, I've recieved four lukewarm reviews and ten stellar ones. I think that's pretty fair odds; don't you?
(Sigh) Just feeling a little down on the book one front today. Excited to get more done on book two though. I refuse to stop work on book two just because I don't know if book one will be published. Don't think about that, don't think about that . . . well, hubby's up, better go say good morning to him.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Did I Mention . . . ?

That I finished my first draft of the second book? :) Oops. I finished it about three days ago. I'm working on a heavy edit right now.:)


Friday, May 26, 2006

Almost Time for some Nudging.

Okay, so my partial DID in fact arrive in Denver yesterday morning. (I love delivery confirmation:)) and I am hoping that I will get put at the top of the list since my partial was technically requested almost 2.5 months ago. But, if not, that's okay too, because Kristin's new assistant has really been helping her stay on top of her workload. (This is her, by the way, second picture down; hi Sara! :) )

Joe's exclusive expires on Wednesday and I am trying really hard not to develop the habit of biting my nails. (sigh)

A couple of people have a little nudge in order. I already nudged Scott, and he's just way busy, but he has my partial and will get back to me at some point. (shrug)

But Nephele is due for a nudge in ten days and Mary Beth in twelve. Shawna says her reading time is running 6-8 weeks and it has been 5 for her, so she is off the hook for another 3-4 weeks . . . 3-4 weeks (sigh.) I think the worst part of the whole agent search is the inherant waiting. As Inigo Montoyez says in The Princess Bride, "Wait, wait. I hate to wait." And of course, "I don't suppose there any way you could-a speed things up?"



Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Writers vs. Barbara Bauer

The writers are up in arms! Absolute Write (which you'll find on my links bar) has been shut down based on false accusations with bogus authority by Barbara Bauer of the Barbara Bauer Literary Agency. Barbara is a known scam-artist and she is ticked at Absolute Write because she got put on their list of the Top Twenty Worst Literary Agents. She is scum. But she thinks she can salvage her reputation by cutting off Absolute Write. See the complete story here from Teresa Nielsen Hayden. (Hi Teresa!!:)) Well, the writers are taking a stand. So I'm tyaking a stand too.:) Here is the List of the Top Twenty Worst Literary agents as compiled by all the staff at Absolute Write with special thanks to Ann C. Crispin and Victoria Strauss.

* The Abacus Group Literary Agency
* Allred and Allred Literary Agents (refers clients to "book doctor" Victor West of Pacific Literary Services)
* Capital Literary Agency (formerly American Literary Agents of Washington, Inc.)
* Barbara Bauer Literary Agency
* Benedict & Associates (also d/b/a B.A. Literary Agency)
* Sherwood Broome, Inc.
* Desert Rose Literary Agency
* Arthur Fleming Associates
* Finesse Literary Agency (Karen Carr)
* Brock Gannon Literary Agency
* Harris Literary Agency
* The Literary Agency Group, which includes the following:
Children's Literary Agency
Christian Literary Agency
New York Literary Agency
Poets Literary Agency
The Screenplay Agency
Stylus Literary Agency (formerly ST Literary Agency)
Writers Literary & Publishing Services Company (the editing arm of the above-mentioned agencies)
* Martin-McLean Literary Associates
* Mocknick Productions Literary Agency, Inc.
* B.K. Nelson, Inc.
* The Robins Agency (Cris Robins)
* Michele Rooney Literary Agency (also d/b/a Creative Literary Agency and Simply Nonfiction)
* Southeast Literary Agency
* Mark Sullivan Associates
* West Coast Literary Associates (also d/b/a California Literary Services)

Also, please feel free to check out this website by Denice Kincy with other blogs about this issue. I especially liked what Miss Snark had to say (and I stole her formatting for the top 20 list.)


Monday, May 22, 2006

Oh, Man!!

(sigh) Okay, this is a little discouraging. I emailed Kristin and her assistant went through the partials and confirmed that they did NOT receive my partial. (grumble) So now I have to print it off and send it again (this time I'll get delivery confirmation) and then, you guessed it; wait. I am hoping that Sara (her assistant) will put me on some kind of a short list and my partial will get a read sooner rather than later. I mean, that's only fair, right? But if not, she seems to have been really staying on top of the partials (Sara told me they are done with everything up to May 6th; that's a really good turn-around time.) So hopefully that won't be too long of a wait.

In the meantime I have completed 81,000 words in Cymbals and am feeling excited about the scene I am on. (When you get to the end of a long novel, it can be hard to keep your motivation up.) But my sibling-in-laws are out of school starting this Thursday so hopefully I can squeeze a little bit of extra babysitting out of them so I can finish my first draft in the next week to ten days.:) My big goal is to have the first draft and one good edit done before I leave for Utah on the tenth of June. (crosses fingers) It's a big goal, but I'm working on it.:)


Friday, May 19, 2006

The Golden Triangle.

First off, isn't she beautiful? This is Nellie.:) She was born on Monday after a fabulous effort from her mother.

I have pictures of Alejandro too, but they are still on my camera. I'll try to get them up later.

Well, my day yesterday . . . sorry, but it sucked! It started out with a fight with my husband and, likely because of that, my writing was stifled and it was like pulling teeth just to get it on the screen. (I took a look at it this morning and did a lot of fixing. The scene I wrote is decent now.) So I was in a rotten mood already when I went out to check the mail. Waiting for me were three rejections. Three rejections in one day is bad enough, but I also had a very nice variety. One on a query, one on a partial, and one on a full (a full I really didn't expect to hear back on at all.) So I didn't feel like blogging yesterday and got up this morning still feeling pretty low. However, I did jet off an e-mail to Kristin who, since I still haven't hear back from her on my partial, I suspect is the first victim of the postal system. I don't think it got to her. It's been way too long since I sent it. That means I will probably have to print off a new packet and send it off again. That means the whole waiting period starts all over again. (sigh)

So I really don't have any good news to share, but for what it's worth, Kate and Shana are off the list. Onward and upward.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Three Babies!!

Wow! What a last couple of days! At 1:00 in the morning one of my client's water broke. That was the beginning of two very long days. She had her baby at 12:45 that afternoon. About half an hour later I checked my voicemail and found out that another clients was being induced at 4:30 that afternoon. So after about an hour I left Client #1 to go take Client #2 to the hospital. Well, as I was driving to Client #2, Client #3 calls and says that she is being induced at 7:30 the next morning--at the same hospital as Client #2. Long story short, Client #2 and Client #3 had their babies less than four hours apart and I called in my back-up doula and did some room hopping. Three births in tow days. Whew! I was so tired last night! But they all did great and they all had beautiful babies.:) I'll post pictures of the babies tomorrow. (I can't post pics of the moms because of confidentiality, etc. But I can post pics of the babies and that's the cutest part anyway.)

Well, I have concluded that my partial did not reach Kristin because it has been a weeks since she said she got to all the partials through April third except a few so wait a week. She is at a big writers convention this week and won't even be back in Denver until Monday. So on Monday, if I still haven't heard anything (and at this point I'm assuming I won't) I will jet her an e-mail and see what's up. It's really frustrating to me. I kept expecting and expecting to hear from her and . . . well, it's frustrating.

On the up side, The Chain and the Sword has been in New York with Joe for one week! Yea! Someone (the assistant, I imagine) has probably read it. If they liked it, Joe will read it next. Assuming that does happen, he will probably read it this week.

Other than that, there is no news yet. But I am now two days behind on The Cymbals and the Crown, so today I have to get cracking on that again.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Bite Me.

Very happy today.:) I got one of Stephenie Meyer's new Edward Cullen Fanclub T-shirts. Yea! You gotta check these things out. There are some advantages to knowing the author personally.:) If you are a Twilight or Edward Cullen fan you can get one of your own (if you hurry!). Stephenie said they are going on sale tomorrow, so I assume there will be some information up on her website. By the way these images are from her website and are not my property.:)

No book news today as it is neither a business day nor a mail day, but I got a new shirt.:)

Happy Mother's Day!!!!


Saturday, May 13, 2006

70 K!!!!

I hit 70,000 words on my sequel last night! And about three thousand of those words were a scene that ends up being really pivotal in the story that was very hazy in my mind and suddenly snapped clear yesterday. I typed like a mad woman! (The scene is about a mad woman. Haha) My goal was to reach 70,000 words this weekend. I guess I'll have to try for 75,000 this weekend instead.:) I gotta get this thing finished so I can pass it around for critiques from my family while I am up in their neck of the woods in four weeks. I think I can do it, but I need to get back to writing every day. I think two hours a day for the next three weeks (generally spread out through the day because of my kids;)) should do it.
I have this pipe dream of having one of the agents call me up say, "I love the book; there's a sequel, right?"
And then I can say, "Of course; I just finished it."
At which point they, of coure, go into a frenzy, shouting, "Send it! Send it! I must find out what happens!!"
Hey, back off, I said it was a pipe dream. (laugh) But seriously, with the way that Chain ends it is very clear that it needs a sequel and I would hope that any agent interested enough to offer representation would also want to know what happens next.
I expect Cymbals to be about as long as Chain, which means my first draft will probably be 100,000 words and will grow about 5,000-10,000 words during the editing process. I already know places I want to go back and expand, but I can't go back in the middle of a book or I'll never finish. Keep the eye on the prize, girl, eye on the prize.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Would You Just Go Already!

Okay, since I have absolutely no news to report on the writing front, this entry is about my doula business. I have a client who has been having prodromal labor for a number of weeks and finally last night she turned a corner and seems to be in true pre-labor. So after a good night's sleep she's going to be doing a bunch of walking today as well as using some homeopathic labor aides. I wish she would just go into labor! She's such a cute thing and she's been miserable for almost three weeks having mild contractions every 5-10 minutes for, seriously, three weeks solid. I've been expecting her to tip over the edge and go into labor since about April 25th. (sigh)

So Scott has had my partial for 10 weeks. He said he would respond in eight weeks, but I didn't want to write at the exact eight-week mark and be like, "Hey, what's up?" because I don't want to come across as being too impatient. But I'm getting impatient! I think a follow-up e-mail is in order. So, BTW, in case you are interested, these are the people who currently have pieces of my book.






Mary Beth



I have several outstanding queries, some of which I have high hopes for. So I'll let you know as I add and subtract from this list.


**Update** I e-mailed Scott and he offered his apologies for being late, but that he has been very busy. But he did check and he does have my submission and said he would get to it soon.:)

Thursday, May 11, 2006


My book arrived in New York yesterday morning. :)My three week exclusive to JV, has begun. I also was visiting K.N.'s blog and she mentioned that she had responded to all partials up to about April 3rd, and I was like, hey! My partial got there no later than March 20th! But the next sentence says that if you have not recieved a response yet to wait a week because she "still need[s] to evaluate a few before the response letters go out." I think that's good; don't you think that's good? It means I've made some kind of cut . . . doesn't it? I know it's not a lost mail thing because she responds by e-mail, not by SASE, and her e-mails have always gotten through just fine. I have really high hopes for K.N.; I always have, I'm not sure why. She is actively looking for a good fantasy novel to open her sales in that area and I have one that is not long-winded and epic. Llike (cough, cough) Robert (cough) Jordan. It is very reader friendly --particularly non-hardcore-fantasy readers. I just think that the two of us would be a really good match. Since I've said that I'll probably get a rejection in my inbox today but hey, it true so I'm saying it.:) Don't get me wrong, I certainly wouldn't turn Joe down, but I think Kristin and I would be good together. What do I know?