Hiatus and Hope

I’ve been offline for a while and I apologize for not keeping up with my posts. Even my Facebook folks know I’ve disappeared for a while. I could give you the usual reason of the day job and life in general overwhelming me, and they would be true. However, life overwhelms everyone, particularly during the holidays.

However the real reason for my absence is that an opportunity came up that looked invaluable to my career. It proved time intensive as well and everything went fluid and understanding (God bless kind husbands) went on hold while I dove into it.

The wonderful event involved a literary agent requesting that I make changes to my manuscript, Specter of a Chance, and then email her the whole thing. The suggested changes all revolved around tightening up the story, which only helped with flow once I saw what she was talking about. No one to date has asked for the whole manuscript so imagine my feelings when I saw those words in the email.

My tears welled up with joy.
My mouth broke into a broad, beaming smile.

A few seconds later, my hands began to shake.
My heart pounded in anxiety.
My brain started shouting, “don’t screw this up!”

Once calm reality set in, I made a plan to put changing the manuscript, a long and meticulous effort, over everything else. Writing on the new work stopped. Dinners became a parade of insta-meals and takeout. In addition, social media moved to the back burner.

Specter of a Chance has flown off on the wings of electronic angels. After scrubbing my nasty looking house and cooking a feast for loved ones, I entered the waiting mode and dealt with neglected projects. Oh, and I started obsessively checking my email twenty times a day for replies.

The moral is that when an editor or literary agent asks for changes, or a part of your book, get it to them ASAP. Don’t send crap. Take the time to polish it to perfection but don’t let it lay around for months. Don’t give them time to forget why they liked the little samples.

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A 2015 photo of a Michigan lighthouse. Notice the frozen lake beyond. It is opposite to what we are seeing this year.

As ever, happy writing!

Rejection Sucks but It Shouldn’t be Crippling

Getting over rejectionI got another uninformative “it’s not right for us” rejection from an agent yesterday just three days after sending the query in. As usual, I felt the typical sadness of not being good enough and the doubts of what do I have to change to succeed. Again, I thought alternately of giving up on the manuscript or self-publishing it. To me, that leads to possible dead ends and my characters deserve so much more.

Today, I got on my treadmill (because it is in the negative numbers outside) and pictured myself walking away from rejection. Every step I made took me away from the worries, melancholy, and questioning. Each footfall moved me towards my eventual success when some editor or agent will see the spark of beauty that I see in Layne Knowles . My main character is flawed, yes. She is a thief and ghost-whisperer. She feels alone and aches for real contact with another living person, but she never gives up. I won’t either.

So with every rejection, I’ll walk some more steps away from the naysayers and towards my eventual publication. I’ll lose some weight along the way (always a good thing) and keep that positive attitude going. Layne and I are in this together, and along with my muse, Laurel-Ann, we’ll see it through to the end.

What are you doing about your rejections?
Conference News:
The San Francisco Write To Market Conference (Nov 12-15, 2015) is different from most other events I’ve talked about. This one comes with pre-con homework and a planned three days of really pushing the craft of writing as a career. It ends with a morning pitch session as well. For those interested in a career writing for traditional publishing, this may be the event for you.