Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Day to Myself

The ugly deadline season is over. The work is still coming in, but the crunch to complete it is less oppressive. So, after months of suffocating pressure, I have a day off, all to myself.

And I'm spending it working on the new story. Fresh from the Chicago Spring Fling, I'm re-energized after motivational workshops and validation for my craft.

So what happened at the conference? you might ask. I had a scheduled appointment with an editor from a major publishing house. Prior to that, there was an agent who had an appointment open, so I asked if I could take the slot. Unprepared (I'm a pantser too many times), I went in to pitch Living Canvas. Within a few minutes, said agent put me in my place. "I'm going to say no," he said, "and this is why." There were several reasons - and he had some valid ones. The most important one was that I was "all over the place." Unprepared (my words, not his). This happens sometimes when you're a pantser.  But I'd been working so much that I didn't have time to prepare, and cocky, because I'd always done well in these appointments in the past. So it took the air out of my balloon. However, I still had my appointment with the editor to keep. As an author, we are forever second-guessing ourselves, I struggled with what to do.  I had a few hours, so I prepared.  And it paid off.  Within two minutes with the editor, she asked for partial. Two Minutes! Is it any wonder some authors are bi-polar? We go from the depths of despair to the thrill of acceptance all within a matter of hours.

Now for the ridiculous part. After the conference, I hurried home and prepared my materials for the publisher. Then I let them rest for a few minutes to make sure I hadn't rushed through and overlooked something. I waited an extra day and re-read my proposal. And I clicked send. Then I went to my sent folder and read it one last time (too late to do anything, but for my own peace of mind). Wouldn't you know there was a typo in my letter? It wasn't there the first time, or the second time, or even the third time I read it.  I swear! (oh, it's not nice to swear, sorry.) Don't know if I brushed a key on my way to "send" or what happened, but of course now I feel like I've sabotaged myself. That being said, if she can get past that typo, the rest of it should be perfekt (yes, I know I spellled that wrong).  And now the waiting game begins.

Said editor did mention that she has never published something she's gotten during one of these types of appointments, but I did tell her I hoped to be the first. She was very gracious, and friendly (they usually are) and I would love to work with her. But I'm not getting overly optimistic about my chances. It's a tough business and even the multi published authors get turned away sometimes. But its a glimmer of hope. For now.

In the meantime, I'm using this Day to Myself to move ahead on the new story. The conference helped me to remember some of the important pieces that go into the process, and a few days away from the story gave me some editorial clarity to fix things I can see already, even though I'm only 13,000 words into it. AND it's written around Christmas, so although it isn't a Christmas story, per se, it is a Christmas story. Unintentionally! A much better idea than the one I had previously considered writing, and this one will be more fun (less introspective).

Along those lines - any native German speakers, I have some questions! Please feel free to email me if you can help me with some "different" translations. I know a smattering, I have some family background to help, but using a German patriarch in the story, I have need of a particular translation that I'm trying to mold to fit my purposes . . .

And now, back to A Day to Myself. I have a story calling me.


  1. Good luck with this one. I hope she buys into it and you can get it published. I think even artists feel the same way about their work as you feel about your writing.. Both are tough fields to get into and get anywhere.

    1. Thanks Mario's mom! And you're right about the artists, and musicians too.