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Showing posts from February, 2016

A Full Manuscript Request

Woohoo! The moment I looked away, a full manuscript request came in.

I sent out a few query letters over the past few weeks and received, in return, a couple of very quick and very encouraging rejection letters. So even more quickly, I started to feel assured that I would continue to receive the same kind of feedback, if any--good job, but not quite what I'm looking for.

So, feeling both encouraged to keep writing and motivated to find a different concept, I decided to embark upon a new round of research to lay the foundation for a work of historical fiction--no unicorn poop this time! The day I made that decision, my home internet stopped working due to a mouse gnawing through a cord somewhere down the road outside. (I kept thinking of Dr. Seuss--This is not good, and I know why. A mouse has cut the wire. Goodbye!)

But I told myself, maybe this is good. I should stop reading Wikipedia pages anyway and get some real books by people who know what they're talking about. So I dec…

Netflix, Fever and Chills?

For a writer, it's a total bummer to stay home sick AND be too sick to write. Or worse, to have a little cutie who needs round-the-clock loving during an illness.

I have lived through a few of those weeks during my past five years as a mama, and I've learned there is only one thing to do. Give up on those thoughts of catching up on chores, writing that synopsis, or doing anything else productive. Focus on healing in the form of snuggling in bed and watching free stuff on Hulu.

Yeah, my clever post title says Netflix, but I'm not even that fancy. I get my movies strictly from the library and whatever freebies are available on Hulu without a subscription.

But I've found some pretty good ones over the years, which you may also be able to find free on Hulu (though their availability does change), Netflix, your local library, or some online criminal underworld.

I tend to go for foreign films because they really transport me to a different world. My taste also skews a little…

My First Query Rejection

I'm happy to report that my first query rejection was prompt, courteous, and helpful!


Just a week after sending the query, I have received a response (from the VP of the agency, no less) including a brief note of apology, well wishes, and best of all, a reason for rejection: not drawn to the concept.

To be frank, this response exceeded my expectations! I had geared myself up to expect to wait weeks before receiving a few form letters and a lot of silence.

My plan now is to watch for whether a pattern of rejection emerges. If multiple agents tell me that my concept doesn't speak to them, I will not go ahead and start working on my sequel, as I had thought I would do. Instead, I'll pick up a new project from my pile of novel ideas, with a new concept, and see if I can write an even better potential debut.

And if no pattern emerges? I guess I'll have to consult with my writing group and then go with my gut on what to do next.

I'm feeling pleased with myself that I ope…

A Man of One's Own

Today is the 10-year anniversary of my secret elopement to the love of my life! I don't normally do this, but I'm going to post some advice today. I feel like I've earned the right to advise, now that I've completed a manuscript and the first decade of marriage.

Writers, if you're going to have a life partner, make sure that partner is supportive of your work. Your partner doesn't have to be a fellow writer. As my husband says, "I'm not a word worder." They don't even have to understand what you do--they just have to sympathize with why you do it.

My husband doesn't write or read fiction. He reads manuals for bike parts and electric cars and power tools. He reads poetry and collections of Zen koans and biographies of artists. But fiction, not so much.

Yet he supports my writing habit with enthusiasm, listens to me talk about it, and shows me things he reads that I would never find on my own, that connect with what I love in fiction. For e…