Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Still waiting...

It's still November, but only barely. Thanks to all who nominated WINGS OF LIGHT for the Whitney award. It is now officially up for the 2011 books in the General Youth Fiction category.

Some people are waiting for Christmas. Some people are waiting for finals to be over, or for the holiday break. Some people are rushing to get everything done in the next four weeks.

And I'm... feeling very much in limbo. Waiting. Waiting for my TCRG exam results. Waiting to hear from the agent who was kind to me. Waiting to see if good things are on the horizon, or if I'm back to being the same girl I was this time last year.

I have lots of good things in my life, don't get me wrong. It's just that I've been working hard for specific things, and now all I can do is wait to see what happens next.

I know I need to get busy too. And I will. It's not like I'm not busy... I just feel like I'm waiting.

In the meantime, thank you all you wonderful people who have made each day brighter.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November observations

It's been a different kind of November this year. Here's something I learned from my pool of author friends, and it seems to be true. Agents and publishers make decisions around Thanksgiving.

I'm not saying they don't make decisions all year round, but as writers, we sometimes get it in our heads that no one works in November and December. At all. Which simply isn't true.

I just heard from a fellow writer that her manuscript she submitted to a publisher nearly a year ago was accepted the other day. And another author reminded me that he signed with his agent a week before Thanksgiving. And another author recently signed with a big house last week. There are more stories than that, these are just a few.

I've been speculating as to why this is, and all I can come up with is National Novel Writing Month. As writers, we tend to view November as our sit-down-and-write-a-ton month. It's therapeutic- I mean, an excuse to write for hours on end is sort of like unlimited chocolate for a month. And it's professionally helpful- we get a good jump on a novel- or keep writing on that novel we've already started.

So where does that leave the book industry professionals? Good question. Here's where I jump to speculation. I would suggest that there are fewer queries in the month of November than any other month of the year. It's a guess, not a fact, but still something to consider.

And to support my theory of agents and editors having more time in November- I have received a handful of rejections from queries I sent out last April. Why November?

But more exciting by far, I was lucky enough to receive a full editorial letter from an agent with suggestions on how to make my book more marketable. Wow. I can't tell you what an honor that was. Even if she doesn't decide to sign me at the end of the process, I learned a lot. And after spending many hours with the piece, it is better for her efforts. That is priceless.

Of course, my heart nearly flattened when I read a rejection letter this morning- before I realized it wasn't from the same agent. Note to self- always read to the end of the form rejection letter so you know who it's from.

But still, it supports my theory that agents have a little more time in November. Here we are two days before Thanksgiving and I'm getting a rejection from a query sent last April (again). Oh yeah, I should mention that I stopped sending queries after April.

So instead of spending the month immersed in NaNoWriMo- I've done sort of a half and half. Half writing, half editing. And half dancing, half remodeling the front of our house and half housecleaning/laundry. Don't even bother mentioning my fraction skills. I've probably spent half the month helping my older boys with math homework too.

Are you taking November off of querying because you think it's a pointless month? My advice- if you're ready, go for it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Impossible Dream

Have you nominated a book for the Whitney Awards? Click on over and do. It's easy, and it's something you can do to encourage authors of your choice.

Yes, Wings of Light is eligible, should you feel inclined to make my day.

I've been thinking about writing goals, and general book industry things. The goal of writing in general has never been something I had stress too much about. I love writing.

It's figuring out how to juggle the industry and what I'm going to focus on there that is a little more ominous.

Do I spend a lot of time promoting the book I have out right now and hope that somehow a few more people discover how awesome my series is? It is awesome. I feel good about the soundness of the Alvor series.

Or do I let the marketing flop have its way and look to the future as I write yet another book and get back on the big house publishing horse?

It's a tough one. I usually lean toward the latter. If there is one thing that is clear in my mind, it's where I want to end up in my writing career. Sure, I'm not there- but the goal is. And I'm stubborn enough to keep working toward that goal. Loyal enough to not sway from what I want. And stupid enough to think that it's possible.

Shrug. I'm a writer.

And the beauty of writing- it has no time limit. I never have to quit.

I guess that's the beauty of life. No matter what it is, we all have the choice to make goals and keep them. To make life worth more because we put more into it.

Maybe you're like me and have such lofty goals/dreams that they seem impossible to catch. It's okay. If you don't know what you want, you'll never get it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I make imaginary people.

Some have imaginary friends. I make imaginary lives.

Which sounds crazy.

I love it.

You guessed it. I've drunk the writing juice and I'm riding the wave again. I'm in love with my character. Love who she is and what's happening. I don't know how I survived seven months without writing. It's like going without chocolate.

The horror.

But now I'm thinking about my story. Wanting more time with it. Which is why this post is going to be short. I need to get back to writing.

And, note to all you writers out there, bring the cord of your netbook with you when you leave the house. Yes, even the dentist's office has a place to plug in, if you bring the CORD. Darn the dead battery anyway.

Oh, and my poor seven-year-old with an infected tooth that made half his face swell up. He had it pulled today. I was going to let him play a game on my computer before I realized it was dead. He's recovering. He's going to have a black eye from the infection- at least that's what the dentist said.


Okay, enough rambing. Back to work!