Friday, February 26, 2010

I got revisions!

I received a revision request!! I received a revision request!! From an actual editor. It's a big deal, because ... well ... this is the first revision request I've EVER received, on the first novella I ever wrote, from the first epublisher I ever submitted to. Lots of firsts, huh? Did I mention it came directly from an editor? The requests themselves are more structural in nature and will require some shuffling of things - but totally doable. There's no guarantee of course, and I keep repearting to myself 'I will not screw it up, I will not screw it up, I will not screw it up', but I can't help be EXCITED.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I don't like Romance

The word, that is. I decided it yesterday as I was combing through the 3 PAGES of options I’ve come up with for my tagline (but that’s a whole other problem). Maybe it’s just me, and the connotations the word has for ME, but it sounds so … old fashioned, I guess. I can’t even bring myself to describe what I write as ‘romance’ if anyone asks me. It doesn’t seem to ‘fit’ what I write. Yes, I write stories that have a couple working through an emotional journey and finding a need and love together that neither of them expected or even knew existed. And yes, they have some wild, monkey sex along the way as they figure it all out. But it's no hearts and flowers and music and holding hands, and - you get the picture. Maybe it’s simply that the word seems too tame to describe what and how I write. My work has very modern themes and language and is steamy to say the least. ‘Romance’ just doesn’t cut it. Anyone else with me or am I way out in left field on my own on this one??

Friday, February 19, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes...

If you could eavesdrop on a conversation between Cinderella and the Prince, what do you think they would be talking about? I thought I would get my chance to find out when I came across one of my 4 year old daughters playing pretend with her Disney figures. The Prince had muttered something I couldn't make out to Cinderella. And what would you think would be an appropriate response from Cinderella? Well, according to my 4 year old it was, "Are you shitting me?" LOL Did I mention she's only 4?  Mmm, wonder where she got that from?

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm a PRO!

That's RWA-PRO of course! I remember attending RWA Nationals last year with my 'first timer' ribbon (a big neon sign that said 'newbie') and seeing all the others with PRO and PAN ribbons. I kind of wanted to blend in and it made me feel conspicuous, to say the least. A good thing came of it though. It was a conversation starter for fellow newbies and I met another wonderful aspiring author. She had the guts to talk to me first! I really had no idea of all of the designations at the time, but swore by the following years conference, I would at least step on up to the next level. Of course, there were some hurdles - the major one being the controversy around Harlequin's status in RWAs eyes as an eligible publisher. Man, I'm glad all that was figured out and common sense prevailed! And of course, I had to complete a full manuscript, have it requested and send it off! I made it though! And now? It's early days. I've looked at the information on the RWA site, I've requested access to the PRO loop, I know there is a PRO retreat at the Nashville conference and that PRO members get priority for securing editor/agent appointments at the event. That's all good. Right? For the rest, I'm not certain, but it sure felt great to achieve such a tangible goal on this journey. That doesn't happen all that often. And now I'll have a PRO ribbon to wear in Nashville. It's silly I know, but wearing that ribbon will sort of make me feel like I belong there this year.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm ruined...

As a reader, that is. I'm now convinced of it. I've written on this blog before about how much my own reading has fallen off - and not just because I'm busy writing. I recently finished the latest release from a NY Times Bestselling author. I like her books - no, I love her books. I like the way she writes, I like her characters and she's certainly a 'I'll buy any book with her name on it' author for me and will remain so. I was really looking forward to reading this book. It was good, but not great and I don't think it had anything to do with her writing or the quality of it. It was me. All me. I've changed as a reader because 18 months ago I wouldn't have questioned the over-reaching secondary plot, I wouldn't have raised any eyebrows at the rapid POV changes, I wouldn't have felt disappointed at how/when conflicts were resolved, I wouldn't have thought some of the plot devices were predictable and I wouldn't have even considered the pacing of the book. I didn't even know what most of that stuff was! So, what gives? Is there anyone else out there that has experienced a changed reader experience? Am I really ruined as a reader?

Monday, February 8, 2010

I wrote a Novella!

I didn't mean to. I mean, when I thought about my 2010 goals, I wasn't planning to write a novella at the beginning of the year. I was browsing the submission information online for an epub and saw the details on the calls for submission. BAM! An idea just popped into my head. It was simple, short and the whole thing just seemed to outline itself. It wouldn't let go, it was so compelling. So I wrote it. In 7 days. I was amazed at how easily the words flowed, the word count I managed each day and how - exciting it was! I could come up with an idea, outline and write it to completion within 2 weeks! It was a heady feeling. I usually labor through a full ms until I think everything is perfect, but there's a certain freedom that comes in writing a short story compared to a full ms. Plus, I had a 'deadline' to work to. It had to be done and submitted by a certain date so I had to let it go. I don't use a lot of detailed description in my writing. It's not my style. I like action and dialogue to tell the story rather than describing it to the reader. A short story kind of forces you to write this way because you only have so much room to move to introduce the characters, get the reader invested in them, get all the conflict right and tell the story! It was liberating, empowering and wholly satisfying. I'm not sure if it was any good yet, but I think the experience was educational and well - inspirational really to get me through the next full ms I plan to start this month. After this, I definitely think I'll be writing another one - probably sooner rather than later!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

To query or not to query?

That's the question. I thought come the beginning of 2010, I'd start querying agents. But should I? Is now the right time? I know with the current publisher targets I have (Harlequin & epubs) I don't really need one, but I'm of the belief that an agent can still be beneficial in these situations and I'd like to eventually move into single title (probably a long way down the line of course). I have a full ms currently in the request queue at Harlequin. I pitched and got a full request on my own. I have a novella currently submitted to an epub and I'm waiting to hear on that. I have another full ms that I'm not exactly sure where it fits or what to do with it right now. In looking at all the agent guidelines for submission, it seems they really want to see a particular project pitched V an author and their potential. So, perhaps now really isn't the right time. Maybe I should complete another full ms before considering it so that I have a specific body of work to present that's not submitted anywhere? Maybe I should wait until I hear from Harlequin? Maybe I should still send a general query? I'm currently just rolling this goal from month to month not sure what to do with it now. Should I query now? Or not?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Why I Love Forums

I never thought I would. I really didn't think I'd click with this whole social networking 'thing' either. I come from the IT industry, but social networking? Please! Not for me, I thought. I started my blog last year as a kind of experiment. I wanted to see if I could actually get into the routine and discipline needed to maintain the thing. I wanted to see if I could come up with anything remotely interesting to say, because, what would I actually write about and who would care anyway? I wanted to see if it was something I'd have to force myself to do. Well, surprise, surprise! I found I actually enjoy it. Who would have thought? I give it to myself as a reward if I meet a certain goal for the day. In addition to blogging, I've discovered forums. Of course, I always knew they were there, but I thought 'what benefit could I really get from them'? I'm fairly self sufficient after all. They have an obvious educational value, a support value, a networking value, and a promotional value. They have all that, but the thing I love most about them? They're BLIND. I don't necessarily mean the annonymity of them, although that's part of it. I mean they're blind to social status, geographic location, cultural differences, economic situation and age. People come together with common interests, desires, dreams and aspirations and - connect. OK, maybe I'm kind of late to this party, but better to finally arrive than never get there at all, right?