Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Good News? Bad News?

The other day, I found out from a friend at church that we both knew an author that has successfully published 12 book.  He's a great guy, and writing never came up as a conversation at church, so I had no clue.  Though I felt monumentally stupid for not knowing, she suggested that I ask him for help.

I totally blew the phone call.  It sounded something like, "Hi, I'm the accompanist from church and I wrote a novel and I have no clue what I'm doing and you rock socanyoureadmystuffformeplease!"  Once he recovered from the verbal assault, he asked me to email him the first chapter.

I received an email last night.  He wants to meet for coffee and discuss the chapter.  On the upside, the first chapter needs the most polishing before I submit it.  On the downside, I have no idea whether "discussing" will involved kudos or dope slaps.

My husband's right.  (Don't tell him I said that.)  It doesn't hurt me either way.  If he didn't like it, I'm certain he'll have constructive criticism because he's that kind of guy.  If he liked it, yay!

By the way, I'm in Phase 1.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The First Major Freakout Has Passed

Shortly after posting about my need for a developmental editor, I discovered what developmental editing would cost.  After I changed my underwear and removed the proverbial brick, I glided into a spiral of despair that went something like this:

1.  I don't have $4,000.
2.  I won't have it in the foreseeable future.
3.  My book won't get edited on the completely arbitrary deadlines I've set for myself.
4.  I suck.
5.  If I suck, my book sucks.
6.  Sucky books are hard to market, unless one has committed the crime of the century, has a huge fan base for reasons unrelated to writing, or knows the power of the carefully applied horizontal mambo.
7.  Sucky books are useless to edit.
8.  Therefore, I'm useless.

I spent a few days moping and absorbing the fact that all of my carefully laid plans were completely thrown off course.  I prayed a lot, asking if it was something I was supposed to do, even if it leads to things not even related to publishing, which is what I really, really want.  I was reminded that wanting something that badly is not a guarantee of success, thanks to this post from Nathan Bransford.  His blog entry made me feel pretty shitty, though it was no fault of his.  It just sucked the wind out of my sails rather abruptly, mostly because I honestly thought I was following his Ten Commandments. 

I don't like making mistakes.  I hate feeling foolish even more, which is why I was so upset.  I feel like I'm back on track, and actually made some very good edits last night.  With any luck, I'll learn how to switch from the, "SUCK!" setting to the, "AWESOME!" one.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Finding a Developmental Editor

As I near the end of my second draft, I'm starting to explore my options for hiring a developmental editor.  I feel this is necessary for several reasons:

1.  I'm a complete novice.  I write well, but I know my writing lacks the polish required for a professional-level manuscript.

2.  I want my novel to have the best possible shot at being published before I start shopping it around.

3.  Did I mention I'm a novice?

The options right now are overwhelming.  I need someone who enjoys urban (rural) fantasy, is compassionate, has had past clients succeed in becoming published, has experience in the industry, and has a wry sense of humor.  Any takers?  Anyone?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Wonders of No TV

My husband and I got rid of our TV service several months ago, and I can't say I miss it all that much.  Instead, we stream Netflix to our TV and love it. for hundreds of special interest and shopping channels, or download only what I want to watch with no commercials...let me think about that for a minute.

It's had a few unexpected side effects, however.

On the bright side, I find that not being bombarded with ads that I have to sit through has decreased my desire to buy shit I don't need.  I'm an incredibly careful consumer, provided I'm properly medicated, and can usually talk myself out of anything.  Even as skeptical as I can be, ads can instill an inane or over longing in my subconscious, depending on the level of dissatisfaction in a particular area of my life.  

If it's home organization stuff, I can just picture perfectly organized closets and drawers that would impress my husband so much that he would be inspired to put something away in the same place more than once.

Kitchen gadgets?  Blech.  No desire there.  Ever.  Even as cool as it would be to press mini-burgers, mini-burgers would lead to mini-buns, and mini-buns just might lead to making other pointless, tiny foods.  Tiny hor d'ouerves could lead to attempting to entertain every once and a while, which would require crawling out from behind the computer screen.  Oh, the horror!

Cool laundry stuff?  Tempting.  I bought some steamy balls, not the kind I'm offered within the bounds of marriage, but the kind that you fill with water and pop in with your clothes.  They pound and steam your clothes in the dryer.  Love them for instant ironing in the morning.  Not so much for actually drying clothes, like the manufacturer claims.  Last I checked, more water means more drying time.  The manufacturer also failed to mention the fact that it makes the dryer sound like mortar shells bursting in your basement.

I noticed the other day that there was a dark side to not being exposed to TV ads.  I was at our weekly folk band practice and my toddler was having trouble sleeping.  The room we usually pitch his pack 'n play in was taken, and we didn't think to put it in my friend's downstairs.  So, rather than move the play pen, I took my poor, hysterical little guy downstairs and snuggled him while watching CNN.  

Then, the inevitable commercial finally came.  Despite fierce resistance, the part of my brain that battles the desire to pointlessly consume had atrophied in the commercial-free prior months.  Commercial DSL service for $199.99 a month?  The hell, you say!  Sign me up, bitch!  I'll start a business to have that shit, despite my innate ability to lose money at business ventures!

Elliot had the good grace not to point and laugh.  He was busy charming my best friend's sister-in-law.