Saturday, November 28, 2009

My First Submission

In a time full of firsts, here's another one: I finally sent in my first submission! After touching up my manuscript (again-- is it ever really over?), I sent it in to Scholastic. They don't usually take unagented submissions, but because I recently went to a writing conference where an editor from Scholastic was speaking, she gave everybody in attendance 90 days to submit one. Of course, I couldn't turn down a chance like that-- even if the likelihood that she'll accept it is extremely unlikely. But, who knows? Maybe a year from now I'll be blogging about how I got published by the very first person I sent a submission to (we all can dream, right?).
So now, my goal is to find an agent. I have a growing list of options, and I've decided to try to send something out to two agents a week, until I run out of agents. Why not send to all of them on my list right now? Because each agent likes specific things and I need to revise my query for each of them. It takes a little bit of work.
I'm also starting on the second book. I know exactly how it's going to start-- and end. It's the whole middle part that's a little foggy. I've even got the third book worked out (beginning and end). I really need to get the second one written-- so I can then spend countless hours revising it. Hmm, maybe I'll wait until after Thanksgiving weekend to get started on that...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My First Critique Group

Last night I went to my first critique group. There are about 15 women in the group, all who write various forms of literature and a good number that are published. I really enjoyed it.
We each had seven minutes to read the material that we brought, and then another three minutes of critique (time was kept on a timer). Everybody was positive with each other, but offered some very helpful things.
No, nobody jumped for joy or begged emphatically for more after my seven minutes was up (I'm still waiting for that reaction from somebody-- anybody. Sometimes I wonder, did the people who read the first chapter of Harry Potter or Twilight instantly know what a hit it would be some day? Not that I expect that sort of success ever, but I still wonder).
Overall, the meeting was very helpful and the ladies offered me some good suggestions that I will definitely take. The greatest part about it was just being able to interact with other people who enjoy the same things I do, and see their minds at work.
Can't wait for next time.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The "In Crowd"

When I was in junior high, I distinctly remember sitting in the cafeteria, staring longingly at the "cool table." I watched the cheerleaders with their boyfriends in tow, their cute little skirts, the jelly bracelets stacked high on their wrists and their teased up in just the right way (yes, that's how old I am). I longed to be part of that table so much it hurt.
Then I grew up. I learned to like myself more, to be less worried about what other people think. In fact, my "cool table" envy disappeared entirely... or so I thought.
But it has returned with a vengeance. Every time I see an author's blog, read their success stories and how they got published, learn about the long lines at their book signings, the old feelings come back so strong I can feel it in my bones. I want to know these people, go where they go, do what they do. I want to write about my trip to New York to promote my book, give thanks to my countless fans, celebrate the UK edition coming out soon. I want to be in the "In Crowd."
Maybe someday... sigh...