First - a couple of random thoughts:

1. The frozen dinner I had for lunch puported to contain chicken and stuffing with mashed potatoes. What I found inside the box were two strips of chicken sitting atop a pile of soggy croutons smothered in gravy. Ah those crazy marketers... you're a wily bunch who rule the world with your versions of the truth... lol

2. This morning as I drove into work, a security guard - who I've never seen before - said, "welcome back!"... How did he know I was out yesterday?...

On to the nibbling...

Yesterday I sent out several more query letters. It was a matter of getting off my duff, delving deeper into the database and taking more chances (primarily broadening the search parameters from 'paranormal romance' to 'women's fiction' and 'commercial fiction').

...and it might just pay off! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

This afternoon I checked my email and the dread filled me... a response... if I opened it would it tell me that they appreciated my submission but it was a pass... or... *click* ... would they?... *gasp* ... did they just?... OMG, they did! They just requested the full manuscript! Someone wants to read my story! Someone that I don't know!!! Someone who knows publishers!

For those of you who write, you know how monumental this feels... It's not a rejection. It's not a yes, but it's closer to a yes than I was yesterday... and they requested a full, not a partial. It's step 0.5 in the process of getting published, but it's a step that I've certainly never taken before. It's exhilerating and terrifying, because now it's real, now I have a shot - and I'm a perfectionist, so I don't know if I'm ready. After the immediate thrill, there was horror: Did I sell myself short? Is it the best it can be? Did I edit it as much as it needs to be edited? Should I have waited for all of my proofers to finish it first? Did I jump the gun? The only solution I could come up with was to trust that I have put a lot of effort into it, and hope that they like it despite its flaws.

I'm open to criticism. I know a lot of people say that and don't necessarily mean it, but I am. I'm proud of what I've written, but I recognize that there's always room for improvement, and I am definitely willing to listen to the professionals. As I've gotten copies back from my proofers, my thought process has been to:

-- Immediately recognize the critque as valid and make the change (spelling, grammar, things out of sequence, comments that strike a chord)

-- Take the critque into consideration and decide whether I agree with it or not, and if not, I wait to see if more than one person brings up the same issue (grey area)

-- Completely ignore it as irrelevant (something I intentionally wrote to be ambiguous, something that will play into the second book)

Typically I toggle between the first two. I don't get upset with the person for being honest, because I'm asking them for honesty (I do request that they be nice about it though). I don't take it personally, even though it's sometimes difficult, because it is all a matter of opinion and there's no point in getting upset about it. I'll tell you something - being a proofreader takes guts, and I am humbled that my friends agreed to do it, that they trust me not to become irrational!

I know just about diddly about agents (with regard to who the best one is). I read their profiles and usually try to find a sentence that jumps out at me... loves a good vampire story... enjoys finding new talent... really likes a hero with a sense of humor... something that resonates with me. I sort of judge them the way they judge me, to see if I think we're a good fit. I honestly don't know who I'll end up with, only that I will know when it feels right, and that will be the perfect agent... for me.

To put a perfect cap on the day - it looks like it might rain! We need rain... but... yesterday it looked like it was going to rain, too... and it did a lot of grumbling, but not much raining... Right now the sky is a very, very dark grey... Eh, I have pizza coming (the world's best pizza)... and if it rains, I'll feel bad that the poor delivery guy had to get out in it to deliver my food... so it's definitely going to rain... because I feel too good right now and I need to be taken down a peg (kidding... I don't really, I'm humble I swear!).

Oh yeah... I hear the sweet, sweet sound of heavy drops hitting the concrete (and just in time for the pizza guy, as I predicted)...
Mary C
8/14/2009 10:16:13 am

Still trusting you won't become irrational.

Mary C
8/14/2009 10:19:12 am

But mostly, I'm eagerly anticipating the party we'll have when you get a release date for your published book!


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