Guess who’s done?
I’m done.
Done with the third draft.

Guess who’s happy, happy, happy?

After this is the typo check…

…and the language polish.

And then I’m done and sending out FJR.

I won’t lie. It feels really, really, really good to have done all that work and to see an end in sight. Three chapters left! It’s noticeably better thanks to all my peeps. I may take a day or two off after all that.

But then it’s on with real life….

Next on my to do list (a.k.a. March goals):
1. query letters and synopsis–out to 3 agents in March.
2. a YA submission for UGWP
3. 60 pages of New Novel: La Llorona Novel for CWC
4. finish critiques for all groups

Now Taking Requests…

…for March’s mentor of the month.

Choices are:
1. Lemony Snicket
2. Kate Chopin
3. Edgar Allan Poe
4. Thomas Hardy
5. Janet Evanovich

Christopher Moore Stuff

Went with Shane, John, Oliver, and Ali to see Christopher Moore in Boulder last night. Here are my notes:

1. It’s nice to see an author (a successful author, let me add) in the flesh because it proves that mere mortals are capable of having really cool careers.

2. If anyone asks me, at a book signing when the movie is coming out, I’ll be irritated. I swear, Moore had to answer at least five/six questions about movies that don’t exist while here was a perfectly good, perfectly entertaining (I hope–haven’t read it yet…) book that’s right in front of them. Books are okay, people! You don’t need fancy CG effects in your brain.

3. Two guys–older, trying to look scholarly, I fear that they may have been actual professors from the university but I hope they’re just wannabe intellectuals, passed our little group in the hallway asking whether Einstein had showed up because the place was rather crowded. We showed them our books and they go “Eh, never heard of him.” (One still asked Moore’s name after three of us showed them the cover.) Well, I’ve never heard of you or your man-boobs either.

4. We didn’t win the hat for traveling the farthest because Ali didn’t speak up (I tried, but she claims she doesn’t wear hats. I guess we know what to get her for her birthday)…and some guy from Wyoming thought he came farther. Hello! Geography people. Pueblo’s clear down to almost New Mexico.

5. By the time we got our books signed, I think Moore was feeling the strain of it all. He smiled but was obviously tired. I think, deep down, as much as he talked and dropped the *f* bomb and was all witty, he’s just a nerd writer like the rest of us. We’re not actors or musicians who have to constantly go out in front of people. We sit at a computer and type stuff and hope people read it…but we may not have the energy to talk to those people all night.

Mentor of the Month: Toni Morrison: Work

Seeing as how I’m going back to work today, a little depressed and more than a little pissed that I have to work, I came across this from What Moves in the Margin (the collection of essays that I’m using for our Mentor of the Month sessions…):

‘One day alone in the kitchen with my father, I let drop a few whines about my job. I know I gave him some details, examples, but while he listened intently, I saw no sympathy in his eyes. No “Oh, you poor little thing.” Perhaps he understood I wanted a solution to work, not an escape from it. In any case, he put down his cup of coffee finally and said, “Listen. You don’t live there. You live here. At home, with your people. Just got to work; get your money and come on home.”
That is what he said. This is what I heard:
1. Whatever the work, do it well, not for the boss but for yourself.
2. You make the job; it doesn’t make you.
3. Your real life is with us, your family
4. You are not the work you do; you are the person you are.’
–Toni Morrison, “She and Me” from What Moves in the Margin

I may as well have been sitting in the kitchen whining away when I found this passage.

Sometimes what you need to hear comes around when you need to hear it.

But I still don’t wanna go.

All right, dammit: New Plan.

Didn’t get all of the revisions done–forgot to factor in the fact that you actually have to do some new writing when you revise. Banged through a few chapters okay, but had to change stuff I wasn’t expecting, who knew there were so many little tidbits throughout that you’ve gotta catch?

Okay, new plan:
1. Finish revisions by end of the month…even if I have to stay up all night on the 28th.
2. Finish UGWP submission for Sunday.

And that’s all she wrote for February. I have to get these outta the way because my CWC submission is coming up again and I have I worked on anything new? Not nearly 50 pages worth.

I guess I was just so excited about having the time to work on the book that I underestimated how much work it was. I did get more than halfway through…which is much more than I would’ve gotten otherwise. And it is so much better, too. Even I, who have been so close to it for so long and was growing tired of it, saw it get better as I worked. Yay team!

That is not to say that I haven’t been despairing at points. Recently I’ve taken to reading the agent blogs and have been surrounded by bad news on the publishing front–so there’s been a part of me that goes, dammit, how am I supposed to make a career out of this? Especially when I read posts about the number of submissions that agents are getting. They’re gonna have to read through that much more crap to get to my stuff and then they may be too tired to recognize it-or perhaps breathe a sigh of relief because something good finally crossed their desk. (I believe that such is the case for American Idol judges as well, after a while your ears ring with badness, so you want to kiss the good ones. I don’t even sit through all the auditions and feel that way.)

Another depressing point is that today is my last day on ‘vacation’. Tomorrow, I have to wade through the same ol’-same ol’ after having a taste of what my real life could be like. That’s really bittersweet. Yes, it makes me want to work harder, but I’ll admit, it’s really, really depressing.