A full request!

Hello, ladies and gents,

I just wanted to jump up and down for a moment because an agent has requested the full manuscript for Following Julia Roberts!

Whether or not anything comes of it is beside the point right now, because I’m assuming that everyone has their fingers crossed. *Peering at everyone’s hands* It’s my first full request!

Commencing with the jumping for joy….

Oh God, Oh God, Oh God

I just hit the ‘send’ button on the query/five pages submission, and about passed out.

My brother is laughing uproariously in the backgroud–ranting about how the first submission is always rejected.

I’m trying to think of it all as a short story submission. I’ve just been working on this short story for a couple years, that’s all. Right? Right. And it’s just one submission. One thing in one space of time. You can’t win it if you’re not in it. Cowboy up. Suck it up. Move onwards and upwards. Etc. Etc. Etc. Yeesh.

But, hey, I did it!

A different kind of critique…

I handed my ‘finalized’ version of FJR over to my mother to check for typos and so that I would have a cold reader to go through it. Recently she gave me the first half.

You know how we talk about constructive criticism? Well, my mom is hilarious. She definitely circled typos and did her bit. But scattered throughout are her personal pet peeves.

Part of my novel is in first person, next to one of those pieces is the note: “I hate first person.”
The novel is not linear, hence the note: “I hate time jumps.”
And my personal favorite…there’s a spot where I wax poetical about the distances on maps and how far away one person is from another and she writes: “Guess it’s time to get a GPS.”

That kind of honesty is actually strangely refreshing.

There was a good critique though–normally she hates the stories that I tell. They’re just too dark for her sensibilities (and I write in first person every now and then and don’t tell things in a straight line). She said that she spaced out on the critiquing/typo check and read because she was actually enjoying it. I guess if she enjoys a story that contains a lot of her reader pet peeves, I think I’m okay. We’ll see what she thinks about the end.

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

Nervous energy.

Tonight the CWCers will be giving me feedback on the 2nd draft of FJR. I admit to feeling a bit stressed because I so want it to be close to submitable. (I also hope they don’t read this before hand and adjust comments…so: no adjusting people!)

Here’s the thing when you’ve put so much work into something–it’s easy to want to let go, to let the thing go forth into the world and wow the world, etc. And it’s really hard to admit that there might be even more work needed. I mean, enough’s enough right?

But the truth is, sometimes you just have to keep plugging along. I’m hoping that my next plug won’t be as intense, though. In the recent Poets and Writers interview with the ‘new guard’ of agenting the agents talked about how a book needed to be at a 6-7 and they would help make it a 10. Right now I’m okay with a 5 that I can turn into a 6-7 and then submit within the next month or so. Then just rewrite for folks who might be paying me.

Assuming the publishing world hasn’t exploded by then.

Printing in progress

Three cheers for me! Finished the manuscript!

Now let’s just hope the printer holds out. It’s going through a lot of paper at the moment. Yeesh, death to the forests I guess.

I’m trying very hard not to focus on the thoughts going through my head
It’s not perfect.
You’ve still got that typo.
You didn’t correct the earlier critiques.
This will never make you a living.

I must tell those thoughts to shut up because you know what?

I have never finished a second draft of this magnitude before. I wrote a novel once upon a time and it’s in the ‘once upon a drawer’ drawer. But it’s just a first draft. Now, I’ve actually taken another step in the learning how to write ladder. It’s a good thing. So I should just shut up and enjoy it. Moving on and up!

What did I do?

Like an idiot, I asked if the CWC crew would be willing to do a ‘full novel’ read through–which involves handing in:

1. full draft of novel (like the name implies)

2. list of agents I am considering submitting to

3. rough draft of the synopsis that I would hand in to said agents

4. copy of query letter for said agents

I was hoping I would be a lot further along on finishing the draft than I am. Looking at the mess of paper in front of me I have another five chapters to do before I even touch at the query/synopsis process–something I’ve never actually tried before.

One of those chapters is the last chapter, which has always been the hardest one.

Here’s the good news. I do think it’s better than the first draft. And it’s always a plus to be progressing.

October Goals–A Little Late

So, I’m a little late on the goal thingy. Ali has called me a slacker and that I’d better get in gear. All true.

Basically my goals are to get the critiques done for both groups and write all the scenes that need to be added into FJR. And figure out what order they go in.

The good news? It requires writing new pages. The bad news? I’m tired of my characters–it’s like spending time with one friend and all of my other friends are going: Where’d you go? And FJR keeps me from making new friends. She’s that needy, demanding friend. It’s a little irritating.

How does one plunge through? My guess is that I’ll have to make my new scenes really freakin cool. I may blow shit up. That could be fun.

May is Over, June is In

I didn’t really set any goals for April or May. At first I decided that I would pat my back for things I got done and not worry about what I set out to do.

Apparently praise doesn’t work for me. I didn’t even do a decent blog session this month.

So, back to goal time (and there are a lot now…)
1. 50 pages of revision for FJR
2. finish critiques for the Underground Writers Project (the tentative new name for the Sunday Group)
3. Finish critiqes for the Creek Writer’s Council (and while there are only three, there’s a lot of paper, lemme tell ya)
4. 10 pages of The Guardian (part of my kids series)
5. and a stretch goal–yeah, because I need stretching with those other slacking goals–is to finish the first chapter of The Guardian for the UGWP.

Off to work on getting some check marks.