Friday, January 25, 2013

Hurry up and wait...

I have finally ventured into the world of authors.  I have sent in a manuscript for review.

No I am not telling where I sent it in.  I refuse to jinx myself by talking about the specifics.  But let me say that there is NO deodorant that can hold up while you are typing that email.  I recommend maxi pads in your armpits if you are thinking of typing that email.  Even then a well-ventilated room and a fan maiden might prove useful.

Before that day, I made myself a spreadsheet of all the different publishers I thought might be a good fit for me.  (yes I am the queen geek)  I wrote down all the specifics for each publisher.  Where to send that initial query, who is the initial contact, what their formatting specifications are, the royalty schedule, and length requirements were all laid out in a very formulaic pattern.  I knew where I was going to go first, who I needed to send to, and had started writing my blurb, synopsis, and query letters. Do you know how many different lengths publishers want for a synopsis? The industry really needs to come together on this.  

Well, in the middle of all that I get an email.

"I know an editor..."

All my plans go out the window and I scramble to finish a fast final read through.  I don't know the protocol for emailing the editor directly!  It's not in my spreadsheet!!  *flails*

But I am given the opportunity to get my foot in the door.  I have to jump on it. So I send it in.  Now what?

You guessed it.  I wait.

Week 1: My story is great!  The editor is going to love it.  I can't wait to hear back.

Week 2: Well, maybe it's not as good as it could be.  Hopefully, the editor will  realize this is my first book.  Should I have put that I am willing to do revisions?

Week 3: My story is the worst thing I have ever written.  I hope the editor won't spit on the computer screen while reading.  I would hate to get sued for the repair bill. Maybe it's best if I don't hear back.

Then I was checking my emails like I do every morning and there it sits.  THE EMAIL.  The editor loved it!  I think my sanity would have been questioned if the way I danced around my living room would have been video taped. Pretty sure the moves I did, held no rhythm consistent to any song in existence.  Good thing I was at home and not checking my email on my phone in public.  I would have been dancing just as badly regardless of where I was.

There is nothing better than a stranger telling you, that your story is good.  Nothing better.  It falls in line with sex, chocolate, and bacon.  That good.

Now I am in the system.  I got positive news.  What's next? More waiting.  I have a few more weeks to tear my hair out and believe myself the most inept author in the world, but for right now, I am going to take the praise.  I am going to frame the email, and I am going to have a beer and toast a day in my life I will never forget.  Cheers.

Tonight, I celebrate.

Tomorrow, I wait.

Monday, January 21, 2013

New Year, New Goals

Well, I kind of disappeared for a few months, didn't I?  The holidays do that to me.  I lose track of myself and work so hard to get things done for everyone else.

I got a fabulous present this year in my stocking.  I have my registration for the RT Convention paid for!  I have been to a couple conventions as a reader, but this time I registered as an aspiring author.  I have a few cards and a few goodies to give to people I have met and who have supported me in my efforts to move from "aspiring" to "published".

I also don't want to take advantage of this gift.  So one of my goals for this year is to submit two different manuscripts before attending the conference.  Maybe I can drop the "aspiring" part of my registration. ;p

I didn't post any New Year's Resolutions yet, because I have been doing some real soul-searching about what is feasible, what I want, and what I am willing to give up to get there.

So here goes.  I am putting down my goals for the year.  You are all going to hold me accountable right?  Keep me in line?  Crack the whip?  I need a little help with that.

1. Finish writing and editing my PNR trilogy.
 I have stalled on book three.  It is going to be significantly longer than the first two.  I have my ending.   I just need to finish the journey my heroine takes to get there.

2. Start a writing spreadsheet.  Keep accountable and write at least 5k new words per week.
I have a heavy work load two days out of the week, but the other five days there is no reason I can't get a thousand words down.  I need to get into this habit.

3. Read one book on the writing craft every month. 

A present from a great friend made me realize I have a quite a few books that I have been meaning to read. I have a lot of valuable information at my fingertips.  Time to pick them up.

4. Come out of the Erotica closet with my immediate family.
My family knows I am writing.  They don't know the heat level.  With my stories getting ready to go public, I need to come clean about this aspect. I am not ashamed of what I write.  And if I am honest with myself, I have always been a bit of a black sheep.  I am proud of how sexually free and fun my characters are.  They have no regrets about themselves, so I should have no regrets about writing them.

5. Find a way to pay it forward.
The main reason I began this journey was due to my friends and loved ones.  I have some incredibly supportive people who believed in me when I wasn't so sure I believed in myself.  I want to find a way to show them appreciation and create that same amazing feeling in someone new.

I am not a twenty-something who knew what she wanted to be right away.  I am just a woman who is discovering who she is, and who she was meant to become.  I am trying to enjoy the journey, and hope to make steps towards "me".  I use a pen name, not because I am hiding, but because I am reinventing myself.  There is more truth in who we create ourselves to be, than in who others have tried to mold us into.  For the first time in as long as I can remember, I am working towards my goals, and not someone else's expectations.

Do you have any goals you are working towards?  Anything you want to accomplish?  Post them here, or post them where you can see them.  Let's hold each other accountable.  Or at least hold hands when the reality gets a bit scary. :)