Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Love and Texts

I finished my revisions for Love and Texts last night, and now the betas are having a go at it. It's been such a wonderful distraction from Keridwen and much needed, but now, I officially have one full and two partials out for consideration of Keridwen, and for the first time, I'm completely at ease.  I just have to remember that if it's meant to happen it will.  In the mean time, Love and Texts looks SO much better than it did when I shelved it eight months ago.  It's funny how much I've developed as a writer since then, so when I opened it for the first time, I was aghast at how much needed to be done.  Of course, I still have so far to go as a writer, still, but comparing then to now is amazing.  It's encouraging to see the progress giving me so much hope for the future.

I queried a few agents with Love and Texts and haven't heard anything yet, but it's still so early that I'm not freaking out.  Work has been a great distraction keeping me busy with grading and planning.  I have to admit I love this time of year at school because there is zero down time.  The seniors are antsy for graduation and I still have loads of content to cover before graduation.  It really is quite fun. :) I don't have much more to report, but I'm hoping that in the next few months, I will have an agent who believes in my work as much as I do.  If not, I'll just keep writing.  Have a great night!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A New Way of Thinking

I have to admit that until today, I thought that self-publishing was not the right way to go.  I'm not going to say that I am sold, but after reading about Amanda Hocking's e-publishing success, it definitely makes me wonder.  Our world is in a different place than it was even five years ago.  We are now in the digital age, when more people have ereaders than ever before.  I have two manuscripts that repeatedly get rejected by agents who base their entire opinion on queries, which I respect and understand, but how many reject a query without giving an author a chance to meet their standards?  Though I would love to have an agent who would represent my work with courage and the connections in the publishing world, there is something intriguing about taking a risk.  E-publishing is a huge risk!

I realize that there may be no one reading my posts on here, but I also know that I haven't connected to Facebook.  I haven't told my students because I am not sure how much of myself I want out there for them, but if I were to e-pub, I have taught in three schools and lived in three states in eleven years.  The possibilities are endless since I have maintained contact with current and prior students along with made friends with teachers throughout.  I'm not afraid of hard work, so is it something I should consider?  I don't know yet, but I can say that I am mulling it over.

I have quite a few queries still floating in cyber space with two partials being reviewed.  I want to have high expectations, but I am a realist.  Becoming an agented writer with published books has the same odds as becoming a professional athlete.  I must tell myself the same thing I tell my students...you must have a backup plan.  I really believe in my current ms. and I know that with some revisions, my young adult romance could have serious potential.  I also know that I told a student today "If you don't believe in yourself, how do you expect others to do the same?"  I think it's time I follow my own advice. 

I WILL BE PUBLISHED...One way or another.  From this day forward, I believe in myself and all that I have to offer.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Queries

I wrote a new query and have sent it out to a couple of agents, but have received rejections on that as well.  I really don't want to give up hope, but my options are dwindling more quickly these days.  I must remind myself that it only takes one YES and all will be worth it in the end.

I know this is short today, but that is really what's on my mind.

IT ONLY TAKES ONE YES...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Value of Thank You

As a teacher, I realize that I have a thankless job. I don't expect thank you's everyday if at all, and I don't complain about that because I know that the real reward is when I see my kids crossing the stage at graduation, pass their state tests, or quite frankly read a book for the first time. The one a year thank you is awesome and greatly appreciated but in know way expected.

As I enter in the writing world, I've come across quite a few people whether it be other writers, assistants, agents, etc. I make it a point to say thank you whenever I receive even a sentence of help since this is foreign territory. I don't expect anything in return, but common courtesy is to say thank you, as I try to do.

Interestingly, I recently said thank you and was then blocked from the recipient's twitter account. I have to say that it was a bit disturbing. Is hearing thank you that offensive now because we have become a thankless society? If so, that is extremely sad. Is this what our world is coming to? Are we becoming people who do not know how to respond when someone shows appreciation by saying thanks? Is it that hard to take that extra 30 seconds to say you're welcome? I don't expect a you're welcome, but being blocked is like saying "you're a psycho" which I am surely not. I was just raised well and taught to always be courteous. Anyway, I suppose I can climb down from my soap box. I just wanted to put it out there to the space that a little kindness can take you a long way...or in my case, you can be blocked on twitter. I hold no hard feelings and will not be bringing it up again, now that it's off my chest.

I hope any reader of this has a great night and says thank you from now on. We really need to try to improve as a society one at a time.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

About Keridwen

Well, I feel it's time to discuss Keridwen. I have completed, edited, proofed, revised, etc. my third attempt at writing a novel. Keridwen is now to a point which I think it's ready, hopefully. Then again, I'm not sure if a book is ever really finished. That being said, many people I know have asked me what it's about and I shy away from talking about because my superstitious being doesn't want to jinx myself. :) well, here it goes...

An ancient oak box revealing the truth about a millennium old secret of druids living in the modern times changes the life of Caitlyn Brady forever.
 
Caitlyn, a fifteen year-old from the Sky Islands of Arizona discovers that her parents have been keeping a secret for over four hundred years revealing that they come from an ancient clan of druids who have assimilated into the modern world.  She, too, is a druid who must now learn how to manipulate earth via her druid blessing of Emergence.  At Keridwen, she befriends Druids of all three blessings (Rejuvenation, Emergence, and Shape shifting) all learning how to adjust into the “real world” in a special way.  All is well until she discovers that she is not your typical one blessing Druid, but rather an oddity – she has two blessings, which has only happened once before in Druid history, and that was with the only druid twins ever born. She must now assist in the protection of the Druid world’s most prized possession – a scroll that holds a piece of the soul of Genevieve, the dean of Keridwen, and the recipe to release Genevieve’s evil twin, Rhiannon. Now Caitlyn must face the possibility that her past may not be what it seems and her future may bring incredible danger forcing her to act 200 times her age.

There it is. :) it's been a long road, but I am excited to continue on my quest for publication.

I hope you all like it as much as I do. :)
Jamie

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Keeping the Faith

So, yesterday was a rough day.  I received a rejection on my full with no feedback.  It hurt.  I really sat and contemplated giving up due to the number of rejections I've already received, but I'm not a quitter - or at least not as an adult.  I sent out more queries yesterday and am crossing my fingers for at least a request for a partial, but it's hard to keep up the faith without validation of my writing.  There are two sides of my coin right now.  The first side is to appreciate any response and hope that it truly just wasn't a match.  The other side (Negative Nancy) thinks it might be better to hear the truth.  I don't know.

I am going to choose the first side today and keep the faith.  My ms. will find the right home.  It is going to take time.  So, I keep doing what I'm doing and teach and write.  That's all I can do at the moment.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekend Fun

My husband surprised us all and took us to the zoo this weekend in Phoenix.  It was a long drive, but well worth it.  I needed that time to alleviate some of the stress of waiting, so we walked and talked about the animals.  We even got to pet some stingrays.  Very exciting. 

I will admit that I checked my email over a one hundred times (maybe) and even called myself making sure that my phone was receiving calls.  I know...obsessive and potentially lame, but I know I'm not the only one. Now we're home and I get to lounge on the couch, watch some tv, and check my email even more, though I really don't want an email, I want a call.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Freaking Out

Today I received a request for a full.  I have to say that I am freaking out.  The agent in question prefers a strong voice.  I find that I am constantly asking my husband, "Do I have strong voice in the book?"  His response is "Yes."  I don't believe him, so I google what is voice in writing.  I read him the answer and he says "Honey, I really think that it's there."  I truly hope so.  I'm so biased when it comes to my own writing, as I am sure every author is.  It's hard for me to step back and think objectively without self-doubt. 

The email came when I was at Subway with my girlfriend who knows I have been writing.  I practically fell down being that this is my first request and it's from someone I admire in the industry.  I actually hit her at some point (not hard), and said, "Oh my God! I'm freaking out!" Now she wants to read it, and I think I may be more terrified for her to read it than anyone being that she is my best friend.  My husband, on the other, has read the entire thing and loves it almost as much as I do.  Together, we are waiting for a phone call or email, and to be completely honest, I want the phone call like I want water or even better Diet Coke.  But now I must wait.  I must wait for something to get me through.  It's going to be hard, but I will survive and I am sure that in ten years when I look back it will appear to be a minute in time, but for now it's an eternity. 

So, for now, I am going to try to read a book on my iPad and relax...yea right. I will write more tomorrow.  Good night.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rambling

Hi again, today my beta reader gave me some great suggestions, which I gladly took and used. I really hope that these changes push me far enough away from the similarities to make someone want to request a partial or cross my fingers a full.  Thank you to my beta!

Today, it dawned on me how much I love writing.  As much as it is a horrible waiting game, I don't think I could ever give it up.  I look back at my life (thus far) and realize that I have been writing since I was in the third grade.  It started with little stories on index cards, and didn't progress until my tenth grade English teacher gave us an assignment to write a short story.  I can remember sitting at my computer and writing the whole thing in one night on my Commodore 64 and printing it out with my dot matrix printer. 

In college, I took a workshop as an elective and changed majors shortly after to English.  I love it.  I can tell when I haven't written in a while because I get moody.  It's the ultimate therapy.  The best part about it is including a little of myself and then doing something I would never do in real life.  The possibilities are endless. 

Now, I am faced with the possibility of teaching a Creative Writing course at my school and I wonder if I am the right person to do it.  I'm the only one with a degree in CW and I have been published with a short story - once.  Still, I don't know if I am prepared to critique others when I am having a hard time even getting an agent.  These are just some thoughts.

Another random though...a student asked me why I don't self publish and my answer was simple.  Anyone can self publish with enough money.  I want someone to publish me based on merit and not my financial backing. If I never find an agent, then it's not meant to be, but I know that one day I will.  I will never give up. :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wonderful Distraction

OK, so I'm still waiting on my queries for Keridwen, my YA Fantasy about a 15 year old learning that she is a druid with the ability to manipulate all things earth.  It's a tough road, but I'm going to get there.  In the mean time, I am going back to All's Fair in Love and Texts, my YA novel I wrote a year and a half ago.  I'm work shopping my query letter and going to step back out there with that one as well.  I know it's a risk querying two at the same time, but I really love both and I'm not ready to let go of either one.  Quite frankly, I would be elated to see either one in print. 

Meanwhile, Spring Break is next week and I am going to enjoy some much needed down time.  I'm going to finish up my online class, enjoy not being at school, and play with my children.  I can't wait.  If I have anyone reading this, I hope it finds you well.  Have a fantastic night. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Silence

As much as I absolutely LOVE silence in my home, silence in my email is a totally different situation altogether.  It has been two days since I have received anything in my inbox relating to queries and as an aspiring writer, silence can be deadly.  I check in to querytracker daily and every day someone posts either a partial or a rejection.  I on the other hand have received nothing. :( The waiting is cruel, and I feel like I can't move forward until I hear something.  At least if I was receiving rejections, I would know to rework the query letter.  But with nothing, I can do nothing, so I sit and wait obsessively checking my email and querytracker waiting for something...anything.  Oh the joy!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Waiting on Queries

So, I mentioned in my first blog that I wrote a book.  Well, I started querying in December with only 3 or 4 and immediately got rejections.  Well, now I am up to 19 rejections and it is starting to get to me.  I have outstanding queries, and I have to say the waiting is the worst part of the process.  When I finished writing the manuscript, I told me husband that the easy part was done.  Finding an agent is like fishing in a lake with five fish - if you're lucky you will drop the line in the right place at the right time, otherwise, you will go hungry.