Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hard at work.

This has been a week or two of hard work. I gave myself a challenge with a completed manuscript. Trim it and use the exercise to learn how to write tight. This, as many of you know, means killing off your darlings. Jenny Crusie taught me that. But, I may have also killed a manuscript. Ha, ha. It was a risk, but one that energized me. I had this one line that I loved on the bottom of the second page and I kept trimming all around it until I realized it had to go. It ended up like a pimple right on the end of your nose. No amount of concealer could hide it. It just stuck out there, all red and throbbing, drawing all kinds of attention. But you know, when I finally cut it, it was okay. I felt a certain relief that it was gone. Yet, I'd loved that line for so many months. Strange, huh?

I'm going through another stage of thinking I should be more proactive. I'm such a wuss. I take little baby steps and research an agent or two then remain loyal while awaiting their rejection to my query or partial submission. It's so sad. I've decided to do what Bob Mayer told me years ago, get at least batches of five or ten queries out at a time. It's going to be difficult for me though. It's not my style. I feel like I'm cheating. However, I have two stories that I think are polished and ready to go. I had to withdraw my submission from an agent who I would have enjoyed feedback from. Maybe some time in the future she'll let me resubmit. That was the manuscript I'd trimmed, and I'm talking deep edits here. From 86,000 words to 62,000. I love the story. I've sent it off to Silhouette to see if it suits their Romantic Suspense line. Who knows? It might. It would be great if it did, because if not then it has nowhere to go. It would be too short for any other house.

My son came to visit last weekend. It was lovely to have company. The dog was thrilled. Summer months are hard in the desert because we go out early to walk, then walk in the late evening once it cools down. There's this huge long day in which I entertain myself by writing and the dog just moves around the house choosing different spots in which to nap. I think she was quite depressed to find out on Monday that life had returned to it's same slow pace.

If it hadn't been for the Summer Olympics I'd have died of boredom this year. Now I have the humor of politics for a while, that keeps me entertained. Plus reading. I usually read at least four books a week. Yesterday I picked up a book at the market. It was by an author I love and I didn't recognize the title or the cover, so didn't even read the back cover copy. I was pretty mad when I got home and discovered it was a re-release of one of her books from five years ago, they just slapped on a new cover. I hate that. When Nora Roberts' books are re-released it says so on the cover. I mean what avid reader can remember commercial fiction she read from four or five years ago?

Two of my writing buddies had excellent news this week. One got a request from Harlequin to hurry up and send the rest of her manuscript. Like they wanted it pronto! The other got her contract from the agent of her dreams. Way to go ladies. It's my turn next. Heh. Yay! It's nearly September. Two or three more weeks and we'll be back to gorgeous days and even more wonderful evenings. I can't wait. So now, back to the keyboard to write so I can have time to play once the cool weather arrives.

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