All in God Time

I know I’ve been away awhile. There are a few reasons for that.

1. My MS was ultimately rejected by publisher who had raved about it months ago.

I’ll share that rejection later when the MS is sold. I’ve decided not to kiss and tell regarding actual comments until the book has a home. It’s amazing how one person’s opinion can quickly be adopted by another whose read it. But I promise I’ll share when I can.

I was so depressed after this rejection letter. For one day, I moped, and contemplating giving up. Maybe God hadn’t called me to write. Maybe working on a book for 2 years was a waste of time. I didn’t know. So, I prayed and God answered. I had such a peace come over me. No voice came from Heaven “Thou shalt write!”, but I decided whether or not this book was ever published, that was fine. Really. God’s plans for me are always better than the ones I’ve made for myself.

I told God I trust Him. Maybe the book will get published, maybe I needed to write it simply for experience, or maybe it was only meant to be read by the dozen or so test readers who’ve already seen it.

The very next day, April Fool’s Day, I received an e-mail from a very big agent fish. He was starting a file on me and was considering pitching my book and taking me on. Notice no exclamation point? Because I’ve come this close before. If he does sign me, fantastic! If he doesn’t, the sun will still rise and I’ll still be trusting God for His very awesome plan for my life.

Big agent fish will let me know mid-June if he’ll be pitching my wares, he says. What’s another few months?

2. The second reason I’ve not be diligent with my blogging is I’m preparing for a writer’s conference next week.

I am so excited! I went last year and doors opened. I met my friend Ane who introduced me to her writer’s critique group, which parlayed into another and now yet another. Theses groups have improved my writing immensely.

I made a couple of friends that I stay in close contact with. We encourage each other in writing and life and share insider information and contacts.

I met some published authors who’ve been helping me throughout the year, giving me advice and endorsements. TIP: ENDORSEMENTS WILL GET YOUR STUFF LOOKED AT!

I’ll try to blog again in the next day or so on how to prepare for a writer’s conference. I’ll offer some advice I was glad to have gotten ahead of time, and some I wished I had.

Trust God, for your writing and for your life. Remember when you desperately wanted to marry Sean Cassidy, da do run run? Aren’t you glad God didn’t answer that prayer? Okay, so that was me.

What’s Another Two Weeks?

As I may have already written, I queried a publisher about my novel, Saving Eden, back in September. The editor invited me to send the first 3 chapters, synopsis and my bio, which, of course, I did.

In December, I received a very enthusiastic response from the editor telling me: Wow! great read. A tight, page turner, etc. (Gina blushes).
He asked if I had already sold the story. (I wished). If I hadn’t already placed it, he would love an exclusive on the full MS. He said he’d like to take the MS to committee “early next year”. He preferred it via e-mail attachement. So, it was out the next day.

I e-mailed him a month or so ago and was basically told, this process takes lots and lots of time and to stop checking my inbox.

Well, I figured it’s been over 3 months since I sent the full MS. If I never check on it, I may never hear back. Perhaps he didn’t even remember that he had the ding-dong thing.

I e-mailed him the other day and expected to get a quick rejection letter just for bothering him, but luckily did not. (I’ve noticed a pattern when I request an update on work an agent/editor has had a long time I usually get a quick rejection. I think it makes their life easier that way. But have I learned my lesson? Obviously not.)

The editor answered and said an outside reader had just finished the MS and he wanted to send it out to one more. I should drop him a note in 2 to 3 weeks. May as well be 2 to 3 years. That’s the way it feels.

He didn’t give any indication whether reader 1 liked or hated it. That can’t be a good sign.

But, it can’t be a terrible sign that he’s sending it out to another reader. Can it?

God willing, I’ll be going to a writer’s conference in April and a representative of Westbow will be there. I think they too would be a great fit for my work. So, I’ll wait until the last minute to bug him again. I’ll need to know if I should be pitching my book at that conference.

Last year at the same conference, I felt sure that next conference, I would be up at the podium sharing my success story. Maybe I still will be. Maybe not.

It seems in life, things start to happen when I let go and let God. And I have in a sense. I’ve finally handed it over to Him. He knows what’s best for me. This publisher may reject my book, only to have it picked up by a bigger publisher. Or, it may not be for my best to have this book bought at all.

Only God knows and His plans for me are always better than those I’ve made for myself.

Cook Soup Before Serving

When I wrote my first novel it was as though I were possessed. I woke up most morning s around 4:30 and wrote until the kids woke around eight. I’d finished the rough draft in about six weeks.

And man, was it rough.

I spent a year and a half rewriting it.

My second novel was going to be different. This time I belonged to a writing critique group and I planned to edit as I went. I tried to write an average of one new chapter a week, while editing the previous chapter as suggestions came through the crit group.

This was working quite well…until now.

I am about 130 pages into book number two and it does read quite polished. But I’ve lately gone through a bout of writer’s block.

Something isn’t right and I can’t figure out quite what it is yet. The more suggestions I get from my group, the less sure of my story I become.
Sometimes in writing, the worst thing you can get is feedback. And that time is before the story has been worked out. I’m not sure where I want to go with it and the more outside suggestions I get, the more off track of my original vision I get.

One of the things I’ve read time and again is to write the book first before anyone else’s eyes ever see it.

I didn’t think that was the way to go for me. But as I sat considering throwing my computer out the window in frustration. I think maybe that’s right.

I haven’t ironed out my plot, subplots among other things and these ideas need to stew in my mind without others adding their spices to the pot. Afterall, the final recipe will have my name on it.

Once the first draft is finished, back to critique group it will go.
And my editing friends will make my concoction so much more palatable than I ever could have without them.

The Best “How To” Books on Writing

Tonight the UPS truck stopped at my house and dropped off a small brown package.

I got a new book!

I don’t know if all writers excited at the thought of reading yet another “how to” writing book.

I can’t get enough. I don’t think I’ve ever read one and not gotten at least one morsel of new knowledge from it.

Here are just a few titles I’ve learned much from:

1. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers (Browne and King)
2. Noah Lukeman’s The First Five Pages
3. Stephen King’s: On Writing
4. The Marshall Plan
5. First Aid for Fiction
6. Handbook of Short Story Writing (Volumes I and II by Writer’s Digest)

I’ve read so many and each one brings something new. How to books are great for learning but no more so then reading novels in ones chosen genre.

Who would you rather operate on you: a surgeon whose read about an operation or a surgeon whose seen it?

I know what you’re thinking…I’d rather have one whose actually performed the surgery! Ahh….and that’s the other component to learning to write well…sit down and write.