Spring has finally arrived and I’m buried in work! It’s been almost two months since A Risk Worth Taking released and now that the blog tour has finished, I’ve been hiding from Twitter and all time-sucking cyber places! My deadline for the final Red River Series book (Evan’s story) is fast approaching-less than three weeks! During that time, I’m also expecting edits on my second Red River Series book (Jake & Claire’s story). As soon as my book is handed in on May 15th, I’ve got to dive right into another manuscript that I’ve barely started, and it’s due in July…so it’s going to be pretty nuts around here! On top of all that, I’ve also just handed in a project for my agent to review…it’s something really special to me, and I’m not really sure where I found the time to get it done, but I did!
I’m so happy it’s Spring…kids have been sick so many times this winter and it feels like we’ve had very little down-time. I’m looking forward to getting together with friends, barbecues, and warm weather…and writing!
…who is currently responsible for all of my problems right now. Well, not all. A few, I guess. Remember that little partial that I was complaining about for weeks? And that I was too chicken to send off to my editor directly so sent it to my agent first? Being the super-woman-super-agent that she is, got back to me the same night with a reply…
She loved it-but felt the first few pages weren’t necessary. So she suggested I re-work the opening, but said it was just a suggestion. Of course, I went and flipped open the document, re-read it, and thought, D’OH! why didn’t I think of that?? She was so right. I emailed her back and said of course I’ll change it-and have it back to you by the end of the week. I guess tomorrow is technically the end of the week. This is going to be a short post, because well, I need to get back to this.
As I was reading through the first few pages again, all I kept thinking was how could I have missed that the opening of this book was really just the thoughts and inner musings of this man? I’ll tell you why-he’s very charming. Deceptively charming. And he says and thinks a lot of very clever things. And quite handsome. I think I had a little too much fun writing him.
So now, he makes his appearance on page 4…and we begin with action-because my heroine is a force to be reckoned with herself. This proposal will be officially gone again as of tonight. And then I really will be heading back to that other, um, book that my agent asked about…
This past week has been filled with ups and downs.
The week started with a bang, as DS was officially on summer vacation. It was slightly-no-extremely-louder than usual around the house. So loud and disruptive in fact, that DH who works from home is now looking for an office outside the home. Seriously. This was only Monday.
I took the kids to our favourite farm, where they got to feed the animals, eat freshly-picked strawberries, strawberry muffins (well, DD chucked her strawberry muffin at unsuspecting passerby) and I got to browse the charming little store.
DS is officially registered in his new “big-boy” school for September where he’ll be entering grade one.
Wednesday night, I received a phone call from my agent. We touched base on what I was working on and I was able to ask her about a long-term project that I’ve had on the back of my mind (I’ll fill you in on that later). And then she also gave me some really exciting news from my editor at Entangled, which I can’t share just yet. That news totally made my night and I can’t wait to share the details when I get them!
And then Thursday happened, and that’s when everything got derailed. I took my parents to meet with my father’s oncologist. My father has been dealing with prostate cancer, and while his prognosis is excellent, the doctor is recommending a round of radiation therapy. This news kind of took us by surprise. But it’s something that was looming on the horizon, and now we have to deal with it. Sooner rather than later. So the next day, it was back to the hospital to start the ball rolling. Radiation will start in July and it’s 5 days a week for almost 8 weeks. We do have a lot to be thankful for, the doctor is very certain that this course of treatment will be able to eradicate the cancer.
DH and are I trying to figure out the logistics. While we both have flexible work schedules, if we take time off during our work day, it just bleeds into all other part of our downtime. I think I will end up taking one kid with me to the hospital to drive my parents. Time at the hospital should be around 40 mins total we’re told. So, all in all it will probably eat up about 2 hours of every weekday for the 8 weeks. And while this is going to be a crazy summer, it feels so good knowing that we can help my parents, and that my father’s prognosis is so good. Hopefully the side effects will be minimal and we can keep him positive and happy.
Saturday was spent trying to get a handle on the house that once looked like a house, but has now succumbed to the chaos that has become our lives. By the end of the day though, it was looking like a home again. Then DH got my shiny new blog up and running-what a guy!
The week didn’t end there, of course. Today I was supposed to go to a bridal shower for a dear friend of mine and as I was getting ready, DH came down with a horrible, horrible migraine. He lost sight and everything. So, as badly as I felt for cancelling last minute, I had to. I stayed home with the kids while DH crashed upstairs. DS and I ended up baking some chocolate chip cookies together.
And well, speaking of roller coasters, tomorrow we’re heading out to Canada’s Wonderland…let’s hope that’s the biggest ride we’ll have to deal with this week.
So last week, I plunged into revising my first book in a connected series. The second book is finished and sent to my agent. But the first book in this series had been written 2 years ago so it needs some serious TLC. I’m still cringing at some of the things I’m finding in this manuscript LOL…
But, the good news is that progress is being made. I’m still challenged time-wise, but I’m making the most of any free time I’m given. Every Monday DS has a sports class that he goes to after school for one hour. Usually, I pick him up from school, bring him home to change, he eats his snacks in the car, and then DD and I drop him off. Then DD and I go and walk around the mall for 45 minutes, and then go back and pick him up. BUT, last week, DD decided to keep sleeping and since DH was home…I left her sleeping.
BLISS. So what did I do with a whole 45 minutes to myself?
Drove to the nearest Timmy’s (hey, it’s Roll up the Rim, remember?) and then drove back to the ugly parking lot outside his sports class and pulled out a notepad and pen, and did an outline for the current book in the car. I was able to jot down some scenes I wanted to add, some funny dialogue, and drink my coffee…in peace.
So it wasn’t a pretty little coffee shop, but it got the job done!
Well, there is nothing as humbling as pursuing publication. Really…well, besides hospital stays where any modesty you ever had is gone…but that’s another post…
When you’re putting your work out there for someone else to evaluate, words and characters that you’ve put together in the wee hours of the night (or morning) and no one has seen them but you, it can be pretty scary. After all, your characters may say things that make you laugh out loud or snicker or cry, but that’s you…and maybe you’re crazy. Right? Don’t you ever wonder, “am I the only one that thinks this is good?” And despite how real your characters are to you, you ARE still laughing by yourself in an empty room…
And then when you finally get up the nerve to let your characters out into the big, bad world, they get sent back to you. Sorry. Not good enough.
So, last week or maybe the week before, I emailed my new manuscript to my agent. Now, I haven’t signed on that long ago with her, so this process is still new to me. And this is only the second book she’s seen from me, so I was um…a *little* nervous. And yes, I did have those daydreams where she calls me up and says “I don’t know what I was ever thinking signing you…you don’t know how to write!” It really is a tough business. Much tougher than even the *craziest* brides I’ve dealt with in my past life.
This weekend she sent me a quick email saying she read my manuscript and can we chat. Immediately I inhale as though horrific news has just arrived. I was sitting in the car beside DH, and the kids in the back seat, staring at the email, looking for a hint that maybe she liked it.
Here’s how my conversation with the DH went:
DH: “What’s wrong?”
ME: “She read it. And she wants to talk.”
DH: (looking very confused at my reaction): “So?”
ME (Me shocked that he’s not following my train of thought): “She didn’t say anything. That means she hates it, or there’s big problems.”
…anyway the conversation went circular from there so I’ll spare you the rest.
But that night I did speak with my agent and she liked it! She talked about my characters (like they were real people and laughed too-see we’re not crazy!) She also spoke about some moments that she really liked, that were emotional…
It made my night. Really. I got off the phone feeling like maybe I can really do this…
After staring at my open document for half an hour, I hit send and emailed my manuscript to my agent.
And now…I worry.
This is only the second book she has seen from me since I’ve signed with her, and I must admit I’m shaking in my boots. What if she doesn’t like it? What if she thinks…I’m not even going to type it! When did I become so insecure? Oh, yes, when I started submitting manuscripts and having them rejected, lol.
Wow. I got issues I guess, huh?
So, now I’m waiting to hear back on what she thinks of this manuscript and waiting on the results from SYTYCW.
But, I do have plans to keep busy. I’m going to revisit a manuscript near and dear to my heart. It was one of those “almost” manuscripts that did get an “R”-but with feedback. I feel like I’ve grown as a writer, and I think I know what I can do to fix it.
It’s going to be an interesting, if not neurotic week…