Monday, December 29, 2014

News from the Publisher

Below is a copy of my rejection email from Impulse, a division of Avon Romance:

"Thank you for the opportunity to consider your work. Unfortunately, your story idea is not right for us at this time. We apologize for the form letter, but with the number of submissions we receive, it's not possible to give a personal response in every case.

"But thank you again for your interest in Avon Books; we wish you success in finding a home for your work."


I'm not letting it get me down.  As the new year dawns, I'll be searching for a literary agent, and move onto the next publisher on my list.  Someone will publish my novel someday, so I'll keep writing until then.

I hope all of my readers had a Merry Christmas, and will have a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Manuscript Re-Submitted

It turns out I wasn't supposed to mail a copy of my manuscript through snail mail like I did, but use an online submission form.  I just filled that out, and got an email saying they will take up to eight to twelve weeks to get back to me.  At least it's probably going to be considered this time.  I found the proper submission guidelines in the 2015 Writer's Market.

I had a good birthday on October 8th despite having an ear infection.  I feel like I made out like a bandit this year.  Presents include: a TV set (my neighbor had a spare to give me when my TV died), and the same neighbor also paid for me to wash all of my clothes at the Laundromat ($50 worth); my sister-in-law gave me the money I needed to renew my ID ($40.50 value); one of my brothers bought my birthday cake for me; another brother bought me a Kindle Fire HDX plus the case and gave me $20 in cash.  With the birthday money I bought the book The Host by Stephenie Meyer, and movie purchases include Ernest Scared Stupid, Nosferatu, Jack the Giant Slayer, The Host based on the book I bought, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Blades of Glory.

Being surprised with the Kindle Fire HDX with the case the day after my birthday when I got home from the Emergency Room and pharmacy more than made up for the ear infection I got.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Wait is Almost Over....

I should hear from the publisher I sent my manuscript to any day now.  I'm still holding my breath until I get that envelope in my hand.  I'm trying to be positive.

I have got pretty far in my other two books in the past three months.  They are both about halfway done, and I can't believe I've been writing that much since I sent off The Shepherdess Princess.

You'll be able to hear me without the use of Facebook, and Blogger if I do get my manuscript accepted, but I'll let my followers know either way as soon as I can.

Fingers, eyes, and legs crossed, people!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Writing Update...

I've been patiently waiting to hear from the publisher, but I'm not having much success lately.  I just keep thinking that in another couple weeks the two month hurdle will pass, and then I'll only have one more month left to wait.  I keep wondering where the manuscript might be physically.  Is it on someone's desk?  Did the editor take one look at it, and chuck it into the circular file (aka the trash can)?  Is it being passed around from person to person?  It gets nerve-wracking after a while.  I have to reassure myself that I know The Shepherdess Princess is a good story, and is worth the publisher's time.

I also think about how much my life will change if it's accepted.  I don't do that for long though because I don't want to get my hopes up.

Sequels

I couldn't sleep very well one night last week, so I spent time writing in the next two sequels simultaneously.  I woke up from a dream that inspired a scene in Book Two which led me to think of some more I could add to Book Three aka Noble Beginnings.  That was the first time in all of the years I've been writing that I was working on two stories at once.  I was surprised I could differentiate the two novels without going stir crazy.

An Update About Other Stuff

In the last blog post, I shared that my laptop died.  Well, it hasn't crashed completely yet.  I was able to turn it on, and get some things saved and printed up after I let it rest for a whole week.  My laptop was severely overheated when I had thought that it died.

I've used it once more since then, but didn't get a chance to use it to work on my manuscript.  I'm leery about turning it on again because it is over five years old.

Instead, I've continued to use the public computers at the Library to go online.  I haven't used the 2-Hour Microsoft Office only computers lately because I want to make sure I have enough material to use my time wisely when I sign up for it next.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Something Awful Happened This Week....

My laptop died almost a week ago, and I've been jonesing for an electrical fix.  I don't know where I would be if I didn't have the use of the local library computers.  I just got off one of their computers that is only set up with Microsoft Word because I added more stuff to a couple of my manuscripts.

Another thing that happened is I wrote my first poem in a year, so I get to share that with my readers, too.  Here it is:

The Caged Bird Set Free
 
(In Memory of Dr. Maya Angelou)
 
What a life she had led
Before being confined to her death bed.
The world has been forever changed
since Maya Angelou claimed,
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
She didn't care much for earthly things.
 
The sufferance of life is yours no more,
and the caged bird finds an open door.
It stands on the perch awaiting
Its owner to appear to close it again, debating
whether she should follow her instincts.
Then she's gone in a blink.
 
The caged bird is set free,
And she is too happy to be melancholy.
There is a whole new world to explore
That she has never experienced before.


Other Writing...

I added a scene to the second book in my Shepherdess series, but I didn't get to add any new yet to Noble Beginnings because I grabbed the wrong notebook from home.  For those who might not know, Noble Beginnings is actually the third book in my series.

I can only use the library computer once a day, so I'll have to come back tomorrow with the correct notebook to add the new stuff to that manuscript.

Monday, June 30, 2014

More Stuff That's Driving Me Up The Wall...



I mentioned the sequels to The Shepherdess Princess that I have planned in my cover letter to the publisher, so they would know that I plan to turn the one book into a series of four novels.  I assume that they would want me to churn out the sequels right away if they accept my novel for publication.  I know I’m counting my chickens before they hatch, but I find myself thinking about it just the same because it could be a possibility in the future.

I also wonder if I’m being biased because I think my novel is going to be one of those “hard to put down” scenarios for any future readers, and the story line is better than some of the smut that’s mass produced already.

I have my insecure moments to where I end up asking my brother questions like “Do you really think it is good enough for publication?  Do you think they will like it?” because he was my beta reader to which he replies, “They would be crazy not to like it.  I know I couldn’t put it down.  I read the whole thing from start to finish in a couple of hours.”

My Problem Lately Though…

My problem lately though is that I’m steadily losing some steam as I try to write the sequel.  I’m not necessarily having writer’s block, but I get ideas for other novels I have on the back burner at the moment.  I’ve been getting the urge to work on those novels instead, but I’ve been holding myself back so far.

There is a life experience to add to my autobiography manuscript I’ve had on my mind to write about that has newspaper clippings to coincide with the story.  I may start working on that soon by looking up the old clippings from the newspaper.  One of the libraries a town over from where I live has the microfilm I could use to look up the articles I want, and get copies made.  I just need to woman up, get on the bus, and go there.  Before I do that, I’m going to see if I could find any of the old articles online by using a search engine first.

My autobiography isn’t the only book I’ve wanted to work on either.  There is another romance novel I have an outline for that is totally unrelated to my Shepherdess series that has been making its presence known to me.  It’s very frustrating because my instinct tells me to work on whatever it is that I have inspiration striking at, but I get a headache when I think about what the publisher might prefer that I work on!

Greetings from Camp Grenada!


I feel like a basket case already.  I’ve had lyrics from Camp Grenada stuck in my head lately.  The part that says, “And I’ve only been here one whole day.”  I could paraphrase it for my situation to say and it’s only been three weeks.

It has helped a little bit being kind of busy.  I continued writing some more in one of the sequels to The Shepherdess Princess to pass some of the time.  I have been apartment sitting for one of my neighbors while she is away, so taking her mail in everyday has helped me keep my mind off things.

The local library has added an adult summer reading program that my brother and I joined.  For each book I read, I get to fill out a raffle ticket.  Every Friday, a name is drawn and that person is called to come in and pick their prize.  I won the drawing this week, and got to pick from an assortment of baskets.  I figured I would be drawn because I ended up reading sixteen books in one day which means I got to fill out sixteen more raffle tickets.  Good ole Dr. Seuss to the rescue!  One of the librarians laughed when they found out what I read, and I responded with a paraphrase of Horton the Elephant by saying, “Hey!  A book is a book, no matter how small.”

I’m back to reading chapter books now.  I have just finished reading The Fortune of War by Patrick O’ Brian, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou, and I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings also by Maya Angelou.

One of my raffle tickets was picked on June 20th, so I got to go to the library and pick out my prize from the assorted baskets.  Being a poet myself and a lover of poetry, I chose the Oregon Poetry basket.  It had four books in it-one was the Oregon Book Award Winner for 2013, and the other three were Oregon Book Award finalists for 2013.

In the basket, I also got a reusable bag that says “Literary Elements” (which is the name of the summer reading program) on one side of it, and a Literary Elements emblazoned stack of post-it notes.

When I’m not reading, I’ll be happily working on my novel to speed up the two months and one week torturous wait I have in front of me.  On June 24th, I got caught up in my manuscript after volunteering at the library before I used my laptop to get on the internet.  My brother wasn’t there to distract me while I was working on it because he was busy using a library computer to play games on Facebook.

I do have a 4th of July fireworks display, the County Fair, and a library volunteer luncheon in July to look forward to.  Along with another Northwest Authors Fair to attend in August.  September could end up being here before I even realize it.

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Writing Update Finally...

My brother keeps getting asked by some of my my blog readers, "How is the book coming?  When is your sister going to update her blog?"  So here I am.  I haven't had much new to say for a while, so I've been a silent presence online.

What's New With The Shepherdess Princess?

I have the manuscript printed out, and almost ready to mail to a publisher.  I have cover letters printed out to send with it, and am currently working on my synopsis.  I have two possible publishers I'm going to be sending my manuscript to, but one of them only wants the first three chapters of the novel to begin with.  However, the publisher that only wants the three chapters also wants a 5 page synopsis.  I have three pages written so far.

I plan on mailing everything out next week.  Both of the publishers take three months to make a decision, so I wouldn't be expecting to hear from them until September.

Meanwhile...

My other writing projects have been put on the back burner until I get the manuscript mailed off.  I will continue working on the other novels in the series that I started to keep me sane while I wait to hear the verdict on The Shepherdess Princess.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What's been happening...

The Shepherdess Princess

I sent the manuscript to a friend of my sister's to edit it for me, and he contacted me to let me know that he doesn't have time to read it because he's busy.  In the next week or so, I'll be printing out another copy of the manuscript and pick someone else to proofread the novel for me.  I edited the manuscript myself several times along the way, but I would like some fresh eyes to read it.

Over the last couple days, I compiled a list of possible publishers to contact that accepts unagented manuscripts.  My list dwindled down from 23 to 10 possible publishers once I scratched companies off because:
  • They only took manuscripts solicited through an agent,
  • They don't accept the genre of my novel,
  • The word count they ask for is too high for my novel, or
  • They aren't taking any new authors right now.

When I have The Shepherdess Princess completely edited, and polished to my liking then I'll be going through the list of contacts for the publishing companies I compiled.  Several of the companies have a 3 month waiting period before an aspiring author may be contacted about their novel.  There is one I came across that I would like to try first because it only takes 4-8 weeks for a reply.

Noble Beginnings

That's right!  While I've been taking a break from The Shepherdess Princess, I started writing one of it's sequels.  I still have pretty far to go because I only started working on it last weekend, and I've already had to do a rewrite on the first page.  I realized I was starting the novel similarly to the way I started The Shepherdess Princess, and I didn't want to do that.  Noble Beginnings is the title for book two, and it will cover how Jazelle's parents met, and I would like to end the novel with her birth since she is the main female character in The Shepherdess Princess.

On the Back Burner...

I ended up putting "Magic In Their Blood" on the back burner for now because I noticed I was already halfway through finishing the novel.  I ended up outlining another story idea called "Letters to Jesus" before deciding to continue writing the Shepherdess Quartet as I've begun calling it.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Decisions, decisions...

The last time I updated this blog I was planning on my next writing project to be "Magic In Their Blood."  After a couple weeks of no writing, I can't decide if I do want to write that one next.  I've been thinking about four different story ideas I might want to work on next: "Magic In Their Blood" being one of them.  After some time deliberating, I still have no clue where I'm going to embark on my next writing journey.  I may end up working on "Magic In Their Blood" anyway because I went so far as to edit what I had in the manuscript so far, and finished printing out research I had previously gathered for it.

With my splice file for MITB, I have most of the story already written.  It will only take a lot of copying & pasting and filling in the gaps before I would be finished with the novel itself.  I had started on the story itself November 2011 for the last NaNoWriMo I had participated in, and decided to stop because the story was progressing faster than I would've liked, and I was bent on finishing "The Shepherdess Princess."

As for "The Shepherdess Princess"...

I will be mailing off the manuscript to a possible publisher next week.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

5 years, 2 months, and 27 days later...

It's been two days since I finished writing "The Shepherdess Princess," and I still find myself tweaking it a little bit.  There was a couple things I remembered I left out that I added to it yesterday, and this morning I remembered to correct a misspelled word I knew about.

I posted on Facebook that I had only the author's note left to work on.  When I get home, I'll be finishing working on that, and adding a couple more people to my acknowledgments before I print the whole manuscript out.

In the process of writing "The Shepherdess Princess," I ended up with three more story ideas for sequels.  Each book could be read by itself.  It doesn't have to be read in order, but the sequels will have connecting characters to the first book.

Instead of working on book 2 right away, another character I had in a book I put on the backburner to finish this one came to me in a dream a couple weeks ago and said "I'm next!"  Meaning, the character wanted her story to be told after I finished TSP.  So after a little break, I'll be starting back on "Magic In Their Blood."