Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ramblings About Having an Agent

I've been thinking a lot about the changes that have happened now that I have an agent. Here are some good (and not so good) things I've noticed.

(DISCLAIMER: None of the not-so-good things have to do with my agent. They are all about me. My agent ROCKS.)

GOOD: For the first time in a long time, I feel validated as a writer. I can't tell you how many years I've watched friends/family/complete strangers I've stopped on the street let their eyes glaze over as I talk about my writing.

NOT SO GOOD: Since when did I ever become so needy? My agent sends me a note that says, for example, "I liked this," and I want to email him back and beg him to tell me every minuscule reason why I am the greatest writer in the world, and to lie about it if I'm not. That can't be normal.

GOOD: I don't feel as guilty about doing writing-related things such as attending my writers group or writing conferences, or telling my husband we need to spend money on my writing business for a change.

NOT SO GOOD: My house is messier than ever. Sorry, hubby dear.

GOOD: I actually have a writing business now.

NOT SO GOOD: So far, my business has not been very profitable.

GOOD: I really enjoy the collaboration process. That surprises me. I've tried collaborating before and it always felt like a lot of work to mesh two people's thoughts and ideas together. Not this time.

NOT SO GOOD: I feel a little guilty calling it "my book" when someone else has made some mighty fine suggestions to make it better. I feel like his/her name should go on the title, too. (Though this has always been a problem for me. Now it's just been magnified a hundred-fold.)

GOOD: There are real superstar editors out there, reading MY manuscript! Awesome!

NOT SO GOOD: There are real superstar editors out there, reading MY manuscript?! Are they nuts?!

(Oh, UPDATE: agent man is sending my manuscript today [hopefully] to some editors. He liked the revisions I sent him a few days ago. Whew and YIPPEE!)

But in all honesty, this has been the most exciting/frightening/nerve-wracking/validating process. I'm really enjoying it, nerves and all. Though it will be nice when things settle down a bit, so I can stop tossing and turning all night long (I don't sleep well when I'm excited).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Crossing My Fingers

Today I finished the revision my agent requested. I thought that was pretty fast work considering I overhauled one character 100%. Seriously. The only thing that stayed the same was his name and occupation.

Funny thing: my agent didn't ask me to overhaul the character. But the character wasn't working the way he was, so I knew he had to go. At first I was worried, because he provided a lot of tension in the book, but I think (hope) the new character still provides the tension I needed, but in a different way.

I sent it off to my agent to see what he thinks. *fingers crossed*

I'm hoping he gives the green light so we can start subbing it. But I'm also ready to go back and do a little more tweaking. I'd rather revise than write a first draft. I hate first drafts.

Wish me luck, everyone!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday Six

1. I finally got my ms. back from my agent. He's recommended one small revision (which I am so glad he did because it was a part of the book that I knew needed work and wanted to fix anyway) in addition to the line edits. Yesterday I revised the first two chapters. Seven more chapters to go! Then we'll be sending that baby off into the sub world.

2. I recently moved back to my home state, and my writers group has welcomed me back with open arms. We meet next week! Woohoo! I love these people. I am so excited about seeing them all again! And while I've been away they've added some new members, so I am excited to meet new writing friends, too.

3. Yesterday my husband and I took the 5 kiddos shopping for new shoes. Have you ever tried to help 5 little kids pick out shoes, all at the same time, in a crowded mall shoe store? I don't recommend it. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off as one yelled, "Mom, I can't get these on!" while another danced down the aisle in new shoes while the third said, "Get back here, Mom! Don't leave me!" (and the littlest one was pulling all the shiny ones out of the boxes and the oldest was pouting since they didn't have the shoes he wanted in his size). And once we got to the register, the lady behind us kept throwing daggers at us with her eyes since she had one pair of shoes and we had 10, and she was forced to wait while we were helped. And each child wanted to pack their own shoes out of the store so the poor lady at the register had to bag our items in five different bags. It's always an adventure when we take our kids anywhere.

4. I really don't like the cliched phrases, "running around like a chicken with my head cut off" or "throwing daggers at us with her eyes," but I'm too lazy right now to think of something original and fresh.

5. I meet with my web designer next week to go over ideas and decide on a plan of action for my website. We're going to try to have it up and running by September, though I think it may take a bit longer than that. I'm hoping it will be a rockin' website!

6. Sweet Pea, my littlest one (she's 18 months old), has just crawled up on my lap for a little snuggle time. And now she's singing to me. It's complete gibberish but so cute. Aw. I love little kids, especially mine.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Shout Out To Those Who Love Blogging!

Yesterday evening I participated in my first Twitter chat (#kidlitchat) and had a great time learning all sorts of great things (once I wrapped my brain around it all--it was like sitting in the middle of a room and trying to listen to thirteen conversations going on at once).

But one thing I heard/read from Elizabeth Law (a publisher with Egmont USA) that I thought was interesting was this:

"A thing I learned from Alice Pope: you have to be participating in social networking and can't leap in just to promote your book."

It made me wonder about this whole blogging experience. I resisted getting a blog at first, but only because I knew that once I started I'd love it so much I'd never be able to give it up. (And as usual, I was right.) But are there people out there who jump on the blog bandwagon just for the sake of promoting themselves?

Well, obviously there are. I've even known some. And I think they have missed the point.

Blogging, for me at least, is a way to share a bit of myself with anyone who will listen. I'm silly some days (just read those recent pity party posts if you don't believe me), other days I'm really excited about what's going on in my life, and there are other days when I just need to vent about my frustrations or tell someone about how nervous I am. And sometimes I do want to teach someone something I've learned and want to pass on. I don't mind promotion on a blog, but it should be a natural extension of you sharing what you love (and of course we writers love what we've written).

So this is my shout out to all those who love blogging as much as I do, and who do it for the right reasons, not just the promotional reasons. Blog on, Bloggers!

Okay, off my soapbox.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

My Agent News

(Sorry, blogger friends. I kinda forgot you in all the excitement the past few months. But I wanted to share this with you, which I originally posted on my LJ blog on Jul. 31st. I'll try to do better at posting here from now on. I promise.)

Heads up, people! I have GOOD NEWS!

I am dancing with joy because this week I signed with Josh Getzler of Writers House!

OMG! I have an agent!

And, for the record, he was the agent I talked about a few months ago that was so nice and went the extra mile. So I am very happy. (You can read that post here if you need to refresh your memory.)

I'll post more later, but first I've got to write a nice little thank you note to Authoress of Miss Snark's First Victim blog. Since she was the one who had the Secret Agent Contest that brought my agent and me together, I really need to let her and her readers know.

(BTW, I am totally going to have to update my goals for this year. I've crossed off most of them. How awesome is that?!)