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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Doing the Happy Dance

I just found out yesterday that my short novella, Computer Games, has been accepted by Chippewa Publishing. I don't have a release date, yet, but I'm assuming it will be later this year, or early the next. At any rate, it feels good after my year and a half break, to finally be getting published once again.

I've heard writers say that taking any kind of 'time away' can lead to a serious break down of contacts, and opportunities. I can definately see what they mean, having come back to an almost complete void of old, broken links, dead email addy's, and drifted away friends. It's kind of amazing really. (Although I don't know what made me think I was the only human being allowed to take a break and leave the writing world behind for any length of time, lol.) Perhaps some of the old friends will return. I hope so. Some are sorely missed.

I was happy to find one of my old acquaintences still around, and we were able to strike back up with correspondence, and messaging. I did, however, feel like a fish out of water in a sea I used to be familiar with when it came to writing links, publishers and their requirements, agents, and the like. It didnt' help much that my old computer had fried away all my old urls. Upon searching, though, it would seem it wouldn't have made too much of a difference either way, as many no longer existed.

I've made new friends, which is a joy. I've found new writing resources... and a few that hadn't vanished in ether. The golden oldies are now, and were then, amongst the strongest of the lot anyway, and it's good to find them still around.

One thing that could not be wiped away, or poofed away in a puff of smoke, was my past experinece. That is where a returning writer has an advantage over someone fresh entering the world of sharks and other predators. Perhaps its why it didn't take nearly as long to get my bearings back, and new contacts made.

Perhaps... although the road is still long, and there's much distance to travel.

Blessings along your journey, wherever your path may lead you.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Other Side of The Desk

Hi there, I promised to write more often, and I'm trying.

On top of all the other things that I do, and love, ie: my writing, my shopping (no, not real shopping, ick, yuk, hate it--you know the manuscript kind of shopping around.), the lovely little close-knit crit group that I run, my horses, (getting ready for the next show season with them, and ready for foaling season right here soon), and my occassional, but all-too-rare cup of coffee with a friend to take a break. In addition to the things I don't like doing, ie: my three-day-a-week job (hopefully not much longer, but hey, at least I get quite a bit of writing done there in the down times), and housework (ick, yuk, hate it, but can't avoid it like I can actual real-shopping). On top of all that, I tested for, and was recently offered a position as editor at a really nice, well-respected, VERY busy e-pub.

I accepted that position, and spent the first week doing their training. I was then assigned two authors of my very own. (Sounds like a new pet doesn't it? Kind of is like that, only better, I don't have to feed them. LOL) My list has grown to four now, and maybe another here real soon, so I'm really quite busy.

The point here is, wow, it's one thing to know from experience what it's like working with an editor from a writer's side. To understand how much work they put in to your work. It's REALLY another thing to know just how much there is involved in actually being an editor.

For each book accepted, and contracted, there is a complicated process that needs to be coordinated and kept on track time-wise, from contracting the cover art, and the edits, to getting the final proof and signing off on the galley means keeping several people all with various projects (including the author) all on the same track going the same speed. Multiply that by however many authors the editor is dealing with and it can be an interesting struggle to keep them all from colliding.

Before the contracts though, there is another, very serious, very demanding, and very difficult process. All writer's know about it, dread it, and complain about the various editor's abilty for doing it--yep, reading the slush pile.

There are some that just make your day. They're the easy ones. They come in two varieties. The ones that rock your boat until you capsize, and the ones that don't move the water at all. Very easy 'yes', or 'no'.

Then there is a third variety. The ones that give you a migraine right at the base of your skull. The kind of headache that moves up slowly until it sits directly behind your eyes and threatens to make them explode. The story that should rock your boat. The story you WANT to rock your world... but it only shakes the hull a bit, and the ground beneath your feet doesn't quite quiver. Those are the hardest ones to say no to.

A friend recently asked me how I decide in that case. When I answered her she said she'd heard that many times before in other forums, letters, etc. It's true though. At that point you consider the story, and what you consider its flaws, and how much you really love it vs. how much work it will take to make it a world rocker.

It's also true that it's all a matter of opinion. I swear to you though, I (and I know others too) really do read with an open mind. I know it's been said a million times, but it too is true: It's not personal. I don't even pay attention to the names on top of the submission. It could be J.K. Rowlings I'm turning down for all I know... at least until I get to the Dear Ms. Rowlings, part, then I think I'd take notice. Maybe... just maybe at that time I'd reconsider.

LMAO... then again, probably not.

My best to you all... and remember, it's hard being a writer, it's a tough competitive world out there... but it's tough on the other side of the desk too, and we're really not 'out to get you', and 'we don't hate you', contrary to that, we WANT you to be the best, and your story to be a world rocker... it's what we dream of as we open the pages.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Hi there. I guess I am going to have to make a real concious effort to keep up with my blog here since I've noticed that I've garnered a link. (Thank you very much, Bernita!)

I really do feel guilty most times, but when things get busy, this is the area that it seems, will suffer.

I've been working. I've been writing. I've had two new requests for my manuscripts (two shopping at the moment). I've been reading.

I'm telling you now... Lynn Viehl is a wonderful writer. Her Darkyn series is really getting under my skin. LOL Okay, I am just really hot for Michael in 'If Angels Burn'. If you're looking for a really great read, give her books a try.

Kristin has a really scary, or insightful (depending on how you want to look at it) post on the current fate of chick lit on her blog Pub Rants. I think perhaps the scary part is if you really do finally 'get in' and get a hold on the brass ring, how tenous that ring really is. A single blip in the market can leave you grasping at crumbling rock where you once thought you had a stronghold. Then again, I may be over dramatizing the issue.

All genres have their ups and downs. Their market dips and surges. Chick lit is the baby of the bunch really, so it shouldn't be too far off the mark to think it would suffer growing pains. I don't necessarily write chick lit, although I've dabbled a bit in it. Even if I never dipped my pen in that direction, I'd still not like seeing a genre bite the dust. Or hear of the devastation of its authors. So here's to chick lit, may it forever hold its head up high in the literary marketplace.