Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I think all the editing, the proofreading...and the plotting of book 2 has fried my brains a bit. And if I let myself think about it...really think...about what I'm doing and what the next step it...I get this sick sick sick feeling in my gut. And that sick sick sick feeling in my gut makes me think I'm pregnant, so then I run to the dollar tree, buy a pregnancy test, only to discover yet again I'm not pregnant I'm just freaked out about this 'big agent' who has requested my work actually reading it.

I think it's from all the rejections from my first book. Agents have become 'the enemy', the 'killer of dreams' the bizarre yellow sticker on my query letter that reads 'sorry not for us'. As I prepare my manuscript to send off to this 'big agent' my confidence level is 0. I'm just wondering in what form the rejection will come. Sticker? Postcard? E-mail? Months of no communication?

So I edit, I polish, I second guess every scene, character, plot development and setting that I use, and the whole time I have this nagging doubt that this will be yet another rejection. Only this time it's from 'big agent', the agent I really want, the one I've researched a lot, the one I covet...

Because of this, my mind has cracked a little. I'm still researching Thailand, specifically Chiang Mai, where book 2 -Path of the Guardians, will take place. But my mind has fled the building. My brain has turned off to the adventures of Meg Dare, and are instead focused on a character named Scarlett...

The new book, of which there are currently five pages is what I'm calling a Southern Gothic Young Adult Paranormal...where a 16 year old girl from the Upper East Side who just moved to Madison Florida with her superficial mom...there will be a hunky farmer boy and a swamp monster...and it's in the dreaded first person that I hate...Sounds promising? I think so too...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Pity Party

It takes a certain kind of person to fracture a toe by falling down the stairs. I am that certain kind of person.

So this is my pity party, I felt like throwing myself one. There are people from the ward I could call for help, but I just don't feel like asking for help. I want my dad here. Faiyaz has to work, he's nearing some inexplicably important deadline, so since I can't have him I just really want my dad here and that's the one thing I can't have. He can't afford a plane ticket, and we can't either. So here I am. My kids are running wild, Anjali has taken over the dining table with art stuff and Nadira is crawling around pulling books off the book cases and eating crumbs. And here I am, trying to edit/write and it is so not working. I can't think because of the pain, I can't take the 'good' painkillers because I'm still breastfeeding, and if I did get to medicate myself I wouldn't be able to write anyway because I'd be so drugged up! So here I am, throwing myself a pity party. I can't clean even though my house is on the verge of being condemn. I have nothing new to read, I haven't been to the library in a week, so I only have the old familiar titles on my shelves which are usually a great comfort, but since I'm in pain I need something fresh to distract me.

Thank goodness Faiyaz let psycho dog out before he left from work, and then locked him in the laundry room. One less animal to worry about stepping on my toe...the girls of course are still running wild, and seem to like to play dangerously close to my least nap time is eminent.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

mixed feelings

I'm feeling angry and bitter towards my book. Up until recently, I've had such a blast writing and editing this book, I love the story and I think it has great potential. But recently I've started thinking a lot on the amount of time and energy I've put into it that could have gone to something else, to my home or family or towards a job that would actually pay.

Yesterday was the worst. I actually thought about deleting the whole thing. Then, while I was giving sweet Nadira her bath, I came up with an idea for another book. Yep. Also YA. The whole premise, backstory, characters, plot, even the main character's voice. I need to write the sequel to this book first, but then there this bright shining idea...and the thrill that comes with such an idea...

And late last night I knew that regardless of what happens, I'm going to be writing. I can't stop. I won't sleep well until that bright shining idea is on paper, and then there will always be another one...

There are many reasons why I write. Most basic is that books are so vital to me, so connected to every major even in my life. They've helped me through so much, guided me almost. The best comfort in the darkest hours of my childhood, there at a time when I was completely alone. But that's another blog all together.

So today I'm thinking about multitasking, and I'm thinking about editing.

Editing to me, is polishing. Have you ever seen a raw diamond, fresh out of the earth? It's not very pretty. You know it's valuable, it is after all a diamond. But to get it to the point that others see its worth, there's a lot you have to do to it. Finding the diamond was the easy part. Now it has to be cleaned, cut, polished. Yes, sometimes you add scenes, but for the sake of the diamond analogy, we'll just call the additions the polishing process. You lose things. As you work on your novel, it changes shape, and may lose some of what you love about it. As a diamond is cut, diamond dust and little diamond chips get cut away. But this is necessary to bring out the beauty of the diamond. For me, this process takes much longer than writing the first draft, and I can't do it alone. Recently a writer friend of mine talked about her process, how she does all the edits in one sweep. Amazing. That's part of this too: Every writer has to find the process that works best for them. There is no right or wrong here.

Now multitasking. Here's a list of things I've done while writing/editing my novel:

-feed Nadira in a high chair
-painted with Anjali
-helped Anjali with puzzles
-nursed Nadira (while writing a scene, not editing)
-used a breast pump (yeah...)
-retrained the dog to sit (he likes to forget that command every few months)
-talked on the phone to: telemarketers, family members, friends, my husband, I have even done editing while on hold with the doctor's when making an appoint...if you've talked to me in the past few months, and I've sounded distant, I was probably working on the book.
-peeled potatoes while editing

I eat all my meals at this computer while editing. This machine comes on first thing in the morning, I'm back and forth to it all day. Rarely do I have uninterrupted stretches to write, but that's okay. I am the queen of the multitask.

That's all for now, I'm sure that's more than enough...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back from Conference and ALIVE!

"New York...can destroy an individual, or it can fulfill him, depending a good deal on luck. No one should come to New York...unless he is willing to be lucky." -EB White, 'Here is New York'

New York and I are in the middle of a lucky streak that I hope continues for a long long time. New York is where I met Faiyaz...New York is where I fell in love. New York is where I felt truly my own person for the first time, like I could go or do anything anywhere. I doubt I would live in/near New York, but I love the city. Especially early on a weekend morning when its waking up. Or when she's waking up, I like to think of New York as a woman, I'm not sure why.

The conference was...rough, but great. Just what I needed. If nothing else, the idea of 'high concept' has been permanently etched into my skull. It wad great to pitch a novel idea, and get to watch/hear those initial reactions. When you send out a query letter, you get the rejection slip but you don't see why. I've seen the why, and if nothing else I can write a better letter for it. I learned more about the pitch, vocal or written, than I ever have before and I've done some homework on it. I also met great people with great ideas, several of which I hope get published. I've expanded my writing network, which is something I'm working on now. Not being in school has limited the number of writers I rub elbows with, and I crave that now more than ever, I crave community and comradeship in writing.

I pitched my novel to four editors and one agent, all reputable, all well-established. One rejected me out right. Two have requested to see it. Verdict is still out on the last two. I'm in editing frenzy once more. I got fresh ideas, and I'm ready to use them. I'm in panic mode, I'm more freaked out than excited. It's so hard to get a request with even a great query letter, and I still doubt my abilities there, I want to make the best of this chance...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Seasons of Change and Possibilites

Anjali is on the verge of starting preschool. I know she's ready, she's bright and engaging and loves social situations. She's strong and self confident, I have no fear that she could be bullied. And she seems to have outgrown our little routine here.

The weather is still cool, although it'll be in the 80s today for the first time this week. I think I can see the beginnings of a yellowish hew in the green leaves.

Nadira is...growing. She's still my little baby, but she's two days away from nine months and she can climb up two steps on the stairs now. I know that we are nearing the end of babyhood, and soon she'll be running around after her sister...sweet and sad at the same time.

I finished the third draft yesterday. So far everyone who has been so kind as to read and give me feed back seems to like it. There's less than a week until the conference, and I am so nervous just thinking about it. I feel this is a good, marketable book, but will someone want to read it? And if they read it, will they publish it? And if they publish it, will the advance be enough to pay off the minivan? And will they want the rest of the series? What if they don't like my book ideas for the rest of the series? Should I have the rest of the series outlined before hand, or at least the next book? Will the clothes I've selected and the business card and the nice CD Faiyaz is burning my book onto, will they show I'm professional and I take my craft seriously and I want it to be a business, or will it say I'm a raving lunatic with too much time on my hands?

There are other things going on too, doors opening, winds shifting, there is change in the air for my life, this season seems to be winding up...the only certainty is that my beautiful girls will keep growing and the leaves will turn gold and orange...for the book and the rest, I will just have to wait and see...