Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Fricassee

And so the weekend begins!

I'll admit, I was a little whiny this round when it came to creating the posts for the Secret Agent entries. It's not difficult or anything; just time-consuming and a bit tedious. And since I'm in the midst of my 1000-words-a-day first draft blitz, I am loath to give up ANY extra time on my beloved Beatrice.

So. Just ever-so-teensy-bit-of-cranky. But I'm over it. ESPECIALLY because I've got two fantastic guys hard at work on creating the Perfectly Automated Secret Agent Submission Process. Oh, yes. It's going to be fabulous. I've got my gaggle of testers lined up, and some time in the next couple of months, things are going to get really streamlined around here!

In other news, I had an interesting experience with my beloved husband this week. You all know by now how deeply involved he has been in the editing process of my recently completed novel. (As in, he ridicules me to the point of painful belly laughter over stilted, dorky dialogue, and then I change it.) Well, he had a sort of melt-down midweek, in which he railed against the submission process, the publishing industry, and the universe in general. You'd think HE was trying to get published. I listened, I bit my tongue, I tried not to take his gloom-and-doom personally. And in the process, I made a huge discovery:

I am sanguine.

Me, the glass-half-empty! Me, the melancholic pianist/poet/wishes-she-were-a-dancer/loves thunderstorms!

Yet it's true. I am. And I feel like it's part of arriving at a "place" in the journey where you're really being propelled forward, as a writer and as a human being. As I listened to dear Mr. A venting his angst, I heard myself in his words, a novel or so ago. I think working through the angst is part of the process. And in listening to my husband processing it, I received the warm satisfaction of knowing that I have walked beyond it to my place of...well, sanguine-ness.

Mind you, I have my moments. Ugly ones, even. But I'm not existing in those moments and they are not defining me. Heck, I'm busy writing a new novel and losing a few pounds before the season of summer wardrobe arrives. Life is full, life is good! And it's hard to describe how it felt to be in a position of counselor, almost, for my husband/crit hero/biggest fan.

"I want to protect you," he said. (I love this man!) But I don't want him to protect me. I don't need him to. I may scream when a wasp dives at me across the front porch, but as a writer I'm tough-as-manatee-hide. Most of the time.

And you need to be, too. Not tough in a "Meh! Nothing can touch me!" sort of way, but tough in an "I understand this, I'm not emotionally wrecked by these ups and downs, this is my career choice, not a reflection of my deepest personhood" sort of way.

That's my wish for you this weekend. You all work hard, you're all passionate about what you produce. Add a good mixture of optimism, confidence, savvy, and calm to the pot, and you'll be well on your way.

Happiness and expensive chocolate to all!


  1. Back at ya and . . .woo hoo!

    Now, off to find that dark chocolate (87% mind you) that I hid in my desk yesterday so my co-workers wouldn't eat any of it! Ha!

    Have a great weekend!


  2. I'm glad you're in a good place. On March 1st, it seemed like every writer in the blogosphere was having a meltdown (Myself included).

    The nice thing about your blog (besides the contests) is that you've been in our shoes and are still, in fact, wearing them. Like me, you have multiple manuscripts and you're working hard to improve your craft in order to fulfill your dream of representation and publication.

    I wish you the same weekend.

  3. "And I feel like it's part of arriving at a "place" in the journey where you're really being propelled forward, as a writer and as a human being."

    I absolutely agree with this. I think this whole process is a pathway (one of many) to spiritual and personal growth. And we must be somewhat in sync this week because I blogged on that exact topic yesterday.

    Keep having fun with Beatrice.

  4. 1) Kudos to Mr. Anon, even though he cruelly had you make diabolical chocolate chip cookies.

    2) Doublekudos to you for emotional growth and maturity when viewing the obvious frustrations in the publishing/query process. That's wicked awesome, and I'm sure it wasn't an easy mindset to earn!

    3) A new system for the secret agent entries? Oh man, that'll be HUGE. I can only imagine how unfun it is for you to set all that up. If I'd known you were interested in a more automated process, I'd have offered my help programming it. =]

  5. I'm excited to hear that I'm not the only one that finds herself not getting down about the process. I hear a lot of writers complaining and haranguing (sp?), but I feel pretty good about it all--even when I get a critique that I don't like. So, thank you. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for growing with me.

  6. How very zen. I love it!! Thanks for sharing your experiences. All good stuff and more back at you.

  7. Looking through all the secret agent posts, do you think it's significant that not a single one is literary fiction? I knew there was a trend for fantasy/sci-fi but is there an anti-trend for literary fiction?

    Also, sorry it's so tedious for you! Thanks for taking the time.

  8. I haven't exactly tried my hand at the publishing world yet (I'm abroad for a year, and don't want to attempt it until I'm back home in the States) and I'm trying to prepare for the emotion roller coaster I know it'll be. But I'm not really worried, because what matters most to me is the story itself. Yes, to be published would be a dream I can't even begin to imagine (and I can imagine a heck of a lot) but mostly I just love writing. :)

  9. Wow--we're like Twinkies--except I'm old enough to be your mother! :-) It's taken me five novels and YEARS to get to the same place you have discovered. I knew I had arrived when I recieved a FORM REJECTION ON A REQUESTED MANUSCRIPT last week.

    My comment: "Hunh, at least they used thick paper with a nice letterhead."

    Happy Places, My Friend!

  10. Wow. Love all the good words. Couldn't think of a better way to enter the weekend than with expensive chocolate (no less).

  11. Funny, Authoress, but I've been feeling the same way lately. (And recently did a post on the topic:

    Sooner or later, it's all going to work out. And right now, I just need to be patient and enjoy the ride.

    Thanks for all your hard work here, Authoress. Although I haven't had time to participate in this month's SA contest, I always enjoy them. And the other critiquing opportunities you provide are great, too.

    One small question for you: I know you call your current querying project a YA dystopian, so I'm exactly do you define that?

  12. Awesome advice. Well said. The roller coaster ride through the writing world can be scary at time but the fun and exhilaration makes it all worth it. ;)

  13. A beautiful weekend back at ya, Authoress! With a big chocolate pre-Easter Bunny to boot! ㋡

  14. I don't know how you manage all the contests...but THANKS!

    ...and it sounds as if our husbands are a cut of the same cloth; mine just recently did a rant of his own about the publishing industry--just trying to keep my expectaions realistic.

  15. Absolutely loved this post.

    Happiness and expensive chocolate... you're speaking my language in every way!

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  16. You're cool, Authoress. That's all I have to say.

  17. Amen to all of the above!!

    I think the only thing that rankles me lately has been when I read a blog post from someone who's trying to be encouraging -- bless their hearts -- that says, "And I sent my first query out to two agents and received a rejection from one and a full request which led to representation from another ... So, see, I understand how it feels to be rejected, too." BUT, that's not the majority of writers' experiences. We keep on because we MUST keep on and we do it with a swing in our step because we love what we do! And, gosh darn it, we MUST be getting better, right?

  18. It was nice to see you, like me, is a thunderstorm person. “It was a dark and stormy night” and you have to admit, they are a wonderful word backdrop for an old mansion in which its inhabitants are connected by both accommodation for various reasons and… murder. In fact you can almost believe, as you read that first line, that third murder of the night, that dead body of an old lady in the library. And finish off this awful discovery with the words…

    “She must have been murdered. She knitted so carefully.”

    Well, given that… Sanguine? I believe the word is more closely connected to masochism. You don’t live in the Philippines and participate in that Christian self-flagellation, or, jump in over the barrier to a street in Barcelona which is squashed, squishy tomato spattered blood-red, and let yourself be chased by a bull, or climb the Himalayas rather than wait at the bottom for the video… you, Authoress, write. With quivering heart and mind you chase those words which will set a pathway for you to clash head on with the future and hope… or is it hope and the future?(?)? < this was a cyber shrug by the way. Negativity is part of your make up. Because you have imagination, you can imagine the letterbox or the inbox with that sinking heart when your radar detects signals an imminent and spectacular fall from grace. You sit around eating a box of chocolates. You don’t care if you put on 19 kilos and your face ends up looking like the pestilic red middle of a volcano and you ring up council to come and collect your computer. You go to bed, and turn into Thomas the Tank Engine… I can do it – I know I can – I know I can and ring council the next morning, cancelling the collection order.

    You are a religious masochist. You belong to the cult of publishing. To the cult of I write therefore I am. It’s an exclusive cult and sanguine is not quite the word. I think the description is more like, indomitable belief. It’s not ego. You are a Citroen and your logo is: The end of the road is not the end of the trip.

    It’s an exclusive cult, and it’s members are few, because out of all those people who claim “One day I will write a novel” you are that one that has never said it. Never said those words. Because there was no beginning. It just spontaneously combustioned like a celestial event. J.K. Rowlings is a member.

    But there is one cult you wouldn’t want to be in. The Cult of the Rejectors. It’s the equivalent of publishing hell. There’s a few editors in it. All crying over missed opportunities.

  19. OOPSie. The murder weapon was knitting needles. Ooops.

    This is public editing in motion.

  20. Wonderful post, Dear Authoress. I, too, have marveled at what a profound journey this can be. I never had so many revelations during my career in the workforce. The process of writing - digging deep and trying to make a work the best it can be - and being rejected is illuminating and has helped me grow as a human being. Thanks for giving voice to that.

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