Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Fricassee

It's funny how things morph over time.

I just read MY FIRST FRIDAY FRICASSEE and discovered that my original intent for the weekly installment was a focus on readers.  To wit:

"Friday Fricassee" is all about my readers. Of course, this is a brand new blog, so pickin's may be a bit slim for a while. Basically, I'm opening up the comments box for a fricassee of ideas, input, amazing insight, etc., from those of you who feel so inclined to share.

Somehow along the way, Friday Fricassee has become more of a melting pot--stuff about me, stuff about you, stuff about writing, stuff about life.  Which, I think, is more appropriate for a "fricassee".  (You know, pieces of meat and vegetables all mixed up together and sautéd and smothered in white sauce.)

It's via Friday Fricassee that I've felt most connected to you.  That I've had an opportunity to let some "real me" show.

Of course, I'm in a dry place now--a place of "I really don't have anything to say.  I'm spent."  So this is probably a good time to pass the baton to you.

Which is where it apparently started, yes?

(On another note--and one that amazes me:  Some of you who were here 6 years ago ARE STILL HERE.  Talk about connection!)

So let's talk about that!  Let's talk about YOU.  (Because, when I'm dry, I'm especially need your words and thoughts and bits of life.  The same way you need the words of others when you're feeling a bit pruney.)

When did you discover MSFV?  Why did you stay?  And, most importantly, HOW HAS YOUR WRITERLY JOURNEY PROGRESSED since then?  Have your goals changed?  Do you feel stronger, or not so much?

Looking forward to all that you have to share!


  1. I discovered MSFV two years ago (I think - it's all kind of a blur). I feel I've grown a lot as a writer since then (Thanks, in a large part to this blog). I'm still writing, still querying, but I feel like I'm getting closer to the goal of agent and publication.

    In a lot of ways I feel stronger. More confident in my abilities. And yet, in some ways, at least on some days, I'm tired. Tired of waiting, of no responses (especially from those agents who say they answer all queries). But I'm not ready to give up yet. And hopefully, as long as I have writer communities like this one to encourage me, I won't be giving up any time soon.

  2. I honestly can't remember when I started following the blog - it might have been because I saw someone on twitter talking about a secret agent contest, or something similar. I know I was here for the 2013 & 2012 Baker's Dozen contests, and possibly the one before that, too? Either way, check MSFV & seeing the feedback people leave each other, even when I mostly lurk, has been part of my week for a long time now *g*

    Since I started following, I've finally finished a draft of a novel that I think is worth fixing, and am almost done with my first round of edits before I let people see it. I've made writing into more of a regular habit - I realised that saying "I want to be a writer" is all well and good, but if that's true, then I need to make sure I treat it more like a job I want and actually put in some work for it.

    Looking forward to many more months of MSFV evolving!

  3. I've been following for at least 4 years. (i lose track of time. I know for sure it was at least a year before the first BD contest). i don't know how i found you but my guess is it was probably a SA contest.

    And i stayed for the contests and the critique sessions, etc, because they were different than what everyone else was doing, and pretty regular. And because i liked following along with your journey.

    For me, i've hit all my writing goals since then. I started to get "serious" about my writing in late 2009 so it took me less than 5 years, which seems kind of long objectively, but didn't seem that long while it was going on (probably because it sloped upwards nicelY)

  4. I found the place probably three years ago...? Maybe. I've forgotten how, though.

    I had been lightly involved in another community that focused on the craft. This was the first place, really, where I got glimpses of the profession: the agents, the talk of editors, the business of it all. So I stayed for that and for the camaraderie. Everyone was so focused on encouraging everyone else, and there's really just a great, safe vibe about the place.

    This is also where I branched out to more agents/editor/writing resources via the side links. And everywhere I go, I see a couple of faces from here. The whole experience really showed me how interconnected our writing world is.

    My goal was and still is to get trade published. But I've started thinking about self publishing, too. While my goals haven't changed, my plan certainly has. The information I've gleaned from this blog and blogs I found through it has really helped me solidify my strategy and my milestones, and I feel much more empowered than I did several years ago.

  5. It was two years ago, almost, that I entered in the Baker's Dozen contest after being alerted to it by a friend... and stuck around.

    I still want to get professionally published. But now, working two jobs and in grad school, I feel like that's getting further away even as I'm getting better. I paid for an awesome critique I haven't had much time to really digest (and that was over a month ago!). And I've found myself rewriting old stories from scratch, rather than work on new items.

    Slumps are part of the process too, right?

  6. I've been here since before all the big contests, back when drop the needle was the big fun. I'd been a big fan of Miss Snark's blog and after that went dark, I wandered the internet and eventually found you, so my guess would be around 2008.

    Along with the warm fuzzies of support and encouragement, its been a lot of fun to see all the success stories and follow your writing journey, and, of course, contests! I might lurk more than comment, but I do pop in nearly every day.

    Over the years I've been dropping by, I've published many short stories and finished several novels that have yet to find a publishing home. Waiting is something I've gotten very good at, but I still don't like it. :)

  7. When did you discover MSFV?

    About 3 or 4 years ago. One of my writing friends linked your site from our writer's group forum.

    Why did you stay?

    I learn from the contests and the critiques. It's the old 'a smart man learns from his mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others'.

    And, most importantly, HOW HAS YOUR WRITERLY JOURNEY PROGRESSED since then? Have your goals changed? Do you feel stronger, or not so much?

    I've improved over my time here. I'm still focused on getting published one day, but I know that day is still fairly far off in the future.

  8. I'm relieved to learn that I'm not alone in forgetting how I got here! The critiques and the contests and the community have made it a blog worth following--and I don't follow many blogs because I'm super-protective of my writing time!

    I think my writing is better now? I'm getting bolder about breaking rules? But self-confidence, especially in a rejection-heavy business, is hard to grow?

    I'm a member of SCBWI, but live in an area without many opportunities for interaction with other MG writers. Here, I've met supportive and capable writers, and I can't thank you enough for that.

  9. I'm pretty sure I was one of your first blog visitors 6 years ago. :) Not exactly sure how I found you, but possibly while searching for Miss Snark's archives, a blog I was seriously addicted to.

    Why did I stay? For you, of course! You always write such entertaining and informative posts. I was also a frequent contributor and critiquer for Drop the Needle. So fun! And so very, very helpful, too.

    I got my agent only a few months after discovering your blog, so I never participated in any of the Secret Agent contests. But I usually dropped in to critique or to read agent comments on submissions. Still do. I learn a lot from those.

    I still have my agent, I'm published with Harlequin Luna, and my journey continues. I now teach online writing courses for RMFW and present writing workshops at conferences. The writing life has been good to me! :)

  10. I've been writing for years, but only discovered and started following MSFV within the past 6-8 months. (I came for the contest and stayed for the conversation.) Though I know my experience isn't unique (the querying, the waiting, the submission, the waiting...), it really does help to hear about others who are going through the process. Since I've been following a relatively short amount of time, my writerly journey hasn't progressed that much, but I'm still plugging away.

  11. I love, love, love, LOVE reading these!

    Karen, yours is one of the comments I was reading this morning -- from 6 years ago! You are definitely one of the Founders around here. :) I so appreciate your support all these years, and it's so good to watch you continue to move forward in your writing career.

  12. Somewhere someone/something told/informed me there was a list of agents on your side bar that I could use to help generate my own list for when I was ready to query.

    That was about a year ago. I've stuck around since. :)

  13. Three or four years ago I started following your blog, and tried to get into a SA Contest, but missed the window. I changed emails from yahoo to gmail, just to be faster for the window next time. I made it into 2 others and got awesome help and a request. Now, I have an agent, a published book, and do all my business through that gmail acct I set up for MSFV. Your blog, particularly the SA contests and feedback, has helped me in a million ways. Thank you for all you do. :)

  14. I discovered MSFV 4 or 5 years ago. Krista Van Dolzer linked to your blog from hers, and I followed the link. I liked your voice and your view on writing. Thanks for all of the effort that you put into this blog and those of us who visit!

  15. It must have been 2011 for me, when I was following as many writing process blogs as I could find. I used to note which critiques were most helpful on the Secret Agent entries and then click on their user name and follow their blogs. Now you all know, I've been watching. :) I never entered Secret Agent contests because I didn't have a finished manuscript. I lurked and learned for a long while. Submitting, honestly, terrified me. But mid-2012 I did a few blog contests elsewhere and received page requests, so I subbed to Baker's Dozen that year which led to signing with an agent. The biggest thanks I can give is for the opportunity you created, so thank you.

    I still love commenting on the secret agent contests--I learn so much through seeing other people's first pages. Also exciting is to recognize a story premise elsewhere online, or better yet, in Publisher's Marketplace as a sale.

  16. I don't remember when I first found your site. I know it provides what I can't get anywhere else--unbiased feedback.

    Plus I enjoy you pulling back the curtain every now and then and showing us what the writer's journey feels like from where you are.

    Speaking of--I read an article today which I think might have been written for you, Authoress! Seriously.

  17. Eek! I just looked at the MSFV Secret Agent "Hall of Fame" to see when I first checked out the blog. My CP at the time (who has gone on to publish with one of the Big 5) suggested I enter that month's contest. It was with Colleen Lindsay, November 2008.

    Back then I was writing YA urban fantasy. I now write NA contemporary romance and my debut book came out in January from Carina Press (digital imprint of Harlequin). And to this day, I still pay attention to my first 250 words. :)

  18. Becky -- For some reason the page won't connect to that article. I've tried several times. :(

    Stina -- You are truly an old-timer! :)