Monday, August 30, 2010

Waiting and Writing

I heard back from the publisher confirming receipt of my manuscript and letting me know I could expect to hear from them within 90 days. I'm hopeful but am a realist. I've only crossed the first hurtle. I'll just keep praying and leave everything in God's hands.

In the meantime, that gives me 3 months to finish up and edit the longer version of my story. In the event that they reject my manuscript, I will then be in a good position to approach an agent with a more acceptable length novel and hopefully get some representation.

Today's count - 700 words  Total to date - 63,365

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Good news!

The publisher I had sent the query to a couple weeks ago asked to see the full manuscript. I formatted and emailed it today. We shall see what happens. In the meantime, I'm going to continue working on the longer version.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Changing the Story

My male lead got himself into some serious trouble tonight, which means that I will have to make some significant changes to the remainder of the story. The whole dynamic has now been changed.

Today's total - 2,630    Total to date - 62, 665

Thursday, August 26, 2010

60,000 words - 3/4 ths of the way there.

My goal for tonight was to hit 60,000 words and I made it! Woo-hoo. I just wrote 1831 words in an hour and a half. Of course, my brain is now about to explode and I am ready to collapse. LOL

Today's total - 1,831    Total to date - 60,035

Quotations on Writing

Here is a good list of quotations on writing. I'm sure you'll find some inspiration in here somewhere:

Quotations on Writing

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Slow Progress Tonight

Today's total - 841   Total to date - 58,204

"Through the Open Window" now available for Kindle

After reading yesterday that Kindle sales are actually exceeding traditional book sales on Amazon, I set out to figure out how to get "Through the Open Window" available for Kindle. It was actually extremely easy. Go to and answer a few simple questions and upload your file. The only thing I had trouble with was uploading the cover. The preview image that they offer was extremely distorted and I had no idea if it would appear correctly (It does). My book was live in 24 hours. It is available for only $2.99 (the lowest price available - of which I get to keep 70%) The only thing I couldn't figure out was how to have the Kindle version show up on as "another format" on the traditional book page.

This is for the Kindle edition:

This is for the traditional book:

Is longer always better?

I am currently trying to lengthen a work of fiction from its original 46,000 word novella status to the industry standard 80,000 word for a novel. The story as it originally stood was the story I wanted to write. It conveyed what I wanted it to convey. I just read something this morning that said, "Write as if no one will read it." While I don't know if I can ever really write quite that way (even in my personal journal I always work under the presumption that someone may read it someday - even if it is 100 years from now), I get the point. You should write the story you want to write.

It isn't as if I am not enjoying the writing of this additional portion of the story. I added a storyline and it is progressing nicely, but it is changing the story. Is this the story I wanted to tell? Is it necessary?

I enjoy shorter length novels - I just read The Walk by Richard Paul Evans. Most of his books are shorter in length and I have loved all of them. The same with Mitch Album's books. Obviously, there is a market for this type of shorter fiction in book form, but everything I have read about getting an agent and publishing said that there really isn't.

What to do now? I honestly don't know. I'm trying to be commercially marketable. Is that selling out? I don't really see it that way. I see it as wanting to make a living doing what I love. I still want to write a good story, but I want someone to actually read it. It is so disheartening to work so hard on something and then have no one to share it with. I know I can self-publish again and it may come to that, but I want to try the traditional route, if only so that when I look back on my life I don't say "If I had only . . . "

Is longer always better when it comes to fiction? I don't think so. But I don't know where to find someone who will agree with me and publish my book.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I'm exhausted tonight. The words weren't coming easily, but they did come. I had hoped I'd get more done today, but I'll take it.

Today's total - 1,739   Total to date - 57,363

Monday, August 23, 2010

Today's totals

Today's count - 2,280   Total to date - 55, 624

All a matter of perspective

I was all excited today. After all, I started a twitter account and am learning how to navigate that. And, I've been writing at a good clip. In the past 5 days, I've written over 8000 words. No complaints there. The Holy Spirit has been being kind to me in the inspiration department, even if my male character is being seriously tempted right now. In any case, I was thrilled that I only(!) have 26,000 more to get to my goal. A hefty number, I know, but doable.  However, my younger son happened to overhear me talking about my novel. He asked how many words I was trying to get to. I told him - 80,000. "And where are you now?" he asked. 54,000 I told him. "Mom," he said, "you are only 14,000 words past the middle." Darn. That deflated my balloon really quickly. He's right, of course, but I liked my way of thinking about it much better.

I am now on Twitter!

You can follow me here:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

A new perspective

With this new storyline, I'm trying something new in my writing career - I'm writing from a male perspective. Admittedly, I have never been a man, so this does present something of a challenge. I can only go by what I have observed in the men I have known and the huge presumption that they have at least some of the same feelings and thoughts that we women do.

Today's total - 2,278    Total to date - 50, 355

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to Writing - The push for 80,000 words

 I received an auto-respond message from the publisher I sent my query to saying that they would respond in a month. In the meantime, I am going to work on expanding it. The goal is to hit 80,000 words - the accepted industry standard for a novel. Building on what I had, that gives me about 34,000 words to write. I am also sure that I will need to change some of what I have already written to accommodate the new storyline. I don't know how long this will take me. Life is about to get busy again (well, busier). But, I will write what I can when I can and see how it goes. I definitely want to be done by Christmas. I think that should be doable.

Today's count - 1,609   Total to date - 48, 077

Is Your Writing a Secret?

This post really struck home for me:

Is Your Writing a Secret?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Catholic Fiction Giveaway

Enter the Dog Days of Summer Catholic Fiction Giveaway to win a copy of my book: Through the Open Window or one of several other great titles. But Hurry! The contest ends at the end of this month.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I hit "send"

I just sent out my first query for my latest novel. Regardless of the outcome, it was good that it forced me to write a synopsis, a blurb, and a tagline. Condensing over 46,000 words into 700 words wasn't easy. My first try came in at 799, but I was able to cut and get it to exactly 700.

So, we shall see what happens. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Working on a proposal

I spent part of today trying to work out an additional storyline to add to my story to bring up the word count to an acceptable length. I did come up with one and I still may go down that road, but in the meantime, I have the opportunity to submit the story to a small publisher who is willing to take manuscripts with fewer words. So, for the moment, I am working on that proposal. I need to write a 700 word synopsis, 150 word blurb and a 10 - 15 word tagline. I'm starting with the synopsis and will condense from there.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back to the Drawing Board

After reviewing some agent's sites and doing some more research, it appears my story needs another 20,000 to 30,000 words to be considered. I'm thinking that would require another story line thrown in. I'm not sure what to do at this point.

Surviving the Editorial Letter

This is a great post on the process of revision and how painful it really is.

Surviving the Editorial Letter

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Narrowing the List of Potential Agents

I finished going through the 2011 Guide To Literary Agents today and have narrowed down the 550 agents listed to 69 potential agents. 23 of those I have starred as ones I want to target first as I feel they are the best fit. I now need to investigate their websites and find out all I can about them before I write those all important query letters.

Say a prayer for me, please. I can use it. This is all so very scary to me.

Funds for Writers

I haven't personally used this service but the site has been voted one of the top sites for Writers by Writer's Digest several years in a row so I will say that is a sign of its credibility.

Funds for Writers

Monday, August 9, 2010

Starting the Process

My copy of 2011 Guide To Literary Agents had been sitting, waiting to be opened, all weekend. Today, I knew I had to face my fear and actually open the book. Have I mentioned that new things/ ventures scare me?

I was actually feeling physically ill as I opened the book. But I said two Hail Marys for guidance and then did it. I read all the pertinent articles, and I started looking through the listings and writing down which ones are possibilities. I then will need to research them further. In some ways, this is a lot like looking for a job. You need to send out a query letter telling them in one page why they should represent you and the best letters are tailored to the individual agent. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Library Hotel

Obviously, I can't afford it, but if I could, this would be one hotel I would definitely like to stay in:

Library Hotel

Poets and Writers

At a library trip last week, I discovered an issue of Poets & Writers in the donation bucket. I eagerly picked it up. At a different library the following day, I saw they had other issues available for circulation, so this weekend I read the May/June and July/August issues for 2010. I was very impressed by this magazine. It is mainly black and white, not flashy in any way, and packed with information.

For those of you who, like me, are looking for an agent, their website features a free agent database:

Speaking of agents, I received my agent books from Amazon on Friday so I hope to get to work studying those this week and getting my proposal ready.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Beauty of Fiction

I read Redemption, a book of Christian fiction by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley. A close friend of mine had given me 4 books in the series last summer and I'm finally getting around to them. What I have found though is that I tend to read the right book for my life at the right time. This book definitely fit for this week. Last summer it would have been pure torture.

In any event, what I like about fiction is that in the space of however many pages, problems get resolved. Especially in Christian or Catholic Fiction, God works in wondrous ways. Sure, it may take a while, but in a novel, years can go by in a few pages. It isn't like real life where the pain drags on, seemingly forever, and solutions seem nowhere to be found. We all need the escapism of fiction sometimes. That's why I like to read it and write it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I had the pleasure of browsing in my local Barnes & Noble last night. As I perused the shelves, I couldn't help but dream a little of having my book on their shelves. I suppose every author dreams of that. All those other authors have made it. I know the odds are against me and I am nothing if not firmly rooted in reality, but still, every now and then, it is fun to entertain the dream a bit.  

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

11 Plot Pitfalls

Here is a good article on Writer's Digest:

Rescue Your Story from Plot Pitfalls

Trying to get an agent

I just ordered two books that will hopefully help me get an agent for my latest novel: 2011 Guide To Literary Agents and 2011 Novel And Short Story Writer's Market

I'm inherently cheap, at least when it comes to spending on myself and it pained me to spend the money (even though I can count it as a business expense), but these books weren't available at the library and I'm horrible at doing lenghly searches online. I like something I can mark the pages of and take notes on.

Then there is a whole other issue. Honestly, I'm terrified. I'm scared of both all the rejection that will no doubt come my way and of the possibiity that I could actually succeed. But, I feel like the time is right in my life to try for this. Win or lose, I will try my best and leave the rest in God's hands. 

So, I will share the story here of my submissions and rejections, and maybe, just maybe, an acceptance along the way. Enjoy the ride!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Library Blast from the Past

My travels this past weekend took me to a library that actually still had a working card catalog! Admittedly, it stopped being updated in 2004, but there it was, still in use. Also, books before 2004 still need to be signed for on the card in the back of the book. It was like going back in time. I also really liked the fireplace sign.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Enjoying the editing process

I've been reading through my manuscript, fixing my mistakes and making a few changes. At this risk of sounding like an idiot, I'm going to write this anyway - I'm actually enjoying reading my own story. I have a horrible memory - not so bad that I don't remember how the story ends or that it doesn't seem generally familiar to me, but there are parts I don't really remember writing and I'm enjoying seeing how the story unfolds. This is my first time reading the story through, start to finish.

Summer Reading Contest on Catholic Mom

I'm excited to be taking part in the Summer Catholic Fiction giveaway on Catholic Mom. Enter to win here: The Dog Days of Summer Catholic Fiction Giveaway