Monday, November 28, 2011

Posie & Mosey Monday

On Mondays, I like to share word posies with my readers. Comments are disabled so you can enjoy this gift of poetry then mosey on along to your list of daily do's.*

*Hungry for more in-depth Monday posts? Visit any or all of the entertaining and insightful blogs on my sidebar.

The Kind Ghosts 
~Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)
She sleeps on soft, last breaths; but no ghost looms
Out of the stillness of her palace wall,
Her wall of boys on boys and dooms on dooms.

She dreams of golden gardens and sweet glooms,
Not marvelling why her roses never fall
Nor what red mouths were torn to make their blooms.

The shades keep down which well might roam her hall.
Quiet their blood lies in her crimson rooms
And she is not afraid of their footfall.

They move not from her tapestries, their pall,
Nor pace her terraces, their hecatombs,
Lest aught she be disturbed, or grieved at all. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Posie & Mosey Monday

On Mondays, I like to share word posies with my readers. Comments are disabled so you can enjoy this gift of poetry then mosey on along to your list of daily do's.*

*Hungry for more in-depth Monday posts? Visit any or all of the entertaining and insightful blogs on my sidebar.
~ Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)

Gettin' together to smile an' rejoice,
An' eatin' an' laughin' with folks of your choice;
An' kissin' the girls an' declarin' that they
Are growin' more beautiful day after day;
Chattin' an' braggin' a bit with the men,
Buildin' the old family circle again;
Livin' the wholesome an' old-fashioned cheer,
Just for awhile at the end of the year.
Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door
And under the old roof we gather once more
Just as we did when the youngsters were small;
Mother's a little bit grayer, that's all.
Father's a little bit older, but still
Ready to romp an' to laugh with a will.
Here we are back at the table again
Tellin' our stories as women an' men.

Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;
Oh, but we're grateful an' glad to be there.
Home from the east land an' home from the west,
Home with the folks that are dearest an' best.
Out of the sham of the cities afar
We've come for a time to be just what we are.
Here we can talk of ourselves an' be frank,
Forgettin' position an' station an' rank.

Give me the end of the year an' its fun
When most of the plannin' an' toilin' is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin' with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An' I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Skary Childrin (and Taiwan)...

Before I get to today's trailer, I have a quick publishing update. I got the news from Agent Goddess last week that Splintered  has sold to Taiwan, which means I'll one day be translated in both German and Chinese. YAY!

So "谢谢" and "Danke" to these lovely territories for believing in my story! ♥˘˘♥

Now, onto the Skary misspelling of my title...

Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow is my trailer highlight for today.

Not only does the story itself sound dark and unique, but so are the illustrations drawn by the author. Here's a sneak peak of her talent:

This one is for young readers, ages 8 and up, but it's so visually appealing, it's now on my TBR pile just so I can indulge in the artwork.

As you can see on my calendar, I won't be blogging anymore this month (other than poetry Mondays). I'm on blog-cation over the holiday to work on edits. But Pat McDonald, the founder and moderator of Query Tracker, is coming by the first Friday in December for an interview, so I hope to see you all then. 

Oh, and one last thing, have a SPECTACULAR and safe Thanksgiving holiday. (◕‿◕)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pardon our French...

One of my good friends, Mindy McGinnis from the Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire blog, has recently escaped the burning pit of submission hell (those of you who have been there, or are there still, know the truth behind that phrase) with a fantastic 2-book contract with Harper Collins, due out in Fall 2013.

Here's Mindy's PublishersMarketplace Announcement:

Mindy McGinnis's NOT A DROP TO DRINK, the story of a teenage girl surviving in a rural America where an ounce of fresh water is worth more than gold and death wanders the countryside as thirst, cholera, and the guns of strangers; when her mother dies in an accident, the girl must decide between defending her pond alone or banding together with a crippled neighbor, a pregnant woman, a filthy orphan, and a teenage boy who awakens feelings she doesn't understand, to Sarah Shumway at Katherine Tegen Books, in a good deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Adriann Ranta at Wolf Literary Services (World).

CONGRATS, girl!!

Mindy's not only a talented author, she's also a blogging WIZARD. She's come up with a whole slew of blog series ideas, and finds the funniest and most creative acronyms to represent them. One of my favorites, and most irreverent (but somehow even more fitting for that reason) is the S.H.I.T. (Submission Hell – It’s True) Interview, where she invites authors to talk about their submission journey once they've finally sold.

To celebrate Mindy's success, I thought it would be fun to have her interview herself using her own questions with my blog as host. So off we go!

Welcome, Mindy One and Mindy Two. You have the floor.

M1: How much did you know about the submission process before you were out on subs yourself?

M2: I knew quite a bit, due to the excellent crowd over at AgentQuery Connect, quite a few of whom are agented and / or published. I knew what to expect as far as the waiting process, although honestly it wasn’t all that bad in terms of length of time for feedback.

M1: Did anything about the process surprise you?

M2: A little. I had some passes from editors who loved the book but couldn’t get enough enthusiasm from others to actually make an offer. It was odd to think, “Wow, someone important loved this, but that wasn’t enough.” It takes more than one to get that cart rolling.

M1: Did you research the editors you knew had your ms? Do you recommend doing that?

M2: I did. I don’t know that I recommend doing it though, because it’s not like it helped me out in any way. Mostly it just made me antsy. Once I had some offers, THEN I did research. I needed to know what the best fit was going to be.

M1: What was the average amount of time it took to hear back from editors?

M2: Some were SHAZAAM fast, and those were all negative. So, I learned that waiting was a good thing.

M1: What do you think is the best way for an author out on submission to deal with the anxiety?

M2: Stay busy, in all things. I wrote, I cleaned, I read, I blogged. I didn’t let myself think about it.

M1: If you had any rejections, how did you deal with that emotionally? How did this kind of rejection compare to query rejections?

M2: Oh, I had rejections. It definitely hurt more than a query rejection, because it was like, “Not only do I reject your premise, but I reject your WRITING!! BWAA HA HA!!” *throws lightning bolt* OK, not really. My rejections were actually all very complimentary and explanatory about reasons for passing, which I did appreciate.

M1: If you got feedback on a rejection, how did you process it? How do you compare processing an editor’s feedback as compared to a beta reader’s?

M2: It was hard to process because some of it was directly contradictory to feedback I’d received the day before. My agent and I sat down in a phone conversation and culled through all our feedback at one point and we decided that a lot of what we were seeing was personal preference. However, there were one or two consistent points that weren’t working for editors, and we took that seriously.

M1: When you got your YES! how did that feel? How did you find out – email, telephone, smoke signal?

M2: I got my YES over email, as it came in late on a weekday evening. How did it feel? I literally slammed my laptop shut and took the Lord’s name in vain. Then I apologized to both the Lord and the laptop and opened it back up again. The email was still there. I was kind of freaked out. And I literally couldn’t sleep. I was up til 3 AM two nights in a row.

M1: Did you have to wait a period of time before sharing your big news, because of details being ironed out? Was that difficult?

M2: I had my first offer on a Wednesday, then a few more offers came in on Thursday. Adriann and I talked details and decided what the best fit was on Thursday evening, and my Publisher’s Marketplace announcement went up on Sunday. So no, I didn’t have to wait long. I told my family members, and they took my direction to keep it quiet very, very seriously. They whispered whenever they talked to me about it ☺


Thank you, Mindy(s)! Hee.

If any of you would like to see the query letter that started the ball rolling and won Mindy's agent, hop over here. Also, if you're looking for some inspiration, visit this post where Mindy gives a rundown of her ten year journey to success. It's a very inspiring story, and shows why tenacity and a tough hide are so important if you're serious about being an author.

Thanks for coming by! And please drop in tomorrow for my Trailer Thursday series. I have some pretty exciting news about Splintered to share. Until then, have a great Wednesday everyone!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Posie & Mosey Monday

On Mondays, I like to share word posies with my readers. Comments are disabled so you can enjoy this gift of poetry then mosey on along to your list of daily do's.*

*Hungry for more in-depth Monday posts? Visit any or all of the entertaining and insightful blogs on my sidebar.
~Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

HERE sunless rivers weep
Their waves into the deep,
She sleeps a charmed sleep:
Awake her not.
Led by a single star,
She came from very far
To seek where shadows are
Her pleasant lot.
She left the rosy morn,
She left the fields of corn,
For twilight cold and lorn
And water springs.
Through sleep, as through a veil,
She sees the sky look pale,
And hears the nightingale
That sadly sings.
Rest, rest, a perfect rest
Shed over brow and breast;
Her face is toward the west,
The purple land.
She cannot see the grain
Ripening on hill and plain;
She cannot feel the rain
Upon her hand.
Rest, rest, for evermore
Upon a mossy shore;
Rest, rest at the heart's core
Till time shall cease:
Sleep that no pain shall wake;
Night that no morn shall break
Till joy shall overtake
Her perfect peace.

"Dream Land" is reprinted from Poems. Christina Rossetti. London: Macmillan, 1891.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Posie & Mosey Monday

On Mondays, I like to share word posies with my readers. Comments are disabled so you can enjoy this gift of poetry then mosey on along to your list of daily do's.*

*Hungry for more in-depth Monday posts? Visit any or all of the entertaining and insightful blogs on my sidebar.
The Little Grey Road
~Patience Worth 1883–1937

A little grey road that lies mid the shadows,
And trails from the Then to Now;
Where the briar-rose swings and th eve-lark sings,
And the dew clings 'bout the meadow way;
Where the sun lingers lothful, and the moon
Tarries too, so late to leave and soon to come.
Ah, the little grey roadway so far, far away,
Where I left my youth, treading with gladness,
And smiling, with bright hours to follow;
With no remembrance packed, like the scent
Of pale leaf that dropped at the withering touch
Of tears and sobs and sorrows.

All carefree I went, all happy a treading
On the little grey roadway so far.
Oh, that my feet might stray back
Through the fields and vales, and find
The same roadway a-roaming the shadows,
With memory's ghosts haunting the turns.
When the New Day doth come, and I leave
Thee and thee---shall I find it still waiting---
The little grey roadway wrapped in its shadows,
And my youth a-laughing me there?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It takes a village...

To write a book.

I realize this now more than ever, especially since .... I got my edits!! And I have pictures to prove it!!

The page on top is the cover letter. Yep, even editors use these, just like us when we're sending off our MS to agents. The bar above the ABRAMS logo is actually a lovely salmon color, but my color printer is short on ink so I printed it off on my black and white.

My full nine page edit letter and my writing cheerleaders standing by.
Left to right: Hoops, Piddles, Yoyo, and Guido

I used to think, hmmm. I'll write my story, polish it until it shimmers like a sea shell's pearly innards, then send it off and TA-DA! My book will sit upon the shelves of every book store available to mankind. HA

Now I know the truth. It takes so many people, so many reads, and so many revisions, to get that book ready to sell to the public. So, since I'm about to be up to my ears in editing (observe my scant blog post calendar to the right) this will be my Thanksgiving post--a few weeks early.

I'm so thankful to have a crit group (including my email entourage--you know who you are) who I can brainstorm with, an agent who has believed in me from the moment she read my first chapter, and an editor who GETS me, loves my book despite its weaknesses, and knows how to make it strong enough to face the world.

I can't be too specific about the edits without giving stuff away that should remain top secret (hee), but I think it's safe to post this paragraph from my editor's cover letter that sums up what I'll be working on over the next few weeks (my due date for the edits is December 12):

This letter covers a lot of ground, but two of the main areas are Alyssa’s emotional journey—adding some nuance and discovering moments of growth—and questions about the world politics of Wonderland. I try to think of editing as a conversation, so please don’t consider any of this to be strict orders—I ask these questions because I’ve noticed something as a reader and wanted to bring it to your attention. We can talk back and forth about what direction to take the story, which in the end is your own.

My favorite line is the last one. This lets me know that  I'm still the author and I get a say in my book's evolution. This line also makes me even more excited to work with Maggie, because I know she respects my opinion. It just so happens that I'm in love with almost every suggestion which follows that paragraph (because Maggie is a brilliant and intuitive reader/editor). So I guess the fact that we're sympatico makes us a match made in literary heaven.

♥˘˘♥ *cues the singing angels* ♥˘˘♥  

Of course, this is only the first round of edits, and I still have the line edits and copy edits looming. But it feels so good to know that each step will make my book that much shinier.

Here are two great posts which have helped me embrace my edits without fear, if any of you are curious / going through this phase of publishing:

How to respond to Manuscript Edits

What is the Editing Process Really Like?

As to how this affects my online playtime, I might be hit and miss on Twitter for awhile. Also, I won't be having a Query Tracker guest post this month. As fate would have it, the gal I scheduled is waiting for some REALLY big news to announce, so we're putting off her post until the holidays are over.

If I fail to visit your blogs for a few weeks, please know I haven't forgotten you. I'm just up to my eyeballs in rewrites. Have a great weekend, and see you all soon!