I am trying to keep up my pace of writing, and I am being really kind to myself when I call it a writing pace, LOL. I am not giving up, just forgive me if at some points you read pure gibberish because I sleep talk, sleep walk and now sleep write. There aren’t enough days in the week or hours in the day to make sure I don’t publish something ridiculous or awful.
I am just so tired, tired, tired, all I want to do is sleep, perhaps eat and then write, all in that order.
Ugh, I am not feeling it this year. I thought that being home for a week, I would be able to get my act together and concentrate on the blank page, but my head isn’t in it. Are you ready for my litany of excuses? I haven’t shared this yet, but I have had my fair share of doctor visits in the past two weeks, I have been experiencing pain in my esphogeal area, radiating all the way through to my back for several months, so my doctors has been ordering tests and those take time to set up and undergo, the good news is so far everything is normal. Ordinarily I would be thrilled, but as some may understand, when you have a chronic source of pain and/or discomfort, finding out that your tests are negative or normal can be disappointing. I have one more scheduled on Novemeber 30th and hopefully this one will lead to some answers.
I am not blaming Stanley or Jack or Lulu, but I forgot how much work a puppy can be, the house training is going pretty well, it’s the teething that is quite a bit of work and keeping Lulu and Jack out of Stanley’s food bowl. He needs to eat several times a day whereas the two adults have their twice a day schedule and they are not too happy with the imbalance, they want to eat as much as Stanley, even if they don’t need to because they are done growing, obviously they never received the memo.
So with all that, I sit down on the couch, and I feel too tired to dig down deep to find the inspiration to paint the pages with descriptive words, a compelling plot and character development. I’ll get to writing, I am simply not sure that I will be able to churn out the 50,000 words necessary to win the challenge. So far I am clocking in at 1000 words after 12 days, very shabby I confess.
Dear Laurie Nichols,
I am writing on behalf of Naomi Schneider, who wanted me to thank you for sending in your materials for A Progressive’s Thoughts.
Naomi has had a chance to review your proposal, and has asked me to inform you that (with much regret) we will not be able to take on your project for publication. Due to the limited number of available slots in your particular field, the Press must be extremely selective in its decision making process. Many excellent and interesting proposals such as yours are often turned away. This is in no way a judgment of your book’s quality, just its suitability for our list at this time.
We appreciate that you would consider us as a publishing partner and wish you the very best of luck with the book.
University of California Press
Ugghhhhhhhh! I know that this is only the seventh rejection letter that I have received. So far five of them have been as polite and encouraging as this one; however the other two, one was a form rejection letter by a literary agent and the other one was from Harvard, a polite rejection without any encouraging words.
What I have been doing in the meantime is look for more publishing avenues and I have two new websites that have asked me to join them because they have read my posts elsewhere.
I went to Google to see if I could find out how to decipher a rejection letter. I wanted to know if publishers in general wrote these types of letters to gently let everyone down or if I was correct in having hope from mine. What I found is that there is a big business in rejection; there are many websites waiting to help you get published. What I did learn is that there are many types of rejection letters and the shorter the letter, the less hopeful are the prospects. The key to this endeavor is to not give up.
On the fiction side of publishing, what I seriously need to do is divide my novel into chapters and send out a few samples and brace myself for a new round of rejection letters while I am still in the process of finishing the New York City chapters.
Work, work , work.
This morning while I was eating one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast, a huge bowl of Cinnamon Oat Squares, I was perusing Facebook which actually supplies me with as much news as the Huffington Post does since I follow so many progressive publications on Facebook.
I came across this article from Salon written by Anne Bauer with a provocative headline “Sponsored by my husband” it was a good read and provided another layer into the morass that is the publishing world of rejection and acceptance. I was especially interested in the second illustration of how important it is to be connected and the old saying “it is not what you know, but who you know”.
I can see how important connections are especially when you are waiting on those literary agents; the publishing houses are fairly prompt in their response time, but the literary agents are so long in getting back to you. In their defense I suppose when you don’t have a face to put with an “anonymous” manuscript, it must be pretty easy to be harsh and hasty or take your sweet time getting back to the hopeful writer; when you are asked by someone in your circle to evaluate a potential writing talent; the objectivity is already tainted, you are exposed to your preconceived notions of the person asking you for the favor, plus you know that you are on the clock.
I thought that I would share this little nugget with the rest of you because it does give me hope and another perspective of the publishing world and I thought that it would provide you, my friends with some as well.
I am keeping a running tally of all of the responses I receive from literary agents and publishing houses, not only to keep track of which people and companies I submitted my manuscript to, but also to keep the hope alive for myself and others when the day comes that I finally get an acceptance. I think that any victory for someone in the WordPress community is a victory for us all because it gives us that much more of an incentive to keep going despite the often negative responses we may receive. I keep telling myself that these responses are based largely on perception, market forecast and capital investment so I am determined not to take it personally. However when it comes time for me to send out my novel, which is very personal for me, I fear that my measured, calm acceptance of the nays will crumble and I will take it ever so personally. Hopefully my experience with my political material will build up the thick skin that is vital to all people who take a risk and expose themselves to critique and acceptance. I am keeping a stiff upper lip, I promise.
Dear Laurie Nichols,
Thank you for sharing “A Progressive’s Thoughts” with us. Although we appreciate having had the chance to read your work, we’ve decided against making an offer for it. We receive a much larger number of submissions than we can publish, so, unfortunately, we must often turn away even promising writing.
We wish you the best of luck finding a home for this work, and hope that you will keep us in mind for future projects.
Black Balloon Publishing
Have you ever managed to paint yourself into the proverbial corner because of your words? What did you do while waiting for them “to dry”?
I haven’t experienced that issue yet; I don’t write any fiction, aside from slowly finishing the last chapters of my novel where my heroine is exploring New York City for the first time in the mid 1920’s. I am trying to be as historically accurate as possible and in keeping with that desired outcome, it can be a little bit like painting oneself into a corner when you find out that a desired landmark for a potential story line wasn’t finished in the proper chronological order so it doesn’t fit within your timeline, but this doesn’t really count because I simply move the action to another historic landmark in keeping with my timeline and trust me, New York City is chockfull of historic landmarks from every single time period, dating all the way to the mid 1600’s when the Dutch were here, so I haven’t been worrying about boxing myself in with anything.
Now if I were a mystery writer that would most probably be the biggest issue plaguing me because at the heart of any successful mystery, you need logical progression, plausibility, deniability , continuity and suspense. All of these ingredients can make painting yourself into a corner very easy. I am so glad that I am just wrestling with my straightforward and easy novel. My issue is my own difficulty with opening myself up in my novel. I feel very vulnerable writing this novel and it is difficult, but I am getting there slowly but surely.
Today, write a post about the topic of your choice — using only one-syllable words.
(Thanks for the great prompt idea, polysyllabic profundity!)
Here is my shot at this job. These days of cheer are by no means hard, though they can be full of stress at times. My mind is full of thoughts to bake or not to bake, what to cook, where to shop and when to rest. I think that I will bake for friends. My boy and my girl will get me to bake for them as well, I am sure of it. My man will eat sweet or spice and both if need be, he is easy . There is my post for all this day. Short and sweet and to the point.
A good friend of mine wrote me that she hoped that the sun would be shining in my mind today, especially since today happened to be Sunday. It so came to pass; today was a much better day. Yesterday I brought in my plants and my precious Rosemary plant is now in our bedroom where I can nurture it through the long winter; it does look very beautiful where I put it, I hope that it will be happy in its temporary home.
The next best thing after that is cooking and this afternoon, I spent quality time with my oven and cooking utensils and I made chicken pot pie. The kitchen smelled wonderful for quite a few hours.
There is something about peeling, dicing and sautéing vegetables and chicken that soothes the soul; the same thing with gardening and writing. The sun was definitely out today, both outside and in my mind.
The light is getting brighter at the end of the tunnel. I just finished editing the month of September, all that I have left is October and the first week of November and my collection of political essays have been edited. After this, I need to write a letter explaining why my collection of political essays should be published. This is going to be one of the harder letters that I have ever written.
Anyway I am really excited about the progress that I am making!!
I feel very good about the progress that I made today on my future”book” based on my political essays. I use my ChromeBook to do the editing and formatting of the two years worth of essays and at the pace that I am going, editing at least 50 at a sitting, I can’t do anymore because my battery dies at that point, I should be ready to ship it out to potential publishers any week now.
I feel very good about this accomplishment today because even though it isn’t huge and it is only for myself, I still feel great about it because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am getting excited about the “book” because even though what I am polishing up, takes place between 2011 and 2012, the issues that I wrote about are still being argued today and my “book” is still very relevant and can provide some added perspective precisely because we haven’t resolved anything from over two years ago.
So yes I feel really good about my day today and how productive I was for four hours. As opposed to other days when I am still productive but it is elsewhere, either outside with my plants or inside in my kitchen.
I am feeling great.