Today I’m blogging over at AmWriting about hope. It would be lovely if you would click on over and have a read.
Today is Saturday, which means I’m blogging over at the Word Whores site. This week’s topic is winter sports, and I do just have something to say about that.
Canadian, born and raised.
This one is not just a stereotype. You can read it here.
In the middle of December, I wrote a blog post about how I found my agent. It began like this:
“There is a long story connected to this, involving an impish writer friend (no names, but I call her Julie Butcher) and a website called Book Country, and an amazing and wonderful woman who happens to be an agent by the name of Deidre Knight, senior agent and president of The Knight Agency.”
I have a confession to make: I lied.
Well, okay, not lied exactly. Just slanted the information. Tweaked the details. Omitted, glossed over, and left things out. Hey, I’m a writer, and a fiction writer at that. Shall I tell you how it really happened?
Settle down, boys and girls, because I have a fairytale story to tell you.
It all began with chapters of BETWEEN adventuring in the land of Book Country. That much is true. But I left out a very important character in my little story of how I came to have Deidre for my wonderful agent. That character is Susan Allison, Editorial Director at Berkley Books. And here is the rest of the story:
I was at work on a Tuesday, just doing another regular day. During a break, (and it was a sanctioned break, in case my boss ever reads this) I checked my email in the corner of my co-workers office where my laptop sometimes gets a signal. And found an email from Danielle Poiesz of Book Country. An editor had read my chapters and was interested in reading the rest of the book. Would I mind sending it on?
As you can imagine, I had no particular objections to an editor wanting to read my book. After work I engaged in a rather feverish formatting session because I wanted everything to be as perfect as possible, and sent the document on to Danielle. And then I waited. There is a lot of waiting involved in this particular tale, so I won’t go on to describe just how long and interminable that waiting can be.
Anyway. A week later, I was once again at work on a Tuesday, and Danielle called me. The editor would like to call me. Would that be okay? This is the point where I discovered how important breathing is, because it’s difficult to talk to somebody when that function comes to a sudden halt. Again, I certainly had no objection to the idea that an editor had read my book and wanted to talk to me.
The gods were kind, and I had the next two days scheduled off work. A small and trusted group of friends (I love you guys) talked me through the looming questions like: “What does one say to an editor? What does one not say? What should I ask?” The Viking provided great advice and support and reminded me to keep breathing.
And then the rest of it happened. Deidre dropped a lot of other stuff to read my manuscript in a hurry, and was kind enough to offer me some very good advice before she even knew whether she wanted to offer me representation or not.
The next day was the sort of thing dreams are made of. I talked to Deidre. I talked to Susan Allison, the editor in question. They were both lovely and so easy to talk to. By the end of the day I had an agent, and two days later I had a two book deal.
And now my name has been mentioned in the New York Times. It’s all very exciting and a little surreal. I owe so many other writers so much right now that I can’t find the words yet.
In the meantime, of course, life continues. The Monday dragon is hungry and lurking, and I need to get on with the day.
Last night, I rang in 2012 with a group of online writer friends and my new novel. The writers hung out on Twitter, joking around and counting down the minutes. The new novel stared out from the computer screen, half promise, half dare. It’s a stranger yet, and the two of us are far from intimate, despite the level of commitment already made.
After the clock struck twelve and all the New Year’s greetings were said, I spent another half an hour at my desk adding words to what I think will be the opening chapter. It wasn’t a hugely productive writing stretch, by any measure, more of a symbolic gesture of intention.
I wanted to spend the first moments of this brand new year exactly as I plan to go on – writing.
2012 holds tantalizing promises for me. I have an agent now, and that makes all of my other writing goals seem suddenly plausible, instead of airy-fairy, pie in the sky day dreams. It’s possible that I could be published, soon, rather than sometime before I die. I could even possibly be lucratively published. Maybe some day I could even write full time.
None of these things will happen without a lot of hard work from me, however. Many hours of writing and revising lie ahead, and I wanted to have an understanding with myself, 2012, and the brand new novel, that writing gets priority focus this year.
No resolutions for me, only goals and a list of dreamy wishes which I’ve tucked away from everybody’s eyes but mine. One of the goals is to finish this new novel before the end of 2012, though, so it’s time to get with it. Which is why I’m also spending a big chunk of today writing.
As I mean to go on.