Perfect Moments . . .

You ever get that rare feeling that the stars and planets have aligned and you're flowing in perfect unison with the universe around you?  It comes along rarely, and it's usually right before all hell breaks loose, but that's been the way my week has gone.  My cup runneth over this week.  I've been riding a wave.  But this morning was the best!

This morning, on my way to work, this woman in her big honking SUV gets right on my butt.  It's a two lane highway, and she can't pass me.  She's so close to my bumper all I can see is her grill.  I'm not exactly putting along--I was doing 65 mph on a 55 mph road.  So I slow down five miles per hour.  She backs off, and I can see she's cussing and swearing, and making rude gestures.  Then she swoops right up on my ass again.  I slow down another five miles an hour to the speed limit (see that's my advantage, I always leave early so I don't have to drive like a lunatic to get to work on time.  I could stop and fish for an hour on my way to work, and still be there on time.)  That makes her really mad, and she lays on the horn.  Although I don't usually, about that time I came up to one of the little towns along that route, and I thought it was a good idea to slow down to the posted speed limit of 45 mph, the entire time, she's holding her horn down inches off my bumper.  She can finally pass me, and she roars around me, flipping me off as she went.  Real nice lady. 

That'd already made my day.  Five miles down the road, it was my turn to pass her.  She was pulled over.  The cop was standing at her window writing her a ticket.  I honked and waved at her--the look on her face was priceless. 

Takes Lots of Gas to Run a Death Star

It's hard to improve on a classic movie, but this comes close in my book . . .

Down in Flames! Rejected . . . Again . . .

Oh, the agony!  Getting an agent is kind of like dating--sure you get your face slapped sometimes, but if you keep at it, eventually you'll learn what works.  But this rejection is useful--this isn't a form letter.  Tells me maybe I need to work on that query description again.

Thanks for thinking of me but I'm afraid the description isn't grabbing me by the lapels. It just doesn't sound like a good match for my list. I'm sorry; this business is so incredibly subjective and I need to feel the fire in the belly for a project in order to get on board. I do wish you the best of luck securing other representation.

This is the part writers have the hardest time with--rejection.  Somebody out there doesn't like what you spent a year, or two, or ten writing.  Rejection isn't a condemnation of your writing.  More often than not, it's about your presention.  You have to learn, adjust, and keep on going.  I need to figure out how to "grab him by the lapels" because I'm beginning to think what I sent him was weak.  I'll keep going--on to my next victim.


The First Rejection!

And here we go!  That didn't take long.  In the search for representation for my novel, there are bound to be a few rejections along the way.  Of course now that most agents take email submissions, there's not nearly the waiting time there was back in the snail mail days (hey, it's been a while since I've done this).  This one was nicely worded . . . I remember one I got back in the late 80s where the editor wrote in red pen on the front of my manuscript "don't quit your day job."

Thank you so much for querying us with your project. Unfortunately, we did not feel it was the right fit for our agency. Thanks for thinking of The *blank* Agency and we wish you nothing but the best in your writing career.

Let me translate that for you.  "Thanks, but no thanks.  No need to contact us again."  And now we move on to the next victim on my list . . .


Back from Vacation

I know there was a rumor going around that I wasn't really on vacation, that I was in rehab.  For clarification, I usually need rehab after my vacation. 

As horribly hot as it was, I didn't get as much done in my yard as I'd planned, but I did get a lot of projects cleaned up in my office at home.  You may have noticed the Toddz Spot blog has a new look--I did that myself!  I had to get a little help with my website at got a major overhaul as well.  It looks great, but my web-guy still isn't happy I shattered his moon "motif" by insisting the typing monkey picture be on the blog tab.  If he can find or create a picture of monkey typing in the moonlight, I'm open to a change.  It still needs a few tweaks here and there, but it no longer looks like a sixth grader is maintaining it. 

I also finished the revisions and editing on my first novel One Last Shot.  I started writing it last summer.  It's one of those stories I've thought about for years.  I'd always known what the crime was, I just didn't know how to frame it up in a story.  I'd started writing it several times and abandoned it--the last time was in about 1992.  I attended the Illinois Council of Deliberation meeting in Bloomington last June, and I'm talking to this guy in the bar (yes, I know it's shocking, but I was in the bar just that one time).  He tells me this remarkable story about his 50th high school class reunion.  All the way home I'm thinking about it, and suddenly, I knew he'd given me the missing piece to my story.  I outlined the entire novel in about two hours that evening after I got home, fleshed it out for a couple weeks, and started writing.  I finished the first draft over the Christmas break.  I've been editing and revising since.  It's a great story.  And it's ready to go at 90,200 words.

So now I need to sell it.  I spent a good portion of my vacation crafting query letters, preparing a synopsis, and looking for agents I think would be a good fit for my book.  And I plan on posting every success, and every rejection on this blog.  Unlike my non-fiction works, I want this one to go through a major publisher.  It promises to be quite an adventure.