Happy Halloween!

Yesterday I did my very first chat room party with the folks from the FF&P chapter of Romance Writers of America and the folks from Crescent Moon Press. Fun stuff! There were jokes (okay, I told those) and questions for the editors at CMP and at Lyrical Press, and lots of door prizes.  Some folks slipped into a chat room to give pitches to editors. All in all, it was a very fun three hours.

I’ve picked up a critique partner – my editor put the two of us together and boy am I grateful. Just having another pair of eyes on the manuscript to point out inconsistencies or redundancies is a huge help. I only hope I’ll be able to help her, too. We shall see! She’s starting her next book through NaNoWriMo. I can’t – I don’t write my best. But I’ll be pushing the word count in November, I can tell you that. I need at least 60K to make me happy. Okay, 70K…Sigh…

Even though I dashed out to the store to pick up candy, we’ve only had four trick or treaters so far tonight. That’s not too many! But this year we didn’t put up our halloween lights or put pumpkins by the front door. Too much else going on right now. So if we don’t end up giving away all the candy, at least it’s stuff the boys will eat.

Happy Halloween, all, and keep that light on!

Fun pre-pub stuff!

In my brief break from morning shift and afternoon shift, there were three important emails from the publisher. 1. Was I interested in being a part of an ad for Romantic Times, that would be distributed to the conference goers at RWA National next summer? (Um, YEAH. Please!) 2. Blurbs for all newly contracted novels are needed. and 3. A cover art form has been put up on the loop – please fill out at your earliest convenience for newly contracted novels.

So, 1 I jumped on right away, and got #3 spot on the second page. Whew! Then I had to wait until I got home last night and waded through a ton of email before getting to #2. Ten, or maybe 12 iterations passed through my frustrated hands until I finally crafted something not bad, and sent it off to my editor. Who, aside from a “frightfully awkward” turn of phrase, liked it. (It was a funny moment and I really liked her turn of phrase!) So I changed said awkwardity, and passed it on, and it was accepted! So that’s two off my to-do list.

Number 3 is more difficult. I have no idea of what I want in a cover. I know what I don’t want – no people, please – but – sigh. No clue as to what I want. That will definitely take some thinking!

Today, no day job, just Career. So as soon as I get another cup of Decadent Hot Chocolate into my tummy, I shall promptly kill the last 250 words or so and do a rewrite, which hopefully will plunge me into word thrill and I’ll get chapter four done as well as chapter five. At any rate, must finish the book – done and complete – by December 1. Absolutely must.

Six weeks…

I’m aiming to finish this novel in six weeks. 15K a week. 3K a day. I know I can do this, as two summers ago within five weeks I wrote over 140k on two different, complete novels. So I know I can do it. Plus, that will give me time to rewrite before turning it in – which I ‘d like to do the first week or so of December. And a friend has offered to copy edit for me – she used to do it freelance and would love to. So that would be a big help I think!

I admit, I am sufficiently motivated to get it written in six weeks! I’d really like to see the first book release early in the coming year – but I know nothing about how production works and I’m a bit shy still about asking questions. I really don’t want to be a pest.

But it certainly puts the days in perspective now. The writing comes first. Then the day job. THEN the housecleaning. Okay, yeah, it’s always been that way – you caught me. But now I’ve got a contract, it makes everything a little clearer. Thank goodness!

Work friends of mine who know NOTHING about the publishing business are asking me when I’ll become a star. I tell them I already am – they just don’t recognize it, lol! But perhaps when they can purchase the books, they will. You gotta love the hometown crowd…they’ll take you far, every time.

The play’s the thing…

So yesterday I had a reading of my very first play (because I don’t count the one I wrote in 2nd grade). It’s a two-person play and there were a couple of people listening in, so that was nice.

It went well, over all. I cringed at some of the logic holes and I teared up at the end (how very amateur of me!), but it went well. The actress loved the ending (she hadn’t read it) and the actor turned to his friends – he brought them along because he wanted to make sure he wasn’t insane, that it was a good play.

These complete strangers said yes, it’s a good play. And…and then they gave me the best possible critique because, hey, maybe it’s the second draft. There’s a lot of work still needing to be done, especially in the male character. It’s his story – she just comes in and turns his life upside down. I had all manner of asides put in the first act and they need to be massaged into the dialog – it needs to happen between the characters, face to face not in limbo.

So it was exciting, and nerve wracking, and there’s more work for me to do. But not until January when I’ll have some time. The rest of October, all of November and a part of December are dedicated to the book I need to write. Then there are the holidays and what not – so, January I’ll get back to the play.

But it’s exciting that someone who doesn’t know me and couldn’t care less about impressing me liked my work. Man, that’s a high that nothing can replace!

Signed, sealed, sent…

This morning I had the absolute joy of carefully reading each word in the contract, printing it out, then signing it and sending it off to the publisher. Whee! They say you never forget your first time…I can swear I won’t forget mine.

Back to writing!