Gmail Rage

Just a quick post today, as I’m expecting Toddler D to wake up any second. Kid A started Grade one today (what???) and I’m trying to keep to my promise that I would blog more often once he was in school.

I’d just like to take a moment here to point out that gmail is making me want to tear my hair out (and yes, this is writng-related). As I said in my last post, I’m at the point of querying now and I sent my first one on Friday. BUT, I couldn’t actually send it until my husband came home because gmail has this cute little quirk where it adds spaces between every paragraph. No matter what you do. I mean it. I googled the issue and apparently this is a well documented problem and one of the only ways they’ve found to fix it is to go in and recode things. Excuse me? For the query letter itself, this wasn’t a problem until my personal info at the bottom, since the rest is in block paragraph form. But the text samples are in, you know, actual manuscript format. The only way I managed to deal with it was to do it through my husband’s outlook and then he sent it to me and then I sent it out. I’ve been quite happy with gmail, but this is a pretty major failing as far as I’m concerned. And since, judging by the google results, this is a giant problem that has been going on for years at this point, you’d think they’d have gotten someone on that by now. So, come on google. Get on it.

That being said, yes I did get a letter out on Friday and I have another ready to go tonight once I can get it properly formatted. Hard to believe that I’m finally taking these steps after a lifetime of thinking about it. Almost as hard as it is to believe that I’m the mother of a kid in grade one!

Well That Answers That

Once again, I realize that it has been so very long since I’ve updated this blog. But, alas, that may be the case during the summers until my children get old enough that they both start disappearing off to camps and friends houses and such. Every spare second I’ve had this summer I’ve thrown myself into writing. And if I’m not writing, I’ve been reorganizing my house, which is quite the task in and of itself. (and, um, Pinterest). But the work I intended to do during the baby nap wound up taking me far less time than anticipated today and so here I am (until such time as I head off to build blanket forts with Kid A).

Before I say anything else, I would just like to give everyone the heads up that Miss Hill’s second book, Possession, will be available in two weeks. If you all read Bound (which I’m assuming you all did), you know that this is big news. It’s a great read and you should all go and mark your calendars. I’ll wait.

Done? Excellent. Well, then, onto my own writing updates. I have finally, as of today, pretty much finished my query letter and synopsis for Darkness Bared. Each of these took me several complete do-overs, but I have them at a point now where I think I’m okay with them. I just have one reader left to look over the synopsis and then I’m fully out of excuses. I’ve also compiled a short (thus far) list of agents and once I’ve contacted those I’ll be hunting for more.  A very exciting but nerve-wracking process, this. If you need me, I’ll be celebrating under my couch.

The relatively minor writing event that brought me to my blog today happened just now, and is the reason that I have a bit of time on my hands to update. I don’t want to give too much away here, but I will say that my intention today was to read through the first three chapters to see if I should cut the first and work the details that happen there through the next two. The reason is that chapter one is told from a specific point of view – the POV of the original protagonist who wound up stepping aside to another character by the time the novel was complete. (I may be a pantser, but that one even surprised me). As such, my novel opens with one character, but my query and synopsis focus on another and that concerned me. So I first asked my readers. A few told me it might be worth considering, chopping that first chapter. But the reader who wanted me to keep the first chapter was absolutely vehement. I got emails with capital letters and curse words. Nonetheless, I figured I should read through it and go with my gut. Chapters 1-3 are about 30 pages, so that was my plan for this afternoon.

Two pages in, decision made. The chapter stays for the time being. I like it too much. I was drawn back into that world almost immediately. If an agent or editor suggests cutting it later, I’ll be more than willing to have that discussion, but for now, it is staying put.

And with that question answered, I can move ahead with absolutely no more procrastination. Excepting Pinterest, of course. Nothing sucks the time out of my day quite like Pinterest. 🙂


So much for regularly scheduled anything…

You may have noticed that, in spite of the promises I made in my last blog post, there was no update this past Saturday. That’s because, as per usual, my carefully laid-out plans have gone completely awry. (sidenote: this is probably at least partially the reason I’m a pantser. Why bother outlining when it will never go that way anyhow?) Anyway, a number of things came up that veered me right off course. First, I had my writing group meeting on Monday. I was on vacation and missed the meeting before that due to packing, so I’d been away for about a month. Apparently in that time they had decided that the reading night we’d talked about doing would be at the end of this month. Then it was decided that rather than having these readings just amongst ourselves in our cozy little meeting room, we’d do it somewhere public. On the plus side, it might be at a bar. On the down side, that gives me far less time than I’m comfortable with to prepare something. This is not going to be quite as public as the reading I did in December. It’s just going to be us and anyone who happens to be in the bar/cafe/wherever it is, provided they decide to stick around. But it’s still a public place. As nerve-wracking as I find this, I really should try to get the practice, so I don’t want to bow out. So that means that I have to have something prepared.

Which brings me to the next thing that has messed up my schedule. My short story has now come back from all readers with WILDLY differing suggestions (though overall positive feedback which is nice). This means that I have to go through everything, decide what I’m taking and what I’m not. I’m getting through it at about a page an hour and they are exhausting hours. My deadline on this is mid-April (thank god), so I’m concentrating fully on this one and on a friend’s novel edit. Once those are off the table, I can go back to the other things where the deadlines are more of the made-up variety.

And the last two things to throw me off – March Break last week which mean Kid A was at home and that meant babynaps were usually spent playing with him. And, on top of it all, I caught Baby D’s terrible cold on Friday so I have not been able to focus quite as much as I’d like.

So there are all of my excuses. I do plan to get back on schedule, just as soon as the short story is sent off, this reading night is done and my friend’s novel is edited. But being able to breathe would definitely be a good first step to getting back on track.