No, this isn't a Matrix post. :) I ordered my Alpha Smart Neo yesterday. And just in time, too. I finally sat down at the PC this weekend to type in the 47 pages of handwritten text in my notebook, and let me tell you -- not so fun. I would rather scrub every damn toilet, sink, and floor in my house than transcribe pages upon pages of my handwriting. I would ((gasp)) rather make dinner every night this week. It was so tedious, there wasn't an ounce of creative spark in which to edit as I typed. Total time sink. Bring on the Neo, cus all I have to do is type, type, type wherever I want with my 700 hours of battery life, plug it in when I'm done, and just like magic it'll put it right into my document on the PC.
Oh, and to a certain someone who shall remain nameless, Miracle Whip is not mayonnaise.
Author of the Night Huntress series, Jeaniene Frost has written a fabulous post on money. It's frank and detailed, and if anyone has ever wondered how advances are divided up, or what you can expect upon selling a book (and even after you've sold a few), please check it out.
I wasn't happy about this prospect. See, my normal writing process consisted of writing the rough draft, and all subsequent drafts, on my laptop, while sitting on my leather couch (so soft and cushy) and resting my feet comfortably on the coffee table. I wrote from 10a.m. to about 3:30p.m while my daughter was in school.
Fast forward to new baby being born, daughter on summer break, and selling two novels to Pocket Books. One of which, is not even completed. The above process no longer worked. I tried. Stubbornly tried. And I finally realized it had to change. I had to change my habits.
It's been a rough two weeks, but I'm finally becoming comfortable with this new process. I've gone old school, people. Notebook. Pencils, with electric sharpener on hand if possible. Sometimes, I still get to sit on the couch, other times, it's at the park, at the pool, or in bed. I must be mobile. And the laptop just doesn't cut it. Yesterday, for instance, I wrote two pages during the baby's morning nap, one page while kids were playing on the floor and then six pages after bedtime. My goal is at least five pages a day, but I always try for ten. Somedays I make it, some days I don't, but I don't feel guilty because at least I got in those five. I will not go to bed unless I have those five. Once the ms. is done, I plan to work nap times and nights to type it all into the PC, and to get in my first edit while I type.
I hated changing. I'm a creature of habit. I sat on that same couch with a laptop and wrote all seven of my novels. (Yeah, I know, I'm long overdue for a new couch!) This will be the first one I've written by hand. I may not have a hand left by the time I'm done. But I know of a few authors who write this way (Gena Showalter comes to mind) and are able to get quite a bit of work done. And, I actually think I'm writing more than before. No internet to distract me. No email to check at insane intervals. So . . . Here's to new things!
Just want to say thanks to all who wrote to me here on the blog and privately. Awesome. Totally awesome, you guys.
I've been working hard on Book Two, and realizing it's more difficult than I'd expected. What I mean is that, despite the fact this is a series, B2 must also stand on its own. If someone picks up B2 without reading the first book, the world and the characters must be as vivid and fleshed out as in the first. I find this part difficult b/c, hey, I already did that, you know? Now, I've got to do it again, to weave in character descriptions and world building without sounding repetitive and without "telling". Not something I have encountered before. Good news is: my plot is on fire and Charlie is back doing her thang.
The eventual sale to my editor Ed Schlesinger at Pocket spanned about three weeks. First there was an email from my agent stating "interest". Very cool. But, at this point I didn't want to get my hopes up. Then, we were informed that another editor at Pocket was going to read the book, too. Ack! So again, we waited. The second editor liked the book, so then it was on to the editorial meeting where the project would be pitched. Two more editors wanted to read the book. So, at this point I'm thinking there's no way in hell I'm passing muster with four editors. More waiting and saying goodbye to all my fingernails. That was a long week. But it was followed by an offer! Yay! But then, you guessed it, more waiting as some details were worked out and everything was finalized.
This is just one way a sale can occur. I have friends who were bought with only one editor read. It depends on the house and the editor. I've also been through part of this process before, several years ago without making a sale (different book, editor, and agent), so this time, I was waiting for the "but". There's always a "but", right? I'm happy to say I wrong!
I believe the first book will be released sometime next summer. And here's an *edited* blurb (because I was in bed thinking. . . ) if anyone is interested: Divorced mother of one, Charlie Madigan, lives in a world where the beings of heaven and hell exist among us, and they aren't the things of Sunday school lessons and Hallmark figurines. They are our co-workers, neighbors, and fellow citizens. Charlie works for ITF (Integration Task Force). It's her job to see that the continued integration of our new "friends" goes smoothly and everyone obeys the law, but when a new off-world drug is released in Underground Atlanta, her daughter is targeted, and her ex-husband makes a fateful bargain to win her back, there's nothing in heaven or earth (or hell for that matter) that Charlie won't do to set things right.
Deep breath. Still have goose bumps and my heart is going a mile a minute.
I am so, so happy to tell you all that I accepted a two-book deal from Pocket Books for my urban fantasy, THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS, and a sequel via my Absolutely Awesome Agent of Extraordinary Things, Colleen Lindsay!
Seems the older I get, the more long road trips zap the life-force from my body. I think the coffee shop should start delivering.
Anyway. My lovely sister graduated from nursing school this weekend. I am so proud. The ceremony was very nice. And it was capped off by my mom showing the hubby her new stun gun during a quiet moment and accidentally hitting the "zap your ass into another dimension" button. Yeah. 350,000 volts. That thing cracks like a mini lightning bolt with an electrical buzz. 'Course everyone jumped in their seats and tried to figure out where the noise had originated. Had they seen the mom and the hub giggling; they would've figure it out. If you knew my family. . . well, let's just say the graduation would not have been complete without an incident like this.
Gah. Ariel is obssessed with the toilet and shower. My daughter came downstairs last night and said the toilet was stopped up. Great. So I went up with the plunger, lifted the lid and Ariel springs out of nowhere and jumps straight into the toilet bowl. In the toilet. And for a second I was so shocked, I couldn't move and there she is just sitting inside the toilet looking up at me. Grrr. At least the tub was right there. I just grabbed her out and stuck her under the water. Which she just loved -- no seriously. I think that was her plan all along. Sneaky cat. . .
My son turned six months old the week of May 19th. Everything is happening so fast (though there are days when I wonder if the night time wakings will ever cease). He'll sleep through the night maybe one or two days out of the week, but the rest of the time he wakes a few times during the night and needs to be soothed back to sleep. It doesn't take much time, no bottle or picking him up, just a few pats on the back is usually all it takes, but it sure takes it toll on me! Anyway, he starting sitting on his own at 5 mos. and now he's up on his hands and knees and rocking. No crawling yet, but it'll be soon.