It seems like forever since I gave a writing update. . . or any update for that matter. I got my picture for the Ballad/Maggie Stiefvater contest. It came with a lovely story my friends and I will chuckle about for years. After the picture two of my friends and I crossed the parking lot to grab dinner. A friend of my friend joined us. The woman is a sales rep for McGraw-Hill, a fantastic textbook publisher, and we started talking about publishing, writing, editing, among other things (ie., accidents with expensive purses, germs, football, jewelry). Anyway, she suggested I give her a couple of chapters, even though M-H doesn't do young adult or fiction (they have a private nonfiction label apparently). Her reasoning, "An editor looks at it and s/he may have an idea about who to send it to." Good point I suppose. But I tell you, every time I consider sending book to someone I get . . . what is the word . . .? Goofy? No. Nervous? No. I get . . . TOTALLY FREAKED OUT? Yeap, that nails it. My stomach hurts, I can't talk, I forget the premis of the story. I shut down . . . And if I could kick myself out of my car on some random road I would. But nope. I am stuck with me and all of my hyperventilating. Jeez. And here's the deal, it is not about the rejection letters. Rejections come in all shapes and fashions on a daily basis. That is life. I think I am more nervous about the not knowing . . .not knowing how to make writing better . . . not knowing if the draft is good enough to even bother an agent with . . . not knowing if I should wait longer or just go for it . . . not knowing if one more run through is really going to make a difference--I sware typos fornicate when I sleep at night. . . .not knowing what a good agent does/doesn't do . . . not knowing . . . just not knowing.
Blah . . .Blah . . .Gag . . . Vomit . . .Uggh!
OK, I have dumped it on a page. So now what, you ask? Simple. I have five more chapters to my book two. Mandy is still tapping her foot, waiting for me to hand it over. So I will hand it over. Listen to her comments . . . and likely incorporate them. And I will start book three and finish book three (no working title because I don't have a sense of it yet). And while I write, I will laugh at the wacky things my characters do, things I can't anticipate, things that are better than my advance thoughts. I will argue with them when they wake me up at 3 am with an idea. I will cry when the sad scenes happen. I will find the music that carries me through it--I love a playlist. And when I type "The End" on the last page I will cry and smile. It will be a bitter-sweet moment. My characters' story will end. They will have nothing else to say, to teach. I will celebrate the fact that I finished three books when I did not know I could finish one. And then I will let my characters visit an agent and see if the agent likes them. And if no one does . . . well . . . I will keep writing and continue to celebrate I did something I did not know I could do. Because I know that "not knowing " comes with great opportunities to learn, to grow, and to celebrate big surprises. And my friends know I am a HUGE fan of celebrating. . . .and I love surprises. And sometimes, I just have to take TUMS or eat some cake to ssshhhh the FREAKED OUT part of the not knowing and remind myself of the good stuff that follows . . . something good always follows . . . .
OK, my characters await me . . . five more chapters.