Friday, April 04, 2008

The Waiting Game

The last few weeks have been interesting. Good for some, not so good for others. Busy, regardless. I didn't have a horse in any race, so I was just a spectator on everything. In the meantime, I've just been chugging along, finally reaching the point where I can clear stuff off my desk. (My metaphorical desk, that is. My desk at work and at home, is, as always, an absolute mess.)

First, the full manuscript of Ghost of a Chance got fully polished and mailed to NYC. They've had it since March 25th. The clock ticking begins now. I guess I'll enter this into the Golden Heart next year if I *cough* don't sell and become ineligible before November.

Second, I finished off the novella for Nocturne Bites and emailed it. The entire novella had to be submitted, no query, via email. One more checked box, one more ball up in the air.

Now I'm back to working on the MS that got pushed aside for items one and two. My paranormal Blaze. I've rallied the troops and gotten to 81 pages. My goal is to have it written and polished by the end of May. (I'm pitching it in June, so here's to hoping.)

As you can tell from my circle below I've got quite a few things circulating that could change my schedule. The Lauries get announced next week. I'm hoping to final and maybe get a request out of it. I have two books entered in different categories with final round judges from Berkley and Dorchester. If I win the Nocturne blurb on eharlequin and get a virtual pitch appointment, I might need to polish up my two vamp books to send out. Maybe I'll get a revision request on something else that's out there. Maybe I'll hear back from the agent that requested my stuff in July. Anything can happen.

In the meantime, I watch my mailbox daily for a response from my Trues submissions. That quick high is addictive. I'm sure if I get an R, the new will wear off quick, but right now, I'm 2 for 2 with 7 still hanging out there. I actually got my courtesy copy of the May True Romance with my story in it - Fearless: A Pregnant Woman in Peril! That made me a little giddy. I'll be even giddier when the check comes.

I'm also pleased that I've caught up with all my Playground duties including writing this month's article (ever so timely) entitled - The Waiting Game - with my top ten suggestions for things to do while you wait to hear back on your submissions. Right now, I'm doing focusing on number 1, although I might squeeze in a little number 2 and 7 sometime soon. I'm avoiding 8. :)

What do you do to pass the time while your "baby" is out there?


Circle of 5 Status:
1 Agent Query, 1 Agent Partial, & 1 Agent Full Pending
1 Novella pending with Nocturne Bites
2 Blurb Entries for Eharlequin Nocturne Pitch Contest
2 Contest Entries Submitted to Lauries (final round status announcement delayed to April 12th)
3 Short Stories & 4 Short Features Submitted to Trues
Check out the May Issue of True Romance for my first sale - Fearless: A Pregnant Woman in Peril!


Playground Monitor said...

I have 8 things out to the Trues -- some big, some small -- and I'm trying to finish a story to send by Monday. I got stuck this afternoon, picked up a romantic suspense I started a few days ago and got lost in that. I think I'm back on track with my story now.

So looking at your list, I clear my head, read for fun, read for research, have "me" time (can't wait until my foot's healed enough to have a pedicure) and am an officer in my RWA chapter plus moderate one of the RWA loops. I also just volunteered to do the newsletter for my homeowner's association (it was the lesser of many evils).

I should clean my office. I'll probably wait til the middle of May when I have a houseguest coming and do the whole house at once.

Great article by the way, and I'm right there with you checking the mail box daily for those envelopes from Dorchester.


Problem Child said...

I'm still waiting on a several things I have out. I don't like waiting, but what's a control freak to do?

Once I finish this rewrite (and we're getting closer), I'll be a very unhappy waiter while it's gone...

Rhonda Nelson said...

Sounds like you're really kicking butt, SP!

Barbara Vey said...

This is one of my favorite parts of your blogs...when you tell about the process and your balancing act. I can only imagaine how exciting it is to receive that letter. You must have a love/hate relationship with your mailman.

Maven LJ said...

Fingers crossed for all that you've got out there! Good things are coming. :-)

Before I sold and when I first sold, when I sent off a manuscript I might take a few days to clean off my desk and buy a pair of shoes and maybe paint a room or plant some flowers, and then while I was waiting I wrote another book. I did my best to completely forget what was out there and bury myself in the new story. Then when I got "the call" and was asked if I had anything else, I could say "Yes I do, and it's done." Then I sent it off and starting on something new. :-)

By the end of April I'll have my next Nocturne finished and in the mail, and I'm going to take an entire month off. I have a stalled remodeling project that needs some attention!


Instigator said...

I have no patience. Waiting is excruciating for me. I try to distract myself with other projects, reading, watching doesn't usually last long. Oh well. It's a part of myself I have to learn to live with :-)

The circle of five is really working well, SP!


Lynn Raye Harris said...

Love the Circle of Five, SP! You're doing fabulous with it.

I too am impatient. I try to forget about it, though. Like my winning Gotcha entry, now GH finalist, that's sitting on an editor's desk (in partial form). I haven't bothered to inform said editor I'm a finalist yet because then I'd have to drop the Presents book to go over that one again if it were requested. A serious, serious balancing act, eh?

And I'm probably not too smart about it anyway. *sigh* I should be swearing off sleep, showers, and eating in order to get everything done ASAP.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I forgot to tell y'all I'm blogging over at I Heart Presents today. Come say hi so I won't be lonely!

Kathy said...

Wow! Your Circle of Five has multiplied. Congratulations. Great job, SP!

I've got 2 articles started for the Trues and 4 shorts submitted. I've opted for something completely different and started a new book.

My entire house needs cleaned and my family complained they needed clothes washed yesterday. Ugh! If only there were more hours in the day. More hours just for writing, that is. :-)

Smarty Pants said...

What you should be carving time out for is to write the instructions for running the washing machine and print them to post in the laundry room. :) No one over the age of 15 better ever whine at me about not having clean clothes. Of course, they would know better as they would be making themselves pop tarts in the morning, too.

Jen said...

Wow! I'm in awe at the balls you have in the air. Keeping various body parts crossed for you.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Kathy: What SP said. Girl, you have to take care of YOU. And do you really want to send your family into the world unaware of how modern appliances operate? *gg*

Angel said...

I'm pretty good about working on new stuff until I hear back. I wouldn't even have known it was GH announcement day if others hadn't mentioned it. Despite being anxious to hear, I just don't remember the date unless I write it on my calendar. Handy trait to have. :)


terrio said...

Nothing like popping in here and feeling like a total under-achiever. I have many balls in the air, but few of them have to do with waiting for rejections/THE call.

I'm a single mom with a full time job and part time college schedule. The munchkin is playing softball so that's at least three nights out of my week plus her homework. I'm also conference chair/registrar for my local chapter conference and somewhere in there I'm supposed to be writing. That's the ball I drop the most. *sigh*

Here's my dumb questions of the day. What is Trues? And what is the circle of five?

And good luck on all that stuff you have out. Here's to lots of calls/selling/winning!

Smarty Pants said...

The "Trues" refer to the magazines that contain sell supposedly true short stories. There's True Confessions, True Romance, True Story, True Love, etc., so I just call them the Trues for short.

The Circle of 5 is this thing we came up with to help keep me motivated. At all times, I must have at least 5 writing related items out there - be it queries, contests, partials, etc. If one gets rejected, I have to send another out. It just a way to get me to keep stuff out for consideration and hopefully stir up some interest in my stuff. When I have nothing out, I get all mopey. :)

terrio said...

Wow! That five thing is genius. And yay you for keeping it going.

I think I've heard of those mags. I need to look into that. It would be a great way to get me moving. Thanks for answering my questions.

Angel said...

Also, terrio, if you go back to the main post, at the bottom you can click on Circle of 5 and it will show you the previous posts about it.
And I hear you about feeling like an underachiever. I have to remind myself that SP is a very fast writer, compared to my snail's pace. Often my family obligations get the better of me. I can only imagine if I were having to do it totally alone. Hugs, Sweetie! Just hang in there and make the most of the time you DO have.


terrio said...

Angel - I figured there was somewhere I should have clicked to get the answer but I was being lazy. LOL! And thanks for the kudos. I don't know how anyone does this with more than one and a spouse to deal with. But I can tell you I'm really looking forward to a year from now when the college stuff is out of the way.

Smarty Pants said...

Don't feel bad, really!

If you haven't read this blog for long, you might not know I'm the one without kids. I also have a weird day job where I do the majority of my writing. I'm sure I wouldn't have nearly as much doing if I had softball, dance class, and a day job where I was on my feet and away from a computer.

The Trues are a great place to motivate. You should definitely check it out.

Smarty Pants said...

Boo! Just got a rejection on my teen pregnancy story for True Romance.

Kathy said...

Hugs, SP!

Yoho Terrio! Ye be mighty busy thar. Take it all in stride. At least, that's what I try to do.

Let's all chant the mantra:
There is a time for every season....

Instigator said...

Boo is right, SP! Can you submit it anywhere else?

terrio said...

SP - I used to write during the day at work but I got this dang promotion last October and it messed me all up. You know, they pay you all this money and then expect you to do their work. Silly people.

Sorry about the rejection. But at least you know you have plenty of other feelers out there.

Angel - That should be my mantra. I've come to the understanding that if I don't finish a MS until after I finish school, it's not the end of the world. Though the guilt still creeps up on me.

Homer Hickam said...

Right now, I'm killing ants which have attacked my keyboard, probably because of all the crumbs spilled into it over the years. Got to stop eating lunch while writing.

Hollywood is the one that I wait for... sort of. Red Helmet has been winding (wending?) its way through the Disney/Miramax maze for over a month. I don't think about that much as it's all moonbeams and vapor until real $$$ are proposed. Otherwise, it's just the very occasional mention by my agent that "it's still alive." One of those "I'll believe it when I see it" kinds of things. The average time for a book to a movie is something like 8 years for the ones that actually get made. Most, even when optioned, never make it all the way to the silver screen. So I just don't worry about it or pretend that I don't which is almost the same.

By the way, I'm making a monthly appearance on the Toni and Gary Show on WBHP and sometimes I talk about writing. Call me and ask me a question! I'll next be on April 14. I usually start around 7:30 am.

Oops! There's another ant! Dang!