Friday, May 28, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For

This is a wild business. You never really know what's going to happen. It can take a year to get a response to a submission or it can take three weeks. A shining prospect can turn into a disappointment and a chance out of nowhere can turn into something great. You just never really know.

So lately, I've opted for the (not-recommended) "Throw it at the Wall" process. After patiently spending almost two years waiting for a career path to pan out only to have it wither and die, I decided to just cast as many lines as I could and see who bites. No multiple submissions, mind you, I just have that many homeless projects to shop. As of last Friday, I had a synopsis with one editor, 4 partials with 4 other editors (all different lines or houses) and a full with another house. I also rapid fired queries out to a dozen agents as well. I figured then, by god, something would happen. I'd already braced myself for the rapid onslaught of rejections.

I sent my stuff out there and started working on a project I wanted to pitch this summer. I was having trouble working. I posted before that my day job was interfering with my ability to write. My process was screwed up, but nothing was critical.

Then I got a full request on one of the partials. Great. Sooner than I expected. The book was about 85% done, I just needed to wrap up the ending and read it over again. So I started that, putting my summer pitch aside. It was slow going. Process still isn't recovered, but I was trudging along.

Then I opted to pitch a book on an online event. Figured what the heck, right? Couldn't turn down the opportunity. Well, that turned into another full request. The book is done, but could use some work based on the feedback from the last agent that rejected it. It was a project I'd put aside, but I'd need to address it quickly. I'd start just as soon as I finished the first one and mailed it off.

Then, the same day (if you can believe it) I got an email from an editor who'd had my synopsis since November. She realized she hadn't responded and asked me to go ahead and send the full. Yay. (And crap.) This proposal had been passed around, starting as sexy contemporary, and I'd rewritten the synopsis to make it a contemporary suspense, but had waited on the revisions to see if the editor liked it. She did. So now I have to implement all the changes I'd put into the synopsis.

So now I have three full manuscripts to edit and get out the door ASAP. Then there's still the one I need to revise for my pitch appointment at Nationals. And if this is just one big cosmic joke, I'm sure I'll get a request on the partial I submitted for a book that *cough*isn'twrittenyet*cough*. Work is still hell with long, stressful days and issues that come home with me at night. I really just don't know when all this is going to happen. But it has to.

Last night DB and I went out to celebrate and I had a margarita. Just wasn't sure if I was drinking because I was excited or completely overwhelmed. I feel like the woman who's been waiting forever to get pregnant then finds out she's having triplets. When it rains, it pours. And every now and then, it hails too. Grab your umbrella, girls, I've got a truckload of work to do.

Anything like this ever happen to you? Too much good stuff at once?

PS. And for the record, I want to say I'm not complaining. I know I'd get hate mail for complaining about 3 full requests in a month. I'm overjoyed. Just completely freaked out.


Cheryl said...

Congratulations on all of those requests! We know you aren't complaining - just very overwhelmed. You will make it and get the pitch ready for Nationals, it's just your nature to get things done. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time...

Linda Winstead Jones said...

More than once I've noticed that this business (for me) seems to swing wildly from feast to famine. Sadly, this is par for the course. Enjoy it! :-)

Problem Child said...

Feeling a little less "I suck" today? ~grin~

Way to go!

Playground Monitor said...

Too much good stuff at once?

Oh I wish!

Congrats on all the requests. I'm so excited for you.

Angel said...

Just what you needed -- sticks (as in carrot or stick). Now you have something to motivate you -- requests, and direction -- the particular lines/editors who requested them.

Actually, I think these may be carrots? Whatever. Great job! Just keep working. You are incredibly fast when you have a clear goal. You go, girl!


Kathy said...

Major congrats, SP! Take a deep breath. I'm confident you can get everything done in a timely manner. You're a great writer. Believe that and use that positive aura to guide you. As Kim always says, "The universe is unfolding as it should."

Sadly, I got a rejection from an agent yesterday. Such is life. ;)

Sherry Werth said...

Congratulations SP! That's great news. You are going to be very busy..but you can handle it. Enjoy all that good karma overload! :-D

Smarty Pants said...

Thanks, guys. This really has turned out to be a good motivator for me. I've managed to get the first book done and sent out to a couple readers. I'm more than halfway through the second book, but I'm getting to the hard part. Gotta kill someone, change the black moment from a diner to a funeral home, gotta hit the hero with a crowbar. It's coming along, though. Just the stick or carrot or whatever I needed.

PM's Mother said...

It's not how you weather the storm, but how you dance in the rain. You go, girl!

Stephanie said...

WOO HOO!!!I am soooo happy and proud for you. I knew it everyone would want you.

I am sorry that your day job so stressful. I know all of the requests are stressful too but at least that is good stress. :-)

I am glad that you are making good progress. Congratulations on finishing one up!

Good luck with everything!

Instigator said...

Congratulations! And I know you'll get them all done - well and quickly - because you're good.


Lynn Raye Harris said...

Congratulations, SP! Don't worry though, you can handle this. :) You're talking to the girl who just wrote a 50k book in 3 weeks. I *know* what can be done when you have to do it.

Enjoy the feast! Just take it a day at a time, and you'll do fine. :)