I missed Wednesday. I know. I know. Wednesday was not a good day for me mentally. No matter what I tried to do or get done, none of it seemed to register in my head. Every time one of my boys cried itmagnified, chipping away at my sanity. By the end of the day I was worn out, broken, and fully expected to give up on all my dreams the following day. Oh, and my book was declined by another agent. Oh, and most of my immediate family tested positive for the dreaded virus.
So, yeah. Not a good mental day. How’s your quarantine going?
And then Thursday happened. And then #PitMad happened, that thing where people post their novel pitches as Tweets and if a literary agent Likes it, that means they want to see a query and your manuscript. It’s not a guarantee, obviously, because they still need to like the thing, but it’s more than most people get.
I had two agents like my pitch.
Suddenly, it felt like I had worth. Suddenly, I remembered why I was doing this again, why I felt this was the path to be on instead of being in the classroom. These stories matter, not just to me, but to other people. If they end up not being mine, fine, but stories about kids, overcoming their worldly challenges, being part of something great, that’s still important.
That still needs to be told.
I’ll keep you posted on what comes from the queries. In the meantime, I’m going to sit here digesting the two celebratory donuts I had yesterday.
I received a NO from another agent, as they made the choice to step away from agenting not that long ago. Though I received no direect alert about it from the agent, social media did that for me. I guess I don’t have to count this as an agent specifically saying “No thank you” to my work, but, it’s not a YES, so, there we go. This was on Wednesday when I thought all my dreams were garbage.
Queried two more agents, so now we play the waiting game.
Still sitting at about 24,000 words. Probably have another 10k to go. I wanted to try and finish it for NaNoWriMo, but the 2020 gods dealt with that when my familial crisis arose, so, not a lot of extra time for writing. Still, the year’s not done, and I’m not about to let it get away from me without finishing another book.
This one is in an interesting position, as I thought I was going to move back into BIANCA as the secondary project. But as I was speaking to my wife on one of our twin walks (because we have to take them for walks every day now, because otherwise how else am I going to finish all my Pokemon GO research tasks?), she said I’m working on a lot of books that will hopefully become series, but don’t I have any books that are standalone? Something a little more grounded, less fantasy? That show what kind of writer I am in one go?
Turns out, I did.
DEED was started two years ago, is a standalone book, does fall under the realistic fiction banner with some fantasy elements thrown in, and sits about 18,000 words done with roughly 30,000 to go. It’s quite a ways from finished, but the whole thing is outlined in a Field Notes Dime Novel edition.
BTW, have you seen the new Snowy Evening edition, where they only made 99,999 individual notebooks but each one has a different snowflake on the cover? Gorgeous.
So, anyway, DEED gets bumped to the Gamma Class, Rank B project, following NESS in the Beta Class, Rank A, which is after GREY in the Alpha Class, Rank S.
I’m such a nerd.
Lastly, I’ll reference this blog over on Jane Friedman’s site, discussing how some people think large words are better. In it, guest writer, editor, and writing coach Mathina Calliope, says:
Esoteric vocabulary is sometimes fingered for deliberate obfuscation (see what I did there?). One of the many lines our country has split along is between regular folks and elites. The former call the latter’s use of obscure words pretentious (or they would if they used big words. Instead they call it snobby). The latter find the former’s avoidance of clarity and precision to be, um, deplorable.Calliope, Blog
I will never use obfuscation in one of my stories, probably, never. I think I fall in line with Hemingway, where I think the short words get the job done better than the big words. That’s my job. That’s my background. Teaching complex, difficult concepts to kids. Breaking down bigger, more structurally challenging ideas into something a 9-year old can look at and go, “Ahhhhhhhhhhh I get it now.”
Sometimes when I write I think to myself, “This isn’t good because it doesn’t SOUND nice. It’s not doing it’s job because I couldn’t use a flowery word to describe that chair. Terrible. Awful. Break your computer in half.”
But the flowery word doesn’t always have to be if I just want to say the chair was so old it would probably look more comfortable covered in dust. See? Smaller words with a better descriptor, in my eyes at least.
Two blogs, combined in one, out for the weekend to write, hang with my boys, and eat the remaining apple fritter my wife bought.
*sees wife ate apple fritter
Thanks for reading,