Really good reason to be MIA this month. AND A TWO NOVELLA DEAL TO HARLEQUIN!

Yes, I’ve been MIA for, like, a month. (You may throw stones now.)

But I’ve got good reason. Swear.

We’re doing a massive remodel on our kitchen and bathroom. Everything in our kitchen cabinets has vomited into our living room. Laundry is a pain since my laundry room is stuffed to the brim. I’ve been swallowed in edits of Vamped Up, Book 2 in the Vampires of Crimson Bay Series. They turned out great, better than I’d hoped. I’ve spent the last two days writing the back cover blurb for the book, and since there seemed to be a consensus among reviewers that the back cover blurb for InterVamption didn’t do the book justice, I’m trying to redeem myself. (But that comment in and of itself is a compliment, don’t you think? The blurb didn’t do the book justice. Ah yes, the meat of the book was great, but the blurb fell short. I’ll take it.) We’ve been battling some sort of Sheetrock dusting cold, which means the kids get the coughs and sneezes and pass it around like a hot potato. And I sold a two novella deal to Harlequin.

Wait. Hold the phone. OHMYGOSH, DIDN’T I TELL YOU?!?

I wrote a 25k word novella titled, Claimed by Desire, this summer. Super Agent Nalini pitched it and sold it to Harlequin Cravings. I’m so beyond thrilled that they wanted two novellas instead of the one. I absolutely love the world I created and want to spend more time there. I can’t wait to dive back in. (Did I mention I’ve got nothing written on the second one? Not a single plot line or sketch of a character. And I’ve got a due date! Whoa! This “real writer” stuff is heavy. I better get my backside in gear.)

Anyway, Claimed by Desire will release Summer of 2012 with the second one releasing Fall or Winter of 2012. I wish I had something more concrete to give you. Oh wait. I do.

Claimed by Desire Blurb

As teenagers, dragon shifter Rafe Landon and empath Misty Burke shared a heart-stopping love and heated passion that neither expected…especially since on the mystical Isle of Feralon, dragons aren’t supposed to embrace members of other races. Fearing for Misty’s life should she be claimed as his rider, Rafe commits the ultimate sacrifice and sets his love free, banishing her from the enchanted isle.

The last thing he expects is for Misty to return to Feralon ten years later as a very mature, and deviously sexy woman on a mission: use her heightened sensory powers to locate the missing Draco stone, a sacred gem that strengthens the dragon race. But Rafe is hiding a secret of his own. Forsaking a rider will end his life…in two days time. Despite his eternal love for Misty, he refuses to imprison her on the isle, condemning her to an early grave.

For Misty, Rafe will gladly pay the ultimate sacrifice—he’ll die, so she can live.

It’s not long before Rafe and Misty are swept away by undercurrents of passion that never waned. Their quest to find the sacred stone may be more of a journey than either realized—one that not only leads to the lost gem, but to true, undying love.

Whatcha think?

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How I’m handling edits on Vamped Up, Book 2 in the Vampires of Crimson Bay Series

I got the first round of edits back on Vamped Up yesterday. Actually, I got the commented manuscript back two days ago and the revision letter yesterday.

Before I’d ever reached this stage…before I’d snagged the best agent on the planet and the most dedicated editor…I wondered how authors viewed their edits. What’s the revision letter all about? What’s the process like? How long do you have until you have to send them back? Then what?

I can’t speak for everyone because, let’s face it, every writer is going to have a different experience with their editor or book and a different process for dealing with the mountain of revisions they inevitably receive.

But this is how I handle (HANDLED, AM HANDLING) it (WITH MY FREAK-OUT THOUGHTS IN PARENTHESES):

When I saw my editor’s email in my inbox, glaring in bold–Book 2 edits–with that little paperclip symbol, I freaked. I got butterflies. I took a really deep breath, and I opened the mail.

The email letter itself was very nice, yet very professional. She loved the book (THANK GOD!) but thinks there’s some issues in my first 100 pages that need to be worked over. (I ALWAYS STRUGGLE WITH THE BEGINNING, SO THAT WAS REALLY NO SURPRISE.) There were overall suggestions I absolutely agreed with. (DUH! HOW COULD I NOT SEE THAT SOLUTION BEFORE?!?) And suggestions that made my nose twitch. (HMM…NOT WHAT I INITIALLY HAD IN MIND…COULD THAT WORK?…COULD I MOVE THAT SCENE AND CONNECT THOSE TWO AND REWRITE THAT ONE AND MAKE IT SMOOTH AND FLUSH LIKE THAT’S THE WAY I ORIGINALLY INTENDED? WOULD IT HAVE THE SAME EFFECT? YES, WITH SOME WORK, IT COULD. AND IF SHE’S SAYING IT’LL MAKE MORE SENSE THIS WAY, I’LL GET IT DONE.) There was also the panic inducing mention of the due date: October 10th. (SURE, THAT SOUNDS LIKE A LONG TIME AWAY, BUT DID I MENTION I’M REMODELING MY KITCHEN? DID I MENTION THAT FOR THE NEXT THREE WEEKS–THREE WEEKS IN WHICH I COULD USE SOME PEACE AND QUIET–I’M GOING TO HAVE A TEAM OF CONSTRUCTION WORKERS STOMPING ABOUT, SMASHING INTO MY CABINETS WITH SLEDGEHAMMERS?) No problem. I’ll get it done (BEFORE THE DUE DATE, BECAUSE YOU ALWAYS SHOULD). And the book will be better for it.

Now when I dove into the book, I was looking for her comments in the margins. (THERE’S SO MANY OF THOSE DAMN RED THINGS! I’M TALKING MAYBE 2 BUBBLES PER PAGE.) I wanted to see where she tripped up in my writing, where the comments slowed down (meaning she was absorbed in the story) and where they picked up (places that still needed work). I noted those in my trusty composition notebook. I fixed some easy-do’s. I highlighted new changes I wanted to make, leaving little notes for myself in the margins. I got reacquainted with the novel and my characters. (WELL HELLO, RUAN, IT’S BEEN TOO LONG.)

That’s it.

The first run through is over. Took two days.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I opened the revision letter. It was four pages worth of suggestions, divied up by character. (ie: Ruan–fix XYZ on page 123. Dylan–go into more detail on her xyz from chap 8-12. Savage–what’s with his blablitty-blah issues in the beginning? Move that to chap x and flop that end part to the middle. Mesh it flawlessly.) (I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE STRUCTURE OF THIS REVISION LETTER! SEE, I’M A HARD CORE PLOTTER. I CAN WEAVE A PLOT LIKE NO ONE’S BUSINESS. I CAN CREATE A STORY OUT OF A SIMPLE IDEA AND THROW MORE COMPLEX ISSUES AT THE CHARACTERS THAN THEY KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH. BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THE CHARACTERS, I TEND TO SPIN THEM ROUND AND ROUND ON MY PLOT STRING, AND FORGET TO TIE SOME OF THEIR ENDS TOGETHER. WHAT I MEAN IS, MY EDITOR POINTED OUT PLACES TO MAKE MY CHARACTERS STRONGER. WAYS TO BRING ABOUT MORE OF AN AH-HA MOMENT. WAYS TO TORTURE THEM WITH THEIR PAST. IT WAS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED. NO, SHE DIDN’T DO THAT FOR INTERVAMPTION’S REVISION LETTER. MAYBE SHE’S REALIZING MY STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES AND WORKING WITH THEM. I DUNNO. ALL I KNOW IS, THIS IS GOING TO WORK AND MAKE VAMPED UP SHINE!) Seeing all the work that needed to go into Vamped Up and feeling a little overwhelmed, I re-formatted the letter. I double spaced it. (YES, IT WAS FOUR PAGES SINGLE SPACED!) I gave each character his/her own page. I took out the “I thinks” and the “You shoulds” and gave each instruction a 1,2,3 assignment. Now, I’ve got this really tight word doc straight from my editor about what I have to get done. It’s gone from “wouldn’t this be great here” to “get this shit done in order and make it snappy!” Just the way I like it. It’s now eight pages long. (HOLY F#@%& EIGHT PAGES…EIGHT PAGES…HOW THE HELL AM I GOING TO GET THIS DONE. I SUCK. I TOTALLY SUCK. SHITDAMNSHIT! PRESSUREPRESSUREPRESSURE! HEADEXPLOSION!)

Then I closed all documents and put it aside for the day.

I let my mind stew. (OR YOU KNOW, LET MY BRAIN DOWNSHIFT FROM PANIC TO IDLE.)

I cleaned out my kitchen cabinets and stayed up late watching the season premieres of Vampire Diaries (WHY OH WHY, DON’T ELENA AND DAMON HOOK UP ALREADY?!?) and America’s Next Top Model All Stars.

Today, tomorrow, the next day and the next, I’m going to be editing. Non stop. I’ll go down the list, tweak what needs tweaking, iron what needs smoothing. Then I’ll read through it again from the beginning to make sure it’s tight. Then I’ll download it to my kindle and read through it again, taking notes, to make sure it reads right. (THAT’S FOUR READS OF MY 400 PAGE BOOK IN THREE WEEKS, IF YOU DIDN’T CATCH IT.)

Then, and only then, will I send it back to my editor…on October 9th…a day early.

There’s a first time for everything–a novel and a novella?

Ever wonder the difference between a novel and a novella? According to thefreedictionary.com:

nov·el 1 (nvl)n.
1. A fictional prose narrative of considerable length, typically having a plot that is unfolded by the actions, speech, and thoughts of the characters

no·vel·la (n-vl)
n. pl. no·vel·las or no·vel·le (-vl, -vl)
1. A short prose tale often characterized by moral teaching or satire.
2. A short novel.

If you’ve been around this blog, or me, any length of time, you know I’m a novel-writing fool. Or at least I try to be. Although Dark Tide Rising was complete at 77,000 words, the two paranormals contracted with Avon Impulse are over 100,000 words each.

To think about writing something for the Harlequin Nocturne Bites line, I need a complete, kick-ass, dark and wild story between 10,000 and 15,000 words. That’s cutting down a lot for me!

I’ve learned two things about myself, after writing one complete chapter of the work:

1-I can’t keep it short and sweet.
2-I have a serious problem with massive amounts of plot

I think I’m going to have to try to keep it as concise as I can, then go back and weed unnecessary things out. The hard part? Deciding what’s unnecessary.

Side note: I got copy edits back for Intervamption yesterday. I’m going to be working on those this weekend, along with trying to finish the novella. Maybe I’ll give you a hint what it’s about when I get closer to knowing that myself. *grin

How to use Hyperboles!!

I love dealing with insurance companies! They’re the best! Adjusters, specifically.

Let me take you back to Mother’s Day, two years ago. The Miller fam was headed to Santa Cruz along with all of my extended family. I was driving a Rav4 at the time and we had it packed to the max. Hey, with two little munchkins you need buckets, shovels, towels, strollers, blankets, food, more food, toys, etc, etc, etc. That list goes on forever. (Sadly, the Rav4’s truck space did not.)

We were merging from one freeway to another when WHAM! another car hit us from behind. Thank God traffic was slowly merging and only going about 40 mph. My coffee went flying from my hands and splattered all over the windshield. My seatbelt snapped me good–it hurt then, but not enough to seek medical attention. Husband was out of the car in a flash, checking to make sure everyone was all right.

We were fine.

Elvira, the tall, gothic-slicked driver of the other car (NO, I’m not joking. I couldn’t make up a character this rich!) said she didn’t have insurance. We had to move our cars off the freeway. Husband got the feeling she was going to bolt, so he snagged her ID and asked her to follow us off the ramp into a parking lot up ahead. With her license in hand, she couldn’t run. (Smart move, wouldn’t you say?)

Everyone was okay. Kids were a little scared, but unhurt. I was soaked in hot mocha goodness. Husband was on the ball.

Flashforward one month.

I’m laying on the couch watching television and I hear a very loud, very scary POP! from my chest. My chest goes warm and tingly. My arms and hands go numb. Husband, who was across the room, looks over and says “Did that pop come from you?”

I nodded. Oh, God. That was loud. My mind raced. I cracked a rib. I popped a lung. One of my arteries snapped. I can’t breathe. My breathing became shallow.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

I shook my head, getting dizzier by the second.

“Can you breathe?”

Again, shallow pants, more numbness.

“Do I need to call an ambulance?” Husband asked, watching color drain from my face.

I nodded, more of a fast twitch, and struggled to take a full breath.

The hospital ran all kinds of tests. EKGs. X-Rays. MRIs. All came up negative. Lungs fine. Ribs intact. No evidence of heart attack or stroke.

So what the hell happened? And why, two hours later, was I still having trouble breathing? After seeing my primary physician the next day, he discovered I had a massive tender spot beneath my left breastbone…from where the seatbelt had snapped me in the accident.

Turns out the seatbelt had broken the cartilage in my chest. My muscles tightened around it, holding it in place, until they relaxed a month later, releasing it. POP! The warm sensations, the tingling, the numbness, the shallow breathing? That was attributed to the muscles and tendons finally relaxing…with a little panic attack and hyperventilation thrown in there too.

When I first dealt with Elvira’s insurance company, Draco Alliance, (okay, now I’m kidding) I thought there wouldn’t be a problem covering my medical bills. But there was.

How could I prove the injuries a month later were a direct result of the accident? The ER visit didn’t prove a thing. In fact, it simply ruled out everything major.

Brings me back to my initial claim: I love dealing with insurance companies. Adjusters, specifically.

Two years later, I’m still dealing with them. I’m not trying to screw them out of anything. I don’t want a landslide lawsuit when I’m not really hurt anymore. (Sure, cartilage doesn’t ever heal–EVER–and I’ll hear popping sounds from time to time, but that’s not earth-shattering.) I just want the money I’m out from copays and such. Not too much to ask, right?

Right.

Happy Mother’s Day to me. The day I have to revisit the accident and all the insurance paperwork from both parties and bills and hoopla involved. My injury claim closes Monday.

I love dealing with insurance companies. They’re so worried about people scamming them that they make it a pain in the ass for legitimate claims to go through.

Adjusters, specifically.

(Edited to Add: Wanna know what happened to the Rav4? The damage to the back end was fixed–paid by Elvira’s insurance–no problemo. A few weeks later the computer in the tow compartment went out from “some sort of extreme jostling”. $6K to fix it. Insurance denied responsibility. It’s long gone now.)

EDITS! And how to spell Suppose. Supposedly.

Edits, oh edits,

how I love thee,

let me count the ways.

One

Two

Three hundred

fifty pages worth

and two more pages of Edit Notes for good measure.

I received edits back on Book One in the Crimson Bay Series this week. (I have the best editor in the world…just sayin’.) I’m thrilled. Downright giddy. Editing something, tearing it apart line by line, analyzing what works, what doesn’t, and why, is the reason I went into teaching. I love it! I was the English teacher who smiled ear to ear on grammar days.

Don’t get me wrong…I make errors in my writing. A ton of them, in fact. My quotation marks sometimes go the wrong way. I can’t seem to spell “supposed” for the life of me. Suppose…suppose…S-u-p-p-o-s-e…supposesupposesuppose!!! Isn’t it suppose? Nope. Supposed. Although I know how to spell it, I misspell it every single time.

What’s the point here? I’m not perfect. The revision letter from my editor tells me so. But I’m having so much fun fixing those errors and making this manuscript as perfect as it can be. I’m molding it into something shiny and new. Something it was supposed to be from the beginning. There’s no better feeling than taking something you worked so hard on and bashing it into shape to be something better.

Edits aren’t meant to be painful. (Although after eight hours with Ass In Chair yesterday, my backside may argue the point.) They should be fun. It’s the last time I get to play with these characters. The last time I get to listen in on their fights and mess with their world. It’s the last time I get to watch my hero and heroine fall in love. And it’s oh, so, sweet watching my bad-ass hero brought to his knees by love.

So the next time you’re reworking your novel or editing it to pieces and feel that editing grouch start to claw its way into your mind, remember how much fun the characters were to create in the first place. You get to revisit them! Remember dancing on the streets in your fictional world. Do it some more! There’s no greater joy for a writer…for me.

As soon as I have a title for Book One I’ll let you know. Back to editing I go! Wish me luck!

The Value of A Good Reader/Crit Partner

When I finished my first novel, (a contemporary romantic suspense where I killed the hero in the end) I had no idea what it took to be published. (It’s safe to say I was WAY off the mark in every aspect.) I had no clue that a romance novel required the HEA (happily-ever-after) ending to be published. I thought I could simply write a story that struck me, find an agent, and sell it. Boy, was I wrong.

Over the past two years I’ve learned so much about the industry. Note that I said I learned about the industry. It’s not enough to perfect your craft. You have to understand market trends, where your novel would be shelved in a library or bookstore, and what audience you’re targeting. Is your book geared for Young Adults? Middle grade? Adults? Is the market saturated with vampires? Weres? Are you writing another typical vampire story? If you are, better have a major twist to stand out…

My point is that it’s not enough to write for the sake of writing or for the idea of being a writer. Writing is a business. Get to know it.

So how do you know if your writing is up to snuff with your competition? I’d say the first way is to READ, READ, READ other books in the genre you’re writing. If you like J.R. Ward’s Blackdagger Brotherhood (YOU MUST READ THEM IF YOU HAVEN’T YET–just sayin’), and want to write that style of book, read as much of the likes of her as you can.

Another great way is to land yourself a valuable critique partner. If you’re asking yourself what “valuable” is, I can sum it up in one word: HONEST.

The person I let read my first novel (the person who gets the first reads of all my novels, actually) is someone who’s been my friend a long time. (I’m talking since the fourth grade, folks.) She’s smart. Educated. Reads a ton. But that’s not why I initially gave her my material. I had tons of friends offering to read for me with the same qualities.

I knew she wouldn’t be afraid to tell me if my writing sucked. No matter how much I knew it would hurt to hear, I needed to know.

And she didn’t disappoint. (Oh, I took a major blow to my ego, let me tell you.) She told me it “wasn’t good enough” time and time again. Still does. (Yes, we’re still friends. No, I haven’t thrust her into a story to kill her off in one of my battle scenes. What on earth would make you think that?)

The point is this: when I sent out my first book to be read, I wanted validation. I wanted to be told that my writing had potential–that I COULD be an author if I pushed hard enough. If that’s what you want, let your mother or sister read your work. They’ll validate you like nobody’s business for finishing a novel.

I’ll tell you now, it’s not enough. Not if you want to make it in the business. However, if you have a mother or sister who’s an honest crit partner, I suppose you have the best of both worlds! But for others, we have to pick and choose our readers with care.

Last night I sent over a new chapter to my brutally honest reader. She always calls after reading the pages sounding bright and cheery. (Even when she’s telling me it’s terrible, there’s a smiling lilt in her voice.) I always grimace, waiting for the review. Last night she told me it was Great. She said I shouldn’t change a single thing.

What meant the most weren’t the words–thousands of readers and crit partners around the country probably tell authors the same thing. It meant so much because only a few reads before, she told me I could do better. She said the character’s motivations fell flat. She was disinterested in where a particular story thread was going. (She didn’t use those words, but that’s what she meant.)

So last night when she said it was Awesome, I know that it is. I no longer wonder if she’s just telling me that so as not to hurt my feelings. She doesn’t sugar coat. And that’s exactly what I need.

What do you need from a reader or crit partner? Do you like their comments to be soft and careful? Or brash and brutally honest? Can you get past the initial hurt feelings if they tell you it sucks? Or do you find another crit partner? I’m curious how the other side lives…

Locking Up Your Writing Part Deux

Ready for more editing on this fine Wednesday morning? (Wasn’t I the most twisted English teacher ever? I’m pretty sure my kids loathed my giddiness for anything grammar.)

1-Check comma placement in compound sentences. Two complete sentences joined with and/but/or are fused with a comma where the period would go if you were to create two separate sentences.

Don’t: The door opened and she stepped through it to face her nemesis. (This could be broken up to read…The door opened. She stepped through it to face her nemesis.)
Do: The door opened, and she stepped through it to face her nemesis.

2-Singular Possessives – It is correct to use only an apostrophe following a proper noun that ends with an S, however, it is also correct to use the usual apostrophe S. Whichever choice you make, though, you have to show it in consistent fashion.

Example: Marcus’ (or Marcus’s) hand covered his eyes. Both are right, but keep it going throughout.

3-Sensory – Use all five senses in creating your scenes. A final read-through should be to make sure you included these with enough frequency to make the scene come alive for the reader. I realized after a few re-reads of Enemy that I’m missing the element of sound. I’m a visual learner–always have been. And besides dialogue, the occasional sigh or the roar of battle, the book is pretty quiet. That’s something I need to go back and fix if I want it to be a stronger read. Don’t forget “The Five”.

Aim for at least one sense other than sight on each page. But come on, we all know it should be far more than one, right? Right? Good.

4-Dialogue Tags – Action tags are stronger and can be used to show the character’s emotion. If both a dialogue and action tag are used, keep the action and delete the dialogue. Don’t leave in non-descript action tags like ‘he smiled,’ “he nodded,” “he laughed.” These don’t relay enough information. If you keep them, add to them.

EXAMPLE: “Even my mother is excited about it,” Meg said with a smile. “She’s already planning the wedding.”
BETTER: “Even my mother is excited about it.” Meg smiled and set her glass aside. “She’s already planning the wedding.”
BEST: “Even my mother is excited about it.” Meg forced a tight smile as she set her glass aside to keep from spilling it. “She’s already planning the wedding.”

See what a difference a highly evolved tag makes?

*As for me…I had not one, but TWO fantastic plot sessions yesterday. I swear I have the best friends ever. This next project is proving to have more conflict, more depth, and more emotional tugs than anything I’ve written before it. And I’m so excited to get started! More fine tuning this week for me and then I’m back to the drawing board…or keyboard, as it were.

Lock It Up!

Oh, I just looove Wedding Crashers. If you like Vince Vaughn and a hearty laugh as much as I do, this movie won’t disappoint. Not to mention other stars in the film such as Rachael McAdams, Owen Wilson and Christopher Walken. With a cast like that, it couldn’t go wrong.

But tall, hunky men with strong comedic sense are not what this post it about. (Sadly…*sigh*…they’re my favorite type.)

It’s about Locking Up Your Writing.

There’s some editing basics every writer should know before kick starting the query process. (I hate to use the word “basic” because I’ve been guilty of doing some of these, but that’s what they really are. They’re the building block of solid writing…)

First step after writing The End? Do a spell check.

Once you’ve finished using the computer’s checker (and after you’ve gone through yourself and edited until your eyes blur because, really, who relies only on Word to spell?) you should look for these commonly misused words and make sure you’ve used them right:

1. accept/except
2. affect/effect
3. alright/all right
4. altogether/all together
5. altar/alter
6. among/between
7. amount/number
8. bad/ill, good/well
9. blond/blonde
10. brunet/brunette
11. board/bored
12. complement/compliment
13. council/counsel
14. discussed/disgust
15. fewer/less
16. fiancé/fiancée
17. here/hear
18. idol/idle
19. lesson/lessen
20. lie/lay
21. lightning/lightening
22. loose/lose
23. message/massage
24. principal/principle
25. stationary/stationery
26. that/which
27. there/their/they’re
28. then/than
29. to/two/too
30. who/whom
31. who’s/whose
32. your/you’re

Then you should go through your document with a fine tooth comb and Search and Destroy “that’s”. Most of them are useless space fillers that expand your writing faster than Size 8 jeans after my birthday.

Next you should really take a look at -ly adverbs. There may be a tighter way to say what you mean.

EXAMPLE: Sarah leaned close and spoke softly.
BETTER: Sarah leaned close and whispered.

And finally (although you should be far from the editing finish line at this point), SHOW NOT TELL. Here’s some words to watch for that might indicate you’re telling what’s going on:

Saw
Watched
Noticed
Heard
Felt
Thought
Knew
Decided
Realized

Instead of using “He saw a black cat dart across the street”, simply have the cat dart across the street. Put the reader in the action instead of on the outside watching it happen to the hero or heroine. See what I mean? You can use that example for all of the above. “She realized…” should be changed into exactly what she realized. “He heard” should be transferred into the sounds heard. Drop the tags and tighten things up.

Okay, I think that should be a good start, right? This week I’ll go over some other hurdles I’m constantly tripping over in my own writing and, hopefully, along the way help someone else too.

*As far as my own progress goes, I’m plotting the sequel to Enemy, Beloved currently titled Immortal, Beloved (though that will most likely change at some point). I’m looking forward to a plot session with my new critique partner (Hi A.J!) this week (if I can manage to get away sans kids for a few hours), and I’m setting my goals on typing Page 1, Chapter 1 by Monday of next week.

**Also, I’ve been given an awesome blog award over at Nocturnal Reading. Thanks Kaiti! She’s giving away tons of cool stuff once her follower count reaches 100, so if you haven’t gone over there yet to take a look you really should.

Now dive back into your WIP and Lock It Up!

Whipple me senseless

“It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean.”–John Locke

Natalie Whipple, repped by Nathan Bransford of Curtis Brown has a fantastically helpful blog that I frequent more than I’d care to admit. She’s bright and witty and I can’t wait to get my greedy paws on some awesome YA for a change. (Stephenie Meyer just ain’t pushing my buttons anymore.)

I’ve been blogging a lot about editing lately (oh so sorry), but it’s only because the evil manuscript chomping monster has taken control of my computer. Seriously, a hairy looking spider crawled across my computer screen yesterday. While it was in my lap! Beyond gross.

Back to Whipple: she wrote a blog post the other day called “The Importance of Hating your Book” that completely summed up my feelings on the editing process. I thought you might like to read about what a rising star might have to say about what little ‘ole unpublished me is going through at this exact moment. You can read it here.

And here’s a little poem I wrote two minutes ago to jump-start the morning. (Warning: What you are about to read is not good for the eyes. The author has not had her morning coffee, nor does she claim to be a poet in any shape or form–in fact, author does not claim to have a sense of humor either, yet here she is, still trying. However, if any money shall be made from the copyrighted words below author shall receive hefty payments of chocolate truffles delivered on the 1st of the month for the rest of her life in lieu of monetary payment.)

Editing! Stroke!

Editing, oh, editing
How I love to trudge through your waters.
Ands and Buts catch in the rocks of your shallows
along with wrongly worded adverbs and bristly starfish.
I backstroke in my dialogue and butterfly in my voice.
No matter how hard I anchor time and place
your tide still pulls out, tangling my lines.
Editing, oh, editing
How I drown in your currents of hope and purpose.

Edits go a little like this…

It’s hard to describe in words exactly what I’ve felt like this week. I’ve worked SO hard. Teaching 150 high school students a day was never as hard as juggling two rugrats, household duties and two projects. I know I mentioned I’m editing two manuscripts at the same time and bobbling between romantic suspense and paranormal romance…but every time I sit at the computer with my cup of coffee and open that word doc I feel…

…well…I feel…a little like this guy…

Did you catch the part near the end where the whitewash seemed to eat him alive and then he popped out (surprisingly) still surfing?

That’s how I’m hoping to come out of this editing process.

With an offer of representation. *big fat (and hopeful, praying my little heart out) grin