Monday, October 15, 2012

Choose to Remember the Good Times

So last week my stepfather passed away.  Well, I don't know if I can even call him that.  I mean, he and my mom were together for like 20 years but they had been divorced now for about 5.  They had a fairly complicated marriage and somehow we all never quite meshed.

There were many years where we didn't speak and weren't part of each others lives.  There were times when there was a lot of anger and hurtful things said.  I spent so many years of my life focusing on the negative that it got to be exhausting.  Wouldn't you rather laugh than cry?  Wouldn't you rather smile than frown?

So as many people rejoiced in this man's passing, I felt grief.  I was saddened by the fact that there were people who were happy that he was gone.  I don't ever want to think that there will be a day where people are dancing and clapping because I am dead.  I am choosing to remember the good times.

I can remember the time he brought me homemade chicken soup when I was in high school because I was home sick.  I remember getting take out Chinese on a Friday night just because.  I remember him calming me down after a fight with my mother and telling me that he loved me.  I remember all of the times that he was good to my children.

Believe me, if I allowed myself to truly be honest, there were much more harsh memories than good ones but what good does focusing on the bad do?  A life is over.  Wouldn't you rather be remembered for the things you did right than for the things you did wrong?

Rest in peace... 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Haven't We Had This Conversation Before?

Back in August I decided to try something new and instead of submitting my next book directly to a publisher, I decided to submit to an agent. I figured, hey, let somebody else do some of this work because it is mentally exhausting.

So I found one that had a good reputation, prepared my submission packet and off it went.  The packet included a cover letter, a synopsis (7 pages) and then the first 50 pages of the book all on top quality paper and sent out via priority mail.

About three weeks later I got a hand-written response (and not in very clear hand-writing, might I add) asking me for a full synopsis and that she was looking forward to working with me on an exclusive basis.  I was beyond giddy.  The only problem?  I had a hell of a time writing a 7 page synopsis, a full one would need to be 25-30 pages!  I'm not going to lie to you, it took a lot longer than it should have.

So I finally get the blasted thing done, write a cover letter and off it went last Tuesday.  On Friday I got an email response (apparently, if I had put my email address in the original, she would have preferred that) stating the following:

Hi Stacey,
I received your synopsis in today’s mail.
A synopsis should be 1-3-5 pages at the most.
When you resubmit, please send the first 50 pages with your synopsis and a title page stating genre and word count.
Is it targeted for a certain Harlequin line? Is so, please state it.
Look forward to hearing from you again.
Are you a member of RWA? If not, join and get into a critique group.
Would you consider writing an inspirational version? They are a bit easier to sell since the inspy market isn’t quite as hammered with submissions as the secular.
Just a thought…

To which I responded:
I am so glad that you received the synopsis.  I had originally sent you the 6 page synopsis and first 50 pages back in August.  You sent them back with a note requesting a full synopsis.  That's why I sent the 25 page one to you.

This story was originally written with the Harlequin Desire line in mind.  It was a top five finalist in their Editor's Pitch Challenge.  It was an exciting competition and the first time I had the opportunity to pitch directly to an editor.  It did not, however, make their final cut but I thought that it could if they had requested a full manuscript.  The comments they made on the story would have all been answered had they requested more than the first 50 pages.  While I was disappointed, it was still a thrill to have been considered.

I am not currently a member of RWA but do have a critique partner that I am working with through another writer's group.  I will look in to it.  We have a great local chapter of them here in Raleigh.  I've attended several of their meetings, as well.

As for going for the inspirational version, I think it would be very difficult to re-work this particular story for that genre.  It's a little spicy!

I look forward to working with you and please let me know what other materials I can send your way.

Thank you and have a great weekend!

So I'm thinking, okay, we've cleared that up, right?  Wrong.  Here was her response:

Hi Stacey,
You sound very nice – please send the first fifty pages, title page stating your email address, word count and Harlequin line it’s targeted for and a 1-5 page synopsis.
Look forward to hearing from you!
Thanks and blessings,

PS Don’t worry about it not being suitable for an inspy version.

Is it just me or does something just not seem right here?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Thank you, Goodreads!

I had a great surprise last week thanks to my virtual assistant, Dot, and her company Uniquely Organized and Utilized.  My little book, "Jordan's Return" is listed on Goodread's list of Best Kindle Romance Books!


Goodread's is a wonderful site for the avid reader.  You can post books, review books, meet like-minded readers and see what's new in the literary world.  It's a great little site and it's been kind of cool as a reader and a writer to see what great books are out there.

As for the list, the Best of Kindle Romance Books has 322 books listed and I am at number 203.  I was 223 last week so this is pretty exciting to see the move on the list!

So, if you're clicking around the internet, feel free to head over to Goodreads and vote for me!  I would greatly appreciate it - yet again!!