Monday, December 30, 2013

Good Riddance 2013. You Weren't All Bad.

Cheep, cheep!

Time for my end of the year, round-up blog. Sadly, I have not made a complete transition from anonymity to book deal, but I have kept my publishing goals in check and seen some success. Woot!

I received my first request for a partial. This is huge for anyone who is unfamiliar with the process. This means that someone liked my query. Whew... The partial was read, but a there was no immediate request for a full. I did, however, get fantastic feedback from the author who requested the partial (it was Megan Whitmer , btw).  Impartial feedback has been the one thing I have craved so much since starting this process. My mom, friends and other readers are just too kind to offer analysis, or they can’t really pinpoint what it is that they dislike in particular. Megan’s critique offered specific advice on how to improve the story keeping the genre and audience in mind. She also told me what was good about the work which is the type of thing that keeps me going. Thank you, Megan!

Cluck, Cluck!

My request for the partial came from a contest hosted by Brenda Drake. My participation resulted in more helpful query and page critiques from Natalie Knaub and Monica Bustamante, Stephanie Funk. Thanks, thanks, and thanks! If you are a writer, this contest is invaluable for newbies. You can build your Twitter crew, find support and learn, learn, learn. It’ll come around again, so check it out!

Balk, balk!  

Now, I suppose it’s time to set my goals for 2014. I have always been quite good at fulfilling my goals, but truthfully they have never been very bold and are usually easy to achieve with only the slightest amount of commitment and time. Weight loss is never on the list. Still isn’t… So, ha!

Last year, my goal was to query agents. I have done that, and done that, and done that. I’m not ready to replace my nail of rejections with a spike like Stephen King, but it’s only because I’ve only sent around 15 queries. I should have sent out more. I’ve learned a mega-ton since I sent out my first queries in April, and I wish I had known then what I know now.  I learned so much via trial, and for me this is the best way. I’m a hands-on, learn from my flops, kind of girl.

For anyone curious about the publishing process for new writers, I saw this fantastic diagram floating around Twitter this morning. I’m 3/4ths of the way down the chart. Progress!

My goals for 2014 need to be bold, if not a little risky.   
  •          I will revise my novel.
  •          I will complete another WIP.
  •          I will find representation. I used to think that landing an agent was largely out of my hands due to the subjective nature of the industry, but now I see that there is more I can do to facilitate this process with revisions and self promotion.
You may argue that goals aren’t risky if there is no consequence for failure other than self-loathing. I have set a very risky goal for this year but it’s not blogable.

Other non-risky goals:
  • ·            Buy more fancy cheese and buy less wine.
  • ·            Get better at saying “no.”
  • ·            Be a little selfish.
  • ·            Discover a new insect species in my backyard.
  • ·            Snake proof my kitchen. (for real)
  • ·            Oh and chickens!!! I will get chickens this year! Now that I’ve written the goal, I’m certain to have a backyard gaggle of fat friendly hens. My strategy involves first destroying husband’s trust of grocery store eggs.  Muahahahaaaaa!

Doodle doo! (I won’ t be getting a rooster).

I tried to make my kids to write New Year’s Eve haikus but they refused chanting, “You can’t make me!” Boo to them!

So, while I plug away at next year’s goals, enjoy this picture of something that really happened in my kitchen 2013.