Friday Updates

There is really not a lot going on. It’s Friday. I have a short story nearly ready to send out in order to catch the tail end of On Spec‘s current reading period before getting back to the novel.

Why the break for a short story? Well, first of all, the idea for this one finally fell together after months of banging around in my brain and two, I met with one of the On Spec editors at the conference a few weeks ago, and she asked if I had anything to send in based on the query letter I showed her for the novel. It’s nothing but net if I could get a short accepted before I head to Willamette to pitch the novel, and nothing is lost if I don’t.

I did finally get signed up for the August writers’ conference in Oregon. I have a pitching session with an agent even though I am treating it as a learning experience and if something comes of it  – bonus. Rob has booked off quite a bit of time around the conference, so we are going to camp and vacation on either side.

And no, he hasn’t heard on the job offer. He was supposed to meet with his immediate supervisor on Wednesday, but the boss called in sick and has been out the remainder of the week. 

Moving has been on my mind. I convinced Rob to finish the reno upstairs, painting the bedrooms, building a walk-in closet in our room and laying new hardwood floor. All things that were on the agenda, but the continued cool weather and the possibility we could be moving by summer’s end and thus having to sell, mean that this stuff needs to get done now. The outdoor projects need a bit warmer weather.

So the upstairs is all but empty. I had forgotten how much I love space. In my old house, I had almost no furniture. Drove visitors a bit batty, but I loved it. Near empty rooms with nothing on the walls is peaceful with possibility.

I got a letter from Will’s mom. The things we put on his grave last summer are gone. Don’t really know what to do with the information, and was a bit upset by her contacting me about it. I even wrote a long blog piece that I decided not to publish after talking with Rob about it. He pointed out that there is nothing that can be done about ties to the past and their intrusion into now on occasion, so there is no reason to work oneself up about it. It happens and you deal.

I will send her a “thanks” with some pictures of the child and leave it at that.

Ashtanga yoga is kicking the crap out of my old, neglected muscle groups. I also found a new Hatha instructor who is into strength building along with flexibility. End result is that I am very sore but better than yesterday.

What else? I am reading like a fiend. And that is about it. 

Sorry about neglecting the replies to comments. I am still not reconnected with the blogosphere so much and I am planning a summer hiatus, but I will let you know when that begins.

P.S. The pen name is settled. The site is constructed. I will launch at the end of summer.

I finished the six day yoga cleanse this morning. Yogina was easy on us because we were all a bit sore and tired. She explained that yoga should be a six day a week habit with sessions of varying intensity (honoring our bodies as they present themselves every day is a HUGE theme), and that women should not practice yoga on the first three days of their periods. It’s called a “ladies’ holiday” , and it’s good to know.

Despite waking up with a sore right leg (I have uber tight hamstrings that play hell up and down my right side), I still managed a good swift walk after lunch and then sat down to write my very first query letter for my novel in progress.


A good question as the novel is still a work in progress and only the likes of Stephen King and J.K. Rawling are able to pitch unfinished work, but the answer is that I am attending my first ever writers’ conference tomorrow and I boldly signed up for “pitch camp”.

Pitch camps allow writers to run novel ideas past industry people like agents and publishers in a no pressure atmosphere. The writer is simply looking for feedback and suggestions. Nathan Bradsford wrote a really nice piece on pitch sessions at conferences recently that I am taking to heart.  He also supplied a good link about what not to do when pitching.

Truthfully I expect little and am approaching the whole conference as a learning experience and a chance to meet new people.

The woman who called to set up my pitch session and mentor camp times was very helpful. She suggested I have a query written for feedback’s sake and to q and a the agent and the mentor. In my case, one is an editor of a local fantasy magazine – the one that gave a pass on my short story recently after requesting a rewrite – and the other is a publisher. I am pleased on both counts. It’s a nothing but net situation because they are women who know things that I need to learn.

The query I used as an example I got from a writer’s blog, Ask Allison. She is a published novelist and probably one of the better writers who blog because she interacts with those who read. I really liked the format she used. I also read Chapter 16 of Elizabeth Lyon’s Manuscript Makeover, very helpful. And just as a complete OT aside, I love her business card. I need a card like that soon because I am cardless for tomorrow. I don’t even have a Blackberry-ish thing to exchange “geek bits” as Daisyfae would say. I am thinking that as a nobody, however, this won’t be much of an issue.

In other news, our holiday looms and I will be offline (though I have blogged ahead) this next week and mostly offline for the next month. Forgive me then if I am not responding to comments or commenting at your sites. I have set a deadline for June to complete the novel and finish the outline for the second novel (and yes, yes, the memoir is on tap for late summer as I finally twisted Rob’s arm enough that he has agreed to write his half of the story – my husband just rocks, doesn’t he?).

Spring is sprung up here at last and I am internally whistle slick and externally ready to roll.

The return of winter earlier this week has thrown me into a mini-funk which was exacerbated by mid-back issues. As he was torturing massaging the cement lumps encasing my shoulder and neck muscles last night he said,

“You had the same thing about this time last year too. Is it the anniversary of something?”

Fucking anniversaries. I am so done with “honoring” my past traumas with dominion over my body whenever they are feeling neglected. But to answer the question, no, April is a memory insignificant month in terms of the dead people in my life. Nothing important happened.

Last spring I was freaking slightly about our trip to the States because we hadn’t gotten our residency issues resolved, and I worried every time we went down there that BabyD and I wouldn’t be allowed to come back home with Rob. 

I just need a vacation. When I was a teacher, time off was just that. I couldn’t teach if I wasn’t at school. Writing is different. It is always at my fingertips or beckoning me or accusing me of slacking or neglect. I am its bitch. And it is very tiring and as slow as the pay-off for teaching was – writing seems to have no pay-off.

I think I am putting too much pressure on myself with the novel because it is a real novel, the most significant thing I have done to date, and the prospect of pitching it this summer at Willamette is immobilizing me. I don’t feel ready and yet, when is anyone ready? When the moment to jump comes, you jump … or you miss it … maybe forever.

I need a walk and a ramble through the mall, but since the latter isn’t within the realm of the possible, I will settle for a walk.

TGIF and all that.