Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Second Mad Max Draft

I've polished my first Mad Max manuscript until it is as squeaky clean as I can make it. So, I've put the Fantastic, Scrubbing Bubbles, Mr. Clean and Swifter dusters back on the shelf.

And now it's on to editing the second Mad Max, Shades of Pale. I finished the draft a few months ago and put it on the shelf. I had to get away from it so that I could approach it with clearer eyes. I've done a two-day read-through and see where I need to add the back story, flesh out characters, solidify the storyline and look at every sentence, every word to be certain that each is needed and drives the story forward. In other words, time for a detailed revision.

As you can see, I'm not the only one rethinking or re-visioning a work. My friend Becky Mushko posted this entry on Monday. Great minds think alike??? Or maybe we are just at the same point in our respective drafts.

I shared a chapter or two with my two critique groups and will share more in the upcoming weeks.

I can't wait to get started!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Catching Up

Sorry about being MIA for a couple of weeks. Nothing bad happened. Just too much work and too little time to do everything.

So, what's happened in the last three weeks?

  • I recorded a radio essay for WVTF two weeks ago. It's called You're Never Too Old with a main theme of it's never too late to behave like a little kid. It has a smooshed cake in it.
  • My novel, Unintended Consequences, was selected as a finalist in the Smith Mountain Arts Council Unpublished Novel contest.
  • I sucked in my breath and sent a poem (!) called Three Weeks to a MAJOR national magazine. Three months wait to see if the editor is interested. Fingers are crossed, but hey, nothing ventured, nothing sprained.
  • I sent out six more query letters and collected three rejections (two form, one personalized and quite nice -- must be a new agent!!!) from the first batch. It's a dead heat between my short and long query letter.

  • I went back to Jeff Herman's Guide and was surprised at how many agents still want snail-mail. Some agencies have gone totally green, but many agents clearly said they gave more credence to snail-mail.

    I got to thinking about this and saw the rationale behind using USPS. Why? Because when you physically sign a letter, put it in an envelope, remember to put stamps on the SASE and march it out to the post box at the end of the drive, you give more thought to what you are doing.

    Even though we all know that an e-query must be as professional as a hard-copy query, and even though we know we have to check and double-check whether we are querying the right agent, it is somehow easier to pick an agent, tweak a letter slightly, cut and paste a chapter into the e-mail message (if requested) and hit the Send Key.

    Yes, I'm keeping track of snail- versus e-queries. More to report later.