Archive for the ‘Memoir’ Category

Still working on the query letter. I was pretty happy with the one I finalized yesterday – I knew I was close because I started getting this “scared” feeling inside, like when I’m at the top of a roller coaster about to go over the edge. I decided against sending it out, though, since it was Friday and I figured that’s a bad day to send out query letters to the East coast. A good thing, too, because this morning I woke up and realized the letter was too negative – I need to pull back some and add balance, just as I have in the manuscript itself.

The only problem is figuring out what that balance is. LOL.

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In a holding pattern

Nothing to report on OTHAFA. I am presently working on another project in the meantime.

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I submitted a query to an agent on Monday and immediately went into wait and see mode. I started dusting off another manuscript in the meantime and was making good progress with some new ideas when I suddenly got an anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach. I thought maybe I had sensed a positive response waiting for me, or that I’d gotten a hit on my website from a particular IP address. But no, I didn’t see anything new. Then I had a mental flash: “querie” and I thought oh my God, please tell me I didn’t really spell it that way!

Sure enough, in checking in my “sent” mail, I found it. “Representation querie”. Man oh man, I thought what now? Should I try again only this time getting it right?

I decided not to worry. The worst that will happen is the recipient will see the misspelling and not even open my email. I will get notification of that in due time. At best, they won’t even notice the error or, if they do, will ignore it to see what the body of the email says. I figured sending a whole new query with just the correction will either draw attention to the error or give them the impression I am impatient. I just want them to read what I said and be honest.

So, here’s to hoping for the best possible outcome!

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Time to Put Up

It’s funny – I’ve been working on this book for a long time, or since early 2009 depending on how you look at it, and early on I was so anxious to send it out to agents and publishers. And I did send it off to two agents – one never responded (probably because I messed up the submission – that’s a big no no), and the other sent me a personal response with some ideas of what to do next. I took those suggestions and went to town.

For the past several months I’ve been writing and rewriting and having the manuscript read by a variety of different people, then rewriting again depending on the feedback I received (most of which was fantastic and very helpful).

I then let the book simmer while I tried to think of anything but, and as I did so I had new ideas and details pop up that I had to include. I went through the draft looking for logical errors and obvious flaws and fixed them.

Then I figured I’d shoot a new promotional video to replace the one that sounds so “dorky”, and while I was at it I’d fix the website. Then after all that I’d send the manuscript out.

Well, guess what? I think I’m creating excuses to put off the inevitable. So I did some minor changes to the website and have removed the old annoying video altogether. Oh, I’ll shoot a new one sometime down the road, but for now I need to shift my priorities and focus on getting published.

Wish me luck!

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Tweaking the website

I finally gave the website a bit of a face lift. Nothing drastic, more a refreshment. I like it, and there’s room to grow with it which I think is important.

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Where does it end?

It’s funny – every night now I go to bed thinking tomorrow will be the day I finally send my manuscript off – or at least contact an agent to get the ball rolling, and every day I wake up with something new to do before I can do anything. Right now the big thing I “have” to do is reshoot one of the promotional videos – the current one is just soooo sad and depressing, and really not quite hitting the mark to boot. So I want to reshoot, and my mind is currently churning over what I want in the final video. Thankfully, the second video is done exactly how I wanted, except the music which is what I wanted but I might end up having to change it.

I think the reason the original video misses the mark is because it tries to explain the memoir in detail. What I need to do is talk about why I wrote it and add in some detail along the way t0 give the viewer the basis for what it’s all about.

And all the while I’m trying to think of what to shoot, new and ever smaller details emerge that I have to think about putting in. Just today while I was out for my morning walk I turned up a street and smelled smoke. Suddenly I remembered that in Ireland the air always smelled of manure or smoke (or both). The smoke was either turf or coal, except from the fairy fort or the school dump where everything was burned, from rubber and plastic to wood and paper.

I’m hoping I’m thinking too hard, that the story will be quickly picked up by an agent and passed to an editor who will then guide me to the real finish line. I’m at my own finish line, I’m sure, but there’s still work to go.

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I was just asked if my memoir was any closer to being released, and I answered, “every day.” That’s being honest. I can’t say when or even if my memoir will be published, not with any certainty at least. I have all the faith in the world that it will be, but that’s not the same thing.

When I started writing, I thought the process would go something like: think of an idea, outline the idea, write the idea, edit the idea, PUBLISH! However, I’ve found that I missed a key ingredient – natural selection. I’ve read sections of my work and laughed or cried, depending on the emotional response I was going for, and then let the manuscript “simmer” for a bit. Until very recently I found that I have new ideas for detail and wording that have given the work far more flavor than it had in the beginning. I said this was true until very recently – now the manuscript is simmering and nothing is coming to mind. It’s like deep down I’ve arrived at the finish line, and it’s a weird feeling.

Now I have to find an agent and/or publisher. I am tempted to try to bypass the agent altogether, but then my head says an agent is the proper way to go. Hmm…as long as I get my book published the way I want I don’t think I should really care.

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After experimenting with my ending and not being at all happy with how it turned out, I chopped off the part that was causing the problem, and now it seems to have worked out really well. I can incorporate some of the information earlier on, and whatever I can’t do that with I probably don’t need anyway, so it’s gone.

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Preliminary Final Draft

I’ve now moved from¬† “rough draft” to what I consider “preliminary final draft”. The story is fixed; the structure won’t change. I’m now focusing on the small stuff: tense, grammar, punctuation, etc. If any technical problems show up, well, I’ll catch those too (I hope).¬† There is light at the end of the tunnel.

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Funny thing – what I thought was a simple story based on what I remember became a little complicated when I realized what I remembered was not quite what I thought.

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