The Spiral Grove

The place for creative updates!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

SUCCESS and setback

What a day today has been. Finally heard back from the agent I met at the conference. She was very polite, but passed on representing Legacy of Silence. Though I did not feel any report with her in person, it still smarts a bit to be rejected. So in my post rejection frenzy, I have prepared three queries and two submission packages on LOS, and also a query on Mabel's Grave.

I also looked about for electronic markets, anything that doesn't require a stamp. Read, my postage bills have become unjustifiable. I sent off several electronic submissions. One of which, Phaedra Magazine, responded in less than four hours with an offer to purchase In Fear of Addy for their July issue. I am sure to become a devoted fan, as I have to every magazine that has published my work. I am blog code illiterate (read don't know how to add links) but here is the url, .

Packets go out tomorrow, several other agents are being queried and publishing houses too. Sooner or later someone will recognize potential right?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Pleasures and Pateaus~Another Ramble

I have been so very in limbo this past year and the whole winter all I have thought about is when and if we are moving someplace else. Last night as we sat under a full moon with only the gentle sounds of owls to keep us company James and I talked. Turns out he is really enjoying his new job and this place and I am getting the feeling that we will be here for a while. In many ways this comes as a relief. While I have not enjoyed the isolation, at least I know what I am dealing with. I won't feel foolish for painting the windows or laying new tile.

If the "prolific" comment slowed me down, it isn't showing. I have completed eight chapters in Mabel's Grave, I have the package for Medallion Press ready on Legacy of Silence and, after a long chat with God about my creativity, A Wino's Tale is speaking to me again. I am feeling ready to polish it and have some solid ideas on how to flesh it out. It will likely still be the smallest of my novels, but I think it will be completed this summer.

There is nothing quite like singing in the wind to jumpstart one's creativity. Tonight has been a windy one. I spent a good hour outside in the dark singing in the wind. Everything from Elvis Presley, to old Hymns, to Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Now I am ready to work.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

All Mixed Up Inside

What a mixed bag I am today. On the one hand I have been all a twitter with excitement. Why? Well Mabel's Grave is finally clicking right along. I discovered the gravestone and began notes and ideas on the tale last September, but no real writing has taken place. Instead I wrote The Wino's Tale (which ruminated almost a year prior to the first written words) over the winter, and then focused on getting Legacy of Silence polished. So here I am in springtime finally putting the story down on paper and feeling pretty happy that it all finally gelling. Almost too excited to sleep for it.

Then last night someone's comments about how "prolific writers" often produce garbage that nobody really wants to read put me in a very low spot. Though I don't believe this to be true and know quite a few prolific writers who are paying their bills with their words, it still pokes at that insecure place deep inside that has to wonder if anyone cares about these tales.

So here I am today, a very mixed up girl. Hope you all are having a great day.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Conquests, Failures and Purple People Wars

Well, I am back from the conference, actually it has been a full week since the conference. So why have I taken so long to update? In a word EXHAUSTION! Vicky and company did a wonderful job lining up knowledgeable, and fabulous people to fill our minds at the conference. Truly, it was overwhelming. I can't say enough what a fine job they did. Though there were no poetry offerings I do believe that every other genre and type of writing had representation. That is a huge accomplishment, kuddos to them.

The Golden Girls (Sue, Gwen, Raymona and Jesse) and I traveled together and banded together even in rough times. We had a bit of confusion with another group of purple people. The Writer's of the Purple Sage have been around for decades, but just recently someone has taken up a very similar group name that caused some huge confusion. It worked out in the end, but got fairly intense at points leading me to develop a terrible crush on Gwen. She is so cool. I want to grow up and be just like her.

Writer's of the Purple Sage took home so many awards I lost count entirely. One of our members even won the Creme De La Creme Award. Now how cool is that? I won one for a piece of flash fiction In Fear of Addy. It is a short story based on my experiences raising a very high maintainance child. The award I am most proud of though, went to my newly adopted big brother Scott McMurphy for his Sci-Fi Fantasy Novel The Accidental Hero. I couldn't have been happier if it were me. I believe he left the conference fired up to polish and complete the manuscript and will be shopping it soon. Look for it in a bookstore near you!

I did talk to several agents about my Legacy of Silence. I gotta tell you, there is something about telling an utter stranger about your work. It is very akin to the feeling one gets when called to the principal's office. It must be bacause rejection is so rampant in this business and I have read too many tales of an agent and author discussing a manuscript over happy hour and after the author finishes his spiel the agent barks "So what?"

Well none of those I talked to were nearly so rude. Even so they were intimidating because of how young and gorgeous they were. I mean really, I never expected to be pitching my book to someone my kids age. I guess that's what I get for waiting so long to write a book.

One of the agents I spoke with did ask to take my manuscript home with her, and my Golden Girls were all a twitter about it. I am glad she is going to read it and am hopeful that she will be interested in representing the book, but I am also maintaining some realism. I am prepping a package to send out now to Medallion Books and compiling a list of other small presses open to un-agented submissions. I figure it can't hurt to sell the manuscript before the agent makes up her mind right? It might even give her more incentive to get on board.

In the meantime I am working up the outline for Mabel's Grave and have written two full chapters.

One thing that struck me at the conference was how human the business is. The fabulous, glitzy people from New York, are in fact just people. Many of them are terribly shy and introverted and have just as rough a time coming up with something interesting to say as I do. I sat with one woman who obviously wanted to chat, but the first thing that came out of her mouth was "Did you know I have to walk my cat on a leash?" Another woman, kept stating the obvious every time I ran into her. "You have a lot of hats" or "Wow, you're wearing purple shoes."

Uh huh, I do have a lot of hats and my shoes were indeed purple. They had to be. After all, Robyn and I have the purply pact that requires the wearing of purple pumps whenever we promote our work. Though I have learned a lesson, I need more comfortable purple pumps. Especially when I will be standing in line with 480 people waiting for the banquet doors to open.

I am home now and almost rested up from the ordeal. James missed me terribly and the baby hasn't let me out of her sight. The teens let all their chores drop and so I will be cleaning for weeks to catch up, but I think all in all they are glad to have me back. Pictures soon, and ta ta for now.