ahavah - Yours Truly
jeweledpen - long-ago LJ-er with a brand new account
moonstone_fae - very long-time friend
So with that in mind, here is a fairly brief update on what's been going on in my little corner of the world:
- Working two jobs has been absolutely killing me. I am tired, unhealthy, and have no time for anything that matters to me. The house has fallen apart, I rarely see the kids anymore, and I am absolutely incapable of writing anymore (which, honestly, ties back into that health thing). I had thought that my second job would become full-time and I could quit the factory, but this is not going to happen. In fact, they keep flaking on me, so I put in my notice last week. Writing will officially become my second job, and I am fully resolved to make it a priority and a real career.
- To that end, I recently attended my very first writers' conference! It went so very well. The conference came with a free pitch session. Josh thought I should pitch The Dragon Alliance, but I have felt my WonderSaga (tentative new working title: The Akuparan Anomaly) yelling in my ear that it was time to pursue it. So that is the one I'm focusing on! We actually weren't supposed to pitch unfinished projects, but one of the agents urged us to do so while we had the chance. The agent I had really hoped to pitch was full, so I signed up for a pitch session with an editor at a small St. Louis press. And, to my extreme delight, he wants to see the full manuscript when it's finished! Not only that, but we had only 5 mins to pitch, and he was so interested that he told me to stay so he could ask a few more questions about it. It made my weekend!
Only then my entire month was made when I had some awesome interactions with the agent I had originally hoped to pitch with. We sat at the same table at dinner, and I introduced myself. I wasn't thinking to weasel a pitch, but I merely expressed delight at getting to meet her and lamented how popular she was since I couldn't get a session with her. She goes, “Well, what's your novel about? That's what I'm here for!” I had just enough time to mention that it was a science fantasy, and she did mention that she doesn't do much with sci-fi or fantasy, but she has some other agents in her agency (of which she is the president) who might be interested. They chose that very moment to shush everyone for the keynote speech to begin! When she was called away a bit later, I knew my chance was lost. But wait! She was several people ahead of me in the lunch line the next day, noticed me, and either remembered my name or has great eyesight to read the name tag, because she called me up to join her and pitch my novel while we plated our food. And she wants to see the first 100 pages! I explained that I planned another good revision after everything I learned at the conference, but I will definitely be sending them along when I'm done.
- Also along those lines, I am now very seriously revising my WonderSaga drafts. Very seriously. I will be posting a lot on my writing filter, and I have a lot of things that I would love to discuss and get quality input on, both from my professional writing buddies and just people who love to read. If you're not on my writing filter and would like to follow the progression of my goal to elevate myself from life-long fun writer to honest-to-goodness professional writer, or if you would like to help with my brainstorming and feedback as to how to make my scifi/fantasy mash-up as strong, compelling, and professional as it could possibly be – quickly – then please let me know, and I will happily add you. Look for the first post coming very soon!
- On a more personal note, but my only other really big news to share, another “NOW IS THE TIME” moment hit me just the other day. This year is the 'clone' year for mom's accident. Wedding (anniversary, now) fell on Friday the 9th, we pulled the plug on the 10th, and my wonderful Momma died on Mother's Day, May 11th, 2008. It has been six years, and I have finally healed enough that I feel I can maybe handle it as a very healing weekend instead of a replay of soul-shattering grief. I still have not been able to do anything with her things or her ashes. So this Mother's Day weekend, I will be holding a memorial for her and finally scattering her ashes.
As she always said, “Just plant me under a tree!”, that is what I'll be doing. Not sure what kind yet, but I thought I'd take the girls to help pick one out. I've invited any family that is willing to come out to my place to join us. My sister wants me to plant a flower with some ashes for her, and hopefully one day she'll come out to get it. Doubtful, but it will be there if she does. I will plant another for my other sister, even though I once again cannot get ahold of her. But I have long wanted to build a memorial meditation garden for mom. I don't have time to plan it all out in the next few weeks, but we'll plant a tree and two potentially-transplantable flowers in a nice circle big enough for a bench or two to sit and meditate. And when I'm better able to research and plan it out properly, I'm going to build a labyrinth around it, so her memorial spot sits at the center. That's been something I've really wanted to do since we bought this farm and named it The Grateful Stead in her honor. (Yes, it's a deadhead play on words, but it's mostly because of mom.)
I am actually excited about this. I still anticipate a very hard time with that weekend, but I'm also very excited about this.