Sep 28, 2012

The Waiting Game

Okay, I'm going to just come out and say it:  I have obsessively been checking my e-mails in hopes of finding an acceptance letter from the agency that requested to read my manuscript.  By obsessive, I mean checking it every hour.  So, today, after checking my e-mails several times, I decided I'd better research this agent.  While I have read MANY great reviews, I am a bit concerned.  Many hopeful authors have written that she, along with other agents, has taken an unusually long time to respond since requesting the manuscript.  Some have said that they have not heard back for MONTHS.  This is not good for my obsession.

I know that getting published is a very long process, and that a LOT of waiting happens.  I guess that since her initial response was 14 hours, I got greedy, and expected the process to be super quick.    Patience, by the way, is not a virtue I possess.  I'm going out of my mind with the hopeful expectation that someone is finally going to publish the book that I started two years ago...but I may be waiting another year.

Funny link to what waiting to be published feels like

Anyway, I think now might be a good time to start writing another book so I don't go crazy with all of this waiting.  Waiting, you know, isn't very good for your health.

Sep 26, 2012

Another Chance

It has been about two weeks since I last submitted a whole bunch of queries to agents...twenty-six agents, to be exact.  This time around, I didn't cringe when I read that some agencies requested the first five pages with my query, because I was actually comfortable with those pages.  I have gotten back four rejects...which, in reality, isn't too bad, considering the math.  I was pretty hopeful to hear back from one particular agent, since last year, before I revised my book, he had requested the manuscript. This was an exciting time for me since he responded within just a few short days of receiving my query.  However, he informed me that it wasn't quite what he had been looking for, and sent me on my way.  Although I was disappointed, I wasn't surprised.  I didn't particularly like several parts of my book, but the thrill of actually finishing a large piece of work was greater than my desire to change it.

Just a few months ago, after picking my book back up again, I ended up revising it a lot, and added twice as much to the story to make it a happily-ever-after type book.  It was hard work, but I finally was pleased with the finished product.  Anyway, I was kinda bummed after I resubmitted my new query letter to this one agent, because I still haven't heard back from him.  I thought for sure he'd be one of the ones interested.   I know it's not realistic to expect an immediate answer, but I guess my hopes were high with his quick response the last time.

My desire to become a published author is pretty strong.  With one of my good friends, Stacy Carrol, as a published author, I knew that my dream could actually become a reality...but I needed to do something about it.  I liked my book, my sister liked my book, so surely there were some agents who might like my book.  Instead of waiting around, I re-submitted twenty new queries last night, this time changing my genre to chick-lit instead of narrative.  Every now and then, when I submit to an agency, I receive an automated message letting me know that they received my e-mail.  Last night, I got two, and decided against reading them this morning.  I was so relieved when I read them, because one of them was a reminder to send in my first 50 pages.  It said I could just resubmit my original query with the attachment.  I reviewed my sent e-mails, and realized that I hadn't attached it! (I don't even know if I had been aware I was to send in those pages.)  So, I re-submitted, then went to bed.

This morning, before even 8:00 a.m., I obsessively checked my e-mail, knowing full well that it was unreasonable to get a response.  I had gotten two!  Of course, they were rejects, but there was still the satisfaction of getting an answer, instead of waiting around for weeks on end, wondering if they had forgotten me.  When Spencer came home from school, I let him know that two of my queries had quickly been thrown into the slush pile.  Lucky me.  I got back on the internet, and saw another response.  "Oh look, another reject," I told him as I clicked my e-mail opened.   I skimmed the e-mail (just in case), when suddenly, "Hey, wait!!"  I re-read my e-mail, and realized that one agency (the one I had sent the first 50 pages of my manuscript to) had requested to read my full manuscript!

What makes me excited about this time around is that the first several pages aren't nearly as great as my last several pages, and so I'm pretty hopeful about this one.  Anyway, just thought I'd pass on the great news!

Sep 18, 2012

How to Get Gray Hair in 30 Days

Being a mom is tough. Really tough. It's almost like I'm a 90-year old driving: I know I can do it, I've done it before, but it's not MY fault everyone else around me acts like a bunch of crazies. I've got 4 little boys. My oldest just started Kindergarten. Yes, I know. Maybe it's ME who's the crazy one. Anyway, things get pretty loud at my house. I'm talking about firecrackers-on-the- 4th-of-July- that-cause-you-to-stuff-anything-you-can-find-into-your-ears kind of loud. And that's just me.

Moms, I've decided, should grow an extra pair of arms with their pregnant belly. That way, there's arms to hold the baby, and the extra set to get things done. Moms of children who are 2-years old should be able to split themselves apart into 4 separate people. That way, one can run into the bathroom to turn off the sink for the tenth time, the other can chase down the child and change his toxic diaper while the third one picks up the perma
nent markers that just got opened and thrown all over the floor, all while the fourth one can actually get dinner made on time.
As if life weren't crazy enough with whining, arguing, crying, kids taking toys from each other, picking up messes every five minutes, nursing the baby, feeding baby solids, putting the baby down for his naps every three hours, I'm expected to actually stay sane while doing the laundry, washing the dishes, getting my child to and from school on time, and somehow manage to squeeze in a shower or two (if I'm lucky) that week. With my husband gone all day at school, and all night at work, I can't help but wonder if I actually am married or not. I typically get to see him maybe an hour or two every day. On a good day. The problem with his schedule is that his work schedules him two days off a week...and it changes every week. He never gets two days off in a row, and they are never on the weekends. So even when he IS home from work, he's either doing homework, or he's collapsing into bed at 8:30 at night from severe lack of sleep. Our private time together usually involves, "Go shut the kids up so I can take a nap," while I practically drag him out of bed and collapse on top of the covers for an hour.

There should be a rule that if you're a mom, you automatically get ten uninterrupted hours of sleep. Every night. How else are we to survive? Okay, I'll compromise. Moms should be fully functional on 5 hours of sleep, and not get tired. Ever. Instead of sending moms home from the hospital with a brand new diaper bag with their newborn, we should be sent home with a year's worth of freezer dinners. When you buy a minivan, car dealerships should offer an entire year's worth of groceries delivered to your home for free. If you've got a van, it's obvious that you've got too many kids to actually get any shopping done. Minivan buyers also should be given complementary hair dye, as well, because with that many kids, it's obvious that we've gone prematurely gray.

Sep 3, 2012

Just Like Christmas Morning

You know that feeling of excitement that completely overtook you as a child the night before Christmas? It was a feeling of magic mixed with anticipation and faith, and the night seemed to never end. And then, when it was finally time to rush into the family room and tear open the presents, you knew you were in heaven. A day of sweet joy was sure to follow the hoards of candy and piles of gifts and endless sounds of laughter from you and your family.

That wonderful feeling is something I have felt on many different occasions in my life. One of those just-like-Christmas-morning experiences is pregnancy (and no, I'm not pregnant, so don't get any ideas). I love taking pregnancy tests.
I've had four children, and I still buy the tests...just to see. It drives my husband crazy, but I love
the anticipation of it. I love having a baby grow inside of me. It's that same feeling of just-before-Christmas magic, wondering at first if it's a boy or girl, and then wondering what they'll look like. I love the feeling of being in labor. No, I'm not crazy, and yes, it hurts in a wonderful agonizing sort of way (but don't ask me if I like it during labor!). But the best part of it all is knowing that the time has come. I love driving to the hospital and riding up the elevator, and getting admitted. I hate the waiting part, because my labors are always unnaturally long, and I swear that my baby will never be born, but I love the fact that behind the closet doors in the labor and delivery room is a little glass bassinet, soon to hold my little one.
Then, after hours of waiting, it's time for the epidural. These are sort of like the class bully telling you there's no such thing as Santa Claus, and laughing at you for believing, but once it's over and you're pushing and then the doctor shouts out that he sees the head, and one push later, your baby is crying, you know that you are in heaven, and that magic still exists. I love holding the baby that I carried for nine months, feeling him push and kick and strain my muscles and pinch my nerves, because he's mine, all mine.

I love their sweet little bodies, all shriveled and dry, their microscopic fingers and toes that are so perfect, and their bright, beautiful eyes as they look into my face. I love their warm body, snuggled so calmly against mine, and that beautiful little cry, because it's their voice, the voice I've waited to hear for nearly a year. I love the little fingers wrapping around my own, the hair that I'm so proud of for reasons I'll never quite understand, and the way they smell. I love little babies, even though they keep me up at night and make me grouchy the next day.

I love the fact that I have added another member to my family, a child that I can learn to know, teach, guide, laugh with, cry with, and be a mommy to. I love being a mom. Yes, it's extremely hard, tiring, frustrating, and at times can be so lonely for reasons I just don't quite understand. But I have the love of four little boys who look up to me for guidance and assurance. I love being surrounded by love. Maybe this is why I'm so baby hungry. I love love!