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How many revisions does it take for your MS to lose its spark?

“Let’s find out.

One…

tWoo…

thhhhreee”

*CRUNCH*

I wish I only had to do three revisions. Three, and I might still be gushing about it for launch. But I find when I’m reading my novel for the twentieth time my MS loses its spark.

Finish the MS—Wow, this is the best thing I’ve ever written! Perfect!

First revision after letting it sit—Wow, this needs work but what great scenes and dialog! I love it!

Second revision—Wow, I can’t believe how many mistakes I missed after that last edit, but it’s still awesome!

Fifth revision—Wow, still so much work. I’ve got to rewrite a few scenes, but it’s pretty good stuff.

Tenth revision—Wow, I think I need glasses since I’m still finding mistakes! Eh. It’s okay.

Fifteenth revision—Wow, another revision, I don’t think I can read it again. I hope I’m going in the right direction.

Nineteenth revision—Wow, this has to be the last revision! I’m so sick of it! That’s it. I’m done.

Twentieth revision—Wow, is this even any good anymore?

I’m sure this happens to every author, but I imagine it must be harder for the self-published author since you have to feel confident about the piece you’re about to release to the world—on your own. You don’t have team cheering you on from behind. A team that has thought so highly of your project that they have invested in it.

Of course, even LOTR and Pride and Prejudice would lose its spark after twenty reads within a short amount of time. So what do you do when you start to question if your MS is still good when you have worn it out like a pair of comfortable sneakers?

You must have rounds of beta readers. You need someone at every stage of processing to tell you that you’ve got something there. You need someone to see your twentieth revision with fresh eyes. You need them to tell you it’s amazing and which parts they laughed and cried at. Then they tell you two or three small things that they would change and you’re back to revision twenty-one:

Wow, they loved it, so this must be good. I just have to fix a few things and it’s off to the editor who will be so impressed with how much work I’ve done this time.

After the editor—Wow, I can’t believe I missed all these mistakes. Am I ever going to learn comma placement? *bangs head*

So what about you guys? How many revisions does it take before your eyes bleed and doubt sets in?

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Oh well, holidays are over and my sequel is out for final proofreading. I’m completing my citations and bibliography page now and I’m forcing myself to finish writing my next book in the series. I say forcing since I’ve a hard time changing hats from researcher-writer- revisor- queryer-editor-designer-publisher-promoter then back to writer. I tend to get stuck in the phases.

When I was writing, I just kept writing. I actually finished the first book, the second, 2/3’s of the third, and 1/3 of the last book all in one straight streak. I couldn’t stop creating. I worried that I would never want to stop writing to get any of the books out. I made myself stop and start to rework the first book. Then I got caught up in all the other stages.

Why do I have such a hard time transitioning?

So now, I really don’t want to start researching the next life I’m delving into. I keep trying to convince myself that it’s a better idea to start reworking the lives I’ve already completed in the third book. I think a part of me feels like I haven’t written in so long that I’m afraid I can’t do it anymore. I have this great momentum in the book up until this point and then I stopped to do all the other phases and I’m scared to pick it back up again.

What if the momentum is ruined?

I think a part of me is scared to see if I can still write this series. I feel so much more comfortable to do what I’ve been doing for a year now. Plus, I have to isolate myself so much more during the writing process. I can revise, edit, design, promote all while watching Thundercats, shaking a baby toy, or keeping an eye on my son’s ninja attempts. But when I write, I need to focus and fall into the world inside me. Once the words start pouring out, it’s torture to stick a cork in to do something else.

But I don’t have a choice. I’m a full-time mother and writer, so I must try to juggle as best as I can. I realize that I just have to quiet those fears and throw myself into the writing. I hope it will be like riding a bicycle. I hope the series will keep up it’s pace and intimacy I created previously.

Who knows? Maybe all this professional editing will rub off during the first draft!

Do you have a hard time changing between all the different phases? Which phase to you enjoy the most? Which one do you dread?

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Maya continues to delve into her past lives after death, and strives to complete the tentative journey required to reunite with her loved ones in heaven.

She must relive and explore her former incarnations as the scandalous and misunderstood Lucrezia Borgia in renaissance Italy; a young stowaway on the doomed Spanish Armada fleet; and the rebellious Irish Robin Hood, Count Redmond O’Hanlon.

Her companions prove truer while her enemies grow stronger as her bygone adventures spin forth. This time she must experience the trials of loyalty and endure the hardships that only supreme devotion brings.

Expected to launch January 2012

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Shiny Ball Syndrome

The Millionaire Matchmaker made up this term to describe what happens when someone should be focusing on one thing but get easily distracted by something shinier and new. Well, I should be finalizing my launch list. I should be working through those edits of the sequel. Heck, I should be sleeping at 2 AM after feeding my daughter, but instead I’m thinking about a new book!

Boy when it hits, it comes out of nowhere. Suddenly one little thought snowballs into a full-fleshed outline and it’s 6 am. Is this inspiration? Procrastination? Sleep deprivation?

Well, whatever it was I couldn’t stop it. I actually had to get out of bed and open my laptop to jot all the details down.

When I woke up I wondered if upon opening up my notes if I they would read like some crazy dream that made sense when you were dreaming it but once you explained it to someone you realized it was nonsense. Thankfully, I still liked my idea in the morning so it wasn’t a total loss. I even began drooling at the thought of writing again.

Writing!

Not polishing, not editing, not rewriting, but writing!

I stopped myself as soon as I opened up a shiny new word document and typed in my title. (I even thought of a title!)

Can you take a break with two books in the series finished and third 2/3’s done and write a whole new novel? Would my readers be angry to have the series delayed? Might I lose momentum or characters if I took this break? Or might I get refreshed by starting something new? Tell my your thoughts or experience with this.

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      Well, all my fantasy-prone blog followers and friends, I’m sure you all must love Halloween as much as I do. The night you can pretend to be whoever you want and roam the streets under the guise of darkness, the crisp leaves crunching under your costumed-feet, collecting CANDY from strangers! The night where fear is confronted and spooky is embraced. The night where the veil between us and the afterlife thins and the dead can mingle with the living.

Oh I LOVE Halloween.

This year we actually have a white Halloween.

Yes, snow in the fall everyone.

They say it hasn’t snowed this early in these parts since the Civil War. I actually love the snow (as long as I keep my power that is), but it’s pretty strange to be trick or treating in half-a-foot of snow. Our area has actually sent out a public message strongly discouraging going out due to power outages. In lieu of house-to-house, they are offering candy at the town hall from 2-4. Well, that sounds terribly depressing. I’m going to look up which neighborhoods still have power and drive my son around to all the Halloween friendly houses. I’m sure my son will be telling his grandchildren about this one day. One of those — “When I was a boy we had to trudge through four feet of snow to get our candy!”

I’m even more bummed this Halloween since I usually host a huge Halloween party where I do things like this:

                 Welcome to the haunted house…muh-ah-ah-ah!

                           (Harry Potter music blasting)

         (Um…the ectoplasm thing in the lower left corner appeared after I took the picture 😮 )

                              Every haunted house needs a cemetery

                       Some of those guys pop-up!

                           The grim reaper on his phantom steed

Oh seeing all these pics makes me miss having my party this year, but since I have an infant to take care of into the wee hours of the night, I decided to forgo it. Boy am I glad I didn’t try though, the snow would have wrecked everything. I would have been rushing around trying to save all of my decorations and animatronics. I hope it still feels like Halloween a little bit tonight. It feels like Halloween Grinch has stolen it from us.

So in honor of trick or treating, I’ve posted a little more of my book below:

                                                                                                           Chapter 2
Years later, my palm-wood-sandaled feet trot along the stone path through tall desert trees that provide much-needed relief from the dry heat of the land. I come to the end of my purification walk from my family dwelling outside the sacred city of Memphis. My thirty days of service is about to begin, and I’m eager to reclaim the position of my late father and his father before that. I already feel strength from my fast. I walk steadfast under the towering statues of Ra lining the walkway to the temple entrance. I’m beginning to feel alive again, every muscle tingling.
Above the door bears the sacred inscription: “The House of Life—The Learned Ones of Library Magic.” Every time I pass under that engraving, pride consumes me. I’m the high priest of such a temple. The six guards at the entrance step aside and bow to me, allowing me access. I point for my lagging slave, Nun, to go to my sleeping chamber and prepare it for the evening. The interior of the temple drops twenty degrees, and my sweat cools instantly, causing a slight chill. Torches illuminate a path down the corridor as the smell of incense engulfs me.
Another guard opens the massive cypress door and bows on one knee while holding the heavy door open. Inside the high- ceilinged room stands an imposing statue of Serapis, God of Dreams, to which our temple is dedicated. All around the statue, offerings of fruit, nuts, beer, wine and fresh-killed lamb are piled up. Expensive oils and incense are burned in wide pots at the perimeter of the vast room, casting light on the papyrus plants, lotus, and palm trees painted to the top of the walls. I look to the flying birds and stars painted to the greatest height across the vaulted ceiling. A harpist plays soft music while beautiful virgins dance slowly. I walk to the altar and bow as a priestess wafts a cloud of incense and natron around me.
I head through the pyres to my right which lead me to the cleansing pool. I stand at the pool’s steps, waiting with my arms out, as a stolist priest unties my cotton loincloth. Naked, I kneel down as another stolist lathers my head with scented lotion and shaves my hair to my scalp. I stand again as he shaves all of my body, hand-plucks my eyebrows and each eyelash.
As a viper feels after shedding its skin, I breathe deep and glide into the cool, pure water, then sink beneath. Breaching the surface and rubbing the water from my eyes, I catch my reflection in the golden mirrors lining the edge of the pool. Water runs down my brown skin, causing a glistening effect in the glowing dimness of the room. With all my hair gone, my features look chiseled, emphasizing my prominent nose and thick lips.
As I exit, the priests anoint my body in balanos oil and tie a clean white linen loincloth around my waist. I bow my head as one places the moonstone eye of Serapis around my neck and a gold arm cuff around my biceps. I turn to another who paints my eyes, brows, and lips black with kohl out of a lotus-shaped glass container. To finalize the cleansing, I rinse my mouth with salty natron water and spit into an alabaster flask. The priests bow to me as I walk back into the central room of the temple, again bow to Serapis, and continue to the dream-incubation chamber. I am to prepare the evening’s special ceremony to find Nebu’s—God Wife of Serapis—adopted Royal Daughter.
I walk into the large central chamber, where two lower priests are tending the giant fire pits on either side of my podium that holds my sacred books. I take my place at the altar, enclosed by the thick, stone columns, to review the last priest’s journal entries. The tended fires blaze, illuminating the carvings of the dream gods carved on all four walls. Gods who are waiting for pharaohs, priests, scribes, wealthy merchants, and commoners to come to scry for cures, magical spells, hex removal, fertility, and prophesy. I hold their most vital hopes and dreams in my hands.
The two priests finish with the fires, refill incense oils, and then bow as they back out of the chamber; I wave them away.
Hearing sandals clicking down the corridor outside, I can tell it is Nebu’s quick light feet as she comes to greet me. She is beautiful, as all of the wives of gods are expected to be. She wears her gold-and-lapis lazuli collar, gold headdress, and gold-painted long skirt wrapped around her hips. I bow before her, appreciating every inch of wasted splendor, since no earthly man can ever have her.
“Sokaris,” she says with her hands out for me to grasp in greeting, “I hope your leave was restful?”
“I grew fat and bored as always, and I’m eager to dedicate myself again.” I hold her hands and bow with her.
She begins to walk, silently commanding me to follow her down the corridor.
“It is time for me to pass down my position, but I do not want to choose poorly. I need to adopt an apprentice who will not merely fulfill my wifely duties but also please Serapis.”
As we are approaching the main chamber, Edjo—Nebu’s favored apprentice—comes limping down the corridor in tears. As Edjo is normally a graceful and tranquil beauty, this is an abnormal event. Her tears cause her kohl to make black rivers down her fine-featured face, and her amber eyes look beseechingly to Nebu.
“Most High, I awoke this morning with a large and painful lesion above my knee.” She points to a festering wound seeping clear fluid down her right leg. “It is a curse, I tell you! I dreamed of a jealous enemy last week!”
Nebu turns to me, and I nod in validation.
“I also have a rash that has spread all over my face and down the back of my neck.”
We lean closer with a torch and see her skin is indeed raised and red.
Nebu shakes her head with disappointment. “I am sorry, Edjo, but these are all signs the gods do not find you fit for this position.”
Edjo crumples to Nebu’s feet.
“Once you are healed and purified, you are welcome to be one of my esteemed dancers,” Nebu says as she pats her heaving back.
Edjo begins kissing her feet. “Please, Nebu, please see this for the treachery it is! I have been groomed for Serapis, raised to be his wife! I am Edjo, the daughter of Amun! This is my birthright! My family will be shamed!”
Nebu shakes her off her feet and starts moving down the hall to the other dancers.
Edjo shrieks from behind us, “I cannot bear this shame! I am going to drown myself in the Nile, and the one that has cursed me will be damned!”
Neither Nebu nor I give her a second look. Nebu whispers under her breath, “Clearly not ordained.” The rhythmic drums and cymbals are heard from the corridor,and the chamber is filled with movement. Twenty royal dancers twist and turn to the beats, striving to stand out and impress Nebu. They can all turn the head of any man, but they dull like the dust stars next to the brightest and shining star. I stop hearing the music when I see her.
She watches her hands and the intricate movements they’re making as her hips click with the beat. I don’t know which part of her to watch first. She is the waves rolling from the center of the sea with no end and no beginning, an unrelenting ripple of her whole body. She starts with a large movement of her middle and lets it flow to an undulation out the tips of her hands and then back down to her toes. Her body reflects all of the flickers of the fire, making her cast a marbled glow. Her motions hypnotize me, and when I find the music has stopped—I want more.
I shake my head to break the spell and look to see if Nebu notices the trance she put me under, but she too is watching the girl. She claps her hands. “Satisfactory.” Then, motioning to the harpist to begin playing, she commands, “Sing for Serapis.”
When it’s my dancing girl’s turn to sing, she doesn’t have perfect pitch, as did other girls, but she sings quietly and so sweetly. Her eyes! Her eyes are large, honey pools you can fall into and never climb out! She is the most intriguing and captivating woman I’ve ever seen. Something is different about her—something powerful—something mystifying. She moves, and my eyes follow; she speaks, and my ears tune out all other sound. I feel far away from her and want to be closer. I wish no one else were in the room.
Nebu interrupts my pain. “I see you agree with my choice.”
I pretend to be only slightly interested. “There are many talented girls for you to pick from, but one does seem to have a magic air to her.”
“Ah, you have noticed. Yes, that is a good way to put it.” She smiles while gazing upon her. “I wonder, though, if she seems devout and disciplined enough?”
“That is hard to see in the arts. We will need to probe deeper and let our ancient knowledge guide us.”
My heart races at the thought that I’ll get to spend some time alone with her.
“Yes, we will have to trust the ancients—and you, Sokaris.”
I leave to take my place in the dream-incubation chamber before Nebu sends her. I have to regain composure and steady myself for the important task ahead. I look up at my reflection in the brass incense burner, and I see her float in behind me. I turn, avoiding her eyes, and stare at my papyrus.
“Name?” I ask. “Bastet, daughter of Ketuh.” Her voice is melodious. “Age?” “Fifteen and a half years.” She’s older than most royal daughters, but it is not unheard of for someone her age to be considered. Her blue glass ear studs catch my eye.
“Let me see your palm.”
She outstretches a fragile, long-fingered hand and slowly turns it within my palm as she looks directly in my eyes. I feel a charge at her touch but continue my task. She has many great talents on her hand but carries three of the most ominous signs: a weak and broken lifeline that foretells a short life; she lacks the gift of willpower whorl on her thumb; and most intriguing to me, her mount of Venus is well padded, showing immense passion. Normally I wouldn’t even let a candidate stay after this miserable reading, but I can’t stand the thought of her leaving.
“Please follow me to your chamber for the night.”
I lead her to the smaller chambers where dream incubation takes place. I motion her to enter the room first, pushing aside the urge to pull her to the bed with me.
She sits down on the side of the linen-draped bed and asks, “Who is looking upon me as I sleep?”
I freeze at her unabashed forwardness but thaw when she points to the carving on the headboard.
“That is the midget god, Bes: the Dream Protector.” I motion her to come to the table beside me. When she nears, I can smell the remnants of scented wax in her braided wig releasing its sweet perfume. “Tonight you must pray to the god Serapis to send you a fortuitous dream, one that can tell us of your destiny with him. Please write his name on the papyrus.”
She obeys with some skill, and I roll it up and place it in a lamp beside her bed.
I pray, “Will it be granted that Bastet, daughter of Ketuh, be Royal Daughter to Serapis? Reveal it to me; answer this little written prayer.”
I light the papyrus to burn while she sleeps. She bows, and I leave her chamber to attempt to retire in the chamber next to hers. It must have been hours before my body relaxed enough to sleep, knowing she is so close.
I’m getting back into bed and am fixing the scroll with my god’s name when I feel something move by my leg under the sheet. I throw back the sheet to expose a writhing mass of snakes crawling and hissing on top of me. I scream as they all bite into me at once, igniting me in flames.
I wake, thrashing and breathing hard.
The same dream again and again!
I write on my papyrus: GET SEHKET!

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I had such a hard time fitting my square-peg-of-a-book into the round-holed genres that agents represented. My book definitely has a fantasy component with an after-life ‘what if’, yet it certainly isn’t the sword-wielding, princess-saving, threatened-kingdom high fantasy most are used to.

My book also has a strong historical component as well. I’ve researched these time periods and tried my best to submerge the reader into an accurate and tangible setting, yet it is not your basic historical. I thought I found a better genre in historical fantasy, the best of both worlds I presumed. Until I read some and realized my book was still not fitting completely in these genres. When I showed others my historical fantasy cover they complained that it wasn’t representing the usual ancient magical covers of the genre.

Nothing seemed to fit.

I knew my cover is exactly what I needed. My focus is the heaven in which my character is in limbo, reviewing her past lives in a lucid remembrance. It is the thread throughout the series and it’s central to everything.

So, it wasn’t until I came across another reincarnation novel in a book search on Amazon that I realized what my genre was.

Reincarnation Fantasy!

Threads: The Reincarnation of Anne Boleyn by Neil Gavin is listed under reincarnation fantasy, a sub-genre of fantasy (I’ll have to add this to my to-read list, it sounds great). So I’ve been labeling it wrong this whole time! I thought I might have even created a whole new genre, but here it is! My series is definitely a reincarnation fantasy.

There may not be any agents that represent this genre in particular and it might be a very small grouping (490 titles on Amazon), but you have more chance of becoming a big fish in a small pond. Right? I still have to choose historical fantasy in the limited drop-down lists found on some sites, but for all other situations this is my genre.

Who knows? Maybe it will become more popular in the future.

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First, I’d just like to say, that I’m walking on a badly neglected treadmill in my basement as I’m writing this. I have quite ingeniously, (and dangerously…do not try this at home), created a little shelf from an old sign for my laptop to perch on. If I walk slow enough, (which is never a problem), I can actually multitask by getting a little exercise while I type this blog. As long as I avoid a horrible accident I’m going to make this my new thing.

So on to what’s complicated…

My novel.

Actually my whole series.

Saying your novel or series is complicated is probably as attractive as describing yourself as complicated on a dating site. Complication is something people usually tend to avoid. There are whole magazines out there with themes of simplifying your life. Most people crave simple. But I’m different and I hope there are others out there like me that crave complicated. I seek out complex plots, intricate details, perplexing characters, and elaborate imagery. I ate up Lord of the Rings (oh I wish there was more Tolkien!). I enjoyed every genealogy tangent, creature description, and pencil-sketched map. Some complain Tolkien’s too complicated and need to watch the film in order to understand the world he created. I loved my Shakespearian courses delving into the double entendres and pulling apart every word.

But I’m the fifth child in a family of six. I thrive in entropy — anything simple and organized repels me. I want to read books and watch movies & tv shows that surprise me and make me think. Most of time, I can see where plots are headed and wished for more suspense and twists. I don’t want everything spelled out for me with plots and characters tied up in little square packages.

I didn’t want to create a linear, basic reincarnation novel, where two soul mates fall in love with each other in a few lives. Novels in which a few peripheral characters play a background role with little change throughout lives. I wanted to portray a reincarnation something closer to life. More characters and more lives. I wanted to create a realistic universe where people grow/fail/stagnate. Where relationships evolve in surprising ways, causing the reader to look deeper into who we are. How you and those in your life may have come to be where you are now.

My novel requires thought. My reader must enjoy tracking characters throughout many changes over time. Relationships evolve in surprising ways and I’ve done everything with the grand scheme of the series in mind. Everything happens for a reason and my reader must think deeply about all that is occurring and why. Each character has their own journey. Yeah, there will be a chart for those readers who might not want to plot their own but it’s there for reason…the more you think about my book the more you will see.

What about you? Do you enjoy a complicated novel every now and again?

Wow and look at that…an hour flew by! Now off to eat some well-deserved smores (I’ll never lose the baby weight this way).

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Psychologists Sheryl C. Wilson and Theodore X. Barber are credited with identifying Fantasy Prone Personality by testing for fourteen traits.

Here are the criteria:

(1) being an excellent hypnotic subject, (2) having imaginary playmates as a child, (3) fantasizing frequently as a child, (4) adopting a fantasy identity, (5) experiencing imagined sensations as real, (6) having vivid sensory perceptions, (7) reliving past experiences, (8) claiming psychic powers, (9) having out-of-body or floating experiences, (10) receiving poems, messages, etc., from spirits, higher intelligences, and the like, (11) being involved in “healing,” (12) encountering apparitions, (13) experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations (waking dreams), and (14) seeing classical hypnagogic imagery (such as spirits or monsters from outer space).

Wilson and Barber considered having six or more traits worthy of the designation of fantasy prone. Let’s see how I rate:

(1) being an excellent hypnotic subject= Not sure, I’ve never been hypnotized but I have trouble meditating so I doubt that I would make a good subject

(2) having imaginary playmates as a child= No (thank god, those really creep me out)

(3) fantasizing frequently as a child= Yes, I was an extremely imaginative child

(4) adopting a fantasy identity= No, not sure what this means but I’m guessing you imagine yourself as some sort of character or alter ego.

(5) experiencing imagined sensations as real=  I don’t think I’ve done this yet but would you be able to discern this if you had imagined sensations as real? On the occasions I’ve seen unusual things I’ve had another witness to back it up, so I’m going to say no.

(6) having vivid sensory perceptions= Yes, again this is hard to understand, but I do feel like I have a high sensory awareness (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, intuition)

(7) reliving past experiences- Yes, again not sure if I’m understanding this right but I have very vivid recall. I can even remember little details as young as three or four years old. I also tend to live in the past more than most people.

(8) claiming psychic powers= Yes, I do think I have slight psychic sensitivities.

(9) having out-of-body or floating experiences= No, I’ve never had this experience

(10) receiving poems, messages, etc., from spirits, higher intelligences, and the like= Yes, this has happened to me before.

(11) being involved in “healing,”= No, I’ve never been involved with a healing before

(12) encountering apparitions= Yes, but I think growing up in pre-revolutionary houses contributed to this

(13) experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations (waking dreams)= No, I’ve never experienced this half-dream state.

(14) seeing classical hypnagogic imagery (such as spirits or monsters from outer space)= Now, this I had to take apart and define in order to understand what they meant by this. Classical =well-known.  Hypnagogic = of, relating to, or occurring in the state of intermediate consciousness preceding sleep. So I understood this to mean a stereotyped hallucination preceding deep sleep and I’ve never experienced this.

I do have six of these traits so I’m apparently fantasy-prone. Does this explain my draw to creating worlds and stories in my novels? Does a writer benefit from being fantasy prone in order to create the world building and immersion needed for the reader? I wonder if the higher the degree of fantasy-proness the better the creativity?

Well, this study seems to correlate the two (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3746620?dopt=Abstract). “Fantasizers were found to outscore subjects in both comparison groups on all of the measures of fantasy, imagination, and creativity…”

Now I feel compelled to see if I’d make a good hypnosis subject.

So all my fantasy or sci-fi blog followers, how do you rate? Are you fantasy prone as well?

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Yes I’m still getting them!

I couldn’t believe it when I checked my email yesterday and saw the kind form reply apologizing for being a bit late (eight months!). Could that really have been only eight months ago! I feel like so much has happened since then.

How did I come so far in only eight months?

I learned how to query, how to process promising agent’s rejections, decided to self-publish, began a blog and website, and took on self-publishing. I can’t help but be proud of so much growth.

I reminisced about those hopeful replies and requests that I checked for every hour and had to laugh out loud when I saw it. It felt so wonderful not to care at all about it.

But what if this had been an interested agent’s reply at this point, what would I have done?

Right away I knew that this was the right direction for me to go in with this series and I would have politely turned down the agent at this point.

That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t query a new novel in the future but this series is made for self-publishing. I agree with so many other self-publishers out there that you must evaluate each project’s needs and marketability on a case by case basis. But I am so excited by this process and love this adventure. I love the support from all the self-publisher’s blogs, forums, and my blog readers and I can’t wait to see my first proof, get my first positive review, hold that finished book in my hand, sell my first 100 copies, and get an email from an appreciative reader (I will frame that you know).

Yeah, I realize there are all the negatives to cope with also: the first negative review, slow sales, emails from disgruntled readers demanding refunds, but I’m going to focus on the reason why I’m expending all this energy to begin with–I have to get this story out and I just hope there are some that will enjoy all my hard work.

It really has been so much fun so far!

What about you? How has your writing/ querying/ publishing journey progressed so far and how do you feel about it?

 

 

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   (Basically what Hurricane Irene left on every street in our area)

Wow, Hurricane Irene really ransacked our area. We finally got power back today in the house we evacuated to but our house is still without power. Nothing like getting an email the day before a hurricane that you must evacuate your home with all your animals since we lie in a low-lying area. So we packed up our two cats, dog, and bunny along with seven days of provisions to seek refuge in a kind sister’s house. Before we left our house I tried to move anything irreplaceable up to the second floor and was faced with one of those hypothetical questions when I had to pick what I could bring with me if for some reason the house washed away. So after packing up all my sons baby photos and videos we said goodbye to our house and the trees that loomed dangerously to it.

I also of course googled how hurricanes effect late pregnancy and freaked out completely to see an increase in deliveries due to low barometric pressure. The image of going into labor during a hurricane and not getting that epidural plagued me and thankfully baby did not decide to make an early appearance. Then my diabetic cat has his first low insulin reaction in the middle of all this stress and I’m chasing him around on the floor nine months pregnant trying to save his life with honey injections with a flashlight. He’s doing fine now, thank the lord, but will not let me near his mouth. Now all I want is to get back home and unpacked before this baby’s arrival and I’m wondering what this nesting disruption must be doing to my already crazy pregnancy hormones.

Oh well. Things could be worse. As soon as the winds died down my husband sneaked under dangerous down trees hanging on power lines to find that out house not only remained flood free but not one tree was down on our property. Yay!

It has been terrible not being able to work on my projects and respond to my book formatter’s and graphic designer’s emails. I realize how much I love working on my novels. Writing (and now publishing) has become a definite part of my life and I really miss it when it’s gone. So I guess that means I’m a writer now. It’s not publishing, making sales, or developing a following that makes you a writer, but what writing brings to your life and how it makes you feel. Writing gives me another purpose and keeps my mind engaged. I truly love writing and hope I always will.

Oh enough whining…back to writing.

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