The Best to Get Over a Rejection…

…is to get under a new WIP.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a writing post up here. You might think that this is because I am wallowing in rejection, but you would be wrong. I am not wallowing. I don’t have time to wallow. Aside from the reviews I post here (mainly from Entangled Publishing because they give me books), I also review for Harlequin Junkie. This month I am also reviewing entries for my chapter’s writing contest, Touch of Magic. My critique partners have been through edits and revisions with their contracted books and are starting to send chapters from their latest WIPs. I’m buried under reading, people. Buried, I tell you.

But despite all of that, and the crushing disappointment of not selling Delivering Justice on the first try, I am writing. I put #MrLastNameBasis on hold for a while after the rejection and said I would focus on reading through some old words, but what I ended up doing was writing some new ones.

Remember my goals for the month of March? I’ve been making a lot of progress on them:

  •  start getting the Enemies book written.  You won’t believe this, but I have 7,714 words typed for this book, plus however many are in my notebook that I got down at lunch today. I polished up the first chapter and gave it to my beta reader and my critique partners and they are intrigued and hungry for more. Quentin is my favorite hero yet (but every time I work on a book, that hero becomes my favorite).
  • finish most of #MrLastNameBasis. Not a word since DJ was rejected.
  • get feedback from Delivering Justice submission. Got great feedback that you can read about here, but was ultimately given an “R.”
  • work on marriage kit book and get it ready for publication. I’ve been playing with some ideas, but nothing concrete yet.
  • further develop my writing routine. Umm…no comment. Haven’t done a smidge of work on this. Need to protect my writing time better.
  • Start and finish at least one writing craft book. I started Leigh Michaels’ On Writing Romance, and so far, so good.
  • Get all of my March reviews done. Ha! But I am actually on track with this. Only 2 more books to go, and three April books so far for HJ. I have to post a review here as well. Then I’m done.
  • Work on one super secret project. Done and done.
  • Get materials ready for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. Umm…this depends on what project I decide to do during NaNoWriMo I have an inkling what I want to do, and I’m ready to meet my goals with it.
  • Finishing outlining and start Luka’s story before Beta Reader kills me. I started writing Luka’s story–well, saying it. I dusted off my digital recorder and have been rattling off a few scenes while I drive to and from work and working to transcribe them into something that makes sense later.

So you see, I’ve been a busy bee, getting words down on three WIPs, reviewing my face in, and setting Delivering Justice aside while I figure out my next steps with it. I’m not giving up on my dream of publication. I’m not wallowing. I’m chugging along. I’m learning. I’m growing. I’m getting ready to get out there again.

XOXO,

Erica

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February 2014’s Progress on Publishing World Domination

This is going to be quick and dirty because I have to get ready for work. February was no less great than January for achieving some writing goals. In February:

  • I went to my second Central Florida Romance Writers meeting, where we studied pacing and emotion.
  • On my way to said meeting, I had an epiphany about a story in the Christian series I’m planning, and throughout the month, I wrote character profiles for the main characters and an outline of the book, along with doing a bit of research. This shall be known as the Enemies story.
  • I joined Romance Writers of American and Central Florida Romance Writers. Yay! I’m a card carrying member–or I would be if I had a card. I do, however, have a member number. 😉
  • I entered Cupid’s Lit Connection’s Blind Speed Dating competition to try and get the attention of an agent but wasn’t chosen. I was disappointed, but I was OK with getting the news because the same day…
  • I entered the Second Chance Carina pitch and got a request from an editor! I sent my manuscript for Delivering Justice in on February 14th, Valentine’s day. I should receive feedback of some sort by March 21st. I basked in the achievement of getting a query letter, synopsis, and manuscript submitted for a couple days before I began obsessively checking my email.
  • The sequel to Delivering Justice, known on social media by the hashtag #MrLastNameBasis, started to come together when I added a pint sized motivator to the mix who broke my emotionally distant hero wide open. I love this little boy in this story and the dimension he adds to the suspense. I’m trying to figure out where this story is going while I outline the others in the series in case I get a bite on Delivering Justice and someone is interested in the other three books.

I crossed off two major  writing goals–I submitted to an editor and I joined RWA and CFRW. Not only did I submit to an editor, I submitted a requested manuscript, not to the slush pile. It’s a fast track entry with a quicker than usual turnaround. So why do I feel as if February was a slow writing month for me? Probably because I didn’t get as many words on the page as I would like. I didn’t post as many reviews as I meant to post. I’m a little behind on reading my craft books and such.

But what I’m trying to embrace is that all forward movement is important, that what I’ve accomplished this month is huge. True, I spent a lot of time doing revisions, writing and revising a query letter and synopsis, and not getting new words on the page. But doing those things are what got my submission out the door.

March is about moving forward even more. What are the goals for March?

  • start getting the Enemies book written.
  • finish most of #MrLastNameBasis.
  • get feedback from Delivering Justice submission.
  • work on marriage kit book and get it ready for publication.
  • further develop my writing routine.
  • Start and finish at least one writing craft book.
  • Get all of my March reviews done.
  • Work on one super secret project.
  • Get materials ready for Camp NaNoWriMo in April.
  • Finishing outlining and start Luka’s story before Beta Reader kills me.

How was your February? What are some of your goals for March? Be on the lookout for more reviews and a few special writing posts coming this month. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any.

XOXO,

Erica

Freestyle Friday: Project Publishing World Domination, Month 1

Hey, everyone! I had intended to use this morning’s post to write about the Love Inspired Reader luncheon I attended yesterday, and while I touch on it liberally, I wanted to contemplate what I’ve accomplished thus far in 2014 and set some goals for February. In other words, DANGEROUSLY LONG POST AHEAD! Here are the moves I made towards Project Publishing World Domination (henceforth known as 2PWD):

I’ve actually accomplished quite a bit:

  •  I bought the domain for this site, copywrite1985.com. I’m so excited about this! I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. Right now, this serves as my author site until I can get something else going.
  • I received books to review and booked blog tour stops to add to my Copywrite1985 offerings. I’ve received and began reviewing several Entangled Publishing Offerings, and have started the process of acquiring some Harlequin Heartwarming titles for review, among others. I hope you all are enjoying seeing what I’m reading, and hope you find a title or two to add to your TBR pile. Don’t worry; they won’t all be romance (at least, I don’t think so)–I have some non-fiction in the works as well.
  • I attended the Love Inspired Readers’ Luncheon. Oh, readers! This was amazing! The lovely Debby Guisti (pronounced, I learned, Juice-Tea) of Seekerville and Love Inspired Suspense fame gifted me a ticket to this event and proved herself to be a warm, wonderful woman filled with love.
The lovely Debby Guisti signing copies of her March Love Inspired Suspense release, The Agent's Secret Past.

The lovely Debby Guisti signing copies of her March Love Inspired Suspense release, The Agent’s Secret Past.

All of the authors were sweet women, and I enjoyed getting to mix and mingle with so many authors (nine in total). I also got to meet the Senior Editor for the Love Inspired line, Melissa Endlich

Ms. Endlich giving the opening remarks

Ms. Endlich giving the opening remarks

and Publisher’s Weekly’s Barbara Vey. Hopefully one day soon Melissa Endlich will be approving a cover for one of my books, and Ms. Vey will feature my work on her Publisher’s Weekly blog, Beyond Her Book.

The quote of the day belongs to Marta Perry. When the authors were asked how they write the male perspective during the Q&A, they all said men were easy to write. “The men we write are idealized,” Ms. Perry commented. “If we wrote them as they are, there’d be no dialogue.” The lone male in the room, operating the audio visual equipment, grunted in dissension. “See,” Linda Goodnight pointed out, “there wasn’t any dialogue in that.”

The Q & A Panel--Marta Perry, Linda Goodnight (coolest name ever, BTW) Missy Tippens, and Debby Guisti

The Q & A Panel–Marta Perry, Linda Goodnight (coolest name ever, BTW) Missy Tippens, and Debby Guisti

Fun times. Here are the authors signing my books:

  • I entered a contest to attract the attention of agents. The contest is the Blind Speed Date Contest that Cupid’s Lit Connection puts on. The purpose of the site is to connect writers and agents in literary love matches (what a fun concept!). The bouncers for the contest choose 40 entries to be posted to the sight and agents (using Honorary Cupid names) shoot arrows at entries when they would like to see a partial or a full of the manuscript from. I won’t know if I made it past the bouncers until the 12th, and there’s a week of voting before the winners and the agents are revealed. So prayers and the like are appreciated.
  • I attended my first RWA meeting. The short version: learned quite a bit and can’t wait to go again.
  • I bought a subscription to Writer’s Digest. I had one before, but I decided to start it up again (after about 10 years) now that I am actively pursuing publication. I have the first issue on my kindle which, fittingly, spotlights publishing.
  • I bought On Writing Romance by Leigh Michaels (a favorite romance writer of mine). There are a ton of books out there on writing and quite a few on writing romance, but I have read and loved Leigh’s books over the years. I trust her writing ability and ability to sell to Harlequin, so I want to read how she crafts her books, synopses and queries. Hopefully it’s a good tool.
  • I started the follow up to my NaNoWrimo book. The follow up to Delivering Justice, thus far, is known on the internet as Mr. Last Name Basis. I came up with this name because the character goes by his last name more than his first name and wasn’t letting me get close to him. He’s opening up a bit now, but I like the moniker. I have a title, but not sharing. I hope you will love this prickly character and his spunky heroine. I’ll share more when the book develops more.
  •  I identified the necessary revisions I have left to NaNoWriMo book. In order for me to make it the best story possible, I know I have to expand two key scenes and add two scenes, as well as add in a detail here and there. The chapter swaps with my critique partners has gone well. Both of my critique partners were offered publishing contracts this month!! I’m among a group of talented women.
  •  Outlined two different series I plan to write.  One series begins with Delivering Justice, and has three other books. The other is an eight book series.
  • Generally kicked butt.

When I see it all written out like that, it’s a wonder I’m still kicking! Not as much writing as I would like this month, but moving the dream forward.

So what’s on the agenda for the month of February (the awesome month that includes both a day all for love & my birthday)?

My second RWA meeting. I am going to use some extra funds this month to officially join RWA and my local chapter. I’m so excited about this step!

I get the results of the Blind Speed Date Contest I entered at Cupids Lit Connection–good, bad or indifferent–mid-month. If speed dating doesn’t work out, I’ll be submitting Delivering Justice directly to publishers. On my list of possible submissions: Harlequin, Lyrical Press, Entangled Publishing and Avon Books for sure.

I have nearly a week off for my birthday–during which time I hope to get a huge chunk of book two of my series written, continue planning publishing world domination, and relax my face off. I also want to get in there and finish my Love Inspired So You Think You Can Write entry revisions.

As you can see, I don’t have as many things planned for February. I like to think I’m leaving room for this short but special month to surprise me in the most positive, life changing ways.

How did you do on your writing goals for the month of January?

The Writing Show Must Go On…

Sorry for missing my usual Wednesday morning post, but I was out sick from work this week and couldn’t stand staring at the computer typing my life away.

So now that the madness of NaNoWriMo has been over for a week (ten days for me), what do I focus on, writing-wise? How do I move forward from a great accomplishment instead of getting stuck right here and not seeing it through? I’ll tell you how–I keep on writing.

I’ve flirted a little bit with the marriage kit book (which is almost finished), reading through a large portion of it and researching some of the holes I still need to fill. I found all the material I had written for Some College, my memoir about the year I spent in between my junior and senior year of college, and I contacted a good high school friend for his help with an area of the book that involves some things from our high school days. Going back to my high school reunion really opened that door wide for me. I’ve even started writing out some “treatments” for “scenes” in the other story I outlined before NaNoWriMo, and began trying to develop an outline for my next book in the series that this year’s NaNoWriMo book starts.

What I’ve managed to do is to stay far away from my NaNoWriMo manuscript, Delivering Justice. I’ve given myself ten days away from it, and I am chomping at the bit to start revising it. I said I wouldn’t look at it again until the 10th, but I think it’s time to get back into it. I know a few of the issues that I’ll need to address from the beginning–passive voice, weak verbs, an adverb explosion–and I’m sure I’ll discover a plethora of other problems that I’ll need to tackle, but I’m ready to dive back into it.

I spent some time on the boards for Harlequin and discovered that Delivering Justice should  be targeted toward the Intrigue line and not the Romantic Suspense line, at least from what I’ve read and been told. I’m glad, not only because the word count is lower, meaning I don’t have to find a subplot or fluff my story out of recognition, but because it means I don’t have to tone down the suspense and play up the romance as much as I initially thought. My story doesn’t have to be contorted into something unrecognizable to fit the mold, and that makes me feel even more certain that this story is exactly what it should be.

I never heard anything back from my So You Think You Can Write entry, but I’ve reworked the beginning and I think I’ve written some really good material since the opening chapter. I’m not sure exactly where the story will fit, but I would love to finish it sometime next year.

I’ve thought of at least three other books in the series DJ starts, with two possibles. Once I have eyeballs back on the story, I’ll get an excerpt up for some critique.

How’s everyone else’s writing coming along? Anyone close to submitting/publishing? Anyone revising?

XOXO,

Erica

False Starts…

I think I spoke too soon, as per usual.

After looking through the editor’s work and seeing some of the comments about the editing of the book I knew she worked on, I grabbed a copy for myself. Once I’d read some of the book, I acknowledged that some obvious grammatical errors and typos were distracting me from the content of the book. I knew that I didn’t want that to happen with my book. As a reader, I know how a bad editing job can make an otherwise wonderful book suck, for lack of a better word. I’d rather my story tanked on its material rather than its editing.

Even though I had to go back to the drawing board on editing, I did come up with a better solution for me. I realized I know a guy. The guy who runs the singles’ ministry is a college English teacher (I realize teacher isn’t the word; I believe he’s an adjunct professor? Semantics). Not only does he have a proven background in English, he leads a singles’ ministry, which means he  has extensive knowledge of the subject matter. He can copy edit and edit for content, and he would be one of few people I would trust to edit the content. I also found an advance reader, someone who is quoted quite a few times in the book herself. She’s a psychologist who attends my church and has done some pre-marital counseling for me (no, I’m not married or engaged, but I’ve had pre-marital counseling–twice. That’s another story for another day, and not half as interesting as it sounds). So the people are in place, but is the book ready?

The short answer is no. I got hung up on the writing of the chapter I didn’t want to write (somehow, I am not surprised by this). I had a goal to be done with the book by the end of March, but things picked up with the website (which is coming along well), I got invited to speak at my aunt’s Authentic Self seminar (which is in May, but I started working on right away so I could preview it here), and things at work began to change. All legitimate excuses that don’t get me any closer to a finished book. But I’m back on top of it, dear readers. The book hasn’t died on the shelf yet. I am going to finish those parts I don’t want to tackle, and I’m going to wrap up the other chapters in a way that makes it all worth the wait for this book.

Even though I feel like this project is one I’m meant to write and have gained a wealth of experience and growth through the writing of it, I find myself missing my fiction projects. I want to get conclude some of those stories. I think there is a market for them. But I realize that finishing this project is not just important to me, but to all the people who can benefit from reading it. Let’s not downplay the fact that I am known to abandon ship when the writing gets tough and move  on to something else. I need to prove to myself that I can finish a work and get it out there. I have to get to the end of writing and editing and have a finished product if I’m ever going to publish. We can’t all be Donna Tart and take ten years to finish a book.

So, keep my book and my writing in your thoughts and prayers. It is moving forward. I want to make it perfect for my readers, some of which have been waiting years to read my work. Meanwhile, sate yourselves with reading a few shorter non-fiction pieces in my Untitled tab.

XOXO

Erica

Married to an Idea

I have begun to work in earnest on the marriage kit book! I almost have an entire chapter completed as I type (well, more than one has been started, but this one really is almost complete). Not only that, but I have an outline of how I want the chapters to be organized, with specific sections, as well as several chapter outlines that I want to tackle.

For each chapter I’ve thought about doing the following:

Introduction

Worldview

The fact of the Matter (God’s View)

Personal Story

The Other Side of the Coin

In the Meantime

The ones in bold will be actual headings within the chapters; the others just identify what type of writing will be present at that point of the book. This is a preliminary structure, but it works well with the material that I have thus far. It was only after continuing to write after I had starting reading a sample of Reshaping it All by Candace Cameron that I even thought about how I had written down in my chapter outline some things that all the chapters had in common. Yay for inspiration.

I am continually blown away by how this project is unfolding. In all honesty, it looks nothing like the book I thought I was writing.

New (Untitled) Piece…and What I’m Working On…

There’s a new piece up on my (Untitled) page that’s really personal…it’s about my relationship with my dad from way back. Thankfully, we’re beyond that stage now, but it was a good piece and I wanted to air it out somewhere.

Lately, I’ve been going through my various journals and highlighting things I want to use and ideas I want to play with for my two non-fiction works, Some College and the Marriage Kit book. It seems I’ve written short excerpts and stream of consciousness thoughts for both works everywhere; now that I have the command center set up, I’m putting it all together. I’m also slowly but surely working my way through the Camp NaNoWriMo manuscript, and living life experiences that will go well with the NaNoWriMo 2010 manuscript. All in all, it’s been a pretty productive month for being creative.

I’ve been going through some of my floppy disks, the ones that I used with my Brother Word processor. That’s been an experience. I found some things from when I turned 15 and on that I may share on this or another blog. I still have plenty of disks to go through from my computer disk days in middle and high school, but so far I’m estatic about all the pieces I’m rediscovering, some of which have some real merit. Now to get my hands on the other notebooks I wasn’t able to bring, and to have my entire body of work here to mull over and continue.

Nothing much else never in 2blu2btruLand. How are your writing lives going?

2blu2btru