In trying to keep up with all a writer needs, I have been told over and over I need a website or a blog. So for me, the blog won out because it's free and I already know how to use it. Then I debated what I should begin with as I have a lot of ideas for this blog. Since it is about my writing, I decided the first entry would be related to the time line of what's been going on with my writing since I began. Not the writing since I was age eight, but the hoops I have jumped through since beginning the attempt of writing for publication. Whew...what a journey it has been. Somehow seeing it in writing makes it feel like I've made some semblance of progress and well, I have. Take a look:
Aug. 2011-Started the book I've meant to write all my life.
May 2012-Completed a three book series in rough draft format, not knowing a thing about how I should be writing.
July 2012-Joined RWA (Romance Writers of America) and GRW (Georgia Romance Writers). The best advice a multi-published friend had for me.
Sept. 2012-Attended GRW: I didn't know I would have to introduce myself...what the heck do I write again? If I hadn't been sitting by Diana, who pushed me forward, I would have passed on this part without anyone knowing. The best thing was that Maggie grabbed me by the arm as I left the front and invited me to Southside Scribes. Seriously, there are people who want to write as bad as I do and they live nearby? Yes!
Sept. 2012- Attended Southside Scribes and discovered my critique partners who have been an invaluable wealth of knowledge. Thanks Maggie, Trish and Cheryl.
Oct. 2012-Attended Moonlight & Magnolias (M&M) GRW conference: I took the only two pitch sessions open...let's just say I was a naive in thinking one editor was as good as the next. It was Tracey who gave me a quick lesson on pitching, but I should have known there was something to the look on my guides face when she lead me to the editor no one else wanted. Six minutes later, I was all too aware that all editors were not the same and this one just about bit my head off, but she still asked for a partial. I pitched again the next day, thinking I would rather vomit instead, but this editor was much nicer and asked for a partial also. I never sent those partials to either editor as my book was full of all the things new writers must learn...head-hopping, show vs. tell, filtering, not to mention just the regular requirements for what I call, "writing in the romance box". I prefer to think outside that box, thank you very much.
Nov. 2012-Started a new book with intentions of writing inside that darn box after all, but not could use a lot of what I was learning hanging around the Professionals.
Dec. 2012-First draft of SAWYER'S ROSE complete with help from critique partners and beta readers. Thanks to you all!
Jan. 2013-GRW: With less than twelve hours left, I decided to enter then Gin Ellis Critique Workshop....seriously, in less than a day I got the first three chapters of SAWYER'S ROSE ready, complete with writing the dreaded synopsis. Whew!
Mar. 2013-Gin Ellis Critique. I was so scared about the event I thought about not going, but Jennifer was great at explaining the issue in a positive light. I left determined to write even better.
Apr.-June 2013-Worked solely on the first three chapters of SAWYER'S ROSE for submission to the Maggie's. I didn't expect to place, but I got two good critiques.
July 2013-RWA-Nationals in ATL. Pitched three times and found I did much better by not rehearsing a word. I got three requests for partials.
Aug. 2013-First rejection. Bummer.
Sept. 2013-Got my PRO pin from RWA after submitting proof of my first rejection. What other group in the world helps you celebrate a rejection as a positive thing? I 'm loving this!
Oct. 2013-M&M 2013. Almost skipped the pitch coaching session, but found it invaluable with Hilde's coaching advice. Got requests for a full and a partial and again rehearsed nothing. I must be best under pressure when it comes to pitching.
Nov. 2013-Friends set me up and had me called to the front for my PRO pin. For those of you who don't know me, I would rather pull out my fingernails than go up in front for something like that.
Dec. 2013-When I look back, I sigh...it was a busy year full of a lot of firsts, a lot of writing, rewriting and learning. The best parts of it all, the wonderful writers I've met who celebrate the good and bad together. My critique partners who are a wealth of knowledge and support are always there with positive feedback and encouragement. I've reconnected with old friends who have become my beta readers, of which I could not do without. I am amazed that I've conquered my fears long enough to pitch, go up in front of the crowd and send my manuscript off to editors. Most of all, I love how it feels when I am so lost in my writing that it feels like I am right there with my characters. There is also no better compliment than when a reader tells me they loved my story or one of the characters.
Jan. 2014-Planning out this year feels a bit lighter than last year as I think I know more about what I am doing with each item. I will be entering the GIn Ellis Critique with GRW. I want to send out SAWYER'S ROSE anywhere and everywhere once I go through it again. Right now, it is in the best condition of any of my stories. I have joined GRW's most rejections and finish the book pools and I plan to enter the Maggie's in Historical and Contemporary this year. Oh yeah and I just got my second rejection on SAWYER'S ROSE...bummer, but Sawyer is a good man and like I said he is going places. I also have a request for my newest contemporary story ALL BUT THE FALL when it's ready and this agent is willing to wait until I have it written at it's best. So things are moving along and I do feel good about all I have accomplished so far in this crazy business of writing for publication. Stay tuned...
August 5th, 2014-Got the phone call from Mary at GRW that Sawyer's Rose finaled in the Maggies. This is so what I needed to hear. Spending so much time writing and not really having anything at all happen can take a toll. I had been feeling pretty rock bottom for a few months, but this is a big lift for my ego and frankly I needed it.