Saturday, March 27, 2010

ABNA Quarterfinals

Yes, I made the cut.  Look, here's proof.  So far I've only seen a summary of the "overall impressions" bit of the second round reviews (the full reviews should be available on CreateSpace soon, I hear), but those summaries look pretty good:

Review #1  This is truly unlike much of what I've been reading; two complete, interesting characters, set in an interesting setting, offers so many possibilities of what can happen. I am drawn to the uniqueness and novelty of the story, and feel that it is in great hands!

Review #2  Of the excerpts I've read thus far, this is the book I'd be most likely to continue reading. The school setting resonates with young adults, as well as the varied peer interactions. The dialog sounds genuine for the age group, and the main character doesn't display any preternatural wisdom beyond her years. The author has given Lareina a sly sense of humor and a natural, though not cloying, sensitivity to others. I'd be happy to spend more time in her company in this book.

The first day after the quarterfinal excerpts were posted was funny.  Apparently, I have enough tech-savvy friends (especially fellow writers) that my excerpt got downloaded several times right away.  This led to shooting up the Kindle Bestseller chart, topping out at #17.  That, in turn, led to some poor souls downloading the excerpt to their Kindle and wondering where the rest of the book was.  (I take the fact that they wanted to continue reading to be a very good sign.)

So I'm adding another item to my Things to Do While Waiting on an Agent list: reading the other 249 excerpts in the YA category.  I've already done eighteen (took notes, but haven't posted reviews for all of them yet).  Not a bad start.  I should be finished by April 27th, when the semifinalists are announced, right?

I just hope all the reading keeps me from thinking too much about the fact that a reviewer from Publishers Weekly is reading my full manuscript.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Keeping Busy

Progress!  I have written another short story.  I won't be posting it here, because I have hopes of submitting it to a few places.  (Imagine if it got accepted - I'd have a publishing credit.  How snazzy!)  Just under 4000 words, so about four times as long as the first attempt.  The first was just a fun little exercise to see what happened if I tried.  This one I took more seriously.  If anyone's willing to offer some feedback, drop me a line.

I've also gotten back to the sequel for Fingerprints.  Wrote several pages, knowing that I was likely to cut most of one scene.  I had to write it to get things rolling again, but as a scene, it wasn't going anywhere.  SNIP!  I hope I can keep pushing forward on it.  It feels like it's a third of the way (or maybe halfway) through, so I'm curious how long it'll end up.

Meanwhile, the day job has plenty going on as well.  State testing this week, which I have to miss my morning classes to administer every day except Thursday.  Seven of my students (including my entire Pre-Calculus class) will be leaving for Europe Tuesday afternoon and will miss the rest of this week and next.  Oh, and I've been procrastinating a final project for my professional development class.

All this has helped a great deal in keeping my mind off the next round of cuts for ABNA (happening Tuesday) and the full I have out to an agent.  I prefer stressing about things I have some (if little) control over.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

While Waiting

I got my first request for a full on Friday (prompting a weekend-long happy-dance).  While it's not out on an exclusive basis, I have various reasons for waiting a bit before querying further.  Thus, I find it's time to make a list:

Things to Do While Waiting on an Agent

  1. Work on the sequel  (I know, I know ... sell the first one first.)
  2. Try hand at short stories  (First attempt seen here, more "sincere" attempt underway.)
  3. Reorganize a closet or two  (or three ...)
  4. Do stuff for the day job  (Should this be higher on the list?)
  5. Consider learning another language  (ASL? Check. French? Semi-check. Spanish, which would be particularly useful? D'oh!)
  6. Watch episodes of Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs  (Am I the only one waiting for these two shows to collide?)
  7. Back I've Been Deader  (Hey, where'd that come from?!)
  8. Reconsider languages  (I wanna learn Welsh ... but why?)
  9. Ponder what would happen if Roombas became self-aware  (I mean, really, think about it.)
  10. Read "real" books  (Got a stack of seven waiting for me.)
There's my first ten.  What do you do while waiting for an agent's response?