Saturday, June 17, 2017, I met Kevin Spall the CEO/President of Thomson-Shore books. I met him in a restaurant in Ann Arbor where I pitched him my latest contemporary romance book with the working title: The Cattle Baron’s Redemption.
This was the first time I have pitched a book to anyone. I wasn’t nervous. I was intrigued by the process. I wondered what he would ask me. How did I come to this place of writing romance novels? I think I blacked out when he asked me that. I know my lips were moving and something was coming out because I could hear the sound of my voice droning about something. I think I said something like, I read a romance novel a couple of years ago and thought I could write something like that, so I did. Ugh! Well! Of all the nerve. Not anything about my love of reading romances and my interest in their stories or my interest in crafting a good story–at least I think it is a good story. My mother (and two cats) seem to think so.
I was caught up in the moment. He wrote something on the top right corner of the two-page synopsis I brought along and gave him. I wonder what that something was. Now having gone through the process of pitching for the first time I look forward to getting to pitch more often to other book industry insiders.
I keep trying to tell myself that I might have bombed the pitch, but daily, even sometimes hourly, search my email for a message from Thomson-Shore. I sent a thank you note today with a logline for the longer novel. I hope, I wish, I’ll keep my fingers crossed and keep checking my email for a response from Kevin Spall.
I was determined to start and finish a 40,000 word novel during the NaNoWriMo month of November 2016. I didn’t do it. Instead of taking me one month or 4 weeks to write a novel it took me 6 weeks. I’ve basked in this accomplishment for far too long. Last night I thought about starting the editing process, but need to print out a full manuscript before I start revisions just in case something goes very wrong with the process so I have a hard copy of the book to refer back to.
August 27, 2016–I just finished the first draft of my novel Second Chance at Love–my working title. The hard part is over…or is it? Now I get to go back through it page by page and tweak what I wrote. I’m dreading it, but am glad at least the first stage and hardest part–the getting started and keeping at it–is complete.
It wasn’t on purpose, but I skipped a day of writing. I had to take mom to a late night appointment at her doctors. After which I was tired, hungry and had a killer headache. After dropping mom off I went home and to bed. After a restful night I rose and went to work knowing that I needed to write double (or at least try to) in order to make up for the lost day of writing.
Since I was working today (yesterday now), I came home went right to bed, woke at 10:30 p.m. and started writing. I made it to 40,076 words. Now I have another 1,000 words to go before I reach one of my New Year resolutions of writing more. I think I’m there already, but last year I wrote a 41,000 word novella in 15 days. I want to exceed that amount this time.
My focus is on historical inspirational romance for Harlequin. That genre is only 70,000-75,000 words. Yeah! I’m only another 30,000 words off from it. Prior to taking mom to the doctor and coming home with a headache I had written everyday for a week and four days. So much for setting a record, but let’s hear it for all that work.
Today, we had a snow day at work. Actually we were sent home early because of the bad weather. Since I had the afternoon off (work was called at noon today), I decided to write. Yesterday, I wrote over 1,000 words to 28,464. Today, I wrote to 30,120 words.
I felt better about writing almost 2,000 words because these counted and don’t feel like I’m making my own slush pile of words. It felt like real writing. Like all these words actually matter. Okay, so maybe it’s the two pink frosted sugar cookies I just ate talking, but I think the work was pretty good. I’m counting on it being good. Once I get through with all the writing, I’ll go back through and edit it to fine tune what I’ve written. For now, I’m just flying by the seat of my pants and trying to enjoy the process as much as possible.
I have two cats seated on me. One is preening herself on my left leg with the other is purring contently in my zip-up jacket. I’m so thankful for content cats and cookies and 30,000 words (sugar cookies talking again). Even so I’m thankful for where I am right now.
I’m up again writing–getting in those 1,000 words before the day actually begins. I’m digging through the snow bank of ideas looking for some gems. Some yes, others, no. It’s hard to write when the snow bank turns out to be dog piles of poo that I’m pushing from one end of the page to the other. (Note to self: stop self editing. Just let it flow.) (I see a stream of pee–yeah, something is flowing all right.)
Last night I found I couldn’t sleep. It was 3 a.m., which dragged into 3:45 a.m. before I finally decided to get up and try my hand at writing some more on the novel. I cranked out around 500 words in about 15 minutes (it helps when you have an outline and know which direction the story is taking). In a half hour, I had written 1,000 words exactly from the previous days words of 26,357 only today I wrote 27,357 words. I feel any push forward is a good thing. Looking at the white screen of the computer even with my outline and general idea of where I want the novel to go next is daunting. I worry that I won’t have enough information or scenes to fill a 90,000 word book. After all my first true attempt at a romance novel only had 41,000 words to it. I lament the process of writing and worry about things that haven’t even taken place as of yet, such as not having enough scenes to fill a 90,000 word book.
I worry about the what ifs–things I still have control over. Looking at the white screen of the page is like looking at a glaring white snow bank. You know there is something worthwhile in there. The question is how to get it out.
Someone else blogged about Write or Die the timed writing program online. I tried it. I liked it and found it helpful. At the top of the Write or Die page were other helpful writing websites such as: http://editminion.com/ and http://boredmuse.com/ Neither one of these are timed so no pressure to write. Too bad Write or Die at http://writeordie.com/ doesn’t offer writing prompts. Or too bad that boredmuse.com doesn’t offer timed writing exercises.
By the way, most of what I write here is fresh off the cuff without any editing. So excuse typos if there are any because I be perfect. 🙂