It’s been exactly nine months since my last post, and I thought it was high time for an update.
Because nine months is a fabulous wedge of time, isn't it? After all, it’s the exact portion of a year that can morph a good idea into something squalling on its own.
So, it may come as no surprise to you that I've used the time to create a brand spanking new revision of a novel I've been toying with for years. And unlike human offspring who tend to hang around for a couple of decades, that baby was itching to leave the nest before the ink was dry. And so, I sent it out the first chance I got, right?
First, I had it read by a couple of people with blood-red pens and hearts the size of raisins. Trust me, you need these folks. At this stage of the game they are far more helpful to you and your manuscript than the ones with hearts the size of Texas who dot their i’s with daisies.
After this set of suggestions was considered, and I had gone through the draft yet another time, I was then on the hunt for good listeners.
You can usually spot good listeners by their large ears and thoughtful expressions. However, this method is not fool-proof. For example, cats and jackasses are NOT good listeners. Behind that cat’s thoughtful expression is just a headful of notions about canned food and plots that may or may not involve your murder should it ever figure out how to work the can's pull-tab on its own. And jackasses…
Well, they’re jackasses.
Anyway, after finding a great batch of listeners who were willing to meet for a boatload of sessions, I read that whole dang novel OUT LOUD. I can’t really overemphasize the importance of this step. You will not believe how many little errors you’ll catch if you use it. It seems that the brain reading silently loves to patch things up as it hums along, but give it a voice and wow! You’ll find yourself wondering how you could have possibly missed that obvious mistake in your first 147 read-throughs.
Finally, when that was all said (OUT LOUD) and done, the novel was ready to send off into the great big world where it will eventually receive its YES or NO.
Pop quiz time!
What do you do when you've completed and submitted your manuscript?
A. Check email, snail mail, and voice mail 317 times a day and look like this—
B. Get on with your next novel and look like this—
Well, I don’t know about you, but I chose option B.
And so, I’m already knee-deep into chapter two of novel two — that’s the good news.
The bad news is that blog posts will continue to be on a pretty random cycle from here on out.
And now for an update on the home front:
Midway through the novel revision, my dear, sweet, elderly office mate abandoned the project (and life as we know it). Those were tough days indeed, and alas, he is still missed.
However, on a lighter note, I have since been blessed with two new colleagues. And while they do have actual names, and perhaps titles, I've dubbed them Thing 1 and Thing 2. I’m guessing you can see why…
Obviously, they are a work in progress.
Aren't we all?
PROMPT: I’m placing bets that you have a mossy old manuscript stashed somewhere. Well, today is the day to dig it out and dust it off!
Oh, and don’t forget that it’s International Moment of Laughter Day (go ahead and Google if you must). This is sure to give you a jump-start on the celebration.
I think that's how we should all handle rejection letters, don’t you?