Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Musings

Hello again, I'm back!  I've been so involved in getting my middle six chapters finished for my historical novel, that I'm near hysterical.  Anyway, I don't know where the time has gone, but I guess I was having too much fun to remember about my blog...NOT.

I've got so much on my mind these days that i seem to be turning in circles without finding an exit.  I'm doing research on both agents and editors, but I think I am going to try to find representation rather than going straight to a publishing house.  You know what that means?  Mostly it means my head is spinning, to be cliche-ish. 

For one thing, I have yet to figure out what "juvenile" means in terms of genre for agents.  I have spent 4 hours going through the 2011 edition of Guide to Literary Agents, and all it has gotten me is confusion.  Some agents specify that they represent MG and/or YA books.  Some say children's books but do not specify what age limit, other than perhaps saying they don't want Picture Books.  And then...we have those who ONLY specify "juvenile."  That's a new one for me.  If you know what "juvenile" means in terms of...PBs, early reader,
chapter books, MG or YA, would you please post a comment and let me know?

Then there is my first novel that I am once again...and hopefully for the very last time...editing.  I had a professional critique of my first three chapters, which I was very glad to receive.  The lady who did it was complimentary, but also very clear in what she thought should be changed, eliminated, or reworded entirely.  A lot of work to be done on those first chapters, but now I've begun going through every page of the remaining 15 chapters to apply the suggestions and comments she made to everywhere that it would be pertinent.  It's a lot of work, and I'm not even half way through the 18 chapters, but in the long run, I feel it will make the manuscript better.

Speaking of that did you come by the ideas for the stories or novels you write or have written?  My main character, AJ, woke me up in the middle of the night.  Now my husband...non-writer that he is...insists I merely dreamed the whold thing.  But...even he cannot explain the hand-written, only partially legible notes that I found on my desk the following moring.  And considering my handwriting these days, after so many years on the computer, those notes could only have been written when I was only half awake!

So...AJ wakes me up and says I need to write her story about cheerleading.  Excuse me?  Cheerleading?  What I know about that subject you could write on the head of a pin.  But she was SO insistent.  The next morning, I went to the library and checked out 7 books on cheerleading, 6 were fiction and 1 was NF.  I spent days and weeks reading and doing research on the Internet about cheerleading.  When I told my daughter, she thought I'd really lost it.  She hadn't even wanted to be a cheerer ( is that a word? ) when she was in school, and thought the girls who were were all a bunch of snobs.

Nevertheless, after 2 weeks of straight research, I began the novel,  Almost immediately, I decided I needed help, so I signed up for the ICL novel course.  Over the next 16 months, I wrote, edited, revised, wrote, edited,  revised, wrote...well, you know.  As it turns out, AJ is a 13 year old girl who has a lot more going for her than she realizes.  She becomes a cheerleader, although not the Senior Captain that she expected to be.  And the reason for that comes in the form of the new girl in town, Celine, who for some strange reason is out to destroy all of AJ's friendships and ruin her chances to even be on the cheerleading squad.  The story evolved into much more than a "cheerleading saga."  Being a horse person, I could hardly be expected to write a novel without horses in it, so AJ lives in a western Colorado town, and has a championship mare.  She fights ( literally) with Celine, learns that there is a mysterious connection between Celine ( who is not who or what she claims to be) and AJ's father,  faces the death of one of her BFFs, learns that she will be getting a stepmother soon who has been in her father's life for much longer than she should have been, and...

Hopefully, before too much longer, you all will be able to read the entire novel by buying it from Amazon or your local bookstore!

And then, there's my hysterical...umm, I mean... historical...novel...but thats a story for another day.

Until next time, that's a wrap.