Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rejection by E-mail

Well I'm back, fire ant scars and all. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with their friends and families. I was fortunate enough to be able to share mine with long time friends from Maryland and Orlando. The meal was fantastic. Lamb, ham and all the other goodies. Thanks Andrea.

Met a fabulous singer there who is appearing at Beluga's jam sessions in Winter Park. She has a great throaty voice, wonderful mezzo, and sings blues and jazz. Her name is Miss Jacqueline Jones check her out you won't be disappointed.

I have had the most wonderful experience for a writer. Last week I received my first rejection e-mail from an agent I had submitted my work to. The reason why I believe it was a good experience for me is that it forced me to take a closer look at the manuscript I'd sent. She was very kind in her note and I thank her for that. It is unfortunate that I wasted a great opportunity by sending an MS that wasn't ready.

I would like to focus on some of the things I discovered. I am a type A personality. You know who we are. The person, who is cocky, sure of themselves and often pushy. The type of person who never doubts for a moment that they will succeed at whatever they put their hand to.

I sat down the other day in a very comfortable chair with my yellow pen. Opening the MS I began. Reading the page, my finger moving along each line, my mouth sounding out the words for my ear. I was horrified by what I saw. The language was so flowery at times I thought I needed a vase. Then I began cutting out things. First the flowery phrases had to go. I then turned to redundant phrases. How many ways are there to say the sky was beautiful or someone is upset.

According to my manuscript many, many ways. I covered thirty pages that afternoon and whittled it down to fifteen pages. No wonder it was rejected. I had duplicated people, events and explained relationships and characters reactions over and over again.

I though that my work product was the number of words I produced or how many hours I sat at the computer, but I've learned something I'd forgotten. The main reason I write is because I not only love the work but also because I want to send out a wonderful story. So I will continue to read and strike out phrases and rewrite until I truly feel it is ready for the readers who will open the cover in anticipation of a good story.

Perhaps I will devote the next blog to one of my short stories. Let me know if you would like to read something I've written. But for now I am going to have a drink. It's been a long day.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Senior Moments and Fire Ants

I've had an interesting weekend. I visited with my sister om Sunday. She returns to North Carolina on Tuesday. They've bought a place in Lady Lake so I know they will be down more often.

I planted my Pineapple plants on Saturday night. My feet and hands are covered with fire ant bites. It seems they like Pineapples too. That and I stood on top of their nest to dig the hole for the plants. My feet and toes swelled up. nasty creatures.

Have been working on the butcher. He has run over a courier on a bicycle by accident. The courier had discovered one of his victims earlier so he is coming full circle. I was given a great book on forensics by a good friend. Postmortem, Establishing the Cause of Death by Dr. Steven Koehler and Dr. Cyril Wecht. The pictures make you dizzy but the narrative spells out step by step the process of identification and who is involved at what stage. Very interesting.

I've finished reading Hannibel Rising and am now reading Whiteout by Ken Follett. Hannibel was rather gruesome but not as graphic as the films. Whiteout seemed somewhat familiar when I started and sure enough half way through I came across a line that confirmed my suspicions. I have read it before...it is a problem when you have extended senior momenst but even those moments don't stay with me for very long.

Well I'm off to soak my feet. I'll be back later.