October 2009


Hmm. I just realized I made it sound like my Golden Heart entry is in the mail.

Sadly, that’s not the case. I did, however, send in my query, synopsis and first 5 pages of MS to the Ohio Valley RWA Enchanted Words contest, beating their Nov. 1 deadline by two full days!

It was easier than I imagined, because it was an online submission. All I had to do was attach my document to the online entry form and pay through PayPal.

Totally cool. And now, it’s time to get back to work on the old GH entry.

Actually, I’m thinking it’s about ready to go. I’ve been finding myself re-adding words that I took out on my last read-through, and I’m pretty sure that means I’ve fiddled with it enough. 😀

I zapped it off to one of my writer friends who said she’d take a look.

Now it’s on to something else. I’m still contemplating signing up for the NaNoWriMo. I’d better decide soon, since it starts Sunday! I figure if nothing else, it’ll give me a kick in the butt to finish writing the 40,000 words I need to finish “Blind Date Bride.”

I’m half afraid that if I do sign up, I’ll spend more time fiddling around in the online forums than I do writing, though. Any words of wisdom on that subject from you who have done NaNo before?

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I saw a link to this contest over the weekend and decided that since it’s pretty much what I’m already working to compile for the Golden Heart, I might as well go for it.

For the Ohio Valley RWA “Enchanted Words” contest, I need my synopsis (check), the first five pages of manuscript (pretty much as done as they’re going to get) and a query letter.

Query letter? Oh no! I know I need one of those to start looking for an agent, but I don’t have one yet.

Wait! That’s not entirely true. Last spring, NARWA had a hands-on query-writing workshop as a follow-up to Brenda Novak’s talk on query letters. I frantically dug through all the half-full spiral-bound notebooks in the house and car until I found it: My query letter.

Remarkably, it was pretty much finished — and not too bad. I spent some time this morning reworking it, and my contest entry is just about good to go.

Still working on the GH entry. A friend of mine self-imposed an Oct. 31 deadline so she can do the NaNoWriMo without the GH hanging over her head … I decided against doing the NaNo this year because I won’t have time — but I want to do it in 2010. (Last I heard, she was formatting her entry. More power to her.)

Today, I finished tweaking the ending of my first MS, the one I’m entering in the Golden Heart. I deleted some stuff, added in new things and am now pretty happy with it.

I also went through the on-paper edits in my first 48 pages, the pages that are going off to the GH.

Next up? Updating the synopsis a bit to reflect the new ending and another paper copy of both it and the entry.

I’ll be killing a few more trees, but it’s worth it to be that much closer to getting this entry in tiptop shape!

I’m also wondering if I should get a preview of what to expect by entering this contest. I’d need to write a query letter, but I’ll need one of those anyway if I’m going to start looking for an agent.

I’m not going to say “wasting,” even if that’s what it feels like.

That’s right. I printed out the first 48 pages of my MS, which is where I want to end my GH entry, and my still-6-ish-page synopsis yesterday. I figure that sometimes I see things on paper that I don’t see on my computer screen.

Odd how that works: I can read over something a dozen (or more!) times on-screen, and see something I totally missed on a paper copy.

I’ll chalk that one up to “things that make you go hmm” …

Great. Now that song is running through my head. Guess that’s better than Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA,” which was running through my head one day last week, driving me absolutely batty.

I spotted this quote on a pretty leather-bound journal at Barnes & Noble when I took my extra-long dinner break there last night:

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars.

It was a nice reminder to “go for it,” “just do it” or any number of motivational sayings. We all need a little shot of enthusiasm from time to time.

Today, I spent some quality time with my synopsis. I’d like to pare it to 4 or 5 pages. Right now it’s about 5 1/3.

How is it that something I never thought much about before last week is now popping up everywhere?

I just checked out The Seekers blog, and their latest post is about “writing ‘guy.'”

Last week, after checking out another post, I found myself asking if guys really speak in shorter sentences. (It was something I’d never considered — guess that’s the curse of having a loquacious boyfriend.)

Apparently, most men aren’t so talkative … and they’re not as tortured by feelings as our heroines are. Who knew that while she’s torturing herself with a play-by-play of what went wrong on their latest date, he’s thinking about car repairs?

At least that’s Dave Barry’s take, as posted at Seekerville. I think I need to get his book … or some other one that’ll help my men sound more like men.

Hmm. Something else to worry about before I send off the manuscript to the Golden Heart contest. Aargh!

Well, at least I had a productive morning before our NARWA board meeting yesterday. And we had a great meeting. Now it’s time to get to work on the next issue of our chapter’s newsletter.

Oh, jeez … more stuff to do. Why’d I have to go and think about that?

My work week starts today, after a four-day weekend. I’m also gearing up for a busy week with NARWA. Thursday is our board meeting, and Saturday is plot group.

I can’t wait! I love the chance to talk with other writers, work toward making our chapter better and get inspiration to keep writing away.

I got a few more pages edited yesterday — up to 120 of 213 now. But I’m wondering if I should forget the rest of the book to go back and polish the first 50 or so pages that will be judged for the Golden Heart.

Then again, they do want the whole thing … so I should revise to the end and THEN polish some more.

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