So now I am up in the study, listening to the new album Intriguer by Crowded House (yes I'm going through a Crowded House phase, don't judge me) and alternating between this blog, the query, and the new novel. It still needs a title. Grrrr... It's extra confusing because personal preference is such a big part of publishing. Apart from the obvious things such as spelling and punctuation, so much of your success or failure depends on choosing the right person to send it to, someone who shares some part of your vision. Last year at PNWA's summer conference, I was able to talk briefly (in completely star-struck fashion) to Andre Dubus III after his speech. It was a book signing, and we were all waiting in line for our chance to get his autograph. It was completely worth the wait. He took time with everyone, asked each of us what our books were about, and wrote little personalized notes rather than just signing his name. Anyway, when he came to me, he asked what my book was about, so I told him. Then he asked what the title was. When I said Ashford, he said, "Great title!" So that was, you know, awesome. Then the next day I had a meeting with an agent. I gave her my pitch. She wrinkled her nose and said she didn't like the title. So often it feels like you're putting together an especially confusing jigsaw puzzle -- the kind where it's all sky and about twenty pieces look like they should fit, but only one of them really does. I'm sure when you find the piece that fits it's a glorious moment, but meanwhile trying everything that looks possible feels a lot like trying to find matching socks at 5 AM when it's dark and you don't want to turn on the light and wake your husband but you have to go to work.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Monday Morning Wanderings
Today I am determined to be productive. The deadline for the PNWA contest is coming up on the 17th (received by, not postmarked -- thanks Colleen for the reminder) and I must revamp my synopsis for Ashford again before I send it in. I am a little hesitant to send it this year, as I've sent it already two years running, but my scores and critiques were better last year than the year before, and I want to give it one more chance. But because I'm submitting the same one again, I would like to get the current project sendable as well. However, it still needs both a complete synopsis and a title, which I find to be the two most difficult things to produce. I am also determined to send off at least one more query today, and I need to make a run up to Colville to find supplies for headpieces for Flower Festival.