Ow! My eyes!

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Did you ever stare at something so long it hurt your eyes? Or stare at the eclipse :) ?

That’s how I felt after looking at just one picture book manuscript after over an hour.

It may not sound like much, but there were four colors of Sharpie markings all over it based on three critique partners feedback, and my own edits. So, yeah, OW MY EYES HURT!

I made changes onto Scrivener on my iPad, and began looking through that. But, the damage was done.

They didn’t literally hurt, it was more focus. I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I tried to go to some poetry.

But, no.

I tried another manuscript.

Nope.

Maybe next time I’ll set a timer if I know I want to look at just one 450 word manuscript. Take a break after twenty minutes, do something else, then get back to it. Of course, I’d have to set a timer for my reward time.

I do have an app called ‘Be Focused’ which I LOVE, but haven’t used in quite a while. I have it set for twenty minute work periods, with five minutes of reward rest, then it resets itself. I’ve used it successfully in the past, I just need to get to it again.

Would it have helped the other night?

Who knows. But it wouldn’t have hurt.

Rip Van Winkle

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Geez, has it been 20 years already? I didn’t think it’d been that long since I last posted. Now, my beard is even better than Dumbledore’s ever was!

Okay, so neither were true. It’s just felt like 20 years, and I can’t grow a beard past a few months because, well, itchy.

I flat out haven’t posted because the motivation hasn’t been there to write posts. Or write. I’ve been doing some minor tweaking of things, but no major overhauls.

I did get a revise and resubmit (my second ever!) and a really positive rejection back in April. I did resubmit, plus submitting the MS to a couple agents as well. I’m still in the waiting game, but it may be time to put this MS on the shelf for a while, despite the positives I’ve gotten on it from many. Maybe it’s just not good enough. I have been submitting it since the end of Highlights Foundation Summer Camp last year. I think a year of rejections may be enough for one MS for a while.

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Now to figure out what to work on next…

Trunkers

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Those manuscripts that are so bad you want to destroy them.  I have several, some of which I want to work on again, but know they are so bad, they’ll take more time than I really want to give them at this point. Both are hanging out of the trunk, begging for help, begging for lap time on my iPad to break out of the smelly ole steamer trunk in the basement (yup, we own one- I refurbished that $25 trunk about 18 years ago). 

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What’s wrong with them? Well, they suck. No plot, no story development, no character development.  Basically, they’re just a string of words thrown together that don’t do anything except take up space in the trunk. Below the pillows and blankets.  

Eventually they’ll make their way out.  But not yet. Not quite. They keep poking away at my brain, like Ralph’s finger. 

 

Do you have stories like that? They suck so much they make you doubt you have any intelligence whatsoever, but they keep poking away at your conscience?  

Revise and Resubmit

Within a few weeks of each other, I got the best rejection ever from a small press and a revise and resubmit from an editor!

 

Both had negative comments about the same thing.  Luckily, I’d started working on it after the rejection, and had some ideas by the time I met with the editor at a conference at The Highlights Foundation.

 

The meeting with the editor was part of a paid critique for the Eastern PA SCBWI conference a couple weeks ago. We spent the meeting time discussing what to do, what it needs, and it’s strengths.  I was asked a few more times during the conference if I’m going to resubmit- I took that as a HUGE positive! 

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 And now, as each day passes, even though I got a response thanking me for following up, and being swamped, I have doubts.  Did I send it too soon? Did I not have enough eyes on it? 


Those doubts creep in, like the darkness as a campfire slowly extinguishes.

I checked my phone often- did I get an e-mail yet? Now? Now?

So, what do I do? What should you do?

Get back to work on the next story, and wait. Patiently or not, you wait. (GIF)

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CONFERENCE TIME!!

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Yes, it’s that time of year- it’s time for the Eastern PA SCBWI Conference at The Highlights Foundation in the Poconos!  It’s only one week away, and I. Can’t. Wait!

The fooooood.

The sessions. 

The people! 

The chance to be around other writers and illustrators for an entire weekend.

There’ll be a couple keynotes, five different sessions to attend, and, best of all, I signed up to get two critiques from industry professionals! Oh! I’m also part of the Critique-A-Thon: A round table event where I have my picture book manuscript critiqued by three other writers, and I have a critique for each of their stories, too!

I’m also branching out a bit and running the silent auction.  I didn’t think I’d have to talk since, you know, it’s silent, but I guess I have to people it up! Thank god the beer’s free. 

I’ll be posting pictures when the conference is over, but I’m really excited about it! Can you tell?!?!?