Wednesday, February 25, 2009

That Third Chapter of Strachan's Attic and Hafan Deg's Query Status

The third chapter of Strachan's Attic is in the link above. From now on, I can work quietly away on the MS without feeling the Pressure-Of-The-Blog. All you'll see, if you're quick, is the word counter changing. I got goosebumps yesterday, ending the chapter, and shed a tear. When that happens, I always figure I got it right. Of course, it could mean I'm a really bad writer who gets off on her own sentimental slop. Hope it's not that, but I can't picture John Irving getting teary-eyed over some soppy bit in one of his books, can you? It's definitely a girl thing.

As I have no intention of putting up a Query/Rejection Chart gizmo in the side bar or any place else, I'll just fill you in from time to time. As of last night, I've sent out fourteen queries. Of these, I've had a request for one partial, and received three non-personalized form rejections. There was one bounce-back that will be resubmitted in March. So that means there are nine still-viable queries OUT THERE, all alone in the world, waiting, waiting. This information is not here to be assessed or analyzed; it's a simple record that means nothing. Its only value is in letting you know that the Hafan Deg journey is ongoing.

Strachan's Attic now occupies my mind as I'm washing up or vacuuming, and just before I fall asleep. The original MS was only around 85,000 words, so I have the luxury of adding more to the story than the first time, not as mere filler, but to take the plot in its new direction. The hours of sheer slogging on the work are long over, and now I am in this wonderful relaxed state of pruning AND seeding the draft. (I do seem to have Glorious Spring on my mind, you'll notice.)

As a result of the new work, Hafan Deg is no longer uppermost in my mind, and it's such a relief to stop focusing on that one book. Were it my only book, the rejections would sting a little, but I find I'm looking at them with almost a casual eye. I expect to get a lot more before this exercise is over. Like those nasty but colorful stains on Dr Semmelweis's apron, they are the badges of experience.

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Quotes to Consider

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, Either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing." ~Benjamin Franklin

"Well behaved women rarely make history."~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”~William G.T. Shedd (1820-1894), theologian, teacher, pastor

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." ~Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd U.S. president

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), essayist, poet, philosopher

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
~ Wayne Gretzky