Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Writing and Other People's Memories

I revealed my work on Strachan's Attic to my WAF ACW (Women's Air Force, Aircraftwoman) of World War II on Monday night. I was on the phone with her for over an hour, getting answers to odd little details that I'd never find online. She was utterly delighted that I'm doing this, seeing that - despite my totally different plot - I am more or less telling her story, and the stories of so many others from that time. I learned so much, and I'm glad I followed up with her. People want to explain their lives, even if parts of it are painful. I am indebted to her, my darling big sister.

As I was turning off the computer on Monday night, I took a quick look at my inbox and - lo, and behold! - I got a request for a partial from an agent! It was such a positive-sounding email, that I'm quite dizzy. The only odd thing, I think, is that she wants the chapters, bio and synopsis mailed to her. Perhaps the agency doesn't want its computers tied up with a big download. Do any of you know about this? I can understand it for the whole manuscript, but a few chapters aren't so huge. Please don't think I'm complaining - I would have rented a homing pigeon to deliver the package if they'd asked.

So I spent a great deal of time yesterday printing-off all the pages (slow printer), and I'm afraid I didn't even post my art blog yesterday (although I doubt anyone really noticed, and Squeakie Stone, featured on Monday, deserves all the exposure he can get).

I'll be heading off to the post office soon, and that's a first with mailed submissions from Brighton. Oh, and do you realize that it's impossible to send that SASE that agents need to return the material? Self-addressed envelope, sure, but Canadian stamps are useless for mailing from the States, so I'll enclose an international money order. Oh, and who says they'll want to return the material? Oh, I know - be practical - a partial is only a partial...

I remind you again, if you're at all interested, that both my novels are available to read at another weblink. I am offering it to some of my regular followers (you know who you are), so email me if you want to know what happens next with either book. Oh, and my thanks to Casey for her generous time in critiquing Strachan's first three chapters. She came up with some interesting and useful points. I haven't had time lately to look at other writers' excerpts, so I'm quite moved that she was so unselfish.

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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