Year in Review, part one: March to August

Sorry everyone I haven’t been here in months. My Muse was down and very little was going on. Since this is going to be a long post, I’m breaking it up into two parts–one tonight, and one tomorrow or Tuesday night. I’m going to pick up where it left off and give you a monthly update, one at a time, and will give you in the end, where I stand now and what I have planned for next year, too.

In March, while I still have three standing R&Rs for Venom, I’ve continued to work on my manuscript with my beta. I’ve used the feedback I’ve gotten from those two agents to tone done action and make the dialogue realistic. I’ve also did my first meditative walk in honor of my mother’s memory to mark the first year since she passed. It helped to give me an idea to go back to writing with a couple of ideas. But I feared it might’ve been a bit too early and wait awhile. No new bites came in for Double Exposure and Chain Reaction, when I’ve also worked on them with my beta reader, too. I also went to my first local writing conference, which was a half-day, and attended few classes. It helped me give me new ideas on how to write and edit better for future novels. What a wake-up call!

In April, as I continue to work on my R&R, my other mss and query, I’ve tried Camp Nano by revitalizing an old storyline and modernize it a bit. Well I did manage to do 20 K out of my planned 25. But I’ve put that ms to the side. Maybe I wasn’t ready yet, but it was a rough start. I still dream-plot, no matter what. As for May, it was the same deal by continue to write and edit and query. And that’s when a new idea hit me at the end for summer Camp Nano or for regular Nano this fall, when I had that dream plot for it, too.

So let’s call this spring a spring awakening to mu Muse, as this summer was a summer blast of contesting and kicking it into high gear. And I owe it to my beta who told me about it in June. Since Agent A was still “considering” Venom and did ask for future projects back in March, I’ve kept on working on my R&R and my mss with edits, and continue to query along to hope to get some new bites land me some requests. I was a bit apprehensive on doing the first contest, since I didn’t feel ready. But since she did it with me, I took the plunge and dove right in with “Pitch to Publication” with Venom, Chain Reaction and deliberated on Double Exposure, since of the high word count. I’ve selected my five mentors, met some new Twitter friends, and waited for the first results. At the same time, there was “pg70pit” at the same week and entered Venom in. For both contests, I’ve gotten feedback to fix sentence structure and summarize paragraphs, though I’ve been short-listed twice. Not a bad start to know I’m so close and getting there. It’s better than being snubbed, right?

In July, I’ve contacted Agent A and checked on Venom’s status. I also reminded her of Chain Reaction and Double Exposure as my future projects. She said she wanted to see it with her co-agent, but didn’t state if it was a full or partial request. So my beta reader and I worked on it as partials and sent it back to her. Six months later, no word from her, since her last email stating it was in her queue with no other feedback on it. With no bites for either ms, I’ve waited and planned to wait to write until November, when If I felt more than ready to take the challenge on returning to Nano after a year off. So I tried the “New Agent” Pitch Contest that month and got my first snub.

As for August, I’ve continued with the waiting game by sending out batches of queries, continue on editing and summoned my Muse from mid-summer to return with new ideas. And I went with one and rolled with it. With no word from Agent A, I entered my last summer contest, Pitch Slam, and selected five mentors to pick Venom, since the results ended up in summer. I’ve made new friends, picked up some new beta readers to work on Double Exposure, and came close again with new editorial feedback with another short list. Other than to polish my ms, they liked the action in the beginning, great concept and cool, interesting premise, other than that feedback, and I came close with the elements of my query to be selected, two mentors had to pass, because it was out of their balliwick and one didn’t gave me any feedback for it.

That was my spring and summer in a nutshell. Stay tuned for my fall and early winter recap in a night or two…

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