Friday, July 11, 2014

How is summer halfway over already?

I'm at a loss. Time is hurtling before my eyes. My twin two-year-olds are...OMG...adorably destructive. My four-year-old is doing addition on his fingers and about to have his first "preschool play date." The fact he'll be attending kindergarten in a year makes me teary. They've all lost their baby remnants. My son looks like a boy, and my girls are zooming past the "toddler" look (though I should say they still prance like toddlers, so that makes me feel better).

Today is July 11th. I don't even know how long it's been since I blogged last. And now summer is about halfway over. Next month, my son will start official preschool (we're doing the 2 full days, instead of 4 half days). I'm not ready for summer to be over. Though I have been a regular at our Fort Wayne Children's Zoo (AMAZING!), there is still so much I want to do. I want to do more family walks to Dairy Queen and trips to the zoo (with my husband, too). I want to go to the lake--go tubing on my dad's boat and play with my kids in the sand. I want to go to a local splash pad (and have a 1:1 ratio, instead of a heart-stopping 3:1).  I'm looking forward to attending our 3 Rivers Festival and the Elkhart County Fair.

What do you still want to do this summer?

I'm kinda bummed. I had a whole Memorial Day post planned, and I never sat down and wrote it. One thing I have learned since April is be intentional. If I'm not intentional, it doesn't get done. Spending time with the kids, playing and teaching. Play dates with other moms. Going out with my sisters and friends. Even seeing my family and in-laws. Cleaning and doing laundry? Unless I have a breakdown ("I cannot stand you guys trashing this house for one more minute, so you're going to your rooms.") or a planned time to clean, it doesn't happen. I shrug my shoulders. Apologize to visitors. But my focus is on my writing (which I'll get to next) and investing as much time in my kids as I can (due to my emotional realization they're growing up...too fast). Not sure if it's sad or simply ambitious. Everything else gets put on a back burner.

Now, my writing. SWORDS & CINDER is roughly 88k words as I do my final read through (deciding if anything needs cut or tweaked). It's 317 pages (for my lovely family and friends who are bored to tears of me talking their ears off and have no idea how many words books have). I have finished rewriting the ENTIRE novel, adding world building--yes, I created a whole world--and expanding my character's voice. I decided I needed to add two new chapters at the beginning to establish a normalcy for my MC before I work my magic. ;)  Then, I dealt with a change to a minor plot point and rewrote a couple other chapters. Then I consulted my sister, psychology major and currently working on her master's degree, for her insight on a couple chapters of the book. I wanted to make sure my characters were acting in a realistic way. She helped me rework the crux of the matter, and I'm so thankful (Thanks, Kati!).

But the biggest surprise here was my husband. Here's some background for you. He read my first two chapters of draft 2. He didn't hate it, but he couldn't find anything nice to say about it. I'll be honest. I was hurt, but more than hurt, I was mad. Half a dozen people were reading it and loved it. How DARE he not appreciate my gift! And here I am more than six months later, and he's my best source of honesty. Now, I don't agree with everything he says. I don't listen to the exact words he uses. I look into what he's trying to say. He has great insight into what works and what doesn't. He is by no means a "writer's critique partner" but gives wonderful feedback as a reader. Now, he's my number one go-to person. Especially after losing a dear CP. I feel for her though. She is trying to find uninterrupted writing time with a one-year-old. Poor thing!

Next week is it--Querying Time--at least the beginning of my official submission process. It's weird to finally feel it's ready. It's been a long road to get here. I'm madly in love with this story, and I can't wait to find the one agent (or more) who feels the same way I do.

And I think that's why I feel stunned that summer is halfway over. I had planned to send this out June 1st...before summer officially began. And here I am--halfway through summer--and just starting my querying journey. By the end of July, I'll be officially in the thick of things--hopefully with a few partial or full requests.

But I'm finally ready. :)

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