Saturday, November 1, 2008


The NaNo site's super slow tonight -- not surprising considering all the folks that are logging in to update their accounts. If my little word count calendar thing ever clears up, you'll see that I had a very nice first day of 3765. Not half bad and especially gratifying considering that I was a little on edge when I sat down at the desk this morning. But, as I'd hoped, all it took was typing the first word and the rest seemed to follow. Phew! I know it's only day one, but I'm totally grooving on getting back to novel writing.

Sent off the most recent polish draft of Leonard to Agent S. late on Thursday. She's going to take a look at it and get back to me next week. I'm very happy with this draft. Didn't have to be lobbied too hard by Agent S. to add even more boy-centric humor. I don't think it's at the expense of quality either. Which is, you know, kind of a bonus. (insert smiley emoticon of your choice here)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gettin' Close

Got the copy edit notes on Leonard back from Dustin (at last!). The notes are quite manageable so I'm incorporating them as I go through for a "final" polish/content edit. I'm about halfway through the manuscript and am quite happy with how everything's shaping up. The goal is to finish up by this Friday (10/31) then ship it off to Agent S for her perusal. She'll review the changes, then send our boy off to a number of publishing houses who've expressed interest. Keep your fingers crossed.

Nano's looming ever larger on the horizon. I'm simultaneously dreading and salivating over the prospect of starting on Saturday. I think I'm well prepared, but there's really no way to tell until my fingers hit the keys.

In political news, The Novel Project is officially tired of this endless campaign and is looking forward to it going away on Nov. 5th.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Coming Along Nicely

Finished the rough outline for Magic Man and will take the next few days to flesh it out. Ten days to NaNo! As of today, I've got twenty-five chapters. If it's anything like last time, I'm sure I'll discover things along the way and add a few more. The outline itself is a little over six pages.

In a surprising burst of creative energy, I also find myself with a nearly completed proposal for an animated show. The idea has been bouncing around in my head for a while and last week I decided to write a few things down. Amazingly, these "things" kept coming and soon I had enough good ones to organize into a pitch-worthy "mini bible" (5-6 pages). The idea itself is action based with a healthy dose of comedy. At my most delusional, I would hope to compare it to The Incredibles.

I like this idea so much that I've actually convinced myself that I can do both the NaNo challenge and write a spec pilot script for my animation proposal. How insane is that? Very. I still have to squeeze in the "final" polish edit for Leonard that Agent S expects by November. Good grief! That loud scream you'll hear at the end of November will be the sound of pressurized steam escaping out of my ears.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

Well, this has been a very busy week. Commencing info dump in 3, 2, 1...
  • Crack agent's assistant, Dustin, has been doing a copy edit on Leonard. He's going over the manuscript with a fine tooth comb in an attempt to weed out my numerous typos and punctuation errors. That's a lot of work and I'm very grateful he agreed to do it. He hopes to get it to me next week. At that point I'll do one more content edit (character stuff and humor, mostly) before shipping it off to Agent S.
  • Finished a new picture book and sent it off to Editor Liz. I like it and think it will hit the sweet spot for early readers -- silly characters and age appropriate gross out humor.
  • Finished a polish draft on another picture book. Took out every word that absolutely didn't need to be there. I'm very excited about it and, equally as important, so is Agent S.
  • I'm about halfway through a very rough outline for my next NaNo novel. I'm doing brief, four or five sentence descriptions separated by chapter headings. After I'm finished, I'll keep going through it until the end of October -- fleshing it out and filling as many holes as I can find. I'm not a slave to the outline, but it helps calm my pre-Nano jitters to have some idea of where I'm going. I became an avid outliner through working in animation (where it's required) and through my own spec screenplays. I tried the "I'll just start writing and see where it goes" approach a few times only to discover that it usually goes to around p.30 and then stops cold. In my experience, some ideas have the juice to drive a full screenplay (or novel) others don't. Pushing an idea through the outline grinder helps me determine which kind I've got on my hands.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

NaNo 2: Electric Boogaloo

I'm going to give NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) another shot this year. It was such a positive experience for me last time that there's no way I could justify not doing it again. I plan on spending the rest of October writing an outline for my next middle grade novel, Magic Man. Once Nov. 1st rolls around, feel free to visit my NaNo page to see how I'm doing with my goal of reaching 50,000 words by the end of the month. I'll be providing updates here, too.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

End of the Road

Recently got the disappointing news that one of my picture books, Road Trip, will soon be going out of print. Sales, although steady, were not robust enough for my publisher to keep the book in stock. It will be "remaindered" which means that the remaining copies will be sold to volume discounters -- good for you folks who don't like to pay full mark up, bad for us authors who want to earn cash money. ;c)
Thanks to everyone who bought the book while it was still in stock. I really do appreciate your support.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Copy That

Agent S finished the manuscript and had some very nice things to say about it, including:

"The manuscript you sent is quite good. I enjoyed the tone and the character development, the fun and the action. It’s clever and a genuine page-turner."

Why, thank you very much! Agent S is a tell it like it is sort of person who lets you know right away when something isn't working for her -- in other words, her compliments mean something. She gave some relatively minor notes that included backing off on the self-referential humor. Breaking the fourth wall can be a dangerous gamble and apparently I was laying it on thick at some points. In other words, I was being too clever for my own good and needed to have that pointed out.

Another note was that Leonard needs a copy edit (grammar check, typos, punctuation errors, etc.) as she was distracted by writing bloopers throughout the manuscript. This was a vexing note only in that I'd been through the pages a number of times looking for just those kinds of errors. Oh well. Agent S lets me off the hook somewhat by writing:

"It’s impossible for a writer to do this for themselves in a thorough way, as you just know the manuscript much too well to ‘see’ it. "

She advises that I find a journalist, teacher, or editor to do a copy edit so I'm in the process of trying to find one of those who has some spare time. If you happen to know a trustworthy "red pen fanatic" who's up for a challenge, let me know.

All this leads up to Agent S beginning the submission process for Leonard as soon as I get her a cleaned up manuscript. Yahoo!

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