On Top of the World

As I thought about how to write this post – this post that is a CELEBRATION, my brain sagged at the lack of originality or quippiness. (Honestly, I’ve lost the thread of how I have made any of my posts that way in the past. What happened? I don’t know. It’s a mystery.)

And then I realized that this post represents a major turning point in my writing journey, which means reflection. Here are a few quotes I pulled to warm you up to my news:

“I tweeted this last night: “SO CLOSE I CAN ALMOST TASTE IT. That is, if writing and endings were taste-able.” (Listen to the Muse-ic)

“Last Thursday morning, with minutes to spare before having to catch a bus to Minnesota’s Great Get-Together (The State Fair, yo), I FINISHED my novel.” (The End. At Least, Until the Real End)

“What I also love is that this reminds me that when I have a synopsis and query letter that is literary agent-ready, I’ll know. I’ll feel it. And then that excitement and confidence will come surging through and… carry me through the first round of rejections. Haha!” (Thoughts On a Query)

This whole post:“Well, Cross THAT One Off the List”

“I am a stubborn person. However, in this circumstance I am going to go with the euphemisms that I am committed, dedicated, persevering.” (I Will Walk 500 Miles)

“I want to go through the vetting process because if I make it through, that tells me a whole lot more about my writing and my story than anything else. If I don’t make it through, maybe that means I shouldn’t, that my writing or my story is not what it should be”. (Why I Look At Self ePublishing As the End of the Line)

“I’ve got this new novel started.” (Once Upon a Time Again)

“It would seem that without consciously and directly intending to, I have decided to shelve my first novel for now.

It makes me a little sad, but truthfully, not as much as I could be if my current novel weren’t flourishing, which is actually why, after many dead-end style rejections, I simply faded away from continuing the query process with the first.” (Embers to Flame)

“My current fear? That this second novel will not be good enough.” (Pressure to Be Good Enough a.k.a, Reason #58* for False Writer’s Block)

“I feel like I’ve done exhaustive research on writing a query letter and re-wrote mine a bazillion times following all of the rules – only to find that some of the most successful queries that attracted agents were the ones that broke all the rules.” (Them’s the Rulz, Kiddo)

The End. (Again!)

And with that final link/post, I am so happy and excited to share that the end of that second novel signals the one that has led to signing with an agent! I’ll be partnering with the fabulous Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

How did it all happen, you ask? Well, to be honest, it’s not much of a story, but I will tell you the few (very few) entertaining parts. When I first heard the message on my phone that Jill would like to talk to me about my book, I FREAKED OUT. Just talk? Offer representation? I know that an initial agent phone call does not always mean an offer.

But guess what? This one DID. (Like you were about to guess wrong on that.)

I have to tell you, I have this minor, but freaky phobia of making phone calls. I remember doing a little cheer when pizza delivery orders started with online ordering. Even making that kind of stupid call makes me uncomfortable. So you can imagine how I was feeling that I had to make this call back.

The good news is that once I’m on the phone, I’m fine.

Except in this case. I don’t remember the last time I was ever so awkward on the phone. Here’s how it went:

Jill: What kind of questions do you have for me?

Me: blabber fumble + 50 more words for a 7 word question

Jill: friendly, coherent, and succinct response

Me: fdvdwoierxkhw + 75 extra words in a 5 word question

Jill: friendly, coherent, and concise response

Me: … well, I’d relate more of the conversation to you, but I think you’ve got the size of it all, hmm?

The second phone call that marked my acceptance of her offer went WAY better.

I could wish that I had a much longer and entertaining story to tell you, but frankly, I don’t  – and I don’t really care. Who cares how it went, right? It is one of the most exciting moments of my life so far.

What’s next? Well, a lot. There’s a long and patient journey ahead. I’m working on a few revisions and then we’ll go from there. Publication is still not a sure thing (though I have 100% confidence in Jill that she is the one that can see me through on it) and still a long ways off. I hope to share more with you on how that goes when I can and with what I can – which might not be much, unfortunately. There are many reasons for holding back on some of that as we move into these next steps.

Plus, I’m still working on my current project and still reading and still wanting to share my thoughts on all of these things.

For now, though, I just want to thank you all for being with me as I’ve made it up to this point.

I’m pretty sure this song says it all for me right now:

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