He Came and Went!

Well, our oldest came home from college for summer, but alas, he’s already gone! It was a quick three weeks. He left today for Seattle, where he’ll have a summer internship with Seattle Met magazine, which I think sounds uber-fun.

He had three fast weeks of:

  • Sleeping in (check)
  • Eating Oreos (check)
  • Eating food that someone else paid for and made (check)
  • Visiting his grandparents (two nice visits: check, check)
  • Going to our favorite Mexican-food restaurant, Don Joses (check, check)
  • Eating In-N-Out (check, check, check)
  • Watching endless hours of Arrested Development (check)
  • Going to an Angels game (check, check)
  • Hanging out with old high school friends (which is hard because they’re mostly still in school at their respective colleges) (but — check, check, check)
  • Work out at his old gym (check)
  • Hang out a little with his sibs (check)

And we had three fast weeks of him!

I’ll miss him again, but I’m so excited for him to spend a summer in the heart of Seattle, editing and writing and soaking in a new city …

End-of-the-School-Year Craziness

Ah, the end of the school year. This is where things get really crazy. Turning in books, verifying grades, trying to scramble for that last “B,” banquets, parties, permission slips, yearbooks, school dances, teacher gifts, dress-shoes for promotions … the list goes on and on. Moms everywhere know what I’m talking about.

Rene is in a showdown with a crazy retiring-in-two-minutes teacher who has left the entire class bewildered with “missing assignments” notes when she left for some kind of surgery and has never returned. The substitutes have been bewildered also. The kids have all been glumly picking up slips for summer school. But there might be a knight in shining armor who swooped in to finish the last two weeks as the “permanent substitute” (there’s a fun phrase). And here’s the kicker – he had this same teacher years ago when he was at the school! So he feels very sympathetic toward the students and says he believes in “transparency” and “online grades” (thank you, sir!) and has vowed to get all their grades online so they can check to see what they’re really missing and if they’ve perhaps already turned it in. So, with 1 week left, we’re ending on a cliffhanger, here. I hope everything works out for Rene.

Nathan, meanwhile, is experiencing spring fever like I’ve never seen a child experience spring fever. My two older kids have always really liked school, and seem to stay motivated until the end. But this child. … hmmm … He just wants to head to the beach every single day. Since about May 1. Poor dude. But he’s almost done, too. We remind him of the countdown every day.

Summer, oh summer – We can’t wait to see you next week!

P.S. I also think we must be the LAST district out for summer???

Panic at the Disco

Well, okay, not at the disco. (That’s a group, right?) It’s panic at the computer.

Here’s where I start to hyperventilate as a new romance writer: I really thought I’d have my next book at least half done by now.

I thought I’d start it immediately after the first book went on submission. I thought I’d dive right in, keep my mind on something other than waiting and Prom dates, and have a “fast first draft” done in, like, three months. Which would, ah, bring us to May.

And now it’s June. (Egads!)

And I’m nowhere even close.

Part of my dilemma was that I wasn’t sure what to write about. I had a few ideas floating around, and one clear character I wanted to start with, and a setting I really wanted, but I didn’t have a nice big “high concept” idea.

I wrote a couple of blurbs, a couple of synopses, and even one first chapter for a few different directions. I showed each one to a couple of writing friends, then my agent, to see what she thought. (One of the most awesome things about having an agent is that you can get that kind of feedback before spending a whole year or more on a book that won’t sell.) She gave some great tips on what “New York” likes (code for the Big Six publishers, I guess), what they probably won’t read, what they won’t buy, what they won’t even try to sell, and I kept trying to spin my ideas in different directions.  Continue reading

Road to Publication: The Waiting Game

Whew! So where were we on this road-to-publication story?

I think I left off at Step 76 or so.

If Step 75 on the road to publication was making manuscript changes for your agent, and Step 76 was going on submission, Steps 77-85 would involve waiting. Which is where I am. Sitting-on-the-couch, eating-ice-cream-out-of-the-carton waiting. Checking-your-email-800-times-a-day waiting. Refreshing-your-email-another-800-times waiting. …

Oh, and rejections.

Yeah. I sort of forgot I was going to have to go through a whole slew of rejections again, but that’s part of the process, too.

You sort of get this false sense of hope that once you finally score an agent, you won’t have to deal with all the “we-just-didn’t-like-this” rejections anymore. You sort of feel like you just got married, and you can walk around without any makeup on, and you always have a date on New Year’s Eve, and you don’t have to worry anymore about that cute guy at the bar and why he’s looking at you like that, and you don’t have to care that he would probably say no if you asked him to dance.

But … no. Continue reading

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