Here it is almost the end of October! Halloween is just around the corner! How time flies!
Almost nothing has changed with my unrevised novel of the boy in Medieval times, unfortunately. Because of rules during those times, the girl in the story is not able to help my main character learn how to read. Girls were simply not taught to read back then. One editor suggested that she help him, but she couldn’t have; so I’m batting zero on following one of the editor’s suggestions. I’ve already spent so much time in the past writing the story and working with a person who helped me by offering critiques, that I’m drawing a blank. It’s not a good feeling. More time has to be spent thinking up new situations, I’m afraid. Maybe if I start from scratch! Yikes! It’s 18,000 words long, so I’d better get busy! Wish me luck!
I can’t believe I have written since May! The summer was a blur! Now here it is almost mid-September. We are waiting for cooler weather here, though the summer was not as bad as it usually is. We had only 3 days of 100; compare that with 59 days of 100+ we had only a couple of years ago! We’ll take it!
So far this summer, I’ve had 3 partial stories written and am working still on revising my novel of a boy in the Middle Ages who wanted to learn to read but wasn’t allowed to. Two editors wrote and graciously gave me suggestions on how I might improve it, so I’ve been pondering how to make those changes. It’s not coming easily to me, though. I’ll keep trying!
How was your summer? Do you wish sometimes we could go back to all those years ago when we had to capitalize the seasons? Every time I write a sentence with the fall season, I wish we still did so that no one will confuse the verb “fall” with the season. Oh, well…
Let me know what you’ve been writing or would like to write about. Tell me if you’ve found a wonderful publisher website so we can share!
The summer is rushing by in a flash! Here it is almost August! For the months of June and July, I sent off a dozen and a half of my stories of four or five different kinds/genres. It’s early yet to receive any responses, but I did get two rejections; one was too short and not considered a novel; the other had a bunch of flaws, which I hope to incorporate into my novel and revise as well. I realized I’ve learned so much about writing and sending query/cover letters. One company I have to give credit to is CBI, the Children’s Book Insider. Their newsletters are always chock full of information and tips. Of course, I must give credit to SCBWI, especially for their resource book online. It has a wealth of information and tips.
Will let everyone know if/when I get responses from the emails and letters I sent out! It’s exciting! In the meantime, I’m still working on another of the San Antonio mission stories. In October of 2015, the missions were designated as World Heritage sites. They include the Alamo, Mission Concepcion, Mission La Espada, San Jose Mission, and Mission San Juan de Capistrano (yes, same name as the one in CA!)
As I mentioned in my last post, I was determined to send out query letters to publishers this month. And I did! I have sent out eight manuscripts so far, consisting of eight different stories. Having whittled down my mailing list of publishers has really helped. One story has been sent out 26 times, another 13 times, and a favorite of mine 29 times. I can’t give up, even though sometimes I think I probably should. But my manuscripts need to be read, so I’ll keep sending them! Will let you know if I get any encouraging responses!
Whatever happened to April? It was gone in the blink of an eye, it seems. I spent much of it revising two of my mid-grade novels and then going through lists of publishers’ catalogs online to see if their books matched my type of stories. I eliminated a bunch of them and made a list of those I felt good about. Now I’m ready to start sending out query letters to a dozen of them with different stories of mine. Wish me luck!
Another thing that happened toward the end of April was a horrific hailstorm we had in this area. It was totally unexpected by us (and the weatherman). The hail started out pea-size, then ping-pong size, then golf-ball size and even baseball size! It happened fast and came down with a vengeance, damaging roofs, skylights, windows, and even the sides of wooden houses! New spring growth from the nearby trees was spread over roofs and driveways like a green carpet. Unprotected cars suffered broken windshields or rear windows, along with widespread pock marks all over the body. When it was over, it has been declared the most expensive hailstorm in the state of Texas.
But I digress. Be prepared, publishers! I’ll be sending out those query letters all this month and beyond!
Have a happy May!
How did that happen? Maybe it’s because we had such an early Easter! It just seems this year is racing past! Maybe it’s my age! Anyway, I have been busy revising my novel about my 11-year-old main character and his friend. It takes place in the medieval days (1220); Robby is the son of a farmer who hopes to rise above his station in life. He thinks that by learning to read, he may do so, even though reading is not encouraged.
When I first sent my MS out, one kind editor suggested that if it takes place in that time period, I must use the language (in dialogue) of that period. I put it off for a long time, but then employed the use of an online etymology dictionary to find the origin of words and whether they were in use during the era. I also had to make frequent use of a thesaurus and a dictionary to find appropriate words to use. Believe me, I learned lots of synonyms!
Now it’s almost finished, so it will be sent out once again in the hopes of finding a publisher. I think one of the problems with getting it published is that it contains mention of religion, which in that time, ruled their world, so it’s almost impossible to write of that era without mentioning it. Let’s hope some publisher will like it anyway!
This winter, while not a very cold one, was still a traumatic one for me. Not only did I have two cataract operations, but I got a bad case of sinusitis which turned into bronchitis. All this by way of explaining why I haven’t written a blog in so long!
Now it’s March, and spring is almost here, at least in south central Texas! For the past three weeks, I have been revising my historical fiction novel. Using an etymology dictionary, it’s taken me weeks to find and substitute words which were already in use in the time period (13th century) in place of modern ones. Surprising how many words we use today were already in use back then! Most have Latin origins, though many are of German origin, as well. So interesting! The word “interesting” was not yet in use, nor “fun” or “entertaining” or “enjoy”. “Pleasing” was the word used most in place of these, it seems. It’s been a challenge to find the words and then go back and plug them into the story.
Till next time, have “fun” ! “Enjoy” an “interesting” springtime!