Monday, December 3, 2007

December at last

Wow, it's December.
The 7-year-old is now 8-years-old.
Everyone seemed to like the paint-your-own-pottery birthday party and some want to go again.  (ME! Me!   I saw a butterfly that I really, really want to own.)

Editors seem to be clearing off their desks.  I've received several rejections in the past few days -- some for manuscripts I sent out last January and one for a manuscript I mailed out two weeks ago.

But I won't lose heart.  I've been kick-started into sending out manuscripts and will continue to do so.  I have two things almost ready to go which will probably go out Tuesday or Wednesday.

  Plus I think I've done as much as I can with my task of cutting Francis Scott Key in half.
Hmmm.  That does need some explanation, doesn't it.

I've been sending out a 4800 word picture book biography of Francis Scott Key, based on the design of TO FLY.  (see cover over there to the right?  The one that won all those awards?)

  One editor tried to gently tell me she wanted shorter. (We only do 32 page...)  I was determined to sell another 48 page book.  But it didn't happen.  So, when the critiquer at SCBWI-LA told me flat out that nobody was publishing 48 page books and that I needed to make it either longer or shorter, I decided that they were really trying to give me good advice.

Ever since then, I've been slashing and burning.  And now F.S. Key is almost half the size of what it once was -- and I can't figure out what more to take out.  So I'm going to bite the bullet and send it out.  Sometime this week.   Really.  Truly.

A friend once said that a work of art was never finished -- just abandoned.  And that's how I feel about this manuscript.  I think it is now the best I can do at this time, and I should stop fiddling with it and simply float it out there into publishing land.

If you are an artist (writer or something) and happen to be reading this blog -- do you feel this way when you send something out to be considered for publication?



Unknown said...

Yes, I definitely feel that pain of abandonment. I "abandoned" a new young adult novel to the Great Beyond a couple of months ago, and now, having had no reply, I wonder if I should continue holding my breath, rework it to send it elsewhere, or just stop thinking about it and work on something new. Here's hoping that someone will be able to fit your retooled Francis Scott Key into the lock of a 32-page format. Best wishes!
Janet Gingold
Author of Finch Goes Wild and Danger: Long Division

Wendie O said...

A couple of months is a very short time in publishing terms. Stop thinking about it and go on to something else. Always.