I keep thinking of things I should post to my blog, and then I never seem to get around to it. Then when I finally get time, I sit in front of the computer trying to remember what amazing insight I had and coming up empty.
I've been getting a lot of great revision done on Vanishing Act lately. I've crossed another milestone on the way down, and now I'm at 82,000 words. I really am finding that now, months later, it's easier for me to make some of the tough changes.
You're not supposed to blog about this, because allegedly agents and/or editor sometimes look up the blogs of people they're considering, and you don't want them to know how long you've been looking for or how many people have rejected you, but I sent out my very first query/partial for Vanishing Act Friday. (I guess if a really long time passes without a bite, I can always come back and edit this line out.)
While I was out, I also mailed off submissions for a writing contest for me and for my wife. There's kind of a funny story, there. I wanted to keep working on making my manuscript better for as long as I could, right up until the deadline. There were some specific searches I wanted to get done for junk words, passive constructions, and so forth. Like any metropolitan area I'm familiar with, we have a late night post office at the airport, where I tend to run things when I'm up against a postmark deadline. So I went into Friday night fully intending to get our submissions to the post office some time between 11 pm and midnight. I worked backward, figuring I should try to get there by eleven, to leave some cushion. I figured on a half hour of driving, so I should leave home by 10:30. I figured I'd give myself an hour to do all the printing and formatting (that may seem like a lot, but the contest had very specific guidelines. Names removed from manuscripts, a thirty word bio, a thirty word logline, three copies of the first fifty pages, and so forth. So I figured I wanted to be done trying to revise by nine or nine-thirty.
Well I'm not sure where the time went--I think putting the manuscript together took even longer than I allowed for--but I ended up leaving the house at 11:30. I got to the post office at 11:56, and ran in with my four packages. There wasn't a deadline really on the agent submission, so I did the three contest submissions first. As each postmarked stamp came out of the machine, I checked the date and did a little dance for each one that came out April 30th. When I finally did the one for the agent submission, it came out postmarked May 1.
Okay, maybe that was a bit closer than I intended to cut it.
Then again, I have friends who congratulate you if you get a tax refund of zero, because that means you avoided giving the government any more of your money than they were entitled to. I suppose you could call this a win, because I literally got every last possible second of revision in on these contest entries before I sent them out.
Writing Contests: How to Write to Win
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