Wednesday, August 7, 2019

August IWSG


Good Morning (Afternoon, or Evening) Insecure Writers! What's up? Well, it had to happen sooner or later. I missed a IWSG post last month. We left town for a family reunion (husband's side), the day after that post at 3:30 a.m. to catch a flight. In the rush and chaos to get ready, my IWSG post didn't get on the to-do list. Oops. (I feel bad.)



"It's bright in here...", variant



But this month will be different. Because our flight leaving to see my folks is...oh, no. Really?

Yep. I did it again. Scheduled a flight the day after an IWSG post. But I'm writing this sucker over a week in advance! So HA, forgetful brain! Take that!



 Cheeky wildcat


Enough preliminaries. Let's get this thing going. Thank you to our wonderful host, Alex Cavanaugh and nimble co-hosts: Renee Scattergood, Sadira Stone, Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan, and LG Keltner! (Good thing I didn't forget to post this month, huh?)

August's optional question: Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you'd forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?

Well, yes. Yes, it has. When I started to query my historical novel, I sent a letter to Al Zuckerman of Writer's House, who has represented Ken Follett of Pillar's of the Earth fame, along with many, many super, well-known authors. If you're going to dream, dream big, right? 


cathedral
Image: Leonardo Barichello (Pillars of the Earth involves the building of a cathedral.)



I never expected to hear anything back. Then ten months later, I got a request for a 50-page partial. Crazytown! 

That's as far as things went, but I did receive a comment that my pages were well-written along with specific feedback from his office, which was helpful, unexpected, and made me



Smiley
Image: Andy Miccone


Smile!

___________

Have you ever forgotten to post for a blog hop? Read Pillar's of the Earth or seen the mini-series? I highly recommend them if you haven't. Plus, there are sequels!

46 comments:

  1. Yes, I’ve had the occasional nice surprise, but not in that way. If I get kept waiting for months it just means the publishers were too sloppy to reply in time. It’s always been a rejection, though.

    However, I had a great experience with my so far only novel. After several years of submitting my MS to every - EVERY! - appropriate publisher in the country, including some “ nearlys”, I put it away and got on with other stuff.

    One day, a writer/editor friend suggested doing an interview for a children’s book magazine. I did that, adding a question: “what are you working on now?”

    Soon after, I got an email from one of the “nearlys”. She was a friend of the editor of that magazine. She desperately needed a complete MS to slot into the next year’s list due to one that had dropped out. Could she see my MS?

    I sent her the full MS(she had only read the first three chapters, which she had loved,but couldn’t take way back then, due to reasons unconnected with the quality). Two days later I got a publication offer. When I said it was the MS she had seen a few years ago, she said, “I thought it was familiar!” But she grabbed it, now that she could.

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  2. When all I did was blog and write (was unemployed) I never missed a deadline - self imposed or for some bloghop. But then, real life reasserted itself, and sometimes the best intentions go astray.

    Ah well; life continues.

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  3. Thanks for co-hosting this month, Tamara! As an OCD/ADDer, I'm constantly at war with my list-making side and hate to miss those deadlines, too. But it happens (whoops, like last month . . .). All is forgiven. And hey, LOVE the cats. Unfortunately, all surprises, like things you forget, are not good one.

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  4. Wow! That was an awesome surprise response. I'd call that a huge positive. Thank you for hosting IWSG this month!

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  5. Glad you didn't forget this time!
    I'd say that was a great response even if it wasn't a yes.
    Thanks for co-hosting today.

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  6. Excellent feedback!

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful trip/time!

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  7. What a great surprise! Hope you have fun with your family. I just got back from a weekend with mine. Thanks for co-hosting.

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  8. Wow! What fantastic feedback! Have a great holiday :)

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  9. ONly once did I get a (nice) surprise. It had taken me over a year to write a serial and editor asked for, my first one. Then it was months and I heard nothing back. OMG - it was that bad they don't know what to say. Eventually I plucked up the courage to ask. 'We can't find it,' they said. So I sent it again and they bought it without any rewriting. Haven't done a second one for them yet though...the cogs turn slowly in my head!

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    1. That's a great reason to follow up with publishers! Can't find your blog, but thanks for stopping by.

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  10. If I didn't check my calendar daily, who knows what tasks I'd forget? My nicest surprise this year was hearing I'd finaled in a pretty big competition for my genre. I didn't win, but that boost of validation really helped.

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  11. Getting a request for a partial like that is huge! Love the cat pictures in your post :)

    Cheers - Ellen

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  12. I like how you think. Dream Big!! And that is a big deal!!!

    Thank you for co-hosting this month.

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  13. I somehow scheduled back-to-back cons and it was exhausting.

    I do hope you find a hope for Gold Leaf. It was a wonderful story.

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  14. When agents actually take the time to give non-stock feedback, that is the best feeling, especially when it's paired with, "I want to see more!" I had a couple of those.

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  15. The ability to schedule a post in advance is a wonderous feature, indeed! What a great response to your partial submission - that had to be encouraging. And you can never go wrong with pictures of cats. They're always enough to make me smile. Thanks for co-hosting today!

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  16. I had a similar experience with Writer's House. It went a little further but ultimately fizzled. Sigh. I liked them.

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  17. It is hard not to get your hopes up when a good surprise comes our way. So much rejection in our world. Thanks for sharing cat photos and co-hosting!

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  18. Those kinds of surprises are always the best! Great post for your co-host day.

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  19. Hope your flight is going well, and glad you got some good feedback out of the surprise!

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  20. That is so exciting! You know those big agencies don't take time to read and give feedback to just anyone.

    Safe travels!

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  21. Yes! I missed last month's blog post as well. And Pillars of the Earth is my favorite book of all time. There are others that come close, but that one is #1. Congratulations on the request!!

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  22. There are times I wrote a post in advanced because I knew I wouldn't be around and it needed to be scheduled.

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  23. Thanks for co-hosting and loved the cat pics.

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  24. Even feedback from that big a name/office is really neat! That does sound like a nice surprise. Thanks for co-hosting this month, and I hope your flight goes smoothly.

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  25. Wow. You got a response from a Big Name Agency. That's an accomplishment. Good for you! Wishing you safe travels.

    Thanks for co-hosting.

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  26. That's excellent feedback to receive. And yes, I've completely spaced out on many a bloghop in the past. I'm sure I will again in the future.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month!

    And safe travels!

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  27. Specific feedback is pretty rare when the work is being rejected, so that shows the impact you had on those readers. Go you! @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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  28. I nearly forgot today! But I remembered in time to write a short, last minute piece. That's not how I blog--ever! I like to write weeks in advance. I'm constantly checking the IWSG sign up to see if the new question has been posted, so I can get writing.

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  29. Feedback from Writer's House? Oh yeah, happy dancing time for sure! (And that's why writers need writer friends- of you told a regular friend that story they'd probably give you a pity oh. Writers friends know to give you the much-impressed oh.

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  30. Absolutely fantastic. The feedback alone was to your advantage.
    Thank you for co-hosting this month.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  31. I occasionally schedule posts in advance too, not necessarily if I plan to be away, but because I have a good idea and want to put it down as soon as possible. In fact, that was the case for my August IWSG post. I scheduled it a couple weeks before the date.
    Have a nice visit with your family, Tamara.

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  32. Yes, it would probably be bad to forget to post when you're co-hosting, lol.
    That's nice that you got feedback.

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  33. Love all the cat photos with your post. :)

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  34. That's a pretty great surprise! Thank you for co-hosting!

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  35. I think we all miss a post here and there. Sometimes it can't be helped. I do all my posting for the week the Friday before that way I have less a chance of missing something. Getting in the habit of doing all my blogging on one day has really helped me get more blogging done. Having blog scheduled helped me too. :)

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  36. Hi Tamara _ Travel really does throw schedules out of gear, doesn't it? I posted my IWSG post late for two months. And the kitten hiding it's sweet little face belongs here too. Where on earth did you find those adorable images?
    Well this month I posted on the first Tuesday of the month. Hah!
    I haven't read or watched Pillars of the Earth but thanks for the recommendation. I was as delighted as you to hear about your lovely surprise.
    Thanks for co-hosting and for visiting my blog.

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  37. Ha! I completely forgot to post last month and I wasn't even on vacation. I am on vacation this week but I'm doing my best to keep up. My husband is enjoying sleeping in so I'm enjoying the quiet except for the waves.

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  38. I haven't watched the series, but I have read Pillars of the Earth and introduced my daughter to that book and the ones that came after. Now, she buys Ken Follett books for me.
    I love how you went big and received positive feedback

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  39. Thank you for co-hosting, Tamara. I forgot to post once or twice, I think. Then when life got crazy, I advised Alex that I would be absent for a while. Really missed the group and the monthly posts so it's great to be back. I don't think I've seen another writer's group that is so supportive, has great down-to-earth smarts and tons of experience. Blessings

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  40. Wow, that was a nice surprise! Ten months after you queried... I guess I shouldn't give up all hope then. All I've gotten in the last eight months is silence and form rejection letters. Some not even addressed to my name, but to "Dear writer". Did you eventually find an agent for your historical novel?

    Thanks for co-hosting (and not forgetting) this month and enjoy your family time.

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  41. Any answer is great, IMO. Silence is the worst :( So, congrats!

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    1. I agree. These days, even a boilerplate reply is nice. At least you know they received your query.

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  42. Aw, what a cute kitty pic. I missed an IWSG post for the first time ever in June, but I figure I had good reason, so didn't stress.

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I will do everything in my power to visit commenter's blogs unless I've been abducted by aliens or my children get sick. (If my children get abducted by aliens, I will be very busy, of course, catching up on my sleep.)