Okay, it’s freakout time. (My spellcheck is flagging the word freakout. Why is this not a real word? It’s also flagging spellcheck, which just seems wrong.)
And why am I freakouting? (Take that, spellcheck.) You might remember I wrote, during my last freakout, about a book that’s not getting written anywhere near fast enough. And here we are, six-ish months later, and that book still isn’t written. I mean, this is the state it’s in.
My original deadline to send the first draft to my editor was the end of August. She set a new deadline of December 20, which at first I thought was do-able, but with Anna asking sweetly for attention (a.k.a. making a constant mmmMMMmmmMMMM! sound of boredom when she’s ignored for more than 3 seconds, in an attempt to drill out the center of my eardrums), things are going much slower than they should. I’m still ridiculously hopeful that I’ll meet the (less than three weeks, OMG!) deadline, but ideally I’d like to be able to read through the book and do a round of revisions first, to keep my editor under the illusion that my first drafts are both spellbinding and beautifully polished, because I am magical and brilliant.
I also want her to see that this book has a ton of potential. Because the plot is really cool, and it’s a book about books! With some of the text encoded using classic novels! Which is kind of fun. But the other important parts of the book, the quality of the writing (in the past I’d spend ten minutes to an hour crafting many of the sentences), the character arcs, the interweaving of subplots, the flow, they’re all just kind of meh at this point, because I haven’t had the time to finesse them. It reads rather like one of my blog posts, in fact, where I’m sure some of you end up scratching your heads, going, “How exactly did she go from talking about her deflating boobs to dust mite poop within the same paragraph?” It’ll get there, I’m pretty sure, but the draft my editor’s going to see could have been written by me twenty years ago, and isn’t publishable in its current form. Not even close. Which makes me sad and freakoutish.
So anyway. (I think somebody should do a search on how many times I’ve said “so anyway” in this blog. It’s a sign of how much rambling I do, how many times I attempt to pull myself back. I’m amazed I have any readers, really.) So anyway, the real reason for this post: back when I thought I’d be further along than I am now, I agreed to participate in this contest thing my agent is running, not thinking what a time sink it would be to actually have to write a blog post each day of the contest. Because I am stupid.
So, to my regular readers, since I don’t have time, for the next 12 days all I’ll be doing is posting clues for this contest. If you’re just in the mood for some entertaining reading, or an update on a sleepless baby/messy house/ridiculous life, don’t bother coming here, just read someone else’s blog for the next 12 days. Or, you know, do actual work at your job. I’m planning a real post at some point in the next couple weeks, though, since we have something interesting, important and terrifying happening in our lives on Monday that I’ll need to get off my chest. So come back then, because I want to explain some of what’s been troubling me…something that I think might inform many of my later posts. Or not, maybe it’s a false alarm, and I’ll joke once again about my paranoia. Cliffhanger!
SO ANNYWAAAY. The BookEnds contest is called The Twelve Days of Bookmas Giveaway, and the agency, BookEnds, will be giving away books to people who guess the answers to clues they post on their blog. Cool, right? It actually sounds like a lot of fun, and I wish I was eligible to play. So I hope you’ll join in, if only to make yourself feel smart. Solving puzzles always gives me a delusional feeling of accomplishment when I’m not actually accomplishing anything.
So okay, here’s the BookEnds clue, followed by my own. Click on the link above for the official rules, and go to today’s BookEnds blog post and leave your answer for a chance to win. Got it? I’ll be back in normal form in a week and a half. Seeya on the flip-side.
Nothing says love like a romance novel, and there’s no doubt I am often shocked that I spent the first 20+ years of my life devoid of the pleasure of romance (novels, that is). Thankfully, while desperately searching for a job after college, I discovered book publishing. It was perfect. It was my dream job even though I’d never dreamed it. In my very first job interview with a romance editor, I was handed a book and told to read it and fax (yes, fax) in a reader’s report by the end of the week. For those of you who have never interviewed in book publishing, a reader’s report is the requirement of every editorial assistant job interview. It helps give the editor insight into whether or not you’ll be qualified to read the types of submissions this editor buys.
One of the books I was asked to write my report on was a romance (weirdly enough, I have no recollection of what the other book was). It was also the very first romance I ever read, and the book that made me fall in love with romance.
What was the book and who is the author?
One of the words in this book’s title is also one of the words in the title of a famous children’s book. This is an easy clue, people…The book’s been talked about quite a bit within the past couple years because it came out in another format, and was then rewritten by a man who lost his parents and wrote all about the after-effects in an angsty, probably only half-true memoir that made me temporarily fall in love with him despite his questionable looks…