Finally finished the young adult fantasy this weekend and mailed off a package of sample chapters and synopsis to an editor who asked to see it. Finishing a novel is a wonderful feeling as it is, kind of like finishing a short story times a hundred, but finishing this one is really gratifying. It was my third run at this book. The first I tossed without giving to anyone because I knew it wasn’t anywhere close to what I wanted it to be. A handful of people read the second draft, and while I got some pretty enthusiastic responses from most of my readers, I also got a pretty good consensus on what the book needed. It was much more painful throwing away that draft, but I knew I needed a fresh start, and that I didn’t want to be tied to the old manuscript in any way. Now I think I’ve really got something. Of course, that feeling doesn’t always gaurantee people will share my enthusiasm, but it’s not a bad sign either. I can say that when I believe a manuscript is bird poop, editors usually agree with me. And I don’t think this one is bird poop. Hmm . . . Not exactly the pitch I’d use in an elevator with an editor, but you get the drift.
And in the department of the weird, I used a search engine I’d never used before and came across a college student doing an assignment based on my stories:
And then getting reprimnaded by the instructor for not following the instructions:
Since I’ve sold about twenty short stories, only about half of which have seen print, I found this very weird. The best I can guess is that this student read my story, “The Red Scarf,” in Cicada, then did a search of me and read the two stories I had up on Chizine. I did like what she had to say about my stories being very readable, as accessbility is something I work very hard at.
Recent Reads: Trouble in Paradise, by Robert B. Parker. The novel follows Police Chief Jesse Stone in the town of Paradise, Massachusetts as he investigates the grisly murder of a teenager who had been something of a nymphomaniac. The murder is almost an afterthought, because the book works best when it’s focusing on Stone dealing with his tumultuous life. Nothing spectacular, but a good solid read, and I like his prose style.