September 15, 2011

A Day Late, and a Dollar Short: ROW 80 Check-In

"What day is it? Where am I?" she asked, trying to push past the fog. She looked around but didn't recognize her surroundings. Her head was pounding, her muscles ached, her eyes heavy. She seemed to be caught up in some kind of white material. She reached out, searching for familiarity. There was a warm body pressing against her. In the background, she could make out some kind of music, or was it a beeping?
She was trying to get one arm out and then the next when she heard a small voice, "Mom, mom, get up. We need breakfast and lunches and..."

Forgive me the bit of fun, but thus are my days lately. I woke up this morning and realized it was Thursday. Where did Wednesday go? I'm a day late for my ROW 80 check-in. So far, I'm not a dollar short, but I couldn't help put finish out the phrase.

My lovely children are over-achievers. I love this about them, and I support their various desires. But it sure does make life crazy. My middle daughter has yet to meet a sport she doesn't like. She swims three nights a week, runs twice a week with a girls' running program (which I now co-coach), and plays lacrosse. My oldest is in various social organizations and tackling middle school homework nightly. And, proud Mama moment here, reads at least two to three young adult novels a week in her spare time. My sweet baby does gymnastics and Girl Scouts in addition to class to prepare her for her First Communion. Her side hobbies include torturing the dog and her sisters. There are very few spare moments once they come home, and the days run together a bit.

But, I'm here... Thursday, but checking in nonetheless.

I'm excited about my progress amidst the flurry of homework, activities, and getting used to the school schedule again. Mom and I are now 22,000 words and counting on our sequel. We are keeping it tight to avoid the problem we faced in the first one. Depression Cookies tops out at 176,000 words.

I hear the collective GASP of writers everywhere. I know, I know... the industry standard is 80,000-100,000 words. In our defense, we didn't hear this until we were in the publication process and we felt we had two novels strung together. Agents did not. Yet, we've won some awards and the reader feedback has been wonderful. Still, agents and publishers have set rules about first-timers. We get it.

For this novel, we are determined to come in under 100,000, even if there are two stories going on. Editing will be key! We are determined not to make the same mistake as Kevin Costner did with Waterworld. Or at least we won't make it again. We aren't going to hand agents an excuse on a silver platter this time around.

In other news: I'm half-way through my freelance writing course. I'm learning so much, particularly about positioning myself to find and query potential writing outlets. Check out Nicky LaMarco's class description here. Blog posts have been going well, except for the minor mishap of misplacing my Wednesday. I am not reading as much as I'd like, but something has to give.

I look forward to hopping around and seeing how my fellow ROW 80ers did this week.

Have you ever opened your eyes on a new day, but just didn't know which new day it was?

No comments: