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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What's Up Wednesday and IWSG

The wonderful Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk sponsor this weekly meme to help us writerly people keep up with each other. Head on over and sign up. Believe it or not, it's a lot of fun.

What I'm Reading:

I wish I could say a lot. My pile is high, but I can't seem to get to anything outside the normal craziness of life this week.

What I'm Writing:

I got a chance to sit down with my younger daughter and tell her my latest MS story from beginning to end (of course, in simplified form), but this is always a milestone for me. When I can do this, it means that the story finally flows all the way through. In other words, it can be written from beginning to end. Time to hit those pages.
As for the rest of my writing life, see below.

What's Inspiring Me Right Now:

Honestly, at the moment, I can't say I feel horribly inspired. Things are going so crazy chaotic that I'm not even sure my head is sitting on my shoulders straight.

What Else I've Been Up To:

Farm life has me on my toes. Weeds are taking over my garden (yes, I'm fighting!), my goats are still battling that cold (although I think we're finally over the worst of it), and three of my calves have pink eye. I'm also getting a ton of visits from the 'local' farmer kids, who seem to enjoy hanging out with us. They're amazed that I bake cookies, we sit down together as a family for meal times and that us adults are willing to mess around with them and talk to them like normal human beings. Makes me really feel sad for their family life. Some of you might remember my goal of someday having a type of ranch for kids who simply need to get away? Well, I was joking with my husband that it's already happening in an odd sort of way - - definitely not the direction we were hoping to head in.

I'm really hoping to get a few quite, writing days in soon.

And now, it's time for the terrific brain-child of Alex J. Cavanaugh

This is a super-fantastic chance for us writers to get the support we need and give it to others. Yep, writing is a tolling journey and even us writers need a little love and care every now and then. Thanks, Alex!

This month I have a motto - everything in it's time.

If you happened to see Monday's post, then you already know my news: an agent has taken on one of my manuscripts. YAY!

But did it happen right away? Was it easy? The answer: no.  And the truth, this is also just another step up the long publication ladder - but I'm still celebrating it. I even went out to Dairy Queen for an ice cream. Lol! Yep, I live it up.

The idea for this story hit me over two years ago while pulling weeds in my garden. It took another half a year to get it worked out in my head. When I sat down, it poured out onto the paper within four weeks. Then I made a HUGE mistake. I let that little screaming, impatient man get the best of me and sent it out into the query trenches way too early. I got requests but they all came back with rejections saying the same thing.-- 'writing needs work'.

So I listened and headed back in for edits and revisions, added another 10,000 words to it and entered the first pages into a few contests.  See, lots of revisions, edits. . .not quick and easy. Writing takes time, a lot of it.

When I finally sent it out again, more requests rolled in. But that's when my 'real' life started turning upside-down. My hubs' company announced it would be down-sizing. . .sometime. . .probably. *sigh* They continued to say this repeatedly for a year before it happened. I did several more edits, but it took forever as in months and months. Then, one of the requesting agents said she was interested. Yippee! She wanted some changes on the first chapter first, which I did. She loved them and was going to take me on when. . .Presto!. . .she changed positions in the agency. The new children's book agent was unfortunately more interested in contemporary. They offered to review another manuscript I was working on when it was completed, but I was so caught up in preparing for our move half-way across the world, that I simply didn't have time to get it buffed up for them.

Life got hectic, and I laid my writing aside. Game over? No way!  Because that's when it happened.

Do you love your CP? Well, you should! They are the most valuable companions a writer could ever have.

While I was stranded on an internet-less farm in Nebraska, fighting to keep at least a small connection through occasional visits to McDonalds (they were one of the only places with a solid and free connection), it happened. I logged onto twitter and saw that only 20 mins. before, my CP had recommend my MS to an agent. Seriously, what are the chances that this would happen? I was amazed. And on top of it all, the agent wanted me to query her! So I scrambled like an idiot to get my stuff together and sent off some sort of half-decent query. (Two trips to McD's that day - oh, and it was over a 30 mile drive away from the farm. Talking about burning gas!)

The agent loved it and suggested some revisions. And it took off from there. Three rounds of revisions, the story is amazing (I love it!) and the agent offered representation.

So, see. It happens when it's supposed to happen. No matter how impossible it might seem or the situation is (seriously, I wasn't even looking for an agent at that time), when the time comes, it will happen.

Lol! Just don't let that stupid, tiny impatient man get the over-hand on you like he did on me. It's definitely not worth it.


  1. Congratulations, T!! I wasn't here on Monday so I missed your news. Always comes when we least expect it, doesn't it?

  2. Animals! Hope it's cleared up soon. It's like a wave of stuff hit the farm.

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey. You're so right. Patience is the hardest thing for me, and you need lots of it to write an amazing story. I'm so happy for you! ^_^ Best of luck to the ballerinas!

    And it's so great to hear that your new story is ready to go!

  3. Great agent story! You worked so hard for this. Congrats!

  4. Wow! Congrats!!! :D

    IWSG #215 until Alex culls the list again.

  5. Your ranch idea sounds great. It must be amazing for those children to know they can go to you.

    Congratulations on signing with an agent! That's so exciting :D

  6. That is amazing! Things really do happen in their own time. Congratulations again. :D

  7. Congratulations! I always say that the best things happen when you least expect it; that's how it always is with me, anyway.

  8. I didn't realize you'd gotten an agent. Congrats, Tonja! That's fantastic news. :D I really hope things get a little less crazy for you this week and that you're able to get back to reading and writing. Pretty great that you were able to talk through your story with your daughter. I need to do something like that to make sure my story actually has a beginning, middle, and end. Have a wonderful week, and congrats again!

  9. Alex - Most things in life do :)

    Krystal - I'm thinking I should have taken some vet classes. Goats with a cold is really wierd for me *hahaha*

    Ilima - Thanks so much!

    Melissa - Thanks!

    Miss Cole - They're neat kids :)

    S.K. - I could hug my CP for keeping her eyes open.

    Laura - It's probably better that way ;)

    Jaime - Thanks! It's great that my kids are willing to hear my silliness. . .always the greatest supporters.

  10. Congratulations again, and wow -- your CP recommended your ms to an agent on Twitter and they BIT?! When does that ever happen?! Amazing!

    I am very happy for you and wish you luck on the next phase of your writing journey!

  11. That's such a great idea to sit down and tell your story to your kids as a way of gauging whether or not you've worked out the plot. I love that other kids are finding a haven at your home. That's wonderful! It might not be as organized and official as your ranch idea, but you're making a difference to those kids and that's what's important.

    Glad to hear your goats are on the mend, and I hope the calves get over their pink eye soon.

    And a huge congratulations on landing yourself an agent! I'm so happy your hard work has paid off! :)

  12. Congratulations on your agent! That's very exciting! :) I love how unique everyone's story is on how they made it! :)

  13. Congratulations! I would celebrate, too!!!!

    Yes, writing does take time and I work hard at not listening to the impatient man, or the critical one, or the just quit man or....because as you said, things happen when they are supposed to.

  14. What a great story. Having grown up on a farm, I understand how busy you are. And we sat down together for every meal except breakfast as a family when I was growing up. During hay baling season, some of those meals were at 11 pm, but we did it together. Congrats on the agent.

  15. Such is the roller coaster life of a writer. Exciting times. I'm glad an agent picked up on your book. That impatient man is a real nuisance.

  16. Hey, I hope your life slows down a bit so you can enjoy it. Though I secretly think you kind of like it chaotic. ;-) I wish you lots of luck with your goat colds and your weeds and your neighbor kids. They are lucky to have someone like you around. The kids, I mean (both types), not the weeds, obv.

    Also, I can personally verify that your head is on straight. Also, your bangs look fabulous.


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