Monday, March 15, 2010

Checking in for a Milestone Monday

Hello? Remember me? It feels like ages since I’ve stuck my head in here for a good catch up. I have had my poor nose to the grindstone for the last four months, meeting deadlines for two different books. I got the last one turned in this morning and that squeal you heard about 9:00 PST was me. Phew. It’s over. At least until the revision letters start arriving, which according to my editor should be this Friday. (That is a photo of me two minutes after I emailed my manuscript to my editor. Honest!)

It was an interesting four months. I’ve never had to stay that absolutely focused for that long. I’ve also never had to whittle down my schedule and priorities to such a bare minimum. Fellow introverts will not be surprised to learn that one of the first things to go was nearly all my social media obligations, except for an occasional check in on my blog or FB. With two manuscripts screaming for my attention, it was pretty easy to remember that social media is there to support my writing efforts, not detract from producing them. An important distinction. ☺

Since I feel like I’ve missed out on the last two months entirely, can we have a great big Milestone Monday check in? (Have we really not had one since last November??) I’d love to hear what’s going on in your lives! You all know my milestone: I got two books written in a personal best record time. But how about you? What milestones have you accomplished recently?

And to sweeten the pot, we have a three book* giveaway! If you leave your Monday Milestone in the comments, you’ll be entered! (Sorry followers, you need to actually comment for this one.)

Can’t wait to hear from you all!

And a huge thank you to Mary and all the other amazing guest bloggers for holding down the fort while I was hunkered down.

*Giveaway includes:
Edgar Award nominee, Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone, by Dene Low
The atmospheric and delicious Hunchback Assignments, by Arthur Slade
And the much anticipated, stunningly illustrated Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld


Jennifer Brozek said...

I've turned in two final manuscript proofs to two different publishers. The first is my finance book "The Little Finance Book That Could" (April 2010) and the second is an anthology I edited "Close Encounters of the Urban Kind" (April 2010). Currently, I'm working on a new game book for Savage Mojo called "Covert Ops" where James Bond type spies from 1998 combat the supernatural menace. Yeah. I'm all over the place.


feywriter said...

In the past month I past the 100 page mark in my current WIP, and one of my poems was published in a paying magazine (a first!).

jenn said...

Congratulations on meeting your two deadlines! That's quite impressive, and I like what you said about social media being there to support our writing efforts not detract.

One of my recent milestones is that I recently launched an interview series on my blog called Creative Spaces, with authors and illustrators about their workspace and work habits. I'm also finally (finally!) nearing the end of revisions on my WIP, but I won't be able to really count that as a milestone until I've actually finished and moved on the next step.

Katy Cooper said...

My wip is over 220 pages long, and I'm closing in on the 70k mark, which is huge, huge, huge for me. I'm writing every day and I think I've finally figured out how I'm supposed to do this: Don't try to control it so much. Trust myself and my instincts and just go. Even on a bad writing day I still get something done.

Yat-Yee said...

I just received a letter from an editor who had first read my partial, then my full. This is not a letter of offer but she did outline some suggestions and offered to read a revision based on those revisions.

This is the furthest I've come in terms of receiving interest, and I am ready to hunker down to work.

Congrats on the result of your very focused time. I want to work as just hard (and practice my single hand stand so I can do THAT when I finish.)

Boni Ashburn said...

Welcome back Robin!

My milestone? I'm *enjoying* the revision of my latest WIP. Like really, truly, having fun- revising. I used to hate revision and have been slowly turning that around and today I caught myself liking it!

Yay for milestones!

R.L. LaFevers said...

I am loving catching up on what everyone has been up to!

Jennifer, you ARE all over the place, but wow, what an interesting variety! And April is a big month for you!

Feywriter, congratulations on your poem's publication! And don't you love getting past that 100 page mark? That always feels like SUCH a milestone to me. It's beginning to be a Real Story.

Thanks, Jenn! I love the sound of your new Creating Spaces! I am such a nosy voyeur, I can't wait to go check that out. And congratulations on getting close to the end of those revisions!

Miss Katy, 70K words is a LOT of words, for anybody! And that trusting one's instincts is such a huge lesson. One I seem to need to relearn about every two weeks.

Yat-Yee! Yowza! That's awesome news, to have gotten that far in the process! Fingers crossed for you!

Thanks, Boni! And hurray on coming to love revisions! They say that 90% of writing is RE-writing, so best to find a way to love it, no?

Sabrina Favors said...

It isn't much of a milestone, but a few days ago I had some small epiphanies on how to improve my WIP. I'd been stuck for over a month knowing it needed some big-ish changes, but not quite knowing how to go about fixing them. Now I am excited with teh prospect of making a story I love even better.

[I blogged about it, because I love when reading something totally unrelated can spark new ideas or ways to improve your own writing.]

Yat-Yee said...

Sabrina: I think yours is a very much a milestones because you have to have hung in there and worked and thought about it, probably awake and asleep, before such epiphanies will come a visiting.

I am going to head over to your blog to read. I love success stories like yours.

Mary Hershey said...

WOW, everyone, simply w-O-w! So much great stuff going on.

Robin, so happy for you. Lord, your desk is clear, however briefly. Yat-Yee, Jenn, Boni, Sabrina. Jennifer, Katy, Feywriter, loved hearing from you each. Really glad that you each took the time to acknowledge your works in progress, your process in progress, and all the light on your path.

Here's to much, much more magic this St. Pat's week for you all!

Erin go Braugh!
Mary Hershey

tanita✿davis said...

Welcome back!

77 pages on a revision that I just had to embrace the word "rewrite" about... and last night I was told that this is far better than the first last draft. So, in spite of the last three weeks of panic and obsession, it's coming along. Only another 70 pages or so, and I look to be meeting my goal for finishing this up before the end of March. I'm so relieved.

I really am proud of you being speedy! I am always astounded and bewildered by you prolific writers, but I'm learning to work faster. Good luck to you both on your continuing projects!

Irene Latham said...

What an inspiring bunch! My milestone is small but important. I was so scared book promotion was going to kill my I challenged myself to just 500 words a day on my WIP. And guess what? Most days I have been able to make that happen! I swear it's what's keeing me sane....

Karen L. Simpson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen L. Simpson said...

Turn my manuscript into my publisher on time ( Yea!!!) And I'm about 100 pages in on my new WIP.

Sabrina Favors said...

Yat-yee, thank you. It didn't feel like very much because I'm not published yet, but I think revising this WIP is making me a better writer/editor, which hopefully gets me closer to an agent and a book on store shelves. I hope you enjoy my blog.

Tanita--I also don't like to admit when pages need to be completely rewritten, but sometimes it has to be done, and the story is better for it. Congrats and good luck on those last 70 pages.

Elizabeth Loupas said...

Congratulations to everyone on your writing, revising, editorial and publication milestones! It's so cool to read about all the different milestone-markers we pass on our various journeys.

My milestone for this week is a note from my editor that NAL has moved up the release date of my book to January 2011. Somehow that seems so much sooner than February 2011. Just ten more months to wait!

pdtoler said...

I signed up with an agent in January and am now hard at work on a non-fiction proposal we're both excited about

Robin L said...

Sabrina, I totally agree with what Yat-Yee said! I think epiphanies are HUGE milesstones! Celebrate!

Tanita, it is always such a huge relief to me to know that revisions are indeed making something better rather than simply different.

Irene, I love the way you've set a meetable goal to help you get through that vulnerable time. Such a great way to keep sane!

LaFreya, on time is a huge milestone!

Elizabeth, how exciting that your pub date has been moved up! Ten months is CLOSE!

pdtoler, good luck on that nf proposal! Being in love with and excited about a new project is one of my favorite things ever!

Carrie Harris said...

Hope you don't mind if we newbies jump in. I'm proud to have gotten my first editorial letter and created a plan of attack... all without crying.

The not crying is a big deal. I really did expect to cry. :)

Good luck and congrats, everyone!

Robin L said...

We were totally hoping newbies would jump in, Carrie! Welcome! And hurray on not crying. That IS a big deal, I agree. :-)

Jeanne Ryan (Serenissima) said...

My goal on Monday was to be halfway through my second round of revisions. And I was!

Sherrie Petersen said...

I've been taking an online writing class and since we have to turn in 10 to 15 pages every week as well as critique everybody else's stuff, I haven't been blogging as much either. Having the deadline every week has motivated me to write faster and I can see where I've improved as well :) It's been a good experience.

Robin L said...

Yeay, Serenissima! There's something so great about that half way mark.

Sherrie, I can totally see how taking a class would eat into blogging, but it seems like a great place to be putting your energy. Especially since you can see improvement in both output and quality!

runner10 said...

Just found your blog.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I've just sold my first book! Hooray!

R.L. LaFevers said...

So glad you found us, Denise!

And Caroline, you can't just drop a Sold My First Book Bomb and not give us details! Congratulations!!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

MAY B., my mid-grade historical novel-in-verse, will be published Fall 2011 by Tricycle.

I've waited through hundreds of rejections and twelve long years and am so ready to dig in and work hard.

Nishant said...

Congratulations on meeting your two deadlines! That's quite impressive, and I like what you said about social media being there to support our writing efforts not detract.
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Mary Hershey said...

Many congrats, Caroline! That's a lovely bomb to drop, isn't it? Thrilled for you.

To May B!