January 29, 2008
Leveling Up as a Human
I think it can be said that we all grow and expand, in a metaphorical sense, as we get older. That's normal. However, sometimes it can be very strange to actually realize it is happening and to be able to categorize it in game terms. Yet, that is what I do. So, it was no surprise with a friend of mine mentioned that I must have put some of my leveled up skill points into Ally: Spouse. Immediately, I thought, that I was actually leveling up my Ally from a four point Fiancé to a five point Spouse. Silly but true.
In other modifications to my personal character sheet, I just bought off the flaw: Afraid of snail mail queries and submissions. Silly but also true. Up until today, I have been terrified of the thought of sending out hard copy queries and submissions. However, somewhere in the last week, there was an almost audible *click* in the back of my brain and I realized that it was a no-brainer and it had always been a no-brainer... just waiting for me to see it. If that isn't the metaphorical buying off of flaw, I don't know what is.
With experience comes a certain sense of familiarity. Now that I have sent out my first set of letters, part of me wonders why I dreaded it all these years. No clue. However, it's nice that I'm over that fear. In other areas of familiarity, I received and finished an Amazon gig today. It was quick work once I started on it. Granted, a couple of things got sent back for me to fix but instead of beating myself up, I fixed the first thing without quibble and investigated the second thing to figure out what my editor was on about... and yes, there were mistakes that I should have seen but didn't. I fixed them and sent the second version back. That was that. No emotional gut wrenching. Just a "Damn, I should have caught that."
The current query stats look pretty good. Originally, I split them up by agent letter queries (Hi! I'm looking for an agent.) and book queries (Hi! I'm looking to sell this one book.) but since both result in the same thing (No. Yes, send me three chapters. Or, yes, send me the manuscript!) I'm squishing them all into a single set of statistics. With today's mailed queries, my numbers look like this:
Agent & Book Query Letters: 25
Manuscript requests: 5
Yes, that is five requests for manuscripts now for four different books. By the end of the week, I will have the following manuscripts out the door and in other hands: GRANTS PASS, THE LITTLE FINANCE BOOK THAT COULD, THE THIEF'S MISTAKE and THE OLD WOMAN IN THE WHITE CADILLAC. The last two manuscripts are going to the same agent... the agent I most want to be my agent. I am still doing cartwheels at getting her attention and getting it for two manuscripts. She is also interested in REGRESSER'S EVOLUTION but she wants to look at these first two projects first. Fine by me.
Of course, I've been combing my manuscripts trying to make sure they are in their best possible shape. After a bit, I had to call my mom and thank her for the editing she has done on these manuscripts. They are so much better with her input. She is totally going in the dedication of my first book and in my first awards acceptance speech. (Yes, I aim high. Why not? It's the only way to work.) In any case, I am much more comfortable with these manuscripts and almost ready to print them out.
By-the-by... I take it as a good sign that I still tear up as I read the last bits of THE OLD WOMAN manuscript. I haven't looked at that manuscript in months. It is almost like a book I haven't read in years but still remember parts of. Bits and pieces would catch my eye as I edited and I would think, "That's a nice bit right there." Or I would read something as if I had never read it because I forgot I wrote it and it is an interesting bit. Part of me just grins.
But, I digress. These days, I can almost hear the dice rolling around me and the scribbles to my personal character sheet as I reach a new milestone and level up. I love it. It is the most interesting part of life for me right now.