Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Getting published

My husband, Jeremy, went back to school almost three years ago to get his Master's degree. That meant that after the kids went down to bed at night (only two at this time) I would watch a lot of TV. I got sick of that really quick, so I grabbed the laptop and began writing. I have always loved writing and have written a lot of short stories, but this is my first completed novel... and it began as a short story that went a little wild when I kept thinking: "then, what if this happened?"

I finished the complete novel about a year ago and sent it to a bunch of people in my writers group to read and critique. They gave me great advice... some that I listened to and some that I didn't. I submitted my book to three publishers and by December of '09 I'd been rejected by all three. Bummer.

Luckily, one of the publishers sent me a personalized rejection letter telling me why they didn't accept my book(needed more conflict and stronger themes). This was awesome, because usually publishers only send out form rejection letters.

Feeling more humble now, I pulled out all of those old critiques and really examined what some of them had said I needed to do, and actually did it this time as an experiment to see how the story flowed. I then went through and rewrote the entire story, strengthening the theme and adding a little more conflict. I then had a couple more people read through it, who gave me the green light. It was better this time. They loved it. Send it in.

So, holding my breath, I sent it in to Cedar Fort (the one who had given me the personalized rejection letter). Within I a month I had heard back from them. I had a contract. I got it the day that I got home from girl's camp. I've been dying to talk about it, but we were still in contract negotiations up until yesterday. But now, it is all settled, and I can finally talk about it!!!

They say that it takes anywhere from 8 months to a year before we see my book on the shelves. I should find out within the next week an approximate date (that is just that... approximate, not set in stone by any means). There is a pretty extensive process that a book goes through after it has been accepted for publication, including editing, revisions (if needed), typesetting, marketing, making a cover, title, back cover blurb, sending to the printers, getting out to stores, etc. I'll for sure keep everyone updated. :)

Details about the actual book....I am not sure what the title is going to be. Something I didn't know is that the publishers have the final say on what a book is called. They want to name it something that will appeal to readers. I hate my current title (it took me forever to think of it, and something about it just bugs me) so I hope that they change it.

It is a contemporary (meaning set in current times) christian-lds romance. Cedar Fort is publishing it. Let me get back to you on what it is about!! I will say that it is about a woman who's husband leaves her for another woman. I'll write more about that later!

As I have mentioned before, this has always been my dream, and I am so excited!!!! Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts and congrats. I feel so loved and supported. Let me know if you have any other questions and I'll try to answer them, but I am new at this, too, so I am just learning as I'm going!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Sugar

When I think of a pyramid, what usually comes to my mind is the food pyramid. (I know that the nutritionists have come out with something new, but I grew up in the age of the pyramid.) You've got wheat (the staff of life) on the bottom, followed by fruits/veggies, followed by meats and dairies, followed lastly by one of my favorite things in the entire world: sugar.

We have to have our fill of all the other things on the pyramid before we even think about taking in that sugar, and when we do eat it, it has to be sparingly. In fact, there is no recommended dosage, because, basically it is not recommended that you eat it, but it makes everything taste oh, so good. :)

Recently I learned of a pyramid that a psychologist, Maslow, made in 1943. Maslow studied "exemplary people" like Lincoln and Einstein to name a few, and formulated what he called a "Hierarchy of Needs."

At the bottom are things that we need for absolute survival (air, food, water, etc.)
Then as you go up the pyramid, the next level is security (personal, financial, emotional)
The next level is love, family, friendship.
Next is esteem, confidence, respect of and for others.
And last, at the very tip of the pyramid is creativity, spontaneity, and other forms of self-actualization.

Similar to the food pyramid, the things at the base are absolutely important, and you have to have the basic building blocks of those needs in order to move upward.

This is why, when I feel like I am barely surviving (whether it be emotionally because my children are driving me crazy, or are having health issues, or physically, because I feel so sick myself, or I am at odds with someone I care for, etc) It is really hard for me to sit down and write. My mind does not want to think about what my characters are going to do to survive their problems, but what I am going to do to survive my own problems!

Writing can be a great escape, but I have noticed that I really do have to be in a particular place of health and security for me to allow myself to sit down and write. Some things can be taken care of quickly, others require patience, and yet others require help from someone.

Maslow's Hierarchy is only a theory, but I like that it reminds us that we do need to take care of our basic needs for survival. Everything on this pyramid is a NEED, not a WANT-- including creativity. But when I see Creativity's small little triangle at the very tip of the pyramid, I can't help but think of the sugar on the food pyramid. And I'm reminded that, like sugar, creativity makes everything in life just a little bit better.