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A lot has happened on the writing front the past few months, although more for my critique partners than me.

One of my partners landed Marisa Corvisiero as an agent, which is awesome! She seems like a great person (I got a critique from her once through a Writers Digest online seminar) and a successful agent. I wish him lots of luck and hope Marisa is able to land him a great deal for his book.

Another of my critique partners actually signed a book deal! Her MG book RULES FOR THIEVES was just sold to Aladdin. Very exciting!

Hopefully I will also be agented and have a book contract in the near future.

Speaking of that, I sent off the partials to agents who requested materials when I pitched them at conferences earlier in the year. I haven’t sent off the full request yet because I have a little more cleanup to do in the last chapters of book one.

After I sent off the partials, I got my first rejection! It seems like a very strange thing to be excited about, but I am. First off, I was happy to hear anything at all, and so quickly. It was a very nice rejection. The agent just didn’t connect with my main character. She felt the character was a little cold. But she encouraged me to keep querying, because the premise was interesting. Since she didn’t blast my writing all to hell, I feel very encouraged. Getting a rejection makes me feel official. It’s proof I really am trying to do this whole writing and publishing thing.

I also had an opportunity to participate in a Kickstarter campaign for an author I really like, Michael J. Sullivan. My contribution amount reward was an opportunity to submit up to 10,000 words to him for critique. So I sent him the first chapter of book two, since he’s written a serial series like I’m attempting. Wow, was it educational! He had some very good feedback, and even exchanged a few emails with me to answer my questions, which I really appreciated. As much as I appreciated the critique and found it incredibly valuable, I had hoped I was farther along in my writing and storytelling skills. Good to know that I’m not, though, and good to know what I need to improve. I took a few days off writing to digest the feedback, which I think was a good decision.

Then, just as I was feeling ready to dive back into it, I spilled 20 ounces of tea on my laptop. The keyboard is officially a goner (it creates all sorts of crazy symbols when I try to type – and not even the same ones each time!). I even took apart my laptop to see if I could swap out the keyboard, but it’s in its own compartment. I could take it out, but I lack the tools to reseal the compartment once I installed a new keyboard. Luckily nothing else was damaged and my data is intact. I plugged in a USB keyboard, so it’s functional, but the keyboard is terrible and I hate using it. I just have to wait until the new MacBooks come out and buy a new laptop.

In the meantime, I’ve been rewriting the first chapter of book two using pen and paper (working on book two means draft one of book three is stalled). I enjoy writing longhand, but I’m always disappointed when I’ve been writing for half an hour and only have a few paragraphs done. Then I’m even more disappointed when those few paragraphs only amount to part of a word processor page. *sigh* So my output isn’t high at all. I also learned that my inner editor LOVES it when I write longhand. It has all sorts of opportunities to harp on my word choice, my sentence structure, etc. That might be a good thing for my rewrite, other than the fact that I’ve now written the first six paragraphs of my first chapter about sixteen times. ¬†Hmmm.

My goal for the rest of the year is to ship off more queries for book one and rewrite the first chapter of book two. I still have a couple of months. I just need to learn how to write longhand faster…