The Big Bumper Friday Check-In Thread

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

SuperKate

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Happy Friday!

I hope everyone had a good week. I am crazy busy with work and kids, etc. This weekend, though, I'm going to a spa with my two best friends from college. Massage! Hike! Afternoon tea! I'm also hoping to sneak in some writing time. I can't wait.

Have a great weekend!
 

Toothpaste

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Hey all! I've been having a really weird week, strange sleep patterns and stuff. But I hope for better next week, especially as I'm hoping to speak with my editor and get started on my edits. I've been having fun though going through the writing of this group of grade 7s for a school I'm doing a Writer in Residence for. So much talent, I'm very impressed!

Not much planned for this weekend, I have an audition tomorrow and intend on watching the Golden Globes on Sunday. Probably will do my taxes. Such a glamorous life I lead!
 

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SuperKate said:
...This weekend, though, I'm going to a spa with my two best friends from college. Massage! Hike! Afternoon tea! I'm also hoping to sneak in some writing time. I can't wait.

Oh wow! That sounds amazing. I hope you have a wonderful time and do get to eek out a little time to write.

Toothpaste said:
Hey all! I've been having a really weird week, strange sleep patterns and stuff. But I hope for better next week, especially as I'm hoping to speak with my editor and get started on my edits. I've been having fun though going through the writing of this group of grade 7s for a school I'm doing a Writer in Residence for. So much talent, I'm very impressed!

I'm sorry about the sleeping. I feel for you. I woke up shaky this morning because my sleep deficit is catching up with me. I'm having issues with the cat. He's very needy, and from the time I get home from work until I leave for work in the morning, he is with me. At night, he sleeps on me, which keeps me slightly awake most of the night, and like clockwork, at 3:00 a.m., he decides he's hungry. So I take him upstairs, give him his "nighttime" kibble, and shut him in his room with his cat tree and toys. Then I go back to bed.... I get probably 4-5 hours of sleep a night. It's not really sustainable for me. I'm an 8-9 hour kind of gal.

I hope you get to start on edits next week like you want! And good luck on the audition!


I don't have a ton planned for this weekend. I need to grocery shop, cook meals for the work week, and try to clean house some. For writing... I don't know. I'm in a weird mood.

I write fan fiction in addition to my MG, and lately I've been going back and reading some installments of fic that I'd gotten stalled on writing. I just sort of lost the momentum to finish it. Recently, though, I feel a little more inclined to work on it. The benefits are that it's fun to do, it's good practice, it'll help me work out the "getting back into the swing" kinks before I plow into my WIP again. Plus, there are readers waiting for it, and I feel badly that I haven't worked on it in a long while. If I could buckle down and finish it, though, that would go a long way toward my "finishing things" self esteem.

The con is that I sort of berate myself mentally for not writing on my WIP... so, I'll do some writing this weekend. Just not sure on what.
 

Supergirlofnc

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Happy Friday!!! I'm trying to get some new story ideas ready to send off to my agent next week. I'm crossing my fingers he'll like them because I'm really excited about them. It's gray and rainy here in NC and there's hardly been any sun in the last four weeks. The gloom is bringing me down.

Heza - I feel like fanfiction is where I figured out my writing style and how I realized there were readers out there that liked it! Don't berate yourself. Good luck with your fic and with your MG WIP!
 

DavidBrett

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Hey y'all! I'm back for the New Year, more active and excited about the future than ever! Not only am I resolved to complete at least one MS this year, but I've also resumed my drawing with the plans to revive my superhero webcomic within the next few months (as well as work on an awesome idea for a graphic novel - if anyone's curious about it, PM me cos I'd love to get feedback on it).

Hope everyone's having a great week!

Dave
 

paddismac

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How typical! I'm the one who complained about how quiet the forum had been, and then I miss the first Friday check-in!

Some kind of evil brain fart caused me to sign up for the story swap in the SF/F forum, and I'm just... :Shrug: I'm so out of my depth. My normal brand of MG fantasy is goofy and silly and fun, but when I try to transition it to grown-up, it comes out as bizarre and senseless and wrong. Serves me right. I see now that I only signed up as an excuse to not work on my novel that needs to be finished. It's a shame that my swap partner will have to suffer through reading incoherent drivel because of my need to self-sabotage my real work. <sigh> Not an ideal way to start out the New Year, but there IS a deadline for this new story, so it can't drag out indefinitely.

I'm STILL committed to querying my novel before the year is out... this distraction is just a little blip (I tell myself over and over).

Hope everybody's enjoying their weekend and gearing up for a productive new week!

Adrienne, hope we get an update on the audition, because yes, it is glamorous to all us ordinary people!!
 

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Lol, well think of auditioning as akin to querying really. Though I suppose the neat thing this time was that it was at one of the studios as opposed to a casting house so you go by all those huge hangers where they shoot stuff, and there are posters on the wall of CRIMSON PEAK etc, movies that were shot there. It's kind of great. The audition went well I think, everyone was nice, it was fun, and pretty painless in general :) . Now onwards and upwards! (Tis best to kind of forget about auditions once you've had them, so many people for so few roles, the chances aren't in your favour. So it's a pleasant surprise if you get a part, but you don't really dwell on them once you're done)
 

DanielaTorre

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Holy crap. I too forgot about the Friday checkins. For shame! I had no idea a new thread had been started.

@Superkate - Hope you had a wonderful time at the spa!

@Toothpaste - I didn't know you acted. I hope you get the part!

@Heza - Discipline. That's what it takes. Even if it's 250 per week. It's something. You just have to get back in the swing of things. And yes. There are people waiting to read it. :hi: But don't berate yourself. That's not healthy either. It'll come.

@supergirlofnc - Do you pitch it to your agent and then write, or do you write and then mention? I'm so happy for you. You got a lot of great things going on.

@DavidBrett - That's fantastic to hear. Your enthusiasm to write seems to be returning. You also have great ideas in the works. I'd love to see!

@paddimac - I too have adulty things to write. I have one more MG to write (written 2 so far) and then I'm more or less tapped out on the kid lit front. I do have a scifi/horror one I want to work on and then a dark humor one. I haven't read fiction in years so this is going to be an interesting transition. Don't worry about the swap. It'll turn out fine. People around here are great.


I for one spent the weekend reading and editing. I'll be starting a summary and synopsis on my current finished project this week with the aim of sending it to my agent all shiny and new. I wanted to work on my next project but I've had a terrible stomach ache this weekend that's put me out of commission. I'm slogging along, not doing much. Like toothpaste, I've also had difficulty sleeping for the past week. Probably got 3 hours in last night. I don't know what's wrong. I think it's stress. Writing seems to be the only thing that mitigates it.

At any rate, I can't wait to finish my next project. It's well underway already (because I can't help myself) and it shouldn't take long to finish. Anyone know how well single chapter books sell? I suspect not well because publishers want series, but this one only works as a standalone. *Le sigh.* But it doesn't hurt to try.
 

SuperKate

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Well, look at that, it's Friday again. Hope everyone is doing well. I'm feeling a little low today. I've been waiting to hear back from agents, and feel like it's just never going to come. I hate the part of writing that feels so out of my control. I'm trying to stay focused on the part that IS in my control - the writing - but definitely tough not to succumb to the constant email checking. The spa weekend was divine, by the way. We were up in RI, and I ate oysters in a restaurant sitting over top of the oyster bed. They were amazing.

DT, I don't know much about chapter books, but I do know someone who has an online CB crit group. Let me know if you want me to put you in touch with her.

Happy writing, everyone!
 

heza

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*hugs Kate*

Just keep distracting yourself with what you can do, right now. I'm glad you enjoyed the spa trip!


Work got really busy and then I'm suddenly at a standstill because we're rebranding our company. They want me to rebrand documentation to match (I'm in technical writing). Doc deadline was today, but they still haven't announced our new identity.. so I can't do anything. None of this is my fault and I can't fix it except to just wait, but I get super stressed out when I know there's a lot of work to do, it's due ASAP, but I can't move on it because of things I can't control. (Stupid other people, huh, Kate?)

This weekend, I'm wrapping up a beta read for a book I'm really enjoying, so that'll be fun. I'm going to try to do some focused writing on my WIP, but I also promised someone I would write up a character for her new narrative role play group. It's a fun character, though--a fading, somewhat batty NY fashion designer--so it should also be entertaining.

I should have a nice chunk of me time on Saturday because my husband is going hiking.

How's everyone else doing?

(ETA: I'm also going to try to do more critting at MSFV's Talking Heads critique session.)
 
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DanielaTorre

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@Superkate - It'll come. And if it's not with your current book, it may be with your next. Things are really slow right now. I'm sure you've heard that the last couple of years in publishing have been sucky. Agents are taking on less, as publishers are acquiring (at least in kidlit) an average of a book a month. I know it's hard to concentrate on another project, but you need to force yourself to or else querying is going to drive you nuts.

BTW, You may know this already, but Middle Grade Minded is currently looking for bloggers to contribute to their blog. I think you'd be wonderful for you considering you have a blog of your own. It could drive traffic to both your website and MGM, and also get you some exposure. I've considered doing it, but I really don't know what's holding me back...

@heza - When you gotta wait, you gotta wait. Worst part is they're prob going to drive you nuts when the time comes for the rebranding.

I've never understood how people manage to co-op with other writers on projects. I mean, I wouldn't know where to start, especially if the project is someone else's brainchild. Kudos to you. Also, don't skip on that Saturday alone time. Make it count.

As for me, I've made loads more friends on Twitter. I hope to grow a little and aim at some sort of exposure (hence considering MGM contributions). But I'm still very much a wallflower when it comes to that. I love humor though, so I've been having fun. Haven't heard a peep submission-wise, so there's that.

I recently contributed the first page of my current manuscript to Kathy Teaman's Free Fall Friday. Alison Weiss, editor at Sky Pony Press, is guest critiquing and I thought I'd submit for fun. Kate, you should consider submitting. Deadline is the 19th.

On another note, my vision has substantially diminished and I have been having some trouble seeing. My left eye is worse then the right. It's gotten to the point where it's really noticeable and irritating. I think I'll be visiting the eye doctor very soon. I always fear that it's multiple sclerosis creeping upon me. My grandmother died of it, my mom is showing signs, and my body aches and spasms a lot, etc. So I really don't know what to do.

In any event, happy Friday all!
 

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Hi guys! I just saw this a thread - I think a regular check-in day is a great idea and I will try to remember to stop by and catch up on everyone's news.

Daniela, I'm so sorry to hear about your vision! Definitely get to your doctor!

I recently made the difficult decision to part ways with my agent and re-entered the query trenches. I was extremely fortunate to only be there a few weeks and now I have a new agent I'm super excited about. Waiting on notes for what he said would be light revisions before we go on sub. MAYBE THIS TIME!!!
 

Supergirlofnc

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Happy Friday Check-in everyone!!

So much about writing really is out of our control. It's like a roller coaster a lot of the time. Things will be going uphill again before long. Try not to let it get to you. (I say this to myself a lot but it's much easier to say than to take to heart!)

@Daniela - I'm still figuring it out. I'm going to send him some chapters. I hope he likes them! If not, I'll just plod on like always!

@JoyMC - I liked your article about agents. It was really informative. And it seems like karma that you found a new agent now, too! That's wonderful. I'm so happy for you

Now, here are some dancing smileys for everyone to enjoy:

:PartySmil:PartySmil:PartySmil:PartySmil:PartySmil:PartySmil:PartySmil
 
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SuperKate

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Thanks for the kind words, all. I'm doing better today. I've been writing all morning, which always helps, and I also turned off WiFi on my phone, to make it harder to check email. A little distance is definitely a good thing.

Daniela, holy cow. What's going on with your eyes? Have you been tested for MS? Get thee to a doctor pronto, my friend.

Thanks for the links, btw. MGM is tempting, but I'm already blogging at Mixed Up Files (need to write a post this weekend, actually), so I probably shouldn't. I've really enjoyed doing MUF, though, and recommend trying a group blog to anyone who's interested. I may do Free Fall Friday. I've never tried that one before. I realize that I'm craving some outside input on my writing. I try to keep WIPs to myself, but it's so hard being in this writing cave all alone, you know?

Heza, argh. That sounds so incredibly frustrating. I hope your writing day is going well.

Joy, what a roller coaster ride you've been on! I'm so glad that it wasn't too hard to find a new agent once you made the decision. Keeping fingers crossed for you on sub.

Laurie, thanks for the smileys! They did, in fact, make me smile. :)
 

Toothpaste

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@SuperKate - The feeling of banging your head against a wall over and over again. It's absolutely the worst. It probably doesn't help to hear that everyone does indeed go through that but everyone really does. It feels like it'll never end, it feels like this is it, you're stuck where you are, nothing will every change. But it does and will. All it takes is one yes. That's it. One. You don't need everyone to come clamouring after you. Just one. And it will happen :) .

@Daniela - that sounds quite scary, absolutely see an eye doctor asap. We always put off these things because life is usually out of control, but time to press the pause button and just do it. Supportive hugs!

@Joy - Huge congrats! It's really scary making that decision but it was very smart of you and fingers crossed this new relationship is totally and completely fantastic!


As for me going to talk to my editor for a second time next week about her notes. Still struggling over them and feeling some serious frustration. I know what she wants and I agree it needs to happen, but I'm really not sure right now I know how to make it happen. Ugh. Why can't books just write themselves? I mean is that too much to ask?

On a less frustrating note she sent me the sketch of my cover and it is AMAZING. I cannot wait to share it with everyone. The artist is just fantastic (been kind of obsessively going through all his work online) and I am SO relieved. I told my editor it's extremely nerve wracking to be an author and just wait for the cover to happen and she told me it's pretty nerve wracking as an editor as well to wait, lol. At any rate I can't stop staring at it and it's just a black and white sketch. So yeah. That's pretty awesome!
 

DanielaTorre

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@Joy - That's both terrible yet fantastic news. Congratulations! I know how it feels to have to part ways with an agent. Sucks so much. But if you can get one once, you can do it again, and that's precisely what happened. So happy for you.

@Superkate - I didn't know you were writing for Mixed Up Files. That's one of my favorite blogs for kid lit. That's a fantastic website to add to your resume. On the Free For All front, the critique is coming from an actual editor. So give it a shot. What's there to lose?

@Toothpaste - Put the draft away and don't look at it for a couple days or even weeks. One day it'll just come to you. I'm assuming you have a deadline though, so I don't know exactly how much time you can allow yourself to brainstorm. Can't say I don't envy you, though. Regardless of the pickle you're in. :) And you have to show us the cover. If it's anything like the ones on your other books, it's got to be fantastic.

Got my eyes checked today. Yeah, they got worse. But I got two pairs of new glasses, so there's that. At least I don't have to deal with anymore eye strain when they're ready. Tomorrow I start my new WIP while the last one simmers. Also fighting the itch to write a follow up to both my books. So far I'm winning that war. Ha. Got to keep on keeping on. Hopefully this year will be much better for all of us. See you all next Friday.
 

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Sigh yes I really wish I could do that Daniela, but as you say that's simply not in the cards, not with the current timeline. Need to get these edits done so we can move onto the next phase (plus I have book two to write ASAP and am still working on the other series I'm co-authoring). Time is not something I have. :(

But yes! Once I have an actual cover and not just a sketch you better believe that AW will be my first stop on the "OMG Guys! Guys guys guys! Look! I have a cover!" tour :) .


Glad to hear you got your eyes checked and have new glasses! And break legs on the new WIP!!
 

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It's Friday! Woohoo! What have all your writerly people been up to this week? What are your plans for the glorious, glorious weekend?


Work's still a bear for me, up until possibly Monday, so I haven't been doing a lot else. I did continue with the beta read I'm doing, but I had a hiccup with Dropbox syncing between devices and lost some of my editorial notes. So I'm going to spend the weekend trying to remember what and where they were and add them back in. Then, I hope I can return it to the author.

Between that and work, I'm not sure I'll actually attempt any of my own writing. There's also various household things that have to been done, so that seems like a pretty full weekend (and they go by so quickly *sigh*).
 

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Ouch. The same thing happened to me with something I was beta reading last week. Only he had sent me a PDF file and I tried doing comment bubbles, but then I couldn't save the PDF so I lost all the comments 50 pages into reading. For the love of Jebus, don't send your beta readers anything but Word docs. I know it looks nice and shiny as a PDF, but we can't do anything with them.

I didn't do much this week. I started a summary/pitch for my completed manuscript. Figured I'd prepare one in case my agent asks for it (haven't pitched it to him yet), and also planning on writing a synopsis. I've done all of this grudgingly, mind you. I'd forgotten what a pain in the ass it was cramming a story into less then 300 words. Kicking and screaming, I tell you!

Oh, and got my new glasses. No difference if you ask me. But they look cool! Went with the horn-rimmed kind. I look very regal.

Happy Friday, all!
 

paddismac

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Wow, I missed last week completely!

Still trying to come to terms with this "adult SF/F project" I'm supposed to be working on. The clock is ticking and I've so far deleted more words than I've actually written. I somehow need to form the words I have left (the, and & said) into a cohesive story, and the well is dry. I really just want to get back to my goats.

Three bored boys home from school today (teachers' work day), and the noise is incredible, so I'm not anticipating anything of a creative nature to materialize... unless it's a new way to vent frustration. I haven't tried to deal with it through interpretive dance yet, so that's an option. :e2dance:

Is anyone in the path of the "snowpocalypse"?? If so, hope anyone affected remains warm and snug and safe!
 

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Greetings from DC under siege! The snow just started. We are doomed. On Wednesday night, my car got stuck and I had to Metro and then walk a mile, in heels and a suit. It took me four hours. That was for ONE INCH of snow. I'm planning to stay in the house until March. We've got wine, we cleared out the local library, and my mother-in-law just made chocolate chip cookies. I don't need to go anywhere. And maybe I can get some writing done!

Hess, sorry about the technical difficulties! What a drag!

DT, so glad about the new glasses. Pic?

Paddismac, do you have to work on the SF/F? Those goats are so darn cute.
 

paddismac

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Greetings from DC under siege! The snow just started. We are doomed. On Wednesday night, my car got stuck and I had to Metro and then walk a mile, in heels and a suit. It took me four hours. That was for ONE INCH of snow. I'm planning to stay in the house until March. We've got wine, we cleared out the local library, and my mother-in-law just made chocolate chip cookies. I don't need to go anywhere. And maybe I can get some writing done!

Hess, sorry about the technical difficulties! What a drag!

DT, so glad about the new glasses. Pic?

Paddismac, do you have to work on the SF/F? Those goats are so darn cute.

Ooh, sorry about the 4 hour commute! I had heard that that one inch of snow was a nightmare for a lot of people to deal with.

And yeah, I HAVE to work on the SF/F thing. I stupidly signed up for the forum story swap, and it's due 2/29. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I saw so many good prompts that really got my creative juices flowing... but I didn't end up getting one of those good prompts. :Shrug:A lot of the folks participating have already finished novella length works, and I'm struggling to come up with a drabble. Keeping my fingers crossed that lightning will strike soon (either figuratively or literally).
 

Supergirlofnc

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Happy (belated) Friday check-in :)

@heza - beta reading is a lot of work. It sounds like you have a lot going on right now! I recently saw this article posted about why writing everyday ISN'T something to necessarily aspire to. I don't always write everyday, so I liked it. Sometimes, life is too busy.

If anyone is interested: http://sevenscribes.com/writing-beg...ost-common-pieces-of-writing-advice-is-wrong/

@SuperKate - I'm glad you got home alright! I hope all is well in DC and you can dig out soon! I'm in NC. We didn't get it nearly as bad as you guys, but I'm iced in for another day or two. We had twelve straight hours of sleet. It looks white like snow but is slick like ice.

@paddismac - Maybe the deadline will help force words out. Sometimes, I just can't get things written until there is extra pressure. Either way, I'm sending some good vibes your way!

@Daniela - Good luck with your pitch and I hope all is well with your eyes. Horn-rimmed glasses sound cool. May they bring you lots of bookly good fortune and pitch success :)

As for me, I got my editorial letter back for my book three last night. I haven't read it yet. I have to stare at the file for a day or so before I can bring myself to read it. In good news, I got my paperbacks author copies for my first book. I've always liked paperbacks. I think I'm more excited about those than anything! It's feels good to be finishing up these three books. I just hope I'll be able to sell more stories in the future. I keep telling myself no matter what, though, I can keep writing.

Happy Saturday!
 
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Checking in from our "snowpocolypse". Just finished my second rounds of edits of my latest MG novel and hoping to send out to my first round of betas soon and work on my query and synopsis. Also started up my next MG novel, about 2,000 words in, hoping to get the first draft down in about the next three months. Hope everyone is doing awesome and writing has been treating everyone well.

@DanielaTorre saw your beta post on your latest novel. Sounds intriguing! I hope to be able to read it soon!

@toothpaste I just saw you have the Explorer's Club coming out this year. Sounds interesting and exciting. Also appreciate your thoughts on my first stab at my query for Meet the Gretchens (not sure if that is ringing a bell).
 

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*Stands on the porch ringing a schoolhouse bell*

IT'S FRIDAY CHECK-IN!!

What's everyone been doing?


I got slammed at work. I was hoping that everything would settle down this week, but they ended up making "small" changes to the application I write user documentation for that necessitates me rewriting every single procedure in my documentation. Lovely.

Writing wise, I got editorial notes back into the file I'm beta reading that I lost in a Dropbox fiasco; I've got a couple of more chapters to comment on, and then I can send it back.

I haven't written a lot this week, but I did a small amount. And I did some random brain storming on a YA book idea that's been bouncing around in my head. I need to scratch it out on paper soon before I forget it.
 

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