I blinked and over three months rushed by

I hadn’t planned a hiatus from blogging. It just happened. A lot happened that wasn’t planned this summer. Doesn’t it always? And now we are a week away from kids starting school and Autumn will set in. Robert is nearly one and I’m sure if I blink again he’ll be two, and all the others will be older and taller. So, no more blinking for a while, they’re growing up too fast as it is.

Summer has been wonderful, and I’ll do a fabulous summer post with pictures of the little people and all our activities… later.

My hiatus has not been from the world of writing. Just blogging and I am so excited about the ideas rolling around in my head and things being accomplished.

I am up to 40 rejections on my YA novel, The Heart of the Castle. Yay! And it really is yay. I figure I can’t complain until I hit triple digits, and since I take joy in the writing, getting published is just a bonus.  It’s been a while since I’ve read it though, and I thought I might do a reread this fall and see where I can tighten it, etc.  I’m happy ,too, that I’ve had a few manuscript (partial and full) requests. Even though they’ve come back as a no, it’s still encouraging.

I also finished cleaning up Belinda and the Beastly Neighbor (my middle grade book) and started to query it, but in the last couple weeks something amazing has happened and it is on hold and it’s about ready to morph into something totally different.  A while ago I had a little conversation with myself. It went something like this:

“Self?”

“Yes?”

“Belinda would make a great middle grade mystery.”

“Ha! It’s done. Completed. Polished. I like it.”

“Ummm. It would make a GREAT middle grade mystery. It could be a series.”

“Too many rewrites. Go away.”

And myself left me in peace. Until a couple weeks ago.

“Self?”

“You again?”

“Yep, we’re kinda attached.”

“True. What do you want now?”

“It’s about that Belinda book idea. The mystery.”

“Oh. Again?”

“Yup. Maybe you should listen.”

I sighed. “Ok. Listening.”

“The ghost of Nancy Drew.”

“Oh puhlease. Really?”

“Yeah, really.”

And, with that,  I began to listen to my crazy thoughts as they took shape. The more I looked the more I realized that all the plot lines for a mystery were there, they just needed to be tweaked and encouraged. The idea morphed and morphed and morphed some more. In my head Belinda wound up meeting Nancy in the attic of an old house. She was real! She had been a detective in the twenties before the first book was written. Belinda was shocked. The author of course changed her name in the books – but she looked exactly like her character. Her real name? Miss Eugenia Potts.  She helps Belinda solve her mysteries and Belinda in turn helps uncover the mystery of who murdered her.

One major problem….  copyright. In a bold stroke I wrote a letter to Simon & Schuster’s rights department, told them about my brilliant idea and asked about copyright issues. I’m looking forward to hearing back from them. Chances are I won’t be able to use Nancy. But, the ideas are still there, and ,Nancy or not, Miss Eugenia Potts is going to be the ghost who helps Belinda solve her mysteries. I am excited  to get editing – but I’m waiting until I hear back so I know whether of not to work with Nancy.

While I wait on that, I am happily editing my second YA book – which still remains untitled. I have slogged through the first 100 and so pages and have lots more. But, I am slogging happily, turning my rough NaNoWriMo mess into a readable first draft. My characters are developing some great motivations and we’re having some pretty nifty conversations – at least they tend to argue amongst themselves rather than pestering me, like “self” does.

I’ve also been working a little on a new book, which keeps warping into something different. My brain has been rivaling our summer of thunderstorms. I have enough to do without throwing myself full force into something new.

Finally, for my birthday I got the best present ever, which was the 2011 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. Now I can keep upping that YA rejection count and hopefully it will come to an end sometime.

To all you who are writing, querying, and writing some more – hang in there and take joy in the journey! And all the rest of you – I’ll post something non-writing soon. I promise! 🙂

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