Thursday, May 15, 2008

The waiting is the hardest part . . .

Okay, that's a blatant Tom Petty rip-off.

I promised myself not to obsess about waiting to hear from the editor. Promised. And actually, I was doing a decent job. Granted, I was obsessing about the number of views my blog is getting (and feel free to post comments, dear readers!), but I was keeping the fretting about editors to a minimum.

But then something wonderful happened to a friend.

She is in rarefied air these days - an agent signed her less than three weeks after requesting a full manuscript from the Chicago conference. I believe the correct description is "snapped her up," and is planning on shopping her novel around within the month.

I am absolutely thrilled for my dear friend! This is super exciting, even if she does need to remember to breathe. And what's more, soon she'll be back in the central time zone. Very exciting stuff.

But now, I'm obsessing. This agent moved quickly - very quickly. Which is great for my friend, because her writing is really spectacular, and I'm totally buying the Riesling the next time I see her. But knowing that these things really can happen almost overnight makes my personal wait that much harder.

So let's all use the power of positive thinking in the interim. We'll all envision her books go to auction, landing her a major contract and on the NYT list (at which point, she's buying the Riesling).

But for me personally? I'd like to think that it's going to go something like this.

The editor will request the full manuscript, finding the whole thing as good as the first three chapters. She will then ask to see what I've got on the second novel (which is really taking shape, thank goodness!). She will tell me to get an agent so that I can properly review the contract she's going to offer me. Agents will be happy to take me on, because I've already got a contract near the table. My agent (and volunteers are welcome here) will go to bat for me, hammering out a nice contract for at least two books with the editor. The editor will make suggestions, I will make changes, and in 12 to 24 months, Marrying the Emersons will hit the shelves with critics using words like "powerful," "moving," and "beautifully written." A few months later (because it's not that far from being publishable), The Best They Could will come out, stunning critics with its scope and depth. Hollywood will start to make some noises, the foreign rights will get snapped up, and suddenly I'll be a Book of the Month Feature while working on the next set of stories about my people.

Have you watched The Muppet Movie recently? Not everyone quotes Kermit the Frog, but he's big in our house these days. Anyway, Kermit sings at the end of the movie, "Life's like a movie/write your own ending/keep believing/keep pretending/we've done just what we set out to do."

I'm writing my own ending, and as long as I believe in it, it will come true.

I just have to be patient.


Saadia Ali Aschemann said...

But I don't understand WHY the whole lit biz needs to be so complicated, you know? I mean, why, why, WHY do we have to submit the first three chapters and then the whole thing and then wait and wait and wait??? It's excruciating!

BTW, what conference did you attend in Chicago? I have to go next year, Girl!

Sarah M. Anderson said...

The Chicago Spring Fling, by the Chciago North RWA. It was really good, but I'm somewhat sure it is a biannual thing, which is a major bummer, because I'd go every year.

I think I just dated myself with "bummer." Oh well.

Caley Greene said...

Congrats to the friend. Positive thoughts in excess abound. And I totally share the waiting nerves. Yup, next Spring Fling is 2010, which as long as it falls between semesters I'm golden!

Andrea Dickinson said...

It's all about positive thought! Have you read The Secret? You can make your future whatever you want it to be.

Sarah M. Anderson said...

I hadn't read that, Andrea, but I had other people mention it to me.

Not a very well kept secret . . .