Doors That Open, Doors That Close

Good news: the first 100 pages of ELEGY are now in real, live agent hands! *collapses* The query letter did its job back at the WriteOnCon forums, so now I just have to hope that this partial does its job.

Thank you a million times to Marisa, Don and Kim, Nancy, and Margo! *blimp-sized hug* They did quick readthroughs of not only my rough draft, but also the revision... not an easy feat, since I added a ton of new scenes and dialogue. It really does take a village to write a book, and no matter what happens, I'll be forever grateful for their help in making ELEGY the best it can be.

I'm so proud of how far this story has come. It was once just a small idea, but now it's a full-fledged novel with characters that I care more about every day. It also stretched my writing comfort zone a LOT, since 1) I've never written a ghost story before and 2) I've never written such completely flawed people... who I then chucked headfirst into a high-pressure environment - a performing arts school inspired by New York City's Juilliard - where their jealousy, competitive natures, and loyalty are all put to the test. (All the while cackling evilly, of course.)

My enthusiasm for ELEGY is my security blanket right now, because August was a month of major setbacks.

I know rejection is the name of the game when you're a writer. But this stuff still hurts. It feels like sending up hopeful balloons and watching them all get stuck in trees or burst by pine needles. I've lost count of how many stars I've wished on, and how many birthday candles I've blown out, and how many tunnels I've driven through while holding my breath.

I just have to hold on to that saying: "When one door closes, another opens." I'm going to try to open as many new doors as I can, no matter how many slam shut. I will write more books, and revise them, and send out queries, and enter contests. I'm going to find those doors and keep them open, no matter what... even if I have to jam my foot in.

Self-publishing is another door that I am more tempted to open than I have ever been before, thanks to a FANTASTIC author talk that I just attended. I will be blogging about everything I learned very soon, so stay tuned for that post!

Right now, I've got a shiny querying spreadsheet for ELEGY, a whole new list of people to submit to, and someone who is very kindly giving the story a chance.

Just keep moving forward, right?

How are you doing? What are some doors that have opened for you?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Fingers crossed and praying!
We have to believe the setbacks are to put us in place for something even better.

Laura Marcella said...

I love your positive attitude! I needed to read such a hopeful post today. Most authors who are successful today did exactly what you are doing now. You'll get where you want to be!!

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Margo Berendsen said...

Hoping for the best for Elegy! I can't see how an agent could pass that up.

Donna Hole said...

Fantastic Julie. Good luck, I'll keep all my limbs crossed for you too :)


workofheart09 said...

Oh, Julie, what an emotional roller-coaster you've been on. I am so very sorry about the fellowship and PPP. You know, I'm a firm believer that things happen how and when they're supposed to -- but it certainly doesn't feel that way during this querying journey. That said, your optimism is lovely, and inspiring, and just the ray of light to help you carry on. I'm keeping my fingers crossed tightly as can be that this agent will adore ELEGY. So much good luck being sent your way!!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Great attitude, especially since you must have been disappointed over the fellowship and I KNOW how disappointing it is to work so long with an agent and then have them ultimately pass.

But you are right: Open lots and lots of doors. One of them will be the right entranceway for you! Good luck!

Louise Bates said...

Congratulations on the partial! That's fantastic! And I'm sorry to hear about the setbacks. You're so right; even when we know they are part of the game, they still hurt. "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger" is great in theory, but a whole lot more painful in practice.

But you're a great writer with the best of mindsets, and I know you're going to find the best path for you and your books!

Colin Smith said...

Congrats about the partial request, no matter what comes of it. I'm just saying, Julie, it's only a matter of time. One day soon, one of these agents is going to say "Wow, this girl can write, and I know EXACTLY where I can sell this novel!" :)

DL Hammons said...

This is just all the "stuff" you must go through to get to where you rightfully belong. Sometimes it will feel like trudging...but it all matters...and will payoff eventually! :)

Tiana Smith said...

I've got my fingers crossed for you! I loved PPP and Elegy sounds amazing. It's just a matter of time Julie!

Emilie Bordeleau-Laroche said...

Fingers crossed! I'm really excited for you! I hope that I'll get as far as you have one day!
You'll get there! It just takes one to say yes :)

Christina Farley said...

Wow! This is just so exciting! What a journey this all is, isn't it? I'm in the big time waiting stage. But mainly just recovering from school starting and adjusting to that!

J. A. Bennett said...

How exciting! I hope it all works out for you. It can be such a frustrating process, I'm dealing with the frustration right now as well, so I understand. Fingers crossed for you!

Connie Keller said...

Congratulations on the partial!! Yay! I'm rooting for you.

Hannah Kincade said...

Congrats on the partial!! I'm still in the revising cave. Soon I shall venture out into query land.

Good luck!! There are so many steps in this process.

Crystal Collier said...

Self pubbing is a great way to go, but you definitely have to figure out how you're going to balance 3 different jobs into one. I'm hoping your partial is a smash hit!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Julie, for sure, there won't be a door unless you're looking for it and you won't know if the door will open unless you try it. Glad to see you are.

Yes, rejections do hurt. We learn not to let it stop us but yes ma'am they sting!

I made a wishing braid for you. Lots of crossed strands, :-)

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Julie Dao said...

Alex: Thanks for always being so supportive! I sure hope that is true.

Laura: Well, I'll try! There's nothing to do but hope, if you don't want to give up, and I definitely don't.

Margo: Thanks, friend... I hope you're right!

Donna: You're sweet, thank you <3

Shari: Thanks for saying that, it really means a lot :) I was sad for a while, but what can you do? Just pick yourself up and move on. It's all part of the process, I guess. They weren't kidding when they said you need a tough skin for this. Grateful for the support <3

Dianne: Thanks so much - you really inspire me because you are one of the people who have made it!! So happy and excited for you. I will surely open as many doors as I can!

Louise: Thank you so much for saying that! It does sting... a lot, but there's no point in wallowing. Just get up and move on, I guess!

Colin: I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support and encouragement! I can't fail with so many people believing in me. Thank you, my friend, from the bottom of my heart.

Don: Yep, I'm just trudging along right now. Whoever said this was an uphill battle was NOT joking.

Tiana: <3 <3 Thanks for your comment. Hopefully one day when we are both published, we can look back on these times and laugh :)

Emilie: Thanks, girl! You've got it in you... just get some words down on the page! Excited for NaNo :)

Christina: Ooh, good luck waiting! Hope you hear some great news!

J.A.: It is frustrating, but it's so rewarding at the same time to finish another book, and another, and another. Just have to keep going!

Connie: Thanks, sweet friend! Fingers crossed!

Hannah: Oooo revising cave... good luck! I'll save you a seat in query land ;)

Crystal: I asked myself what I REALLY want, and my gut answered: traditional publishing. So I may hold off on self-publishing for now, but it is nice to know that that path has done SO much for such talented, successful people. That's a door that will always be there.

Sia: A wishing braid?! So kind of you *hugs* Thank you for the good wishes. I hope we all find the right doors for us eventually :)

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