Well, hello! That was quite the unexpected blog break! It was high time I checked back in to let you all know that I am still alive and well, and (just as importantly) still writing. Life and ELEGY have been keeping me busy, but in the best possible ways. I tend to avoid blogging unless I can make the time to sit down and put some thought into what I'm sharing.
So what have I been up to this past month? Here is a list:
1.) I entered ELEGY into another contest. I'd heard about Cupid's Literary Connection, but had never had an opportunity to enter. So I got together with my Pitch Wars teammates, Katie Bucklein and Melody Marshall, and we all quietly submitted our query letters and first pages. I was beyond thrilled when we all got picked! You can find my letter and first page here.
2.) I wrote a synopsis for ELEGY. After much turmoil and hair-tearing, I finally condensed my entire plot and my MC's character arc into two double-spaced pages. *collapses* Writing synopses is hard, yo. I think it turned out well, though, hopefully!
3.) I queried. A lot. I'd like to tell you that the heart palpitations and clammy palms go away after a while, but they really don't.
4.) I got an iPhone. Goodbye granny phone, hello technology! I'm still getting used to the fact that this tiny gadget in my hand can give me the summary of the day's stock portfolios, deposit checks to my bank account, and give me the exact time and temperature in Udaipur. Not too shabby.
5.) I figured out some major plot points for FOTL. This new shiny has been put aside in favor of prepping/querying my old shiny, but I did get some brainstorming done. I'm still petrified about writing this book, though, after reading about all the ways a writer can go wrong with Asian characters in YA.
6.) I did a lot of reading. I reread THE NIGHT CIRCUS and am more convinced than ever of its magical powers. The writing is just so lovely, without ever veering into purple prose territory. Right now I am reading REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly, which one of my Pitch Wars coaches recommended to me because, like ELEGY, it is a dual-timeline narrative and deals with music, obsession, and parallel stories. And it features what many might consider an unlikable protagonist. I'm really enjoying it so far!
7.) I'm almost caught up on Game of Thrones. I started watching the show after trying to read Book 1, and had a *little* less trouble keeping the characters straight in my head. There are just so damn many. I like the fact that there are plenty of great female characters, although it's odd/amusing to me that a show can feature powerful women and objectify them all at once. I got sick of seeing lady bits after a couple of episodes. But anyway, great female characters. One of my favorites is Catelyn (who I am surprised to hear is widely hated). It's refreshing to see a character who is strong and self-assured without having to put a sword in her hand to make her strength literal. I'm going to attempt to do the same for my MC in FOTL.
Now that things have calmed down a bit for ELEGY, and I'm just waiting on queries, I'll have a lot more time to work on my new book and catch up on my CPs' stories.
I am also getting very excited for the SCBWI conference that I'll be attending in early May. I've never been to a writers' conference before, so I will need all the tips and suggestions I can get from those of you who have! I was lucky enough to score one of the coveted manuscript critique slots, and I signed up for some great sessions, so I am pumped!
Are any of you going to be there? Do you have any advice on conference dos-and-don'ts?