I am continuing with my attempts at reorganization. I also attended a Zoom presentation on “Academic Publishing” and virtually met with one of my revision classmates. All of these activities totaled 206 minutes. I have averaged, so far, 110 minutes a day.
Today I did a little bit of everything in two separate spurts. The first hour I looked at two inter-library loan books I have, read some of Tell IT Slant, and wrote a query to the University of Minnesota Press.
The second hour, I continued with my attempts at reorganization, taking two chapters that are about clubs at two separate institutions and reassembling them. The new structure would have one chapter about Dames and their national organization, the National Association of University Dames. The other chapter would be about faculty wives clubs and some of their activities. I also updated my working outline to reflect these changes.
It was a productive day, but I am happy there are only a few days left to NaNoWriMo Summer Camp. This has been a difficult pace to keep up and I am glad I will be being taking a few days off from the project in the beginning of August. I will explain my plans for maintaining accountability as we get a little closer to the end of the moth.
Three weeks done. Today I worked for 155 minutes, completing the revision via quotes on Chapter 8. I kept a draft of the whole chapter, but also divided it into two new chapter. One which will focus on Yale is thirty-one pages. The other which focuses on college president’s wives is thirty-eight pages.
I kept both versions so I can make a final decision later. I am on track to complete this round of revision on Saturday. Starting Sunday, I will spend the last week of NaNoWriMo, working on queries and my book proposal for various publishers. I also want to get back to Tell It Slant.
I am looking forward to the weekend when I will be going to Jacob’s Pillow on Saturday and attending a birthday party on Sunday. Two more days of strenuous work and then I can, while remaining focused, relax a little bit.
Today is day 18 of NaNoWriMo Summer Camp and I have surpassed my goal of 1861 words or 60 minutes a day for the thirty-one days of July. Today, after working for 140 minutes, I have a total of 1931 minutes or 113.58 minutes a day.
Today I worked on the quotes from Chapter 6 and also looked at other drafts of the chapter. I am still thinking about the overall organization of the book so, today, I looked at book proposals from several years ago. At that time I had a different organizational structure.
After I finish the revising via quote process, I may explore merging that older structure and the current one. One of my writing teachers, Kate, tried to encourage me to acknowledge that revision is a long process. I have been reluctant to accept that advice, but I am seeing more truth in it everyday.
Today I decided to power through and do all the cutting, rewriting, and reducing of the quotes in chapter 4. It took me almost three hours and eliminated twelve pages. Starting tomorrow, I will have six chapters counting the epilogue left to do.
If I can keep up the same pace I did today, hopefully I could complete this part of the revision by the end of next week. Then I would be able to go back to looking at publishers and agents and sending out queries and proposals. Each publisher wants something different, so it is a good amount of work to get together the package to send to them.
I would also be able to get back to doing more with Tell It Slant although I do plan to begin reading Chapter 11. Tomorrow morning, I am going to go swimming which once again will be my self-care for the day.
Today I worked for a little over an hour and a half. I finished reducing and/or cutting quotes from Chapter Two. I eliminated about four and a half pages, staring with 11,096 words, and ending with 9, 952. There is probably more to cut but I can’t keep looking at the same chapter so tomorrow I will move on to Chapter Three.
I also did more reading in Tell It Slant. One of the essays was by Scott Russell Sanders, “Buckeyes.” It was very lyrical and a pleasure to read. I plan to see what else he has written.
No news on the publishing search. Now I am off to eat lunch and watch the January 6 hearing. I realize that this daily posting may be a little bit boring for you, but I made the commitment, so I am sticking with it.
Despite having only gotten about four hours of sleep, I worked on the quotes from Chapter 2 for two hours and fifteen minutes. I also read a chapter of Tell It Slant and did some researching of potential publishers.
I thought cutting or tightening the quotes would lead to an overall reduction in the number of pages. After working on twenty-two pages today, I am not so sure. The revisions I did included rewriting some of the quotes in my own words. All that work has only reduced the length of the chapter by one page.
I have completed one week of NaNoWriMo Summer Camp. Today I worked for about two hours, earning a badge from NaNoWriMo for updating my word count seven days in a row.
For the next few days I am going to regroup and spend more time sending out queries to try to find either a publisher or an agent. One of the main books we used during the year long PVWW manuscript class was Tell It Slant. My plan for the next few days is to re-read some of the book and do some of the exercises. I am hoping that stepping back will help me regain my focus and motivation which has been lagging.
In the post I wrote saying goodbye to 2021 I wished for a more even keeled year with less difficulties. Now that three months of 2022 are gone, I’m not sure I can say that has happened. Several members of my extended family have been ill and that has consumed some of my time as well as the fact that our house renovations continued into the new year.
Most of the work for our new mud room and laundry room finished in February and we have now been spending time filling the new space and reorganizing the old spaces. Because I am a neat freak and more than a bit compulsive, this work has elated me.
When the new year started my plan was to begin revising the first draft of my manuscript, Dames, Dishes and Degrees, which I completed in November. I have had a couple of false starts and will honestly admit I haven’t gotten that much done yet. The university press that I had sent a couple of chapters to in the fall eventually said revise it and then send it back to us again without providing any concrete advice about how to do that. It felt like a less than completely enthusiastic response.
This was a little discouraging, but I rallied and then sent off the whole manuscript including a book proposal for a writing contest that an affiliate of Writer’s Digest is sponsoring. You can read more about the contest here.
I also sent a query letter to an agent who then asked to see my book proposal. Other than that, I haven’t really done much work on the manuscript itself. I did sign up for a revision class that Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop is offering, beginning in May, which will hopefully jumpstart my revision process.
I have managed to continue to post every week even though sometimes it is hard to figure out what to write about. As far as tweeting goes, Wordle has transformed that process. I jumped on the Wordle bandwagon a few months ago before the New York Times bought it. Doing the game every day and then sharing it on Twitter has increased my tweeting output considerably. On the other hand, I am not sure figuring out the word every day is so great for my overall productivity and focus.
This is how the year has been going so far. I will keep you posted on any new developments in my revision and publishing endeavors.
As part of my never-ending quest to become a better writer, a while ago I subscribed to Writer’s Digest magazine. As a result, I get a lot of emails from them. One that I’ve been getting for a while concerned what they call a “trusted partner” Book Pipeline having a contest for unpublished manuscripts.
Initially I thought I wouldn’t be able to make the deadline because they wanted a book proposal, and I hadn’t really started working on that yet. However, on Sunday I got another email about the book contest, and I decided to go for it even though the deadline was only five days away, Thursday March 10th.
Deciding to enter the contest motivated me to try to fix my book proposal and I did it. I worked very hard the last few days and on Thursday I submitted the book proposal and my nine chapters, which are just the first draft, for the contest. I won’t hear about the results until October 10th but revising the book proposal to enter the contest means that it is now in decent enough shape that I can send to other publishers and agents along with query letters. Therefore, I don’t feel that I wasted time applying for the contest. Since finding out whether I’ve won or not won’t be for seven months, I will let you know then what happens.