Tis the season for new year's resolutions and the blogosphere is rife with them. This year is about focus for me so I am going to focus on one thing and one resolution:
In 2011, I will finish what I started.
Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? But if it were that simple for me, I would not have to make a resolution for it. I would have finished the umpteen first novels I've started that are languishing in file cabinets and old document files as outlines and first chapters galore.
But there's this one. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know about it. If not, here's something like an introduction:
In 2003, I started writing a middle reader novel about a kid who is being bullied and a few exciting things happen along the way. He confides in his dog, keeps the bullying from his parents and any other authority figure. He questions his parents and friendships. He discovers a comet, is thrown into a media frenzy, and eventually gains the confidence to be able to confront the bully. In the end he recognizes all the support he really had all along, when he was trying to handle it all by himself.
Not the best start to a query, but that's what I have for a summation at the moment.
I had many adventures along the journey of writing this book, such as dealing with schools and IEPs, and dealing with Captain Comic's Asperger's Syndrome at home, too. I took a while to divorce the boys' father - that was quite a journey in itself, in which, of course, both the boys were incredibly affected. I worked three part time jobs from classroom and learning disabilities support to retail in order to support the boys. I met Honey around the same time I started writing the book, and because of him, I was able to modulate into one fulltime position in a high school in learning disabilities support. Life started to seem perfect, I loved my job and my vocation (the book), him and the boys. In 2006, we got married and promptly followed a decent job lead for him to a more affordable area of the country. We bought a house with the help of his mother, we all moved in together. I started privately tutoring. I got debilitatingly pregnant three times, once lasted and became Toots when I was 42 - largely because I stayed in bed for the entire pregnancy. I was unable to move or think, ill beyond belief and her pregnancy wrecked me physically. I slowly am still climbing back from that and surgery, and she will be three come April 2011.
In the meantime, through Miranda at Studio Mothers (we had gone to college together and ran into each other many years later in the toy store I worked in when my life was more mayhem than it is now), I met many other woman who were trying to balance life with kids and creativity. Miranda, Brittany and I were all pregnant at the same time and bonded well over their births and the early baby struggles with older kids. I think a few other moms, like Liz Hum, and Kate Hopper and Kristine Koblitz were in that baby and writing boat, too. Kelly Warren, Lisa Damian, Jennifer Johnson and E.Beck were among the other creatives who gave excellent encouragement. I opened my manuscript back up and cranked out the 'first draft' in fits and starts between 2008 and Summer 2010. I hope I'm not forgetting anyone...I know there were many more women involved in that website over that time, and their names are coming to me, but these, I think were my main cheerleaders. As well as Jacqui Robbins, I stumbled across her through Studio Mothers, too, though she wasn't a contributor. I had other supportive friends back in Boston and Connecticut who cheered me on and were first readers. Thank you to you all.
I am now finishing the second draft. I really want to get it done before the end of the year, the next few days, in order to get it to my local writing group before we head to our annual retreat in mid-January.
Toots is still sick but getting better and Honey is off work tomorrow, so I may be able to hand her off to him and Grandma for the day, and lock myself in the bedroom with the scribbled upon manuscript and the laptop to made some headway for a few hours. I hope.
Anyway, back to my one resolution. 2011 is to really actually and truly send that puppy out, after one more draft. This draft will happen in the earliest part of the year, starting with that four day retreat in the Outer Banks. Then I will send out that draft, whether or not it is perfect. I think it nearly is. But then again, I don't really believe in perfect, do I?
Spring, baby. Agents, here I come.