Finding an agent, Stephen Colbert, and Kali

Hello readers!

I’ve reread Infinity and I’m pretty happy with it. I’ve queried two agents so far and will query a third once I write up a synopsis. I know that this process of evaluation by others is subjective on their part, and my work has to resonate with a total stranger in order for that person to want to move forward. So I realize it might take me quite a long time to find an agent, let alone get a contract for the sale of the manuscript. This is fine.

Like a lot of intellectuals, I have a nagging voice that keeps telling me that I’m an impostor, that I’m faking it and soon everyone will find out that I’m a fraud. I was actually surprised when watching the Late Show with Stephen Colbert that both the host, Stephen Colbert, and his guest, Liam Neeson, admitted they suffered from impostor syndrome, so I feel like I am in good company. I keep forcing myself to sit and write, or write to agents, because I feel like even if I’m an impostor, no one has found out about me yet. I’m a well-kept secret!

While I wait for feedback, I am busy with a variety of things, not the least of which is my novel-in-progress, Diamond. I have decided the Indian goddess Kali needs to be a part of Diamond and so I’m revisiting the work I’ve done so far as well as my outline, in order to get her in there. I’ve had a lot of dreams about Kali recently, and her interactions with time fascinate me.

Wish me luck in finding an agent- I feel like my work is good and luck shouldn’t factor in, but it sure wouldn’t hurt.

Liz

 

On being encouraged to write

Hello, readers!

I was noodling about online today, wondering if I should do my workout routine first or if I should try to write a chapter or two for Diamond, and came across a tweet from a published author where he suggested that he had been encouraged to write by others. I’m glad of this, because I enjoy his books, but it also opened up a bit of a painful wound for me, and I will explain.

When I was a child, I was encouraged to write as a hobby- it kept me quiet and out of trouble; my parents didn’t mind if I read and wrote ceaselessly. I wrote my first short story at eight and won awards for my writing at school; I finished my first novel during summer break in high school. I wrote endlessly, and well.

When I reached the end of high school, I wanted to get an English degree so I could pursue my dream of writing professionally.

My parents said if I did this they would kick me out of the house and I’d have to find a way to pay for my food and lodgings somewhere else (I couldn’t afford to go to school and live on campus, and I knew if i had to pay for living in a dorm I’d have to get a part time job and my grades would suffer, and I’d lose any scholarship I was able to get which I needed to pay tuition with. My parents always made it clear that if I wanted to get an education I had to pay for it myself).

So I put aside my dream and took undergraduate and graduate degrees in microbiology. It’s interesting, it pays my bills, but I have not excelled at it and the older I got, the more I found myself regretting that I didn’t just take out a student loan (I hadn’t even realized this was an option before) and gotten that English degree. I am not sorry for my experiences and knowledge gained via my life as a scientist- this actually helps my fiction, a lot. But I do regret that younger me, not plagued with bipolar symptoms, hadn’t been able to channel her energy and passion into writing. I regret that my discipline really did require disciplined study in order for me to do well enough to keep my scholarships, and I lacked the energy to write much of the time.

However, I have had the past year or so mostly off and so I have been able, despite distractions and sickness, to be able to finish one novel I am proud of (Infinity), about a quarter of another novel I am similarly proud of (Diamond) and to write a few poems and short pieces in between. I might write slowly now, for many reasons, and my voice in writing has also changed. But this may not be such a bad thing.

I like to think that my initial setbacks in pursuing my dreams of becoming a professional writer were learning processes, and that my voice is now more unique, older, more mature, more interesting. I like to think that, at nearly 46, I’m not too old to follow my dreams.

I’ve made it a goal for 2018 to sell Infinity, so I have already begun the long and arduous process of sending queries to agents. Wish me luck!