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The Panic Sets In June 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — christineglover @ 3:49 am
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After the packing days and general shock of getting ready for my DD’s religious camp, my family joined me as I went to Birmingham for the Southern Magic pitching workshop led by our own Kelly St. John. The drive down was uneventful. And I was ever so pleased with my “free” hotel stay garnered through American Express reward points. But when we arrived in Birmingham, with time to spare, we were unable to locate the Holiday Inn we’d booked. And when we finally did find it, I had about 2 minutes to spare before the lunch portion of the workshop began.

Panic! But ever optimistic we hauled our luggage to the front desk only to be greeted by an overworked, disgruntled front desk employee who bluntly informed us early check-in was impossible and “no” there wasn’t a place to store luggage. Never mind. We left, the family took me through McDonald’s drive through to grab a Happy Meal, and then they hauled me to the Homewood Library for my meeting.
Yay! Freedom! I joined the SM members and guests in the Homewood Library basement and we celebrated Christy Reece’s next trilogy’s book covers and release dates as well as Naima Bryant (now Niama Simone) and her first publication in Ellora’s Cave. We had cake!! And took pictures.
Then Kelly St. John led us through a very detailed pitch workshop that sent my head reeling. My pitch needed updating, work, an overhaul. Can we say panic again? But it is a good panic. If anyone knows what to do to get published, it’s Kelly. She’s so honest and real about her own experiences as she tried to reach that pinnacle. I appreciate it so much! And I learned so much!
And when it was all over, and we said I goodbyes, I met my family at the library’s entrance with my inspiration tucked in my computer bag. Oh, after I returned home, the work would begin again.

Practice-Phone-Practice-Pack-Practice June 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — christineglover @ 12:13 pm
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Wednesday I devoted all my time and energy to chasing down health insurance issues and helping my daughter pack for her five day overnight camp. I managed to get through my entire in-box without going insane. And I only had to make one run to the compounding pharmacy to get a second set of claim forms for the drug company’s needs. The best part about all of my effort was the good news I received from the billing department for my emergency cyst removal–I only owe $70 instead of $384! Yeah!

This year has been a banner year for health costs–a first for us. Moving out of our company’s network is costing us. I’m used to a copay and this 20% of fees is daunting. However, I also feel I am receiving better care and better testing because the insurance PPO’s can’t dictate what tests I need to have and now I am so much better than I was up north when I didn’t have to pay as much. It’s truly a Catch-22 situation. Sure, I’d rather spend $285 on clothes for the RWA National Conference, but reality meant spending it on 20% toward my labs which led to my diagnosis.
Packing up DD for her camp was very painful. First we had to pack a framed backpack for the first night at the camp for older girls. Our family doesn’t camp. At all. I was forced into it as a child (blech blech blech) in Canada. I’ve used wood seated toilets, washed my hair in cold lakes, and slept on top of barely concealed tree roots in pup tents.
I don’t need to experience the delights of camping again.
Darling Husband camped with Boy Scouts. Once. In Texas. A scorpion crawled into his sleeping bag. His only advice to DD was “bang your sleeping bag hard with a heavy stick to make sure snakes and bugs are dead before you slip inside it.”
His idea of camping is staying at the Holiday Inn.
We did “camp” in Europe when DD was 6 years old. Camping in France means staying in a house with a small kitchen, sleeping on real beds, and having amenities like hot croissants, fresh baked bread, swimming pools, discos and more. This like staying at a cool Holiday Inn where people are stunned and amazed by discovering the only Americans at their campground.
I could do that again.
Any rate, as a girl scout leader, I did try the camping thing again when DD was a second grader. She wanted to stay in the cabin till the bugs crawled out and prevented her from shining her flashlight onto her book.
Thankfully, I had plenty of backup. We went home at midnight. I was ever so happy to drink my big glass of red wine when we arrived home.
No more GS camping for us. We arranged for things like staying at themed places for our troop.
But now that we’ve moved south, my rising 10th Grader decided to revisit the idea of staying in cabins, sleeping on the ground, not being able to bath easily because her friends invited her to go to camp. Well, that’s fine. We spent almost $200 on camp supplies, modest clothing (cause it’s a religious camp–can’t even wrap my brain around that one), and bins to protect all her stuff.
But we borrowed the framed backpack.
And we had to pack it for one night.
Who knew the sleeping bag and the bedroll were to go OUTSIDE the pack? *Sigh* Four hours later, we had the bin packed with 4 days of clothing, two squashed towels, two squashed washcloths, a bikini to wear UNDER the clothes, a pair of tennis shoes, a pair of water shoes, a pair of flip flops, a tarp, an air mattress, a cooling water fan, batteries, a small sewing kit, a bible (the only reading material allowed–at what point will she cave??), a journal, a bin filled with snacks (supposed to last five days–might last two), and an air mattress with a pump!
The pack, with sleeping bag on outside in waterproof bag, bedroll, set of clothes, pajamas, mess kit, first aid kit (she might need it), snacks, camp manual (let’s train now!), and a pair of socks tucked in when remembered after the pack was well, packed.
Wednesday was a bust for practicing pitching.
Thursday I worked on my pitch a bit, then went to the mall to meet a friend. I had to shop for little things to put into a shoebox for my DD to receive when she is at camp. I brought my pitch with me, and after we finished shopping, I pitched my first book pitch to my friend. She liked it. And her eyes lit up when I asked the final question. Whew. At least SHE wants to read my book.
After we parted, I went to the women’s center to get a mammogram. Blah.
Returned home, got call from DH telling me he was bringing over a person to see our house–AACK–quickly cleaned. Then grabbed DD and went to a cool subdivision to check out their houses, and then to two car dealerships to check out cars. Eventually, she’ll need one. Why not check them out now?
Somehow, in-between all this running round, I looked up some information about my agent and editor, added what I found to my index cards, and reread my pitch.
I practiced my pitches this morning, checked my favorite blog sites out, made a grocery list, checked online for coupons, gave up on trying to be a smart coupon shopper, and now I am preparing to head to the grocery store. Meanwhile, DD has walked into my office, informed me she needs to shop for secret sister items for her camp experience, and she wants to go to the outdoor mall to shop for a bit.
Now, what to do about clothes for the conference? At some point, I will have to cull through my closet and figure out what I really need to buy with my meager budget. After all, most of my moola goes to camping supplies and secret sister shopping.
I’ve managed to blog, dig up info for the pitch, write the pitches, but I haven’t managed to do more than move my 4th MS over to the Scrivener program to ready it for revision.
Doubt much will happen with it until after the conference.
Summertime is not an easy time to prepare for anything. But I muddle along.

So Gotta Get Real for Now June 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — christineglover @ 2:47 pm
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I finished my two pitches for the conference, am continuing to immerse myself in learning about publishing, and must practice, practice, and practice… but for now… gotta get real. I’ve got to get ready for my trip to Bham, my DD’s camp (augh), and a visitor.

It will all come together… right?


Filed under: Uncategorized — christineglover @ 1:35 am
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I finished transcribing my primary pitch onto my index cards and I feel a bit more prepared, or at least ready to practice my pitch. Then I cleaned house, did laundry, polyurethaned the table I’ve been redecorating, visited a friend, made dinner, and worked on the second pitch.

Why is the unrevised first draft of my fourth book easier to think about than the multi-revised 3rd book? Argh. Any rate, now I have all my 2nd pitch on the computer and need to transcribe it to index cards so I can practice it as well.
I think I have learned something from this experience. Write the first draft–prepare taglines and pitches for it–queries–synopsis submissions–then start full revisions. I think the core of the story is the pitch.
At least it is for me.
Dilemma: what story do I pitch first? The one I know is ready to submit? Or the one I am passionate about now?

Creative Avoidance 101 June 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — christineglover @ 3:41 am
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Well the conference is less than a month away and I have to get prepared to pitch to my agent/editor. Whew, that means making cute little index cards with boatloads of prompts about my stories and being able to talk about them effortlessly.

My first foray into this endeavor meant distilling info given at my local chapter meeting. Then I fritzed around and started a home DIY project. Can we say I am not focused? Then I had a bit more time on the computer. I researched my editor’s authors and my agent’s background. Post Its on the wall–need to transfer to the index cards.
Oh, did I mention that I now have multi-colored cards? Yeah~after my dr. appointment, I went to Staples and bought all kinds of conference items (get ready to pitch and more). Now I have purple, pink, yellow, green, and blue 4X6 index cards, a cool clear index card holder, and a black box holder.
Shopping is good creative avoidance.
And I managed to work on the DIY project some more, cook a cool appetizer, go out for dinner, shop for a Father’s Day gift with my daughter whilst signing up for Publishers Marketplace and researching my agent/editor a bit more. Oh, and I got onto Amazon and ordered two writing books.
But my pitch is still embryonic at best.
I did order business cards. And I bought Avery labels to plaster on the back of some of them–with my one liner hook on them.
Goal: tomorrow is Father’s Day–no rest for the weary.
Goal for Monday: clean house and work on pitch-
Goal for week: prep two pitches so I have them ready to try out at the workshop on the 27th….
I also have to get my DD ready for her camp (starts on the 29th), clean house (really needs it), get a mammogram (oh joy), connect with a writing friend on Wednesday, figure out my wardrobe for the conference (I have NO clothes), oh, and I HAVE TO WRITE AND PREP MY PITCHES AND PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.
No problem… really ….

Pitch Panic June 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — christineglover @ 11:33 am
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Well it’s all in. I have my pitching appointments and now I must sit down and prepare my two pitches, my elevator pitches, and my head-to-head pitches.

Yikes. When? This is the weirdest writing time of year for me. Summertime is usually a time of year when I notch down my writing. This year I have a child underfoot, company coming in about two weeks, and I have travel myself (part of it is the National Conference). I can WRITE the pitches, but when can I practice them?
Yesterday I drove to Chattanooga with Darling Daughter and we practiced the first part of my pitch at a restaurant. The GMC of my characters as well as the high concept/hook. I’ll start filling in the gaps today. I want to have a pitch ready to practice by Monday at the latest. I want to have both pitches ready by Friday. 
On Saturday I go to the Southern Magic Meeting. Kelly St. John is leading a pitching workshop. I want to be prepared with my two main pitches and a catchy elevator pitch for each one as well. Hopefully, I’ll be able to refine the pitches at the workshop and have more to practice the week of the 29th
My DD goes to camp on the 29th. My company arrives on July 1st and stays a week. I am glad to see my friend, but I hope she doesn’t mind it if I practice my pitches on her!! I pick up my DD from camp on the 3rd. We drive my friend to Birmingham on the 8th. I may spend the night. 
We leave for DC on the 11th! I can practice my pitch in the car, in the hotel, and on my writing friends. 
Today I have a doctor’s appointment. I hope it doesn’t throw me off my game. I am going to Staples after I’m done. I’ll pick up my index card box and different colored index cards for my pitches. I’ll buy Avery labels as well to print out my one liner hooks. Must order business cards and postcards for the conference and for querying. Will do that tomorrow. They usually arrive in about a week.
I hope I can focus on this task–it’s so important. And when I am afraid I will fail, well then it’s easier to fail if I didn’t prepare properly. I can blame the lack of prep rather than the quality of my work.
Must overcome that tendency. Must do it now.

Staging a Room, Staging a Life June 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — christineglover @ 12:03 am
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I woke up this morning and dressed quickly. I had builder reps coming to check out the insulation levels in the attic and restore them to peak level at 8AM. 

They arrived on time. I was dressed, ready and already reading my fourth MS first draft. Whew.
The new insulation was installed. Darling Daughter awakened, hung about in jammies, and I continued reading draft 1 of 4th MS.
Then off to my friend’s house to help her reorganize a room in her house. I had a great time moving around her bits and pieces and telling her get rid of this, or asking “why is THIS here?” Oh, fun! We took a cluttered room and restructured it into a nice, habitable space.
Isn’t that amazing? She was so happy with the results. Sometimes it takes a fresh eye to see what needs to be done with the crap we have in our houses.
Then off I drove… home to work on the reading and note taking for the revision of my 4th book. And it hit me. Sometimes it takes a fresh eye to see how to fix the crap in our stories. 
I am so glad I waited so long to fix this mess. I am so glad I have a fresh eye. I already have a better idea about where I am going to take this MS. And I am excited about it. It’ll take cutting out unnecessary words, repositioning the other words, and refining the details with bits of description and prose. 
Oh my!
My friend’s husband arrived home from work, looked at the room, and said to her, “Christine’s hired.”
I hope one day an editor reads my pages and says the same thing.