The Writer Reviews Her Week

How goes the writing, you ask?

Middling well, I reply.

I have some nice character sketches for the Work in Progress and the outline of a plot that might even be commercial, but so far everything I’ve come up with seems… predictable.

And I haven’t done much with it this month. But I have some really good excuses.

The Missouri primroses are almost finished blooming, so I thought I'd share this one before they're done for the year.

In the week since I last posted, a client dropped off a 40,000-word nonfiction manuscript for me to copyedit. For reasons beyond everybody’s control, her deadline was five days from then, so I ignored the household To Do list, took a deep breath and dove into the copyediting.

The same day, I received an extremely helpful letter from an agent I’d queried about the previous book, which we will call by the code words BLTA. Even though the agent said  ‘No’ based on the first 30 pages, what she pointed out made so much sense, and mirrored a thought about pacing that I’d had myself a couple of months ago, that it was a ‘No’ I’m excited about.

(It helped that the agent said she’d be happy to look at it again if I ended up revising. And she even offered to talk about it on the phone if I was interested.)

So, gee, um….it took me about .5 nanoseconds to decide that sure, I’ll revise!

But first, I had to copyedit the client’s manuscript, which I did, which worked out well because it’s never a good idea to jump into a revision without thinking about it for a week or so.

Then, the very next day, Resident Alien emailed (from Istanbul!) to say that her writing had just taken a major leap with a phone call from an agent who loves her YA fantasy and has offered to represent it! I staggered around wearing a huge grin all day, because Resident Alien is an amazing writer as anyone can see from her blog as well as a good friend.

The rest of the week went like this: copyedit, groceries, copyedit, cook, copyedit, sleep, skip Morning Pages, exercise, cook, groceries, copyedit, ride bike to grocery, copyedit, watch History Detectives, copyedit, sleep, copyedit, unpack the farm box we got from the CSA, figure out what to do with the Swiss chard, copyedit, sleep. I even forgot to have my afternoon cuppa — twice.

And then it was Saturday afternoon and I turned over the edited manuscript to the client and worked a bit on my online editing job and said sure, when I had a call from a lector who needed a last-minute sub to do the readings at Mass that evening.

So Saturday night, after the traditional post-church pizza, I was too fried to write so I settled down on the porch, until it got too dark, to read Runaway, the third book in Meg Cabot’s Airhead trilogy.

On Sunday afternoon, I sat on the porch again and read while cicadas buzzed very loudly in the background. I finished the book Sunday night while the menfolk watched a DVD of some guy movie that had a lot of explosions in it.

And then it was Monday, and I started this blog post, but I had to it send out a proposal to someone else who wants me to copyedit a nonfiction manuscript, and then take a bike to the bike shop, and clean out the upstairs hall aka storage annex because Younger Son has a houseguest for a couple of days, and catch up on some bills, etc., that I had deferred last week.

And here it is Tuesday. I have a friend who still manages to write despite having a schedule like this most of the time, but I am not Amy. Still, things are reasonably calm now and both sons are out of the house this afternoon so I’ll work a bit on the WIP (writer-speak for Work in Progress) and then take a look at revising the manuscript on submission. But first, must poll my online community to see if we have an acronym for Manuscript on Submission. Any reason we can’t use MOS?


© 2010 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go

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16 Responses to The Writer Reviews Her Week

  1. Anna says:

    Wow, that “no” from the agent sounds so promising – especially the fact that she’s willing to talk about it over the phone. Good luck with it!


  2. Anne M Leone says:

    Oh, I second Anna’s good luck wishes! And even if it doesn’t work out, how exciting to have some insight into how to improve a difficult ms.

    And the primroses are lovely, btw.


  3. Karin says:

    I’m struggling with my writing. I do what I need to do for critique group, but don’ t make any other time, as I’m not sure where to pull time from!
    I could sleep less, but that would produce awful writing, and if I’m not focused then it is useless anyway!
    Oh my o my!
    At least I don’t feel too alone. 🙂


  4. I third Anna’s good luck wishes! As for time, I keep telling people I need 48-hour days, but no one believes me. And I don’t see the days stretching twice their size so no help from that front, either.

    Lovely primrose. I tend to hold my breath (figuratively and sometimes literally) when so much is going on and I’m doing umpteen things at once—your primrose made me let go. Nice. Thank you.


  5. Susan says:

    Anne, sounds like lots of good news! I’m especially excited about your ‘no’. The agent sounds genuinely interested. Good luck with your revisions. Oh, and MOS works for me!


    • Anne Bingham says:

      Thanks, Susan. I’ll put you in the MOS column, although now I’m wondering if it should be WOS to be parallel to WIP. But then comes the question of when a Work becomes a Manuscript. Oh, the decisions. I bet nobody went through all that to come up with LOL or WIW. But then, they probably weren’t writers…


      • Anne, when you say MOS, the first thing that comes to mind (and did when I initially saw it in today’s blog post) was a manuscript (as in article) on the topic of submission (as in how to sub your work). (You can tell how literal I tend to get.) But this isn’t what you mean, is it? You mean a manuscript for submission, right? (As in the ms to revise, to send back to the agent, right?) Then it should be MFS, no? Or even MFR (ms for revision)? See what you started?

        I don’t even want to get into when a work becomes a manuscript. 🙂


  6. You have a very busy schedule–whew! Great news about the agent’s no and willing to see it again. I’ve got my fingers crossed!


    • Anne Bingham says:

      Thanks, Catherine! I think I’ll be able to start the revising this weekend. I’d be doing it now but I have about three dozen Georgia peaches that all ripened at once and I’m busy blanching, skinning, pitting, dicing and freezing Georgia sunshine for some good eating in the depths of winter. (We’re having some now, of course … it’s just that even with a family of four, you can only eat so many peaches at a time!)


  7. Jessica Shaw says:

    Good luck on the revision! Sounds very promising. I haven’t checked the BB yet to see if you’ve polled, but I’m thinking since manuscript is already ms, maybe msos for manuscript on submission? 🙂


    • Anne Bingham says:

      Not much of a response on the Blueboards, Jessica, perhaps because my question was at the bottom of an older thread. Marissa Doyle said “sub” works for her (as long as she doesn’t think about lunch!)


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