Saturday, August 18, 2012

Painful Patience

I'm dying here.

Anyone else out there hate waiting? It started, I think, when I was in high school. At one point I had to get rides to school from my uncle Bob, but because of his schedule, he had to get me to school like an hour before anyone else arrived. What to do? I went to my locker, used the potty, walked around just sight seeing, I guess. I was bored out of my mind and felt embarrassed and awkward--my standard state at that point in my life.

So, while I consider myself a patient person, my skills honed by all that waiting I was forced to do back in high school, I hate being patient with a passion. It just kills me.

I find myself now doing that...being patient...and dying. School starts next week, and unlike most of my students, I'm dying to get back. Besides my own bed at home, there's no place I feel more comfortable than my classroom. To top it off, there have been so many changes over the summer, all that I'm fairly thrilled with, including a new floor in my room to replace the puke green tiles someone vomited there back in the sixties, that I'm freaking out wondering what life will be like when we return.

The editor-in-chief of my yearbook program is hard at work setting up the ladder and visuals for our 2013 book. But knowing she has until next Friday to have it all set, she's content taking her time to get it right, which is good, don't get me wrong, but it's killing me not knowing what she'll come up with.

A few readers are currently going through my third novel and giving me wonderful feedback, but it seems I might be shelving it for a while since it will need another whole rewrite. I can see where it could be a masterpiece, but not in its current state. With the school year about to kick off, I'm not sure I can give it that kind of attention. I think Talia and Tia might have to wait to be reborn.

With all that going on, I have a brilliant idea, one of those "I think I know the next big thing in YA and I'm ready to write it and get it out there before someone else does" kind of things. Not that I'm trying to just capitalize on a trend; I'm hoping that my idea can lead to a trend. I've been obsessed with writing this type of novel for years, since I started in my MFA program, so like three years ago, and when I pitched the idea at a workshop, the room and instructor loved it. I'm just now seeing how it could be YA and am already visualize scenes and the character which means it must be good. I'm heading down that scary path toward inspiration, but what to do with All We Know of Heaven already on the back burner?

And then there's those pesky freakin' queries. I've found some amazing agents lately. I abandoned the road since I feel like I've already used up all the best matches on there. Instead I've used creative Googling and found some great interviews and advice from YA agents, finding ones that specifically fit what I'm writing much better than combing through agentquery. But they've now got my query and sample pages in hand, so until I hear from them (or don't), I'll be painfully and patiently awaiting their responses (or lack of them).

Which leads to the new waiting game life has dealt me. Today, I found an agent who not only wants edgy stories, but specifically wants the darkest possible--she craves "problem novels." This woman is excited about taking something other people don't think can be published as YA and getting it done, setting trends, shaking things up, causing controversy. Twincest, anyone? Sounds like a perfect match for The House on Bittersweet Trail, right? Pitch it to her right? Why aren't you typing that query letter and hitting send instead of wasting time writing this blog post you say? All this bitching about waiting and you're dragging your feet you say?

Closed for submissions until Fall 2012. So close, yet so far. The most painful kind of wait.

So, I think I need to start at least planning novel number four, which might leapfrog into novel number three. While I've been bored, I've been updating my online presence--a new website and more coming soon--and I know those agents are going to be calling any second for a exclusive. There's only four more days until I see my beloved classroom again, and three before I meet with my journalism editors for the first time. Eventually things will be going forward full-tilt and I'll miss these days of inactivity and time to think, plan, organize, and tinker with the relatively unimportant.

But for now, I wait.

And it's killing me!

"I've been waiting a long time..."
Love the Green Day


  1. I know what you mean. One agent has had my full manuscript since February 2011! She told me that I'm still in the queue but it's driving me nuts. Thankfully, I'm starting a new job next month so that gives me something new to focus on.