Not on vacation, but I’ve been away from my writing life.
Unfortunately, I had to devote extra hours to my day job for the past six weeks and I am now a single-mom during the week (my husband took a great job in a city two-hours away).
There are those who would say those aren’t excuses but when I can barely get my daughter and I fed and dressed five days in a row, without letting anything slip at my paying job, precious sleep does take precedence over writing.
But I’m back now, and with some kind words from a friend, I am feeling the fire in my belly again.
My biggest challenge now, as it’s been for years, is what to do next. I go back and forth between trying to pitch my collection of short stories, The Safest Place in the World, or my novel Dunderhead. What I need is an agent to help me figure out what to concentrate on for the business side.
The irony of course is that I can’t get an agent without getting one interested in my work, but if I don’t know what work to push out there, it’s hard to get an agent. So I do the best that I can and keep on going.
Because there isn’t a big market for short story collections (unless you are Alice Munro or George Saunders), publishers aren’t interested in them, and therefore agents aren’t interested in them. So my plan has been to pitch the collection to small presses directly and the novel to agents.
Okay, so it hasn’t worked yet.
There are a few more small presses for me to pitch, but after that I will set the stories aside and take out the novel again. Looking at my old notes, the last time I worked on it was December 2008. I can’t believe that much time has passed.
But that’s good. I’ll be fresh to look at it again. And make it better. Maybe 2010 will be my lucky year!