Monday, April 28, 2008


I can't say "second-guessing" because I've already done that. I've lost count how many times I've second-guessed my manuscript. (Here's a photo of a 1906 playing of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night.")

Photo: The British Library.

The wait to hear back from the editors is both exciting and worrisome. I know that each day that goes by without a rejection is a good one, but I still fear they will decide, in the end, my story isn't "worth it." Or maybe they'll like it, but someone up the chain won't (I could deal with that; at least it'd mean I had promise).

One of my fears (which is too descriptive in my imagination to ever be really real) is that they whisper to each other in the hallways, behind shirt cuffs-- "Did you read that? Wasn't it a load of crap? I can't believe she thought it was ready for us." I can see the cuff detail (white with navy pin-striping) and a golden lock of hair (I have no idea whose hair, of course). I can hear the snickering at the conference table as they discuss it. I can smell the scorn (ok, not really).

See? I am thinking/worrying about this too much. Must. Write. Something. Else.

Incidentally, I don't know if I've ever had to spell "twelfth" before, and as I tried many different (and wrong) variations, I realized it's such a curious word, reminiscent of elves and Druids. Or am I thinking that because I'm re-reading Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley? (I read that when I was 13; I'm understanding a whole lot more now, but it's not nearly as fascinating as I remember.)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Miriam's Locker

A short-short story I just wrote while trying to break out of this non-writing monotony. Please let me know what you think! (And yes, something to the effect did happen, and I'm not proud of it...but our wrong-doings do sometimes bring story fodder.)

Miriam's Locker

I felt really bad about it. I mean, it hadn’t been my fault. Not exactly. All I had done was point it out to them. And yet, as I glanced sideways at Miriam's locker and the Kotex pad stuck to it, I cringed.
Behind me, the hall burst into snickering and evil laughter, and when I turned, I saw Miriam kneeling in front of the mustard-yellow locker door, head bent to the ground. Circling her were the boys, and a few girls, who had recently decided she was the best target around.
I knew I should help her. I should have walked through the thick of them and ripped that pad right off the door. But instead, I stared for a moment and then slipped my backpack over a shoulder, slinking off to Earth Science.

At first break, she careened through the hallway towards me. Her chin was high and her eyes were as sharply angry as any Egyptian I’d ever seen painted on pyramid walls—she carried her lineage in her boiling blood each step of the way. I froze.
“How could you do that to me?” she asked, spitting out the words with a flicker of obsidian hair.
I gulped. “Do what?” I widened my eyes for the best effect.
“You know what I mean. The pad. That was the most horrible thing anyone could have done! And I know you helped them.”
Trapped, I hung my head. “I just pointed it out. I didn’t know what they were going to do.”
Miriam hissed at me with perfectly asp-en teeth.
“I can’t believe I thought you were my friend. You’re a traitor.” She flipped a lock of hair, again, and ran away.
How could she be mad at me? I hadn’t even touched her locker. Tugging on my backpack straps, I ducked into the library.
There, Nicholas sat hunched over a table with two other guys. My heart skipped as I sauntered over to the rack of anthropology books and peered at them through the bookshelf.
The boys chuckled.
“That was the best prank ever,” Mark said, his voice low.
Nicholas nodded. “Yeah, Amber's such a poser. She’d do anything I asked.”
At that, all the blood in my body fell to my feet. My fingers clung to the bookshelf, as if keeping me from sinking through the floor, and I held on until the bell rang and the guys left.
I ignored the small voice that said I should go to Algebra, just as I had ignored it when I helped Nicholas, he of the Mediterranean-blue eyes.
He had called me the most un-respected title in school: poser. He had used me, like that old pad.
The worst thing about it was that, even as my daydreams of Nicholas spun off into nightmares, I knew I was more asp than my Egyptian friend: I might have stuck that pad on her door myself, if they had asked.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I ordered a few books last week, and I can't wait until they come! I've been having a difficult time getting into my story lately, and although reading Susan Fletcher's Alphabet of Dreams reawakened a bit of it, it also made me realize I have so much more to learn before I can jot down anymore.

I also ordered a book entitled Caravan Kingdoms, but I can't find an image for the cover. It'll have to wait until it gets here!

Eventually, I want to chum up with a prestigious professor or academic who knows all about Yemen in 1000B.C.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Jim has been teasing me lately, saying I might be having twins. I'm happy (or rather, relieved) to report that on the screen today we only saw one baby. Having twins would be exciting, but a singleton is more manageable when you've already got one kiddo!
One of the good things about the ultrasound was that it dated the age of the embryo/fetus for us, since the timing has all been iffy. We're at 8 weeks, and now the due date is November 19th.

Elizabeth saw the baby on the screen, but she was more worried about what was happening to Mommy, I think. She has not concept whatsoever, which is just fine. It'll be a big surprise for her in seven months!

Oh, I have some great news! One of my writer friends from my critique group just achieved the status of "Agented Writer." We are all so thrilled for her. :-) Not only did she finally get an agent, but he seems very professional, knowledgeable, and excited with her book. He only had a few minor fixes for her to do and has already sent it out to five editors! Now, I've been telling her that the book was YA, and now that her agent has agreed, she's joined SCBWI. Finally! And even better...he sent her manuscript to the same editor I sent mine to! Now, how cool would it be if we both got contracts with the same editor? I've got my fingers crossed for her. (And me!)

And to top it all off, we're going to be roomies at the L.A. conference in August! :-)

As for my sent-off manuscript, I have reservations. I know they've read it, but I don't know what they think of it yet. And I probably won't know for weeks! The editor is extremely busy this month with a conference in Washington, and he just went to the book fair in Bologna, so he hasn't had time to do his normal editing job...which means everything is probably piling up. I sure don't envy him his work load! I just have to be patient and dig into this new book I'm writing.

In fact, I need to look up some professors. I need in-depth knowledge on the Queen of Sheba/Saba. Badly. And, like, how good were their ships at the time? And what did they eat? And what was her journey to Jerusalem like?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Out of the Loop

The past week I've been mostly trying to keep my head above water. My parents were in town, fortunately, or I would have drowned in laundry, dishes, and Elizabeth-entertaining. But alas, they are now back in Denver and I am left to fend for myself while Jim's at work.

I believe that if she does not take a nap today I will die. Or at least pass out. I am that tired.

This week, I'm looking forward to my first OB appointment (Thursday) with a possible ultrasound to check on the baby's status. No miscarriage so far, and the numbers have improved, so the doctors are satisfied.

Oh, lovely, Elizabeth just drew on the sliding glass door with her back later, maybe.