I found this great quote that I've added to my email signature, I love it so much. Very inspiring but I wouldn't expect anything less from Harriet Tubman!
Every great dream begins with a dreamer.
Always remember, you have within you the strength,
the patience, and the passion to reach for the
stars to change the world.
Next week is Thanksgiving so this week is a great time for an update. This month I wrote a quirky short story, outlined a new book, and continued my query journey. As the year winds down, I feel just as busy because the query process still requires work and organization. Work - keeping up with the list of literary agents I'd like to query and looking for new agents who might be a good fit. Organization - tracking responses and contest deadlines. The good news is that new projects (whether a short story or new novel outline), help to keep me sane! :)
Below are the updates...
1 full request
2 partial requests
8 outstanding (standard query)
2 publishers (seasonal open inboxes)
5 no response
Querying is not for wimps. It's tough to stay motivated when the rejections start rolling in, one by one like little atomic bombs dropping out of the sky onto a beloved manuscript. It really is a lesson in believing in yourself, being strategic and using the rejection as fuel to find just the right agent, at just the right time. Perseverance is king!
Below are my current query stats:
3 no response
Wow, what a year so far! Coronavirus hit in early March and along with it came months of quarantine. The good news is that my third book, Operation GT is in its 2nd draft! It is now off to my critique partners (as of the end of June), so the rest of the summer will be spent editing based on their comments. I am truly thankful for my CPs - Jennifer, Julia, Jeanne, and Ethan. Their advice and support is invaluable. I hope to begin the query process by the end of August and hopefully find an agent by the end of 2020.
Stay tuned for my details about Operation GT - a middle grade contemporary set in Guyana!
NaNoWriMo is almost at the half way mark and I'm up to 18,592 words! I'm proud of myself because I've never been one to write every single day. I'm actually really enjoying this process and my wip is flowing. Not sure I will hit 50k at the end of the month but I'm definitely writing more in a concentrated time than I ever have before. Woohoo!!
November is not only turkey month but National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) www.nanowrimo.org/. I've been noodling on a new story idea now that I've finished book 2 and have started querying. The big question is can I churn out 50,000 words in the month of November and still keep my sanity?! I think I'm going to give it a try. I'm not partnering with any writer friends so that will alleviate some pressure (I hope!) Stay tuned for more on my next project. Hint: Its MG and set in my home country... Guyana. Here goes nothing!!
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm not usually one for high fantasy but Shadow and Bone is so well written that I got over it very quickly. The character development is amazing and the story kept me wanting more. A little predictable in some areas but overall a great read esp. if you like YA and/or fantasy. I would def recommend.
View all my reviews
I have finally finished the next book in the series I've been focusing on since 2016. I’m calling it Time Bender or Bent in Time. I’m not sure which title I prefer, and I might even come up with something completely different, but it feels AMAZING to finish this phase. This story continues from the first one but the main character, Ben shares the spotlight more with his friend Isabella. The story has some fun twists and turns and ends up focusing more on Isabella in the end, but Ben doesn’t see any of it coming. I really enjoy writing about these two characters and their love – hate relationship. There’s always tension between the two, which I think makes the story work and I love the fact that my Beta reader relates to both characters equally. Also, there’s definitely an underlying feeling that they will become more than friends, (of course they would fight it!) but you always get the sense that there’s more to their friendship than just the surface squabbling. I can’t wait until this book is in print and everyone can enjoy peeling back another layer on these characters!
White Stuff is one of my favorite short stories. I hope you enjoy reading it!
I step off the plane into the busy airport in the middle of some place called North Carolina. I've never been to this strange new country – America, so I'm excited and scared all at the same time. I left behind my beloved Guyana, our white house across from the field that I played in every day, my Granny and our maid Lorna. I didn't want to leave but things were not good back home and it was getting harder and harder for Mommy to keep her store going.
A wave of homesickness washes over me as I trudge after Mommy, my brother and my little sister, as we make our way to an area marked, Customs. A white man with bushy eyebrows scowls down at us from an enclosed booth. It is covered in some sort of clear glass like he's infected and has to be quarantined. Or maybe we’re the ones infected. Maybe he's behind the glass because he thinks we have some strange disease.
I scowl back at him as Mommy hands him our booklets that she calls passports. I get tired of waiting and staring at Bushy Eyebrows, so I sit down on my red backpack as my tummy rumbles. I'm hungry and so is my little sister, Sue. Sue starts sucking on her thumb like its candy. Slurp... slurp... slurp.
Finally, we're done with Bushy Eyebrows who says, "Welcome to America!"
Welcome? So far it hasn't been much of a welcome. Where's the steel band and snow cones? Where are the Carnival dancers and kites? That would have been a welcome.
"Mommy, I'm hungry," grumbles Sue as we walk pass the row of other clear booths. Glancing up, I see rows of other grumpy looking men and women behind their glass boxes. I have to remember to ask Mommy about them.
Why are there so many of them and why do they all look so grumpy?
My older brother shoves me along as I gaze around the busy airport. I have never been in such a place with so many people and so many different smells. We walk near a stand with an old lady behind it. She smiles at me and shows me her crooked teeth. I smile back as she offers me a cone of what smells like popcorn.
My brother leans over and whispers in my ear, “we’re not buying anything!” I glance up at him as he shakes his head and urges me on. He always knows everything, so I keep moving. We walk for what seems like forever and finally stop at a big glass door. Mommy bends over and opens one of the suitcases.
"We all have to put on these coats. It's cold and snowing outside," she says as she unzips the smallest suitcase. I've never seen or worn a coat before because in Guyana it's warm all the time, even in the rainy season. I usually wear a halter top, shorts and sandals every day when I'm not in my school uniform and sometimes I ride my red bike with no shoes on, but I wait until Mommy's not at home or Lorna our maid is busy and not watching me.
Sue says, "It's too heavy and I can't see anything," as Mommy pulls on her coat, zipping it up and raising a flap that covers most of her head. Her curls peek out like they don't like being trapped inside the pink flap. Then Mommy pulls out a purple one and motions me over but I'm too busy looking outside at white stuff falling from the sky onto the ground and onto the cars pulling up and away from the building.
What is that stuff?
I am completely mesmerized by it. It looks so pretty as it falls but then it hits the ground and almost disappears. So strange. I wonder if it would disappear in my hand if I tried to catch it, just like I try to catch fireflies at night in my backyard.
Then suddenly, the big glass door opens all by itself and we step outside. A cold blast of air hits me and the white stuff falls on my upturned face.
I wonder to myself... is it always like this in America?
By L.G. McFerren