The crickets. They still reign.
As the mornings become darker and colder, it's harder for me to get out of bed. (I LOVE my snooze button.) Getting around to take my oldest to school is increasingly difficult, but we're making it happen. And I'm hopeful we'll fall into a better routine with several days' time.
I sit here at my computer, an iced mocha within reach. Seriously, it's one of the best parts of my day, that iced mocha; savoring the smell, the flavor, because it's something that in that moment is only mine. And something even as simple as a favored drink brings joy... thought... inspiration.
My youngest, who's decked out in her favorite dress and tiara, uses her wand to transform me into a princess every few moments. "Bibby bobby doo!" *sashays* Aren't I pretty?
But as for my writing... It's as though I'm sitting in the middle of a large triangle, and each of its three corners holds something I reach to grasp. In the first corner sits my novel, Bliss Lake. Having been my baby for almost two years now, from conception through writes, edits, rewrites, betas, queries, rejections, it's what feels most tangible. But I've put queries on hold. Why? Because I don't know what to do. I continue to (most days) have faith in myself, confidence in my work, but I don't want to fall just short of all I can do. Maybe my query letter needs reworked again? I've done a little brainstorming, made a few notes. But also, something I've always known but blazed on despite, my manuscript is short for its genre. My ms is 51,000 words, whereas many in contemporary or women's fiction are closer to 80k. That's a huge difference! But all this time I've stuck with my story as/is, knowing there are shorter works of fiction out there, and with belief that adding to its word count would only mean padding and filling. And I don't want to take away from the story. But now, as I stew over rejections, I wonder if it's hurting me. Though no single rejection, even personalized, has mentioned my word count, I don't want to continue querying if it's making things harder. So how do I know? The large part of me wants to believe that MY agent, MY moment is out there, regardless of those factors, because my story and my enthusiasm and my faith will stand alone. But how do I know?
The second corner holds the proposal for my narrative non-fiction. Being that non-fiction is most times easiest to find representation for and get published... which could then better facilitate novel publication... perhaps this one is the most tangible. My proposal rocks. And after what pushed me to write it up, I don't dare abandon it. But if I'm to focus on this, doesn't that mean putting Bliss Lake on the back burner? After all I've put forth for it, I'm not certain I'm ready to do that. But I don't know how to do both, either. I can't query one agent with both at the same time. But is it realistic to query them individually, simultaneously? Especially when I want an agent who'll represent both books - my whole career? And so then which do I query for an agent who seems perfect? The narrative non-fiction? Or the novel? BAH!
And the third corner, there in the dark, is my WIP. The story of Tate, whose wife turns his world upside-down by making poor, selfish choices, leading him down the path of severely tested faith. I know once I'm deeper into this story, I'll believe in it, too. I know I will. But I can't let myself go there yet, not with my questions over the other two projects.
So I sit here, stranded. In the middle of the triangle, unsure as to which corner I should proceed. I pray and I wait for signs, sometimes thinking I have it figured out. But then the uncertainty settles in again and I dare not step closer to any one corner, lest it be the wrong one.
What would you do?
And do you have a cricket problem?