I know it’s been a month since I last wrote and I’m sorry to all you who feel like coming to my blog is like visiting a gravesite for my daughter. It’s been a busy month.
First, my daughter has chosen to go to Tuacahn. We had freshman orientation there and the school really is just amazing. I am excited for her future. I will miss her a ton when she is away, but she isn’t that far and we will be able to visit her and have her come home on weekends fairly often.
I did edits last week on my manuscript, Eyes Like Mine, for my editor, Kirk Shaw. I heard a rumor that I should be getting cover art pretty soon. I’ll post it as soon as I get it. This book is seriously amazing and I can’t believe I wrote it. Look for it in July! I love my editor. He is ten shades of awesome.
My baby brother graduated from BYU and I am so proud of him!
This last weekend was the Storymaker conference and Whitney Awards. What a weekend! I was able to meet several people who I know via the internet, but have never met before in person. I loved meeting Luisa, Kimberly and Melanie. You guys are great. I wish I wasn’t so busy so I could have spent more time talking to you. I was able to spend a breakfast with James Dashner, Dean Lorey (Nightmare Academy) and Janette Rallison (My Fair Godmother) who I never get to see often enough or long enough.
As you all know, my path to publication has been a long and hard road. Jeff Savage was in charge of the conference and showed a video clip from Facing the Giants where the coach blindfolded one boy on the football team and told him to carry another player on his back across the field using nothing but the strength of his arms. He told him to make it to the fifty yard line. You can see the video clip here:
Don’t worry I’ll wait while you watch it.
I incorporated Jeff”s message into my class and made all the people in my class put on the blindfolds Jeff had placed in their bags. Then I asked them to visualize their own writing careers, to imagine the weight and burdens they carry. I explained that, because they are blindfolded, they don’t know but that the next step they take is the last one into the end zone. If they give up, they’ll never know what could have been.
*I* needed the class I gave. There have been so many times I have wanted to quit–so many times where it hurt too much to keep going. But I didn’t quit–even when it hurt.
Yesterday, I was told I could take the the blindfold off. I found myself in the end zone. Yesterday, agent Amy Jameson offered representation as *my* agent. Doesn’t that sound lovely? Repeat it with me: “My agent.” Yeah . . . it sounds good to me too. Amy came highly recommended to me by several people I love and trust. She is great at what she does. And I really, really like her. I think this is a good match for me and I am excited to begin this new phase of my career. My current query letter is at 100% as far as effectiveness goes. Everyone I have sent it to, whether agent or editor, has requested at least a partial (and in many cases a full) manuscript. I’ll post that query sometime as an example if you guys would like.
Conference was great. I learned so much, and felt so much love from the people around me that is was quite overwhelming.
The Whitney awards were fabulous and I was honored to be the one to present the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award to Orson Scott Card. Scott couldn’t be in attendence (He’s in Japan, which is too bad because he missed my brilliant speech about him) but he sent an acceptance letter which was read by Rob Wells. Josi Kilpack looked like a million bucks and I am definitely borrowing her dress next year. The skits were fun, the awards winners deserving, and the evening filled with joy and commraderie.
Thank you to all my dear friends who hugged me, and cried, and laughed, and hugged me some more when I shared the news about Amy being my agent. I’ve appreciated you all being there on the sidelines screaming, “You can do this! Give it your best!” as I’ve made the death crawl over the literary field and into the end zone. I know it’s not really the end. There is still much to do, but this last step felt like a giant leap in the right direction.
I am exhausted and will write more later. In the mean time–have a great day everyone!