Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oy. Oy. Oy.

After my timely entry into the first lines workshop over at the Forum, I kinda slipped off the radar.  I intend to get back into it, hopefully with my first page, but definitely with my first chapter.  To that end, I was BIC for the first time in over two weeks last night.  Unfortunately I didn't get around to actually working on my book, and I know why.  (Besides my little side-trip on adoption research.)
I know I will expend so much effort to get the first line/page/chapter *just so* that it's easier to not think about it on the evenings when I just don't have the energy/mental focus...which have been most evenings lately.
Because lets face it: in my subgenre, with my premise, I have an uphill battle.  There are whole groups of readers who - when and if I'm published - will buy my book on the basis of it being a Scottish time-travel alone.  (And believe me, I've met some - they're not NEARLY as picky as we writing types.  Some of the books in my subgenre that I thought were lackluster at best and terrible at worst they rave over.)  But they're not the ones who will determine if I get published, and agents especially, not to mention helpful crit partners, are generally predjudiced (that's too harsh of a word, but I can't think of a better one) against my setup from the get-go.  "Oh, another one of these?  It'd better be good..."  Which is actually a good thing, because it will make me work hard to get a perfect or nearly-so first page, and hopefully that will set the tone for all my rewrites and result in a better, tighter book overall.
With many thanks to my kind friends who have been helping me and the folks at CompuServe, especially Beth and Mark and everyone who's pitched in on my separate first "page" thread (the workshop is timely, but I figure since I am actually at that point in rewrites I can ask for direct, specific help as well) I have been mulling - and hopefully getting closer to - the proper format and setup for my first page.  I've been meaning to actually sit down and set-to but as I said, haven't been able to really "get into it."
And then this morning I see this post over at BookEnds.  (cf. the end of the post, and the new contest)
Oy. Oy. Oy.
I have until tomorrow morning to come up with some kind of decent 100 words.  At last, motivation...and a little panic.
Not the end of the world if I don't "win" but of course I'd like to do well, as I hope to query this agency eventually.
So...looks like I'll be fiddling with Elspeth's meeting with the "overly-perky" desk clerk on what should have been her wedding day off and on all day today.  Wish me luck (and good luck too if anyone else is entering!).
In other news, I've found a way to finance the commissioned portrait of Alec and Elspeth (it wasn't cheap) I wanted...I'm reprising my role as a professional lab rat.  Yup, the local university has quite a few research studies ongoing, and I've been in contact with a few.  They pay $50-$200 per study, for participation in 3-10 sessions of about an hour each spread over a few weeks.  If I can line up 3-4 of these, that will pretty much cover the cost of the picture.  Jason's backlogged with work and other commissions at the moment, so I should have time to get the money together.  His work is awesome; I'm sure it will be worth the wait and the various experiementation. *g*


Beth said...

Well, I wish I'd known about the contest -- I might've tossed in my opening (fantasy with romantic elements).

On the other hand, this contest rewards the gimmicky, catchy, edgy openings. Of the winner and runner-up on the latest one, I didn't like the winner (just about sentence started with "She." It was monotonous). I did like the runner-up, but I would've cut that first sentence. (See? There's always somethin'. (g) )

I wish you the best of luck with your entry!

Jon said...

If the lab-rat studies fall through, don't forget the sheer financial power of a needle in your Arm.

Also, if the studies work out, don't forget your debtor-Brother when he gets back in town. He will need the hook-up. (I am considering trying to get in on the 'Plague' injection circuit.)

Good luck on the re-writes.