Writing Update – Editing

20150520_132048I am ecstatic to share that my book is going to be published with World Weaver Press.

There is a lot of editing ahead but I am so looking forward to it! I can’t wait to get Vanity in Dust in perfect shape for publishing and out into the world.

This will be my first published work. It is honestly a dream come true. I had some communication with the publisher during the query process and knew that things were going pretty well since I was still being considered but when I got the email that they were interested in publishing me, I cried. It was a bit embarrassing because I was at the gym.

I am so excited to be working with my editor at World Weaver to get Vanity in Dust ready for publication. It’s already been a fantastic experience and I’ve only just started.

I’m in the first round of substantive edits. Wish me luck because it sounds like there will be more!

-cheryl

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Things that happened when I got my own place~

Things that happened when I got my own* place~

*meaning without family or roommates or any shared common areas but still with Phong. What can I say, I didn’t exactly move to Sweden to NOT live with him.

1) Became obsessed with the whereabouts of my keys.

2) I immediately realized that we own nothing useful. I still don’t have a garlic press though I did finally get an egg slicer. We own one bowl, otherwise we use large mugs. And for at least half a year we only had two sets of silverware and chopsticks. Phong was more than a little bummed when I brought home a full set.

3) I started drinking from the carton. Juice, milk, doesn’t matter. I stand in the glow of my fridge and drink from the carton because the only beverage I need to drink in quantities large enough to warrant a glass is water. The exception to this is, of course, tea. I have too many teacups not to use them AND I have not yet thought up a reasonable way to make and drink tea from a kettle. Oh, and the occasion milk in a teacup for dunking cookies. Yes. I am an adult who on occasion needs to dunk a cookie.

4) During a blackout I discovered that I have never had to figure out what to do in a blackout. Sure. I owned matches and candles. But where were they? And don’t I have a little flashlight somewhere? Was I supposed to call someone? Don’t these things usually just fix themselves? After calling the landlord we opened a window, managed not to die from natural light, made some sandwiches and played boardgames. Turns out, adulthood is not so difficult after all.

5) Developed feuds with my neighbors. Yes, alright, so these feuds exist entirely in my head but somehow I’m certain that the nosy lady and the guy that leaves cigarette butts everywhere know they’re on my list.

6) For the first time in my life, I’m person that has to worry about whether or not we closed all the windows before leaving town. Gotta say, it’s not a great feeling BUT coming home and finding that you haven’t been robbed or invaded by rats is a strangely satisfying one.

-cheryl

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Writing Update – The Dream

I spent the last few years writing a fantasy series. It’s a five book series and I finished the first drafts for three of the five and was trying to find an agent for the first book. I’ve never had anything published before and thus don’t have much to say about myself when it comes to query letters. Eventually I got discourage and an idea struck me to set aside the series and write something else. So, this summer I wrote a thriller/horror. After reading through it a few times and having Phong read through it, I finally put together a query and synopsis and sent it off to the first (of possibly many) publisher.

I always have this emotional dip once I’ve sent away a query because at that point it’s just completely out of my hands. All I can do is look for more potential publishers to query and hope for the best.

I’m rereading the first book of my fantasy series again to do some fine tuning and trimming. It’s really interesting to read it after so long, and so many other projects, and I’m relieved that I still like it. I’m really hoping to get it together in a way that will make it more desirable to publishers. Trying to get published has been an experience all its own. I know how to finish a story, how to plan one and get it done. I love writing and for the most part, I feel pretty confident in it. But having to look at your writing with the thought of publishing it, having to send out to agents and publishers and get prewritten rejection letters or nothing at all, makes you question everything. It makes you question your dream, your talent and your skill.

I think, before query letters and synopsis writing, it’s still just a dream. It’s a story you write and it’s a dream of being publish someday with no thought of how to get there. It’s just daydreams of writing and covers and maybe even getting to sign your own book. The dream feels safe until you actually start reaching for it. Once those query letters go out, the dream is exposed. It’s not safe. It’s real and when you don’t get the feedback you want the only thing you can do is turn a critical eye on your work and try to improve it.

I find some strength in that thought. The only choices left to me when I’m disappointed is to improve my own work or to give up the dream. I don’t want to let it go. I love sculpting stories and writing them and I’m so hungry to have those stories read by other people.

Here’s hoping things pick up!

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First Swedish Job

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So this last summer I had my very first official job in Sweden. After taking classes to learn Swedish I took a year program (in Swedish, I was actually the only foreign student) which covered a little of everything when it comes to plants and even how to drive a tractor and build stairs and paths. It was rather exciting but the best part was always the plants.

I was fortunate enough to get to work this summer at a beautiful garden in Umeå called Smultronstället. They have an amazing park with just about everything in the way of bushes, trees and perennials that can grow around here as well as summer plants, roses and the cutest boutique!

I got to work outside with the plants as well as inside (where there are also plants!) and was pretty much as happy as can be. If it weren’t for the snow season that reigns over Umeå for about five months a year, I would be begging them to let me work there all year round. There’s nothing like going to work surrounded by plants and happy people.

I’m so grateful to have had the experience and I learned so much from the owners. I’m really hoping to work there again next summer. Fingers crossed!

 

smultron

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