Archive for August 2010

What a relief

Well. So here I am again. These long absences of mine stem from having nothing good to say, nor any pressing news to share. If I have one or the other it seems worth it to post, but otherwise I won't bother.

Today I have something good to say, and the news, while not pressing, is at least news. I had a rare phone conversation with Sara, my agent, in which she said she loved my newest book, BVA. That's the news, that somebody loved my work. Lame, I know. But she's never said how she feels about my work one way or the other, so although the assumption is that of course she likes it or she wouldn't have represented me, it's nice to hear, out loud, that she kept sneaking away to read it, even though she was on vacation.

I wasn't sure she'd like it because it's so different from EG, the one that caught her eye in the first place. I was absolutely sure she'd tell me she couldn't represent it, but of course that was just my writer's neurosis kicking in. Or as Marta puts it, Melodramatic Mind.

So as soon as I correct all the typos she found, it'll be going to the editors who've requested it. *sighs in relief*

Speaking of EG, I've thought about publishing it through a small e-publisher to gain some traction, if only in my mind. It's basically done, because even if a publisher buys BVA, EG is so different it's unlikely the same person would pick it up. Sara's advice was to go for it, but not to sign any rights away. This eliminates any publishing company, small or not, because they will want to have a contract for 2-3 years or forever. If EG caught a big publisher's interest while the electronic rights were tied up, they probably wouldn't touch it no matter how much they loved it.

So that leaves self-epublishing, as Dane just did with his short story collection. I just don't know if I want to work that hard.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

The payoff

Man oh man, a cold front came through yesterday and dropped our high temp by about 30 degrees. This morning it was cool enough that I could actually go in the shed without dodging wasps--they get active at about 80 degrees, and the hotter the better--so I denimed up, grabbed a broom and got to work. I straightened shelves, picked up all the tools I'd flung in there to avoid the wasps, swept, rearranged. Took me a couple of hours. Just as I was finishing up a wasp or two started a lazy circuit near the ceiling--I'm guessing it was about 75 by then--and seeing how it was also lunchtime, I closed up and came on in. What a great morning!

Many of you may not define a morning spent cleaning the garage as "great", but I love taking care of my home. Let me say that a different way: I love when my home is not chaotic. Since I'm the only one who cares and I don't have the means to hire the necessary laborers, that means I get to do it. So while I may not love the work, I love having done the work.

I feel that way about writing, too. Most of the time I'd rather be doing something else, but once it's done, my satisfaction makes it all good. I guess a lot of worthwhile, fulfilling things are that way, like college and childcare and marriage. Sure, you like the work enough to keep doing it, but the real reason you do it is the payoff. A degree, well-adjusted children, partnership. A novel. A place to put the lawnmower. You know, the payoff.

What's your payoff?
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Busy-ness as usual

I've been busy, but when I look around the house it looks pretty much the same. With the kids gone to school, I'd planned to scrub the summer's grime from the house, a layer at a time. Instead, I've been focusing on projects that keep me busy but don't really have to be done. Like putting a drop-leaf on my new desk, and starting a braided rag rug out of old towels. Wow, I'm crafty. In all fairness to myself, I have scrubbed a layer or two, and I haven't played Metroid Prime once.

It was pretty easy to fall into the school year. Easier to be alone that first day since I knew what to expect. However, we were all nervous about their first day, especially my oldest, who went into middle school. The poor thing was so wired she cried about it several times in the days prior. Of course, on the second day she skipped out to the bus and waved good-bye with a grin. She was fine, as were the other two. And me.

So with the kids at school and my obsessive craftiness satisfied, I'm turning my thoughts toward my next project, whatever that will be. This morning I brainstormed story ideas but didn't get very far. I think I'll start with this half-done middle grade fantasy, to let me sink into the familiarity while I get back into the daily writing thing. I think the creative floodgates are about to open. Y'all stand back. Don't want to get brain juice on ya.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Blessed silence forthcoming...

Today's Friday, right? During the summer the days just melt together. I feel guilty for being so happy school's starting soon, and I can be alone for a portion of the day. I also feel guilty that I won't be getting a job, but I always feel guilty for not having a job, so that's nothing new. And before you cry, "Writing is a job!" just remember that I am not getting paid for it, and also it's a lot of fun and therefore suspect. The real reason I don't have a conventional job while the kids are in school is the fragrance thing. Periodic exposure I can handle. Daily exposure would surely put me back in migraine territory, and nobody in the house wants that. I do have a few very large home repairs I can't afford to hire out, so maybe I'll call myself a carpenter and that'll be my job.

I will probably start looking for some sort of job to do from home, but I don't know if I'm enough of a self-starter to follow that through. One interesting development to report is that I'll be the senior editor of a little startup e-pub called Cove. The details haven't been hammered out yet, but I'll let you know what happens. It will at the very least be a huge learning experience, and at the most a financially successful venture. Can't lose.

My brother is also starting school this month. It's a huge change for him, as it would be for anyone going back to college after 20 or so years (25?) And I'm super-proud of him for even attempting it. I've never had the guts. And like my venture, this is also a can't-lose. I also win, because he'll be living right down the street from me.

Hope you all have a great weekend.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

My new (old) desk

I've been a busy little beaver the past few days, trying to get my writing space up to snuff. It's moved around the house periodically as I try to find a suitable spot, and every one of those places has been unfinished. Back when I had children in the house all day, I made a spot in the upper level of the wasp-infested, uninsulated barn so I could write at night while the hubs was home. I built a wall to keep out the wasps and keep in the a/c, but I never sheetrocked. Since the littlest baby went to all-day kindergarten last year, the shed office didn't get much use. Instead, I put a chair and a tv tray in the corner of the bedroom. Totally in the way and uncomfortable. I wrote at the kitchen table, on the floor, on the couch...each one a no-go.

Finally I moved into the eye sore which is my porch room. My favorite desk is still in the shed, way too big to fit in the 6'x10' space, so I set a board across the top of my wobbly tv tray, and that's where I finished BVA. Ridiculous, really, how I dedicate only the barest of resources to my writing space, using only whatever detritus isn't in use somewhere else in the house.

I refuse to go another year as a writing vagabond, so last week I decided to get a real desk to fit the space. I declared I would find one just the right size at a garage sale, ugly enough to be cheap, but sturdy enough to last, with drawers, a top where I could spread papers next to the laptop, and if I was lucky, a keyboard tray.

First garage sale, I found it, keyboard tray and everything, for ten bucks.

[caption id="attachment_1918" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="It's ugly, but it has good bones."][/caption]

It was meant to be. The lady who sold it to me breaks out when she comes in contact with fragrance, so she uses no air freshener or anything. It smelled like wood, that was all. Hallelujah! (The little drawer thingy off to the side smells like cigarettes, unfortunately. It's been airing out for three days in the sun.) Then I lucked out and found a beautiful blue-gray color for $3 on the oopsie shelf at Lowe's. I had some old knobs from another dresser, so I spray-painted them silver, and this is what I ended up with:

It took a little work (and it still needs another coat of paint) but it's perfect for the space. Did you notice something in the background? That's right, this room is also unfinished. Sigh. My next goal is to somehow get some sheetrock home from the store and patch those holes. Even better, I'd like to tear it down to the studs and make sure it has great insulation and a smooth finish and no leaks. We'll see what happens. Meanwhile, I have a great desk on which to compose my next masterpiece. I'm using it right now. I love it.

[caption id="attachment_1921" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Mitzy tried to help line the drawers."][/caption]
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

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