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Still Working Update

February 16, 2011

I’m sorry for the long silence. I’ve been dealing with two big things down here in Houston.

On a happy note, I’ve signed 23 clients.

I’ve been working on submitting their material to publishers. That includes editing to get the manuscripts in the best possible shape before they go out, doing research on the best editors to send their materials to, and writing the letters that go with. Because I’m new at the game, I’m sweating bullets over the work. It’s going more slowly than it will once I’m an old hand. But I have good clients, and they’ll shine in the marketplace, I hope.

The other thing I’ve been dealing with is Houston weather–bizarrely. Houston usually has terrifying weather in the summer and fall–unbearable heat and humidity, punctuated by hurricanes.

This last month, though, we’ve been giving severe winters a try. It’s been record-setting. We spent twenty of the last thirty days below freezing. It never snowed, but we had enough freezing rain to shut the roads down and bring the city to a crashing halt. Keep in mind that Houston doesn’t have snowplows, salt trucks, or even snow shovels. Also, the water pipes are buried about 6 inches below ground because it doesn’t freeze much here. Until this last month. The pipes froze solid and broke all over the city, including on my street. The power suppliers couldn’t handle the drain on the electrical grid, so they instituted, without warning, rolling blackouts to cope.
It finally thawed out last Friday afternoon. Perhaps as an apology, the last two days have been absolutely beautiful. As things thawed out, the problems multiplied. In the last two days we’ve had the block’s water main repaired, the block’s broken electrical transformer replaced, and our washing machine repaired. The plumber is coming to look at the bathrooms today. It’s been amazing. But I think we’re through the worst of it.

Anyway, I’m hopeful things will be calmer in the next month or two. On a good note, I’ve now read every manuscript I’ve been sent. Nothing like a power outage to catch up on my reading. Now I need to get the rest of my clients’ material out there, then I’ll get the rejections and acceptances for the pending manuscripts out, and then I’ll catch my emails up, including going through about 1500 queries I’ve been waiting to reply to until I finished reading what I had on hand.

So that’s the update.

It’s 70 degrees outside and sunny. It’s like the last month never happened. It’s supposed to stay that way for a week.

Back to work.



I’m working through the holidays

December 29, 2010

–though tomorrow I’m taking the morning off to get my Texas drivers’ license and Texas plates for my car.

I’ve signed two new clients over the holidays. I’m getting ready to notify 5 more, but I’ve got to run them by Ethan, who is semi-taking the holidays off.

I’ve started submitting my new clients. I hope to have all the ones ready to go on editors’ desks by January 10. I’m also doing edits on the writers I acquired who aren’t ready to go out without some punching up.

I’m almost through all the requested manuscripts, so next week I’ll be getting through the next batch of queries that have been queuing up while I read.

It’s been a ton of reading, but I’m very impressed by all the new writers out there.

The deluge continues!

December 15, 2010

I’m getting about 1600 emails a day. I’m trying to keep up, but I took the weekend up and my emailbox filled up entirely.

I got through another 1000 emails this afternoon, and it keeps filling in as fast as I work through it!

I’m working hard and making headway. I have currently signed 19 clients. I’m in process of sending out their manuscripts for publisher submission now.

I’ve read most of the submitted novels.

I’m still loving this job, so I must be a glutton for punishment.


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2010

I had a wonderful holiday with my family.

More importantly, I’m completely unpacked. I’m working my way through the rest of the early submissions over the holiday weekend.

Then I’ve got a slew of backed up queries to get through.

I also will be getting out several manuscripts to publishers from my clients next week.

Busy, busy, but I’m finally free to work all day every day to catch up.

The move is officially over, and from here on in, it’s work, work, work.

Which, luckily, I really enjoy.

Happy holiday weekend to everyone.

I’m making headway

November 16, 2010

Well, I’m fully moved in. I hung pictures this morning.
And I’m still getting buried by submissions. As of this morning so far, I have 2901 emails.

I’m working my way through the workload as fast as I can. You might be interested where I am.

I’ve signed 14 people so far.

I’ve read three thousand submissions. I’m working on the next thousand this week.

I’ve got about 75 people on my short list of likely clients so far–I need to pare that list down to about 35.

When I do, I’ll start sending out more acceptances. Then the rejections will come.

I have two book deals currently in negotiations. I have a number of projects that I’m getting ready to send out.

That’s the story so far, professionally.

I’m also starting to feel like myself again. I was EXHAUSTED after the move. I normally sleep six hours a night. The last three weeks, I’ve crashed at 9 PM and slept like the dead until 9 AM. Very atypical for me. Last night I finally stayed up until 11 PM–maybe a sign that I’m nearly through that cloying tiredness.

Once I get caught up, I’ve got notes for a long essay on what makes a manuscript great. But I need to get caught up before I can justify writing it–time wise.

For a short taste of the notes:

Don’t overload the beginning with background information–it kills the pacing.

Start with a strong hook–if you don’t grab the reader on the first page, you won’t sell the book.

The main character must be likeable, gripping, and interesting within the first few pages or you lose the reader.

I’ll get all the notes into English soon and post them. I’ve got pages of this stuff.

Working hard!

November 1, 2010

I’m reading as fast as I can. But I’ve got a whole lot to get through. New material is also coming in. You should start seeing a lot of replies from me. I’ve almost finished unpacking. Another 20 boxes and I’m done. Yesterday and today I spent solely on work and laundry.

We’ve had a cool front blow through, and it’s helped amazingly. It’s been 80 during the day, and in the 40s at night.

Now I’m reading and working the rest of the week in daytime hours, and unpacking at night while it’s cool. Air conditioning helps take the edge off the heat, but it’s out there lurking. I’m praying for fall weather.


I’m in Houston!

October 26, 2010

I got safely to Houston with the U-Haul and the car. Now I’m unloading and adapting again to the heat. It’s 90 degrees. There’s a cold front coming through tomorrow, so I’ll make it.

I’m working in the afternoons, and unpacking mornings and evenings when it’s cooler.

I’m going through manuscripts, and people are going to start getting acceptances and rejections. It’s going to take me at least two weeks to get through all the remaining material (another 2000 emails were waiting for me today when I hooked up my computer).

Once I get unpacked, I’ll really ramp up the speed.

I’m looking forward to getting to work on all this material.


Wednesday Update

October 20, 2010

Sorry for the long silence. I’ve been packing, and packing, and packing. Today is the day. We’re loading the truck and heading for Houston, Texas. I’m going to be on the road and impossible to reach for the next four days. After that, I’ll unpack. By Monday, I should be set up in my new office and starting to rev on the business of agenting. Thanks for all your patience.

Tuesday Update

October 12, 2010

I’m packed except for clothes, food, and spices. The truck is coming for the local stuff today. A couple of people are getting furniture from me, so we’ll move that to their to their houses, and I’m storing a lot of my antiques and furniture in a local store-room.

I’m getting there.



Friday Update

October 8, 2010

I haven’t checked email in two days. I’m behind on everything. 1600 messages in my email are waiting.

But we’re almost packed.

I’ve got a few dishes we’re using, the clothes, and the stuff in the basement and garage left to go through.

It’s getting doable.

Another week or 10 days and my life will be sane again.

Then I can be a full-time agent instead of a stevedore.

Looking forward to it.