Thursday, July 15, 2010

Living in my head

I haven't been very chatty this week. The truth is, I've been living in my head a lot and then there's been drama at the part time job. Revisions are hard copy at this point so I haven't been online much at all.

I've spent the last two weeks working with Bob Mayer and a group of great writers to come up with a pitch for my novel. It took almost the whole two weeks and 7 actual tries before Bob seemed to deem it appropriate.

Now that problem I have, and why I've been living in my head lately, is that in the course of these attempts, I've thought of other things to add to my story to make it stronger. This is okay, except that I won't have it ready for my agent appointment at conference.

I could still get the first 3 chapters polished and still pitch it, but then what if she asks for a partial, likes it and wants the full? I can't send out what I have to her now when I know I want to change it. So, I've been waffling back and forth on whether I should just cancel my appointment, get the book ready to my satisfaction and then query her later, or go and get the experience plus my PRO status with RWA.

Then the drama at the part-time job. Recently there was a new deployment of guys headed to Afghanistan. No surprise since we live near a military base. One of the women, C, that I work with is taking kind of hard, dealing with some depression. She's had this happen before and it was rough on her kids so she decided that it would be better for the family to go back to the States where her parents were there to help deal.

She's been talking about this for a couple of weeks and the manager of the shop tried to talk her out of it. Friday, C told the manager that she was definitely going back. Apparently, the manager yelled at her, told her she was stupid, etc.

C had planned to give sufficient notice, but this behavior angered her and when she left work Tuesday (the next work day), she left an envelope for the manager with her door key, company credit card and a note.

Yesterday when the manager found the note, she was upset. Called C who didn't answer the phone and proceeded to cuss her out on the answering machine. Since then, it's been uncomfortable in the shop as well as unstable as to how things will work out.

Now, I can see both sides of the coin. Must be my Libra ascendant. I can see how someone who is clinically depressed would feel the need to be closer to a support network so that her kids would be better taken care of. I can also understand why she would feel the need to leave her job as she did when she was treated the way she was when she told the manager.

I can see the manager's POV. She's now left with no credit card holder to purchase supplies and has to train someone on the fly how to help with the back office stuff that C did.

So, I'm staying out of the middle of it. I'm quitting the part time job soon (possibly Sept) and I'm leaving next week for 3 1/2 weeks of vacation. I need to get through tomorrow and Tuesday and then I think I can avoid most of the drama.

Now you know what's kept me away. What do you think I should do regarding my agent appointment? Anyone got any experience in this area?


Suzanne said...

Wow--that's a tough call to make. I think I'd polish the first chapters, roll the dice, keep the appointment and get the experience. If she does want the full, you can either take a week working 24/7 and revise, or roll the dice again and send it, knowing you'll have big revisions later.

I know between the time I got an agent and she sold the manuscript on my first book I'd spotted some major improvements I could make to it. It still amazes me anyone bought it and I know they were buying the idea and taking a chance it could be fixed. Then the revisions were huge. But if I had waited till it was rewritten to begin with, I might have missed that window with the agent.

So, really hard call, but if you can get the first chapters ironed out, I'd keep the appointment!

Gale Stanley said...

I don't have any experience with this at all, but I think I'd work on the three chapters and keep the appt. If she requests the full maybe you can do some changes before sending it. There's always changes when you edit. If she likes the voice and the story that may sell the ms.

alanarose said...

Wow, way too much drama in an already crazy time of year. I would keep the appt. polish the first 50 pgs the best you can and work it from that angle. If you already have your pitch, then you're one step ahead of the pack. See you soon!

Leigh D'Ansey said...

I'm with the others - work on the first three chapters and keep the appointment. Good luck!
(The work situation must be draining on you - I hope things pick up).

Rachel Lynne said...

I agree with everyone else: keep your appointment. My guess is an agent/editor will accept the manuscript as is with the understanding that you have some changes you want to make. Don't know if it is a good idea, since I've never pitched but you may be smart to tell them you have a major change you want to make, after they ask for a full of course. Ask some of the pubs on Rosecoloredglasses.
You mentioned PRO status. Why aren't you already PRO status? I am for Ring of Lies and you already have Stellar Heat published plus a contract on Blood Diamond. All I had to do was send RWA the first and last page of my contract.

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