41 is the new…. awww, who am I kidding?

I’m having a hard time keeping my chin up today.

Maybe it’s the annual spring sinus infection (as opposed to the autumn, winter and summer versions). Maybe it is the layer of snow that fell this morning like a heavy wet blanket on the daffodils and willow buds. Maybe it’s the fact that as of this morning I am officially 40-something. Maybe my blood-sugar’s low and I should skip all the frou-frou and cut straight to the birthday cheesecake.

Whatever. I’m not feeling it today.

My writing schedule’s been hijacked by pre-school field trips and doctor appointments. I don’t get to enjoy my birthday gift of a new patio set (see paragraph 2, sentence 2 above) and the grey sky seems so heavy and low as to be resting directly on my forehead. Is it spring break yet? Can anyone get me to the Florida Keys cheaply?

*Deep sigh*

Photo by lisarlena

Maybe 41 seems so hard because 40 was so awesome. Glitter in the Sun, my first book after a lifetime of wishful thinking, saw the light. First as a self-published project and now soon to be reissued under the umbrella of a Real Publishing House. I also wrote my first novel, The Dictator’s Daughter. It’s hard to describe the sense of accomplishment that still gives me. I can pick up this big stack of papers and say, “here is my novel.” Even better, friends who have read it are asking what happens to the characters next.

And I began training for my first 5k race. Sadly the annual sinus infection has stalled the process, but I’ll be back at it as soon as I can breathe again.

Maybe, then, what I need is a new set of goals. What can I do in 41 that will put 40 to shame?

I know what I’d like to see happen in the next 12 months. I want to finish writing the second and third books in the Dictator’s Daughter series. I would like to sign with an agent who adores my books and is sells them for big bucks, along with the movie rights to a major publishing house and studio. I would like to take Glitter in the Sun to every major Twilight Convention in the nation and make a huge difference in this generation with the message of hope God has given me.

Big dreams, yes. But then last year, if you had asked me, publishing one book and writing another seemed pretty improbable too.

NaNoWriMo, meet PerNoWriMo…

As a child, Liridona of Illyria, the dictator’s daughter, watched the sacred prophesies burn in the city square. Now as she finishes her education preparing to take her place in her father’s ruling cabinet she learns the terrible truth behind the destruction, a prophesy indicating her father’s rule would be destroyed by a man with mystical abilities. Adding to her stress are her mother’s attempts at arranging a marriage on her behalf. When a neighboring nation invades Illyria with huge mechanical tortoises and dirigibles painted like sharks Liridona’s once secure future is thrown into jeopardy. Will her military advice be observed or dismissed because of her youth? Will her mother succeed in brokering peace by marrying her to the enemy? Or will Liridona admit her love for Max, a printer’s son, who alone can see the intentions of everyone around him?

Waaaaaaaay back in November I did the impossible – or at least highly improbable – I wrote a whole book in 30 days. I called it The Dictator’s Daughter. That first paragraph is the “pitch” to let you know what it’s about.

NaNoWriMo(National Novel Writer’s Month) is an amazing organization, not only to they make the challenge of writing a book fun, they provide some very nice “prizes” for the winners. Winners, a.k.a. “WriMos”, being loosely defined as anyone who completes the challenge of writing 50,000 words in November. One of the prizes was a 20 minute consultation for WriMos with The Book Doctors Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry with the purchase of their book The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published. After doing the math ($150 consultation for $15 book I would have bought anyway) I took the prize.

David was so gracious. I read a rough draft of my pitch to him and he kept me on the phone for 30 minutes. At the 20 minute mark he noted that my time was officially up, but that he still had stuff he wanted to talk to me about – and for the next 10 minutes I scribbled furiously while he poured on fantastic advice and information.

His parting advice was to re-write the pitch and send it to him again. Then, once my book was complete (I had only just begun re-writes based on my first readers’ advice) send the pitch and the book.

Of course I was all over the first part, it didn’t take long to re-write the pitch at all and I sent it out a few days later. The return e-mail was encouraging, “thanks so much, did u attach the manuscript?”

*Gasp* He wants it now? It’s not done yet! I wrote back saying I’d sen it as soon as I was done. On Tuesday Arielle e-mailed, asking if I’d sent the book yet. That was enough to move The Dictator’s Daughter to the top of the To Do pile, above Glitter in the Sun edits, paid-by-the-hour web-writing for Read The Spirit and even laundry.

Yesterday morning The Dictator’s Daughter was sent out into the great big world and now rests in the hands of Industry Professionals. My fervent prayer and fondest dream is they will love it SO MUCH Arielle will opt to agent it and David will pour his wealth of publishing knowledge into me.

Because what’s a dream if you’re not going to dream big, right?

So, now, stepping out in faith, I declare the next four weeks my very own personal NaNoWriMo – PerNoWriMo, if you will. Because The Book Doctors (along with my mom my beta readers) will want to know what happens to Liridona next. 

The Printer’s Son, Book 2 of the Illyrian Saga, coming soon!