Stop and smell the lemons

imageSunshine, porch swings, peonies, lemonade, tea parties, beach glass, sundresses, gospel music, lazy days, hammocks, a good book, warm summer nights, drive-in movies, scenic bike rides, campfires, festivals, massages, vanilla custard, Edgewater Beach, guacamole, romance…these are a few of my favorite things.

But today is Father’s Day. So my favorite things must give way to my husband’s, which are antique cars and airplanes. Plus, its cloudy and raining right now. So there’s no sun to be had for someone who kicked off this post with sunshine.

When life sends you lemons…
Speaking of rain, no one is immune from a little drizzle, not even a romance author. I have been working hard to get MIND WAVES into the hands of editors and agents — professionals willing to read the manuscript and provide constructive feedback. So it was with no small measure of excitement last week that I clicked on an email message from an editor who indicated that she had read the first part of the story.

And didn’t like it. Not one bit.

The message described several major issues with the writing — from shifting points of view to a lack of clear focus and not enough dialogue that moves the action along. It is clear from her message that if I hope to have a chance of publishing the story, I’ll need to go back to the drawing board and do some rewriting. Probably, a lot of rewriting. Maybe the whole thing. I have some work ahead.

At first I felt deflated, like one of those saggy helium balloons left over from a party. And then, I started to think about it, and I began to see her email in a more positive light. True, I have a lot of work ahead. But she wasn’t trying to tear the story apart. No. She was offering constructive criticism — feedback that I can use to get better.

So, I wrote her back.
I thanked her for reading the manuscript and told her that I was going to follow it. I mentioned that I have been working hard to improve my writing and am seeing the results of this in the second story, CROSS WAVES, which I would love to share with her when ready.

And guess what? She wrote me back and told me to send the second manuscript to her, too.

…make lemonade.
Yes, I still have work ahead. But somehow, I feel like I made progress. Because now I have some advice to use to get better. And I have a editor willing to take a look and work with me. Really, for a first-time author, this cup of lemonade sure tastes sweet.

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  1. Judy Van Dress

    June 22, 2015 at 11:53 am

    I just wrote you a lengthy comment, but when I clicked on the notify blocks, I was told that I was timed out. Did my long comment reach you? judy van dress

  2. Barb Hettinger

    June 23, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Love your optimistic spirit Amanda.

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