Have much Fantasm stuff to do. Need to sew the Ms. Fantasm sash ends together and get the Q&A questions compiled, and the entry and judging forms printed out, and I need to pick out what I’m going to wear. Again, Fantasm has snuck up on me and I'm all flustered at how many things I have yet to do for it.
Wait, do I have all the judges lined up? No?? AGH!! Okay, must send emails tonight. Damn, I totally lost track of time.
dude_the is here. He flew in this afternoon and then zipped up on the MARTA. The house is messy, but the skunk is bathed. Trade-offs.
Lost count, but somewhere around twenty crits of my novella from Critters--both RFDRs and just the first three chapters. Very pleased with the feedback. The majority of the people who read the whole thing told me they were emotionally affected by the ending.
And I have totally reaffirmed to myself the necessity of running everything I write through a large critique group like Critters. When I put the novella up, I thought it was in good shape, maybe a couple passes shy of being ready to send out. In the course of this week's feedback, I have had typos and aberrant facts pointed out to me that I would never have come across on my own, and been sent to the web to do more research as questions were poised I never would have thought to consider. (Daffodils are poisonous! I had no idea daffodils were toxic!) I have done so many passes over the novella I've lost count. And it's tighter, reads smoother, is more thoroughly researched, and in short, is much better now.
One thing from this experience which is less thrilling, though. I had my confidence shaken. I used "I" in a sentence where I should have used "me" and I used "laying" where I should have used "lying."
Nothing earth-shaking, but normally, I trust myself completely when it comes to grammar. Missing these really rattled me. So I cracked open the ole style manual and reviewed "lay-lie" as well as colons, capitalization, foreign expressions, and imbedded quotation marks. And now I keep second-guessing myself. Stupid brain.
Rewrote the damn cover letter half a dozen times too. Have to include a synopsis on a work of this length. I'm really glad I've been doing synopses for Scrybe Press so I didn't feel totally intimidated by the undertaking. As is, I spent a couple hours writing and re-writing a single page letter. Glah.
I know it's the story that will sink or float me, not the cover letter, but I also know that a poorly written cover letter will not present a good first impression. Usually my cover letters are extremely perfunctory: "Dear Editor, Here's a story for your consideration. These are a few of my publishing credits. I enclosed an SASE. Sincerely, Me." But with this one I had to include the dreaded synopsis, and I felt obligated to go into a little detail on my background and the research I did, in order to let the editors-that-be know I got my facts right and I'm not just spouting gibberish.
Going to give it another day to see if any last critiques come straggling in, and then I'm sending it out.
I think this is my best work to date. I hope the editors like it.