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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Oh yeah, I’m a writer?

It’s been three years since I finished my first Young Adult novel.  
The idea for Colors of the Sea came to during my pregnancy with Reef, my 4th son.  Because of veracious veins and other ailments of pregnancy, I had to take it easy, so 15 weeks into my pregnancy, I sat at the computer and started writing.  I am a lover of the sea and marine biologist Rachel Carson.  I took the key elements from Rachel’s life and research and wrote a postmodern YA romance with just enough fantasy to keep us mermaid lovers happy. I wrote every day, hours at a time, for six months.  I was living vicariously through my 17 year-old character, Winona and the counselor strangely took on the role of her love interest, Darren.    What fun that was!

I worked day and night to finish the manuscript before Reef was born, but the birth of a baby doesn’t wait.  I remember reading through the manuscript with my mom and the counselor while breathing through contractions at the hospital.  I think they had to pry my book out of my hands before giving me the baby.  Reef Carson, named after the sea and Rachel Carson, was born healthy and happy.  Thank heavens he was a good sleeper from the start, because I stayed up nights to finish the book.  Everybody thought I was exhausted because I had a new baby, but little did they know I couldn’t sleep until Colors of the Sea was finished.  I had to know the ending.
I remember when I wrote the last couple paragraphs:

He looks at my lips then back at my eyes; wanting to do something he should have done long ago.  His hands reach for my face and all I can do is stare into his sea green eyes.  His touch captivates me and I can barely breathe.  I’m not sure when I’ve ever stood so still.  Gently, he kisses my lips and it’s as if fleshy rose-petals run across my mouth.  Soft at first, a quiet surprise that starts my heart racing in a million different directions, and when his warm breath pulls me in even more, I’m certain we’re floating.  He could take me in the waves again, drown me with kisses and hold me while the water pulls us out to sea.  He could show me his world, pick me a bouquet of sea grass and coral buds and adorn me with fresh-water pearls.  I want him as much as he wants me; we both want this world together so why do I suddenly pull away?
I stand cold and feel the wind run through my hair.  It must be past midnight.  My face is flushed, my lips still moist and the desire to be back in his arms is more than I can bear.  My eyes widen and I want to say something, but it’s too late to collect thoughts. 
I take a step away from him while my eyes fill with tears.  Doesn’t he realize I can’t love him when he’s already in love with someone else?  Our kiss, magical as it was, has only made matters more complicated.  I reach for the door to my apartment and turn to open it.  I pause before looking back at him, but he has already slipped away in the darkness.  I know where he’s going; he’s looking for answers, he’s looking to be saved so he’s run to the sea.

Exhausted and exhilarated at the same time, I realized I was done.  I jumped up and down, ran and picked up each of my kids, twirling them in the air and smothering them with kisses.  I shouted and did what I’ll call the “touchdown dance,” perhaps you’ve seen your favorite NFL player do it when he makes a touchdown.

DONE!  With a 326-page manuscript.  Dance, dance, dance!

And I started submitting agents.  I just knew someone would snatch it up.  Sure, I’d heard it was a difficult time to publish, you know, with the whole economy thing, but my story was so great.
Yeah, right!
I had a few bites from agents, but no takers.

I’ve spent the last three years doing something I never thought I could love and hate so much – EDITING!
I’ve been to New York, met with various authors, worked with a publicist and professional editors and have had so many miracles along the way.  I’ve been to conferences, networked and read all the YA I could get my hands on.  I’ve learned so much about writing, querying, submitting, publishing and marketing.  After two-years of working on it, loving it, hating it, cursing it, celebrating it, I’ve committed to start querying Colors of the Sea again on Earth Day. 

You know I love Earth Day, oh how I love it, so along with the My Dear Trash Earth Day Book Drive, along with the two $25.00 give-aways from Changing Hands Book Store and Bookmans, along with the linky party here at My Dear Trash on Earth Day where Kelly and I and you will feature our great finds (can’t wait to see your trash), I’m going to also start querying agents.

Here’s my challenge. 

I’ve finished editing 267 pages out of 326 pages.  From now to Earth Day on April 22, I’m going to work my “#@*^*” off to get the last 59 pages done (I apologize for my keyboard cursing, it just has a mind of its own).

Prepare for messy house, prepare for take-out dinners, prepare for little exercise, prepare for no sleep, prepare for housekeeper!
Prepare for takeoff!
Wish me luck; I’m going to need it.


  1. wishing you the best of luck with the book editing :o) Scarlett x

  2. Wow, I really admire your persistence and determination and am sure it will take you a long way. So many famous authors took so long to find someone who was willing to take a chance on their book, so definitely don't give up. Sounds like you have a real passion for your story, and now know the business inside out. I used to work in publishing (SAHM now) - hopefully once you find a great agent things will start to happen for you.

    I'm another thrift mad type (from London), having a click around the blogworld this evening and found your site, so am following now.

    Lakota x

  3. I know you can get your editing done in time! Wishing you luck in the publishing area! It really is time for the vampires to go away and let the mermaids take over! LOL! Saying a little prayer for you!

  4. What a great goal! How many pages is that a day ? 12 or 15 ?
    I have not listed anything on eBay today! I need to do that. So easy to put off something that feels hard or tedious....
    ~ Christie

  5. You are awesome! I love your spirit and your zest and your determination. It's so easy to talk ourselves out of things, but you just grab ahold and go for it!