Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What's Up, Wednesday?

Hey Wednesday, what's up? 

Are you back again already? Where is this summer going?
It seems to be flying by!

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, that helps readers and writers touch base with blog friends and let them know what's up. Join by visiting their blogs and signing in on the widget.

What I'm Reading
It has been several weeks, so there's a lot to catch up on. I've been reading a lot of non-fiction!

I'm still working through Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen. Still dense with material and still fascinating!

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink-- I received this as an ARC and have not been able to put it down. It's nonfiction, and about the purported cases of euthanasia that happened post-Katrina at Memorial hospital in New Orleans. It is an amazing read. It's one of those that's so good I can't decide who to share it with first! 

In thinking about how to re-write my bug-girl book STUNG, I've read two books on forensic entomology A Fly for the Prosecution by Lee Goff and Corpse by Jessica Snyder Sachs. I'll leave it at that. 

For the family read-aloud we finished Eva Ibottson's Which Witch-- we all loved it. Then we realized we'd never finished The Prisoner of Azkaban, so we finished that and started up on The Goblet of Fire. 

Finally, I read Looking for Alibrandi, by the admirable Melina Marchetta. I love everything she does, and this fab tale about an Aussie girl dealing with life, school, and family was no different. 

What I'm Writing
The boys are now in their second week of camp and having a blast. I have been sitting tight and methodically going through my tenure packet. It is unbelievably nit-picky work. I am basically arguing for, and presenting documentation to show, that I should keep my job. It's hard not feel like I'm on trial at times. 
I spent all of yesterday printing, organizing, and preparing this box. 

It holds a copy of every student evaluation I've ever had, everything I've published, and then documentation of all sorts of things like class projects, syllabi, student letters, colleague letters, reports, grants I've applied for, events I've managed, the list seems endless.  

But the work is paying off and I feel like it's coming along. Here are my R.S.W. stats.
Update
Tenure packet (71% complete). I feel like I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. 
Mina Takes the Sky (9% complete)
Thirst (9% complete)
Stung (12% complete)

Last update
Tenure packet (32% complete) 
Thirst (12% complete)
Stung (0% complete)

Notice anything different there? Yes, I have a new manuscript listed. And that's tied in to my super secret news. I've been querying MINA since the spring. In mid-April a couple of agents asked for fulls and partials. One in particular asked for a full, got back to me about it immediately, and asked if she could have an exclusive on it while she made notes and gave suggestions. A few other folks still had it at the time but I said I would not query it with anyone new. So, we've been going back and forth with it (edits and rewrites) since then. 

I am so thrilled to be getting feedback and input from someone who I feel really "gets" the story and wants to make it better. Having been down this road before, I'm not making any assumptions about where it will lead. I'm simply trying to appreciate the input and enjoy the advice. She is so helpful, thorough, and talented that I am just thrilled to have the input. I can say that after only three months I've had more rounds of revisions and FAR more feedback and comments than I ever had with the agent I worked with before for nine months.

On the fourth of July this lovely agent sent me some new feedback, and it has moved to the top of the Ready. Set. Write. queue. I'm hoping to kick that manuscript up a notch. I'll keep you posted on the results!

What Inspires Me Right Now
I have some friends who are great at supporting new artists-- their home is filled with cool and amazing work they've found on etsy and other places. Every time I visit, I see this in their bathroom and think, "I love that!" So I finally took my phone into the bathroom with me at took a photo to share. 

What to Focus On: Happy

Not everything is happy, but happy is what we should focus on. 

And now--  what's up with you?





56 comments:

  1. Oooh, that's such exciting news. Best of luck with landing an agent!

    Wow, that's a loooooot of paperwork for your tenure packet. I hope that all works out too.

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    1. Thanks Miss Cole-- who knows, but I'm thrilled to have feedback! And yes, the tenure process is beyond nuts.

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  2. How exciting to be getting all that feedback. Best of luck with the revisions and I hope you sign with an agent.

    I love the sign from you're friends bathroom!

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    1. Thanks Alexa- I appreciate it. Yes, isn't that sign the best? So hard to remember but so important!

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  3. GAH! I am so excited for your agent news!!! And it sounds like you are getting awesome and helpful feedback! YAY!!!!! Please keep us posted!

    Also, I love that picture! I need the occasional reminder to focus on what makes me happy.

    I hope you have a wonderful revising week! And good luck with that tenure packet!

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    1. Thanks Alison-- yes, the feedback is amazing! I will definitely keep you posted! Have a great week, too!

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  4. That's great about the agent feedback! And it's always nice when it's someone who really seems to get the story :)

    You are kicking that tenure packet's butt - go, go, go!

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    1. Thank you Jennifer-- I like the image of kicking the tenure packet's butt. I'd love to! And you're right-- working with someone who "gets" what you're trying to do is priceless!

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  5. Cool news about the agent, the "exclusive while I review" request, the feedback... even if nothing comes of it, Kat, this is such an awesome opportunity to learn and grow. Of course, I hope you end up getting THE CALL... :D

    I hope you have a great week--especially with regard to your tenure packet and arguing your case.

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    1. Thank you Colin, I appreciate it. The feedback has been so fantastic. She makes suggestions that really click-- I'm so thankful. :0) I hope your week is great, too!

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  6. I love the title of your latest WIP! I hope things go really well with the agent, and I'm excited to hear how things progress! :)

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    1. Thanks Jess-- so nice to see you! I know, me too! I will keep you posted. :0)

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  7. great writing news! Good luck with your tenure packet. I'm looking forward to reading Harry Potter as a family when my kids are a bit older.

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    1. Thank you Prerna-- reading HP aloud is SO. MUCH. FUN. :0)

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  8. Good luck with this new agent. She sounds like someone you work well with, which is super! And I love the focus on happy image. Good luck with your tenure!

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    1. Thanks, Kate-- I appreciate it. Isn't that "Focus on Happy" great? I need constant reminders!

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  9. Ooh, Kat! That's awesome news about MINA and the agent feedback you're getting. I am thinking all the positive thoughts for you. Best of luck incorporating her notes -- you're totally going to rock this!

    Looking for Alibrandi is the only Melina Marchetta book I've yet to read, which is kind of a travesty. I love her writing SO MUCH!

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    1. Thanks Katy-- I appreciate it. Looking for Alibrandi was no Jellicoe Road-- I think it was her first book. But it's still engaging with great characters and swoon-worthy fellas.

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  10. That's awesome that you're getting such great feedback from an agent. Talk about invaluable! I'm crossing my fingers for you, Kat! It sounds like you're making great progress on you RSW goals. Good job! And very cool that you've added a new project.

    Have a great week, Kat! :)

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    1. Thanks Jaime-- I'm feeling really great about the agent advice and feedback. I feel fortunate that she's contributing time and creative energy for my project.

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  11. Yay for feedback! Double yay from an agent!!!!! Good luck!!!

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    1. Thanks Mandie. That's how I feel: double YAY!!!! :0)

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  12. Great news! Good luck with incorporating the feedback; I know you are doing an awesome job!

    I really love that art, too.

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    1. Thanks Rebecca-- it's coming along and it was the kind of feedback that I TOTALLY agreed with. These suggestions hadn't occurred to me yet, but I thought her ideas were totally on point. Isn't that art the best? It makes me smile every time!

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  13. I finally made it to the post office! Expect a package by Friday : )

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    1. NO pressure Eliza-- thank you for thinking of us. You have just a little on your plate right now! Baby, book, family, and job! :0)

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  14. I'm so glad your family decided to finish Prisoner of Azkaban. It's my favourite of all the Harry Potter books. :)

    That's wonderful news about the agent feedback and that she's taken such a keen interest in your ms! I hope the revisions continue to go well and that this results in representation and even better things in the future! Also, good luck with your tenure package. That sounds like a lot of work!

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    1. The boys loved PofA. It's so well done and so enjoyable to read aloud. I am happy about the agent feedback-- it's a real gift. Thanks for all of the kind words!

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  15. I love the focus on Happy! So simple and true. What a neat experience with the agent! And that tenure packet, no kidding about hoping to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for visiting my first What's Up post and nice to "see you" again... I discovered your blog via Sophia Richardson a couple years ago!

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    1. I was so glad to see you on the What's Up roll Margo-- I remember "blog meeting" you through Sophia. I miss her! I wish she was still blogging! Isn't that focus on happy art great? So important and so hard to remember. Great to see you again. :0) Hope to see more of you!

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  16. YAY for such interest and excellent feedback from the agent. It sounds like you two would work well together and that is a lovely thing to know going in should she offer rep. Plus, no matter what, you're getting good and thorough feedback. Win-win. :) *crosses fingers*

    Man oh man with all that work for the tenure package. It looks like you are well prepared. *wishes good luck*

    Love that art! :)

    Have a marvelous week!

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    1. Thanks Lola-- I feel the same-- it's a win-win! And thanks for the luck on tenure. It's still months before a decision is made, but I feel like I'm nearly prepared to submit. :0) Have a great writing week!

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  17. I'm loving your organization! I'm the same way...I love everything separated into binders and bins. :) Good luck with your goals for this week!

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    1. Funny Kaitlin-- yes, I am all about the organization. Can't get enough of files and boxes! :0)

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  18. That's great about the agent feedback! It's awesome when you find someone who really seems to get the story and wants to help make it better. The Goblet of Fire was my favorite. That's a lot of work to get tenure. I had no idea it takes all that. Good luck!!! Have a great writing week with revisions. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thank you Amy--- such kind words! Yes, GoF was my favorite, too. It's actually the first one I read... then I went back and started at the beginning. It's still my fave.
      Have a great writing week, too!

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  19. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Katharine! I love that you write YA and MG with an environmental twist. I have a background in environmental science (B.S. in Environmental Science) and I worked as a seasonal park ranger for five years. So yes, very excited to have found you!

    But, um, how do you have the time to be defending your tenure AND writing AND reading!?!? I'm amazed. :)

    Best of luck with your writing goals. And congrats on getting agent feedback - that sounds promising!

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    1. YAY Brigid-- nice to meet you, too. So glad to see another environmentalist out there. :0) Hmmm... well, I don't do all of it all the time... which helps me balance. And I read myself to sleep every night, so I get at least 30 minutes every day. It adds up! :0)

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  20. Congrats on all that agent news! That's super exciting! Good luck with your tenure stuff and your other writing goals for the week. It definitely sounds like you have a lot on your plate.

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    1. Thanks, Ruth-- I'm not teaching this summer, which gives me some extra time to work on everything. :0) Have a great writing week!

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  21. That's so exciting! Congrats - it's so great to receive helpful feedback from an agent and that's really cool she wants to work exclusively with you! Good luck with your revisions and the rest of your goals this week. :)

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    1. Thanks Ghenet-- I'm excited for the feedback. I'm so thrilled to have her input! Have a great week, too!

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  22. I love that picture!
    And it's a good bit of advice, too :)

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  23. I so agree Lily-- I want to make my own, because I need to be reminded on what to focus on!

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  24. Ahhh it is great to get feedback like that!! How exciting.

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    1. Yep, I'm pretty pumped. It feels great to have input from a knowledgeable source!

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  25. That's super exciting about the agent getting into your story! I hope your edits keep going well. Good luck with the new WIP and have a great weekend :)

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    1. Thanks Liz-- I appreciate it! I am cracking away at those edits now. I hope your weekend was great!

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  26. That's so exciting that you've been able to get such great feedback from an agent! I hope all the work you're putting into MINA pays off!

    I haven't read Looking for Alibrandi yet because my library doesn't have it, but it's Melina Marchetta so I might as well just buy it because I'm sure I'll love it.

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie -- I hope so, too! So true about Marchetta. She is one of those dependable authors.

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  27. WOW! You've been so productive. YOU GO GIRL! The tenure packet alone would have knocked me off my feet.

    I wish you luck with your revision with MINA. I'm so excited for you! Go Go Go!

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    1. Thanks Tif-- very kind of you to say! The Tenure packet is not what I'd call FUN, but it does feel like you're accomplishing something, which is a good feeling. :0)

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  28. oooh! Good luck!

    I've had some good summer reading luck. (Felt most of the fiction I picked up in the spring and winter was sort of eh.) I finished The Interestings and loved it. Enjoying Sisterland now.

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    1. Thanks, Nina-- it's all exciting and nerve wracking. Oooh, The Interestings and Sisterland-- will have to check these out. Haven't heard of either. Have a great week!

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  29. Amazing progress. I'm sure things will happen with the tenure packet and your submissions.

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    1. Thanks Medeia! I am feeling great about what I've done so far... just need to get over that next hump!

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