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.
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)
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?