I haven’t written on my blog in quite some time (obviously) but it has still been on my mind. Life, as life does, got ahead of me. Time, as it does, rushed forward. Suddenly, it seems, we are in mid-September and summer is stepping away. These last few months have felt the most consistently easy, despite having some terrible struggles, but all the same I am here in September surprised we are entering the latter half of the year and attempting to cherish each passing day as there is much change waiting in our future.
Where have I been? What have I done? Well, as mentioned in The Wrote and the Writ, I finished writing a book earlier this year and dove into revisions and beta reading. I sent my book out for beta reader feedback twice, and had a cluster of writers check over it as I prepped to query. I sent it out to over 15 people and had 11 finish and provide wonderful feedback. After each round, I edited my book, revised it until I felt I had fixed all the little problems readers found. Then, toward the end of June, I felt that finally I could sit down and revise it with the intention of making sure all language was neat and errors were fixed. This was the final revision, the one that meant I would prepare for querying literary agents afterward.
I sent out my first queries two weeks ago. It was terrifying, honestly. I’m not a person who handles rejection well (who does, really). I take rejection as a confirmation of my fears. I know, however, that writing is full of rejection and it’s necessary to push forward. How else can you have the opportunity to live your dreams if you don’t try? But sending out my first query was also a wonderful moment where I achieved something my younger self had always dreamt of. I did it for you, twelve-year-old Erica. I’m going to fight to make your dreams come true. It’ll be hard, there’s no guarantee I’ll achieve my true dream of becoming published, because the market is completely saturated in every aspect. But I’ll still try all the same.
I already received my first query rejection and it hurt, but it makes the whole experience a little more real and honestly is pushing my creative mind to think of what’s next. I wrote Tarnished, I’m querying it, what if I don’t find an agent? What if it never finds a home? Well, I need to get on writing my next novel because maybe that one will find a home and Tarnished will find one as well. There are stories that live in me who are waiting to breathe the air, I just have to give them lungs.
I also had the pleasure of being published not once, but twice, in Bella Grace Magazine! In the summer issue, I published “Three Days” which was an incredibly meaningful piece as I discussed my anxiety and my attempts to step away from outside triggers. In the autumn issue, I published “Autumn Reads for a Magical Season” which is a list of my favorite books to read in autumn–or rather they transport me to autumn when read outside of the season. You can read more about those issues here.
There’s also an abundance of change on the horizon that’s leaving my head spinning.
First, our son will begin preschool in a few short days. He has been looking forward to this since April of this year when we toured the location and has requested to go nearly daily ever since. It’s a big deal and it’s pleasing to know every one of us are ready for this transition. We know he will thrive in the environment and have so much fun with other children, and it will be wonderful for him to have an experience of learning the little things necessary for school (standing in line, staying seated, waiting your turn). It’s hard to teach those things when you’re the only child at home and there isn’t much of a line or turns to wait for. But this will also put into momentum time that I am home without a child to look after.
Second, with him out of the house in the morning, I’ll be able to start searching for a job. I’ve already interviewed for one but if that doesn’t pull through, I’ll likely take a bit of a break to enjoy myself before diving into job applications. The additional money will be very helpful but it’s a huge change! I’ve never worked as a mother before.
And with the autumn season stepping up, I’m also looking toward our next wave of canning. We haven’t gotten much of a tomato harvest in yet. For whatever reason, they’re a bit late this year, but we’re coming up on it all the same and I have a lot of sauce I have to make. Beets, jams, and string beans are all set aside. Our winter storage of dried goods is building up. And there’s winter crafts I need to get further with, crafts that have a due date and haven’t been touched by me. Soon though, soon.
I also hope I can begin writing more in here. I miss this space.