Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Fortune(ate)


This weekend my fortune read:

A big fortune will descend upon you this year.


It couldn’t have come at a better time.

      After a break, I’m taking another course for my Special Education certification. The homework load is crushing. I’ve decided the only way I can continue to write is to use my precious 30-minute lunch like I did last year. But I’m having a hard time meeting the demands of the students at school, so lesson plan prepping is creeping into lunch. I was also lucky enough to get a big website content-editing job, but it will be another responsibility to make time for… if I only had more time.

      Amid all of the dark and dreary prospects for my writing, I received a shimmer of hope. I made it into Pitch Madness 


      Funny because this summer, I emailed Sharon Mayhew  and said I was done with contests because nothing would ever come of them. My previous attempts had either fallen flat or I got through one round just to lose later on.

      Then WriteOnCon  came ‘round. I put a query and pages up on the forums. But his time I didn’t hope for  a Ninja request. Even though this manuscript came together for me in a way that no previous one had before, I hadn’t had as many writers critique it yet, so I wasn’t confident.

But it just felt so… polished.

      The feedback was positive. And I actually received a Ninja request for pages!


      When Pitch Madness started, I submitted with more confidence. Though I was thrilled to get a slot (thanks, S.M. Johnston ) the thrill soon gave way to nerves. Writers can only be happy for about 5 seconds.

      Twitter hashtag #PitchMadness soon came alive with entries that writers loved. Mine received little mention. I told myself to prepare for the worst (I’m part Irish).



      While I waited for the results, I pushed to finish my course assignments. If I didn’t complete them a day early, I wouldn’t be able to meet with a new critique group I’d been invited to join.

      On Monday evening, my son and husband cooked dinner, so I could do homework. My daughter did extra too.  


      Tuesday my body buzzed with nerves. Work was hectic. Then the Pitch Madness news came in at noon—I had 3 bids and all from Awesome Agents. The highest bid requested a query + 100 pages. But I couldn’t bask in the sun of requests. Instead, I studied for and took an online quiz while I cooked dinner. Then I rushed my daughter to ballet.

(Where I couldn’t find a parking spot, so I had to rush into a bakery to buy a tart slice for “dinner” before I got a parking ticket. I sat in the car to send out my query and 100 pages to the winning agents.)

      After that, I attended my son’s high school orientation, rushed to the critique group (where I was pretty incoherent), and arrived home shortly before bedtime.


      This morning, as I was driving (groggily) to work, I thought about the last week and about my cookie fortune. My mind wandered to my husband’s fortune:

You will soon discover how fortunate you really are.

      His fortune applied to me too. It’s easy to lose sight of this when sagging beneath money worries, deadlines we think we can’t meet, errands, obligations, insecurities, and setbacks.

      I can focus on the uncertainties, the things not going right or I can focus on my family who make sure I could make time for school and writing. Even if I don’t get an agent out of this, the Pitch Madness team and three agents saw some promise in my premise and pages.

      If I always look at what I don’t have, what I’m striving for, I’ll forget to remember how fortunate I really am. Right now.


86 comments:

  1. Love this post! We do tend to forget how fortunate we are while lot in the chaos of life. Good luck with the requests!

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    1. Thank you for the wise words, the luck, and creating Pitch Madness, Brenda!

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  2. That is awesome! And you are the juggling master.
    If we don't feel fortunate where we are right now we won't feel fortunate later.

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    1. Alex, that is so true. I'm going to remember your words.

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  3. I save all of my cookie fortunes because they have seemed so amazingly on point lately. And so do yours!!! Good things on the horizon for us both *fingers, toes, limbs crossed*

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    1. Julie, I love that you keep your fortunes. Where do you keep them? Thanks for all those crossed body parts!

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  4. Wonderful! You are a queen of multi-tasking, and now you are on the precipice of something wonderful because of it. It's all worth it!

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    1. Shelly, I like the title "Queen of Multi-Tasking." I hope you're right about the precipice. Thank you!

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  5. You are amazing, and so is your family, and you deserve a fortune!
    I loved the hook of your novel, its really a brilliant concept - fingers crossed for you :)

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    1. Words A Day, thank you so much. You know how much I adore your writing.

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  6. So excited for you, Theresa! Your reminder that we should all feel fortunate for what we have and not focus on what we don't is bang on.

    And just so you know, you were not incoherent... maybe a little sleep-deprived, though.

    Wishing you lots more good fortune!

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    1. Victoria, I know my recollection of dates and commitments was a little fuzzy. Thank you!

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    2. Not remembering dates and commitments? Hey, that's me on a good day! : )

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  7. So excited for you, Theresa. And I admire how you're trying to write with everything going on. And it's so true what you said about being grateful for what we have right now. Because we are all fortunate right where we are. Fingers crossed for you.

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    1. Natalie, thanks. I went to my second class tonight, and it looks like the workload will be a little less the next 2 weeks. I'd better get ahead for the next rush.

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  8. Well, that's awesome news! Break a pen, Theresa!

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  9. Congrats. That's great. And remember, this semester won't last forever. Things will calm down, probably sooner rather than later.

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    1. Liz A, I hope so. The professor isn't killing us as much the next couple of weeks. If only it would stay that way. Thank you!

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  10. Wonderful post and perspective. Keep plugging away .... you are an inspiration.

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  11. You are an amazing vessel of what it takes to be a writer in today's world. I just adore this post. Here's to celebrating your future successes! It's going to happen.

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    1. SA Larsen, thanks. I know you sometimes struggle with making time to write or don't quite meet your goals. We all try to prioritize.

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  12. You definitely have a lot on your plate! I'm so happy you are getting great responses about Saving Danger!!!

    Always good to take a step back, take a deep breath, and count your blessings. :)

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    1. Kelly, thank you. You definitely helped make it stronger. I appreciate the time and energy you took. Let me know when I can return the favor!

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  13. Theresa, I'm not surprised at your "good fortune." Your energy, work ethic, and diligence are paying off. Keep on, keepin' on.

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  14. You rock pal! Of course, I always knew you appreciate the REAL stuff. Fantastic post. Hugs and smooches. Love you. (I mean that!) :-)

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    1. Robyn, I'm still holding onto the "OUR Year" idea... as we head into autumn. Hugs to you! :)

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  15. Ooh that's awesome. Congratulations and best of luck!

    You're so right about writers and 5 seconds. :)

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    1. LR, thanks. It's true about the 5 seconds. I have a friend who landed an agent last month. Within days she was full of anxiety over the next stages!

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  16. holy cow, that's busy! congrats on your success with your ninja pitch! Keep positive. Love this post!

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  17. "Writers can only be happy for about 5 seconds." Oh my gosh, this is so true. I don't know how my family can stand me sometimes.

    Funny how those little fortune slips can get us thinking sometimes. Glad yours helped you appreciate what's important. Good luck with your pitch, I'm heading over to read it now.

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    1. Ruth, ha! I don't know how my family stands me either. Thanks for reading!

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  18. Keep on keeping on. Just when you are ready to give up that's when the break through comes.
    Cheering you on!

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  19. Hi Theresa .. you manage to pack life in - but you do seem to settle down to get on with it - which shows mindset determination ... so pleased you entered and are now further along - never give up - that's the saying isn't it ... for most of life ..

    and yes we are so fortunate in our lives living where we do with the facilities we have available ..

    Good luck success favours the brave and those that keep on 'truckin'' ..... Hilary

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    1. Hilary, thank you. I get tempted to give up sometimes, but I... as you say in your British accent... keep on truckin'!

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  20. OMG Theresa you are Supewoman! Great post and I hope the requests lead to bigger and better things for you. You deserve it.

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    1. Ann, thank you so much. Someone at work keeps saying I need a superhero cape. I'm feeling chuffed!

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  21. I'm not surprised. Your pitch was very high concept and sounded terrific!

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  22. So happy for you! I've been following your submission since I first saw it posted at WriteonCon. Best of luck!

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    1. Kim Van Sickler, thanks for following my submission. :)

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  23. Congrats! I'm thrilled that your submission's been doing well. :-D

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  24. I'm impressed that you're able to make time for your family, school, and writing; I think it's tough enough making time for just one of those things. It'd be so much easier if we could have personal assistants to take care of other stuff for us, like running errands, cleaning and cooking; then we'd have even more time. (I kind of worry I'd end up being like Meryl Streep's character in The Devil Wears Prada. If I could dress like her, then it might not be so bad.)

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    1. Neurotic Workaholic, my family and I just watched that on Friday night. I forgot how funny that movie is. I'd be happy to get the wardrobe and the assistants. I'd promise to be less mean.

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  25. LOVE THIS POST, Theresa!!!!!! And I'm THRILLED for you!! Whoo hoo, girl! xo

    P.S. Read your excerpt and it's terrific!!! Loved the voice and the concept.

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    1. Kimberley, thank you so much. Your comment means a lot since I'm a huge admirer of your books!

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  26. Life is full of bizarre twists and turns. I'm glad you're on a high. I'll keep my fingers crossed!

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    1. Judy, thanks. I'll have to keep reminding myself of the good moments when the not-so good moments creep up.

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  27. What a wonderful post, Theresa. You are indeed a lucky lady to have such a wonderful family and to have gotten so far with your writing.
    Of course, you put me to shame with all you get accomplished. Work, going to school yourself, two children with obligations, writing/creating stories, AND a fulltime social media presence. You are truly amazing. If only I could do what you are doing.
    Good luck with everything.

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    1. Victoria, luckily it's not always this busy. I wind up having to let things slide, but I try not to have that be my family! And I also try to make sure writing isn't the first to go, which I used to let happen. Thanks.

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  28. Yippee, and awesomesauce. Definitely a well-deserved success. I had the privileged of working with Sharon from December through January, and she is amazing, isn't she?

    See, this just goes to show--your writing support group is right about you, and you hit your lowest point right before the magic of success. =)

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    1. Crystal, I didn't know Sharon before this. She's been so nice and supportive the last few days.

      I love my writing support group!

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  29. I love the sound of your novel.

    I notice sometimes the best things come as a complete surprise and when we're at our most busiest.

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    1. Medeia, thank you. I don't know if I'll actually get offers, but it's been a great start.

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  30. Congratulations, Theresa! Great post and I loved your pitch. It's not just original bit fun. I hope you get a few minutes to sit back and revel in what you've accomplished. You deserve a black belt in multi-tasking.

    VR Barkowski

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    1. VR, I did PitMad on Twitter yesterday. When I didn't get any "favorite" requests from agents, I was bummed. I reminded myself that I'd already received 3 bids from Pitch Madness. Then I realized I did get 1 "favorite" this morning. I am still working on that sitting back and reveling!

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  31. Congratulations! You're so busy. I'm in awe.

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  32. Such a good perspective to have. I can't even begin to imagine how busy you've got be, but I know all that hard work will result in something wonderful. Fingers crossed for you!

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    1. Meredith, thank you. Now I try not to stress as I wait to see what happens from these requests.

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  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Sigh... Sorry, copied the wrong link. I shall try again...

      You're a busy lady. Best of luck with it all.

      Theresa, I hope you might consider joining my bloggers' book club. Details are here: http://armchairsquid.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-cephalopod-coffeehouse-september.html

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    2. The Armchair Squid, no problem! I'll check out the link. Thanks!

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  34. Congratulations, Theresa! I very much enjoyed reading the excerpt from Saving Danger. I love the spunky adolescent wit, 'like a cupcake vomited on me'. The sensation that remains with me is the tension between the three generations of women, the grandmother, the bride and 13 yr-old Lucretia. The imagery will also stay with me, 'dropping-an-anchor down-my-stomach'. All in all, you made a deep impression on me with just a short piece.

    Warmest Wishes,

    Mary

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    1. Mary, thank you for your encouraging comment here and on the Pitch Madness blog.

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  35. What a wonderful post... I always get so lost in the chaos around me and forget to see what I have around me and how great it is;) Thanks.

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    1. TF Walsh, I'm sure just about everyone struggles with this.

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    1. Michael, thanks so much. Your feedback means a lot to me.

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  37. Yes, I agree! Been so busy lately that I've lost sight of blessings and other important stuff. Working on gaining perspective back. Glad you are too. :)

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    1. What a lovely post. I'm repeating what other's have written, but it really is so important to focus on the good things and blessings that life brings. Wishing you everything wonderful!

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    2. Thank you, Cynthia. Wishing wonderful right back to you!

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  38. Wow, Theresa, my head is spinning. I don't know how you do it! And how wonderful that your family loves you and understands how important these things are. You're always an inspiration to me. You never give up. You never surrender. You're fortunate, indeed. And you deserve good fortune :)

    BTW, I liked your pitch. I already love your MC and Grandmother sounds like someone I know (she's a real firecracker with a heart of gold).

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    1. The Words Crafter, I don't know if I'm doing anything well, but I'm doing a lot! Thank you for your nice words about me and my entry.

      I've missed you on Facebook. I've been meaning to email to see how things are going.

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  39. That's brilliant, Theresa! Congratulations and good luck with everything else. :) Enjoy the rest of your week!

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    1. Sam, thank you so much! You enjoy the rest of your week too.

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  40. Congrats on some great news lately! I hope things continue to go well for you, and good luck balancing everything you're doing. I know you can do it. :)

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    1. Shelley, now I'm waiting to see how these people who have requested pages feel about the pages. I'm still balancing in the meantime. Thanks!

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  41. Sorry that it took me so long to read this. I have been traveling and moving, but this is such wonderful news. Congratulations!

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