Hit with the terrifying realization that I will be out of town next week (you have to do a show now and then), followed by jury duty, which could be one day or one trial and that one trial could be straight out of Inherit the Wind, I spent the last 72 hours (more or less all of them), wildly revising the 100 pages the very nice agent requested from me. I am now hallucinating commas.

Anyway, I hit ‘send,’  and I actually feel much calmer. I’m on my way to another conference. With any luck I will get another excuse to stay up for 72 hours.



This will be my last blog post for awhile. I didn’t want my six regular readers to worry that I had been carried off by the herd of marauding deer that occupy our front lawn on a nightly basis, or, still worse that I’d run out of things to say*. It’s just that I have to finish editing 100 pages of the manuscript the very nice agent requested, in a very short time.

*I could do 10 pages on a hangnail.



Conferences are great! I love them! Worth every penny (she said as she looked at her pathetic bank balance). An agent requested 100 pages of a manuscript. Another agent asked me for three chapters of a different novel! The box lunch was like bad high school picnic. Hey, you can’t have everything!*

Raise your hand if you think you already do. Well, you’re wrong.



I have only been at the James River Writers Conference since last night and I have already learned two important things.

1. I should not even think about self publishing.

2. The Hilton Garden Inn makes a mean chicken pot pie.



Have you ever read something so beautiful and moving that you couldn’t get it out of your head? I just finished reading When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, because Nice Young Agent said in an interview it was one of his favorite books as a kid (approximately ten years ago by my calculations). This left me with three conflicting emotions: I should stop writing, because I will never write anything that wonderful, I should write a lot more, because then I might someday write something that wonderful, I would rather use my seven minutes with Nice Young Agent talking about this book than my own.*

*Which I am not going to do. I might, however, find a way to trap him in an elevator, offer him a plate of cookies, and talk about the book.

p.s., to Nice Young Agent. If, by some cruel trick of fate, you happen to read any of my posts I assure you that 1. They aren’t about you and 2. I am condescending to everyone.



So I’m looking at the obit page and wondering why some of the listings include photos that are clearly from high school graduation, even though the deceased was 86, and it hits me. What if nice young agent to whom I plan to bring cookies isn’t young at all? What if that’s his high school graduation pic and he’s actually 86? I’ll probably bring him cookies anyway. My mom still likes cookies and she’s 97.



Got a little nervous when I read an interview with the very nice young agent to whom I plan to bring cookies. He is seeking a rather esoteric list of YA novels: A thriller set inside a water balloon, a mystery loosely based on an episode of Gerald McBoing Boing*, and a Romance novel that turns the New School of Literary Criticism on its head. Ok, none of that’s true, but you get the idea. Anyway, I checked his agency’s website, and it seems that what they actually publish is pretty darn commercial. Ah, youth.

*Raise your hand if you remember Gerald McBoing Boing. Now, put your hand down young agent to whom I plan to bring cookies. Your mother probably doesn’t remember Gerald McBoing Boing.



That, despite my relatively advanced age (not in the Grandma Moses* sense), I could talk to one of two agents at my first conference, tossed a coin, and picked ‘Nice young guy agent with sweet face.’ Turns out ‘Nice young girl agent with sweet face’ works for an agency owned by a friend’s aunt. Undoubtedly a sign, though, if they both hate my writing, not a good one.

* Raise your hand if you know who Grandma Moses was. Hint: Her grandson was not found in a basket of reeds floating on the Nile.