Palyé Yoëness Hull Seal

Family Forge to Amazon

The very good news: The Family Forge by Ariel Cinii will appear through Amazon.com REAL SOON at only $3.99 per copy! My next novella, The Organized Seer will be serialised through WormholeElectric.com starting in August 2012 and follow the same process as my first publication.  Let's all say that together now: First Publication, Isn't that delightful?

We, my Editor/Publisher and I, are blipping through the paperwork this week and exchanging vital data with a global corporation who would actually put money in my bank account once I start selling stuff. Having seen Babylon 5 grandfather the term "paperwork", I see no problem bitching about how complicated Amazon's paperwork is. I just read the Agreement for the novella, okay now... The Book to appear in Kindle format as well as appearing somehow in Print(!!!) I'd been sitting on the theoretical fence for so long about the whole print-on-demand thing that I consider it a good thing that WormholeElectric.com made the move for me. They're getting 10% commission, which I think is quite reasonable, and in theory, we do the old lather/rinse/repeat for the other two. And now that I know a little more, I almost-but-not-quite look forward to it.  

Carolyn (my editor) and I shot a dozen edits back and forth and I've had to rewrite that damned descriptive blurb over and over, much like my first experiences with the LJ Forum Query_Eagles, which has been pretty quiet as of late. I salute the Eagles for the level of focus they'd enforced when it came to getting my story to read to others the way I understood it internally. They were definitely an important part of my story development cycle, both for TL and The Telepaths' Song (a sequel to TL), which I haven't done a bit of work on since giving it to otherdeb to beta-read this spring.

My karma seems to divide terrestrial years in half, with a good half often splicing itself on the tail of a bad half at about the summer holiday interval, or usually vice versa. So far, 2012 is proving to be a step or two forward, much as I might have hoped it would be, esp. after achieving guesthood at ConCertino this Canada Day weekend. Here's hoping the 2nd half of 2012 becomes a moneymaker, though I'm unsure how long it takes all this "Fame & Fortune" stuff to spool up. 
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An agent situation

A couple months ago an agent requested my full manuscript which I sent to her right away. I waited six weeks then checked-in with her to make sure she received it (she says she gets back to people in about 4 weeks). She wrote me back the same day telling me that she did receive it and apologized for the delay. I waited six more weeks and checked-in again--all I pretty much wrote was that I wanted to keep in communication until I hear anything official back from her. (I just didn't want to get lost in the shuffle of her business). It's been about six weeks since my second check-in and I haven't heard from her. Was it a mistake to write the second time? She's from a reputable agency and has discussed what she considers professional communication with an agent on her blog. (She does mention that checking-in with her is fine if she's taken over a month to get back to people on queries and full ms requests). Should I write her off? It seems that as a professional she would simply shoot me a "no not interested" email if she wasn't interested. I guess I'm confused about what to think or do at this point. Should I send off another check-in email maybe at the end of this month? Those of you who have found an agent the traditional way (sending out queries, getting full ms request, etc)--how did the process go with your agent? What are your thoughts on my situation? Thank you!

X-posted to lobo_luna & start_writing
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When an agents asks for a full ms

If an agent asks for a full manuscript, how long do you think is an average time to wait before you gently nudge him/her to ask if they received the full? It has been 4 weeks and 2 days since I sent the full manuscript. According to the website, the agent in question says if it's been over a month and the potential client hasn't gotten a response, it is okay to nicely nudge. It has been barely over a month. I don't want to come across as overly pushy or anxious. I'm also unsure how to word the letter...

Has anyone here had this issue? How did you handle it?

Thank You!

Also a big thanks to those of you who gave me advice on my query--I only sent out 23 letters before an agent wrote back requesting the full manuscript!
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Query re-worked

I posted this query several times awhile ago, but I recently re-worked it. Any feedback on this new version would be much appreciated :)

Fresh out of college in the mid-west, Marty packs up her life and sets out for Yellowstone National Park, but what begins as a summer job turns into a life of winding inner exploration over time and place. Falling Up, my novel-in-stories, tells the adventures and philosophical journey of a girl named Marty who struggles to come to terms with her nomadic lifestyle.

When most of Marty's friends leave the park at the end of summer to pursue their plans, she finds herself asking—where am I, what comes next? Propelled by her aimlessness and lack of center, Marty surrenders to fate and moves through the world falling from one situation into another. She encounters everything from new-age cults to underground psychedelic drug culture to the impermanent reality of living life on the road and by the season. She faces existential fears in the barren tundra of northern Alaska, perspective shifts stranded on a coffee farm in the Guatemalan highlands, and the magic of South America as she follows an old friend through the city streets of Bogotá to the Colombian coast. She questions what she thought were concrete concepts including home, attachment, friendships, and fear. Marty wavers between coming to terms with who she's become through her years of travel and experiences and letting her years on the road wear her down and break her sanity. When she meets up with an old friend who gives up his nomadic lifestyle to plant roots, she is ultimately faced with her own decision to embrace her lifestyle and continue traveling or to settle down and lead a stable life.

A graduate of Ohio University and a former nomad, I hold an MFA in creative writing from San Jose State University where I won a James D. Phelan Literary Award for my short story “Shooting Stars”—the first story in my collection. Falling Up is a complete linked collection at 10 stories and approximately 45,000 words.

Thank you for reading my query.

Sincerely,
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Query: a few more tweaks

I'm seeking representation for my novel in stories Falling Up—the adventures and philosophical journey of a girl named Marty who struggles to come to terms with her nomadic lifestyle.

Fresh out of college, Marty packs up her life and sets out for Yellowstone National Park, but what begins as a summer job turns into a life of philosophical and spiritual exploration over time and place. When most of Marty's friends leave the park at the end of summer to pursue their plans, she finds herself asking—where am I, what comes next? Marty surrenders to fate and moves through the world falling from one situation into another. She encounters everything from new-age cults to underground psychedelic drug culture to the realities of living life on the road and by the season. She faces existential fears in northern Alaska, perspective shifts on a coffee farm in the Guatemalan highlands, and the magic of South America as she follows an old friend through the city streets of Bogotá to the Colombian coast. She questions what she thought were concrete concepts including home, attachment, friendships, and fear. Will Marty come to terms with who she's become through her years of travel and experiences or will she let her years on the road wear her down and break her sanity? When she meets up with an old friend who gives up his nomadic lifestyle to plant roots, she is ultimately faced with her own decision to continue traveling or to settle down and lead a stable life.

A graduate of Ohio University and a former nomad, I hold an MFA in creative writing from San Jose State University where I won a James D. Phelan Literary Award for my short story “Shooting Stars”—the first story in my collection. Falling Up is a complete collection at 10 stories and approximately 45,000 words.

Thank you for reading my query.
###

Any feedback would be much appreciated. If you are familiar with linked collections, all the better! If not, do you know anyone familiar with writing queries for collections who you could put me in contact with? Thank you :)
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Query: final draft (I hope!)

After setting this aside for a couple months, I tweaked it slightly and plan to send it off next week! I incorporated what I believe is the main conflict of the over all collection. Is the main conflict clear? Are there too many details in the body of the letter? Not enough detail? Feedback please! Thank you!

Letter:
I'm seeking representation for my linked collection of short stories Falling Up-—the adventures and philosophical journey of a girl named Marty who struggles to come to terms with her nomadic lifestyle.

Fresh out of college, Marty packs up her life and sets out for Yellowstone National Park, but what begins as a summer job turns into a life of philosophical and spiritual exploration over time and place. When most of Marty's friends leave the park at the end of summer to pursue their plans, she finds herself asking—-where am I, what comes next? Marty surrenders to fate and moves through the world falling from one situation into another. She encounters everything from new-age cults to underground psychedelic drug culture to the realities of living life on the road and by the season. She faces existential fears in northern Alaska, perspective shifts on a coffee farm in the Guatemalan highlands, and the magic of South America as she follows an old friend through the city streets of Bogotá to the Colombian coast. She questions what she thought were concrete concepts including home, attachment, friendships, and fear. Will Marty come to terms with who she's become through her years of travel and experiences or will she let her years on the road wear her down and break her sanity? She is ultimately faced with the decision to continue traveling or to settle down and lead a stable life.

A graduate of Ohio University and a former nomad, I hold an MFA in creative writing from San Jose State University where I won a James D. Phelan Literary Award for my short story “Shooting Stars”—the first story in my collection. Falling Up is a complete collection at 10 stories and approximately 45,000 words.

Thank you for reading my query.
###
lindyart
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Query take 4

I tweaked the last version of my query again after sitting on it for a couple weeks. My main concern this time is how I end the body of the letter. What do you think about ending it in a question? Do agents mind being left hanging or do they prefer I just tell them what happens?

Query:

I'm seeking representation for my linked collection of short stories Falling Up—the adventures and philosophical journey of a girl named Marty.

Fresh out of college, Marty packs up her life and sets out for Yellowstone National Park, but what begins as a summer job turns into a life of philosophical and spiritual exploration over time and place. When most of Marty's friends leave the park at the end of summer to pursue their plans, she finds herself asking—where am I, what comes next? Marty surrenders to fate and moves through the world falling from one situation into another. She encounters everything from new-age cults to underground psychedelic drug culture to the realities of living life on the road and by the season. She faces existential fears in northern Alaska, perspective shifts on a coffee farm in the Guatemalan highlands, and the magic of South America as she follows an old friend through the city streets of Bogotá to the Colombian coast. She questions what she thought were concrete concepts including home, attachment, friendships, and fear. As the years wear on, will Marty come to terms with who she's become through her experiences?

A graduate of Ohio University and a former nomad, I hold an MFA in creative writing from San Jose State University where I won a James D. Phelan Literary Award for my short story “Shooting Stars”—the first story in my collection. Falling Up is a complete collection at 10 stories and approximately 45,000 words.

Thank you for reading my query.
road
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Query take 3

Again, thank you for the feedback! Here's my third draft:

I'm currently seeking representation for my linked collection of short stories Falling Up—the adventures and philosophical journey of a girl named Marty.

Fresh out of college, Marty packs up her life and sets out for Yellowstone National Park, but what begins as a summer job turns into a life of philosophical and spiritual exploration over time and place. When most of Marty's friends begin to leave at the end of summer to return to school or to other jobs, she finds herself lost on the path she began months earlier. What comes next, she asks. As Marty surrenders to fate and moves through the world falling from one situation into another, she encounters everything from new age cults to underground psychedelic drug culture to the realities of living life on the road and by the season. She faces existential fears in northern Alaska, perspective shifts on a coffee farm in the Guatemalan highlands, and the magic of South America as she follows an old friend through the city streets of Bogota to the Colombian coast. She questions everything she thought were concrete concepts including home, attachment, friendships, and fear. Will Marty continue questioning life or come to terms with who she's become through her experiences? Will the newness of her surroundings over time and place as well as her changing struggles and views on life as she comes in contact with various people, situations, and challenges push her to the point of losing her identity or make her a stronger person? My collection explores those points in Marty's life where her travels illuminate her inner development.

A graduate of Ohio University and a former nomad, I hold an MFA in creative writing from San Jose State University where I won a James D. Phelan Literary Award for my short story “Shooting Stars”—the first story in my collection. Falling Up is a complete collection at 10 stories and approximately 45,000 words—a full or partial copy is available upon request.

Thank you for reading my query. I look forward to hearing from you!
###

Thoughts? Is it effective? What more can I do to improve it? Thanks!
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New Query!

I'm taking my chances here--that this community might still have some active members...I'd like you guys to look over this query letter I recently composed--I want it to be top notch before I send it to anyone.

Query Letter (I'm only posting the body of it):

I'm currently seeking representation for my linked collection of short stories Falling Up-—a collection about exploration—both literal and symbolic. Fresh out of college, Marty packs up her life and sets out for Yellowstone National Park for a summer job, but what begins as a summer job, turns into a life of philosophical and spiritual exploration. As Marty moves through the world, the reader experiences her journey—-the newness of her surroundings over time and place as well as her changing struggles and views on life as she comes in contact with various people, situations, and challenges. The pieces of her journey shape Marty over time. The outward journey becomes the inner journey.

The linked collection structure allows readers to zoom in on specific moments in Marty's life over a course of time. Each story slows time down so readers can experience these moments, and with a collection of these moments, readers get a full picture of Marty over time. My collection explores those points in Marty's life where her travels illuminate her inner development.

A graduate of Ohio University, a former nomad, and current yoga instructor, I hold an MFA in creative writing from San Jose State University where I won a James D. Phelan Literary Award for my short story “Shooting Stars”—the first story in my collection. Falling Up is a complete collection at 10 stories and approximately 45,000 words—-a full or partial copy is available upon request.

Thank you for reading my query. I look forward to hearing from you!

##

Some concerns I have: Do you think it's too vague? Does it flow? Do you think the paragraph on the linked collection structure is necessary? Does the title scream Change Me Now? Should I mention other writing projects I'm working on in the bio section or just keep it with the work I'm quering?

Some questions for you guys: Have you written a successful query letter that's caught the eye of an agent? Are you published?

Thanks!
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Torussenji's Priest: one last time

The story's done: 106,555 words (a significant number, I'd say). I want to thank everybody for their critiques. I'm sending out beta copies of the manuscript to people who ask me for it, and it's coming up on the time to send this out for real:

The miners of a gravity-defiant ore lose their beloved priest. His replacement is gangly young Arosdé, a disciplined Seer who’d been a childhood inventor. She stirs controversy her first day, predicting their flying island is about to drift into a war–– but not before she comes to terms with her Escort, a priest who calls himself “the next man upstairs”. Three other priests had come and gone before her, he says, but none of them stayed. She must open her soul-connection to these people to do her job but these first days bring death after controversial death, and as a sensitive she must absorb that pent-up energy then purge it in solitude. Such conflicting needs in the closed, pressurized complex take her places she doesn’t belong, and lead her to personal encounters with a young fighter, an old friend, a mystery man and a piece of living history. She discovers that soul-connection in a crisis that opens an awesome new power within her. But then she must decide: continue the path that led her to that power or violate its stricture against violence and resurrect her inventor’s skill. There’s a homegrown secret weapon that can protect them from that high-stakes feud in their airspace, and Arosdé’s help could make a critical difference.
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