Monday, June 7, 2010

Well, I must be doing something right . . .

Remember my post about gardening? And how I didn't bring it all back around to writing at the end?

I wish I could say this one, a follow-up post, would be the same way. But the images-- they are aplenty in my head.

To catch everyone up, I am currently querying a commercial fiction novel. Well, mostly. I'm technically on query hiatus as of right now, only because I have so much else going on until my wedding in October. Once that's over with though, I intend to dive back in head first-- though that doesn't mean I won't cheat and send a few out in the meantime.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the pumpkins I'm attempting to grow in my backyard for said wedding, and my fears that previous planticides were indicative of my inability to take care of anything botanical. (Wow, did I used enough big words in that sentence?)

And I have to admit that I treat querying the same way. It frankly scares me to do it at times because I've failed before. What if this time isn't different? What if this time, they not only say no, but call me a silly hack who never has a hope of a writing career please stop now before you hurt someone?

Well, to all of that, I say this:

Cling to the small successes.

For my first concern, the pumpkin vines in my yard, I give you the following evidence. What was bare dirt and hard work a mere four weeks ago has turned into this:

For queries, I see the small successes as requests for partials and fulls. Sure, that in and of itself hasn't landed me an agent yet, but it means that something I'm doing is headed in the right direction. I can only hope that if I keep growing and learning, I will do more right and make it to my goal.

My plants are oddly demonstrative of this point right now. If you notice in the picture above, I have lots of little sprouts and that one random HUGE cluster. Here's a not-blurry close up of those guys for you:

Those leaves up there? They are as big as my HEAD. Yeah.

So not all of my pumpkin vines (all 38 that sprouted!) are growing into giant mutants (SEEEEEY-MOUR!), but they're there, and they're growing slowly but steadily. Once I figure out what I've done so correctly with this particular group, I can apply it to the rest (I have a feeling it's really mostly just sunshine, but that's a whole other metaphor/analogy). And you know what? I'm fine with the others not being so large and beautiful just yet. They'll get there, or, maybe they won't. Everyone has a weakness and a flaw.

I'm just happy that I have something I can point to and say, "Hey! Look! I did that, and I did it right." The rest will come with time and practice.


Joshua McCune said...

Hope the fact that all I can grow are weeds doesn't portend badly for me :)

Matthew Delman said...

No you did not use enough big words in that sentence. I can think of at least two more you could've included.

And I totally agree with you, btw.

L. T. Host said...

Bane-- pft. Look at YOUR successes, Mr. NB-contest-finalist! And that other thing, too, but I'm not sure if you're sharing that yet or not.

Besides, I've always heard that a weed is simply a plant that grows where you don't want it to. Embrace your weeds, Bane.

Or something writerly and deep like that.

Matt-- Now I'm curious which words YOU came up with.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I'm jealous of your pumpkins! I only have one vine and I bought it from a greenhouse. But I'm growing a bunch of other stuff from seed.

And you're right- it's good to look at the small successes in partial and full requests. I think we're all on the right track.

Unknown said...

"Embrace your weeds." I like that. I may go around repeating it.

And congratulations on the pumpkins and the partial/full requests

L. T. Host said...

Stephanie-- I am frankly shocked they're coming along so well. Especially since I started them from seeds! It's crazy! I can't wait til they start crawling and flowering. :) Keep me posted on how your vine does, too!

I hope you've been getting plenty of requests yourself :)

Taryn-- Have at it, lol. And thank you :) I'm going to send you a message or email sometime today/ tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

"Cling to the small successes." A powerful reminder.

By the way, congratulations on tying Josin for first place at Nathan Bransford's contest! Keep on writing!

Nicole said...


In that stage myself, take care :)

dolorah said...

A good plot; on all counts LT.

And I loved all those big words, didn't sound pretentious at all. See, another small success.


Murr Brewster said...

I'm excellent at counting small successes. For instance, I'm thrilled with hand-signed rejection letters.

L. T. Host said...

Amanda-- Thanks! And we are so proud of Bane :)

Nicole-- Good luck to you too.

Donna-- Thank you. And *phew*. What a relief! :D

Murr-- Those and slightly personalized form ones are my favorites.