Time for Camp! Camp NaNoWriMo, that is.

Over the past year or so, I’ve fallen into the trap of a writing slump. Granted, in that time I was able to complete a short story contest (in which I got to the final round of judging!), my masters thesis, and slowly finish revisions of my completed manuscript to start querying publishers. However, my writing has been slow, and the schedule I once had fell by the wayside due to personal life circumstances.

But I want it back.

And that’s why, starting April 1st, I am starting (or continuing, since I got over-excited and wrote a page) an all new writing project, using April’s Camp NaNoWriMo as a springboard.

I’m not sure how it will go, but my goal here is to get back into the swing of writing. To rescue some semblance of a writing schedule. To write a new draft for the pure joy of writing and creating something new and interesting (at least to me).

And oh man, am I excited for this project.

While I’ve written fantasy set in the contemporary world before, that fantasy largely took place in another world that exists at the same time. So, I wouldn’t necessarily brand it the same way. This time, I want to try my hand at urban fantasy. You can check out my Pinterest inspiration board for the project here. There are going to be fox spirits (my own version of kitsune for the North American east coast), werewolves, selkies, swan men and maidens, and the occasional mer person, maybe others (we’ll see what happens). And of course I’m going to set it in southeastern Pennsylvania. I love Pennsylvania. Born and raised in the mountains on the central eastern side of the state.

That’s all I’m willing to give away for now. There is nothing like that feeling of a new project simmering on your brain stove. It’s going to be fun!

Waiting Games

There is no feeling like the feeling of completing a draft. It is exhilarating, it is fulfilling, it is accomplishment. It is a milestone that few writers reach. And when you get there, you deserve to celebrate.

The thing is, it doesn’t end there.

After you finish the draft and celebrate, maybe go out and party with some friends (or maybe just stay home, dance, and read a book you’ve been dying to read), you still have a few critical milestones standing between you and the reader. I passed the next one: rewriting and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting…

After having the draft of This Cursed Flame (my fantasy novel set mostly in my own version of a djinn Realm, following one very shy and quiet genie who just might be the key to saving all the Realms) completed for a couple of years and editing and revising in the meantime, I finally worked up the nerve to submit my very first query to a publisher that accepts queries from unagented authors. This was the critical part, since I decided to move forward without an agent for the time being.

I did my research, I met with my writer friend Dara Lyons (who you can learn more about here), I composed my query letter, and I sent it off into cyber space.

That was a few weeks ago. And still not a word.

I don’t expect to have my work picked up right away. But waiting can be torture.

So what about you? Have any of you gone through the direct-to-publisher querying process? How long did you wait before moving on, and how did it go for you?