saying hello!

Hello strangers!

I cannot believe it’s been four months since my last blog post. Much has changed and just as much has stayed the same.

There’s not much to report on the book front. I just turned my third round of revisions in to my agent—yes, my third! Melissa (agent) really wants the book to be as strong as it can be before we go out on submission because the market is so competitive and we only get one shot with these big editors! Melissa is really skilled at picking up what isn’t working (or could just be better). Even though I wasn’t always objective enough to see the issues until she pointed them out, I’ve agreed with everything she’s said so far 100%. She’s really pushing me to work harder and dig deeper than I ever have before and it shows in the results. She’s also teaching me to trust my gut. There were things in the previous rounds I wasn’t quite sure about. I didn’t change them hoping I was wrong or she wouldn’t notice. Wouldn’t you know, those were the same issues Melissa raised. In the third round, if anything felt like maybe it wasn’t working, I fixed it—trusted my gut even if it meant lots of rejigging. I’m crossing everything the next time I hear from her it’s to say the book is ready to be pitched to editors aside from maybe a tweak and a shine. If not, I’m sure it will be for a good reason. I always thought once I got an agent, things would be easier. They aren’t…at all…but I’m so happy to have Melissa in my corner.

Between my second and third round of revisions, I decided to take the “waiting” time to focus on my stomach issues. Unfortunately, the antibiotic I mentioned in my last update didn’t help. I decided to try more holistic measures. I couldn’t bear restricting my diet even more than I already was. After looking into possibilities, my first stop was acupuncture. I’m happy to say it really helps in a noticeable way. I started going twice a week and am now down to once a week. From the very first session, I noticed I didn’t get as full as I used to after every meal or for as long a period time, and the bloat has been reduced. My stomach doesn’t feel amazing, and I have to stick to the restricted diet for the most part, but I feel a good 10% better than I used to. Hooray!! I wish I had tried it a year ago.

My day job has been super stressful over the last couple of months, but I have several vacations planned. The first is to Dallas for the Bouchercon Conference in November. It is aimed at mystery and thriller writers, but my closest writer friend is debuting her thriller later this year and traveling from Toronto. I’d go just about anywhere to see Sammy more than once a year at our annual California retreat. Also, I missed the RWA conference this year and wanted to sneak in at least one writer’s conference in 2019. Although I’ll go to a few sessions—because even a romance writer can learn something at a mystery conference—I’ll mostly mingle and fangirl over all the big name authors who will be there. And spend as much time with my bestie as possible!

Next up is a beach vacation to St. Lucia in December with another friend. I haven’t been on a “real” vacation, i.e. sunbathing and swim-up-bar in more than two years. I can’t wait to totally relax! It might be the most expensive trip I’ve ever booked, but I’ve earned it, I need it, and I’m worth it!

Finally, I’ve already booked airfare for my annual “Beach babes” trip to California in January.

Three vacations in three months? Yes, please!

This weekend is the Jewish New Year—Rosh Hashana. I’m looking forward to spending time with my family. The older I get, the more excited I am for family time. I’ve turned into a real sentimental Sally in my middle age!

That’s it for me. Until next time (which hopefully won’t be another four months…)

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I’m still here!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog. I’m sorry about that, but things have been crazy. Today I’ll update you on what I’ve been doing and what’s next for me.

The last time I wrote, in mid-February, I announced that I’d signed with a literary agent. Shortly after I posted that blog, I received my agent’s editorial notes on my manuscript. Then we had a phone call to discuss my revisions. The edits took me about two months. Initially, I was nervous about making the changes, but I also recognized that the book would be so much stronger when I was finished. I’m currently awaiting her comments on the revised version. I’m guessing there will be at least one more round of edits, but hopefully, I did a really great job and the next set will be smaller changes and not take as long. My biggest worry is that I made the book worse, but I honestly don’t think that’s the case. I was so confident when I sent the revisions back. Fear is making me second-guess everything. I told my agent I was willing to do whatever it took to get the book in the best possible condition to go out on submission to editors and I meant it. While I wait, I’m trying to work on my next book—“trying” being the operative word. Authors are always encouraged to keep writing throughout the “waiting” process, whether that means while in the query trenches waiting to hear back from agents, when they are out on submission with editors, and in my case, waiting to receive my agent’s comments on my edits. It is so hard to work on one book when the fate of another book you’ve poured your soul into rests in someone else’s hands, but the advice is good. Once I’m writing my new book, I momentarily forget about my other one, but getting myself to the computer is the hard part.

On another note, my restricted diet is not doing enough to sooth my stomach discomfort. I’d resigned myself to feeling 80% of how I used to feel (on a good day) and then decided it was foolish to assume there was nothing else that could be done to increase my comfort level/decrease my discomfort level. I shouldn’t have to settle, so I went back to my GI doctor hoping she’d be able to recommend something else I could do in combination with the diet to increase my comfort, for example, medicine. After a second examination, she thinks I have something called SIBO—Small intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. It sounds gross, but there is a treatment that seems to work on a lot of people in the nature of an antibiotic called Xifaxan. It’s supposed to reset my flora to where it was before the suffering began. I’m not sure I understand the scientific lingo, but if it makes me feel better, I don’t really care. I’ve been in chronic pain for almost two years now and it’s negatively impacted so many aspects of my life. I will do just about anything to feel healthy again. I’ll most likely have to stay on a restricted diet, but I might feel 90-95% instead of 80%. The diet is not so bad. What’s bad is depriving myself of so many foods I previously enjoyed and still feeling crappy. I’m starting the antibiotic next week because my doctor stressed eating very carefully while on it and for two weeks after. I wanted to fully enjoy Memorial Day Weekend and author friends coming into town next week for the Book Expo America conference (“BEA”) and that means having some cocktails and eating in places where completely controlling my diet is not possible. After next week, I will fully commit to putting myself in the best possible condition for the antibiotic to work. Wish me luck!

Memorial Day Weekend is coming to a close. I had a great one. I spent time at my rooftop pool reading, I got a full-body massage at Bliss, I went for drinks with one of my dearest friends, and I relaxed. I go back to work tomorrow for two days and then I’m off again on Thursday and Friday. I have so much to look forward to in the coming week thanks to BEA and BookCon that two days in the office seems completely bearable. Famous last words!

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Me and my friend Dee!

That’s all for me. I’ll try not to wait three months before posting another blog. In the meantime, I hope you’re all having a wonderful long weekend!

I got an agent! (Part Two)

Yesterday, I told you why I decided to seek an agent after so many years. Today, I’ll share a little bit about what it was like for me in the query trenches. I’d hoped to start querying in September, 2018 but revisions of the book took me longer than expected. My next goal was “by […]

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I got an agent! (Part One)

I made a big announcement on social media yesterday: I signed with a literary agent! Since I’ve already had seven books published, some of you might wonder if I’ve already published seven books without an agent, why get one now? Or maybe you assumed I already had an agent. I tried to get an agent […]

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2018: Year in Review

As 2018 comes to a close, I thought I’d post my year in review. I cannot believe how quickly the year flew by, although every year seems to pass quicker than the last. It’s scary, yet it doesn’t stop me from constantly looking forward to something in the future rather than making sure to appreciate […]

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Build me up Buttercup

Every so often, I get down on myself and I vow to be more positive, accepting, and appreciative of who I am. I considered writing down the qualities I like about myself, much like people jot down “grateful” lists. And then I decided to not only write the list, but to post it as a […]

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Idle October

I sent my latest book to three beta readers this weekend after already doing a heavy round of edits with a critique partner. There’s nothing left for me to do right now besides wait—something I’m not very good at.  I asked my beta readers to try to get the book back to me by the […]

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Win a bundle of RomCom books!

Today, I have a fun surprise that I’d like to share with you. I’ve teamed up with 15+ fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of Romantic Comedy & Chick Lit novels to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a brand new eReader to the Grand Prize winner! You can win my novel  THE BOYFRIEND SWAP, plus books from […]

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Weekly (er, Monthly) update

Remember that blog post I wrote a couple months back where I promised to blog much more often? Yes, that one. You’ve probably realized by now that I lied. I really tried, but time (and life) got away from me and a weekly blog post slipped through my fingers like sand from the beach vacation I haven’t […]

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I will never stop.

Today marks the four-year anniversary of the day I lost my best friend, Alan, to cancer. July has been hard for me since he’s been gone. The long Fourth of July weekend has become less about day drinking and fireworks than it is a reminder of the day I spent getting drunk with a friend […]

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