The Last Summer Trip

If you’ve read this blog, you know I don’t believe in accidents.
I had started out the summer with one trip planned: this one. I’d saved the money from my web design work for this one experience, and so it seems fitting that everything else built towards it.
I went to a writer’s conference in Denver, Colorado with some members of a less-secret writer’s group, “The Gnome Writers.” The Gnomies even had badges…and cupcakes. You can’t keep a group of writers with cupcakes a secret.
Remember that auction for a website design that I participated in? Well, it was won by Margie Lawson. If you’re a writer and you haven’t met Margie yet, hie you to her website and just start learning. Content is king. Margie is the Queen of Content for writers.
To say I’d been challenged to improve my writing over the last few months would be an understatement. Remember, I’d been working one-on-one with Margie on her website. I’d gotten to know this woman…and to dare to call her a friend.  You can’t write a cliche around Margie. She’ll hurt you. Sigh. Okay, she’ll hunt you down and sic her miniature dachshunds on you and let them nibble on your toes until you promise never to ever even think of writing a cliche again. She’s good.
I’d dreamed of meeting un-named agent all summer. I’d read her bio and what she was looking for and I knew this woman would fall instantly in love with the male lead in my Fantasy novel. The best thing about her, of course, was that she didn’t just handle fantasy. She handles everything else I write. Here was someone that I felt I could trust my career to. All I had to do was somehow get to know her and convince her that I-are-a-writer. The thought of attempting such a grandiose scheme with an inhabitant of the world of New York had left me cowering under my desk most of the summer.
Well, that and the emotional and financial terrors of my home-life…so it was good that I was only allowed brief moments with my desk last summer. During the whirlwind of travel, I learned much and found my courage. Like the cowardly lion returning from Oz, I was ready.
So of course, Margie was going to have her husband pick me up from the airport. Remember, my ticket was purchased well in advance, right? So guess who else should come into the airport at the same time and wind up also being driven to the hotel by Margie’s husband? Un-named agent.
Take away the stress of a pitch and yes, I can talk. It’s genetic, remember?
I had the chance to learn what this woman was about first hand. We talked about agents and agenting and the market. I learned more about marketing in that drive than I would have learned from a hundred books…and one thing I learned: fantasy isn’t selling right now.
Remember — I’d worked and finished my fantasy novel. Well, so much for the pressure of immediate possibilities.
The next day, I had a small class with un-named agent. As part of the class she had read the first few pages of my fantasy novel — the ones I’d been so stressed putting in the mail during trip #1.  As predicted, Nian did work his enchantment upon her. But of course, fantasy isn’t selling right now, something she shared with me again with what I felt was honest regret.
I proceeded to jokingly stalk her the entire conference, tempting her with said cupcakes and other goodies. Sadly, there is a reason un-named agent is so thin. She has an incredible ability to resist sugar.
At last, I had my pitch appointment with her. When we sat across the table, the pressure was off of me because she’d stopped being an alien creature from New York and become someone with whom I’d already shared my deepest passion — my writing. And it helped that she was glad to see me sit down at her table. “Oh, but I’ve already said I don’t have a market for fantasy right now…” she started. “It’s a good thing I have another novel in the works, then, right?” And so I told her about Sisterhood, my modern paranormal action adventure book…which was not ready to send, of course. One should never go to meet an agent without an actual book to sell…but she forgave me since she’d already seen that I did have one, just not the right one. {Mental note: the next time God goes to so much trouble to give me research material for a novel, maybe I should work on that one instead of keeping to my priority list.}
She returned to her planet with my card and a promise not to forget me. I returned to mine with a hope that I may have met someone who could be my companion through this interstellar journey to publication.
Now all I have to do is finish the book.
And now you know why I’ve been so scarce on my blogs and why I’ve shut down my web business. All of my free energy (after homeschooling, moving, etc.) is going into finishing Sisterhood and mastering my craft.
In a few weeks, I’m going to Colorado again to take Margie’s Immersion Master Class. If all goes well, I’ll have something to send to unnamed agent.
Stay tuned. Pray.

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