Tag Archive | editing

Back to work?

It has been four years since I left my last full-time position, and, maybe surprisingly, I’m ready to go back. I have been home when I was needed most, I’ve gotten my kids past the most critical stage and now that my daughter is old enough to start driving herself around, I can reach for more. I wouldn’t change anything about the last four years. It was absolutely what I needed to do.

But this is what I need to do now. I miss contributing something vital to the world, something on a bigger scope. I miss being part of a team that’s working together to make the world a better place, one step at a time. I love my creative endeavors, but they’re small, low-impact, solitary. I miss collaboration. I miss using my brain to learn new things and then helping others learn those things. I loved being a trainer, loved helping my peers and staff grow. I loved making a difference in clients’ lives. I’ve got these writing skills, and I feel like I could be using them in so many more ways. I could make an impact in the community…and that’s thrilling.

In no way do I mean this as a criticism of stay-at-home parents. I’ve done it in two long stretches now, and appreciated it both times. Parenting is a huge responsibility, and I admire and respect those to do it full-time. I *know* it’s a job, and a hard one. But it’s also a personal choice, and what works for one family may not be the best choice for another. It was the right choice at that point in time.

But now, my kids have grown up a lot. For that matter, I’ve grown up a lot after all the things I’ve faced the last four or five years. I have more to give, and I want to make a bigger difference. I will still knit, though I might focus more on what sparks my creativity and less on custom orders. I will still write and work on getting my book published. I will still proofread for other writers, though it might take me a little bit longer. But I want to do more. I want to challenge myself. I feel like this is my second wind, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

 

I’m a good girl

You’ll be pleased to know that I stayed focused and got a lot of “must haves” done yesterday! (Or maybe you won’t, but let’s pretend, just for fun.) I made my list of chores for the week and half are already crossed off. Sure, they’re the easier ones, but it’s a start. When I can do that, get a workout in, AND get some work done, that’s a good day. I finished the first pass through the sci-fi book I’m proofreading (it’s the sequel to Mostly Human by Antoinette Houston. I’m not a sci-fi person but I have fun reading these.) and I got a few rows done on the mermaid blanket during Jeopardy! and I even managed to do some fun knitting before bed, starting another set of fingerless gloves. IMG_6084I needed another travel project, and these are perfect.

Now, I need you guys to send me some willpower: I’m going to the yarn store with the mother today. She wants a scarf to go with a certain dress, so we’re going together to pick out a color. I really really need to be good and not come home with extra yarn, so please send good mojo, or juju, or whatever. And tomorrow, I’ll be sure to show what I come with anyway. Sigh.

Here, have a couple of pupdates: IMG_6081Jack follows me around all day long. This is what I have whenever I’m working in my craft room.

IMG_6083And this is why my couches are a wreck. Both of them are in front of big windows, and the puppies have to keep watch whenever possible. I guess I’d rather have happy puppies than pristine couches. (Not sure the husband agrees.)

We had big storms yesterday and last night and this morning everything is bright and shiny and sparkling. Even the power lines have little rainbow droplets. Hope your day is bright too!

Good Wrap, Bad Hat, and Writing

We’ll call this Making Progress Monday. Look what I did yesterday!! IMG_5622I’ve got just a little bit left of that medium gray, and then it’s the last color and my Color Block Wrap will be done! It knits up so much faster than I expected, but it probably helps that I spent yesterday watching TV and knitting. I started Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary, and fell in and couldn’t stop. Total binge day. This was perfect knitting for it too, mindless enough that I could keep my eyes on the screen most of the time. I wish I could have watched the whole series but I have two episodes left and the hubby says I have to wait and watch them with him. Sigh. Fine. Whatever. Maybe I’ll finish it tonight.

And the wrap was actually the second thing I worked on yesterday. I started out making a hat with some purple wool, because I needed a break from all the gray and wanted some color. It was easy to make, knit up quickly, and I like how it looks here: IMG_5620But this morning I put it on a head to take photos for this post, and…well. I kind of hate it. IMG_5624It’s not the pattern’s fault at all. I love the zigzags and the way the decreases look, but it came out so much more slouchy than I expected.IMG_5625I’ve made hats with this much slouch and they’re fine, but it’s not what I wanted this time. I’ll try it on my own head to make sure, but I’m thinking this one will be frogged and redone with fewer stitches and/or smaller needles.

I made progress with the writing this weekend too, on Saturday while my family was off camping. I took a break from the memoir I’m querying and instead focused on my novel. It’s the first one I wrote, probably the closest to my heart, and all I have is a printout from an old computer. So I’m typing it up and revising heavily as I go, and I was on a roll on Saturday. I was deep in a writing trance and got over 6000 words done. Granted, it’s revision so maybe not as impressive as pouring out that many new words, but I’m delighted anyway. I’m over halfway through it, and once it’s all typed up, I’ll leave it alone for a while and let it simmer again. I recently read Stephen King’s On Writing, and that was one of the pieces of advice that really struck me. (Sidebar: I loved his book; it was interesting and honest and smart. I didn’t learn a whole lot I didn’t already know about writing, but it made me feel I was doing the right things, and most importantly, it made me want to WRITE.) Anyway! I know this novel will need another big revision. I already have thoughts of what I need to add/change etc on the next go-round, but I’ve learned from experience that it’ll go more smoothly if I come at it with fresh eyes. I’ve also learned that I enjoy the writing part much more than the querying agents part!

One last thought: there’s been lots of buzz around Instagram lately, lots of posts asking people to “turn on notifications” so their posts don’t get lost, lots of anger that Instagram is changing their algorithm. I love Instagram the way it is, but I’m not freaking out about it. If nothing else, I have to accept that it’s a free app, and it’s a business, and they have to do what they feel is right for their business. We let them know what our thoughts are on the change, and now it’s up to me to adapt or move on.

In the interest of adapting, today I went through the accounts I follow and unfollowed several of the celebrity accounts, the bigger accounts I can see elsewhere or just don’t enjoy that much. Now my Follow list is a carefully curated list of crafters/knitters/dyers/makers (and friends of course) so whatever photos show up in my feed, I’ll be happy.

I’m a small fish: I don’t have a lot of followers and I’m excited when I get 20 likes on a photo, so this algorithm change might kill what little feedback I do get. And if it does, well. That will suck. And I will either keep posting photos because it pleases me, or I won’t. I have a new Ello account (I’m bonnyknits there too) and I might start using that more than Instagram eventually. But I’m going to be patient and give Instagram a shot. And while I do, I’m going to be generous with my Likes and comments, especially with the smaller makers/crafters. I really do think it will be okay.

I’ll leave you with my buddy Jack. He was so happy the hubby took the kids camping this weekend because it meant he could sleep next to me as long as he wanted! IMG_5610Happy Monday, friends!

Writing by Numbers

4: queries sent yesterday

8: queries sent total

1: rejection received

31: agents who rep memoir on my list. This is not a very high number. I’m sure I can find more if I keep searching, though.

10: agents who require a proposal for non-fiction queries. I confess, these are lower on my list. A proposal includes so much detailed stuff: platform, comp titles, background, expertise, why is my book different/better, table of contents with chapter summaries etc…and well, it’s not just that it’s harder than the query/synopsis stuff, but it’s also that I don’t have as much to fill out a proposal. No major platform. Expertise? Um, it’s my life. And maybe that means my manuscript won’t be accepted, and if so, I’ll deal with that. But in the meantime, I’m working on compiling all this proposal stuff and I’ll give it a shot.

3: entries I get on today’s Twitter PitMad contest! I can pitch my book 3 times, and if an agent likes/retweets it, they want me to query them. Fingers crossed. Here was my first entry from this morning: SAHM finds new life in retail management, deals with theft, lies & drunkenness until illness forces her to check priorities.

4: library books I checked out yesterday. I got Stephen King’s On Writing, which I can’t believe I haven’t read yet, and Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking, which is supposed to be a fantastic memoir. Also got two YA novels for fun.

0: new completed knitting projects. But I’ve been working on my Moonstone Wrap, and I’ve used up the first two skeins and am on the second pair, so it should be done just in time for warm weather to be here, haha! IMG_5516For those celebrating today, have a fun and safe St. Patrick’s day!

It’s MSWL Day!

I am in a bit of a knitting lull, friends. This week has kept me busy and distracted enough that there’s just not a lot of yarn stuff going on. I did have some yesterday during flute lesson, and I cast on for something new because I’m so bored with all my current WIPs. I’ve got a blanket, a wrap, a scarf I’m not sure I’m liking, and the Because I Love You Wrap which is waiting to be cast on yet again. None of those sound like fun car knitting, do they? No, they do not. Ergo, a hat. IMG_5464It’s another Lace Ribbon Slouch hat like this aqua one, only this time in white cotton. I also went down in needle size, to 5s and 7s, since the first hat was a bit large.

Today is errand-free, so you’d think I’d have lots of knitting time, but it’s also #MSWL day on Twitter! That stands for manuscript wish list, and it’s when agents/editors post what kind of projects they’re looking for. It’s a fantastic resource for writers like me, looking for an agent, so I’ll be keeping track of that throughout the day and working on my queries at the same time.

My biggest struggle with MSWL is that memoir is a really difficult genre to break into (unless you’re a celebrity) so there’s very few MSWL requests for it. Many agents seem resistant to memoirs, many only want authors with an established platform, and those that do take on memoirs are *extremely* selective. With good reason, I’m sure: memoir isn’t a hot seller the same way commercial fiction, YA, or thrillers are, so the writing/premise/hook etc all have to be top-notch.

But there are memoir readers out there like me, who like reading memoirs by ordinary people. I know there’s at least one, because this article from bookriot.com popped up in my Facebook feed the other day, and it was the absolute perfect boost I needed. It’s called What Makes You Pick Up a Memoir, and this last bit summed up my thoughts exactly:

“I think people read memoirs by “non-famous” people to get a glimpse into someone else’s life. Readers, by nature, are curious people. What better way to satisfy that curiosity than losing yourself in someone else’s story for 200 pages? We read memoir for connection, to feel less alone, to know that someone else out there has struggled with something similar and lived to tell the tale. We read it for entertainment (I never laugh out loud at books, but Tina Fey’s Bossypants changed that), we read it for hope.”

SEE? Isn’t that awesome? That’s me. That’s my audience, people like her. So this is my hope: that my story is interesting and written well enough to engage the right agent/editor so I can get my book into her hands!

Spring has sprung in my neck of the woods so everything is sunny and bright and optimistic. The puppies are full of spring fever and spend most of the morning romping outside before coming in and passing out like this. IMG_5441As much as I like to watch them play, I do love them when they’re all sleepy and peaceful.

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I got complacent. Grace was being so good the last couple of months, not chewing things up when we were gone. I mean, yeah, she was stealing butcher knives, but whatever, right? Then yesterday I was gone for almost four hours and came home to stuffing on the floor. Now, she’s already destroyed our throw pillows, so at first I had no clue what it was from. Then I realized: we have an upholstered chair in the sitting room. It’s one of her favorite spots because it’s in front of a window, so she drapes herself over the back and watches the world go by. Not anymore, pup! Not anymore. Not after this: IMG_5168Oy. This dog. So yeah, she was in the doghouse (figuratively) for the rest of the day. At least until it was time for me to stretch out on the couch with my blanket. Then both puppies thought it was cuddle time with mom. Fine. They’re warm and snuggly. IMG_5371Fortunately, I did have some good to counteract the bad. The yarn store was indeed open yesterday and I did indeed find some yarn. More than I meant to find, honestly. (That’s always what happens, isn’t it?) Last night I hid in my craft room and wound yarn. It was lovely. Please note: not all of this is new yarn! Some of it was in the stash and I decided it needed to be wound. Mostly to make room for the new yarn. IMG_5369This is the new yarn. Yes, I have plenty of cotton now, in a nice variety of colors. IMG_5374The three on the left are Berroco Weekend, which my LYS has for 35% off. It’s a crispy yet soft cotton/acrylic blend and I’ve made several hats with it in the past. The two on the right are Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme, which is a deliciously soft yarn. I’m hoping to get one adult hat and one baby hat out of each skein. I don’t have patterns picked out yet, so some of today will be spent perusing Ravelry.

And some of it will be spent on my manuscript. I have an idea for a new first chapter, so I’m going to play around with that. A fellow knitter/blogger/writer/reader has generously offered to be an extra set of eyes, so I’d like to get it as ready as possible before that happens. I thought it was, honestly, but then I started doubting myself again. There’s a blog I follow written by a literary agent, and she’s strongly anti-memoir. By that I mean, she seems to believe that unless you’re a celebrity or super funny, your memoir won’t sell (with a few obvious exceptions, and I don’t think I’m Cheryl Strayed either). And I know she has the experience to back that up. So yeah, I’ve got that in the back of my mind. But I’m still going to keep pushing forward. I haven’t hit a roadblock big enough to stop me yet!

Oh yeah, one last thing. Here’s the finished purple hat! IMG_5365Ravelry notes are here if you’re interested.

Until next time, happy Wednesday, friends! Go forth and create stuff!

New Website

If you read my blog on an actual computer, you may notice that it looks a little different. I’ve had the same theme since I started two years ago, and I wanted something more colorful, more fun. Plus, I have a better grasp of how WordPress works now, so even though there were a few kinks here and there, I was able to create something a little more complex than before. I’m really pleased with it. The main change is of course the color, but the sidebar moved to the right, since I think that’s where the eye naturally goes. I added a couple of things to the sidebar and re-ordered it. I also updated my About page and added a new page, Shop, which features some of my Etsy items.

Of course, WordPress also reminded me that I’ve almost hit my storage limit, which means within the next month I’ll be making some decisions about the next step. I’m leaning toward upgrading my WordPress plan for a few reasons: the cost includes the domain, it has plenty of storage, it will continue to allow readers to easily comment on posts, and most importantly, it’s what I’m familiar and comfortable with. With any luck, it will allow me to keep going without causing any hiccups for me or you!

Now, let me get to the more exciting part of yesterday: I created a website for my proofreading, bonnymoseley.com! It’s a work in progress; I’m sure I’ll be fine-tuning it for a while. But it’s a solid start, a way for potential clients to find me, get an idea of how I can help them, and see that I take it seriously. Before you comment that there’s no mention of cost/pricing/rates: yep, I know. I’m working that bit out and didn’t want to put it out there before I was ready. It will be on there in the near future. Feel free to share with any of your writing friends, or keep me in mind for YOUR writing project!

No knitting from yesterday; I was busy on the computer all day long. And when I did pick up my knitting late last night before bed, I knit an extra row of gray on the striped hat and yes it looks noticeable and yes I need to tink back and yes I put it in timeout and went to bed. So I’ll give you a puppy photo instead. IMG_5031“Can we go outside now mom pleeeeeeease???”