Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Second Time’s a Charm

So I finished reading RISKING EXPOSURE, the YA novel about a girl in Hitler Youth that I was excited about.  There was so much about it that was great and the author has a strong writing style, but there were several things that weren’t quite there yet.  For instance, although I was intrigued by the storyline, there were several elements of the plot that I felt needed to be worked on: plot threads to be expanded or cut, character relationships to be developed, and so on.

Finding a book that I’m on the fence about happens more often than you’d think.  I come across manuscripts that have a lot of potential but that still have important problems that need to be resolved.  Perhaps it’s that the writing needs some polish or the arc of the story needs to be refocused—whatever the thing is that I’m on the fence about, it is big enough that I don’t feel that I can offer representation just yet. That is when I do the next best thing.

I write the author a detailed email with my revision suggestions and then ask them to please submit to me again if they choose to edit their manuscript.  That way I can see if the author has the capability to execute the revisions I suggested and if the story is able to come together the way I am hoping it will.

I sent an email to the author of RISKING EXPOSURE and she is going to work on improving the story.  I’m so happy that she is choosing to do that and I’m crossing my fingers she will send it to me again once she is through.

P.S.  Back to Connecticut for John’s birthday this weekend with my super extra-special present in tow!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Shopping for Boys Is Really, Really Difficult

My boyfriend's 25th birthday is in two weeks, and I have been under pressure to find the perfect gift for him, which has been hell, because:

1. I love him a lot, so I want his birthday to be special.
2. Twenty-five is a big birthday, so I want it to be super extra-special.
3. I already bought him the perfect gift for Valentine's Day (red and black Jordan sneakers), so I have to one-up myself.
4. It has been almost impossible to one-up myself, because I played the sneaker card too soon.

Apparently he and his brother exchange sneakers for every gift-giving occasion, but to be honest, I don't think that I would be able to successfully find another pair of sneakers that he would like (finding the Valentine's Day ones was one of the most stressful situations  I have ever been in!) and as I said, I want things to be especially memorable for his 25th. 

Michael Jordan, how do you come up with so many freaking sneaker designs???

It took some hard thinking, but I have finally managed to come up with the one-up gift and I am insanely excited/nervous about it.  Now that I have come up with his fabulous present, my next big problem is going to be keeping it a secret.  

I am horrible at keeping gift-related secrets.  I get really psyched about giving presents to people and also want to know right away if they like it or not, so I end up giving it to them early.  When I was little, I used to buy Christmas presents for my parents and when I couldn't contain myself any longer, give it to them as a "countdown" gift and then go out and buy a replacement Christmas gift the next day.  And then start the whole cycle over again until they either put their collective foot down or it finally became Christmas morning.

Open it!  Open it now!!

But I am trying really hard to restrain myself, because I know if I give him his present early, there is NO WAY that I will be able to find another one-up gift and I'll end up giving him something lame like socks for his actual birthday.  Restraint!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tanning + Reading

So. Much. To. Do!!!

Thankfully, I will be in Connecticut visiting my family and my boyfriend while I do it (I'm taking a super long weekend!).  I have a feeling that all the reading and editing I have on my plate will seem less overwhelming when they are being done by a pool as I eat my mom's blueberry muffins.  


In other news, I'm reading a manuscript that I found in my slush pile that I am really enjoying so far!  It is about a young girl who is part of Hitler Youth.  At first, Hitler Youth is basically like German Boy/Girl Scouts.  They go on hikes, camp out, etc.  But as Hitler starts revealing his agenda for the nation, the atmosphere in both her town and in her Youth group start to change and she is forced to make a decision about what her role will be in the new Youth group and in the Reich.

I'm excited to finish reading and see what happens!  Also looking forward to blueberry muffin/tanning heaven.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I Am so Cool

So I buckled down the other day and got an air conditioner!!  I am extremely excited about it, especially after two years living through New York summers without one.  Yes.  Two years.   I have no idea how I did it.

My picture of heaven.

Installing an AC also prompted me to clean and re-organize my entire room, so now I am in a haven of neatly organized books, clean surfaces, and pleasantly chilly air.  I can sleep under the covers without feeling like I'm slowly suffocating and I even sipped hot coffee last night while I read a manuscript!  My life is awesome.

Andrey moved out at the end of last week to go back home to Bulgaria for the summer before he starts grad school.  He could only take two suitcases worth of stuff, so he ended up getting rid of a lot of his things.  He gave me his really pretty LED monitor, so now I also have big computer screen to hook up to my laptop and play movies!  Fred got his computer chair (grr) and is now also happily installed in Andrey's old room.  He said his goal is to make it look like a Starbucks, and I have to say, so far he's doing a really good job. 

In other news, there should be a deal announcement going up on Publishers Marketplace soon for Jessica Arnold's THE LOOKING GLASS, so keep a lookout!