Thursday, July 31, 2014

An Update on Agent's Request




Hello on this final Thursday of July. I’ve been away from reading blogs and posting on this on-line memoir for a whole month. Today, I’d simply like to share with you what I’ve been doing.
         As you know, in late June an agent expressed interest in seeing three of my manuscripts: the Palestine novel, the cat fantasy gift book, and the convent memoir. The first and second manuscripts are completed and I sent them as attachments in late June.
         The convent memoir, however, is a work in progress. So for the first two weeks of July, I continued to write stories for it. I then sent the agent a partial that presents an introductory arc of those eight and one-half years plus stories about the novitiate and my first two and one-half years in the scholasticate—so four years of my convent life.


Dad, Mom, and me as a postulant in 1958.

         I’m pleased with the partial. I asked a friend, who used to be in the convent, to read it. After she read the 37,000 words of this submission, she e-mailed and said the following:

I just finished reading the opening part of your memoir and it is very moving and interesting and so well written. I think this is going to be a "best seller" because you are setting the record straight about why we entered and why we left. 

Your writing is clear and focused and your examples are wonderful. 

Sister Madonna and the Good Samaritan analogy was right on about how we are good Samaritans to others and others have been our own good Samaritans, binding up our wounds. 

It is wonderful and I would not change a word of it if I were a copy editor!!!

Of course, this review pleased me mightily. She later sent another e-mail with her final thoughts on the partial: “Dee, It was like I was reading my own years in the convent.  I could relate to everything. Keep on writing.” Her words are just what I need right now to continue and complete this memoir.
         I’ve gotten no farther than the partial because after those first two weeks of July, I flew away for a vacation with friends. I’m home now and recuperating from vacationing. You all know how that is.
         Next week I hope to begin reading your blogs again. If there are any postings that you especially want me to read, please let me know via a comment or an e-mail.
         Next week also, I’ll continue posting on my life after the convent. I want to share with you my three sessions with the psychiatrist who catapulted me into feminism.
        Finally today, I want to thank you for all your encouraging thoughts, visualizations, vibes, and prayers for me as I work on the convent memoir and as I await word from the agent. I haven't heard yet, but I continue to be hopeful that she will choose to represent my writing. Please do continue to send me your support for I can feel it as if it were, as the song says, "the wind beneath my wings." Peace.

The photograph of the red kite was taken by James Barker for FreeDigitalPhotos.

        

45 comments:

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    1. Dear Arleen, I'm feeling the same. If not this agent, then another will come along. I'm just feeling as if the Universe is shepherding me through this process. Peace.

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  2. how nice to see you back! And she's right! you have your way with words like no one else :) It's a pleasure to read everything you post! :)
    Good luck on your writing and keep us posted!
    Best wishes,
    Baiba

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    1. Dear Baiba, so wonderful to have this comment from you. I've missed you. I'll go to your blog this coming week to see if you are posting again. Thank you for your kind words. Peace.

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  3. Awesome that it was so well received by your friend and yeah does take a while to recuperate sometimes from a vacation

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    1. Dear Pat, every year I need longer to recupe! And yes, I was so pleased that Jeanne liked the partial convent memoir. I think I'm on the right track. Peace.

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  4. Support is on the way. You are really making progress and i loved the comments from your friend. Too bad she isn't your agent and would not require any rewrites. Keep up the wonderful production Dee.

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    1. Dear Arkansas Patti, after taking two weeks to re-enter my world after being away--two weeks filled with doctors' appointments for my cousin whom I drive and two weeks of errands and just napping--I'm ready to start "producing" again! Peace.

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  5. I so want to read your best seller. As you know, my dear Aunt Ruth was in the sisterhood. My father, a "fallen" Catholic, believed she was the family sacrifice to the church, as was a cousin who became a priest. Sometimes I beat myself up for wanting to understand my father's family, but there are some gems, like his sisters, including my Aunt Ruth.
    So, you are writing this for yourself, but we all are cheering and waiting. Your chapters about the convent are well received by your friend, and your posts about those days held all us readers in suspense for how they would end. So, please don't stop. Get your vacation laundry done and then keep on going.

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    1. Dear Joanne, I had a gem of an aunt also--Aunt Dorothy. She was an independent and talented woman who never married at a time when almost all women were married. I so admired her. She was, I think, quite instrumental in my life choices.

      Thank you for your kind words of support. Tomorrow I'm going to start writing again and as I said in the posting, I hope to complete the convent memoir manuscript by Thanksgiving. Peace.

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  6. Your friend gave you the best kind of feedback, from someone who was there. How great is that. It is good to have you back. We have been dealing with cancer here, but good news, good news for now, is in the post I put up today. It has been a horrific two months and I am hoping for some peace for a while.

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    1. Dear Inger, I will read your posting about what's been happening. I'm glad to learn that perhaps you will have "some peace for a while." I so hope that these days bring joy as well as sorrow. Peace.

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  7. It is wonderful to see your name again!!

    As Joanne wrote above, we are looking for the next chapter.

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    1. Dear Susan, I'm waiting for that next chapter also! This agent may not work out, but I'm feeling optimistic about ultimately getting an agent for the convent story. Peace.

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  8. Welcome back. You have been missed and I am so glad you found some time for relaxation as well as a LOT of work.
    And yes, I too want to read your best seller.

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    1. Dear Sue, what I want is to get that "best seller"--wouldn't that be wonderful???--done! Thanks for all the support you've given me. Peace.

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  9. You were such a pretty young girl, Dee, and now you're a beautiful, mature writer. I have faith that everything will work out with your books.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Dear Janie, I never thought of myself as pretty because I had such a bad case of acne. The photographs just don't show that. I do think I may be aging well! Thank you for your belief in me. Peace.

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  10. SO glad you're back. I enjoy EVERYTHING you write!!

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    1. Dear Fishducky, your enthusiasm for my writing always makes me feel wonderful. Thank you. And wondering how your health is. Peace.

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  11. Congrats... I'm so proud of you.. Keep on working hard.. Sounds like you have a 'best seller' coming up....

    As far as my posts are concerned, you can go to my sidebar and scroll down to Anniversary Trip 2014 (for our wonderful trip to West VA), and/or down to Summer 2014 (for flowers and yard photos). Enjoy as you have time.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. Dear Betsy, I'll go to the postings you've mentioned the coming week. Thanks for updating me. Peace.

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  12. I hope all goes well for you and welcome back

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    1. Dear Jo-Anne, thank you for the good wishes. I'm feeling good about getting agent. Perhaps not this one, but someone in the next six months. Peace.

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  13. I am so very happy for you, Dee, and the world is going to be a richer place once your works get out. I can't wait to read your convent years memoirs.

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    1. Dear Shelly, I'm hopeful that an agent will choose in the next six to nine months to represent my work. This agent may not do so and that's okay.But when I get the convent memoir completed--by Thanksgiving I hope--I will write query letters to those agents who represent memoirs and my hope is that the subject matter will attract the interest of one or more agents. Peace.

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  14. Such heartfelt encouragement to propel you forward, Dee. Just the type of boost one needs - and you deserve. You are already a published writer, and well on your way to becoming a published novelist AND a published memoirist as well.

    Welcome back. I look forward to your future posts, and books. Good thoughts and prayers are coming your way.

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    1. Dear Penny, thank you for all your support. I'm thinking the next twelve months will crack open possibilities for me. If not now then perhaps in January when I start sending out queries for the convent memoir. Your enthusiasm for all this is contagious! Thank you! Peace.

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  15. I am so happy for you, and it seems like things are moving along in the right direction. I loved this post, and I also loved seeing you back in the 'hood. :-)

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    1. Dear DJan, I'm so glad to be back in the "'hood." I've missed reading the blogs of friends like you. So tomorrow I hope to begin reading/commenting again as I also begin to work anew on the convent memoir. Peace.

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  16. YAY! Magic thoughts for a everything to come together!!!

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

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    1. Dear Terry and Linda, keep that magic coming! And I'll visit your blog this coming week. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I appreciate it. Peace.

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  17. Good luck, Dee! I have no doubts your books will get picked up. You are an amazing writer.

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    1. Dear Karen, thank you for your kind words about my writing. The stories I write seem so simple. So little embellishment in them. And yet readers respond. It's amazing to me. Peace.

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  18. I'm so happy to see you pursuing this memoir!! My fingers are crossed and prayers for good news and a best seller are coming your way!

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    1. Dear Kathy, I'm grateful for your support. I'm not at all sure that this agent will represent my work but I do feel more and more confident that within the year--12 months--I'll have an agent who will know what to do with my cat books and novels and memoirs. Peace.

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  19. Feeling so positive, hopeful, and excited for you! Prayers for good news!
    My way--new grandson June 24th! :)

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    1. Dear Rita, congratulations! It's been over a month now since your grandson was born. I bet he's grown and you are delighting in him. I hope all is well. I hope to read your blog tomorrow and to find a posting about the birth. Peace.

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  20. Congratulations on this wonderful news.

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    1. dear LadyFi, thanks so much. peace.

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  21. I'm so pleased to read that you have made such progress in your writing, Dee. I am impressed with your dedication and resolve to finish so many different book projects, and can hardly imagine how you can keep the wiring flowing between them all. It would indeed to so good to have the immediate feedback of a trusted friend and to know that your words resonate as truth. I will look forward to the final published projects, Dee! oxo Debra

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    1. Dear Debra, I'm eager to see what the finished product will be. But the truth is that right now I'm trying to live in the moment of the process. Trying to be mindful. Peace.

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  22. :) I would be interested to read your convent stories. I would love to pass them along to my great aunt who is currently in a convent (just had her 50th anniversary) in Washington DC. Peace to you as well... enjoy the rest of your "break". -J

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  23. Dear Juli, let's hope I get the stories published! Peace.

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  24. Lovely to see you back posting, Dee. I’m sorry you haven't heard back from the agent yet, but it's wonderful that your convent friend was so very positive and encouraging about your draft memoir. I too feel very hopeful that you will find an agent for some or all of the writing you have poured so much of yourself into.

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