Monday, March 28, 2011

The Good News is... I have an Agent!

Hee hee!  I'm so tickled!  Now that I've officially signed I can tell you...


Her name is Tamar Rydzinski and she's part of The Laura Dail Literary Agency.  She loved my YA fantasy novel, gave me some amazing notes, and now we're working together.  I'm so lucky to have her in my corner.

I could blab on about how this all came about and how great she is all day, but will keep it short for now.  Not only does she love my writing, but she GETS it.  She gets it so well that at points she understands what I need to change more than I understand it myself.

This is key.  Because no novel is perfect.  But as a writer you can get entrenched in your own flawed thinking You will need to rewrite to make it better, even after you think it can't get any better.  You need someone to come along and point out where it can get better, and maybe hint as to how.  Sure, a good editor will do that, but in order to impress an editor, an agent with this ability is a huge help.  And now I have that help!  Huzzah!

Plus, Tamar really knows the business.  This is also TOTALLY KEY.  Because I only know it a little, and I need help in that arena.  A good agent will target editors, write a pitch letter, help you get the best contract for publication, and are respected by their peers.  Again, color me very fortunate in snagging Tamar in this department.

Basically, agents rule!

Okay. I'm off to add her agency link to my Links thingie on this blog and to hug myself some more.  It's been a long road full of hard work to get here.  And there are still many steps on the road to publication, but this is a biggie, and I'm thrilled! 

Woo hoo!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Good News is coming... along with Spring

I have to wait just a little while longer, then I can share my good news with you.  It concerns writing. And waiting, and the rewards that come with persistence and luck.

And it's great!

Meanwhile, the rain pours down here in SoCal as I eat chocolate and spend lots of time playing with my cat Lucy.  She misses Max and isn't eating much, but we're getting by.  My boss had her adorable baby girl, also named Lucy.  I told her I loved the name, but not that I my cat's name is Lucy.  Plenty of time for that later - people don't want to think about your cat when they look at their gorgeous new baby.

My cat Lucy is named for the youngest, bravest of the Pevensie children in the Narnia books, and a character I loved from an early age.  The cat Lucy is not particularly brave, as it turns out.  Once, she escaped from my apartment through a screen, and I found her just a few feet away, flattened out like a fluffy black pancake, terrified.  Yes, Lucy is rather plump.  Now that I don't have to leave food out for too-skinny Max, I'm limiting her food intake in an effort to get her lose weight.  Meanwhile, she still likes to sit on my pillow, looking like a flluffy black pyramid with big yellow eyes:

Yes, my bedroom walls are grassy green.  Green's my favorite color, and not just because it looks good on redheads.

I didn't set out to get two black cats. It just happened. But it turns out that both black cats and dogs get adopted less often than animals of other colors.  I don't know it it's superstition or that other colors are cuter or stand out more, but let me tell you - black cats rule!  Max was the friendliest thing on four legs, and Lucy is really quite gorgeous, with brown highlights and a fluff-tacular curly tail. 

I looked after my friend Natalie's all-black chow chow Frances for four months a few years back, and she was the smartest, sweetest dog you could ever hope to meet.  If you're adopting a pet, consider a black one.  They only look mysterious and cool.  Really, they are darlings.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cheshire Cat Moon over Hollywood Boulevard

I had to let an old friend go yesterday.  My beloved furry feline friend Max.  It's been over a week now since I lost him, and only now can I bear to post about it.

He has gone on to the big Catnip Fields in the sky after gracing me with his presence for 19 of his 20 years. His dementia was becoming too difficult for him, so I had a vet come to the home to ease him out of his distress. My other cat Lucy even got to say goodbye.

Max was a very special cat. He was charming, friendly, whimsical, and sweet - a spirit with fur, as my friend Brian described him. There was a lot of eye contact with Max. You can see it in the photo below. He wanted to get to know you. Pick him up and he'd shove his nose in your mouth to say hello and see what you had for lunch. Kittens followed him around worshipfully. He presuaded dog-people to say, "I'd get a cat, if I knew it would be like Max." Dogs themselves would beg to groom him, and he'd deign to allow them to nibble his fluffy black fur.

Despite the sharpness of his claws and his ability to kick the butts of cats twice his size, he eventually earned the nickname The Cat of Peace. Max was proof that you can live a small, quiet life and still make the world a better place. He did that for me every day.

The night after he died, I went for a run, sniffing and trying to just listen to my breathing rather than to the grief whispering in my ear.

As I turned right down Hollywood Boulevard, I got an eyeful of a luminous crescent moon in the perfect "smile" position above the palm trees.  Of course I thought of one my favorite fictional characters, the Cheshire Cat.  And I thought of Max.  And for a moment my heart swelled with happiness as I thought perhaps the Big Cat in the Sky was grinning down at me.