The waiting game

Hi everyone,

Sometimes people who are not in the business ask how it’s possible to be at work on so many books at once. Here’s part of the answer. As of now:

1) Last Friday I completed the third draft of the long story I’ve been mentioning. I promptly sent it out. I’ll continue to fact check a bit but basically I’m in a waiting period on that one for now.
2) A story in verse that I co-wrote with Sandy Asher is with an editor who says she likes it but wants to make some suggestions. The play that grew from it (JESSE AND GRACE) was published some time ago and has been produced. The current interest in publishing the story as a book might or might not lead to a contract but of course we’re eager to see what she has to say. We expect to receive her notes later this week. For now, I wait.IMAG1194
3) I’m working on a 200+ page professional book with Mary Jo Fresch. We wrote a 9,000 word prospectus, waited for readers to respond, and now need to get back together to plan how to finish the book. But for unrelated reasons, my writing partner is involved in something else for a while so for now, I wait.
4) Early last week I completed a new book of poems, a work that began years ago. I don’t want to know how many times I rewrote that manuscript or how many of the original poems I eventually replaced. Now it’s done and that feels good. It has no artist yet and no pub date. Next step will be when I hear from the copyeditor with a list of questions. For now, of course, I wait.IMAG1200
5) I’ve proposed to write an expanded version of a professional book co-authored with Laurie Edmondson. Tentative interest has been expressed by a publisher but further discussion probably won’t happen until July or perhaps September. For now? Wait.
6) I wrote poems for three books for the classroom: grades 4, 5, and 6, all supporting specific core curriculum subjects. My co-author for content is Tim Rasinski. After completing my work, the publisher elected to roll all three books into one. Some work remains to be done but the combined title is on track for publication this fall. For now I have nothing to do but wait.

There are several other manuscripts out for review, a typical situation for a writer. At the moment I have nine, including a couple I wrote with Jane Yolen and a collaboration with Cheryl Harness.
IMAG1203
So as of today I am officially out of work on all fifteen projects. Something new could drop in my lap any time, and usually does, but for now I can do one of two things. Write or wait. I’m not good at waiting.

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14 comments on “The waiting game

  1. The key to success for both of you–“not good at waiting.” The more mss. you have out there, the better your odds of acceptance. Thanks for the good work ethic example. I look forward to seeing all of your new work!

    • Thank you, Jane. The nearest I ever come to panic is on days like this. It’s like treading water in the middle of the Atlantic and knowing you have to pick a direction and get started. I started a poem this morning that I rather like. Whew.

    • While entirely true, I’ve wondered a time or two if I should have taken up professional bowling. The odds might have been better.

  2. Or, speaking of odds, a professional poker player can make more money and have to wait less to find out if he/she’s made it. And biggest bonus of all–no Kirkus reviews.

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