Seven hundred and sixty-five

Blessing in disguise: the end of my relationship with my literary agent

Sometimes things don’t happen the way that you planned, or you wanted, or you expected them to.  Sometimes those things initially shock, disappoint and upset you.  Sometimes we all need these moments to grow and to learn.  Sometimes they are blessings in disguise.

I have officially ended my relationship with the literary agent and agency I was working with.  Perhaps one day I’ll write about my experience, once it’s all sunk in and I can look at it with a little less emotion than I feel at the moment.  Needless to say it wasn’t a happy ending; the ending that I dreamed when I got an agent right away and I hoped a publishing deal would follow within the year.  It wasn’t a fairytale ending, but I did learn a lot.  My ex-agent helped to motivate me and edit my work and I am grateful for that.

I admit I was too naive, trusting, and didn’t listen to my gut six months ago when a nagging feeling started to tell me things weren’t right.  I waited around, was patient and understanding, was trying to be a good person.  I guess in business good people don’t finish on top.  It’s sad.  I’m sad.  But, as the saying goes: this too shall pass.

The more I think about it, the more I can see the happy ending.  It might not be the one I had expected, but it’s there.  And now I have control of my own work again.  I don’t have to wait around.  It’s up to me now.

And so, here I go on a new journey with the book/blog.  I’m not sure where it will take me yet.  I need a few days to figure out this new path I am on.  Perhaps I will self publish, or look for a different agent and agency.  I’ve started writing another book, so maybe that will be the one I take with me now.  As my friend said to me today, just because I didn’t think this is the way it was all supposed to go down, doesn’t mean it’s not the way it’s supposed to go.  It was a learning experience from the very beginning with this blog and every up and down has taught me a lot about myself and the world.  This is just one bump in a series of them.

Today I am allowing myself to mourn the loss of the way I dreamed it would go.  Tomorrow I begin steps towards something beyond my dreams.  I believe now, as I have always believed.  It will happen with more hard work and faith.  Even if today I’m a little sad.

Four hundred and forty-three

Update on the book and the publishing process

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated you all on the publishing process, and I know some of you are interested for your own writing journey, so I figured today would be a good day.  Well that and the fact that I’ve spent the day biking across the city, visiting one of my best friends and her adorable newborn baby (who spit up on me on several occasions, but completely adorable spit ups), then writing about Cooking 30 Countries and the aftermath of date month, and I’m pretty exhausted.

To recap how the process has gone so far:

  • After my blog was featured on Freshly Pressed, I got an e-mail from a literary agent asking to meet with me about representation.
  • We met for tea (her) and coffee (me), all went well and I sent her my prologue.
  • She and her intern both liked what I wrote and we decided to work together.
  • I am writing the book and sending it to the agent section by section for her to edit and makes suggestions as to formatting, the  information I’ve chosen to include, and the flow.

What’s happening now:

I’m up to the fourth month/section in writing and the second in editing.  My agent was away at the book fair in London, England (sort of speed dating for agents and publishers) and just got back.  She has sent me her edits for the prologue and the Extreme Couponing section which have been really helpful in pointing out what things I’m missing.  Sometimes it’s hard to make sure to explain everything and include all the details, instead of just filling them in in my head and assuming the reader will figure it out.  As well, she’s been great at filtering out unnecessary information I’ve added.  I’m pretty proud of what’s been written so far.  I think it’s going to be a really fun book!

We met the other day and chatted a lot about things I need to focus on in my writing as well as general book trends in the publishing industry (apparently erotica is very hot right now – excuse the pun – because of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy that has been flying off the shelves).  I am officially signing a contract with her once a friend of mine looks it over and we make sure we’re all happy  (it looks fair to me so far, but it’s good to get a second professional opinion before signing anything).  She then will start pitching the book to editors and publishers, starting with New York, then at other book fairs depending on what the market is looking like for the type of book I’m writing.  From there it’s up to my agent to negotiate for me and find the right fit for an editor and publisher with my book.  It’s all pretty exciting.  And I’m really liking how the book is going so far with the writing.

Alas, it needs to be finished before any publishing happens, so I better get back to it and write a little more before bed…

Three hundred and seventy-three

My first Wednesday post

As promised, here is my soon-to-be-regular Wednesday contribution – what I’m up to, what I’m interested in, and how the book is coming along.  (Although I’m having a hard time deciding what to call my posts now that they aren’t the date number.  Can I just keep with the numbering system even if it’s past 366?)

First of all, I’ve been approached by a literary agent and am meeting with her on Friday to discuss the book!!!  I’m not sure this is good form to talk about this (although I talk about everything else, so why not this too?), but it does make me very excited about writing this book and getting it out into the world!  I’m really interested to sit down with her and talk about the crazy world of publishing.

As I’m admittedly very new at this (another thing I’m not sure I should admit), I’m eager to get the ball rolling, discuss options and propel my ideas forward into the realm of hand held, tangible, beautiful, sit-on-your-shelf-for-years-to-come-or-lend-to-your-friends-even-though-you’ll-probably-never-get-them-back books.  As much as I love the blogosphere and the immediacy of writing daily on the internet, there’s something so special and sacred about the feel of the paper in your hands as you turn the pages.  I’m a little old fashioned that way, I know.  And they’re probably not great for the environment.  But I love them anyways.

All this talk of the book has inspired me to head out of the city and hole up in my parents’ house in the country to write for a couple of days.  I love the fresh air and quiet out here.  And I love my mom’s pinball machine, when I want to procrastinate.

The research rabbit hole

The internet adds to both my procrastination and my inspiration when I’m trying to write.  I tend to fall down into the research rabbit hole a couple of times a day.  How can you not click on a link in an article, that takes you to another article, which has another link, etc etc?  Knowledge is my drug of choice.  I get high off learning more about random topics I am interested in at the time (anything from the history of the Toronto FC soccer team, to how to bake gluten-free cookies, to whether it’s “pique” or “peak”).  My name is Lindsay and I am a Google addict.

One of the most interesting things about this past year has been the range of topics I covered and therefore the amount of subjects that now pique my interest when I see them posted elsewhere, in a link from a link, or in the news.  Such as where the items we buy and use come from and how that’s impacting other people in the world, economies, and our environment.  A huge topic, I realize, and one I can’t seem to wrap my head around completely.

My cousin Nikki has been a blogger for years (way before I got into it) and she often posts very interesting articles on fair trade, ethical shopping, volunteering, traveling, among other things.  Yesterday she wrote about how we buy shoes that are ethically made.  I was so upset to read that my TOMS – the shoes that I thought were helping the world by me purchasing them instead of another company’s shoes – are not so helpful after all.  They might actually be doing more harm than helping.

That led me to how TOMS are listed as one of the 7 worst international aid ideas on the independent travel publisher, matadornetwork.com.

“Shoelessness, such as it is, is a symptom of a much bigger and more complex problem. And while donating a pair of shoes helps shoelessness, it does not help poverty.

Things like jobs help poverty. Jobs making things like shoes, for example. But TOMS doesn’t make its shoes in Africa, it makes them in China.”

This article blew my mind!  It really opened my ideas to a lot of seemingly helpful ideas that are instead making things worse.  How did I not think of these things before?

A photo for no reason at all

One of the things I did in Montreal that led to me having to wear plastic bags between my socks and the inside of my boots (yep, it was very uncomfortable – especially when I found a hole in one of the bags!):