You know you’ve been on holiday when…

… You can’t remember the password to log into your blog. I’m taking it as a good sign!

I’ve come to a few decisions in the last week. First, I am going to enter the Choc-Lit Search For An Australian star competition. http://www.choc-lit.co.uk/html/search_for_an_australian_star.html

I’ve been dithering on this because when I read the entry, I thought a condition of entry was that you couldn’t have your work out with any other agent or publisher. But I’ve had a few further communications with them in the interim and they’ve been very helpful about pointing out that you can put your book out to others, you just have to tell them if it gets accepted anywhere. (Note to self, read conditions more thoroughly!) The competition closes at the end of August and I should make it after this last re-read. I figure I have absolutely nothing to lose in entering.

Second, I’m going to enter RWA’s STALI later this year.

And third, I’m going to declare His Brand Of Beautiful finished (or at least finished for now), when I hit send on the email to Choc-Lit. I’ll be out of action for September as I have been seconded into doing Jury Duty… which feels like such a novel excuse for not writing much, pardon the pun, but it will give me a good block of head-space and something else to think about for a month.

I could muck about with HBOB forever at this point but I don’t think I’m achieving much. It’s time to grit my teeth, brush up on that thick skin and look for some feedback. I have read, read and re-read it so much I need to wave it goodbye. Or I need a critique partner perhaps, but I keep dithering on that too.

I have another project ready to go. The first book I wrote was called Fringe Benefits. I queried this way back in early 2011 to Harlequin Desire directly (before it crossed my mind to think about agents). They asked to see 3 chapters off the query before ultimately rejecting it (with a very nice letter that said “they found parts of it compelling” but I had too much focus on point of view of secondary characters that detracted from the main characters, and they also highlighted pacing as something I had to work on.) All of which led me to a heap of articles on line about POV, pacing and flashbacks, ie. Don’t Do Them!

Given what I’ve seen of rejection letters (mine and the others online), as far as that one went I came out of it feeling positive. Kudos to Harlequin for that.

Lately it’s Fringe Benefits that has been on my mind more and more and with what I feel I’ve learned as far as craft, especially in the last year, I’m excited about re-writes on this and where it might end up. It’s another contemporary romance loosely based in the Australian wine industry; this one a reunion romance with a broke and stubborn viticulturist heroine; a tycoon winery-owner with a meddling mother, and a jealous love interest trying to ruin our heroine’s career. I remember it as being good fun when I started it. I know without looking that it needs a heap of work.

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