Sunday, January 25, 2009

PHC Meta-Update | Agents, Allergies, and the Awesomeness of Experts

Thanks to McKoala's cleverness, the Public Humiliation Challenge updates are now sequestered to the sidebar. Huzzah! Your Google Reader shall be spammed no more! Of course, the B. S. Haiku will also be rarer. Yes, I'm sure you're all crushed.

I have also included links to the PHC badges, since I made them and am geekily proud of them. Feel free to snarfle these if you wish to join the challenge. (And come on; lookit dat oochy-coochy koala--don't you want to join just to have her on your sidebar?)


I had my first drink in fifteen years on Wednesday. That makes it sound like I'm an alcoholic who has just fallen off the wagon, but the truth is a margin weirder and not at all alarming. I stopped drinking alcohol because it made me feel sick--but a lot of things were making me sick at the time.

In my mid-twenties, I started having health issues with my gut (the less said, the better), and a series of invasive and uncomfortable medical tests left me,
1) still not knowing what was wrong, and
2) disinclined to go see any more doctors.

About ten years later, it was getting to the point I didn't see how I could continue living normally, i.e. hold down a job, etc., if I didn't get this sorted out. I wasn't in good shape.

A gentle and understanding GP sent me to a very smart GE specialist, who didn't put me through the painful tests again, but instead examined all the evidence and then gave me the most helpful "I can't help you" statement I've ever heard. He said, "I don't know what this is. Try an allergist."

Even now, I'm shocked at how quickly my years-long trouble wrapped itself up. The allergist listened to my woes, prescribed a medication and--with a few caveats--I've been fine ever since. I am so damned grateful for this.

Now to swing it all around to writing: When Nathan Bransford was on the Book Roast this past week, it gave me another opportunity to think kind thoughts at the man. As you might know, if Nathan rejects your query, you can email him and give him permission to critique it on his blog, and he might decide to do so.

He did this for me, and that experience had a lot in common with, "I don't know what this is. Try an allergist." At the time, hearing what Nathan had to say made me pretty unhappy, but it also sorted out my problems fast. I rewrote the opening scene of my novel and had an offer from my agent, Eleanor Wood of Spectrum Literary Agency, as soon as she finished reading the full. I had racked up about 25 rejections, with only one request for a partial, prior to that. Nathan? I am so damned grateful for that critique.

Publishing can move pretty slowly. It's been almost a year since I signed on with my agent, so although I don't believe in posting details unless there's real news, I thought I'd give you an update on the book. Last I heard, there are two editors interested, but they both have to get an okay from higher up in the company before they can make an offer. Given the state of the publishing industry in today's economy, nothing is certain, but keep your fingers crossed for me!

Having my first belt of rum in fifteen years was not, in fact, correlated with the above; I just wanted to see if I could do it. It's taken me a while to get braver about trying things I know used to cause me pain, but I am getting there.

Hard liquor still tastes really bad, however. Pity I'm still allergic to wine and beer. If and when my book sells, I shall toast that fact with chocolate!

Pageloads since 01/01/2009: