June 21st, 2012



I'm looking forward to a fun day of waiting for the air conditioner repairman to call me back. Not that I was planning to go anywhere because I have work to do and am feeling very antisocial, but still, waiting is irritating. The AC isn't exactly broken, but it doesn't seem to be working as efficiently. For a while, I thought it was just a perception, since I'd been in a cooler climate and in situations where others controlled the AC, which meant it was cooler than I was used to, so naturally I'd feel warmer at home with my usual settings. But yesterday it really seemed like it was cooler without the AC than with it, and the air coming out of the vents was just coolish, so I figured it's been at least seven years since it was worked on and I might as well get a check-up. The last company I dealt with irked me by acting like doing any work on it was pointless since it would fail completely very soon, and I should just buy a whole new system from them, and thus the not dealing with them (and it's still plugging away). After an Internet search, I found a locally owned mom-and-pop operation that got outstanding customer reviews on all the various customer-review sites, and they all seemed to say the kind of things I did about previous companies -- got tired of them barely doing any repair work because they were too busy trying to sell a new system -- but these guys are supposedly a lot easier to deal with and are more honest. We'll see. I just hope they can squeeze me in before we hit 100-degree temperatures next week. If it's running non-stop to maintain my 80-degree indoor temperature on a 92-degree day, 100 degrees will kill it.

And if waiting for the repairman to set an appointment isn't enough, I've just entered the nailbiting phase of a project. The first book of a potential new series went out on submission this week. It's a young adult steampunk fantasy, and I really, really love it, so I want it to find a good home. If you've heard me do readings at conventions in the past couple of years, you may have heard the opening to this book. Say a prayer, cross your fingers, light a candle, do a ritual dance or whatever it is you do to invoke good fortune for others. The submission phase can be draining because it seems like even with a successful project, you start being hammered by rejection after rejection, each one wearing away at your self-confidence. By the time someone makes an offer (and making an offer takes more time than rejection because it usually has to go through layers of bureaucracy), it's more relief than joy. That's kind of the down side of having an agent make submissions. On your own, you're really only supposed to submit to one publisher at a time, so it's submit, wait, get rejected, then submit, wait, get rejected. With an agent doing multiple submissions, you can get rejected nearly every day for weeks. Whee! But apparently my agent got a great response from talking about this book to editors, and I think it's a wonderful book and have had enthusiastic responses to my readings from it, so I'm optimistic.

Having copy edits to review/input for book 5 will help distract me for a while. There's a lot to do to get that book ready for publication, and we're heading into the final stretch. I had some attention span issues yesterday, to the point I timed my attention span at about seven minutes, but I think most of it was dread of starting. There's something about getting copy edits that makes me not want to look. It's like getting a school paper you slaved over handed back to you, and you dread seeing the red marks all over it. Then I reminded myself that it's my book, the copy editor works for me, and if I don't like her feedback, I don't have to take it. And then I looked at the edits, and so far they've been really minor. This is the same editor who's done my other books, and she's a fan of the series, so she gets my voice and my style and doesn't try to "fix" it, like some editors are prone to doing. The rest of it should go pretty quickly. That is, if the AC gets tuned up before it gets too terribly hot.