Nicole Flockton

Be whatever you want to be.

25 February 2010

The First Wait is Over

Back in November I sent my full manuscript off to Desire. Over the last couple of weeks I'll admit to checking the answering machine to see if it was flashing for a message or checking the mail box for any sign of a letter.

Well the wait is over. Today I received a rejection. Guess I didn't make the Olympic team! It wasn't a form rejection which is a plus. There were things that just didn't work in the story. Those things are what I need to work on. I've sent it off to someone who has never seen the story before to see if she could also pick up on the points the editor did.

At the end of the letter she wished me luck but didn't suggest I send her anything else. But guess what, I'm not going to let that stop me. I also have in my possession another rejection - that one a form rejection, from the same Associate Editor saying to feel free to query her again. Ironically, when I first queried on this story she rejected it then. Then I did an online pitch with another editor and she requested the partial, then the full. Guess it still didn't work for the first editor :)

The plus side of it, at least I know where it fell down and what I need to fix. So I'll give it time. Work on my full requested Medical then look back at it and send it off to another publisher. The more I get it out there the more chance I have of getting it published or at the very least ideas on how to improve my writing.

So this Olympian/Author wannabe hasn't given up!


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21 February 2010

Olympics and Writing

So the games are on and I've spent the last week watching them. It's been great and the grit and determination and commitment of the athletes is something to aspire to.

I know Australia won't do well that well, we don't get a lot of snow and are more a summer sport country than winter sports. I think I read on the internet that a base has been set up overseas for our athletes. It does make sense. I'm sure the sponsorship deals aren't as big as our summer Olympic athletes. Of course I have no basis to prove this comment so it's just a pie in the sky comment by me.

I believe a few of the Australian athletes reside in the US or other European cities. It makes sense, particularly with the amount of snow the US has received this year!

As a writer you have the joy and anticipation of getting the call and then waiting for the book to be on the shelves. Depends on who you are published with your book can be on the shelf for quite a few weeks.

If you are Olympian, you spend years training, honing your craft and skill level to reach the pinnacle of your sport. You attend the Olympic trials and do your best to make the team. For some that's when the first disappointment occurs. You then have to wait another 4 years for your chance to make the team. In between there is always the world championships you can attend. I guess you could say that's when you receive a form rejection.

There's the elation of making the team, achieving one part of your goal. The build up and the anticipation of going to a different place and culture. There's the fitting for your uniform and the team camps you attend. This is when you've had the request for a full .

The first big day has arrived, you are preparing to enter the stadium in your shiny new uniform for the opening ceremony. Perhaps you've even been given the honour of carrying your country's flag. We could say you've sent your requested full off and got a letter back requesting revisions.

After much sweat, blood and tears the day of your event has arrived. Butterflies the size of elephants take up residence in your stomach. You get yourself to that place in your mind. You focus and then you make your way to the starting line. You start. Everything is going beautifully, your technique is flawless. You are sailing down the snow covered mountain, or skating on pristine ice. And then in a split second it happens, you twist the wrong way and you fall. Your Olympic dream is over. You don't make the final and you don't get on the podium and you have to wait another four long years to feel the adrenalin rush of an Olympic Games. Yes you attend world championships and win, but you don't get what is revered above all - that Olympic Gold Medal. It's the rejection letter you get after you've slaved over one or maybe two revisions. Do you want to go on? Of course you do, you love it. It's your passion. You don't give up.

What just occurred above, happened to the competitor before you. Now it's your turn. You start off and you sail down the mountain or across the ice with the fastest speed or highest score. And at the end it is your name sitting atop of that list. You are number 1. You are an Olympic Gold Medalist. In a writers life, that's when you get the CALL. You are going to be a PUBLISHED AUTHOR.

It may happen at your first Olympics or your third. It may happen with your first manuscript or it may take you ten or more manuscripts but you get there. The one common thread between you and that Olympian - you never gave up. You followed your dream. And yes you may fall and miss the podium but you get back up and dust yourself off ready for the next Olympics or the next manuscript.

One day I will be that Olympic Gold Medalist and for me it will be when I have that book in my hand. With my name on the cover and know that in a few short weeks it will be on the bookshelf for all to see.

Enjoy the Games!


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14 February 2010

February - The Month of Love

Well you could class February as the month of Love. Valentine's Day is celebrated smack bang in the middle of it.

This year I've experienced a different Valentine's Day. Here in the US Valentine's Day is a big event. The kids at school hand out Valentine's Cards to everyone. It seems that this day is a bit bigger than Christmas. My kids didn't get any Xmas cards from their school mates. To be honest I don't think it made a huge difference to them. Zane had never passed a lot of cards out as he'd only been at daycare, whereas Skylar had been at school for 3 years. It's funny that no comments were made by them. Maybe it was because it felt a little different. Of course come Christmas day they were pleased to see lots of gifts under the tree.

A few people believe Valentine's Day is a "Hallmark" Holiday. Perhaps it is. I do appreciate my loved ones everyday. It was actually quite sweet in my household. My gorgeous son told his dad "You are so taking me to Walmart to buy mum some flowers and makeup." Of course there was payback, a few days later he came up to me and said, "Mum, if I get you something for Valentine's Day will you give me something?".

So come Valentines Day I hear the voices of my two kids, trying to be quiet to surprise me with their gifts. It was very cute. My handsome hubby is enroute to India so we miss spending the day together. But he phoned me and that's all that really matters to me.

So what do you think of Valentine's Day? Just a commercial endeavour? Or something more?