Encouraging Rejections

No one likes rejection, right? But the other night, I got one of the nicest rejections ever. I’ve had a few of those along the way, and they always cheer me immeasurably.

The rejection in question was in response to a query for my novel, The Last Summer Queen. After apologizing for taking six months to get back to me, the agent wrote that they didn’t take novels like mine, but that after reading what I’d sent, she’d been tempted. And to please keep them in mind if I write another novel.

Now I had to question what reasoning allowed me to send a novel that didn’t fit, although that’s a longer discussion for another day. But yes, indeed, I have a novel in the pipeline that, judging by what she said, might work for her. If only I had time enough to write it now.

An encouraging rejection is not an acceptance, after all. But it is encouraging. And I was … encouraged.

Totally fits with my Embracing Rejection approach to submissions.

I’m Busy

No joke. It’s a busy time of year and I find myself getting more and more distracted.

The photo shows yesterday’s garden haul. Cucumbers and eggplant, peppers and cherry tomatoes. I gave away most everything. While I’m planning on making babaganoush one of these days, it won’t be today. The cukes and tomatoes I still have will go into dinner salads. I just have to run out and buy lettuce. Maybe tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the PitchWars submission starts a week from today. The Romance Writers of America contest submission will go in later that same week. I’m still waiting to hear from six agents and an e-publisher. I’m staying positive and Learning2bLucky about it all.

Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking–incessantly–about an old story I tried to write many years ago. Clones steal a human egg that’s earmarked to produce a genetically different leader for their world. And get caught. Can’t get it out of my mind. Keep writing notes. And frankly, I’m too busy for short-story writing at the moment.

I also have it mind to start some microgreens in the basement. That seems doable in October. Since I have zero experience, I’m eagerly asking for advice from the knowledgeable.

Here’s hoping for cooler temps as summer comes to an end this weekend. Happy Fall.

Windy Sunday

Got out early this morning. The temps are predicted to be in the upper 80’s with heat index closer to upper 90’s, so any outside work had to get done before the heat set in. Here are the morning glories with the sun rising in the background.

Lots of veggies to harvest and lots of weeds too, but it’s coming down to planting cool weather crops and getting the flower beds ready for winter.

Happy Sunday, all.

Finally, Watermelon

Short blog today. I’m running, with lots to do this month both writing and in the garden. It’s the start of fall, despite the sizzling September temperatures.

But here’s our success story for the week. We actually grew an edible watermelon.

Some years were too hot, too dry, or too wet at the wrong time. Most years, we picked it too soon or too late. Some years coyote or deer got to it first, destroying the fruit.

But this year, the heavens shone on us and we got one–maybe two–amazing, enormous, sweet and delicious melons.

Yay.

Soggy Sunday

It’s raining again, half-an-inch overnight with more to come. Lucky for me, since I won’t have to water today. But later this week, we’ll need to mow. The grass is thick and green and growing.

But signs of fall are everywhere. Here are some black-eyed Susans–or are they miniature sunflowers–growing near an old tank on 311 Street.

#Pit-Mad is over and the submissions requested through the day have been sent. Yay. Now it’s time to start thinking about PitchWars and a Romance Writers of America contest I stumbled over–perfect for The Last Summer Queen.

In the garden, Jim trucked home the soil I need to build the berm to plant the weeping cherry tree on order. It will provide the “ceiling” for the Meditation Garden, sometime in the next ten years.

I also have enough mulch to finish fall planting and bed clean-up. The red clover–my experimental cover crop–is coming up apace. Although I’m behind in dividing daylilies, I’ve moved most of the ferns from the north side to the front, under the pin oaks. They seem to be doing well.

Carrying on. Hope your September is all you dreamed.

#PitMad

Today is #PitMad. For the non-novelists reading this, #PitMad is a Twitter event to pitch unpublished novels to agents.

I’m pitching my unpublished paranormal romance The Last Summer Queen. I’ll also be looking for a mentor via PitchWars to give me assist. I finished the novel last December, significantly edited and revised in June, a process I wrote about in Twelve Thousand Words. I’ve queried about thirty agents and had one agent ask for a full read. Exciting, but I haven’t heard back.

So keeping-on, Pitch Wars may give me insight into how to better market my novel. Especially since I’m halfway–HALFWAY YAY–through the second in this three (okay, maybe four) novel series.

#PitMad gives you a chance to pitch three times during the day. I plan to pitch at 8 am, 11 am, and 3 pm. Here are my three pitches:

#1: Dance and sing and lie in wait. Summer’s sting is Winter’s fate. “The Last Summer Queen” #paranormalromance #pitmad

#2: Will Macy embrace her role as Summer Queen and convince Ethan to be her Winter King? Will Ethan’s unwillingness to be a father keep him trapped in Holiday forever? Or will they learn that love really is the greatest magic of all? #paranormalromance #pitmad

#3: Macy is eager to get pregnant, the price to practice magic. Ethan agrees to father her child so he can go home. But first they must confront sideways magic, lost powers, and a deadly curse. And whatever happens, they must not fall in love.  #paranormalromance #pitmad

See a way to improve any of it? Please comment!

If you’re on Twitter and want to help out, please go to my profile, which you can fine @sykreps. The #pitmad tweets will be pinned under my profile at 8 am, 11 am, and 3 pm. Please RETWEET but please do not LIKE. Likes are reserved for agents.

Clearly, the more times a tweet is retweeted, the more likely it is to be seen by the right agent. One of the things I’ve learned in #Learning2bLucky, is to take advantage of every opportunity to meet my goal. #PitMad is one of those opportunities.

Thanks for reading.

Cover Crop

Happy Labor Day and Welcome September!

The photo shows the bed I used this year for lettuce and beans, now sprouting red clover.

This year, I decided to try a cover crop in my raised beds–at least in some of them–instead of using black plastic bags as a weed preventer. Or discourager, since nothing prevents weeds.

The purpose of the cover crop–besides crowding out weeds–is to add nitrogen to the soil. And of course, nitrogen is one of the fertilizers that help plants grow.

I chose red clover, available at Amazon here, but probably available at your local nursery or farm supply store. If this is something for you to try, make sure you buy inoculated seed. Innoculation adds a bacterial rhizome, important when adding nitrogen to the soil. It’s the bacteria that converts nitrogen from the atmosphere into nitrogen the plants can use.

I’ve planted red clover before and the flowers are gorgeous. I’m leaving this bed alone for a full year–meaning I’m skipping a season of planting anything else here–to see how well the clover enriches the soil.

Meanwhile, while I’d like to say the daylily separation project proceeds apace, it’s really at a slow pace. The rainy weather has turned the yard and all the flower beds into mini-swamps. Not good for transplanting. I do have some yellow, orange, and pink divided and available to good homes.

Here’s to some dry, cooler weather. While September can be sizzling hot, all the signs point to an early fall. We’ll see.