9 Years Ago…

Nine years ago, I made the easiest decision (and most important) of my life.Wedding003

I said “I do” to Bryan.

Well, actually I made the decision to marry him long before then, but it was official on Sept 17th.

WeddingKissThis is yet another time for me to brag, folks. Fair warning.

It really was an easy decision. I knew Bryan was the only one for me. The best choice I could ever make. The best father I could ever ask for for our children.

Nine years later, it’s incredible everything we’ve gone through, and the love between us is infinitely stronger than on our wedding day. Didn’t think that was possible on that hot day in September all those years ago, but it’s true.

I can honestly say we’ve never had a major fight. Not one. Disagreements, sure. Tested each other’s patience, of course. But never a fight.

Respect is the foundation of our relationship, which is why I think we’ve never really fought. I value his opinion. He values mine. He tells me he’s proud of me, and I remind him every day how much I love him. He supports me even when I’m crazy, and tells me I’m beautiful even when I’m sick. He’s the one I go to when I don’t know what to do.

HappyPlace

My Happy Place… with Bryan

He’s my happy place.

Here’s to my love. My inspiration. My boo:

Where does the time go? You’ve made my life so rich with love, so warm, and more than I could have ever hoped for.

I love you, Bryan. Happy Anniversary.

Romance Manuscript Woes – Final Swan Song

Another bird portrait. The white swan from Aub...

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I had to sit on this thought for the last week. I didn’t want to make any rash decisions on this, considering that I’ve worked five years (off and on) on my first manuscript. But last weekend I received another rejection on my full manuscript submission to a literary agent. I appreciated her thoughts on my work, and that she actually spent the time to personalize her rejection, inform why it didn’t work for her and gave me specific examples on what didn’t jive.

But it still hurt. A lot. No one likes to hear their first baby (granted, just a piece of literature) is unliked. The unpopular manuscript in class. But as I sit back and reread her rejection email over and over like a deranged mother, I realize it has a lot in common with another personalized rejection letter I received a few months ago from another agent. Both reference issues with voice and style (in one form or another). And any writer, or aspiring writer can tell you that’s not something that can be fixed overnight. Not even over a weekend or month. It can take some writers years to develop their voice. And that thought crushed my motivation.

After spending five years on my first manuscript, and now I’m halfway through my second story, having to spend MORE years trying to develop my style and voice before acquiring an agent is the epitome of frustrating. So I’ve stewed over this for the last week, discussed it with my husband and perused the blog tours for more insight. And I believe I’ve come to a heart-breaking decision.

I need to shove my first baby in a drawer and let it alone. It has sung its final swan song.

Maybe down the road when I’m more experienced and have a more developed voice I can go back and rewrite it *gasping and sobbing at the thought of starting from a blank slate*.  Maybe I’ll have a better chance with this second story I’m writing. I’m not too far into this manuscript that I can’t go back and fix some things relating to my voice.

I’m not being overly dramatic in my decision. Just two rejection notices and I give up on it? Absolutely not. This is after probably 40 rejections on this thing over the years (between publishers and agencies). I’ve given this manuscript a good run. The story is great, the plot is well-developed and I really like the characters. It was all about voice. Probably just sheer lack of experience in putting words onto a page. And that’s what hurts the most. That’s what a writer does. Puts words on a page. And if I’m having the biggest problems with that aspect, then what does that say about me as a writer?

My motto has always been to keep writing forward. And I will. But it’s been a little harder this week. After all, practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. And if I’m practicing bad writing, that’s exactly what I’ll be: a bad writer. And I don’t handle failure well.

So here I go: keep pushing forward, no matter how much muck and sludge I have to plow through. Keep writing forward.