Dear creative friends,
During these times of dramatic world events, it seems rather self-absorbed for fiction writers like me to spend so much time recording our own thoughts and emotions. Yet R.V. Cassill says, “Writing is a way of coming to terms with the world and with oneself. The whole spirit of writing is to overcome narrowness and fear by giving order, measure, and significance to the flux of experience constantly dinning into our lives.”
So I continue writing. I have not, however, achieved any publishing success. The most recent New York agent to express an
interest in my novel, Desert Medicine, has declined to represent it. But, she wrote the following encouraging words:
I find your writing lyrical, visual and often moving.Â The stories of Laurelle and Rhoda are so
vivid and true and the reader empathizes with both of them.Â You have a gift for truly American characters and a wonderful grasp of human troubles. You are a talented writer indeed.
Please let me know of any other work you might be doing and keep in touch. I appreciated this chance.
However, she thinks that the novel would be difficult to market, and:
The book lacks enough drive for all of its length and canvas. It needs more gas, more thrust, more push
somehow to keep us breathless and rooting throughout. Something is ultimately too leisurely and it finally didn't grab me by the throat.
I once asked my midwife (my boys were born at home) how she was able to stay in the business for years and years despite the sleep deprivation, and she said that her work had taught her
something about herself: She possessed endurance. I’ve come to the conclusion that that’s what the writing life is teaching me.
In addition to continuing to file rejections, I’ve picked up
the pace on my next novel, set in Nebraska. My newest game plan is to finish this new novel within a year and send it to the same agent, because she said she’d like to see more of my work.
In the meantime, I’ll attend a couple writers’ conferences (San Diego in January and Grand Rapids, MI in April for the Festival of Faith & Writing) so that I can network and stay inspired.
May you endure despite setbacks and passionately learn from each new experience,
P.S. See my Christmas card at www.judyalexander.com. Please sign the guestbook.
I also have a new web site up and running: www.literarychristian.com
Feel free to forward this email to your creative friends.