You might remember that a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to the Meacham Writers’ Conference. The day finally came. If you’ve never been to a workshop before, it’s like showing off your new baby to a bunch of strangers whose job is to find your baby’s flaws. Yeah, kind of scary. Since I’m not the best judge of my own work. I was nervous. What made it even worse was that I didn’t have anything new to submit, I just dusted off an old novel that had been “trunked” for the last six or seven years. So I hadn’t had time to decide if that “spot” on the cheek of chapter one was a cute freckle or a witchy mole with hair growing out of it. My other worry was that this old manuscript is what I call my “heart novel.” And I really didn’t want the story to be dumped on.
Mine was one of the last manuscripts to be dealt with in the workshop. I was a little more relaxed because everyone seemed to be knowledgeable about writing and fair. But I was still pasting on my it’s-okay-I-can-take-criticism face in case I was told the story was trite or cliché or had a witchy mole in chapter one.
As it turned out the spot was a very cute freckle, and the baby was tickled and cooed over. The seminar leader told me to get the book in the hands of agents asap. I was stunned—my baby wasn’t a three-eyed alien. I guess I’m going to dress the book in its cutest ruffles and frills, i.e. re-edit it one more time and look for an agent.