Pretend like you give a spit.


Ignoring instructions. And enjoying the journey. Note to self: don't cross eyes in self-portraits.


If you’re reading this, stop now.  I mean it.  Don’t read another word.  This post is not for you.




Apparently, I attract people who don’t follow instructions well, because you’re still reading.  You rebel, you!  OK, you’ve proven your loyalty, so I guess it’s alright for you to be in on the scoop.

I want to update the insubordinate/faithful on how “t’ings” are going.  That would be “t’ings” as in my relatively new foray into bloggerdom, the search for an agent/representation, and writing in general.  *Snore* I know.  At least I’m not updating you on my plantar fasciitis or triathlon-training schedule.  See, I warned you not to read this.

Road to Joy:

Holy cow, where did all’a’y’all come from???

Facebook: 897

Twitter: 1115

Monthly numbers: I crested 3000.  Woo-to-the-hoo.  That’s huge for me, as I a) blog on nothing whatsoever and b) only launched in April, when I had 842 clicks.  Every repeat visitor clicks less at each visit — they tend to explore categories when they’re new, click click a’clicking as they go.  And each time someone subscribes via email or RSS, they quit clicking altogether.  So the increase in clicks represents a larger-than-obvious increase in new visitors and repeat visits.

RSS: I am close to professional status on WordPress now (ha).  While I’ve learned a lot about how not to publish a blog that looks like a pile of poo, I still don’t know how to figure out my subscription numbers via RSS.  I know the number grows faster than email subscribers.  I want to track it, but frankly I’m not smart enough yet.  If anyone knows, give me a shout.

The e-newsletter list hit 1,200 today — and I’ve never even sent an actual e-newsletter.  I’m waiting; my plan is to send my first one when I can announce I have an agent.  By that time I may have to hire a (much) younger assistant to type for me as I waddle around blindly behind a walker, but don’t knock my plan.

Agent Search:

I have been told by many wiser and more experienced writers than me that I should expect my agent search to take years.  Surely they are wrong.  How bad does that suck?  I started looking for an agent in March of this year.

My agent search centers, for now, around Leaving Annalise.  An agent that read it twice and Going for Kona once offered detailed feedback on the books.  She declined to offer representation at that time, because she felt like the novels still needed work.

After crying for three weeks (you don’t believe me? ask Eric/@trimon29!), I dried my salty tears and started writing novel #3, Conceding Grace.  I wrote six chapters when, voila, I woke up one day itching to rewrite LA.  So I put CG down and did.  And, when I finished the rewrite, I requeried LA.

Querying: sending a letter to agents asking consideration for representation on a book.  Usually, an agent will not read any part of a novel without asking for it, after having first read a query letter.

p.s.  The norm these days is that publishers will not work directly with a first time novelist.  Unless you go the self-publishing route, you must lure an agent into representing you.

As a result of those queries in early September, three new agents requested and are reading the complete manuscript of LA.  I sent many more queries than those three; I received six rejections and did not hear back from a few others.  I am extremely encouraged to have three positive responses so quickly.

I am meeting face-to-face on October 9th with the agent who read LA and GK.  While I am not overly optimistic, I do feel that my rewrite is a substantial improvement and addresses her feedback.  She liked my writing enough to do three full reads of my work, and she asked that we stay in touch as I progress in my skill at writing full-length novels.  Cross fingers.  And toes.  Arms and legs would help, too.


See above.  Plus, now that I finished the LA rewrite, I am moving on to the GK rewrite.  My goal remains completion of GK and CG by year-end.

I hate to admit it, but the agent that broke my heart by declining (optimistic insert: “at that time”) to represent me was right.  I needed to go back, shake off my thrilling win of 2010 Texas Writers’ League Manuscript Contest, and get tough with myself about taking the quality of my novel-writing to a new level.  Unfortunately, I know that I must go through this hell many more times to become the novelist I will ultimately be.


I also know that I can’t rush the growth.  I’m unable to write a better novel TODAY.  I will learn more, write more, critique and be critiqued more, and then some day when I least expect it I will have an epiphany and sob and gnash my teeth and stay up 24 hours a day for days on end and forget to shower and brush my teeth and ignore the pitiful bleats of my husband, kids, and clients while I rewrite/improve my work again.

Finally, I entered a few more contest.  I kinda liked that whole “winning” thing.  Believe me, you’ll hear about it if I win another one. 🙂  Speaking of which, I learned today I am a finalist in the Houston Writers’ Guild Manuscript Contest for 2010.  And they give actual prize money!  That’s the kind of contest I want to win.  I’ll find out on 10-08-10.




So, all of you, whoever you are, in case you give a spit, that’s where t’ings stand.  I’m pleased.  And impatient.  Because I’m Type A and slightly OCD.  But what I also am is determined, with the stick-to-it-ness my father instilled in me.  I’m partway to somewhere and enjoying the ride.

Wishing you all success and joy on your journeys,


p.s. I am humbly grateful for your “followership” and support.  Thank you.

p.p.s. Special thanks, this time, to Eric and Heidi D for LA rewrite support.

27 Responses to “Pretend like you give a spit.”
  1. Erin says:

    You blow me away. You just started blogging a few months ago and have that much traffic? I’ve been blogging for years (well 2 1/2 ish) and I’m not nearly where you are. But I need to be about quality not quantity. Been trying to focus more on well-written posts that aren’t just drivel.

    Love that you are working on so much and have so many balls in the air. Admirable. #iamjealous.

    Teach me.

    • Pamela says:

      Erin, I have been AGGRESSIVE about building traffic. I felt the heat of seeking publication with no following, and I went after this with a vengeance. I went to a WRiters’ Digest Editors’ Conference, and they instilled the fear of God in us about marketing oneself. It’s kind of yucky to self-promote, but I have this terror of “dream agent” saying ok, publisher A won’t work with a writer that doesn’t have marketability — show us whatcha got. UH….well…nothing… 🙂

      Fear of humiliation and failure motivates me!

  2. Ann Brennan says:

    I was so excited to see a new post in my email box. You are really doing well. I can’t believe you are able to keep up with everything you have going but I think I have figured it out. You never sleep. Enjoy your week and congratulations on figuring out how to get the emails flowing again. These wordpress things take me weeks to figure out.

    • Pamela says:

      I don’t sleep and I am the freakin’ Energizer Bunny. Last January, my co-workers gave me a “you make us tired award.” I chose to view that as a compliment!!!!!! ha.

      You talk about me, but I read about your days, and the things you fit in while your kids are at activities. Ms fit in a 4.3 miles run in 38 minutes so you can go pick up your kid, and 100 pushups a day, and power swims…all while writing an incredible volume. I know a kindred spirit when I see it 🙂

  3. Eric Hutchins says:

    It has been such an amazing thing to watch. Both your progress and confidence as a writer and the following that is getting behind you. There are SO many good people out there that we have met through your efforts (and yes I said we because its been fun to be along for the ride and I provide you so much material :)). Anyway, I hope everyone that reads this blog of yours understands how much it really means to you when someone you don’t know personally, signs up, or leaves a nice comment, or just hits the links. There is such power in validation. The other side to that coin is that I know there is such a feeling of exposure of putting yourself out there and knowing that people might not like it. You are brave, and you are good at it. Hang in.

    • Pamela says:

      And now I am verklempt.

      Yes, the exposure of trying and potentially failing in what feels like a spectacularly public fashion sometimes jams me up. But the people I meet — the Kristis and Annies and Erins and Heidis and Glendas and Gunters (etc times 100) — the supporters and/or writers that I met out of nowhere on this journey, they honestly get my gears moving again, as do you.

      See it, believe it, be it.

  4. runningfairy says:

    Wow, so Verklempt?! I’m now learning new vocab from reading your posts too!!

    I’ve only been following a little while but your posts really are entertaining to read and I for one am waiting for the day I can stroll into my London bookstore and support the cause. Hell, I’d even be content with buying off Amazon :oD

    Self-promotion is a bit yucky but you do it a good way that isn’t vom-inducing and its a necessity of the modern world unfortunately. Wall flowers do not good salespeople make and unfortunately you have to sell yourself to get a foot in the door. Once they realise how good you are, you’ll be grand!!

    GOOD LUCK on the 9th *and btw 9 is my lucky number – born on 9/9/81 (8+1=9) so I have a good feeling!*


  5. You are really amazing! I am in awe of your writing talents. To think that you “stumbled upon” my blog because of a retweet is truly humbling. I am so happy that we have crossed paths. Good luck with you search for an agent. Any agent that gets you for a client is a lucky one. I will be eagerly keeping up with your posts as I am now following.

    • Pamela says:

      Wow, you are a sweetheart! I’m glad I found YOU. Isn’t twitter wonderful? I love meeting other people moved by a spirit that makes them write, and mutually enjoying each other’s creativity. Thank you for coming to see me, Maria 🙂

  6. Estella says:

    Hi Pamela,

    I give a serious spit – no pretending. 😉 Love your posts and your hard work. From one Type A with slight OCD (plus I’m a Virgo) to another, I appreciate your bravery in going commando with your posts and with your books. It’s tough work but obviously that work has paid off. Congrats on your success and continued success!

    Your vulnerability in addition to your strength and humor is very inspiring and keeps us tuning in for more. Thanks for the inspiration – props to you.


  7. Heidi says:

    I think you are an amazing woman. I love being part of your team. I need to make a t-shirt that says “TEAM PAMELA”.

    • Pamela says:

      Thanks! You have started to see the ups and downs first hands, so you know amazing is sometimes amazingly bipolar, amazingly erratic, amazingly insane, etc.

      Back at ya! B/c I think you’re amazing and I have been there when you’ve scarfed down some comforting Chef Boyardee 😉

      We could have matching shirts, and mine could say Team Heidi.

  8. Heidi says:

    Matching t-shirts it is! And I’ll wear mine to your first book signing.

  9. Pamela says:

    UPDATE: Today I learned I am a finalist in the Houston Writers’ Guild Manuscript Contest. Yay!

  10. Eric Hutchins says:

    Goooooooo Pamela, from your biggest fan in frankfurt.

  11. Eric Hutchins says:

    Your biggest Fan is now in Mumbai

  12. Rhonda says:

    Wow. I’ve given numerous spits, which you can’t see from there. (That’s probably a good thing; I’m not a talented spitter). Come to think of it, my spitting looks more like drooling, which is actually a pretty good description of what happens when I read anything you write. Writer envy. There. I said it out loud. And did I mention I want to be you? LOL….All kidding aside, I’m enjoying following this journey you’re on, albeit haphazardly at this point because of my own crazy schedule, but I hope to be a more faithful follower in the near future….with lots of clicks. 🙂

    • Pamela says:

      “Help me Rhonda!” Seriously, you crack me up. You remind me of who I am, and in a wacky kind of way, inspire me to be the person I hope others see. Our interactions, 30 years late but better than never, are an “out of the blue awesomeness.” Thank you!!!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Erin Margolin and Eric Hutchins, PamelaFaganHutchins. PamelaFaganHutchins said: Pretend like you give a spit: #novel #representation #journey #blog […]

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