It’s been a while since I’ve written about anything on this blog, mainly because I haven’t had much to write about. But after Shady Grove Fertility, which I will henceforth refer to as SGF, highlighted the brief mention I gave them on my end-of-summer update, I decided that I want to write about my TTC (trying to conceive) experience and the incredible role SGF and its staff played in my fertility journey. (I will be using the pronouns “my” and “me,” but please recognize that this fertility journey is really an “us” and “we” experience that includes my spouse.) P.S. This post may be a bit on the long side, so settle in with a nice cup of coffee or tea. Read more…
It’s nearly the end of summer, and I haven’t blogged at all in the past 3 months.
I suppose the big news is that I am 4 months pregnant with our first child thanks to fertility treatments. (I highly recommend Shady Grove Fertility if you live in the mid-Atlantic states.) The first three months were a bit rough going as I was sick on and off, But I’m feeling much better now that I’m in my second trimester.
I submitted queries to agents for my completed novel, Getting Right with God, and was rejected by all of them. How disappointing. And after sending to an editor and having a few established writers review the opening pages of my work, I realize that I still have more work and more revision to do. I’m afraid that the book itself just isn’t marketable, but I’m not willing to self-publish. What a conundrum.
I am working on a novel idea for NaNoWriMo in which a black teenage girl from New York City relocates to the Philadelphia suburbs and attends a posh, primarily white private school. Conflict ensues!
Other than that, I’ve just been working like crazy at the library as a library assistant. I attended two book club meetings this week, which were actually quite enjoyable. We read Beauty Queens by Libba Bray for one and The Hunger Games trilogy (yes, that’s all three books) for another. On my own, I’m reading several books at once:
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
- Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross
- A History of the World in 100 Objects (for book club in November)
- Don’t Go by Lisa Scottoline (for book club in October)
Quiet is the most intriguing book of all to me. I’m afraid A History of the World… is going to be rather dry reading.
I wish I had more interesting things to say. There are so many topics going on: President Obama’s second term, Syria, the Affordable Care Act, Egypt, Russia… but alas, I have no brainpower or opinions of my own on any of these things, So enjoy this brief update.
1. Schedule a blog post for each month
SUCCESS! I’ve had a blog post each month so far.
2. Go to the gym once a week
FAIL. I haven’t been to the gym in 2 months. My hope is to go on Sundays.
3. Strength train on Mondays
FAIL. I have not strength trained on Mondays. I don’t know if I will.
4. Read 80 books this year
IN PROGRESS. I doubt I’ll read 80 books this year. I haven’t been in a reading mood lately except for book club books.
5. Craft a new novel from an original idea (not something that I’ve recycled)
FAIL. I was supposed to write the Alpha League of Parapsychology, but I don’t think that’s going to work out.
6. Write a new novel from start to finish in 30 days
IN PROGRESS. November is usually my month to complete a novel.
7. Write 300 words a day whether it’s a combination of blogging, journaling, article writing, or noveling
FAIL. I haven’t been writing much lately.
8. Attend the Writer’s Digest conference
SUCCESS! I attended the conference, pitched some agents, and had a mighty good time.
9. Submit query letters to literary agents
SUCCESS! I’ve gotten nothing but rejections, but I’ve submitted query letters.
10. Complete synopsis of Getting Right with God
SUCCESS! In fact, I received a synopsis from an editor that’s even better than the one I wrote.
11. Watch a movie on Saturday evenings with Jason
FAIL. I’ve been bad about doing this. Need to get back on track.
12. Submit a query letter for an article
SUCCESS! I submitted a query letter for Relevant magazine. Never heard anything back, but I did submit something.
13. Develop a routine in the morning
FAIL. I have no routine except to get the heck up.
14. Develop a routine before bed at night
FAIL. I have no routine except to fall into bed exhausted.
15. (And oh, why not?) Become a mother
IN PROGRESS. I’m undergoing fertility treatments to help me achieve this goal. It’s exciting!
I haven’t blogged regularly for quite some time, mostly because I’ve had nothing to say. I still don’t have much of anything to say, although this post will disprove that.
Suspenseful and riveting, His Majesty’s Hope by Susan Elia MacNeal is the best installment in the Maggie Hope series yet.
Without giving away spoilers, Maggie’s next mission plunges her into the heart of Germany—Berlin—during the height of World War II. Maggie has a few secrets under her belt that she must keep to herself (other than the fact that she’s a British spy).
The stakes are high and the action takes off from the get-go. The book can be read as a standalone for newcomers to the series, but I see the thrilling novel as a reward for fans and longtime readers of the series to see a side of their heroine that they’ve never seen before. Readers of mystery, thriller, and suspense will enjoy the edge-of-your-seat ride that His Majesty’s Hope provides.
If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you might know that I’ve been working on a book that I’m trying to get published. Well, last week I sent out my first query letter to an agent. I probably won’t hear anything back from her considering it was my first query letter, and I have a long way to go toward refining it, but it was a step forward in doing something that I’ve been needing—and afraid to do—for quite some time.
I’ll be going to the Writer’s Digest conference this weekend and live pitching my book to agents. Here’s the pitch that I plan on giving them (I’m currently working on memorizing it):
Three years after her brother’s tragic death in a car accident, 16-year-old Brooklyn native Marisela feels all alone and wishes she were dead too. She is fresh off her latest suicide attempt when she meets Pastor Edwards, a smooth-talking Baptist preacher, who welcomes the Roman Catholic teen to his church family.
Marisela finally has a renewed purpose for living and begins making friends until the married youth pastor makes a sexual advance on her. When vicious rumors spread around the church about Marisela, she—already prone to low self-esteem—despairs and finds her thoughts slipping back to suicide.
Will Marisela lose the friends, and the life, that she’s worked so hard to gain?
It’s also the pitch that I plan on using in my query letters as I try to obtain an agent.
Basically, the way traditional publishing works is that as an author, I have to obtain an agent before I can try to sell my book to a publisher. (Well, I could try to sell my book to a publisher, but I’d have to get a lawyer well versed in publishing contracts to navigate that murky world for me. Agents do that for a cut of whatever I earn.) The agent then tries to sell the book to a publisher, and once the book is accepted, goes through revisions before getting published. Depending on what a publisher would pay me, agents would get a 15-20 percent cut of whatever I get.
I could self-publish but that’s not the route that I seek as I don’t have a large platform and would have to do the marketing all on my own. Traditional publishers like authors to already have their own platform, but publishers help with the marketing aspect if the author is not already established. It’s a long slog, and a tough one too, but I suppose I’m tougher than I consider myself to be. I can handle this.
If I could have my choice, I’d rather have acceptance rather than rejection from the first agent I’ve queried. But I’d rather get a rejection response than nothing at all.
My expectations of fertility clinics has changed now that I’ve been through the ringer twice. I used to expect (naive little me) that fertility clinics would be warm, welcoming places for couples who were suffering through infertility. Now I know better. Now I know that it’s a business, and fertility clinics are only out to make money—helping people get pregnant is just a means to an end.
The first time around at the fertility clinic, the nurses were nice, but the doctors cool and impersonal. My husband and I were just another number, just another dollar sign. I still get upset when I think of my first and last IUI (intrauterine insemination) there. The doctor was so flippant about how he thought it wouldn’t work. It’s like he took a dump on our $800 before flushing it down the toilet.
But I’m going back to a fertility clinic—a different one this time. I’m not as naive as the first time around. I get it. I’m a huge dollar sign. The more advanced the treatment (see IVF), the better. But I’ve got limits. I will have these doctors, however impersonal they are, help me get pregnant. I’ll attempt IUIs but not much more than that (mostly because I can’t afford it).
I guess I should admit that I’m grateful that the nurses weren’t impersonal, but were even kind, warm, and caring. But there’s nothing caring about getting a cold internal ultrasound shoved in your uterus. But ovulation kits don’t work for me so I need to rely on the advanced, expensive stuff.
After almost 4 years of trying to get pregnant and not succeeding, I know we need medical intervention. At the new fertility clinic, we could have up to a 2-hour consultation with the doctor. I hope the detailed history and visit will prove beneficial to producing a child later this year.
I have the funny feeling if I get the privilege of being a mom, I’m going to have one high-maintenance kid (a lot like his mother).