I've never related to a character so much in my life. So here is the long pitch for my first YA story (still in the editing process again)
My Own Summer follows the transitions of Olivia Gentry, simply known as ‘Libby’. A young girl from the suburbs of Chicago where she seems to have it all. Libby has certain expectations for life, even after her awkward years in a large upper class high school. After being kicked out of college, and loosing herself in sorority life, Libby is banished to tiny Elsbury, Louisiana by her parents, who are hoping to punish her into stepping on the right track. Little did they know that life in a small town could transform Libby into a southern belle, complete with her very own southern gentleman, who is looking to find himself just as much as she is. Though the fairy tale is not always as perfect as it seems, Libby travels through the passage of life after high school. Through a roller coaster ride of young love this book winds its way into the mind and heart of Libby Gentry, as she comes into her own, with a little help from her friends and their small town charm.
So the biggest thing that I realized today I relate to is the just feeling lower than low. The beginning of this book is Libby's parents talking to her about how they got "the letter," from Illinois State saying that Libby has flunked out. Though I did not flunk out of college I came very close my first semester. I've been there, I've been at that lowest low. But then I bounced back with a vengence, that was my wake up call and I knew that I had to do things completely differantly, and I believe made a 3.0 my second semester, and you know eventually graduated and all that jazz.
But today, today I took a big punch and was thrown back. I retook an Insurance exam took an insurance designation so that I can be more competitive with going for other jobs for the company I currently work for. Well, I honestly thought I rocked it as I was going through it, American Lloyds? Hell yeah I know that. And as it turns out, I didn't. My eyes almost bugged out of my head as Non-Pass came across the screen at the end of my test. I called my mom, thinking I could hold it together and make it through the work day. Then my mom said three little words, Are you okay? I lost it, I completely broke down crying in the Starbucks parking lot.
After getting myself back together I did go into work. I talked to my supervisor for about half an hour, who assured me that he knew I could eventually pass and to just take a break. Whic made me realize how much I do have going on, and I can't expect to pass everything when I was dealing with wedding planning, a new job, and trying to write a book at the same time. Let's face it, I LOVE my book and I love writing, but trying to balance a full time job, a wedding, and writing a book is no easy task. It kind of stung even more when a friend told me she really didn't like the ending, and the friend whose mom had an agent? Turns out the mom doesn't have an agent, so I am back to square one with that. No agent, and a manuscript that is currently being checked for my poor punctuation and grammar that I can only blame on my small town public school education.
So the big question, how do I fight back? Well, just like I lived through high school and college, I have to take it one step at a time. Right now the focus is the wedding, 95 days away, I need to get cracking. After that it's back to studying for INS, because lets face it, it's not my book that's paying my health insurance. Then it's time to get real if I want anything to do with writing as a career. I'm going to join a writer's group, I will try and get things published in literary journals and wherever else I can. Then after all that, edit my book till I can't edit anymore. Then back to the whole query process.
So is it all worth it? How many times can I get back in the ring before it's a complete Knock out? Stay tuned.