New York City. I’m with a handful of other writers from the SMU creative writing program.
Our manuscripts have survived the every-other year judging that leads, for a lucky few, to a series of agent and editor meetings in New York.
We are blessed, really, to have made it this far, no matter what happens (or doesn’t happen) next, whether a big publishing deal pans out, or the manuscript sits quietly in a drawer.
We’re in a lovely 1914 mansion near Central Park, once owned by the Vanderbilts.
Each of us has had a bunch of meetings with real, live literary agents—my first glimpse of the publication world.
You know how vulnerable you feel, stripping naked for a doctor exam?
That’s how it feels to walk into a room with someone who dissects manuscripts for a living, day in, day out…and now they’ve examined YOURS.
If you’re pronounced “healthy,” you walk out with a spring in your step.
And so it is with a manuscript.
A spring in my step, to be told I’m on the right track..and given new insights to weave into yet another round of edits.
Not your ordinary trip to New York.
I haven’t been to The Met, or shopping. Or anything. Barely left the house.
Just glimpsed the outside world through the windows of this gracious home of yesteryear.
All of us packed into the fourth floor servant’s quarters, with its small oval windows, marvelously creaky doors and floors, back staircases and an ancient brass-cage elevator.
It’s like being back in college. And like college, an interior journey—a deep look into all that’s poured out of my pen and keyboard for the past couple years.
(Can you believe I said that? …YEARS. OMG, how long it’s taking, to write this first novel).
From the first word of the first page of the first draft…to the umpteenth round of edits. Daunting, anxiety-inducing…and yeah,fun (at least, if you’re a writer).
Three days here, and time to go home. Back down the winding stairs, out the massive door…back out into the world.