Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Oven

You're thinking what in the world do ovens and eggs have to do with writing?

I know you are.

Well I'll tell you my tale of ovens, eggs, and writing.

When we bought our house almost eight years ago now, the owners of the house were real sticklers and we had to fight tooth and nail to get certain things done before we would move in. One of them was fixing the digital control panel on the gas stove which runs of the whole thing. So instead of getting a new stove, which would have been cheaper than repairing and installing the new panel, nope they repaired the panel. Great so we have a working stove.

Only now, the stove has a mind of it's own. I've known for a while the monster is getting ready to start defying me. Last summer the oven began behaving badly. Then two of the burners aren't burning up to snuff. But let's face it, getting a stove is not in the budget at the moment. So last night, I went to cook pork chops and after an hour the oven had only warmed up 80 degrees and the scent of gas permeated the kitchen.

Yeah...not a good sign.

So I said screw it and went out with the husband and bought a counter top convection oven. It's all bright, shiny and new, beckoning me to cook the chicken pie I have planned for dinner. So the husband asked what are we going to do about boiling water. Well the burners still work on the stove, but if not...hot plate here I come.

So what does this have to do with publishing?

Well here's the thing. About the same time we moved into the house, I landed my first publishing contract with a now defunct house called Stardust Publishing. They were great and hey when I got the acceptance letter I was over the moon since my dream had been realized.  Who wouldn't be? At that point I had seven books that I could put out. At first I wanted to stay there and not worry about what to do, but things started to decline, like my stove, so I branched out.

I learned over time and from other authors, not to put all my eggs into one basket or oven cause really who wants overcooked eggs. I certainly don't, I mean I can't eat them anyway since I'm allergic, but I digress.

After writing professionally now for 8 years, I have been with 16 publishers. Some I clicked with and many others I didn't. Some looked great on the outside but when I got in, yeah we split ways pretty quickly. Others well...they linger and I don't send them anything else. I have waited out for new publishers to open up their doors and gotten rejected multiple times, but heck I'm still going to try. It's like the oven I'm going to keep trying to spark with certain ones until I finally burn out.

I'm happy with the few that I have now and write for because I've found a fit. With the publishing industry changing all the time these days from small presses popping up and self-publishing so easy these days, authors have to decide what they want to do. There is no easy way around it. Writing is a hard business. I'm a veteran as many others are. I've fought battles and lost wars.

But no matter what, I'm always trying. Sure I am ready to get a new stove, but I can still use part of it. Meaning I can still go to the places I am comfortable with, but I know to always try something new and see how it works out. Cause sometimes the ship is sinking and you gotta bail.

So I'll let you know how the chicken pie comes out in the new convection oven.

And I'll let everyone know how the new publishers are because I'm really looking forward to the changes that are coming.

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