After a month-long hiatus from blogging at The Crotchety Old Man, I’m back in the saddle with a new blog. The hardest part of starting this blog was coming up with a good title. Glass Houses is a memoir about the first roughly fifty years of my life. My Glass House picks up more or less where the memoir left off.
Prior to writing Glass Houses, the idea of writing a book intimidated me. Aided by my memory, personal journals dating back to 1982, and the encouragement of several supportive friends (especially Terri Clark and Larry Oberc), I started writing. With no awareness of the literary market or the craft of commercial writing, I knocked out the 110,000 word manuscript in about four months.
After the manuscript was rejected by the agent of my dreams, I joined a local writer’s group. They read the manuscript and like other readers, loved the story but pointed out a variety of technical problems. Figuring the technical problems would be addressed by an editor, I decided back in May to submit it to a small gay publishing company. Because they requested the full manuscript rather than just an excerpt and promised that at least two editors would read it, I was optimistic about my chances for success.
The publisher said to allow fourteen weeks for a complete review. While waiting I continued going to the writer’s group meetings and inspired by all I’ve learned from the other members, eventually started writing Addicted, my first work of fiction. Unlike Glass Houses, I’ve been submitting Addicted 5000 words at a time to the writer’s group for feedback.
As of yesterday I’ve written almost 40,000 words of what I believe will be about a 60,000 word manuscript. The first 5000 words went through the group three times before everyone was (mostly) satisfied with what I had written. They only had a few suggestions for the second 5000 words. A week from Saturday I’ll hear what they think of the third section which I believe is my best work yet. We’ll see if they agree.
Meanwhile, I received an e-mail last Friday letting me know that like the agent of my dreams, the publisher was not interested in Glass Houses. Before I submit it to another publisher, I’m hiring an editor to help me fix the technical problems. She’ll start working on the manuscript in August.
I’ve learned that unless (or until) I become famous (or infamous), getting a memoir published is an uphill battle. I’ll keep trying, but even if Glass Houses never gets published, I’m proud of myself for writing it. As a work of fiction, Addicted is much more marketable. Thanks to all the input and feedback from the members of my writer’s group, it’s also more readable.
That pretty much fills you in on life in My Glass House. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you again real soon.