Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays To One and All...


Happy Holidays Everyone.  This is a piece I did a few years ago of a European Father X-mas.  I did it in soft pastel and it hangs on the wall in my Mom's place back in Sacramento.  I was very pleased with how he came out.  I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Wonderful Winter Solstice, a Happy Hanukkah, a magical Kwanzaa, and especially a Happy and Safe New Year's.

College is done for now and I hope to post more frequently again once I get back from Stockton after this weekend.  We'll be visiting and staying with family up there for a couple of days.  Then we'll be back home and some friends will be staying with us for New Year's.  Lot's of changes coming up for us in the coming year that I'll tell you about in another post soon.  In the meantime, blessings on you all and enjoy the holiday season all of you.

I hope to post again before the year is out.  Take care.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Post over on my other blog...

Hang in there everyone, I haven't forgotten this blog.  I've just been really short on time due to college.  I have one more full week of classes coming up and then it's FINALS WEEK!!!!  So I have to prepare for those as well.  After all is said and done and I've had a few days to catch my breath I'll be posting here with more tips and insights on writing.  So stay tuned.

In the meantime, please check out the other blog where I've posted a sample from my comedy/fantasy novel about the Devil's other son Clausmodeus.  Enjoy...

http://akrummenacker.wordpress.com/

Monday, November 7, 2011

Posted a section from my 2nd novel

Greetings one and all.  Sorry for the prolonged silence, but college is still swamping me with exams and homework.  I look forward to this semester coming to an end in 6 weeks.  Then maybe I can catch my breath.  In the meantime I wanted to share a link to my other blog.  I've posted a sample from Novel #2 which I've tentatively titled "The Ship".  I hope you'll check in out and enjoy what you see.

http://akrummenacker.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/a-scene-from-my-2nd-novel-the-ship/

Sunday, October 30, 2011

New entry on my other blog...

College mid-terms and exams are keeping me swamped.  Hope to do a proper entry about writing soon, please be patient.  In the meantime, please check my other blog for samples from my novel "The Bridge" and updates on the sequels to it.

Oh and HAPPY HALLOWEEN all.  Remember to keep writing after you get your haul of candy... I mean Brain Fuel.

http://akrummenacker.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/still-here-still-alive-still-studying/

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Just posted another section of my novel "The Bridge"

Survived three major exams this last week.  Got a mid-term coming up in two more weeks and will be starting to study for that one in the next few days.  Hopefully, I can do a proper entry here soon, I hate neglecting everyone.  I've got a lot to say about writing sequels and the difficulties I'm encountering.

In the meantime please enjoy this link to another section of my first novel "The Bridge".  Have a great weekend and keep writing everyone.

http://akrummenacker.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/still-more-from-my-novel-the-bridge/

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Good news... I posted another sectionn of my novel

College has been keeping me pretty busy so I haven't had as much time to post  anything about writing here.  I hope to do so soon, after this weekend specifically.  I've got 3 tests coming up next week, 2 on Monday and 1on Thursday, plus an on-line exam for the weekend.  Whew!

In the meantime I've posted another piece from my horror/sci-fi/mystery novel at my other blog.  Hope you enjoy it gang.  

Keep writing.

http://akrummenacker.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/the-bridge-another-section-that-brings-us-full-circle-gang/

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Link to Another Scene from my Novel "The Bridge"

Just a quick post here.  I put up the link where you can read another scene from my horror/mystery/sci-fi novel "The Bridge".  I'll be posting here about writing again soon.  I'm using the other blog mostly to post samples of my works, both completed and still in progress.  I hope you get a chance to check them about. 

Have a great weekend everyone.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Musings on 1st Drafts and Editing

I have a Writer's Page on  Facebook, where I post whatever progress I made on my writing.  So the other day I looked at several of my recent entries where I talk about how much progress I was making.  I was counting how many words per day I had written and this sounded really good.  But when I went back to the novel itself it felt like I hadn't made a lot of progress after all.  This puzzled me exceedingly so I started to think about it.  As I did so my eyes focused on the novel in progress and I spotted several areas where I needed to fix a problem.  That's when I had a "Light Bulb Moment", I was editing while I was still creating the first draft.  Not a bad thing in and of itself, but I had been doing this almost constantly.  Each day I'd go back to see what I had done when I left off in order to recapture the mood and the moment and I wound up doing bunch of 'repairs' before moving on. 

Now don't get me wrong, it's important to make sure the story is working and making sense, but there is such a thing as overdoing it.  If you spend more time trying to edit and perfect your 1st draft you may never finish the bugger at all!  The more heavy editing should be reserved for your 2nd, 3rd and further drafts.  We must never forget that in order to have a story you have to finish it at least once. This is where I've been having problems with my 2nd novel.  I know where I want it to go but I still have to get the characters and the action to that point at the finish.

I'll be the first to admit that a certain amount of editing is needed even while making the 1st draft of your novel  to keep you from going totally NUTS when you do the revisions and rewrites.  If I had used a little more restraint like this on my first novel "The Bridge", I wouldn't have wound up with a 1st draft that was 198,000 word long.  I did 8 more drafts to cut it down to 99,000 words in the end.  Entire scenes were cut or reduced to keep it under 100,000 words (a size preferred by most agents and publishers who are dealing with a brand new author who has never been published before).  Believe me, there were times I thought I'd never find a way to make the shorter version work, but I did.

So now I'm on novels 2 and 3.  I am keeping an eye on my word count to keep it no more than 140,000 words.  Much easier to cut down to size when the time comes.  And it certainly beats sobbing in the corner screaming "I CAN'T DO THIS, IT'S TOO HARD!". 

So doing some editing as you write your 1st draft is fine.  But don't let it get in the way of you finishing the story.  You would not believe the number of friends who've told me "Oh I've been working on a story for a couple of years, but I just never seem to get it finished.  I work on it and work on it but I just never get to the end..."  Sound familiar? Of course the 1st draft isn't going to be exactly what you had planned, that is what revisions and rewrites are for.  And keep in mind that even after you get your the final draft finished, an agent or publisher is going to ask for changes or make suggestions before it ever sees print.  So finish the story at least once.  The final product will be spit and polished in due time, but you got to have at least one completed draft to give it a place to start.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Quick Note About My Other Blog...

I posted another section of my novel "The Bridge" at my WordPress Blog.  You can check it out by clicking on this link:

http://akrummenacker.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/another-installment-from-my-novel-the-bridge/

Hope you all enjoy it.  I'll be posting a new blog entry here shortly.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's that time of year again...

Tomorrow my summer vacation is officially over.  Not that I've had a lot of vacation time per se.  I was doing intern work at a Center for  Domestic Violence over most of the summer.  I had a couple of weeks to myself, but tomorrow I go back to college.  And what a way to start things.  I have 4 classes tomorrow.  The first one starts at 9:30AM and the last one ends at 9:00PM.  I'll be taking a heavier load this time.  This is so that I can finish my major and get a B. S. in Human Services and several certificates by December.  Great way to end the year and give myself an early X-mas present.

But even then it's not over.  Oh no.  I'm already approved for more Pell Grant money for another semester so I'll be taking some evening courses in order to make myself prepped to transfer to a four year college IF I choose to do so.  In the meantime I'll be looking for a regular job.  UNLESS of course I get an agent and my books take off like gangbusters and Hollywood starts beating on my door for the rights to them.  Yes, I like to dream in Technicolor, with a wide-screen, HD quality, and Dolby Surround-Sound.

But more than likely if I get an agent and my books get grabbed up, I'll be working part-time so I can still write more often than if I were full-time.  This is something I've picked up from a lot of established writers.  You may wish to write full-time and do nothing else, but until you have a big enough audience following your work, you need a regular job.  Keeping a roof over your, head and eating regularly makes it a lot easier to continue the creative process.

I'm still waiting on the agent in New York who has my manuscript (may she and her family be safe along with all my other family and friends back east).  But for most of this week I kept waking up with a feeling that I'm going to hear something positive when the time comes.  I don't know why, I just do.  So, fingers crossed and we'll see what happens when she does contact me. 

In the meantime, I'll be writing between classes.  I intend to take my laptop with me to school everyday and save everything on back up sticks and discs.  A little trick I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs so if God forbid something happens to your computer you haven't lost everything.  Homework will take precedence over writing, but I've always been good about getting my homework and reading done quickly.  Hey, I've been carrying a 4.0 grade average for the last year and half, so I musts be doing something right.

So stay tuned and keep writing everyone.  I'll try to be better about updating than I have in recent months.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Musings on writing and a Rubik's cube...

Any other writers out there feel like when you're trying to do a scene you keep working and reworking it because something just isn't right.  To me it feels like my novel is a Rubik's Cube.  I know all the parts and where I think they should go but they're just not in the right place.  And trying to get them in the proper place is a BI*** and a half sometimes.  Because every so often I do something in one area of the test and it messes up something I had planned for later.  Or I wind up hitting a dead end and have to go back restart the whole section entirely.

Now this has happened to me on a number of occasions.  Some people tell me to have an outline ready but that never works for me.  This is usually because my characters start going in other directions by saying or doing things I hadn't originally planned.  Admittedly I let them get away with it but only if what they want to do seems to be working way better than what I originally planned.  But most of the time I can see where they are going won't work so I scrap or save the scene for another time and place.  On those occasions I get to point and laugh at the characters saying, "See?  I told you I knew what I was doing... NEENER-NEENER."

Unfortunately, I tend to do this out loud and get some really strange looks from anyone in a 30 foot radius.  At this point, it's my main characters who are doing the pointing and laughing.  Now this is really quite annoying because I can't kill any of them off and they know it.

Anyway, getting back to my original point.  Writing a scene can be quite frustrating and difficult at times.  But, if you keep at it by looking at what's not working try some of the following.  Change who's in the scene, keep the ones who are most poignant and add someone else from the cast, or even eliminate one or two others if they're not vital at that moment.  Change the location of what's happening.  Maybe the setting is the problem and you can get more out of a different location.  If something major is about to be revealed, how much of it do you really have to unveil at this moment?  Maybe only a portion that whets the appetite of the characters and the audience.  The characters can go off half-cocked or aware that something is still missing and they head off in pursuit of that information.  If they go off half-cocked they'll make mistakes which can lead to other interesting scenes.  Remember, a character who isn't perfect is far more interesting than the most competent, wonderful, knows everything Mary Sue.

So, don't be afraid to tear apart a scene that's frustrating you.  Rework it again and again until you get the results you're looking for.  You may wind up with something that opens new avenues for later scenes or even storylines. 

Oh, and for the record, I did finally defeat the dreaded Rubik's Cube in my own creative way.  No I didn't remove the decals and change them around (my wife's solution).  Nor did I take it apart and reassemble it so the colors matched up.  I spray painted the entire thing silver and used it for a paperweight.  A very creative solution, don't you think?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How do you spell Writer's Block? A-A-A-R-R-R-G-G-G-H-H-H!!!


I recently started a second blog with WordPress, not sure how well it's going over so I may keep that for samples of my writing and just day-to-day musings.  I want to keep this one to share my writing experiences with others I think.  So I copied this from my other blog, so in case you didn't see it before here it is.  I hope it helps and I'd love to hear from some of you about how you deal with this problem.


Writer’s block:  We’ve all had it at one time or another.  I’ve heard many suggestions on how to deal with it.  Here’s a few of my own:

1-Uncontrollable sobbing in the nearest corner.  This does not necessarily solve the problem, but it gets some of your frustrations and emotions out of the way.  NOTE: Doing this for two or more days straight may signal a bigger problem, men in white coats with big nets come to take to you to a much happier place.  At least they did with me.  You know, I always picture Disneyland a lot bigger and more colorful.  The white padding in that room just didn’t really scream Mickey Mouse to me.

Okay that got the silly out of the way.  Here are some real suggestions.

Go out and exercise.  Take a walk, swim, do some kind of physical activity that gets you away from the computer.  Your brain will still be working quietly on the story mind you.  I’ve had more than one occasion to be hitting the treadmill when a path suddenly becomes clear in the story and I keep working it while I’m exercising.  As soon as I’m done I hit the laptop and move on.

A change of scenery, go to a beach, a mall, a forest, a mountain… whatever’s available where you live.  A different perspective can trigger ideas.

Work on a different or later scene in the story.  Sometimes this can help lay groundwork for ideas of how to reach this later part of your story.  You may inadvertently come up with some background ideas that can suddenly get you past whatever’s got you stumped.

Another suggestion is look at the section your on.  How important is it to the story that it remains in this form.  I’ve written several pages in a scene only to hit a roadblock and finally come to the conclusion that the scene just isn’t  working.  I’ve revealed too much or some of what’s going on in it does nothing for the rest of the story.  Or certain revelations I’ve put down here might work better elsewhere.  So I’ve literally torn sections up and did them over from scratch in a totally different manner that led to a better story arc.

So there are a few of my ideas.  How about you all?  I’d love to see and hear what you folks have found to work for getting past the dreaded “Writer’s Block”.  Please leave comments and thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I'm Back Baby... Plus A Section from my novel "The Bridge"

I survived college and finals!  Woo-hoo!  Thanks for everyone's patience in waiting for me to get done.  I plan on being more active here during the summer, before starting the last semester of getting my A. S. in Human Services this fall.  I should have the degree by December.  Come January, hopefully I'll have work or if not I'll be just continuing with some more college.  I've got financial aid already lined up for that semester, no sense letting it go to waste.  Besides, I'm planning on pursuing a second degree in Dance.  I find Dance can help people who find it hard to express themselves, especially if they've suffered trauma or other problems.  And since Human Services is about Counseling, I feel the two will go hand in hand.

Anyway, as far as writing goes I'm still waiting to hear back from the agent in New York on my first novel "The Bridge".  In the meantime I've gotten a second and third novel underway.  One takes place directly where "The Bridge" left off, but the focus leads to one of the secondary characters whose family has a dark history, this one is tentatively called "The Door".  The other novel doesn't have a title yet, but deals with that family's dark history and events taking place in  the early 1800's prior to the War of 1812.  My wife is urging me to focus on this one to be the next in line, since it will reveal details and events that are crucial to explaining to the reader what is happening and why in "The Door".  Not sure what I will do yet as far as which one should come first.

In the meantime, here's a scene from "The Bridge"... um... please excuse the formatting, this is what happens when you copy and paste from MS Word.


THE IMPOUND LOT
   
                At the Impound Yard, a middle aged man was going over the vehicle under discussion.  Paul Chase had worked on vehicles since he was 7 when his dad first handed him a wrench.  Since then he had worked on cars, trucks, motorcycles, limousines… the works.  He knew every part and square inch of most vehicles, including this model, and so far he had found nothing.  No hidden switches or alterations to the wiring.  Everything was as it should be.
            He stood back and scratched his salt and pepper covered head.  According to Ronnie and the Medical Examiner, the driver and passenger had been dead for almost 10 hours.  Two dark muddy patches on the front seat marked where the victims had been found.  There was more all over the gas and brake pedals.  Chase took samples and set them aside for the lab to analyze, then stepped away from the vehicle to get some fresh air.  Wherever the victims had drowned, it had a nasty smell attached to it.  The entire vehicle reeked of something foul besides death.
            He glanced around the yard nervously.  Ever since the wreck had been brought into the yard, he’d had the feeling of being watched.  This whole thing was starting to get on his nerves.  Cars didn’t drive by themselves with or without dead people in them.  Yet this one had been seen maneuvering curves at high speeds for miles.  Even now he could feel eyes watching him.  He literally jumped when Ronnie’s voice came out of the radio in his workshop. “Chase you there?”
            The mechanic shook his head and went to answer, unaware of the eyes staring at him from one of the back seat windows.  At the bottom of that same door water began to drip.  It formed a small puddle which slowly began to grow and stretch as if to follow him.
            In the workshop, Chase picked up the mike and replied, “I’m here Sarge.  You just had to send me a puzzle, didn’t you?”
            “So you haven’t found anything yet?” he could hear the smirk in her voice.
            “Nothing but an overwhelming stench that doesn’t want to quit,” he told her.  “Everything is exactly where it’s supposed to be.  There’re no secret black boxes or anything like that.”
            “Cars don’t have flight recorders Chase.”
            “Then you haven’t heard about the mysterious black boxes that allows someone to take control of vehicles from a distance,” he teased.  He didn’t believe those stories any more than he did UFO’s. 
           “No I hadn’t,” admitted Ronnie. “Maybe, it’s disguised as an ordinary car part, so you won’t recognize it?”
            “Honey, I’ve found drugs, booze, stolen items, etc. in vehicles.  Believe me.  I’d
know if something wasn’t what it was supposed to be,” Chase replied making a face.
Was it his imagination or was that smell starting to seep in here?
           
            Back at the scene of the accident Ronnie rolled her eyes.  “If you’re so smart Paul, how come you can’t tell when a superior officer is your coworker not your ‘Honey’?”
            “Aw don’t be like that Sarge, you know I loves ya,” was Chase’s reply.
            Ryan grabbed the microphone in his vehicle. “What about me Chase?  Do you love me too?”
            “Not since you broke my heart you bastard.”
            “When did I do that?”
            “When that ‘69 Camaro you had got trashed,” Chase replied with annoyance. “I told you I wanted to buy it.  But you said no.  Then some kid goes and steals it and hits a tree.”
            Veronica looked at her partner and shook her head, “A cop who gets his car stolen and totaled?  I may have to trade you in.”
            Ryan gave her a hurt look.  But, before he could say anything, a new voice came over the radio.  “I’ll trade all of you in if you don’t get back to work.”
            Ronnie smiled and replied, “Must be a slow day if you’re checking up on us Roy.”
            “Actually I’m in the middle of an important meeting,” her boss replied stiffly. 
            “But you accidentally pushed something against the radio button and left it on?” she smiled. 
            The voice of Alice Peterson could be heard in the background, “She got you there
dear.”
           All three officers were about to lose it when their chief’s warning came over their respective speakers.  “Anyone caught laughing or snickering, will be on Crossing Guard duty for a month.”
            Silence reigned.          
         “By the way Ronnie,” their boss continued, “I just got a call from your other half, he found another eyewitness to that vehicle that crashed this morning.”
            Veronica frowned.  How the hell could Alex have found out anything?  He was supposed to be resting.  
            “Seems the young lady you sent over to keep an eye on him, was nearly run down by a vehicle that fit the description.  She also saw someone in the backseat.”
            “Are we sure it’s the same car?” Ronnie asked quickly. 
            “That’s what we’re waiting to find out,” replied Roy. “She’s coming here right now.  I’d like you to talk to her.”
            “I’m on my way,” she told him.
            Meanwhile, Ryan was relaying this new piece of information to Chase at the Impound Lot. 

            “Okay, I’ll take a look in the backseat,” Paul replied as he checked his hands and feet.  The stench seemed to be getting worse. 
            He looked out at the wreck and did a double take.  There was water trickling out one of the backseat doors.  “Ryan, I think you might be on to something.  Let me get back to you.”  He put down the radio and turned back to the vehicle and froze.  For a moment,
he thought he saw movement in the backseat.
            Within moments he was at the wreck looking through the window.  The backseat was empty.  But, someone had been there.  A damp patch, similar to the ones on the front seat, was clearly visible.  He opened the door and was assaulted once more by the powerful stench.  Only it was worse.  What was causing it?
            He spotted something dark, coiled up in a puddle on the floorboard.  Covering his mouth and nose with one hand he reached down. 
       
   

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blimey College is Keeping Me Busy...

Sorry for the long silence everyone, but this semester has been BUSY!  This past week was my Spring Break.  Tomorrow I go back to class.  Meanwhile here it is the day before I go back and I'm finally getting around to working on my Blog...  See what I mean about a busy semester.  I'm carrying a full load of classes plus doing and Internship at a Women's Center and have very little time to do much of anything most days.

Anyway, that's brought you up to speed on why I haven't been posting.  Meanwhile, the manuscript for my Horror/Mystery/Sci-Fi novel "The Bridge" was sent to the agent who requested it about 2 weeks after my last entry here.  That was mid-January.  To date I haven't heard back but that's normal.  Agents get query letters and manuscripts all the time.  It takes a while for them to get through the manuscripts they already had waiting when yours comes along.  So what do you do in the meantime?  GET TO WORK ON YOUR NEXT NOVEL! 

Trust me, sitting around worrying isn't going to get your manuscript looked at any faster.  And from what I've read agents and publishers like hearing you've got another book ready or well-under way.  It shows you're determined not to be a one-shot wonder.  Currently I'm working on 2 novels at once.  Both are sequels to my first book.  Novel #2 takes up exactly where "The Bridge" leaves off.  Am I concerned about writing a sequel when I don't know if or what changes may be asked for by the agent if she decides she wants to work with me?  Of course I am.  But, that's what we have to deal with.  I keep in mind that what I've already written is NOT the final version and that any subsequent stories will be altered to accomodate whatever changes I have to make.  So just keep your writing clean, crisp and have warehouse of backup ideas and plans inside your head.  Flexibility is crucial in this business.  You may think the story is perfect as it is, but agents and publishers know what sells and what won't so be open to changes.  They've been at this a lot longer than most of us have.

Finally, I want to share one little piece of advice about writing sequels.  I had my 2nd novel well under way but something was bothering me.  It was feeling all wrong and I couldn't write any more until I figured out what it was.  then just two days ago it came to me.  I was writing the entire novel as if every possible reader already knew the first novel and all its characters... WRONG!  You have to introduce your characters all over again.  You may also have to give them a brief re-cap of your previous book.  People don't necessarily read your books in order.  They may pick up the 3rd book in the series and that's their first impression of you as a writer and the characters you've created.  Keep that in mind.  Give your readers a hearty handshake and greeting every time you write.  That way you're more likely to get them to go and pick up those earlier novels.  After all they may fall in love with these characters and want to see what else has gone on with them.

That's all for today.  I'll be posting the opening chapter of "The Bridge" here shortly so keep an eye out.  Keep writing everyone.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Persistence, Beta-Readers, and Keep Writing...

Sorry to have been silent for so long, things had gotten pretty chaotic around here. As you may remember, my laptop suffered a serious infection from which it was not recovering, so I had to wait and get a new one.  This was back in October.  In December I finally got a new one.  But by then, finals and term papers were due at college so that kept me busy.  Then came the holidays, which were wonderful thank you, I hope it was the same for all of you. 

During all this I did another two drafts of my Horror/Mystery/Sci-Fi novel "The Bridge" in order to get the word count below 100,000.  I believe I mentioned before that for a brand new author, under 100K words is desirable.  Remember you don't have a track record for the agents and publishers to look at, and they don't time to read a new book that is longer than War and Peace.  So I finally completed the 7th draft just after New Year's Day.  (Mind you, my goal had been to finish it by the end of 2010, oh well).  Anyway I finished it and put together a writer's page for myself on Facebook which you will find here:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Allan-Krummenacker-Writer/171432612892924

I posted the prologue to my novel there and will probably post more samples of it as time goes by.  I also plan on posting bits of my upcoming novels there as well to get feedback which can be very helpful.  In fact I got one piece of feedback where I accidentally confused the readers with who was chasing who in my prologue.  My protagonist was running from a teenage girl who is not what she seems, but I had accidentally made it sound like he was running after her.  One of my readers pointed that out and I quickly fixed it by adding just 2-3 words.

Now that incident demonstrates the importance of sample readers.  What may make perfect sense to you might not be clear to a reader.  So have others, who you trust to be honest and well versed in grammar, take a look at your work.  I know I've said this before, but it saves you a lot of embarrassement and will be appreciated by the agent or publisher who takes a look at your work.  Believe me, they get turned off real fast if they don't feel you have a decent grasp of the English language.

And now the latest news about my novel.  About 7 months ago, I sent a query letter along with a synopsis and sample pages to an agent.  She later friended me on Facebook and I was able to keep track of how far she was behind on getting to all those queries.  I bided my time and continued writing.  I also kept on top of other blogs and realized my novel was 24,000 words too long and another draft was needed.  Yeah, I know what you're thinking, "So that's why he keeps going on about keeping it under 100K words..." 

So I did two new drafts which tightened the storyline, moved the action along, and the built up of the mystery even faster.  This made the entire story more intense and exciting.  Remember, you don't want to bore your readers.  We've got to keep them so interested that they don't want to put your book down. 

Once I was done I alerted the agent to the changes so when she finally got to my query she'd already know about them.  She responded right away and asked for a new synopsis and sample pages, which I quickly supplied.  The next day (yesterday) she had some questions which I quickly responded to.  By the end of the day she had asked for the full manuscript.  Needless to say I'm ecstatic.  I'm also working to get the manuscript to her by next week.  I know this doesn't mean I have an agent or a deal, but I'm that much closer than I was a year ago.  And to have anyone ask for a full manuscript is phenomenal in my opinion. 

So do your research, learn as much as you can about the ins and outs of the business.  Get and obey the guidelines the agencies ask for.  Trust them to know what they want and listen to them.  You don't want to get off on the wrong foot, by annoying them.  Besides, they're already in the business and know more than we do. 

I'll be posting again soon.  In the meantime I'll be working on the sequels to "The Bridge" and the one that follows it.  Remember, don't just sit on your laurels, keep writing.