Stephanie Burgis
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That same old feeling...
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This is a day for feeling itchy about submissions. About 75% of the time, nowadays, I feel calm about the different fiction submissions that are sitting with readers around the world. Maybe 15% of the time, I feel a little itchy about them. The other 10% of the time--like today--they just drive me crazy! The scariest, most mind-warping part of being a writer is the feeling of having absolutely no control over whether things will sell/be taken on/whatever. Or rather, you do have control over the first part--you revise and revise until each piece has found its own best possible version, you send it out in a professional format, you come up with a cover letter that looks as good as possible--but after that, for months and months... Nothing. Gaaaarrrrhhhh. These are the days of eating lots and lots of chocolate, and drinking far too much coffee....

However, I do have to say that it makes me happy, even on the days when I'm driven to escape the house and drown my sorrows in a coffeeshop, that from the top floor of our local Borders, while sitting in Starbucks and drinking a latte, I can see sheep grazing peacefully in a nearby field. Something about that makes me deeply happy. I do like living in Yorkshire...

Inspired by Patrick's diligence, yesterday I managed to do my full daily novel quota for the first time since...well, since I first came down with the labyrinthitis nearly 3 weeks ago, actually! It was a very, very good feeling. I meant to get up with Patrick at 6:30 this morning to do some early-morning writing...really, I did...but...

Hmm. Come to think of it, doing some real writing might even make me feel less itchy on the submissions front. An interesting theory to test out, anyway...

Meanwhile, I wanted to ask for suggestions! I'm trying to come up with a catchy, 1- or 2-line description of my historical fantasy novel, Masks and Shadows. Even for those of you who haven't been forced to read part or all of a draft, please tell me how you react to:

"Masks and Shadows is a romantic intrigue set at the palace of Eszterhaza during Haydn's tenure as court composer, featuring secret societies, music, alchemy and murder."


"Masks and Shadows is a historical fantasy adventure with romance, alchemy, music and murder."

or (a new one responding to the first two comments!):

"Masks and Shadows is a historical fantasy adventure set at the palace of Eszterhaza during Haydn's tenure as court composer, featuring secret societies, music, alchemy and murder."

???????? Opinions????? Do you hate them all? Feel mildly indifferent? Any other ideas or rephrasings??????

Sigh. It's definitely Friday afternoon....

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