I have some exciting news – my best friend Cindi just found out she’s pregnant with her third baby. She’ll be 42 when this one is born, her youngest will be 2. Still, I’m envious, and excited. I haven’t been able to get pregnant in 14 years, and she just thinks about it….

Really, I’m happy for her, but it just kind of is reflecting my own weaknesses right now. Making me wonder about my own decisions, and if they’re the right ones.

I’m having a “procedure” in May because I don’t want to go back on the Pill or have a hysterectomy because I don’t want to give up the idea that I could someday have another baby.

Yes, I’ll be 40 on Friday.

When do you give up hope?

I know this sounds weird coming from me, considering the successes I’ve had lately, but for every success, there’s been a blockade. Yes, Hot Shot has finalled in the Golden Heart twice, has won other contests, and yet seems stuck in an endless cycle of revisions. It’s the manuscript that got me my agent, but it’s not even in front of any editors.

Don’t Look Back has finalled in all but one of the contests I entered it in, but is also in revisions, still 20 pages short of ST length even after working on it all weekend (and adding 30 pages). How can I take advantage of my GH finalling status if I can’t get the book out?

Twelve years, y’all. I’m the only SARA member who’s finalled in the Golden Heart and hasn’t sold. Around me people are selling and seeing their books on the shelves and I feel like I’m moving backwards. I can’t get excited about contests or requests because I’ve been down the road, had my hopes raised, then dashed.

What kills your hope?

What rebuilds it?

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Anonymous said...

HUGS Mary!
What kills my hope: A million different things. What builds it up: My friends who've walked the road I'm on.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Oh, Mary, do I understand.

It's been 12+ years for me, too, with no GH finals to temper the rejections. The small press sales help boost the ego, give me the drive to continue.

I've been in revisions for an entire year, myself, and I cannot WAIT to start writing new stuff again. That definitely boosts my spirits and my hope. Because the writing is the joy of the business.

Anonymous said...


Sometimes, I find that hope has a way of regenerating itself. It might go through a lull, but then it comes back stronger than ever.

Peggy said...


In writing, you've achieved a lot more than others. You're time is coming. Hold on.

In getting pregnant, keep at it, learn all your options. Then remember, what will be, will be. Don't question it, just except it.

KATZ said...

Your writing is fantastic, Mary - it has to be only a matter of time! I would hate to be stuck in revisions - Natalie's idea of writing new stuff, even if it is just for fun on the side, sounds like a great idea to make you feel better!

Anonymous said...


Hope comes from love. If you love what you're doing, then somehow hope survives, even we you can't figure out how it will. You have so MUCH, Mar. I think you're amazing, and a great talent. I don't know why things have gone as they have. I only know it will not be that way forever.

Hugs on the baby feelings...it is hard to accept that those days may have passed. Mine have far passed, and I am at a place where I am all right about that. I see my children growing up, giving me the chance to explore different pathways that wouldn't have occurred to me ten years ago. And like you, I teach. I still call all my students "my girls", because they are, for as long as they are with me. I have many children, in lots of different ways. So do you. Even our books are our children! We create, Mar. Everytime we create, we are mothers to the energy at play.


Anonymous said...

I meant "when", not "we" in that first paragraph. This revision may help. LOL


Trish Milburn said...

Mary, I know that feeling of frustration all too well, but we've got to hang on to hope because we won't accept the alternative.

I agree with the others who said a good antidote might be to actually work on something new alongside the revisions. Even if you only take 15 minutes a day and brainstorm on your new idea, just write one page. By the time you're done with your revisions, you'll have a nice bit of material on a new book already started. And since getting started is sometimes the hardest part, you'll already be past that.

BTW, love the countdown to summer vacation on the main page. :)

Stacy Dawn said...

(((Mary))) I wish I could say the magic words for you, really I do.

Stephanie said...

Mary, my heart goes out to you... the frustration is so clear in your post. I don't know if anything I can say will help, but I hope it will, even a bit.

About babies: I can't have children, and I've known that most of my adult life. What has it taught me? To be very grateful for the loving people in my life, and to find fulfilment regardless of what I think I may have wanted (children) or been good at (being a mommy). I'm at peace with who I am and that my body couldn't give me a child. For me, women who have children, even one, are very blessed in a way different than how I'm blessed, and I pray they realize it. I know you do -- that your son means so much to you. And I know appreciating him can't take away the longing for another child, but trust in your path. Maybe being a writer and bringing a lot of joy to people is your path now, and if you had a baby at this point in time, the writer part of you would not flourish.

And speaking of the writing...what you've been through is precisely why I refuse to get involved in the contest loop. It's a double-edged sword. I completely agree with the others -- put the edits aside, even for a few days, and toss off a few pages of whatever strikes your fancy. Any chance you might want to try your hand at the new Nocturne line? Or submit a chick-lit partial to TOR? Or whatever. Just write something out of your comfort zone... and good things will come : )

OK, I'm done being nosey/bossy/preachy. Sorry : ) And I hope everything rights itself very soon!


MJFredrick said...

Mary Beth, you're right on about friends building up hope. You guys are so good to me when I whine ;)

Natalie, a YEAR in revisions?? ACK! For me it's been since October, but it feels interminable.

Bonnie, I know you're right about the lull in hope. I've noticed that I get in these funks almost cyclically, or when someone makes a multibook deal and I'm sitting here with my....well, never mind.

Thanks, Peggy. Most of the time, I have the que sera, sera philosophy of getting pregnant. Like Bosey said, I know getting pregnant would do a number on my writing (though then I wonder if it matters, because what's going on there, anyway??) but then other people just have to think about getting pregnant, and boom!

Sarah, you're so sweet to me. Maybe I will play with Glenn's story tonight (I have GOT to change his name.)

Thanks, JoAnn - hope comes from love - I like that! Hey, I can't BELIEVE you didn't see me driving past you today! I even got in front of you and slowed down (okay, actually, I can't BELIEVE I knew it was you - I never pay attention)

Trish, you're absolutely right about not accepting alternatives to getting published. And I know if it was easy....but why can't it be a LITTLE easy??

Thanks, Stacy!

Bosey, you are not bossy or preachy - you are just what I need! What an inspiration you are to me. Thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

Hugs, Mary. You never know why life throws you curve balls, but usually persistence pays off. And it will for you, too! Hang in there.

Toni Anderson said...

Don't ever give up Mary--on any of the dreams you have :)

Jill Monroe said...

First, HUGS, Mary. Second, and I mean this - THIS seems to be the point that people sell. I'd gotten requests only to lead to nothing. I stopped entering contests. I grew really frustrated, and that's when I started writing and found a whole new voice.

I've talked about this with a bunch of other authors and this seems to be a theme for a lot of us (not all). And I'll tell you what - I'm so appreciative of the opportunity to have my books in the stores.

When you publish, and I do mean WHEN, it will just be all the sweeter!

Dee Tenorio said...

I know it's probably way too late to leave this for you, but man, talk about a post hitting me right in the weak spot. We've got the same trials, Mary. I want another as well, I chafe so bad at the thought that I may have squandered my reproductive years trying to feed the one baby I'm blessed to have. If I make it to 30 with my uterus intact, it'll be by the grace of God alone.

And I get hurt when close friends get pregnant. My little sister--Queen of Insensitivity--occasionally likes to ask me, while bemoaning her current uncomfortable pregnancy, why I never had more children. As if I had the luxury or the choice. As if the choice to have them in the future were in my hands.

And yes, I definitely wish I could be more comfortable while friends land multi-book contracts or agents or mainstram pubs. I keep thinking, if I had more time each day... or If they could just see what I can do...

Some days, I give myself a break and just get damn bitter.

Then I slap myself and carry on.

I hope you're feeling better.

MJFredrick said...

Thanks, Michelle, Toni and Jill. I think part of my frustration is that NOTHING is out there. In the past 8 months, I've had a book out for about one. I know I'm making the book better (theoretically) but it's hard to know there's NO shot you'll get a call.

I did the whole quitting and finding a new voice thing before Hot Shot. But I really like this voice. I like these stories. After writing three action adventures and three RS, I can't go back to straight romance, and I know I want to write romance.

{{{{{{DEE}}}}}}} I read your blog, I know what you go through every month, and I can't imagine it. I was hoping there for awhile that you'd managed it...

It is hard, but not something I think about every day. And I'm glad I have my boy, though I know I could have done more for him. You are great with Moo.

As for the books, someone will give you a chance. I have no doubt.


M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
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Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
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Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
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Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
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