Supernatural, Pot Roast, Ice Storm and Then and Now

It pains me to say it, but Supernatural was deadly dull last night. The pacing was off, the gay joke was back...just disappointing. I was really looking forward to it, too. I prefer the non-mythology episodes as a rule, but this one let me down. Grey's was awesome, though.

I took out a pot roast yesterday, forgot to put it in the crockpot. I called the ds, told him what to do. He did. Only he didn't plug it in. So I came home and cooked it for tomorrow....only I forgot to put it in the fridge before I went to bed. No pot roast here!

Been cleaning up from the ice storm. Uncovered my plants, took my poor kitty-mutilated begonia back outside, hung up coats, put away food and DVDs. We're messy when we're home.

Okay, I was thinking about how my desires about being published have changed over time.


In 2002, I wanted to be the next Catherine Mann. She and I were on the same AOL board, I'd watched her struggle, and when she sold to SIM, I was so excited to read her book. Then she kept selling, and I knew that was what I wanted for myself.

In 2003, when I finalled in the GH the first time, my friend Elizabeth told me my career was made. I was sure she was right. I didn't let one opportunity slip. I was always writing/submitting/entering contests, frantic to be published. I never took a break. I hated my job, and writing was my way out.

In 2004, I had an editor's interest and another GH final. Shannon Godwin called on my birthday (what more of a sign do you need?) and asked for revisions. I turned them around to her in 6 weeks. The time after that was excruciating, waiting for her response. We stalked her at National in Dallas that year. I was certain, any time the phone rang at a reasonable hour, that it was The Call. I wrote like a fiend. I finished three books that year.

In 2005, I was always waiting for contest results. I'd time it so I was hearing about every month. At least I was hearing SOMETHING. I got an agent's interest. She liked the book so much, she emailed me in the middle of the night. I kept my cell phone handy, waiting for her to call me, telling me we had an offer.

in 2006, the stress became too great. I stopped going to SARA meetings because I was the only person eligible for PRO. The good news I wanted never came, the only contact with my agent was more revisions. I was no longer in control of my own career and I was in a downward spiral.


I think probably the most important thing that...let's say, relaxed me...about getting published was my new job. For the first time in EVER I loved working. I loved going to work, I loved being at work, I liked thinking about work. Since I was no longer looking at writing as my escape from the day job, it was no longer as painful to get rejected.

Another thing was getting an agent. In September of 2005, I had three requests for three mss. I remember being completely stressed about which to work on first. Then she called, took over, and those requests went on backburners as I tried to make Hot Shot as good as she wanted it. It was hard to let go of the reins at first - I kept bugging her about those requests, but she wanted to work on one ms at a time. So instead of writing all the time, I was revising in big chunks, then taking a break. I mean, why write something new when I had 2 other mss in the queue?

The third thing that changed my attitude was Nano. After 11 months of revisions, only 100 new pages in that time, I needed to let loose, and when I did - oh, I loved writing that book. I've only read it once since and it may be awful, but it was very liberating to write something I didn't even think about selling.


I have three mss out through my agent. She was less than enthusiastic about doing so, but I was tired of sitting on them, using them as an excuse for not writing. I sent one ms on my own to Premium Press America. I only have a GH entry out, and it might actually be a relief not to final, since going to National would mess with my ds's sweet 16. I bailed on my critique group. I'm thinking about going back to SIM with the ghost hunters. I hope Susan remembers me ;) While I would love to see my name on a book someday, it's no longer the drive behind my writing. I'm looking for the joy again, a balance in my life, and for the first time in a long time, I feel good about my choices.

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Anonymous said...

Good for you, Mary :)

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

What a journey you've been on! It seems like a pretty good place you're in now, so I cross my fingers it continues that way.

It's funny. I have a friend who said last night was the best SPN ever. You thought it was deadly dull. I'm in the middle. :)

I thought the background story was only okay. They didn't get to do much research or fight anything. And they weren't responsible for the resolution. I don't think I liked that. But there was so much GOOD in it, anyway. I like the gay jokes. :) They don't have to ever do them again, but I still found it funny. There's a new rift between Sam and Dean, and I wonder how far it will tear.

Okay, I confess. I maybe loved the episode because those BODIES distracted me from any boring moments. :)

Toni Anderson said...

Yay Mary!! Enjoying it seems to be the best option!! It isn't easy but fingers crossed you'll make it and it'll be great and you'll still have a job you love!!!

Linda Winfree said...

I think we're long-lost twins. :-) The details are different, but there's so much of the story that's the same.

I'm glad you're feelin' the love again!

Anonymous said...

Yay, Mar! It's great to see you confident and glad again!

Love you,

MJFredrick said...

Thanks, Bonnie, Toni and JoAnn!

Thanks, Natalie. Best SPN? I liked Bugs better ;) I watched it again and I liked the brother moments. I would have done more with the dollhouse and the old guy in the bar, but that's just me. And you're right - Sam and Dean didn't solve the problem.

Linda, tough road, huh? But we've come out on top!

Anonymous said...

Mary, you're going to be published one day. Never doubt it! I'm glad you found the joy again. :)

Shesawriter said...


Now I know you're going to be published soon. It always happens when you're not looking for it.


Anonymous said...

Hey Mary, the way good ol' Murphy works, this is the time you'll get snatched up by an editor! :) I hope so. Sounds like you're past due.

KATZ said...

Good for you, Mary. Right now, I'm dying to get pubbed but know I'm almost too busy with young kids, working full time at a new demanding job, and DH in law school.
Fortunately, I still deeply love writing - it's my escape. It gets harder to write the more I worry about making it perfect, so I try to enjoy when the story is new and push through the rest. :)

Marianne Arkins said...


You sound much more upbeat. That's great!

RE: contest that I've talked about -- Yup, the Four Seasons. I had a wonderful experience with them last year (didn't final - got a 100 and a 62, go figure) but the feedback was amazing and it all ran very smoothly.

Good luck with whatever you do AND I have to agree with the others, success frequently finds you the moment you stop looking for it.

Allie Boniface said...

What a great timeline & honest assessment of your journey. Especially helpful for me since I am dabbling my toes in the very first stages...

MJFredrick said...

Eeek, Allie, I hope I'm not discouraging. I have to say, I've been a slow learner at this process, and clearly I'm not determined to "do whatever it takes" to get published. I guess I want to get published on my own terms.

LOL on you guys and Murphy's Law. I certainly wouldn't say no if I got the call! It would amp up the stress, but I think I could deal ;)

Marianne, the Four Seasons definitely looks worth the money! Good luck!

Amie Stuart said...

Shoot I can't even remember what it was about!! (Supernatural)

Guess that's nto good huh. I guess I have to agree hten Mary.

In the last few months, writing wise, I've learned the same lesson you have about finding that joy in writing again. The pressure (we put on ourselves) can be excrutiating and it's not worth it. Hugs to you!

MJFredrick said...

Amie, this is a good place to be, isn't it? You're so right about the pressure we put on ourselves! No one else was urging me to sell, but I saw that as the only possible outcome. I'm glad that's changed.

Tracy Montoya said...

Yay, Mary!

Although here's to 2007 being the year you sell!

MJFredrick said...

Aww, thanks, Tracy!


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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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