Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Murmurations and Mutterings

The first fourteen people have signed up to the new 'elderwomanspace' network and all sorts of conversations are already happening between them. I shall be sending out a fresh batch of invitations tomorrow. Wow, this feels so rich and interesting. Although I dislike most kinds of parties, I am certainly enjoying this one.

The rest of my life has been on hold since last Friday. Soon, I shall have to go back to some of the more difficult tasks I have been avoiding. Like trying to get my novel published.

It's the first time I have tried to publish full-length fiction, and it is so much harder to place than non-fiction. With all three of my non-fiction books I was able to find a publisher fairly easily, but this time I decided to try and get an agent, as I don't know the fiction market very well.

I have approached a lot of agents, but none of them want to take it on. They all say it's very well-written and they enjoyed reading the sample chapters but "the fiction market is really tight right now." I think what they are really telling me is that the publishers' marketing departments won't want it because it's not chick lit, it's not crime or sci-fi or historical romance and the main character is a woman of 51. Grrr!

The trees are all bare now and we have had our first frost. Squirrels are busily caching their winter supplies. The huge flocks of starlings that come over each winter from eastern Europe are already making their fascinating, aerobatic swirls across the sky. I love to watch the patterns they make. And I love it when I am out on my morning walk and suddenly the whole flock swoops low over the lane with the strong, soft swoosh and flutter of a thousand wings.I can even feel the movement of the air current they create as they pass over me. There is something that feels so lovely about that. It's like a sort of avian blessing.

Yet an hour later, when I am home again and I see half a dozen of them dominating the bird feeders, squabbling and driving all the smaller birds away, I find myself muttering crossly at them and wishing they would go back where they came from, like some anti-immigration fanatic.

Life is so full of contradictions, sometimes, isn't it?


Dorothy said...

Hi Elderwoman,

Wanted to stop what I was doing and tell you how much I'm enjoying your blog...not sure how I landed here, but I'm glad I did. ;o)

One thing, I think the fiction market is really hard to get into unless you've already established yourself with a publisher or agent or you know someone. Just my take on things as I've been trying to market fiction for years and have had better luck with non-ficton.

Also, that picture of the birds? That was the way my sky looked like about an hour ago! You, too? They were making so much racket, I had to go out and see what it was.

Anyway, sorry for making this long but I'd like to add you in my links at www.overthehillchick.blogspot.com if that's all right.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Carolyn H said...

I love the stark black and white of your starling photo. It seems so typical of the late fall--lots of contrast but not much color. Thanks!

Carolyn H.

Tess said...

I do hope you make some progress with your book. I'd buy it!

joared said...

I never realized how attractive a starling could be until I saw your picture. All I could ever remember from my days in Ohio was how they arrived in incredibly large numbers, parked in the trees, created a most unpleasant noise recounting the highlights of their flight, I suppose. Worst of all was the residue they left under the tree in the morning. Here, in So. Cal., we're just invaded by parrots occasionally.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog but I'm not sure I qualify as an elderwoman (45 yo). I'll read it and learn, and as I enter the next phase of my life I'll eagerly await the time I can be considered a true elderwoman.
Thanks for writing.


Just keep marketing yourself anyway possible - fiction or no - it happens to "someone".

Heaven knows all of your "elderwoman" friends would but it:)

Elderwoman said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments and your encouragement.
I'll keep up the search for a publisher and let you know what transpires.