I will start querying Hatshepsut in exactly one week.


This is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. I was one of those kids in school whose mediocre efforts were always good enough. My senior year in AP Literature I wrote an essay on Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. I aced it.

And never read the book. Nope, I didn’t rip the essay from the internet either- this was just before the dawn of the world wide web. And I didn’t cheat. I kept one ear open for a couple weeks in class and winged it. Viola!

Now, I’m not saying I’m an expert at anything. I’m pretty good at a lot of things- cooking, teaching, yoga, photography, painting- but I’m no Wolfgang Puck, Socrates, Rodney Yee, Ansel Adams, or Van Gogh.

When I finished the first draft of Hatshepsut there was this immediate idea that I needed to edit and send it off. But it wasn’t ready. Each time I thought it was almost done, I was wrong.

Now I’m 99% done. I’ve tied up all the plot holes, cleaned up adverbs and dialogue, enriched the setting, checked chapter endings, and done more word searches than I can count (curse you, just!). This weekend is the final sweep and then it will be ready.

This is the first thing I can remember actually trying to make perfect. To make something as perfect as I can and then willingly face scores of rejections is daunting. Downright scary.

What about you? How did you know your MS was ready to query? Or how do you think you’ll know? Is there anything else in life you can remember trying to make perfect?

Oh, and there’s going to be a contest next week to celebrate my plunge into the word of querying. Stay tuned!