Thursday, September 24, 2009

Okay. NOW You've Done It.

And here I mean pretty much all of you.

I suddenly have acquired an agent. Yes, a literary agent, like the kind that helps you gather your random scribblings together and make them into a book which will then (with any luck) get peddled to publishers and hence appear on bookstore shelves.... and hopefully, the shelves of people's houses - after being well-thumbed, if all goes as planned.

This is all your fault, you know. You kept pestering me about publishing things, and just LOOK what's happened.

So here I have a little question for you: My agent wants me to order things as I want them to appear. My personal take is that the mix is the way I like it - a story about horses here, one about dogs there, one about Alaska next, a happy one, a sad one, a funny one, a sweet one. I think grouping them all together - like all horse stories here, and all sad stories there - will be less interesting (and in the case of the sad ones, maybe more overwhelming and harder to deal with.) But I want to know what you think, since you've been reading here for a while and know if you like the order or not.

SO: Mix it up, or group it by subject?

As for the logistics, I'll need to edit a bit (in part to be absolutely sure I've protected confidentiality), and it takes about a year before anything is in print, according to my agent. But I'll let you know, shall I?

35 comments:

Sheri said...

Woo-hoo! Congratulations on the literary agent. I very much enjoy reading your stories, but haven't commented much -- in this case I have to comment in order to say that I whole-heartedly agree with the "mixing it up" approach. I can't wait to hear how the whole process goes and, of course, to see the finished product!

misswoo1 said...

mix it up!

congrats!

Dawn said...

Oh wonderful! Congratulations! Please do mix it up. I need the humor mixed in with the not so humorous. Although the posts that make the tears flow are probably my favorites.

a.gorgeous.mess said...

Mix it up.. It's always more interesting that way!

MaskedMan said...

Bwahahahahahahaaaaa...

Vengance is mine, sayeth the younger brother! You got me involved in Border Collies... Now you're sucked into something time consuming - Something that you're going to love even as it bites into your spare time...

Ahem. Heh heh... Feeling much better now, thank you.

OK, seriously now; Mix 'em up. All one type at a time would be like eating all my steak before taking a single bite of baked potato or a drink of my beer.

sluj said...

oh congrats! I agree, I like the mix.

Beth K said...

Congratulations!! I know you will become a well known and well loved arthur!

I like the timeline. How one incident/story reminds you of another. I don't think grouping is bad if it is in the same time frame, like your stories from the race barn going toghter and then your ones from the academy going together.

So then they are semi-grouped but still flow - back and forth through time - in an easy to follow manner - just like your blog!

I can see you being able to write one long novel - or - being able to publish lots of short stories in the same or multiple collections. that's all just my thoughts - but I also don't get paid to be an agent :)

have fun with it, don't get stressed - and please keep posting entries for us to read. I don't think I could go a year without your stories!

****off topic***

A bull moose prevented one of my neighbors from going home the otherday. He was blocking the driveway.

KansasBrendan said...

You can have the best of both worlds: Mix it up, but start TAGGING by subject the posts that have gotten the most reads or the themes you think are most compelling and might invite people to read a lot of a KIND at once. Horse, Farm animals, Cat, Dog, Funny, Sad, whatever ...

Dragon43 said...

Mix it up.

In order that you have written them is good.

Whatever you do, I'll read it.

Pat said...

Whhoo f'n hoo! Yay! lol, sorry I couldn't help myself :)

I like the stories all mixed up

I am so excited for you!

Michelle said...

That's so exciting! Definitely mix it up - just as it is on your blog. That's really awesome!

Della said...

Yeeeehaawww!! Did a little happy dance in my chair reading this! :D Absolutely mix it up the way you do here!

Today Wendy said...

That's awesome! I wandered over here because hedra linked to you once upon a time, and the wonderful writing has made me stay. I'm so excited that I'm going to get to read it all in book format :)

I think I agree with everyone who says to mix it up. If the stories were in sections, I might be tempted to just flip the book open at random rather than reading it cover to cover. Of course, that might not be a bad thing.

Holly said...

YIPPEEEEE! Doing the Happy Dance in PA. I will surely buy it and perhaps more than one copy as I have friends who enjoy a good read too! Make excellent b-day gifts. Oh jeeze. Now I cannot wait. Pleasepleaseplease tell me you won't quit putting stories up here too?????

Mix it all up. That way I will pour over every page.

Perri said...

I've only recently started reading your blog and love the way you write, so this is wonderful news! Congratulations.

I usually avoid buying animal stories because they can be so sad, and when I pick up a book, I prefer escapism that does not involve half a box of kleenex. So for that reason, I'd say "group 'em". BUT...

I think the best manner of writing is from one story to the next, in a form that feels most natural to you (sometimes it has to be tweaked, sure, but you don't have to force it into a format).

So, can I suggest a cheat sheet in the back? A little emotion-index maybe? Or you know, offer one on your blog when it's printed. (Today I can read a sad story, it's okay, so... let me see... we'll start on page...)

Just for the record, I have no qualms about reading the last page of a book before I buy it, either. :)

Best of luck!

Texan said...

Haven't been reading for long here, but I say mix it up...

Barb said...

Congratulations! I'm looking forward to this - in the short time I've been reading your blog you are already one of my favorite writers!

I vote for mixing up the subject matter, but chronological order would be nice. Flashbacks/flashforwards now and then as needed.

But I am confident that whatever you come up with will be excellent!

Donna said...

Congratulations- this is going to be a GREAT book! And mix it up please.

CyborgSuzy said...

That's awesome. I say mix it up!

Steven said...

How COOL!

I say mix it up too! Though the index thing might be really helpful

Julia said...

Ace, can't wait to see it =D

I vote for mixing it up!

Lauren said...

Mix it up. I'm glad you are putting these together in a book (unless that means you won't write for us anymore). I stumbled on your blog a few months ago, and had to sit and read all of them back to back, staying up late. I didn't want to put the rest off for the next day. You have talent. I hope smooth sailing for all of this.

AKDD said...

Thanks, guys! Thanks for the input, and thanks for the compliments. I'm very flattered!

I intend to keep posting here; but if it slows down a little, it'll be because I'm working on meeting the deadlines my agent is setting me. (Luckily, she has forced me - FORCED me! - to carry around a little spiral notebook everywhere I go so when I think of stories I can write the idea down so I remember to write the actual story.)

I expect there will be some content here that isn't in the book and vice-versa, just to keep things interesting. And there will be some editing - sometimes we get into really rather interesting conversations in the "comments" section, with the result that there's almost a second story there... but one that, if told in the context of the original story, will make it drag. SO I may do little add-on's of information at the end of some stories based on things I wrote in the "comments", or those may trigger whole new stories. Plus, I may have to do a certain amount of pseudonymming (I have one client who INSISTS I use her identity, but for the most part to protect client confidentiality I either use no name or I pseudonym.)

Anyway, sinec we are 100% on the "mix it up" side, I'll do that, and I'll try as best I can to keep in mind your other comments... maybe I can do a little logo under or beside the title that indicates is this a horse story, a farm story, a sad story, etc....? Hmmm.

scrappin{jewlz} said...

Congratulations!! and Good luck!!


I say mix it up, that's the way I like to read them as well!!

Ruth Hansell said...

Long time fan here. I love the idea of 'branding' each story, with the addition of when it took place in your life - vet school, early adulthood, adolescence, early vet career, that sort of thing.

And PICTURES! If you have pics of moose on your driveway, etc, that would be soooooo awesome.

Thanks!

AKDD said...

Bueno! And merci! (if you'll forgive me mixing languages).

Ruth, I do have pictures.... if you missed the moose-in-driveway ones (the cow with twins) they're in "Moose Tales and Farewell Trails" (last September.) Kinda grainy since I was shooting them from my upstairs window at like 10:00 at night or something, though... but I don't have closer photos of the calves.

MaskedMan said...

...maybe I can do a little logo under or beside the title that indicates is this a horse story, a farm story, a sad story, etc....? Hmmm.

An excellent idea, IMO.

calyxia said...

Mix it up! And congrats!
:) broke

calyxia said...

Mix it up! And congrats :) brooke

Arwen said...

I think mixing it up is much more in line with the 'anything goes when you're a vet up here' sort of feeling, I think I would prefer that.

I loved your recent horse stories, but I'm especially fond of the vet encounters that you just wouldn't get elsewhere - to do with sledding dogs etc.

SweetMotherOfMars said...

What a wonderful turn of events!(Thanks to MM for his apparent nudging.)

Glad you'll be mining the comments for more stories and I love the idea of an icon legend.

Couldn't wish this on a better writer. You've kept me entertained and enlightened, good work!

I need orange said...

All RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Excellent news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mix it up, by all means.

Can't wait to buy my copy. :-)

BCxFour said...

Congrats on the agent!!!

I am with the majority - mix 'em & perhaps utilize a theme that will tie them to each other, like how our memory works, one thing will trigger another and another and so on.

Marcy said...

This is from your agent. I think your stories are absolutely wonderful and so do your readers. Thanks for giving us these precious moments of your life and the animals and owners who have halped shape you into the wonderful person you are!

AKDD said...

Thanks! These are just regular, ordinary, everyday people and their animals... the small mercies and miracles and shining moments of life - and sometimes its sorrows and troubles, as well. No one in them is famous - well, ALMOST no one - but it's not fame that makes these stories worth telling, for me. It is in fact their ordinariness that makes them beautiful to me. It's so easy to forget that every life is remarkable in some way, regardles of how obsucure that life may seem on a global scale. There is such an incredible wealth of small, prefect moments in the world, but we sometimes overlook them in our haste or our seeking for larger things.

So these are just regular people and regular animals, doing regular things... but still, remarkable to me for all that; amusing or touching or strange or quirky, and oddly beuatiful at times. Despite their ordinariness, it seems to me that these are stories deserve to be told. Small, simple things, perhaps; but it is of such things our lives are composed.... and it is perhaps in the loveliness of small things that we find our greatest redemption.