Getting ready; getting organized

This Saturday I take the last of the tests to become a real teacher. Because I went through Oklahoma’s alternative certification program, I’ve been working with just a license for about two years now. (The pay’s the same.) This last one is the Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination. I did the practice test tonight and got every multiple choice question right. The second part is written response. The sample prompts were easy enough. I’ll be glad to get this out of the way. My license has to be renewed every year.

In other news, I’ve recently become a big fan of LitMatch and Duotrope. Once upon a time (before I had kids), I was very organized about my manuscript submissions. The last several years, though, I haven’t been keeping up with it. Part of it is lack of time, but using e-mail hasn’t helped. I while back I sent a novel to a publisher via e-mail only to get a response telling me they’d already rejected that book more than a year earlier. Now that I’m using LitMatch and Duotrope, I don’t have to worry about that. LitMatch provides information about literary agents and lets you track your submission and record responses; you can also see how long the agent is taking to respond to other authors. Duotrope does the same thing for speculative fiction publishing markets.

Last Sunday, the last day of SoonerCon, I checked my P.O. box and found a rejection letter that apparently had been there for a while. It was pretty disappointing. It was a situation where the editor had actually called me on the phone at one point, so I was pretty hopeful. Well, it didn’t work out. However, for some reason that inspired me to submit several pieces that have been collecting cyberdust on my hard drive. I now have two short stories, a children’s picture book, and three novels submitted to various publishers or agents.

A date has been set for my appearance on The Mysterious Lab of Dr. Fear. I’ll be joining Brian Yount, aka Dr. Fear, in my hometown of Enid, Okla., on July 13. The show starts at 8 p.m. CST and there is a live Internet feed. Brian’s promised a show filled with werewolf themed music, so I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Don’t forget about my video contest! See my last blog entry for details.


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