I have my ten query packets all nicely packed up except for the queries and synopses now. The #10 SASE and whatever amount of pages of the novel each agent wants is in the envelope, with a sticky note on the outside showing a checklist noting the agent's name, and listing "Query, Synopsis, __ Pages, SASE" (with the __ filled in with the right number of pages or chapters). I check off each thing as it's added to the envelope. If I don't do things THIS carefully, I may slip up and I'm determined to do this right! So I've triple-checked that each SASE is in the correct envelope. I put the agent's name and addy as the return address so I'll know at a glance who it's from when it returns. I'm waiting for one more person (a real, live published author who was kind enough to agree to this!) to get back to me on my query and synopsis before sending everything out.
I've sent my synopsis to a couple of folks from the Hatrack River site who responded to my request for readers. Each of them contributed something very different to the process, but everything they offered was a huge help.
As for my formatting woes, they continue. I'm still fighting with Word documents, but when I save each chapter as a .txt, they behave better. I'm up to chapter 5 of 22 long chapters in reformatting, but I'm making progress. Scott on the Critters Newsgroup said I can do a find and replace with _(*)_ in the "find" box and "\1" in the "replace" box and it will change the underbars to underlines ("underbar" = a underscore before and after the word, denoting italics for the Critters critique site). The underlines will be changed into italics when the book is formatted for publication (note, I said "WHEN" the book is formatted!! Thinking positively here!) Anyway, I'm getting tired of this job, but going through it so carefully is helping me catch tiny little things I can improve, so it isn't a total waste of time.
Meanwhile, I'm getting ready to go to a painting workshop led by Elin Pendleton, a fabulous artist, good buddy and very funny lady - also a beta on "Star Sons." The workshop is at the Kentucky Horse Park, one of the classes offered by the It will be good to immerse myself in art, horses and friendship for a week and rest from all this writing and querying stuff!!!American Academy of Equine Art, a very prestigious group of which I'm an "almost Associate member" - my membership will be voted on in the fall.
It's a gorgeous day. I think I'll fight the formatting battle for a while, then go and ride my horse. Yeah, that sounds like a plan!! Meanwhile, a new HP ficlet is tickling the back of my mind and the second novel is singing its siren song - and Elin has already told me she expects me to paint a scene from it in class next week! ACK! I'm a SCULPTOR not a painter!!!! Maybe by the end of next week, I'll be on my way to being a painter, too! Sure hope so!