Sunday, November 23, 2008

Super Hopeful

Pin It One thing I've learned about myself over the last few months is that I'm not bad at handling Big Problems.

Big Problems, like the bankruptcy, or losing the house, are not as hard as you might think to get through - all you have to do is just try to gracefully survive. Problem - Solution - The End. Triumph over short-term adversity and hopefully come out the other side a better, stronger person. Easy-peasy.

The reality of the daily grind of life is much harder for me to handle, because it just never ends.

If you've read my blog for very long at all, you know we worked things out with the bank and moved back into our house. We were so happy to be able to move back to the neighborhood we love, and the friends we adore. It was like a fairy tale.

The reality is less rose colored though. Don't get me wrong - we're so thankful we were able to keep the house, but the mortgage is incredibly high and it will always be an anchor around our necks. It was a sacrifice we were willing to make in order to move back, but it means that I have to work - a lot. Yes, it's from home, and yes it's doing something I enjoy - but doing anything for five hours a day and six to eight hours every night after your kids are in bed will get old pretty fast.

I've been feeling really grumpy and tired and overwhelmed lately - realizing it isn't going to end. For the next thirty years, I will always be pushing this rock up the hill. I try to stay positive and be happy (great husband, wonderful kids, at least you have your health, blah blah blah) but on a lot of nights, I just want to throw a tantrum because I'm so tired of pushing the stupid rock.

Tonight I was sitting on the couch with my husband, telling him I just didn't think I could do it anymore - something had to give. It was time to stop blogging, time to stop trying to write - time to give up everything but the things that were absolutely necessary to our survival.

I kid you not, I had my laptop on my lap, and I'd just tearfully said, "I don't think I can do this anymore," when I noticed I had a new email. I stared at it for a minute and burst into tears.

It was from an agent - a bona fide big-time literary agent. She read my crazy middle-of-the-night query email and wants to see a partial manuscript.

I can't believe it.

Who knows what will happen. Probably nothing. She'll probably read my partial manuscript and pass. That's what agents do - they reject stuff. So it's way too early to get excited.

Still. Hearing about it? Right now? Tonight?

It's something. It's really something.

You know what it is?

It's hope.

90 comments:

  1. Life has a way of throwing us a rope to hang on to now and then, just when we need it. I know I've been there...in both spots, where I think I'm going to drown if something doesn't give. Where I think I can't continue to work 20 hours a week (at home before the kids wake up), and then take care of a husband, family and home, and do all the volunteering and class participation and nieghborhood committees and whatever else I'm being asked to do. And then, *bling* some little thing happens to encourage me on.

    I'm so glad you got that email. :) And after reading your blog for just a couple short months (and of course the other one, which I REALLY WISH you wouldn't update; but, no pressure), I can't believe any editor would just chuck what you've sent in.

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  2. Oops...I meant to say I really wish you WOULD update the other blog!!!

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  3. That is so great! It's amazing how much a little hope can affect you.

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  4. That's great! Now, could you tell the rest of us if we are in the other manuscript and when it is ever coming out. We need hope, too.

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  5. Right now you're ahead of about 90 percents of other aspiring writers. I wish you tons of luck.

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  6. "Percents?" It must have been my inner cat typing.

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  7. That is wonderful news! I'm so happy for you.

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  8. You go, girl!

    And banks are getting more and more desperate right now. You may be able to negotiate even more favorable terms. Look into it.

    Can I see a copy of that query letter? I need one that works.

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  9. It's not just hope--I think it's a sign.

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  10. So crossing my fingers for you GOOD LUCK! Once this all works out for you, I think lots of your readers w/b interested in reading your "horrible middle-of-the-night query letter".

    You could so much stop writing like a mule could stop being stubborn.

    And suburbanc is right -- check into it.

    (Had to (mostly) delurk for this -- I've enjoyed your writing so much and am genuinely excited for you. Don't give up if this one ends up being a bump in the road. Keep going down this road.)

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  11. Hang on to Hope. Sometimes it's the only thing that keeps me going too.

    And if you do have to cut back a little on blogging, still know we will all still be here to support you - cause ya know, you're just so darn cute and sassy. Somehow a smile here or a chuckle there helps us forget the nasties in our own lives.

    So take care of yourself first and don't let go of that there gift of hope.

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  12. *fingers crossed* for you!

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  13. well, Ive only been reading your blog for about a week now, but I wanted to stop by and tell you that I hope you will have a really great experience with whatever happens with your manuscript. It is no small thing to have your e-mail even replied to, right? I also wanted to share with you our experience in moving to an area we could afford instead of trying hard to stay in an area that would have put (as you put it...an anchor around our necks) we live in the best, most down to earth neighborhood, where there are no Jones's to be kept up with, the ward actually needs us, and we have a beautiful view of the mountains every day. Its the best thing we ever did. Nobody has zip code envy, but we love what we have. (not saying that any of the above reflects on why you wanted to stay in your home, just offering up what we've experienced by going to a more affordable community)

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  14. Tender Mercies are real.

    And they are always sent at the very last minute to spur us on.

    Keeping my fingers AND toes crossed for you.

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  15. WAHOO! Praying for you!

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  16. Good luck! I hope you talked about your blog(s) in your query letter -- would love to hear that that contributed to piquing the agent's interest.

    I, too, like clan of the cave hair, don't want to preach or judge about your house decisions, but I can say that we've lived in a few really, really bad neighborhoods (in Harlem, The Bronx, South St. Pete, FL), and now that were in a very not-fancy neighborhood in Eagle Mtn, I love it.

    You gotta do what you gotta do to have/provide whatever's most important to you (and the importance of location/friends/memories can't be overestimted), just make sure that it really is that important, and worth all the late nights!

    (Frankly, I'm IN AWE that you got your book finished during such a busy, busy time -- but then, that probably just proves that you're really meant to be a writer.)

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  17. Isn't it just a *tiny* bit cruel how God sometimes leads us RIGHT up to the edge and we are so sure we're about to fall, and then hands us a glimmer of hope? Good for us, yes, but still a tiny bit cruel. We always get over it though and look back and laugh a little. So I'm happy for you and hope it all turns into something wonderful.

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  18. Yayyyy! How awesome! It's a sign!! Thanks for sharing this happy news. (It sounded especially great after the dreary stuff--such strategy!)

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  19. AAAAAAH!!! (that was me getting all excited about hope.)

    There's this singer/songwriter named Sara Groves (she rocks the party) She has a song "It Might be Hope" Sometime, when you take a break from pushing the rock up the hill, it might be on YouTube.

    That just popped into my head randomly while reading this. Because I want everyone to listen to Sara Groves and feel all hopeful. So now the whole world knows because they all read your blog.

    Oh and when you feel like crying on your laptop--It's Gonna be Alright is another great Sara Groves song. Sounds super cheesy but it's not.

    So there.

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  20. A lifeline, in the middle of storm. Congrats, eventually, it will go somewhere. Awesome blessing!

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  21. Maddison9:13 AM

    Yay, yay, yay!!! I am giddy with excitement for you ~ I truly hope this works out. And hey, if it doesn't right away, perhaps this can serve as a motivator to keep writing stuff and submitting it.

    I know you're not a fan of the Twilight series, etc., but yesterday I saw an interview with the author who said ALL BUT ONE of the editors rejected her ~ and now she's rich and famous because of that one. So, we believe in you!

    I am much the same way with the hardest part of my life being the daily grind. I am really good at planning, etc., but when I'm up and out of the house at eight only to come home most nights at nine p.m., I know what you're saying.

    I think I can safely speak for all of us in saying that we're rooting for ya! :D

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  22. We all have our boulders to push up the hill, ya know. We all want to quit and say--enough! But then we get that little glimmer of hope that helps keep on going.

    I am so sorry that you are in this situation. I agree with Sub. Corr. maybe the bank would work with you on lowering your payment for a while. They WANT you to keep your house, and they WANT you to make your payment. Maybe they will be a little more flexible if they understand your situation? I don't know I could be living in a dream world (which is where I am most of the time ;)).

    Good luck with the editor. I thing you are great!

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  23. .....WHAT?! This is amazing. I know we've heard a lot about hope and change lately, and it's almost becoming cliche, but this really is HOPE and CHANGE.

    Yes you CAN be in contact with a bona fide literary agent.

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  24. Whaaaaaaaaaa-hoooooooooooooooo!

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  25. I hope this works out for you. I love, love, love your blog and reading it has made my day many times. Your style of writing is fantastic and I so hope that you continue and prosper with this.

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  26. Thanks you guys - I just want to say on the house - we can't sell it. There isn't a way to move to a more affordable neighborhood - even though that would be a good, because we're upside down. The only way to move would be to face foreclosure again, and we absolutely can't do that again. So we are here. And we are glad to be here. It's just a bit of a trick to make it all work out.

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  27. Congratulations, that is great news!

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  28. Congratulations!!!

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  29. HOOOOORAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!

    it's gotta happen sometime, right??

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  30. I think she's going to read it and love it and offer to pay you to finish it.

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  31. OH MY GOSH! Congrats!!! That is SO awesome. I will buy 5 copies of your book and say "I knew her back when she was just a hypochondriac nobody on the Internets" :)

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  32. I think there are a lot of us in your situation right now, never exactly the same, but the same sentaments. It's amazing how "something" always seems to come along to tell us "don't give up hope" "keep at it". Personally, I would say blogging is your outlet, so I wouldn't let that go. For most of us (if not all) it's a way to unwind and enjoy a piece of every day. Congrats on the agent, and even if she "rejects" it..don't give up!!

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  33. Hope it works out - nice honest post. Isn't this what blogging is all about? All of these virtual strangers hoping things work out for you? I'm super new to all of this but I like the good vibes that can happen...

    Good luck. Really.

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  34. I love hope. Best of luck to you.

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  35. This is great! Congrats! I completely understand the desire to sometimes delete and walk away from blogging.

    I hope that's not what happened to Mary!!

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  36. Sue, my heart goes out to you. I have to work, it isn't a choice. So I feel I understand a little. We were going to lose our old house that we couldn't sell, to stay afloat and avoid foreclosure we sold our new house at a huge loss (as in came to the table with the biggest check I have ever written and cleaned us out) and moved back across the country to our old house, which wasn't all bad.
    I have to pray hard and search daily to keep hope. Some days are harder than others. I am often scared and feel terribly overwhelmed with bills and student loans. But the Lord does provide. I said in a post I wanted to be a writer and even write a book. Totally out of left field. A week later I was offered a writing position that I didn't even apply for.
    I wish you the best a pray that your hope continues to soar.

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  37. "Sisyphus Inc, Self Deprication Department, this is Liz, How may I help you?". "Sue?, No she doesn't work here anymore."
    Break a leg, Sue. We'll live vicariously...

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  38. We cannot live without hope.

    Keep the flame alive. Even if the agent rejects your manuscript (which I can't imagine, honestly; do you think she might need a little encouragement in the form of some very big, hairy men with Jersey accents?).

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  39. I'M TOTALLY GOING TO BUY A HUNDRED COPIES OF YOUR BOOK ONE DAY.

    Hurray!

    (seriously)

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  40. Sue, that is amazing. You are awesome,and I can't wait for the world to see it!! Promise me one thing, when you go on Ellen to promote your book will you pleeeaaaase take me with you. Congrats, we are hoping for you, too.

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  41. Sue, that is fabulous! I'm so excited for you!

    It's amazing how when we're at our darkest, God shows us a light.

    So excited for you!!!

    Yeeehaww!!!!

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  42. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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  43. I am so happy and jealous for/of you!


    But I much prefer Sad Guys on Trading Floors to your Sad Brokers. One is the original and the best...I'm just sayin'.

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  44. You are to freaking talented to not get published!
    I will definitly be praying this is it.
    K~

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  45. Too happy for you to feel envious (mini-miracle, that's what that is). That glimmer of hope at just the right time is like a sip of water to a person dying of thirst.

    So glad you got that sip.

    Not just because I think you're wonderful and all, but because your voice, as a writer, is one the world could do with hearing.

    I did a little happy dance in my chair when I read this, by the way.

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  46. I'm a pretty new reader here, so I had to get caught up on all the drama. And my oh my, was there drama. I am so looking forward to your manuscript and all the money you're going to make as a writer!

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  47. *keeping fingers crossed* You have NO IDEA how much I want to read your future book. Because who could pass you up? They'll totally scoop you up. . . but maybe you should have someone proofread your submission before you actually submit it. Just to make sure it's not as middle-of-the-night-crazy like your query email was. I'd be willing to proofread. Very willing. (As in PLEASE pick me! Pick me!)

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  48. Of course it is honey.

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  49. Oh man, that just gives me happy feelings all over. It's always when you need it that it happens. Congrats on the attention and good luck on selling it.

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  50. Well, congrats on getting a reply. I think working from home with kids is always a struggle, there`s just not enough energy or time to go around.

    I often end up working up to 12 hours a day and there are days when I curl up in a ball and wail that I can`t do it . . . so I don`t. For one day. Then I feel guilty and jump back in with a ton of energy because I`ve had a break. If it`s possible, be sure to let yourself have a rest sometimes, too!

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  51. I said from the beginning that you should publish. You have at least 6000 people will buy you, no questions asked. Do you want us to sign a petition?

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  52. Thanks for being so intimate with your post--I love it. I love blogs because it's reading about someone's life and thoughts even if you don't know them. Lately when I get down, I think about NieNie. Good luck. I know what you mean about the "daily grind."

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  53. Oh I so know about that rock. (Ok, mine's a little different but I've got one too.) And I'm trying so hard here to be positive and offer you a huge sincere congratulations but my inner (and outer) selfishness is catching up on me and I'm really really jealous. But I'm putting that away now.

    Congratulations!

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  54. 30 more years of pushing that rock? Oh, my. I'm tired even thinking about it. Here's to many a bestseller getting you out of that scrape (I'll be first in line to buy the books.)

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  55. I hear you on the pushing the rock up the hill thing. Sometimes life is unbearably difficult. And yet, we are given the glimmers of hope, so we can feel the joy we're meant to feel. Good luck with the agent! :)

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  56. The crazy middle of the night letter did its job! Now the pressure is on. Do you have a partial manuscript ready to go?

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  57. Whoop! Whoop! I'm just happy that you're feeling hopeful. People love you because you're so real. You don't pretend to be all...something you're not. (deep, right?) We love you! It's so weird to think that we really do have a feeling of love for you. Because most of us have never met you and probably never will. But you have opened your life up to us and have given so many of us the laugh or cry we needed.
    This is awesome, Sue. I can't think of anyone who deserves it more.
    "Girl in Brazil" lemme know when you get that petition going!

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  59. thanks for all the fun posts. i am glad you are back in your home. sorry for your struggles. ☻☺☺☻

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  60. Yay! Here's to hoping.

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  61. I'm so glad that happened for you. Sometimes things do have to give though and you'll be surprised how many readers will still be waiting if you do decide you need a break. I know I will and I only just started.

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  62. That is amazing. I love that it's happening at the exact right time for you, too!
    I'll be waiting to hear!!

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  63. The hour is always darkest just before the dawn. Here's hoping that your dawn is right around the corner!

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  64. No words, only excitement for you!

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  65. Seeeeeeee! It's not a super hopeless romance at all.

    Did I tell you or did I tell you!!!???

    You go, girl!

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  66. shazane3:04 PM

    Congratulations! That is really exciting news. Our schedules seem to be opposite and it seems as though we hardly get to actually speak to each other in person, so I'm glad I can catch up through your blog. Yippee! Keep us posted.

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  67. Wow! it'll be nice to be able to say I knew her when. Well, if knowing you mean I read your blog and comment on occasion!

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  68. Congrats!! And if I can offer the one thing that's helped me through the tough times: keep writing.

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  69. Congrats!!!! I hope it works out. And hey, you got a bona fide response!!! That's amazing in and of itself!! Keep writing :)

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  70. Angela5:01 PM

    I love,love,love your blog. I have been addicted for over a week now. Please keep updating and keeping us laughing!!!!

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  71. Inspiring. Quite deserving too.

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  72. Oh, Sue. Pushing the rock. As if there were only one. Several times, as I sat on the living room floor, surrounded by the twenty eight or so smaller piles I'd made out of the huge pile that had been growing on my desk - bills, notices, school things, church things, opportunities, taxes, business business - birthday ideas,- on and on, and not one pile was connected enough to any of the others to lead organically from one issue to another -

    as I say, several times, I'd try to make my husband see all the lives I had to live, the hats I had to wear, the responsibilities to so many for so many that only I could answer. I know. I know.

    But I will tell you, that even with a terrible mortgage, you will put one foot in front of another, and get through it all - and beyond that, there will be unlooked-for joys.

    The thing that happened to you - the post. The post from the agent? I know that elation, too. And sometimes really cool things happen in the end. You're actually way ahead of me in contacting an agent who actually has warmed to your work. While I've been published many times and have had very pleasant experiences with editors, agents routinely have passed on my stuff. It's very confusing, and i've gone back to doing it myself.

    Let me tell you that you do have a really nice feel for writing. Your timing is very good, your "style," meaning the words you often call on and the structure of your syntax, the juxtaposition of odd images and ideas - so many things about your writing - have a neat and witty tightness that i envy very much.

    Understand that nothing may come of this one request. And that this pursuit - the hope of publishing - is hard. It's heartbreaking, even when you get a contract, because editors are really, really ruthless. It will be up and down, hope and hope dashed. But having the door open for you? Do you know how rare that is these days? Very.

    Your post was succinct, beautifully and neatly drawn up. Satisfying as the sound of lightly struck crystal. If anybody should get a shot, you should.

    I am very near the top of the hill, my dear, and many of my rocks have been delivered. There are always more. But love and imagination and good humor will always give you endurance - but real hope is the delight of faith.

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  73. Sue, you have so much writing talent and so much to say that others can relate to that I think you are going to be very successful with this at some point. I'm thrilled for you that an agent has extended a hand. People are getting published, and I know you can be one of them. Keep your chin up. I'm rooting for you!

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  74. {clapping!!}

    wish you the best. :)

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  75. WOW. That is incredible. Especially considering what you said about that email.

    I'm sorry to hear how you're struggling. I'm fairly new to your readership and was not aware of all that's been going on. No wonder you haven't sorted through 350 book entries yet.

    Wishing I was rich and could help you out,

    Natasha.

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  76. GO SUE!!!
    That's so great, especially since your blog is one of my favourites and I love reading your stuff.
    Goodluck!

    By the way, (totally random) I just saw my profile picture on your 'Follow' list, and now I feel like a stalker. I'm not following you (literally). I'm NOT a stalker.

    BUT I love reading your stuff:D.
    Go Sue!

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  77. Oh Hugs, Sue! Girl you have some mad skillz with the writing and the snarky so I'm thinking it is only a matter of time.

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  78. Oh, gosh. That's so great. Isn't fantastic when God (or whatever other deity folks believe in) shows up in our lives? As my little sister used to say (many, MANY years ago), "Yay, God!"

    (We asked her once where she got that - turned out in Sunday school they were reading verses that started with, "Yea, Lord" and she misunderstood the meaning. Actually, on second thought, maybe she got it exactly right! LOL)

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  79. HUGS!!

    Wait, didn't I just write this about being depressed and ready to quit???

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  80. She'd be crazy to reject you!

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  81. I. LOVE. YOUR. BLOG.

    That's all. Just wanted to let you know.

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  82. Well, I've got to tell you that YOU gave ME a burst of... hope? I don't know, maybe not hope per se, but SOMETHING when I looked at my blog stats today and realized that someone had actually clicked from one of my few comments here at Navel Gazing over onto MY puny little blog. Not that I'm a big writer or anything, but it made me feel 1/2% famous today... Borrowed light, indeed! I'm borrowing yours! Thanks!

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  83. Oh Sue. That's great. I hope that everything works out for you.

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  84. Cool! And it won't necessarily take 30 years to get out from under that rock. No matter what, don't give up hope.

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  85. Sue, it's as good as sold.

    And I can't believe that idiotic query move worked. You kind of suck, but I think you totally deserve to be a millionaire. Looks like your wild, greedy little heart will earn it's keep after all.

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  86. Good luck with the agent!!

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  87. This is wonderful. Please keep us posted.

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  88. sue, you've gotta reread this:

    http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=fd4dd04a6921c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

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