Frequent Murphblog contributor, Anita, has an opportunity that would cause me to drool all over my Chewbacca T-shirt. In truth, I'm a little nervous even typing about it. She will be interviewing the inimitable (and yeah, I googled it to double-check the meaning) John Green. But that's not all! You, yes you, have the chance to ask John a question. Well, you can't actually ask John a question, but you can ask Anita to ask John a question and she might ask it. And considering I've asked John a question before, but didn't get an answer because he's probably too busy to answer questions posed over email by mere mortals, I'd say this is an opportunity that cannot be passed up.
In other news, Tracy tipped me off to Linda Sue Park's Web site and it is full of spendidness. However, there was one thing I read that I had a hard time with.
A critique group or partner should help you answer this question: Is a piece ready to submit? Here is my rule of thumb: A piece is ready to submit when it's one of the BEST things I've ever read.I don't know about that. Sure, ideally, you would want your own story or that of a critique partner to meet this high standard. But if you read a lot (and Linda Sue states elsewhere on her site that you should, a LOT) then the likelihood of this happening, especially for your first novel, is nearly nil. I know as I sit here that I will never be able to write as beautifully as Gary D. Schmidt or plot as intricately as Jo Rowling. I am often in awe when reading great books because I know how hard it is to write an average one. And I suspect that if Linda Sue Park had followed her own advice when she finished her first novel, she would never have submitted it. I haven't read it. No doubt it's good. But only an extremely arrogant or hopelessly ignorant person could honestly believe her debut novel was better than the more than 1,000 books she claimed to have read in the years prior to writing her first novel, and I doubt Linda is either of those things.
Books are subjective. What rocks your world leaves mine barely spinning. We would have all missed out on some great stories if first time writers sat on manuscripts they thought might not measure up to the greatest books they'd read. So I say, "Go forth, and submit!"