My week of pondering and deck burning went pretty productively! I'm happy with the results, even though my options changed a little bit before all was said and done. I even have a timeline on my wall to remind me to stay on track - which makes the plan feel more "in stone" than just keeping my spreadsheet budget on the computer so I can see if I'm making progress of not. I've decided to continue playing both sides of the publishing fence, at least for the time being. While I would love to find an agent/editor/publisher and plan to continue that search, I believe the old saying that "a bird in hand is better than two in the bush".
Here's what I've decided: I swapped out conference options and chose to attend the WV Writer's, Inc. 2010 Summer Conference this year instead of the one that my friend is going to. I prefer the idea of starting with my own state and networking with other authors here. One of my dream publishers will have a representative there and they are offering the opportunity to submit an unagented manuscript to conference attendees. The setting and schedule are very much to my liking, and it will cost me considerably less to go - all in all it feels like the right decision. I sent my registration paperwork yesterday and I'm really looking forward to going in June.
On the self-publishing front, I'm going to start putting money back and if no great book deal comes before July 30th, I'll get Clyde the Undead Dust-bunny into her own book on my own. Clyde deserves to have her day and my readers deserve the opportunity to meet her. I think there will be many smiles and much giggling when it happens.
The best part of this plan is that I will still be able to pay off Fiddlebug by the end of the year, which is a very important goal to me. (Side note to Fiddlebug - I've only got 13 copies left, so pay-off is even more important because I need to start putting away money for another order and keep it off the credit card.)
This week we are going go be doing some more major clean-up on a piece of land we own down the hill from our house. Manual labor and movement are always good ways to shake things loose in my head, so it should be interesting to see what I come up with to be on my way to next week. For now, I feel like I'm in the right place and moving toward good things. It's a great feeling!