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A Happy Announcement | EduClaytion

A Happy Announcement

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Image by secretagent007 via Flickr

Many of you know that I’ve been hitting it hard on the writing side of things. In addition to this site I’ve also been getting after some freelance opportunities. Most of all, I’ve been developing a book idea that first hit me in the brain (a fitting metaphor as you’ll see in a moment) last summer.

I’ve also gone to my first two writer’s conferences this year. In June I spent a week at Wheaton College for 5 days of sessions, networking, and the best food I’ve ever had in what is technically called a cafeteria. Gourmet I say! During that week I met a lot of editors, agents, and authors and was excited by the interest they showed in my work.

If you have no idea what a writer’s conference is like, take a look at how I compared the process to hitting on strangers. Enough happened during that week to write a chapter about, but basically I came home knowing people wanted to see my work. I set out about the task of writing a book proposal and some sample chapters in between more travel and a full summer teaching load.

So far, the work has paid off.

That’s why I’m super excited to tell you that I now have an agent! Her name is Amanda Luedeke and she’s with MacGregor Literary. In my opinion, Amanda and MacGregor are the best fit for the type of stuff I do which, as many of you know, can include some weirdification. To celebrate our phone call, I hopped in my car and went to Barnes & Noble where I bought my favorite drink (caramel frappucino) and allowed myself to stare at the shelf where my own book might one day be. M-O-O, M-O-P, M-O-R… Then I drove home and wrote until 2 a.m.

When you decide to get serious about writing, finding an agent is one of the first goals you set. Then you find out that getting an agent is one of the hardest parts of the business. Good agents at good agencies receive hundreds to thousands of queries every month. The slush pile is large, and many writers abandon the search altogether. I’m not just excited that I connected with an agent. The best part is that I found someone who gets what I’m doing and is equally excited about the project.

Whatever you’re working on, try to surround yourself with folks who understand you and care about what you’re doing. Too often we settle and miss out on much better opportunities. As Jon Acuff said the other day, it’s important to “find someone who gets you.” That’s not always the easiest thing to do whether we’re talking spouses, friends, business partners, or whatever.

So we’re about the business of producing the best materials we can make in hopes of selling a book. Hopefully that will be another exciting update in the future but for now I got lots of work to do.

In case you’re curious, the book I’m working on combines zombies and God and life and some other fun stuff. Basically, this site’s tagline “Pop Culture & The Meaning of Life” holds true. You’ll see some of the fun research bits for the book right here over the next few months as I race to get this baby done.

How do you celebrate the little and big successes in life?

93 Responses to “A Happy Announcement”

  1. PCC Advantage August 3, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    That’s fantastic news, Clay!! Congratulations on finding your new agent! Can’t wait to read your many, many published works someday soon. :)

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

      Well thanks. Hopefully I can get one published first!

  2. kerrymeacham August 3, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Way to go Clay. That’s awesome. Good luck brother.

  3. Meet the Buttrams August 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    THRILLED for you, Claystopher! I’m glad I didn’t throw out that autographed sanddollar after my husband laughed at its awkward placement on a bookshelf. Or my night stand. Or somewhere…where did I put it again?

    Anyway. Who’s laughing NOW?!?!

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

      Haha, I knew that had to be uber awkward for you. So glad you get it. Besides, that sand dollar could have mystical powers as yet unrevealed. So I’m laughing now.

  4. susielindau August 3, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Congratulations! I have heard that finding an agent can be a huge accomplishment in light of the changes in publishing. I hope to one day stand in your shoes and sip a iced green tea staring at the K-L-M shelf!

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

      Thanks Susie! I really appreciate the encouragement.

  5. Liz McLennan August 3, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    Best news I’ve read all week! Many congratulations, Clay – you’ve worked hard. Very excited for you!! xo

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

      Thanks for that Liz. You know I appreciate you.

  6. Leanne Shirtliffe August 3, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    Doing my happy Canadian dance, as you can (or cannot) imagine! You know I’m so so happy for you. Here you go!

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

      I’m envisioning a cross between Snoopy, Jim Carrey, and Steve Martin. I didn’t say it was Canadianally accurate, just that’s what I envision.

  7. Paige Kellerman August 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    Good for you! Congrats!!

  8. K.B. Owen August 3, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Woweeeee!!!! It’s a wonderful feeling, isn’t it? And such a shot in the arm for your writing motivation, too! You made my day, Clay. :)

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

      A great shot indeed. It’s been a hopeful thing pushing me for a few weeks now. Gotta keep the nose to the grindstone!

  9. Scott August 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    Exciting news!!! Thanks for sharing with us!
    I think it’s key to find out that people are actually interested in what you have to say in you’re writing. I know when people express interest in my writing, it just perpetuates this “silly” dream I have to write.

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

      No doubt about it Scott. We write because it’s in us, but we all want to be read and get positive feedback. It’s not silly if it’s who you are.

  10. Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos August 3, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    Wow. I am thrilled for you!

    Also? Insanely jealous. :-) Sadly my preferred medium requires a completed work before I go agent hunting.

    Why does it always have to be zombies? What’s wrong with unidentified xenomorphs? Just sayin’. :-)

    Seriously. So happy for you.

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

      Thanks Kelly! I remember writing fiction too. This way is a lot different although these book proposals are brutal! As brutal as a zombie massacre?

  11. Gene Lempp August 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    Awesome news, Clay!

  12. Mark Kaplowitz August 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    Major congrats, Clay. I had figured the announcement would be something like this. That your talent and hard work has paid off is tremendously encouraging. I’m looking forward to buying a copy of the finished product.

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

      I appreciate that Mark. You know I plan on seeing a book from you before too long as well.

  13. HopefulLeigh August 3, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    That is AWESOME!!! So excited for you, Clay. Love hearing how you celebrated as I’m pretty sure I would head to a bookstore and visualize my book on the shelves as well.

    Incidentally, I grew up in Wheaton and will attest to the wonderfulness of that college cafeteria. Did you have time for ice cream at the the Stupe?

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

      Thanks Leigh! Your excitement gets me excited :-) Oh, that food was so good. I don’t believe I hit the Stupe. Was running all week and only found free time for a couple workouts at the gym which is equally insane in its niceties.

  14. Piper Bayard August 3, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    Woohoo!!!! *throws confetti* Congratulations, Clay. I’m so proud I’ll get to say “I fryber-knew him ‘when’.”

    I celebrate my successes by savoring them with every fiber of my being for about 15 minutes. Then I move on to the next challenge.

    All the best to you, my fryber. I’ll look for you on the shelf. Let me know if you need a beta reader. I’d be honored.

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

      Thanks for that Piper! It’s strange. The real celebration kind of happened for me when I was at the conference those few days and had some wonderful encounters. Now for the real trick, selling something.

  15. Amanda Hoving August 3, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Congratulations, Clay! I can’t wait to hear more about your project as you move forward.

    Every time I land a writing assignment, I celebrate with a little whoop and a holler and a handful of chocolate. Sometimes I even give myself the night off. Should I land a book deal one day, I expect the celebrating will rise to a whole ‘nother level. :)

    Best wishes!

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

      Thanks Amanda :-) That’s exactly what I’m thinking. Every step in the right direction is exciting, but the call about an offer would be tops.

  16. Keenie Beanie August 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    Congratulations Clay – I’m so excited for you!

  17. limr August 3, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    Great news, congrats! Can’t wait to see the finished project and stand in line for an autographed copy :)

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

      I’m hoping to create that scenario myself! But you can skip line okay :-)

  18. EllieAnn August 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    Best news everrrrrrr!!!
    I’m super excited that the whole world (aka, even people without computers) will get to read your work!
    I’m also so happy that you found an agent that fits you well, that’s so important! Now scuse me, I’m gonna go teepee your house and car now.

  19. thoughtsappear August 3, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    I’m so happy for you! Congratulations! I’m treating you to a box of Cap’n Crunch!

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

      Mmmm, Cap’n Crunch. Maybe we can write him into a story someday. Thanks!

  20. Annie August 3, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    So excited for you!! That is the most amazing news! I’m not sure how you even slept at all that night. My prediction – you will sell a bazillion copies! Woo hoo!

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

      That’ll be something if your prediction turns out ;-) Funny you mention sleep. I never ever have a hard time getting any, usually I go hard enough in the day to rest well. But there was an hour in the middle of the night not long ago where I lay in bed, eyes wide open, thoughts racing.

  21. Trish Loye Elliott August 3, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    Congrats! Congrats! Congrats! Yay!!!!!! Many exclamation points for you!!!!!!!!!!! So glad to hear your hard work has paid off. Now go finish that book!

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

      Thanks Trish!!!!!!!!!! Love all the exclamation points. And thanks for the push. That’s what I need (and apparently you Canadians are good at giving them ;-) ).

  22. Renee Schuls-Jacobson August 3, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    Mazel tov my beloved, Fryber. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer Guy-ber.

    Yeah, that’s not gonna get me an agent. ;-)

    Don’t forget those of us who knew you when…

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

      Thanks Renee. Don’t worry, I don’t plan on soaring into the sun anytime soon ;-)

  23. JM Randolph August 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    That’s totally badass! Congratulations!

  24. kristin nador August 3, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Congratulations, Clay! Can’t wait to buy your book off that shelf at Barnes and Noble! It will be wonderful with a side of awesome sauce!

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

      That’s what I’m screamin’ Kristin! I hope I make that shelf too.

  25. Arty (Tinman) August 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    Clay, very proud to know you.. I know we have talked about you doing a book and I am glad to see that things seem to be going on the right path… Now get writing, if I am going to be head of your security when you go on your book signing tour you need to get started…. Remember out of your first sales comes my salary, the bullet proof Mercedes (Black with tinted windows) and of course some great clothes for me.. HEY! you don’t a deadbeat having your life in his hands, you want them to look good… I fiqured all the costs and by your 5th book we should break even and you can start taking a small salary from the sales… OK let those fingers do the walking I’ll take care of the rest……. P.S. Can I get gold watch, just want to make sure we are on time……

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

      Haha, you bet Arty. There is the downside that a bullet proof Mercedes might be out of my price range even if I do sell a book :-) I’m grateful to know that you have my back though my friend!

  26. Jess August 3, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    That’s great,Clay. God is good!!! ;-) I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Have fun with this.

  27. Christian Emmett August 3, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    Congratulations Clay!

    I look forward to seeing the fruits of your labour (or labor, depending on your location) and I hope to see your book circulated in our bookshops! Very exciting news!

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

      A book of mine in Australia? Now there’s a lofty thought. Thanks for the happy wishes!

  28. Larry Hehn August 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Congratulations, Clay! I’m doing my happy Canadian dance too, which is slightly different than Leanne’s happy Canadian dance because I’m a guy and am from a different province. But it’s still happy. And Canadian.

    • educlaytion August 3, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

      Ha, thanks Larry. I’ll take as many happy Canadian dances as your country can spare.

      • Leanne Shirtliffe August 4, 2011 at 12:44 am #

        Larry, can I challenge you to a dance off? ;)

        • Larry Hehn August 4, 2011 at 1:07 am #

          I am SO up for that – even though I’m not expecting to win.
          It’s rare for me to unleash the Larry dance in public, and I’m not sure the world is ready for it.
          Only one way to find out!

          • Leanne Shirtliffe August 5, 2011 at 1:38 am #

            Okay. So now I’ve challenged you to a dance off and Clay to some basketball. I’ve gotta write this stuff down.

          • educlaytion August 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

            I’m gonna take you to school, teach ;-)

        • Kim Wilson August 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

          This I’ve got to see!

  29. Zechariah Brewer August 4, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    It’s good to know your book will show up on a shelf populated with bovine onomatopoeiae and floor-cleaning methods.

    Yay for using “onomatopoeia” twice in one day!

    • educlaytion August 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

      You consistently use more big words in your comments than I will use in my entire book!

  30. Life From the Trenches August 4, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    Congrats!! I think I just heard some woohooing and dancing from bloggers around the world in celebration of you. (Then they quickly got back to work to follow your lead.) I’m so, so excited for you. Can’t wait to read your book and the others to follow.


    • educlaytion August 4, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

      Thanks Amy :-) Back to work indeed. Here’s hoping that we all gets some woohooing in the future.

  31. Tom Bentley August 4, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    Clay, zombies, God and life—pretty much a recipe for the best baked bread (as long as the pinch of salt is thrown in). Congratulations on agenting, and other verbs made from nouns. Hope the book deal follows soon.

    • educlaytion August 4, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

      Hopefully that recipe is tasty to those publishers eh? Thanks for that Tom.

  32. wosushi August 4, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Yay for you! Commencing dance of joy. :)

  33. Alise August 4, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    Congrats on the agent Clay! That is fantastic news!

    I don’t dance, but I shall raise a glass to you later.

  34. Todd Pack August 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    Great news, Clay! Please remember us when you’re rich and successful.

    P.S. I think a good way to sell a lot of books would be to take the title of your book and put J.K. Rowling’s name in front of it. For example, if you were going to call your book My Life as a Bug Collector, you’d call it J.K. Rowling’s My Life as a Bug Collector instead!

    • educlaytion August 4, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

      Ha, do you think I’ll be okay like that? How about J.K. Rowling’s Great Expectations of Stephen King and Stephanie Meyer’s Love Child? Sounds like a winner to me!

      • Todd Pack August 5, 2011 at 8:51 am #

        Close, but I think you need to work in the words “twilight” and/or “vampire.”

  35. Tiffany A White August 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Clay, this is the best news. I am so happy for you! I can’t wait to go to my local B&N and pick your book up off the shelf for purchase.

    • educlaytion August 4, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

      Thanks Tiffany. I sure hope you get to do that too!

  36. Queen Linda August 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    Congratulations. Enjoy the journey.

    • educlaytion August 4, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

      You bet Linda. I’ll try to remember to do that.

  37. pauseandsmile August 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Congratulations! Look forward to seeing your name in Barnes and Nobles and other bookstores!

    You’re so right….. when someone “gets you”, it makes all the difference in the world.

    Again, congrats!

    • educlaytion August 4, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

      Absolutely. I like being “gotten” :-) Thanks for the happy wishes.

  38. Tamara August 4, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    I have tears. That is all.

  39. Tyler August 5, 2011 at 1:03 am #

    Dude, i read this a while back but i’ll verbalize it like sign language for people who can talk: congratulations.

    ps, I’ve always thought we were brothers but your favorite drink is my all time favorite drink so i think we might just be the same person…father?

    • educlaytion August 6, 2011 at 9:32 am #

      This is getting downright scary. When you played Super Mario Bros 2 as a kid did you like using every else MORE than Mario? You did? I knew it! We are the same person. Thanks bro.

  40. Deborah Kinnicutt August 5, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    Great news and look forward to following your journey…..thanks for sharing….

  41. The Hook August 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    Congrats, good sir!
    Here’s to your future successes!

  42. Chase McFadden August 9, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Cool beans, Clay. Congrats.

  43. Kim Wilson August 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    Such great news, Clay! You should be honored to know that yours will be the first zombie book in my library. :)

    • educlaytion August 11, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

      I am totally honored. Hope you don’t get scared though.


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