Super secret double probation hotdish project

The hotdish, she has an advocate.

For those of you who haven’t been playing along at home–and for those who have, I can be cryptic–I’ve been referring to a “secret” project, code name: hotdish, pretty much all summer long.

And now, I can tell all.

Okay, not really. I can tell some.

The hotdish is actually a revision of The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading, a book I wrote, revised, and nearly shelved.

It was clear from agent feedback I received earlier this year, that for the book to be marketable, it needed to be in first person. I was ready to shelve it. According to Darcy, all it needed was a little gloss and glitter, and could she give it a shot putting it into first person.  

She did all the grunt work of putting it into first person. To make a long story short, I went back through for a final edit, and after getting over the initial weirdness of my story in a different voice, something magical happened.

It wasn’t my story. It wasn’t Darcy’s. Somehow, we’d managed to capture Bethany’s story. When I read it now, I don’t know what she wrote and what I wrote anymore.  

And really, it’s been our book all along. She urged me to write it in the first place. She read the craptacular first draft (and it was beyond craptacular), offered advice, a shoulder to cry on, and all the rest. That we’re now writing partners makes total sense.


Yesterday, we received an email from a NYC agent wanting to represent the book. At some point, I’m sure I’ll shout her name from the rooftops, but for now, I’m being discreet. We need to do some revisions. This is only one step in the entire process, although, admittedly, it is a pretty big step.


I posted to the Noodler email loop that I was weirdly calm. I am. Sort of. Of course, at lunch, I tried to eat my salad with a spoon. And I’m both calm and jittery, like I’m regretting chasing that venti latte with a Red Bull.


I’ll post more on our query stats later this week, because they’re interesting (well, if you’re a writer, they might be). But for now, I’m brainstorming new spicies (Kyra’s word for spices) for the hotdish.


Filed under Writing

10 responses to “Super secret double probation hotdish project

  1. greg

    Congratulations! I discovered your blog via Anno’s Place and am happy to learn of an agent’s interest in your work.

  2. Jen

    I wrote my comments on Madness, but this is

    SO. COOL.


    You and Darcy SO deserve it! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Charity, I am SO excited for you AND Darcy!!! Whoo-hoo! I know what *I* get to blog about tomorrow!!

    You both rock!!!

  4. Darcy

    Super Probation Double Secret Hotdish Project — The Rest of the Story

    Setting the record straight at last ;^)

    First, there was no craptacular first draft – Geek Girls Guide was a winner from the start. I’ve loved this story and these characters from the first moment I saw them in print. There was NO WAY I was letting Charity shove this novel under the bed. It was just too good.

    Second, Charity tries to make it seem as if I toiled on this project. I didn’t. It was an absolute lark swapping out she’s for I’s and drawing on a little blue, sparkly eyeliner. I loved every minute of it.

    Third, she’s right when she says something magical happened. It’s true that neither of us can tell my words from hers. Every word in there now is Bethany’s. It’s almost spooky.

    Fourth, and this is the part where I get weepy, Charity did this for me … and for my son.

    Like she said earlier – I asked to have a chance to move GGG to first person. And when she wasn’t sure – I begged. Probably figuring nothing would ever come of it, she gave in and let me have a go at it. Even though it made her uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable.

    Then my son got sick. Matthew, my 22 year old, developed tongue cancer this spring. It was a horrible, dark time for my family. Charity kept me sane through it all. She “talked” to me online and let me know her inbox was always open, no matter what terrible things I wanted to say.

    And that would have been enough.

    She wanted to do more. “It’s not like I can send you a hotdish,” she said.

    But then, a couple of days later … she did just that. She ran through a final edit of GGG, identified 35 agents to query, wrote the query letter, rewrote the synopsis, and stuck it all in the mail.

    For me. For my son.

    There were days upon days when news of the hotdish’s progress and Charity’s silly super double probation mentions were the only things that kept me going. And now, here we are, on the other side.

    My son is getting better. The tumor is gone. He’s gained a couple of pounds back. He’s learning how to talk again. He went back to work two weeks ago and this weekend he and his fiancé are moving into an apartment and starting their lives together.

    As if all of that were not blessing enough … we have an agent.

    And I have the best friend in the entire world.

    God bless you, Charity Tahmaseb – soldier girl, damn fine agented writer and master chef in the hotdish category. You are my hero.

  5. Oh C!!! Oh D!!!


    I’m so thrilled for you. From the very, very, very beginning way the heck back when I first “met” you and saw your writing, I thought — why, Why, WHY aren’t C & D published???

    And now you’re one step closer because, finally, some agent has shown the world how intelligent she really is.

    And I CAN’T BELIEVE I HAD TO READ IT HERE. I’m coming to Minnesota via Indiana and smack you both.

    Huge congrats.

  6. Jen

    Oh, Darcy, when I wrote you offlist I had no idea. I’m so sorry you went through all that.

    I’m glad your son is getting better and I hope that this is completely GONE. I’ll write more later via e-mail.

    Again, CONGRATS to both of you!!!

  7. This is so exciting!!!! And so well-deserved. I’m thrilled for both of you! Congratulations! (and lots of spicies, which for me, look like this: !!!!!!)

  8. Charity

    Thank you, everyone. And D, you’re going to make me cry on my new wireless keyboard (so not good for the new wireless keyboard).

    It’s starting to sink in that things could really happen. Of course, we still have to work to make them happen, but that’s really nothing new. We’re used to that part of it.

  9. Karin Collins

    OH my God! I can stop holding my breath for a bit, even though I know I’ll have to start holding it again in a little while. In the mean time, Breath, Breath Breath…

  10. Esri Rose

    Big, whoo-hoo congrats all over again! And how fortunate you are to have such a good writing partnership. I think that must be so great.

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