Saturday, December 15, 2012

HER BLOOD, the series


I thought I better get out an update on my publishing progress.

As you may have seen I now have two books that I’ve published in the HER BLOOD series. In Her Blood and Through Her Blood are both available through Kindle and paperback. (See alongside this post for book covers, links, and scroll down for a back cover synopsis of each.)

I wanted to let you all know about some opportunities to get both books in the series for FREE, that’s right, FREE!

Today I’m offering a sneak-peak through Kindle. Book 2 is available for download as a free promotion. (For all those who loaded up book 1 on their Kindle last month, this is the perfect chance to continue the story where it left off..)

Now, if you don’t have book 1 yet, then you’ll want to listen to the next two announcements…

December 24-26 through the Merry Christmas Booklovers Promotion, Through Her blood will be free again exclusively through Kindle

Then…

January 1st, for one day only, through the New Year New Books promotion, books 1and 2 will be available through Kindle download for FREE! That’s right, one day only you can get them both and be ready to dive in to the series.

At the end of book 2 you’ll find a back-cover synopsis for book 3 which is planned for release in Summer 2013.

 

Help me really give this series a great launch and stop by to download IN HER BLOOD and THROUGH HER BLOOD to add to your holiday reads list. I’d sure love to hear from you and see what you think of the books and a posted review or two would be a great Christmas or New Year gift.

Now that I think of it, a review is just what every author would love to get for Christmas. So if you love a book… one of mine or anyone else’s… please consider leaving reviews for them today.

 

Thank you and HO HO HO, Merry Christmas to all.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thoughts on LITTLE STAR by John Ajvide Lindqvist


John Ajvide Lindqvist is a master in the art of sympathy. And he does it with such mechanical precision and lack of sentimentality that the reader doesn't even know it’s happening. He builds characters who one feels they can understand even if they could never relate to them. What they do, how they feel, becomes somehow understandable even in the midst of it being entirely unacceptable. It's reminiscent of what Mary Shelley did in Frankenstein. If society plays a part in the creation of the monster mentality, then isn't society at least partially to blame for the actions of that monster? And yet the monster has allowed itself to act out these things that were never the only route to choose. Where does the blame lie? Or does it shift to a point where no one and everyone is to blame?

So whether or not the writing is more graphic than I would normally choose (and I say that as someone more adverse to sexual graphics than horrific graphics) I have to applaud his story crafting ability. The dude rocks moral and societal questions like nobody I know. A slight disclaimer though... Little Star is not for the faint of heart. If that scene in Misery, you know, the one with the hammer and the feet, right that one, if that nearly made you ill, then this might not be the story for you. Picture that, only about 10X more frequent, graphic, and painful. This is a disturbing read with very little warm and fuzzy to be found. It's society, depraved, destructive, and totally possible at every turn.

There is one thing, at the end of all the carnage that did make me chuckle though. And that was... 'With special thanks to ABBA, for inspiration.'
Now, there's a man who listened to a greatest hits CD on repeat through a wall one sleepless night and never recovered from it. (See prior post here.) Lindqvist, you are a very interesting writing specimen. Funny guy, for someone whose mind thinks up what yours does.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Plunging Into Publishing


Well, I’ve taken the plunge.

After many times of declaring that I would never go this route I was finally nudged by one too many readers and decided to take a serious re-look at self publishing.

This time there was a strange little voice in the back of my head that just kept saying ‘why not?’

And really. Why not?

I’ve tried querying, and to be honest I’m not all that great at it. I dove into it with one project and then kind of burned out. It’s a process which can do that to you.

In the meantime I have one series that I’ve polished to such a shine that it didn’t entirely freak me out to release it into the public eye.

So I’m now officially writing this blog post as an ‘author’ and not just a ‘writer’. I have an ‘author’ page on Facebook Like Me, you can look me up on Amazon Amazon Author Page, and I’ve even held my own book in my hands.

This isn’t what I expected when I started out on my journey to publication. Of course it’s also not what I dreamed of when I started taking notes on a notepad seven years ago either. In fact, in many ways it’s better than I could have imagined anywhere along the line. Why? Because I’m diving in on my own I guess. No one is there to hold my hand. No one is there to boost my confidence or deflate it. There’s just me, and my stories. We’re going it alone, just like we began it.

So, if you decide to take a chance on this author and meet some of the characters I love, well, I hope you love them too. I hope you enjoy their journeys as much as I enjoyed tagging along on them. Maybe they’ll touch your heart, maybe they’ll even break it from time to time. They did mine, and I loved them all the more in the end.

The first book in my first series is available now.

IN HER BLOOD is a YA Paranormal Romance, book 1 in the HER BLOOD series.

Here are some links to where you can go to find it.
Amazon  Kindle  Create Space

I suppose I have a lot to learn in the self-publishing world, so I’ll try to keep you up to date on this adventure into publishing. I’m excited. I’m hopeful. But I think I’m fairly grounded too. I’m not expecting miracles, just a chance to finally tell my story.

What have I learned so far?

The nitty gritty stuff, like double spacing is too much, as I always suspected, 1.5 is way better.

Also, a 6x9 book is slightly larger than I like to hold. If I could do it over (because no, you can’t change it after the fact) I would pick the next size smaller.

It’s amazing to sign up for free promotion days and have 699 downloads of your book. Waiting and hoping for good reviews to come in can drive you a bit bonkers though. Luckily I have book 2 to take my mind off that though. Edit, edit, edit, and try not to refresh that Amazon page too often.

Waiting is as much a part of writing as, well, writing is. Now I wait for the slow trickle of readers and reviewers. But I wouldn’t change it now that I’ve headed down this road. I’m happy I self published. I’m glad to be out there, doing what I love for anyone who might be interested. I wouldn’t turn back and I’m grateful for the nudges that pushed me down this road.

 

Have you taken the plunge into self-publishing?

Any advice you can give to this newbie?

 

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy reading and writing everyone.


Psst… By the way… I’m posting this a couple days early because right now I’m giving away paperback copies of my book on twitter and I didn’t want to leave out my blog friends. If you comment here and say you want a copy of my book, I’ll enter you in the daily giveaway. Also, go to twitter and RT my post there saying you want to win In Her Blood, and you just might get another chance to win a copy. Just make sure I know how to reach you. Thanks everyone!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Something New


Ok, I usually seem to do blog posts in a feast or famine sort of method.

At the moment I’m feeling a bit famine-ish, so instead of neglecting the blog I decided to try something new. A twice-a-month post.

I will plan to have a new post up on the 1st and 15th each month.

Lookie here, I even put a reminder in the calendar on my phone! See that. I’m serious now.

So, if you’re looking for my posts, they’ll be here, like clockwork every month. I’ll tweet them too, of course, just to get the word out.

 

Wow, not even a new year and I’ve got a resolution started.

I hope all this consistency works for my readers.

 

Thank you, and stay tuned…

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ghostly Giveaway, and the winner is...


I know, I’m a little late in writing this post. The month got away from me.

I have a winner to announce though.

 

The winner of The Dangerous Alphabet and The Graveyard Book both by Neil Gaiman… is… Donna Mccabe

Thank you so much Donna for stopping by and entering the giveaway. Please stop by on twitter (@geistwrite) or in a comment here and let me know how I can reach you to get this shipment coming your way. I hope you enjoy both your new books.

 

Thank you to all the viewers and those who re-tweeted the contest announcements.

 

Now… I have some books to put in the mail.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ghostly Giveaway (No Brave Souls)

Ghostly Giveaway (No Brave Souls)

Seeing as there were no brave souls who were willing to step forward with their ghostly excerpts I am now opening up the Ghostly Giveaway to all commenters. 

All you have to do to be entered is comment on this post or the first one and your name will be put in the drawing.

The giveaway will be open through October 30th (12pm PST) with winners announced October 31st.

Since the giveaway will conclude a little too late for concocting Halloween treats, I have amended the prize list:

Neil Gaiman's THE DANGEROUS ALPHABET
Neil Gaiman's THE GRAVEYARD BOOK
ZERO the dog (from the Nightmare before Christmas) window decal in white

(If you were really keen on the cupcake creation set, please note so in your comments and I just may throw it back into the mix.)

If there's one of the above that you are particularly desiring then state your plea and perhaps I'll draw names by item.

Any comment might be a winning one, so spread the word...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Time to Enter the … Ghostly Giveaway …


Ok, I’ve been neglecting my blog something terrible lately.

There’s only one thing I can do to remedy the situation.

That’s right… A giveaway!

It is time for my second annual Ghostly Giveaway. Only this time, there will be a twist.

What twist?

A contest twist.

 

What I’m looking for is your best ghostly inspired excerpt. It must be original, PG13, and under 1000 words. Post in the comments anytime starting today (October 1st) until midnight (PST) October 12th, (along with your contact information).

Once all the entries are posted, I will open up the voting. Get your friends to stop by the blog and vote for your entry, post a voting plea on Twitter or Facebook, just get those votes in. Voting will conclude On October 25th at midnight PST. The three top excerpts will win…

1st place is a Neil Gaiman prize pack, The Graveyard Book and The Dangerous Alphabet

2nd place is a ghostly cupcake gift pack (wrappers, toppers and a box to hold your yummy confections)

3rd place is a Zero the dog window decal (from The Nightmare Before Christmas)

I will post pictures of the prizes soon, so stay tuned…

 

Please enter, get your friends to enter, get your mom to enter, just enter soon.

 

Spread the word and enjoy the ghostly inspiration.

 

 

I have taken a little excerpt from my latest ghost story CLAIMING HIS HEART and included it for your perusal:

 

He stopped at the edge of the cliff, underneath a misshapen pine that stood alone in the grass. I was afraid to look down. Something told me I didn’t have to guess what I’d see there.

My eyes focused on him as he looked beneath his feet and gently squeezed my hand. “I’ll tell you the story.” His head nodded downward, so I let my eyes follow his to the white stone etched clearly and catching the last rays of glinting golden light.

McKenna, in big lettering at the top.

James on one side and Johanna on the other.

I caught my breath and the knot in my stomach became a fast sucker punch instead.

He started slow and soft, never releasing his grasp on my hand. “Johanna is my little sister. She was two. Accident. I was seven when it happened. It was hard. I think that’s when I really started to become self destructive. Made bad choices.” He sighed and nodded his head behind the stone. “My parents are back there. Dad had a heart attack just after I left school. Mom passed a couple years ago. After this.” He nodded back to the stone in front of him.

He let the silence linger for a little. I wasn’t sure what to do next. “But, it says that you’re…”

“Dead. Well, obviously I’m not. Right?” He laughed and raised his brows.

“Right.” I tried to follow suit.

“I was mixed up in a lot of bad stuff after high school. One night after partying too hard at a rave I took my friend’s keys and insisted on driving us to a little strip joint I knew. Well, I was completely… I shouldn’t have been behind a wheel. We were in an accident and both of us were thrown from the vehicle. He managed to end up in the far lane of the freeway and I was directly in front of the car. He was hit before anyone realized what had happened. Both the passengers in the car I hit were killed and the people who hit him afterward swerved out of control and slammed into another vehicle, killing one more. When the aid vehicles came all I could say was his name. They thought I was saying my name. James McKenna was officially killed that night. He was also completely smashed and responsible for the deaths of three other people. Once they started questioning me, I couldn’t go back on my story. One lie, became two, became countless more. And if I’d come clean I would have been charged with four counts of vehicular homicide.” He stopped and shook his head at the ground where his grave lie.

I think I’d gone a little numb right about the time he was declared dead. I wasn’t angry or afraid, but I was sad, although I couldn’t pinpoint the saddest part of the story. In fact, I was fairly certain that sad wasn’t the right feeling at all. But I didn’t know what was.

“So, you’re friend thinks that I’m haunted or something. Well, she’s right. I am. I should be. I should be down there. But I’m not. I’m here, with you and I have this amazing second chance at life. I knew from the day I watched my mother grieving at my funeral that this was a rebirth for me. I shouldn’t be alive or free or anything. But I am and I’m not going to make that night and their deaths in vain. It was a terrible accident. And yes, it was my fault. But I’m trying to make up for that. I’m a new person. The past can’t haunt me here, other than my heart.”

 

… now, it’s your turn! Post, enter, vote and win!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer in captions:


Ghost towns
Lava caves
Waterfalls
Ugly dolls
Small town parade
Fireworks
Lemonaid
Swimming every day
Cousins come
River days
Bear runs by
Gondola ride
Ice skating outside
(in the middle of July)
Moose wading
River otter swimming
Deer and antelope play
Bubble blowing
Mountain peaks
Valleys deep
Badger dodging
Beaver den exploring
Baby birds
Dawn hikes
Ice cream afternoons
Bug hunting
Hot tub dunking
Golden tans
Pineapple fans
Fish feeding
Board games
Alpine lakes
Pirate ships
Books to read
A bouncy slide
Hot springs
Fire smoke
Red sunsets
Marshmallow toasts
Saying hello
Tears for goodby
BBQ's
Moonlit nights
Fans blowing
Banjo picking
Bumpy dirt road driving
Daddy coming
Gift shopping
Goat scoping
Kids growing
Green apple munching
Changes coming
Bluest skies
Months fly by

Next year why don't we give it all another try...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

News: MG Dear Lucky Agent Contest!!

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/11th-free-dear-lucky-agent-contest-middle-grade-fiction



Click here to read this mailing online.


Welcome to the 11th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. So if you’re writing middle grade fiction (see exactly what this term means below) novel, this 11th contest is for you! (The contest is live through Aug. 27, 2012.)







WHY YOU SHOULD GET EXCITED

After a recent “Dear Lucky Agent” contest, the agent judge, Tamar Rydzinski (The Laura Dail Literary Agency), signed one of the three contest winners. After Tamar signed the writer, she went on to sell two of that writer’s books! How cool! That’s why these contests are not to missed if you have an eligible submission.

HOW TO SUBMIT

E-mail entries to newluckyagent2@gmail.com. Please paste everything. No attachments.

WHAT TO SUBMIT

The first 150-200 words of your unpublished, book-length work of middle grade fiction. You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Also, submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with your entry.

Please note: To be eligible to submit, you must do one of two things: 1) Mention and link to this contest twice through any social media—blogs, Twitter, Facebook; or 2) just mention this contest once through any social media and also simply “like” my newest humor book on Amazon. Please provide social media link(s) and notes with your entry so the judge and I can verify eligibility. Some previous entrants could not be considered because they skipped this step!

WHAT IS MIDDLE GRADE FICTION?

Middle grade fiction is fiction for kids 8-12. It is NOT young adult, which is aimed at an older audience and can deal with more mature themes.

CONTEST DETAILS

This contest will be live for approximately 14 days—from Aug. 13, 2012 through the end of Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, PST. Winners notified by e-mail within three weeks of end of contest. Winners announced on the blog thereafter.
To enter, submit the first 150-200 words of your book. Shorter or longer entries will not be considered. Keep it within word count range please.
This contest is solely for completed book-length works of middle grade fiction.
You can submit as many times as you wish. You can submit even if you submitted to other contests in the past, but please note that past winners cannot win again.
The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA’s publisher, F+W Media.
By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as any terms possibly added by me in the “Comments” section of this blog post. (If you have questions or concerns, write me personally at chuck.sambuchino (at) fwmedia.com. The Gmail account above is for submissions, not questions.)
PRIZES!!!

Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com.

MEET YOUR (AWESOME) AGENT JUDGE!



Sara Sciuto is a new member of Full Circle Literary. A graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Sara also completed literature coursework at NYU. Before joining Full Circle, she gained valuable experience working on film and foreign rights with the Taryn Fagerness Agency. Her great passions in life are travel and good food – and good books, of course, but that goes without saying! While she’s always cultivating new obsessions, her latest are photography and sailing. Find her on Twitter. She specializes in books for children

Monday, August 6, 2012

I should be writing...

Or editing...
Or something productive.

Here's my dilemma though - I have three novels on my brain. One I started over two years ago, one that's a sequel, and one that I began about two weeks ago. Oh, plus there's the one I haven't started yet, but readers are already asking about.

So what shall I do?

I suppose what I always do. Dream about them, ponder them, and think about the scenes until one conversation catches my attention. Then it will be decided.

Usually works for me.

How do you decide which characters must be written next? Do you usually have more than one story on your mind at a time? Who captures your heart and your time?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Grief, Survivors, and Defending Us


For two days I've felt a profound sadness. Only like usual, it wasn't the sadness I was told to feel. It came from something hidden within the stories themselves. An undertow. A sign of what our culture has become.


I'm distraught and wondering if it's possible to change the thought process of a culture. People tell me no, you can't do that. So I write this post in futility. It may not change anything. But I'm hoping it will change me. Because until yesterday I think I was part of that thought process. Part of a culture of 'survivors'. I don't want to be that now.


See, there were lots of stories floating around yesterday. Most of them seemed to hover around one theme; I survived.


I looked down the barrel of the gun.
I stood feet from the gunshots.
I looked into his eyes.
I crawled over the dead.
I never went to the theater.
I knew a victim.
I saw a story.

Do you see the pattern? Or is it just me?


In our culture we think of life like a bulls-eye. 'I' is in the center, then we spiral out in our thoughts. Family, friends, acquaintances, all the way out to the strangers on the fringes of our consideration. It’s a normal viewpoint. In fact we even talk about these spheres at Church. We call them oikos, our spheres of influence. Yet, all the while we rotate around the 'I' and we limit our own possibilities.


I could easily jump on the gun-laws bandwagon today. Because I have and always will have a MacGyver-ish hatred of guns. I want to dismantle them, destroy them, and toss them aside. They are made for one thing, to kill. Yet most of our 'food' isn't killed by guns. People are killed by guns. At an alarming rate. But I've hated guns for far too long to believe that one incident will change things. It won't. So what will?


Well, here’s the image I got when reading firsthand accounts... It won't be popular. But understand that my standpoint is one of the crowd. I too would have tried to survive. It's natural and I would have had no other plan. I would be victim to my survivor instinct.

What I see now is this. I wish that we could stand up as a collective and say, we're not going to accept this. We are not going to live in fear or let our children live in fear. We are going to take back the moments of our lives. Fight for them. Protect them. We will not sit back and wait for someone to make it safe. We will make it safe for each other.


What if we didn't think like survivors? What if we thought like martyrs instead? Not the suicide bomber kind, but the 'I' on the fringes kind. The ‘how can I make this better?’ kind.


What if six people in the front of that theater had rushed that gunman? He couldn't shoot them all at once. Yes, it would be suicide. Some would die. But how many? Six people could have taken him down. People would still die. No one can stop someone from killing when they set their mind to killing. But would he be our focus in the end? No. His name would be nothing. Because the names of those six would be on our lips. His thunder would be silenced.


Think about that. Six people who said, 'this is wrong, we cannot let it happen.' Six people who decided in a split second, 'today is a good day to defend us all.'


Would that have been me? No.

Will it be me in the future? I can't say yes. But I hope the chances are better now than they were two days ago.


I understand there was confusion. No one could have prevented death that night. It was certain to happen. But perhaps a daughter would still be here. Maybe a father or a son could have gone home to their families. Maybe a few more people could have given up the title of victim.


You can only become a survivor by first accepting to be a victim. I don't want to be a victim. I don't want to say 'this is wrong' and run away. I want to say 'this is wrong' and run forward. I want something inside me to fight against atrocities.


I have children. I've known since the day they were born that my compass swing changed. Little magnets were placed on my casing and now I always point to them first. I would survive for them. But would I die for them? Of course I would directly. But what about not directly, but indirectly? Not closest to my oikos, but on the fringes?


If I survived I would come home to hold my children close. I would cry and thank God for every day. Yet I would have done nothing to insure their tomorrows. They would have me, but where would their assurance in society be? Torn to shreds. Because I would have shown them that they are not safe. This world is not safe. And no one will protect them.


What if I didn't come home though, but I was one of the six who stopped a wrong that was being committed? That is what I would want to teach them. That is the world I would want to leave for them.


We have become complacent. We see strength as 'living through'. But is that all we’re made of?


I thought about it. About being the first one to charge him. The first one to die as they tackled him. Because surely you would. But maybe as you fell, another would rise, and another.


We are waiting for laws to protect us.

They won't.

We are waiting for the government to save us.

It can't.

We are waiting for the world to get better.

Forgetting that we are the world.


Society has been replaced by Twitter and Facebook. Faces, ideas, names, people we almost know. But are we really connected? Would we stand up and take a bullet in defense of those ideas? Would we stop a wrong if it was happening before our eyes? Or would we just Tweet about how wrong it was? Because tweeting is great. It's a way to connect, share, know and understand. But it won't stop a bullet.


Maybe the strongest statement should come when one tweeter is silenced.


I hesitated writing this. My views could be taken wrong. I feel pain for all the victims and the survivors. We are all one or the other. It is how we live. It is our society. I am one of them.


What I wish we could learn is something much tougher to expect than laws changing though. We need to learn as a society how to stop being victims and survivors. We have strength in ourselves to stand up and say 'you can't make me take this, you can't use me to become your showcase, your symbol, your statement.' We are Americans. Born of a desire to defend, our rights, our liberties, our people. Let's start defending. Right here, at home, amongst friends strangers and countrymen.


I will. If I am there, I will charge him for you. For your children and mine. Will you follow me?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thoughts on Querying (that should NEVER be posted on the blog)


When I first started the querying process (roughly 8 novels and three years ago) I thought it was the hardest part of the writing process. It involved more research than writing a novel, or three.

By the time I finished sending out my first round of queries, which was too large of a group and honestly a completely sad attempt at selling my novel, I had an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. I could do this! I didn't expect instant success, but I did have great hope and a feeling of understanding I didn't have prior to that.

All these years later and I have a hard time bringing myself to begin the querying process. I mean, I'm better at it, and can produce a much more polished attempt at selling my novel. But I've seen almost too much of the business at this point.

I love writing. I adore editing. But there is this temptation to spend all my time writing and editing, sending them to readers, polishing them up until they shine. You see, querying is work and until that one query is successful, it's not rewarding work. So there's this little voice in my head telling me to just keep writing and wait for that knock on my door when someone shows up to say 'Hey, I hear you wrote a book. I want it!'

Yeah. Right. I know.

It's time to take this query thing head on. To take it beyond round one. To focus and push on. I know it is. Yet there's still that voice, urging me into the escape of writing. It's time to stop enjoying my job and start working hard. Because the truth is, anything worth the effort is going to require a little pain. And yes, querying is a lot like birthing pains. But I can't keep waiting for the epidural. There isn't one coming.


(This was the note marked 'post', right?)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Life progresses like a flying formation

We begin somewhere behind the pack, flying free and without limitations. Quickly we find ourselves moving forward as our life travels up the 'V'.

I think we're remised at not teaching that to the next generation. As some point they either refuse to acknowledge it, thereby skirting responsibility, or they're blindsided by the awareness of it.

Every choice you make limits and directs the choices you have in the future. Slowly, choice by choice, you move ahead in the formation, leaving open air and free form behind you.

What we love to teach is something really quite fictional. You can be anything, do anything.

Sure, in theory maybe. It is a beautiful concept. If you look into the eyes of an infant they appear to hold limitless possibility. Once that infant begins making choices however, that truth changes. Anyone who has written a novel must realize that.

Character A decides at an early age they love the arts. They then need to decide what art they will devote their time to. They choose piano (or it is chosen for them.) They can either continue with it as time goes on, or walk away. The more time that passes, the more choices they give up. Sure, they could still quit, but they can't expect to be a violin virtuoso at some later age. (We tell them they can. But if you switched half way through the story the believability suffers, so does the character.)That piano virtuoso moves to NY and meets a boy. They get married. (There's a tough one!) I say they have made a commitment. Now, no matter who they meet, they have made their choice. They can choose to honor it or not,but to me that is not a fair option. (Although we are quick to teach our children otherwise.)

Ok, our married piano virtuoso decides to start a family. Two years later, and two kids later (yes, they're quick) they get an offer to move to London. The husband would love to, but his work is very specifically in NY. (What? We should expect more flexibility? Sorry, life isn't always like that.) We teach our kids that they can be anything, nothing should hold them back! Their happiness is everything. (Um, sorry, it's a lie.) The truth is, they made choices that limit the choices they have now. They chose a husband, they chose children. To abandon all that for their own interest makes them more of a villan than a hero. So we've taught them that their happiness must be infringed upon (after all we see it as a hinderence and sacrifice, when it is really just being true to our own decisions.) We should find our life and our contentment in the choices we have made, ignoring the choices we don't have, but that is opposite of how we tend to see things.

Character A stays with her family, but she is bitter and angry because she has not become everything she was told she could become. Her children grow, being the source of her loss, not her gain, and when they leave home she leaves her husband. Her children have a strained relationship with her. It affects their decisions and limits their choices in ways they didnt expect. Although they do find it easier to accept their limited choices, because they have seen the hurt caused by someone who doesn't. And life goes on...

We need to do a better job teaching our children cause and effect. Responsibility in our decisions and contentment in our choices. They are not hinderences in life. They are the very fabric it is made from. Embrace the path upon which you have chosen to tread. Run with endurance the race set before you. You cannot be Anything you want. You can be what you have chosen to be and do it well because it is the fabric of you. There is far more valor to be found where you are than where you could have been.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My explosive thoughts for the week: Government and Religion

It used to be that government was established to protect our pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Now we seem to expect government to be our source for life, liberty and happiness.

It used to be that religion was guidance for how we lived, but now, how we live shapes the contours of our religion. We place ourselves at the center and mold God around us so He will fit, instead of letting Him fill us from within and shape us into His image.

There you go. A few sparks just to see if I can start a fire.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dang Adele Moments


There I am. Driving along. Plotting another novel in my head and listening to the tinkling toy music in the back seat when it happens. An Adele moment.

I have to be honest. It’s starting to happen more frequently, and always at a slightly different time, so I don’t expect it. Then that little piece of the past pops into view out my windshield and a tiny bittersweet lump forms in my throat. You know the one? Maybe some of you do.

So there I am, in the middle of all that great plotting that perhaps I can make use of at nap time, and bam, it strikes. Suddenly I’m wrestling with things that I don’t want to be wrestling with. Joy and bitterness collide and all that plotting is thrown into chaos.

Although it’s not exactly an Adele moment, it feels like an Adele moment. That’s just a little piece of the past. I’ve moved on and have no desire to go back. I should be angry at that past in some ways, but I’m more angry that I let the past affect me than I am at it. Plus I wonder. How is the past doing? I wish the past well. To be honest though, I wonder if that past ever glimpses me and has regrets. A part of me hopes so, but fears it doesn’t. Is it terrible to hope the past regrets itself? I mean, I forgive the past, I just hope that it meant something in the end, and if it did, that something would have to come with a little regret.

Then there’s the sing-song voice in the back seat. I’m happy where I am. In fact, I’m grateful for the past because had it not been just what it was, I might not have made the good choices I made. The past is what taught me to appreciate the present.

But there it is. It will be there other days and I will go through this all again. Why? I don’t know. But I sigh and wait for Adele to stop singing so I can get back to plotting in my head.

It must be tough being Adele. That’s all I can say. She must be reminded a lot about her past, because it’s inescapable now. I wouldn’t want to have as many Adele moments as she does. Hopefully the fame and fortune make up for it. I suppose they help some.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Perfect Metaphor

I was listening to my playlist on the way home from school drop off today and Theory of a Deadman came on with Since You’ve Been Gone. In a flash there I was, watching my characters have ‘that conversation’ again. You know, the one I keep putting off writing because it's in book 2 and convention keeps telling me not to write book 2 yet.

Then I drove into my driveway and saw this...


The perfect metaphor for them. Life growing from that desolate place where life should not flourish. And there were two. Of course there were two!

Ok, to heck with convention. It's a good thing I'm a writer and never pay much attention to that particular annoyance. Book 2 it is! My mystery will have to wait. Sci-fi calls to me and its voice will not be silenced.



Life is full of stories to tell and it keeps finding ways to let me know just which one needs to come next.

Their story isn’t done.

My job isn’t done.

So…

Write, writer, write!

Friday, April 27, 2012

High In The Sky Sci-Fi Hopes


Ok folks, this is it. Make it or break it.

I’ve written many manuscripts to date and my husband has read, well, not a single one. In fact, I’ve refrained from even letting him peek at a paragraph.

Sure, he’d show interest from time to time. But it was that kind of interest which said, let me just see a little, I probably won’t care enough to read more than that though. So instead of putting us both through the torture of, you don’t like it, you don’t care what matters to me… I just said no. He didn’t fight me too much on it either which only helped my resolve.

I mean, it’s not like I physically stopped him or anything. In fact, there were many times that he was present in the same room as completed, printed manuscripts and never even picked them up.

Until this one.

I printed out a copy of my YA SciFi to give to someone and before the ink was dry he had it in hands and was, gasp, reading it.

He put it down after a chapter and I tried not to have a heart attack. But he picked it up again that same night. He picked it up the next night too. After four chapters he said, ‘It’s really good.’ And I looked at him skeptically.

I mean, he isn’t the kind of guy for flattery. If it stunk he’d put it down, no matter who wrote it or who wouldn’t talk to him after. Still, I wondered.

‘Really. It’s an intriguing story. I like it so far.’

Knock me over and dance on my grave, because that’s like an average person gushing.



A wise writer I know on Twitter once told me that the first manuscript her husband ever read was the one that got her an agent and got her published. Ever since Kiersten White said that, I’ve been waiting for the sign. If you write it he will be interested and read it, then the publishing will come.

Well, I’m not one for holding my breath or anything, but who knows. It is a first and one I didn’t think I may see ever, so perhaps…

It still has a lot of reading and editing and polishing to go, but there’s a little spark of hope there. A little reserved spark, but still, a spark. We’ll see if he makes it to the end and if he does, well, who knows, maybe you’ll all get to see it too.



Here’s to a writer’s hope and the strange forms it comes in.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Marriage Is Like A Box Of Chocolates


Very soon I will be celebrating 11 years of marriage. Which got me thinking. Maybe marriage really is like a box of chocolates…





When you've decided that one flavor is your favorite because you're tired of biting into duds, you have them fill up the whole box with that one flavor.



For the most part you love that flavor and can't get enough of it. But after a while you have moments when you think you can't take any more of the same old sweetness. You don't even want to open the box because you're tired of the same flavor day after day.



You see new flavors under the glass and mmmmm, do they look yummy. But then you think about them and what could be inside and chances are they'd just be another dud. Or say they weren't. Say they were as yummy as they look. How will they taste in a month or a year? Will they turn into the same old flavor too? Will they become normal, expected?



Besides, you see people who go off and abandon their favorite flavor in search of a new flavor and the search doesn't get any easier than it was the first time around. Actually they appear to have less patience for flavor testing and have less of an optimistic tastebud, so they're rather hard to please.



No. It's never worth it to leave the thing you love behind and go in search of something which doesn't exist. The perfectly pleasing flavor that never grows old or gets on your nerves is non existant.



What does exist is a whole box of yummy, sweetness that suits you perfectly. Because you know that you're taste isn't always perfect either. Sometimes you feel sour or bitter and you know that you're not always the most enticing flavor under the glass in the candy shop of life. But you picked each other and you love each other and you’re committed to nibbling on no other chocolates you meet along the way. Because when it comes right down to it the flavor you picked is your favorite and the two of you blend together to create a balance of flavor and texture that has taken years to evolve. Combined you form that balance and it’s good, it satisfies, and nothing else could compare.



Yes. Married life is like a box of chocolates, and mine is filled with the one flavor I picked out 11 years ago to be the only flavor in my box. It's a good flavor and every day I remember why I picked it out.



Happy Anniversary my chocolaty goodness. Here's to another 11 years of not dipping into anyone else's box of chocolates.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Spark that Starts The World on FIRE

What is it that turns an idea into a novel?

Well, besides a lot of time, typing, editing…

As writers we have lots of ideas. Sometimes too many.

Focus writer, focus!



What is it that makes one idea stand out enough to take it from an idea into an entire world of its own?

Well, for me it starts with an opening scene. One image that stops me in my tracks and makes me say, I have to remember this, there’s a story here.

Of course that usually happens when I’m in the midst of writing another story or editing another story, or both. So that idea has to sit, and thank goodness it does. This is the testing period. Sure, that idea is fun or interesting, maybe compelling and unusual, but can it capture me? I know an opening scene has something if a month or two later I’m still thinking about it. If I am, then maybe others will as well.

There has to be more though. An opening scene is great. It can make or break a story, but still, it’s only a glimpse, a beginning. In order to get from that scene to THE END, there has to be something else. For me, that something is usually a character. Once I have the scene that sets the stage it’s the characters which begin to come to life inside my head. I hear their conversations, I see their interactions. They develop voices and their voices won’t stop talking.

No, their voices don’t talk to me. That would be schizophrenia, not writing inspiration. Slight, yet important difference.

I get to know them. Their moods, flaws, strengths and characteristics emerge and I as the writer fall in love. This character has a story. It has a story that exists before that scene and one that goes on long after THE END. Their story becomes important to me when I become connected to them. I have to tell their story, because they told it to me.

So for me I would say the spark which turns every one out of ten opening scenes into a fully completed story are the characters themselves. Because you can have a wonderful concept, but without personal connection the story and world will fall flat.



Writers, what is it for you that turns an idea into a whole world of its own?

Readers, what is it that takes an opening scene and makes you want to discover that new world?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Reality or Dream?

You know those dreams that are vivid and beautiful. The ones you start to awaken from and you feel this terrible wrenching pain as reality returns. It's not that reality is somehow less, but you feel this longing and loss. You want to know how the story went, how the ending played out. Like a perfect movie where you feel along with every emotion, but the disk is scratched and you'll never see the ending.


So you keep your eyes closed, shutting them tight and trying to picture the story again. Maybe you can fall asleep. Maybe you can go back there and see how it ends. Maybe you don't have to leave, not yet. But it never works. You can never know the ending and never feel that moment again.

These dreams don't happen often. Maybe every few years. And you never get to hold onto them long enough.

What if it wasn't like that?


What if you had one of those dreams every night? Every moment you slept was like a perfect wonderful movie. Only better, because you could feel it all.


What if you could go back to sleep and be right there again? What if you could live in that dream for as long as it played?

Would you have the courage to wake up? Would you have the strength to let that moment go and accept one less vibrant, less perfect, less beautiful?


If life was a dream, could you wake up to reality?

This is what it's like to be a writer.

There's the dream, the idea. It comes unexpectedly and it plays before you like a shiny lure. That one scene with those characters that draw you in. You need to know them and the only way is to let yourself slip away from reality into their world.


But the thing is, that's too easy. The story is too bright. The feelings are too strong. You want to go back. You don't want to leave them. You let them play in your head, when no one knows. You escape your world and linger in theirs. You spend more and more time there until it becomes harder to wake up from the dream than it is to fall back into it.


Reality pulls you back, but it's in the dream where you want to live.

You thought this was a blessing. To be shown this other world, allowed to travel there at will. But the blessing starts to become a curse. You can't turn the story off. You can't break away. Reality slips farther from your mind and you become lost somewhere. Do you live, only witnessing these other lives? Or do you live in your reality, where things don't always shine with that light?


What if life was the dream?

What if waking was losing it all?


Until the story ends, I find myself torn between two worlds.


What can I say?

I’m a writer.

Author2Author: Query Clinic Submission #3 (or Good Things Come in...

Author2Author: Query Clinic Submission #3 (or Good Things Come in...: Tip of the Day, Librarian Edition: Please don't get mad at the library if every copy of their children's biographies on Harriet Tubman are c...

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I love feedback!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sex, Young Adult Novels, and What I learned from Jessica Simpson

I write primarily YA novels.

I have a certain set of personal moral beliefs.

I feel responsible for potentially influencing people who read my books.

I cannot write in a way that would be contradictory to my beliefs.

That said, my characters don’t always hold my beliefs. They don’t make choices I might make or live in worlds I’ve experienced (except through them.) They are different. They are varied. Their story is their own.

So what is my obligation as a writer to uphold the values I cling to, while at the same time exploring the lives of characters very different from myself?

As a general guide I ask, would I be embarrassed if my own children read this one day? I think it’s a good gauge. It lets me know if I’m writing for the truth of the story or the overly sensational grab. My characters will make mistakes. My kids will make mistakes. The point of life is not living it perfectly, but learning and changing. Sensational adds no value to the story, but without mistakes there would be no story.

So if my characters are flawed. If they make mistakes that I cannot condone nor glorify, how do I maintain my integrity as a writer and allow their mistakes to be visible?

I think my own personal convictions show through in my stories. Sometimes they’re subtle, sometimes less so. It depends on the characters and how their views differ from mine. One thing I tend to find is that cause and effect are a way to show conviction without preaching beliefs. If my characters make a choice, that choice will launch a series of events. Are those events proving their choice to be beneficial or harmful to them? By showing cause and effect I’m able to convey good or bad choices in a realistic light. I can say - maybe this character did this particular thing, but did it turn out well? Without telling the reader what to think.

The one area this comes into question more than anywhere else is sex. I have my beliefs. My characters don’t always share them. So if I’m writing real characters, they’re not going to make the choice I would make. Being YA, this becomes an even touchier point. There are only so many methods and times that characters can abstain before the story begins to look contrived. In real life would they just keep pushing it away or claiming to be ‘old fashioned?’ Ask 8 out of 10 teenagers and the answer is no.

But I don’t want my characters hopping into bed. I don’t want my readers to think that’s ok by my standards. I have a moral duty to influence people toward my values, not away from them. I have a duty as a writer of mainstream novels to write true characters and not preachy stories.

So where do I find that place that can satisfy all my requirements?

I turn to Jessica Simpson for the answer.

You see, before she ever married Nick, she was portrayed as this deeply religious girl, devoted to her faith, protecting her virginity, guarding her heart and wearing a ring to signify her purity. Then she got married. Suddenly she became all about the sex. Sexy outfits, sexy talking, and basically running around shouting how wonderful sex was and let’s all have more.

Ok, there’s a problem here. Yes, as a married person I think it’s great that she loved having sex with her husband. But she went from prude to fiend overnight. Just because she did it by the book she felt that all restrictions were off and it didn’t matter whom she influenced or how. I disagree.

How will I stop my writing from becoming like Jessica Simpson’s love life?

First off, I believe in making my readers feel the story, without showing them the gruesome details. I’ve got to keep it clean. For me, and for them. Whether my characters do it my way, or some other way, I write it with respect. If I’d close my door, then maybe they need to as well.

Second, they have to have reason behind what they do. If they choose to wait, or not, to stray, or not, it must be clear to the reader why they made the choice they made. Going along with that is the whole cause and effect thing as well. I must convey consequences.

Last, I have to consider my audience. When I was a teenager, I read Anne Rice. If you’ve read her then you know that she doesn’t shy away from details and her characters have considerable moral flaws. I loved her characters and their struggles. They were so unlike my own. I would read and then be launched into arguments in my head about why they thought what they did or chose what they did. I could read the gratuitous parts and not be influenced in any way to go out and emulate their actions. Their morals did not alter mine. In fact, their struggles gave me a reason to consider more deeply why I held the convictions I do.
I believe that a well posed question is worth more than a thousand answers given. The questions her characters posed and never clearly answered made me find the answers and strengths in my beliefs.

Because of my experience I tend to view young people as a lot stronger and a lot less persuadable than most people treat them. I think by the time you’re reading YA, you have opinions and you’re more apt to fight for them than push them aside for someone else’s.  I also have to consider that this is not always the case. Maybe I was unusual. Maybe things in my life had given me a different kind of conviction than some young people have.

I have to realize that once a book is written, I am responsible for how it changes people. I have to be true to myself while telling a story that might be very different from my own.

Dang, this gets tricky.



So, now you might ask me if I’ve ever written a book I wouldn’t publish.

Yes, I have. I love the story. I think the characters are very true to themselves. The consequences to their actions are clear. Yet I would not publish the story. Why? Their voices are too different from my own. They speak more openly than I’m comfortable with, although it’s right for their voices. If I altered the story and took away the parts I’m uncomfortable with, then it wouldn’t be true to them. So I can’t.

What I’ve written is tame compared to most adult novels, and most that I’ve read myself. In fact I’m completely fine with a lot of people reading it. But I can’t put it on a shelf, place my name on it, and allow just anyone to pick it up. There are too many moments that I don’t agree with the characters. There are too many places where what they do could be seen in the wrong light. Some might consider it crazy to limit yourself like that. But I wouldn’t feel right doing anything less.



I write mainstream books, because to me that's the most effective way to tell my stories.

I write YA, because it’s where my passion and my comfort lie.

I answer to an editor that doesn’t work at a publishing house. I have to listen to the feedback I’m getting, so the standards of my editor are maintained.

While there are many constraints placed on novels within the YA publishing world, I have a few of my own too. For the most part it’s easy however. I write the stories that play in my mind and capture my heart. If I’m moved or thrilled or fall in love, then perhaps my readers will feel the same. If I capture a question and convey an answer, perhaps my readers will be challenged.

Because really, the most important thing I need to do is write a good story.

The rest will fall into place.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Welcome To My Worlds.

I was going to write about a different topic. One that my latest polished manuscript made me think about yesterday. However my concentration is shot because I have a polished manuscript and am entering that phase of writing that is the most stressful. Not the most painful, but the most stressful.

Querying.

Ugg.

The painful part will come next. After the immense amount of work spent researching, preparing, and hitting send. There will follow the waiting and then the rejections. They’re bound to happen. To some degree or another, they must be expected.

That’s when I began thinking…

How many projects do I query before I chuck it all and move to a cabin in the woods to live a hermit life of writing? That’s right. Just go and write manuscript after manuscript, leaving them piled in a room somewhere for years and years.

I’ll go into town from time to time and the children will watch me from behind buildings, snickering, gasping and running away when I look. The shopkeepers will talk pleasantly to me, then discuss the terrible things they believe I’m doing all alone in the woods. They’ll have me burying bodies and hoarding animals and being completely insane because I stay up all night with the blue glow of a computer screen flooding from my windows.

I’ll keep writing though. I’ll write and write until I die. Because I know that when I do die, someone will come into my cabin and say, “Well, what are these?”

They’ll pick up a manuscript and not be able to put it down. They’ll read through one, then ten, then twenty, until they’ve read all 500. Then they’ll say, “These must be published! I cannot keep these from the world. The world needs these well crafted stories that are filled with thought provoking ideas.”

Then all the work will be worth it. All the years of toil and snickers, of rejection and pain, all to finally be published after my death.

Usually they don’t like to publish modern dead people, because they can’t produce more works at that point. But I need not worry about that fate, because I wrote 500 while I could. (Plus the 20 extra hidden under the floorboards that they won’t find until ten years later. I’m planning ahead, see.)

No, I won’t be your average dead writer. I will be extra delusional! I will be unsurpassed in my unrealistic hopes. I will be… ok, maybe a little insane, but no burying bodies and hoarding animals. Promise.

It takes a writer, doesn’t it? To keep on doing your craft. To keep on believing in your craft. Working through the pain of rejection, torment and snickers from everyone who’s waiting for you to “Just give it up.”

There’s a feeling that you can’t possibly win in this business. It courses through me all the time. There’s another feeling too though. There’s the thrill of the story. Getting lost in that place and time. Having all your thoughts be the voices of those characters. You feel their struggle and their triumph. When you reach the end, it’s never the end, it always feels like it’s just the beginning. You look back at their stories and you are in love. You want to show them off to the world. You want the world to feel what you felt, and breathe in the lives on the page. You believe in them, because they didn’t pour out of you, but through you.

I witnessed an amazing thing. I chronicled it for the world to see. Maybe everyone won’t take the time to look, but, oh, if you do, you’ll love it too. So, call me delusional. I don’t mind. Call me a little insane, it goes along with having voices in your head. If I wasn’t a little off kilter then I couldn’t handle the subjective world I’m trying to become a part of. If I didn’t believe in the stories I’ve told, then neither would you.

You see, sometimes I’m a little lost in this world and I really want to get back to my other one. The one in my head. The one where something amazing is just about to happen.



Welcome to my worlds.

Won’t you come on in?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Beauty

It’s a subject that’s been everywhere I’ve turned lately.

What is beautiful?

Is beauty subjective or is it objective?



When I was younger my view of beauty was different. I see that same view when I look at my kids and their friends. They’re still young enough to have a un-jaded view of what is beautiful. That will change though. The world will teach them to look for beauty in a way that acclaims the unworthy object and overlooks the most precious of gifts. I know it will. I could try to stop it, but it wouldn’t work. But that’s ok, because I realize something else. That is a passing phase.

They will age and they will begin to see beauty in a new way. Not in the perfect form or most useful function, which can change over time and become obsolete. They’ll learn to see it a little like they do now. The enduring, the good, the noble, the hope amidst despair. Because there is beauty in pain, and beauty in sorrow. When that sorrow finds solace and that pain teaches endurance. There is beauty in the gnarled and weathered. If it is gnarled by age and weathered in triumph. I don’t have to stop them from seeing beauty the wrong way. They need to. If they never see it for what it isn’t then they won’t recognize the difference when they see what it is.

Would finding love feel like quite as precious of a gift to a heart that had never been broken? Maybe to some hearts. But I don’t think mine would have recognized it without the pain that taught it how.

As I watch my children, I can see what beauty is. Beauty is in the soul that gives itself freely and joyfully. Beauty is love that is shared. It is in the faces of all shapes, sizes and colors that shine with hope and kindness from the inside out. They see the differences. They’re not blind to them. Yet the differences are not a source of judgment. If anything they are there to expand the definition of beauty.

Beauty can be a scar, a limp, a breast that is gone. Beauty can be the sign which is left behind when the soul has been forever changed. Beauty can be found in a mind that thinks in pictures, not words. In a tongue that is large or a heart with a hole. Beauty is everywhere. It’s in a prison cell, with that spirit who finally understands and faces that understanding with fortitude. It’s in the first breath, as well as the last one.

As I get older I’m beginning to see beauty again. I mean real beauty. When I look at faces and see how they’re all different, I see something miraculous. Something beautiful. I see the smiles that come from spirits who have faced turmoil, temptation, sorrow, pain. I see a light inside many of them and I know it comes from another place, another strength. It shines through them, and it’s beautiful. I see ones without that light too. I see ones struggling to find it. Looking in themselves or others and hoping it’s there. I see their need and it is beautiful, because it is the manifestation of hope.



I just finished writing a manuscript that deals with a world where differences have been taken away. People have been perfected, and in perfecting humanity they somehow threw away themselves. Yet in that place, there comes a hope. Beauty is discovered, not in the things which are pleasing to the eyes, but in the things which give light to the soul. It’s not an easy change. It’s not always a change that feels good. Yet as I go back and edit the words that somehow fell into my laptop I’m surprised. There’s beauty there that I didn’t see the first time around. That beauty makes me look at my world a little differently. The faces, the struggles, the hope. The grace that holds us all, equally, in the midst of something wonderfully beautiful.



What unexpectedly beautiful things have you seen in your world today?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Characters have a Theme Song...

I don't know why it took me this long to make the connection, but I was listening to Mumford and Sons today and when I heard The Cave it just clicked. That is their song!

I love little moments like that, where it all comes together and you're actually in their shoes, looking out through their eyes for that one brief moment.

I'm loving these characters. He's deeper than I expected and she's stronger than I intended. Somewhere around 25k works they took hold of their own lives and they didn't belong to me anymore. I set them free and I'm so proud of where they've gone since then.

I had a small vision for this story, a purpose and a direction, but it has gotten so much bigger than my plans. This story. It's blowing my mind. When I realized it wasn't going to end the way I intended it to from the start it both hurt and felt completely right. It's not a happy ending, but it's a hopeful ending. There is promise in it. Potential.

So now I begin to write my way to that end. With painful typing they will conclude this portion of their time. With new hope a new book will open for them, and I hope I can write it soon.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm in LOVE

I know, another post so soon...
Truth is, oh my goodness, I'm in love!

Jump off the page and I'll run away with you...
(we just have to bring my husband and kids along.)

So, what were my characters up to today?
Here's another snippet for your perusal:




“Oh please, Mr. Johnston, let’s not bring souls into this discussion. Antiquated religious theories have little to do with what’s happening here. You’re referring to cloning as if it’s creating a soul-less beast. We’re not talking Frankenstein’s monster anymore. Your thinking is backwards and it’s inhibiting an otherwise progressive discussion.” Mr. Ortiz spoke up as his wife turned away from Gavin and sniffled slightly.

“I agree with you Mr. Ortiz. Religious theories have little to do with what’s going on here. So do ethics and morality. But think about this, if Frankenstein’s monster were beautiful, intelligent, impervious to disease, would any of you brandish pitchforks and torches and run him out of town? Or would you hand him the keys to the city and bow down at his feet?” Gavin shoved his chair back and stood. “Be careful what you wish for. When you make the monster more powerful than the creator, you’ll be devoured in the end.” He turned to leave, nearly knocking Petara over as he did.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What I'm Writing...

I’m writing a Sci-Fi novel right now. This is a little different from my usual of paranormal/fantasy, but it’s been brewing in the back of my head a while and it didn’t want to let go. Honestly, I’m really enjoying these characters and since the genre is a little new to me they are definitely leading the story as I discover who they are.

So, since I’m being blog-neglectful, I’ll give you a little bit out of the thought process of my main character. I think I’m starting to fall in love.


Truth is a terrible and condemning thing. When you don’t know it, you’re free. Then someone places you at the edge of it, you glimpse it and want to turn away so you won’t be responsible for possessing it.
Suddenly you’re exposed. Like radiation it seeps through your body, killing the bad and the good as if they’re one. If you deny it you’re no better than that which you condemn. If you embrace it, it will consume you.

The truth, it changes everything, and it starts with you.



That’s a little tiny bit of what I’m writing. Now, what are you writing?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I write because...

It helps me be a better me in everything else I do.

I like writing.
It feels good.
I have all these thoughts spinning around up there, but I'm slow to speak, so until I began writing, they were stuck, dammed up behind my throat. When I write it's like opening up the floodgates and letting the ideas out. It takes the pressure off my brain and I can think again.

Writing makes me feel better.
It makes it easier to let myself be happy.

Why do I seek publication?
Because I've written these stories and they made me happy. The worlds on the page brought me joy to discover. I captured that joy, I delved down into it. It feels wrong to hide it away and not let others discover those worlds too. I don't feel like I own them, because they were a gift.

Why do I strive for traditional publishing?
Because I'm kind of a perfectionist about certain things. The thought of putting out a product that isn't worthy of publishing scares me. I need professionals to help with that. I don't know that side of the business, I just write stories. I've become a decent editor too, but decent isn't unbiased. I want these stories to be the best they can be, whether they go out to twenty readers or ten thousand. It's not the numbers that concern me, it's the quality.

So what's the issue?
Publishers and agents need numbers. They have a lot of rules, guidelines, interests and specifications, to be adhered to or met. I have to be willing to work to become what they need or I have to be content merely moving my ideas from my head to the paper and letting them reside there unheard.

Writing is easy!
It's publishing that's hard.

Writing is wonderful and fun and I'd do it all the time if I could.
It's the rest of the business that tries to beat the fun out of the writing.

So why do I keep trying?
I guess writing feels too much like an indulgence. It's sweet and satisfying, I need to justify the hours I spend doing it. If it's work, then it's justifiable, not an indulgence. I guess that's why I keep trying even when it's painful and depressing.

Hmm, maybe I should let myself enjoy it a little more and worry a little less. Maybe I should feel content that I'm blessed to visit these worlds and meet these characters. They make me happy. I bring that happiness back with me to my world. Sometimes that's enough.

Oh, I'll still keep trying to get published. I just might not care so much if you reject me.

I'm not writing your story, I'm writing mine.