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Pitchwars 2020 (Mentor Wishlist)

It's Pitchwars 2020!Every year, a group of agented writers mentor unagented writers in a contest. It is a huge event in the writing community. More information can be found here: http://pitchwars.org/new-start-here/The mentor's wish list can be found here: https://pitchwars.org/pitch-wars-2020-mentor-blog-hop/I try to participate every year. There are multiple benefits outside of the agent showcase. Making writer friends may not seem like a *huge* perk, but it really is. One, friends are nice. Secondly, and most importantly: Books are not made by one person!I work with critique partners. I work with multiple editors for every project. I have beta readers. I have a manager. There is not one point in time where someone isn't holding my hand through a project.The wider a writer's network, the greater the opportunities are to make my stories the best they can be.
So, I have to pick four out of a ton of mentors to submit to by the 27th. Fortunately for me, the Gothic genre …

Strangers (Final Draft)

I never notice the elevation change as you drive through the mountains. The only thing that tips me off is the jolt of the pop in my ears. Blue mountain’s majesty, my ass.What was worse? My girlfriend kicking me out, or the awkward one-sided conversation with someone I hadn’t seen since I was ten?“Plenty of fish in the sea,” my brother said.My side-eye wasn’t enough to stop his attempts at playing dad. I leaned back in the seat and pretended I was asleep. “Plenty of fish…”My brother’s sage virgin wisdom passed down by our father, no doubt. Not like Dad was any better with relationships. The sun burned through my closed eyelids. I wasn’t fooling anyone. I sat up, and as we passed under the shadow of the mountain, the scent of snapdragons blew through the vents. “Hey, do you remember—”“The woman in the shack? Grandpa shit a brick when we told him someone was living there.”It wasn’t something a person could forget. As children, we were told to never speak to strangers. She was the strang…

Strangers (Writer In Motion 3rd draft)

As a recap, in week 1, we saw the rough draft. Lots of typos, emerging theme, but bones to be sure.
In week two, Strangers officially became a short story with some self-editing. The theme became more consistent and there were less typos.
In week three, two critique partners assisted in banging out some dents. Mostly word flow and things that are really hard to see as the writer but are obvious to the reader.
Without further ado, Strangers

Strangers (Writer In Motion 2nd Draft)

You don’t notice the elevation change as you drive through the mountains. The only thing that tips you off is that your ears start popping. Blue mountains majesty, my ass.
What was worse? My girlfriend kicking me out, or the awkward one-sided conversation with someone I hadn’t seen since I was ten?
“Plenty of fish in the sea,” my brother said.
My side-eye wasn’t enough to stop his attempts at playing dad. I leaned back in the seat and pretended I was asleep.
“Plenty of fish…”
A virgin’s sage wisdom passed down by our father, no doubt. Not like dad was any better with relationships. The sun burned through my closed eyelids. I wasn’t fooling anyone. I sat up, and as we passed under the shadow of the mountain, I thought of her. “Hey, do you remember—”
“The woman in the shack? Grandpa shit a brick when we told him someone was living there.”
It wasn’t something a person could forget. Never speak to strangers, adults always say. She was the stranger they were trying to warn us about, but everyone…

Writer In Motion Short Story - Woman in the Shack

You don’t feel the elevation change as you drive through the mountains. The only thing that tips you off is that at some point, you’re ears start popping like you’re on a redeye flight out of this hellhole. Blue mountains majesty, my ass.
What was worse? My girlfriend kicking me out, or the awkward one-sided conversation with a stranger. “Plenty of fish in the sea,” he said.
My side-eye wasn’t enough to stop his attempts at playing dad. I leaned back in the seat and pretended I was asleep. Chelsey and I had been over for months. We were over it, but our lease wasn’t. Towards the end, she moved a girlfriend in and I moved out.
“Plenty of fish…”
The virgin’s sage wisdom passed down by our father just didn’t have the effect he was going for. The sun burned orange through my closed eyelids. I wasn’t fooling anyone. I sat up and adjusted the seatbelt as we passed under the shadow of the mountain. “Hey, do you remember—”
“The woman in the shack?”
It wasn’t something a person could forget. “Grand…

Daughter of the Marmaros is out now!

Yay!


I'm so relieved.


I've spent far too long dreading and fussing over it. Now that the book is out, newsletters come out the 22nd, ads are rolling...it's done.

I really worked myself into a fit about it. The Novella Series is the first I've ever had sole control over as a writer.

In my mind, self-publishing is a different sort of writing career. It requires a sense of business and accountability that a traditionally published author doesn't deal with. Not to say that traditional publishing doesn't come with its own oceans to navigate, but they are two totally separate paths in the same industry.

I didn't think I had the capacity to do what so many indie authors do. I read, youtubed, podcast, and researched for the better part of the last six months and still found myself scrambling.

So, in this series, the novellas are about love. Romance, love for children, love for a town, wanting love, and having it be something different than we expect.


The next nove…

Black Lives Matter - The experience of a white protester

Last night I attended the Black Lives Matter protest in my home town. It was hosted by five women who managed to arrange everything in about two days. Their Facebook Page can be found here.

I arrived an hour early to assess the situation beforehand. Given how many of these protests erupt in violence, I was concerned for my own safety. Before I left, I had to explain to my 7-year-old daughter where I was going and she cried, begging me not to go. I promised her everything would be fine, I wanted to keep my promise.

Auburn's streets are old and narrow, townhall is sandwiched between new construction and old, with awkward roads that confuse even the locals. As a SWAT Tank drove by protestors while staring us down, I decided I couldn't leave even if things did go wrong. I saw the cops surround the area and thought, I'm sorry, Lily.

The new apartments give heights to the radically changing downtown. The Sound Transit train station has been a game-changer for what was once just…