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Showing posts from 2020

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…

Behind the scenes

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The Novella Series is something I've been working diligently on for the summer. Currently, there are four for this series that are lined up. I will eventually make them into a box set in the future.

People always ask me "What are you writing now?" and it's a struggle to answer because I am doing multiple things at once. It's a chain process where one links to another and I work in tandem with other people's schedules as well as my own deadlines.

So what does that look like exactly?

This is my process:

Concept development for Story #1

I have a rough concept on hand that has been sitting in my think tank. I get these from dreams, from random thoughts, inspiration has yet to be a bottleneck for me. My reservoir grows faster than I can currently write.

I turn this into an outline using The Hero's Journey along with a character plot arc. This is my current favorite for the novellas.




So, once the outline is complete, I move on to Draft Story #1

Now, you'll …

Harry Potter and the Potty Chair

My husband is determined to read Harry Potter to our kids. I fully support this idea since they are 5 and 7, reading is imperative to their development.

It's also a way to relive the nostalgia of a book that captured our imaginations. Surely, our children will find the story about The Boy Who Lived to be as awesome as we did, right?

Okay, so we jumped the gun a little.

When my daughter was two, my husband would try to read with her in the rocking chair before bed. After being assaulted repeatedly, he decided to put her in her crib where he could read to her from a safe distance.

A toddler's rage is not to be trifled with. I could hear her screaming at him from the other side of the house. When I checked in to see if they were okay, he was often being pelted with toys, she was throwing all her blankies out of the crib, and getting ready to launch her diaper with her famous left arm.

At least I wasn't the only one who had to dodge the dirty diapers being thrown.

So, she hat…

The Newsletter is out!

I've upgraded to fancy pants author and started sending newsletters.

Don't get used to it, I won't be doing it all the time.

But...There are some free books and whatnot.


Check it out:
https://mailchi.mp/aa6a7a941000/books-and-more-books

And apologies, MailChimp cut off the last bit of the bottom link.

Here is the link in full https://storyoriginapp.com/swaps/7d4a01d4-9c48-11ea-8417-c367bd2340f4

A Soul Reclaimed on Story Origin

If you haven't read it yet, the first few chapters of A Soul Reclaimed are available for free at Story Origin!
https://storyoriginapp.com/giveaways/a091dd64-98a2-11ea-9422-93429fc1fd94
So, as I mentioned in the previous post that I am releasing a series of Novellas this summer. In order to reach more people, I am promoting and expanding my newsletter!
For writers, Story Origin is something that comes up a lot in the self-publishing networks. It allows you to integrate your email for newsletters, build reader magnets, find reviewers, and do cross-promotion with other authors.
Super interested in seeing how this plays out as I am self-publishing my novellas.
It's exciting but also nerve-wracking at the same time. So much to do, so much to think about...Hat's off to the self-publishing authors because this is a lot of work!
The writing industry can be frustrating because it's so slow but when things do happen, they happen faster than an author can cope with. Novellas are n…

The Novella Series

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Due to Covid-19 (I'm sure you're all tired of hearing that phrase) the publisher of my A Soul series is experiencing some delays.

We are working on the contract for the sequel to A Soul Reclaimed, but these things can sometimes go slower than we'd like.

Until then, I am releasing a series of stand-alone novellas.

The first in the collection is slated for July 15th.

I'm beyond proud to introduce Daughter of the Marmaros!


Bernadette is the last resort for the survival of her race.
Torn between duty to her people and the desire for a strange man lurking in the jungle, Bernadette flees the safety of the Marmaros, where six little jungle boys come to her aid.
The deeper into the jungle she goes, the more Bernadette learns about herself and the people who ruled her with a marble fist for so long.
Join Bernadette as she embarks on an adventure of a lifetime!




The Stink and totally unrelated cunnilingus

I just wanted to give a shout out to WriteHive for putting together such an awesome convention for writers.

It's totally free and all online for everyone to access.

https://www.writehive.org/about

^ That's their link.

I wrote The Stink for their short story horror contest and was one of the three winners!

This is almost the first contest I've won for writing, but my manager (AKA my husband) reminded me that years ago I won hundreds of dollars worth of sex toys.

It was a contest asking us to write about why our significant other is so sexy. So really, that contest was about him, but I won by detailing his cunnilingus skills that make us both winners.

Moving on!


The Stink is probably one of the most personal stories I've ever written, and it's based on true events.

My mother is mentally ill. Her anxiety has rendered her agoraphobic and has hoarding tendencies thanks to America's lack of mental care and crippling poverty. I also struggle with anxiety which is why …

The Freak: Envie Magazine

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My short story, The Freak can be found in April's Envie Magazine.

https://enviemagazine.com/

It's totally free, you just give them an email address and they give you a monthly magazine for free.

The Freak is about two young brothers who encounter a strange creature while staying with their grandparents over summer vacation.

It's a short story, so, that's all you're going to get.

What made me think up this story?

Like most of my stories, it was based on a dream. My dream was probably a compressed version of dealing with the loss of a cat, but not just any cat.

Her name was Mila, but Mila did not answer to Mila.

Thanks to an overly-attached breeder, Mila only responded to "Baby," which we then called her "Baby Kitty".

When my husband (boyfriend at the time) first moved in with me, I told him he could pick out whatever cat he wanted. He'd never had a pet because of his mother. She hated cats and didn't want to pay for vet bills.

So, he pick…

The Cake Saboteur!

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My son got sick over the weekend. With Corona virus being in the headlines constantly, even my son's flu symptoms prompted a thorough spring cleaning.

I took the bathrooms and upstairs while my husband tackled the laundry room and kitchen. He scrubbed everything down and even labeled my industrial glass jars of baking ingredients because if you don't know, I am an avid baker.

 Not a professional by any means, but I bake just about everything. I purchase my ingredients where restaurant owners buy their foods in bulk because I really go through a 25lb bag of flour and 15 dozen eggs in a busy month.

The most coveted ingredient is butter.

I am a butter snob. I am stingy with my good butters, and when it's on sale I stock up the way boomers stock up on bottled water during epidemics that simply require washing their hands because tap water is for peasants (and millennials).

I don't eat it or use it in cooking, but I seldom bake a cake without it. If I do, I have a butter f…

When writing prompts go terribly wrong

**Write a scene using the last show you watched and the last video game you played**

The soft grass outside the white tent was a lush, vivid green. Scattered around the park were wildflowers and the occasional wild rabbit. An orchestra plays something cheery, you can only describe it as sounding British.
The camera sets on two women, opposite in appearance, but equally non-descript women. Despite the fact that they've already introduced themselves, you can't remember their names. One has short dark hair and thick black-rimmed glasses, the other is blonde.
"Hullo everyone, and welcome to the Great British Bakeoff!" The blonde woman greets with her hands clasped before her.
"This week we are joined by four special guests from the Continent!" The dark hair woman picks up seamlessly from where her co-host leaves off.
"Our contestants will be baking three distinct recipes," The blonde says.
"A signature challenge, a technical challenge, and the s…

A Soul Fractured - A Soul Series

I'm not going to George R.R Martin anyone (yet), without any further due, I can assure fans of A Soul Reclaimed that the second book is in the publisher's hands.

What can I tell you about it? 

It's named A Soul Fractured

It picks up six months after where we left off with Nora.

She thought her problems would be over once she became queen, but is it ever that easy?

Aegis has his memories back, but it only serves to remind him of just how little he understands when it comes to Nora.

When is it coming out?

Next year-ish? I don't have a lot of say in that matter.


Other random details about the writing process.

Nora's story has been plotted out since 2016. I am a bit nervous to see people's impressions with the direction I went, but early readers were very supportive. I don't know everyone will like what happens next, but that's the risk you take as a writer.

The third installment is in early development, it is tentatively titled A Soul Aligned. That one will…

The Kung Fu Hustle Fiasco

When people try and impress me with their varying tastes, I try to not mock them. Oh, you like Gangster Rap and Death Metal? Who doesn't?

What makes music and film so special is that it can serve as your link to a certain point in time. It also can bond totally different people together. So when you say you like a variety of music and film, I assume it's because you've had life experiences and you're not dead...or my father (who falls asleep as soon as someone puts on anything that isn't mob movies or Foxy Brown).

Now, I've been cohabitating with my husband for the last 16 years. When you've spent as much time together as we, it's pretty safe to assume we share many of the same experiences and nostalgia. Right? It makes sense.

While we have shared many moments together, we do have different tastes in many things. I have a penchant for the obnoxious and campy and he does not.

Somewhere in our 20's, we were rattling down I-5 in a Pontiac Grand Am, bl…