Saturday, September 24, 2011


For those of you that read the "Can You Hook a Teen" entry, I've created another introductory 250 words - the first entry was (you guys were totally right) more explanation than should be given on the first page.

So here's the new start to the first page:

            She held her hand out in front of me, fingernails neatly polished and manicured, probably only yesterday.  I stared at it, then looked back at my parents.  I let out a long breath and took her hand in mine.
            “I’m Delia,” she said.  “I guess we’re roommates!  I’m so excited, are you?  You must be Sophie, I mean, that’s what it says on the door, right, Sophie?”
            I nodded.  I glanced around the room.  Her side was pink, fluffy, everything that I would have loved just a few months back.  There was even a poster board holding up photos with crossing ribbons.  My side of the room was barren, and not just because we hadn’t put anything on that side, but because I didn’t really want anything.
            My parents had tried to insist, “Why don’t you take any of your stuffed animals?”  My mom held up the unicorn that I had slept with since I was six.  I shook my head.
            “Well, what about some of those nice jackets you used to wear, you liked those, right?”  My dad contributed.  I shook my head to that as well.  The jackets were of my old life, an old letter jacket from an ex-boyfriend, a cheerleader jacket from when school spirit actually mattered.  My denim jacket that I wore the day that my life caved in on itself, the other jackets that became stained through various food items thrown at me throughout the rest of high school.  Yeah, I totally wanted those jackets.  I rolled my eyes internally, but I didn’t want to upset my parents more than they already were. 

Of course this is too late for the official contest - but I would still love feedback, as I want the first chapter to really pull the reader in.  If you have questions about the general story, you can read my contest entry post, since that has more explanation as to what's going on with the main character (woo dust jackets).

Friday, September 23, 2011

Soul Therapy: Cover Art

I worked for the last two hours (with the pestering of my cohort, Llora) on creating this cover.  She really wants me to pay attention to her while she works on our mutual craft blog (as can be seen in the above).  However, I am lost in the land of NaNoWriMo, thinking of all the possibilities, everything I want to accomplish before then and within that fateful month of November.  

My main character, Jess, is getting more and more flushed out as I think about this, and as I worked on this not so great and still-in-progress cover art.  But, I never claimed to be a graphic designer (nor do I want to be, that's really Llora's job).  I still have fun messing in Photoshop.

So thoughts so far?  I was thinking about making the eye a little bit bigger as well as making it a little less opaque.  This probably will not be the final design, unless, of course, I decide to self-publish or epublish myself, but I'll cross that bridge later.

It's still nice to have something to look at, something tangible to see staring back at me (literally) and be able to say "Yes, this book, it's going to be done soon."  The small "hopefully" tacks itself onto the end of that sentence, but I think I am more determined than ever.  With the excitement from other WriMos on G+, I'm settling into this quiet kind of appreciation.  I never thought I would find a group of avid writers after leaving Emerson College (at least one that I could connect with on a regular basis).  I feel so fantastic that I think I'm going to treat my body (or kill it) to Del Taco this evening.

The top right is attempt one, the bottom left is attempt two.  Haven't settled on one or the other just yet.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Daunting Task

For far too long I have been putting off finishing any of my novels.  I think the main fear here is:  What if I write it and fail?  And also, what if I write it and succeed so much so that I have to become reclusive and run away to the woods and never come out because I'll have tiny, impish fans running after me?

But that's not what happens with writers, is it?  I mean, when we become famous, I feel it's a more quiet kind of fame.  When was the last time you saw Stephen King or J.K.Rowling in the tabloids?  Yeah, that's what I thought.  But still, I have fears, most of them completely impractical but they are still there.

So I have decided to force myself into another daunting task - this time something that I can't get out of, mostly because I already signed up.  It's the National Novel Writing Month contest.  Though, it's not really a contest that you win and get published, mind you, but it's a contest where you push yourself all throughout November to start and finish your novel.  You are your only enemy in this seeming insurmountable task.  But when I make promises to myself, I keep them.  I usually say, "I'll try to..." not "I must, I will, I promise myself..."  But this time - I must and I will.

So here it is.  My profile/will-be entry into the November month of novel writing.  Granted I have another month to go to really sign up and etc. but I really am excited about this.  I'm going to take my Soul Therapy book and delete the 600 some-odd words I have now, and re-write it from the start.  I have an outline (because film scripts really are kind of like outlines) and it's still unfinished - the script that is.  I got up to 90 pages (most scripts are about 110-120) and I stopped writing.  Why?  I realized it was a crappy script and would make a much better novel.  So alas, here is my chance to finish it, outline in front of me and a race against the clock.  And gosh darn you clock, I'm going to win.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Can You Hook a Teen Blogfest Contest Entry

First 250 words of your YA Novel...

Title:  Ruhe
Genre: YA Fiction

What I don’t want to tell you is that I actually can speak.  I’m not a mute like everyone thinks.  My parents assumed it was something traumatic – they asked me if it was something my ex-boyfriend did, if he had ever forced me into anything.  They couldn’t accept the fact that I chose to be this way, I chose to stop talking.  They sent me to shrinks, specialists, doctors, hospitals, then registered me as disabled and sent me to a state school instead of the university, just so I would be closer to home.

It may seem like I sacrificed a lot in giving up my voice, but I’ve become so much more aware of people, of their mannerisms, and of how horrible of a person my voice made me.  I was voted into three different superlatives:  loudest, class gossip, and best laugh.  My friends and I had joked about it, we ran a campaign to get me elected class gossip.  But those superlatives really were true.

I told my friends’ secrets, I talked behind their backs, I couldn’t help it.  It was word vomit in the worst form.  It all blew up in my face, as it always does, and slowly, I was edged out.  The popular crowd carried on without me, the graduation parties, the dates to prom, everything.  While I was sitting, listening to a girl drone on about her stupid boyfriend, I realized something:  no one cares about what you say.  It was useless to carry on a conversation.


To enter and read other entries, go to Brenda Drake's blog.  Closes midnight MST on September 23rd.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Green Stuff

I was handsome.  Even with my portly size and mismatched skin, I was handsome.  And maybe I was a bit on the furry side, dark puffs rising out of all parts of my body - okay, maybe I was very furry, but I was still handsome.  And I'll tell you, I know how to strut my stuff to get whatever I want.

That was the greatest thing about me, the fact that I could be portly and a little round in the middle and still get all the access that I wanted to human contact.  Maybe I was a little forceful in situations, jamming my face into someone else's or maybe just poking them a whole bunch in the stomach.  But that's what all people wanted, right?  So yes, I was fine, me and my handsome self.  We could strut our stuff around the kitchen, the living room, the dining room like it was no body's business.  I would sit on the counters, the tables, the couches, even the arm rests, I didn't care.  I was too handsome to care.  And when it came down to it, my voice was like angels kissing the air, so really, I never had to worry about getting in trouble.  So maybe my life was easy, but then I discovered grass.

Grass, sweet, delectable grass.  No one understands what it does to me, how it makes me feel.  So full, euphoric almost - that maybe for just that minute, it is me.  Me and my grass sitting out back, lazing around on another day.  I didn't understand why anyone would get upset over a little obsession with grass.  I was so angry when I was boarded up inside, kept away from this delicious substance.  Why was it such a big deal for me to go outside, to inhale the sweet smelling air of freedom and feed my indulgences with a little green stuff.  Right?

But my mentality stayed the same.  I had to find a way out, some way, when no one was watching.  And I did, then they boarded those exits up to.  But it was always the same outcome, which is why I wondered why it mattered to them so much.  I went outside and was stunned - how big the world was.  The ceiling melded into the distance, there were actual, living creatures in the world besides myself.  There were endless possibilities, but all I wanted was some grass.  Being chased by them, I only ran to get to the next patch, the next location to sit down and enjoy my greens in peace, before being boarded back up inside.  Thing was, I never wanted to escape, really.  I would always come back to the door and sit, crying until someone found me.  It wasn't a big deal because I never went very far.  So why did they keep boarding up all the windows?  Stronger screens that my claws couldn't tear, annoying feet blocking my exits when the doors were open.

It was a tough life, being a portly house cat addicted to grass.


Inspired by and dedicated to the fat cat, Mogwai.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Pause

Writing will never leave me.  I know that now, more so than ever before.  It is intrinsic in my natural, my being to be able to make words out of what I'm feeling.  To put myself in haunting places and scenarios, places I may never even dream of being, but it is where my characters take me.

I used to worry when I didn't write for days on end - that this was it.  That was the last thing I would even put down on paper, into words.  But more often, now, I find myself ever forming stories - random bits and pieces that I come across throughout the day, ways to keep my brain entertained - and sometimes, on the moped ride home, I create fabulous lyrics, ones that can never be heard again by anyone but myself as I sing softly along with the hum of my motor.

I worry less because this is me, it's what I do.  My day job, whatever it may be, will never change the solid fact that I am a writer.  When I stop writing, it is my pause, my time to reflect, my moments to gather myself for the tasks ahead.  Although, I feel more of a desire to finish my unfinished pieces than ever before, I still don't have the motivation and drive to sit down and produce them.  But the desire is there, hungry, gnawing away at my heart valves.  One of them will burst someday and a fountain of words will spill out onto the page in a unyielding, passionate rage.

Until then, I will sit down and read my books, watch my television, and be the constant observer of people, facial expressions, conversations that shouldn't be overheard.  I am the creep that sits by you at lunch staring into the distance, a long look on her face, and you wonder - is this girl listening to us?  Yes, in fact, she hears every single word.  When you look away, she studies your face, feels your voice and your words, takes in your essence, only to use it some day, covering the white blank page with your secrets, or words inspired by your secrets.  And you'll never think, connect two and two together, that she was there while you were conversing with your co-worker, that you, in fact, inspired her.

I am the quiet observer, and I'm taking my time off from writing to gather new materials, new phrases, new words to stitch together my sentences. 

In the past three days, I have read the Young Adult novel FLIP, by Martyn Bedford, and half of Ender's Game.  I haven't felt this desire to read since I was much younger.  Maybe that's why my characters have been lacking - I haven't kept up myself.  I feed off of words formed by others, I am motivated by seeing, devouring finished pieces of work - I see and feel all the possibilities of my own life, my own ideas, just by reading.

FLIP was actually pretty good.  The one downfall of most YA Fiction is the lack of intelligence in the characters.  I really think we should be challenging young readers - especially if we assume that these readers are high school, maybe middle school level.  When I was in ninth grade, I had finished Moby Dick - and at that point in my life, yes, it was the most boring read ever - but looking back, it was a huge challenge.  I learned so much from just one challenging book.  That's not to say that FLIP is bad, I guess I was just hoping for a more challenging read.  And yes, I'm an adult, but I was reading books like this in sixth grade.  The concept - awesome, the characters - great, believable.  I think it is definitely worth the read, especially if you do have a child, you should get them to pick it up.  It is probably one of the more solid YA Fiction novels to come out in awhile.

As for Ender's Game - I am so upset that I didn't read this earlier.  I cannot put it down.  So many of my friends read it before me and I always wanted to get around to it.  But I thought, "Well, I'm not THAT much into Science Fiction, so maybe later."  Then I started reading it.  Goodness, it is like The Giver meets space, meets some crazy Ayn Rand novel, meets awesomeness.  Honestly, if you like Sci-Fi, you need to read it.  I found it in the Classics section at the Library (which is, ironically, in the corner, stuffed next to the YA section).  I have three more YA books coming my way - and as long as I'm reading, I might not be writing, but I am creating vastly new universes for myself.

If nothing else, I will at least review what I am reading until I feel the urge to write.  Once I'm back, I'll come back with a huge vengeance.  That's a promise.