Book Updates

Hello all,

Long time, no see. Sorry I haven’t updated in a while. I’ve been working away but there hasn’t been much news.

writing

I’ve received responses from all the agents I queried, save one. All rejections and I’m taking the last one’s silence as the same.

crying2

In all honesty, though, it’s fine. IT GIVES A LOVELY LIGHT isn’t up to snuff yet. I’m actually a little ticked at myself that I queried at all since I can’t requery those agents I’ve done already. Sigh.

I’ve been putting IGALL through critique circles. It’s already gone through one and it was almost done in my general fiction circle. Well, my big climax chapter got absolutely torn apart in that general fiction circle. Like, it was painful.

kill me

So, it turns out, I have to completely chop off the last five-ish chapters and go at them again. Fun times. I’ve decided to shelve it for a few months and get my passion back for the project. I’ll come back to it. I hope.

On the front of my second novel, code named THE NEW ROMANTICS, I’m making excellent progress. I’ve completed the first draft at about 63K words. Then, I plotted it out, found some holes, and I’m working on fixing those. The second draft I’m expecting to come in between 75K and 80K for word count. By far the longest thing I’ve ever done.

happiness2And I have novel number three percolating away in the back of my mind. My bestie/writing partner says it’s because I want to avoid editing. During the editing stage, I always get an idea for a new novel. Hence the birth of TNR.

Anyway, that’s what’s happening with my writing. The group is going fantastic and I appreciate all my writing buddies in whatever form you take. I’ve been posting lines from my works in progress on my Twitter! Go check that out and give me a follow if you like it!

Thanks for reading. ❤

bye9

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Jack of All Trades, Master of None

So, as you folks may have heard, I’m running a Writer’s Collective. It’s been in existence since September, and so far it’s going really well.

But I hadn’t written two lines together in that time.

Between working full time and getting this (way more popular than I was expecting) group off the ground, and applying for my Masters, I’ve been swamped. I run a critique circle within this group, and I’ve mostly been using existing work to submit. Then I ran out of things I felt comfortable sharing and I went to a meeting empty-handed. Oops.

Then this weekend came and I don’t know what happened. I’ve written more this weekend than I have in the last three months combined. Fantastic, right? Except I wrote on about five different things, and researched places for submission, and quickly realised I have nothing to submit because it’s all too long and/or requires too much revision, and just wrote more. I’ve turned what was a short story into the beginnings of a novel. I brought it to my critique group and I just go so inspired by the whole thing.

That’s novel-in-progress number five for those at home keeping track.

What am I doing with my life?! Two are Young Adult, Three are Adult-Adult, and none are even vaguely finished. Is this normal? I’d only consider three to be actively in progress, with the other two shelved, at least temporarily. Unfortunately, those two are the ones I’m furthest along on but have the least interest in. I don’t doubt those two statements are more than casually related. Honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing. My life’s dream since I understood what a book actually was is to write them.

I’m really hoping that what I have going on right now is going to be what sustains me and becomes what I want to publish. I’ve been really into Young Adult fiction lately. I feel like I want to write the book that would have got me through my adolescence easier had I not thought myself too smart to read Young Adult fiction when I was a younger adult. I want to write characters that I never saw when I was young and hope that the kids reading it will finally have someone to relate to.

Anyway, this is just more of me thinking out loud. I’m enjoying my writing weekend and am thankful my power hasn’t gone out (yet). I’m just enjoying the excuse to not run errands and stay warm in my house, fire roaring, Christmas lights twinkling, laundry machine going, and the sound of my keys tap-tap-tapping out my life’s great ambition.

See you on the other side, my friends.

Life Update

Hello everyone.

I felt like updating this blog today. I don’t have much specifically to say. I’ve had some requests from folks to update and put up some fresh writing. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of that for you. I haven’t had much time to write, which I will tell you all about. Thankfully, I’ve been getting a steady stream of visitors to the blog even with my absence, but honestly, it has much more to do with the Taylor Mali poem I posted back in April than my fans demanding updates.

On the writing front, I’ve started a writer’s collective here in Ottawa. As of this writing, it has 113 members and it’s eating all my time. I created the group during a “lonely writer moment” and it exploded. I thought there may be 20 people with only a fraction of active members. Instead, I have over 100 and the participation and enthusiasm of this group has floored me. It’s a great problem to have so, it’s hard to complain about it. Unfortunately, between this and working full time, I’ve had very little time to actually do my own writing. This is where my time has primarily been but, as we pass the three month mark, I’m getting a lot more people from the membership to volunteer to help me. This has been a tremendous help and I only expect it to get better. I keep waiting for this thing to lose its steam, but it’s going strong so far. I’ve met some great people through this (the ultimate goal) and everyone is being so, so kind. It’s a little overwhelming but in the best possible way.

Otherwise, my life has not changed significantly. My work is all consuming as ever. I already feel like Christmas is over, but I’m looking forward to the five days I’ll be off over the holidays. I really need the rest. I’ve officially enrolled in my first Masters course at Griffith University. I’ll be completing my Masters of Aviation Management online for the next two years (at least). (If you’re feeling your stress levels increase just reading this, imagine how I feel!)

I hope to maybe start doing writing prompts or something similar here again soon, if only to get my pen to paper again. If always had great response and support from this blog, far more than I ever expected, and I want to keep up my end of the bargain better than I have been.

No promises, though.

The Evolution of a Poem

Less Than Forward Slash Three (Extended Edition)

I find it amazing
That you cannot actually see
Out of the corners of your eyes
Your brain
Instead of seeing the blackness that actually exists there
Fills in images
Of what it thinks is there

So, every time you see something out of the corner of your eye
Not just the small movements
Of a nervous subconscious but
Your most peripheral vision
It’s because your brain is assuming it’s there
It’s an assumption
An educated guess
Based on the images you see when you look around

That’s why I see you

I see you in the corners of my eyes because
Even my unconscious, rational mind
Cannot understand why
You’re not there
You wouldn’t be here
but I see your face
in the faces of dark men
on street corners and in shops

There are days when
I miss you so much
I will walk up to the dark stranger
Ask him his name, and apologize
As if I didn’t know it wasn’t you

There are pieces of you everywhere
I collect them like pieces of coloured glass
That you find on a beach

Maybe I can make another you

It seems like what may be happening this National Poetry Month is you’ll be witnessing the birth of a poem and its evolution. Sharp eyes will recognize the beginning of this poem as Saturday’s poem. This poem still isn’t complete. Whether it just needs editing, lengthening, shortening, or all of the above, you’ll have to wait and see during the next installment of my National Poetry Month series!

Same bat time, same bat channel. Stay tuned!

Excerpt #2 – This.

I wrote this as the opening to what I was going to have as a collection of short stories that became a novel. I don’t feel like this fits as an introduction to a novel and I don’t think I’m going to use it anymore. So, I thought I would share it!

These are stories about growing up, about friendship and loss, about hopeful futures, and about healing and moving forward. These stories are for you. I will introduce the characters and tell you their stories, but their lessons will be yours. I can’t make you see them. I can’t paint them on a billboard so that they are obvious. No. I will make you work for them and then, when they are apparent to you, you will take them with you for a lifetime, and then perhaps the lifetimes of your children. I don’t presume to insist these are important lessons to learn. These are just lessons that, having learned them, may somehow, someday, make your life a little bit easier. Someday, a lesson learned here will bury itself into your thoughts and it will lessen the pain. I have felt the pain so you will not have to. This is my sincerest hope.

So, what do you think?

Excerpt #1 – This.

It was raining; not hard, just enough. It was a warning that a storm was coming. Jake tried to ease me into his car to take me home but I didn’t want to leave. The rain was beautiful, the air was cold, and I didn’t want this moment to end. That’s when he kissed me. I didn’t kiss him back at first. It was like I was half dreaming and I woke up when his lips met mine. He kissed me again, and this time I kissed him back. He was my first kiss and it was amazing. Experiencing it is so much better than reading about it in all those books I have my nose in all the time. The real thing was more passionate, more intimate, and certainly more satisfying. All those things girls who have never kissed a guy worry about, like where to put your hands, if you close your eyes, what you’re supposed to do with your tongue, it all just comes naturally. It’s like kissing is the most natural thing in the world and you’re just supposed to do it all the time. I wouldn’t have believed anyone if they told me that.

The 3-Day Novel Contest

Over the Labour Day long weekend, I am going to be participating in the 3-Day Novel Contest for the first time.

For those who have not heard of this contest, it is a contest in which insane people try to write a 30-50K word/100 page novel in just three days. (For those keeping track, that’s more than 10,000 words per day.) You then submit this novel to the judges and one lucky person get published!

I’m participating in this mostly for the fun of it. Half of me doesn’t expect to actually complete anything I can send in, but I figure this is a good experience and an excellent reason to dedicate the entire weekend to writing.

I have an idea for the novel I want to write. It’s historical fiction and I’ve begun an outline. I hope to have all my research done pre-contest weekend; mostly because I want to turn off the internet (in the immortal words of Ze Frank: “Stop hitting up your Facebook like it’s a crack pipe, keep the browser closed!“).

I’m planning on keeping this blog up-to-date with progress from the contest. I’m thinking this will consist of a short post at the end of each day with my general feelings and perhaps a word count. I would very much like to make a blog post about my experience over the weekend. Harass me a bit if I don’t have it up within a week!

Thanks for reading. See you soon.