Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Next Big Thing AND Reader Appreciation Award (aka I'm wayyyy behind on blog awards! woops!)

Jeanette over at Folio Road tagged me with The Next Big Thing Award!  Here's more insight into my precioussss WIP!

What is the working title of your book?

Astral :)

Where did the idea come from?

The longer answer is on my GUTGAA Meet and Greet post, but the short answer is a love of Fringe, Firefly, and Minority Report!  Also, as I thought about Fringe I tossed around the notion of how it would feel to be in a love triangle...with yourself and another person.  But it's not really you, andddddddddd...that's all I'm saying.

What genre does your book fall under?

I'm gonna go with YA Sci-fi with Paranormal elements.  Or maybe Thriller.  Can I just make it ALL THE THINGS and be done with it?!?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

Uhhhh, whichever ones the studio would pick ;D  I'm not a casting director!  Also, let's not count our chickens before the hatch...I still have to finish writing the book!

What is the one sentence synopsis if your book?

To save both universes, Bastian Reynolds must team up with the other universe's version of his dead ex-girlfriend - oh, and she's also the girl who's destined to kill him.

Will your books be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am not nearly cool enough to do the self-publishing thing (for reals, though), so I would LOVE to be represented by an agency!  One can dream :)

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Two months - the most intense (but intensely awesome) two months ever!

Who or what inspired you to write the book?

The idea came from different aspects of Fringe and Minority Report - there was also something else that inspired it, but to point it out would be kind of spoilery.  I won't do that to you...

What else about your book would pique the reader's interest?

I think it's got a lot of action, a little romance, and a whole lot of telepathic conversations.  And one of these things involves Dr. Seuss.  Not telling you which :P

So, now it's time to pass it on!  I'm sending this to some of my fabulous LitReactor classmates!

First is L.G. over at Ramblings of a Redhead because her MC is a girl named Alex (which is something I can relate to!).  And because the story she's working on is fabulous!

Second is Jen over at Almost Grown Up!  She's got a lot of good stuff on that site (book reviews galore!) and her personal blog is also quite fun!  So hop over and check them out!


Tamara over at One Magic Bean Buyer gave me a reader appreciation award for helping her out with her first 150 words during GUTGAA!  So, now it's time for me to keep the award-train going!


  • Identify and show appreciation for the blogger who nominated you
  • Add the reward logo to your blog
  • Tell your readers seven things about yourself
  • Nominate 5-10 of your favorite bloggers for the award
  • Inform your nominees that you nominated them
MY SEVEN RANDOM THINGS (that are not already in the "Who am I?"  section)
  1. I severely DISLIKE intolerant people.  Especially those who claim they can't understand people with accents.  Just listen.  You'll get it, I promise.
  2. I go to the movies whenever I need to relieve stress.
  3. I have "Runner's Knee" even though the only time I run is when I'm being chased.  Which isn't often.
  4. My Mom is from the Philippines, and my Dad is from Maine.  This has resulted in me looking "ethnically ambiguous."
  5. My least favorite question is "What are you?"  which gets asked because I look "ethnically ambiguous."
  6. My answer to said question is always, "Well, first of all, I'm a person."
  7. Oh, I was in chorus from the fifth grade until I graduated high school.  I did not pursue it during undergrad, which is something that I will always regret.
Time to pass this thing on!

To Jeannette, over at Folio Road, for being the best CP ever!  Like in the history of CPs.  She rocks!
To Sus, over at  Book Reviews by Sus for being awesome and voting for me in the EVER bloghop :)  AND for being another ACC-er!
To Catherine, over at C Scully write, C Scully run... for bonding with her husband over how the wonderfully horrendous movie, "Ginger Snaps," and for always being on Twitter :)
To Christine, over at Finding the End of the World another LitReactor classmate, fairy-tale connoisseur  and frequent tweet-er!
To Talynn, over at Ink in the Book for having one of the coolest blogs I have ever seen (and for taking the time to read my EVER blog hop submission, even though we're competing haha)! 

*phew* I'm all caught up on awards now!  I'll be posting my Get Your Pitch On critique tomorrow, so get excited (because I know I am)!!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

FRINGE IS BACK!!!!!!!!, like, 10 minutes. So I'm taking a writing break and getting ready for the last season of one of my favorite shows!

It will be bittersweet and I will love every minute of it :)

There will be a more substantial blog post after the episode airs.  Not to spoil it or anything terrible like that.

Merely to celebrate!  So join me again in about an hour to discuss weekend-y things and to read about the awards that I never got around to posting...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Get Your Pitch On deets :)

Well hello!  If you've come here looking for my EVER blog hop entry, click here or scroll down!

If you want to read about Get Your Pitch On submissions, thennnnnnn keep reading (haha).

Here's the details you've been waiting for!

Commissioning and Managing Editor of Hardie Grant Egmont, Marisa Pintado, will be poised and ready to take your pitches both here on Down Under Wonderings and on my group blog YAtopia on October 15th.

Marisa is looking for YA in any genre and is accepting submissions from any where in the world. It's your chance to skip the slush pile and put your pitch right under the nose of a fantastic editor. There's even better news - there is no limit on how many requests Marisa will make from the contest.

Here's the rules:

Your manuscript must be complete, polished and ready to query - this means no first drafts or almost finished manuscripts.
It must be YA.
When the contest goes live on October 15th, post your entry details in the comments section of either YAtopia or Down Under Wonderings - each blog is accepting 100 entries only.
Your entry detail needs to include a 50 - 70 word pitch.
You can enter more than once if you have more than one complete, polished, ready to query manuscript.
Your contest details should be formatted like this:

Name: Sharon Johnston
Email: smjohnston [ @ ]
Country of residence: Australia
Genre: Speculative Fiction
Word-count: 58,000
Pitch: Seventeen-year-old Mishca Richardson is a sleeper soldier with a weak heart. She has no idea that a life saving heart transplant has accidentally triggered her programming. In the search for answers, she discovers the truth and that her creator, Wirth, has classified her remaining "sisters" from her experiment group as defective, scheduling them for termination. Mishca sets out to save them before they're eliminated.

Just as it's important to get someone else to look over your manuscript before you query, it's a good idea to get feedback on your pitch before you post. We have about twenty blogs who are ready to help you hone your pitch. These workshops start on October 1 and you can find the list of blogs participating here.

Make sure to check out all of the workshop host blogs to critique more pitches. For each critique you leave in the comments, you get an entry into the drawing to win one of eight 10-page critiques from our contest host Sharon Johnston and workshop hosts Larissa HardestyStephanie DiazCatherine Scully, Jodie AndrefskiPaula SangareTalynn Lynn and Kaitlin Adams.

Sarah Nicolas will be giving away three query critiques!

I'm so excited to bring this competition. So now it's time for you to Get Your Pitch On!

Friday, September 21, 2012

ALL THE UPDATES (and a pitch workshop!)

Hello blogging world!

If you're looking for my Ever flashfiction entry, click here!  Or scroll down.  And if you want to vote for it, please put VOTE in your comment!  Thanks :)

I apologize for the long, long gap in-between posts.  I've been working on my WIP (28,000 words woooooooooooooooo!!!!) and, of course, there's grad school, my assistantship, TV...oh, and I've just finished GIRL OF NIGHTMARES by Kendare Blake.

If you've read ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, what are you waiting for?!?  Go buy the sequel and read. it. now.

If you haven't read ANNA, go buy the book.  Right now.

I have a couple of awards that I still have to pick up/pass on.  I have not forgotten about them and WILL have those posts up soon, I promise!

Andddddddddd now it's time for the most awesome update today!

I would also like to announce that I am going to be hosting a pitch workshop on my blog, in preparation for GET YOUR PITCH ON.  I thought it would be a cool way to be supportive of all my writer friends, and still be involved without entering the contest!

So, without further ado, here's the info:

Workshops for Get Your Pitch On will start on October 1, but you can send your pitches through now to secure your spot with a host blog.

There is no date deadline for the workshops. Each blog has allocated a set number of pitches that they can host and once those spots are full then no more submissions will be taken.

Important Rule: If you want to participate in a workshop, you must be prepared to comment on at least one other pitch.

How to submit: Email your draft pitch to and include PitchOnWS and the title of the manuscript in the subject line. Pitches must follow the formatting as specified for the Get Your Pitch On contest. If you missed if before check out this post here and you can see the list of blogs participating here.

Draft pitches will be evenly distributed between host blogs.

And interview with Commissioning and Managing Editor of Hardie Grant Egmont, Marisa Pintado, will be coming up soon on my blog so that you have an idea what she's looking for before she takes your pitches both here on Down Under Wonderings and on my group blog YAtopia on October 15th. The exact contest opening times will be included in that post.

Have fun honing your pitches!

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That's all I've got for now!  I'll put the call up for pitch submissions soon, so be sure to check back for more details on Monday!  Time for me to get back to writing - goal for the end of the weekend is 30,000 words!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Flash Fiction - Ghost Story Style!

Hello all!

It was all kinds of rainy today, so I was really excited when I came across this awesome blog hop!

I've been tasked with writing a ghost story, and I've been working on a twisty version of one for a little while now.  This one, though, is something I just came up with today, after staring through a window, literally watching the rain fall.

Hope you enjoy!  Oh, and if you would like to place a vote in my favor, just leave a comment that says "vote"  ( I won't hold it against you if you don't vote for me, though!  I promise!).

Without further ado, here is my entry!


“This is crap.”

“Aw, come on, it’s just a TV show.”

“Grace, this has to be the worst idea for a show.  Ever.  And I lived through some pretty bad ones…”

“Oh, you mean in the 1800’s?”

“Ha ha.  You’re so funny.”

“Look, it can still be entertaining - ”

“No, it can’t.  These pretend-macho guys are running through this house, yelling at the dead.  It’s not respectful, the whole thing is insulting - ”

“To everything that goes bump in the night?”  Dan rolls his eyes, and I wonder what they looked like when he was alive.  I’d always imagined them being bright green.  Or clear blue, like the water that’s always on those tropical postcards.

“Can we please watch something else?”


“No.  That movie is totally inaccurate.  Although the part during Whoopi Goldberg’s séance was kind of true.  One time there was this really obnoxious guy who wouldn’t let anyone else speak, and…”  His voice trails away, and the smile that I loved was replaced by a thin line.


He presses a finger to his lips.  I close my eyes and listen.

Footsteps.  Upstairs. 

“Friend of yours?” I ask.  I mean it as a joke, but my ghost-sense is tingling too.  Whatever’s walking around in my bedroom is bad news.

Wait.  It’s walking around in my bedroom.

“Ew.  That’s it, we’re going!”  I spring up from the couch and run for the stairs.  Dan calls after me, but I don’t stop.  I do not want some long-dead thing rooting through my underwear drawer. 

That’s where I keep the salt.

I bound up the stairs, only bothering to actually touch three of the steps.  Dan appears right next to me, doing that I-don’t-need-a-Portkey-to-apparate trick that ghosts love to show off.

“Are you thinking about Harry Potter again?” 

“Maybe.  Hey, Harry and I are a package deal.  You’re gonna have to get used to it.”

“As long as you keep reading those books to me, I’m fine with that.  You know how I struggle with turning pages.”  He means it as a joke, but he looks through me as he says it.  Like I’m the ghost.

I nod.  “Well, we can start that once we’ve dealt with - ”

Something that sounds like my lamp hitting the floor and breaking into a hundred tiny-little lamp pieces interrupts my thought.   

Dan sighs.  “Is the salt still in the unmentionables section of your dresser?”

“You can call it underwear, you know.  And yes, it is.”

“I prefer unmentionables.”

“I’m sure you do.”

Man, if only ghosts could blush, he would so be doing it right now.

“Well, erm, I’ll distract whatever it is, while you do your ghost-hunting thing.”

“Right.  Let’s go, Casper.”

“I hate that name.”  He mumbles as I push the door open, smiling.

Dan charges the ghoul currently admiring my choir trophies.   It turns to face us, and as I throw myself at my underwear drawer I cringe a little.  My room smells like what I imagine to be the smell-o-vision version of “The Creature of the Black Lagoon.”  A scent that is equal parts fishy, decay, and well, swamp, is undoubtedly seeping its way into my pillows. 

Great.  Now I’ll have to do laundry, too.

I grab the salt and turn around to watch the bizarre wrestling match in front of me.  Dan has the ghoul by the neck – or, whatever’s left of its neck.  This thing looks like it was beheaded a long, long time ago.  Its head rolls onto the floor (it had been holding it in its hands, but those hands are now trying to strangle Dan) and lands at my feet.

I kick it aside and try to ignore the awkward sound it makes as it unevenly travels around my room. 

“Dan!”  I yell, and he ghosts himself through the wall a second before I send a fistful of salt flying through the air.  It hits the ghoul and dissolves it.  I half expect its head (which is under my bed) to call out, “I’m melting, I’m melting!” as it sinks further and further into my floorboards.

I throw a generous amount of salt at the groaning head trying to make a new home under my mattress, and watch it slowly fade away, too.  I linger on the floor for too long.  Dan sees me, I'm sure of it.

“Grace?”  He asks, once I've stood back up.

“Yeah, Dan?”

“You ever wonder where they go?”

“All the time.”

“Then why do you send them away?’

“Because I don’t know what else to do.”


He looks everywhere else that’s not me.



“Do you ever wonder where they go?”

“All the time.”

“Do you ever want to go?  To find the answer?”

He smiles.  “Not as long are you’re here.”

“Dan - ”

“Hey, let’s go back downstairs and keep watching that stupid Ghost Fighting show.”

“Alright, alright, I’ll be down in a sec.  I've got to clean this mess...and maybe throw my sheets in the laundry.”

He hesitates for a moment, but nods.  “After the show can we read some more?”

“Of course.”

He smiles as he drifts out of my room and down the stairs.  I walk over to my broken lamp and start to pick up the pieces, but stop as soon as I see the grains of salt on the floor.

My stomach turns.  This is all so unfair.  But I can’t keep him.

I drop the lamp pieces and walk slowly back to my dresser. 

I help ghosts move-on.  It’s what I’ve always told myself.

It’s what I tell myself as I reach for the salt.

It’s what I tell myself as I walk down the stairs.

It’s what I tell myself as Dan looks at me, with fear and gratitude.

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Because I like to keep my crazy all to myself?" - International Book Week (Maybe)

So this is one of those "I-saw-it-on-facebook-so-it-must-be-true-things."  One of my friends posted this as their status:

Though he practically muzzled himself to keep from saying so, Sam obviously thought Bill should not have agreed to my going.

It's international book week. The rules: grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, post the 5th sentence as your status. Don't mention the title. Copy the rules as part of your status.

Obviously I had to keep the thing going, so my response was the title of this post.  I might have broken the rules slightly by walking across the room to grab the book that I am currently reading, instead of the one closest to me (trust me, you don't want to know what my law book says).  But, for funsies, let's see what other lines I can find in the books sitting around our living room.


The spirit did her good.

The butcher would buy my rabbits but not squirrels.

I try to sit up, but I move too fast and have to bite my lip from the pain.




I'll probably post more later in the week, but you should give it a go!  That was way too much fun :)  Just grab a book, flip to page 52 and find the fifth sentence!

Even if it's really not International Book Week*, you can still pass along the book love!

*I tried to research it but am a poor researcher.  If someone finds an article or something a bit stronger than Facebook heresay, do let me know!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

SCBWI Updates

So this conference has been fabulous so far and I've made some awesome new writing friends!

Also, updates on ASTRAL's progress.  I submitted my first 200 words to the First Page YA session and, wouldn't you know it, my page was the FIRST ONE READ.  I tried to write down what the editor critiquing it was saying, but my hand was shaking so much that it might be illegible.  So I'm going to shout this out to the blogosphere -

The comments on my "first page" were that she liked the action, said it was "fresh" and that she would keep reading!  She also picked up on the whole "Sci-fi with paranormal elements" thing, sooooooo I think that means I'm doing my job right!

And I've just come back from our optional group critique section and got some good feedback on Chapter 1 that I'll have to chew on for a little while - BUT mostly good, positive things were said, and they told me that I nailed "boy voice" so I'm super stoked about that.

Like, you have no idea how stoked!

And, because I can't shut my brain down, I've already started plotting out the rest of my book.  I should hit 20,000 words tonight, and I'm now very excited about writing the next 50,000 words!  I mean, I was very excited before, but I was also terrified of not being able to make the rest of it as thriller-y as the first 10 or so chapters.

But it will be, because now I'm prepared.  I'm ready.  And I won't settle for telling their story in any mediocre way.

So, here's to awesome confidence boosters and writer-friends - especially my CP who pretty much told me this already.  I swear, I listened to you before and shall always listen to your sage adivce :)

Friday, September 14, 2012


Hello interwebs!

Is anyone else at the SCBWI-MidSouth Conference this weekend?!?  I'd love to meet any fellow writers/bloggers out there!

Tweet at me to find me!

Oh, and I was tagged with an award a few days ago!  I will pass the favor on shortly :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Insecure Wednesdays are Insecure

So, it's not the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's not officially time for an Insecure Writer's Support Group post.


I'm feeling insecure.  So this is your warning.

Danger, Will Robinson.  This post contains some (constructive) whining.

Right.  I've posted before about having awesome bonding moments with my MCs.  And I wouldn't give those up for the world.  For reals.

But, truthfully, I've got about 16,700 words written so far.  And I'm terrified.

All of my initial feedback - from my CP, from awesome friends that I've sent the first bit to - has been pretty amazing.  It's been positive, people have said they wanted to read more/couldn't stop reading/loved the characters.  And at first I did many, many happy dances around the apartment.

I'm still doing happy dances.

But I don't want to suck.  I want to make sure that the rest of my story is as edge-of-your-seat-good as the first 16,700 words.  And I'm terrified that it won't be.  What if I drop the proverbial ball, and end up writing 50,000 more words that are garbage?  What if this story doesn't sense at the end?  What if I bore everyone to death with my "what if" questions?

I guess I'm just a little anxious and self-doubty.  I know it's a normal thing, and it's good not to be arrogant, etc.  And I don't think there's really anything I can do about it, other than write my best.  Tell the best story I can, stay true to the characters I love, and always, always care about what I do.

So, with the whining out of the way, I'm going to roll my writer-sleeves back up and get back to work.  Because there's still lots to be done - and way more awesomeness to accomplish!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 years later - 9/11/01

I've been thinking about this all day.  Words, which are usually my friends, are difficult to find on two days every year.  The first day is in April.  The second day is today.  Both are days of senseless tragedy and violence.  Both are days that will always be a little rough.

But, most importantly, both are days when I've seen that we are better than we think we are (to borrow a phrase from the wonderful Nikki Giovanni).

On September 11, 2001, I sat in my seventh-grade Algebra I class, trying to solve a problem.  Or listening to my teacher.  That's not the important part.  Everything changed when my Social Studies teacher walked in to our classroom and said that a plane had struck one of the Twin Towers.

I sat there in disbelief - I had been to New York a few months ago, and my family had tired to get to the top of one of the Towers to see the view.  It had been cloudy that day, though, so we didn't get the chance.  Instead, we went to the below-basement-level food court, and I had a piece of Sbarro pizza.

I didn't think she was telling us the truth - and I still refused to believe it as we filed into her classroom, watching the events unfold on TV.  We made it into the room in time to see the second plane hit.  And that's when we knew things wouldn't be the same.

I grew up on the coast of Virginia - right by a lot of military bases.  My city was on high alert, kids started to get pulled out of school, planes patrolled the skies for I don't even know how long - and the only thing I could focus on was the food court.

That's how I made sense of it all.  I was in that Food Court a few months before, people had been in that Food Court when the Towers fell, and - well, for a seventh grader I was terrified to finish the thought.  As a grad student now, I'm still terrified to finish the thought.

I remember hearing about the crash in the Pentagon, and the flight of people who managed to overtake their hijackers, crashing in a field in Pennsylvania.  I remember panic, fear, confusion, indignation, and even hate.  These emotions were on everyone's faces, and are still there for some people.

As a seventh-grader, I learned that terrible, unthinkable things can happen in this world.  It's a lesson I've always carried with me, and even now I'm still a mess every September 11th.  One year I spent it watching documentaries and footage that the Discovery Channel gathered.  I sat on the couch and cried.  For hours.  Last year I talked about it with my roommates.  We all shared our stories, and they helped me get through.

This year, I'm trying to say all of the things that I've held inside for the past 11 years.  I've been through the brutal part already, and admittedly, am in and out of tears as I type this.  But that's ok, because I'm about to get to the part that gives me hope.  Hope for the future, hope for our country, hope for myself.

Because, on this day 11 years ago, everything changed - but not all of the change was bad.  For the first time in my life, I knew what it was to be an American.  It was more than placing a hand over my heart and saying a pledge every morning.  It was more than fireworks every Fourth of July.  It was even more than that delicious, gluttonous Thanksgiving dinner.

We were united - if only for a small amount of time.  We cast aside all of our differences and cried together, reminisced together, and, eventually, laughed together.  It was empowering, it showed me how strong we can be - if we're united.  And I'm sad to say that it took 6 more years for me to see that again, when another community that I loved was also touched by tragedy.

When heart-wrenching things happen, people ban together.  We are determined not to let them win - whoever they may be.  But we must not forget that just because a few people commit a heinous act, that act cannot be attributed to the rest of the people in that same race/ethnicity/religion/country.  We've gotten so caught up in the "Us or Them" mentality that it's divided our own country.  A country that had shown strength, perseverance, kindness, and love only a few years ago.

I still struggle to understand the events of that day.  But I also struggle to understand why terrible, violent acts always seem to be the catalyst for everyone to put aside their differences and realize that we're all people.  True, communities get through, they become stronger, and most of the time, stay more united.  But if we want to honor those lost that day, I think we need to focus less on any hate that we may still be harboring and focus on love.  Love for your family, friends, community, country.

To borrow more words from Nikki Giovanni, from her commencement speech to my own beloved Hokie Nation -
"We are strong and brave and innocent and unafraid.  We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be."

So, go out there and be better.  Be strong, be brave, be innocent, be unafraid.  But, most of all, be the united, compassionate people that I remember from when I was a kid.  The kind who showed me that heroic acts weren't just for comic book characters.

The ones who gave me hope on that horrible day.

Monday, September 10, 2012

*puts on agent hat* - YA Misfits

If you're looking for my GUTGAA pitch polish entry, scroll down or click right here!

So, thanks to a prompt from the YA Misfits I thought about what would be on my wish-list if I were an agent.

You ready for this?!?

I would LOVE:

YA Folklore/Mythology re-tellings and I have a soft spot for Fairy Tales (re-tellings AND original ones)
YA Contemporary that will make me cry like I've never cried before and/or make me think.  A lot.
YA Monster story.  Points if it involves the Loch Ness monster. (See what I would NOT love for stipulations).
YA Agatha Christie-esque mystery - the world needs more of those! 
YAThriller/Actioner.  Points if it also happens to be Fantasy or Sci-Fi.
YA Contemporary with dark humor.  Like, really dark.
YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi
YA Multicultural - points if it explores issues of race, racial identity, etc

I would NOT love:
Ze vampires.  Zey are overdone.
Same with ze werewolves.
Anything overly-preachy.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Polish!

So, at the behest of my CP, I've decided to throw my tentative query and first 150 words out there for the world to see.  Word of warning, my story is still very much a WIP, so the query won't be as solid as I want it to be.

The first 150 words, though, should be on target :)

Alex Brown
Science-Fiction Adventure with Paranormal Elements (that's a mouthful haha)
70,000 (a made-up number/my target)


Two months ago Bastian Reynolds watched his girlfriend, Sora Walton, die in an explosion during a mission gone wrong.  Today, Bastian's on another mission: He's searching through a crowded marketplace, trying to find a bomb that will detonate in five minutes.  If he can't disarm it in time, he'll be framed for the whole thing, easily becoming the most hated person in both 'verses.  Unfortunately, as soon as he finds it, he's distracted by the sight of his not-so-dead-girlfriend, who doesn't seem to recognize him.  The Mark on her arm gives him the light bulb moment he needs: She's the other universe's version of Sora.  And she's kind of see-through at the moment.

Sora Walton has her own countdown to contend with.  She's killed the same boy in her dreams for the past year, and recently received her two months notice.  While she's getting a glimpse of a future Incident, Sora find the boy of her dreams - and wonders if she's living in a nightmare.  She should stay away from him, but she is determined to discover why she's dreamt of his demise for so long - and how he really knows her name.

Bastian and Sora become uneasy allies as they try to discover why he was framed, what really happened to his dead girlfriend, and why a group named The Militia never seems to leave them alone.  If they can't put all the pieces together in time, the 'verses they know might not exist for much longer.


First 150 words!

An extremely sweaty overweight guy is glued to my side.  This is why I hate crowds.

There are easily five hundred people from both 'verses in Ryland Market today.  I'm tempted to just stop somewhere and start yelling.  If I make enough noise or freak enough people out, they might leave.  Or stampede.

One look at the large guy next to me and I decide against yelling.  I don't want to end up on the wrong side of his feet.  Instead I put all my power into my arms and propel myself forward, finally breaking the disgusting sweat-seal that started to form between me and the Hawaiian-shirt wearing shopper.

I wipe my arms on my pants as I continue to scan the crowd.  I have less than five minutes before the bomb goes off, and -

Do you always have to be so melodramatic  Reese's words intrude on my thoughts.


Right.  So.  I hope the query kind of makes sense.  Like I said before, it's not done yet, so I really only focused on the first few pages for the query and sort of tossed in the Big Bads at the end, for lack of a better place to put them.

Any feedback would be super helpful!  Thanks again everyone :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Another AHA moment (thank you CP!)

As always, if you are searching for my GUTGAA Meet and Greet post, click here!  Or scroll down :)

In my previous post I mentioned that I was somehow able to connect with my male narrator and have really gotten to understand his voice/feel confident in my portrayal of a teenage boy (a sentence I never thought I'd write!).

Well, as I was going through my lovely Critique Partner's notes, I realized that I do have my female MC's voice down, too - I just hadn't realized it until she pointed it out to me.  My AHA! moment came when I read one of her notes on the way I'm writing my female MC.

I knew that I was having her project an appearance that was different from her inner monologue.  That's always the way I wanted to approach her because of the things she'll have to do - but I never really thought a lot about it.  Until that note.  And then I knew I had something, because my CP really enjoyed what I was doing, which made me sit up and go "Whoa - someone else digs that, too!  My choice was good!  Yes!"

Before that note, I was afraid that my female MC was coming off as a generic-badass-who-has-no-feelings until-some-boy-comes-along-and-reminds-her-that-feelings-exist.  I didn't want that to happen, but I was unsure about the whole thing...until that note.

I'm not really sure what the message is here.  I guess this is a plug for getting an awesome CP who will tell you like it is, and make you realize things you never would have.

And this is my post proclaiming how excited I am to finally have had bonding moments with both of my MCs!  It is a magical thing!

Oh, and my last take-away for the day is to have a little faith in yourself.  Sometimes your choices can surprise you :)

Right.  Time to get back to that whole writing thing (and reading my CP's novel! I will get it to you soon!).

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group Post

So, if you're looking for my GUTGAA Meet-and-Greet post, click here!  Or scroll down.

If you would like to read about my writing insecurities, you've come to the right post!  I found this through a couple of writing friends, and I think it will be a good thing to do every month, just to kind of get it all out there.

My first post is going to be about rejection.

When I finished my first MS, I thought I was ready for everything.  I had a few friends read it, made some edits off of their suggestions, got that "you're not crazy" seal of approval, and started researching agents, the query process, and everything that comes with it.  I was excited, I was confident, I was...completely naive.

That's right, friends, I crashed and burned.  I didn't even make it past the query round.  And for a little while, I was kinda bummed about it.  No, scratch that.  I was devastated.

I didn't think I was good enough - and I think that, at the time I queried, I definitely wasn't good enough.  And I don't think I'm even good enough now - but I'm getting there.

When I had my query fail, I started to question everything.  Was I really a writer?  Was I a decent writer?  Were my friends lying to me when they said I had a good story?

Rejection opened the door for self-doubt.  And it was a door that would have stayed open, if not for my new WIP.

I think the story I'm working on now has potential that my first novel never did.  I am excited about it, but there's always that nagging fear in the back of my mind.

What if I write the best story that I can, but in the end it's still not good enough?  

This time I'm approaching things differently.  I've gotten a few awesome critique partners, am really thinking things through, and have come up with an idea that is way better than anything I'd thought of before.  I am slowly rebuilding the confidence that I lost, but I think I'll always carry that first lesson with me.

So I guess I kind of lied at the beginning of this post.  It is about rejection.  But it's also about hope, determination, and, most of all, love.  I love to write, and I am determined to keep doing it, even if it doesn't inevitably lead to more rejections.

Because, at the end of the day, all I need is one yes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Random AHA moments (thanks, three-day weekend!)

If you're looking for my GUTGAA Meet and Greet post, it's right here!

Since we had Labor Day off yesterday (thanks, UT!) I had a long weekend to think about my WIP, write a little bit, and have a good ol' fashioned "Firefly" and "Fringe" marathon.

As I watched these shows, I started to think more about the directions that my story could go, and I came up with some interesting things.  Most notably, I've worked in a Reaver-esque kind of thing into my story!

For those of you not hip to the "Firefly" lingo (this is another show to watch if you haven't seen it yet!), Reavers are these creepy self-mutilating cannibals that go around and cause all kinds of trouble.  I think I found a cool new twist on the concept, so we'll see how this goes!  It was definitely the creepy-factor that I was missing in my MS!

Also, I had a writer-character heart-to-heart, which is kind of a weird thing to confess, but since I'm surrounded by other writers I feel alright throwing it out there.  I've said before that I'm trying to tell this story through two POVs, which is a lot of fun (and sometimes a tad frustrating...).  Anyways, I was writing something from my male narrator's point-of-view, and there was this moment where we just kind of clicked.

Like I said, it's weird to be all like "OMG you guys I totally just had a bonding moment with a character!!!" but that's what happened.  And it was all thanks to one line.

What is that line, you may find yourself asking (or, at least, I hope you are asking this!)?  Well, the line was:

"Girls.  They're always mad at you for something."

As a girl, I can totally vouch for the semi-validity of this statement - and I am less nervous now about trying to use a male narrator, because I'm pretty sure I've got this guy down thanks to that line :)

Now I just need to have that AHA moment with my female narrator, and I'll be back in business!

So, what do you think, fellow writing friends?  Ever have those break-through, I-totally-understand-you-now moments with characters?