Category Archives: learning lessons

Working on my writer’s resolutions…

Started the final rewrite on my YA LGBTQ story, Sync or Swim, yesterday. I plan on entering it into a few contests and/or submitting to agents who are actively searching for LGBT stories. Got in touch with my reader and he’s going to comb through it for me. Looking for one more reader to add a new set of critical eyes. I am excited about that one finally being done done.

This morning, I found a publisher who is accepting book proposals for LGBTQ stories. Google will help me learn how to write a proper book proposal. (I hope.) Then I plan on submitting my Love, Darrows/Love, Carter duet for consideration. The gut feeling is still there. Darrows and Carter are meant for something great. And it’s been close a few times. Quite a few times. I’m hopeful that this will be their destiny! *fingers crossed*

In the meantime, Human Touch, my opus of a tale, has been rewritten from beginning to end. I LOVE this version more than the first, more than the last, and DEFINITELY more than that one I will never see again…the one that starts off with a “The Lovely Bones” vibe and feel… It was too dark and dank for a story I wanted to be like a teen soapy romcom with ghosts, angels, demons, and a FBI-type bureau in the afterlife all while being contemporary. I feel good about this version. I had a new lovely reader volunteer to read it–in addition to the two people I trust most with this story–and she has been sending me good notes and some great criticisms so far. Hoping this is the final destination for that part of the overall series.

Been working on book 4 of that series, being in editing/rewrite/second draft. Been working on an off-shoot story about one of the secondary characters in the series, Callum (see gif…he’s very much a Cap inspired character). Because his story is complicated and really compelling. Writing notes on two other stories, compiling images, drawing floorplans…hoping to get busy typing on those soon. After the others are complete.

So far, 2017 has blessed me with the gift of stories. I am VERY THANKFUL for the plethora of tales, especially since the block of 2016 (June-September) sparked major doubts about writing in my mind.

How’s your writing goals coming along so far this year?

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all gifs found on giphy.com

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Filed under amwriting, aspirations, author woes, book proposal, Chris Evans, human touch, i resolute, learning lessons, LGBTQ, love carter, love darrows, my opus, publish it, random blathering, sync or swim, thinking out loud, write

Sorta stressing about Wings.

I mean, I wrote this for fun, because I was desperate for something fun and romantic. I shouldn’t be stressing about it at all. I plan on sharing it even if no one chooses it. Period.

But that’s not why I am stressed. What is killing me is this feeling of being left out. I went through and read a lot of the #PitchMadness tweets to see if I’m missing out on something I need to do.

All those PitchMadness entries…one of the readers is going through their slush piles and tweeting out what she likes. They seem to want a lot of MG (middle grade…think Ramona the Pest types..which I used to write, when I had the readership), a lot of Sci-Fi…which I don’t write, and a lot of fantasy. Bleh. Again, not a genre I’m into as much. Sci-Fi and Fantasy really have to speak to me and most of them just don’t. Nothing to anyone who writes them, it’s not my genre.

The thing that’s eating me is she keeps mentioning how diverse characters are a plus. Love this diversity. More diverse characters… And I feel a little stung right now.

Charlie is Charlie. Let’s not delve too much into him right now. Violet is half Japanese, though you might find a slight mention about her in a picture with her mom. Darshan is Indian from India but from London where his family migrated to. Amala is African-American, kick ass and awesome in her own right. My story, their attributes have mentions few and far between, but to me, it really doesn’t make a difference what color they are. They’re people, living lives and trying to find love…just like everyone else on the planet. This story focuses on the love Charlie and Violet need to find. Period.

But I read things like that, and I think I’m screwed because I don’t flaunt it or constantly point it out. I understand that some people of color feel they deal with things every day. There are some who don’t feel they deal with racial differences every day (according to people’s FB posts on a similar topic).

So should I have mentioned how Darshan is Indian and his parents migrated from India to England because of a job? Should I keep pointing out that Amala is black and the daughter of a musician? Do I need to sit down and type out a detailed chapter of how Violet’s Japanese mom died when she was young, and her father can’t hardly look at her because she looks so much like her mom? Because that’s exactly what it feels like I should be doing to be considered as an author who embraces diverse characters. And I know nothing about any of that is in my first 250 and is barely touched on in the rest of the 68,000.

Too bad the world isn’t color blind. Not that I want all color erased, because THE WORLD WOULD BE SO BLAH without our differences–there is so much to love about our differences. But to feel left out because it seems like a qualifier, when I clearly qualify…

I really don’t want this to be the thing that qualifies me, though.

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no images, though I don’t doubt I’ll come back and add them later.

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Filed under author woes, diversity, frustrations out the wahzoo, learning lessons, Pitch Wars, pitmad, wings

Dane Cook said:

{Instagram post here}

I’m so fucking inspired by @matt87chevy here. Hard work is hard work no matter who you are or what your story is. Self doubt is a signal that you know how to ignite the spark inside you to move towards what you love and where you need to be.

Of course it’s scary. Change is scary but It’s worth it the minute you begin. It’s all that pre worrying shit you need to push past.

You know what always terrified me? The comfort zone. That area where you just exist and don’t know what is around the corner so you don’t look. No way.

This picture should be your wallpaper until you get your shit together. From everyone that is making a strong move on the board today because of your determination photographed here I say thank you Matt.

And it was the perfect thing…ILY, Dane Cook.
I was definitely frustrated.
I don’t know why I let one person’s opinion wreck me and my book so hard…especially when so many other comments have barely dinged me.
[albeit, they were helpful more than harmful]
Needless to say, I am going through the my Sketchbook Project commitment, and I am definitely writing another story, and finishing the one I’ve been writing.

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PS…thanks to kiTT for unconsciously helping, too.
PPS or is it PSS? … And to the muse who won’t get out of my head!
PPPS or the other way…How’s the new theme looking from there?

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09.03.2015 · 9:35 pm

Here we go.

This could be a #TBT post as well as a #WT17 post…

That’s right. Pitch Wars. It’s here and screaming loud. Darrows wants to go, but I keep tugging his hand, trying to keep him here…because that’s a tough competition and Darrows is already visiting some agents. That being said, the agents aren’t getting back to me and I am more determined than ever to get Darrows published.

HE DESERVES IT!

So I am going through his closet, picking out the best outfit I possibly can, making sure not a comma is out-of-place, not a word causes a wrinkle. I’m accessorizing with a new, revamped query letter. I’m combing through his summary, making sure everything about it is straight and neat. And searching for his perfect date possibilities.

You know, it would be great if there was like a Match.com site for agents/authors…

actual picture doesn’t come close to my Quent

Name: Love, Darrows: Quentin Pendelton Darrows

Gender: Male

Suffix: YA
Stats: Contemporary, Roman and Greek Myth Retelling, Romance, LGBTQ, Diverse
Weight: 89,927 words heavy

Address: in computer files…until you want to give me a chance, then I’ll become a traveler from agent to editor to publishing and beyond.

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Job: High School Senior at Romulus Senior High, Go Wolves!

About Me: Well, I’m slightly OCD, but don’t tell Lex I admitted to it. Basketball games evoke as much joy as creating poetry about life taking place around me. Sculpture brings forth my inner artist. Archery fuels a fire in my soul. I am a Wünderkid, but don’t let that studious social tag impact your thoughts. I am quite popular and fun. At parties, I’m practically the center of attention, if something causes a moment of awe, chances are I had my hand in it. I can also be that guy who enjoys a weekend away at a private lake house with the guy he loves.

Life is meant to be savored like a special holiday dinner, shared with those you love.

Likes: Guys are definitely in my like category. Well, guy. Lexington Carter. The moment we met, I was encapsulated by his dastardly, evil genius ways. Lex snagged me early on…I don’t apologize for it.
Creating love with my arrows is as pertinent to my existence as Lex is. (Did I forget to mention I’m a Cupid-in-training? Probably should have input that above.)
Psyche Xenakis…but not for the reasons you think.

Dislikes: Dislikes really need to be placed under a harsher label. Let’s just call it what it truly is. Hate. I hate hate. Hate eats everything essential for Life as though it’s the cereal baring the same name. It’s wrong. It’s strong. And it must be eradicated at all costs.
That being said, there are a few beings in my life that deserve nothing but my hatred, but I won’t get into it here. Okay, maybe I will touch on a few. Thomas Janice and Apollo Durant. The two-face and low-class archer who think they own Romulus and every female contained within. The word trust isn’t in their vocabularies, not in their online dictionaries, repels from them like water rolling along a duck’s feathers.

What I’m looking for: Someone to love me, to believe in me. Represent me in the best light possible. A person who supports my need to show others that love is more than four letters. That is not some antiquated notion belonging to a select few. To show that Myth can be as popular now as it has ever been. Someone to give me that chance to prove my worth among gods and humans alike.

This is so Cruz and Jamie… talking to you Rick’s Chick and Tonguetwied

IT’S A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN!!!

Not sure how the actual website and notification systems go…and I’m not going to even reduce Quent to one of those ISO ads from the personal columns back in the 90s…I mean, we are in the 2010s now.

Anyway, I do have it down to 20 agents/authors/mentors…I have a tentative top five already, but at this juncture, I’ve only scoped out the wish list on each site. Because, they can be the most awesome person, funny, liking the same stuff I do, and there were quite a few…but if they don’t like anything near what Darrows is, there’s no point in even trying.

Now comes the most difficult part of this #PitchWars thing for me. So far. Going through those five and making sure they are someone who would seriously consider Darrows for who he is and what he offers. I’m going through with one of those special combs they use in schools (in MT anyway) and really closing in on every little detail. Do they want modern myth/retelling? Do they like a guy who’s in love with his best friend? Are they going to believe and enjoy the *magic* that Quent has and uses? Can they adore the way Quent narrates a story or are they going to hate it off the bat?

I am so freaking determined to make Quent lovable to someone other than myself…and maybe the few others who’ve read his side. (Sometimes I know they’re being nice to us, and I so LOVE them for it.) I’m ready to work harder than I ever have before. I’m ready to get him published and share him with the world and make everyone see that it’s okay for Cupid to love a guy…because no one lets him do that…because I want love to be the norm regardless of gender, race, religion, etc.

Because I want to get him done, get Lex out the door, too, so I can peacefully work with Cruz and Jamie and their ambitions and goals…Nikki and McClane, too. And Jaden. Jana and Kurt. Nine and Eva. Jonas and Kenna. Alexander and Elizabeth(…originally Edward and Elizabeth but that changed…a few of you know why.) Sean and Gemma. CJ and Rose. Kate and Harrison and Flynn. Vaughn and Nadine. The Soundtrack of My Life. All the stories I’ve written. All the stories I will write. Probably all about Love in one form or another.

I wish Love was a genre, because I might actually own a chunk of that real estate.

Off to keep reading mentor bios. More #PitchWars bellyaching  later!!!

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Filed under fictional beginnings, learning lessons, love carter, love darrows, love story, Pitch Wars, publish it, query, self-doubt

Still in Query mode…

Two more form noes. Sent off another, revamped and hopefully improved query for Love, Darrows. It’s come so close three times now. The full/partial MS requests…so Awesome! This is the furthest I’ve ever made it to getting an agent! I’m still in shock at the warm reception by agents, though I will say readers seem to like it more than the agents…which might be a problem if I want it published. Anyway, still searching for the one that gets Darrows enough to rep him.

need to pet on Lucky Kitty.

And I still need to decide if I’m going to let Darrows out to play in Pitch Wars. I mean, I’m up for it. In the same breath, I think I’m either way ahead of the curve or way behind the curve with Darrows. Most agents (now) are looking for sci-fi stories. That’s the current trend…Sci-fi. SMH. I don’t know. I mean, I LOVE STAR WARS LIKE NO ONE I KNOW,

and yet sci-fi stories and I don’t really get along well. For the most part. There are exceptions, but they are few and far between. As for writing one, it’s not in me. not now anyway. I could take Human Touch, put it on another planet or spaceship in the far future. Same with Darrows. I can stick my Cupid on Neptune. Not a problem. Except a major problem. They’re not the stories I wrote. I’m not changing what they are for any reason. Wait…I could pull out Last Man Standing, though that’s more dystopian…You know what? No. I won’t change to fit what’s popular. They are what they are, no matter.

Even if it means I never get published. So until this sci-fi trend dissolves in the space shuttle’s afterburners somewhere as it passes Planet Nine in the Xennon District of the Nexula Galaxy, I feel sort of stuck for getting my stories published. One thing for sure, when contemporaries make it back in fashion, I’m golden! Or ghost stories! Or myths! Or dystopians!

In the meantime, I’m writing SoS. I have four other stories competing for my attention and trying to grow, too…thanks to the afore gif’ed mention of muse… a person, though, not the band. Mostly as I type out the one, I’m writing out notes, ideas and chapters in journals for the others. Add in the critique groups I’m participating in and I’m working hard at hardly working.

At least I’m at the tail end of vacation catch-up. Finally. So it’s all looking good from this side of things.

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This post will be filed under random blathering.

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Filed under book boyfriends, learning lessons, love carter, love darrows, my opus, Pitch Wars, publish it, query, random blathering, rewrite it, self-doubt, write