Category Archives: self-doubt

Book Proposal Question: What is your work like?

What published stories are similar to your unpublished work?

Umm…

I really don’t know.

It’s one of the toughest questions I must have an answer for on that book proposal.

The thing is, with the exception of the NYC romances I write, all of my stories are truly different from what’s out there.

For Love, Darrows/Love, Carter, I could say it’s like Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. Yes, it does have some Greek myth magical elements and weirdness. It’s not really the same because it deals with LGBTQ themes, has Roman Myth elements and Gods, has a huge contemporary twist to it all. But it’s really too different. I could try to match it to a David Levithan story since he writes a lot of LGBTQ tales, but that’s some big shoes to step into. I’m about halfway through Simon and the Homo Sapien Agenda, and maybe I could compare to that, but at this point, I only see one minor thing that could connect the two stories. And the other stories I’ve read are too adult to compare, really.

This seems to be a thing that crosses from Human Touch to Darrows to Sync to…well, I won’t mention them since I’m not that far into writing them yet. My stories tend to be not like what’s on the shelves. That I’ve read or found anyway.

What I need is help. Or advice. Or both. How do I find similar books on shelves?
How can I compare if I’ve not read them?
Should I read them first before making those all-important comparisons?

I just don’t know. And Google hasn’t been much help.

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all gifs found through giphy.com.

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Filed under author woes, book proposal, Chris Evans, frustrations out the wahzoo, i resolute, LGBTQ, love carter, love darrows, publish it, self-doubt

The Best of 2016 and what’s coming 2017…

2016

What a year. Carrie Fisher will be so missed. Our Princess/General Leia. (And might I recommend a viewing of The ‘Burbs?) All the music greats we had: George Michael, Prince, David Bowie. My grandmother’s passing…

Let’s skip all the bad, because we can’t be bringing in the new with all that baggage and bad karma.

The good of the year. Well, there was Captain America Civil War, aka The Avengers 3. Westworld was great. Stranger Things.

A lot of people out there fighting for what’s right and good in the world.

Personally, I wrote. A lot. Have writer’s block, for months. Completed a few stories, though most are in first draft form still. I had full requests and partials for Love, Darrows–Thankful for agents agreeing that Cupid can have a boyfriend. Rethinking the genre of that one, though. Completed NaNoWriMo with my series, Human Touch‘s book 4, Me & Johnny. Got a job working for a great company and working with some fun and diverse people.

Completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 100 books for this year, read and reviewed.

{the Year in Review on Goodreads: see it here.}

My favorites of 2016

Asking me to choose just one isn’t going to work. As I sit typing, I can think of the majority of books I read this year and find ones I loved so much. And most on my favorites list weren’t necessarily published in 2016. Which I am fine with since I believe all stories are timeless. Even the contemporaries.

Favorite YA

Has to go to the Cinder series by Marissa Meyer. Not only was it a great twist on the classic fairy tales, Carswell Thorn and Cress. They just won it for me. I still daydream about them, though I will not write a fanfic.

Favorite Graphic Novel

This goes to the Scott Pilgrim Series by Bryan Lee “Bread makes you fat?” O’Malley. (Because it seems in every book, Mr. O’Malley has this bread obsession. LoL) I still pull out one of the books and read a bit of it, go over the pictures. Laugh. Definitely a win for years to come.

Favorite Comic

This is sort of cheating since Marvel’s Agent Carter could also be a graphic novel. But it is one of my most favorites because of the included Cher Chez le Femme. My forever ship. Steggy. Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter together…something the MCU really never wanted to give us. No matter how much Steve loved his best girl.

Favorite LGBTQ

I don’t think I read enough of these this year. But of the ones I did, Gear Shark took it. It was one of those “coming to terms with the fact I, a guy, am in love with a guy stories,” but what this one had that most I’ve read never touched was the hatred and violence that can go along with being gay (or lesbian or trans, and more power to you all for having to deal with such an asinine hatred from people). That’s really where I had to keep reading. What were they going to do?

Favorite Book Award Winner

The Absolute True Diary of a Part-time Indian. This story stuck in my head. Not just because I knew the area and places mentioned, but because it gave an inside peek into a culture that really most of literature just doesn’t touch. It was so good. So sweet. So heartfelt. Just pure honesty on a page. Even being fictional.

Favorite Literary Fiction

Jane Two is going to be one of those stories that sit in the heart for a very long time. It was a story about love. A first love. A love of your life. A love that stays with you and never dies, though it may very well remain an unrequited love. It was truly a beautiful tale and I am so glad I never gave up on finding it. One of my highest recommends of the year.

2017

Leaving 2016 behind like dust blowing in the wind as a car speeds down a country road…

It felt like 2017 would never get here, as rough and bullying as 2016 was. The low was hit, and we can only rise from here, right? Leaving out the politics of it all [here in the US] when I say that 2017 will be a great year. For entertainment, books, the good in life.

We have a new Guardians of the Galaxy movie coming. Avengers: Infinity War parts 1 & 2 will begin filming. Another Star Wars film coming…

My writing goals for 2017?

A lot of pages. I need to get final drafts done, manuscripts out to agents. I would love to take a class or two to help with my writing to see what I’m missing or what I can fix. I have stories yelling to be told right now. Three to be exact. All starring my muse in one way or another. I’ve got to get out on social media more with my writing. Still considering a self-pub if I can get the massive amount of money I need for an editor.

SO no word totals. Just putting words on a page, handwritten, digitally, make stories into something more than thoughts in my head.

Keep doing book reviews. Keep reading. And there are some promising books coming.

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth has been on my TBR list for a while. (Only a few more weeks to that one!) Plus a new Four story from Divergent!!!! (I CAN’T WAIT!!!)

I had the fortune of reading two soon to be releases this past month or so. (Thanks to their publishers and Net Galley.) I highly recommend finding these in the new year:

This was a beautiful story. Refreshing. My first “Christian” read. Touching. Definitely makes me teary when I think about this wonderful book. Don’t let the Christian thing push you away. It was a part of the tale, but it wasn’t preachy nor did it consume the whole story.

On the opposite end of that, in a way…

I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard at a romcom before. It was amusing and funny and well done. Perfect romcom to start off the year!!! I can’t wait for the other ones, too.

And then from Paula Hawkins, who wrote Girl on the Train…which was so good I couldn’t put it down!!!…Into The Water. A whole new twisty tale. This one is right up there with Divergent’s post epilogue on my TBR list.

Those are just a very few on my lists. The closer books. Who knows what favorites will emerge as we move throughout the year?

Reading themes start tomorrow. I’ve skipped the past two months as I’ve been too busy between writing/reading and working to do them. Resolution 35: Get back to the themes. (total fake resolution number.)

Have a great New Year!!!

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All gifs found on giphy.com

book covers found through google searches. those images belong to their owners.

The Captain America image was my own screenCap (pun totally intended) from The Avengers, my own paid copy of that film.

Goodreads COngrats image was a screencap from my phone.

NaNoWriMo gave me that banner when I completed the challenge.

Thank you for reading!

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Well, another PitchWars has come and gone.

And this year’s was as productive as last year’s, meaning I didn’t make it in. Oh, believe me, I am so bummed. I don’t get it, and yet I completely understand. I almost feel like a failure at writing. A hack. Almost. I mean the people who have read my stuff seem to really like it…all but a few–and I’m including my fanfiction days in this thought. And that one gets it, but doesn’t. Well, I should say almost everyone gets it. The mentors and one agent didn’t.

But, I’m not out no matter how down I am. I’m definitely lost and wandering right now.

I don’t know what to do about him. Darrows is going on the back burner. I’ve got to finish another story, whether my heart is into finishing it…because I’m not sure my writing is anything to…well, write home about. (Maybe I’m further down than I’m willing to admit.) As for the other project…I don’t even know what to do about that. I feel like my style of writing is lacking energy(?) or flowery fire it seems others can write with ease. I can’t figure out what it lacks, can’t afford the time or money for classes or courses…so…

To quote Rachel to my writing, “Maybe we should take a break.” (And yes, I’m a believer of Rachel saying it first…because she did. see Friends, Season 3 ep 15)

no matter how much I didn’t like Ross for what he did, I cannot deny he was correct.

But then, I did sign up to do this yesterday…well before the list posted for PW.

{The Sketchbook Project}

It’s really one of the best IG accounts I follow. And I adore that it’s a grouping of normal people who journal about their lives, travels, whatever the theme is…And yesterday I noticed they had a new challenge open and I decided to participate. I know the exact fictional story my future self will tell my current self. I have thirty-two pages to write my chapters on…and I’m already planning a rough draft.

Until I read the list last night…Now, I doubt I’m worthy. I mean, this is like an international thing. What was I thinking?

Okay, you’re right Benedict Cumberbatch…even if I’m not a fangirl of yours. I need to breathe and calm down. I need to put Darrows away. (Sadly, with tears in my eyes as I look at Quent). I need to think about what I can do to improve. Or figure out why my style has to be the least commercial thing on the planet. Or maybe write something someone is looking for.

Or maybe just breathe.

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Filed under art journal, love darrows, Pitch Wars, self-doubt, write

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