Tag Archives: love story

#PitchWars is here!

I’M SO F#$<*&@ NERVOUS!!!!

Sorry, Cap.

Anyway, as I’m sitting and deciding on whether I’ve chosen the right mentors for my story…
Should I really submit the revamped Darrows? Because it is somewhat a repeat.
Who should I really submit to? Because they can help make me or break me right now.
Is every single person who read that story being sugary and fluffy with their praises or are they being so-very-true blue?

I just now–like literally right this second–remembered that I hadn’t even done a #PitchWars Bio for this year. Not that much has changed since last year. I’m still writing and unpubbed, except now I’m also serving up coffee and talking to everyone under the sun at my coffee-house job…

The story I’m submitting:

Love, Darrows

This is the retelling of the whole Cupid tale from myths of yore. And I say it like that because most people think of Cupid as being Greek myth, but he started out in Roman myth circles. Which my story touches on both here and there. The twist to my Cupid tale is the fact that my Cupid is gay. Plus, there is a Psyche (the original Cupid’s love) but I’ve included the other erotes and Greek/Roman myth characters and stories to create a modern-day, high school Cupid with his own unique story and personality. Quentin Darrows is seventeen–a poetic little $#!+, too–and in love with his best friend who loves to date anyone, male and female alike. And this poor Cupid is just trying to cope with it all.

(Quentin is going to kill me for using this Cupid image. He really doesn’t like babies in diapers being Cupid.)

Love, Darrows is a modern take on a Cupid who can’t control his own love life with his phone app arrows, so he fights for his boyfriend, Lex, in any way he can. The story I am submitting it part one and part two, Love, Carter, completes the tale.

What I am ready to do:

I am ready to rip this baby apart if I have to. I want to learn and make QUENTIN THE BEST DERN CUPID ever! I want to get his story out there and into the world. Give him the wings to fly because I know when he does, he’ll fly far! I’m ready to work hard and absorb all the advice a mentor wants to give. Be harsh with me, because I need the honesty to get my story living. I’ll stay up all night. Work all day, except when I’m working, and even then I’d be working on Darrows.

I just look forward to having new eyes and new thoughts on something that’s been with me for years.

Even if I’m not chosen, MY ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO GET DARROWS PUBLISHED.

What I typically write:

Usually my stories fall into a million different categories. Well, except for my NYC-RomComs. I write adult and YA. I usually go contemporary with my tales, though I’ve been in and out and twisted around almost every genre out there–Paranormal, supernatural, retellings, rom coms, myths, knights and princesses, angels and demons, ghosts, dystopians, mystery, space, and superheroes[ish]–with the exception of horror.

What I read:

I like almost any kind of story. Romances tend to be in my top picks (most recently Mónica B. Wagner’s Frosh series and Rachel Van Dyken’s The Matchmaker’s Playbook series). I love a good non-romantic series (see the Lunar Chronicles and Divergent). Graphic novels–Scott Pilgrim, Agent Carter, Spider-Gwen, and Ms. Marvel are among the tops ones I read.

Well…I just love a really good book I don’t want to put down but then I regret when I finish reading because I want to keep those characters and events with me forever.

Favorite Movies/TV/Netflix/Hulu

In other words, random stuff that has nothing to do with writing, yet has somehow inspired me in so many ways.

Anything Chris Evans, my favorite being What’s Your Number?

And Scott Pilgrim…

I like Captain America, The Avengers, Underoos (aka Spider-man), Back to the Future, Star Wars (Han Solo), Guardians of the Galaxy, Parks and Rec, The Office, Rick and Morty, Supernatural, Brooklyn-9-9, Stranger Things, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Friends from College, iZombie, Game of Thrones…

I CAN’T BELIEVE CAP KISSED MARGERY TYRELL!!! *WORLDS COLLIDE*

…Westworld, you name it and I’ve probably watched it. Almost anything you can find at a Comic Con panel or that will make me laugh. Or sigh. Or go awww, or even just…

Random things about me:

I am becoming a polyglot.

I speak American natively, and I have many years of Spanish under my belt. Recently, I started learning French, Norwegian, and Japanese. (I have plans for Swedish and Italian in the future.) I can already label some items and ask questions in French and Norwegian. I also can recognize a lot of Hiragana on packages (and read a few things) when I’m shopping at Daiso–Japan’s answer to the dollar store.

Daiso is one of my favorite places to go.

I have a growing collection of Funko figures. Mostly Captain Americas. The first one I owned  was Han Solo I found back in 2011/2012. Then Marty McFly and Doc. Then Chewbacca. Then when Cap came out…and so on and so on…

Recently, I used a plastic Coca-cola crate and turned it into a shelf for my Toby Stanks (yes, I did that on purpose. #TeamCap #SorryNotSorry) and Underoos Funko figures on the other side of the room from Cap and me.

I like photoshopping photos into looking like a comic or something someone drew. (This is one I did for a coffee project at work.)

I am allergic to sulfites, meaning that virtually everything I eat will make me sick–including my beloved fruits and veggies. I was never vegetarian but I really don’t like meat especially without ketchup or a sauce or seasoning.
The only thing I like without that stuff is the Flying Dutchman from In-N-Out. So I’m there a few days a week.

Despite my allergies and my body’s inability to handle food properly, I have managed to lose almost 100 pounds…which is a great feat, IMO. It’s still a work in progress, though.

I always wanted a Captain America sweater, but when I couldn’t find one that not everyone else would have, I looked up knitting patterns and figured out how to knit my own…It’s a great comfy sweater perfect for reading and rainy, cold days.

I like to draw.

I now draw the boards for my store.

this isn’t the best one, but it is the most recent.

 

L’il Sebastian. Because…

 

And…well…if you haven’t guessed by now, I’m a HUGE fan of Chris Evans. He has the BEST SOUL anyone could own.
Everyone at work picks on me, a lot of people roll their eyes, but I will defend him/that fact to the death.

MY FAVORITE CAP IMAGE:

Why? Because it always reminds me that when things look bleak, when you’re feeling down, when all looks lost in the world, keep fighting, keep hoping, keep working and you will come out of it a better person and hopefully on top of it all.

I plan on staring at this one a lot in the coming weeks when the mentor/mentee teams are announced. (And hopefully long after as I’m readying Darrows with my mentor’s help.)

Well, it’s time…

Time to begin. Isn’t it? (sorry, channeling Imagine Dragons there) Time to get those mentors listed and get Darrows into the mix.

*deep breath*

Thanks for taking the time to read. And sorry about the fangirly me. (not too sorry, though. it is who I am.)

GOOD LUCK TO ALL WHO ARE ENTERING!!!
SEE YOU GUYS ON THE FLIP-SIDE!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

all gifs found on giphy.com

all images are mine.

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Filed under amwriting, aspirations, back to the future, Chris Evans, determined, i resolute, LGBTQ, love carter, love darrows, love story, Pitch Wars, posted from another site, publish it, the fangirling has made it here, write

Bookstore observations:

Books. They line every shelf, every aisle. As far as the eye can see. Well, except the cafe. The scent of new books fills my nostrils and my heart speeds up. I’m on a hunt for something to fall in love with. Something to read and cherish and mark in and love until the pages are broken and worn. This particular hunt is for that perfect RomCom.

I’ve read other RomCom-y almost stories…

I loved this back in its fic days… The first fic I have ever read, the book series is excellent, too.

The paperback version I own was given to me from Fics 2 Flicks. If they hadn’t sent it my way, I would have NEVER discovered this lovely gem.

And they are fantastic and on my favorites shelf in GoodReads. But they’re too Eromedy for what I’m searching for. (Eromedy is a term I made up when I wrote Life Imitating Art. The author in that story called her tales Eromedies…and I use it all the time now. It’s Erotic Romance meets Romantic Comedy.) Not that there is anything wrong with these stories, but I want something sweet and endearing and not all about the sexy times.

I have a few of those. Much like the books above, I own multiple incarnations of them or the entire series or both. They sit on my shelves and on my kindle. I pull them out on occasion to read through my favorite parts that I’ve bookmarked and/or highlighted. Much like the line in What’s Your Number?, the movie, each thing brings a patter to my heart, a smile to my lips. I love these books.

A few of my Absolute Favorites:

What’s Your Number?

Originally titled: 20 Times a Lady

Both by Karen Bosnak. One is a movie tie-in cover. I own both–in paperback and kindle–because I just love the story so much!
Did you know, in the books, the main character’s name wasn’t Ally Darling? It was Delilah Darling. Anyway…

Between the Lines  series by Tammara Webber

Boomerang series by Noelle August (a collab Veronica Rossi & Lorin Oberweger)

I don’t know what I loved most about these books. The drama. The humor. The story. They just snatched my attention and I couldn’t put them down until the last word was read, at which point I refused to put them down.

These are the types books I went hunting for.

I stalked my shelves first. I tend to hoard books like a squirrel readying his nuts for the winter. I buy them based on the appeal of the cover and a quick scan of the blurb. A few of my favorite books have been discovered with that process (see, The Night Circus). I got excited when I spotted:

Jane Austen Ruined My Life

I pulled it out and went for the description first. Read, read, read, and slowing down and…bummer. This turns out to be more Chick Lit than RomCom. I’m just not in that mood.

So I took to the web. GoodReads has lists and lists and I went straight for the RomCom list. Book after book. Found one that was highly rated and was supposed to be Cinderella meets Falling Down. Just off the pitch alone, I was had. And I got Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman on my kindle and read and read…all the way to 30% when I realized: CHICK LIT! NO! The break-up was inevitable…it just wasn’t working out. It’s not the book, it’s all me. Maybe I’ll pull an Ally Darling and try again in the future, but for now…

I have sadly found, a lot of Chick Lit is lumped into the RomCom categories. I don’t want a woman empowered  because she found her life path in a life of suckage, I want ROMANCE AND COMEDY! GET ME JAKE ADAMS!

(Take that back. I want COLIN SHEA more)

Now, I got excited when I came across The Nanny Diaries on Amazon and Goodread’s RomCom Lists.

And I truly adore the movie, so I thought, why not? The book and the movie align here and there, as it should. But the book took the more Nanny approach to life where the movie went all Harvard Hottie. And I wanted so much for Harvard Hottie to be the story. It wasn’t a bad book by any means, it was just not enough in the Rom to balance out the Com in the story. *heavy, slightly saddened sigh*

It wasn’t getting any better.

A friend (hi, kiTT!) recommended:

A Nicholas Sparks novel. (Found a copy at the bookstore!) It’s on my TBR list and bookshelf, but I’m worried it’s way too DramRom (Dramatic Romance) rather than RomCom…

While I was at the store hunting down that Sparks book, I searched for more RomComs…I’ll take anything movie related, television show related, or just a great, sweet story like it never before touching the screens of the world. I found the romance section and I was thrilled and full of hope. But as I walked through the books, my heart started breaking. These books had shirtless cowboys and southern belles, guys with long hair, historical tales, a dude in a kilt going by the name Outlander. Uh…somehow I wandered into the wrong place. None of them were for me. Totally out of my league and not really my type at all. Even if the shirtless cowboys did snag a peek of my attention…I’m no longer hanging at Billy Bob’s. Time to go.

So I wander past the graphic novel aisle, stopping to consider Saga book 5 and Captain America (The Winter Soldier, Civil War, and the so very heartbreaking, The Death of Captain America…Pass. I think I’ll save my breakdown and ten boxes of tissues for the movie, thank you) and enter the generic fiction shelves. I found a ton of Chick Lit, traditional fiction, a row of Stephen King, a shelf of Gillian Flynn…and oh, look! Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin (the current read)! All I needed was Something Blue. They didn’t have that, but they did have Baby Proof on my TBR list… but that’s total Chick Lit. Ugh. Okay…There were some Sophie Kinsella novels, though the one I’m searching for:

may just have to come in Kindle form. *heavy sigh* Shelf after shelf was not even close to anything I want to read right now.

I go across the main aisle and search the YA section…because I do love me some YA reads more often than not. Twilight barely exists anymore, only occupying a third of a shelf. Sad. But that’s not even RomCom genre. Shelf after shelf. Much like fiction, I notice groupings. There is a section of dystopian love where The Hunger Games and Divergent run into The Maze Runner.  They aren’t bad, but I am sort of tired of reading about heroines who conquer all. Then there is the strong heroine in the contemporary fiction. BTDT. Random fiction, a lot of which I have read already. And much like the fiction section, I am realizing RomCom seems like an antiquated notion these days.

When did it go against the rules for a basic love story to exist? Does it really matter if a girl falls for a guy or vice versa or guy for a guy or girl for a girl? Because it seems like if a girl falls for a guy, she broke some law and the universe will come to a halt. I’m not saying have the MC be a weak little thing and give up her life for the football captain or whatever…even if I do love me some Sixteen Candles  and Jake Ryan types. I’m feeling like any fluff and fun that used to be so easy to find has just fizzled into nothing. And if the guy falls for a girl, he’s seen as weak. And if the guy falls for a guy, then it has to be about him dealing with it instead of just being in love. And same with a girl for a girl…UGH. WHERE ARE THE STORIES OF LOVE WITHOUT A LIFE-LESSON-DRAMA TO GO WITH IT?

Which truly concerns me. Because those are my stories. I love the not-life-lesson-drama and the heart and the fun. I adore the moment someone admits their feelings. I love the chase and typically the happy ending no matter the cliché. I’m a sucker for such things. I’m DYING to read a story like this. I’m on the verge of writing a story like this. Which bring me to the next concern…

If they are so out of sync with the world these days, would it get published? Would it be worth a write? That’s a major thought…one that makes me pause and think of all the sci-fi, the dystopian, the stories of strength and virtue…is a RomCom just nothing in the world of publishing now? Because I know I am hard pressed to find a good RomCom-y movie these days. (Which I can’t wait to see My Fair Dude! Wish it was a book!)

I hope I’m just overthinking again. Because something in my gut is yelling at me to write this story.

In the meantime, I did pick up one book (that hopefully fits this love story idea) since I recently acquired the companion story on my Kindle and I was desperately searching for this one:

I just hope it’s as cute as the book jacket summary reads.

And PS… I totally bought the second one just because of the cover alone. (I have a weird book/page art thing. I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to that obsession.)

So to any of my readers, followers out there…if you can recommend a GREAT ROMCOM, please do. Comments, email, twitter…tumblr…any of them. I am desperate for a new love! I can only Colin Shea for so long… (going on five years now…Who am I kidding? This will probably last for an eternity.)

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Filed under author woes, book boyfriends, book covers, books that speak, keeping entertained, love story, on the book shelf, rêveur, read, romance can't be antiquated, romcoms are my peeps, the fangirling has made it here, write, writing wishlist

totally avoiding log lines today.

Tag lines I have. Log lines I don’t. And I so suck at them! (But alas, I must write these things myself. Bleh!)

And while avoiding it, I’ve been trying to find the box of tissues I just bought so I can watch Before We Go. (a fangirl’s job is never done…I only say that because I adore Chris Evans as much as I do…as in: should someone else don the Captain America outfit, I might not be into Captain America as much as I used to be.  But, I digress.) Before We Go is a beautiful love story, that touched me so much, I actually wrote a review online for it…and I try to avoid writing any reviews because I can admit I’m pretty bias in what I like (again, fangirl.) But this movie was gorgeous!!! The intimate POV of just these two characters…the way it was shot…the closeness between Nick and Brooke…

As a writer (and daydreaming filmmaker) this is what I aspire to do. I have stories that’s just the main  two characters and their journey. And that’s all it should be. It’s probably less commercial–unless I change my name to Nicholas Sparks–than say Human Touch with a cast of tens…Even Darrows, spread out with tens of characters while they’re in school, but then outside of that, I suck the world back into just Lex and Quent…because that’s all it should ever be, Lex and Quent.

Definitely inspired by this film. I haven’t stop thinking about it since I watched it July 21, 2015.

The Time Traveling Phone Call:

This is my favorite part of the movie. Nick and Brooke are out on the street in NYC at night. And their personal stories are unfolding, and they happen across a phone booth. (I thought all phone booths had been abolished in the Cell Phone Act of the early 2000s.) Brooke makes a “phone call” to her past self to make sure her life takes a direction for the best, and it’s the part that stuck with me–Nick: “Hey, Nick. It’s me. You. From the future.” (covers phone with his hand) “He bought it. Idiot.”
(LOVE THAT PART)

And I’ve been thinking: What would I tell my-writer-self in a phone call?

*~*~*~*~*~*

Okay. Dialing my old Number: ###-####

Because the girl I want to contact only had seven digits back then.

*ringing* Pick up! Four rings. One more and we’ll get the answering machine.

“Hello?”

Hey…it’s you from the future. (She’s listening, but I can feel that eyebrow quirking upward in the silence.) Look, you know how in Back to the Future Doc always says how you can cause a time paradox  by knowing too much about your own future?

“Yeah. Why are you calling? What do I become an asshole or something?”

Ha! Good use of the Marty quote there. No. This has to do with your writing future.

“My writing future? Are you hopped up on coke like Jamie Conway?”

(She (I) really is (was) into Michael J Fox waayyy too much.)
No. Listen. I know your mom doesn’t get the writing thing…or anything related to being creative. Don’t listen to her.

“So ignore my mom? If you are me from the future, you know I do already. Duh.”

Yeah, we did. But there’s more. Don’t listen to those teachers who praise you on your writing, but give you a 60 for writing a story that was too weird. You’ll come across a few of those in the future: Wool, The Dark Backward, Willard…I can go on and on. Just keep at it, don’t give up. And when you get that full scholarship to Pepperdine for writing, take it. Granted you’ll miss out on some awesome people at A&M, including Mr. A&M, but you’ll be able to learn and cultivate your craft.

“So totally sure you’re making this up…as if I would call myself in the future.”

Well, I would have written a letter, but only on SNL does the ability to send it in the past really exist.

“Uh…what?”

You haven’t seen that one yet. Anyway, no matter what you choose, no matter if your parents won’t let a minor high school graduate leave the state, stick with the writing. You can even tranfer after a year at A&M…and you won’t miss out on Mr. A&M. Don’t let the negative comments wipe you out…and trust me, there have been a few. Don’t give up. You can do this. You will succeed. 

“Sure.” (I can hear her eyes rolling through the phone.) “Anyway, I gotta go. I’m spending the night with my best friend. We’re going to prank call this dude…”

Yeah. I remember that night well. Keep your creativity always. And don’t let that guy throw out your Goonies 2 story. Because, one day, Goonies 2 will happen. Oh, and keep that Ferris Bueller book. You can’t find those in the future.

If only that were really possible! If only…

What would your phone call say?

*~*~*~*~*

gifs found on giphy
image is a screen cap i took from the movie Before We Go

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Filed under aspirations, finding myself, having fun, love story, random blathering, the fangirling has made it here

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.

*~*~*~*~*

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

Mr. Holland’s Opus

Anyone remember that movie?

It came out about the same time as Powder.

Both movies made me weep crocodile tears and kill off about thirty trees’ worth of tissues. They’re both one of those movies that I could only watch once, but I remember vividly and has yet to leave my mind.

Anyway…That’s the reference. The actual story for this post is this: I’ve decided that Human Touch may very well be my Mr. Holland’s Opus, but instead of creating the most beautiful piece of music, I’m trying to create a saga type tale along Harry Potter lines, minus the wizards, add ghosts, demons, but still witchery and religion mingling in a rom com YA.

Yeah, I still need a lot of work on finding the perfect genre for this sweeping series of stories that I would love to finish, that I want to share with other people, that I know is supposed to be out there in the universe somewhere rather than sitting in various Word docs and Scrivener files…and sitting in my brain.

This story has been ___ years in the making. The story idea started in my head in 2010, written out in a short “Note to Self” post-it on my computer–a literal post-it stuck to the laptop lid. 2011 it was a passing thought as I couldn’t figure out the story, the hook. 2012 it clicked when I was at Comic Con…and I was literally seven to ten people (depending if I let the others in my group go before me or after me) away from meeting someone while camping out for the Thursday Hall H opener. And after, I sat thinking, as most of the line was going to sleep…this is how my ghost would feel if this guy just missed her. She would be super bummed, like it should happen, but she’s a fracken ghost in love with a human…

And everything just became a waterfall. Possible names. Possible places. Events that go on in a high school senior’s life, things my ghost would have missed out on, the things that have changed from the 1980s to the (then) present day of 2012.

And this tale started spilling onto journal pages decorated with birds and trees. And when I had a rough plan, I began to type and type and type. Through tired fingers, tired brains, and temporary carpal tunnel as I’ve never typed that much before in a single sitting. Nikki and McClane came to life. The only thing I didn’t have, was an ending. Did I want to go typical HEA or did I want to go with reality?

I opted for HEA with a twist, leading to another book, then another, then another, then plans for two more just on their story, plans on four others for stories of other characters, then the alternate ending story which, truthfully is a book within itself (and almost completed in first draft now).

Spring 2013 – I had the first three books of Human Touch series typed. I call this first half of the series my baby, though it’s been said to never call it that. But in my eyes, it is. July to April to complete the three (very long) books in first draft. Nine long, learning filled months. The amount of time for a baby to grow and be born. My baby.

Fall 2013 – The first work was edited and formatted and re-written…a few times…then voila! I considered her done. Researched queries…which admittedly is still a weak point of mine…and sent them out. No after no. I’ve had about four personalized noes, feels like a thousand form noes, and a few that said it was great, but the genre was falling apart and they were taking less Paranormal Romance YA…which, this truly is being about ghosts…not that Vampire/Werewolf stuff they say is Paranormal. (THOSE ARE SUPERNATURAL!)

So fine. I put it away for a bit. Made some changes. Wound up expanding on the story. to over 150,000 words…and it still doesn’t cover everything.

And after taking out what was considered “non-essential” I had it down to 126,000…but it lost so much to me. Nikki’s personality was gone. Events that run through all six books, some through three, gone. Nothing made sense anymore. I hated it.

Summer 2014 – Queried that version. Again, the same amount of noes. pretty much just like that first list. So I put it away. Very far away. I even have drafts in a folder labeled: NEVER LOOK AT THESE AGAIN

Seriously. Those drafts are horrible. I hate them, but I refuse to delete them. Reminders of how terribly things can go wrong when writing.

Fall 2014 – Started another series, Love, Darrows. (As if I hadn’t written Last Man Standing, Life Imitating Art, Life Inspiring Art, and an untitled novella in there.) And it took a while to find my style and voice. I am pithy. I am also very verbose. (150,000 + words for one book!…*looking at Order of the Phoenix and wondering the comparison on that.*) I don’t like info dumps, though everyone critiquing my story (except the BFF and someone whose opinion on writing I trust more than Honest Abe) kept harping on show don’t tell. But I was showing. Maybe not in long-winded descriptions like most authors seem to do, like most agents seem to like as these books/stories are published. I think it detracts from the story. (see also The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo) I think describing bits and pieces that are important works with all of the events going on in the story. You’re getting the story. You’re getting the descriptions. You don’t need to know that McClane is in a western style shirt that is blue plaid with small black lines broken up with white and a t-shirt under that came from some band Nikki thinks is fake because Thirty Seconds to Mars makes no sense, though DeLoreans going 88 mph to time travel makes perfect sense, and how those items pair well with his tight denim jeans then the boots, cowboy not work, but I’ve seen some places where even the color of the shoelaces have been described just to paint the complete picture.

I hate it.

So it would go with me that Nikki would notice the worn jeans that are just right tight. She would jaw drop at those old boots of his, as though he’s been riding out on the range all day and is just now swooping into town all dusty. But then they talk… He says, “Hey, Kitten. You ready?” as “Hi, Cowboy,” wisps from her in a quiet breath. She can’t think of an answer to the rest. That hours later, during a hug, Thirty Seconds to Mars must make some great music. That t-shirt has been worn a thousand times, because it’s the softest thing she’s rested her cheek on. McClane’s football-sculpted chest rock was hard though. Then during their moonlight stroll, he offered her this cowboy shirt that was blue, plaid, and thin when she was shuddering from the cold breeze swarming them.

Something like that. That’s not even a part of the story which is how easy those characters are for me to write.

So here we are. 2015. Summer-ish. The story has been put away for a year now. One whole year–with the small exception of formatting a chapter for self-pub(?) here and there as writer’s block hits or I am too tired and it’s easier to type what I see than think. . And these characters are screaming at me. Like taking Cruz, Tyler, and Jamie–three guys from the newest story I’m writing–and shoving them to the side as though they aren’t important. McClane, Nikki, and Jaden are screaming at me, “Pay attention to us!” And a thought hit…what if I took my longest draft to date (the 156,000+ one) and kept the events the same, because they are perfect, and used my way of show not tell, only highlighting the most important things to these characters instead of painting out every little detail like I have.

And yesterday, since it was bothering me and I couldn’t go to sleep until I had it done…

I took chapter two…the real, almost original start to my story, the moment I love…it starts with him and her and it will end with him and her…and typed it out as though Nikki was talking through Quentin with less poetry. So far, I’ve condensed 2,505 words down to 1,600, and divided two-thirds of a chapter into two smaller chapters.

I rather like it. This is just a smidge more Nikki from the first drafts then the rambling long-windedness I hate.

So I’m now toying with writing the rest like this. Like Quentin without the poetry, but with the voice on an 18-year-old girl from 1989. Like it was. Taking this format that a few agents have liked enough to ask for full drafts of Darrows…That maybe there is a light to the end of this Human Touch tunnel

My Opus.

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Filed under author woes, editing worries, finding myself, human touch, learning lessons, love darrows, my opus, paranormal, rewrite it, self publish, self-doubt, supernatural, write