Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Almost Like a B&N

I'm not one for self-promotion - especially when it comes to my writing - but I thought I'd try something a little bit different.

Many of you have probably figured out that I'm a little stuck with Murphy and Me. Mostly because I finished Sophomore Fall and started Sophomore Spring to have an excerpt to apply for the Trias Writer in Residence Workshop, and I kind of haven't touched the new writing process really at all yet, and I've been trying to edit my way through the first 59 pages of printed manuscript. So that's kind of stalled out right where it's at and I'm not entirely when I'm going to be doing something new with it, since I chose the retyping the whole damn thing route in terms of editing. I was already leaning that way, my professor also suggested it....


Maybe some of you knew this - and maybe some of you didn't - but I have this tendency to work on more than one project at a time. That way, if and when writer's block (yes, it's a real thing, and really frustrating to work with at times) hits, then I'm not totally stuck not writing for however long it takes to break out of the funk. In some cases - like with parts of The Crossing, that massive thing in composition books - it could be anywhere from a couple weeks to over six months. Patience, when writing, is key.

I have other projects, other novels in progress, that while not in the same sort of genre as Murphy and Me are somewhat in the same style and voice. So I thought I would go ahead and share their blurbs, their links, and a little bit about the inspiration behind the story. That way, while you're waiting on Murphy and Me to do something or actually go somewhere - hopefully in the direction of a publishing contract - you might find something else you like just as much, maybe more.

Eleanora Hope knew from the tender age of four what she was destined for – she was the latest in a long line of Sages, those charged with keeping the dead beneath the graveyard ground – and she had more than willingly accepted the task at hand. At eighteen she was the youngest Sage, a byproduct of the passing of her grandmother, Lynette, fifteen years after the murder of Ella’s parents. And while the dead might deem otherwise, Ella was more than content with the life she had reconciled herself to.

Until Azrael and Aeryn literally drop in and introduce her to part of reality she hadn’t rightly considered. With two voluntary fallen angels – one who might not be as angelic as he should be – they turn Ella’s quiet existence as Sage sideways. Now with the possibility of an apocalypse and a power-hungry council of women after her graveyard, Earth seems to have become the proverbial war zone, and the lines between angel, demon, human, and Sage are more than a little blurred.

But if life weren’t complicated, it wouldn’t be worth living. And life for this Sage is far from simple.

Sage was born out of the cemetery by the Colleges and walking through there with my best friend and her camera in the fall of our sophomore year. It originally started out as my National Novel Writing Month story, but I didn't finish even remotely close in the month of November, and it's sort of turned into an ongoing project. 

The Icicle Man
Mari's life was to look after the animals on the small farm she and her mother kept in the New York Adirondacks. Other girls had come back from college looking to settle down, shack up, and raise babies. She'd come back to the farm and its simplicity. It was all she wanted. Until she met Jack. Or rather, Jack met her on her way through the forest to her grandmother's.

Convinced she was one of those piper-stolen children, he cages her into returning to his palace, for he is the Icicle Man, Jack Frost. Mari's not sure what to believe, but she knows she's no piper's child. Jack's plan, whatever that may be, is turned on its head when Mari gives him a challenge he can't refuse - what it means to be human. As Jack steps out of his centuries-old role, Mari discovers what makes the frozen Winter Prince tick.

And what it means to be truly human.

The Icicle Man started out as a play text - and is actually still in that form, as well, though not here, here is the novel form - and was started during my semester abroad in Wales in the fall of 2010. It's a retelling of the European fairytale Jokul Frosti (Jack Frost) mixed with a little bit of The Pied Piper. And a whole lot of fun.

I'm hoping that while I figure out what I'm doing with Murph and Ollie that you'll take a look and maybe find something you enjoy just as much. Or maybe you spam my inbox with messages looking for more Murph and Ollie and that will kick start me into writing them again. Either way works for me, truthfully.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

High Winds of Change

I moved out of that house on main street Tuesday back to the little hamlet that's always been home and breathed one hell of a sigh of relief. Another semester over. Two-thirds of senior year - because my senior year has three parts instead of two because I'm good like that - is over and hallelujah for that. The last three weeks got incredibly rough, including when my caffeine intake and subconscious anxiety decided to push itself over the normal threshold into something rather scary. I'm okay, but it seriously freaked me and everybody else out, so now your favorite coffee addict really only gets one mug a day, and to tell you the truth, decaf tea's not that bad. That and I'm making sure to keep a lid on my anxiety, which I hadn't considered a problem before now.

What's even more impressive is the turnaround my grades did in the wake of the semester from hell - Fall 2011 - to the point where even I'm proud of me. I sacrificed a lot to be able to put in the time and effort to go from a 1.33 to a 2.93 in a little under four months. I stayed in on my weekends (which, okay, not that big a deal because I didn't go out much on the weekends in general), didn't leave assignments to the last minute, and took my independent study as seriously as though it were a regularly scheduled fourth class. For the first time, I really felt like I had this college thing under control and was good at it. My exam grades weren't always great, but I had the material, and the professors could see I was working hard and all of it together was a combination that just worked.

My parents are incredibly proud of me for such a turnaround. And me? I'm happy.

Now if I can just do the same thing this upcoming semester, I'll be golden. But between then and now is a whole summer to fill with...Stuff. Work. Soccer. Refereeing.And anything else that comes up in between then and now. Mostly though we'll just roll with the punches and go with the flow. Which, you know, sounds great on paper and works ever better - or worse - in real life.

And, of course, there will be writing, querying, and whatnot this summer because I have a draft of a book and now it needs either an agent or a publisher. Hopefully both.

So. Hello summer. Bring it. 
"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."

-Joseph L. Mankiewicz