Tag Archives: NA

WIPpet Wednesday: Welcome to Fairbrook

Hey, everyone!

Just a quick WIPpet from me this week*. For 3/2, here are two paragraphs from chapter one (one for the first post of this month). This is from Into Elurien, the novella I’m working on for the Skeleton Key book series. It’s come back from alpha readers, and I’m in the process of getting it ready for editing.

AND… I have cover art! Newsletter subscribers will get to see it tomorrow, before the rest of the world. I think we’ll set the official reveal for… I changed my mind. Closer to the release, so if you want to see it, sign up! If anyone wants to join in on the fun when that does roll around (by posting, sharing, or stopping by). This one’s not out until June (pre-orders in May), but I can’t keep this under my hat for too much longer. 🙂

Here’s a taste…

into elurien teaser

Okay, snippet. Hazel is on her way back to her hometown, returning defeated after several years away at university. She’s not exactly thrilled about coming home…

The road improved as it wound through the forest that was so astonishing in autumn, when the last of the sightseers camped or lodged their way through and tagged their works #Fairbrook #fall #BimbleIsland #breathtaking #PayAttentionToMe. I knew this because I’d heard all about the town meeting regarding which hashtags to encourage and the ensuing confusion over what the hell these “hashbag” things were, anyway.

Fairbrook. A nice place to visit, but God, did I not want to live there.

Not that any of us have lived in towns like that, I’m sure.

Check out what the rest of the WIPpeteers are up to by following this link! Thanks to Emily Witt for hosting. And if you’re feeling all typey and sharey, feel free to join in on your own blog! Choose a quick snippet from your work in progress (relating to today’s date, of course), post it on your blog, and link back. “Easy-peasy London squeezy,” as my younger kid used to say.

*For new folks: WIPpet Wednesday is where a group of authors shares a short snippet from a work in progress that relates in some way to the date. I don’t always participate, but it sure is fun when I have time to. 🙂


WIPpet Wednesday: All Trussed Up and No Place to Go

So… yeah. This character and I are getting along famously. I don’t know whether anyone else will love her as much as I do, but things are just peachy.

I mean, the plot needs work, but the character is there.

Catalen is at a wealthy person’s house, and someone’s been getting her dressed up for a fancy dinner. Cat is a little out of her element, but she handles these things pretty well. At least, she has so far. She’s on a mission, and her self-confidence has yet to take a beating.

WIPpet math: 2 + 6 + 1 + 1=10 sentences. First draft warnings apply.

By the time Madam Hat is done with me, I’m trussed up like a hen ready for roasting. My waist looks waspish under this striped blue corset, and my tits are squished nearly up to my chin. I could eat off of them. I swear there’s room to balance a plate, maybe a cup and some cutlery.

But when I look in the mirror, I realize that I’m the one who looks like a feast. The full blue skirt puffs out so you can’t tell what’s dress and what’s me, and it’s long enough that I seem to be floating when I tiptoe across the floor. I’m all curves in this thing—not that I wasn’t damn fetching before, but now I look like the girls in movies.

Feck that. I look better than them. Definitely more fun and more capable, and less likely to blow away in a stiff breeze.

You know what they say goeth before a fall, right? We’ll just leave her to enjoy this moment for now.

For more WIPpet Wednesday fun, click here. If you want to join in, the only rule is that you post a snippet from a current work in progress that relates in some way to today’s date. And it’s not a rule, but being a good neighbour is encouraged. Get out there, read some! Comment some! We all love it, and tend to return the favour.  🙂

Many thanks as always to the Flying Monkey-Master (or is that Flying-Monkey Master?) KL Schwengel, who hosts WIPpet Wednesday every week.

ROW80 UPDATE

Okay. I’m still trying to win NaNoWriMo, because all of my friends are getting pretty dragon badges, and I WANT ONE.

It’s the little things, you know?

So here’s the plan. If I can write 5,000 words today and 5,000 tomorrow, I’ll have done it. Three separate projects this month, but 50,000 new words. I’m not going to have access to my computer(s) after tomorrow, so this is it.

Wish me luck.

Oh, and as far as goals after that go… I do have this Bound-related short story back from my editor that I’d love to share with you all before Torn comes out, but I haven’t even read over the notes/corrections yet. So I guess that’s what comes next.

Other updates:

Reading— I did some this week! I read Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking* by Malcolm Gladwell, and it was fascinating. I read that thing in less than 24 hours. These days, most books take me weeks. Interesting information, and well-written. I’ll be looking for more of his stuff.

I also finished Broken Aro (The Broken Ones Book 1)* by Jen Wylie just last night. I enjoyed this book, too, and look forward to seeing what happens as the characters’ adventures continue.

It’s never too late to join in on ROW80 if you feel the need for some creative accountability. Here’s the link.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’re having a great Wednesday, whatever you’re up to.

*Affiliate links. These cost you nothing extra, but if you buy after clicking, they help me out. I feel skeevy not mentioning it, though…


I’ve Got a Dream

Some of you will disagree with everything I say here, and that’s okay. I hope this doesn’t get too depressing for anyone. It’s not meant to be. This is what happens when reality gently taps me on the shoulder and reminds me of what’s important. (I’ve re-written this post four times already, I’m done.)

Let’s start with this, because it’s amazing:

Damn, I love me some Flynn Rider.

Those guys have dreams. Perhaps not realistic dreams, but they’ve got ’em. Don’t we all? I know I do, and I know (because I’m a little psychic because I read your wonderful blogs) that many of you share my dream. Not for me– for yourselves.

We want to write. We want other people to read and love what we write, and we’d really like to get recognition and at least a wee bit of money for that. We want to see our books on a shelf and go, “Yes, that’s mine. I did that.” And then if you’re me, dissolve into a puddle of tears because this is what you’ve always wanted.

Doesn’t sound like so much to ask, does it? Some of you are laughing right now because you know that it IS a lot to ask, and it’s a hard dream to have. And it’s a dream that an unbelievable number of people share, all of them caring as much about their work and believing in it as hard as I do mine. I find this very humbling.

It’s a great dream, don’t get me wrong. When you love what you’re doing and there are examples in front of you every day of people just like you making it, getting their books published and turning into massive bestsellers, you think, why not me? When you get to the part where you’re collecting rejections, there are stories of those very same authors and books getting  just as many rejections. You think, “it’s part of the process.” Well, I assume you do. I don’t have much experience with this part yet, but I will, one way or another. We all do, if we put our stuff out there.

We maintain hope, but  at the same time, we understand that for most of us, it’s not going to happen. Whether because we’re deluding ourselves when we think our work is good enough (not you guys, your work is the cat’s pajamas. I’m saying me and those shady-looking writers over there), or because of a variety of factors beyond our control*, we’ll be lucky to see our beloved words in print.

Oh, we can skew the odds in our favor, for sure. We can read up on writing craft (and read everything else we can get our grubby mitts on and learn from), we can make our work the best it can be, we can market the heck out of it, we can go to conventions** and meet agents or editors who just might remember us if we make a super-good impression, we can spend hours and days crafting the perfect query letter. We can hire great editors and take their advice, we can find amazing cover artists and devise the perfect pricing strategy. It makes a difference. It doesn’t guarantee success.

Depressed yet? I’m not.

There’s a kind of freedom, for me at least, in knowing that the odds are long and the road hard, in understanding that some things are beyond my control, and that that’s absolutely, perfectly fine. It helps me understand the difference between goals and dreams. Writing the best books you can and doing the best you can for them, that’s a worthwhile goal. Having a bestseller that’s made into a blockbuster movie and then there’s the money and let’s say a super hot actor falls in love with the author behind it all (hey, why not, right?) is a dream. If it keeps you going, it’s a good dream. It’s not a reasonable goal, though, and we’re all going to be mighty disappointed if we make that kind of luck and success a goal we expect to achieve.

Optimism is necessary, and it’s fantastic. Realism is, too, but in a different way. I say we need both.

This brings me to another, tangentially related topic. You know those people who seem to pop up on every agent’s blog asking what the next big thing is going to be, as though they can write it to order and be guaranteed an agent/contract/publication/bestseller? That’s hilarious, isn’t it? Kind of adorable.

There’s a reason they say to write what you love, and to write because you love it, not because you think you could be the next Stephanie Meyer if only you could catch the wave of the next trend in publishing. Odds are you’ll put a lot of work into something you don’t actually care about, and have little to show for it. No matter what you do, books that aren’t as good as yours will probably rise higher. It sucks, but it happens (not mentioning any names). But if you love what you do, believe in your stories and feel passionately that this is what you’re meant to be doing, you’re not wasting your time. Whatever level of commercial or critical success you achieve (or don’t), you’ve done something worthwhile.

I like that idea.

So yes, I’ll polish up this book that I’m working on, wash its face and send it out into the world, telling it to play nice with the other kids (but not too nice) and not to trade its carrot sticks for cookies in the lunch room. And then I’ll get back to work on the next one, because that’s what I do.

Publishing may sometimes seem like an exercise in futility (and I’ve deleted paragraphs outlining why this is so, you’re very welcome), but writing never is. Not if it’s what you love.

*(that agent just signed someone and doesn’t care to add another just now; your book isn’t on-trend and the publisher doesn’t want to take a chance; you decide to self-publish and through the whims of fate and Amazon your book never gets any exposure)

**If you can do this, I’ll try to only hate you a little for it.


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