My Decision to Move to Wattpad :: AKA Coming to Terms With Why I Write

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Check out “Behind the Veil” here.

If you read my update over in “Facing Rejections“, you’ll know that this has been an off year for me, writing wise.

While it was productive, I was thrown for a little bit of a loop, and I had to figure out a way to get back to the desk and pump out more work.

Then I found my old Wattpad account.

Now, I never put a lot of stock into Wattpad. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of a platform where writers can share their work, find readers, and get feedback, but for some reason Wattpad never clicked with me. I opened an account back in 2017, but immediately abandoned it, because I just didn’t “get” it.

And honestly? I was worried about what my writer friends would think of me if I posted. I’ve only have four short stories published, and I’m going to just start throwing my work around for free? Don’t I want to be a “real writer”?

But when it comes down to it, there’s something I’ve had to come to terms with that outweighed my fear of looking bad in the eyes of my peers.

I write because I want to people to read my work and connect with something in it.

I’m not the best when it comes to relating to others, but when I’m writing all I want to do is connect. It’s why I was so passionate when I was in a writer’s group, or sharing my writing with friends. The more people talking about, commenting on, or even ripping apart my novel with criticism, the more inspired I am to write because I’m able to feel like I’m making connections with other human beings.

Call it overly romantic, but I don’t write because it fulfills some deep need in my heart to create art or because “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else”. I write with the hope that for a brief moment people read my work and connect with what I’m putting on the page.

Sharing my work has given me a new found love for my second novel and I’ve fallen back into my old writing habits of actually producing content on a regular basis.

I can’t lie though. I’m still a little scared about admitting this about myself.

There are two writers in particular that I’m still worried will judge me and think that I’ve given up just because I’m posting my work up online now. Writers I greatly admire and respect, but I know will probably scoff at me if not to my face then definitely behind closed doors. And yeah, this is something I need to over come too.

When it comes down to it, however, I feel like this is a good next step for me, and I’ve been working harder than I have in a while. At the end of the day, this is what made me fall back in love with writing, and I hope y’all enjoy the new direction this is taking my work in.

And because I don’t say it enough, thank you for reading.

I hope that through even these blog posts you find something to relate to and it makes you feel less alone today.

They definitely help me.

Evil in the Form of Pink Frosting

A short story to examine one of the many forms of evil. Some evil comes with a knife when you least expect it, other evil gets old and comes with cupcakes. 

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Story contains a little bit of dark imagery.

Leave it to Henry to die the day I was going to kill him. The pink frosted cupcakes that took all afternoon now sit untouched in my kitchen as he lays there, sprawled out in the middle of my garden. Look at him, with those grimy brown eyes gawking at the sky, his fat pink tongue hanging out of his mouth. He always was an inconsiderate bastard, dying on a beautiful day and ruining it.

Twenty years I lived next to him. Twenty. And for nineteen of those years, I plotted how I would kill him. I wasn’t creative in the beginning. The first time his narrow face peeked over my fence, I thought maybe I’d hit him with a shovel. When I caught him in my yard, hovering over my begonias, I wondered if a butcher knife would do the trick.

I did get clever after the first five years. I had visions of pushing him off his ladder as he cleaned his gutters, or strangling him with his own too small neck ties. If only my old arms were strong enough!

Then his dog got in my yard and I fantasized about driving my shears right through Henry’s eyes. But of course, I wouldn’t want to ruin my precious gardening equipment on him. No it needed to be something that wouldn’t make so much of a mess. 

It wasn’t till he dug up my pink petaled snow peas did I finally realize what that sniffling man deserved. I’d kill him with something as sweet as my garden, poison slipped into a peace offering. He’d come over, sniffing around my door like he always did, not minding his own business, and I’d give him a cupcake. A harmless cupcake. Maybe five! Then he’d go home and die in his own house, alone and away from my garden. That would teach him.

And you might consider me harsh, but I know he was the one who dug them up. Who else could’ve done it?

But it doesn’t matter, I won’t get to kill Henry now. He just had to die on his way over. Maybe his heart gave out? He always was a weak man, it’d be just like him to just quit living out of laziness.

I’ll have to burn the garden, I think. I doubt I’ll ever get the image of his willowy body laying across my cobblestone path out of my head. The roses will definitely have to go. They’re the same color of his ugly salmon shirt, and I can’t think of that every time I look out my window. It’d all need to be ripped up and thrown out to make way for my new, Henryless life.

Oh and now the yip yip yip of his scrawny, low bred dog is starting up again. Too bad Henry is dead and won’t be able to shut it up. 

Although.

Maybe it likes vanilla cake with raspberry frosting? I’d hate for my cupcakes to go to waste.

Flightless is Now Up for a Free Read!

The world calls them angels, but avians are far from heavenly.

They’ve lived alongside humans since the dawn of time, but it wasn’t until the 50’s did they finally announce their existence. Now, avians are seen as celebrities, creatures that should be worshiped and loved by some, feared and hated by others.

Kaitlin’s tried to stay away from the so called angels she shares her genes with. Being a half human “carrier” isn’t easy, but with other women like her getting violent for reasons the public can’t figure out, Kaitlin has more than enough reasons to hide what she is, from both species.

That is until her little sister goes missing. Now she must dive head first into a world filled with secrets, murder, and kidnapped girls being used for avians’ purposes. The only person she thinks she can trust is Christopher, but even he has secrets.
Kaitlin must choose. Run, or face a life she’s been hiding from before it’s too late.

After much deliberating, I decided to make Flightless available on Wattpad.

I might talk more about this decision in the future, but for now, I’m going to be updating every Friday. I’ll share my experiences and what I learn with all of you lovelies as well, but if you’d like to know anything specific please ask!

Writing Class Review :: The Darling Axe

I have to be honest. I missed the last week of this course, and it’s eating me up.

That being said, I really wanted to get my experience out there and share what I learned from the Darling Axe’s “Best-Laid Plans” workshop. It taught me a lot about the plotting process, but it also showed me something I needed to learn about myself.

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Disclaimer :: This is a non sponsored review of “The Darling Axe” services, after winning their “BEST-LAID PLANS: A NOVEL OUTLINING WORKSHOP” course. I received nothing in return for this review.

I never expected to win this course. I have some luck when it comes to giveaways, but this was something I was really excited for. Not only because I’ve never taken a formal writing course, but also because, as a pantser, I lack some of the fundamentals of plotting.

And that’s really all I thought I was going to get out of it. A baseline for how to write better summaries to get my novel off on the right foot. I got a hell of a lot more out of it than that, however.

Who is this class for?

People who definitely need to take this class.

First and foremost, pantsers. If you’re someone who just wings your novel without a layout, then spends way too much time in the editing process, I highly recommend this class. Not only do you get great resources each week pertaining to what you’re working on, but the feedback people provide while you post helps you rethink the way you write your novel.

Now, if pantsing works for you, awesome, but if you’re looking for a change, look into this course.

The other group of people who should take this course are writers who need to learn how to take criticism and use it to refine their work. Many of the comments my fellow classmates made helped me not only work out kinks in my plot, but also showed me that not everyone is going to “get” the way you write your summary. You have to learn how to take their criticism and reword your work so it’s clearer next week. I spent a lot of time figuring out how to get my ideas across in a concise way so that my summary made the most sense to everyone reading it.

I was surprised how helpful this aspect was! Because I have a habit of short handing some of my ideas, I didn’t think about how it would read to someone else. Then when I put the whole idea on paper, I found that it might not make the most sense in the grand scheme of the story. And really I think this was the most helpful aspect about the course.

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Personal mistakes I made with this course, that you could avoid.

Like I said before, I wasn’t able to complete the last week, and that was something that really bummed me out. I should’ve planned it out better, and that was my fault. I knew my husband was planning something for our anniversary, and I didn’t think to post my final week up before we went camping.

I also wish I had taken more time to read all of the resources provided to me. I often time overlooked some of them as I again, was not managing my time as well as I should’ve. I was too preoccupied with publications and an art contest (winner being featured soon) and I should’ve made time to read more.

If you’re going to take a course, you need to make the time each week to not only get your submission ready in case something comes up, but also utilize all the resources provided.

What needs work?

Constructive criticism on this course.

My only criticism on this class would have to be that, while it was great for me, it did feel a little bit like it was just a more organized writing group, not so much a “how to on plotting”. It reminded me a lot of a group I used to be a part of where every week we’d get together and talk out plotting problems, and while that’s exactly what I needed at this moment in my writing life, I can see how someone with a well developed writing group might not need this course.

Do you need this class?

This class isn’t for everyone. If you’re someone who has their plotting process down pat and/or a writing group that gives excellent constructive criticism, you might not need this course.

That being said if you’re someone like me, who needs more structure in your life, this class was definitely worth the investment. They also have other classes that I think many writers can benefit from. I’m considering signing up for their “Sharp Hook” course and have been definitely looking at their Developmental Editing services.

All in all, I’d recommend this group to my fellow writers and hope that y’all take the time to check out what they have to offer!

Facing Rejection

So I got a rejection letter.

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Don’t get me wrong. I’ve gotten rejections in the past, what writer hasn’t? I wasn’t hurt when I got my first one, it was just part of the business. Then my second rejection came in, then my fifth, then my fiftieth. Even when it felt like I had gotten five thousand, I still wasn’t sad. The “there’s an agent out there for you, just keep querying” became my mantra, and I didn’t feel anything other than determination. All those rejection letters were stepping stones, a rite of passage, not something to cry over.

This one? Oh damn this one. It hit me a little harder. Here I was, close to a year and a half into emailing this agency, that feeling of “this is the one” growing in my stomach. Then I had to read those dreaded words. “Your novel isn’t the right fit”.

This isn’t to say anything against the agency. I understand they’re running a business, and unfortunately, as the email said, my novel wasn’t the right fit. Again, I can’t be mad at this. How many times do you hear other authors, agents, and con speakers say things like “You want someone as passionate about your project as you are”. I have no animosity at this agency.

I am, however, disappointed in myself.

I stopped querying, threw all my eggs in this one basket, and got my hopes up. I even stopped working on a few short publications because I wanted my book to be perfect. It consumed every part of my life for a while, to the point where working on something else made me feel guilty. I got it in my head that something had to come of talking with them for over a year right?

Wrong.

So what now?

After some long talks with my husband and then another long talk with my writing partner, I have one clear option.

Move forward.

Like every rejection letter says, the right agent and agency are out there. Somewhere, there’s someone who read my work and will love it as much as I do.

I’m also going to set my first novel aside for a bit to stop myself from getting so caught up in one book. I’m writing some short stories, but I’m also going to use NaNoWriMo for working on a passion project. I want to write out of just the joy of writing vs. focused on the goal of getting a book published.

So yeah, I got a rejection, and I spent some time being disappointed over it, but it looks like I’m laying yet another stepping stone towards the agent that’s right for me.

What rejection letter hit you the hardest?

It’s been a while

Hey everyone! Check it out, I’m alive!

 

So a lot has happened since my last post. The Lost Legends came out, I wrapped up an art contest for said anthology, and I started a course with The Darling Axe. And that’s just my writing life!

I also turned 30, traveled to Washington, worked an art show, started volunteering with a woman’s group, and helped my elderly neighbor with a broken foot.

It’s been wild let me tell you. I celebrate my anniversary today (we’re going on nine years of marriage, twelve years of just being together), and we’re hitting the road for another camping trip next week, but I wanted to just drop in and give everyone a heads up about what’s coming up, post wise.

I’m going to be doing a review of the class I’m taking with The Darling Axe, covering what I learned and how the course has been helping me. I’m also going to have an interview coming up with the artist who won The Lost Legends contest, talking about how authors and writers can work together and how hosting a contest can help promote your book. And lastly I’ll be talking about NaNoWriMo. Mostly just about my relationship with this tricky November event, and what my plan is this year.

All of this is coming after I get back from my camping trip, getting posted in November, with my December posts revolving around some personal events in my life. Turning 30 has really changed my perspective on things, and I’m coming to learn the importance of giving back. Since December is such a “giving” month, it feels right to put more personal experiences there.

Anyways! I hope you’re all doing okay. Tell me something good that’s happened to you lately, or something you’re hopeful for as 2019 comes to a close. I would love to hear it!

Death of a Young Mage (Preview)

Before I get to the teaser

The full story of “Death of a Young Mage” is being printed in an upcoming anthology, called “The Lost Legends”. If you’d like to read more, you can Pre-Order it here for only $2.99, or for free on KindleUnlimited. You’ll also be able to get a hard copy soon!

I hope you like it!

 

Continue reading Death of a Young Mage (Preview)

Love, Death + Robots Review 2 – Fish Night

Now that I’m back from traveling, I’m continuing to rewatch and review my new favorite obsession, “Love, Death + Robots”. As always with this series, it’s not spoiler free, and I’m not going to be talking about the animation, voice acting, or soundtrack. I’m a writer, and I’m looking at this from a writer’s perspective. I try not to be biased if I like the art style more than others in the series, and just look at the story itself.

So, which one did I jump to today?

Fish Night

Want more? Check out my review on Sonnie’s Edge.

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Continue reading Love, Death + Robots Review 2 – Fish Night

Forgotten Book Review #1 – All My Sins Remembered

Back in August of 2018, I made plans to start reviewing books found at thrift stores or library sales. It’s 2019, and unfortunately, I’m only just now getting around to this series.

It’s been a while, but let’s get to it!

 

All My Sins Remembered

By Joe Haldeman

Spoiler free review.

Now I know I said I wasn’t going to do any “cult classics”, but since the online consensus was back and forth on if this was a cult classic or not, especially compared to Haldeman’s other successes, I decided to count it for my first “Forgotten Book Review”.

1851148“All My Sins Remembered” tells the story of Otto McGavin, a peaceful man who’s employed with “the Confederacion” in order to protect the rights of human and aliens across the galaxy. What he doesn’t know, is that instead of becoming a symbol of hope, he becomes a Prime Operator, a secret service of the Conderacion that acts as a spy, assassin, and thief for the government. Through a type of immersion therapy, advanced prosthetics, and hypnosis, he’s able to take the form of individuals across the galaxy in order to accomplish whatever mission they throw at him. While he’s great at his job, the death, torture, and horrors he witnesses could cost him more than just his life.

This book came into my life at the perfect time.

Still on a “Love, Death and Robots” high, I was craving more science fiction that explored worlds I hadn’t been introduced to yet. In fact, I even put off reviewing more of that series because I was so involved with this book (see more about this here). Told through three short stories and hypnosis sessions between Otto and employees at the Confederacion, Haldeman brings the reader to worlds and beings that I haven’t seen in any other science fiction before.

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Joe Haldeman

I think the best thing about this book is how seamlessly Haldeman writes Otto into the minds of people he’s imitating. Each time Otto takes on a new identity, you can see how it’s affecting him, and you really believe he’s a man trying to work through two conflicting personalities in one body. I wish I could describe the way Haldeman writes Otto ghosting behind other faces, but it’s something I think readers have to experience in order to understand.

Not only did I enjoy Otto’s character, but I also loved the worlds he was thrown into. While the second story in the series wasn’t my favorite, the first and third were fantastic. Set on planets with bazaar creatures and customs, you can tell Haldeman put a lot of time into world building and developing believable societies.

As much as I loved it, it did have some flaws, however, and there were some aspects that might not go over well if it were published for today’s mainstream audience.

The second story, for example, has a female character raped and tortured. While it’s brief and might not bother some, I can see how someone today could say this as an outdated trope of a female who only was on the page to go through something horrific. It did show how brutal the planet was, and that they had twisted ideas on masculine and feminine roles, but again, for today’s audience, this could be seen as heavy handed.

That wasn’t why I didn’t care too much for the second story, but it definitely didn’t help it. In all honesty, I just thought it wasn’t as interesting as the first and third. It was a little slower and didn’t feel nearly as clever or original, but it didn’t make me put the book down, so no harm done.

I will also say if you’re going to read this book, find a newer edition. The one I had was an earlier print and there were a couple of noticeable typos. It definitely needed another round of technical edits, but the over all storytelling was still good.

Lastly, the technology was never explained. I loved this aspect of the book, because I hate it when an author “explains the magic” and it gets too wishy washy, but another reader friend of mine was a little annoyed because Haldeman didn’t say exactly how everything worked.

I think this is just a personal preference, however. I don’t need to know every nut and bolt that goes into the technology I read about, I just accept that in this universe things happen that wouldn’t work in our own.

That being said, if you’re someone who likes to know how and why things come to exist, you won’t find it in this novel.

So how would I rank this book?

All in all, I’m a little torn on what rating to give. I loved it enough to go through another reading, but I’m not sure if I’d buy it in hardback. I would spend money on it, however, and definitely loan it out to friends (my own copy was even given to someone almost as soon as I was finished).

If you like science fiction, especially the kind that explores new worlds and technologies as well as dives into the human psyche, definitely read this book. If you’re someone who’s a little iffy on sensitive topics, or if you don’t care for technology that isn’t completely explained in the narrative, you’ll want to pass.

This is a good read, and definitely needs to be a book that people remember. If you get a chance, pick up a copy and tell me what you think!

Time to Drop the Title for my Anthology (And Tell You Why this Collection is Different)

More publication news!

Adam D. Jones

I’m always bumping into writers. Conferences, writers groups, random people on the train scribbling out a first draft. (Anyone else notice that almost everyone is working on a book?)

My favorites are the fantasy writers. Rather than being competitive (my foray into the music world showed me that artists can be terrible to each other) the nerds who gather around to talk about our magic systems and dragon names just want to geek out. It’s like finding your tribe.

But there’s something bittersweet about meeting with these kindred spirits. Believe it or not, there are more fantasy authors at a local writing conference than you’ll find on the shelves at Barnes & Noble. There’s not enough room in the mainstream market for all of us, or even a tenth of us.

We’re not (that) bitter. We’re grown ups who know it’s a narrow field with almost no room to break…

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