My first bad dream about publishing!

In the waking world, I’ve found an agent who sounds perfect for me.

In the dreaming world, I apparently wrote a query letter, didn’t edit it or ask for help at all, and sent it on its merry way!

Of course, I got a letter back, explaining how my query letter should be put in a book to show people what not to do and it was hilariously bad and I clearly didn’t know what I was doing…

It wasn’t a nightmare, though. Just a bad dream. I think then Tom Cruise tried to cheer me up by playing with kittens and it worked?

Posted from my phone, so please excuse extra typos! ESJ

Couple o’ prequel reviews.

Tonight at work I read two short prequels.

One was “The Strange Case of Finley Jayne,” prequel to the Steampunk Chronicles by Kady Cross.

I haven’t read anything else by Author Cross, though I certainly plan to in the near future. I found this book by searching for “steampunk” on my Kindle, and skimming for books whose authors had feminine-looking names and didn’t seem to be jam packed full of sex. (My Kindle was acting up and not wanting to connect well to the internet, so I was frustrated and got a book quickly. I don’t regret it.)

Finley is a young lady who seems to be developing dissociative identity disorder/becoming a multiple. Given the many references to classic horror stories (including that in the title), it’s obvious that Author Cross was going for a Jekyll-Hyde type thing. Basically, when Finley becomes angry or worried, this “other” takes over her body and attacks—or does detective work. Whatever the case may call for. Finley isn’t always happy with this other thing, but it is admittedly helpful. And something else has been happening to her body, sharpening her senses and making her stronger. Finley makes a friend and all sorts of dramatic things happen, especially given that this is a short prequel. Loved it! I will be getting the first book in the series soon.

The other prequel I read tonight was “Glitches,” prequel to the Luna Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

I have read the first book in Author Meyer’s…sorry, I can’t, she’s going to have to be Author Marissa. I have read the first book in Author Marissa’s Luna series, which is titled Cinder, and I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel. I was thrilled to learn about this (free!) prequel. But I have to talk a bit about Cinder here.

Marissa wrote Cinder and the other two books in the trilogy for NaNoWriMo. As in, the same NaNoWriMo. Like, she wrote over 150,000 words, THREE NOVELS, in ONE MONTH. Obviously they weren’t good to go immediately, but as I barely scraped up 35k last November in my book, I can’t…just…wow. When I heard this about her, and I heard what the first book was about, I knew I had to support my fellow (though excessively superior) WriMo and at least check it out. By the way, the book, Cinder is about…

A cyborg Cinderella.

Go buy it now, okay? Pssh, like I even have to tell you to do that after those magical words.

I read Cinder a few months ago and have been recommending it to people since—but please be warned that it ends on an impressive cliffhanger and the sequel isn’t set to come out until next year. (See, I didn’t know that. I thought all three were published already. But nooo. I learned the truth after I finished the book.) Anyway, it’s about a young cyborg named Cinder who works as a mechanic to help earn her keep at her obnoxious and rude stepmother’s house. There’s nothing too odd about that, but when a prince in disguise shows up at Cinder’s booth, asking for help to repair an android he’s had since he was a child, things start getting interesting. And man, oh man, is this prince dreamy. I have a low tolerance for cheesy dudes, typically speaking, but Prince Kai smiled at Cinder and I melted. He’s precious. Also, he has no idea she’s a cyborg. So, there’s that.

Then a lot of interesting stuff happens, there are some nice twists and some predictable ones, and an android who is worth reading the whole book, even if you hate everything else in it. Also, a plague. And a moon colony.

So, back to the prequel! It’s free, so you have nothing to lose by checking it out and hating it. It’s short and adorable, and it would have gotten me to read Cinder if I hadn’t already. It covers how Cinder came to live with her stepparents (I’m not sure that’s the correct term, but it’s the one used in the story…she’s adopted) and what life was like for Cinder and her new family before her adopted/stepdad passed away.

Aren’t prequels great? Maybe I should write one…

No. Not going to happen. Not even if you begged.

Reading Time!

I don’t typically write book reviews.  The most I do is give it a rating 1-5 stars on GoodReads, and occasionally, if it’s a book I feel particularly strongly about, I’ll tell friends about it.  But since this is a blog for writing, and reading and writing are so wonderfully and fantastically linked, I figured I could post a little something whenever I finish a book.  Maybe some of you will have the same taste in books.

I just finished “Invisible,” the first in the Ivy Malone mysteries by Lorena McCourtney.  Ivy Malone is a self-identified LOL (Little Old Lady).  I don’t remember an exact age being given, though I pictured her around 70.  When Ivy’s best friend passes away, Ivy starts noticing something odd: She’s invisible.  People simply don’t see her.  No, she isn’t a ghost or in another dimension.  She’s just a little old lady, and no one pays attention to LOLs.  Instead of sinking into despair at this realization, Ivy decides to put it to good use! 

Headstones are being destroyed at the local cemetery and no one will do anything about it, so old Ivy takes the matter into her own hands and goes on a stake out.  In the middle of the night.  For, like, weeks in a row, almost every night, wearing black, in a cemetery, trying to find vandals.  LOL INDEED.

It was free on my Kindle, so I had to give it a shot.  I don’t often read mysteries (though I am a fan of ACD’s Sherlock Holmes), but I enjoyed this one.  LOL Ivy is a Christian (as is, I believe, Author McCourtney) so there’s a bit of God talk throughout the book.  Ivy pulls her strength from her faith, and there’s a poke or two at atheism/atheists, which I didn’t appreciate, but it wasn’t horrible. 

I didn’t feel a particularly strong pull towards any of the characters, though, which is always disappointing.  I normally base my love of a book on my love for the characters, and that just wasn’t happening here.  All of the good characters were too good.  The young characters who met Ivy were suddenly her best friends, despite the generation gap(s).  All the bad characters were too bad.  It was very…well, this young woman seems nice enough, so she’s going to hang around and call and want to help Ivy in any way possible!  And this man is mean, he’s clearly a murderer and there’s nothing nice about him.  And that’s how the characters were handled.

I guess she tried to go for a more complex character with Dixon, a young police officer who adopts Ivy as a grandmotherly-figure—he gets all moody after getting shot and he point-blank refuses to acknowledge God is great and good, which was clearly supposed to be his flaw.  Sorry, McCourtney, I don’t see that as a flaw. 

Things I liked:
Ivy refers to herself as an LOL.  I grinned every time.
Well written, which is a surprise as it was a free book.
This quote: “[Men are] like pickled eel at the supermarket: If you don’t want pickled eel, who cares if the store doesn’t have any?”
This quote: “Remember that old saying, ‘Whatever a woman does, she has to do twice as well as a man to be thought half as good’?  I figure a woman’s nose belongs wherever she wants to put it.”

I gave it 2 GR stars: I liked it. Not enough to continue the series, but I don’t regret the read whatsoever.

Anyone else read it and have an opinion?

Posted from my phone, so please excuse extra typos! ESJ

Sequins?

No, not sequins. Sequel. I started plotting the Andersons’ sequel today. Maybe I will include a scene involving sequins.

I know it’s silly. I haven’t even gotten the first one edited yet, and I have other projects I could be working on. But I missed my Anderson family, and it was fun to think about. There are several plot points I couldn’t include in the original for one reason or another, so I want to see if I can weave them together in a new book somehow. I’m not saying I will start writing it anytime soon…but November is coming up…hmmmm.

So it begins!

Ahh… A fresh new blog, so full of potential! I suppose now is a good time to say I don’t do the long-winded blog posts that make people laugh and cry at my snark and precious observations. Sorry about that.

I have written a book. It isn’t a long book, it isn’t a particularly exciting book, but I’ve enjoyed writing it, I enjoy reading it, and I hope to get it published. Living the dream, folks! The book, tentatively titled “The Anderson Triad,” is currently hanging out with a good friend of mine who promised to return it torn to shreds and bleeding profusely. At least, I’ve asked her to do that–she loves to edit and said she would help me out.

I’m not going to worry about it anymore until she gets it back to me. I’ve been working on it since November ’11 and…I honestly miss it. I’m used to carrying my flash drive around in my bra (my pockets aren’t safe enough) and bringing the story up whenever I have a free moment to glance through and see if there’s anything I can change. I could always find something, of course, as I enjoy editing myself but she’s got more experience and fresh eyes.

So, instead of working on it, I’m doing a little research on how to get it published. My original plan was to self-publish as an ebook, but now that it’s here…I want some rejection letters. This is the first novel I’ve ever completed and I feel like I owe it to myself to at least try a little for traditional publishing. I’m reading query letters and looking up agents. My current aim is 50 rejection letters before self-publishing–I know, I know, that isn’t all that much, and maybe once I get started, 50 won’t be enough for me! But we’ll see.

The book! What is the book about? I hear you scream as you shake the computer, wondering why I’m rambling and why you’re allowing me to do so (I do appreciate it, by the way).

Polyamory! Some of you may have guessed from the title, as a triad is a polyamorous configuration. For those familiar with poly terminology, my characters are in a MFM vee relationship. For other people, that means my leading lady has two boyfriends and the boyfriends are not dating each other (they are all best friends, though).

The story begins with young polyamorous couple Meredith and Conrad, boringly happy and fulfilled by their open dyad. Meredith gets a new job, working night shift at a rehab facility, where she meets Tobias, a sweet guy who hits it off with both of them. When Meredith gets hurt on the job, literally taking a hit for a client, Tobias discovers he wants to give this polyamorous thing a try. From there on in, our triad face rejection from families and discrimination in the workplace thanks to their taboo relationship. They ultimately have to decide how much pain their relationship is worth going through.

I haven’t actually written a query letter yet, but as you can see, it will take a lot of work.

Let’s see…what else to say… Ah, yes! You want to know about me.

I am polyamorous, let’s get that out there right now. And I work night shift at a rehab facility. I have two girlfriends (neither a coworker) and they each have (had) other relationships as well. I am bisexual. I’m in my early twenties. I read and write and eat and internet. I’m close to my family and I have a group of friends I refer to as “my people.” All of my people are queer in one way or another…except one, I guess. But doesn’t that alone make her queer?

This blog will be used for updates on my writing, which will not be limited to the Andersons (probably). I have another book I gave up on to finish the Anderson book, so I may return to that, and of course I have a lot of vague ideas I may try to flesh out.

What are YOU working on?