Thursday, June 30, 2011

Missed a day! Sorry all.....problems with blogger

Back online today!  Having some difficulties with my query letter, I can't seem to get it right!  I have gotten some good feedback from my new friends at (the forums are amazingly helpful!) but I still am not satisfied - maybe why my rejection count is now at four.  I knew it would not happen overnight but I had hoped my query would come together a little more quickly. 

On to bigger and better things - I am embarking on a 5 day mini-vacay!!  We are not going anywhere but I am thrilled to have some time with the kids - and to write!  Happy Thursday Night - I am ready for a beer!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A little poem about Fall of Ia

This was an exercise I did to see if I could encapsulate the finer points of my entire manuscript into less than a paragraph, so here goes:

In the land of endless night
where moonlit meadows whisper plights
and lovers lapse in stormy rites
Three warriors set out to cross
the thickened Fog where much is lost
Only when the five are found
can Ia claim her hallowed ground

Monday, June 27, 2011

Gratuitous sex passage?

I am working on an adult series, and I don't mean that in the X-rated sense, but I have included some sex passages.  A few of my test readers have asked/commented on the sex passages and I have actually contemplated taking them out of my series to downplay it to more of a young adult crowd.  Here is a great opportunity for reader feedback as so far the response is pretty evenly split.  Here is one of my "adult" passages... (disclaimer: there are no marriages in this society, there are "matings" but not marriages so individual religious/moral codes should not impact my imaginary world).  Without further ado, a passage from Fall of Ia of the Estelan Series:

Pallia awoke to Elnor’s arm around her waist and their legs in a tangle. She sighed and relaxed into him.  He moaned and adjusted so she felt his presence against her back.  Pallia smiled and adjusted herself again, pushing her bottom into him and adjusting his hand to her bare breast beneath the quilts.
“You will be the death of me Pet.”
Whatever do you mean my Love?  Pallia turned her head to the side and met Elnor’s lips full on.  He maneuvered his arousal into the vee of her legs and met her wetness with another groan.  Pallia hissed as he entered her and began panting in rhythm with his thrusts.  Elnor’s free hand traced down her side sending shivers throughout her body.  He grabbed her hip and held her still for one strong thrust, sending him deeper than she thought possible.  Elnor traced her hipbone, down her outer thigh and back up her inner thigh where he found her swollen nub and began rubbing as he continued rhythmically pumping.  She stretched her arm behind her head and wrapped her fingers in his hair. They came simultaneously in intense pleasure and then she rolled over and faced him, placing a hand on his cheek, relishing the feel of his stubble.
I love you.
“And I you my Pet.  I have done all of this for you, for us.”  He kissed her nose softly and ran his fingers through her hair.  “I have longed for you all these years, missed your warmth, your laughter.  Though I am dying to know what you did with the bodies of the Prietesses.” 
Let me know what you all think!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cars 2

Real quick because I am exhausted from working overtime all day....lucky me.  We went to see Cars 2 tonight and I have to say, it was impressive.  I laughed out loud and in general loved the entire movie.  My son was wide-eyed for the entire 2 hours!  I strongly recommend it!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

First rejection out of the way and I am relieved

I have to say that I am surprised to receive a response so quickly - and grateful.  I am hoping to send out some more queries this weekend and that means more rejections on the horizon.  Is that glass half full? No, I do not believe so, more realistic.  It is bound to happen and I know that some of my favorite authors received some rejections so I am looking at it as a part of the process.  Besides, I would rather have a rejection than no response.  I find that a no response is more offensive as it means I did not even warrant a response.  Ouch.  So here is to my first rejection which I am soaking up like the fine wine I am about to partake of - Thanks to Pasek for putting out such an amazing set of wines (my personal favorites - Raspberry and Blackberry).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Moving into deeper waters

I just sent 3 more query letters, or more aptly, emails.  I am somewhat anxious but certainly excited and hopeful.  It was a very rough day at work and I was only there for 4.5 hours - how is that for a bad day?  Needless to say, I more than understand I am not meant to sit in an office all day listening to complaints and trudging through minutia with no chance for creative expressions.  Fortunately, it jumpstarted me to put more effort into all aspects of this journey so here I sit, wondering if I should shoot out one or two more tonight for good measure or simply sit on this four and see what happens.....decisions, decisions.  Nah, I think I will go read my novel and see if I can nitpick it a little more. 

P.S. could be the worst site for people new to the writing world!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Editing lasts forever...

Everytime I pick up my manuscript and read it, I find sentences that could be improved, passages that need to be cut or expanded, any number of changes that make me feel better about it.  I do not believe it is ever going to end, I wonder if I will ever be truly satisfied with what I have.  Eh, well, I will keep working on it because I believe in it and enjoy the world I am working with.

I am in need of more feedback though, some honest (constructive!) feedback.  It is harder to come by than I ever imagined.  I am working on it however, and hope that eventually I will get some responses from within the industry.  We shall see!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The waiting is the hardest part

It is a difficult thing to give your work, something you have devoted a lot of time/effort/love to, to another person.  It is far more difficult to wait for their feedback.  I have given 7 copies of my book to 7 different people for feedback and I am confident in my selections, however, I wait anxiously for their feedback and I admit it is quite possibly the most never-wracking experience.  I am proud of this book but it does not mean I do not feel there are some rough parts, it does not mean that I do not wonder if somebody is going to hate it, it does not mean that it wouldn't sting a bit if somebody did hate it.  Still, I value constructive criticism and indeed crave it since I want this to be the best possible manuscript that I can put forth to an agent and/or publisher (so that they can then completely deconstruct it as well).  Hopeless?  Nope.  Not by a long shot.  I am FULL of hope for this manuscript.  I believe in the story an the characters.  But in the immortal words of Tom Petty....the waiting IS the hardest part.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Still working at it

I still have not heard anything about my query letter (for those who have asked!) but it has not even been a week.  I am prepared for a long process!  I actually went back and re-read the query letter and I hate it - so, back to the drawing board anyway!  I think that the query letter has been more complicated than writing the 80,000+ page book! 

On a totally unrelated note, my daughter finished Kindergarten today and her grade card (I don't recall having a grade card in Kindergarten, but her whole experience has been different than I remember) is wonderful!  My kiddo is reading well above her grade level with test scores to match.  I am so very proud of her.  So today's post is in honor of my Peanut ~

Autumn:  "Mommy, when you are done with your book, I mean really done with pictures and everything, I will take it to my school and read it to my class."

Me: "Well Peanut, I do not really think that your class is ready for my book.  Besides, there are not really going to be pictures in my book."

Autumn: "Well Mommy, I don't think many kids will like it so I don't know who you are going to sell it to."

Me: "Peanut, I am not writing the book for kids.  Big people do not have to have pictures in their books."

Autumn: "Mommy, I think you are making a big mistake.  Big people work and do not have time to read but kids are on summer vacation and have a lot of time to read.  You need to be smart about this Mommy."

Me: "Thank you Peanut, I will consider what you said."

Autumn: "Good Mommy because you need to make a lot of money on this so we can go to Harry Potter World."

Me: "I will see what I can do Peanut."

I am just proud that I was able to keep a straight face.  She was so very serious.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Long day at the office....

At least I got to write a little, though not as much as I would like, and I missed it.  I am still editing, I really do not think that part ever ends.  Everytime I read it, I think of another word or phrase that would sound that much more fluid.   I wonder at what point I should just stop and let it go.   

I have been toying with a change in the layout of the book - cutting the prologue significantly and dispersing the history throughout a handful of chapters.  I am not sure what that will mean for the first book but I have received the suggestion from two people and figured it was worth a try.  Honestly, I reworked it in my head on my walk home (another lovely Seattle day!) and the changes may improve the story....only time will tell and I never seem to have enough time!

Tomorrow is certain to be a more productive day! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Getting feedback is really difficult!

I have posted on three different writers' forums asking for feedback and I find it very frustrating that I have only had one response on one site.  Though incredibly grateful for that one response, I wonder what it takes to get more?  I can take it, honestly, I would love for somebody to just tear my work apart (in a constructive way of course) just so I know where the pitfalls are.  I realize more each day how completely naive I was about this entire process.  Fortunately, it is very early in the game and I feel strongly about the book I have penned - and I love my characters! 

Speaking of characters, here is a little tidbit from Fall of Ia regarding one of my favorites, Kitin meets an interesting new ally in this excerpt:

“Seraph, we know you.  Well met we are for true.  Fear not for we wish no harm, we offer protection and alliance to you and yours.”
Kitin stood and spun about, searching the forest for the speaker.
“Lay your weapons upon the grass and we shall appear to you.  Trust given is trust received.  We have power to aide you if you have courage to treat with us unarmed.”
Kitin felt no malice in the immediate area.  She removed her scabbard and cast it aside.  “I agree to your terms.”
From within the creek there rose a stream of water that slowly took shape until Kitin found herself eye to eye with a pair of slanted grey-blue eyes swirling like a whirlpool, offset by a slight nose and pointed chin.  Clearly a male Water Nymph, she guessed.  His skin was nearly translucent, water dripped down his features from a head full of aquamarine hair spiked about in every direction.  Kitin held his gaze and he smiled, revealing bright white teeth behind his blue-tinged lips.
“We are of the Water Nymphs of Estelan.   We are called Xander, the youngest Princeling of our kind.  You are the female warrior Kitin.  It is rumored that you are still without mate, without a lover at all.  Is this true?  It would please us greatly you understand.”  Kitin was nearly mesmerized by his velvety voice, words spoken in such rhythm that if not for her Seraph blood, would have been entrancing.
“I have no mate, though I do not wish one either.”  Kitin took a step back, far too uncomfortable in such close proximity to the Nymph, who almost too beautiful.
“Ah, then we are very pleased indeed.  We too are children of Ia.  We too look for mates to enrich the lines.  You are quite the female Kitin.  We should truly perish in your honor.”
Kitin stifled a gasp as best she could, “Freya mentioned that you wished to align with us, or are you here just to court my affection?”
“We are here to give you word of the borders of our world, a warning of evil to come, a promise of hope, and our aide in this until the end.  You will not like much of what you hear and understand little of the rest at this time.   Do you accept these terms?”
“I accept.”
“Darkness is creeping along the borders of all Estelan, a dark haze is billowing along the Divide.  Creatures of evil patrol the great chasm, each merciless and pitiful, seeking to capture any  who attempt to ford the Divide.  We feel hope for the great Light has been promised to arrive soon,   expected to be battle ready in six and ten annuals.  We will vow to stand with you until the end, to align with Light in all ways possible.”  Xander bowed and then raised a hand to her arm, travelled down to her wrist and turned her hand palm up.  “You bear the mark, you hold the power.” 
Kitin swore she saw him lick his lips but she was distracted by a prickling at her wrist.  She looked down and saw a bright blue droplet glowing upon her wrist.
“This is our vow.  Call as you need us, or want us, fair Kitin of the Seraphs.”  And then he was gone, exploded into a million droplets.  Kitin moved to a nearby tree and leaned for several moments, staring at the glowing droplet.  As she traced the outline, Xander’s voice entered her mind, call us our Kitin, we will run to you, and then she was alone in silence.  Kitin took up her scabbard and made for camp.  It was time to move and she finally knew where to start. 
“Freya, I know you are there.  Gather the Pixies and be prepared to leave within the hour.”
“I would not tell Master Roane of what transpired here m’lady.”
“I would keep this between you and I alone, Freya.”
“As you wish, Lady Kitin, perhaps you should don your gloves before reaching camp.”

Saturday, June 18, 2011

An excerpt from Fall of Ia

This is just a little teaser to give a taste of some of the Moon characters....any feedback is appreciated!

Pallia’s bandaged feet throbbed as she was led down the eldenwood stairs of the head councilman’s cottage.  Her eyes adjusted to the candlelit hearthroom and were drawn to the large obsidian hearth.  She glanced about, taking in her surroundings, avoiding the watchful eyes.  Pallia was seated on violet velvet cushions and sipping on jasmine tea while the others settled in various seats around her.  The room was simply decorated aside from the extravagant hearth.  Heavy woolen draperies covered the large windows, their indigo hue brightened by the violet firelight.  Pallia noticed various pelts hung upon the walls and a small simple altar in the corner with an etching of a young maiden illuminated by a jasmine candle.  There were some toys scattered about a small playpen in another corner and Pallia felt a pang in her chest. 
A throat cleared to her left and Pallia could avoid the situation no longer.  She raised her eyes to the nearest Council member, Krester, her host, taller and broader than the others.  He bowed low, returned to the mantle and prodded the logs with a cast iron poker.  Kitin followed, a spindly, sprite-looking female with eyes as blue as mooncups and snow white hair that was braided tightly in an elaborate pattern.  She was dressed in the manner of a warrior, a mirin-hide corset as colorless as her hair and trimmed in the same blue as her eyes.  A deep indigo tunic, leggings, gloves, and matching boots covered the rest of her.  Scythe-knives were slung at her hips and the intricate ivorn handle of a battle sword was just visible over her shoulder.  Kitin sat stiffly upon a stool and folded her arms across her chest. 
The Twins, Dane and Roane, matched in every way from the pewter braids upon
Beyond the twins were Isla and Jerin, the eldest of the Council, and oldest mated couple in Isthile.   Pallia received Isla first, a natural beauty with indigo eyes a stunning contrast against her pale ivory skin, marred only by the emergence of fine wrinkles at the corners of her eyes and lips.  Isla's emerald satin gown licked the bottom of her proud chin and followed every curve to her knee where it flared softly and trailed out behind her.  Pallia was awed at the grace with which Isla moved, how her silver hair swung freely across her back and glistened in the firelight.  At Isla's elbow, Jerin was slightly taller but otherwise colored, dressed, and built like his mate with the same austere presentation.  Fitted emerald tunic upon matching leggings and dark olive boots to his knee, a broadsword was slung at his hip though Pallia supposed Jerin would never find need to wield it; Jerin's shield spell was well known in Isthile.
Elnor approached the Priestess next, nearly as tall as Krester but more wiry, clean shaven, hair cut just above his shoulder and eyes that flashed silver.  His tunic was of gray satin with a jeweled collar and mirin-skinned leggings.  Elnor took her hand, pressed his cool lips to the tips of her fingers and nodded tightly.  His mouth opened as the cottage door flew inward against the wall and sent a small quake through the room.
In strode the largest creature Pallia had ever imagined.  He – it? – ducked beneath the archway and into the hearthroom, easily towering over Elnor and Krester.  The stranger was wider than both men together with onyx-colored hair curling wildly about his head and face, a ragged beard nearly hid his mouth, and he wore tattered clothing of various hides haphazardly stitched with mirin-hair.  His eyes were strange and wild, flashing silver then onyx as he turned his head to face each Council member in turn.
“Whas da’ meanin’ o’ dis?  Why di' ‘ur yun ‘un wake me wit nonsense o’ a Priestess fled da Temple ‘n’ why’d ya’ think I’d care a lick?”
~ Estelan Series, Book 1, Fall of Ia

Friday, June 17, 2011

First Query Sent

So, I took the plunge last night.  I submitted my first query letter to an agent.  It was a nerve-wracking experience, worse than asking people to read, edit, and pick apart my novel to begin with.  Truth be told, when I sent that email I had a few moments of anxiety.  I had a momentary glimpse of what a panic attack feels like and am grateful that I am not longer a "query virgin" if you will.  From here on out, it should only get easier, right?


Long time writer, first time blogger!  Cheesy, perhaps but I cannot help feeling slightly overwhelmed by this process.  I was terribly naive when I started writing my novel.  Please do not misunderstand, I knew it would be a lot of work and an endless amount of editing and certainly some moments of frustration, what I was completely unaware of was the networking required to even be considered by some agents/publishers.  I am going to say one of the things you are not supposed to say in such circles - wait for it - I have never been involved in the writing community.  There, my dark secret is out in the open.  Phew, I feel much better.  As I said, I was terribly naive at the beginning of this process.  My thought process was - write book, seek agents/publishers, after (insert number) rejections move to self publishing options.  Oh how silly I sound now that I have peeked into the literary world.  How shocking to find that some agents/publishers actually research you to see if you are a) active in the community and b) keeping up with blogs, twitters, etc.  Hm.  All I could think was "how did this work before the internet?"  Still, I am bravely entering this ultra competitive world and hoping that somebody reads my work and finds a way to believe in me!