Monday, December 28, 2009

Skates in my Shadow

Hey, all! Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!!!

I was bored today and wrote this poem. I finally wrote something again! Yey! Anyway, it's called "Skates in my Shadow". I hope you enjoy it :)


I haven't worn them in so long
But on my feet is where they belong
I spin around on ice that gleams
But open eyes tell me it's just a dream
The last time I skated was so long ago
And still there are skates in my shadow

I remember the rip and speed and chill
The wonderment, love, and thrill
There were good times and times when I'd fall
And now I wonder if I've forgotten it all
It's been so long, I miss it so
Knowing there's still skates in my shadow

I look at my shadow and it's not me today
But an earlier version that now seems so far away
I look down and what do I see?
A girl in a pretty dress with skates on her feet
Looking at it, my thoughts never stray
Never once from that far away day
And no matter what happens, this I know
Forever there will be skates in my shadow


Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Am Out of School!!!

Fall semester is over, which means no more school for me for an entire month! I'm super excited! So, over this month long break, I am going to try to write more. I have several ideas (most of which I have already told you) that I'm messing around with and really want to spend some time with them and develop them.

I might post part of the first chapter of one I'm working on for your feedback. You guys are the best at helping me and I thank you for that. It's really great of you.

Well, gotta go. Just because school is done doesn't mean there's not other things to do! :)

ttyl! :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What I'm Gonna Do For Christmas

I am so strapped for cash right now that I can't afford to buy Christmas presents for anyone this year. Sad, I know. But that doesn't mean I can't still give a gift. :)

This is what I'm going to do for all my friends that mean the world to me this year. And if you are strapped for cash as well, then you can do this for your friends and family as well, since it's simple and means a lot.

I have always loved those old letters written with a quill pen and sealed with a wax stamp. So, one day soon, I am going to go down to Hobby Lobby and buy parchment paper, wax, a stamp, and ink. I already have a beautiful turkey feather that will make a wonderful quill pen. I am going to write letters to everyone for Christmas.

Now, the old-time, by-gone days style that I'm using may not suit you, but that's ok. I have found that when someone takes the time out to write a letter for someone, it means a lot, even if it was just typed on a computer and printed off. Words on paper last longer than spoken ones and I honestly think that this is a very fitting gift from any writer.

I'm going to have fun writing with my quill pen. I've always wanted one! It's gonna be a blast! :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I'm Still In the Writing Biz

Just not as much as I used to be. Schoolwork always comes first. But I figured I would give you guys a little update before I head on to church this morning. :)

I did write a few paragraphs in a new WIP the other day. I think I'm in chapter four. I'm liking the way it's going so far. Querying agents has been put on hold for the moment, but my BFF just recently finished Khaladin (she liked it! Yeah!) but there's some edits that need to take place. She found some holes that I didn't catch and she pointed them right out the minute she saw them. That's what I love about her reading my stuff. She doesn't hold back! :)

I am also toying with two new ideas, both fantasy, one MG and the other YA. Right now, they are called There's A Unicorn In My Closet! and The Pegasus Lord. I was texting one of my friends the other day and our conversation turned into a joke about me having a live unicorn in my closet, and he said it'd make a good story. I have also done so much with writing and reinventing the unicorn that I've been wanting to try the Pegasus. I got the idea while watching Naruto, which is really strange, but hey, if the story ends up working, then I'm not complaining! Well, I won't complain, anyway. I like Naruto. :p

But yeah, that brings you up to date on the writing front. On the school front, I am doing pretty good. I graduated my first English course (taking another next semester) with a B overall, so that makes me very happy. :)

I plan on querying agents again when my winter break comes along at the end of this semester. Yes, I know holidays are the worst times to query agents, but hey, you gotta do it when you have the time. Hopefully by then I will have some time where I can just sit down and completely focus on them. Right now, I can't, which is a bummer, but it'll all work out.

Anyway, leave me comments on this post to let me know how all of you are doing (haven't heard from hardly anyone in a while. I miss you guys) and I will talk to all of you later!

Happy writing! :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Who's Excited About Halloween?

I know I am! I have a Halloween party this Friday and I'm super excited about it. Gonna be hanging out with my best friend. :)

So, there were three things I was thinking about being for Halloween. Those were:

- a ninja

- Pippi Longstocking

- a fairy

So, which one did I choose?

I'm not gonna tell you. Please post who you think I'm going to be in the comments section. The answer will come when I post pics of me in my costume! :)

(PS: If you already know what costume I am going to be wearing, please don't tell. Just state what you think I will be, but don't give it away to the others. Thanks!)

Happy Halloween! :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

What Boredom Will Bring

So, I haven't been writing much still because of school, but that doesn't mean I'm not keeping busy. I was stuck on campus the other day without anything to do, so while I was waiting for my mom to pick me up, I followed around butterfies and took pictures of them. Enjoy! :)












Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Riding That Is Bittersweet

Here are more pictures of me riding. I'm on Sooner, a beautiful Quarter Horse mare, and my fav horse at the barn. The sad thing is that these pictures show my last ride on her. Today she will be moving to a new home. She needed one, so I'm happy that she's going to be going to a great place...she will be helping young riders learn how to ride and teaching them about horsemanship. But the farm is 4 hours away, which means Sooner is too far away to visit.

When you work around animals, they come and go. Sooner came and I am grateful I got to know her, but now she's going. It's made me sad, sure, but I will always have memories of her.








I'll miss my baby girl.







Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hello!

Yes, I am still here! I wasn't kidding when I said that I wasn't going to be able to be posting on here much. School has been crazy.

Just so you know, I am still writing. Working on several projects right now and really loving one, so it's great! :)

Khaladin is still getting rejected by agents. But I'm not discouraged. I just printed off info for about ten more and there's lots more agents to look up. :)

But, yeah, this post was basically just to catch you up with what I am up to and assure you that I am not dead. *wink*

I'll post again soon! :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane, Part 2

Today, you are in for a treat. Well, in my opinion, at least. :p

Today I am going to let you read the first chapter of The Search for Grey Sky just how it was when I completed it when I was twelve years old. Complete and unchanged. I hope you enjoy it. :)


Chapter 1
An Uninvited Guest

Eleven-year-old Christina Wells ran out the back door banging the screen door behind her. She was headed to the paddock where her best friend was waiting for her. When she reached the paddock fence, she whistled. A beautiful dapple gray Quarter Horse with a black mane and tail trotted to her. It was Grey Sky, Christina's mare. Christina swung herself over the fence and threw her arms around Grey Sky's neck.

I love you, Sky," Christina said.

(Christina called her Sky for short.) Sky breathed into Christina's dark blonde hair telling her she loved her too.

"We're going on a trail ride," Christina said. As she put a halter and lead rope on her, Christina and Sky looked at each other straight in the eye. Sky's eyes were filled with love, understanding, and an unbreakable spirit.

After she attached the lead rope, Christina led Sky to the gate. When she opened the gate Sky started to trot forward.

"Whoa Sky," Christina said. "I know you're excited."

Sky stopped but anyone could see how eager she was. Christina was closing the gate when she heard a lot of noise coming from the barn. Horses were kicking in their stalls and there were tons of frightened neighs and whinnies. She looked towards the barn. She saw a boy ride his bike out of the barn. She knew who that was. It was David Croft. The dark skinned boy was Christina's age and had just moved in the neighborhood 3 weeks ago from Kentucky.

Anger rose in her like boiling water. Even though Sky only had on a halter and lead rope, Christina sprang onto her back. They headed towards the barn at a fast canter. David had stopped to catch his breath. When he saw Christina, he tried to ride away, but Christina rose Sky in front of the bike and halted. Christina meant to talk calmly, but everything came out in shouts and yells.

"Why did you ride your bike into the barn?!" shouted Christina. "Don't you know we have pregnant mares in there?!"

"Sorry," David said. "I was just..."

"Don't you know this is private property?" interrupted Christina, yelling.

She pointed to a "No Trespassing" sign that was nailed on the barn. There were others surrounding the property.

"Sorry," David said.

"Well, I accept your apology," Christina said, "but it doesn't help matters now. I have to calm down all of those horses before I can do anything else. You've ruined my pleasant morning and I don't appreciate it. Now I ask you to get off my property. Good day."

David wheeled his bike around Grey Sky, through the gate, and rode away. Christina glared at him, then looked towards the barn. All the horses were still frightened. Now she would have to calm them down before she could even think about going on a trail
ride.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I Have Made a Decision

OK, school has taken a lot of time away from writing. I have a class where I have a test every week. Study, study, study.

But that doesn't mean there's not a story in the works.

I've had a lot of stories lately that I've been trying to develop and the minute I think they are going to work, they come crashing down. Not permanently, but you know what I mean. :)

Anyway, there is a story that I am going to be working on though. I don't have time to develop a story, but this one doesn't need it. It's already got a beginning, middle, and end and it's already complete! The drawback?

I wrote it when I was twelve years old.

The story is called The Search for Grey Sky. I wrote this before I got into fantasy. It's a story about a girl and her horse, named Grey Sky, of course. I had a lot of fun writing it and it is a good story, so I'm going to revamp it and make it sound better and more mature, because it's def not ready for submission right now!

Speaking of submissions, I am still querying the crap out of Khaladin. No takers yet, all rejections. But there's a lot of agents out there so I think there's still a pretty good chance. And if not, I love Khaladin so much that I will shelve it for a couple years and when the agencies have had more than enough time to forget about me (this is assuming I stay unpublished) I will submit him again. You guys know me...I never give up! :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Dream Box

OK, so I have started something new. I call it my Dream Box.

I have a lot of dreams, goals, and accomplishments I want to achieve in my lifetime. So last night I emptied out a little box and started writing these things out on tiny slips of paper. Some I have to fight to make come true, like getting published and becoming a licensed physical therapy assisstant and others are ones that may or may not come true but I wrote them down anyway, like going to Ireland and meeting Leonard Nimoy.

I want to keep track of everything I want to happen in my life and my Dream Box helps me do that.

But what happens when one of my dreams comes true?

Then I will take it out of the box and write down what it was and the date it came true on. I want to be able to keep track of this so that throughout my life I can see just how hard I am fighting for what I want. It's also good to show that dreams can come true.

Of course, some dreams might get modified with time, I might add others, or remove those that I realize I don't want anymore. But I think this is a good practice and I look forward to logging all my dreams that come true. Because I know at least some will. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Back To Normal

No more is there silence between the literary agents and me. The rejection letters are now pouring in. The silence was unnerving, but it's good to know that my email works. But I still hope that someone will read Khaladin. :)

I also might not have writer's block anymore. I am working on a new story called A Moment In Time. It's a science fiction story that's kinda in a weird market. My main character is too old for this book to be young adult, but she's kinda young for the adult market. She's around 21, 22...I haven't made up my mind yet. But it's going pretty good. I've got the first two chapters written (I love chapter one) and I hope it sounds good. I'm thinking about posting the first chapter on AW to see how it goes.

Anyway, that's it for now! ttyl! :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

School Started Today

As you can tell from the title of this post, I am now in school again. I am very glad of that, but unfortunately it cuts into writing time. However, I am still searching for a literary agent for Khaladin. I submitted to 14 agents last night and already recieved a rejection.

So, because of school, I don't know how active I will be on here. But please don't go away. I'll still be here popping up, so always feel free to stop by and see if there's anything new.

I'll keep you updated on how the literary agent hunting goes. Happy writing! :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Keeping My Promise

So, I said that when I got some pics of me riding, I'd show them to you. Well, here they are! I'm riding Gordon, a wonderful, if a little lazy, American Quarter Horse. The first pic is my fav. Anyway, enjoy! :)


















Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hey, What Gives?

Last week I submitted to several literary agencies about Khaladin. About ten or so. And you know what?

I have recieved no rejection letters.

This is wierd. Normally I get rejection letter just days, if not hours, after sending my query. And now....

....nothing.

It makes me wonder if the agencies are still alive out there. This is totally not normal. I know the old saying of no news is good news but I don't really believe that.

Kinda funny when the writer starts looking for the rejection letters rather than hoping for the interested agent. But seriously, this has never happened to me before.

Wierd....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Been Busy

Whew! I just sent out a mess of queries for Khaladin and there's even more to send! Even more research to do. Even more agent hunting.

Let the prowling begin. :)

On a non-writing note, I am now enrolled in a local community college and I am going to go for my Physical Therapy Assistant Associate's Degree. I've got to do a lot to get in, as the program only accepts 30 people each year.

So, yeah, that's even more time away from writing. But sometimes life gets in the way. And that's when you just make time to do what you love. :)

Catch ya later! I'll keep you updated on the queries! :D

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So, I Leave For A While....

...and look what happens! I have more followers! Whoot! Maybe I should disappear more often! :)

Ok, so that was a joke. But I really am sorry that I haven't been on here much. I haven't had a lot of time to write because I am trying to get ready to go to school. I am finally able to actually enroll in a college that is not online! I am SO excited!

For those who are curious, I am trying to get my Physical Therapy Assistant Associate's Degree. But that program only takes 30 people, so pray that I get in! :)

On the writing front, I have taken a look at two of my WiPs. One I think I need to make it MG instead of YA to make it work and the other is YA and fine at that age group. If only I could figure out the rest of my plot lines!

Oh, so far, Khaladin is still getting nothing but rejections. I've gotta look up some more agents to query. I'm not giving up yet!

Hey, I thought I didn't have much to say, and this post is already WAY longer than I thought it would be. I guess that's a good thing. :)

Anyway, till next time, happy writing! :D

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Do You Guys Know Gary Smith?

Yeah, Gary Smith. The famous writer for Sports Illustrated. The guy who's one of the best (if not the best) magazine writers in America.

Wanna know something neat?

I just found out that one of my neighbor's, who is a freelance writer, is his brother.

Weird life we are living in, huh?




My neighbor just let me borrow a book by his brother called Going Deep (cover above). I must say that it is really good. And I'm not even a sports fan!

Seriously, if you have not read this book, go buy it. It's an amazing read. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Yes, I Am Still Alive

Not much has been happening on the writing front lately. But I have been staying active...just not on here and mainly with my horses that I work with. :)

Me and Gorden

So, yeah, that's it for now. Sorry I've been ignoring you guys, but I'll change that.


Later!

Monday, July 6, 2009

FINISHED!!!

That's it, I'm done. Not even ten minutes ago, I just finished all my edits in Khaladin! The story went from thirty chapters and 39,000 words to thirty-three chapters and 42,000 words. It sounds so much better now and I am very proud of it! :)

Well, with the query and story done, it is now time to rewrite the dreaded synopsis. Writing a synopsis, so far, is the only thing I have found I hate in writing. It's hard to condense a 42K story to five to eight pages.

I am going to try to write my synopsis in five pages. I have found that's about the average and that will give me a good model to go by should an agent want a synopsis that is longer or shorter.

Hopefully I can complete my synopsis soon. If I'm lucky, it might even get done tonight. Once it is finished, then the queries can go out again. Hopefully this story will generate more interest. Do you know how pumped I'd be if an agent wanted to look at sample pages or read the entire manuscript? Forget a contract, just one reading my work would make me feel so awesome. And if that contract did happen to come my way, then it's a good thing you don't live at my house, cause I'd be screaming. :)

TTYL, guys! :D

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Two New Chapters Done

OK, so far today I have added two new chapters to Khaladin. There's more on the way, but I've written over 1,000 words today alone, and that's great, considering I haven't been able to do that in quite a while.

I've had a lot of time on my hands to write. Today especially, because I am SUPER sore. Why? I have taken up a new sport and that sport is horseback riding.

The owners of the barn that I volunteer at are so nice that they are giving me riding lessons for free. I ride a beautiful Quarter Horse mare named Sooner. When I get some pictures, I'll post them so you can see. :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

An Editing Update

So, I have been editing Khaladin the past couple days and have edited nearly half the book. I'm very close to where the revamp is going to be taking place in the story, so I'm trying to plan everything out. I've got a few ideas, but not quite sure how to make it all work yet.

In the meantime, I got my query letter for Khaladin probably as close to perfect as I can. I ran it a LOT on AW and it got to where fewer and fewer people would edit it and then it got to where the edits were nit picky. Once you get to nit picky edits, it's my opinion that you take those hints that you want and leave the rest and lean back, hoping you have the right query letter.

And this one really didn't turn out bad! In fact, I'm rather proud of it. It's the best query letter I've ever written, but I want to share it with you to get your thoughts as well. So, here it is:

Dear Agent:

I am seeking representation for my middle grade fantasy novel, KHALADIN, which is complete at 39,000 words. (word count subject to change with edit *wink*)

Thirteen-year-old Judy never imagined her aunt’s horse would give birth to anything but a normal foal, until she saw the colt’s tiny horn. She’s thrilled to have a baby unicorn to take care of, but she soon learns it’s not easy keeping Khaladin’s existence a secret. When a greedy casino owner discovers him and steals him away to auction him off to the highest bidder, Judy knows she has to save him.

The road to rescue isn’t easy. Judy and her aunt follow the casino owner to his ranch in Arizona where Khaladin is being held. Judy knows that if she can’t rescue Khaladin, he’ll become nothing more than a status symbol- but if she succeeds, she’ll be condemning him to the same imprisonment he faced before. Judy wants Khaladin to be free to choose what life he wants. She just hopes his choice won’t break her heart.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,

me

So, feel free to tell me what you think. :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just When I Thought I Had It Figured


So, you do know that stories speak, right? Some of them say, "Write me!" which is good. The best will say, "I'm ready, send me off!" Others will say, "I need more work before you query me." But I absolutely hate it when a story says this:


"Oh, I'm sorry. I thought I was ready to be queried off I wasn't. I'm actually in need of a major rewrite. I know you've already submitted me to the agents you want most, but I really need this rewrite before you send me off again."


That is exactly what Khaladin did to me today.


The rewrite will make it a better story. It's all for the best. But I thought I was done with this one and now it's like, think again. Oh well. I will begin the revamp process and probably try to sell Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space! And if that one calls out for a rewrite, I will send out The Heart and the Horn. And if that one calls for a rewrite again, I might just throw in the towel on writing.


Believe me? Yeah, didn't think so. You all know I love writing too much to ever quit. :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

After Weeks Of Writer's Block....

....I have it again.

Haha, fooled ya! Actually, the reality is that I am far from having writer's block, considering I am now currently working on three novels at once.

Yep, you read that right. Three.

The first you already know about. Yep, it's Confessions of a Redhead. But the other two are more up my alley. They are both fantasy, one being middle grade and the other young adult.

It's pretty fun since one of my best friends is in my new middle grade novel. I created a character based on him several months ago, but never had a story to put him in. Now I do and I am so excited! It's a lot of fun working on this stuff, and one of the reasons why my posting has gotten a little scarce.

I'll try to keep you updated a little more often like I used to. But so much has been going on lately that I haven't had a lot of time to devote to writing. Hopefully that is going to be changing and I think it will since I now have several projects I am very excited about. :)

Happy writing! :D

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Want My Dreams To Go Away

The past several nights, I have been dreaming. I don't like to dream for one very good reason. My mind concentrates on the dream so much that I end up not sleeping well. But there is a plus side to dreaming for me.

Most everything I dream I can pull a story idea from.

The problem is that I already had more than I know what to do with. And last night I added yet another one to the list. The good thing about this one is that the MC is a boy. I don't have many of those. It's so easy for a girl to tell a story from a girl's point of view. The idea is interesting, as it deals with a special hole.

But what's so special about the hole?

I have no clue. Maybe if Mom hadn't woken me up, I would've found out. But as it stands right now, I have yet another idea to flesh out. Part of me is excited and the other part isn't, because I've just got so many dang ideas that are at this same point. What about you? How do you feel when you have too many ideas? Or do you never have enough?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Writing Again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOOOOOOOOORAAAAAAAY!!!!! I am writing again! I started again this morning because one of my best friends gave me an idea for a book when we were talking on the phone last night. And he didn't even mean to give me an idea! It just sort of happened.

But here's the neat thing. It's not YA or MG. It's not even fantasy or science fiction. I guess it's what you'd call a literary novel. I'll have to look up that term to make sure that's exactly what it's called. And it's non-fiction!

Anyway, do you want to know the title? Well, if you don't, quit reading right now, cause I'm gonna type it. And I'm not going to tell you what it's about, because I think the title is pretty self-explanatory.

It's called Confessions Of A Redhead: The Pros and Cons.

So, let's see if I'm right about the title really saying what the book is about. What do you think it's about? Oh and I have the prologue and first chapter all done and am partway through two more, and so far have fourteen chapters planned. All with titles and what they will be about. Will there be more? I don't know. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. At least I'm writing again and that makes me very, very, VERY happy! :D

Monday, June 1, 2009

10 More Agents......

....And that equals ten more queries.

Yes, I have found ten more agents to query and hopefully one of them will at least want to read my work. I have decided to continue to query Khaladin, since so far it is my best loved story.

I am excited about these new queries to write. I can't explain why, but I love to write query letters. They are challenging and I suppose that is why I don't mind them, since I enjoy a challenge. :)

Anyway, that's all the reporting I have for now. Will let you know when more comes up. Till nezt time, peace! :D

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Question

Hey, guys, so far you have been great helping me! But now I have a new question for you.

I know that there are some great agents out there who are newbies, but I have a hard time finding these. I would be willing to take a risk and try and agent with no sold projects, provided their training is reputable.

But where do you find these agents? I know some of them are at conferences, but I can't afford to go to those. Is there a newbie agents website or some way I can search for them?

Thanks for your help! You guys rock! :D

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rejection, Dejection, Whatever You Wanna Call It, I've Got It

Well, you've probably already guessed that the agent I queried, the one I really wanted, decided to pass on my work today. Ah, well. Guess it's time to hit the old drawing board again.

Which leaves me with a problem. Normally I always have a plan for querying agents, but this time around, I don't. There is one agent out there that I am really thinking about querying, but I'm not sure yet. Why? I have no clue. I really don't know why I have ever queried him. He's one of the best in the biz and I have never sent him a query in all my five years of querying.

Who is this mystery agent, you ask?

Well, it's Ethan Ellenberg. He represents everything that I write (but that doesn't mean he will want my work) and I know he's good and what he does, so why don't I shoot him an e-mail?

That's a very good question. So, which story should it be?

The Heart and the Horn: a YA high fantasy where a Princess is dethroned and has to destroy an evil shape shifting Unicorn

Khaladin: a MG fantasy where a horse gives birth to a unicorn foal and Judy has to keep him hidden from all eyes

Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space!: a MG science fiction where a girl finds out her adopted parents are aliens and she has to save two worlds before it's too late

Which is your fav? Which do you think I should query off? Khaladin is a very emotional tale, The Heart and the Horn is epic good verses evil, and Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space! is a fun, humorous story that makes you laugh.

So, help me out here, guys. Please?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!


Please remember our troops in your prayers.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane Part One

Mom has been going through some old boxes and has found a lot of stuff that I wrote when I was younger. It's so funny to go back and read all this stuff that was so good then, but crap now. Well, maybe not crap, considering it gives me a good laugh! :)

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to share some of these "fantastic" stories with you. Here is a story I wrote when I was in second grade. Considering the ending, I don't think it was finished, but it very well could have been. I have no clue.

Disclaimer: For your convenience, spelling errors have been omitted. I had really bad spelling skills that still plague me somewhat today. But grammar and POV errors have not been omitted. I hope you enjoy it! :)


The Bad Easter Bunny Who Almost Stole the Magic Easter Egg

Dedicated to my teacher, Ms. Harris

Once in a small village in the village there was a very bad Easter bunny her name was Dafney. Dafney knew in the museum there was a Easter egg and the Easter egg made Easter come every year. Dafney hated Easter that's why she wanted the Easter egg so much. One night when everyone was asleep, Dafney snuck into the museum and got the Easter egg. Dafney did not know that they had night watchmen. One of the night watchmen saw Dafney take the Easter egg soon they were running all over the museum knocking stuff over here and there! Dafney was faster than the night watchman.

Dafney was wondering what to do then something came to her mind she was thinking about sneaking out the door without the night watchman knowing it and he would still be running around the museum. Finally the night watchman realized that he was not chasing anything. Both of the night watchmen did not know that in the village lived a wise but old Dog her name was Anna. The night after the robbery happened the night watchmen found out about Anna they went to her and told her about the robbery. Anna said that she would put a spell over Dafney. "The spell will make Dafney good" said Anna

I'm guessing the spell worked, because that's where the story ends. I vaguely remember writing it. My teacher was happy to hear that I dedicated this story to her.

I wish I knew if this story is finished or an old forgotten WIP. I guess I'll never know. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it! :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dream Agent...One Last Shot

I have only one more manuscript that my dream agent hasn't rejected and I just pitched it to her today. I have no clue if she will reject it or read it or what, but that's just part of the biz.

Anyway, I'd talk longer, but I'm pressed for time. Just want to keep everyone updated. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Congrats!


Congrats to my BFF, Sarah, on graduating high school! Great job, girl! Very, very proud of you!

Monday, May 11, 2009

New Job

So, I am going to tell you about my new job. It's completely volunteer, which I don't mind. It is also just a ten minute walk from my house, which I don't mind.

Up the road from me, there's a place called Shining Hope Farms. Basically what they do is give riding therapy to special needs kids. Today was my first day.




I have loved horses ever since I was little and have always wanted to be around them. The opportunity has never arose until recently.

Today was my first day and I absolutely loved it! The lady who heads it up even said that we might be able to let my volunteer work pay for me to get some riding lessons up there, which would be sweet!

Does this cut into the writing time, you ask?

Well, of course. But I don't mind. I am a writer through and through, so I will always find time to hone and perfect my craft. But learning how to be around the horses is amazing, especially since a constant in my writing is the unicorn. But don't worry. I think there's little danger of me finding a unicorn in the barn like Judy did in Khaladin. It'd be hard too, since all of the horses are male! ;)

(Oh, and if I did find a unicorn in the barn, y'all would be the first to know. *wink*)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Shh! Can You Keep A Secret?

Cause if you can't, then you can't read this post. OK, most of you don't know my mom, but there are a few on here that do, so whatever you do, don't tell her!

I drew a picture for my mom for Mother's Day. She has seen the pencil version (unfinished) but has no clue about this.

I had my mom in mind the entire time it took me to write and finish Khaladin. She was really on my mind when I created Khaladin's horse mama. My mom used to work with show Saddlebreds. She also loves a penny Palimino. So, when I created Penny, Khaladin's mom, I made her a penny Palimino Saddlebred.

So now I am going to show you the picture for Mom. It's a tender moment between horsey mama and uni baby.

A Mother's Love


A mother doesn't care if her child is different. She loves that child for who they are....even if they stick out like sore thumb, as Khaladin does in our world.

My mom is not a fan of fantasy, but she has heard enough about Khaladin to know that she likes it. Maybe one day she will ask to read it. :)

I wish I had the money to buy a frame for this, but I don't. She'll like it anyway. But what do you guys think?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Hate This

This is one thing I can't stand in writing. It is when I have nothing to write.

I have so many ideas it is not even funny. But which one to work on? Nothing seems to be coming at the moment. Right now, I'm teetering between two YA fantasies I have called Your Reality, My Fantasy and The Unicorn Maiden. I am also thinking hard about my MG fantasy series, The Unicorn Queen. But which one to write?

I have no clue right now. This is the most frustrating thing for me. Yes, it is worse for me than waiting on literary agent responses (or lack thereof). I always want to write. I get joy out of writing. But when that stupid, evil little demon called Writer's Block pops in, I'm in for a stressful time.

What about you? If you can't write, does it drive you up the wall? Or do you act like a normal person and find something else to do besides search through your story notes and ideas for something to write?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

This Is For All You Unpublished Authors Out There

Have you ever wondered if you will get published?

I do. Sometimes I read what I have written and think there is no way that anyone would want to read it and no wonder that no literary agents have offered to read my work. I stare at it and think it's crap, wondering if I should shelve the whole dang thing.

Then I think, who am I kidding? Of course will be published one day, it's only a matter of time. So what if the agents don't want to read my work? I have to look at it as their lose and move on. One day I will be read and published.

I think every writer teeters between these two trains of thought. It's only natural. Sure, it can be frustrating, but that's part of what makes success so sweet when we finally achieve it. The road to publication is long and hard and the road won't get any shorter or easier even after all the contracts are signed, but yet we are willing to do it anyway.

Why?

Because some people are just born to do something. I know I was born to write, whether I get published or not. How about you?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another WIP In The Works???

There might be.

I am currently working on yet another YA fantasy, this one titled My Reality, Your Fantasy. A little vague, you say? Well, yeah, it is. I'm not revealing too much on this one at this point in time. But I will tell you that there are two main characters and each will be telling thier story in first person. Yikes! Can I pull this off?

I think so. I enjoy a challenge. *rubs hands together gleefully with strange glint in eye*

Anyway, I have a lot of completed manuscripts right now. I have The Heart and the Horn, Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space!, and Khaladin. I also have a middle grade fantasy trilogy called The Mirror's Portal Trilogy, which is complete, but in editing. If I could just find an agent, I'd be in good shape.

Then again, maybe not. Just because you have an agent doesn't mean said agent will rep all you write. Gotta keep it real here, folks. ;)

Anyway, sorry my posting has been sketchy lately. I've been lazy, there's no other word for it. But I'm going to try not to be anymore. Please don't quit reading and, if you like what you see on this blog, feel free to follow me. Really, I don't bite all that much. ;)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Revamp Is Done!

I wanted to finish my revamp for The Ultimate Evil before the end of April and I have succeeded. But along with some new scenes and dialogue, this story now has a new name.

And, no, it's not Shifter.

Alas, I just found out through Kristin Nelson's blog that one of her clients is coming out with a book titled The Shifter. So I can't use a title so similar. I mean, I probably could, but I don't want to. So I chose The Heart and the Horn.

In other news, I just submitted Khaladin to the McVeigh Agency. Maybe my first partial or full request will be coming soon. I don't know. I guess I just have to wait and see what the future holds. :)

Oh, The Heart and the Horn's new word count is 65K. I cut many of the chapters in half, which almost doubles the amount of the earlier version. But it is only 10K longer than the old one.

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Website!

Hey, everyone! I want to invite you to click on over to my new website! I hope you enjoy it! Here's the link:

www.madisonhood.netne.net

You can message me there or here to let me know what you think. Thanks and enjoy! :D

Monday, April 13, 2009

I Was An Agent For A Day!!!

On his blog, literary agent Nathan Bransford held a "Be an agent for a day" contest today and I have to tell you that I loved it! I had to read fifty queries and I could request no more than five manuscripts. I wish I could read the five I chose!

I have always loved query letters and have always respected an agent's job because it is hard. I loved every minute of it! I have thought about being a literary agent at some point in time, or at least reading queries for one. If any agents want someone to read their queries for them, then I'm their girl! :D

If you want to participate in this contest, hop on over to Mr. Bransford's blog now. You have till Sunday night to reply to all fifty queries.

Happy manuscript hunting! :D

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Uh, Yeah, There's Really Nothing To Say

Yeah, I don't really have anything to report. My revisions for The Ultimate Evil or Shifter, whichever you want to call it, are still underway, though I haven't worked on it for several days. I have revamped the query, which I will post on here soon. Other than that, there's not much to say. Things have kinda been too crazy to write, so, yeah, this probably registers as the most boring post in the world. But thanks for reading it anyway! :D

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

If You Are A Writer.....

....and you hate scams and you have Facebook, please aid me in raising awareness about a writing scam known as WL Writer's Agency.

Here is the link to the group:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=17059818539

If there is any way you can help spread the word, please do so. Invite your friends on Facebook, link to this post in your blog, or anything you can think of. I have gotten several people messaging me on Facebook asking about why this place is a scam. I enjoy responding and helping my fellow writers, but it breaks my heart to see just how many people are unaware of these greedy scammers. So, please, anything you can do to help is appreciated.

Thanks! Happy writing! :D

Saturday, April 4, 2009

New Title Selected

So, I have finally decided on the new title for The Ultimate Evil. Yes, it is one of the ones that people voted on. I told you I would select one of those. :)

OK, so which one did I choose?

I chose Shifter.

And, yes, there is a reason why I chose this one. You wanna know? Well, if you don't, you might as well click to the next blog, because I'm gonna type it anyway. :p

As many of you know, Arvil is a shape-shifter. But also, Aduan, my MC, goes from snooty and self-centered Princess to a compassionate and caring ruler. So she shifts attitudes!

How do you like my reasoning?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me! :D

Well, my dream of becoming a teen author has offically flown the coop.

But that's OK. For the longest time I wasn't looking forward to growing up, and now, I think I'm embracing it better than I was before. Life is strange, isn't it?

So now I have set a new goal. I want to be published in my twenties.

But if it doesn't happen till I'm 99, then that's fine too! :D

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A New Title

I am nearing the halfway point in my revamp of The Ultimate Evil. I hadn't been able to write for several days because I had to work on my final exam of my Interior Decorator Career Diploma. Now it's done and I'm writing again at full speed! :)

You know me, I'm a planner. I like to plan for what could happen. So, for those who don't know, I have decided to query Khaladin till I have literally exhausted all options. If Khaladin does not sell and I am finished with The Ultimate Evil, I am probably going to query it again.

Now, you can query agents about the same project again if you have done a major overhaul in your story. Well, that's what I'm doing. But I've also heard that changing the title can help when re-querying as well. So, I want to find a new title for The Ultimate Evil.

Here's what I have so far:

The Dark One King
The Evil King
The Dark King
The Morlaya King
Shifter
A Son of Darkness
The Master of Fear
The Backbone of Hate
The Heart and the Horn
The Devil's Disguise
The Demon Unicorn
Terror of Nightmares
As you can tell, I still want to name this story after Arvil. Without him, there'd be no story!
I am only looking for a title for when I re-query these agents. If I do and none of them bite, I will revert back to The Ultimate Evil when querying agents to whom I have never sent this project.
So, what do you think of those titles? Which ones do you like? Are there any more you would like to suggest? I'm open and all ears! :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Inspiration

That's the one thing a writer cannot live without. One way or another, all of our stories are influenced by something. It doesn't matter if we are inspired by a true event, another book, or even the way the clouds look in the sky. What matters is that we are inspired.

Today, I thought I would share a bit of inspiration for one of my stories with you. The story is Khaladin. The inspiration is the movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.

I was not inspired so much by storyline from Spirit as I was with just the horse himself. I saw more of how a horse reacts and moves. Naturally a unicorn would do the same. It helped me get a better visual both in my head and on paper.

Here's a video of Spirit. The song being played is a dance version of the song, The Last Unicorn. Fitting, since this movie inspired me and Khaladin is a unicorn.

Oh, watch the 1:34 mark. Spirit pretends he's a pegasus. I love it! :D


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSK6u9SCi2s

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Do You Have Trouble Speed Writing?

On some days, I do. But I was referred to a speed writing website by author Jim Denney, who has published such books as Quit Your Day Job! and the story of Star Trek actress Grace Lee Whitney, The Longest Trek. You can find more books by him by visiting his website, www.denneybooks.com.

I tried out this site (which is 100% free) and loved it! You type in the amount of words you want to write and select your time limit (from 10 minutes to two hours) and click the Write! button. You can also set your difficulty mode. The first is gentle and when you haven't written in a while, it gently prods you to go on. Or you can set the evil mode, which plays an annoying sound if you cease to write for too long. This is the mode I use and prefer (although some of their "evil" sounds are a mistake for me, because they just make me laugh, which makes me lose time. Once it played "Mmm Bop" by Hanson. Yes, I love that song and instead of writing I was singing along. I'm such a dork!). Or, if you want something even more difficult, set it to Kamikaze mode and if you fail to write, your writing will undo itself! Pfft! Gone!

I love this site. I think it's great and you should try it. Here's the link:

http://lab.drwicked.com/writeordie.html

Happy (speed) writing! :D

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why The Revamp?

I just recently read a book that said if you don't condense your book in your revision, then you are doing something wrong.

So why am I doing a revamp of The Ultimate Evil that's clearly making the story much longer?

Simple: It needs it.

The Ultimate Evil, I believe, has the potential to be a great story. It was good in the old version but the reason I'm revamping is to flesh out the story and edit those iffy parts that every story has, whether it's to keep or chuck them.

With this new version of my fantasy, I also have to re-work the query. Heck, I had to do that anyway because my query, which I thought was good, turned out to be crap. And with new plot twists, I have to focus on different things than I used to. But I have to say, writing a query for this story is hard. Khaladin and Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space!'s queries were easier. I guess it's because they don't have as many twists and turns as The Ultimate Evil does.

Another thing. I normally keep you all updated on my word count progress, whether it increases or shortens. Well, I'm now going to hold you in suspense. I will not post The Ultimate Evil's word count again until it is finished.

Happy writing! :D

Sunday, March 22, 2009

An Example

Some of my friends who read The Ultimate Evil in its entirety have wondered what I am doing to this poor story that I have been working on for so long. Well, here is an example. Below is the original opening paragraph for The Ultimate Evil.

_
A good king had ruled Validor not that long ago. He had lost his wife to disease shortly after his daughter’s birth, but did not let his grieving affect his ability to rule the country with compassion and grace. He was a kind man who had been very skilled with the sword, and though ruling Validor had demanded most of his time, he always found enough hours in the day to spend time with his only daughter and heir, Aduan. She was a very beautiful and skilled girl, one of the few women who could expertly wield a sword.
_


It's good, decent even, but this is not great. I have expanded upon this paragraph and turned it into the opening chapter called, "The Princess and the King". This is that chapter:

_

Taon stood on one of the many balconies in Validor’s castle, overlooking the lush green grounds, a soft wind pulling gently at his shoulder length hair. The vizier’s ever-watchful eye lay on his close friend, King Dorvon and his only daughter, Princess Aduan, as their swords clashed. Sword fighting was a pastime both father and daughter had enjoyed for many years now.

She truly has grown even more beautiful than her mother was, Taon reflected as he watched the seventeen year old. The Queen’s life had been lost to disease shortly after Aduan’s birth and the girl had grown up, never knowing her mother. The King had taken his wife’s death hard, but had not let his grieving mar his ability to rule his land with compassion and grace.

Taon became aware that someone had stepped up beside him and saw that it was Yeugh, a skilled knight and captain of Validor’s army. The soldier gazed at the Royal Family below and nodded his head. “Aduan’s skill is improving.”

“Quite,” he agreed, “but she had the best instructor. His Majesty is the most skilled swordsman in our land.”

“With that I must agree.”

The two men fell silent as they watched the battle commence. For years the fights had not been evenly matched, but now it seemed that this one was. Aduan was just as quick as her father, just as wary and watchful. Then, to Taon’s great surprise, Aduan succeeded in forcing her father’s sword from his hand. Her sword pointed at his throat, she removed her helmet, revealing her sweat drenched bronze hair.

“Do you yield?” she asked.

Dorvon’s kind face crinkled up in a smile and he laughed. “Well done, Aduan. Well done!” He looked up at Taon. “Wasn’t that something, my friend?”

“Indeed, my lord,” Taon called back, knowing full well the king had not allowed his daughter to win. She had rightfully earned it. “Neither Yeugh or myself has managed to best you.”

Dorvon grinned at his daughter and wrapped her in a hug. “Not only do I have the prettiest daughter in the land,” Taon heard him say, “but the best swordswoman as well.”

“I never expected that of Aduan,” Yeugh said. “She has always cared more of her appearance than anything else. Why would she strive so hard to beat her father?”

“Because she wishes to please him,” the vizier answered. “He is the only person she truly cares about.”

Yeugh sighed and shook his head as he watched the Royals depart the grounds and walk into the castle. “She still has much to learn before she can assume the throne.”

“There is still time, Sir Yeugh,” he assured him. “Time for Aduan to learn all she needs. Besides, she will not undertake the throne until the King deems her ready. That is the law of our land.”

“Aduan is spoiled.” Yeugh always spoke bluntly. “Everyone in Validor knows it. Everyone, that is, except for her father.”

Taon looked away to gaze once again at the lush green land before him. Yeugh was right. Dorvon did not see the coldness in Aduan’s heart because it was never displayed before him.

“I’m only thinking of the good of our country,” Yeugh continued. “Things do happen and we do have enemies out there.”

At his words, Taon found himself involuntary gazing into the West. Yes, enemies did lay in wait and one in particular had for centuries with the promise that one day he would return.

How much longer would he continue to only linger?

“Taon, don’t pay any attention to me,” Yeugh said, leaning up against the stone railing. “Right now we really do not have anything to worry about. Everything is going well for Validor, wouldn’t you agree?”

He nodded, turning back to him, carefully banishing any concern and fear that may have been present on his features. “Yes, I do agree.”

They did not know that the words were a bad omen.
_


I think it's much better. Of course, this is only the first draft. Once the revamp is done, I'm going to read it through once more to clean it up a little bit, then I'm going to be done because then it will be the epic I always saw it as....which makes me one happy camper! :D

Oh, feel free to crit and comment on this. If you do decide to crit, please note that I love honest opinions, so you can tell me anything you want. All help is always appreciated! :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Revamp In Progress!

Some of my regulars will know that I have been working for a long time on a story called The Ultimate Evil, a high fantasy young adult novel. Several of you know that I was planning on revamping it.

Well, this is where the planning stops and the action begins!

I have begun my revamp of The Ultimate Evil. I'm super excited! It doesn't even begin the same way anymore. The original beginning paragraphs were kinda boring and now I'm going to change all that. The story is going to be longer, more dramatic, more desperate, and a MUCH more exciting read! I have no plans for how long it will get. Right now it's sitting pretty at 55,000 words and I gather it will exceed that now, but I don't know by how much. I have learned not to stress over length. If your story is good, then length doesn't matter.

Literary Update: The Ultimate Evil was completely rejected by all 17 agents I sent it to. Are you surprised? I'm not. Also, I just recieved another rejection letter for Khaladin. Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space! has still not been submitted to any agencies. Still focused on Khaladin.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A New Experience

I'm about to undertake one.

One of my good friends and I have decided to write a book together.

Cool!

Some of you might remember that I mentioned a story I had begun work on called A Moment In Time. Well, my friend, come to find out, had a story idea that was similar, so we have decided to pool our stories and talents for one fantastic (we hope!) novel!

It will be a young adult science fiction. Can't say much more than that, but I am SUPER excited! Wish us luck! We're both excited about starting this as soon as we can. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Encouraging Words

My BFF just finished reading The Ultimate Evil and she loved it!

My friend offered a lot of encouraging words. She said that she loved my ending because I brought it to a complete closure, no cliffhangers. She found comic relief in the story (and some that I didn't even know was there, which was fun to discover!) and I even scared her at one point with Arvil. She knows that poetry is not my strong point, but she said that the two poems in my story are good.

On a scale of 1 to 10, she placed my book 7-8. She said it wasn't the best book she has ever read (obviously) but that if it were on the shelf she would buy it and recommend it to friends.

One thing my friend has always said is that she thinks The Ultimate Evil would make a great movie. What a compliment! She also loved the emotion I had in my story, saying I am an emotional person which makes me an emotional writer, and it shows.

I was completely flattered. I told her that for her to love the story this much, publication or not, I've done my job.

"But I so want to see you published, Madison!"

Me too, my friend. Me too. :D

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bubbles, Bubbles, But Not A Drop To Drink....Yet

Remember that line from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Well, I've adapted it to describe my current writing crisis.

"Stories, stories, but not a one to write....yet."

In simple terms, I have a ton of ideas, but I haven't found one to buckle down with yet. I've been talking to friends and family about my series, The Unicorn Queen, and some questions about several of the plots are being raised. Obviously, I have more work to do than I thought.

I also came up with two more story ideas this week. One is a young adult science fiction called, A Moment In Time. Yes, for those wondering, it is a time travel story. It's time travel with adventure, action, and a dash of romance.

Got that? A dash. I don't like to be overly romantic....at least at this point in my life. :)

I've also got another young adult story idea and this one is probably going to shock you. Why?

Drumroll, please.

It's not science fiction or fantasy.

Yep, it's not genre fiction. The title is The Babysitting Adventures of Beverly Jenkins. I REALLY like this story so far! Maybe it will be the next one to work on. In this field, you never know.....

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Blog Worth Reading

It is called Everyday Miracles.

This blog doesn't have anything to do with writing, per say, but the writing style is great. This is my writing friend's blog...the one I met with the other day. A few of you may have read that post.

My friend and I are Christians and his blog is about his study through the Bible and what it means to him. Even if you are not a Christian, I urge you to visit, because he does have a way with words....one that I think we as writers can learn from. And if you are a Christian, then you are in for a real treat! :D

The blog is http://wats-the-word.blogspot.com. My friend has a weird way of spelling, but hey, that's just how he is.

Oh, and if you do read and like it, feel free to follow. He doesn't update too often, but when he does, it's great!

Don't be shy! Check it out! :D

Monday, March 2, 2009

Queen Sapphire and Her Friends

Since I was having a hard time writing The Unicorn Queen, I decided to make some more drawings of the characters and share them with you. This first one is Sapphire, wearing her Badge of Majesty, given to her by the former Queen, Midnight Star.

I have a question about the Badge of Majesty. Would you say it is a necklace or a breastplate? When I said breastplate in my sample chapter, someone on AW said that it creates a confusing image when I say it lifted off her shoulders. So, what do you think?







This is Ruby, Sapphire's older sister. She was also in the group Midnight Star was training to see who would become the next ruler and Ruby is not jealous that Sapphire was chosen over her. She always does her best to help her sister in any way she can. Both she and Sapphire are first introduced in the first story, The New Queen's Challenge.






Here is Levan. He is a castle guard and becomes great friends with Sapphire. I don't really know a lot about his character yet, but I do know that he would do anything to protect Sapphire, even if it meant laying down his own life. Levan is introduced in Book Two: A Silent Killer.












Last but certainly not least is Kila. She is a very sweet unicorn, quiet and controlled, but is a wonderful fighter. She is eternally loyal to Sapphire because the Queen saved her life. Kila considers Sapphire her best friend. Readers will meet Kila in the third adventure, The Marred Unicorn.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Met My Writing Friend

And it was awesome!

My friend has some great story ideas and he really liked this one that I am formulating (got put on the back burner) called, The Untitled Story. He asked me if his writing was good or crap in my opinion.

My response?

"Well, it depends on how you look at it. I mean, your writing is good, but the fact that all the stories end right when they get interesting is crap."

He got a kick out of that.

Seriously, he hasn't really written much recently, but I think this guy has talent. I think he has the potential to tell a really good story.

Unfortunately, I was on a time limit, so we didn't get to finish. I didn't get to read half his stuff and he didn't get even a quarter through mine. I have a LOT more than he does, but I guess that's just because I've been working harder for longer. We will have to meet again and I'm hoping we can do it soon. I have a talent for becoming close friends with people I hardly ever get to see. :(

My friend says he wants to finish a story and pursue publication. Don't we all? So I am going to do my best to help him navigate this wonderful industry. As the Musketeers say, "One for all. All for one."

Or maybe a better quote to describe it: "Birds of a feather stick together."

Happy writing, all! :D

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Not Much To Say

Sorry I've been gone for a while. I just moved into my new house (yeah!) and there's hasn't been much time for writing. My net was down for several days and there just hasn't been time to get anything writing related done.

But that kinda changed today. I am working on the first two books in my new series, The Unicorn Queen and it's very exciting! I love working on new pieces! :D

On a very happy note, I am meeting one of my friends this week to exchange story ideas! Whoot! We both have so many that are missing that extra spark or we just don't have the discipline to sit down and write certain stories. Who knows? There may be a bestseller lurking within our piles!

Hey, one can dream! :D

Friday, February 20, 2009

Weird....

Before I get to what my post is about, this is my 100th post! YEAH! :D

OK, remember a few days ago when I said all my adventures in my new series, The Unicorn Queen, were all planned out. Well, turns out, that's not too true.

Because I found out that the adventure for book one won't work as is.

But that's OK. I've gone ahead and started writing book two. This isn't a series with cliffhanger endings, so I can skip ahead no problem. Book two: A Silent Killer is already in chapter eight! I'm very pleased with it so far. Basic rundown is Sapphire has to deal with the first murders ever committed in her land of Harlindale and her own sister is suspect for one of them.

Cool.

Besides book one, these adventures seem to be turning out really well. I hope it stays that way! :D

Also, there's a very interesting post for you writers out there on Pubrants, the blog of literary agent Kristin Nelson about music and writing. If you want to check it out, you can find the link to her blog on my blog list on the right side of the page. Check it out! :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Have You Noticed Something?

Because I sure have! I recently posted about my story status. You can look over those titles again if you want to.

I used to say that writing young adult was my favorite audience to write for.

Now, I think, my mind has changed.

Why?

Well, all of my stories listed, except for The Ultimate Evil, are for middle graders.

There's something about writing for that age group that I absolutely love and I didn't know why until just a few days ago. It's because the kids are still young enough where you don't have to explain the logic of your fantasy. If you say it is so, then they believe it.

And there's something about that....magic, if you will. It's addicting and it's wonderful! :D

(Guess this means I should switch around the age groups I write for under my blog title, huh?) ;)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Literary Updates

OK, I'm going to update you all on all of my stories and their statuses so far:

The Ultimate Evil: Submitted to 17 agents and rejected by 11. Do not believe query will hook remaining agents. Once I have heard back (or not) from all of them, this story is going to be put on hold for revamping. It's missing something, but I can't pinpoint it yet.

Khaladin: Submitted to 26 agents and has been rejected 10 times. This story I will query till I have exhausted all options. May re-write my query before querying more agents, though. It might not be reading as well as I thought. Plan on submitting to all e-mail query friendly agents first before going to snail mail agents (I am in the process of moving, so that's why I have it this way).

Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space!: Never rejected! OK, so that's because it's never been submitted. But the query letter is done, should I ever need it. This story is still in editing, but not in need of a major overhaul that I can see at this point.

The Unicorn Queen: All 13 adventures have been planned and all major characters formulated. The first five chapters of book one are complete. I plan to write all the adventures and then go back and edit them. I will not pitch this series till every book is complete, which I don't think will take too long. I'm hoping each story will be around 15K-20K.

So, that's it. I'll update again when I have something new to report. Till then, happy writing! :D

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sapphire Pic

Here's my Photoshop picture of Sapphire. She's pretty, no?



I am in chapter five in the first book of her series, The Unicorn Queen. I have already come up with all her adventures and the titles for each book (subject to change). Here they are:
1. The New Queen's Challenge
2. A Silent Killer
3. The Marred Unicorn
4. Gallop of Life or Death
5. Innocents and Facades
6. A Betrayer In Our Midst
7. A Journey Through the Sea
8. She Is Not the Queen!
9. The Temple Secrets
10. The Blackest Night
11. Sapphire Comes to Earth
12. A Human Goes to Harlindale
13. Kroboth's War
So, what do you think?

Friday, February 13, 2009

A New Series In The Works!!

Yes, that's right, I'm going to be beginning work on a series that I have been trying to write since I was about seven or eight years old. I created this unicorn (will post drawing of her later) named Sapphire and I have always wanted to write a series for her.

Well, last night, after midnight, I couldn't go to bed yet. My dad was in the bathroom and I didn't want to go to sleep with dirty teeth (eew!) so I waited up so that he could finish. While I was waiting, I was rumaging through all my story ideas and pieces. I wasn't thinking too hard, just going over everything, when suddenly, I found all these short little adventure ideas that could work in a series! So exciting! I started to put together a story folder and I've filled it with a lot of information. So today, I am going to begin book one in my new middle grade fantasy series, The Unicorn Queen.

So, yeah, you've probably noticed that unicorns are my favorite mythical creature. I never wanted to be referred to as "The Unicorn Writer", but now I think that I will bear that title with pride! :D

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy

As the title suggests, I am happy. Why? Because I am going to be helping a friend write his very own novel. I have already read part of it and am really intrigued. Good thing he says he doesn't mind harsh criticism, because I'm a tell-it-as-I-see-it person.

To bring you up to date, I have recieved more rejections for The Ultimate Evil and Khaladin. However, I'm not recieving rejections with Khaladin as quickly as I was with The Ultimate Evil. Hopefully that's a sign of good things to come! :D

Friday, February 6, 2009

Right Now, The Magic Number Is 26

As of right now, I have submitted Khaladin to a total of twenty-six agents. I have never sent a story to this many agents. Hey, there's a first time for everything! :D

So, out of that twenty-six, two agents have passed on my soon-to-be-NYT-Bestseller. Hahaha, just kidding! Hope I'm not, but..... :D

I'm in a new ballpark now. I have more determination to get this story published more than I ever have with any other. I guess that's a good thing.

Navigating the wonderful world of literary agents is not easy. I have run across several scammers. Having nearly succumbed to one, I can now spot one a mile away. I found one that was even boasting that they are the last agency accepting new authors. Pha! Now there's a scam if I ever saw one!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Discouraged

So, today I received more rejection letters. The ninth for The Ultimate Evil and the first for Khaladin. This is the third time my dream agent has rejected me. Maybe it's just not meant to be.

Anyway, I've begun to wonder just what a person has to do to break into this industry. It's harder than becoming an actress. You can be an actress even if you never get a speaking part. But with writing you're either published or you're not. Simple. That's they way it works.

So, I sound a little depressed right now, but I'm OK. This isn't the first time this has happened to me, and I know it won't be the last. I've got to build up a tough skin if I want to go into this industry and I know I can do it. My chin is still up! :D

OK, my little venting session is over. On the bright side, I got Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space! back from my second Beta and she enjoyed the story and gave me some fabulous comments. Now it's on to more edits and agent hunting. :D

Monday, February 2, 2009

Another Rejection And Another Query

So, today I received a very nice, personalized rejection letter for The Ultimate Evil. It was by far the nicest letter I have received to date! :D

I have to tell you....my mom is not a fantasy fan. At all. I mean, she loves the Lord of the Rings movies and Willow, but that's about it. Well, she knows all about Khaladin and she loves it! She hasn't read it yet (no time) but she wants to. Super exciting! My mom loves horses and since my unicorns in Khaladin have more of a horse rather than dog mentality, she already knows she loves it.

My mom is probably the best encourager I have. She's told me time and again that Khaladin is the best story I have written right now and I have to agree with her. It's a fun, if emotionally draining, tale.

Honestly, she's been wondering why I have been querying The Ultimate Evil rather than Khaladin. She told me tonight that I really should query this story.

So, this is what I'm going to do. On a complete whim (aghhh!) I'm going to query my dream agent with Khaladin. I already have everything ready and it's a better eye catcher than The Ultimate Evil. So, I'm going to send it out. Whatever will happen, will happen.

My mom thinks I'm doing the right thing. I have nothing to lose doing this, and maybe everything to gain! Say a prayer for me! :D

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Another Rejection

Yesterday I recieved a very nice (if form) same-day rejection letter. One more down....I don't know how many more to go. :)

I have been working super hard in Khaladin these past two days and I have written several thousand more words. My word count is now up to 38K! I'm so excited! The story is sounding SO much better and it's very fun to work on. :D

Friday, January 30, 2009

I Decided To Stop Waiting

OK, an important question was put to me by one of my blog buddies. Why wait till February to send out more queries to agents?

Good question.

Honestly, my replied answer didn't sound good enough, so I decided to go ahead and send out nine more queries. I have ten agents, but I can't find the letter I wrote to one of them. If I can't find it, I guess that means I'll just have to write it again, huh?

Say a prayer for me! :D

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Love It When....

....people read my work and give me great comments as my Beta for Khaladin did. She helped me SOOOOO much and I am very grateful. She pointed out several places where I could tighten up my writing, which is great because I don't easily spot that on my own. Guess I need to work on getting better at that, huh?

February is fast approaching and that means 10 more query letters will be going out for The Ultimate Evil soon. If I get rejected by these ten, I don't know if I will continue to query this story, or put it on the back burner for a while as I try with another. It will depend on how complete Khaladin and Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space! are. Both are finished, it's just editing now.

The query letters for these other ten agents are already written out. All I have to do is e-mail them. As of right now, I am working on query letters for Khaladin and Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space! just in case The Ultimate Evil doesn't sell.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Edits Never Seem To End!

More edits have been started in both Khaladin and Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space! My Beta for Khaladin finished and sent me her comments, but my stupid computer wouldn't open them. Hopefully we can get that straightened out soon. I want to read her comments! I hope there are some harsh ones! :)

My Beta for Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space! hasn't had time to read the story, which is understandable when you're juggling a college schedule. I told him there's no rush. It's strictly on a "read it when you're ready" basis.

A lot of writers I have met hate edits. LOATHE them! Me? I LOVE editing! It's wonderful to see your story morph and change into something better than it was before. I don't mind the editing process, though there is a part of me that wishes it wasn't so long. :D

Monday, January 26, 2009

You Tell Me

Gotta a question for all of you out there, and you don't need to be a writer to answer. I just want your opinion. :)

You have lots of stories that are complete. Which one is your best work to send to agents: the one that's most polished or the one with the best story?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Need Your Advice

Many of you know that I am seeking an agent with my YA novel, The Ultimate Evil. However, I'm wondering if that's my best course of action.

Huh?

You see, there's been a lot on the web lately about agents and editors wanting (needing!) middle grade fiction. I have my two completed MG novels, Khaladin and Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space! What I'm wondering is this: do you think I should query those ten other agents I found for The Ultimate Evil, or do you think it'd be a better decision to wait on that novel and pick one of the other two to pitch?

Speaking of pitching these novels, there's a poll in the sidebar of my blog about which MG story I should pitch. Even if you already told me your opinion several posts ago, please vote over there. It's an easier way for me to keep count. :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

A New Look!

Hey, everyone, I made over my blog! I was getting tired of the old look and wanted something a little bit more hip and cool....and I found this template. Awesome, isn't it?

I wanted a new look to go with my new outlook. I've been doing a lot of soul searching recently and I just feel so much more peaceful inside. So....every thing's good (even with rejection after rejection!). :)

More writing updates. More story ideas are in progress (what, again?) and I finally have a dedication for Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space! I had a hard time finding out who to dedicate it to, so I asked one of my friends if he'd want it dedicated to him (no one else I know really likes SF all that much) and he accepted.

Anyway, with three completed manuscripts and two in editing, I'm looking for my next story to write. I'm teetering with two: another MG sci-fi called (tentatively) Space Kids or a YA fantasy called The Prophecy. I don't know which one to choose yet.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Organization

I have a lot of friends who wonder how I keep all my materials concerning a story organized. They used to not be. But when you have notes, pictures, pieces of old cancels manuscripts, and more, then you need to find a way to keep everything together.

How do I do it? Folders. I get a regular plain folder and write the title of the story on it with my trusty Sharpie.







I keep all the written pages on the left side of the folder. This picture shows (from left to right) a page from an old manuscript with highlighted marks that I used in The Ultimate Evil, a brief idea, query letter help, and finally the beginnings of my acknowledgements and dedication page. I always write one for every story whether they get published or not, because it's nice to look back and see who helped you the most with your work.
On the right side I keep all my pictures, drawings, maps, and the like. Here (again from left to right) I have a drawing of Arvil that a friend did for me, along with a tracing that I did to add the scars and chipped horn. The next is a concept for a creature I created called the Vorrion (think a cross between a lion and a saber-tooth tiger). I also have a map of Morlaya and a creature that Arvil turns into that my sister drew for me.

I have a folder like this for every single story. I find it easier than keeping everything on the computer where you're flipping through two or more documents.
The one thing I do not keep in the folder is my manuscript. Mine are so long that I can't print them off (otherwise my parents would make me by the ink for the printer, and I don't have a job, so I couldn't pay for it!) so I just keep them on my computer and Jump (Flash) drives.
Anyway, that's how I keep my story stuff together.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Short Post

Just to keep you updated:

The Ultimate Evil was rejected by two more agents. That's 4/7. I found ten more agents to submit to, but those won't go out till February (unless I get rejections earlier).

Khaladin and Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space! are with thier Beta readers.

And that's all I have to say right now.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More Agents, More Queries

I submitted The Ultimate Evil to four more literary agencies yesterday. It is now with five agencies. I have submitted to a total of seven, but two have already replied with rejections.

You know how sometimes when you query an agent, they will send you an e-mail two minutes later that basically says, "Hey, we got your query!"? Like I said, two minutes later. But I'm super confused about something. When I submitted yesterday, on a Saturday, I got one of those letters, but four hours after I sent my query. For all you who find out all the scams, this is a reputable agency. Andrea Brown Literary. So, do they have those e-mails sent out on a timer on weekends, or did this agent look at my query on a Saturday and send me this as a "hey, I may be interested in your work" type deal? I don't know, so I'm not reading anything into it.

Speaking of reading, I finished my second round of edits in Khaladin. Even though I took away a lot (as I can get wordy) I added about 1,000 more words. There's more to be done and I'm thinking about getting a Beta reader for it. Not the whole thing, only part. See, with my Beta reads, I like to see the mistakes people find and then correct them and find them on my own throughout the rest of the manuscript. That way I'll learn. Unfortunately, AW is down right now (which stinks!) so I can't post that I need a Beta reader. I do need to go back and see how many chapters I want read before I put that post up though. That way I can get the word count. Khaladin has twenty-eight chapters, but is only 33K. But I know if I just say I need the first ten chapters read and don't put down any word count, people aren't going to want to read it. At least, that's the pattern I've seen.

I'm over halfway done with my first round of edits in Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space! Those are going really well and when I finish them, I'll send the manuscript to a friend of mine who has offered to read it. He said he wanted to read something of mine that did not contain unicorns, and this new story doesn't even mention them. I think he's happy about that. I am too. The last thing I want to become known as is "The Unicorn Writer" though I can't not write about unicorns. I love them too much. :D

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rejected....Again

So, yesterday after I a rejection letter from Ms. Nelson, I sent a query on a complete whim to Nathan Bransford. About twenty minutes later he sent me a (personalized!) rejection letter. Getting him would have been really tough, anyway, considering the fact that he doesn't normally represent fantasy.

But though I am still receiving rejection letters, I am still optimistic. I kjow that if it is God's Will, I'll find the perfect agent with the perfect story one day. :D

I have also been editing Khaladin and the edits are coming along nicely. I've been able to get rid of some of my wordiness and passive voice. For some reason, that story got loaded with passive voice. Agh! Not good! At least it's fixable. :)

Poll results:

Khaladin: 2

Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space!: 2

Yeah, I have a tie. I have to ask more people. If you're reading my blog and haven't voted yet, please do. Help me choose! :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Rejected

Well, as you can tell from the title, my dream agent just sent me a rejection letter. :(

But, you know what? That's OK. YA fantasy is a tough sell right now.

So, here's my stratagy. I am only going to query The Ultimate Evil to a few more agents. Most agents are really looking for middle grade fiction right now and Khaladin and Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space! both fall into that catagory. So, I'm going to try The Ultimate Evil a few more times while I REALLY work hard on finishing up these other two manuscripts before I start querying them off. I have read several stories about authors getting thier first work rejected, the second accepted, and the first gets published because of the second. Pretty cool, huh?

And, if no one wants The Ultimate Evil, then I can dismantle it and turn it into another story. I'll make things work.....somehow.

Anyway, I have a question for everyone. If I were going to pitch one of my middle grade novels now (but I'm not yet, they're not ready) which one should I pitch?

Khaladin: Horse gives birth to unicorn foal.

Or....

Help! My Parents Are From Outer Space!: A girl finds out her parents are aliens and, after a great, kinda messed up adventure, has to save two worlds, her father, and the President of the United States.

So, which would you choose to pitch?