Saturday, September 22, 2012

Back to the Beginning

Before I get into the main portion of my post, I have a fun announcement. I'm one of the GUTGAA finalists over at Deana Barnhart's blog!! This past week anonymous judges voted on their top 50 queries and first 150 pages, and next week, 11 agents will pop over to Deana's blog and look at them. They can make requests if they want, so fingers crossed!! If you have time, pop over and cheer me on. My book is called Everdream.

Okay. On to what I'd originally planned. So, I've completed three novels now. Completed being the key word, since I've written many others, but not finished them (mostly in my teens). My first completed novel was Countless, about a witch. It wasn't strong enough, so I had to put it on the back burner last year and started writing Martinis with the Devil, about a vampire. Well, that book is very strong, but vamps are a super hard sell right now, so no luck with that so far. So, my third book is Everdream, a middle grade fantasy. GUTGAA is it's debut into the world; I hadn't started querying it yet. So, if I don't have any luck with the agents next week, I'll be jumping on the query train and will need a distraction.

So, I'm finally circling back to Countless, to rewrite it from third to first person. It's a great story, but I never got the voice strong enough. It was just missing that vital sparkle dust that takes a book from good to great. I realized a while back that I really should have written it in first all along. Not only do I write better in first, but the story goes so deep into my MC's thoughts and feelings that it really is best in first. And you know what? I am so super stoked to get back to those characters and the journey they're on! I adore them, and I can't wait to dive back in and make it shine like it deserves.

That's pretty much the plan for the fall. After that, who knows? No writing plans yet for next year. We'll just have to see how the literary cookie crumbles. What about you guys? What's your main project this autumn?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I'm Over at Charlie Holmberg's Blog Today!

Please pop over and visit me there. I am her "Someday Star" of the week. Can you see me blushing?

Also, if you're looking for my GUTGAA entry, it's here. Hope everyone's having a fab week!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pimp My Query

I'm participating in Deana Barnhart's Gearing Up To Get An Agent contest (aka GUTGAA)! Deana is a great blog friend, and even though she's now repped by Sarah LaPolla, she's still so awesome that she wants to pay it forward by hosting this contest. Go follow her if you're not already, and check out the contest. She has helpful contest links in the upper right hand corner of her blog.

And a quick update for those of you who read my last post on virus woes, I'm using hubby's computer this week while I wait for my Toshiba recovery disks to come in the mail. He's just going to wipe my hard drive. So, hopefully my cute little laptop will be healthy again soon.

Okay, so on to GUTGAA! I'm entering my recently completed upper middle grade fantasy. For those of you that don't know, middle grade is usually readers between 7 and 12, and upper middle grade is the oldest category, usually the 11 and 12-year-olds. This is my first full length middle grade novel, though I wrote a short novella for my son once.

So, what we're supposed to post is our query and the first 150 pages of the book. The judging round is next week, so please offer up your feedback so I can polish! Tell me what works and what doesn't. I really would appreciate any and all constructive criticism. Also, definitely let me know if you're participating in GUTGAA too, so I can make sure to visit your entry. I know I'm not going to be able to make it to all 200 or so entries, so that will guarantee I return your visit. And, please feel free to provide feedback even if you're one of my regular blog friends not in GUTGAA!


(Agent's proper salutation),

The last of the dreams are running out…

It’s been thirteen years since the Queen of Ravens cast the spell to strip all Taravel’s inhabitants of dreams. Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to her, there is one remaining who can dream unaided, twelve-year-old Eleven, the dreamseer.

An orphan, El has been raised in a black market dream caravan, caring for the ponies who grant people the ability to dream. The citizens of Taravel pay generously for a ride on the dream carousel, a chance to touch the magical, dream-inducing manes of the ponies. But when the ponies start losing their ability to spin dreams, El knows she must do something.

Accompanied by Dusti, a persnickety pony, and Ryn, the pirate-poet, El sets out to break the Queen’s spell. The three companions’ adventures take them from crystal pirate ships, to cities in the sky, to underground palaces and the home of a sea witch. Along the way El realizes there’s a lot more at stake than the ponies: a rebellion is brewing, the Queen has learned of her existence, and the truth about her parents is far different than she ever imagined. And worst of all, if El doesn’t free the dreams soon, they’ll be gone forever.

Everdream is a 50,000 word upper middle grade fantasy. Per your submission guidelines, I've included (whatever requested) below. Thank you for your time and consideration.

First 150 words:

Dreams seeped through the flaps of the tent, escaping into the sky like multi-colored ghosts. It was a busy night in the caravan. Though the metallic taste of thunder sat on my tongue and dark clouds pressed down over the crowd, we were still packed. The other merchants had begun to close up for the night. But we weren’t exactly ordinary merchants.

I counted bodies as I walked along the line of people snaking out the purple and white striped tent. Sixty-two. Eight-eight. Ninety-six. When I hit one hundred I cut in.

“Sorry, but this is the cap for the night.” I watched the opposite expressions of relief and disappointment on the faces of the two people I stood between. Groans and angrier protests rose around me.

I walked back to the tent as the crowd behind lucky number one hundred dispersed into the darkness.

Thanks for taking the time to read my entry! Good luck to all GUTGAA participants. And everybody have a great week!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

There Should Be a Special Circle of Hell...

Reserved for people who create computer viruses. My practically brand new laptop has become infected to the point where it is completely non-functional. This is the third time in a year I've gotten a bad virus. And I even have anti-virus software. Very frustrating... and since Best Buy tells me that new computers don't come with a backup disk for your operating system like they used to, I'm probably going to have to pay a lot of money to get Geek Squad to take care of it. And don't even get me started on the horrendous service I've gotten from Norton after I paid them to remove the virus.

Okay, rant over! Anyways, I'm borrowing hubby's computer at the moment, but I probably won't be able to visit as many blogs since we have to share at the moment. Just wanted to let everybody know... As I said to my husband yesterday, it's probably a really good thing I don't have those special witch powers I always wanted or there would be a lot of virus-creator carnage in my wake...

So, has anyone else experienced such bad luck with viruses? Any words of wisdom?