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Posts Tagged ‘fiction’

Hello to  my three blog readers out there- unless you dropped out, Mom…

Mom???

Well, I did it.. I finished the book!

I’ll give you a moment to compose yourself. It took me the same way. The sobbing.. I know, baby.

You back? Okay.

Well.. I finished the first draft of my first novel, A TIME FOR HOPE.  I can’t believe I actually did it.

That— “The End”— just snuck up on me. All these months of living, breathing and bleeding over these people. Wondering what was going to happen to them is all over. You see, I am one of those writers who have NO idea what is going to happen until I write it. Just like this blog.  Flumberty-joggity-hoopdeedoo.  See, I had no idea I was going to do that, either.

Now that I have finished the first draft. I reminds me of a birthday cake.

In case you aren’t aware… A birthday cake is one of the best things in the whole world. Unless you are getting a rockin’ present, the cake’s the best part of any birthday.

Right now my cake is  bare. I mean, you can throw a cake mix in a bowl, chunk it in the oven and slap it down in a little metal cake pan – and still call it a birthday cake. But it ain’t  pretty. That’s what I’ve got right now. A Duncan-Hines yellow. Delicious, yes. But, in need of a lot of frosting.

Now, second draft, and I am  picking off all the burnt pieces and carefully taking out that big damn air bubble that always appears in every cake I’ve ever made. After that, I’ll put down my base frosting, smoothing out as many of the rough patches as I can and round out the sides. Once step two is accomplished, I’m going to send it to my beta readers and my oh-so-lovely and absolutely kick-ass mentor, Susanne Dunlap.

They are going to swoop their fingers through my perfectly smooth icing and poke at the cake beneath.   They will find all those places I where I cheated by filling in with frosting.

When I get it back and fill in all their finger marks (naughty, naughty) it’ll be time for decorating. Prettifying. Color, Almond Flavoring and Sugar Crystals. Anything it needs to sparkle.

Then and only then will I put it up for “Best Cake Contest” in the County Fair of the publishing world. I probably won’t take home the blue ribbon, but if I can get at least one honorable mention, I’ll be happy enough.

I know I have a long, long way to go. I’m know all the frosting in the world (even the kind that comes with built-in rainbow sprinkles) won’t help if the cake is dried out or too soft to hold together.

For today, however, I’m just gonna eat the batter left in the bowl and enjoy that cakey smell.

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So.. I am entering my first contest.

It is a Cliffhanger contest by writer Brenda Drake.  It’s a very cool premise, and I thought I ‘d give it a whirl.  (nervous, much?)

Since my story is about time travel, I thought it would be a cool thing to post the actual “travel”.  The set up is Hope, a fifteen year old girl, has discovered that she must journey into the past to save her mother.  Trained by her Aunt Lucinda and assisted by her friend Phoebe- who has magic- Hope must surrender herself to “the Dim” the horrifying passageway into the past. She wears an ancient opal ring, which allows her to “steer”, and more importantly, to return.

Here.. they begin the ritual..

HOPE-scene..

Phoebe patted my cheek and stepped away.

“All right, lovey. Let’s do this. It’s almost sunrise.” She said, her voice shaking slightly.
The scent of wet earth was so thick I could barely breathe. Raising my hand to just above my head, I traced the strange carvings that covered every inch of the low, claustrophobic cave.
Phoebe’s voice was weak as she sang the opening notes of the song; something between a monk’s chant and a Celtic ballad, that would bring the Dim to life.  As the sound echoed around me, bouncing off the walls, it picked up strength. Louder and louder until I could feel the notes drumming against my bones. The hair on my arms stood up.
When the last echo died, I cracked one eyelid. The earth pressed down on us from above. The dank wind which had whirled my skirts around me out of the man-sized opening of the abyss halted, as if holding its breath.
Before I could ask why it didn’t work, everything reversed violently. All the air was sucked out of me. My skirt and hair began blowing towards the Dim; pulling me in, calling me.

When the tiny pinprick of red first appeared between my fingers, I was supposed to walk to the opening. But, my legs were as frozen as the stone walls. They would not obey.
Brighter and brighter, the light became thick, as if it had…substance. As the cold brilliance clung to my skin and began inching up my arm, I panicked. I tried flinging it off, like some nasty, sticky object that I’d accidently touched in a convenience store restroom. My breaths became shallow screams.

Phoebe touched my arm and began the final notes of the song. The beauty of her voice gave me the bit of courage I needed. I looked into her anxious face, blushed with the scarlet light. I gulped, nodded.
The light sped up my arm and across my chest. It dripped down my front and cascaded down my back, cold as black ice. My head was whirling as I stepped to the boundary of the Dim’s darkness. The eerie wind was pulling at me, wanting me. I was so cold, so confused that for an instant, I thought I heard someone screaming my name, over and over. The cold, syrupy, red brilliance sped up my throat and spilled over my lips, filling my mouth.
I staggered and turned, the back of my heels teetering on the cliff’s edge of the Dim. There was a voice in the wind. Two. Dozens. Hundreds. Thousands of voices behind me. They were so loud I wanted to cover my ears as they screamed. The noise filled my skull, almost splitting it open. I opened my arms and started the backwards fall, letting the magic of the Dim take me. Take me to the past. Take me to my mother. Anything to make the voices stop.
Alex burst through entrance to the cave, his eyes frantic.
“Hope! No!”

THAT’S IT… What do ya’ll  think???

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While the purpose of most blogs on writing is to inform, I have created this blog to gather information. There are a lot of us “Aspiring Authors” out there, who are trying to learn as we go.

When I began this journey, the only thing that came to  mind when someone mentioned “craft” to me, were Popsicle sticks and Elmer’s glue.

That was a beautiful time of innocence, when I wrote simply for the joy it gave me.  In fact, it made me a little sad to learn how much of “art” is actually  “business.”

Once I  committed to taking this journey, however, I determined to give it my all.  So,  I began to do research. The one word that was invariably near the top of the important issues  of nearly every website, tweet or book jacket on writing…. CRAFT.

The problem that I am facing at the present is that there is simply TOO much.  Too  many books.  Too many websites. Too many classes. How do newbies like me EVER make the right decisions?

That may sound ridiculous to any experts, who are used to weeding through the chaff of  information.  We poor little lost “aspirings” flounder.  We helplessly bounce from one site to another, not certain whom to trust.

Who is right?  What is wrong?

It can be a bit overwhelming.  I have already spent WAY too much on books, online workshops, and plan to spend a lot more as soon as I figure out how to choose.

… That is the question…..

HOW DO WE CHOOSE?

Where do  YOU turn for craft advice?

If there are any more Aspiree’s out there, which would like to link to this, I figure we are better off together.  Welcome. 🙂

Thank you and have a beautiful day.

Janet

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In my last blog, I talked about what I don’t know.

Today, I want to talk about what I do know.

I totally geek out for books. They were my first love. My mother has a picture of me at age three, sitting on the potty with little feet dangling, reading Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. If I don’t have a book nearby, available, I start tweaking. To me, authors are cooler than movie stars. I would rather stand in line for hours for a book signing than a rock concert any day.

So, I don’t understand people who don’t read. How is that possible? Do they not understand the pure pleasure of leaving yourself for a little while, becoming someone else, going to places you will never visit? It is such a shame. People who do not read are getting ripped off, because television and movies are only  pale comparisons to the escapism you achieve with a great book.

All I can say to these poor, overstimulated, TV-blighted, music-blaring people, is…Bless Your Hearts.  Bless your hearts, because I can guarantee that none of that  media will ever fill you up the way a  book will. It’s like trying to fill up on convenience store candy, when you have a hearty bowl of stew available.

That is why I am trying to become an author. I want to fill people up. I want them to open my book, and disappear into my world, if only for a short time. That is why I listen to and study all the people I admire. They discovered this a long time ago, and continue to feed us.

Thank you for the stew!!

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