Friday, June 29, 2012

Going Away but Not Really

Hey guys I'm leaving to go up to Michigan today, and I won't be back until next Friday!  Don't worry though, I won't be completely gone.  I've got a few posts 'preposted' and I'm bringing *my trusty new iPhone* in its sapphire blue iPhone case, so I'll still be able to see your comments :)

Speaking of iPhones, I still can't get over how awesome they are.

It's small and easy to carry around.  You can access internet from almost anywhere.  You can text, and call and listen to music.  You can blog.  You can read (download Kindle).  If you're a gamer, you can play games.

But the best part is that, being a writer (and a fast texter/typer), I can take notes and get down ideas.  Honestly, I forget things a lot.

Sometimes I have that genius moment and figure out a key point in a plot, but I don't always have access to paper.  One thing I do always have with me is my phone!  So it's really helped keeping my ideas together and down!

In my opinion, there's only four things a person needs.  Food, shelter, love, and an iPhone.  And with those four things you can do pretty much anything :)

Do you have an iPhone?  Do you want an iPhone?  What do you think about them?

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Oh Dear... The Challenges of Rewriting

I just realized I have to totally rework The Inferiors.


The first time I had to fix it, luckily I'd only written the first 30K out of what's now 112,000 words.  It was challenging.  Rewriting something you've already written is ridiculously hard!

Fortunately, I only had to rewrite 30,000 words then.


I've got 112K to sift through.  Hopefully I can keep a lot of it.  There are a few parts I don't want to lose, but the entire thing needs to be shortened.  Reason?

I discovered that the "end" isn't actually a good place to end the story.

In my head, I have a timeline of all three books.  Originally, when I first started writing book 1, I had no idea it was going to be a trilogy.  It was all meant to be one book.  But when I began to hugely exceed the standard YA word count, I had to break it up.

Anyway, my mental timeline includes just about everything in the story, from beginning of book one to the end of book three.  And as I'm going over it, there's no way book 2 can end where it did!  (Trust me, I've read over it like four times and the current ending is lame anyway.)

So, in the end, I guess I'm not rewriting it all.  'Compressing it' is more accurate I guess.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Using Curse Words in Your Story

Let me just tell you that I'm not much of a 'swearing' person.  On occasion I'll curse in my head, or if things are really bad (EXAMPLE: I realize all the edits I made last night weren't saved) a word might accidentally slip.  But usually I'll say it quietly and I'll cut myself off before I finish.

Swearing makes me uncomfortable.  Of course, it bothered me a lot more when I was younger than it does now.  Back then, saying 'crap' was a bad word.  But still, hearing people swear just makes me feel a little on edge.

Verbally, I have issues with swearing.

But for some reason, when it comes to writing, swearing and cursing is no problemo.

I don't know what it is.

Maybe it's because I don't feel like it's me cursing/swearing.  My story line has grown so much from what it was that I hardly have control over what my characters say.  THEY'RE the one's cursing, not me!

When I'm reading other stories, cursing doesn't bother me.  Maybe it's because I know the writer's trying to show me a character.  Not all people swear, so when you've got someone who does, it shows their character.  But if I hear swearing in an audio book, for some reason my opinion changes.

In my current trilogy Rise, I made up my own curse words.  It's a sci-fi/dystopian trilogy, so the made up curse words work (I hope).  But whether I'm using the actual words or made up versions of them, in writing I have no problem using them.

Do you guys use curse words in your work?  Are you uncomfortable using them?  Do you make up your own?  Please share!

Oh, just something random:  yesterday we went bike riding for almost twelve miles through really pretty forest (yes, we have pretty forests in Ohio).  It was so much fun, despite how much it hurt over time.  The one downside to it all was that near the very end, a bird pooped on me.

I honestly wish I was joking.

Happy Monday :)


Friday, June 22, 2012

Too Many Things and Definitely Not Enough Time

Hey guys.

Um... sorry I wasn't 'here' on Wednesday.  It's not that I forgot about you, I promise!

Honestly, I thought the summer would make things easier.  And in a way it has.  It's allowed me more time to edit, write, read, skate, paint, play my violin... everything I love to do.

But by doing all these other things, I've realized that I actually have a lot less time now!!  Let's see... I have to beta read a book, give feedback on a first chapter, critique a few chapters, make a few last changes to From the Ashes, catch up on reading all of your blogs, make a list of other things to post about... * sighs *

The list goes on and on... like the energizer bunny.  Except I'm not feeling quite so energetic about it all.  Just thinking about it is making me exhausted!

Wednesday was sorta the epitome of my brain overload.  We weren't home for five hours because of skating/my violin lesson (both take up a lot of time, lol).

I have 20 unread emails, way too many facebook notifications and a whole bunch more from twitter.  I'm honestly dreading going through them all.

Oh well.  I gotta do it all sometime!  Might as well start now...

So yeah, I didn't forget about anything!!  I've just been so busy.

Luckily, thanks to my best friend Kate, ideas for book 2 and 3 have been coming to me like magic.  So at least in the writing world, things have been moving rather smoothly.

Don't let the procrastination bug bite you this weekend!

Happy Friday :)


Monday, June 18, 2012

Interview with Esther Jones

Happy Monday everyone!!  Today, I'm interviewing Esther Jones because she was one of the two winners of this month's Knights of MicroFiction!

Okay, let the questions begin!!

So Esther, when did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I can't remember how old I was, but I was very young.  I wrote a story about a girl and a horse, and my parents told me it was very good.  I realized I might just have a talent.

What's your current WiP about?  We'd love a short summary!

Peter never considered that the undead he hunted might have a family, or that one of them would hunt him down and exact revenge.  Now a vampire himself, Peter is obsessed with finding the one who turned him--to thank him by taking his head off.

Lance has many regrets in his long life, not the least of which is turning Peter into a vampire.  However, more than anything, he misses his twin brother Raoul who Peter killed.

Christopher wants nothing more than to be just like Lance; first, because he thinks being a vampire is cool, then because he truly admires Lance (to the point of hero worship).  However, Lance is reluctant to turn another human.

Wow, sounds like a very interesting WiP!  I haven't read very many vampire stories, but it sounds like one I might pick up!
Now, what books have most influenced you?

Oh, my goodness.  So many.  I guess I'd have to say Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, anything by Terry Brooks, and the Harry Potter series.

Wow, I love Terry Brooks!  I read Star Wars: The Phantom Menace by him and I loved it.  Always been meaning to read the other two :)
What is the most difficult aspect of writing for you?

Novels.  I can toss off a poem, flash fiction, or short story quite easily, but I've never finished a novel.  I've got several ideas, but fleshing them out into that many words is so difficult for me.  I've always written very concisely, and I hardly ever put enough description into my scenes.

I totally agree.  Poems and flash fictions are the easier of the lot.  Short stories are difficult for me because they always end up wanting to be novels though.
So, what are your goals for this year?

Finish my current WiP (not sure if it's a novel or something shorter).

Awesome!  Good luck!
How long have you been blogging and how has it improved your writing?

I started my writing blog on April 1, 2012.  Before that, I had a photo-a-day-for-a-year blog.  Blogging about my own struggles and triumphs in writing and reading others' blogs has been an invaluable source of encouragement.  I've gone from thinking, "Maybe someday I'll write something and then think about maybe getting published" to actively working on a story with the intent of publishing.

Great job!  That transition from wanting to be published to actually writing is hard, but definitely essential (for obvious reasons, lol :)
What do you do when you're not writing?

I read (of course - lol), I play Lord of the Rings Online, I spend time with my husband, and I watch tv (mostly fantasy & sci-fi shows).

Is there anything else we should know about you?

I am the oldest of 8 children-- I have 1 younger sister, and 6 younger brothers.  I live in the middle of the Canadian prairies, although I grew up in the middle of beautiful British Columbia.  I play piano and guitar, and sometimes I write music.

Wow, that's so cool!  I always wanted to play guitar!

Unfortunately, that's all the time we have left today, so everyone give Esther Jones a round of applause and go congratulate/follow her blog!

Have a great Monday everyone!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

KoMF Winners!

Okay, guys it's time to announce the winners of this month's KoMF!  Thanks so much to everyone who participated!  Kathy and I really enjoyed reading everyone's entries.

Anyway, the two winners are:

Esther Jones and Nick Wilford!!

Great job guys!  As a prize, you've been awarded an interview on either Kathy's or my blog on... either Monday or Tuesday!  We'll be emailing you shortly about the details :)

So yeah, go congratulate them!

To all the dads in the blogosphere, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Knights of MicroFiction

Yep, you guessed it.  It's time for the KoMF!  To join in, just post your entry by the end of today, and leave a link to your post in the comments.  Then, go check out as many entries as you can!  By the 17th, Kathy and I will choose two winners to feature on our blogs.

Here's the prompt:
Write a flash fiction in 200 words or less beginning with the phrase:  Her eyes shot open...
You are free to change the gender and POV if you want.

Okay, so here's my entry.  It was modified from my WiP (The Inferiors).  Altighty, here it is:

Her eyes shot open, but they found only darkness.  The room was unclear before her, but she didn’t have to see.  She knew exactly where she was.
She sat up, knowing it was probably time to see how they were doing.  Surely they couldn’t fly this ship together without getting into another ridiculous argument.
A wave of cold washed over her as if all the air had suddenly vanished.  The deep scar on her arm burned.
“I was waiting for you,” said a masculine voice.
Her skin prickled at the sound.
“Show yourself,” she called, trembling with fear.
A figure near the other wall moved closer.  His deep green eyes became barely visible.  Her breath caught in terror, yet she couldn’t move.
He touched her shoulder and she flinched.
“He lied, you know,” he said.  “Deep down, you just know it.”
Her chest tightened.  She wanted to protest.  To call out and tell him he was wrong.  But she choked on the words.  They were dry and overused.  Pointless.
And in that horrifying moment, she realized she believed him.
“I’m coming back,” he said.  “And when I do, expect no mercy.”
And just like that, he was gone. 


So yep.  That's about it.  Out of context it's a little confusing but hope you enjoyed the confusing-ness :)

Okay, here's the list of awesome people who have already posted their entries:

  1. Ashna Banga
  2. Fairbetty
  3. Nick Wilford
  4. Aldrea Alien
  5. Usama
  6. Esther Jones
Oh, and of course Kathy.

Have fun!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

KOMF Prompt and Support

It's the 13th of the month, so guess what that means...

It's time for Kathy and I to reveal the Knights of MicroFiction prompt.  The KOMF is a bloghop hosted by Kathy and me on the 15th of every month.  We came up with it as a way to meet new friends, help build the blogosphere, and (hopefully) spark your creativity.

To join in on the fun, just post your entry before 11:59 p.m. on the 15th and leave a comment on one of our blogs with a link to your post.  Then go check out as many entries as you can!  By the 17th, we will choose two winners to be featured on our blogs.

So, here's the lovely prompt:

Write a 200 word or less flash fiction beginning with this phrase: Her eyes shot open...
You are free to change the gender and POV if you'd like.

Have fun!  I can't wait to see what you come up with :)

On another note, please check out these other lovely/awesome blogs if you haven't already:

Kate the Novelist

Matt's Writing Lair

Fairbetty's World

Doctor Faerie Godmother

They all have under 100 followers, and I'd really like it if you showed them some support.  I'd love to help anyone with under 100, so if that's you, feel free to send me an email if you want me to mention you/your-blog in a post.

Anyway, have a wonderful day!


Monday, June 11, 2012

I need your opinion...

So, what do you think about pennames?

My mom thinks they're silly, but I'm still undecided.

Of course, it has it's obvious ups and downs.

It would give me a chance to come up with something really cool to 'name' myself.  I mean, how many times does a person get to choose their own name?

If I had one, my name would have to have a nice ring to it... like Jessica Kay or something.  That way it's still sorta my name.

And, it would totally make me feel like a spy, or an undercover agent.  It's like you can be two different people!  The nerd with glasses (lol, yes, I really do have glasses), until you take them off and become..........

The superwriter!!!!!!!

No one would know who you are.  I mean, if you're buying food at a store and my name comes up as Jessica McKendry when my penname is Jessica Kay, that's no big dealio.  Because no one knows who Jessica McKendry is.

The thing is... I'm not even done editing yet.  I'm not a published author, moreover a well-known one.  So... why exactly am I worrying about this?

Uh because... I have nothing better to do.

What do you guys think?  Do you use a penname?  Do you think it's silly to use a penname?  Or is it weird for me to be thinking about this at all?

Happy Monday!


Friday, June 8, 2012



The day has come.

School is finally out!!

To celebrate the momentous occasion, I stayed up until 2:30 a.m. last night with my best friend and slept in really late.  And, yes, I'm exhausted right now.

Honestly, I have no idea what to do with my time.  Never mind I've got a ton of stuff to do.  My brain just can't seem to handle a weekday that allows me to write EVERY FREE HOUR!!

Anyway, if I don't start making goals for the summer, it's just going to completely pass me by.

So, here I go.

I want to read at least 8 books over the summer.  I'm a slow reader, but maybe, just maybe I can get eight books out of the way.

I want to finish the complete second draft of The Inferiors.  That might be pushing it, but I think if I work really hard, I can do it.

I want to pass my Intermediate moves in skating.

Okay, I know I've got a ton of other things I have to do, but they're not really coming to mind at the moment.   (Maybe it's because I'm so tired?)

Either way, I'm going to have a very busy, writing filled summer.

What are your goals for the summer?



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

Yes people, it's the first Wednesday of the month!  You know what that means... (if not, it's IWSG day, started by the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh :)

So let's see.  What am I insecure about?

I could talk to you about querying, because I am terrible at writing query letters.  Then again, I've already sorta written two posts about that.

What else?

My sequel.

Yeah, sure I already finished The Inferiors (book 2 of my trilogy), but I just started editing it.  And by the stars*, I've got a ton of work to do.  There's so much I need to add.

And, I have no idea how to go about this.

The Inferiors could go one of two ways.  Either my characters will go rescue   (person you can't know about yet)   or they can go find more about the   (thing you'd only know about if you've read it)  .  Currently, I have them rescuing   (person you can't know about yet)  , but by that time, will the reader be fed up about not knowing about the   (thing you'd only know about if you've read it)  ?

It's good to keep the reader wanting more, but will I have them wanting so much they decide to give up on me?

I'm in a big mess.

Luckily, I get out of school on Friday, so I'll have an entire summer to figure this problem out.

So... what are you're insecurities?  Have you guys had the same issue I've had with my sequel?

Happy Wednesday :)

*That's an expression my characters use... lol.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The 'R' Word

Well, I thought that since my last post happened to be "First Query Letter... Ever", I think it's only natural that "Rejection" is my topic for today.

So... I got my first rejection letter.

It's expected, of course.  We've all heard that story of J.K. Rowling having to query about a hundred times before she ever got accepted.

I have to say, it's embarrassing to admit that I was a little disappointed.  It's embarrassing because I don't want to be disappointed.  But when you love something so much and you get 'rejected', it just isn't... reassuring.

On a more positive note, they're sending back fast.  The first person I sent to got back within two days, and the second sent back over night.  And even though both were rejects, at least I didn't have to wait so long.

The good news is I picked myself up and am back with a new evil plot to take over the world with my books  plan to get published.  But more about that some other time ;)

How do you guys feel (honestly) when you get rejection letters?  How many times have you had to query?


Friday, June 1, 2012

First Query Letter... Ever.

Today, I sent off my first query letter.

It was probably the scariest and most exciting thing I'd ever done.

I had her email address in the "Send To" box, and the words Query Letter as the title, but I still wasn't ready.

I switched back to my query letter and read it.

Cut out a 'that'.

Then I read it again.

Reworded a sentence.

Then read it again.

My fingers started to tremble, because I was running out of things I knew how to fix.  And I knew that once I couldn't find anything wrong, I'd have to send it.

I asked my mom to read over it.

Changed another sentence.

When my mom said it was good, I nodded and pasted my query into the email.

Read over it again.

Everything was fine.

I was done.

And being 'done' scared the crap out of me.  I'd never been done before.  Done with a draft, but never like... done. Finished.  The End.

I moused over the 'send' button, but something held me back.  I touched the 'left click' button on the mouse, but couldn't press it.  There had to be something I was missing.

After reading over it ONE. MORE. TIME. I decided I had to go for it.

I took a deep breath and got ready to press it again.

No, actually, I took a deep breath, crossed my fingers, crossed my toes, my legs and my arms and shut my eyes.

Carefully, I pressed it.

But I didn't let go.  I held it down, knowing the moment I picked up my finger, it would be sent.

Then of course, my mom came over and lifted up my hand from my computer.

Message sent.

I spent about an hour trying to stay calm after that.  I'd start cracking up randomly and then feel a little queasy.  Finally, I settled down and was pretty much okay.

How do you guys feel about sending out query letters?  Do you get nervous?

Have an awesome weekend!

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