Here’s To Another Round of Bombarding Every Literary Agent I Have On My List Right Now

Sat up late last night double-checking cover letters, brief synopses of varying lengths, and preferred formatting of sample chapters before sending submissions of my more user-friendly novel, Missing Exhibit – the young adult/fantasy/psychological drama one as opposed to the not-so-young-adult/fantasy/maybe a little sci fi/psychological drama one, in case anyone was wondering… – into another six UK literary agencies.

Not exactly a relaxing evening, but a hopeful one.

I’m still surprised when I sit down for a spot of nervous editing (this is most of the time right now when I sit down to do anything remotely writing relating – just can’t focus on newer projects at the moment… and that’s getting kind of old) when I find most of it reads pretty well.  I like it, and enjoy reading it over. Almost a year after finishing Missing Exhibit, for the most part, I’m still really happy with it. I like to think that’s a good sign.

So I maintain hope that this novel will eventually stand out from amid its fellow slush. It only has to stand out to one person. Just one. That’ll be more than enough, for now.

I look forward to the day this unknown, but already much revered and appreciated literary agent can help my stories stand out to others, too.

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Imminent Danger Book Review

I took my time about it, but here it is:  a review of Michelle Proulx’s exceptional novel Imminent Danger and How to Fly Straight Into It. A fantastic read—why not head over to her site (links above) for a look? Definitely worth more than a click.

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I’d been meaning to read Imminent Danger for some time. When I finally did read this independently-released young adult science fiction romance—a genre I’m now hoping to see much more of—it was after trudging through a book a really didn’t enjoy at all. I’m not meaning to make comparisons here, but reading Imminent Danger directly after that disappointing book did highlight many glowing aspects of this very well-written novel.

For starters, despite being set predominantly in space surrounded by many-armed blue aliens and the like, this novel felt real. And if there’s one thing I love, it’s a good, realistic speculative fiction. Extra-terrestrials and setting aside—vivid as the descriptions of beautiful space crafts and sprawling alien marketplaces are—I think a heavy contributor to this strong sense of real is the dialogue. This was natural and unforced—an author’s skill in generating such dialogue may be easily overlooked until a few samples of novels chock-full of unnatural dialogue are endured.

Eris I found to be a brilliant protagonist. Though she spends much of her time forced to be a damsel in considerable distress by the increasingly dire situations she finds herself in, she is down-to-earth about it, a determined individual and very easy to relate to. Varrin is terrible and wonderful, charming and appalling—the kind of person anyone would dearly love to shove in a muddy puddle. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone would be able to pull it off—he’s too wily. I hope Eris manages something along those lines in the sequels—sequels I’m very much looking forward to.

This novel was exciting to read, fast-paced, and somewhat addictive, but perhaps what I loved most about Imminent Danger was that it made me laugh. A lot. A sizable fraction of my time with this novel was spent giggling aloud—there are not many better signs of a good time than that.

Michelle Proulx’s Imminent Danger was an absolute delight to read and a novel I highly recommend to all lovers of the young adult genre. Four and a half gold stars for you, Michelle 🙂

NaNoWriMo is complete. Now, possibly, I shall blog once more

All done.

At least, the 50,000 words are done. The story is nowhere near done. I didn’t even get to the end of part 1 like I’d initially planned. Behind Glass is turning out to be an awful lot longer than I originally thought.

Oh, well. 50,000 words is still a big chunk no matter what the novel’s final size is.

Plans from now:  have a little break from writing. Just a short one. Then, for the love of all things sane, write the next short story in Treading Twisted Lines! Then, continue editing two complete, but still requiring work novels, working on slotting together and improving all that I have of Behind Glass at the moment in between. Then, depending on how agent hunting goes, either continue writing Behind Glass or begin the sequel of Missing Exhibit.

I’ve got a lot to do … but I think I might eat pizza and play computer games for a while.

Congrats to everyone who won NaNoWriMo this year and an equal congrats to anyone who had the guts and insanity in equal measures to give it a go. May see you back in WriMo Land next year.

NaNo Again … How Did This Happen?

So apparently I’m attempting NaNoWriMo again this year. Whose idea was this?

Anyway, I’m taking the literary plunge and attempting to get lots of good work done on Behind Glass, which has been sitting on this blog at roughly 25,000 words for a very, very long time. Hopefully by the end of November a winning 50,000 will take it up to 75,000 words, though I’m not convinced it will be finished at the end of November. There’s a lot to get through; I’m not expecting it to be less than 150,000 words by the time it’s done, though hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised. 120,000 would be lovely.

Do I actually expect to get 50,000 words and win this year? Not really, which will be embarrassing after last year – I came in at just under 80,000. Admittedly, I didn’t have a job last year. More specifically, I didn’t have a job that starts late and finishes late. But maybe the lovely NaNo atmosphere will give me a push. At the moment, I’m trying to rework a bit what’s already written and then get a good, detailed plan done for the rest of the story before November, and I came home from work today eager to get a bit more done. That’s a good sign, given when I usually get home, like most people, I feel like collapsing in a heap and not moving until I have to do the work thing all over again the next day.

Buddy me up if you’d like to, all folks and friends also stuffing their Novembers full of glorious words – my username is narwhal_sonnets. If you’re wondering about that, feel free to look up narwhals and sonnets on this blog and learn why.

There will probably be another chance closer to the start mark, but just in case I forget – good luck to all WriMos and I hope your November is incredibly rewarding and productive and awesome.

Sketchbook Memories #4

Not quite sure if this one counts as a memory yet. This is a character from one of the novels I’m currently working on; it was nowhere near close to conception when I kept regular sketchbooks. So this sketch, in fact, was only done this year and is located in the back of the very same pink book that I wrote my third doll thermometer post about.

I won’t say much about her, given that I hope this novel – this novel – will actually (finally) be my first published – getting ready (once again) to hit up all the literary agents to see what they think. Got a cover letter I’m quite happy with, a two-page synopsis and the sample chapters all ready to go. What I will say, I suppose, is that she’s the sister of the protagonist (whom I have been entirely unable to draw despite several attempts) and most people call her Jo. And she’s meant to be darker – I fail at shading, so I must have decided to just leave it as it was.

And she likes chocolate.

Jo

This is Jo, protagonist’s sibling in the work I’m currently seeking an agent for and the subject of one of the very limited character pictures I’ve managed since I stopped actively being a teenager.

(Don’t quite mind how the shadows have turned out in taking the photo of this one)

Still No Scene and Suddenly Bagpipes

Okay, this randomly generated scene is taking much longer to put together than I thought.  Must be all the time I’ve left in between. Normally these things churn out between 30 minutes and two hours. I’ve put too much thought into it over the week, I suppose. It’ll be so disappointing when it eventually goes up and it’s as average as all the others 🙂 Hopefully by the end of the weekend the rest will be scraped together.

Also, what’s up with all these scenes?  No matter what words are generated to work with, they produce misery. The only vaguely non-dark story is the hungry assassins one I wrote for Michelle – that’s right, hungry assassins are the lightest thing I’ve got –  and I had to coax and ridicule that ending out of myself like the almost-empty toothpaste analogy.

I suppose my novels are the same. I’m not so good at making the happy. Misery comes much more naturally. Interesting, when I’ve very little personal experience of honest misery to draw on.

Should probably work more on the happy. Maybe a self-challenge for the randomly generated scene after this one – no chance whatsoever of salvaging the situation these words have produced – to be of slightly lighter content, maybe even a little humorous.

But probably shouldn’t set a challenge I know can’t be done.

Maybe it’s possible, though, if one of the random words is bagpipes. For the following are unfortunate facts:

Suddenly Waterworks = Me+Bagpipes

Severity of Suddenly Waterworks = (Me+Bagpipes)+((Mindset)(Situation))+Amazing Grace

It’s all true.  Sometimes the following is even true:

 Suddenly Waterworks = Me+Just Thinking About Bagpipes.

Pipers appear reasonably frequently in Brisbane; frequent enough to have developed the above equations. But through all of the suddenly waterworks, I find my reaction to bagpipes pretty funny, particularly when mindset and situation are quite low numbers, as they generally are.

Still, should probably never go to the Tattoo.  Likely it would kill me.

(In case anyone’s minded to try them out, mindset and situation are given values equal to or greater than 0, 0 being total neutrality. There is no need to differentiate between emotions when it comes to bagpipes, not when “me” is in the equation)

My Poor Dear Blog Is Now Sullied

Freaking out because SUDDENLY ADS ON MY BLOG!

Considering other WordPress bloggers don’t appear to have this problem, I am guessing this is a result of my naive attempt to download an old freeware game and what I downloaded turning out to be not a game. Thought I got rid of everything by running the antivirus program. I don’t know much, but I’m guessing it maliciously twisted itself into my code or something.

I DON’T LIKE THIS! I NEED TO GET RID OF THEM!

Unfortunately, I have no idea how. I’ll probably have to wait for sister Frannie to finish exams and beg for aid.

In the meantime, I’m so sorry. If you are seeing these ads on my blog, please be assured that I do not support any of these products/scams/etc. Please do not click on them. Hoping to have my blog cleansed in the very near future.

In other news, it seems I’m apparently not able to keep up my past habit of blogging every two days when I now finish work so late every night. I’ll try to get a couple up every week, but don’t know how regular they’ll be. I’m sure no one will mind/notice.  Also, editing again. Going through Missing Exhibit and Embraced in no particular order, hoping to tart them up a bit. Just in case there’s suddenly a prospect of representation/sale.

Hope all’s well. Just a general warning to those bloggers such as myself who are not particularly technologically savvy and rely on the aid of others and the lovely simplicity of such sites as WordPress:

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU DOWNLOAD