Friday, December 31, 2010

The Sanderson Plan

Finally finished chapter nine—I’m thinking eight and nine will need the most work in this novel, since they’re a little choppy. Hurray for that.

In other news, Sanderson’s class starts in less than a week! The room is always overflowing with auditors the first few weeks, so I hope I can get a seat without having anyone save one for me. Seat savers drive me a little crazy, especially when there’s a full house. I plan on going to work an hour earlier (yeesh) so I can leave by four, hopefully beat rush hour traffic, and make it to class early enough to get a decent spot. It’s a 40 minute drive assuming there are no slowmos or rubberneckers* on the freeway. I need to find a carpool buddy, but not until February.

Why, you ask? Because my wonderful husband got me a few private clogging lessons** for Christmas, and I managed to work them out to be right after Sanderson’s class, since the studio is in Orem. Extra trips make Charlie’s gas bill cranky. So I’ll need a carpool buddy once those are over. If I can’t find one, I guess I’ll just go to Leading Edge afterward and then sing really loud in the car on the drive back.

Now I’m off to play my new sheet music—100 Years, Total Eclipse of the Heart, and Bohemian Rhapsody.

Excerpt of the day+:

Smiling, she clasped his hands tightly. “So romantic, Uzelle. How does your wife let you go?”

“She has enough to take care of,” he said, taking a sip of water with his free hand.

Weirs, chapter 9

*Another pet peeve of mine.
**Yes, I clog. Think what you will.
+I’m thinking it might be more entertaining to start posting excerpts from really old work (like fanfiction!) of mine. Painful, but hilarious. Not that any of you read these anyway. XD

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Ah, the holidays. So wonderful. So detrimental to daily word counts. I’ve been sweeping by with my bare minimum. As a result, I’m still on chapter nine. But at least I’m writing, right?

Sister is officially registered for WorldCon. Got the update booklet in the mail yesterday. Thirty-three people from Utah are attending (so far). I went and highlighted the names of people I knew (at least the ones I remembered the last names of, ha.) I’m excited, even if the thing is still nine months away. (AKA one baby away. And no, I’m not pregnant.)

Got lots more little notebooks in my stocking—I think I now have enough to last two, maybe three years. XD Need to tell Santa to chill out for a bit, ha.**

I also saw an ereader IRL for the first time—a Nook, to be precise. Despite the fact that it’s destroying the publishing industry, it’s actually pretty cool. No backlighting, so it’s just like a book. I could see how useful they could be. I hate to admit it, but I was impressed. (Though my goal of being published before ebooks take over the world is still standing.)

Anyway, here’s my whatnot of the day:

Finally Kitsy breathed, a strained breath that didn’t let in enough air. That’s my brother, she thought. That’s my sister. Which means that must be my mother.
Weirs, chapter 9

*AKA Christmas, since I'm not politically correct.
**In case you’re wondering, I try really hard not to say “lol” in this blog.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Class That Wouldn't Die

This is a shout-out for my comrade in arms, Joe, who recently had an article published in Mormon Artist about the rise and successes of Sci-fi/Fantasy writers from Brigham Young University. He even interviewed names like David Wolverton (Farland) and Dan Wells* to write it. Really good article—you can read it here.

Excerpt a la day:
"A human Weir," said Calisti. "You really are one of a kind."
Weirs, chapter 8

*If you haven’t read Wells’s books, get on it, because they’re amazing.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Blood Bonds at WorldCon

Well, I officially have a roommate for WorldCon! You’ll never guess who it is.

My sister! :D

Rewind to me adding people to Nathan’s Facebook group for Utahn WorldCon goers and realizing, “Oh. My sister writes. I should invite her. …I should force her to come to Reno with me!”

Fortunately there wasn’t much forcing to be done, I didn’t even have to persuade her. Danny (AKA sister—yes, we all have boy names) is working on a YA novel right now that I think has a great premise. But if you want to hear about it, you’ll have to ask her. IN RENO.

In the meantime, I actually participated in a writing exercise promoted by Sanderson and Writing Excuses. It’s an exercise in dialogue, and was kind of fun, albeit I don’t think my submission is anything to brag about. At all. And for some reason it came out as science fiction. If, somehow, you get insanely bored and literally have nothing better to do, you can read my submission and others here. If you’re really smart you’ll figure out which screen name is mine.

Also, for kicks and giggles, y’all should visit Yeah, no link. It’s more fun if you type it into the search bar yourself, methinks. :D

Le excerpt a la today:

The Sun’s temple was a beautiful work of architecture, built long before Scire’s time. In the light of day its beauty was astonishing—the open roof allowed sunlight to flood every crack and crevice, illuminating white marble and glistening off the silver leaf. It was as though the power of the Sun itself resided within the temple’s walls, welcoming its blessed Brights.
At night, however, the building grew eerie. Shadows lingered behind the pillars. Flickering lanterns and torches gave the appearance of movement, and Scire always found himself studying the shadows from the corner of his eye, half expecting some forsaken creature to leap from the darkness. The altar glowed amber in the firelight, almost the color of blood, though its marble was always thoroughly cleaned after every sacrifice. The stems and leaves of various potted plants along the walkways looked like starved and deformed hands, reaching outward to grab any who came too close.

Weirs, chapter 8*

*Chapter 8 and I aren’t getting along super-great, in case you were wondering.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Short Story Priority

So I think that, if I have no new story ideas when I finish Weirs, I might go into short story mode. I haven’t written a short story in a while, and I’m not very good at it, so it’s something I should practice.

Any short stories (or short story writing advice) any of you recommend?

ATM, my post-Weirs priorities look like this:

1. Short stories
2. YA reading extravaganza to boost my brain power for writing in the genre
3. Destroying (and possibly rebuilding) the plot line for The Raimos
4. Weir revisions

On another note, almost done with Lion of Senet. Pretty good so far, so I feel super bad for the main character and I want to flay Marqel Apollo-style. Wench.

Excerpt of the day:

“Remind me why I’m doing this again?”

Teague stood at the edge of the meat markets in Regal Whittip’s district, her back pressed to the side of a store that sold bucket loads of freshwater fish from the Lyfa River. She wore a shawl over her head, both to hide herself and to keep the cool autumn air off her neck. She wrapped one end of it over her nose and mouth—the smell of the sun-baking fish made her stomach churn.

“Because,” Tock answered, “
My Gloom is still a stiff secret. Surely you don’t expect me to jeopardize that. I could never show my face in public again! Those new cufflinks I bought will never receive the admiration they so rightfully deserve—”
Weirs, chapter 8

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


10 days ‘til Christmas! I AM SO EXCITED OMG.

I’ve also finished stapling all my rejection letters to my cubicle, minus one, which I couldn’t find. I got it last year after a short story I wrote was kindly shafted. So now I have letters from Leading Edge, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Tales of the Talisman, Caitlin Blasdell, Nelson Literary Agency, and JABberwocky surrounding me with their silent chants of encouragement. (Still waiting for your contribution, Denise and Lucienne!)

Weirs still progressing nicely, though this chunk of the book (AKA the middle) will be a little hard for me. I’m an outliner, and I have an outline, but this part of the outline has lots of gaps (AKA hard returns) in it, telling me the scenes I want to right but not telling me how the hoopla I’m supposed to connect them. So here’s hoping I don’t crap all over my MS. (Because I’d really like it to turn out.)

I think this book has a slightly YA-tinted plot line. Psha. As long as the writing* doesn’t sound YA,** I’m good.

Excerpt a la day:

Teague. Aro thought of the strange woman who had solidified her position in his home over the last three months. She had proven more useful than expected. Now Kitsy had something of a mother figure who could perhaps turn a decent young woman of her. With any luck, Kitsy would one day have a safe—but sheltered—life, away from Bacree. Aro knew he could only protect his niece for so long. She deserved as normal a life as she could get—a life like the one Teague had been blessed with.
Weirs, chapter 8

*As you may recall, this is a habit of mine I’ve tried to break for a couple of years now. I really should just switch markets…. But all YA fantasy is urban, I swear.
**Speaking of which, I’ve yet to drop a curse word. Is that bad? XD

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Business Cards a Go

Thanks so much for the comments! I’m now definitely leaning toward business cards. I think I know how I want them to look, too. Where are good places to get them printed? And can I get away with designing a card in PowerPoint and taking that in? (And is my ignorance slightly appealing to anyone? Mom? You there?*)

And here’s a lovely tidbit for your enjoyment.

Excerpt of the day**:

But he’s probably used to pain, she thought. Tomorrow morning, after his wounds had healed and his Gloom form reappeared, he’d have two new scars to add to those that already decorated his skin. She thought about his scars, how each one must have felt. The marks on his face, his arms, his neck. Would he have cried out when Calisti’s dagger pierced him, had he been able to?
Weirs, chapter 7

*Just kidding. She doesn’t read this blog. Not YET, anyway…
**Remember, it’s a first draft. :P

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Question of Business Cards

So you’re a wannabe novelist at a big convention in hopes of making good connections and even better first impressions. You’ve never published, or if you have, it’s been on a small, not-really-important scale.

So you talk to some agents, editors, authors, fellow wannabes. Do you give them a business card?

What are your thoughts on business cards? Is it kosher to have a business card as a writer when you’ve never been published? Or to have a business card with your information, but not an actual business? Or do you give out your actual business card, regardless of whether you work for Novell or Canyon Catering? What’s the etiquette here?

Thoughts muchly appreciated. Savvy?

Excerpt of the day:

She peered up into the bright morning sky, speckled with two, feather-like clouds. “How did you get me down?”

Thade smiled, but didn’t answer. Either he didn’t know how to sign the words, or he chose not to explain it to her. Teague suspected the second.

Weirs, chapter 7

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thoughts on Series

So I’m looking at the cover of Lion of Senet, which is book one in the Second Suns Trilogy, and thinking to myself, “How the heck is this book supposed to turn into a trilogy?”

Granted I’m only halfway through, but I’ve yet to get any whiffs of an overarching plotline (unlike The Way of Kings, which reeks of overarching plot lines).

I think too many people do series. My sortofsecondmom agrees with me—we discussed it during a trip to Costco last week. In general, I can handle trilogies, but these long, winding, never-ending series like Runelords and The Wheel of Time are a little insane. Not that they’re not written well (I don’t want to incur the wrath of WoT fans), but come on. Fifteen books comprising ONE story? Really? Who has time for that? You can read all the Standard Works* three times over in less time than it takes to read WoT once.

Maybe this thought attributes to the fact that I never write or plan for series, even trilogies. (That, and I’m not certain I can come up with a complex enough plot line to swallow three+ books in the first place.) I prefer to read stand-alones, and I always write stand-alones. I just like them more. You can read a lot of different stories a lot quicker with stand-alones.

I’m not planning to read books two and three of Fallon’s trilogy unless, for some reason, I’m incredibly intrigued by the end of book one.

As a side note, I only read books one and two of The Hunger Games and only the first three Harry Potters, though I did read all four Twilight books. I think that last one is the longest series I’ve ever finished, with the Mistborn trilogy in second.

Excerpt of the day:

Teague did as told, rotating her ankles and maneuvering her shoulders, the way she had been shown. On her fourth swing, she asked, “Kitsy, what’s your Weir?”

“I’m not allowed to tell.”

“Why not?”

She shrugged. “Aro says I can’t. Just like I can’t leave my room at night.”

“Is it scary? Scarier than you?” Teague teased.

Kitsy stuck her tongue out before replying, “No, it’s just the rules. I follow the rules, unlike
some people.”
Weirs, chapter 6

*This would include the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Yes, I’m Mormon. Wooooo~

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rejection Mean I’m Closer to Being Published

I’ve sent out a number of query letters for CSH; still waiting to hear back on two of them. I admit, at one point in time, I had hopes that CSH could be the story that got me published, assuming I wrote it the way I envisioned it. Before I started querying, however, I had my doubts. As I think I’ve mentioned before, the prose just isn’t up to par—not for an adult novel. Those of you who have read my MS can probably attest to that. I default to a YA writing style, so if I’m not really thinking about it,* I end up with YA prose.

ANYWAY. I like CSH, though I don’t think it’s publishable. Not yet. So in come the rejections. But rejections are good, because they mean I’m closer to being published. I think just about every published author has a stack of rejection letters at home. It’s like an unspoken requirement. So until I get that stack, I won’t get published. I must earn my stack! (Yes, you’re supposed to watch the video. Here’s a shout out to Leading Edge, who has a cameo in it.)

My rejection letter from Sara Megibow is up on my cubicle wall. Caitlin Blasdell’s is on its way to the printer, and Eddie Schneider’s** is at home—hopefully I’ll remember to bring it in tomorrow.

Cheers. ;)

Excerpt of the day:

She leaned against the bedpost and raised a delicate eyebrow. “You charm me, Uzelle.”

The Luminus closed the door behind him, locking it. “I do try.”

Weirs, chapter 6

*I don’t think about it about 95% of the time, ha. Which is one reason I want to try my hand at a YA after I finish Weirs.
**I actually didn’t query him, I queried Joshua Bilmes. Eddie’s the one who replied, oddly enough. He asked to see my MS, then rejected my promptly. ^_^

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hurray for Viruses

My husband’s cold finally got me. I admit, I thought I had beaten it since I hadn’t gotten sick, but as of 3:00 AM last night, I too have fallen. Cue me working from home today.

Missed word count on Saturday (this isn’t uncommon), so I pulled double on Sunday, and I’m still in the same scene (a bookstore, if anyone cares). But I feel good about the scene, so hurray. Maybe I’ll finish it later today. Maybe I’ll even finish the chapter!

Collecting information from my friend Kristy on Sanderson’s creative writing class in January. I’m excited, despite the driving. If I don’t find a carpool buddy, however, I can’t guarantee making every class. But I shall try. Gas prices have gone down like, a nickel, so that’s good.

Also got proofs back from Leading Edge Magazine for the villanelle I sent in. The art for it looks awesome. WAY better than my dinky poem, ha.

In reading news, The Lion of Senet by Jennifer Fallon is pretty good so far. I’m about half way done. (Then I have to alpha read for Nathan.) The only thing that bugs me about this book is that Ms. Fallon constantly uses unclear pronoun antecedents and it drives me insane. I’m surprised her editor didn’t catch and fix them, because I hit one every three pages or so and I have to stop reading so I can sort out my confusion. For a while I thought “Ella” was a man due to said unclear antecedents.

Excerpt of the day:

He gave her a long, hard glare, then motioned for her to follow him as he hobbled to the back of the store, leaning on a cane as he went. “I can tell you books written by Brights if you’d rather have that. Over here are some histories with Brights in them. That green volume—see, there?—was written by Regal Calaki himself, eighty years ago. Be careful if you look through it. You wreck it, you bought it, and good luck finding another copy.”

“Eighty years?” Teague repeated. “You have books that old?”

The clerk snorted. “In the book world, 80 years is nothing. Downstairs I have novels that have survived centuries. I don’t keep them up here for you young pelliwagons to drop and spit on.”

Weirs, chapter 5

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Today is not a good day. I’m unhappy and in a bad mood.

Read some of this book last night, and it was helpful, mainly in taking notes on my protagonist. I got it for a class some time ago, but never had time to read much of it. It’s good, written by a guy who runs the Maass Literary Agency (that’s the one Jennifer Jackson works for).

Anyway. I’m irritated and need a pancake or something. Feel free to send your sympathies. :P

Excerpt of the day:

She saw Thade, not twenty feet away, buttoning up the front of his worn slacks, shirt and shoes set on the ground in front of him. But what shocked Teague wasn’t his bare torso, but the scars.

Scars, long and short, deep and shallow, marred his exposed back without pattern. Several layered over one another, covering skin from neck to below his waistline. A large patch of his side looked as though he had been burned. While the skin was fully healed, she couldn’t deny the wrinkled texture of it. Hundreds of scars—maybe thousands—marked his torso, arms, neck, face—

Weirs, chapter 5