Category Archives: news

Breaking Free (and a general update)

I know, I know. It’s been far too long since I posted anything here. In 2015, I had hand surgery and became asthmatic, both of which slowed me down a bit. I volunteered at three summer writing camps for grade school kids, which was super fun. I made a lot of progress editing my second novel and wrote several short stories and poems. I haven’t written much flash fiction since I stopped posting weekly, but I did write one piece recently, which was a lot of fun, so maybe I’ll get back into it. A few months ago, I took my first novel and started re-writing it, removing one of two POV characters entirely from the story (about 45% of the content) and switching from third person past tense to first person present tense. I’m only a few chapters in, but it’s interesting and fun so far, so I’m going to stick with it and see what happens.

The real reason I’m writing is that the latest anthology from Scripting Change, Breaking Free, is now available!

It includes a poem of mine.

Proceeds from the anthology will benefit Reach, an organization based in Massachusetts which supports domestic violence victims of all backgrounds and ages, while also increasing awareness in local communities.

The digital collection is available through:

The Scripting Change store
Smashwords (set your own price!)
Amazon in the US
Amazon in the UK
Amazon in Canada
Barnes and Noble

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Beyond the Words, a Scripting Change project

Hello faithful readers!

I’m happy to announce that I have a piece in the new Scripting Change anthology, Beyond the Words. Check it out!

Scripting Change Cover Reveal & Release-day Blast

The community writing project, Scripting Change, is incredibly excited to announce the release of their second anthology: Beyond the Words!

Absolutely every piece of this e-book, from the coordination, to the contents, to the beautiful cover art, was volunteered, and 100% of proceeds will be donated to nonprofit organizations championing literacy in their communities.  Read on to find out why!
About the Project:
Scripting Change is a writing initiative that aims to bring together the vast community of writers and readers in support of responsible nonprofit organizations.
The project accepts submissions from writers, relating to a theme that reflects an important cause.  The selected pieces are combined in an anthology which is published as an e-book, in this case: Beyond the Words.  Proceeds from this and every Scripting Change e-books’ sales are donated to the matched organization that champions each e-book’s cause.
By focusing on the compelling words of writers, Scripting Change is able to raise not only funds but also awareness for the causes of the organizations they support.  The time and talents of everyone involved are offered freely, so the project has absolutely no overhead costs, which means every dollar raised is donated to positively impact our society!
About the Nonprofits:
It is impossible to overstate the importance of literacy, yet so many struggle with this crucial skill. So, Scripting Change has decided to donate proceeds from Beyond the Words to not one, but three nonprofits throughout the United States, all of which foster literacy in their communities.

Read for Literacy

    , in Northwestern Ohio, provides learning opportunities for readers of all ages and backgrounds, with three tailored programs: Creating Young Readers, for children in kindergarten through 2nd grade; Adult Basic Education; and English Language Learners, for non-native English speakers.

Literacy Action

    , in Atlanta, Georgia, offers an incredibly wide array of literacy programs for adults — from literal reading assistance, to workplace literacy, family literacy & education, and much more, this organization provides its community with crucial support, enhancing so many lives!

Page Ahead

    , in Seattle, Washington, focuses its literacy efforts on children, allowing elementary-school children to browse book fairs at the end of the school year & choose their own books for the summer — which are then provided to them by Page Ahead! They bolster this program by also working with parents, helping them engage their young readers.
Now it’s your turn!
Scripting Change depends entirely upon the support of the community as a whole.  The writers, and our cover designer, have done their part; the coordinators have brought it all together; the bloggers have graciously helped us spread the word – now it’s up to the readers.  We hope you will enjoy the anthology!

Beyond the Words is available through:

Smashwords ~*~ Amazon: USUK ~*~ Barnes & Noble

Learn more about this project at: ScriptingChange.blogspot.com
Find them on Facebook or on Twitter: @ScriptingChange

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MCWC – The Mendocino Coast Writers Conference

I just got back from a fantastic trip to the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference in Fort Bragg (California). I participated in the novel workshop and received some wonderful feedback on the beginning of the novel I’m working on. I was inspired to really buckle down and get this novel ready to submit.

On Friday afternoon, I read a five-minute excerpt from a dystopic, science fiction short story that won first place in the conference participants short fiction contest. It was inspired by this piece of flash fiction I wrote last November, which is the way the story begins.

Marion (who writes awesome fantasy) summed up all the contest winners here.

If I met you at the conference and you’re reading this, thank you for stopping by! Please browse around and let me know what you think.

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Liebster Award

liebster-blog-award-2

First off, sorry for not posting anything last week! I strive to post at least once a week. I will post a poem and/or flash fiction piece later this week.

Now, on to the fun stuff! Raven Pierce nominated me for a Liebster Award. Thank you! I’ve never been nominated before. It made my day. =)

Here are the rules:
1. Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them. (Check!)
2. Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator. (See below)
3. Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers. (I bent this rule–see below my 10 answers)
4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer. (See below my nominations)
5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them. (Check!)

On to the questions for me to answer:
1. What is your favourite writing quote?

This isn’t exactly a writing quote, but it’s my favorite quote that a writing friend shared, and I think it’s great advice for any writer (non-writers too).

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
― Corrie ten Boom

My favorite quote that I came up with back in high school:

Today is the day of finding new tomorrows.

2. What music do you listen to when you write?

It depends on what I’m writing. I have a bunch of Pandora stations, and I pick one that matches the mood of the scene. Most often, it has some kind of driving beat that keeps me motivated (although intimate scenes require some R&B).

3. What do you want to tell us about your writing journey?

I think it’s going to be a long haul, but I’m all in.

4. What do you think is your most outstanding attribute?

I’m insanely detail-oriented, and I have a very visual memory. It helped me get through school, but it’s hard for me to see the big picture sometimes.

5. Describe one of your characters you wrote about. What do you love about him/her/it?

I like to write about characters stuck between two impulses or drives. One of the characters in the novel I’m currently writing is goal-oriented to a fault. I love her passion and vision. I’m really rooting for her to accomplish her goal, but she’s reckless in the manner she goes about trying to achieve it, so she does things I don’t agree with, which makes her interesting to write about.

6. Who is the person who inspired you to write?

My mom has always been very supportive and encouraging about my writing. My brother, too. But I wouldn’t have taken it up again without the support and vote of confidence from my husband.

7. Why do you write?

I have stories to tell. I love imagining variations on this world, worlds where science fiction and supernatural characters are authentic and relatable.

8. What food are you addicted on?

Chocolate. It’s hard for me to go a day without it in some form. Although, I do eat a lot of fuji apples these days, too.

9. What is your dream as a writer? (e.g. get published, self-publish, be published in a literary magazine, etc.)

My dream is for my writing to touch people, help stir their imaginations, inspire and intrigue.

10. What do you want to say to your beloved blog readers?

Thank you for reading! I deeply appreciate your support and constructive criticism! Keep it coming!

My nominations:
I’m not sure how to count blog followers, so I’ll just nominate the blogs I subscribe to (whose authors aren’t famous–yet). My life is enriched by reading these blogs.
1) Lauren Sapala – Her motivation and advice is just what I need. Great interviews, too! (@losapala)
2) John Wiswell – Funny, surreal flash fiction; I love it! (@Wiswell)
3) KatanaPen – She tells it like it is. (@katanapen)
4) The Eyrea – Excellent flash fiction and astute observations on the writer’s life. (@eyrea)
5) WhimsyGizmo – Inspiring poetry. (@dejackson)

My 10 Questions for Nominees:

  1. What is the soundtrack to a great writing day for you?
  2. Is there a song that embodies your favorite character (or poem) that you’ve written? If so, what is it?
  3. Do you know exactly what each of your characters looks like? Or do you just have some vague notion (or none at all)? Does your visual conception of characters change over time?
  4. Why do you write?
  5. How does your writing begin? With a visual, a concept, or something else entirely?
  6. When you write, where are you? What are you surrounded with/by?
  7. What author do you wish every writer you talk to had previously read?
  8. What are your writing goals this year?
  9. What advice would you like to share with your blog readers right now?
  10. What is the reaction you’re most hoping for from your readers? What reaction would put a giant grin on your face?
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Scripting Change Anthology Available Now!

The community writing project, Scripting Change, is incredibly excited to announce the release of their inaugural project: Seeing Past Sickness!

 

Absolutely every piece of this e-book, from the coordination, to the contents, to the beautiful cover art, was volunteered, and 100% of proceeds will be donated to the MSTR Scholarship Foundation.  Read on to find out why!

 

About the Project:
Scripting Change is a new writing initiative that aims to bring together the vast community of writers and readers in support of responsible nonprofit organizations.

 

The project accepts submissions from writers, relating to a theme that reflects the mission of a chosen nonprofit.  The selected pieces are combined in an anthology, which is published as an e-book, in this case: Seeing Past Sickness.  Proceeds from this and any future e-books’ sales will be donated to the related organization.  Ideally, the project will be repeated, with each e-book supporting a unique nonprofit organization.

 

By focusing on the compelling words of writers, Scripting Change is able to raise not only funds but also awareness for the causes of the organizations they support.  The time and talents of everyone involved are offered freely, so the project has absolutely no overhead costs, which means every dollar raised is donated to positively impact our society!

 

About the Nonprofit:
Chronic illness doesn’t disappear at age 18, but aid and understanding for those affected often do, despite the exorbitant and crippling costs of perpetual healthcare. In additional to the emotional and physical toll of chronic illness, those affected face significant challenges in seeking the personal and intellectual development afforded by continuing education.

 

The recipient organization for Seeing Past Sickness is the MSTR Scholarship Foundation, which aims to help those students affected by chronic illness, who nevertheless have the passion, drive, and determination to seek or continue their educations, by providing financial scholarships in recognition and support of their perseverance.  This decision was based on the impressive mission, fiscal responsibility, and enthusiasm for the project of the MSTR Foundation.

 

Now It’s Your Turn!
Scripting Change depends entirely upon the support of the community as a whole.  The writers (I wrote a piece of short fiction, a vignette), and our cover designer, have done their part; the coordinators have brought it all together; the bloggers have graciously helped us spread the word – now it’s up to the readers.  We hope you will enjoy the anthology!

 

Seeing Past Sickness is available through:

Smashwords ~*~ Amazon: US; UK ~*~ Barnes & Noble

Learn more about this project at: ScriptingChange.blogspot.com 

Find them on Facebook or Tweet using: #ScriptingChange

 

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Scripting Change

I’m going to have a piece published in an upcoming anthology, Scripting Change, due to be released on November 4th!

ScriptingChange

From the website, “Scripting Change is an opportunity for writers to support causes in which we believe, with our voices and words, by contributing to an electronic book, the proceeds from which will be donated to a nonprofit organization.

  • The goal of the project is to have a $0 cost.
  • 100% of work required to create and promote this electronic book would be volunteered.
  • The book’s proceeds will be directed to a selected nonprofit organization.”

This year, the selected nonprofit: “The MSTR Scholarship Foundation aims to help those students affected by chronic illness, who nevertheless have the passion, drive, and determination to seek or continue their educations, by providing financial scholarships in recognition and support of their perseverance.”

The theme for this year’s ebook is “Determination & Hope Through Pain

You can check out the other contributors here.

Scripting Change also has a Facebook page you can check out and like and a newsletter you can subscribe to in order to receive updates about the project.

If you’re willing to help spread the word about the anthology, check out this link. Thanks for your support!  🙂

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So You’re a Vampire Now – #flashfiction

Hopefully you’ll find this a little more entertaining/humorous than my last post. I wrote this piece last month for my writing group. Our assignment was to write a short piece imitating the style of “Orientation” by Daniel Orozco, a witty, satirical short story that uses a deadpan, second person voice and inane details to desensitize you to the oddities taking place in an Office Space or Dilbert-like cubicle farm (it reminded me a bit too much of my old workplace). I had a lot of fun writing this. I hope you enjoy it!

Writing Exercise: Try your own hand at writing a short piece in this style of voice. Post a link in the comments to your piece!

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This is the alleyway, and here’s the bar where we like to hunt. Come on inside, and you’ll see two areas: the dance floor, and the lounge. The dance floor is the elders’ territory. You can take your pick from the lounge. Never feed IN the bar. Except in the bathroom. That’s okay. But only during an emergency. Try to get your victim out of the bar and into the alley before you begin to feed. If you have an emergency and need to feed in the bathroom, ask your master first. If you can’t find your master, ask any older vampire who isn’t currently feeding, but try not to be too intrusive if he’s busy charming a victim. If  you feed in public, you will be punished. You don’t want to know how.

You must pace yourself when you feed. What do I mean? I’m glad you asked that. We pace our feeding according to the 2-pint night–one body to drain–at least to begin with. If the whole gang is going somewhere and we’re taking down a crowd and you’ve got four bodies to feast on, pace them out; don’t suck them dry all at once. Alternatively, if we’re headed into a desert spell and one’s gotta last you a whole week, sip on her. A little here, a little there–make her last. She’ll get drowsy and regenerate more supply. Good question, good question. Ask too many though, and you won’t see the outside of a coffin for a long while.

As I was saying, that’s the ladies room, and that’s the men’s. Don’t get them confused. Only use your designated restroom to primp and only use it to feed in an emergency with prior approval. If you see a lady go into the men’s room, do not follow her. It could either be someone going in to meet the Master, or, there are a handful of cross-dressers around.

There are three bartenders: two men named Andrew, who look completely different, and a woman named Erika. Never speak to the bartenders. Don’t even look at them. Pretend they don’t exist.

The emergency exit is in the back of the bar, past the restrooms. An alarm will sound if you use it. Try not to use it. If you end up covered in blood and you can’t remember where it came from, use it and run. Run like the wind.

If you cut yourself, your skin will magically knit back together. If you break a bone, it will magically heal too. There will still be blood, ooze, and pain. But you’ll get over it. Pretty quickly too. It’s kinda awesome. You want a demo? No? Alright, maybe later.

You can’t eat food anymore. Can’t drink anything either. The only thing you can consume is blood. If you try to eat or drink anything else, you’ll just barf. I’ll let you try that one on your own.

You can’t have any contact with your former family or friends. No one you used to know. If any of them ever show up at the bar, point them out to your master, then leave. Your master will make sure they are not on the night’s menu. If you can’t find your master, find an elder vampire. Go down the list. If you can’t find anyone else, feel free to ask me.

Can I see your cell phone? Thanks! No, you can’t have it back.

Sorry about that. Doesn’t look like the SIM chip survived. This is your new cell phone. It has the whole gang’s digits pre-programmed into it. Only call if you’re in a bind or if you’ve been invited to call. I think that about covers it. And we’re back in the lounge.

I call dibs on the redhead. Yes, I can do that.

—————————————————————————————————————-

It’s fun breaking out of your routine to try to imitate someone else’s voice sometimes, especially if that writer has a strong voice. It’s a good learning experience. It’s something we did often in the Fiction Writing class I took at De Anza college. I think it’s a helpful exercise when you’re trying to figure out what exactly your own voice is. I highly recommend trying it on occasion.

In other news, the process of revising my novel to incorporate an urban fantasy element by introducing a new character has become more involved than I expected. I can’t say I’m surprised. It’s fun though. She’s spunky. The other night when my husband came home from work, I bit him on the shoulder (not hard). He asked me, “What’s gotten into you?” I shrugged. I think it was a bit of my character.

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Re-envisioning

My husband finally had a chance to read my first novel when we were on vacation last week. He had quite a few thoughts (on almost every page). He is a very critical person. But I figure, if I can take his criticism, I can take criticism from anyone. And, I think that I greatly benefit from his insight. He has read a huge number of books, mostly sci-fi and fantasy, so although he is not exactly my target audience, he is a good beta reader.

Before he read my first novel, my husband and I discussed how my second novel is in the urban fantasy genre, and how I think I’m leaning towards wanting to write urban fantasy and dark urban fantasy/horror more than science fiction in the future (maybe UF with sci-fi elements). We discussed how I was a little afraid that publishing my first novel as a sci-fi would pigeon-hole me as a sci-fi author.

So, when he read my first novel and decided that he thought parts of it would be more plausible if you add urban fantasy to it, I decided I liked the idea. If my first novel is sci-fi and urban fantasy, then it will pave the way for my second and subsequent novels to be urban fantasies. This novel is more than just sci-fi and urban fantasy; it’s a mix of a lot of things: sci-fi, urban fantasy, romance, and technological horror, with a little humor thrown in to dispel the tension. I suppose it would more generically be called speculative fiction.

I’ll be re-writing a number of passages, adding a few new sections and a new character over the next few weeks. I think it will be a fun challenge. I’m going to alternate working on this re-envisioning with writing new scenes for my second novel.

If you feel stuck in your writing, you might want to try Writer’s Digest’s (@WritersDigest) 30 Writing Assignments for the 30 days of June.

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And I’m done!

I just finished editing the Epilogue of my first novel to post to my beta readers. Now comes the scary part — searching for an agent and publisher.

I’m really excited. It’s the first big milestone I’ve reached since I finished the first draft of the novel over a year ago. If you happen to know any literary agents, or have any advice for me, I could sure use the help! This is such a new adventure for me. It’s daunting. But the feedback I’ve received to date has been so positive, it gives me confidence and hope. Thank you!

If you want to become a beta reader, leave a comment or email me. There’s still a lot of editing to come (and a new novel to write).

My plan for this blog is to post excerpts from my novels, writing prompts, other short works of writing, musings on my inspirations, and news. I started a writing group a little over a year ago and we’ve been writing short pieces between and during meetings, so I’d like to share a few of those. Subscribe, or come back soon to see what’s new!

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