Writer Wednesday

Happy Hump Day, AKA, Writer Wednesday!

Here is today’s prompt:

wriuter

 

Right after they posted the results, I tried to not look.

 

Why?

 

Because when I looked, I would either be extremely relieved or extremely disappointed. Right now, I was totally and completely ignorant; I was in emotional purgatory—neither happy nor sad. Neither elated nor distraught. I liked it that way. I was comfortable there. And I certainly didn’t want to mess up a good thing, thank you very much.

 

Soon, however, the group collected shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the bulletin board started to disperse. I saw the frowns on some faces, smiles on others, and high-fives happening around me. The person who tried out just before I did looked up at the list, sighed, and shuffled away. More grins, more head hanging, until finally, I was the last person standing in front of the board.

 

There was nothing left to do but seal my fate. I would either be a part of the team or just another spectator, cheering them on from the stands.

 

What does it matter, anyway? I asked myself. Most of the people on the team are a bunch of meat-head, wide-shouldered jerks that thought they owned the school. Did I really want to be a part of that?

Yes. Yes I did. 

I drew in a deep breath and put my finger on the board, touching every name as I went down, looking for my own. My heart beat faster and faster, I was quickly making it to the end of the list.

 

Ten more names…

 

Five more names…

 

Three more names…

 

One more…

 

I stopped before the last name. This is it. This will determine my social standing for the next year.

 

I read the last name. And then I read it again.

 

I couldn’t help it; the corners of my mouth turned up in a smile.

Writer Wednesday

Here lately, I’ve been struggling to think of things to blog about. There are a lot of things happening in the world, but most of them are political. And I don’t do politics. Mostly because I probably disagree with a large number of people and I don’t have the time or energy to deal with the inevitable foolishness of those that want to make personal attacks via the interwebs.

Anywhoo…

So while I was cleaning the other day, I came across a book I literally haven’t picked up since I bought it FOUR years ago:

photo 1

This book has pages and pages of writing prompts, ideas, quotes, and inspiration for writing. And I thought: “Hey! Why not do a feature each week with a short story? This will give me something to blog about and keep my writing skills up to snuff!”

That’s exactly what I’ve decided to do. Every Wednesday from henceforth will be: Writer Wednesday. I’ll pick a prompt from the book and write a short story for your amusement (or chagrin).

Let’s get to it! Today’s prompt is:

photo 2

He helped me into the car. I didn’t know where we were going. I was excited at first; this mysterious trip had obviously been planned for a while. I saw him on the phone, talking softly into the receiver a few days back. He caught me looking at him and flashed me a grin. Surely we were going to a wonderful locale.

 

He didn’t take me on too many trips. We normally just stayed home. I think he was a little embarrassed by me. I couldn’t blame him; there were some things I had done in public that most people wouldn’t dare do. I didn’t care what other people thought of me, though. He loved me and I stood by him, for better or for worse.

 

We piled into the car. He turned the radio on and started singing, patting me on the shoulder when I looked at him. It was a nice out, so he rolled the window down. He knew how much I loved to feel the wind whipping through my hair. I breathed in deep. I loved the smells of summer. I could actually taste the burgers someone was grilling a few blocks away. My stomach growled; when had I eaten last?

 

We drove for what felt like forever. The scenes were vaguely familiar; like I had been this way before. I started to get a little anxious—where were we going? I looked over at him for answers. He said nothing, just smiled at me and rubbed my cheek. His touch soothed me, so I relaxed a little. I closed my eyes and let the wind rush over me.

 

Suddenly, I felt the car stop. Slowly, I opened my eyes to see where we were. I let out a moan as I made out the letters on the sign:

 

“Dr. Spool, Veterinarian.”

 

Dare to Dream…?

 

Before I go into today’s post, I want to preface with a few things. First, let it be known that I’m really not trying to be a Debbie Downer. And second, I’m not fishing for compliments. This is genuinely me trying to work through my thoughts in blog form. Get it? Got it? Good.

 

Here lately I’ve been feeling pretty forlorn. I’ve had my YA novel completed for months now, and reaching out to literary agents to get some representation but to no avail. I’ve been getting rejection after rejection.

 

tumblr_md71i5EsN91rk1afjo1_500

 

And I know that, as a writer, you’ll get a thousands No’s and you only need one Yes. But dang! when am I going to get that Yes?! I have an email folder and a file folder full of rejection letters (that I will use to wallpaper my office in my mansion after I become a famous author so I stay grounded) and I’m getting a little sick of it.

 

I’m starting to doubt my abilities as a writer (even though my manuscripts have all been critically-acclaimed by ME) and I’m starting to wonder if I need to keep pursuing this dream. Maybe I’m not as good of a writer as I think I am.

 

you suck

 

But then I think: “No. You don’t suck. JK Rowling was rejected twelve times before she got an agent, and Judy Blume spent two years getting nothing but rejection letters. You can do this.”

 

 

People always ask me, “Why not self-publish like you did with The Speaker?” Self-publishing costs a pretty penny if you want to do it right. Books aren’t necessarily always in the stores, and plus, with the marketing you have to do (all on your own, I might add) it basically becomes your life. Can I really do that with a full-time job, a husband, and a kid?

 

 

I just don’t know what to do. I guess I’ll keep pursuing this crazy dream until I either find an agent or get tired of trying. I hate to think of me giving up, though. I hate giving up. I mean, I wanted to give up so bad during the marathon but I didn’t. I just don’t know if this particular marathon is worth running.

 

I guess I’ve got a lot to think about.

 

thinking

 

 

What about you? Do you have any goals you’re working to achieve? Do you want to give up? Are you? Why or why not?

 

Book Update

As most of you know, I finished my second book recently. (Not my second book ever…being a Ghostwriter, I’ve written TONS of books. This is my second personal book.)

 

I had an editor friend look it over and help me with some of the technical and not-so-technical stuff. Now comes the fun part: looking for an agent. I’m sending out queries (say a prayer, cross your fingers, light a candle and all that jazz) and hoping for an agent to bite! (Not literally of course. That’s how plagues get started.)

 

In the spirit of sharing with you guys, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek! Here is the first chapter of Couture in the Cornfields:

 

 

Chapter One

 

     “What is all that noise?” screeched an old man, sitting in his armchair.

“It looks like a parade,” said his wife, peering out of the dusty blinds.

“For what?” he replied, his pale cheeks puffing. “It’s January!

“I’m not sure.” She searched down the street. “Oh wait! I see a banner.”

The old man huffed and shifted in his arm chair, watching his wife expectantly. Finally, she spoke.

“The banner reads: Happy 17th Birthday, Morgan Miller,” the old woman said, enunciating every word. “Miller…Miller…Oh! That must be Hanlon and Marla Miller’s daughter!”

“A parade? For a teenager? What is the world coming to?” the old man huffed, picked up his remote, and turned the television set volume up.

“I think it’s nice,” she said, looking down at the crowd.

Down on the street below, Morgan Miller was sitting atop an elephant, decorated with a pink headdress. She waved and smiled until finally the elephant came to a stop. A man dressed like a sultan helped her down from the animal.

“Four miles on the back of an elephant!” Morgan whined to two girls waiting for her. “Just look at my hair!”

“You look fantastic,” said the first girl.

“Thanks, Jordan,” Morgan said, trying to revive her curls.

“This is amazing!” said the second girl. “There has to be more than three hundred people here!”

“Three hundred and fifty-two to be exact, Stacy,” Morgan said, smiling. A man on stilts walked by, carrying a try of cotton candy. “We’ll take three,” Morgan said to the man.

“Mo, this has to be the best birthday party ever!” Jordan said with a mouthful of cotton candy. “I can’t even imagine what your parents will do for you next year!”

“I guess it’s not too shabby, huh?” Morgan said, distractedly. She was looking at her parents. Both were glued to their phones, back toward the party. Jordan saw Morgan’s gaze.

“At least they came this year, Mo,” Jordan said.

“Yeah,” Morgan sighed. “Maybe next year they’ll even talk to me. Ugh, next year.”

Morgan was not looking forward to her senior year of high school. She was tired of listening to her classmates make plans for the future, especially when she had none. Rosa had given her stacks of college applications, but Morgan always came up with a good excuse to not fill them out.

“Rosa, there’s a party this weekend,” Morgan would whine. “I can’t write an essay.”

Rosa would scold her, mostly in Spanish, and Morgan would promise to get to it later. Later turned into two months, which turned into four, which turned into eight. The stack of college applications were buried under Prada dresses, Christian Louboutin shoes, and Coach purses.

Every now and then, Morgan would find the applications hidden around the house. They’d pop up in the refrigerator, the pantry, the shower, even in her Glamour magazine.

“Rosa’s getting desperate,” Morgan said to herself one morning. She had poured herself a bowl of cereal and out rolled an application for the United States Army.

“Why should I go to college?” Morgan asked her friends one day. “I don’t need a degree. I mean, look who my parents are! And besides, who’d give up a house like this for a stinky dorm room that hundreds of other people have already used? And, you have to share bathrooms.” Morgan wrinkled her nose.

 

The Mysterious Author

Guys. Are you ready for this?

 

Are you sitting down?

 

Good.

 

JK Rowling has written another book! *cue fangirl/fanboy screams*.

 

No, it has nothing to do with the shaggy-haired boy from Privet Drive, nor does it have anything to do with an empty seat in a local Parish Council.

 

And, this book didn’t even have JK’s name on it.

 

Back in April, a book titled The Cuckoo’s Calling was released by an author named Robert Galbraith. It did relatively well, selling about 1,500 copies in its first month and gaining rave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

 

It wasn’t until an editor from the U.K.’s The Sunday Times received an interesting tweet that the Harry Potter author was revealed to be the brains behind the Cuckoo. Rowling has said that her reasoning behind a pseudonym was let the book stand on its own merit, and not just the fact that it was a “JK Rowling book”. After the so-so reviews of The Casual Vacancy, I think JK felt so much pressure to live up to the Potter hype, that she needed to be able to write without so many expectations.

 

The Cuckoo’s Calling actually sounds pretty interesting too. Here’s the synopsis:

 

 A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

 

I for one am going to have to get a copy of this bad boy on my Kindle. What about you? Are you intrigued?

Book Update

So, many of you know that I am a ghostwriter and that I’ve authored a book of my own. And, like I’ve said on my blog, I’m in the middle of another book, one that’s taken me a few years to stop procrastinating write.

I’m happy to say that I officially only have one more chapter left. *Cue applause and American Idol-esque confetti from the sky*

I. AM. SO. EXCITED.

Though I love the first book I wrote (I wish I would’ve done some things differently, but there’s time to fix it) I feel like this book is a true labor of love. It’s a story I just couldn’t get out of my head and have been desperate to finish for such a long time. Thankfully, due to a great work schedule and growing in my craft (and blessings from the Lord), I am almost this {pinches fingers together} close to being done.

And since I know you’re all on pins and needles to know what it’s about, I give you the promotional copy (aka, the stuff on the back of the book) for my next novel:

Morgan Miller loved all things fabulous: Chanel, Versace, Dolce and Gabana, Louboutin. Her closet was packed with designer labels and her wallet full of credit cards. She was atop everyone’s VIP list and had New York City eating out of the palm of her hand. And why wouldn’t she? As the only daughter of Hamlin and Marla Miller, Morgan had everything her heart desired. And if she didn’t have it, she soon would. 

But, Morgan’s world of fancy parties and glamorous getaways all came crashing down when her parents were brutally murdered. Unable to touch her inheritance until she turns eighteen, Morgan must spend the next seven months with her very distant relatives in… 

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. 

As Morgan navigates the life of a city girl turned Amish maiden, her social faux pas are nearly disastrous. Between making enemies on her first day, almost burning down her family’s home, and threatening “Englishers”; Morgan is counting down the days to her eighteenth birthday. That is, until she meets Ezekiel Schrock.

 Ezekiel starts to show Morgan that life without electricity isn’t as bad as she thinks it is. Soon, Morgan is falling hard for the farm-grown fox and faces a new dilemma: will she choose to stay in Pennsylvania or rejoin her high-society friends back in the Big Apple?

Excited yet?