Thursday, December 30, 2010

Coming soon to Smashwords

Death of the Sun
It's hard to believe it was so long ago. I sat in my car, parked at the lookout spot we used to come to. Beyond the cliff, the city lights were spread out for a few miles. The silence was strange and yet comforting at the same time. I rolled down my window. There was a slight breeze, but the summer air was still warm. Tomorrow, I would get in my car and drive to Portland. Tomorrow, I would leave this small town, and everything in it, behind me. But tonight, I was still here, still haunted by the things that had happened two years ago.

Keep your eyes out for this new short story, coming soon!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New short story on Smashwords

I published a new short story on Smashwords tonight.

The Jensens is about a young woman who finds an inspiring book at a garage sale where an older man is selling the things of his deceased wife. (Say that five times fast!)

Here are the first few sentences:
Mrs. Gellar is now yelling. I watch from my position by the table of books. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen her without her hair curled. She waves her arms, and her face grows red. The others in the yard are trying to politely ignore the scene, but we are all listening.

Read the rest of it here!

You can find a few other stories and nonfiction pieces at my Smashwords profile.

Thank you to the critters at CritiqueCircle for helping me perfect this story!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I write like. . .

I did this once before, but I don't remember who I got. This time around, Stephen King. Not bad!

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Underwhelming Books

There are some books that I cannot put down, but when I've actually finished it, I think, 'Wow. . .that's it?' Or I'm like, 'That was a good book' and a week later, I fail to tell you what it was about. Books that hook you, but don't make a lasting impression on you.

For me, these books fall into that category:
1. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

2. Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

3. The Uglies series.
It started out strong. The first of the series (Uglies) is my favorite, but I hardly remember the next two, Pretties and Specials.

4. A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

5. The Gossip Girl series.
I didn't finish it, but what was the point of those books??

6. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.
When I was reading the books, I was like, 'Omg, amazing!' Now, I couldn't tell you the basic plot beyond Valentine being evil.

7. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.
500 pages of nothing.

I do have some level of respect for these authors. A lot of them are bestsellers, so some people obviously loved them. They had me turning the pages, desperate to learn more (well, some of them - Gossip Girl, not so much). But I felt kind of cheated at the end. Like, what was the point of that?

Did I learn anything? Let's look at the themes of these books.
Water for Elephants : love.
Lovely Bones: family??
Uglies: now, this theme did stick with me. The people of this world surgically enhance themselves at a certain age, and the establishment even inflicts brain damage to keep people compliant. There was a lot of social commentary in this series, so I appreciate that.
I know A Gate at the Stairs dealt with interracial families a littl bit. The main theme, I think, was growing up.
Gossip Girl: no, don't get me started on the LACK of theme and depth in those books.
The Mortal Instruments series: no idea. Don't fall in love with your brother?
Memoirs of a Geisha: I guess the theme could be "ambition makes people horrible"?

Did I feel anything for the characters beside, 'Ooh, what happens next?' Generally, no. I thought Jacob in Water for Elephants was lifeless, Tally Youngblood could have had a lot more personality, and I don't even remember the main character in Memoirs of a Geisha.

My writing has a tendency to be fast-paced and plot-centered, and the last thing I want is for someone to race through my book, and then say, 'Huh. Okay. Whatever.' I want my characters and themes to stay with the reader.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Website Layout & Smashwords

I recently updated the layout at No joke, this is the third layout I've had! I just love doing new ones, iWeb is so fun!

I also recently got a Smashwords account, where you can find some free short stories and nonfiction. I'm considering eventually self-publishing, but I honestly don't know. Both "traditional" publishing and self-publishing have ups and downs, and I'm very torn right now. Do you guys have any thoughts?

What I've posted on Smashwords thus far:

The Prodigal Daughter placed second place in Young Salvationist's 2009 Creativity Contest for the fiction category. It was later published at Pond Ripples Magazine. It's a short story about a daughter that visits her mom in the hospital. From when I published this Friday night, it's already had 83 downloads! I personally think part of it's because of this awesome cover. Thank you, Seer for the great photograph! (Seer's profile on contains NSFW images)

You Remember is a short literary piece written in second person. It's actually the only second person story I ever remember writing. It reads kind of like a poem. The story looks at glimpses of a relationship.

I wrote Invisible Walls on a plane on the way back from South Africa. It's about my husband, but at the time, we were just friends, and I had a small crush on him. It's just my thoughts about our relationship and where it might.

I also published Agape, which is actually a collection of nonfiction. It includes two devotionals that were published in Young Salvationist, a short piece about what it would be like to Jesus in the flesh, and my thoughts on God's love.

At this point, I like the uniform look my covers have. I think I'll stick to this theme (stock photo with Trajen Pro font over it) for my short stories, and have different ones for my novels, if I choose to publish them on Smashwords.

Check them out, leave a review! Do any of you have Smashwords accounts? I'd love to read your work.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Revision Central!

I started revision on The Second Generation today! I thought I was going to run out of toner on my printer, but I figured out that Brother printers sometimes say toner is low even if it's not and found a loophole to get its maximum use. Thank you, Amazon and YouTube!

I have. . .
- My 236-page manuscript.

- My list of handy links:
Limyaael's Fantasy Rants
Holly Lisle's One-Pass Manuscript Revision Workshop
Nanowrimo's List of Writing Resources

- Three pens and two highlighters.

- A binder full of lined paper.

- My writing books.

I've already gone through chapter 13 today at the library. There are few big things I know I need to work out, and right now, I'm reading through it entirely and marking down what I need to change when I come back to the computer. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Best Seller #5

I haven't had one of these in a while. . .this dream was really interesting. The main character of my next dream/novel adaptation has the ability to pull people into her imagination, showing them worlds they can only see through her mind. In my dream, she was helping a young girl who wanted to be a princess, but I think this could go anywhere. It'll be called Imagine. Original title, yeah?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Word Clouds

Wordle has these neat word clouds you can make. I did it for some of my stories:


The Stones of Cilean

The Second Generation

My next project, which is currently unnamed

How fun!

Some of the words I noticed were prevalent in two or more stories:
asked, looked, like, know, going, go.

Interesting. . .

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's official!

Skyline Publications has published the fourth edition of Literary House Review, and my short story Magnitude is one of the 20 stories! You can buy the book, or you will probably be able to preview it online soon. How exciting!