Thursday, October 31, 2013

That's A Lot of Zeros

Nano- (symbol n) is a prefix meaning a billionth. Used primarily in the metric system, this prefix denotes a factor of 10−9 or 0.000000001

That's a lot of zeros.

But in the writing word, NANO is apparently shorthand for National Novel Writing Month, that is November.  Millions of writers band together to encourage each other through the achy wrists, red eyes and bleeding fingers associated with the commitment to write fifty thousand words and complete the rough draft of a novel in thirty days.

That's a lot of words.

And I jumped on the band wagon.

I wrote the rough draft of MOON DAUGHTER RISING in about three months. Time to put on my big girl panties and give up some entertainment time for the cause. And go on a few runs in between the keyboard marathons to unstress and brain storm my stories.

I am a little excited though. 50k words is actually about one and a half middle grade/ young adult novels. So I am going to work on two that I have started. I have mentioned them on here for those of you following my blog, but not in detail. Looking forward to your feedback on the blurbs I am sure I will be posting.

THE ADVENTURES OF DOM SANDERS- 1990s Tom Sawyer
SAMANA'S FLAIR- desert elves and men battle an evil king

Cheers! And good luck to my fellow Nano participants!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Knowing the Market and Writing Something New

While querying MOON DAUGHTER RISING to around 20 agents, I noticed a need for middle grade boys books. At first I was quite irritated, since my completed work is geared more for girls ages 8-10.  I am sure that eventually I will find an agent for Annalee's quest, but I thought to myself I am not trying to sell a boys middle grade novel, but maybe I should be.

This idea stewed and stewed for a few days.  Granted, I was and still am on a mini-vacation tucked away in the Idaho hills hanging out with the in-laws as my husband plays hunter during venison and elk season, so much so that getting online to submit queries is a feat in itself. But whenever I spend time with my other family, as I call them, they make me laugh because I hear all kinds of stories about my husband and his brother when they were kids.

These stories quite entertain. I had a bit of a topsy-turvy childhood, full of divorce and job chasing parents complete with constant relocation, and my sisters and I weren't nearly as close as my husband and brother-in-law.

Then two nights ago, I saw a trend in fairy tales being modernized and resold. Brilliance struck. Why not take the stories I laugh over and translate them into a modern take on Tom Sawyer?  I am not claiming to be a modern Mark Twain, but with some ingenuity, and my families permission, I think it could be a best seller. As soon as they said yes, I got to work.  A general outline, character list and 2,400 words written already, and I think I am on to something.

Here's a little blurb bit for my faithful readers!



The spring evenings were growing longer. It was not dark, yet, and neither of our parents had made it home from work. I came out the front door, bucket in hand, and turned to the weed trail we had pressed all the way to the shed and the box Dad had built as a compose bin.  But I stopped short. A stranger was there—a boy stockier than me. A new-comer of any age, boy or girl, was rare in the small town of Millville. This boy was well dressed, too—new Levis and a button up shirt.  His hair was red as a robin’s breast, and his teeth were crocked but white. This was simply astounding.  He had fancy Nikes on.  He had a snobby attitude about him that rubbed me wrong. The more I stared at the boy, the less I thought of his clothes and the shabbier and shabbier my own outfit seemed to feel.  I took another step toward him, and he did likewise, each of our eyebrows raised at each other, until we were only a few feet apart.  Neither of us spoke.
Finally the stranger said, “I could kick your butt.”
“I’d like to see you try!” I retorted.
"Well, I can do it."
"No you can't."
"Yes I can."
"No you can't."
"I can."
"Can't."  
An awkward pause lapsed. Then I said, “Who are you?”
“None of your beeswax!”
“Well, I aim to find out.”