Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Haunting Character

MOON DAUGHTER RISING was my baby, my first novel, the one I placed on a pedestal, convinced that it had a place on bookstore shelves and in the arms of middle graders.  But after a disheartening string of rejections and several of the writing industry bloggers I read mentioning that it was okay to do so, I decided to shelf Annalee and move on to my next novel.

But Annalee is a haunting character.  I found myself thinking about her adventure as I cleaned dishes and brushed my teeth.  I laid awake at night reliving her story and feeling her emotions.  I knew that the beginning needed help if I was to ever get an agent to read the whole manuscript.

This morning I woke up knowing how to fix it.  So I did.

May 1st, Brenda Drake is hosting another writing contest called The Writer's Voice.  This time rather than being pulled out of the slush pile, it is by a random lottery draw and conducted on blogs.

My manuscript is finished, and the first chapter rewrite is waiting in my critique partner's inbox.

Perhaps MOON DAUGHTER RISING is not retired yet.

Here's a little taste of the rewrite. What do you think? Would you read more of the story based on this?

Chapter 1

The dark forest outside Annalee’s new home felt dead.  The eerie quietness made it feel as dead as the police claimed her father must be since he hadn’t returned from it.  Annalee laid awake fiddling with her long, black hair and wondering if she would ever see him again. How could a twelve year old get through high school, go on living really, without her dad?  Especially here, in the cabin her grandfather had built and her dad had grown up in?  It hurt too much.

An unearthly howl cut through the silence, followed by a thump, thump much closer. It made goose bumps ran up her arms. It shrilled once more, then thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. Too scared to leave the safety of her bed, Annalee huddled under the covers, hoping that the nightmare would stop.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Entered a contest to spark my creativity

Hey there,

The boxes are mostly unpacked and we are crammed into our new life in Laramie.  I finally finished setting up my office, that is a 5x5 corner of the smallest of the three bedrooms in our apartment. The rest of the room is part pantry, part tool storage for Nolan.  But my office is organized and the white walls are hung with colorful and encouraging items to help me remember what I can do when I set my mind to it!

Its with a heavy heart that I announce that I am shelving MOON DAUGHTER RISING for a while.  Annalee has been read by at least 80 agents with the same, generic comments. I prefer to think of it as she hasn't matured into all that she can be. So after a year of purpose and pursuit, she is resting a while.

When I made this decision, I moped a bit (okay, a lot) and decided I needed to spark some creativity and love back into my fingers. So yesterday, on a whim, I decided to enter a flash fiction contest with the deadline for today.  If I am chosen, the story will go into an anthology.  While that published work would look great on a resume, what it really did was recapture my heart for story telling.

I put a bit of the 1000 words below for your comments.  Its supposed to be a different outlook on God's destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah without the biblical characters involved. I hope you enjoy it.

Have a great Monday!

The glaring sun crusting the horizon met his bulbous eyes with pain.  Turus blinked and turned away, but soon the rays’ warmth on his skin whispered an apology.

Unexpected thunder echoed off the walls around him and shook the very foundations of the earth.  A pungent reek wafted past Turus’s nostrils, and his stomach kaleidoscoped inside him.  More booming bounced through the air, colliding with the screams of man and animal alike as Sodom’s inhabitants awoke in a nightmare.  Sizzling rocks pushed by columns of smoke hurtled to the ground.  Death rain ripped through the city walls and tore apart towers of homes.

Turus’s right ear rang as a hissing stone exploded beside him, crumbling the wall he stood on. He felt his limbs tumbling with the pieces of his previous platform, scraping and bruising every centimeter of his body.  He screamed, but the sound was lost in the chaos.  He felt a deep scorch worse than any sunburn he had experienced and watched the skin on his arms peel.