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Thoughts on me as a writer

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I started taking a class for writers about 3 weeks ago called "Discover Your Specialty, Launch Your Platform," taught by this lady named Christina Katz, whose book Get Known Before the Book Deal and accompanying workbook, Build Your Author Platform, I bought as part of a Writer's Digest bundle several years ago.

In her comments on my Week 2 work, a couple times she changed things to say I am a YA writer. I asked her why she thought so. She then asked me that it depends on the age of your characters and asked which I do. I told her that most of my characters have been close to me in age, but some have been different and went on some big spiel about the works I had done recently before realizing I don't really know where I stand, whether I should write adult or YA or even both. She said that while it is ok to be flexible, I want to be most known for my published works, that those will grow my reputation, and that I might want to start thinking about making a plan to commit to one or two projects at a time for the next year, and that it's a good idea to do this when you are trying to get known.

I have given her words some thought and realized she's right. I've got a bunch of works that aren't finished, and one that is finished but has been in need of revision for 3 years. Maybe I should focus more on getting work done and out there - in other words, writing - than the business side of things right now. I got so distracted by other things, like my Doctor Who blogs (TARDIS Thoughts and ClassicWhoWatch), my sudden interest in Tumblr roleplay earlier this year (shown via my RP blogs rp-storyteller and chinatownmulan), and my attempts at Instagram roleplay last year. But if I were to be truly honest with myself -- and I find that very hard to do -- I can see that my heart just isn't in any of those projects. And when you do something and your heart isn't in it, it's not fun anymore. It feels like work, and stuff that feels like work, frankly, kinda sucks. And, for me anyway, it leads to a lot of unnecessary stress. And potentially lost time and money (I paid money for advertising for TARDIS Thoughts that technically I didn't even want...the person would not leave me alone when I said I didn't want it, kept trying to sweeten the deal, and I was so desperate to get my blog known I capitulated...I haven't contacted them since, nor have they tried to contact me - which is the least they could do, since I paid them money and everything...who charges £100+ for stupid banner advertising anyway?!).

So why have I kept these projects alive? Frankly, for other people. I'm super behind on posts for ClassicWhoWatch, yet I keep posting to it just to keep my followers happy - and I have 18 followers. Woohoo. Ditto with TARDIS Thoughts; I'm way behind with it and it doesn't have much of a following regularly, but there have been spikes (based on the stats), and that makes me want to keep it up so as not to disappoint the people who read it. The RP blogs got good attention at first but haven't had any activity for over a month, despite me promoting rp-storyteller at every RP promotion blog on Tumblr I could find. (Chinatownmulan is for a specific closed RP group, so I didn't advertise it). At first, I chalked this up to me launching my blogs in May, when a lot of people are busy with finals, but it hasn't improved much over the summer.

I don't know why I want to please other people so much. But it's a big deal for me. I want to be liked, I want to be popular, I want people to recognize that I exist. And yet I am far from social and spend most of my time by myself. So do I really want friends? Or do I just want recognition/fame? I know I am selfish and impatient. Yet I do try to help people, even when they don't ask me to, and people are grateful (some of the time...other times I think they just take advantage of me). Also, if we get a new person at work (a new hire or a transfer), I always make an effort to introduce myself and shake their hand. When I like somebody's article of clothing or bag or something like that, I tell them, even if they are complete strangers. Most of the time, if I need to talk to somebody but they are talking to someone else, I will wait till they are done or there is a break in the conversation, but this inevitably leads to me standing awkwardly behind them for ages unnoticed, cause I'm too polite to interrupt. Other times, though, I intrude into conversations I am not even a part of that I have simply overheard. In other words, I try to be friendly with everyone, not get involved in drama (though it seems like I do often anyway), and work hard. Most of the time I end up in drama because people decide to tell me their secrets - or secrets about others - and then I end up in some awkward place. Like when my friends Moe and Alexa were both courtesy clerks, and there was talk of one of them being promoted to GMC (like I am), and Alexa seemed like the favorite, but Moe wasn't happy that she wasn't the favorite, and I was stuck in the middle cause I was friends with both of them. I had no say in whether they got promoted or not, mind you. They just wanted me to pick a side, and I didn't want to. I don't like picking sides unless I have to.

Doushiyou? I could just close down all those distracting projects and put my nose to the grindstone, focusing on getting my current Works in Progress done - at least the first drafts. But there are people who might not be happy if I did that. No, I shouldn't care. It's my life! There were people RPing with me who I think genuinely did like doing it with me. I hate to let them down. I hate to let anybody down, to fail. TARDIS Thoughts I could probably let go of. ClassicWhoWatch I do like, and it was mainly to document my watching of Classic Who. I probably should've done that in a personal journal though. Maybe I can change it to private just till I catch up on posts, then turn it back on again? That way, there is less pressure to get the posts done? Hmm, that's a thought.

The RP blogs, though, are a lost cause I think. There are probably only like 2 people I haven't RP'd with that I know for sure want to. And I have no clue if they'll even be able to. And Once Upon the Twenties (the group chinatownmulan was for) has been pretty quiet - and was always a small group anyway. I think maybe I'll ask advice on that and see what happens. There are blogs especially for asking that sort of stuff.

I have a few story ideas from the RP experience that I could play with. One is the different versions of Once Upon a Time Mulan that I created - one that was her Storybrooke self, one that was her Enchanted Forest self but existed in the universe of the spin-off Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and the 1920's version I created for chinatownmulan. I also have the storyline for Emily Johnson, an original character based on the BBC Sherlock universe. Then there are the various storylines I developed for Alys and Darren, my protagonists from my Doctor Who story, The Companion's Diary of Alyson "Alys" Reed, including storylines for New Gallifrey, an AU where The Doctor has become an evil dictator and taken over the Earth. And lastly, there's The Linguist, my original Time Lord character, who I had originally intended to cover in short stories (as, I found out, another user had done -- one of those 2 I know are still interested in RPing with me) but decided to develop through RP instead. I have a New Gallifrey storyline for her too, and toyed with a Harry Potter AU for her based on this AU someone else had come up with. In other words, I have tons of FANFIC FODDER. Maybe I should write fanfics about these people instead? (Well, I sorta am already about Alys and Darren, though I have moved on from calling it a fanfic and started calling it "an original Doctor Who story" because after using it as my NaNoWriMo novel last year I felt I should treat it more like a serious work). As someone I met on the train recently pointed out to me, fanfiction is great writing practice. I mean, you have a ready-made universe and characters, all you really have to provide is the plot. And plotting is not my strong point, so it would give me a chance to work on that. Sometimes this gets you mainstream notice too, as seen with Cassandra Clare (author of The Mortal Instruments; she was previously known for her Harry Potter fanfiction, and I first heard of her in connection to this, via Melissa Anelli's book Harry: A History) and E. L. James (author of Fifty Shades of Grey, which started its life as an AU Twilight fanfic). Though I imagine this is rare.

I used to write fanfiction; I still have three of my four Code Lyoko ones (the fourth I wrote for a forum challenge, which got lost when said forum shut down, cause I didn't save a copy of it). "William's Escape" is the longest, and originated as something I started writing when I was bored in Anthropology class. When I tried to do a summer of writing practice 3 years ago, I started a fanfic based on Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (the Sailor Moon live-action series) that starred Usagi's friend Osaka Naru and dealt with her reaction to finding out Usagi is Sailor Moon late in the series, and how this impacted their friendship. Sadly, because Naru is mostly in a coma around this time (first from getting hit by one of Princess Sailor Moon's attacks and later from Metallia's youma), I couldn't do much with her if I wanted to stay true to canon, and had to jump around in time. I got about as far as the part where Minako dies (Act 47), with a scene where Usagi calls her in tears to tell her about it, and haven't touched it since. It doesn't even have a title yet. Pretty much the only place I veered from canon in that one was to work Princess Serenity into things, having Naru see a vision of her in the hospital and having said vision tell her to protect Usagi. (Princess Serenity's story in PGSM is a lot more complicated than in other parts of the Sailor Moon universe). I suppose I could carry it through to Final Act, then cover the 4-year gap between Final Act and Special Act as well as Special Act itself (which is mainly about Mamoru and Usagi on the verge of marriage but having difficulties cause Mamoru is having second thoughts, and then Kuroki Mio coming back and causing trouble). I also wrote a summary for a SeraMyu-style musical based on the Dark Mercury Arc of PGSM, which has promise but is far longer than any musical would actually be (6 acts!), so it would need some work if I (or anyone else) ever wanted to stage it.

Other than those, the only other fanfics I wrote were ones I wrote way back when I first got into anime and manga, and aside from a couple now-lost Ayeka/Tenchi ship fics called "Ayeka's Choice" and "Ayeka's Choice II," they were all pretty awful. (Actually, I just re-read my Code Lyoko ones recently, and they're not great either. Granted, one I wrote for a 500-word challenge, which limited things, and it was for a regular writers' forum, so I wrote it in such a way that someone who hadn't seen the show would understand it). Oh and also there was my attempt at a diary-style fanfic called Le journal de Alera Gynne, based on a character I had created for a Harry Potter forum RPG on the official Code Lyoko forum who had transferred to Hogwarts from Beauxbatons (if that is even possible). I also used her on a RP forum that was a RP of Beauxbatons. As the title suggests, I was going to write said fanfic in French, as a way of practicing my French.

I just did a search for fanfiction sites and found some lists. The lists included the ever-popular Fanfiction.net and a site called WattPad where I already have an account (cause I was going to post Alys's story and The Linguist's story there, though Alys's story has always been meant to be posted on Tumblr, as an experiment to try to use every post type on one blog, so I think I will stick with that, especially now that I have figured out ways to use every post type, which was a struggle before...I also have a blog made for it, but left it as private for now until I finish the first draft, since I learned trying to post the first draft is a mistake. I also want time to come up with stuff for the photo posts [my best friend Amy is willing to help me with this, since she's a way better artist than I am] and to decide whether or not there will be a sequel story starring Darren, as I am currently considering since I want to do more with him). I can start with those for now I guess. I also am on the fence about potentially trying to do more web writing, for sites like WhatCulture (which, last I checked, was actively seeking contributors). And of course I want to get print publishing credits too, which is the whole reason Writer's Market exists and why I buy it. Maybe I should go more for the print credits actually.

I do need to work on my craft, and fanfiction might be good practice. Obviously, I will work on my original stuff too. The Tales of Walden universe in particular is a mess that needs proper definition. I am quickly realizing that what I've written so far is really just background stuff for a world I haven't fully created, stuff like what is in The Silmarillion or other such books that provide background for Tolkien's world of Middle-Earth. And even he revised his ideas on that extensively (you can see this in Lost Tales and Unfinished Tales). I'm sure C.S. Lewis did too, though I think we know less about his process.

I will hopefully learn more as this class progresses, and I just registered yesterday for a writers' conference in San Luis Obispo that happens in a couple weeks, the Central Coast Writers' Conference, which I found out about from Writers' Digest back in July. I really hope I get the time off from work. I still need to figure out transportation and accomodation. (I can take the train up there, but it takes 8 hours!) I think it will be helpful. The amount of attendees is small, there are good workshops, and famous historical fiction author Anne Perry is giving the keynote! Plus it's at Cuesta College, where my brother went to school when he lived in SLO. Seemed just right for me. I want to go to more writers' conferences as time goes on, but I think I need to start at small ones cause of price and also because of my social anxiety issues. (Classes would be good too. I looked into the ones at UCSD Extension, but they're super expensive!) And find a critique group somehow.

Whew...just wanted to get that off my chest. Going to take a shower, I think. Need to get out of my bedroom...it's so hot today.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

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Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Just discovered this book series. What an interesting dystopian concept - love being a disease that people want to cure. A scary thought.

Change of plans

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So I was originally going to do an album for FAWM (February Album Writing Month) that would be for Rachelle's band, The Swinging Jennys, from Music Land Maestress. But I have decided I'm not going to do that after all. I'm still going to do FAWM, but write songs for myself instead.

It's not that I don't like Music Land Maestress. I do. I'm just stuck on it. Chapter 8, the one I did during JaNoWriMo, was way too long, even for the part I did finish. So I need to distance myself from it.

Also, I was going through my author site, trying to figure out what needs updating, and I just had this overwhelming feeling that I had lost my focus as a writer. Maybe it was just me, maybe it was God trying to tell me something. I don't know. But I think I need to focus on those works presented on that site - Darkly Bound, The CYA Files, The Tales of Walden, and TimeSavers - for the time being, and put Music Land Maestress on the back burner. (Which reminds me, I should shoot John Cusick an e-mail asking about my query critique. It was supposed to come within 60 days, and I think it's been nearly that long since I submitted it).

One idea I had was that maybe I should do Music Land Maestress as a series - probably YA given the age of most of the characters. Cause as one book it would be WAY too long. (Case in point, the book as of the end of NaNoWriMo was only 7 chapters long - and already over 50k!). Maybe the first book would cover the discovery of Symphony, Coda, Ranvois, and Melody (the part of the book I already have done so far), and then the following books would go into finding the others. Is there any precedent for this, other than like the Sailor Moon novels (which are pretty good btw)? If you know of any, please tell me in the comments! I would like to find any examples I can read.

Well got to go to work. Plus I need to get to work on my FAWM songs - the first week ends on Friday!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

January is ending...

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So January is ending...and with it the events I chose to participate in for January, namely JaNoWriMo and Choose-Your-Own-Novel Month. I finally came up with an idea for the latter, and just finished writing a rough version of the decision trees of each storyline today. They will all tie together somehow, probably in an epilogue. Kinda like a Seinfeld episode, where each character's plot ties together in the end. My tentative title for this loose story collection is Their Side, Our Side, Elsewhere. Still need to actually write the stories, but due to the format I want to type it up, which I'll have to wait to do till I get home.

JaNoWriMo hasn't been that successful. I was doing fine for awhile, but then I think I got stuck, and at this point I've pretty much given up on it. It's taken me all month to write one chapter, whereas for NaNoWriMo I wrote seven! I think I just got distracted. Plus I created a really strong monster for Allegron and the girls to fight but not a way to defeat it. Oops.

Eh well, by the grace of God (or maybe sheer luck), I'll get over this and succeed at my writing endeavors for February. Might have to set Music Land Maestress aside for a while though.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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After some thought, I am trying to make a more definite list of what works I would do if I did all the NaNo-form events I wrote about before. Here's what I have so far:

January: Music Land Maestress continued (JaNoWriMo, in progress), text adventure of undecided plot (Choose-Your-Own-Novel Month, not started yet probably going to try to work on that this week)

February: Debut album (or maybe demo) for Rachelle's band The Swinging Jennys (February Album Writing Month), TARDIS Thoughts blog-every-day challenge (NaBlPoMo)

March: Darkly Bound editing (NaNoEdMo)

April: The CYA Files (either Camp NaNoWriMo or April Fools), various (NaPoWriMo)

November: Sci-fi police procedural I wrote the ending of for school (NaNoWriMo, going to try to win as a rebel this year), musical based on the Dark Mercury Arc of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, the live-action TV drama version of Sailor Moon, which I already have a summary written for. (NaPlWriMo)

Other months: currently undecided.

More on this to come!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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So I have decided that this year I will try to find whatever opportunity I can each month to work on my craft. Not that I won't do other things, of course; I still have to eat, sleep, go to work, etc., and I have other interests and hobbies. But I am going to try to work on my craft as much as I can.

Toward this end, I have consulted that link to NaNoWriMo-style events I linked to before and I am starting to form a tentative schedule of which ones I'll do. Here's what I have:

January 2013: Janowrimo (in progress), Choose-Your-Own-Novel Month (entered but not started)
February 2013: February Album Writing Month, will likely write an album for my character Rachelle's band. Will probably also spend this month (and some of January) re-typing-up Darkly Bound. Oh and also I am thinking of doing NaBloPoMo (or is it NaPoBloMo?...anyway, it's National Blog Posting Month) in February with my Doctor Who episode analysis blog TARDIS Thoughts.
March 2013: NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month) with Darkly Bound.
April 2013: Possibly April Fools and the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo; definitely NaPoWriMo (as mentioned before)
May 2013: Undetermined.
June 2013: Undetermined
July 2013: May be a break month due to a family vacation in Hawaii. Or I might do the July session of Camp NaNoWriMo.
August 2013: Possibly AugNoWriMo.
September 2013: Possibly SeptNoWriMo; definitely prep for NaNoWriMo.
October 2013: GothNoWriMo (maybe). Prep for NaNoWriMo.
November 2013: NaNoWriMo and maybe NaPlWriMo (National Play Writing Month), though that might be too much.
December 2013: The Plot Whisperer, where you refine the plot of your novel (maybe).

There are also non-month specific challenges, like 750 Words and SciFiWriMo. NaBloPoMo is also non-month-specific, but I want to get things moving on TARDIS Thoughts with the new eps coming in April. Basically, the only one I'm not doing is WriYe, technically, because it's too late to start that.

A New Year, and JaNoWriMo

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Happy New Year everyone! It's 2013!

I'm hoping to accomplish a lot in terms of writing this year. I want to finish my NaNoWriMo novel, Music Land Maestress. I also want to revise Darkly Bound. It's been dormant for too long. And I'm planning to do NaPoWriMo in April, as well as possibly the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo. And maybe check out some of the NaNo-form events listed here. The "blog every day for a month" challenge sounds interesting. Also the GothNoWriMo challenge, where you write a gothic novel in the month of October. I've never written a gothic novel, but one of my favorite novels, Jane Eyre, is a Gothic novel, so I suppose I know what they are like. Anything that gets me writing more is worth checking out, I guess.

Besides that, I need to update my author website and probably change the layout to make it more "today." And also promote myself more. I have a healthy following/followed ratio on Twitter (I have 64 followers and follow 47 people), I have 201 Facebook friends (double what I started with on day 1), and I have 81 followers on Scribd. (LinkedIn I use for personal, writing, and web design purposes, so I'm not going to mention it, even though I link to it from my writing website). Not viral proportions, but not too bad. I need to be more active on social media, though; I pretty much ignore my writing Facebook. Technorati authority for this blog is bleh.

So, I guess my resolution is to write more in order to develop my craft, to promote myself more as a writer, and to work on the two novels I mentioned. Reasonable enough, I hope?

Toward that end, I am doing JaNoWriMo. Which is like NaNoWriMo but way less organized and it takes place in January, as in this month. I'm not even sure what the rules are. I'm just using it as an opportunity to work on my NaNo novel some more. Hope I can get through it without going crazy!

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Feel free to ignore this part of the post. I just had to re-set up my connection of this blog with Technorati, and that requires inserting this code in a post. Here is the code for that: 2BVWF8MPATJS

Merry Christmas

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Just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

I haven't been doing much writing, except stuff for websites, because after NaNoWriMo I just needed a break (even though I love writing, NaNo was pretty stressful). But I signed up for this unofficial thing called JaNoWriMo, so I'll have to start prepping again soon. I also want to try that NaPoWriMo thing in April.

I read a good quote from Stephen King the other day about screenwriting. Basically he got a book on how to write a screenplay on a whim, but he thought the book was b.s. But the screenplay form example in the back, he said, wasn't b.s., so he used that and wrote a screenplay for Something Wicked This Way Comes. It was an interesting thought.

Well, just wanted to post that. Merry Christmas!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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'Doctor Who' Personality Quiz: Which Companion Are You? | Anglophenia | BBC America

For anybody reading this blog who likes Doctor Who. I got Rose, which I'm happy about because I like her!

Writer's Digest Webinar

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So this morning I did something I've never done before -- attend a Writer's Digest webinar. It's not that I don't like their webinars, it's just that they're so freaking expensive. (And also, sometimes they're on days I have to work so I don't have the time to attend). The one I did today was $89, though I was able to find a 15% off promo code, so I got it for about $75. Still, very pricey. But I suppose the content's worth the money, and I guess they probably have costs to pay, like being able to use GoToMeeting, pay an honorarium to the speaker for their time, etc.

Anyway, the webinar I went to was this one from author and juvenile fiction agent John M. Cusick, called "Writing and Selling Sci-fi and Fantasy for Kids and Teens." (That link is not the official webinar page; that's not available anymore). Since I have a YA time-travel series in planning mode (TimeSavers) and am undecided whether Music Land Maestress is YA or adult, I thought attending this webinar would be worth my time. Plus, I'm off of work today so timing worked out too. Unfortunately, because I was trying to get my writing e-mail set up again, thinking the confirmation e-mail for the webinar got sent to that e-mail and that I wouldn't be able to access the webinar without it, and also because I thought the query letter we could send to Mr. Cusick to critique had to be ready before the webinar, I didn't get a chance to eat breakfast or have any caffeine before the webinar started (at 10am my time) and spent most of the webinar finding it hard to focus on things besides my hunger. I kept thinking I should get up and get some food, but I didn't want to miss anything (though technically I already missed the first 5 minutes because I was trying to figure out how to get into the webinar). Then again, I knew going into the webinar that I would have access to the webinar as an archive afterwards (which is why I didn't take any notes), so I could've totally gone and gotten breakfast anyway.

He did provide some good tips, and seemed like an overall funny guy. He's apparently a fan of Star Wars and Doctor Who because those were mentioned often (he even mentioned the term "timey-wimeyness"). I was a tad bit annoyed that he used John Green's Looking for Alaska as an example, though, because I did not like that book much at all. Frankly, I have not enjoyed any John Green books I have read, though Looking for Alaska was the worst of the lot just cause it was very edgy, with lots of profanity, drugs, etc. Ironically, I love watching John in the Vlogbrothers videos he does with his brother Hank. I just don't like his books. An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns, the other two I read, were better but not great. Some of the books Mr. Cusick used as examples were YA books I was unfamiliar with, but which he liked or had worked on. The sci-fi novel Feed, which he used as an example of how to build a world, particularly sounded interesting to me.

I was glad that Mr. Cusick outlined the difference between Middle-Grade and YA. I always hear writers talk about the "middle grade" genre of children's literature and never understood what that means. I mean, I know what YA is; I read quite a lot of it. Basically "middle grade" is like for ages 8-12. Though I suppose there are exceptions; technically, the Harry Potter books are for ages 8-12 but they always felt more like YA to me than children's books, what with the romance and the deaths and all the other "grown up" themes. I've read my share of middle grade books too, though mostly when I was actually that age. I was a frequent visitor to the library (both the school library and the public one), and also made great use of those Scholastic book flyers (like this one) when I was a kid. I also liked when we'd have the Book Fair at school every year; I actually bought Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted, now one of my favorite books, at one of those fairs. I remember I actually read my way through the entire fiction section of our small school library at some point. And the summer between sixth and seventh grade, I actually read a little over 100 books. (I know this because I was doing some challenge where you wrote down every book you read on a piece of paper, and you got a prize for every 10 books you read -- and I know I got at least 10 prizes). How is that possible? Well, it was summer, so I had a lot of free time. And also, we didn't have cable from when I was 5 to when I was 19, so I didn't have the TV to distract me. And I didn't have my own computer or video game system at the time. Nowadays, I have more distractions. I still do read a lot though. People ask me how many books I read in a period of time (month/year, etc) and I never can tell them because I just don't keep track. I have in the past, via the WeRead app on Facebook, I think also through GoodReads. Now I sometimes check into books with GetGlue, but GetGlue doesn't have every book in its database, and some books I don't check in to there, so it's not a complete record.

At any rate, I am uncertain whether the TimeSavers series (the one series I was mainly concerned about with this webinar) would be middle-grade or YA. On my author site, I advertise it as YA, but it was originally inspired by The Boxcar Children series, which fits more into the middle-grade age range (grades 2-6 specifically). I am going to send Mr. Cusick a query (a free query critique is included for those who attend the webinar, though it's for educational purposes only and is not a guarantee he is going to want to publish it or anything) and see what he says. In the query letter (which I already wrote), I do point out the Boxcar Children inspiration. I may also mention in the accompanying e-mail (if it's through e-mail that he wants it submitted) that this is the first query letter I have ever written, so hopefully he doesn't come down too hard. Normally, you wouldn't mention that in a query, but since this is for critique/education purposes only, I think I may be ok mentioning it.

So how did I write the query letter? Well, I just looked online for guidelines and wrote the best letter I could. I have some experience with the format, having learned how to write business letters in school and also having written cover letters for resumes I sent out. Basically, I went by the guidelines and started with a hook, then a summary, then a bit about the book itself (with the title and all), and then as best of a writer bio as I could come up with (I don't really have any special credentials, like a MFA or anything like that). Then I put a closing, then a signature, followed by my author web site URL and my author e-mail address. I did mention in the bit about the book that the book was "in its planning stages," which might be a faux pas because most people recommend NOT sending out a query before a manuscript is completed, though one seminar I went to at the SDCWG conference said otherwise. But I was at that part where you normally put the word count of the novel, and as I haven't even started writing it yet, I didn't want to lie and just put some word count. So I was honest. In that section, I also put in a subtle bit about the book being part of a series, as recommended by this one blog post.

At any rate, I will let you know how that goes. I haven't submitted the query yet because I wasn't sure how to. I contacted Mr. Cusick on Twitter to ask (since I had figured out he had a Twitter) and he said Writer's Digest would contact me about it. So I guess now I wait.

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In other news, my author website and e-mail are operational again, thanks to me finding some useful posts on the Dreamhost wiki and figuring out how to upload my site and set up my e-mail. (I also found a useful forum post that explained how to set things up so you can FTP to your Dreamhost site via Dreamweaver, which I wanted to do anyway, so now I have that option...though I did finally figure out how to get into my WebFTP setup, or what most web hosts would call a "File Manager"). I set up my e-mail through Google Apps for Business so I could use Gmail, which I figured was easier than doing it through my webhost like last time -- basically it's a custom Gmail like Cal State used. The drag is that now Google Apps isn't free anymore; you can get a free trial but then you have to pay. But I set up a flexible plan that is only $5/user per month, which means it's only $5/month because the only user on the account is me. Also, conveniently, when you set up your e-mail up with them, they provide a step-by-step on how to set things up so you can access your e-mail on your mobile device. I already set it up for my iTouch using the iPhone instructions; I also told it I had Windows Mobile to cover my cell phone as well, but decided not to waste time setting that up immediately since I didn't have much time till the webinar started at the time. And the Apps setup (via Dreamhost) also includes Google Calendar (which might be useful to me in the future for book tours and the like), Google Drive and Docs (which I might be able to use for work excerpts, though I also have Scribd for that), Google Talk (yay chat! and yes, I have used Gtalk before, though not in a while), and Contacts. I also downloaded the free Mailchimp app from the Marketplace, in case I ever decide to send out an e-mail newsletter (Mailchimp is supposed to be one of the best services for that if I remember). I guess that's the one benefit to using Google for all this stuff - there are lots of resources available to you! I also set up a free account via Dreamhost for CloudFlare, a service that is supposed to help with performance, speed, and security for your website.

All right, that's all for now. Ta-ta!

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September 2014
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I'm Doing JaNoWriMo!



JaNoWriMo goal: 25,000 words
(+301 words written before 25k goal was decided upon)


JaNoWriMo progress:
5,751 words

Last Updated: 1/9/12 11:41pm PST



Progress: 5,751 words out of 25,301


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