Back From Lent

Back From Lent

Those of you who follow me on Figment or Wattpad may know I’ve been joining my family in abstaining from recreational activities done on a screen for Lent. While we determined that I could still compete in Figgy Idol, since it’s considered extracirricular instead of recreational, I was unable to blog or update other stories.

As a result, I’ve actually had a lot more time for writing. Who would have thought? /sarcasm

Here’s a list of all the things I’ve done during the forty days of feasting. Writing wise, of course. Just click on the title of a work to be taken to where you can read it.

 

Shutdown: A group of online teens are faced with a very unique situation.

Trapdoor: A cyberpunk bounty hunter goes after a big catch, but she might get caught instead.

Hempen Jig: A mermaid trapped in a cage. Here, I had to express a certain emotion without ever naming it. A few Figgies liked it so much that I wrote a few more chapters. I’m looking forward to updating more at the end of Figgy Idol.

Oblivion: Featuring the same characters as my dialogue story Pi, Oblivion shows Setta and and her AI having a confrontation over what it means to be human. Which is my favorite subject.

Everything Behind You: Okay, so this wasn’t technically Figgy Idol. I only posted it today. It’s an eery story from second-person point of view about deserts, memories, and illumination.

 

I’m really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. I plan to blog at least once a week, but I might move up from there once my college coursework slacks off in a few weeks. Other than that, here’s a small list of what pieces of writing I’ll be working on.

 

Beast– I finally got my rear into a chair to write Part II. I’ve taken down the previous Part II of Beast on Wattpad so that I can continue to update with the new material.

I Hate Wonderland– A fanfiction crossover between Avengers and Once Upon A Time, where Bucky realizes he’s the Mad Hatter. This is a quirky/dark fic that I’m doing just for fun. It’s been on hold for a while, obviously, but I’ll be updating again soon.

Sidekick– Another fic, this one a Flash/Arrow fic about another earth. But on this earth, Flash and Arrow are mortal enemies, with A.R.G.U.S. agents Abbi Garret and John Diggle between. But the already tentative balance is upset even further when Hunter Zolomon–from the earths we know and love–zooms into town.

Euler Circuit- This one has no links, as it’s still in the planning stage. I got my friend T.R.G. to help with the creation of some planets for our beloved characters of the first novella to protect and save, possibly from themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

Query Shark

Query Shark

I’ve always been one to put the cart before the horse. Planning things is just so much fun. And sometimes I forget to actually do the things I planned about.

In any case, this week’s Procrastination Tool is Query Shark. I skimmed literary agent Janet Ried’s blog a year or two back, but this time I did the full dive into the shark tank. I read every single query, all of her comments, and read (and reread) her rules for submission. I don’t know if she plans on taking any in 2017, but I plan on giving it a shot.

Obviously Beast needs a ton of editing, and I wouldn’t dream of sending in a query to The Shark before Beast is as polished up as possible. But here’s what I’m thinking so far:

 

Dear Query Shark, 

Belle never planned to love the monster who took her as payment for saving her kingdom. The Assassin never planned for anyone to love him again in spite of his bloody past and shattered mind. 

And his curse never planned on Belle’s true-love kiss causing her to take it upon herself. 

Belle runs before the curse forces her to massacre a kingdom. The Assassin makes a deal with a former employer: if she helps him track down Belle and the curse, he’ll help her take down an evil queen. 

As they play games with hearts and magic, someone else is playing games with their minds and monsters. 

BEAST is a 72,000 word fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Its sequel, QUEEN, will soon be complete at 80,000 words and continues the story of the curse through a Snow White retelling. Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Sincerely, 

Jane Apricity

 

Paring down the plot and trying to make it as enticing as possible has also helped my writing not just for the query’s sake, but for editing Beast as well. I’m getting back to the basics of the plot, the feel, the tone and underlying themes that are important to me.

In essence, I’m going back to good old fashioned storytelling. Which, in the end, is exactly what I’m trying to do as an author.

A Few Thoughts on Typewriters

A Few Thoughts on Typewriters

Most authors adore typewriters.

Even if it’s just a cool aesthetic, typewriters are the trademark of our work. They’re hipster, they’re trendy, they scream “I’m cool, I swear!”

They’re also a pain in my cuticles.

I was blessed with a typewriter of my very own a year ago. It’s a 1960 portable mint-green Swiss Hermes Rocket. It’s small and doesn’t weigh a ton, and is banged up enough that not all of it closes up properly, which I didn’t mind in the least. Which is good, since closing it all up would just mean yanking it all apart again in order to untangle my ribbon.

Which isn’t the last of my woes.

Sometimes, when I start a new line, it will ride up and continue typing while caught halfway through the old line and the new. It has a tendency to crumple one sheet of paper after the other, and even the ones that come out unspoilt are usually crooked. My margins rarely work, and my fingers usually slip between the keys and are torn to shreds when I instinctively yank the precious tools-of-my-trade back up to safety.

Oh how I unconditionally love my little mint-green monster.

For all the drawbacks as compared to a keyboard or pencil and paper, I’ve completely become a typewriter snob. I can’t think properly on other machines now. Queen has been entirely written on my Hermes Rocket, and the majority of Beast before it. And both Curse and The Highwayman will follow suit.

Writing’s a fickle thing. Inspiration is hard to come by, so most successful authors live by the rule “Butt in chair.” But there’s no denying that it’s easier when one is inspired. So on with the treacherous ribbons, traiterous mechanics, and carnivorous keys. There’s a reason most authors adore typewriters.

Christmas Books

I write, therefore I read. 

I think this should be posted somewhere. Granted, it isn’t always true, but I struggle to think of a situation in which a writer is excused from all forms of reading ever.

Regardless, I adore reading. So it comes as no surprise that books made up the majority of my “Christmas Haul” this year.

 

How To Train Your Dragon (Book 12)

I read the first one just after watching the movie for the first time, but I often forget that I saw the movie first. I adore the book world even more, and the scope of the story is so much more endearing and epic.

And plus, tiny dragons.

And really, really huge dragons.

 

100 Deadly Skills

Of a SEAL Operative, no less.

 

Krav Maga

I happen to like the idea of being able to defend myself.

 

Igraine the Brave (In German)

I’m by no means fluent, but I thought perhaps a kid’s book would help. I have a German picture book, and a German version of Lord of the Rings. One I’d mastered and one… well, reading it in English can be a challenge.

 

Space Case

I loved Spy School and the subsequent novels, and space is so darn cool. I had to give this a try.

 

Ink and Bone

I have no idea what this book is about, but that title is irresistible.

 

Wheel of Time (Book 1)

I feel like such a bad book person for taking so long to read Wheel of Time. I had it on my Amazon wish list for forever, but no one seemed interested in buying it for me, and I could never find book one anywhere. I finally stumbled across it at a thrift store. So it technically wasn’t a Christmas gift, but I’ll throw it in just to celebrate finally getting it.

 

Now to make sure I’m not a bad book person for neglecting my own! I’ve been picking up steam with writing again, although I have yet to touch Queen. For some reason, it now feels daunting. (Probably because I left off right before the very important bit of the final building stages of the climax.) But it will be tackled tonight! Wish me luck, and let’s put on the kettle.

-J.A.

 

The Post NaNo Crash (aka Writing Excuses)

The Post NaNo Crash (aka Writing Excuses)

I used to hate writing excuses.

You’re a bloody self-described author! What would you be doing besides writing? You fake-authors. How dare you smear the name.

All well and good to pass judgement. But be warned, younger me: you will also be judged.

Sigh.

I blazed through NaNoWriMo with glorious success. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s where authors take the month of November to be uber-authors and spit out 50,000 words. A mighty feat, for those who haven’t attempted it. I was successful, but the crash afterwards has lasted much longer than the one week I allotted myself.

I’ve touched my NaNo novel exactly once since finishing it, deciding to instead waste precious words on wee fanficlets for DC’s The Flash and The Magnificent Seven. I did perk up a bit when I started KISA and Pi, but what I really need to do is work on Queen.

She’s sitting at a pathetic little 52k, nearing the climax of the story that needs to be at least 80k words, by my estimate. So, I resolve–Christmas hot on my heels or not–to begin writing on December the 20th, tomorrow.

It’s really the perfect time, since I’ve finished up my latest college course semester. To get myself in the mood, I’ll be posting what I do have of Queen (in all it’s unedited glory. #nofilters, I guess.) to Figment. Beast has garnered some recognition there, so hopefully it’s sequel fares well.

Update over. J.A. out!