Category Archives: Warmaiden

Obligatory 2014 Recap

new-years-day-2015Wow. What a year. Ups. Downs. Even some sideways curves thrown in. I’m not going to go through every, gritty little detail and bore you to death. Here are some highlights of the year for me!

  • The year started out with a bang as the government decided it wanted back taxes on my grandfather’s estate. I damn near blew a gasket as my dad had promised this wouldn’t happen again. The stress of this all damn near drove me to stroke-level blood pressure for a couple of months. In the end, we had to sell my grandparent’s house (the house I spent ages 12-19 living in) to pay the taxes and get some cash out of the deal.
  • While this ordeal was going on, I received the good news that Phobias: A Collection of True Stories had been released with one of my stories in it. It’s a non-fiction piece, but it’s a gripping tale of how my arm was mostly amputated in a car wreck, and what’s gone on with me (physically, mentally, and emotionally) since that dark night in 1988.
  • Then came April with the annual Pikes Peak Writers Conference. Yet another great conference was had by all, and I was extremely grateful to be able to meet and hang out with old friends and new friends alike. The highlights of my 2014 PPWC were meeting Chuck Wendig, Jim C. Hines, and Michelle Johnson. Michelle asked for my full manuscript while at conference, but ended up passing on it later in the year. More on that later.
  • The rest of the year passed as I cranked out short stories, submitted them to a variety of markets, and let the rejection slips pile up in my inbox. Such is the life of a writer. You keep at it. Write more. Become better. Submit stuff. Accept rejection. Rejoice in acceptance.
  • July found me at a new Day Job. I’m still doing software engineering duties, but simply for a different employer now.
  • August rolled around and another anthology I’m in was officially released. The road was long and arduous for this particular anthology, but it got pulled off and I’m quite happy to have a story in Carnival of the Damned.
  • September found me in Paris for ten days (including travel time) for work. It was nice to go back again (I went as part of a tour group when I was a teen), but able to go alone, do what I wanted, when I wanted, and all that good stuff. However, I did get sick right before the weekend. Horribly sick. I bounced back quick enough, though. I was still able to see some of the sights I wanted to visit, but not nearly as many. That’s ok. I guess I’ll save up some things to see for next time I make it there.
  • Then in October a few things hit nearly at the same time.
  • Early in the month a flash fiction piece I’d written called “Broken Violence” was featured on HorrorAddicts.net.
  • Then later in the month, MileHiCon rolled around. This is a near-local (just up in Denver) convention that’s very well-priced (less than 50 bucks) and is always a hoot to attend. Again, I got to meet up with old friends and make some new ones while I was at it. The convention was all-around great (again) even if the fire alarms went off a few times on Saturday night and forced us to move the midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show to another room.
  • When November rolled around, I received a very nice and thoughtful rejection letter from Michelle regarding Warmaiden. At this point, I’d been shopping the book around for an agent/editor for over five years. I decided it was time to move on from Laurin’s stories and write something fresh and new. The struggle to publish my first novel (and its sequels) was just becoming too much of a burden, and I needed to step away. It all, I trunked around 320,000 words from the trilogy. I still have them around, but they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
  • December rolled around, and I was writing more short stories, and decided to take a break from them to crank on a novel. I took two “short” (they’re short-to-novelette length tales) stories about the same character, merged them, added more material, amped up the grit and blood, and created (what I think is) a pretty decent urban fantasy tale. It’s a bit on the short side (about 44,000 words), so I’m going to run it past the critique group and get their input on places to improve/expand the story.
  • If you look to the right sidebar of my site, you’ll see that I came up one story short on my goal, and 10 submissions short of that particular goal. I’m okay with that. I now have one more publication from those submissions (Broken Violence), and eleven more stories to shop around once they get some polish on them.

I gotta say…. Except for the shitty start to the year, I’ve had a pretty good one so far.

Here’s to hoping 2014 was nice to you, and may 2015 bring you as much success as you can fit in your hot little hands!

PS: Resolution for 2015 will be posted tomorrow. I’m still mulling around a few ideas, and I’m not sure which one to jump on just yet.


I’m Batting .000

If you recall from my PPWC recap, I pitched Warmaiden twice. Through some miracle I managed to land four requests for the full manuscript from those two pitches. How? Well, check that post for the details.

That was April. Now to fast forward to today.

The final rejection from those four requests rolled into my inbox today.

Of the three agents that requested materials, two of them sent me very nicely worded rejection letters for the novel. One of them sent me nothing, even after I sent a polite follow-up email. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I could go on a tear about responding to people you meet at conferences (as opposed to those pseudo-anonymous queries) as the polite thing to do, but I don’t see that as being productive. I’m assuming the “no response after almost four months means a solid, ‘No Thanks.'”

The one editor that requested materials from me also sent me a rejection a few days ago. He gave me some really sound advice and some great pointers on what to improve in my work. He didn’t have to do that. He’s a really nice fellow for taking time from his busy schedule to give me four paragraphs of feedback rather than a simple, “No.” Good on him. If you’re that editor, and you’re reading this, you know who you are. To you, I say, “Thanks!”

I’ve taken his advice to heart and am already working toward learning what I need to in order to improve upon the weaknesses he pointed out in my writing. I’m not quite ready to delve into the serious revisions of the story just yet. More learning and help from friends is necessary first.

This has been a rough time for me. So much time and energy has gone into something that may end up in that proverbial trunk. I’ve accepted the fact that this novel may go nowhere. That I may strike out again and again if I refuse to let it go.

I’m not ready to let it go just yet. I’m willing to step up to the plate and take another swing with the novel.

Will I end up continuing my streak of batting a solid .000? Will I hit that home run? Will it be a “game winning” chance at the plate?

I don’t know yet.

That’s why I’m not giving up.

Until I know for sure the project is dead, I can’t bring myself to resign.


NaNoSubMo

I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo this year. It’s not because I don’t believe in the process of encouraging writers. It’s because I have different plans this year!

I’ve decided to submit Warmaiden to one agent or editor each day in the month of November. I’m calling this National Novel Submission Month. Or… wait for it… NaNoSubMo!

I even went so far as to register a domain name for my efforts. If they pay off, I may expand the site into something people can register for and track their own queries. We’ll see if I get that deep into my insanity! You can follow my efforts of November over at http://nanosubmo.org/


Warmaiden Revisions Done

I’ve finished revising Warmaiden. I gave myself 10 days to do it and it only took a total of 6. I’m quite happy with myself. That gives me hope that once I get it in front of a willing agent/editor, I can do whatever changes they ask of me in record time. Now to run it through the CSFWG and see what changes they ask of me….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, I did another Wordle of the book, and the results were much better than last time. Laurin is still my main word, but the sizing of her name is much smaller in relation to the rest of the words in the image.

 


Revisions of Warmaiden

I’m working my way through the book again doing some touch ups and minor revisions (with some major work in places) to tighten up the prose before sending it through the CSFWG again. I started working on it last Thursday. Every spare moment that I’ve managed to grab has been poured into the revision process. This includes lunch, nap times for the kid, downtime right before bed and every other moment that I can think of. At lunch today, I managed to get within 39 pages of finishing the revisions, and I can’t wait to be done.

Having gone through the book again, I’ve fallen in love with it all over again. Little nuances that I’ve planted in the book leaped from the page at me, and I found myself smiling at the adventures of Laurin, Gerra, Sigri, Raullin and all of the others in their quest to defeat Xanathos and return home safely to Caer Saberi.

I can’t wait to get the book back in front of the CSFWG and see what they have to say on the matter.


Wordle for Warmaiden :: 2011-06-08

There’s a great web site out there for writers called Wordle. You can upload your text, and it’ll output a Java display that you can print or screen shot that will show you the density of the various words that you use. The larger the word in the image, the more times you’ve used it in the text. Here’s my Wordle for Warmaiden as of yesterday:

 

Wordle for Warmaiden -- 2011-06-07

As you can see, I’ve used “Laurin” a wee bit too much throughout the 108,000 words of Warmaiden. I expected the name to be the largest since she’s my protagonist. I didn’t expect it to be that large, though. Time for some more edits to remove character filtering and “gawking narrator”. Once I’m done with the edits in a week or two, I’ll upload a new image and we can compare the progress and improvements.


Partial Rejected

I’ve neglected my web site for the past two months and it shows. I have news about the partial that was requested by the agent: rejection. I’m not sure why it was rejected because all I received was a form letter with a customized apology for not being interested. I wish I knew why it was turned down, but I guess I’ll never know. I’m fully aware that agents are way too busy for follow-up emails and advice to people (other than their clients) and such. I’m not going to pester the agent about her choice. I’ll just accept it and move on.

The rejection was almost two months ago, and I haven’t really written much since then. It’s not because of the rejection… that only bummed me out for a few days. It’s just that life caught up to me and I haven’t had the time I used to have to dedicate to writing. I know that’s a lame excuse, but I’m using it for the moment.

I do feel the itch to write coming back very strongly, so in the very near future, I’ll carve out some time for myself and get back to writing at the furious pace that I’m accustomed to.


Partial Requested

I’m currently doing a massive happy dance (mostly internalized at the moment) because I met a great agent today. I pitched my book to her, and she readily jumped on the chance to see a partial submission (the first 30 pages) of my book, WARMAIDEN.

I’ve learned quite a bit at this weekend’s PPW Conference, and one of the things I found out is that my first two pages were all backstory that needed to be shown instead of told. I knew better than to do this, but I wrote it that way anyways. It’s time to yank out the two pages of telling and replace them with a FULL CHAPTER that will be my new first chapter of the book that shows what I told.

This means that I can’t immediately send off the first 30 pages. I have some work to do first. That work will take me about 3-4 hours, and I strongly feel that I’ll be able to sneak in those hours by the end of Monday night and get the submission off to the agent by that time.

Until I get a chance to sit at a keyboard and crank out the new first chapter, I’m busy floating on cloud nine in the happiness of knowing that my story has captured the interest of a professional in the field.


First Round of Revisions

I started my first round of revisions on WARMAIDEN last week, and they are going quite well. I’ve only had to add 300 words total. Well, that’s the delta. I’ve removed quite a few and added a little more than what I’ve removed. I just finished all revisions of chapter 1-3 (the book is 20 chapters total.) My critique group in the CSFWG has critiqued through chapter 13 in their hands. I hope to be done with those revisions before they receive chapter 14 later this month. The overall flow of the story has not changed a bit, but the prose supporting the story is much strong and works very well. I can’t wait to see what they have to say about chapters 4-6 (which is my next section.) I’ll probably start those tomorrow during lunch.


Ozey! Ozey! Ozey!

I am VERY HAPPY to announce that I just finished the first draft of my first book. It weighs in at 97,700 words. WARMAIDEN is finished! However, it’s not DONE. Now come the rewrites based on critiques from the CSFWG. From the feedback I’ve received so far, it’s not going to be that rough.