Monday, May 30, 2016

First Draft Finished

I've just finished the first draft of my longest project ever, and it feels amazing. I wonder if this is how normal, non-writer people feel when they... I don't know what non-writers do, actually. I want to say build houses and buy antiques?

Anyway. It's 77,967 words, written in almost exactly six months. And I'm not totally dreading going back to edit it?

Here's a summary of the novel, which I've written in attempt to answer the age old question "what's it about?" without saying "Uh, spaceships?" (even though that is an equally accurate description; I killed off several characters and crashed a ship, and the ship was the most heartbreaking).

Freak Show is a space opera with superpowers, or what I like to describe as "If Heroes and Firefly had a baby."
Jacker Jetstark runs one of the universe's last carnival ships, bringing excitement to the lives of people on the lower class moons and asteroids colonized by a mining company that leaves death and destruction in its wake. The carnival's biggest draw is its freak show, where people can see a ferocious wildman, an angelic birdwoman, and psychic conjoined triplets - freakish anomalies from far flung corners of the universe.
But it's all a lie. The freaks are just genetically altered people whose genes react to the music played during the show, giving them powers and abilities. It's just for show, no real practical use.
Until the song changes, and the powers become permanent. Now Jack has to convince his crew that their destiny is to rescue his beloved Diantha from an assassin who has already claimed her husband, the leader of the mining company and de facto ruler of the universe's main governmental body.
Jack fancies himself the knight in rusted armor, off to save his damsel in distress from a dragon. Diantha fancies herself the dragon.

In the coming months I will be editing and rewriting, and mocking myself mercilessly along the way. Stay tuned.

(how much longer until things like "stay tuned" and "don't touch that dial" become obsolete? Or will they become phrases we use while having no idea of the actual meaning?)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Publishing Announcement - Circuits and Slippers Anthology

I'm overjoyed to announce that one of my short stories will be included in Circuits and Slippers, an anthology of sci-fi fairytale retellings edited by Jaylee James.

My contribution is Scrapefoot, a retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Target publication date is September 2016.

I can't believe my work is going to be in a book. This is amazing, and I cannot thank Jaylee enough for this opportunity.

Monday, May 16, 2016


I'm 26 years old. Because of my disability, I don't work, have only been inside a school to pick up textbooks for homeschooling, and my mother still cooks every meal I eat. I don't handle money or shopping, and I can't dress myself. For all intents and purposes, I have no adult responsibilities.

My life now isn't much different than it was when I was 16, or even 6. I'm smarter and better at social interaction, and the movies I watch have swear words sometimes, but it hasn't changed much.

Becoming an adult is supposed to mean something. It's supposed to be different than being a kid. I don't think I even celebrated my 18th birthday.

This morning I signed the contract with Cast of Wonders to allow them to turn my story into a podcast. I signed a contract. Via an email address my mother didn't make for me. The check will have my name on it. I didn't ask anyone for permission to send my story in, nor did I feel the need to have anyone except me read the contract before I signed it.

Becoming an adult does mean something, but I don't think it has to happen when the government says you're allowed to vote, your family lets you sit at the big table at Thanksgiving, or your religion says you've come of age.

It's all about the way you feel, and sometimes you can become an adult two weeks after you turn 26.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Dinosaur Fun Fact!

Because instead of finishing my space opera, I'm researching my dinosaur novel (and compiling a list of agents to query for my unfinished novel because... I don't know why, really).

So apparently Jurassic Park had raptors even more wrong than I realized, because raptors didn't have much flexibility in their (coughfeatheredcough) wrists and probably could not turn them so the palms pointed downwards. They pointed inward instead, in an eternal game of charades where the answer was always "fortune teller looking into her crystal ball."

Good to know the Mesozoic always had someone ready to hold an hors d'oeuvres plate at a moment's notice.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

IWSG - A Novel by Any Othe Name

On the first Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group encourages writers to talk about their insecurities. So here we go.

As I near the end of my sci-fi novel's first draft (on the fourth quarter now), which I started in December, I'm starting to wonder if it's any good.
I feel weird even calling it a "novel," even though it's a novel by all definitions. It's a work of fiction, expected to be around 80k words, and has a plot from beginning to end.

But it's science fiction.

Now, I am not knocking the genre. If a movie or book doesn't have a robot, time travel, or a spaceship in it, I'm probably not going to watch it and I almost definitely won't enjoy it (with a few very rare exceptions; I was surprised to actually enjoy The Hurt Locker despite still thinking it would have been better if it was set in space).

But there's a certain gravitas (at least to me, though it's probably all in my head) to saying "I'm writing a novel." I feel like when people ask "what's it about?" they expect something big, an important book that will change the world or shine a light on some issue. "I'm writing about the injustices of a disabled woman trying to make a life for herself without relying on the government" or "It's a story of love and prejudice set against the backdrop of the African slave trade." You know, a novel.

Maybe I'm imagining it, but unless they're a major nerd like me, I think they're always a little disappointed when I say, "The freaks in an intergalactic carnival get superpowers and have to save the universe." You know, a book. A really long story divided into chapters.

If my book were made into a movie, it would be the kind to have colorful merchandise and geeks dressing up as the characters for the premier. Not critical acclaim and awards. And that's the way I want it. I would be lined up for days, dressed as Lily the owl woman and carrying Lego replicas of their spaceships.

I love my book. I don't care much what other people say. But it doesn't feel like a novel.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Writer's Brain in (in)Action

I think my brain has passed the point of no return as a writer. Now it's plotting in my sleep.

I remember at least a snippet of a dream every night (I'm sure it's a sign of some neurological issue, but I don't mind). Most of them are random, make no sense, and aren't that exciting or interesting to anyone except me (unless you like zombies; they show up more than is probably healthy).

But lately they've been... oddly coherent. Last week I had a dream with foreshadowing in it. Someone drove past a sign that said "look at the flowers" (a line from The Walking Dead that was said before someone was killed, which has become a euphemism for death between my mom and I), and sure enough, he ended up dead.

And two nights ago my dream started with what they call in TV a cold open. Seriously. It started with three people trapped or hiding in abandoned cars and fallen logs, then went back to the beginning of how they met and why they were on the run.

Not sure if this is a good sign or a sign of madness but I am not complaining. Worrying slightly for my sanity, but not complaining.