Sunday, January 29, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday (Jan 29)

Welcome, Sixers! Thanks for stopping by--it's so good to see you all :)

We pick up where we left off: Alexia's boyfriend, Dan, is showing her some pictures of the apartment he found in Italy for them. It's not a permanent move--he's a graphic designer, and wants to get a Master's in Milan. Dan and Alexia have been dreaming of this a long time.

But these snapshots I held in my hand didn’t belong in the dream.  The first picture was taken outdoors, a 70’s cookie-cutter-style block of apartment buildings painted a faded brown. Could be yellow—it was hard to tell under the city grime. The area looked like a modern suburb; no haughty architecture, no history crumbling in the corners. No, only chain-link fences, meager vegetation and overcast skies. 
With a straight face I flipped to the next one, the interior of the apartment.
I do apologize--six sentences wasn't enough to show the inside. Next week!

Happy Sunday, everyone, and remember to visit the other Six Sundayers. Some awesome blogs to keep coming back to: Zee MonodeeNatalie R. OwensJen BurkeMonica Enderle PierceCindy DwyerSiobhan Muir, Dan H. Kind, Sue at SassySpeaks, and many others!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sweet Saturday Sample (Jan 28)

Another Sweet Saturday Sample

The novel I'm sharing from, RESTORING EXPERIENCE, is Women's / Literary Fiction, and it's rating as a whole would never make it to PG-13 :D But this excerpt is mild, mild, mild. I hope you like it, and I look forward to your comments.

It's the summer of 1995 in Mexico, and 22-year-old Alexia is discovering possibility--at a steep price. She takes a step away from the conservative values and expectations that define her life, reveling in the exhilaration of freedom—of choices she never imagined she had. But choice implies decisions, and decisions entail regret: every untrodden path, even as she takes that first step away from it, is already an embryo of regret

Sometimes, we're just not ready to learn the lessons life throws our way. And sometimes there are no second chances.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Awesome Awardee--Me!

Jennifer Burke, over at Jen's Bookshelf, gave me an award--the Kreativ Blogger! See how cool it is?

Innit totally awesome? I get to share 10 things about myself, and pass the award on to another 6 bloggers. The ten things aren't that hard, but the bloggers--man, everyone's so creative! Can't I just award it to everyone?


FINE. I'll pick. Lemme see... Okay, how's this? I'll pick six new blogs I've found recently. Will that work?

Whatever. Just get on with it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Write 1, Sub 1--Jan Week 3

Ouch. Only three weeks into the challenge and I already failed. For the past three weeks I've been rushing to revise the MS I'll be pitching at the writers' conference in San Francisco next month, and this week I decided I'd sacrifice short stories for editing. I did cut away around 8K words, which is really good--still another 2K to go, and some chapters at the end to rewrite, but I think I'll end up with around 102K. Long, I know, especially for a first novel, but it's doable. Better than the original 113K, at least :D

One publishing success: a story I submitted to Pure Slush was accepted and published yesterday. Technically I guess that success should go in this week's W1S1 accounting, but in case I forget, here's the link:

I got some great feedback from people that read it--it's short, around 600 words, so if you want to take a hop over and leave a comment, here or there, to tell me what you think, it'd be most appreciated :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday (Jan 22)

Thanks for stopping by today--hope you're having a great Six Sentence Sunday!

Here's this week's snippet for you, a bit further down the same scene from last week, where Alexia and Dan, her 7-year-boyfriend, are talking about the apartment he found for them in Italy--the fulfillment of a long-standing dream is about to come true, and Alexia is surprised she doesn't feel more excited.

“I got some pictures of the apartment.”  Dan fished in his shirt pocket and produced some snapshots.  “Now, don’t be disappointed,” he said, holding them back as I reached to take them.  “It’s small, not even close to luxurious.” 
I laughed, trying to pry his fingers from the photos.  “Poverty is the mother of all art, right?"

Next week you'll get to "see" the photos through Alexia's eyes :)

Take a stroll over to the Six Sentence site for more authors and more snippets of great works. You'll find me for sure at Zee Monodee, Natalie R. Owens, Monica Enderle Pierce, Cindy DwyerMelissa Mackinnon, Siobhan Muir, Krystal Wade, and many others. Enjoy!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sweet Saturday Sample (Jan 21)

This is my first time at Sweet Saturday Sample, and I'm excited! I hope you enjoy the sample I've chosen to share today from my soon-to-be-completed WIP (SOON, as in, this weekend). This is the MS I'm planning to pitch at the San Francisco writers' conference over Presidents' Weekend this February. Wish me luck, but most of all, if you have any feedback--any at all--I'd sure appreciate it if you shared it. No holds barred--this is about the story, not about me or my ego. Whatever helps the story get better, become stronger, is good with me :)

Thanks for stopping by, and remember to visit the other blogs participating in the Sweet Saturday Sample hop--some great writing there, well worth checking out. Who knows, your next favorite author might be lurking there, waiting for you to find them.


Blurb: It's the summer of 1995 in Mexico, and 22-year-old Alexia is discovering possibility--at a steep price. She's at a crossroads, and she must decide whether the life her world--her family, her friends, her society--wants for her is what she wants for herself. Either way, she faces regret: every untrodden path, even as she takes that first step away from it, is already an embryo of regret. 

Sometimes, we're just not ready to learn the lessons life throws our way. And sometimes there are no second chances. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Letter to Apollo

Apollo, you're a genius. I don't mean just because of your typing skills--impressive, dawg!--or even because of your amazing mastery of English--and you're not even a full-grown "dawg", but a puppy. Cute as all-out, too. These things contribute, sure, but--Apollo, the real pearl of wisdom was that tidbit you overheard from Scott Eagan, about clutter in stories yesterday. When you got to the part about--okay, let me copy-paste here so there's no misunderstanding:

'[...] the story simply becomes too cluttered and messy (kind of like our family room after I've been playing). And [...] After all of that playing and that mess, someone has to put it all away again (and it ain't me). With stories, those final chapters are now an issue of "putting it all away"[.]'

When I read this, I had to wonder if Scott's hacked into my computer and been supervising my "revising" (i.e., clutter clean-up) for the last two weeks.

You chose to share this at the exact right time for me, Apollo. Don't you just loooove synergy? You're probably too young to know what that is. Well, this is it. You randomly overheard something, randomly chose to share it (among all the other things you might have overheard), and I (ok, not so randomly) read the post exactly--exactly--when I needed to hear this most.

Yep, synergy.

And now, Apollo honeybunch, I'm off to clear away some more clutter. I've decided to become ruthless in my clutter-clearing. Because you know something? Scott's right. He always is.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Write 1, Sub 1--Jan Week 2

The second week of the year and I managed to a) write another short piece (1,033 words) and b) submit that same piece to Muscle & Blood.  Yay!

The piece started as an exercise in the Practice list of the IWW, and got expanded into its present state.  Let's hope M&B like it--that would be my first publication with them.

The title is AROUND THE BEND, and its main theme is madness--and an all-too-real turn of events.

Last week I also received a response on the submission I made to Dark River.  I feel disproportionately flattered to have received a rewrite request from the editor: he remarked the female character lacked definition, and if I could change that they'd be willing to consider the piece.

The Life of Books (When You're Not Looking)

Fantastic video I found on the She Reads blog yesterday!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday (Jan 15)

Middle of January already, people--where is the year going????  I do hope it's a great one for you so far.

Another Six Sentence snippet for you from Restoring Experience, the novel I'm planning to pitch at the San Francisco Writers' Conference next month.  You can read last week's snippet here, and previous SSS posts here.  Remember to visit the Six Sunday site for links to other participants--great writers there, and some have new releases, books you can actually read, all at once :)

With no further ado:

“Are you happy?”  He put an arm around my shoulders.
“I am.”
“About the apartment in Italy?”  The excitement that spilled into his voice was tinged with triumph.  He was proud of himself for finding this apartment.

Look forward to your comments and your own snippets :D Happy Sunday, everyone!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Simple Man & A Complex Woman (The Dushi Ode)

Dushi, happy birthday.  This is probably not the kind of birthday "card" you expected, is it?  You're not a public kind of man, I know, and I'm sorry that I chose this very public forum to say Happy Birthday.  I didn't do it to embarrass you.

You see, words are the only gift I have to give.  And, as it is, they're not much.

We've been together for a long time now, and I like to think you know me pretty well.  You know how intense I am, how conflicted, how voluble and disperse.  I'm sorry for bringing my conflicts into your life, but I'm forever grateful that you understand--how do you do it?  How do you put your own self aside and step into my shoes, so gracefully and quiet, like a shadow?  And--why?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Write 1, Sub 1--Jan Week 1

I signed up for the Write1Sub1 challenge in 2012--weekly.  That means that, in Bradbury tradition, I must write one new short story every week and submit it--somewhere.  Magazine, online or print.  The rules aren't so strict--the basic idea is that every week you write a story, and every week you submit a story--can be the same one, can be another one.

And Mondays (Tuesday this week, due to the fact that on Monday I guest blogged at Daily (W)rite--about murdering your way to a Pulitzer, hehehehe!  Go take a look--it's a fun post) will be my accountability days.

Last week I wrote a flash piece for the writers' group I belong to, titled Death Row--just under 400 words.  And yesterday, Sunday, I submitted The Purity of Blackness, another older piece, to Dark River Press, a print and online publication that specializes in horror--done intelligently.  Let's see if they think Purity is intelligent enough :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

How Far Would YOU Go To Be A Best-Selling Author?

Someone comes up to you and asks:

"So.  You want to be a bestselling author, eh?  Oh--sorry, a Pulitzer winner?"

*Insert yourself here, nodding madly, salivating like a Rottweiler at an open cage of bunnies.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday (Jan 7)

And... My first Six Sunday post of the year!  My apologies to everyone that dropped in last week and didn't find an SSS excerpt--somehow I programmed the post for February 1 instead of January 1.  I lay my head down at your feet, and beg forgiveness.  Please.

With that out of the way, I invite you to jump right into Alexia's story of loss and regret.  You can read previous excerpts here, and please remember to visit the other Six Sundayers.

We walked into the park, and when Dan’s hand took mine I flinched with guilt.  I should tell him.  And what exactly will you say, Alexia?  Dan I have a confession to make—I’ve been holding hands with someone else?  I’d done nothing wrong, really.  Still, the guilt didn’t subside, and I tightened my fingers around his.

Thank you for the visit, and do I hope you'll leave a comment--feedback is always appreciated, good or bad (yeah, I'm a masochist).  

Have a fantastic Sunday!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011--The Year Everything Changed

For me, at least.  2011 was a year of flux, of upheaval, more internal than external.  It was a breaking point of sorts--I realized life is too short to live it any other way than how we want to.

Sounds irresponsible, doesn't it?  You imagine me (or you) vegging out on the couch, stuffing ourselves with greasy chips and creamy dips (I crave salty, not sweet, but feel free to substitute the chips for--oh, I don't know, chocolate truffles?), binging on reality TV and bad Lifetime movies (that's probably an oxymoron, isn't it?).  And that's not what I mean at all.
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