Monday, January 24, 2011


Phew! I finished! Between my husband and I, we got my first book done and edited in time to enter the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest! And I only had to stay up till 3:30 in the morning last night to get it done! In other news I am VERY tired this morning.

I don't know if I'll win, but I hope I at least past the first cut. If you're not familiar with the contest, it has four parts. The contest starts with 10,000 entries: 5,000 in general fiction and 5,000 in YA fiction. For the first stage the only thing the judges look at is your 300 word (or less) pitch. In the second stage they only get to see a 3,000 to 5,000 word excerpt from the beginning of the book. And if you make it to stage three, they read your whole novel. I'd love to get to round three, but I'd be happy with making it through round one.

I had a whole bunch of people help me with my pitch. And without their help I would not have been able to enter at all. So a giant thank you to all my Twitter buddies, with a special shout out to BethHautala for sending me some really in depth critiques. Also my NaNoWriMo friends on the Central Jersey forum, and everyone on the Amazon Breakthrough Novel boards who were willing to give my pitch a look see. Thanks everyone! Here's the pitch I submitted for the contest:

All Genevieve wanted that night was to make a quick trip to the grocer’s and have a nice quiet dinner at home. Equipped with coupons, she made her way to a new store, intent on picking up some cheap produce.

What she got instead was a trip into another dimension.

In this bleak, futuristic world, each person's fate is determined at birth and marked on their skin for all to see. But as strange as this new world seems, Genevieve feels oddly connected to it. And the more answers she unravels the more questions arise. When she finds herself caught in the center of the kingdom’s biggest mystery, the questions of ‘how did I get here’ and ‘how do I get home’ take a back seat to her own survival.

The Essence Heart, the kingdom’s missing royal mystic, has been sighted almost twenty-six years after she first disappeared. Both the King and a secretive organization known as the Resistance are rushing to locate her, for whoever controls the Essence Heart controls the kingdom. Although Genevieve’s birthmark does resemble the missing woman’s, she can’t imagine how a girl from the real world could have anything to do with this place of mystery and magic. But whether this is a case of mistaken identity or not, both groups seem intent on trying to capture her.

She enlists the help of a seedy shopkeeper and his fortune-telling sister to help her discover the answers she seeks. But can she stay free long enough to find a way home? And when she finds it, will she really want to leave?

MARK OF THE ESSENCE HEART is a 98,000-word epic fantasy novel set in a world of magic and high technology.
I also posted the first chapter of my story here if you're interested in reading it.

Anyway, it's going to be a long wait to see if I make the first cut. Well, not that long, but it will seem long. So I'll be using that time to finish up the second half of the story (book two) which is half done at present.

And here I need to devote a separate paragraph to my husband, who actually went to work yesterday so he could sit in the quiet office and edit my store the whole day! I love you honey, you're the best!

Good luck to everyone who entered and thanks a million to everyone who helped me out!

Also if this entry seems to float around a bit, it's because I'm running on 3-1/2 hours of sleep. I promise I'll be more coherent next time. ;)

Cat Fine Art Print by eringarrisondesign

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Swear I'm Going To Finish This!

Only four more days until I need to be done with this story!

I did decide to split the story into two books. There was no way I would be able to edit it down to 150K words AND finish writing it in time. Now I just have to finish editing it, write my pitch and maybe figure out a title for it.

The pitch is hard. I didn't really expect that. But I did get a lot of awesome feedback from some of my Twitter friends. I'll post the finished pitch once it's, well, finished.

The thing that is really giving me trouble, and kind of came out of left field, is the title. Why can't I think of a good title for this book? I know the story, I know the themes, but I can't come up with a good title to save my life! My husband likes my working title, which is Tattoo. In the story everyone in the world is born with a tattoo that dictates what their future role in society will be. It's not a bad title, but since this is now two books instead of one, I have no idea what I would call the second one. Anyone else have this problem with their stories? It seems so silly that I wrote a whole book and now I'm having trouble naming it.

I guess I better get back to editing. My husband is going through and tracking changes, then I'm going back and fixing them. We are done with two chapters and have eighteen to go. This is going to be cutting it close!

Wish me luck! :)

Punctuation Earrings by nerdgoddess

Monday, January 10, 2011

Getting Nervous!

I don't think I mentioned this yet, but I am hoping to enter the novel I'm working on in a contest. There are only 5,000 entries accepted and the first day to submit is January 24th. The problem is I haven't finished the book yet! So I essentially have exactly two weeks to finish my story if I want to be absolutely sure I can enter this year! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! Sorry, I'm better now.

Back in November when I started writing I figured I would be done with the story by the middle of December. Well, that didn't happen. I think I can do it, but it's going to be close!

And just finishing the story isn't really my only problem here. The other problem is to enter the contest it has to be less the 150K words. My story, if you noticed from my last post, is getting extremely close to that mark, and will be well over it by the time it's done. I think what I'm going to do for the contest is split the book into two books and just submit the first half. I'd rather not go that route, but I don't think I really have a choice in the matter. I do have a good place to split the story, but that does mean the first book in the series would end on kind of a cliffhanger. As a reader that would annoy me, but it would get me to buy the next book, so it might be a good thing as far as a publishing company is concerned, right?

We'll see how this whole thing ends up working out. :) I have no idea if I chance of winning or not, but I at least want to try. Wish me luck!

Word Count 135,440

Hard Drive Clock by TECOART

Friday, January 7, 2011

Technology ADD

As I explained in my last post, I would never be able to write a story today if it wasn't for the invention of the computer and word processor. But technology is a two-edged sword. Often when I'm writing a scene that I'm having trouble with or when I get to a break in the action, I find myself suddenly on Twitter or Facebook or one of the writing forums I frequent. Sometimes, I'm not even sure how I got there. It's like part of my brain is hardwired to goof-off and being on the computer just makes it that much easier to do. Does this happen to anyone else? Or is it just me?

Granted I'm pretty sure if there was no internet I would find some other way to get distracted when I'm supposed to be writing. But it seems to me that internet is specifically designed to fit this need that my brain seems to have, to wander off without permission.

I guess what I'm asking, is how do you stay focused and keep on track with your writing? Any help in this department would be much appreciated.

Oh I also decided I'm going to put my current word count at the bottom of each post, sort of like the word counter on NaNoWriMo. I'm hoping that will help keep me a little more on track.

Have a great day! :)

Current Word Count: 135,034

WTF Duct Tape Wallet by jDUCT

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Hello everyone, thanks for stopping by! You might know me from my other blog Autumn2May or you may have found me from some other corner of the internet. My name is Jennie and as you can see from my profile, I am a lot of things. Right now, specifically, I am a writer. I'm not published yet, but I am currently working on finishing my first book. I’ve started this blog, so I have a place to write about, well, writing, without scaring off all my Etsy buddies on my other blog.

My book is a sci-fi/fantasy story about a girl who gets stuck in an alternate universe and needs to find her way back. I got the idea from a dream I had in October of 2010 and my husband said it was such a cool idea, that I should write it down. I'd never written anything before, so I was slightly hesitant, well more like very hesitant, to try to write a story. Then I discovered NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, totally insane returning authors and unknowing first timers (i.e. me), take the challenge to write a 50,000 word (or longer) novel in 30 days, starting on Nov 1 and ending on Nov 30. This was not only perfect timing but also an interesting challenge. There is a huge possibility that if I had not found NaNo when I did, I might never even have started this book. I ended up 'winning' NaNo, but my story wasn't finished yet, so I kept going, the whole time completely amazed I was actually doing this.

For a little more background on why it's weird to me that I'm currently writing a book, let me tell you a story. In elementary school, I failed spelling class for the year. I turned in maybe two homework assignments and almost didn't graduate to the next grade. It wasn't because I was lazy or stupid, I just couldn't spell. The school tested me to see if maybe I had a problem that was causing me to have such trouble with this subject, but found nothing. Luckily for me, they let me graduate and we moved soon afterwards to a new, and better, school district. They re-tested me and found I was partially dyslexic and had a cognitive impairment that made it harder for me to learn the way everyone else did.

It was such a relief to find out that I wasn't crazy and that words (and numbers) were not really my enemy. By high school, I was in all regular classes and had figured out how to successfully deal with my impairments. But I was still a terrible speller and the nuances of grammar completely eluded me 75% of the time. I liked writing poetry. I loved reading. But writing itself was never something I really thought I would ever enjoy, never mind be successful at.

Computers are what eventually got me interested in writing, even though I didn’t know it at the time. My dad is a computer programmer and we've had at least one computer in our house since 1982. Since there were always computers, once word processors came into existence, there was always spell check. Then grammar check was added to that and I was in heaven! Now I could actually write and not have people give me strange looks when they read what I wrote. I learned to touch type in elementary school and middle school and perfected the skill on AIM in high school and college. I was ready for the next step, actually writing for fun.

I took a website design class in college so they would finally let me graduate, and as our class project we had to set up a simple website using HTML. I ended up making a family website to share pictures and stories. It was loads of fun! We set them up on Geocities (remember Geocities?), and I kept it mostly up to date, until they closed the site a few years ago. I also ended up with a LiveJournal before Facebook became all the rage and found I really loved writing lit bits of things here and there.

It all came to a head in 2009, when I gave birth to my youngest son. I found I suddenly had a lot of free time that I couldn't fill by watching TV or reading, as now it came in 10 or 15 minute spurts throughout the day. I decided to open an Etsy store and make crafts to sell online. I could create them in my spare time and sell them to make a few extra bucks on the side. After being on Etsy for a few months I found that most successful shop owners also had blogs outside of Etsy. I didn't really post on LiveJournal anymore and Facebook had made my website obsolete, I thought a new place to posted about what was going on in life would be a nice change from watching children's programming ALL DAY. So, I started my Etsy blog.

It started off a little choppy, but after I grew into it blogging became one of my favorite things to do. It didn't occur to me until after I started writing my story (almost a year later) that it wasn't the blogging in and of itself I liked, it was the writing part that had me hooked. I've had my other blog for over a year now, and except a few dead spots when we moved last February, I've posted on it every single week.

So now here I am, a writer, 130,000 words into finishing her first book and opening up a second blog dedicating to writing. This is somewhere I never thought I'd be, doing something I had never even considered liking. I hope I end up being good at it because, now that I've started I don't think I could stop if I want to.

Thanks again for stopping by, and I promise my posts from now on will be a little less rambling.

Have a great day! :)

Novels Text Bookends Bookends by KnobCreekMetalArts