Merry Thing What You Celebrate

To all of the people who read my blog, I wish you a belated Christmas, a late Solstice, and most importantly, respect to who you are and what you believe. I also hope you have a prosperous and happy new year.

My new year is shaping up quite well, after a few false starts. I will be finishing Bento Box to a point where I’m going to shop it around to agents and publishers. *gasp!* The indie girl is going straight? That’s a legitimate question. The truth is that despite having one book out, I am still learning new things about the publishing world every day. I’ve decided that I want to try my hand at going “legit,” and trying my hand at a few different publishing methods. Not every type of publishing is right for every type of project. This is my chance to research and find out what works best for me.

And, if I should fall on my face in a pile of rejection letters, at least I can slink back to known ground and get my book out that way.

A short story of mine, “The Gaijin and the Butterfly,” will be making its way onto Amazon very soon. I am being published through a game designer who wanted some stories written to fire up readers imaginations about how the game could be played. (Read: fluff piece.) I’m happy with it though, and I learned a lot while working on the piece.

Another short story of mine, “Nitpix,” is due to be published next year as a part of an anthology written to sell for a charity cause. The book is a YA saga of many different teenagers finding themselves the outcasts, and dealing with it. The anthology doesn’t have a title yet.

I have other projects brewing, but I’m so focused on these different paths that I’m not focused on the story as much. A necessary evil of becoming an author, I suppose.

I am also considering revamping my blog. I seem to do all right posting my writing and my ruminations on writing, but I don’t have a goal with my blog and I’m not giving it as much attention these days. I love the community that I have garnered, but I’m not sure what I like about this blog and want to keep. I’m figuring that I will be writing a lot about the processes I’m learning about in the upcoming year.

So, again, to all those who read this blog, thank you for coming along for the ride!

Sometimes Inspiration finds you. Usually when you’re least looking for it.

Almost a year ago, I got a phone call from my co-worker, Heather. (Not to be confused with my sister, I will refer to her as Heather G. for this post.) While she was my co-worker, she handled the art and I handled the code, so rarely did our paths cross. Needless to say, I was surprised, and my mind immediately leapt to the possibility that something was wrong. Imagine my surprise when she opened the conversation with, “So, I hear you’re a writer.”

Have you ever seen a bunny freeze when it thinks its seen the shadow of a hawk overhead? That was me, frozen solid, brain scraping up responses and discarding them. “Who told you that?”

Joss Whedon does *not* write my dialogue.

“Evie. She mentioned that you’re a writer.” Heather G. supplied, oblivious to my trapped expression thanks to the magic of cell phones.

“Oh. Well, I’m not published or anything,” I was quick to supply. “I do like to write though.”

“Well, that’s fine. I was wondering if you wanted to write up some fairy tales for me.” Heather G. had unwittingly offered me a shot at something that I have a private obsession with. (Okay, it’s not private now.) I have encyclopedias encompassing everything from pixies to ogres, kelpies to selkies, and everything in between. “Let me send you some pictures of what I want.”

For those of you familiar with me, you probably know that Heather G. is the artist who designed and illustrated my cover art for “The Corsican.”

She is quite talented. And she sent me such pictures! Whimsical, passionate, thought provoking, and fun. I’m not going to post them here because I am saving them for later posts.

She handed me the ideas for new worlds and said, “Here, develop these, and I’ll illustrate your work.” I would have been an idiot to turn her down.

The stories have been in development for a year, and what a year it’s been. My manuscript was chosen by Anacrusis Press, and I did become published in the interim. I took an editing class at WWU, met some students, tried to get into a writer’s group. Helped a friend develop a gaming book. Beta read for two other friends. Learned about audiobooks.

I got stuck on our work just about the same time that The Corsican needed to be edited come hell or high water. I got that project done, but like mushrooms after a rain many more sprung up, and I will admit I avoided the project for a while. Heather G. didn’t mind, because she got a job at Disney Mobile and had more on her plate than she’d ever had before.

Just this week I have managed to get three stories started. I’m going to go back and edit the one that I got editing notes for in April. I’m inspired, I’m excited, and I’m grateful. If it hadn’t been for Heather G’s offer, I am fairly certain that I wouldn’t have had the confidence to get my book published.

Even though this project took a while to develop, I can’t tell you what it’s done for me already. Working with someone on a project is a world different than captaining a ship by me onsies, to quote Cap. Jack Sparrow. I can’t wait to share sneak peeks and get opinions.

I am especially grateful to Trinity, who sat quietly in my parent’s house over Thanksgiving vacation. She came with her dad Steve and brought her book, Grimm’s Abridged Fairy Tales. She was quiet, the way children can be when stuck listening to adults talk and having nothing to do. She was being so quiet, I wanted to involve her in some conversation too. So I brought out my laptop and showed her some of Heather G’s concept sketches. Her eyes lit up when I explained the brief idea that each story had inspired in me. Her first question to me was, “When will it be out?”

Thanks to her bright eyes and eager question, it’s going to be out a hell of a lot sooner than I’d thought.