Buccaneer Blogfest – A Glimpse into Apocalypse Bunny

That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

Now, what is Apocalypse Bunny? “Apocalypse Bunny” is the oh-so-affectionate name my beta bestowed upon my current WIP. It is, as you may have guessed, a YA Apocalyptic. Today’s Buccaneer Blogfest prompt is “the first paragraph of your novel or current WIP.” Now, readers, I must ask you: Can I trust you with this valuable work of art?

Excuse me while I snort.

I’m loving this story so far, but it does have a long way to go before I deem it completely acceptable. Ah, who am I kidding? I could edit and re-edit a manuscript for five years if I allowed myself to do so. All that aside, I’ll let you guys take a peek at what I’m working on now. But only because I love ya.

“‘Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire.’ If this Frost guy wasn’t so popular, I’d say he was completely off his rocker.”

I glanced over at Charlotte, a petite redhead who was curled up on one of the benches in the courtyard while working on our English assignment for the day. Even while we were stuck in this place, we couldn’t get away from homework; the center’s tutors made sure of that. “What’re you talking about?” I asked.

Shock registered on her face at my question, no doubt due to the fact that I hadn’t made it a point to talk to anyone since I’d arrived at the center. Even as my roommate, she hadn’t been an exception to that. She huffed a little and held up a book of poetry. “This fella is going on about how the world is going to end in fire or ice. Personally, I think he’s full of crap. But that’s just me.”

Coming up on Wednesday, I’ll have a character interview waiting for you guys. Have a great Monday!

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Wordy Wednesday

So, I’ve been absent for a while. I’m sorry. I don’t have much of an excuse, other than I had some medical things that needed to be dealt with for a while. However, all is good now, and I’m back to ramble about things again. Woot! Oh, how I’ve missed rambling.

This week, I’m going to talk about something that has been on my mind for a while now. It’s something that people don’t generally like to discuss, but it’s pretty much a fact of life.

Dealing with rejection.

Ohhh, yeah. This is gonna be a fun one.

Rejection is a word that no one even wants to include in their vocabulary. Rejection flat-out sucks. It sucks, it sucks, it sucks. Anyone that tells you they like rejection is a big fat liar, and you should probably run away because their pants are about to catch on fire. But, you know how they say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?

Y’all. It’s so true.

Thanks to a good friend, I recently read a great book entitled “You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One).” There was a line that said failure brings experience. It helps you learn, and it helps you grow. In fact, the only true failure is in not trying at all. One of my favorite quotes is by JK Rowling: “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you’ve lived so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all.”

You are your own biggest cheerleader. At the end of the day, if you don’t believe in yourself, then no one else will – it’s that simple.

Write the story you love. Write a story that brings you so much joy that you can’t imagine a world in which it doesn’t exist. Write a story that holds your heart at its very core. And if you love it, then someday, someone else will too.

Doing Your Story Justice

Happy New Year!

With a brand new year upon us, it brings about a chance to not only reflect on what happened in good ol’ 2011, but what we want to achieve in these upcoming months. What do I want to achieve? I want to get this darn book finished. But there’s a little something standing in my way.

I need to do a complete re-write.

The realization stings a little. Throughout the month of November, in which I participated in NaNo WriMo, I managed to complete the first draft of my novel. It’s an achievement that I couldn’t be more proud of because, despite the fact that it’s flawed, I did it. Upon re-reading, I discovered that I just was not happy with the outcome of the story. The plot is fine. The characters are fine. But the mood….the mood is just wrong.

This is when I believe I stumbled along a blog post at exactly the right time. I make no secret of my adoration for author Maggie Stiefvater. Her Wolves of Mercy Falls series is, in a word, amazing. As I was perusing her blog right around my mental breakdown at the beginning of December, I came across something that I truly think I needed to hear in my frazzled state.

She posted a rather large archive of her posts about writing, revisions, and inspiration. In her post More Wind, Less Snow: Revising for Mood, it was almost as if she was speaking to me. Crazy, yes, but it was just what I needed to read. I think that one of the reasons I love her writing so much is that, in a way, our styles are somewhat similar. Maggie’s words are clearly filled with emotion; she writes with her heart. She digs deep into her characters’ souls and pours all that she can into her stories. Essentially, the tone makes the story. It’s what draws a reader into the work and really makes him/her care about the characters. It makes them care about what happens with those characters. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a book, and couldn’t have cared less about the outcome of the lead character because the author gave me nothing to grasp on to.

Her post is what made me realize that, while some people look at me like I’m insane when I tell them I’m re-writing an entire novel, I’m not entirely nutty. Maggie admits to throwing out the first draft of Forever because it just didn’t work. It’s not necessarily about being a perfectionist or what-not, but more along the lines of doing your story justice. When you care about your characters, then you want to tell their story in the best, most accurate way possible.

With that, I wish you all a very happy and fulfilling 2012. Let the good times roll.

Confessions of a NaNo Winner

Throughout the month of November, I spent every spare minute writing. And writing. And writing some more. I was determined to get out at least 50,000 words of my first novel. And guess what? I won! See, here’s the proof:

That’s right. On November 27th, I officially clocked in at 50,207 words. I must say, I was one proud cookie. So, I decided that it was perfectly okay for me to take a break. My brain was tired, I was tired, and I wanted to let my words “sit.” Then, a few days ago, I came back to my beloved novel.
And I hated it.
It wasn’t all bad. There were parts I still loved, parts I still gushed over, but overall…I was not a happy camper. Quite honestly, it broke my heart. I mentally kicked myself, resisting the urge to scream, “You’ve wanted to write this for months! How can it be so terrible? You destroyed your story!” And then I cried.
Okay, I didn’t actually cry, but I really wanted to.
That’s when I forced myself to really think about this for a minute. I came to the conclusion that yes, this draft sucks. I’m not going to lie about that. But that’s exactly what it is: a draft. It isn’t written in stone. Words can be added, and words can be deleted. 
All-in-all, NaNo was an invaluable learning experience. In it, I learned that writing your first novel is hard. And yes, sometimes, your first novel will suck. But I’ve also learned that, if you have faith in your story, it will be told. And my story will most definitely be told. 
So, here’s to brainstorming, to revisions, and to more all-nighters in front of the computer. Bring it on, novel. I accept your challenge.