Monday, January 31, 2011

I did it! Sort of..

Woohoo! I just finished my third rough draft! My goal had been to finish it by the end of January and for it to be 80K. Well the first part of my goal I met, but it's only 73K. There is a good reason for that. When I was about three chapters away from the end, the story took a different turn then I expected. This means I will be needing to go back as I revise and edit and add two or three more chapters towards the middle part of the manuscript. This will put me well over 80K.

One way or another the fact remains that I finished yet another book. It took me forty-five days to write my longest manuscript yet and I am beyond thrilled. Now it will probably take me twice as long to edit/revise the rough draft, but I'm actually looking forward to that part.

After that I will have my beta-readers critique it. That is the scary part. Besides a random chapter here and there, I have never had anybody read any of my "completed" works. But I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

Right now I'm going to have a piece of chocolate to celebrate my accomplishment. *smiles shamelessly*


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ghosts, Demons, vampires, fae, & mermaids


Nothing new to report. Still working on my unnamed project. Currently at 57K and my goal is 80K. My writing has slowed down, but not because I'm having difficulties. No, it's because I can't seem to be able to pry my nose out of books lately. In the last fourteen days I've read:

Secondhand Spirits by Juliet Blackwell
Cast-off Coven by Juliet Blackwell
Flaherty's Crossing by Kaylin McFarren
At Grave's End by Jeaniene Frost
The Mermaid's Mirror by LK Madigan

And now I'm reading Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Obviously I'm not getting much writing done.... But hey, I'm really enjoying reading books.
Secondhand Spirits and Cast-off Coven are part of the Witchcraft Mystery series. Lily Ivory is an earth witch that decides to settle in San Fransisco and open a vintage clothing store. She solves crimes using her "witchy" ways, fighting demons and helping ghosts. I absolutely loved these books and looking forward to reading the third book which comes out this summer, Hemlines and Hexs.
Flaherty's Crossing was fantastic heartwarming story about forgiveness and love, see my previous post.
At Grave's End is part of the Night Huntress Series. Cat is a badass rouge vampire huntress who happens to be half human and half vampire. She also is married to Bones, a powerful vampire that could come visit me any night as far as I'm concerned. The book is packed with action, romance, and witty humor. This is the third book in the series and the first that I've read of them. Don't recommend doing that, I just got too impatient waiting for the first two to become available to pick-up from the library. Regardless of sequence, still a great read.

The Mermaid's Mirror is a YA novel written by a local to Portland author. I found this book from a blog link from one of the authors that I follow blog. LK Madigan is currently battling stage IV pancreatic cancer. I read her last post and I was brought to tears. Then I found out she's from Portland and I had to read her work. Mermaid's Mirror is a sweet story about a girl that discovers she's part mer. It's based in California just south of San Fransisco.

Wicked Lovely, is about wicked little faeries that lurk unseen by humans and cause all sorts of mischief and mayhem. So far I've been mesmerized.

As you can see, I'm reading a variety of books these days. Reading is one of the keys to being able to write a readable book. It's not just pleasure reading, which it is very pleasurable, but there also is a purpose. Why not have fun while learning, right? :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

No voice, but I can type...

On this fantastic Friday evening. I find myself laying on the couch with a swollen throat and a low grade fever. Can barely whisper or swallow without feeling I'm swallowing razors. Not fun, to say the least. Trying to write hasn't been the most productive, but I do however have a couple of books that I've read over the last few weeks that I wanted to share.

Delcroix Academy: The Candidates by Inara Scott is a really fun YA novel that I picked up reading on Christmas and didn't put it down till the last sentence was read. It's very rare I do that with books, but lately it seems that I've been lucking out with great novels. This was another local Portland author written book. The story is about a girl with special powers that is recruited to an exclusive academy. I enjoyed all the different characters in the story, but my favorite part was that the story takes place near Seattle. If you liked the Percy Jackson books, you'll definitely like this one. I also had the pleasure of meeting Inara Scott twice now and discover that she is as lovely as her story. Now the waiting game for the sequel...

Flahery Crossing by Kaylin McFarren is a divine award winning romance about forgiveness and learning to let go. I picked this one up from the Writer's Faire last month, because it was romance and the character was Irish. What I didn't expect was to completely fall in love with the story. I had tears in my eyes at times. It's a very heart warming book that leaves you filled with hope and love.

This is three books so far from the Writer's Faire that I totally enjoyed. Must say I'm was pleasantly surprised about quality of writing that already exists in this town.

Time for some more tea and another nap...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Hi folks. I just had to post a blog on this date. All these ones, how could a pass the opportunity? Also I had to share milestone.

Okay ya ready for this????

Today I received my first email correspondence from a publishing agent. It was sort of a rejection. Yes my first rejection of many more to come!!!!!

Confused??? Let me share a little background story. Last August I attended my first Writer's Conference through Willamette Writer's. At the conference were many agents that for a small fee you could sign up to pitch your idea or book too. Even though I didn't have a finished manuscript (The Vampire Novelist) to pitch, I signed up for it anyways, because I wanted to practice pitching. The agent I spoke with wasn't even representing the genre I was writing in, but all others were taken.
This is were it gets crazy. He liked my idea and asked for my first chapter and whatever else I had written so far. Before our appointment was over he wrote his address email down on a piece of paper and told me to email him the rest of the manuscript when I was finished. His words didn't really sink in until I arrived home that evening. That's about the time I started to freak and shriek. In the conference brochure, they had clearly stated that when pitching to agents not to give them anything unless they ask and don't be offended if they don't because most of the time they won't. My first agent encounter and he was hooked!!!
Time passed and I paused the project to work on my craft. I sent him an email telling him it would take longer than I expected.
He replied today to say to wish me luck, but that he was leaving agenting and going into publishing. So why am I sharing this? Because even though he won't be representing me (I never expected him too), the fact remains my story had peeked his interest and he took the time to write back.
So with that I will continue to wear my silly grin with pride as I sit my butt down and start a new chapter of my current unnamed project.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

"900 hours"

Ever since I mentioned I was writing a novel (almost two years ago), the #1 question that I've been asked is "When is your book done?" #2: "When can I read it?" #3: "When will it be published?"

#1: When I think it's ready to be read.
#2: When I think it's ready to be read.
#3: When I think it's ready to be read. Then I'll submit the manuscript to agents that would be interested in my genre. When I finally get an agent, then he or she will start selling my book to publishers. With a bit of luck, one of them will be enamored with my work and buy. After that it takes months and months to edit and mold it into a publishable book. Hopefully months after that, I'll have a post that says, "My book is coming out on Blank date. Go to your local bookstore and buy it!"

When I first started writing, I had this wonderful fantastic idea that I would write it, get an agent, and then get it published. I was realistic and I figured it would take at least a year or so, but eventually it would happen. However, the more I wrote the more I realized how little I really knew about writing or the publishing industry in general. Yes there are those who have a natural knack for stringing words together to form exquisite literary works of art. I clearly do not fall into that category. In fact most authors even best-selling ones have spent years and years honing their craft before they ever got a book published.

I just started writing two years ago and actually only started taking it seriously this last summer. Since January 2009 when I wrote my first chapter I've written over 180,000 words (2 & 1/2 books and a couple of first chapters for other projects). It may sound like a lot, but in reality it's nothing. The average adult novel is from 80K-140K and for YA 60K-80K. My 2 1/2 books are just rough drafts, but still fall far bellow the standard.

The reason for quotation marks around the title of this post is because this is the title To Ally Carter's Blog she posted last month. Click on link below and read it.

It takes lots and lots of hard work. Mind you I work a full-time job and run small business. Writing though is something that brings me much joy, peace, and satisfaction, although at times tears, anguish, and frustration. It's something I enjoy and is my passion. Because of this most of the time it doesn't seem like work.

My dream is to walk into Barnes and Noble, go to the genre section that I write in and find a couple of copies of my book. To get to that will take at least a couple more years before it happens. But first, as Ally says "putting yourself in a chair and not getting up."


Saturday, January 1, 2011


That's a lot of ones and according to numerologists all the ones mean something important. Fortunately I'm not a numerologist and don't really care. But it looks cool and since this is the first day of the year, I figured I should write my first blog post on 1-1-11.
I'm actually really excited about 2011. It's already to a good start as a few hours ago, I rang in 2011 with confetti, balloons, and Pink Martini. New Year's Resolutions have never appealed to me so I gave up on them years ago. I do however have areas of focus that I give special effort towards. Not necessarily goals, but more like intentions.

Anyways, enough of New Year's babble. Let's talk about writing.

Last post I mentioned that I was at 16K words and would like to be at 25K by New Years, but was hoping to reach 30K. Well guess what? As of last night I'm sitting at 36+K.


Never in my short writing "career" have I written so much in such a short period of time. It did help that I was on vacation all of last week, although a couple of days of it I was in Seattle for the Harry Potter exhibit. That was one of the coolest things I've done, by-the-way.

But my secret is that I'm working on a new project. This project has been percolating in the recesses of my mind since two years ago when I decided there a small possibility that I might be a writer. Then I didn't have the skill or knowledge how to put together a story, let alone a book. So I let it sit and sit till a little over two weeks ago when it could no longer sit. It demanded to be written or my sanity was up for ransom.

"Fine!" I grumbled in defeat and began to write the first chapter. The first day I had written two. Second day another two. And so on and so forth. Grant it this is the first draft. I will be spending just as many hours rewriting and revising.

My other secret is that when I started to write this story, I had a VERY clear vision of the plot. I didn't have to stop and think, "Well what is going to happen next?" I already knew. It makes a world of difference! I haven't written any outlines or many notes in the writing notepad I carry around, because it's already there. This has never happened before and I'm really loving it. It has taken my writing experience to a new level.

For those of you wondering what I'm writing about now, my secret project will remain secret till it's finished. But I will mention that it is a new genre that I'm exploring and there are no vampires.

My goal is to finish the rough draft by the end of January. I'm over a third there.

So with that, I wish you all an inspiring year filled with peace, love and happiness. I leave you with a couple of pictures from our Seattle trip. Butterfly exhibit at the Pacific Science Center and my new favorite attraction, the Space Needle.

Cheers, Melania