May 22, 2014

Writing Goals and the Odyssey Writing Workshop

In a discussion on Goodreads, author Susan Shell Winston asked if I'd started writing my epic science fiction series before attending the Odyssey Writing Workshop, and if the workshop changed my ideas about it.

Great question!  Yes.  I wrote the original drafts of Book 1 and Book 2 before I'd ever heard of Odyssey, and before I learned proper grammar. I just wanted to tell a good story. Despite excited beta reader reactions, my amateur manuscript gathered a solid wall of rejections from agents and publishers.  So I went to Odyssey in hopes of networking enough to get my manuscript read.  Plus, I was a fan of that year's writer in residence, George R.R. Martin.

During Odyssey, I learned so much, I added two new goals. I would: a) scrap those novel drafts and do a complete rewrite from scratch, and b) hone my short story craft and aim for at least one pro sale, since that credit might catch a literary agent's attention.

It took a few years, but I've accomplished both those goals.  Sadly, I'm still working towards my original goal of getting a literary agent or major publisher to read the manuscript of Book 1--the rewritten 2x version.  This ongoing quest has led me to co-found novelist groups, complete additional novels in my series, and gain a lot more practice at storytelling and writing.  At this point in my life, I feel capable of either accomplishing what I set out to do, or indie publishing a complete six-book series that will appeal to a broad range of readers.

Apr 10, 2014

Online Housekeeping

I updated my website, adding a section for my short stories, and a Goodreads widget to my book reviews. I also joined Wattpad. I'm preparing for a major round of novel submissions, so I'm forcing myself to work on the dreaded query letter. More to come soon ...

Nov 21, 2013

Now I understand gambling addiction

While I've been stuck at home, recovering from an illness, I've been compulsively playing two iPhone game apps by Storm8/TeamLava:  "Candy Blast Mania" and "Bubble Mania."  They are, respectively, a match-3 game and a bubble shooter game.  I love the adorable animations (and I'm an animator), which is part of it.  The evil gummy bear is so cute when he gets mad!

So I'm trying to figure out why I'm addicted, especially since I'm on the higher levels (around 120), which require a ridiculous amount of luck on top of skill.  Normally, I HATE luck factor games.  And these are frustrating as hell.  I'll play for 15 minutes and come within 1 point of beating the level, and then I'll get the wrong-colored bubble or something, and have to start all over.  It's idiotic.  And yet I keep playing. 

Maybe this is why some gamblers keep returning to play slot machines.  I've never understood that addition.  I wouldn't waste money on this stuff.  In fact, both of these game apps keep urging me to buy power-ups in order to beat the level, which I refuse to do.  I know that's how they earn a profit, but that's a level of addiction I haven't sunk to, thankfully. 

But it's weird how I get a little rush of pride when I finally beat a level, after 20 tries.  I love seeing the evil gummy bear keel over, with his cute little dying voice.  Sometimes he wears waffle armor, or cotton candy on his head!  So adorable.  And those baby raccoon-cats in Bubble Mania are so cute, even when they're crying.  It feels so satisfying to pop a whole series of bubbles at once. 

Yeah.  I need to get out of the house more.  I can't wait until this @#&%$! ear infection goes away.