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It’s getting real!

I started writing query letters and researching agencies.
It’s so exciting!
I have found that weBook is so so helpful!
The next 6-8 weeks will be fraught with anticipation!!!

Maybe I needed fewer hobbies?

Writing my book
Work :/
Choreographing Xanadu
Assistant directing Not Now, Darling
Planning four trips to California
Learning the ukulele
Trying to bs a good girlfriend to two people (not as hot/scandalous as it sounds)
Generally keeping up my house
Loving my dog
Sewing. Did I mention I have an etsy shop?

Sigh.
Never has being a vampire been so appealing (no sleep = more time to do things).

…don’t judge me. 🙂

I’d like to blame it solely on how busy I’ve been writing my novel, but everyone knows that life gets in the way and there are only so many hours…#blahblahblah

But I’ve gone from Draft 5 to Draft 6, making huge improvements along the way.

Nancie, my partner-in-crime, said that Draft 5 was a story, and Draft 6 is a novel.  That was a huge confidence boost! Thanks!

So I decided to let other people read my book…not just my good friends whom I’ve trusted for years.  Random people who caught the offer on facebook could send me their email address and get the first 10 chapters…Except Emma…who is 15…she got the first chapter, and will get the rest once I edit out the steamy chapters…

And the outcome?

Favorable!  People really enjoy it. “I couldn’t stop reading” and “I like your style” were consistent remarks! Wahoo!

I even had a friend say this:

OMG!  you are killing me by ending there! I am loving this book, Shannon. I will be waiting impatiently for the next installment for sure. I have to know what happens!
I love your writing style! It’s so casual and sarcastic, yet thoroughly descriptive, smart and full of imagery. This is a really fantastic book. Congratulations, girl!  I am totally impressed!
P.S. You should know that I sat down to just read a few pages then get on with my day. Here I sit at 4:15 in the afternoon with my pajamas still on and I haven’t gotten up to do more than grab a snack or pee since I started. Well done.

So my next big hurdle is to lengthen book I believe by almost doubling it.  I am getting inconsistent information about just how many words a book in my genre is.  I guess the next big step is determining my genre. Mystery? Horror? Fantasy? Crime? “Vampire Mystery Romance” isn’t an actual genre, but you think it would be!

I am very thankful to have friends willing to read copy after copy to help in the whole process.  Friends who are Spelling Bee Champs who hate Vampires.  Friends who love to read but hate first person, female narrator vampire books…people who just over all hate vampires…and the select few who revel in all vampiric goodness like I do 🙂

So the offer applies here as well – if you’d like to read the first 230 pages/43k words/11 chapters, let me know!  I could use the feedback!

Another Writing Challenge

Like I did before, www.webook.com has their monthly challenge and this one I was actually able to participate in!

The theme was revenge, which fit nicely within my Inbetween universe!

I cut and pasted to meet at 300 word limit.

Here is what I came up with!

 

She approached me slowly.  Seductively.  Each step crossing in front of the other.  Her black, satin stilettos softly clicking as they hit the concrete floor.  She was long and curved.  Her posture perfect.  She had beautiful hair the color of cherry wood.  Her skin was smooth like powder.  Her eyes were blue, or grey, or clear, I couldn’t tell.  She was hypnotic.

She passed me, dragging her icy nails up my restrained arm.  It sent shivers down my spine and a buzzing in my stomach.  They continued across the back of my neck, up through my hair, pulling slightly, then down my shoulders, resting there.  She leaned in from behind me, whispering in my ear; her thick Spanish accent wrapping around her words like a noose.

“He was mine, you know.”

She snaked her hands back up around my neck, tracing my pulsing veins, which I was now acutely more aware of.

“Did you know that he broke my heart?  Or has he never even mentioned me?”  She gripped the base of my neck harder.  “Do you know what the worst part is?  He turned my lover.”  She was running her hands across my sternum.  “Everyone has allegiances to him.  Everyone.  And now my Victor too.”  She sounded actually hurt.  Actually heart broken. And actually livid.

“So I am going to take from him what he took from me.”  Pink scratches were forming over the top of my chest where she clawed and feigned strangulations.  I winced in fear and pain.  “Stand her up.”

The two men guarding the door rushed me, grabbing my arms and dragging me from the chair.  She had one hand around my throat and lifted me inches off the ground.  Inches were enough.

“Darling, don’t cry.  I’m not going to kill you.  Not technically.”

 

I hope you enjoyed it! Stay tuned for more selections from my novel!

Just a check in

I’m just Checking in with you all.
Life has been kind of crazy.

I broke my fingers and couldn’t write :/

But now I’m almost better, got two of my proof read copies back and am making some changes.

My friend found this article about abandoned morgues, which gave me incredible, goth-kid inspiration! I hope you like the images I added!

I hope to make my final changes by the ended of next weekend and get it sent out to agents!

This is getting real and I am stoked!

Thanks everyone!

Follow Friday Fun

Today I am attacking my various facebooks and twitter accounts to bump up my numbers!  I want to double my followers this weekend!

I know I’m not the only one who appreciates Vampire Fiction!  So spread the word!  Maybe I’ll send you a surprise!

 

 

…werewolves!

I’m not the only one who is sick of them being enemies, or putting their differences aside to help each other out in a time of need…blah blah blah.
So you know what I did? Left them out!

You’re welcome.

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arnar/401870469/

www.webook.com is a super awesome reading/writing website that I was recently introduced to.  Check it out.

On their blog, they provide a picture and a sentence (this time it is “We found the boat in the late afternoon”) and you have to write 350 words about them.  You can submit your work and then they pick the best one.

I decided to just write a short adventure using the characters from Inbewteen and use it as a writing exercise.  I way overshot the 350 word limit.

I would like to continue these inspired short stories, but I would like to emphasize how I may or may not chose to use them in my novel writing in the future.  I have made some final decisions on the book(s) I want to write, but some of the middle work isn’t done…I may chose to use one of these adventures…I may not…just saying…so one day when I’m rich and famous like Gene Roddenberry, geeks won’t have to fight over when I killed off some character in a short story, but they are kickin ass in Book Two.

So now, what you all have been waiting for:

The Sapphire of Secropia (tehe if you recognize the title!)

“We found the boat in the late afternoon…”

Howard and I did.  It being afternoon and all.  Alexsander was safely entombed in the light-tight hotel room.  Howard was my escort, but I didn’t necessarily feel safe alone with him versus alone alone; Alex had insisted.  A day time mission was decidedly prudent.  I could scout the area unimpeded by blood-thirsty vampires, find the hidden amulet and make it back by dinner.

Frank’s estate had been scattered across the globe and now vampires young and old were clamoring to find pieces; following cryptic clues left on bits of paper, corners of books, written behind paintings and on floors under rugs.  I still wasn’t sure what it would all lead to, but it was important to Alexsander, so I told him I’d help.

We had followed a trail that took us to Iceland to find an amulet enjeweled with the Sapphire of Secropia.  Why can’t we have normal weekend excursions?  So there Howard and I were, on an empty highway, staring across a barren field, at a boat.  Like the water just receded from beneath it.  The sun was setting, reflecting at an extreme angle off of the weathered yellow paint.  The hull was speckled with bleached barnacles; the wood beneath gnawed by nature.  It was that dinky tugboat that I was going to worm my way through.

Roosevelt, how do you get yourself into these situations?

“I’ll wait out here,” Howard said in his gruff, irritated voice.

“Thanks,” I responded sarcastically.  My trust in him was tenuous, and my belief that he’d save me was severely limited.  It might have been that time he almost ate me.  Or that time he let me be kidnapped.  Or how he thinks I am an unwelcome distraction
to his boss.

In any case, I crossed the uneven landscape, prepared to fend for myself.  It was cold, but the sun was vibrant; still I grabbed the flashlight out of my pocket and took off my coat.  The single man vessel groaned ominously in the breeze.  Verifying the
two pencils were still in my hair, my adopted weapon of choice, I grasped the starboard side and heaved myself in.

You may be saying to yourself, “Roosevelt, it’s daytime.  No vampires to stake.”  But let me tell you what: more than vampires drink blood and are killed by wooden stakes to the heart (or whatever you want to call what is hidden behind ribs and muscle).

So in I went, sifting through the debris and carrion of field mice.

“Is it in a box?  Is it with a fox?” I mused to myself.  It was true that I knew basically nothing of my treasure.  Necklace.  Sapphire.

I searched the main deck first, focused on dislodged floor boards and crooked nails.  I
timidly reached into several dark recesses, constantly praying my hand would emerge with all fingers intact.

I made my way to the stairs which led to the creepy ship’s presumably haunted inners.

Nothing around the door frame.

The first step creaked as I put my weight on it.  The second step splintered away from
its frame, causing my heart to leap and my voice to shriek.  I entered into the darkness.  My eyes had trouble adjusting since the gaps in the warped wood sent brilliant sunlight shooting through.  I tripped over an empty crate.  I hit my head on a low hanging beam.  Any body/spirit/undead hooligan would sure know I was here now.

What I didn’t expect was to feel the same sort of agitated frozen air that I felt around
vampires.  It was so still it buzzed.  It was magic.

“Hello?” I called out.

No answer.

I continued searching.

What I didn’t expect to find was another door buried under some boxes.  It was a trap door that led down.  The hinges were heavy and salted shut.  The loop handle rusted and sticky.

“Gross,” I breathed to myself, taking an unsettling handful and yanking until my fingers slipped and I fell back.

“Try turning and pushing.”

I screamed out loud, my heart stopped beating, and I instinctively grabbed a pencil from my hair.

The invasive and unexpected voice was that of Howard, calling from the top of the stairs.

“Put it away, Red.  I’m not here to hurt ya.”

“What do you want?” I sighed.

“With all the racket you’ve caused, you’ve scared away anyone comin’.  Figured I’d come in here and help.  So try turning the handle and pushing.  It’s an old vamp secret sos people couldn’t get to their resting places.   Not very common anymore.”

You learn something new every day.

I crossed back over to the trap door and twisted the loop, which gave under the pressure; pushed until the crusted hinges snapped.  The door lowered into another
circle of hell mystery.

“Keep a lookout.   I’m going down,” I ordered to Howard, who looked completely unwilling to trek in there.  Apparently goblins are not only unchivalrous and self-righteous, but also, complete scardy cats.  I mounted the ladder and descended.

What I didn’t expect to see were fireflies.  Not your regular fireflies that children catch in jars, but red.  Fiery red.  And tiny.

They swarmed and swirled, hovering and pulsing until I spoke aloud, “Show me the way, please.”

And they did.

The ground was soft and it reeked of mildew and wet earth.  The crawlspace was long and empty.  The specs of light lured me deeper and deeper until finally we arrived.  They clustered over a seemingly bare patch of dirt.

I put my hands to the ground, feeling the life and death between my fingers.  I dug in,
patiently and carefully moving soil to the side.  The further I got, the more frozen the ground became.  My nails clipped something hard.  My heart raced and I dug faster,
unearthing a chain.  It felt a mile long until it snapped back, the amulet trapped in the icy soil.  I took a pencil from my hair and wielded it like an ice pick, working gently and diligently to unearth my find.

The angels could have been singing when I raised the amulet from its burial plot.  Nothing particularly breath-taking: a gem the size of a nickel in an ornate, tarnished setting; dirt embedded in the crevices.  A small silver crucifix hung to the side, completely unaffected by time and decay.  The red specks of light reflected off of the
sapphire in an eerie manner, they frantically spun then blacked out in a foreboding sort of way.  I quickly pocketed the good luck charm and started to leave.

I climbed back into the belly of the boat only to be caught by the barrel of a gun.

“Hand it over,” my assailant commanded.

“I don’t have anything.”

“Your hands are dirty.”

“I fell.”

He was a short, spindly man.  He wasn’t human.  He wasn’t goblin or vampire either.  But he was serious.

“How did you get them to show you?’

“No one showed me anything.”

He cocked the gun.

“Look, there were some fireflies that buzzed around and then disappeared.  That’s all I know.”

“Those aren’t fireflies, stupid woman.  Those are the spirits that give the amulet
its protective powers.”  I felt a throbbing in my pocket.  “You saw them, that means
you have it.”

“Ok, so what if I do?” I stood my ground.

“I want it.”

“You’re some sort of non-human.  The amulet has power over you to protect me.”

“But not from my gun.”

Shit.

As his boney finger wrapped itself around the  trigger and began to squeeze, I heard a dull thunk, and as though someone had just removed his spine, the man unraveled to the ground.  Howard stood behind him, a small rusted anchor in his hand.  Chips of skull, blood and brain matter hung from the edge.   He dropped the anchor and it rattled to the hollow floorboards.

“Took you long enough.”  Howard and I’s relationship doesn’t thrive on obvious appreciation.

“Got the goods?”

“Yep.”

“Let’s get out of here.  He’s not dead.”

We got in the car and drove into the setting sun, back to Reykjavik, back to the hotel, and back to my Alexsander.  I felt the necklace vibrating in my pocket; it left me feeling uneasy that it was still sending its warnings.

I glanced over at Howard, whose eyes were darting, a single bead of sweat rolling down his wrinkled brow.

Great.

So I hope you enjoyed it!  Let me know what you think!  But be nice…I like constructive critism, but I don’t need you beign a dick to me, I get enough of that in life…Thanks.

It’s so funny that this popped up as a topic for post ideas…

I think I listen to awesome music.  And it was a sad day today when I realized that Roosevelt, the main chick in my book (in case you are missing the point of this blog), would definitely be a Jason Mraz fan.  Sigh.

That guy I married ask, “Why would you create a character that is so lame?”

Fair enough.  But I know and love many people who enjoy the work of Mr. Mraz, and just because I think he’s not so awesome (that’s me being polite right there…) doesn’t mean that the people who like him are not so awesome as well.

But it brought me to an even better realization!  Narrator Roosevelt and Roosevelt from this episode are two different people.  Her adventures shape her and there has to be some highs and lows, some changes…she has to start out one way so she can change into something else…but I think she’ll always have a soft spot for Hey Soul Sister, even if it kills my soul 🙂

So she likes cheery, plucky guitar music…not all of us can be emo, alternative British, minor key, melodic piano music lovers…she also likes the Exorcist.

Roosevelt St. Vincent is a self-proclaimed introverted and organized Loan Officer living in Boston.  Telling her story from an undetermined point in the future, it begins with meeting the cryptic Alexsander, the crimes that surround him and the disappearances that plague her.  With the ability to antidote her actions, we learn, as she did, the secrets that reveal themselves on an impromptu road trip to Canada.

Humor, sex, sarcasm, murder; laissez-faire kidnappings, a broken leg, self-realization, and vampires.  The world Roosevelt knows, and her life forever, are about to change.  For better?  For worse?  Only she knows.