I've bought and sold houses twice. In each occasion, I learned things. In the spirit of helping others, I decided to write an article/essay on my home-buying experiences.
However, I was not prepared for how much trolling my article received. So many individuals insulted my intelligence over it. Realtors and real estate agents commented on how much they disliked my article (while being sure to leave their contact information in their comments). It incensed me!!
Thankfully, there are good people out there who stood up for me.
In any case, here is the very popular essay that I wrote for Military Spouse Magazine online:
I have no idea if this squirrel was rabid or not. All I know was that it was getting far too close to the kids at a local playground. It walked right by us. Stopped a while, sat on a cement wall and then on the memorial bench.
We kept our children away from the squirrel and watched as it did its seemingly intentional wandering.
Truth be told, I was kind of scared and entranced by it. Was it looking for something? Was it out of its mind?
I think that I was kind of jealous of it. Imagine running through a park, being pulled by nothing save for your own inner thoughts and introspection. Imagine the luxury of getting lost in thought.
According to Wikipedia, squirrels in the wild can expect a lifespan of 2-6 years. Not very long. Maybe they are entitled to their moments of oddity and getting lost in thought.
If I'm lucky, I'm looking at another 50 years on my lifespan. One day, I might have too much time for introspection. With that in mind, I'll go back to busy thoughts and practices of child-rearing, writing, dinner, and family time.
Jeff Gerke wrote a great article for Writer's Digest on how to introduce your hero (or heroine). He says that a good move is to have a small stand-alone story, or scene to introduce your heroine.
I've come up with another bad @ss heroine. My prior introduction to her had her performing a very mundane task for the company she worked for. But because I read the article above, I think that I am going to start the book with the "action scene" that's meant to fuel the action in that first book. I'm hoping to sell my readers on my heroine's characteristics before I get to the middle part of the book.
But now, I'm wondering about balance. If I start the novel with a lot of action, should its middle part be calm, and the end be about more action? Or is a novel with a slow build the way to go?
Okay, so you are probably wondering what this novel is going to be about. I'm going to give you a hint:
That might not be much to go on, I know. I hope you understand my need for secrecy. A writer's gotta protect their intellectual property, you know.
I think that's the danger of writing good fiction. You get sucked in by the world you create. As a matter of fact, I am stuck in the middle of three stories that I cannot bring myself to end.
One entails a human girl in a mermaid world.
Another features a woman living in fairy.
Another features a woman who has lived, loved, fought and died alongside her husband, while they hunted aliens together. So stuck am I in that story that she is now living another existence from Heaven, and I'm telling that part of the story.
They have to end. I know that they have to. But how do I do that? How do I end a story that I don't want to end? Some people might say that a series is the way to do that, but I don't think that always works.
Still, I have to find a way to wean myself off of the fictional worlds I've made.
Wanting to Publish it, But Still Licking My Wounds
A few months ago, I pitched an Arthurian Women's Fiction/Romance novel to five separate literary agents. I didn't hear back from one of them, and then other four said no.
The hard ones were the rejections that had words such as "talented" and "intrigued," along with "not for me."
Rejection always sucks. It doesn't matter how many times you get turned down. It is a good novel with a strong heroine, though. I hope to get it published sometime.
On my computer sits other novels; other stories that are waiting to be told. The sequel to The End of Thunder and Lightning: Alanna's Fall sits in a writing folder, waiting to be published, too.
Also sitting on my computer and about...75% completed is Jennifer Bauer. The truth is that I don't know when I will publish that.
Another untold and complete story is a romance/women's fiction story about a woman who falls in love with the bad guy for all the right reasons. Does she stay with the guy? Does he change his ways? I might publish that one sometime.
The one that's driving me is a detective series of books that I will start writing. In June. I can't wait for that.
I'll have to jump into the painful business that is pitching queries, and very soon. I'll keep you all posted!