Tuesday, July 29, 2014


I just realized I promised to write about my latest WIP next post two posts ago. Whoops! First off, thank you so much for the responses to my last post. I am always open to suggestions for what you the reader wants to see, so please, don't ever think that was a "one time only" thing.

Sunday was the second write-in with my crit group. Fewer of us showed up due to weather, work, or plans, but the food was good and company delightful. And the writing, oh the writing. Potential has started, and it's coming alive.

So, what is Potential?

Imagine a world where children and teenagers are bought and sponsored by companies like they were Nascar vehicles, based entirely on the potential the youth show for future fame. What if Jennifer Lawrence had been introduced to the world sporting a McDonalds logo? Or Lorde? If you waited for people to get famous, the cost of sponsoring them would be much higher. Buy low, sell high. Sponsor a Potential, encourage their training, reap the rewards if they make it big. This is where the idea began.

Sixteen year old Synclaire "Syn" Ritchie has no talents, nothing anyone would want to sponsor at least. She's decent with a camera, but why sponsor a photographer when you could have an actor? A singer? An inventor? A politician? She's short, she's small-chested, her hair could be mistaken for a tumbleweed on a bad day, and she just has no talent. All she's ever wanted was to get a sponsor, enough for her to go to college and maybe make something of her life would be great, but to go to Promise Academy, oh how glorious that would be. To be one of the lucky few whose sponsor buys them the glamorous life on the west coast while they train for their inevitable fame. But that's even less than a pipe dream for Syn.

The prospectors come every five years from kindergarten to 10th grade to find students with potential for the sponsoring corporations. This year is the last time Syn has to suffer through being told she's not good enough to make her dreams a reality. Until she's sat down and told a sponsor has a proposition for her. The biggest designer clothing company in the country, Coolture, wants to see if it's possible to mold someone without potential into the star of the year. She's their girl. The impossible becomes reality, and in a few weeks, Syn's on the plane to Promise.

(source unknown)
With a little camera and makeover magic and clever marketing, Syn is transformed into a celebrity, but it's not everything she dreamed of. She lives every day in fear of being found out that she's undeserving of it all, of losing the friends she's made over a lie that an old rival who also came to Promise knows. And when a rash of deadly accidents start to point to her as the culprit, she wonders what exactly Coolture meant when they said they'd make her a household name. Syn and her friends have precious little time to find who's trying to frame her before her most famous picture becomes her mugshot.

So that's Potential. It's a YA dystopian that takes place about 75 years in the future. A flesh-eating contagion started in 2035, killed millions, crippled more, and is still active through transmission to each newborn generation in 2089. Prosthetic limbs are as common as smartphones and the world has changed to accommodate them. There's a lot more going on in the world than Syn knows about, but as dystopians are wont to do, she's about to get dragged into the middle of it all.

I know YA dystopian is a flooded market and by the time I'm done, selling it may not be an option, but this is my story. It is what it is and I don't dare change it for anyone but myself. Maybe I'll write it well enough that publishers will want it anyway, risks be damned. All that matters right now is to write it and have fun doing so.

In the words of Syn's best friend, "Personally, my lady, I am a walrus."

Fun indeed.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What Do You Want To See?

After a year and a half, this is my fiftieth post. Doesn't feel like it's been that many, but I suppose the counter doesn't lie.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about this blog lately. Should I keep it on Blogspot or move to wordpress or some other site? Make a more author-page-y site? Update what I have, or leave it the same? And above all, what to post? It's been fifty posts, and while I haven't gone back over them, I'm fairly certain most of them are about, well, me. Talking about my writing, my journey down this path, and just myself. I want to make this blog something people want to read, something more than "me, me, me." So I'm turning to you, my current readers: What do you want to see?

More book reviews?
Samples of stuff I've written?
Tips and advice?
Links to other writing/authors blogs and sites?
Talk about or guest posts from other authors I know?
Something else entirely?
Or are my concerns unfounded and the stuff I post now is fine?

This isn't to say I intend to stop posting about my own progress to becoming an author. I just want to stop from being a constant flood of "me" posts. Please, be honest and tell me what you'd like to see from me in future posts in the comments.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

When Do You Just Start?

Still here, still plotting away on my next WIP. I have a good portion of it plotted, maybe a third? Hopefully at least 15,000 words worth. I'm not really sure. I'll have to see how much it comes out to when I start writing it, which is the question of the day for the last week. "When do I stop plotting and start writing?" Do I keep plotting until I get to the general "the end" of the story? Do I put on the brakes in a day or two and dive in, confident in what I have planned, and find out what I don't know about the story through the pantsing process to continue plotting later? I see the pros and cons of both. I'm afraid of running myself dry plotting and getting tired of the story before I even get to write it. But then, how good a story could it have been if I lost interest before I started? Ugh, this learning curve is a pain.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a write-in with my critique group. One of the lovely ladies and her husband hosts lunch and writing at their beautiful wood-surrounded home. There's even a little creek with a path beside it for when you need to walk a block out. It's truly beautiful, and I'm going back for another next weekend. I guess I should try to figure out what I'm doing by then. Last time, I edited two short stories and part of my completed novel (oh lord, there was a not-as-welcome trip down memory lane. On the plus side, I've made enough progress in the last year to see what all I did wrong. On the other hand, I have so much work to do...)

Next post, I'll talk a bit about this WIP. It's not any from the list I posted of my projects last month and came out of nowhere to demand action. When a bunny wants to be written...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Camp NaNo 2014? Not This Time

It's July, which means it's time for another Camp Nano. Another camp that I'm not doing. I want to, believe me, but also believe me when I say that, for my own sanity, I know better. Right now, my life is busier than I have ever seen it. Over a month without a weekend break from traveling and guests starting two weeks ago on the 21st and ending, finally ending, on the 26th. A month and five days before we have no expectations, no one either wanting our presence at their place or their presence at our place. I love friends and family as much as the next person, but when all friends and family are an overnight stay away, it wears on the psyche. And so, I'm letting Camp pass me by, for my own mental health.

But that doesn't mean I'm not writing. Oh no. I have a new story riding herd on me, demanding to be done, which is why I even considered Camp at all! It's not exactly new, per se, the idea's been sitting around in my head for a year or so, but the growth it's had the past few weeks has been exponential. Characters, plot, subplots, and romances, all the pieces are coming together and I know the time to stop plotting and just write it is approaching. So, if you're doing Camp, you may not see me around the boards or get me in your cabin, but I'll be at your side on the outside. Sometimes. When I'm not a ball of sobbing neuroses, knowing I brought this all on myself and am simply reaping what I sowed.

May God have mercy on my sanity.