Paying The Bills

One of the goals I have is being able to support myself and my children with writing.  Now, I’m not going to lie.  When I originally thought this whole thing out, I was picking out who I wanted to play what roles in the movie version of my books.  Just so you know, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

However, I am earning money with my writing, so I will consider this a step in the write direction.  (You see what I did there?)  I’m writing SEO copy for a local business.  It’s very different from the writing I’m accustomed to doing, but it isn’t horrible.  Like anything, it’s going to take me a minute to get into the swing of things, but I’m optimistic.  Of course, there’s still Celia.  I mean, I’m just throwing that out there.  I’m also expecting a round of feedback about Enraptured, so in the next week or so I’ll be back to working on that.  In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the book trailer for Celia.  This SEO copy isn’t writing itself, you know.

The Finish Line is in Sight

I’m finally caught up enough on everything that I’m no longer freaking out about it on a regular basis.  If you are in the area and would like to go, there is a reading at The Well on April 28th (next Sunday) at 2pm.  I’ll be the featured reader at that event and I plan to read the first chapter of Celia, my short story “Blood and Rain,” and if there is time, a couple of the shorter pieces from Some Reassembly Required.  If you are local and would like to read at this event, there are some open slots left, so leave a comment or send me an email, or invite me over for refreshments and let me know.  I can get you in touch with the proper people for that.

Graduation is just over two weeks away.  The ceremony will be held on May 7th at the Joyce Athletic Center on Notre Dame campus at 7pm.  It’s free, so if anyone would like to attend that, you are most welcome to.  I hope to have some pictures, so I’ll post a couple so you can see my spiffy honors cords.  😀

Awards Ceremonies and College Football

You probably don’t know this, but my boyfriend is obsessed with the University of Michigan football program.  It’s so bad that I would have to name my only daughter, should I ever choose to have one (and I don’t, so there’s that) Maisey Blue after their school colors.  My dog was moments away from being named Victor because their fight song is “Hail to the Victors.”  It’s bad.  I mention this obsession because today is the U of M Spring Game and he wanted to be in Ann Arbor, Michigan to see it.  The problem, because of course there is one, is that today is also my awards ceremony for “Blood and Rain.”  It’s going to be cold in Ann Arbor.  He should be thanking me.

Dr. Amina Gautier was this year’s guest judge for the writing awards.  Her short fiction collection At Risk won the Flannery O’Connor award for short fiction so you can imagine how excited I am that she chose my story to win.  She’ll be at IU-South Bend for a Q&A at 4 pm in 1001 Wiekamp Hall if anyone is local and would like to attend.  It’s open to the public and it’s free.  The awards ceremony itself will be at 7 pm in the same location.  I will get my award for my story and Dr. Gautier will read from her award-winning collection as well.  The Analecta, the journal my story appears in, will be released after the ceremony.  Those are also free to the public, so if you want one, you should pop on by and grab one.

New Book Trailer and Website

I’ve talked about my multimedia writing class before.  For part of the class, I had to design and build an online multimedia portfolio.  It’s still in progress, you it’s live so you can check it out.  It has a couple of short stories of mine, so if you’ve ever been tempted to read my fiction instead of the poetry I’ve posted, it’s there.  I plan on adding a couple more stories, but there are two up now.  The coolest feature is the trailer I just made for my book, Celia.

I’m pretty thrilled about the way it turned out.

And the Winner is…

Wow, today has been a very busy and exciting day for me.  First off, my short story “Blood and Rain” won first prize in the IU-South Bend English Department Writing awards.  There will be a formal awards ceremony for that next month and a ceremony for Analecta, the journal that published “Blood and Rain” in two weeks.

On April 28th, I’ll be the featured reader at The Well.  Local writers will be reading their work and I’ll be doing a short reading from Celia and then reading “Blood and Rain.”  If you’re in the South Bend, Indiana area, you should try to make it.  It should be a great time.

And last, but certainly not least, the amazing Susan Dorsey had me over to chat on her blog today.  We chat about Celia and a bit about my current work in progress, Enraptured.

Cracking the Whip

One of the many projects that I’ve been working on is being the webmistress for my university’s Creative Writing Club.

fever-whiplash-zoom

The only thing that should wear this much leather is a cow.

I won’t lie, some mornings (translation: all week) I wake up and I just don’t want to deal with it.  And then I pull up the blog and start in on the day’s writing prompt.

I have not had the chance to write on any of them because of all the other stuff going on.  If you get the chance, you should check them out.  The book I’m pulling the information out of was one I used for my advanced fiction writing class and the end result of the class was the publication of Celia.  These are especially great if you’ve always wanted to write, but had no idea where to start, what to do, or was too scared of ridicule to try.  You have to be local if you want to attend the club’s weekly workshops, but you can participate online almost as much.  You’ll meet people who just started writing and who have been writing for awhile.

Stop on by and then tell me what you think of things.

Updates and Whatnot

I’ve been battling a second round of flu this week, but I’m happy to report I’m finally on the winning side.  Still sick, but not begging people to rob pharmacies anymore.  Yes, I actually did this.  No, there were no pharmacies robbed as a result of my illness.  Before you judge me, you should know that at one point my face looked and felt like this from all the sinus pressure:

Puffer fish photo

The week wasn’t all bad, though.  I received word that I was unanimously accepted into my grad school program.  I start in the fall and I have my classes already picked out.  It’s only six more weeks until graduation.  As part of my multimedia writing class, I have to build an online portfolio.  I’ll be sure to post links to that once it’s up and running.  I plan on including a book trailer for Celia, so if you’ve been waiting to get it, hopefully it will convince you to wait no longer.  Since I’ve been sick, and all of my efforts have revolved around breathing properly, Recommend It Monday will be put on hold next week.  Instead, I’ve invited Lori Michelle over to vist for the first ever author interview.  I wanted to add this as a Tuesday blog feature, and will in the future, but this week I’m going to cheat a little bit.  At least I’m honest about it.  I was recently interviewed about Celia as well.  That interview will be posted on April 24th, and I’ll provide links to that.  The poetry chapbook is almost finished.  I’m waiting to get some feedback on the MS before I decide I’m officially done with it.  Hopefully, I’ll have some official news on it in the next few months.

New Publication Announcement

I just received word that my short story “Blood and Rain” will be published through Analecta, the Indiana University-South Bend’s literary journal.  Traditionally, Analecta has hated me, so I’m very excited to be included in it this year.  I haven’t heard back on the poetry I submitted, but I’m guessing that it was not accepted.  I’m ok with that, though.  My fiction piece made it in.

In other rejection news, I still have not heard back from Yale on the writers conference this summer.  The hear back date was March 20th, and I sent a follow up email after that date with no word.  I am assuming they did not accept me into the conference.  I’m sad, but it was a lot of money to come up with in short notice.  Instead, I found a conference in Ireland at Lismore Castle.  And by me, I mean someone else entirely.  It costs more, and it’s international so travel will be more plus that whole passport thing.  Still, it’s good to dream and the conference isn’t until December so it’s also good to save.  I may pull it off yet.

No word, yet, on the status of my grad school application.  I’ve been told not to worry because I’m going to be accepted, but there are a lot of things I can’t do until I’m officially in the program.  Things like picking out my classes.

In a few weeks I should be hearing back on all the scholarships I’ve applied to.  Grad school will be less stressful if I can pay for it.

The Next Big Thing

Welcome to THE NEXT BIG THING!!

“THE NEXT BIG THING” is designed to raise awareness of new works, or works in progress by posing ten delicious questions the work, and then tagging other authors to do the same.

I was nominated by Johnny Worthen.  I met this excellent author through Rainstorm Press. Take a look back and check out his stuff. I’m thrilled to follow him. Also be sure to hop along to the fine authors I tagged at the bottom of this post. They’ll be up on the 13th of February.

And now, THE NEXT BIG THING:

What is the working title of your next book? 
Enraptured

Where did the idea come from for the book? 
It came from Harold Camping, actually.  He was so certain that the Rapture was coming, and at a specific date and time, that people were selling their homes and getting rid of personal items so they could be ready for it.  At the time, I thought of how a predator could use this in order to kidnap a child and no one would ever bother to look for him or her because they would say the child had been Raptured.  I was horrified by the thought.  So, I decided to explore that in this next book.

What genre does your book fall under? 
I’m not really sure.  It’s a long way from being completed.  On the one hand, it could be considered horror, though not in the traditional sense.  On the other, it’s just a book that’s purpose is to get people to think.  I’ll have a better sense of genre when I get the first draft completed.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Buddy: Steve Buscemi
Tiffany Montgomery: Anne Hathaway

I don’t have a good sense yet of who would play which parts because I’m still in the initial draft.  The hardest part to cast will be Jeanne Montgomery because she’s so young, but I would definitely want Steve Buscemi and Anne Hathaway to be cast.  Their work is amazing.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 
The town believes Jeanne Montgomery was Raptured, but was she?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 
I do not intent to self-publish the book, but I’m not sure yet where I will send it because it’s not finished.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 
I’m still writing the first draft.  I have a lot of projects going right now, so I haven’t been able to work on it the way I’d like to.  The portion of the manuscript that I have finished, I wrote in about three days.  I have a feeling that this manuscript will come in bursts like that.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 
I hesitate to compare myself to anyone.  I could see Mary Higgins-Clark tackling the subject matter, though.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I mostly answered this above, but I guess what really tugged at me was the selfishness involved with blind obedience.  Underneath it all, that’s what it is.  Someone has the need to believe in something so badly, they will overlook the obvious in order to keep that belief unchallenged.  And who is at fault?  Who do you blame when someone gets hurt because someone else needed to believe in something?  Obviously, you blame the person who did the hurting, but there’s a deeper responsibility than that.  Do you hold individuals, or even institutions, responsible, or do you allow them to be blameless because they believe?  How much hurt is too much hurt?  Who gets to draw that arbitrary line, and is it really arbitrary if others who are outside of that belief are held to that standard already?  When does society get to say, “Enough.  Your beliefs are dangerous to others,” or do they ever get to say that?  These are the questions that pull at me.  I’m not even sure they are questions that can be answered, but answering them and passing judgment isn’t the point.  The point is getting people to ask the questions.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It won’t be for the faint of heart.  Bad things happen, and although I try to be as delicate as I can, those things are still very graphic. In fact, I made myself ill writing one scene, and I haven’t been able to work on the manuscript since then.  It’s not gratuitous, though. Unfortunately, the graphic nature of the book is necessary because it is steeped in reality.  If I do my job right, people will get angry…and then they’ll start asking the questions.

Jumping on!
Visit these authors I’ve tagged next week for THE NEXT BIG THING:

Kellie Wallace

Kristian Gore