Archive for the Brainforked Category

Brainstorming for November.

Posted in Brainforked on October 3, 2014 by deifiedplum

For a while, I was considering writing a second book to the novel that I had written last year that I called “Maybe, This Planet.” I really liked where it was going, and it has that feel of an epic story, something that I can really draw out into a couple of books. At the moment though, I’m toggling between that one and an idea that I had recently. I mentioned before, the idea of turning a Bat for Lashes album into a series of short stories, but I feel that that will not work quite the way I had wanted it to. There is one song, however, that I absolutely adore, and I feel it could be turned into a story. I have to be careful, research this a bit, to make sure that I can do something like this without getting into trouble. What I’m doing, really, is taking a 2 minute song and changing it and turning it  into a novel. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, as long as I do my best to really deviate from the song enough to not make it so obvious that I got the idea from it. Here is what I have so far for this:

The story is about a girl who is woken up in the middle of the night and told that she has to begin a journey to find a missing book that had long ago been stolen by gnomes. She is given a bag of supplies and a horse and is told to leave immediately. During her journey, she meets interesting characters, gets hunted, and learns how to take care of and defend herself. Writing this makes it sound very juvenile fiction, but, as typical for my fucked up brain, I’m hoping to turn this into something really dark. I’m hoping that this one works, although I plan to keep part two of my other novel on the back burner, in case things don’t happen the way I want them to.

Finished!

Posted in Brainforked on September 26, 2014 by deifiedplum

Last night, I finished the second draft of my NaNoWriMo novel, Transmission. It has taken, like, two years to finish. I liked where it was going up until the very end, which sort of fizzled out in a way that could only be done when the 50k mark has been hit and there is no longer a desire to write any more that month. Now that I’ve gotten through the mess, added paragraph indents and periods and such (my style of NaNo-ing involves writing nonstop, without capitals, paragraph breaks, quotations, etc. My second draft adds all the basic stuff back in.) I can go back in and work on the story. I found a lot of continuity errors that need to be fixed, and I have to pad the novel about 20 thousand words. I’m looking forward to getting that finished, and then I’ll be looking for someone else to edit it for me. It may be the same person who has been editing my first published novel, Polarity (putting out a second edition eventually), but who knows at this point. One step at a time. I’m also going to get the first chapter of a new story put on WattPad today, too. Busy busy busy.

I’m published in other places!

Posted in Brainforked on September 19, 2014 by deifiedplum

So I have recently gotten a couple of things posted on a website called “Offbeat Home.” It’s a site dedicated to tiny houses, lazy people life hacks, things that people are proud of, and advice. Posting a guest blog requires the moderator to read it and approve it to be posted to the site. I have written 3, and have gotten all submitted. This first one, at this point, has had about 920 shares, which I think is pretty impressive. People really seem to love it.

http://offbeathome.com/2014/07/care-about-myself

This one is about our home, and our love/hate relationship with it.

http://offbeathome.com/2014/06/neglected-home

This one is a little simpler, but true, and was pretty fun to write. This is the first article that got submitted for these guys.

http://offbeathome.com/2014/02/lazy-kitchen-cleaning

 

The site is actually pretty amazing. They have another one called “Offbeat Bride,” which I have gotten all of my wedding inspiration from. I don’t get paid for any of these, but it is nice to see people reading and appreciating my work.

Anyone ever hear of Wattpad?

Posted in Brainforked on September 12, 2014 by deifiedplum

So I found this app on my tablet one day while looking for new games and whatnot to download. Turns out, it is a actual website as well. I liked it, because it seemed to just be a free reader app, and I love reading while I’m on my lunch break at work. But when I started to dig a little deeper, I discovered that Wattpad is basically a free file sharing site for aspiring writers. The site holds no copyrights to your work, you don’t have to pay to submit stories, and everything is immediately available for others to read. I decided to give it a try, hoping that my posting once monthly chapters to a book I’ve been meaning to write will allow myself to build up a solid fan base. I have noticed that some writers post rudimentary novel beginnings on the site, and once the entire thing is edited and polished up, they offer the book for a small fee to those that had been following them as they wrote it. I haven’t gotten my Wattpad page up and running yet, but I did start writing something for it. Not sure where it’s going, but it opens with a girl and a guy who are running from the police for some reason. The girl is peeing in a bush and her wrist is broken. The guy seems to be very sick and is brandishing a shotgun.

Yeah. This is going to be one of those stories where the characters begin to develop themselves over time. All I know about this so far is that I just finished reading “Doomed” by Chuck Palahniuk, and his influence is definitely readable in what I’ve got written down. I am hoping to get the first chapter up in the next few days, and I’ll post a link to it here, of course.

I’m back again, I suppose.

Posted in Brainforked on September 5, 2014 by deifiedplum

I have been trying to make posting on this blog a weekly thing, but I continue to fail miserably. Now that my kid is back in school again, I feel as though it may be a bit easier. I have Fridays off, so after I got her to school today, I rode my bike to the library so I could sit down and write. I am hoping to make a weekly thing out of this little trip of mine. I have managed to get blogs posted for most of the categories on this site today, which I am rather proud of, saving the photo heavy blog posts for a day when I remember my damn flash drive.

The past few months have been pretty busy for me. I am working on the second edit of my novel “Transmission,” which was my NaNoWriMo novel from two years ago. I typically do three or four edits of each story that I write. After I get this one finished, I will go through and fine tune everything, checking for logic errors and grammar issues and whatnot. I have also been working on the first edit of my NaNo novel from last year. It’s tenative title is “Maybe, This Planet,” and I really feel as though I may be able to make a series out of it. I’d like to get the first one completely finished before November, because I plan on doing the second novel of the series during NaNo this year. I have a few story starters and ideas right now besides these two things, but I’ve been rather focused on the two biggies as of late, and haven’t really been able to do much with anything else.

I’m also having “Polarity” edited again, and I hope to get that back soon so that I can start reworking it and making a second edition for it.

That’s about it for this week. Back to work!

My most recent “book signing”.

Posted in Brainforked on April 23, 2014 by deifiedplum

I put “book signing” in quotes, because even though i thought that was what it was, it actually kind of wasn’t.

I got to the library at about 6:30 with a bag packed with my tablet, business cards and some books. I figured the tablet would be important, because the last time I did a book signing, I would get a little stir crazy in between interested readers and needed something to do with my hands. So I show up, find out that the event is being held in a downstairs auditorium, and head down. I am greeted when I get down there by a gentleman who is very kind, and asks me if I need any AV equipment for my speech.

“What speech?” I ask.

“Nobody told you how this works?” He replied, confused.

I shook my head. He leads me into the auditorium, and shows me the podium on the stage. And the seats lined up underneath it.

“Usually people like to have a slide show while they talk,” the guy said.

“Up until this point I didn’t realize I’d be doing any talking.”

The next 30 minutes were filled with tears, panicking, and last minute speech preparations. I had no idea what I was going to talk about. I wasn’t ready for any of this at all. Thankfully, I have a fantastic support system, and my fiancee and good friend did their best to calm me down.

I was still pretty nervous when I went up on stage, but managed to stay up there for almost 45 minutes. I read the first chapter, plugged Blue Box Books, and talked a bit about the writing process and my love of the craft. The audience asked some great questions that kept things going as long as it did. When it was done I felt ecstatic, and completely proud of myself for having pulled the whole thing off without any kind of preparation or anything. Plus I got paid to be there, and I sold a book!

A really interesting thing that is going to help drive me when it comes to my next books was the discussion about science fiction in general. It was said that sci-di is a genre that doesn’t seem to get a lot of media coverage. New sci-fi books in the library come by rarely, if at all, sci-fi speakers don’t show up often at libraries and such for signings. It is something that sets me apart from the other local authors, and I like that I have something different to offer people.

My first book signing.

Posted in Brainforked on April 2, 2014 by deifiedplum

Last Saturday, I participated in the Local Author Book Fair that was held at the Brecksville Library in, you guessed it, Brecksville Ohio. This was my first time ever doing something like this, and I am rather proud to say that I only cried hysterically for about twenty minutes prior to leaving.

I don’t handle stress well.

As luck would have it, I managed to spot two layout errors in about a minute of flipping through the pages of my book while my fiancée, Mike, got ready. It really irritated me. I wanted to feel as though self-publishing wasn’t some sloppy, second-rate means of putting out something that nobody else wanted. I did this for myself, because I wanted to, not because I had lost faith in the publishing industry or felt as though it was the only way that I’d ever get anything published. I wanted there to be an air of equality surrounding my book. Something that looked like a real book that went through normal big box publishing procedures. And here I was, staring at the words “Chapter Eighteen” on the bottom of one page, with the chapter starting on the next.

I felt like such a failure. Cue all the sobbing and desperate attempts to keep my eyeliner in place.

But Mike, he is an amazing human specimen. He went into the bedroom, grabbed a ten dollar bill, and dropped it on the table in front of me. He had read some of the book, but just little clips that I had let him see. He hadn’t finished the book yet, and thought that right then, when I was feeling at my lowest, would be a good time to make a purchase. It was a very kind move and definitely made me feel better.

He asked me to sign it for him, which I proceeded to sort of mess up by starting to sign it with my real name instead of the pen name. It ended up working out to my advantage though. My new signature has a capital J, a lowercase e, and a capital A, because my real name starts with an A and that was how far I got before I realized that I was screwing up. My name is like NyQuil now, with a completely unnecessary A in the middle of it for no reason.

The set up for the fair was pretty nice. We were lead to a big room with a bunch of folding tables covering the perimeter. I chose one that, at the time, wasn’t close to anyone else, and set my books and business cards up. One thing I’d like to do for the next book signing I, at the very least, bring a tablecloth. My table was very bland in comparison to other people. It’s a small thing, and holds no bearing on the selling of the book, but it is something to remember for next time. There were maybe ten other authors there, all from different ethnic backgrounds, ages, and genres. There was a guy who wrote paranormal encyclopedias, a guy who wrote a story about that Anthony Sowell guy from Cleveland who killed a bunch of women, a woman who wrote an autobiography of her life as a barber, and a lady who sat next to me who wrote mysteries surrounding chili cook-offs. It was interesting to see the styles of other authors, and everyone was very nice and happy to be there.

Once library patrons started to come in, I got really nervous. I have never been very good at explaining my story to others, for some reason, and was afraid that I would stumble through like a mad woman if anyone bothered to ask me about it. In reality, I wasn’t expecting to sell anything, let alone have people talk to me at all about it.  But people did come over to talk to me. After a little while, I got better and more comfortable explaining my story, and people really seemed to like it.

The best part of the day came when a gentleman walked up to me with his son. The son looked to be around 15 or so, and seemed very nervous.

“Look,” the father said. “You get to meet a real author!”

My heart skipped a beat. I introduced myself, and explained the story to the family. The boy smiled, and his dad asked if he wanted a book. He nodded, his dad handed over the money, and then said “don’t forget to ask her to sign it!”

I signed the boy’s copy. He was beaming. I can’t remember his name though. It all went by in a blur. They walked away, the boy clutching my book, and I did my best to keep myself from crying. And failed.

A good friend came in and bought a book as well, which was so incredibly kind and fantastic of him. On top of that, I sold my book to two other strangers. So, five books in one day. I’d consider that a win.

I could have walked out of there having sold absolutely nothing, and I still would have considered it a win. I found confidence there at the signing. I realized that no matter how much I beat myself up, I deserved to be there just like all the other authors. I am a writer. This is what I do. And I can validate it now. I can mark down that signing as the day that I became official. It took me eight years to finish writing Polarity.

It was totally worth the wait.