Monday, May 22, 2017

Unnamed, Unedited Retelling

Sometimes, when my mind wonders, I come up with random thoughts about alternate lifestyles. This is one of those thoughts. It may end up as a novel, or it may just stay a random blog post. Only time will tell.
Every day I used to dream of what it'd be like to live in one of those fancy houses we passed everyday ok the way to school. Now that I'm grown, that dream faded like the others. I was happy with my tiny apartment in the west part of town. The neighbors kept to themselves, and only a few people were robbed. It wasn't so bad.

Most days were the same. I'd wake up, grab a bowl of cereal, then head off to my boring retail job at Bigglymart. They sold everything from clothes to electronics to groceries. It was really a one-stop shop. I didn't care much for it but it paid the rent.

I daydreamed a lot while I waited for a customer to wander into my lane. Sometimes about traveling out of the country. Other times about what I'd cook for dinner. Who was I kidding, I hardly cooked anything. The stacks of pizza boxes outside my door proves that. Still, for a nineteen-year-old, I sure spent a lot of time with my head in the clouds.

"Good morning, Ms. Miller." Ms. Mary, the customer service manager, walked over to my register and snapped me out of one of my daydreams. Her sweet smile warmed everyone in the mornings even on the cold days like that day.

"Good morning," I replied back, returning the warm smile. Ms. Mary carried on about her business while I went back in my daydream.

A customer appeared in my line, a tall white man with brown eyes and shaggy dark hair. He was dressed in a black tee with a leather jacket and tattoos down both arms. This guy had trouble written all over his brooding face. It was hardly 9 AM, why was he so angry looking?

"Good morning, sir," I said in the best cherry voice I could muster up.

He glared at me and dropped a box of Life cereal on the belt.

"Hey," he said in a deep voice. He's defiantly from Arkansas.

"Rough morning?" I asked, and immediately regretted. He glared at me again, but this time a slight smile crossed his lips.

"For starters, I found out I was out of cereal after I woke up craving some," he said. His smile quickly faded.

"That sucks. Life is my favorite brand, too."

He let out a small chuckle as he pulled out his wallet. "Is that so?"

"Yeah, very much so," I replied. "That'll be $3.09."

He handed me four wrinkled $1 bills and said, "Keep it, I hate change."

He grabbed his single bag and headed straight for the door.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Is It Too Early To Be This Excited?

On April 25th, I participated in the #DVpit Twitter party. I wasn't expected much, but to my surprise, I received a good number of likes from literary agents, most of which were on my "to-query" list. The next day, I revised my query and first pages as much as possible and started sending them out to the requesting agents. Again, I wasn't expecting much.

Not even two hours later, I received my first reply. Nervous, I opened the email thinking it was yet another rejection. Instead, it was my very first FULL REQUEST! I was more than ecstatic. I went over my manuscript for about five hours before sending it to the agent's assistant. I had to force myself to press the SEND button on the email. A few minutes later, I received a confirmation email stating that she [the assistant] received my manuscript. According to their website, full requests take about 60 days for a reply. So here I am in the most painful 60-day wait ever.

That's not all. To distract myself from waiting for a response from the other #DVpit agents and my full request, I decided to send out a few more queries. On May 3rd, I queried an agent from a well-known agency that reps two of the authors with popular Young Adult books-to-movies. Once again, I wasn't expecting much, especially since most of the feedback from other authors is negative (she hardly responds if she's not interested...and she's hardly interested).

Five days later, I received an email from the agency's editor stating that she'd like to read the first 50 pages of my manuscript. She also asked if I had any other requests out with agents. I squealed! This isn't a full request, but the thought of possibly being among some of the best-selling authors made my day. I went over the first 50 pages for any errors that jumped out, saved it as a PDF, then sent it as requested. I added a note that I do have a full request out with an agent currently. Again, a few minutes later I received a confirmation email. I'm not sure how long I should wait on a partial request, but I read that it's a 3-month wait. According to Query Tracker, she usually responds to partial fairly quick so maybe I won't have to wait as long.

I'm excited but I'm keeping it cool. This doesn't mean either of them will be ringing my phone offering me representation, but it's one step further. I feel as if I've accomplished step 1 of my goal to being published, and that's something to celebrate. Ice cream for me! (as if I need a reason to eat ice cream).

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Nevin Rockiest | Immunity Hunter

Name: Nevin Rockiest
Age: 17
Occupation: Student/Eradication Squad Trainee
Weapon: Lightning Sword
Magic: Lightning Rod

Everyone in this city is freaked out about the Konadai. Well, I am too but not as much as them. I'm just a laid-back kind of guy. The city isn't all that bad. We have everything we could ever want here, including PIZZA! But there is something I want more than anything—well besides Ashley of course, she's my world. Too bad her father doesn't like me. Does he think I'm a bad influence? I don't think I'm a bad influence. . .

Anyway, I wanna be on the Eradication Squad's sweep team! That way, I can show everyone I'm not just some loser. Then Ashley's father would have to respect me. . .right? Maybe they'll even make me a squad leader! That'll be cool.

Illustration by: Autumn-Sacura on DeviantArt

Fang Okamimuto | Immunity Hunter

Name: Fang Okamimuto
Age: 17
Occupation: Student/Eradication Squad Trainee
Weapon: None
Magic: Okamikiin

I'm Fang. . .yeah my parents thought it would be funny to give me such a stupid name. But mom said I bit her when I was born so I guess the name fits.

Don't worry about the collar the humans force us to wear is a worse joke. It's supposed to suppress our powers. Ha! Like that'll stop me! Those humans have bigger things to worry about than us Okamikiin. They'll be begging us for help when the Konadai breach the wall. Sure, the humans can use fire, lightning, and energy, but can they use their claws to tear a Konadai's heart out with ease? I doubt it!

At least my friends accept me for who I am. And Rin. . .she still likes me—for now. They're the only ones that matter. The rest of the humans on this island can rot like the Konadai for all I care.

Illustration by: Autumn-Sacura on DeviantArt

Monday, April 24, 2017

Konan Henslee | Immunity Hunter

Name: Konan Henslee
Age: 17
Occupation: Student/Field Agent
Weapon: Double Axes
Magic: None

The Konadai aren't going anywhere anytime soon, but that doesn't stop us from trying. My dad thinks training is the best way to spend my time. Mom says I need to spend more times with friends. They're both right; friends and family are what's important in this city. Without them we're nothing, but I have other things on my mind now. People are going missing and no one seems to have any answers. That's where I come in. With the help of my partner, Aaron, we'll find out what's happening to our neighbors one way or another.

I hope she's not involved.

Illustration by: Autumn-Sacura on DeviantArt

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sasame Kai | Immunity Hunter

Name: Sasame Kai
Age: 17
Occupation: Immunity Hunter
Weapon: Shortsword
Magic: Pyro Dancer

Our city has been at war with the beasts known as the Konadai since, well, forever. It became personal the day my parents died. I was thirteen when they left for a routine operation and never returned. Nothing is ever routine in this city. I sat up for hours waiting for them to come back, but all that came was a knock on the door from one of the squad leaders. It would've been better had she brought some ice cream with her before dropping the "your parents are never coming home" bomb.

Now, I'm a trained immunity hunter fueled by grief. The job isn't all that great, it takes its toll on me, but at least it keeps my head clear—well, sort of. I can deal with that. It's the pain and abandonment I can't get over.

Illustration by: Autumn-Sacura on DeviantArt

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Banned From A Writing Forum

Today I was banned from Absolute Write. Why? Because I posted a critique I received on a query. I didn't name the site, I didn't name the poster. The only way anyone would've known was if they themselves were a member.

The reason for the ban: You can find another forum to bitch about. On top of that, one of the moderators sent me a tweet stating "You can find another forum to bitch about, you've overstayed your welcome." Really? How? I didn't cause drama on the board. Yes, I may have gotten defensive over critiques and that's my fault. But overstayed my welcome because I posted a critique I felt was rude?

They did me a favor, though. After an online research I learned that the site is full of bullies and if you don't fit into their little cliques then you're a target. I tried staying on everyone's good side, but I guess the screenshot was the last straw.

No hard feelings, I'll take my punishment and walk away with my head up. No writer should be forced to deal with such hate. Yes, there are some really helpful people there, but they are taken over by bitter, angry, assholes that just want to argue and put people down.

There are healthier writing communities out there than Absolute Write Water Cooler. Be sure to do your research.