The Gift of the Editor

I am not good at editing my own work. I’m ok at first pass, and a second. But… well. I have at least 2 Beta’s who read my work, and their comments on my grammar are awesome. Then there’s RIe, who does not only call me on my grammar but also my content / style.

I can do content editing, but not the rest. And there was one story that I wanted so badly to come out, and I just couldn’t get it there. Rie was my editor through MMP (Thank you, Nicole!), and she figured it out. Once I told her what was going on in the story (flash) piece, she knew exactly what needed to be done.

Whew!

Garden is one of my favorite stories that I’ve written. I’ve also gotten the best compliment on The Golden Apple and Other Stories because of it. My neice bought and read the book. She liked Cinder’s Ella the most, but she remembered The Golden Apple. But she told me that she thought the story Garden might help one of her friends who had lost a child…. and that hit me in my heart. At it’s heart, Garden is a story about motherhood, and grief… and love.

I don’t know if she’s shown it to her friend. Or if she did and it helped or not… But I do know that my writing touched something deep inside a reader…. and a reader that I know and love, that I spent my childhood with.

That my friends….

That’s a great editor.

(as a side note: as I’ve been writing this, my son and I have been playing Uno…. I just won my first hand. I think the booger is cheating, but I can’t prove it…. OMG, I love him!)

More soon, my lovelies.

Get your pens ready: Submission call

I promised to get this to you this weekend and am scraping in by the skin of my teeth! I love Mocha Memoirs Press, and they currently have a Steampunk Anthology call out. Go check it out here   You’ll notice that they are also looking for a couple of types of romances… I don’t write those, so all I can tell you is this: I love my publisher and they are great to work with!

I actually finally got a beginning that I like for my story for the anthology. Sweet! The Golden Apple‘s book birthday on Friday was wonderful. Thank you all! The best compliment I’ve gotten on it has to do with one of the interludes, and I think I’ll discuss that in it’s own post. The subject matter kind of dictates that. So. I have one just published. One in with the publisher. One being written, and then next perking around on a back burner.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

I love my life!

Seriously, if you write romance or Steampunk, go check out the guidelines. That is what they are currently looking for, but check back lots. We also do Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy… Lots of stuff!

Love you all!

Release Day and Beginning Writers

Hello my lovelies!

I’m in a good mood right now. It suddenly dawned on me…. I just looked my name up on Amazon and it came up not once… but twice. Yup. Two. Titles. With. My. Name.  The Golden Apple and Other Stories   and of course Dragon’s Champion

Now I need to try really hard not to degenerate myself. Because of course the first thing I want to tell you is that I write short stories right now. Dragon’s Champion is a stand alone short story, while the Golden Apple and Other Stories is a triad of retellings of fairy tales. And that’s fine! I rock at this format.

But what I want to talk about right now is  how I felt three years ago. Or two and a half. I started writing Dragon’s Champion, and I only kept writing it to see what would happen next. My heroine was a smart ass who just kept getting herself in trouble. I hand wrote the whole story. And while I was busy scribbling, something broke loose within me. Something I had stuffed way down deep for too long.

I was a writer. I write because it centers me, because I enjoy my stories and sometimes even work things out in them. I keep flinging the words out, even if no one ever reads them. I write.

And if you want to be a writer, you need to do that too. Fling your words out, polish them up, and then start working on the next. That finished story? Save it, send it out, do what ever you need to do to it. But go onto the next one, too. I’m working on my next (for an anthology call that I’ll share over the weekend), and have started plotting even another one. I have one in with my publisher as well.

Don’t stop writing. Edit when you must, but still keep your creative juices flowing. Scribble notes for your next work. Just, keep moving forward. It’s too easy to loose the habit of writing. Too easy to loose your writing period. It’s a muscle, and we have to exercise it. Use the experience of writing one to write the next, and on that next one STRETCH those muscles! You can do it!

I was so naive at 18, I actually thought I could just say I was a writer and start writing and ove into my fabulous house in the mountains. Now I know it’s not the recognition, it’s not the money (although I like both, don’t get me wrong)… It’s the story telling. It’s the words.

They matter.

Whether or not you can find them on Amazon, they matter.

So if you’re writing, just remember that. They matter.

Your voice matters.

Release Date

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So I’ve been a little absent lately. First, I was writing madly…. then in edits (which turn me into mean mommy apparently LOL).

But it’s done! I have a release date of 12/5/14 and I absolutely love the cover. Isn’t it great? And Mocha Memoirs Press gave me the absolute bestest editor ever. I can say that with authority, because she has read just about everything I write. Rie makes me such a better writer, and hung in there, believing in me, when I didn’t even believe in myself.

And now I have my second title coming out.

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

This started out as one short story. Cinder’s Ella, a funky little fairy tale. It was a wee bit short tho…. And no matter how, I just couldn’t make it heftier by much. I kept running round and round on a collection of very personal fairy tales. They mean something to me, each of the three. And the two interludes. So I broached the subject with my publisher (the wonderful MMP!) and she loved the idea.

And now it comes out on the 5th! That’s Friday!

Yay!

I’ll write more tomorrow. But tonight, I just had to share…..

Jumping up and down, squealing with delight…….

The Secret Garden

One of the books that had the most profound impact on my life was The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. A Little Princess comes in a close second, but for me… It’s always been Mary Lenox.

I’m not sure why Mary’s story struck such a cord with me. An unloved child, being shuttled far away from all she knows after the death of almost everyone. Mother, father, aya… all of them. I came from a rock solid family with lots of siblings. Although sometimes, I felt invisible.

But mostly, I just wanted a place of my own. A place to get away from everyone else. I thought it was highly unfair that Mary had to share the garden, and Dickon, with her cousin. Because a girl needs a room, or garden, of ones own. If it had been mine, I am sure, i would have guarded it jealously.

Or maybe not.

I have a brown thumb.

Still, I re-read that book on a regular basis. When I moved out, I realized that my copy got mislaid somewhere… so I went and bought another one. I’ve always wanted to write a tribute to that book, just something that gave it a little nod. Garden, a short interlude in my collection (coming out in December! Woohoo!) is more a nod to Willie Wonka than The Secret Garden.

So now… well, now… I’m gonna bend that garden. I’m going to stretch it, warp the weave, and hopefully come up with something that is completely me as well as being a nod toward something I love so much.

How do you handle paying tribute to a story that means so much to you, but still keep it in your voice? As your own story?

Raising a Writer

My son, 8 years old, helps me with my writing. Since he was about 4, he would dictate stories to me, pacing back and forth, waving his hands madly. He doesn’t do it quite so often any more, but he does like to help me with the stories I write. Especially with Broken.

Now, however, I’ve been in edits. And then came the updated author bio. I hate writing about myself. I dread it. It’s looped in with how I suck at interviews.

My hero, to the rescue. I started, and then he took over—

Wynelda Ann Deaver has been writing stories since she learned to read in first grade. Her son says the writing helps her calm down, and the good part of it is the support she gets from MMP. It’s nice of you guys to buy her books because we like money. Well thanks.My mom will probably write many more books for you.She told me that she will. Have a nice time reading our books!

You notice how it went from “her” books to “our books”? Writing is a team sport. I know many people who will tell you that it is a solitary, lonely road… but I’m here to tell you that you can have a team, too. Maybe in the grand scheme of things they are supporting players (beta readers, coffee makers, those who shove us in the shower with a cup of coffee), but you know what? That’s ok. Still part of the team. Because we couldn’t do what we do with out them.

Without my son to egg me on, I’m not sure I would have finished my story collection (coming out in December! woohoo!). Oh, i probably would have had more time to write without him hanging around… but when he was gone on break for two weeks I crumbled. Could. Not. Write.  I did get caught up on my sleep :) And as I mentioned before, he did actually help with Broken.

But dang, my little boy got ideas!

Now, we’re getting ready to get our new stories out into the world, and as soon as I have more information I’ll get that out to you.

Ta for now, my lovelies!

Ageism in Fantasy

So, I read many, many books in the fantasy genre. I don’t read very much in the children’s or YA section, even the fantasy novels.

That may be about to change.

I just started reading the Magic Thief series by Sarah Prineas (It’s super cheap on B&N for Nook right now). Cover looks like a children’s book. I got the “Free Sample” to see if it would be good to read with my son and ended up buying it for me to read. It’s a pretty good read. Good enough, in fact, that I bought the second book.

It doesn’t have the depth and reach that an epic fantasy has. It is… well… As Harlequin monthlys are to Eloisa James and Julia Quin, so these are to the normal fantasy books that I read. It has me wondering: If they took the cover and format, made it more adult, would it sell?

There’s actually precedent for this. The newest incarnation of the Herald series by Mercedes Lackey starts out with a young protagonist. It also has a different depth than the earlier books. Although they’re “lighter” than say, Vanyel’s story, still I go back and buy the new books about Mags, Bear and Lena every single time.

So is it the age of the protagonist, or the “lightness” of the story that propels these books into the children’s stacks? I’ve read some YA fantasy series that blew me away. I feel strongly that they should have been listed just as Fantasy, not YA books. Because a lot of readers, myself included, pre-judge a book based on where it’s filed. Is it fair? Nope. But it’s there.

I wonder though…. Why has no one come out with the Harlequin monthly books for Fantasy and Science Fiction? The work is there— just look at how many people are going indie with 50,000 words. Look to YA and children’s books that have a strong crossover audience in the adult section.

I think in looking for books to get my son interested in reading… I’ve opened up a whole new section of authors for myself. We shall see.