Tuesday, September 8, 2015

When Holy Moly is an Understatement

Holy Moly.

Or maybe I should say holy guacamole.

Mmm. Guacamole.

So I’m sort of late on this blog post. I know, I know. I’m a slacker. I need the dunce hat. Somebody put me in a corner and threaten to take away my PS4 controller rights.
So, as some know, I have awesome-possum news. News that I really haven't shared with anybody in real life other than the writing community, because... well, just because. Maybe one of these days I will fix that. Most people, in my life, are very 'meh' about anything and everything I do. I actively seek to avoid that kind of thing. Thus, the silence.
But this news cannot be contained. So what IS this news I speak of??
Scroll to find out!
Keep scrolling...

Almost there....
Wait, what? What the duce is Pitch Wars? Is it a singing thingymabob? A foot race? A pie-eating contest?
Nope. It's something so, so much cooler.
In short terms, it's a writing contest--but not just any writing contest. A little over one hundred industry professionals (published, agented authors, interns, etc), choose one mentee to mentor for two months. This means dissecting their story, getting to the nitty-gritty, and guiding their mentee to make their manuscript shine. Blood and tears are not optional.
For more information on Pitch Wars, hosted by the amazing Brenda Drake, click here.
There were 1,591 entrants this year! And a little over one hundred spots, which roughly translates to around a 6% chance of getting a mentor.
When my title was on the Master List (The Zer0 Maker), I freaked the hell out and ugly cried for about thirty minutes. I called my mom. She cried. My CP's send me emails, and all of a sudden I had like fifty twitter notifications. Holy WOWZA.
The lovely (and amazing!) Sharon Johnston is my mentor. Also, you should check out the cover reveal for her stunning book, DIVIDED: An Open Heart Novel!
So why is this post late? Well, I've submerged myself in edits on The Zer0 Maker. I LOVE working with Sharon; she just gets my novel! And she has some seriously adorable cats. Seriously.
One of the biggest rewards here was the writing community. I learned so much and gained so many friends. If anyone is on the fence about entering Pitch Wars in the future, DO IT! It's a win-win either way--and you get to meet fabulous writers who are made up of 100% awesomesauce!
Do it. For realsies. It's worth it.
So there is my big news. *wipes brow*
Now I'm off to edit, edit, edit, until the agent round.
I will make a another blog post about it then. Until then, much luck and positive energy going into Pitch Wars! Yay!

Monday, August 10, 2015

#PitchWars Mentee Post

Sup? :D

I'm sort of new to this whole blog thing, which is why I almost didn't do a #PitchWars Mentee post. I'm a new blogger in general, and I'm still trying to figure out how to drive this thing. I've been slacking (aw) because of work (ick), but it's totally okay, because now I get to hang out with the awesome writing community!

And you can tell I'm a gamer, right? *points to Cryaotic pic above*

This is also my first #PitchWars contest, and I am ecstatic. I've been stalking the twitter feed and getting to know writers, and it has truly been a humbling experience. Oh, and I've been stalking my mentor picks as well. *is unashamed*

I was also in #PitchMadness earlier this year and met some truly amazing people. I met a CP and even a good friend. Which is why I totally wanted to participate this time around. So I'm choking back my shyness and diving right in!

A little bit about me. (Now is when people totally think I am weird and run away at full speed). Kidding. Mostly.

- I write YA. I graduated high school last year, (WAH? I know I'm young...*blushes*) so the whole YA scene/high school setup is still pretty fresh in my brain. I still haven't matured. (Much). But I'm a kid at heart, and I have a feeling I will always be.

                                                       I'm a cupcake! I'm a cupcake! So jelly tho.

-I am a sophomore in college. Officially. I start my second year in one week. When I graduated, I didn't take a breather. That fall, I enrolled at a state university (full time) for a degree in English literature, and worked two jobs on top of that. Yea. Sounds crazy. But I did it!

- I'm a part time computer technician for my university. I worked at their technology office for over a year, and they eventually decided I was actually good enough to work on computers. (Lawl).

-I'm a part time barista. Macchiato, anyone? (I've heard that's cliché for a writer, but, yanno...)

- I’m a huge nerd. No… seriously. Every Monday the campus nerds (along with myself) get together for game night on the second floor dormitory lounge. We play Cards Against Humanity, Minecraft, Destiny, you name it. Favorite game ever? Has to be Majora's Mask or Silent Hill: Downpour. Five Nights at Freddy's 1, 2, + 3 are pretty chill too. (If not terrifying).

- I slide one Dragon Ball Z reference into conversation at least once a day, sometimes without the other person noticing it. Just Saiyan.

-I am also proudly genderqueer, and I write a diverse cast of characters. I love all of my characters. I hope others will as well.

-I love editing/reading/writing. I feel like this one's obvious. *blushes again*

Whew. So there's that. *wipes brow*

I am currently working on a YA psychological horror novel with paranormal elements. It's about a demonic computer virus that demands you spread it or else. *cues dramatic music* My MC catches the virus and tries to stay alive and sane, all while dealing with a hot-headed computer geek who may or may not help her quarantine it.

So yea. That's about it!

Thanks for stopping in, and I wish everybody good luck and lots of positive energy for #PitchWars!!

*dissipates into a cloud of smoke*

*poofs back*

Oops, forgot my hat.

*poofs away for real this time*

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Five Fun Things in Minecraft

As you know, I've recently finished my manuscript The Zero Maker, a YA psychological horror. So what have I been doing while taking break in between editing?

Farting around on Minecraft.

I've comprised the five best (and fun) things to do in Minecraft, and I'm sharing it with the world, 'cause it can get you rolling and slapping your knee like nobody's business. So here we go--the five top (according to me) most fun things to do in Minecraft.




#1: Piss Off a Crap Load of Endermen

Whilst in the Creative Mode, go to a deserted, small island (either created by you or naturally generated), and stand in the center and declare that your spawn point (using the command /spawnpoint).

Then, go into your inventory and get a Endermen spawner egg (make SURE it is not raining and it's nighttime). If it's raining, use the command "/weather clear", and it if it's dark, use the command "/time set day". If it's raining, they will teleport away from you, and we don't want that, 'case we haven't pissed them off yet.

Get a chest from the inventory, and stock it full of sticks. (Make sure the chest is a block away from your spawn point, so that if you die, you will respawn right in front of it). Spawn a shit ton of Endermen--and by a shit ton, I mean to the point that your computer/game is lagging. Fill that mofo with Enderman.

Equip yourself with a stick. Then use the stick to beat them upside the head. (Or the knee, since they are rather tall). You might survive for like, five seconds, but then you respawn in the center of them. Grab another stick from the chest and continue to piss them off by whacking them with the stick. Eventually, they will die. Eventually.

This might sound stupid, but it's actually pretty satisfying for some reason. Don't know why, just is. And it's kinda funny, cause they get really, really pissed. What better way to spend your time by whacking Endermen upside the head with sticks?

#2 Kamikaze Bunny Rabbits

I'm going to stay of with please don't do this in real life. (Seriously). Love da bunnies. Pet da bunnies. Please don't throw them off a cliff.

Get a bunny spawner egg. Spawn a crap load of bunnies and leash them to yourself with leads. After you have like fifty bunnies tied to yourself, (and if you want to see them freak out, trip over themselves, and bounce everywhere, equip a carrot) go to the highest point in the game (like a cliff of the top of a mountain) and commit Kamikaze by jumping into thin air. You will fall, all bunnies freaking the hell out, until SPLAT!

They all go EEP at once and poof! (Unfortunately you die too). The best thing about this one is that there isn't a point to it. It's seriously fucked up, but I guess that's why it's so funny. It would be funnier with chickens, but they all just float gracefully down to earth then look at you like you are a complete idiot. (Yes, chickens can JUDGE, man...)

#3 The Ultimate Human Bullet

You can only do this in creative mode since you cannot mine through bedrock.

Dig a hole to the bedrock, and be sure not to fall through the bedrock. Make sure you can fall through the world--but don't. By double pressing the space bar (on PC) float to the highest point in the game (until you are over the clouds and the world is no longer visible) and double tap the space bar to fall.

You will launch yourself into an automatic death like a bullet by free falling, then whizzing at top speed through the center of the earth. You see the ground for like a few seconds, then you are in blackness and inevitably die. Really quickly. (Again, no point, but fun to do). It's basically like WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! *K!* *K!* *K!* Dead.

#4 Not Sure What Material to Build Your House From? I Gotcha.


That's right. Make a house out of every single block on Minecraft, including enchanting tables, soul sand, stained glass, etc. (Except bedrock if in survival). It looks pretty stupid. But it's trippy as hell.

If you are playing on a server, you can totes turn to your friend and be like, "Did I do this right? I think I missed a step".

#5 Boom!

Link a pressure plate to a crap ton of hidden TNT on a server, put the plate out in a field somewhere, and wait for it.

Oh noes!

So there it is, peeps. Five fun things to do on Minecraft that serve no purpose to the game whatsoever. I believe these have been done somewhere out there, so I am just touching base with my favorites, and the ones I came up with.

See you on the flip side!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Murphy's Law: If It Can Go Wrong, It Probably Will

And this week has been a douche bag. In terms of writing, I have done nothing. No editing. No revising. I'm either too busy at work or too busy with other things. (Insert crybaby noise here). Yea, I'm venting. But I also have some good things to share, so bear with me!

The happiness from the success of my recently completed novel was short lived.

In the last week, the following craptastic events have taken place:

-Gansters shot and killed a man, dumping his body in the river near my work

-Record flooding left me stranded coming home from work at eleven at night... near the place where the body was dumped (yea, how convenient)

-My grandmother (who adopted me) is in the hospital, has been all week, and will be all weekend for pneumonia

-My work called, asking if I could work weekends from now on. (I work two jobs, one at a technology office, and one at a coffee shop). Which is super cool, 'cept now my only day off is Wednesday

-A recent epiphany led me to rewrite the last 5k on my manuscript, but I haven't got around to it because life

-I stubbed my toe on the entertainment center this morning

-I went to save a baby turtle's life on the flood bottoms last weekend (he was crossing the road), and before I went to go grab him, some asshole ran him over right in front of me

-I have a really bad toothache that is seriously making me want to pull it out my damn self with a pair of pliers. (I did this already with one). Take a couple shots of whiskey and you are good to go

-Just kidding about the whiskey thing

-One of my fellow coworkers farted on me in the damn elevator this morning and laughed about it

-While writing this post, a fire alarm went off in my department and I had to evacuate the building

Don't judge me 'cause I'm on the web at work. (I'm actually on break if you wanna get technical).

Now the good things that happened this week:

-I'm still alive

-I'm getting a really badass blog banner, designed by a wickedly talented pal on QT. (Seriously. I saw the direction the final product was heading in and it was pretty boss)

-I built a really cool house in the Sims 3... (It functions too, which means my Sims aren't getting stuck in the hallway wall this time)

-I only cried for thirty-five minutes while watering my spice garden

The last one is a personal victory. *Gets emotional*

...It's a work in progress.

So yea, that's been my week. It sucks, but I should be thankful that it didn't end up worse.

I'm just going to focus on editing, since that's the biggest thing I need to do.

So... I'm going to do that now, before another fire alarm goes off or something prevents me from doing it. Cheers.

And remember--haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

*Muah!* Finished!

*Cracks knuckles and leans back in chair like a boss*

It's done! I just completed the first draft of my YA psychological horror novel, The Zero Maker.

It sits at 60k, and with the revisions I have in mind (adding one scene and taking out another), it could scoot to 65k, depending on how it works out.

Writing about a demonic computer virus that demands you spread--or else!--has been one of my favorite stories to work with. For one, my character, like myself, is gender-fluid. For two, I'm a techie (I work in a technology center), so this was easy to write. It poured out of me, and I had so much fun writing it.

I got to toss in some references from my favorite video games, and did not hold back with my sarcastic assholeness. (How's that for a word?). I tried to balance the horror with humor, but not in a way that made my work seem satirical. Basically, I wanted it to be serious at times and light hearted in others.

Well, that's what I was shooting for.

I did have fun with the project, more so than any of my others. I just finished a rather serious novel a year ago about racism, love, hate, and acceptance. It didn't have a happy ending, so moving on to something like The Zero Maker was a breath of fresh air. (Not that I don't like writing serious, heart-wrenching things).

The research for this novel was pretty freaking awesome. I wanted this story to sort of be like a Creepypasta--you know, those internet based stories teens are absolutely obsessed with? Creepypastas are huge in teen pop culture, and to tell you the truth, they are utterly terrifying. Don't believe me? Try reading Why Babies Are Born Screaming, or One-Man Hide and Seek.

(One-Man Hide and Seek is pretty freaking terrifying. I couldn't seep for days after trying the ritual. Don't do it. It's really not worth it. Even if it's a barrel of crap, you freak yourself out).

I think, for the most part, I was successful. I got to test computer viruses, learn their behaviors, and apply them to The Zero Maker, also known as zeromaker.exe. (I can hear the gasps. They were tested on virtual machines--it's completely safe).

What viruses do I compare zermomaker.exe to? Probably Gruel or Apparition (Virus.Win16.Apparition). Gruel because it's nasty and devastates a person's computer, and Apparition because it's a bit creepy and even comes with a control center. I'm serious. The creator made the virus with a freaking control center, and you can decide for yourself what files you want the virus to infect. "Infect Calculator?" "Sure, why not!"

If you try to infect a file that's already been infected with Apparition, it will literally say: "File is already infected. I WANNA new file to infect!" I'm not even kidding--verbatim. (And there is also a handy-dandy self-destruct button to go along with it). It you press the self-destruct button, it kills itself and wipes away all traces of it ever being there. Sort of like zeromaker.exe.

So out of all of my projects, this has been the easiest one to write. (I mean, nothing is easy, but it happened so freaking fast that it made my head spin). My other novels took me about a year, and this one took me like five to six months. (I could have done it faster--way faster, but between two jobs and full time college, I consider that pretty fast).

So I am super happy and pumped. And I am really excited to start editing. Then, after that, I get to query it--something I really wasn't planning on doing, as this was a fun side project to keep me busy while querying Ashes on Brady Street. But it grew... and grew. And now it won't leave my brain.

But I guess that's a good thing considering I love it so much.

*Fist bump*

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Critiques vs. Questions That Will Be Answered Later in the Story

As my second blogpost, I will talk about something I have seen a lot of in the past few days. As writers, it is just about mandatory to suck it up and send our work out into the world for critiques. Feedback is gold, and helps us hone our craft. Critiques can sting, but in general, they are for the better.

But what happens if you get your work back and there is a shit ton of red on it? What if the person critiquing your work questions everything, slashes through your writing, then hands it back to you, saying it just doesn’t work? What happens if the critiques were questions that could be answered in the next chapter?

Yea, that’s where I’m going with this. There needs to be a distinguishing quality between the two of them.

What I mean is this: if there are serious inconsistencies, great; if not, what is the driving force to mark it as something that ‘doesn’t work’?

Example: In chapter one, Mary gets a scholarship. She’s excited—ecstatic, even.  But Mary’s grades suck, Mary is always getting into trouble, and Mary likes her Pendleton. She’s known to be quite the sleaze. She hates the staff and faculty at Gwadaba University. In fact, she’s a troublemaker and pees in the shower and is just an awful person.  

That’s an inconsistency, right? I mean, scholarships, in general, go to those who work their ass off to achieve higher dreams and expectations. Why the heck is somebody like her getting a scholarship in the first place? Wouldn’t the college be like, “Whoa, okay, this kid is a train wreck. Better not waste our money.”

So the person reading this puts on the brakes, grabs their handy-dandy red pen, and goes to town.

The writer gets the work back, then has to explain that in Chapter two that Mary finds out she got the scholarship from a program wanting to see troubled kids make something of themselves. And Mary has, in the past, tried to get help, but just needed a little push. It’s the Make It or Break It Scholarship—a program that says “Hey, if you get help and attend our X meetings, we will help pay for your college. And we will even help you out more if you help other kids pull their head out of their ass.”

So Mary says yes, gets her shit straight, gets the scholarship, and helps other kids excel who are struggling in life. She does marvelously.

So now the writer has to explain themselves, and if they are doing this in public—let’s say a forum or a critique group—they now look like a complete ass who doesn’t know how to take criticism. I’ve seen this with an author’s first paragraph; I’ve seen this with the first five pages; I’ve seen this in query letters.

I know what some are thinking. How are they supposed to know if it is or isn’t a flaw? Well, if you are reading a very small portion of the writer’s work, that could be a cue. I’m not saying don’t ask questions—I’m saying if an author goes to answer those questions, that generally does not mean they are butt hurt. They are just setting the record straight.

I am also saying the writer probably wants your confusion so you will read the story and find out for yourself. If all facts aren’t laid out on the table right away, it could be for a reason: they want you to read their story and they want you to be curious.

But saying Mary’s eyes are brown in chapter one but not in chapter two, however, is a problem.

Friday, April 17, 2015

My First Ever Blog Post Ever in History Ever.

Yea, I'm extremely lazy, and this blog title has so many grammatical brainfarts in it that it physically hurts.

If it weren't for the shit ton of zebra cakes I just bought from the store (and inhaled like a complete nasty), I would have gotten around to writing my first blog post sooner.

But I didn't. 'Cause I'm lazy.

So yea. First blog post, which is a little weird, because I seriously have never done this before, so I guess it's sort of like driving a car for the first time. 'Cept it has no rearview, and instead of mom's Ford Escort, it's dad's Blazer... that also has no brakes.

And okay, maybe I'm exaggerating. (Just a little bit, though).

My main goal here is to track the process of writing a novel, and going from completely hopeless to hopeful. I'm hopeful right now, but cautiously so, as I've entered into an age category I never have before: Young Adult.

I'm normally an Adult writer, or a New Adult writer. But I've branched off into God-knows-where and I'm sort of just floating around in writer la-la land wondering what the hell I am going to do next. Translation: I have a busy mind when it comes to writing, and my thoughts are sporadic, and so are my ideas. It's annoying, but I love it, because writing is what I do and enjoy.

A little bit about myself.

I'm from the South (I think?). Or the Midwest. Whichever. I live in the plains where it's hotter than hell in the summer and cold as fuck in the winter. I like love video games, mostly Indie horror games and anything PC. I'm a Minecraft fanatic. I listen to too much metal. I am really boss at Sudoku, and I really dig Pewdiepie. I'm a smartass. I have too many piercings and I am obsessed with body art. I am also gender-fluid and asexual. (Wow, how's that for a combo?)

And I'm a writer. I write about whatever meets my fancy. At the moment, I have two finished manuscripts, one that is sort of on the backburner, and one that I am focusing all of my attention on. It's a YA horror novel, and the other is a NA historical fiction.

And the name of my blog--I have dreadlocks (which I love very much). The Dreaded Writer sounds like I may or might not completely suck at what I do. (As in my writing could be dreadful... or appalling. I like appalling better).

So yea. First time post annnnnd it was lame as heck. Oh well. Testing, testing...

At least I have more room for practice.

Peace out.