Monday, August 7, 2017

Direction of Travel

One reason I love this writing journey is the new experiences I constantly discover and enjoy. It's as if I had jumped on a train without knowing its destination and shouted to the landscape, "Take me far away and change me!"
I have no idea where I'm going, and that mystery is so much fun.
Since 2009, I've written eight complete manuscripts and a handful of partials. That's not counting the dozen or so ideas I've outlined for the future. Here's the breakdown:

Completed Novels (In order of completion)
Sun Season Bandits ~ Middle Grade Portal Fantasy
From Rising Flames ~ YA Fantasy
On Fallen Wings ~ YA Fantasy
From Darkened Skies ~ YA Fantasy
Jesse Wolfe and the Lost City of Gold ~ MG Adventure
Dead and Beloved ~ YA Speculative
Bury Me First ~ YA Speculative
I Killed Brenda Morris ~ YA Contemporary

In Forgotten Dreams ~ YA Fantasy
Dead and Gone ~ YA Speculative
Sarah's Breath ~ YA Speculative
Wedding Dresses ~ Contemporary Romance

As you can see, I lean towards YA a lot. Most are from a girl's POV; however, I have two versions of Bury Me First that feature the MC as male or female. Sarah's breath features 1st person past POV, but I'm playing with a close 3rd POV to see which I like best. Dead and Beloved & Dead and Gone are written in 1st person present, which is a tricky POV for me, but I found it enjoyable. Fantasy is fun-I like creating new worlds, but I don't read enough in the genre to ensure I get an original story. I'm not too good at MG-I can't get the voice right. And Wedding Dresses? That's gonna take a while. I don't know anything about writing romance right now, so I'm slowly picking at this book while changing my outlines. I try to take romance classes every conference I attend so I can learn more, but I'm not quite ready to start reading romance yet.

So I'm at a crossroads. I could start a new project or work on one my partials. I could also query one or two of my latest novels and see if an agent will bite. It's been so long since I've sent a query, I'm out of practice and would need to study up to get that skill up to par. Whatever I choose, whichever direction I travel, it's another leg of the journey and I love new adventures.

Thanks for visiting.

Happy Reading.

~ Jamie

***UPDATE*** I've decided to work on Sarah's Breath and wrote a new first chapter last night. Here's a brief pitch about the project: After a late-night accident claims the life of his girlfriend, seventeen-year-old Kit Garrett is haunted by his own guilt and an angry ghost seeking revenge.
Wish me luck. :)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Words From Long Ago

I’ve been nostalgic this morning, thinking about the first novel I wrote and one of the characters, Rhiannon. I remember how sad she seemed and how much I was inspired by her mysterious strength. She was so compelling that I rewrote the whole story from her point of view and then added a couple books about her. One scene in particular has been recurring over and over in my mind, so I’ve decided to share it. I hope you enjoy my words from so long ago.

~ O ~

The warm morning of the Sun Season Ceremony complemented the bright display at Stone Meadow; tall colorful banners flapped on long poles and thin trails of white smoke lifted to the cloudless sky, announcing their host camps and seasoned offerings. Bards in purple tunics, tooling their whistles and drums, mingled in the growing crowd. It was a celebration, and it was summer at its peak. The solstice. I must have been grinning—I could feel my cheeks stretch as we rolled the handcart to our familiar camping spot at the southern edge of the field.

Leila was enchanting. She wore her golden shawl of the Fae with its hood pulled back behind her shoulders. The shawl covered a white gown that trailed to thin leather sandals on her feet. Small white flowers decorated tight braids in her dark hair. Leila swung her arms out and danced in place—the golden shawl draped to the ground like wings—and announced her arrival to anyone watching, showering the air with sparkling gold. “This is wonderful!” she sang, while skipping steps and dancing in circles. Her movement matched the mood of the meadow, and she wasn’t the only one dancing in the tall grass.

When we reached our site, Mother and I began unloading the cart. I piled blankets, and pillows, and bowls, and goblets onto small piles around our camp. Then I went into the forest that bordered the meadow and collected an armful of dry branches from the undergrowth. When I returned, Leila was still dancing.

“Do you know the steps?” she asked. She tiptoed for a moment and sprung into a leap forward. “I’ll wager you can guess.”

I emptied my arms and brushed my hands clean on my apron. I watched my sister move; her dance was familiar. I caught myself swaying to the delicate tune inside my thoughts. “You know that’s my favorite,” I told her. “You make me want to join you.”

Mother turned to watch us, but kept arranging sliced vegetables into piles on a blanket.

Leila grabbed my hands and pulled me toward her. “Step forward, sister. I want to see you dance.”

I couldn’t help myself. I slipped out of my sandals and joined her. Then we danced in the grass. A faerie and her Giver, we wove a circle of crimson and gold. I inhaled the fresh air—it carried a hint of hickory smoke—and whispered the words that I had often sung to myself at the celebrations. The songs we danced had no lyrics, but I had created my own verses, as many faeries did, and many would continue to imagine.

“You’re wonderful!” said Leila, amid the swirling flashes. “You miss it, don’t you?”
I allowed my motion to carry me to a place on the grass away from her, and then collapsed on the ground. “I miss dancing,” I admitted to her.

She raised her sleeves above her head like a bird’s wings and brought them down in front of me.
I winced at the striking breeze that followed.

“I’m sorry; I didn’t intend to do that.” Leila covered her mouth.

“That’s okay,” I said, smiling. “I enjoyed the moment. Thank you.” I fell back and stared at the sky. “Good memories always come with dancing. They carry me to fantastic places and wonderful dreams.”

~ O ~

Happy Reading!

~ Jamie