Friday, October 12, 2012

Other Threadcaster Locations

I've been editing and fielding beta readers for the last couple months, so there isn't much news. If you're interested in the less significant, Threadcaster is now on Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

Follow any of those places for art updates, blurbs, production photos, reblogs etc.

Monday, June 11, 2012


I know every writer gets rejections, I'm not naive enough to think I'd be immune from the inevitability, but that doesn't make them easy. The interesting part of it is analyzing how I respond to them. I'm obviously a pleaser, I'm learning it more every day.

When I receive a rejection, I hit a kind of panic mode. I don't get angry; getting angry is projected negative energy. I don't necessarily get sad either, even though being sad is probably the healthiest response. I get panicky and I get doubtful and I start to believe all my faiths are delusions.

It's shocking how quickly it turns. I was at lunch today with a friend of mine who believes in me unconditionally. She read the first three chapters of my book and loved them, giving them sincere praise and lots of encouragement. I thanked her over and over and assured her, in full confidence, that I would keep trying despite getting rejections. I'm only beginning along this path. Then, the minute our lunch was over, I opened my email to find a rejection and I instantly doubted my merit.

Thinking about it, I can rationalize why this is. It's because I feel like I'm doing the best that I can. I'm making the best story I can produce with all the work and attention I can afford. Receiving a rejection fills me with this intense fire to fix things. I want to make the book better for having received the rejection but I have such a hard time pushing through what I considered was "the best I could manage". This makes my paranoid mind call into question my ability and taste level. I'm terrified that I'm clueless and delusional about my own abilities and skill level - of those who think they are God's gift to their particular field but are actually stuck in the mediocre.

I want so badly for Threadcaster to do well. I want it to be a big success - I really think it could be, and I'm terrified of failure. Not only of not making it to the national market, but also of being a blip on the radar. I feel like the world and its inhabitants could resonate with audiences, and I have faith in its promise, but there's so much that's out of my hands. If the world that receives my baby isn't receptive then my big dream and my best shot might die on the table. I'm not ready for that, and I'm not ready for by best job to be nothing special. If only passion could sell a book.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Vinita Oklahoma

On my way home from a family wedding in Dallas TX, I find myself in a Holiday Inn Express in Vinita OK. I legitimately love it here.

Not to live... holy cow not to live... but as a tourist of a legitimate small-town USA burg I'm enraptured. All the local restaurants are closed unfortunately (it's Memorial Day) but the hotel is very nice, they have hot tea, and there's a thunderstorm on the way. I've got the second half of Chapter 25 to rewrite but I thought I'd take a moment to update the world.

So I haven't written in my blog recently because I've been busy in the publishing world. I hesitate to go into details, but it's requiring one last-minute scan through the full draft, an editor I made contact with on Facebook and the hopes and dreams of the last eight years. I'm hoping the effort pays off. I know having interest is driving me to finish this polishing-off.

Something I'd love to do though, one day, is to take a writing vacation to a small town like this... maybe me and another person (a fellow writer) and we'd pick a new coffeeshop/restaurant to camp at every day until we've explored most the whole town. Just sit and write forever for, like, 3 days. It sounds dreamy. Vinita OK is small enough that their fire truck is a pickup with a hose in the back. It's parked outside my hotel right now and I'm not sure why... maybe because everywhere else is closed and this is as likely a place as any to get struck by lightning.

Someday I also want to go on a Writing Cruise. One of those transition cruises that go from, like, SanDiego to Vancouver in the off-season? No stops, no excursions, just me, all the hot tea and blended coffee I can consume, and nowhere to go.

Maybe when Threadcaster's a thing we'll have a big Threadcaster writing cruise and I'll open it up to any other writers/readers/fans etc and we'll all cruise together. I'll write the sequel, you all write your own novels. Some of you can even write TC fanfic, I know I'm DYING for that inevitable Trace/Artemis slash fic (and by dying I mean I can't wait to know it exists and never ever read it and that's the honest truth. I can't wait to know it exists somewhere, the pairing is SO obvious). Anyway - writing cruise - it'll be the best thing ever.

Okay, back to Wind Town.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The rapidly decaying spiral toward success, destruction or both

To start with, I think it's a sin to occupy the only chairs at Barnes and Noble near power outlets when all you want is to nap. Sleep in chairs I don't need!

Second I have lots of news in the world of Threadcaster. Firstly the novel and I went to the Missouri Writer's Guild's 2012 conference here in town. I learned lots of things about voice and character. I also pitched to two agents and both asked for partials! So that was good news.

I worked for a week after the conference on my first three chapters. Getting them beta'd, read aloud, edited, the works... then Monday I took the plunge and sent them off.

Ten minutes later -- ten minutes -- I got a reply from one of them asking for the full. This is the dream of any author! A full draft read by a real agent!? Elation.

Or by elation I mean panic... because I was kinda counting on those four to six weeks agents ask for to do the whole beta-read-aloud-edit-final draft stuff on the REST of the book. So I asked for a couple weeks which she was gracious enough to provide and went all-in on this draft.

Which brings us to now. I'm sucking down chocolate milkshakes and tea in Barnes and Noble praying the amount of books around me will radiate brilliant literary confidence and lucidity because my brain is a curly fry and my emotions are just as frazzled. It makes you wonder why people are writers at all... but only for a minute. The fact is that for all the pain I am LOVING this. I'm collapsed in a mound of drool and tears but I wouldn't have it any other way. I have an excuse to write forever. Forever and always. If I didn't need food or rest I'd be golden, it's the rest of the world that's making me crazy...

I'll update when I'm further on.

OH and btw if you all are interested, Threadcaster has a tumblr now.
I'm a visual thinker so a lot of my character and plot brainstorms come out as pictures which I'll post up there. If you're interested in seeing Threadcaster art on the casual follow or bookmark! I predict a lot of frustrated Cats and Peters coming up... and maybe one or two Sharons with holes in her head.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Review and General Update

So I finished Catching Fire, the second in the Hunger Games series.
My review? Better than book 1. The intrigue and character development were much better in this volume. I enjoyed seeing everyone change - which is what I was missing in HG - and seeing how Katniss' actions affected the world she lived in. I'm not anxiously anticipating book 3 because the ending of this book left me jaded and disinterested, but I'll have to read it now I guess. What's the point of reading two of three? Especially when the books are so short and fast. I like the pacing of them and the sense of adventure. We'll see if the series' lack of satisfying conclusions plays out better in the concluding volume (can you hear my skepticism?)

I also saw the Hunger Games movie and it was Amazing and Fantastic and better than the book. They fleshed out the world a bit more and gave us a firmer grasp on the conflict, plus not being in whiny Katniss' head the whole time let us become involved in the story unfolding and the emotions and relationships of other characters.

THREADCASTER NEWS - I've made great progress in the draft. I've gotten past that road block that has kept me so preoccupied and I'm now rewriting more manageable things. I just finished a section that barely needed to be touched! It's so refreshing to revise instead of rewrite, it strengthens the faith I have in myself and my writing. Hopefully the rest of the draft will proceed as smoothly.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Observing development

I was looking back over old art and was thinking about all the changes my story and characters have gone through. Some are radically different than their concept stage others look the same on the outside but changed on the inside, still others no longer exist at all! I was thinking of doing a blog series about my different characters/Curses and the development process they've gone through to this point. Would that be interesting to anyone?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


It's been a while since I updated so here goes.

I've launched rewrite number3. I like the place it's at a lot better, it leaves less to the characters to figure out by themselves, meaning they can focus more purposefully on the task at hand and having relationship moments. No bamboo traps for me, only exposition as exposition requires.

I got myself a tumblr account: Where random art and discarded excerpts go up every so often.

I'll try to cross-post every so often to spread the love around, but if anyone out there has a tumblr and wants to share thoughts, art, encouragement, likes and reblogs I would love the company :) Writing a book is sometimes tough work. I spent all yesterday writing an argument between my mains and could use some commiseration. Thankfully my biggest fan @SassyDetective is over there, you can see her artistic cheerleading on tumblr as well, its far too cute.

I'm looking at writing Water Town by next week. I've got some paid work to do for a change - I do so much pro-bono art getting a check seems like a novelty - so that might delay it. We'll see.

I'm also half a month into the Insanity workout program to counter-act all the sitting/staringatthescreen/frustratedlipgnawing I do. Maybe by the time I'm done with I'll have a book AND a set of rockin' abs!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book Review: The Hunger Games

So I finished the Hunger Games the other day. I'll start by acknowledging that the main characters names are Katniss and Peeta... which make Cat and Peter very nervous. They're different people though, so hopefully the similarities don't start any problems. Other than that the stories aren't very much alike, I hope that works to my advantage.

my interpretation of the two main characters

As for the book itself; it was alright, I really enjoyed the middle part where it was exciting adventure all the time... the rest just turned my stomach. I feel bad enjoying something as wholly off-putting and disgusting as blood sport between children. I mean kids as young as twelve years old were killed in those games! The thought of it and watching the audience accept it as something to be celebrated just grossed me out. It was barbaric. Good job Suzanne Collins for getting me in your world and stirring those emotions but it leads me to my big kinda complaint about the book and why I didn't love it as much as others did.

Spoilers btw.

I wanted more revolution by the end; more action or at least more reaction. I didn't feel like Katniss was ever really emoting the whole time - oh she talked about her thoughts on the subject but very rarely did those thoughts translate to emotional or physical reactions. There were a couple shining moments when she did: Rue for example. And when she and Peeta were separated at the end in the hovercraft; those two moments were great because she behaved like a real person would in those instances. The rest was more of her trying to pick apart other people's gameplay and not trusting people - which is the kind of girl she is, so I guess I can't fault her, but that kind of protagonist kept me from fully enjoying the book. For instance, I couldn't really get invested in the romance between Katniss and Peeta because Katniss wouldn't get invested in it. I was riding her like a vehicle and since she was stubbornly refusing to fall for the guy even though blind people could see he was being honest, I couldn't really fall for him either. I was waiting for Katniss to go first I guess.

That's the thing about first-person stories, when the tale is told by the point of view of one person we as readers are left to accept their opinions as our truths. We can disagree if we want, but in the end it's HER story and we're living in HER shoes. I guess what I really wanted from the Hunger Games was a more dynamic protagonist, because by the end Katniss felt so stagnant and stoic, I wasn't sure if she'd had an arc at all, and that ruined it for me.

That said I do recommend it for people to read. I enjoyed the ride, just not as much as everyone else in the world seemed to, and that's okay. I'm still going to see the movie when it comes out but I don't think I'll be reading books 2 and 3.

Friday, January 20, 2012

More Rewrites

I'm sure you're all tired of hearing me talk about rewrites, but I promise this is the last one.

I've gone through a rewrite of 30-60 explaining the whole prophecy and mission and everyone's roles in more direct and deliberate terms. At this time I wanted to share a kernel of wisdom.

Simpler is better.

Is there an easier way to say things? Are you using fifteen words when five will suffice? Passive voice, purple prose and long windedness slows your plot down and confuses your reader. Here's my anecdote for the situation.

In Threadcaster God is gone. Like, he left - vanished - caught the last train for the coast, all that jazz. As a result people are getting cursed. In the book I explain this one sentence: God left and the people were cursed. with three paragraphs of flowery prose and two pages of explanation making sure my audience and my characters understood what I wanted them to without drawing false conclusions. So for this rewrite I went back in and explained the whole thing as "God left and the people were Cursed and this is how you fix it" and suddenly both Cat and the audience understood without the pages and paragraphs! Everything's better, everyone's happy.

So yeah, there's my wisdom. Use the fancy language if you have to, but don't overindulge, it will get out of hand and then you'll need to do four rewrites. Peace out.