If the world ends today…

…at least I’m goin’ out as a published author!

I got the final confirmation email today, and I am proud to announce that I am now an author with The Write Place at the Write Time! My original short story, Pyramid, will be published in the literary journal’s winter edition, to come out on January 22nd. So mark your calendars!

The bad news is, excerpts from Pyramid will not be available here while the story is live. The good news is, once the winter edition is archived, I will be able to post excerpts again. Enjoy your antici…

…pation now. Come January 22nd, I will post the link so that you can read Pyramid in its entirety!

Here’s the original post (with a synopsis instead of an excerpt) from when I first blogged about Pyramid:

Reading through Laura Pauling’s guest post on My Memories of a Future Life, I was reminded of how often music has inspired my own writing.

Unlike Laura Pauling, I find that the right lyrics with the right notes are the most inspirational. Being a writer, it’s hard not to listen to the words. But, being a singer, I will admit that music can emote more profoundly than any words. So when you combine emotional writing with emotional music, you have something that moves people in a way that neither would be able to alone.

Also unlike Pauling, I will sometimes include the inspirational song so that it inspires my characters. (This was part of the reason why I loved Jodi Picoult’s Sing You Home – it has a soundtrack!)

There is one short story in particular in which I included a song, because the song was what inspired me to write the story in the first place. Feel free to listen while reading the synopsis:

Pyramid is a fiction short story about a woman struggling through an abusive relationship. After waking up in the hospital, without so much as flowers from the boyfriend who put her there, she finally sees that she deserves more. With the help of a friend, a therapist, memories of what it means to truly live, and a song whose lyrics reach her at the very moment she is ready to listen, she begins her life again on her own.
In order to recognize the thousands of women in this situation, none of the characters in this story have names, and only the main character and her boyfriend have genders. What individualizes the main character is who she was before the abuse, and who she becomes afterward.

Gettin’ Published!

I am so excited right now that I hardly know what to do with myself!

If the best thing that could happen to me as a writer would be to get Finding ‘Ohana published, I’d say that the second-best thing that could happen to me as a writer is happening!!! A short story of mine, Pyramid, is getting published!


Last week I read a blog post (I wish I had saved the link so I could credit the writer) that pointed out that I can’t get published if I don’t submit.

Yes, this seems like common sense, but still.

I knew that having previous publications can spice up a query letter, and so far all of my publications were on my college campus. Well, those looked good in a query letter, but I knew that the submitting pool was small and local. I realized that if I’m going to commit to getting Finding ‘Ohana published, I need to send in my short stories to get published first.

So I sent one of my favorite polished short stories to three literary arts journals. I sent all three submissions last Thursday, expecting to hear back after a month or two.

And today I got a response from the first journal I submitted to, asking to publish my story! They even referred to it as “poignant,” which is one word I would most like to hear as describing my work!

You can read a synopsis of Pyramid, right here on Sierra Dawn, Write On. Get pumped for the entire story to be out in a couple months!

My New Year’s resolution is already off to a great start, and it’s not even Christmas yet!

Today, short fiction publication; tomorrow, novel publication!


Happy Twelve Day!

Thanks to Caitlin Muir on Author Media for the idea for today’s post! One of her blogging ideas to combat writer’s block is to list ten favorite writers. Well, since today is the last day this century which will have three consecutive numbers for its date, I decided to list twelve of my favorite writers, instead of ten. Happy 12/12/12!


12 Writers Who Inspire Me (in no particular order)

1) Susan Palwick – Okay, I haven’t actually read her book, but she was my professor for the Creative Writing classes that really got me dedicated to fiction. And she’s also a published author. Therefore, she is an writer who inspires me.





2) Nicole Peeler – Her main character, Jane True, manages to be new to the supernatural world and still a badass woman. She knows how to take care of herself, which is too hard to find in fictional women.








3) Jodi Picoult – I loved Sing You Home. It hit me where I live on so many levels. I read it after I finished my first draft of Finding ‘Ohana because the two have similar themes. Luckily, they are still very different books.

4) Sophie Kinsella – All of her books have the perfect blend of humor and sentimentality. I could read her forever.

5) multiple romance novelists who will go unnamed – A lot of these books are so truly awful that they inspire me to write and get my writing published. If they can do it, I certainly can.





6) Gail Carson Levine – Yes, she’s a young adult author, but her books are so beautifully crafted that I’ve read them multiple times, including as an adult. They’re the kinds of books you don’t grow out of.



7) Carolyn Keene – If anyone ever asks you if stories can make a difference, you can tell them about the seven-year-old girl who was kidnapped and escaped by picking the lock from inside the car truck she was stuffed in. When asked how she thought to do so, she said that she just imagined what Nancy Drew would do.

8) Joss Whedon – He is just fantastic. Witty, poignant, and so talented with making his characters truly come to life.

9) Scott Westerfeld – I am in awe of how well he knows all the worlds he creates. I never doubt for a second that he knows all the rules, whether or not he tells them to me within the text.

10) Laurie Faria Stolarz – I don’t usually read mysteries, but she gets me every time with her combination of casual, everyday life, and the promise of magic in nearly everything her main character does.





11) Gail Simone – She rose to the challenge of  integrating a badass superhero woman into a sexist world where superhero women used to be a nuisance to their male counterparts. She took an “angel” and made her a warrior.





12) Mike Visser – He hasn’t been published, but his writing is beautiful. And he inspires me every day.

Done with (another) “final” draft!

Yesterday I finished the last of the edits I set out to make! This is not the first time I have had a “final” draft of Finding ‘Ohana, and it won’t be the last, but that doesn’t change the fact that I feel an enormous sense of accomplishment.

My first “final” draft was at the end of last summer, and had about 30,000 words. My second “final” draft added about 5,000 words, and now my third “final” draft has 48,900 words!

All of this, by the way, reminds me of the Final Fantasy video games, named such because the creators thought it was their last run before going out of business. There have been… I think fourteen (?) Final Fantasy games since then.




I’ve always made fun of them for having oxymoron names like Final Fantasy III or IV, and especially Final Fantasy X-2.



Yet here I am, doing the same thing with my third “final” draft of Finding ‘Ohana. But, the important thing is, I am ready to send queries again. And when I inevitably get more declines from agents, hopefully I will get at least one more critique, which will lead me to yet another “final” draft. Finding ‘Ohana will be published and on bookshelves yet!


Time for a Break?

I made it through the rewrite.

Somehow, I made it through.

Didn’t know how much it’d take,

How much work I’d dooo…


It’s December. I spent the last month poring over Finding ‘Ohana, trying to get my newest draft edited and posted. There were many times when I did not think I would get through my book before the end of National Novel-Writing Month. But I did it. Somehow, I made it through the rewrite. And I am pooped.

I’m going to spend a little time focusing my writing on something else, work on my other novels I want to write, or maybe some short stories. But I’m also going to get Finding ‘Ohana in a final draft state before the end of this month, which won’t be nearly as stressful as the bulk of work I had last month. Then I’ll have a new New Year’s resolution: getting Finding ‘Ohana published.

My die-hard fans out there know that this is similar to my resolution from last year. Or, rather, it’s the same as the one last year. For my soon-to-be-die-hard fans, here’s a little background:


New Year’s resolution, January 2011 – to write more. Simple, yes, but also doable. This was my first real New Year’s resolution. Before, I’d never had something that I was truly dedicated to accomplishing.

I started out my working on my short stories. But that’s not all. 2011 was the year that I wrote an entire novel in twelve weeks. That summer was the bane of my existence for  a while. But it also proved that beautiful accomplishments are worth the pain.


New Year’s resolution, January 2012 – to get Finding ‘Ohana published. Some things just don’t change. About this time last year, I was struggling to finish my latest round of edits before the end of December, so that I could dedicate 2012 to becoming a published author.

No, I’m not a published author yet, but I’m also not discouraged. As far as I’m concerned, my resolution for 2012 was a success.

I went to a writer’s conference in April and got some great advice. I met agents and marketing experts who inspired me to start this blog, which I have greatly enjoyed keeping.

I sent query letters to over fifty literary agents, and a few of them even requested more of my novel, if not the complete manuscript. Those few eventually decided against representing me, but they gave me some amazing critiques, which has led me to rewriting Finding ‘Ohana into a much stronger and more substantial novel.


That brings me to now. I am more confident than ever that Finding ‘Ohana will make its way to bookshelves everywhere. So I am going to make my final adjustments and ring in the new year with new hope. You will see my name in print yet.