Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Teaser Tuesday Two

Here's an excerpt of chapter one. This is from a different point of view, not Dervla's. But it happens at the same time as Dervla's story happens. They connect later, I promise.

Magically Gone!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Teaser Tuesday Post One for Witch Tourniquet

Yes, I'm finally participating in Teaser Tuesday. So, here's the first teaser of Witch Tourniquet's Prologue. Every Tuesday, I'm going to post a teaser from each chapter (ensuring there are no spoilers, of course). Please, feel free to leave me any comments, criticisms, rants, raves, ect... I can handle it. Wouldn't still be here writing if I couldn't.

Magically gone!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Young Adult

We're finally starting one of our big essays in my English Comp class: Exposition. I've decided to exposit on young adult novels. There's a common misconception among adults who don't understand YA, and that's that YA needs to be dumbed down, or watered down. Not true, and that aggravates me.

I have several sources, and one source that really interests me is Vannessa Thorpe's article. You can read it here:


There's several things I find unsettling about this article. One: that parents think the content is unsuitable for [teenagers]. Of course, there's nothing wrong with wanting to shelter your precious baby from the evils of the world, but those sheltered kids are often the ones who snap when they get out on their own. Parents can find the content unsuitable for their child, but from reading the article, I've deduced this: parents find this kind of content inappropriate for any age of teen, and that bothers me. It's my belief that teenagers have it tougher now than the teens of my parents time. We see more, hear more, experience more--and not necessarily good things. YA mirrors the realities teens face, and edgy content is trying to show teens that. But some adults obviously feel that YA novels need to be watered down kiddy books about what Jane wants to wear for prom, and the entire plot revolves around Jane's trials and tribulations of trying to find a dress.

Here's the second thing that bothers me: notice how I put teenagers in brackets. I put teenagers in brackets because throughout the entire article, they kept referring to young adult books as children's books. Though teenagers are technically considered children still, when novels refer to children, they mean children. To call teenagers children is ludicrous. You would not see a child reading a book about a rape victim or a girl trying to give herself an abortion because of an accidental pregnancy. No, children read middle grade books, young reader books, chapter books, or even picture books. They do not read YA. There's nothing stopping them from reading YA, but YA is not aimed at children.

Lastly, it drives me nuts that there are adults out there still ignorant of YA. There was a book on amazon (I wish I could recall the title), that one parent felt was inappropriate for children under 18. Hello! There are ages on YA novels for a reason. What one teen may be able to handle, another teen may not. Parents need to learn what their teens find inappropriate before deeming what they find inappropriate. I know I'm not a parent and shouldn't be directing parents how to parent, but it's unfair to a teen who knows so much more than their parents did when they were kids, and yet their parents still want to shelter them from reading books with content that probably isn't as disturbing as what the teen knows. Some teens can handle rape. Others cannot.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I've noticed that a lot of what I write revolves around Catholicism and making it seem like some evil religion that likes to murder people for not believing the way it wants them to believe.

To clarify, I do not believe that at all. In fact, it's my belief that if you're going to twist a religion, you need to respect it first. Not only do I respect Catholicism, but I enjoy its existence, and I would cry if I met the pope in Vatican City. I have heard many good things about him (plus, he praised the sixth Harry Potter movie).

It seems weird that I am so in tune with Catholicism, yet I am not Catholic myself. Anybody with religious roots can understand that some people need a spiritual journey to find their religious roots, and I suppose that's me. If I had a spiritual journey to Vatican City, a meeting with the pope or even a cardinal, maybe some praying at the Sistine Chapel with rosary beads, I would likely be Catholic by now. For now, I accept that I am on the fence of religion, that I take faith over a label any day.

But why choose Catholicism to twist? Well, back in the days of my good friends the Tudors, the Catholic Church dominated a lot of affairs. King Henry the VIII wasn't happy because he couldn't divorce Katharine. Somehow, he took over the Catholic Church and made himself a practical pope. Well, I wanted to bring the papal supremacy back, but show another side of religion, the ugly side that a lot of deeply religious people seem to forget. Catholicism at one point was like the pope in Dead Poet's Pendulum or even Witch Tourniquet. I want to remind people that religion isn't perfect, and I suppose I want those close-minded Bible thumpers to realize there are billions of people out there, all with unique, religious beliefs, and that they shouldn't shun those who believe differently from them. Plus, I just plain like Catholicism, and Catholicism makes more sense to me. While other religions are screaming for Harry Potter to be burned, the pope is praising the sixth movie for the way it handles the content. Catholics, to me, are more open-minded than other religions.

You have to read Angels and Demons. Dan Brown treats the Catholic Church with respect, and he does an amazing, sensitive job of portraying the pope and cardinals. It really makes you want to go to Vatican City and meet the pope.

Friday, September 18, 2009

ASU Creative Writing Club

Unlike high school, I'm in a writing club that actually does things. And to boot, I'm the president (which was totally spontaneous, by the way). It functions like a writing group as well, with our "writing group" meetings being held the third Wednesday of every month. Plus, we have meetings the first of every Thursday, and I, as the president, can hold additional meetings if necessary. We also do a bunch of other writing-related things, and we get in on events held off campus, like this Le Chat Noir (it's the name of a place in downtown Augusta) event that I'll likely be attending.

I'm mostly excited about the writer's conference. If you're taking the Sand Hills Creative Writing Class, you get in it for free, but, if you're like me, you have to fill out a scholarship form. But, Anthony Kellman, our faculty adviser, says about only one person has been turned away from it, and that's because of GPA. They want a minimum GPA of 2.5. Serious now. 2.5. Hopefully, I can attend it next semester. I believe you have had to take English 1101 (which I am this semester). Not sure, but I'll find out more info once it gets around that time.

We also do a Night of the Spoken Word thing, and I'm unsure when that's going to be held. But rest assured, you can bet your socks that I'm going to do some kind of reading in it. I remember I used to be really shy about my writing. Now I read without fear and read with confidence.

Also, we'll hopefully be having a field trip to Poets at Tech on December 4th. Fun stuffs...

OFFICIAL Acceptance!

Yes, I finally received my official acceptance. Well, I wouldn't say finally because I got it soon as I woke up this morning.

Patricia Hurst, the editor, isn't sure exactly when it's coming out because she's having to set up some things on her computer. But she assures me it will be sometime in September. In the meantime, I'm going to be finishing my short story called Sacrifice Ticket and proofreading Witch Tourniquet (of which I will have "polished" teasers of shortly. Teaser Tuesday anyone?).

Enjoy this teaser of Dead Poet's Pendulum. It might or might not be completely edited, as I didn't bother using The Oddville Press's edited version, since the changes were so minor. So, if you feel like you're seeing glaring mistakes, rest assured that the wonderful editors of The Oddville Press have fixed that.

Here you go!

The pendulum swung back and forth, back and forth, above the frightened poet tied to a rack, Rupert Eastlake. He lay on his back staring wide-eyed at the pendulum, hideous sounds issuing from his throat. The dark stone buildings behind the pendulum towered over Rupert, and the blooming crepe myrtles near the small church swayed in almost-mourning fashion. An executioner stood high on a platform using a lever attached to intricate machinery to lower the pendulum about every five minutes. There would be no headlines for him, for Moorshir Village was much too small for England.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

First Acceptance! (Well, Pre-Acceptance.)

Several months ago I wrote a short story titled Dead Poet's Pendulum. I procrastinated several more months in regards to finding a beta reader. But I finally found one that did a top-notch job, and her name's EFCollins. You can find her on absolutewrite.com. She's marvelous, but don't harass her. Because of her, Dead Poet's Pendulum has been accepted by The Oddville Press.

I don't know the official date, as I haven't received the "official" acceptance letter yet, but they thought it was a high-quality piece of writing, and they said they were "honored."

As for the pre-acceptance letter, they just wanted to know if I had accepted the minor changes they made, and I did. I'm just dying to receive the official one. I'm printing it out and framing it. This is the first time actually having a piece of fiction accepted, so you can imagine how giddy and anxious I'm feeling.

Soon as I get a date, I'll post a teaser. Then, once it's published, I'll post a link to it.