Friday, June 11, 2010


I thought this whole cult thing was through with, but I suppose it's not. While sardonicsteve is receiving strange videos and nightmares, I ran across some kid at the mall today, and it was just an ordinary kid, too. You wouldn't expect anything from him, a redneck kid. Plus, I didn't expect anything out of the ordinary to happen, especially because this is Georgia, and all that cult stuff seems to be happening in Live Oak.

In any case, I walked around the mall, went into the bookstore, and headed towards the YA section, like I always do first before perusing the rest of the store. This kid's just looking through some books, didn't really bother checking what he was looking at, and I pull up the book about the girl who's hiding the truth that her mother's a hoarder. He turns to me, and for a second I think he's going to comment about the book. Instead, he just says, "If I were you, I'd fear them." And he just returns to looking at books.

This isn't coincidence anymore. This is freaking Georgia for crying out loud, miles away from where all of this is supposedly happening. And unless this kid's from Florida, I have a hard time believing this is a hoax anymore.

I'm positive the 'them' he's referring to is talking about that cult. Of course, why wouldn't I fear them? Their murderers for crying out loud!

Should I be fearing my own safety?

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Note

Okay, so I have no idea what the fuck is going on, and I'm sure as hell freaked out. My family and I got home from Zaxby's, and I found this on my pillow. For some reason, I thought it was some mail my mom dropped off in my room that she forgot to tell me about or something. I mean, I am still waiting for an order from Etsy, so I was really hoping it was that.

Instead, I got it from that freaky cult, and I don't know what to believe anymore. I'm scared as fuck, because I don't know how anyone could have gotten in, how they could have known where I lived or whatever, but maybe my playing around with them too much was a bad thing. Of course, I could have called the police, but what they hell was I going to say? "Yeah, 911, some freaky cult left a note on my pillow, but there are like no clues that anyone broke in." Whatever. I'm keeping this to myself.

All doors were locked, all windows were closed, so I dunno what's going on. Perhaps The Fear? I dunno. I just don't want to believe in all this crap. I mean, I suppose I could believe it's a real cult and what not, but I refuse to believe in this Ylmxntrth garbage. There are cults all over the world that have you believe in some freaky shit, and I think this is no different.

I know it's not the greatest picture, but I tried my best. Basically it's telling me to not mess with Ylmxntrth, and my blasphemy will cost me my life next time. My throat will be on a skewer, and the only reason I was spared was because I played into Ylmxntrth's hands or some crap like that. But despite angering them, whoever wrote this or something, I please Ylmxntrth, because I supposedly played into some sort of trap.

If anyone has anymore information, it would be greatly appreciated! Please, I'm scared. Is it possible they have charters all over the US, like gangs or something??? HELP! D:

Thursday, June 3, 2010


All my followers, I have moved my blog to this now:

So please follow me there

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Nathan Bransford posted a blog on this, so if you want to read my opinion on it, I suggest reading this first:

In any case, for the most part, I can see how the Dunning-Kruger Effect would hold some truth to it. However, it's my belief that those who think they TRULY suck wouldn't be getting better at all. In fact, I don't think they'd be doing it at all. I suck/hate drawing (realism drawing); therefore, why would I want to improve? Deep down, people who keep writing don't actually believe they suck, but keep telling themselves that because they are embarassed to think otherwise, to think they can actually improve and are improving. People who keep trying are just putting on this illusion that they think they suck. I'm certain, deep down, they are just uncertain and would rather not say whether or not they suck.

That's how I am. I know I'm good, but when I do a piece of writing, I put my mindset on neutral so I can become open to criticism. I do not think that the piece sucks, but I also do not think the piece is good. I let my beta readers decide all that for me.

Does this mean I don't have my self-doubt moments? No, but it's rare that I do doubt myself. I've had them before, about once last year, but it quickly passed. I can say from experience, though, that during that self-doubt moment, I didn't want to write at all. I just didn't believe I could do it well.

I suppose it differs for everyone, though. If I believe I suck, I'm not going to bother getting better at it. But if I go in with confidence and a neutral mindset about my abilities, I do get better at it. I also think I just have to love what I'm doing. I suck at realism drawing, and I hate it. I think there's a common connection there. Yet, I love writing, and I'm getting better at it, and I know I don't suck.

There is a difference between confidence and arrogance, which Dunning-Kruger fails to mention. I think if you want to get good, you absolutely need to have confidence. Of course, if you think you're great and don't need to improve, you probably aren't that good.

I'm confident, not arrogant. Don't be afraid to have confidence in what you do. Just realize that you can keep improving and getting better. I'm certain Stephen King doesn't think he sucks, but I also believe he's aware he can keep improving.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Oddville Press Issue VI

It's out! It's out! It's out! And guess what? You can find my name under the Mast Head under copy editors! Yay! So, I have to get a special shout out to my buddy Mosby Barley, who go this awesome poem published. You should read it. It's pretty and shiny.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sorean Magazine

Sometime last month I applied for a position at a relatively new magazine still getting on its feet, and now I'm an editor/writer for it! So, if you have a twitter account, follow it at @SoreanMagazine.

You can also find Sorean at:

Basically we're a Gothic-based magazine that revels in the macabre. At first, I wasn't sure if this kind of magazine was for me, but then I realized I do write sort of Gothic-esque things, Witch Tourniquet being pretty Gothic, I'd say. And this new WIP that I'm dying to get back to, Beautiful Nightmare, is pretty Gothic. Dead Poet's Pendulum as well.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gender in YA

Who knows how often this has been blogged about, but I know #genderinYA is ravenously discussing it, so I thought I'd chime in with what a blog post can do that I won't be able to convey as well through Twitter.

As a female writer, technically still a teenager (age 19), I read books that appeal to me. I do not care if they are male or female protagonists. Most of my books, however, have female protagonists, simply because I read a lot of YA, and YA is mostly dominated by female progtags, perhaps because female writers dominate YA. And there is nothing wrong with this, and I do not understand why people are making such a big deal out of it. If guys want to write about guys, that's fine. If they do not want to write YA, that is fine as well. If guys want to write about girls, then cool. If girls want to write about guys, then cool as well. But as a reader, I am not bothered at all by the lack of male protagonists. I would not be bothered by the lack of female protagonists. When I read a novel, I don't really take the gender of the character into consideration. I judge the character based on how well-developed he or she is; not gender.

While it is true that boys read less than girls, probably because females dominate YA, I think we need to change this attitude. I do not think the answer to getting boys to read more is by having writers write male protags. To me,there is something sexist about this ideology, one in which women have for years been struggling to get rid of.

Writing used to be dominated by men, so there were tons of male protags. Now that it's dominated by women, with female protags, there's suddenly a problem in trying to get boys to read. And perhaps this has to do with cultural attitudes more than anything else.

My fiance Jeff does not care if a book has male or female protagonists. He read The Gemma Doyle trilogy and enjoyed it. And this is something because he's a huge John Grisham fan. But if Jeff can enjoy novels with female protagonists, then I do not see why other boys cannot. I don't think boys are born shunning books with female protagonists. They don't just start reading, thinking 'Gross! I'm never going to read a book with a girl main character!' Seriously, I think it has something to do with culture, and we need to change this.

I'm also of the opinion that true readers, true lovers of literature, wouldn't care about gender. So perhaps it's not just the fact that there are more female characters in literature. But whatever it is, the answer IS NOT to force oneself to write books with male protags, or to even advocate that writers need to write books with male protags for YA.

Yes, it's disturbing that there are dramatically less boys reading than girls, but it's even more disturbing that boys seem to have this inherent attitude about not reading books with female protags. This is supposed to be a culture devoid of sexism (ideally), and we're trying to figure out, yet again, something that involves more women than men. I'm willing to bet that if YA were dominated by men, no one would make a fuss about it, simply because it's been that way for most of human history. But now that it's becoming increasingly dominated by women (or is), there's a problem.

I don't know how boys are being raised in this culture, but someone out there keeps telling them what they can and can't like, and it's bothersome. Male protagonists are great, because guys can relate to them more, but I think it's healthy for a guy to see how a girl thinks. I mean, let's be frank, guys seem to have a harder time learning about we females than we do about them, and reading about a female makes that world a little bit easier. It's also healthy for a girl to see how a guy thinks.

I remember reading in Nathan Bransford's blog about gender in YA. One poster proclaimed that males want to read different things from females, which perhaps might be true, and said poster even admitted to being stereotypical before posting a lot of stereotypical male things: things being blown up, sex, drunkenness, implying there are no consequences to any of these. But, as I've said before, I don't think writing about these things is the answer, as it's only perpetuating male stereotypes, and let's be frank, those aren't positive things, and it actually makes me as a female question the intelligence of males. As a female reader, I like reading books with intelligent, curious characters, and that includes both male and female. I would think guys would want their sex shown in a positive light as well, unless they think getting drunk or having wild, promiscuous sex is somehow a positive thing.

In my new WIP, my main character is male, but that's not because of the lack of males in YA. I've written from a male perspective before, I've even had a short story published from a male perspective, and am currently subbing another with a male perspective. I just think this WIP calls for a male perspective. Whenever I come up with an idea, I don't really think hard about the gender of my character. I just choose a gender that fits naturally with the story, avoiding bias and sexism and stereotypes and all that.

Continuing on, there's apparently still a problem with, even if a female writer writes from a male perspective, boys apparently still don't want to read it, although they'll read male authors with male characters. I am not going to remain unbiased with this. That is just plain sexism, and though I may be insensitive for saying so, I think our culture needs to change this attitude. Seriously, like fast. There are boys out there who do read books with female protags or by female authors, but they're a small bunch.

Well, after all this said, what can we as writers do about it? We shouldn't have to do anything about it. It's society that needs to help boys change their views. Women writers shouldn't have to shape their writing around the desires of boys. No one should really have to shape their writing around anyone's desires.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Blog Post of Procrastination

Okay, the only reason I'm writing this blog post is because I am procrastinating. Right now, as we speak, I am finishing up the climax in Witch Tourniquet and musing why it takes me forever to re-write something in Witch Tourniquet, but it doesn't in anything else.

And I finally came to the conclusion: Witch Tourniquet is my only novel with an antagonist that she has to physically fight. In my other novels, the antagonist is more of a mental battle, a struggle with oneself. In those other novels, I don't have to write any epic battle scenes and sit for minutes trying to think of the perfect sentence that will launch my character forward without being too hurried.

Witch Tourniquet has a lot of fight scenes, and it's always with these chapters that I take forever. I tell myself I'll re-write 1,000 words, but I often do less because of how long I spend just writing a page. Luckily, my action scenes are often fast-paced, so it's not like I spend twenty pages drawing out a battle.

Now, let me give an example of my other novels that do not have such epic battle scenes. I will not tell you what happens in the climax of my ViNo novel, The Crystal Horse, but I can tell you that she is not fighting anyone but herself. She has a huge choice to make, and no matter what her decision is, it will greatly affect her. Not only does she have a mental struggle with herself, but she also has a physical struggle, which was a lot easier to write than a physical struggle against someone else. That, and I think the intimacy of 1st person made it a bit easier to write as well, which is not to say 1st person is any easier, but rather more intimate than third.

In my current WIP, Beautiful Nightmare, which I've barely written in but I have an idea what the climax will be, the MC will not face off against any antagonist or physical force. Rather, like my ViNo, he will face off against his own decisions, his own choices, of whether to go back to his world or stay in a world that its inhabitants say is more real than the one he once lived in. I may include an action scene in there somewhere, but the main focus isn't around A fighting B. It's around A fighting A.

In conclusion, I believe this is why I procrastinate the most with Witch Tourniquet and struggle with re-writing it's epic scenes.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Writing Plans

So not everything can always go as planned, but most things I set my mind to often do go as planned.

I originally wanted to start querying Witch Tourniquet back in January, but obviously I decided to jump on the ViNoWriMo train, so I had been busy with The Crystal Horse, a novel involving the fun topic of abortion and curiosities over sex. Fun, fun, fun. So, I'll be waiting for the results with that, which will be announced March 14th. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, I'm starting a new WIP called Beautiful Nightmare, about a boy named Matt whose been living behind fortified barriers all his life to keep out creatures called Night Lurkers that deliver nightmares as real as the world he currently resides in. Won't go beyond that.

I won't be writing feverishly in this WIP because Witch Tourniquet is my top, top, top priority now, unlike last month, where I could barely work on it because of The Crystal Horse. I'll be writing everyday in Beautiful Nightmare, but it won't be at any targeted word count. For now, I'm re-writing the last chapter before the final in WT, and I'll send the last two chapters off to Elizabeth, who will be a marvelous beta reader and beat the crap out of them. While she does that, I'm going to proofread and start formatting my manuscript/working on the third draft of my query letter/work on a possible synopsis. All of this will hopefully lead me to query sometime by the end of this month or even beginning of March, mostly because Elizabeth, I know, has been busy with other things, and so I can't expect her to be as fast as she was last semester. I've got two other beta readers I'm depending on as well, but they're way behind Elizabeth, so I'm counting on them to look for anything she might have missed. They're doing a wonderful job, by the way: Drittz and Nazarea.

If I don't win ViNo, I'm going to start re-writing The Crystal Horse and querying that along with Witch Tourniquet, while working on Beautiful Nightmare. I'm not going to let querying daunt me. I will keep writing novels until one hits, and I have faith that one of the three (or even all three!) will catch a bite.

But this has been the craziest year ever for writing. If you count WT, I have finished three novels since college has started for me, a record breaking thing I have never done before, even back in elementary school when I was so religious about writing 3,000 words a day (technically 10 pages. I never went by word count as a tyke.)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Writing as a Hobby

What I really hate is when people call me a hobbyist when it comes to writing. I don't know what you readers think of when you're called hobbyists, but I think of someone who just does it for fun, who has no desire to do anything with it. That's what photographers are called when they don't plan on doing anything with their photography--hobbyists. I'm considered an advanced novice because I do plan on doing something with my photography.

I'm not belittling hobbyists in any way, but for a girl who has published before and is still seeking more publication (plus an agent), being called a hobbyist grates my nerves. In this sense, it has a negative connotation. True, I may not be making a living off this, but that does not mean it's my hobby.

Obviously, I'm going to seek work when I'm out of college and not make writing my main job, but that does not mean I would ever consider it a hobby. A hobby is something you do in your spare time, and I DO NOT write in my spare time. In fact, with writing and everything else on my plate, I have little spare time. If you are serious about getting published, writing should never be done in your spare time in the first place.

Now to clarify, there is nothing wrong with being a hobbyist when it comes to writing. Even those who consider writing a hobby can still offer great insights into the world of writing. They can still make fabulous beta readers. They can do everything we writers-who-seek-publication can do.

But if you're serious about seeking publication (even if you're not thinking of publication because writers tell you to never think of it when writing your first novel), don't call yourself a hobbyist. You're just a writer with a dream. Not a hobbyist.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Writerly Frustrations

I'm sure as writer's we've all experienced it before: our significant other, or even a friend, complains about our writing too much. Of course, we all realize we shouldn't shun our friends and significant others for writing, but at the same time, it gets to the point where it's almost as if they don't want you writing at all. They complain every time you go to your computer, but you realize that if you don't get it done NOW, you may never get it done. You have a word count goal that you want to meet everyday, and you realize you're just prepping yourself for when you actually have deadlines to meet.

I've been having this problem for a while, and I cannot get my fiance to understand! This is more about my seeking advice from other writers than my giving advice for once.

Here's the dilemma: my fiance and I both go to college and get home around the same time. He has more homework than me because he goes to a tech school, and they insist on throwing everything on him at once. So while he goes and does homework, I go to my room and work on 1,000 words. Then, I go and spend time with him, and he's either finishing up homework or playing video games. Then, dinner comes, then a bath for me, and I get out and work on 1,000 more words. I finish and go to spend time with him. This is where the problem starts: he's still playing video games.

I tell him that I wish he'd put down the video game controller and actually spend time with me. He brings up the writing card, asking why I can't sacrifice writing time for him. I told him that writing and his playing video games are two different things. Unlike video game playing, writing is far more productive and will actually get me somewhere. He doesn't seem to understand the concept that I'm actually writing a novel that's under a deadline (ViNoWriMo. Look it up in Google). I do 2,000 words a day, and I want to get finished early so I can have extra days for light editing. Even if I weren't writing under a deadline, he doesn't understand the concept that once I get an agent or something, I'm actually going to write within deadlines. So I might as well start setting my own deadlines to get used to the concept of writing under deadlines.

He insists that he has a set time now everyday for playing video games. And everyday I ask him why he has to, he keeps asking me why I can't give up writing time. Seriously, now? 2,000 words. It ain't a lot. It doesn't take up much time. I don't see why it'd kill him to put down that stupid Call of Duty Modern Warfare crap and actually spend time with me. He can play it on the weekends.

And yes, I told him my writing time is more important than his video game time, because it is. They do not go hand in hand. He didn't understand that, of course. He sees them as one in the same.

Help me, fellow writers! Give me great advice that I can use to explain to my fiance why I must write! Or, you can even disagree with me and explain why.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why I Read Young Adult

So I was in my English 1102 class, which is still a writing class, but based off literature, and my professor just so happened to bring up that we aren't allowed to write on Harry Potter (or any popular books), and commenced to say it was crap. Afterwards, he said it was okay, but it was a children's novel. Does that make it any less compelling than a literary novel?


In any case, I began to reflect why I prefer young adult books over adult books. I've read adult books and enjoyed them, but YA books have been the only books to compel me. There's something about teenage protagonists that adult protagonists don't have. I think it's the uncertainty that teenagers have that adults in adult novels don't seem to have, that uncertainty about life.

Most of the adult novels I read have adults who have problems, but their inner thoughts don't compel me that much because it's like they almost have everything figured out simply because they're adults. When I read The Da Vinci Code, Robert Langdon is this intelligent college professor who has life figured out. He just doesn't have the mystery figured out. And even though in The Other Boleyn Girl the protagonists start out as teens, the novel doesn't explore the thinking of a teenager. It explores the thinking of an adult, which naturally wasn't as uncertain as the thoughts of a teen. Whenever I read YA novels, the teenagers are facing a whole slew of other problems that don't just revolve around the plot. They have to deal with their families, their friends, and their own emotions, which are still developing. Adults in adult novels may be dealing with other issues, like drinking (but so do teens), but the plots of these novels seem to focus more on the main plot, and the subplots are just thin strings that lead up to the big ball of yarn.

I like that teens don't have everything figured out. It makes the plot of the novel more compelling than just A tries to figure out B. I mean, not only does the MC in my novel have to deal with crazy visions and shadowy persons that stalk her, but she's trying to find herself in a world that doesn't have a place for her. Near the end of the novel, she tries to seek forgiveness from a boy who won't grant her it--on top of all the end-of-the-novel problems going on.

So, do you prefer YA or adult? Adult over YA? Or both equally? Why?

Monday, January 4, 2010

YA Highway Blog Post

I probably should have done this right when the link first came out, but here it is:

New Voices! Amber Forbes: Commercial Does Not Mean Inferior

Also, I haven't been posting teasers lately because I'm basically done with that. But, and this is a big IF, once I finish my newest WIP "The Crystal Horse" I may post teasers of that. It's the novel I'm writing for ViNoWriMo (you guys should totally join Key Publications Network, an awesome writing group), and so I'm going to see how events play out before I decide to tease you guys.

Another thing, I don't really do blogging on my wordpress account. Right now, it functions as my temporary website, because I like how easy it is to make it all nice and professional without having to no any HTML, which I have a basic knowledge of, but am too lazy to expand it.

I can give you an elevator pitch of The Crystal Horse, however, because it's a lot easier to come up a pitch for this one than it is for Witch Tourniquet.

Emily Welsh's desire to go to university takes her into a dark world of solicited sex, a poison called lye, and a promise kept with a crystal horse.

By the way, you can totally criticize the elevator pitch if you must. I will welcome it. Now, if only it were this easy with Witch Tourniquet...