Posts Tagged ‘David’

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

ill_41.png

I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.

I’ve been sitting on The Sum of David for years now — the first draft was completed Christmas of 2006 — and man do I hate putting time into the getting published portion of… getting published. I am totally my worst enemy.

I like the story writing part, not the paperwork. I’m a designer, remember. There’s thankfully little paperwork in design.

Anyway.

This year’s competition has a separate category for Young Adult Fiction, which TSoD falls right into. I’ve struggled with writing summaries of varying length for TSoD in the past, but I guess ignoring the whole process for a year will freshen you up: I threw something down from scratch and Josh said was the absolute best pitch I’d ever done for the story. That’s encouraging. Hopefully the judges think so, too.

I like to consider myself a realist (doesn’t everyone?), so I’m not holding out extraordinary hopes. I indulged myself with a single day dream in which I won the whole shebang, but even in my fantasy I hung up on the person, jumping on them for making such a cruel joke of someone’s passion.

Maybe I’m not a realist. Maybe I’m a full-blown pessimist.

Whatever the outcome, I will¬† be exceptionally pleased with myself if I can make it past the first round… wouldn’t that be grand?

Amazon is accepting submissions through February 7, 2010 at 11:59 pm, or until they have recieved 5,000 entries in each category. If you have a finished novel sitting in a drawer collecting dust, now would be the time to break that baby out and give it some air.  Best of luck to those submitting!

The Inevitable Year Wrap Up

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

ill_27.pngI guess this is like the newsletter that some families send out with their Christmas cards. Except it’s on the internet.

I’m from the future.

52ills
I can’t say that I succeeded in producing an illustration every seven days, but I’d happily commit to “weekly-ish” success. When the last week of 2009 rolled around, I was only three behind. Josh has mentioned I could technically go back and change the time stamp on the blog entries, and make me look like a real champ, but that part isn’t really the point — the whole idea of 52ills was to see if I could complete it in the first place, and as of December 31st, I had 52 ills. Go me, and I want some pie.

As an exercise, it was an excellent experience. I learned more about Illustrator and due to the volume of pieces, I was able to reach beyond my comfort zone and usual material*. I’ve happily settled into a colorful, cute style. I kind of knew that already, but practice makes perfect and all that. I also developed some good habits: composing via silhouettes, utilizing interesting textures, and grounding subjects with some kind of background element.

I’d love to get some (or all?) of them into a gallery this year, but if nothing else, I have some new portfolio pieces.

*Although there are still quite a few zombies and robots.

Writing
I did embarrassingly little writing in 2009. Even my blogging decreased in frequency. The remaining 82 pages of my last manuscript have been sitting in my parents’ living room for the last year, so I am proceeding without my mom’s trained-but-unavailable eye. My apologies to the next editor in line. I am using January to comb through the 2nd book again before I hand it off, and a first draft for the third and final David book will be complete by June 30th, 2010. That’s right, you heard it here first. Only 180 days away and counting.

Geeze, when I write it like that, it sounds downright terrifying.

Studio
First things first, however. I’ve spent hundreds of hours on Pittsburgh’s South Side working on my creative projects. When we got our dog, we decided we wouldn’t be away from home as often as we have been in the past. I technically have my own studio room, although it’s been pretty junked up for a long time. So: I’ve resolved to redo the room in a way that allows me to go in there and work until my eyes fall out, while not neglecting our new pet, plus saving gas and time and money.

The room is 1/3 of the way done, and I’m very excited. I estimate it will be complete in early February, and I can’t wait. It’s going to be amazing to have my own space. Woo.

And we’re back…

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

39.jpgTaking the month of May off of writing was the best thing I could have done. This time two years ago, when I’d finished first installment of The Sum of David on May 1st, I was chomping at the bit to get back into it two weeks later. I enjoyed the full four weeks off this round, taking care of some general life things while my brain recuperated from my writing binge in April.

I feel recovered, and my mind’s inner storyteller is ready to rock again. I’m getting random little jolts of inspiration throughout the day — when I sleep, on the bus, during work, when I’m reading. My brain is sucking up every day observations like a sponge takes water, playing out little daydreams on how I could use them on my characters and then tucking the scenarios away. That means it’s time.

I went to the coffee shop last night feeling nervous. I’ve been excited about getting back down to business since last week, but there are times when you just can’t get it right, despite the best intentions. I was afraid I’d sit down and dig my heels in only to find myself feeling lost and overwhelmed. Fortunately, after the caffeine was flowing and the music got loud, things happened.

There’s certainly no dressing it up, though. This one’s going to be tough. There’s so many little parts and pieces that have to fit together by the end. The first draft was hard, but I’ve got several parts that are missing that need to be filled in, and revelations I made a week ago that have to be put into place. This is by far the most complicated story I’ve tried to wrangle so far.

It also has the potential to be the best piece of fiction I’ve ever created.

I think I’ve got it in me. Time will only tell.