Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Deliciously Dark Scene for Halloween!!!

Hi Guys!! First off, the conference was AMAZING!!! I'm a believer now. Conferences are musts. Period. 

But, I'm not posting about my conference experience today. 

Lets celebrate Halloween!!! WOOHOO!!!

And to usher in the night of fright, I'd like to post a deliciously dark scene from the manuscript I'm currently querying, Dark Waters. I'm posting this to read and have fun, and I'm hoping you'll find a deliciously dark scene from your book and post it too! But, just to be clear, I'm not posting this for critiques. By the way, the ancestors of my main character, Allura, were man-eaters. ;)

I absorbed the air pushed into my body and my nose rose with a jerk. Blood tainted oxygen shot through my nostrils and swirled across my pores.
My nose led the way as I skipped behind him, far enough back to keep anyone from noticing he had a follower. I felt like whistling as I skipped, like a school-girl anticipating a lollipop.  Only, I didn’t wear pigtails and I wasn’t interested in licking to find out what was in the center of my brand of tootsie roll pop.
Mr. Tasty rounded the corner of the back of the school. I slowed my pace and scanned the surroundings. We were far from the student parking lot and there were no teachers around. We were alone.
I edged closer to the corner. Mr. Tasty’s scent stirred nearby. My heart pounded. A drop of acid fell onto my tongue. I savored the taste. My fists clenched and the muscles in my legs began to twitch. I gripped the wood slats my body pressed against. My nails dug into the forgiving surface.
I pushed my body from the building and leapt into the path of Mr. Tasty. He eyed me skeptically before pulling something from his pants pocket. Old green trash dumpsters boxed him in between the building and me.
“What do you want?” he asked, lighting a blunt.
I eyed the muscles in his forearm as they contracted and stretched with every flick of the lighter. My jaw twitched, anxious to sink my teeth in and tear. The edges of my mouth tightened.
“Smiles won’t get you anywhere with me. I don’t share.”
I took a step closer to him.
He shrugged and breathed out a puff of dense smoke.
I inhaled through my nose and absorbed the air into my pores, relishing the scent he exuded. The smoke smelled somewhat like his blood, tinges of earthy musk. Billows of red clouded my mind. Blankets of scarlet wrapped our surroundings like fabric. No more dumpsters. No more school. Just me and Mr. Tasty and the promise of a crimson satin embrace. The assurance that a perpetual emptiness would soon be filled. The knotting and twisting of my stomach would be calmed. The painfully loud pulsating in my temples would be satisfied.
A thud sounded. Then another, and another. My feet pounded the pavement but it felt more like I was floating to him. I didn’t know if his breath caught, or if Mr. Tasty screamed out as I lunged at him. I only heard the thudding in my chest and head.
He fell back to the cement and I toppled down with him. The blunt dropped from his mouth. His eyes were large circles of white. I sat on his stomach, straddling him. It seemed he didn’t know whether to push me off or stick his hand up my shirt. I knew, though. I knew what was next.
My right hand pressed over his mouth and my left hand grabbed his arm. That’s when he started to struggle. When he realized I wasn’t on top of him for his pleasure.
No. It was for mine.
I forced his forearm up and sunk my teeth into the flesh.
Oh sweet mother of…
A spasm ricocheted through my muscles as I tore at the fibers of his. I pulled my face from his arm. His leg. I wanted his leg too. As a repositioned my hold on him, a sound broke through my red wall of euphoria. An animal sound.
Immediately I clung to my prey. Mine. No animal would steal my target; I had tracked and hunted him. They hadn’t. A low growl vibrated from my curled lips. I swung my gaze to stare face-to-face at a large, hairy dog. It barked over and over. I raised my arm to smack it away when the red haze slowly lifted. It was barking. At me. Not to fight me for my meal, but to alert others.
I jumped back and crouched near Mr. Tasty’s feet.
“Help!” he yelled as the dog yapped and snarled at me. “Help!”
I scurried on top of him again and shoved my right wrist into his mouth. The bracelet stifled his shouts. I couldn’t risk him remembering me. I forced my wrist harder into his mouth until he choked and gagged.
“I’m so sorry,” I whispered. “I’m so sorry.”
The dumpster did little to block me as I jumped over the square bin and ran to a door behind the school. The dog followed me, barking, proclaiming to the world what I’d just done. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pitch Live! & Couponing

Kinda blurry view of the sunset over Puget Sound from my porch. 

If you're a blogger, or even a blog lover, you've heard about Pitch Live! I had planned to participate, even decided to record my pitch in the woods near my home, but a head cold took over. And seriously guys, it wasn't pretty.

But, just because I didn't enter, doesn't mean I'm not lurking like a professional stalker. See, in less than two weeks, I'll be pitching...live...to agents and editors. Pretty intense  Which means I need all the arsenal I can get. So, as I watch these pitches, I'm taking notes. What works for me and what doesn't. I've been participating in pitch training on the conference thread, and watching these Pitch Live! videos is bringing the tips I've been learning, to life. Perfect timing, if you ask me. ;)

Have you checked the videos out? If not, I definitely suggest it.

In other news, Netflix recently started streaming the show, Extreme Couponing. While I was down with the head cold, I watched every episode. And then guess what I did? I went rifling through my recycling bin for this week's circulars and cut coupons! Ha! Today I'm going to try it out. Certainly not extreme style, but more like dipping my big toe in the money-saving water. I'll report back as to whether I saved cents or dollars. :)

Other than that, my in-laws are flying in this weekend, which means lots of restaurant eating and movies. They'll only stay the weekend, and then next week I'll be back at the task of perfecting my pitch. So, what do you guys have going on this week?


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Writer's Conferences

She's begging me to chill out.

In exactly 17 days I'll be attending my first ever writer's conference. GSRWA Emerald City Writer's Conference.  

Yes. I'm SUPER nervous. And INCREDIBLY excited.

Why am I nervous? Let me tell you a little about myself. A co-worker once said (he was an older gentleman so picture a grandpa saying this with a smile) that if there was nothing to worry about, I'd find it. Yup.

I really have no reason to be grinding my teeth at night. Yes, it's the Seattle chapter of Romance Writer's of America putting in on. But, I'm already a member of a RWA chapter and I gotta tell you, romance writers are the funnest. They don't take themselves too seriously. They joke about love, romance, men, wine, life, you name it.

I mean, all attendees have been signed up for a yahoo group thread and the emails I get on a daily basis are a hoot! These ladies obviously know how to have a good time. And honestly, if I'm gonna lose my conference virginity to anyone I'm glad it's with romance authors.

In exactly 18 days, I'll be standing on a stage in front of the conference attendees, finding out if Dark Waters won the YA division in the ECO contest. I'll also be pitching to agents and editors that day. For some reason though, I'm more nervous about the stage thing. Freaks me out. I'd rather them secretly hand me a win/didn't win card in passing.

So, I'll stop rambling now and ask you a BIG favor:
What advice do you have for me concerning conferences? If there was one thing you wish someone would have told you about them, what would it be? What did you not bring with you that you wished you had?


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What Would You Do?

This post has nothing to do w cats, but I love this pic. 
I'm in the query trenches wading through mud and muck and self-doubt mixed with moments of hope and elation. You know how that goes.

But I had a thought today. And I'm curious how you will respond.

I've read plenty of blog stories of how authors found their agents, and one in particular stays with me. The author mentioned that after many form query rejections, an agent finally requested a full. Now, after this author sent the agent her manuscript, she did some digging. Much deeper than the initial who-do-I-query digging. And when the agent called and offered representation, the author asked lots of questions. In the end, the author decided this particular agent would not be a good fit for her. She turned the offer down.

*I really wish I knew whose story this is so I can link to her blog, but I read this some time ago.*

Of course the author eventually did sign with a great agent. But when she turned down the first offer, she had no agents on the back burner.

This got me to thinking. If you queried agents who seemed like they'd be a good fit (AAR, book sales, etc.) but then felt they may not be the one, would you turn down their offer of representation? Or would you figure the door is open, and hope it's the one to walk through?

I'm not asking because this is a personal issue of mine. I just thought it'd be interesting to read your views on it. :)

~Also, I was thinking of posting the darkest scene from my ms, Dark Waters, on my blog on Halloween. Do you know of any blog-a-thons doing this?~