It’s Been a While – Catch Up and Blog Tour

I feel like I should start with an introduction, it’s been so long.

Hello, my name is Jesi Marie, I’m a writer, a cross stitcher, a learner, a sewer, a student, and other things. I originally started this blog as a place to talk about my writing, buuuut I never thought anything that came to mind to write about, anyone would be interested in (though I can think of one person who will say otherwise, but he doesn’t count, lol). A lot of things have changed in the almost year since I last posted. I’ve gotten things straightened out at school, I’ve taught myself how to cross stitch, I’ve moved in part-time with my boyfriend, I’ve lost my mother-in-law to lung cancer.

So, I plan to try and bring this blog back around, but it won’t just be about writing. I’m working on getting  new banner (I have no idea what I want it to look like though) that fits more with what I want. I’m going to write about writing, sewing, cross stitching, weight loss, and whatever else I think I can put into blog format. I spend a lot of time doing school work, and working in general, that I will post when I can. Dunno how frequently that will be.

Now, without further bother from me, my blog post:

*insert fanfare*

My dad, Gil Miller, recently had a book published. It’s called Spree and you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble’s website. Good book, great twist at the end. You should check it out, buy it for your ereader or a hard copy. You can even contact him and buy a signed copy straight from him.

No, that’s not the reason for this post. That’s some shameless advertising for my pops.

Anyways.

He asked me to do this blog tour with him, about my writing process. I’m supposed to talk about him, give him props, link to him (<a href=”gilmiller.wordpress.com>He’s over here</a>!) then move on to some questions.

Here are those amazing questions:

What am I working on?

This is a good question. To be honest, I haven’t really written anything since The Doc Is Out, sequel to my The Doc Is In. I hit a point in that story where my main character decided she didn’t want to love the person I wanted her to and instead go for someone else, which kind of hurt my planned ending. And caused this great shut down of my brain. Like, seriously. My brain went silent. Dead silent. I’ve tried to write about this for the blog, but chickened out at the last minute. My brain has recently rebooted and is slowly working its way back to talking to me. You never realize how great it is to not be able to fall asleep because your brain won’t shut up until it’s not there.

I signed up for a creative writing class at my college, but it’s more of a glorified writer’s group for only literary because that’s what my teacher writes and as he said, he’s “more about the sentence than the story.” How he ever got published is beyond me.

I have been revisting old stories of mine in hopes that one of them will spark an idea that I don’t immediately discard as shit.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This one is harder to answer, because right now the only answer I can say is “Because I wrote it.”

There isn’t a huge YA Crime selection that I’ve been able to find. The one’s that I would put into this category are more focused on the art of crime. Crime families stealing stuff. I suppose so far, my stories have been more about the family than the crime, while the crime is still happening.

That’s the best answer I can give for that.

Why do I write what I do?

I write what I write because it makes me happy. I like YA because it’s simple while not being simple at the same time. It’s a whole different word than the adult genre novels. There’s different rules, different things you can and cannot do. It’s a whole different feel.

And I suppose you can count in that I refuse to believe I am 25. My brain stopped believing past age 18. It keeps me feeling young.

How does my writing process work?

A bit like a crime scene. Not the after part with the police, and not like one of those preplanned murders. No, my writing process is like a murder done in the heat of the moment.

I walk in, and there’s my idea in bed with another idea. Wasn’t I good enough for that idea? Why’d they do me like this? So I get so upset that I murder the idea in cold blood, sending bits flying everywhere.

Or you could say it’s like a Frankenstein Monster deal. I start out with my main, basic idea, then as I’m working on making this idea live, I find pieces from other ideas, sometimes parts I completely make up, and sew it all together, making this beautiful, terrible masterpiece that may or may not deserve to see the light of day. But there it is, breathing so raggedly in its little lump of words it calls a body. And then I work and tweek and work and tweek some more until… *insert evil laugh and lightening effects here* IT’S ALIVE! And sometimes that’s a good things. But sometimes it tries to kill me.

I think I like that analogy better.

 

And there we go. My blog tour reply. Now, what I’m supposed to do here is have the picture and bio of three author friends and link you to their blogs where they will be answering these same four questions. But I don’t have friends with blogs, so, here’s what I’m going to do. If you want to join in on this fun and answer these questions, post a picture of you, a short bio, and a link to your blog in the comments. Just don’t forget to mention me in your blog post!

Happy writing!

Advertisements

It’s really amazing

It astounds me when I hear of horrible things happening in the world. Actually, it sickens me. Hatred, bigotry, war. It really makes no sense to me. What sinks into someones head that leads them into thinking that blowing something up and killing a bunch of people is going to do anything other than blow something up and kill/maim a bunch of people!

Yes, I’m referring to the Boston Marathon bombing that happened today. And I’m going to pause to say that I thank god for small miracles all the time: none of my family that lives in Massachusetts likes going into Boston and the one’s that do don’t run marathons. This may sound like a bad thing to say, but you know what, I’m glad that none of my family got hurt. Will that stop me from sending positive vibes and good thoughts to those whose family’s were torn apart, both literally and figuratively? No. I hate what happened to them and I really wish it hadn’t happened. I don’t know any of the people injured, I don’t know their family members, but I know it must be hell for them and I hope the hell ends for them as soon as possible.

I was flitting through articles about the bombing, (I was in class when it happened and learned about it via twitter) and came across some graphic photos of the scene after it. While this whole tragedy makes me want to close myself off to the world and tell all the sick fucks to keep their bombs to themselves, I felt slightly warmer towards humanity as well. In these photos there were tons of people NOT in the bright yellow vests that marked them as medical helping people out. There was one photo, which I’ll post below, that really hit me. Both people in the picture helping out were regular people. I think one of them may have even been a runner, and they were helping out.

Image

And it strikes me as funny that from something so tragic, so horrific, there can still be a shining light of hope for humanity.

Image

Despite the large scale of the horrible events that happen, there are always people who are better than that. Always people who are a beacon of hope in this disgusting world we call life.

Maybe I won’t follow my writer-ly roots and become a recluse, just yet.

EDIT: Went to class tonight to hear from the sub that my teacher was in the marathon today. As of class, she hadn’t heard from her, so hopefully she’s all right.

On the Verge of Giving Up

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ~Harriet Stowe

I think I stated in my last blog post that once I got all the rejections from the queries I had out, that I was going to put The Doc Is In to rest and move on to other projects. Well, back sometime end of last year, I believe, I came across a thing call PitMad on twitter and through that found out about a contest called Pitch Madness run by Brenda Drake where you send in a 35 word pitch and the first 250 words of your completed manuscript. Then, some slush zombies would read all those turned in and pick a certain amount to move on to round two, where the team leaders (a selection of writers) would pick 60 people (15 each team, 4 teams) to move on to the agent round. In the agent round, selected agents will be basically bidding on the 60 pitches.

So I decided that I was going to give it one last shot and enter into this contest. Maybe it would be my time, maybe it wouldn’t and I’d put The Doc Is In to rest.

Well, during the submission window (which was like, 6 hours long, eastern time) my lovely boyfriend send my email in before heading off to work, because I didn’t want to wake up at 6 in the morning to send it in.

A few days later, I got an email saying I made it into round two! I was so ecstatic! I mean, can you believe? I was about to put this story to bed and here I was making it into round 2!

Well, there was still another round to get into before the agents saw my story. Another round that only 60 people made it in to. 60. People. Those are some tiny odds for my story. But I watched the twitter food for #PitchMadness with bated breath. I saw mention of someone checking out a YA Crime (which is mine). 

I waited. And I waited. I went nuts with the waiting. Guess that’s why it’s called Pitch Madness(Ha!). 

Then, the team leaders announced the genres of the 15 stories they had each picked. Just the genre. One of them announced YA Crime being one of them.

Well, okay, I’m prolly not the only person out there who writes YA Crime. It COULD be someone else. It might not be me.

So I went MORE crazy!

Then today… TODAY! At midnight eastern time (so 9pm my time) they all posted their picks, by title.

And

And

And

MINE WAS ON IT!

OMG! The Doc Is In is on that list! I made it into the agent round! Agents will be basically bidding on my story!

Again I say: Here I was, about to give up.

The quote at the top of the post was tweeted by Brenda Drake and it really sparked me to write this post.

Never give up. I was so close to giving up on this story, and then this. And then I made it this far in the contest.

I. Am. So. Stoked!

My team leader’s name is Summer Heacock and right now, I really feel like she and her co-captain, Dee Romito, really believe in my story.

I’m on top of the world and damn does it feel good!

The main part of the contest is from the 26-28, so I won’t know what/if/who I won until then. So keep those fingers crossed for me!

Laters!

PS, go stare at my title on the list!

One Hit Wonder

I started slinging out queries for my project, The Doc Is In, on January 19, 2012. I wrote it in August of 2011. It’s now February 5, 2013. To date I have re-written my query at least 5 times (I only marked down 5, but those were major edits. I prolly did small edits in between), re-written the prologue 1, and down one whole new edit. None of this was at the request of an agent. No R&Rs for me. Just 33 rejections.

Right now, I have 4 queries out. 

I’m thinking that if all four of these come back as rejections, I will retire The Doc Is In and move on to something new.

Do I have another novel ready to be slung out into the harsh world?

No, no I don’t. I don’t have anything written to move on to. I’ve slowly been working on The Doc Is Out throughout the year, but I’m stuck in it because my MC has decided she wants to go a different route than the one I had planned for her originally and it’s  just halted my brain.

So, in short, I will be giving up on my baby to move on to…. nothing, really. Trying to write something, anything.

Not sure any more. :/

Things I need to do

There’s a rule that goes around the writing world that says: “Write every day.”

And it doesn’t matter if you’re writing a story, writing part of your novel, or a blog post. Just as long as you’re writing every day.

Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of my time to my sewing. I’ve changed my major in school to fashion and costuming, I’ve spent time learning about my sewing machine and making stuff. It makes me happy. I love it.

But I’ve completely forgotten that I am a writer. I’ve gone from writer to sewer and costumer. I’ve almost completely forgotten my roots, and it makes me sad.

Sure, for the most part, I write stuff every day. I rp. I haven’t rp’d in a while though because my rp buddy has been super, super busy and unable to get online. I’ve also been busy with my boyfriend and working and school.

I’ve forgotten who I am by discovering more about me. Sounds pretty damn odd, doesn’t it?

But in short, I haven’t been writing and that makes me more sad than anything. I need to get back into it. I need to.

I’ve also hit a road block in my sequel. My MC decided she was going to change a HUGE factor to the plot which changes the way the story is written and told and I’ve just gone BLAM! Right into a wall. So I’ve decided to move onto something else. I don’t know what, though. I just need to write.

What do you guys do when you hit a wall? Do you write every day? 

Laters!

Books vs Their Movies

I’ve been thinking on this topic a lot lately. I’ve recently seen the last installment of Twilight, and had a discussion with my boyfriend’s mom today about Under the Tuscan Sun. And, of course, they’re are countless other books-turned-movies out there that I’m not going to name then and I’m sure you already know.

Now, when I write my stories, I imagine them in my head as a movie. I see the scenes as I think they’ll play out and try to write it that way. Sometimes it changes from mental picture to fingers, but that’s how I roll my words. I also sometimes go so far as to pick actors who would portray each part. Sometimes, the actors face will spark the character into life. This comes from years of roleplaying on line where that was how it’s done. Use an actor or singer or model, etc, for the face of the character. It’s just built into my mind now.

And then I got to thinking about it actually being made into a movie. What if it sucks? What if they ruin it completely? Am I publicly allowed to say it, or do I have to just smile and say ‘Hey! that pile of shit was great! So awesome!’?

A movie deal is a big deal for a book. I mean, come on, you get to see your baby on the big screen. It means that more than just your agent (if you went that route) and your publisher love and believe in your book. There is usually some kind of following for them to want to take your book and turn it into a movie.

Can we say huzzah on that?

I worry so bad that they would make it shit.

Take the Twilight movies, for instance. (Now, this is all my opinion, so don’t get all up in arms, okay? I’ve heard people say they love that pile of crud, to which I scoff, but whatever, to each their own.) They took books that were lacking to begin with and made it a movie. It was popular, it, I guess, deserved it. But then they took the books and butchered them farther. I am adamant in saying that the books were better than the movies, and the books were shit, which is saying a lot. Did I see all five movies? Yeah, most of them at midnight. And me and my friends were the ones laughing our asses off the whole time. Just the way they ruined it… I don’t think, if I were Stephenie Meyer, that I would be proud of those things. Though she seems to be, poor soul. (That just makes me think that you’re not allowed to publicly say the movie version sucks).

Another movie, one I love, it’s one of my favorites, is Under the Tuscan Sun. This is a movie that I watch when I feel like my life is just not going the way I want it to. It makes me feel better about my life and that everything will be okay, I just have to give it time. I loved the movie so much, that I decided to read the memoir that it was based off of.

I was so disappointed by the book that I couldn’t get past the first chapter. *SPOILER ALERT*In the movie, the main character gets divorced after finding out that her husband was cheating on her. Her best friends send her to Italy on a gay tour of the country. While there, she buys a run down house and moves into it and it’s all about her finding herself and remaking her life. The book? She’s still with her husband and the house she buys in the movie? Only MENTIONED at the beginning that they were thinking about buying the place, but then ended up not. *END SPOILERS* That just made me so sad. And annoyed. I wonder what she had to say about it. The movie’s not bad. No! It’s great! Just… not the book.

I want to read Running With Scissors. A memoir that was made into a movie. The movie is hilarious and just plain awesome. I’m afraid it’s going to end up like Under the Tuscan Sun and be nothing like the movie. He seems to like the movie, so I may just check it out and give it a try anyways.

What do you guys think about books turned into movies? Good or bad? And what would you do, as an author, if your book was made into a movie and it was utter garbage?

Laters!