Thursday, May 31, 2012

Crunching Numbers

How many rejections will I get before I get the YES? 

How many queries do I have to send before I get the YES? 

WHY the heck am I still trucking through this painful world of querying!?  Aaaaaaah! (lol)

These are just a FEW of the questions I've wondered throughout my journey with EVER.  

Apparently, there is no set answer. 

But if you're anything like me, you want to see the numbers. No, no, not because you like math - I hate math. Ugh. But because you want a cut and dry easy assessment of what writers go through. Well, its going to be different for everyone, of course, but let's look at some examples.  

I've found the following information online regarding some really big-name books: 

THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett received 60 rejections. You can read more about that HERE, and I suggest you do. It is an honest article that gives you a little insight and lets you know you are not alone. 

TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer received 8 rejections. You can read more about her journey HERE, but please remember that 15 queries and 8 rejections is NOT THE NORM. Most authors go through many more than that before they get the YES! 

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL by Jack Canfield received 33 rejections. Here's an interesting snippet, from an except of the first Chapter of CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE WRITER'S SOUL, which you can find more of HERE.
"When we completed the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book, it was turned down by thirty-three publishers in New York and another ninety at the American Booksellers Association convention in Anaheim, California, before Health Communications, Inc., finally agreed to publish it. Ah the major New York publishers said, "It is too nicey-nice" and "Nobody wants to read a book of short little stories." Since that time more than 8 million copies of the original Chicken Soup for the Soul book have been sold. The series, which has grown to thirty-two titles, in thirty-one languages, has sold more than 53 million copies."

HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE by Jeaniene Frost (one of my favorite writers, by the way) received over 20 rejections. Her post HERE is a great explanation of what that process was like for her. 

So, with that said, what do my numbers look like? Well, I can honestly say I NEVER thought I would share the true hell I experienced in the querying process, even though I swore I'd be open about my writing journey with my blog readers. Want to know the truth? My critique partner doesn't even know the *exact* numbers. Its going to take me a long time to be willing to admit the truth, even to her.

Querying is a painful, heartbreaking process. I will not sugarcoat it. I've wanted to give up MANY times. I wanted to shelve my first novel and chalk it up to practice. I wanted to quit writing all together, admitting to myself that I'm obviously just a silly housewife who thinks she can write. 

But there's this little voice in my head ... she's sweet, and quiet, and sometimes I can barely hear her over the roar of failure and shame and self-doubt. But she's there, and she's optimistic, hopeful and pure, and she keeps telling me to keep going. 

She's adorable. And naive. But her innocence is contagious, no doubt.

When she can't get through to me, my critique partner whips me into shape. She recently made me re-query the agents I'd received initial rejections from. I'd changed my manuscript for EVER significantly, thus updating my query. It now looks like something I can be proud of. Well, almost proud of - I still hate it, but that's probably just for the simple fact that it's a query. *cringe* 

You know what happened? I received PARTIAL REQUESTS! From agents who have already rejected my first query and original manuscript!  I also received FULL requests from a few publishers!  CRAZY!!!!! 

My little inner voice dances around merrily, her blond, pink-ribboned pigtails bobbing in the sunlight. She's proud of me. 

I'm proud of myself. 

I keep going. 

And you should too.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

FLASH FACTORY #5 - WINNER!


WOW! Such wonderful entries this week!  Good job everyone!  

THE WINNER IS: 
LISSA!!! 


From Sarah:


This was tough - I'm glad I don't have to do it all the time! I really
enjoyed all the takes on the second picture; it's a combo lock for the
walk-in gate in my apartment complex.

I'm a huge speculative fiction fan and love action, so my winner is
Lissajean. Congratulations! I can't wait for next week.

Here's Lissa's story: 

I raced to the call box. Which number was it? Why couldn’t they be labeled? As far as this reality went, I needed out. It had started as such a dream, but now it was a nightmare. I needed time to think. The beast was growing and changing so fast. I heard the claws scrabble against the cobbles a few streets away, echoing through the alleys.

If I pressed the wrong button, I could end up anywhere. Sure, the garden behind the wrought iron fence looked innocent enough, but anyone could see that it was completely static – no breeze, no nothing. As soon as I made a commitment I had to either go there or stay here. Staying here wasn’t an option. The beast slammed into some trash cans. It must be having difficulty navigating the cobbles. Good.

I wracked my brain. Three was that deserted island, right. I think I’d figured out how to make that raft now. Wait. No. That was only three if I was coming from the moon colony. From here it was – Oh, I can’t remember! The crash of trash cans and a yowl from a cat told me that I had better figure it out right now.

The gate opened. Marjorie. Her eyes grew big and her mouth dropped open. “Gavin? Finally. You’re here!” Her smile was like the sun.

“I have to leave.”

“No. Not again.”

“I’m going to be eaten alive.”

“Where to?”

“I don’t know.”

“You just don’t want to tell me.”

“No, I can’t remember which number goes where.”

She laughed. “Does it really matter?”

“I guess not, as long as it’s not the alligators or the bats. I’m not even sure I can get to either of those from here.”

“Feed the alligators those squatty birds. They’re dumb as rocks.”

“Thanks.” My fingertips brushed her cheek.

“Try to stay put for more than 24 hours next time.”

“I do try.” We both turned when the beast howled as it rounded the corner. “Come on, lucky number four.” I pressed the button and walked through the gate.


Congratulations, and thank you for entering!  

You'll get to pick the three word prompt for next week's challenge (or switch it up with a picture), AND be the judge!  Please send me an email so I can send you the "get to know the judges" questions.  
Email: emailjessarusso [at] gmail [dot] com   

BIG thanks to this week's judge, Sarah!!! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

EVER by Jessa Russo (Plot Summary + First 500)

PLOT SUMMARY: 


Torn between loving two boys, seventeen-year-old Ever Van Ruysdael has no idea that more than just her heart is on the line. Until she discovers a countdown for her soul.

Ever’s love life has been in purgatory since the car accident that took the life of her best friend – and secret crush – Frankie, but spared hers. For the past two years, she’s had to wake up every day to Frankie’s ghost, making it impossible to mourn him or move forward with her life. But that all changes when Toby moves in next door. His honest interest in Ever makes her feel like the only girl in the world, and his relaxed confidence is hard to resist.  Faced with choosing between an exciting new relationship with Toby, or the deep, comfortable love she feels for Frankie, Ever must make a decision. 

When an ex-girlfriend enters the picture, hell-bent on getting Toby back, Ever learns that losing her heart is the least of her worries. She’s not only put her very own soul in danger, but Frankie’s soul as well. 

EVER is a YA romance with a ghostly twist, complete at 90,000 words. 


FIRST 500: 

I've lived next door to Frankie my entire life. We played together when we were little. He pulled my pigtails. I tattled; he teased. 
He's the best friend I've ever had.
I've been in love with him as long as I can remember. 
He's been dead for two years. 
Today is the second anniversary of his death. Its been exactly seven-hundred and thirty days since the car accident that took his life, and didn'ttake mine. Seven-hundred and thirty days since the only guy I've ever loved died in my arms, followed me home from the hospital, and never left my house again.
I'm in love with a ghost who has absolutely no idea I feel this way, and worse - probably still sees me like an annoying kid sister. No. Big. Deal.  
I mean, sure, it took some getting used to, but eventually I had to accept the fact that he's here for good. There's no mourning him and there's no moving on with my life. 
Two years. Two years since my life as a normal teenager went right out the window. Two years since Frankie became nearly invisible. 
Looking at him now, leaning up against the antique roll-top desk my mom insists is proper living-room decor, he's beautiful, even in death.
I watched him die. I held onto him as the last breath left his body. I cried and screamed, but no one came in time.
No one heard me. No one even knew we’d swerved off the road until an hour or so later when I pulled myself from the overturned Chevy, and crawled to the top of the hill. 
Frankie was by my side the entire time. My hands and knees were bloodied and filthy from the climb. He kept telling me to keep going when all I wanted to do was close my eyes. At the time, I’d convinced myself he was a figment of my traumatized mind. I knew his body remained pinned under the steering column. I knew he couldn't possibly be walking with me, urging me to survive. I figured that I’d just simply been unable to let him go yet. Maybe I just needed time.
Turns out he couldn’t let me go either.
I can’t tell you what it was like. I can’t tell you in words that will properly justify the earth shattering feeling of losing him … or the shock of finding out he was still here. There are no words.
I haven’t touched him since he died. We haven’t hugged. He hasn’t held me. I see him every day. I wake up in the same house with him every morning. But still, I can’t touch him. And he can’t touch me.
I know it sounds crazy, talking about my dead best friend like he’s still here.
But he is. And I’m not the only one who can see him.
When I look at him now, two years later, I feel a sense of longing that I just can’t shake. 


Thanks sooooo much to Sharon Bayliss, Krystal Wade, and Curiosity Quills for this wonderful contest! Good luck to everyone who has entered!







Thursday, May 24, 2012

FLASH FACTORY FRIDAY #5


Happy Friday ... er, Thursday!  


***Due to personal matters, this week's contest will run from Thursday night to Friday night instead of Saturday morning. Sorry for any inconveniences!

Today's judge, and last week's WINNER is Sarah

Here are Sarah's answer to my 'getting to know the judge' questions: 

1) My current WIP is called DRAGONS ARE PEOPLE, TOO. Short summary:
Sixteen-year-old Kitty is a weredragon operative for the US
government. When the government turns its back on the dragons, she
must choose between loyalty to her country and allegiance to her
family.

2) Unlike most writers, I'm not really sure. I've been interested in
writing little things like poems and short stories for years, but I
know I got serious about it in Fall 2009.

3) I am mostly a pantser, but I have been thinking about doing an
outline for a few of my ideas - just so I can figure out which one to
write next!

4) When it comes to writing, I'm going to repeat some advice from
fellow YA Rebel Gretchen McNeil: If you can
do anything else (other than writing) and be happy, do that.

But if you can't, it takes hard work and perseverance to get where you
want to be. Nothing will be easy

FLASH FACTORY FRIDAY #5

5/25/12


YOU MUST CHOOSE ONE PICTURE AND USE BOTH WORDS! 


For the prompt, Sarah has gone the direction that Ray went last week, and has chosen two of her own photos AND two words.

PICTURE PROMPT:



WORD PROMPT: 
Along with the photos, you must use the following word prompts: 
static and dream

THANKS SARAH!!!  

And good luck to all who enter!
*Remember, the winner of this week gets to judge next week AND pick the prompt(s)!


REMEMBER: THIS WEEK YOU MUST CHOOSE ONE PICTURE AND USE BOTH WORDS. 

Ready ... set ... FLASH!  




To Review:
Word or picture prompt (OR BOTH!)
50 word minimum / 350 word limit
24 hours
The detailed rules are HERE


GO!


*Remember, post your entry right here in the comments, please!  Don't forget word count and Twitter handle!  (Or another way for me to reach the winner!) 

#WVTP The Writer's Voice Twitter Pitch PARTAY!

Its here! Its here! Its finally here! The day we've all been waiting for! Well, all of us in the awesome world of *unpublished, un-agented* storytelling!

THE WRITER'S VOICE TWITTER PITCH PARTY!!!


The Writer's Voice Twitter Pitch Party Rules
(Twitter hashtag: #WVTP)
Thursday, May 24 12PM - 6PM EDT
Brought to you again, from the wonderful ladies responsible for The Writer's Voice contest: 
Brenda, Monica, Krista, and Cupid herself! 


Here's the rules...

Pitch your finished manuscript on the hashtag. You may pitch any time you see an agent online - just don't go crazy and pitch more than once during an agent visit. We will monitor the hashtag and gently inform you if you're being obnoxious. Make sure your pitch includes the hashtag #WVTPThe agents will be hopping in and out of the feed during the party hours. They'll tweet their requests for the manuscripts that pique their interests. Simple. Right? Not if more than one make a request on the same pitch, it isn't. 

Keeping in the spirit of The Writer's Voice, if two or more request the same pitch, you must choose one of them and announce it in the feed. (They promised not to hold any rejections against you.) 

If you get a request...

After you get a request, you must email us at thewritersvoicecontest@gmail.com, tell us which agent requested, we'll verify the request, and send you the agent's/agents' submission guidelines. 
  
So get your Twitter pitches ready, and make sure to include the hashtag. 

I will be pitching my completed manuscript, EVER, a young adult paranormal romance that you can find HERE.

So, with the help of my critique partner Tamara, and feedback from my online buddies, this is the Twitter pitch I will be tossing into the ring today:

A ghost and a soul collector fight for Ever's heart. If she makes the wrong decision, one of them could steal her soul. #WVTP

Sunday, May 20, 2012

FLASH FACTORY FRIDAY #4 - WINNER!



WOW! Such wonderful entries this week!  Good job everyone!  

THE WINNER IS: 
SARAH!!! 

From Ray: 

After reading all of the entries several times, I still couldn’t decide which to proclaim as victor and champion over all the Earth. So, in the end, a factor of creepiness and the resonating sounds of guns being fired pushed me over the edge. I landed on @sarah_nicolas. She may have sustained some broken bones, but I’d like to thank her for breaking my fall, and acknowledge a great tale. Congratulations! 

Her story: 


We're different. That's why mama says they're afraid of us.

But I know the truth. They're afraid of us because we're dangerous. We hid for thousands of years, but a secret like ours couldn't stay buried forever.

Mama and I shuffle around the double-fenced exercise yard. I count time with my steps. We pass by the red lamp post. It provides the only color in this tiny, gray world. They call it a "camp," tell us it's for our own protection. I know this truth, too: it's a prison. Our crime was being born.

I know this because I was born here. Twelve years ago, today. And I got my very special twelfth birthday present this morning. It's a surprise, because there's no way of telling which one we'll get. And mine is rare; the kind of gift they won't let us have here.

Huge guns cradled by huger men watch us from the perimeter. 

The guns don't scare me. The fear on the men's faces always has. Until today. Soon, they will have a reason to be afraid. 

"Two minutes!" calls the only guard who ever speaks to us. I don't know his name. We're not permitted to know their names. 

It's time. 

Mama and I move toward the talking guard, like we're ready to go back in.

"Sir, please," I say. "I have a question." 

The sound of forty guns being re-trained on me makes me want to smile, but I swallow it.

"So sorry," mama says, her eyes on the dirt. "She's just a little girl. She doesn't know any better." She doesn't make a move to pull me away, though. She knows her part.

"Sir, please," I plead. "It's my birthday; won't you sing me a song?"

His eyes grow wide. The barrel of his gun points straight at the spot between my eyes. "Which birthday?"

I grin. "I'm twelve, sir." 

I tell his mind to turn the gun on himself before his own mind can tell his finger to pull the trigger. 

A bang. A thud.

Then thirty-nine echoes of the same sweet melody.



Congratulations, and thank you for entering!  

You'll get to pick the three word prompt for next week's challenge (or switch it up with a picture), AND be the judge!  Please send me an email so I can send you the "get to know the judges" questions.  
Email: emailjessarusso [at] gmail [dot] com   

BIG thanks to this week's judge, Ray!!! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the ... HORRIFIC.

I created this blog with the intention of sharing with you my writing journey. And by writing journey, I mean ALL of the journey - the good, the bad ... the horrific.

Ah yes. Horrific.

What constitutes horrific in one's writing journey? Well, I'm sure we all have varying ideas on this, but let's just talk about mine for now.  Since, you know, its my blog and all that.

What would fall into the horrific category then? Let's see ...

Creating a query letter? Possibly. But, though its tough and miserable, and ALL of us hate doing it, I wouldn't quite classify query letters in the horrific category. Bad, yes. But not horrific per se.

Ok, what else ... oh, I know! The synopsis. Oh yes, that dreaded synopsis has caused a few of my hairs to turn the shiniest prettiest gray color you've ever seen. Now, these are unlike the parenting gray hairs I've been gifted with over the years. The synopsis gray hairs reflect the sunlight, and have been known to blind and momentarily stun unsuspecting drivers, causing accidents and ten-car pile-ups.

Ok, you got me - that's a bit of an exaggeration. But truthfully, the synopsis sucks. I'm sure we can all agree on that. But, again, not necessarily horrific. We'll keep synopsis writing in the "bad" column with Mr. Query over there.

So, though I could beat around the bush a little longer, and frankly, I'd LIKE TO, I will not keep you from my painful admission any longer.

I did something today that fell right into the horrific category. It plummeted right past BAD and into HORRIFIC with a deafening THUD and some weird sticky stuff.

Get ready to feast your eyes on the awesomeness that is ME.  This is after having my coffee, so I have NO excuse. I wish I could say I was drunk, but again, no such luck.  Just not paying attention I guess.

THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED TODAY:




Dear {agent who will remain nameless}:

Torn between loving two boys, seventeen-year-old Ever Van Ruysdael has no idea that more than just her heart is on the line. Until she discovers a countdown for her soul.

Ever’s love life has been in purgatory since the car accident that took the life of her best friend – and secret crush – Frankie, but spared hers. For the past two years, she’s had to wake up every day to Frankie’s ghost, making it impossible to mourn him or move forward with her life. But that all changes when Toby moves in next door. His honest interest in Ever makes her feel like the only girl in the world, and his relaxed confidence is hard to resist.  Faced with choosing between an exciting new relationship with Toby, or the deep, comfortable love she feels for Frankie, Ever must make a decision. 

When an ex-girlfriend enters the picture, hell-bent on getting Toby back, Ever learns that losing her heart is the least of her worries. She’s not only put her very own soul in danger, but Frankie’s soul as well. 

EVER is a YA romancestringer lit
 with a ghostly twist, complete at 90,000 words.  I wear many hats, but I’m usually rocking a ponytail and a pompadour. I’ve won a few flash fiction contests, but my greatest award was for Outstanding Citizenship in the third grade. I’ve been trying to live up to that one ever since. My qualifications for writing EVER stem from being a teenager in love at one point in my life.  It was a long time ago, yes, but my heart still thinks it lives in the body of a sixteen year-old girl, and I try not to argue.   

The first ten double-spaced pages have been pasted below. Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Sincerely,
Jessa Russo



As you can probably imagine, horrified doesn't even begin to cover it. I am SO CAREFUL. I have done SO MUCH research its borderline OCD. I have color-coded Excel spreadsheets and detailed information for every agent that I query. 

Yet SOMEHOW I missed this horrific typo/mistake/blunder. 

And to answer your question, NO. The agent I queried with this MONSTROUS typo does not work at typo'd lit agency. Of course not. THAT WOULD BE TOO EASY. 

I'm sharing this because I am so incredibly embarrassed and I want to remind all of you to seriously seriously seriously DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING. I thought I was so prepared, and I still made this embarrassing mistake.  

So, learn from me, young grasshoppers!  LEARN FROM ME!  

That concludes my PSA for the day. 





Friday, May 18, 2012

FLASH FACTORY FRIDAY #4

Happy Friday everyone!  

Today's judge, and last week's winner is Ray! 

Here are Ray's answer to my 'getting to know the judge' questions: 

If you are currently querying right now, please tell us about your book. (If its a WIP, tell us about it too!)

Well, first off I am for the moment just an aspiring author. So, like many out there, I have no less than ten WIPs going on at the moment, hehe. The one I’m really pushing myself to focus on though is a story about a seventeen-year-old boy, his kid sister, a ghost, and a dark witch that wishes to steal the little girl’s soul for his own nefarious purposes. I wish I could say more about it, but I’m a discovery writer, so I’m learning more and more about my own book as it unfolds before me. The ending is awesome though. I love my ending.

How long have you been writing?
I started writing when I was thirteen, after I’d confiscated my older brother’s Dragonlance books. I remember my first story being about our world and an old world merging together, with elves and humans mingling. I’m pretty sure there were draconians in there somewhere, so it was plagiarism at its finest. I think I wrote a whole two chapters! After that I moved on to poetry, where I bled out my angst for a few years. Finally, here I am, with a passion larger than my head, burning a hole in gloves I don’t wear, aching to finish my first novel.

Tell us about your writing style. Are you a plotter/outliner, or do you fly by the seat of your pants?
Oh man. I’ve tried so hard to be an outliner. I would love to have everything laid out before me. Sadly, aside from some major events, whenever I sit down to plot things out farther away than a chapter, it’s like I run into a brick wall. So, I write, and it comes to me. Sometimes I write and things come to me that I need to change to make something awesome. And then, sometimes my crit partner or other people I torture with my prose suggests something that just clicks, and I run with it.

What is one piece of advice you would give new writers?
Well, being a new writer myself, one thing I will advise is… write. I know, everyone says that. If you don’t know what to write, can’t think of what to write about, then Flash Fiction is your best friend, your closest lover, and that old blanket you just can’t sleep without. Seriously. Doing Flash is such a great way to not only get those juices flowing, but also to generate ideas. The book I am currently writing came out of a 100 word flash fiction piece over at another blog. I liked it so much, that I dropped what I’d been sloughing through and here I am. Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. About anything. 


FLASH FACTORY FRIDAY #4

5/17/12


YOU MUST CHOOSE ONE PICTURE AND USE BOTH WORDS! 


For the prompt, Ray has chosen two of his own photos (aren't they spooky! They remind me of Chernobyl! Am I slightly obsessed with Chernobyl right now? Possibly.) AND two words. 

PICTURE PROMPT:



***Extra points go to anyone who can guess WHERE the photos were taken (I don't mean city or state). HINT: Its somewhere very common.
PS. There really aren't any extra points, but try to guess anyway! ;-) 



WORD PROMPT: 
Along with the photos, you must use the following word prompts: 
secret and watch (or any of its variants, watched, watches, watching, watcher)

THANKS RAY!!!  

And good luck to all who enter!
*Remember, the winner of this week gets to judge next week AND pick the prompt(s)!


REMEMBER: THIS WEEK YOU MUST CHOOSE ONE PICTURE AND USE BOTH WORDS. 

Ready ... set ... FLASH!  




To Review:
Word or picture prompt (OR BOTH!)
50 word minimum / 350 word limit
24 hours
The detailed rules are HERE


GO!


*Remember, post your entry right here in the comments, please!  Don't forget word count and Twitter handle!  (Or another way for me to reach the winner!) 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

FLASH FACTORY FRIDAY #3 - WINNER!


FLASH FACTORY FRIDAY #3 - WINNER!

I absolutely loved the picture Tamara chose, and would like to again thank April for letting us use it!  It was truly a gorgeous, haunting photo.  If you haven't done so yet, please check out April's WEBSITE, or you can follow her on twitter!  

Tamara has chosen her winner, so without further ado ....

THE WINNER IS: 
RAY! 

From Tamara:

It was a close one - I don't know how Janet Reid does it... But, I ended up choosing Ray, because I liked the ending of his story - the switch of how the boys went from eager to embarrassed. The woman's actions made me curious, and I wanted to read more, and see where the story went. 

Curiosity killed the cat :)

Congratulations, and thank you for entering!  

You'll get to pick the three word prompt for next week's challenge (or switch it up with a picture), AND be the judge!  Please send me an email so I can send you the "get to know the judges" questions.  
Email: emailjessarusso [at] gmail [dot] com   

BIG thanks to this week's judge, Tamara!!! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

FLASH FACTORY FRIDAY #3


This week's judge, and last week's WINNER is Tamara (Feaky Snucker)

Here are her answers to my "getting to know the judge" questions:


If you are currently querying right now, please tell us about your book. (If its a WIP, tell us about it too!)
I'm querying a commercial fiction about a lead singer and her band. She's trying to move on in her life via musical comeback, but a sabotage happy rival band are getting in her way. It's about healing through music, but has a lot of raunchy musician humour. The title says it all - RAPTOR SNATCH.  I'm also neck deep in a YA urban fantasy which I am super psyched about! My devotion to it is making my other WIP green with envy. 


How long have you been writing?
Since I was three, but I no longer snap the crayons when I use them:) 


Tell us about your writing style. Are you a plotter/outliner, or do you fly by the seat of your pants? 
Bit-o-both. Usually I know a few things I want to happen, but it's a surprise how it's going to get from point A to B. 


What is one piece of advice you would give new writers? 
ALWAYS consider 'WHAT IF.' I think as we get older, it's hard to retain that childlike imagination. But the best ideas come from following that 'WHAT IF' scenario. What if a girl goes tumbling down a rabbit hole? What if there was a boy who was really a wizard? What if there was one ring to rule them all? Consider the what is, and then follow through with it!! Don't give up on it:)


The three words Tamara picked for this week's word prompt are ... 

... uh oh ... 
Where are the words!?  Has anyone seen the word prompt!?  

Oh. 

Silly rabbits, she picked a picture this week!  She's a tricky tricky judge!  

"I know that somehow there's been some hype about what words I'm going to choose as the prompt for this week's Flash Friday. Therefore, I've chosen an image prompt instead. *evil cackle* Sincerely, Feaky Snucker." 

Check out the picture below, taken by the VERY talented April Elizabeth

THANKS TAMARA (and April)!!!  

And good luck to all who enter!
*Remember, the winner of this week gets to judge next week AND pick the prompt!


FLASH FACTORY FRIDAY #3

5/11/12

PICTURE PROMPT:





Ready ... set ... FLASH!  




To Review:
3 word prompt (OR PICTURE!)
50 word minimum / 350 word limit
24 hours
The full rules are HERE


GO!


*Remember, post your entry right here in the comments, please!  Don't forget word count and Twitter handle!  (Or another way for me to reach the winner!) 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

THE WRITER'S VOICE Entry #1 [EVER, YA Paranormal Romance]

*Hi, you may know me as Jessa Russp.  LOL!  *shakes head*
THE WRITER'S VOICE contest is being hosted by the fabulous Cupid, Monica, Brenda, and Krista! Thank you so much ladies!!!   *Follow along on Twitter by using hash tag #TheWritersVoice


EVER 
YA Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 87,100


PLOT SUMMARY: 

Ever Van Ruysdael has a choice: continue pining for the ghost of her dead best friend, Frankie, whom she’s secretly loved as long as she can remember, or move on to her sexy new neighbor, Toby – who unbeknownst to Ever, is a soul collector.  Make the wrong choice, and she’ll learn that more than just her heart is on the line.

Seventeen-year-old Ever’s love life has been in purgatory for the past two years.  Since the car accident that took Frankie’s life, but spared hers, she’s had to wake up every day to his ghost, making it impossible to mourn him or move forward.  That all changes when Toby moves in next door.  Easy to fall for, Toby’s relaxed confidence and honest interest in her makes Ever feel like the only person in the world.  Torn between an exciting new relationship with Toby, or the deep, comfortable love she feels for Frankie, Ever must make a decision. 

As Ever falls harder for Toby, Toby gets closer to Frankie.  Soon, she will learn that the price of her new romance isn't just her heart, but Frankie’s soul. 


FIRST 250 WORDS:


I've lived next door to Frankie my entire life. We played together when we were little. He pulled my pigtails. I tattled, he teased.
He's the best friend I've ever had.
I've been in love with him as long as I can remember. That’s my secret.
He's been dead for two years.
Today is the second anniversary of his death. It's been exactly seven hundred and thirty days since the car accident that took his life, and didn't take mine. Seven hundred and thirty days since the only guy I've ever loved died in my arms, followed me home from the hospital, and never left my house again. 
I'm in love with a ghost who has absolutely no idea I feel this way, and worse - probably still sees me like an annoying kid sister. No. Big. Deal.
I mean, sure, it took some getting used to, but eventually I had to accept the fact that he's here for good. There's no mourning him, and there's no moving on with my life. 
Two years. Two years since my life as a normal teenager went right out the window.  Two years since Frankie became nearly invisible.
Looking at him now, leaning up against the antique roll top desk my mom insists is proper living-room d├ęcor, he’s beautiful, even in death.
I watched him die, you know. I held onto him as the last breath left his body. I cried and screamed, but no one came in time. No one heard me.