Monday, August 25, 2014

I'm Seriously Drawing a Blank for a Post Title, So You Get This One

Happy Monday, all!

I'm sitting here drinking tea and perusing the interwebs whilst anxiously patiently waiting for September 3rd and the announcement of the Pitch Wars picks!

What have I been doing writing-wise in the meantime? Well, last week I started outlining a brand new novel! It's the idea I attempted to write as a short story last year that was simply too big to keep under 10,000 words. I've got the whole plot outlined and most of the characters sorted out, and have already begun (though barely) my scene outline.

I'm super excited about it! I've been floundering deep in revision purgatory with two different manuscripts for nearly two years, and it's awesome to be back at the anything-could-happen and everything-is-wonderful-and-new-and-shiny brainstorming phase!

I don't really like to discuss projects in much detail when they're still delicate fledglings, but I will say it's a fairy-tale combo retelling that's making me squee.

In the meantime, I threw my hat into the writeoncon ring last week. It's an online writing convention that gives you the opportunity to give and receive critiques on other writers' queries and novel excerpts. There's also some ninja agents popping in this week, which could get interesting! Free to participate, but you do have to register to view the forums. Here's my query (which is also my Pitch Wars entry).

I also finished Ruin and Rising over the weekend, and it gave me ALL THE FEELS. You should have heard the whimpering noises I was making towards the end there. It got pretty serious.

And that's about it, folks!

Friday, August 15, 2014

That's a Wrap!

You guys.

You guys.


I finished my revision!!!!!!!!!!!!!

**cue confetti**

I'm so very, very excited at where this manuscript has ended up. Such a long haul, but it's been worth it!! With a few breaks (for revising a different book and drafting part of another) I've been at this rewrite since April 2013. 0_o But I'm finally finished and it feels GREAT.

And you know what else I'm excited about? My word count is down to 95,000!!!! That's 10K shorter than Draft 4, and, I'm embarrassed to say it, 23K shorter than Draft 3. :-D

So there you have it. I FINISHED AND I'M SO EXCITED!!! Off to dream about future projects, and stalk the #PitchWars feed on Twitter. :-)

All printed out and shiny!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Pitch Wars Mentee Bio!

Welcome, one and all, to my Pitch Wars Mentee Bio! If you don't know what Pitch Wars is, head here for all the deets. And go here for the bios of all the other awesome mentee hopefuls!

And now on to the aforementioned bio:

Hi, I'm Joanna, and I'm overly fond of semi-colons and em-dashes, as well as a staunch defender of the Oxford comma (Oxford commas save lives you guys).

I've been writing since I was about seven years old. For proof, here's my first ever story, complete with amazing illustrations like this one:

You can clearly see why I decided not to pursue a career in art.

At 13, I was published in the children's magazine Stone Soup. I submitted tons of stuff before getting this story accepted—I didn't give up until they said yes!

That's me in the top photo. My bangs are pretty sweet, I know.

Since 2005, I've written six full novels and parts of three others, and revised (and revised and reVISED) several of them. I think I'm getting pretty good at this whole revising thing. Death to unnecessary words! Long live proper pacing and character development!

My six completed drafts plus one unfinished one.

My Pitch Wars novel was first drafted during NaNoWriMo 2006, and was inspired by the myths in Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief series, the British India time period in M. M. Kaye's The Far Pavilions and Shadow of the Moon, Tolkien's Silmarilion, the mood of Keane's album Under the Iron Sea, and a single frame from the first Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie.

Incidentally, the name of my blog also comes from this album!

Interesting novel fact: I invented nearly all of the names for this book, and realized I'd accidentally given brothers (same father, different mothers) two different last names. Instead of making them the same, I decided that in my society children take their mother's surname, not their father's. (Okay I thought it was interesting.)

I'm a musician, specifically a pianist, and the cadence and flow of words and sentences and paragraphs are extremely important to me. I love the lyrical, flowing writing styles of Ursula K. LeGuin, Robin McKinley, Tanith Lee, and Erin Bow.

My favorite book of all time is probably The Return of the King. But I'm also madly in love with the aforementioned Queen's Thief series (seriously, I need the next book NOW), George Eliot's Middlemarch, Diana Wynne Jones' Fire and Hemlock, Susannah Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel, pretty much anything Jane Austen ever wrote (but especially Emma and Persuasion), and Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel.

Possibly my favorite wedding pic.
Bert likes revising, too.
I daylight as a piano teacher, and have been happily married to the love of my life for almost two years now (seriously my hubs is the best!!!). We live in Gilbert, AZ, where we share an apartment with our stripey feline Bertie and an enormous grand piano. I'm obsessed with looseleaf tea, ice cream, the color green, and Doctor Who.