Chosen: Book II dream cast is shiny and pretty and shiny

Greetings, my eager readers! After another lengthy period of blog neglect, I have returned!

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Okay, fair enough.

Anyway, I’ve been hard at work on Chosen: Book II, and have written (and subsequently deleted) many new and interesting scenes! I’ve also used time when I should’ve been writing to do the all-important hunt for a Book II dream cast, and I’m pleased to announce that said cast has now officially been assembled. Behold!

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A run-down of the characters, for those who might’ve missed the other 17,000 posts here regarding Chosen: Continue reading

Nervous breakdown, now with gifs

Greetings, friends. As I’m sure you’ve all been desperately wondering what I’ve been up to as of late, I’ve come here today to alleviate your suffering via a gif-filled blog post. Hurrah!

To summarize the past month in the most succinct way possible:

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It’s been, to put it lightly, a bit of a crazy month, with financial troubles, medical madness, random altercations with crazy people on public transportation, sleep deprivation due to summer heat and a very loud and bored feline roommate, and, of course, the requisite entropy-fueled destruction of my personal belongings. Continue reading

Furiosa of Tarth, nipple filling, and the quietest reign of terror ever

Greetings, friends! It’s time once again to spam the internet with unasked-for information regarding my recent activities. Hurrah!

Things I’ve Been Up To As of Late:

1. I’ve been doing a lot of writing, working hard on Chosen: Book II, which actually takes place around twenty years before Book I because…reasons.

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The story’s really coming together (40,000 words at last count), and the chapter I’m working on now features a character who can literally be described as a “warrior princess” (though with far more sensible attire than Xena), a gender fluid character who ends up in a relationship with the aforementioned princess, and a rather sweet and angsty romance between a queen and a female soldier. The female soldier, I recently realized, I’ve been picturing as a cross between Furiosa from Mad Max and Brienne from Game of Thrones.

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Though how one body could possibly contain so much awesome and kick-ass-itude, I have no idea. Continue reading

Blonderbatch and a decided lack of gay

After a month of watching the dust gather on my blog, I HAVE RETURNED.

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Well, sort of. I’m sure I’ll be back to haitus-ing before long, though I don’t want you to blame yourselves, dear readers. My absence has nothing at all do with my love for you, which grows deeper and stronger and mushier by the day.

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Actually, my lack of updating is a good thing, as I’ve been using my non-trolling-tumblr-for-gifs time to WRITE!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been hard at work on the second book of Chosen, which has actually turned out to be a prequel about Mr. Lucas Defrin, Nicholas’ father and Kaine’s teacher and mentor.

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(Portrayed in the movie-of-my-mind by Blond Benedict Cumberbatch, or Blonderbatch, as he shall henceforth be known.)

Said prequel takes place when Lucas is 13 or so and the Fael War is still raging on. He and his family are living in a small town in the Borderlands, as far from the fighting as it’s possible to be, but nowhere is really safe for Lucas because of that whole glowing-mark-on-chest, strange-powers-condemned-by-holy-text thing.

Lucas keeps pretty much to himself, afraid that he won’t be able to hide his powers if he spends time with people, but when he sees a girl being attacked by a group of bullies, he knows he has no choice but to fling his scrawny-gangly self into the fray and use his powers to save her. (Despite the fact that she was doing a pretty decent job of kicking ass before he showed up, but eh, whatever.)

Said girl turns out to be Hema (also known as Kaine’s mother from Book I), and she and Lucas form a friendship which would be called “unlikely” if I weren’t trying to avoid the use of obvious clichés in this mini-summary.

Anyway, writing about the two of them (and Kaine’s dad, who shows up in there as well) is great fun, and working on a story that takes place more than 20 years prior to the events of Book I means I’m actually figuring a lot of things out re: the world and how it came to be as it is in Kaine’s time. And as it turns out, actually knowing stuff like that? Kind of helpful.

One odd thing, though: All the main characters in this prequel will eventually end up in male/female romantic relationships. There’ll be LGBT side characters, of course (and I’m thinking Lucas might have a male love interest at some point before he meets Elisabeth, his eventual wife), but the main relationships are all straight. (!)

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I’m not at all used to writing straight couples, and it’s weirding me out a bit. I shall attempt to be strong, however, and console myself with the fact that Nicholas and Kaine are so very, very gay, and that will perhaps make the burden easier to bear.

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Anyway. Until next time, friends~~~

Publishing plans and vengeance via diversity

I HAVE RETURNED. colin-bradley-thumbsup Yes, friends, after a lengthy holiday (and post-holiday hangover) hiatus, I have returned to the wondrous world of WordPress. Let us rejoice and be merry, and pretend that some of you actually remember who I am. Hurrah!

Now, onto business. First of all, let us discuss Chosen, A.K.A., my LGBT fantasy epic, A.K.A., the story I’ve been working on since I was a frail young thing of fifteen (and actually not that frail; I did sixty push-ups a day and was still capable of doing a one-armed handstand a’la Empire Strikes Back Luke). sw_luke-handstand (The hardest part was unraveling Yoda’s grammar while all the blood rushed to my head.)

But in any case, Chosen: chosen-frontcover_dec2014

The original plan was to go the indie author route and self-publish via Amazon. And that may still be what I end up doing, but for now, I’m trying a multi-tiered plan that involves first submitting Book I of Chosen to a few awesome-seeming literary agents, then (should none of them grasp the glory and wonder that is Chosen and snatch it up), submitting directly to a handful of publishers I’m interested in. Finally, if none of those pan out, we’ll go back to the original self-publishing plan.

There are pros and cons to all the above routes, but I figured there’s no harm in at least trying the traditional publishing route before committing to self-publishing. Sadly, this means a longer delay before the book is actually released, but if doing so means it can reach a wider audience and potentially bring me one step closer to the sell millions of copies and become so hugely successful that Jon Stewart asks me to come on The Daily Show to talk about my book dream, then it’s all worth it, baby.

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…it could totally happen. >_>

Anyway. At present, much of my non-teaching time is occupied by the business of sending out queries, polishing up my manuscript, and even doing a little work on Book II of Chosen. I’ve also added a bit more to Queer Investigations, a quirky little novel-in-progress that involves lesbians in Chicago solving paranormal mysteries, because that’s a gap in the market, amirite? queer-investigationscast_jan2015_zoe-saldana_keiko-agena_jamie_02

Ooh, MS Paint.

Casting for the aforementioned novel changes practically every day, but at present, my dream cast features Zoe Saldana playing logical, brilliant, and bookishly repressed Miranda, while Keiko Agena  steps into the starring role as sarcastic tea addict Lila Matsumoto.

I’m also working on a Buffy-esque Teen Girl Kicks the Crap Out of Monsters book, set in my hometown of Middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. As aforementioned hometown is comprised of 90% Christian white people, I’ve challenged myself to the task of putting as much diversity into the cast of the novel as possible. Thus far, I’ve included a rainbow of races, religions, sexualities, and gender identities, and it gives me a strange feeling of satisfaction to populate my xenophobic little hometown with such an amalgamation of all that scares the bejeesus out of its inhabitants. Muwahahahaha. ill_lucy_blehh But in conclusion, I’m writing stuff, YAY.

And now I must go and prepare for the day’s lessons, and perhaps do a little writing or editing or stickin’ it to the man. Farewell for now, friends.

Sleep deprivation, take #578093248234

Massively sleep-deprived, wheeeee!

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Second night in a row that I’ve been kept awake by a nasty headache, then awakened later when Benny decided to practice his feline yodeling in the wee hours of the morning.

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On the plus side, being up early means I have a nice long period of time in which to get over my headache before work, so…that’s good, right? RIGHT?

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It does, Arthur. It really does.

In less obnoxious news, the work on getting Chosen publish-ready is moving along nicely. The cover of the book is nearly done, which means that there’ll be a terribly exciting Cover Reveal post at some point in the future, because what’s the point of having a cover if you can’t do a terribly exciting cover reveal post?

In other-other news, due to the unfortunate demise of my laptop, I’m currently in possession of a Shiny New Laptop and – due to said laptop not having anywhere for me to plug in my modem – a similarly shiny and new router. Which means that, for the first time in my impoverished teacher/writer life, I am in possession of WiFi, and can thus access the internet ANYWHERE IN MY APARTMENT.

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At the table by the windows? INTERNET. On my bed? INTERNET. Perched on top of the refrigerator for some reason? INTERNET.

Amazing.

(I realize that everyone else has had wifi for approximately six thousand years, but I shall bask in the shiny newness of it nonetheless.)

Anyway. Not much else going on. Thanksgiving was lovely and taught me the  valuable life lesson that giblets are pretty freaking gross. Also, ya know, love and family and gratitude and such, but man, those giblets.

Anyway, as I seem to be losing my tenuous grip on coherence, let me bid you adieu for now, hopefully to return at a later time when I’m less sleep-deprived (or have a bit more caffeine in my system).

Best wishes to all for a non-sucky day~~~!

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On my doings as of late.

Hey.

Hey, you.

Yeah, you.

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Now that that’s out of the way, on to business. Nearly a month has passed since my last update, and you may be asking yourself, “What has T.J. been doing all this time? Why did she leave us for so long? Does she not realize that her absence plunges us into a chill, unending darkness that never abates until she returns?”

Then again, you might not be asking yourself that at all. Either way, you’re getting an answer.

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So, what have I been doing as of late?

Many things, friends. Many things. I turned another year older, thus drawing me one step closer to becoming a crazy old cat lady. I started a new story, a Buffy-esque YA novel that I’m really enjoying writing. I dressed up as Mara Jade for Halloween, started taking a Japanese class for the first time in years, got a flu shot, voted, read a bunch of books, took on some new students, and discovered that my quality of life really suffers when it’s dark, cold, and miserable outside all the time.

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Who knew?

I also finished the fifth draft of Chosen (AKA, my LGBT fantasy epic), incorporating changes suggested by various folks who have been kind enough to read over the book thus far. And I think…I think…I think…!

I think it’s just about ready to go.

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Translation: Yay!

My next step is to get to work on my query letter, which I will happily admit is the most difficult, soul-crushing part of the whole writing/publishing process. Great, so you’ve sweated your guts out for the past several years writing a fantastic novel – now you have to condense everything that’s great about said novel into one short email and somehow convince an agent and/or publisher that it, unlike the other hundreds or thousands of novels they’ve received queries about today, is actually super awesome and worth reading.

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Yeaaaaaah.

But rather than focusing on that, I’ll focus on the fact that the book is finally almost ready to send out, because that’s pretty spiffy – particularly since I started the first version of this story when I was about fifteen, and I am now…considerably older than fifteen.

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Considerably.

Not much else to say, as I spent most of today in a rainy-day haze and am still having trouble getting my brain to do complex tasks like forming words or making coherent sentences. But I shall return at another time, I’m sure, and further assail you with gifs, sarcasm, and happy sparkling gayness.

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Until then, dear friends.