Writing Process Blog Hop

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Photo: Emmy gives me her thoughts on chapter 1


*emerges from Cave of All Edits*


Well, hello there fellow writers and blog hoppers! Many of you probably bounced here from my talented writer friend, Rena Olsen  If not, I encourage you to check her out along with the other great writers participating in this.

You are welcome to join in: Just link to my blog, answer these four questions on your blog and then tag four other writers.

1) What are you working on?

Weeeel . . . lots. I just finished editing my YA paranormal, THE DREAMSPEAKER’S DIARY (for the gazillionth time) for an R&R (revise and re-submit) with a super awesome agent. Yes, I’m checking my email like a madwoman and trying not to overwhelm myself with thoughts like, “This could FINALLY be it!!!” Meanwhile, two agents are considering my newest YA Sci-fi, SUBPARS. *refreshes e-mail*

I’m encouraged by the agent interest for my projects, but I’ve learned the best thing you can do while in the query trenches, is to KEEP WRITING. Focus on the next project, and not the rejections. For me, that’s my current WIP, a YA fantasy, FURTHERON.

2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?

I work really hard to develop unique concepts and then write in ways that feel fresh. I feel that I have my own style and ways of exploring themes. The truth is, we all bring our own experiences to the worlds and characters we create, and that’s unique in itself.

I nearly always write in scenes. Most of my real-life work is film and T.V. focused, so I tend to write visually. Agents often tell me that I write “cinematically” and I always take that as a compliment.

3) Why do you write what you write?

I think I’m drawn to YA because there’s something really magical and special and compelling about a young person coming to that point in life where they decide who they are and what kind of life they want for themselves. I also LOVE writing about first love. Even in my adult historical fantasy novel, THE DESCENDED, the main characters are young adults.

As to why I write speculative, paranormal, Sci-fi and fantasy–I like creating places and characters that we don’t get to experience in everyday life. I read to escape and get caught up in a world that unfolds with every page, and that’s usually how I write as well.

4) How does your writing process work?

I write as much as possible. Whenever possible. Preferably, morning, after copious amounts of coffee.

I have three young boys and I’m the co-owner of a production company. I’m proof that if writing is your passion–you will find time to make it happen. I write every day.

When I’m really into a novel, “writing” involves me staring off into space while folding laundry. Half of writing is thinking. And imagining. And getting your characters from point A to point B in your head so you can capture it with words. I carry a notebook around with me everywhere. You never know when you might get an idea or a line of dialogue. I write scenes in my head when I’m running or taking the kids to piano practice.

Oh, and I’m a “pantser” (who probably needs to be more of a “plotter”) and I average 2,000 words/day when I’m in the creative part of writing (depending on interference from children, husband, dog, work/The Real World.)

I just have one rule: Write Every Day

It goes perfectly with my other mantra: Do What You Love

Happy writing, everyone! Thanks for hopping over.

Here’s where I’m supposed to tag four other writers: (epic fail)

So instead, I’ll just suggest popping over to  Rena Olsen where she has not just four, but seven awesome blog posts linked. They are great and inspiring and worth checking out.

P.S. Rena is hilarious and witty and lots of fun on Twitter



Rejection Rescue: Never Give Up

“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.”
― Winston Churchill

It’s always hard when something you’ve put your heart and soul into gets what feels like a ‘meh’ response.  That’s the nature of art–as it’s an extension of the person who created it.  If we didn’t care what people thought, we wouldn’t be trying to get an audience for our work in the first place.  We want to make people feel…just not feel ‘meh’.

Today #pitchmadness was whittled down to the finalists and for all those who didn’t make the cut, it’s hard not to feel left behind in the land of Not Good Enough.  Are you dealing with rejection?  Take heart, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, get back on the horse, and [insert favorite metaphor here.]

I’m diving back into my newest book, immersing myself in a world and characters that are still coming to life around me.  In this world, anything is possible; the only limits are the ones I set.  I kind of feel that way about real life, too.  That’s the dreamer in me.

Get back to what you love.  And never give up.

The dream is still possible…you just have to keep trying.

Out of the Zombie Slush Pile (my #pitchmadness entry)

Hooray! I made it out of the “zombie slush pile” with my pitch for THE DREAMSPEAKER’S DIARY.  On to Round 2 of the crazy, creative frenzy that is #pitchmadness.

Many of my fellow zombie slushees requested I post my entry…so here it is, with a few thoughts to encourage as well…

Name: Jenny Moyer
Genre: YA
Word Count: 89,000

Brier hides her ability to speak her dreams into existence, but when a secret dream lab comes after her she must push the boundaries of her dreamspeaking abilities to save herself and those she loves.


When I turned six, I learned the monsters in my closet were real—but what scared me most was realizing I had put them there.

This is my first thought when I wake in the basement closet sprawled beside the baseboards. My fingers trace the grooves of claw marks—in the place my mother couldn’t cover with paint.  Her words from that night come back to me and I’m reminded that, as scary as the creature in the closet was, the people who will come for me if I’m discovered are worse.

My second thought is that I have to get my dreamspeaking under control, because this is the third time this week I’ve woken up in the damn closet

The floor creaks and a light switches on.

“Brier?”  My sister’s muffled voice reaches me beyond a wall of old coats.

Squinting against the sudden brightness, I scramble out on my hands and knees.  “Owen?  What are you doing up?  It’s the middle of the night.”

“I thought I heard you on the stairs.”  Her eyes search my face, drop down my Hello Kitty shirt and tattered flannel shorts.  “Why are you in the closet?”

“A…mouse.”  My eyes shift toward the shadows.  “I saw a mouse.”

“And you followed it into the closet?”

Taking her arm, I steer her toward the stairs.  “Just one mouse can cause a lot of problems.  We’re talking infestation.”  I switch off the light and lead the way back to our rooms.

Thoughts on contests:

I’m going to be honest: pitch contests will take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride with the hype, the excitement, the swelling hope…and the sometimes letdown.  I know writers who find this process harder than querying.  Don’t get me wrong–I think querying writers should use every opportunity to get their work in front of agents–but I’ve learned that you have to keep contests in perspective so you don’t emerge crushed (and convinced you should throw your book out the window.)

#1: Use the opportunity to HONE YOUR PITCH/HOOK/LOGLINE.  Ditto with the first 250 words.  Make them as strong and grabby as they can be and LEARN from the other writers doing the same thing…

#2 DON’T LET A PASS GET YOU DOWN (for long) It’s subjective–just like in the real query world. Find encouragement from all the other writers in your boat, then hone your pitch and let the experience springboard you back into querying. (and writing and revising!)

#3 MEET OTHER AWESOME WRITERS This is the REAL gem of contests. I’ve met some of the best critique partners this way–not to mention fellow writers who are beside me in the query trenches.

#4 WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, WRITE THE NEXT BOOK  Is your MS drifting in an endless sea of rejection? Maybe it’s time to set it aside (for now) and dive in to that next book. Nearly every author I know has at least one “shelved” book.

I’m excited to have made it this far, but if I don’t make one of the teams, it’s on to #pitmad on March 29th (an even crazier contest!) Hope to see many of you there! Last time, I tweeted and pitched like a madwoman (or a very determined writer) and #pitmad led to multiple partial and full requests for THE DREAMSPEAKER’S DIARY. It happens.

So, here’s to every one of the over 400 writers who bravely put themselves out on the proverbial rejection ledge, and diligently whittled their manuscripts down to compelling 35 word pitches for  #pitchmadness. We all deserve awards for bravery and commitment to our publishing dreams! So MANY GREAT concepts did not make it out of the slush, and even fewer will make it to Round 3.  Good luck to those of you still on the coaster, and for everyone else…NEVER EVER EVER EVER GIVE UP.  See you at #pitmad March 29!

Cupid’s Literary Connection: Kissing Scene Competition

A special welcome to all CLC visitors participating in the blog hop and competition!

Thanks for visiting my blog and letting me share another part of Brier’s story from The Dreamspeaker’s Diary. I’ve met some great (and talented) people through CLC, and I’m excited to see everyone’s entries…


Note: I’ve already made it to the Judges Round, (Round 1, Entry #2), so I can only win an Honorable Mention. 

Scene Set-up:

Brier can speak her dreams into existence but she’s being hunted by a dream lab and keeps her talent hidden from everyone but Keller, the enigmatic foster child with a guarded past and secrets of his own. They can manipulate their dream environments, but not everything goes according to plan, and they dreamspeak a tent for refuge while they wait to see if their nightmares come to life.

350 Word Entry:

His smile slowly fades. “Because, once I’d gotten you to your front door…I would have tried to kiss you goodnight.” The words seem to hover in the air, filling the spaces between our uneven breaths.

I don’t move–I’m pretty sure I stop breathing. “I would have let you.”

He cups the back of my head and slowly rises up. My eyes close and I feel the warmth of his breath as he leans up to meet my lips with his. This is different from the other kisses we shared; Keller’s touch is almost reverent in its gentleness. A soft sigh escapes my lips, and he catches it with his own as he kisses me again. I clasp him around the neck and lean into his chest as his hands skim down my sides to frame my hips.

A gust of wind rattles the walls of our tent, pulling me back to the reality of our situation. As the nylon ripples around us, I imagine our scents being carried to the beasts hunting us. We are hidden in the darkness, but they don’t rely on sight.

Keller’s gaze meets mine, and I know he’s thinking the same thing. I press my heart against his, hoping in some crazy way he’ll feel the things I can’t find words for. Fear lingers, like the ache of a fresh wound, but I force it back, surrendering to the oblivion of Keller’s touch. With shaking fingers, he frames my face, while his other hand fists in my hair. Our lips meet with shared desperation, and I yield to him—to this moment–like wax to a flame.

There’s a subtle shift of light as my iPhone battery finally gives up the fight–our last link to civilization now well and truly severed. Keller pulls away, and I can hear him breathing hard, the sound exaggerated in the darkness. “Brier, I—“

A howl rents the air.

My eyes fly open and I clutch his arm. “Oh my God, Kell.”

The haze of passion clears from his eyes, but he holds me even tighter than before.

Rejection Rescue #2

Encouragement from the Query Trenches…

You approach your e-mail with equal parts anticipation and dread. Your heart pounds as you scan your inbox for the word “Query” in the subject line. With your stomach in knots, you read the long-awaited response to your submission…and sigh. (Or curse—depending on your personality and how many times this has happened to you.)

I get it. I really do. And almost all other writers who pursue publication understand what you’re feeling.

As writers in the “query trenches”, it’s important that we don’t just focus on the rejections. 

We need to celebrate the accomplishments along the way.

*wrote a book (or multiple books)

*actively pursuing publication

*continually growing/improving/revising=getting closer to publication

*connecting to other writers

*celebrating requests and learning from passes

Recently, my boys and I popped open a bottle of sparkling cider to celebrate a request for The Dreamspeaker’s Diary.  They’ve been along for the ride long enough to know the request could be a pass tomorrow–but in that moment we acknowledged the joy of being one step closer to “Mommy’s dream”.

Find something to celebrate about your writing and then do it!  *lifts glass in salute* Cheers, fellow Query Compadres!

Congratulate yourself for completing a manuscript you believe in, and having the courage to send it out into the publishing world ether.

Then be brave again and send it to someone else.

You never know what you might have to celebrate because you did…