I realized today that I’ve gone more than a month without an update. It’s been a busy month, but that’s no excuse. I’ve gotten three new short stories done, made an editing pass on my novel, and took a workshop on plotting. All of that has left me very few words to spare on the blog, and I apologize for that. I don’t have much that I can show you, because I’m planning to submit almost all of what I’ve written, but what I can share is the finalized (at least until I change my mind again) pitch for Summoner’s Circle:
Young women go missing in Moonlight Bay, Oregon, but Suri Avesta decided to go to school there anyway. Finding a balance between college and the rest of life is never easy, but Suri has more hurdles to conquer than most: her lacrosse star boyfriend is hung up on his ex and the dining hall doesn’t offer good vegan options. She’s also the last of a bloodline that has spent generations fending off an invasion of elementals desperate to escape their troubled homeland—only she doesn’t know it yet.
When a jackal-headed monster attacks Suri in a dark stairwell, the calm surface of her life is swept aside to reveal what’s been lurking beneath. A mysterious woman with a mohawk and more ink than a busload of tattoo artists rescues Suri and introduces her to the arcane secrets that are her birthright. The magic Suri inherited from her dead mother frightens her as much as the creatures stalking the foggy corners of campus. Now she must learn to wield the untapped power inside her in order to survive and discover the source of the escalating attacks.
I’m pretty proud of it! I’m terrible at pitch writing, but a few of my friends from Viable Paradise helped me out with ways to make it more punchy, and I think it turned out great.
In the workshop last weekend I learned some tricks on making satisfying endings. The class was taught by the delightful Mary Robinette Kowal. Writers, I can’t recommend her Short Story Intensive workshop enough. You should sign up and take her class when next it’s available. She knows a ton about writing and her advice is priceless. Flush with the knowledge from the class, I have one more edit before Summoner’s Circle is ready to face agent roulette. Mary helped me figure out where my beginning went wrong because of where the ending winds up. See, priceless? I’m so excited to put her advice to work in my new stories, and even revisiting some of my old ones that didn’t quite work to see if I can fix them.
An interesting bit of writing news I wanted to share: Amtrak has announced a very limited residency program. The opportunity for uninterrupted writing while seeing the country from a train sounds lovely! I’m hoping to take advantage of the next one that becomes available, as I have some logistical problems with a trip like that early this year. If you’re looking to apply make sure you read the terms. They have very specific rules about what cannot be included in your writing sample, and it seems that whatever you submit will be considered free for Amtrak’s use in promotional material.
Hearts and puppies,