Writer’s in Paradise – Eckerd College – Last Days

I have so many thoughts regarding the Writer’s in Paradise Writing Conference at Eckerd College that just ended this Saturday. I have so many emotions.

Let me start with some facts:

  1. Approximate amount of money spent on the conference fee, transportation, lodging, food, gas, miss = $1600
  2. Total number of author signatures obtained: 3 (from Laura Williams McCaffrey, Ann Hood, and Dennis Lehane)
  3. Size of my workshops: 12 of us students in the YA workshop with our leader Laura Williams McCaffrey

Some thoughts:

  1. My favorite moments were the “Best of” Brunch and the Dennis Lehane craft talk
  2. I loved everyone I met and am so grateful to have been accepted into the YA workshop and to work with such brilliant writers and readers
  3. LWM was brilliant and beautiful and such a great leader of our group
  4. Though some of the details were not as well done, overall the conference was a wildly successful conference
  5. The opening to Donuts in an Empty Field was read during Writer Idol (second day) and although I submitted a rather short ‘page’ it made it all the way through. Who doesn’t like donuts?
  6. Though I didn’t get instructions to sign up for the student reading, I made it onto the waiting list and everybody was able to read through the excellent stepping up leadership of Allison from our YA group.
  7. All the readings were worth going to
  8. The YA workshop was excellent
  9. I have plans to edit and finish and send off my manuscript from this workshop

Thank you fellow writers and readers. Perhaps I will see some of you next year because I already know I’d like to go back.

First Draft Complete at 40k: Flora’s Last Chance for Magic

How do you celebrate finishing a first draft?

Challenge (4)

I like to do it with cake….

Flora finished fanfare: from Vanessa’s Book of Awesome Things – Challenge from 30 at 30, number 18: “pie/cake in the face”

Challenge (7)

Challenge (6)  Challenge (8)

When I started the first draft: 4/13/15
When I finished the first draft: 8/8/15
Total days to completion: 117 days or 3 months, 26 days

What I did differently in writing this novel: after writing the first chapter and the summary I wrote a complete outline

The first chapter: I rewrote several times

Fun fact: This novel is based on the short story Magicas Quotient I wrote in May of 2014 and submitted to WOTF second quarter in 2015. I was inspired to write it into a middle grade fantasy novel after reading Sara Supernatural by the local author Tiffany Belcher.
Total number of words in Flora’s Last Chance for Magic draft one: 40,283

The last two sentences of the manuscript:

Challenge (3)

The aftermath of the celebration:

Challenge (2) 11855836_10153520960239464_8501508667508910279_n


Check out the video from the event!

Thanks to Paul for taking video and cake to the face.

Flora’s Last Chance for Magic – WIP progress update

Flora’s Last Chance for Magic: (working summary)

Flora wanted to be an artist, but artists without strong magic are not taken seriously. Flora has to find her magic, but every time she tries something new it backfires. Her best friend Sebastian is not concerned with magic, only finding his real parents and Flora has a hard time taking him seriously. Magic is everything. Magic is important. Magic is how you are adopted. Sebastian was adopted before he got his magic because he had potential. Flora has no potential, only a love of art, and no prospective parents will want to adopt her. Stuck in a group home, Flora’s only chance for a future is to discover what’s been inside herself all along, and it’s not just magic.

Progress Update: Flora is at about 25k words! Projected word count is between 40-60k, so I’d say I’m about halfway done writing Flora’s Last Chance for Magic. Yay! I’m fairly certain I’ve nailed down the title, what do you think? I kept forgetting if it was Flora Finds her Magic or Flora’s Last Chance for Magic, but I like the latter better. What do you think?

Writing: As I stated, Flora is at approximately 25k words. I’ve been editing heavily the beginning with my critique group and editing as I go by myself. I also wrote a fairly concise outline that’s helping me stay on track and helping Flora’s first draft to be as excellent as it can.

Cover: I flirted with a website called selfpubbookcovers.com, do you guys like this one linked here for the cover?

Beta Readers: I have enough beta readers for my projected two rounds of beta reading, but would always love a few more. If you’re interested in reading this lovely middle grade sci fi/fantasy book, let me know.

Marketing: I have some great back end things for this book, such as book questions, a fun magic/career aptitude test that anyone can take, and a genetic abilities scale research paper report. I have not yet started marketing for this book, however, my plan is to submit it to a few publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts and perhaps the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. Know any great publishers for this type of book? I’d love to know!

Flora’s Last Chance for Magic Snippet from Chapter five:

Flora left Seb’s house well before her curfew so she would have enough time to walk across town back to Last Chance. She didn’t want to take the public bus, because people stared at her. Walking had become habit for Flora and she relished being outdoors. The greens were so green and the browns were quite brown. Sebastian was really cool and Flora was glad he had decided to welcome her into his house and to be her work partner for the genealogy project.

Sebastian only knew a few things about his real parents and Flora didn’t think he had enough information to go on to find them. He had explained the genetic magical matching principle to her and she kind of understood it now. It would be super easy to match Seb up to his parents once he got his magic. She was amazed he wasn’t as anxious as she was to get her magic, since it could help him find his parents and he really wanted to find them.

His adoptive parents were like the Pr’aps that came around every once in a while looking to adopt a kid with good magical potential. Flora could see that they weren’t good parents for Seb, but they were probably just disappointed in their investment. Seb was good at nothing. He had tried almost everything and shown no propensities for any particular specialty. If he got his magic, it would be a tossup what he did in life. If you got magic late in life you didn’t get the choice of a career, though, society chose for you.

Flora would not let that happen. She needed her magic. Without it, she couldn’t be an artist.