Friday, May 2, 2014

The Writer's Voice -- SAVING SNOW (YA Lite Sci-Fi FTR)

I am so unbelievably excited to have been chosen by the Rafflecopter gods to enter The Writer's Voice!!! Fingers crossed I'll make it into the next round :) Here goes:

YA Lite Sci-Fi Fairytale Retelling
66,000 Words


In a futuristic society where soul-imaging suits are required attire and the color of a person’s image determines status, privilege, and share of precious few resources, seventeen-year-old Violet White’s gray suit constantly reminds her – and everyone else – of the taint on her soul.

In the aftermath of an electromagnetic car crash, Violet’s perfectly pure sister, Snow, goes missing. Hoping to clear her taint with an altruistic deed, Violet chases a lead into a soul extremist camp, but is confronted with evidence implicating her mother. Mrs. White kidnapped Snow, put her into an artificial coma, and skimmed her daughter’s pure soul image to display it as her own.

As much as it hurts, Violet must expose her mother, but how can a girl in a gray suit compete with the purest of them all? With the government convinced of her guilt, and her father blinded by the system, only Violet can save her sister, but she has to do it before she’s caught and convicted of a crime she didn’t commit.

SAVING SNOW is a YA light sci-fi Snow White retelling and is complete at 66,000 words. The fast pace and thriller element of this story will appeal to fans of Debra Driza’s MILA 2.0 while fans of Jodi Meadows’ INCARNATE will enjoy the main character’s relationship with and exploration of the human soul.

FIRST 250:

Fear of the impure battled the thrill of walking among them until a man brushed my arm. Fear won. I sucked in a breath and jerked away from the deep blue glow of his suit as if impurity were contagious. Maybe it was.
My palms stuck to the silky material hugging my hips as I ran my hands down my sides. The familiar motion usually calmed my nerves, but with my soul suit disconnected, my heart raced and I couldn’t manage a deep breath.
“We should go,” I said. My gaze wandered over charred buildings, cracked electronic billboards, and angry furrows where light rail tracks had been dug out and used to support the crude shacks lining the square’s perimeter. The impure had destroyed the old city.
At home, soul suits were mandatory, but here I wasn’t the only one without my soul image on display. Most people wore loose, scratchy-looking shirts and pants that revealed nothing about who they were, or what they were capable of. They could be anything: pure or impure, harmless or deadly. I ran my upper lip through my teeth and tasted salt. The unknown twisted my imagination and filled my mind with sick possibilities.
Ryan caught my elbow and I forced my attention onto his worried face. “You go ahead,” he said. “I’ll meet you back at the bikes.”
My attention slid toward the flicker of a soul suit in the crowded square where a man offered dried meat in exchange for purified water. I’d never seen a wild animal in my life, and I considered the possibility that the flesh was human.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Holy Hiatus

© Eagleeye Dreamstime Stock Photos
Stock Free Images sure has been a long time since I posted. My daughter is 8 1\2 months now! And we are just finally finding our rhythm.

The past months have been HARD - harder than I ever would have believed before experiencing them myself. Before my little one was born, friends and family tried to warn me, saying things like, "you don't know what you're in for" and "parenting will be the hardest thing you'll ever do" but without a frame of reference, I couldn't quite understand what they meant. Never before had I been through an experience quite like those first three months and so I couldn't imagine the extreme physical and emotional stress I'd be under. And all while dealing with the worst sleep deprivation I've ever experienced in my life. So, yes, I prioritized things like sleep, food and drink, and personal hygiene (in that order, too).

That isn't to say that I abandoned writing entirely however. On the contrary. For whatever reason, new idea after new idea rolled in and I started to go crazy with the need to write. I couldn't though, not really, right? But I had to, so I started out slowly. I downloaded Evernote onto my iPod and started a new WiP, one sentence at a time, sometimes even in the middle of the night while I held my sleeping LO in one arm and typed with the other. I'm now just over 10k into that WiP, and more proud of that number than ever!

Still though, I couldn't give up any of my precious few free minutes to blogging. I had a revision of the old MS to do. A revision which took three months to do, but which I just recently finished.

The LO still isn't sleeping for stretches longer than 2 or 3 hours at night, but she is getting more independent, and I find that I can carve out small stretches of time for myself every now and then to get some writing done. It doesn't happen everyday, and it isn't always at the most ideal of times, but it sure is better than nothing :)

I can't promise how often I'll be able to blog, and I won't commit to any sort of set schedule, but slowly, I'm going to work it back into my life. I've missed you guys! (And I'm amazed that I have any followers left at all after such a long stretch away). Thank you for sticking around and I hope I'll have some interesting thoughts to share with you before too long.

Monday, November 5, 2012

What I've Been Up To - Part II

Over the past couple of months, as I've been doing less writing and blogging, I've been focusing my creative energy elsewhere. One of the weird things about pregnancy (at least in my case) has been an inability to sleep enough to not be tired anytime, but an inability to be awake enough to do anything which requires a significant amount of my brain (like writing).

So, I turned my attention to crafts which require only that I focus on what I'm doing and follow instructions rather than requiring the invention of new worlds, character motivations, or plots. What came of that was 1 completely finished and one nearly completed Christmas stocking. The completed stocking is for my (as of yet, unborn) daughter. The second, nearly complete one is for my husband and should be done before Christmas. The third one, the not-yet-started one, is mine.

My original plan was to complete all three before baby is born, but due to some complications, she needs to come early. Which means that I probably won't be able to finish (or even start) the last stocking by Christmas. My first thought upon realizing this: "And so this is how it daughter and husband will always have everything, and I will have nothing."

The words sound a bit bleak though if you don't read them with a hint of sarcasm and a smile. And realize that I was actually thinking of my own Mom when I thought this. Because that's exactly how it was growing up - she made sure that my sister and I had everything, then came her husband, and when we were all taken care of, it was finally her turn. Only, there often wasn't time for her. But somehow, she never seemed to mind. She was just so happy (honestly, genuinely happy, people!) to see everyone else taken care of and happy.
This morning I'm headed to the hospital and, if I'm lucky, I'll get to meet my own daughter by the end of the day. I couldn't be more excited!!!

On that note, I'll be taking a break from the blogosphere, email, and Twitter - no internet in the hospital anyways ;) - so please excuse me if I fail to respond to any messages for awhile. But, I'll be back, probably before you know it. Happy writing everyone and I hope all you NaNoWriMo-ers out there win!!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blog Make-Over

This summer, I wrote a blog post suggesting a swap of services - my critiquing/beta-reading services for a new, more personalized blog template - and Kat Brendel was one of the very first to respond :)

And now, thanks to the lovely Kat, my blog has a whole new look! Isn't it wonderful? I'd love to hear what you think about it in the comments.

Personally, I couldn't be happier with the end result - not only am I totally in love with my blog's new look, I also have this warm, fuzzy feeling which is a direct result of the amazing writing/blogging community I am lucky to be a part of. It's a rare thing to find a community where everyone is striving for the same general goal and yet gladly shares their own expertise to help each other. I can only imagine how cold and lonely the road to publication would be if writers fought other writers for publishing contracts.

Anyways, yay for collaboration! :D And thank you all for the amazingly supportive comments you left on my last post - it might sound silly, but guilt I hadn't realized I was carrying was lifted from my shoulders when I read your kind words.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

What I've Been Up to - Part 1

I've been completely neglecting this blog and now it's time to finally own up to it. Over the past few months, my priorities have shifted, and blogging took a serious hit. I only wish I'd realized what was happening and let my readers know to expect a break. But I didn't. And I'm sorry!

So now that that's out of the way, I thought I'd share a bit with you about the things I have been doing :)

The biggest, most time-consuming, new addition to my activity list has been this - growing a baby girl!

Being pregnant might not seem like an "activity" or something that requires time, but it is. At least for me. It's meant a huge shift where sleeping enough and eating well are prioritized. Gone are the days of drinking a strong cup of coffee to stay up late and finish that extra chapter or blog post or throwing a frozen pizza into the oven rather than preparing something fresh for dinner in order to maximize writing time. These are the days of afternoon naps and caffeine-free tea. And then there are the doctor's appointments, pregnancy exercise classes, nursery preparation, researching and buying the perfect stroller/car seat/etc., and paperwork to do!

Obviously, writing and blogging are things which need to be prioritized, too, otherwise there would always be an excuse getting in the way, preventing them from happening. And I've seen plenty of writers keep on a regular writing/blogging/interacting on social media schedule through a pregnancy and into their baby's first year without a hitch. I'm in honest awe of these ladies!

For me though, that just hasn't been possible. We're not all built the same way, and I haven't had the energy these amazing writers seem to possess. And since I don't have that energy, it's not worth prioritizing writing or blogging just for the sake of it. At this point in my writing career, I don't have any contractual obligations or deadlines, and so I've allowed writing/blogging to step down a rung on the ladder of priorities. I'll only be pregnant with my daughter once, and I won't stress myself out with self-imposed writing/blogging deadlines just because.

P.s. The baby girl is due on November 23rd - I'm almost there!

What do you think? Is there anything you other writers have let or would let take priority over the writing time you've carved out for yourself? What about the non-writers out there? Is there any particular activity you've worked to prioritize (blogging, crafting, reading, etc.)? Could you ever imagine shifting that priority back down?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cover Reveal: THE CRIMSON HUNT by Victoria H. Smith

You Guys!!! Today I get to share an amazing new cover with you for a NA novel coming out next month. Seriously, this cover is amazing :) Here's the info:

The Crimson Hunt (Eldaen Light Chronicles, #1) by: Victoria H. Smith
Release Date: November 12, 2012
Genre: New Adult Science Fiction Romance

Book Description:

College junior Ariel Richmond is working on year three of Project Normalcy.

Her house reeks of keggers past and her bestie is just a slight bit vulgar. But the thing is—they both aid in making life refreshingly uneventful.

So much for hard-earned mediocrity when Luca Grinaldi appears on the scene.

Luca’s sudden presence on campus is hard to ignore. Those bright eyes act like a beacon to unsuspecting females, and with features like his, he’s got to be moonlighting for GQ. Luca hopelessly captivates Ariel with his confidence and charisma, but the mysteries surrounding him make him nearly untouchable. And just when Ariel grows close enough to unlock his secrets, a tragic event sends her life in a downward spiral.

That steady life is no longer an option and allies quickly become scarce. The mysterious Luca seems to be the only one willing to help her—but with that trust comes the burden of his secrets. He has a dark mission of otherworldly proportions, and is willing to sacrifice as many lives as it takes to see it completed.

Gone are the days of simply maintaining normalcy, and if Ariel isn’t cautious with her trust, so soon may be her future.

About the Author:

Victoria H. Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She puts it to good use writing romance all day. She resides in the Midwest with her Macbook on her lap and a cornfield to her right. She often draws inspiration for her stories from her own life experiences, and the twenty-something characters she writes give her an earful about it.

In her free time, she enjoys extreme couponing, blogging, reading, and sending off a few tweets on Twitter when she can. She writes new adult fiction romance in the sub-genres of science fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary, but really, anywhere her pen takes her she goes. 

Victoria H. Smith Links: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Back from Summer Vacation!

I've been back for almost a week now, but I still want to share some of my vacation with you! I spent an amazing week on the Turkish coast, swimming in the Mediterranean Sea beneath a Blue Moon...

...sipping non-alcoholic cocktails at the pool, while writing and Beta reading on my laptop...

and watching evening shows put on by the resort staff (like this one where they put on these pretty awesome light suits and danced - kinda made me want to write some sci-fi)

It was a wonderful vacation :) And I am feeling wonderfully refreshed and ready to write!

Did you go on vacation this summer? Are you as ready to settle into the fall season for some good writing time as I am?