Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dude, I'd never heard about that!

So today I learned that there’s actually a legitimate publishing category called new adult, which describes books primarily market to and with protagonists from the ages of about 18 to 22. And I’m like, holy cow, why did nobody ever tell me about this before?

I’ve been wondering about this ever since I started planning Aurorae. It’s definitely not YA; it’s aimed at people in their early twenties, college students and recent college graduates and the like. The protagonists are all 20-somethings, except for the old lady mentor figure, and I’ve been tossing around a lot of themes that I’ve been thinking about for most of college. (Whereas A House Divided wound up reflecting a lot of things I thought about during my first two semesters or so) Not knowing what New Adult was, I wondered how I was gonna explain the target audience.

This makes things so much easier. Thanks for the info, QueryShark!

Besides all that, it gives an answer that I’d been wondering about. It’s always bugged me that you have all these books written for high schoolers, but as soon as you get into college you’re expected to relate with characters whose personal subplots involve divorce and mid-life crises. I don’t know about other 20-somethings, but I don’t know anything about that sort of thing and I don’t really like to read about it.

I guess the thing to do now is start looking up some New Adult novels. Since there’s no section for it at Barnes & Noble, I guess I better start doing some research. To Google! (At the very least, it’ll help me kill time until Annie’s Halloween party tonight)

In other news, my internet is being finicky and it’s really annoying. Stupid server problems.

NaNoWriMo countdown: 10 hours and counting!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm so tired today, but I don't know why...

Today I took another look at my short story, “The Interior of Sheridan Price,” and honestly, it might just be because I’m tired, but I’m starting to have my doubts. Part of me thinks that a good rewrite and polish of this story – finally adding in the extra scenes it needs, fleshing out the characters and tightening the work a bit – would be perfect to submit, along with “Ala ad-Din,” as part of my graduate school applications.

But, well. Sometimes I don’t know. I mean, what exactly do creative writing graduate schools look for?

“The Interior of Sheridan Price” is a quirky YA-focused piece about a high school girl, the titular Sheridan, who spends her weekend breaking into churches in the small West Texas town where she lives. It’s narrated by Sheridan’s classmate, Wendy; and it’s just as much Wendy’s story of self-discovery as a detail of Sheridan’s craziness. I like to think it’s got a tone kind of like Barbara Robinson’s, if The Best Christmas Pageant Ever were written for high school students and had lesbian realization undertones.

On the other hand, “Ala ad-Din” is a magical realism fairy tale about an old man and a djinni whom he’s contracted to serve as his butler. The undertones there are mostly hints of 19th-century Britain mixed with the djinni’s very Islamic origins. It’s also the story that the Strange Horizons editor told me was beautifully written but too predictable.

It’s not that I’m not proud of both these words. Sheridan Price needs a little sprucing up, but it’s still got some great potential; and I’ll keep sending Ala ad-Din around until somebody either picks it up or I die. But…I don’t know. I guess I’m just paranoid about what grad schools will think of my work when they read this. I run into so many English students in my creative writing class who write this high-brow, oh-so-intellectual and literary stuff, and people act like this is the expectant norm.

Let me be honest here: I hate writing literary fiction. I think it’s boring and a pointless designation since all literature, right down to pure escapist mediums like comic books and video games, have literary potential and are most enjoyable when that potential is fulfilled. I love reading the stuff that people write for the love of writing and seeing the universal and personal symbols that crop up – like Hayao Miyazaki’s flying sequences or Annie’s towers-by-the-sea motif. That’s the literary value to me, the stuff that’s organic and natural. Going out of your way to force “literary” symbolism into a work to get that genre distinction is annoying and pointless. I hate reading it as much as I hate writing it.

But what if that’s what the academics are looking for? What if writing honestly – writing like a genre writer – hurts my chances? What am I supposed to do then?

Buckle down and find something else do to with my life, I guess. I’d rather never go grad school than write something that doesn’t represent me.


NaNo Countdown: 4 days and counting!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


So, I finally got somebody to send me a personalized rejection instead of just a form! ^_^

Admittedly, it's for the short story I've been waiting on, not for my novel, and it would have been even better if they'd decided to publish it. But still, receiving a note with both helpful critique ("...utimately, the story felt a little too predictable") and reassuring specifics ("It's written in a lovely, understated style...") is a step further than I've gotten with anyone else and therefore counts as a progession in my book.

I think I'm going to try a couple of flash-fiction peices before NaNo gets started, just to see if I can't get something picked up before the DFW writer's conference in February. Besides, then I can get a couple of these quirky ideas out of my head so I can buckle down on Aurorae.

...Oh yeah. I also need to find a costume for Halloween. Hm...

NaNo countdown: 8 days and counting!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Conflicting Emotions

Broke up with my boyfriend yesterday. Over the internet, becasue I'm a coward. I feel like a complete and utter heel, and even a night's sleep hasn't been enough to get rid of the exhaustion.

Compounding my bad mood is the fact that the one roommate I'm on awkward terms with is doing her damn hardest to turn herself into my mother; or rather, she's trying to become the sort of sterotypical television mother who is all nagging and no love. I keep my dice in the living room, where my Dungeons and Dragons game meets. She doesn't like this because it might tip off her friends that people actually live here instead of just using it for parties. Last time she bothered me about picking them up, I was working on writing, so I went and got them. She lectured me. I ignored her. Now she wants to have "A Meeting" with the four of us.

Living with people is hard.

On a more positive side, I have a title for my NaNo: Aurorae. So far I like it. I'll have to write the book to see if it fits though. I'm really looking forward to this. Finally, a paranormal romance that doesn't suck and actually deserves to be filed in the "horror" section!

Also, still waiting for Strange Horizons magazine to get back to me about the short story I submitted to them, Ala ad'Din. They're a week overdue and the waiting it killing me; especially since I really want to submit it to the Writer's Digest competition if they reject it.

Need to work on a short story for my graduate school applications, too. Maybe "The Interior of Sheridan Price" can warrant a second look...

NaNo Countdown: 10 Days and Counting!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Social Network (doesn’t work for me…)

I dislike Facebook. Twitter, too.

Notice that I did not say “hate” up there. For as much as I tend to misuse that word while speaking with friends, I don’t actually hate much of anything except listening to people argue poorly. But, like all people, I have my likes and dislikes, and there are many things that I simply don’t care for, including peppers, fruit, American horror movies, e-readers, bookstore representatives who aggressively try to sell me e-readers, most of the romance genre and this monstrosity that people call “Social Networking.”

My mother has repeatedly tried to tell me that I, quote, “Just don’t understand what networking was really meant to be.” Then she’ll go on for a while about how isolated the world was before the invention of the internet, how hard it was to keep in touch with nothing but the post office and how, when she was my age, she could only afford to call home from college for a ten-minute chat once a week.

And, of course, every time I open a Writer’s Digest article on building a fiction platform, the one thing everybody insists on is that you NEED a Facebook AND a Twitter, because it’s SO great for making connections with people, like, OH-EM-GEE!

It’s not like I think that Facebook should be outlawed, or that I’m going to begrudge anyone for using the blasted thing. I don’t care if social networking exists. I just don’t want any part of it. I don’t like “networking.” It’s so…fake.

I will be the first person to advocate making social connections and friendships over the web. Most of my support system is built from people I’ve never met in real life. That’s why I like blogs. You get the best insight when you’re able to read someone’s work and pick their brains about their passions. And hell, I wouldn’t be as good a writer as I am today if I hadn’t started posting fan fiction on the internet eight years ago and garnering feedback from it.

But social networking like Facebook and Twitter doesn’t give you any of that insight, not really. What it gives you is a shallow, insubstantial connection built either on a mutual desire to get something out – like a job offer – from the other person or on establishing a sounding board for your own self-indulgences. It’s not bad and it can certainly work out in your favor if you play it right, but it just feels…slimy to me. Dishonest. Insincere.

I’ve never pretended to be the world’s most social person. I’m an addiction short of the stereotypical self-isolating, anti-social writer. But my gut tells me that the honest value of a small web of 100 people with whom you’ve formed an honest bond is light years beyond anything you could possibly get from a social network of 10,000.


NaNo Countdown: T-minus 12 days

Monday, October 4, 2010

Nano Countdown!

26 days and counting! And the forums are already up and running. I love the NaNoWriMo forums - they're the best place on the internet. If anybody cares to add me as a buddy, here's my profile.

In other news, I've recieved my 8th form rejection notice. It's also the 3rd addressed to Mr. Fannin.

-.-; I know that Addley is kind of an odd, vaguely androgynous name, but come on. My blog's called Adeline Cappuccino and I put it right in my contact info. How hard is that?