Presenting ‘Infinity Second’–2017 Summer Writing Project | JukePop + 1888

Read Oracle (Book 1) by S.T. Rucker on Jukepop

During the 2016 Summer Writing Project last year, my novel, Oracle, made the Top 25 entries for the contest. I was disappointed that it didn’t win but it is now six chapters away from completion, intended for a full length, three-book series, and more than I ever hoped for. So I’m glad and proud of what I’ve accomplished.

I’m still working on building my readership and Jukepop hasn’t worked out for me in the popularity department, so to speak. This is part of the reason I decided against participating in 1888 and Jukepop’s Summer Writing Project contest this year and also leaving JukePop for a different platform. But I changed my mind after asking the opinion of a friend. Also I had a story I wanted to let out so here we are. I may continue to publish on JukePop but I realize I need to branch out and find somewhere else to direct my energy.

I have absolutely no illusions about winning the contest but I’m submitting anyway. Without further ado, the novella that I am sharing for the 2017 Summer Writing Project is entitled INFINITY SECOND. Look forward to another update soon and the posting of the first chapters on JukePop

Nikelle Evans discovers she is a special kind of human called a Mortality. They are human in almost every way…only before they die and see their life flash before their eyes, they have one very long second in which to live an entirely separate life as a different person. After joining the Mortality Investigation Bureau–the M.I.B.–Nick/Nikelle unravels the secrets behind the death of her mother.

 

 

I made my book covers using the very helpful ebook templates on Canva.com. ^__^

 

 

 

Still alive

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Hey, hey, hey there.

I didn’t “win” 1888’s 2016 Summer Writing Project, not at all unexpected, but I am still working to finish my novel, Oracle, serialized on Jukepop. Usually, I’d really be down about this kind of thing after putting myself out there but I’m managing the mantle of disappointment and suspicions of inferiority pretty well.

I appreciate the recognition of 1888, everyone who voted for me on Jukepop, and the grace of entering the Top 25 in the writing project. And believe me, I thirsted for the rewards and further recognition of winning this competition. I’m not sure how I should or should have used the opportunity so it’s now time to move on, I guess. Time to get back to the heart of this story…ME. Though I really wanted my novel to win, I started writing Oracle as a gift to myself for my birthday, to write a story I (in the precarious state of both reader and writer) want to read–not for a competition or for votes or to participate in the virtual Hunger Games that is literary/publishing world.

Oracle is going on its 37th and likely 38th chapter this week. I look forward to seeing its journey though.

There are so many stories yet trying to get out of my head. Because I feel it’s unwise to divide my energy and attention, I don’t usually work on more than one book or short story at a time. I’ll be an old lady before most of them get squeezed out. -__-

 

Writer’s Voice, Reader’s Mind

Every time I re-read a book, I see something I didn’t see before. My journey as  reader and writer is to see the soul of an author’s work.

Sometimes readers will make comments about my work that make me think, You didn’t actually read what I wrote, did you. I’d be the last person to turn down constructive criticism. But if I sense that they’re offering “advice” or “criticism” but didn’t take the time to read the words and understand them to formulate a useful opinion, I get irritated and jazzy in the mouth, just downright sassy towards them.

When I read, I don’t go in saying, “Let me see how well this author writes like my favorite author!”. (Also because I don’t have a favorite author.) And I don’t write stories for people who skim and speed read or want something fun, quick, and trashy to read at the airport. No, as a reader, I try to see how that writer is delivering information, details, so that my imagination paints on the canvas of my mind and shows me the story.

What next?

Coming down with it. I feel an overwhelming pressure to publish something this year.

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My plan is to run a short story/novella on JukePop. ^This is what I’m working on, ORACLE–fantasy fiction all the way!! I did these e-book covers on Canva.

Welcome to Oracle–a sprawling school of magic overlooked by a crystal mountain, surrounded by fields and forests beneath whipped clouds and endless blue skies. But you know what they say: If something is too good to be true…it usually is. Caprice Bilberry is a witch who suddenly arrives at Oracle’s extraordinary campus and is informed that as a student here, her greatest wish will be granted: She will be freed from generational enslavement and have the right to go to school and practice her magic. Why leave the only life she’s ever known, risking death and the murder of her family? Why say no and return to life as a slave in a colonial village where using magic is an offense punishable by mutilation and death? Caprice, Nezzle, and Bossa become friends, soon unraveling a terrifying secret: The school is more than what it seems, demanding a price more sinister than its lofty goals reveal or make up for. Its the ultimate fine print. For one does not simply enter and become a student at Oracle school….

And I just got an email that JukePop is doing the 2016 Summer Writing Project with 1888. Perfect, I’ll just do that.

Personally, I’m a little selfish and I don’t want to share my work for free but that’s my vanity talking. Most people advise against doing this though some argue that giving away some work for free helps build an audience. Writing is my calling and art should be freely shared, yet some part of me still wants to write for a living despite what that actually means in my society. Its a working class/poor people thing I guess, that dream of getting paid for doing what you love. I’ve had multiple people tell me I should be paid for my work and I decided to believe them.

I didn’t publish anything last year. Even if I do publish, I’d have to do book covers, editing, proofreading, and back matter/synopsis–all on my own. Not to mention promoting it. Or attempting to rather. I guess I’m already part of the way there: books covers done, synopsis okay, and first four chapters finished.  I wonder if its enough to go, “I wrote this thing” and shove it out there. Wanting a little bit more than that is a lot of work. (If I’m wondering then maybe its not….)

Less is More? Social Networking Sites

Social networking: I’ve never been one to use Facebook, Google+, or Twitter. Honestly, I thought they were superfluous fads. Of course, they can be useful but most of the time it’s about numbers. Yes I want people who are interested in me and interested in my work and want to follow me but blogging and social networking sites look like a popularity contest with a circus on top and I’ve never been the type to get caught up in those types of things or the type to attract that sort of attention. If rather have one reader who really likes and finds value in my work than a thousand followers that I have no real connection to. I’ve created profiles in several different places but I don’t use them, not the personal ones or the professional ones. Now that I have them, I’m not sure I should get rid of them even though I don’t use them. You never know what will be useful later. A tool that’s not relevant now might be a good thing to have in the future.

As much as I hate popularity contests and trying to win people over, planning and scheming, and numbering people, I always agonize over whether or not people hear me (as evident in my agonizing over whether cover art is part of my problem). Am I writing and no one is reading? But aren’t I writing for myself? If that’s true, then why does it matter who read it and how many? But, as a writer, I’m supposed to care about that right? With so many digital methods of reaching people, or audiences as they say, shouldn’t I be doing everything I can to connect with readers? How can you know for sure if you reached even one person on a meaningful level?

I’ve always believed that social networking and the internet has made people lazy and ultimately uninterested in each other. Everything seems so impersonal. Click a button to “like”. Share with contacts. “Unlike”. Follow. Retweet. Reblog. It seems meaningless and shallow. It gives some people a reason to be lazy and hide from solid connections with others. Some it strengthens and helps maintain their connections. Others it gives them a chance to meet in the first place.

So far I’ve deleted my Twitter and my Tumblr (which is still there but I’m not using it). I still have a FB page that isn’t getting any hits so that’s next on the list because I see the tumbleweeds a-blowing ’round. Honestly, I don’t know what will work for me. Even with this blog, I try only to post once a month out of concern for doing way too much.

Current Word Count: 52,338, as of yesterday

I haven’t done my hair or practically anything else for the past twenty-three days. I did however write over 50,000 words in short stories and novels, over 8,000 words in notes, emails, and journaling, and more for National Novel Writing Month 2015. If anybody calls my writing a hobby again, I can’t even say what….

Officially, I “finished” early (by meeting the 50k word goal) yesterday. I would’ve finished the day before and came up short by 194 words due to falling asleep and a series of distractions.

I have participated in NaNoWriMo every year since 2009 (minus 2010). This year was much easier for me though I only count words that go towards the story/novel, not notes or journaling.

I organized and wrote everything between Scrivener and Evernote on my laptop and tablet. But because my book is not finished, I still have a few days left, and there’s so much more to write, I will be writing on until midnight on November 30th. I will validate my word count then.

And then, because I still won’t be done with all my works in progress, I’m fine write some more.

I was going to write a NaNoWriMo ’15 post earlier this month but I never finished it. This is what’s in my notes, I had two sentences slated:

I love writing and writing is what I’m going to do every day this month. So far I’ve finished drafts for two short stories.

Really, that’s all. And I never finished that draft.

I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. Now I have to go finish my 1667 word goal minimum for today. So relieved I updated my blog now! ^__^

Editing the first draft of Love Little

I wanted to publish something before the end of the year, namely the second half of Path of the Righteous. Looks like I may not be publishing anything at all. What’s more important, publishing or writing?

I have finished the initial draft of my short story, Love Little. It’s about a mousey boy in an “out-crowd-of-one” named Love Little whose disappointed parents send him to summer camp where he meets an unexpected friend and kindred spirit.  I wanted my #1 fan and beta reader to read it for me but it has so many typos and other assorted rough patches, that I asked her to hold off even though I’ve already eye emailed it to her.

After I lost two to three months worth of work on my stolen Kindle’s hard drive in August, I was devastated and disoriented. I still can’t quite get my head straight and start writing again. Rushing into editing Love Little the moment I was done with it was a bad idea and I’ve slowed the process even if I haven’t stopped completely.

Isn’t there a rule or guideline somewhere that says writers shouldn’t work on editing or rewriting stories immediately after the first draft?

I don’t have an exact framework or timeline for editing and sharing. The only rules I do have for my work is read it once before sharing and don’t share until you’re sure you want people to read it.