Infinity Second by S.T. Rucker, serializing on JukePop and Wattpad

Everybody knows that everybody dies. But how many people can say they live twice but die only once? Nikelle Evans discovers she is a special kind of human called a Mortality. They are human in almost every way…except 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 Investigations Bureau, Nick/Nikelle unravels the secrets behind the death of her mother.

Infinity Second is now serializing on JukePop and Wattpad. I gave the novella a little momentum before continuing to talk about it on my blog, so it is now in Chapter Nine: The Throne of Chronos. In the latest installment, Nick is visiting the Mortality Investigations Bureau for the first time and enters the Throne of Chronos, a mysterious place inside the Bureau tied to the god of Time.

Oracle by S.T. Rucker is nearing completion so feel free to check out that full-length novel on both Wattpad and JukePop platforms as well.

–S.T.

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Hey, I Read Something!: Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

The thoughts of a Writer Who Reads, utterly disenchanted with everything but trying to love reading again

Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1)Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Long story short, here’s what got this book two stars and almost got it one: The romance. Every five seconds, Kai is going ON AND ON about Avan’s collar bones, his touch, his mouth, his muscles, his back, his hands, his butt, his voice, or his spine. She does the same thing with Reeve, who is supposedly her brother. And almost the same thing with Mason. This romanticizing and sexualizing is discordant with the better aspects of the story. I would say this book is a YA dystopian fantasy fiction that tells its story using mythology. So having to read through Kai’s almost daydream-like fixations on Avan and Reev’s bodies is annoying as hell. The romance is not written in such a way that it is in step with the rest of story so it wasn’t welcomed in my mind.

Kai’s interactions with boys coupled with her lack of positive, meaningful interaction with anybody else was a huge issue for me. The only female characters really mentioned are mean girl types and “the prostitute”. “The prostitute”? Really? Come on now. And Hina is barely a character since Kai spends most of her time lodged up Reev and Avan’s butts as if they are the only people on the planet.

I was also looking forward to seeing more Infinite. Conquest, Strife, Death, and Famine–that’s what we get. That’s really depressing. All the Infinite can’t be such depressing figures.

Yes, the pacing was slow but that’s not what bothered me. The story is written in the first person, from prospective of Kai. I would ordinarily write off a character like Kai as a “d”-chasing airhead. Yet I gave the book a chance and read through the whole thing. I weep for the wasted potential of this story.

NaNoWriMo ’16–final day @ 68,362 words

I officially reached over 50,000 words on November 23rd and have continued writing. Since I finished on the same day last year, it seems that’s how long it takes me to write that much with everything else going on.

I have seen people’s avatars on the NaNo forums who reached 100,000 words before I even finished. -__- Sorrow and jealousy. But regardless, the goal I set for myself last year is 70,000 words. In a few hours, I will reach that goal.

Its been a challenge. There’s always some mess or other going on in the background and distracting me. The good news is I did it. The even better news is I only have about five major scenes left in Oracle before I’m finished writing the novel. (The first draft or whatever you prefer to call it.) This is the first time I’ve ever written a full-length novel in six months. The bad and good news is I’m not done yet and the story is getting too big and too long for my head so I’ve decided to write it in three books. Originally, I had intended for it to be a much shorter project than it is. I’ll let the muse continue to carry me until I reach the intended and anticipated end of Oracle.

I’m going to finish Nation Novel Writing Month 2016…then I’m going to take a long nap. *sigh*

NaNoWriMo 2016

National Novel Writing Month is nigh!

This will be my seventh NaNoWriMo and I was introduced to it in college. I never go into it without plans to “win”, and by “win” I mean reach the 50,000 word goal of this yearly event. My intention is to finish as much of whatever stories and writings I’ve got that has an ending.

My primary project this month is Oracle, which I started writing back in June. I took October for hiatus on the novel to rest my brain since it’s been at the forefront of my thoughts since I started it. The story is over 50,000 words and I’ve been trying to decide whether to write one long novel or split it into two or three book. Splitting it into books doesn’t change the fact that it continues where some readers would like to stop reading and/or start a new book. I can’t guesstimate how long Oracle is going to be and I don’t really want to. I just want to be true to my story, let it do what it do, and hope people enjoy it.

Though I have never committed to it before and have mixed feelings on the topic, I’m also writing a fanfiction based on a manga/anime that I recently discovered and really like. My fanfic is an estimated novella to light novel length (40,000 to 50,000 words apprx). It seems I’m incapable of writing anything too short, I’m too detail-oriented I guess.

That’s what I’m up to. I hope I can finish Oracle, my fanfiction, and a couple of short stories this coming month. I shouldn’t even be writing this post since I’m supposed to be resting up for NaNo ’16 for ! -__-

I’m in the Top 25 Authors of the Jukepop and 1888 Summer Writing Project!

I entered my serialized and ongoing novella Oracle in the 2016 Summer Writing Project on JukePop with only the intention of publishing something for my birthday. I’m surprised and proud to announce that I ended up getting selected as one of the Top 25 Authors. On August 1st, one author will be picked for publishing with professional cover art by Irvin Rodriguez.

This is my podcast interview with Dean Moses about Oracle and my month-long writing experience. I don’t care how much public speaking I’ve done, I still get rattled and nervous every single time I do things like this! But Dean, one of three winners of the last year’s Summer Writing Project, was really nice and I got through to the other side of the interview, probably because he was so kind and cool about it. I  was so nervous and yet I get so excited when I’m talking to other writers! Feel free to listen to the podcasts from the other Top 25 as well, I know I will be!

Speaking of winners from last year, there are three of them. This year, they’re only picking ONE. I won’t lie, I want to win. I feel the pressure. Three issues that I foresee:

  1. My novella isn’t a novella anymore. I wrote 22 out of 30 days last month. Each chapter is 800 to about 2000 words. My book way over 35,000-40,000 words now. The rules use the word novella constantly. Even I did get the right reader analytics according to JukePop,, that might count against me.
  2. Outreach, marketability–I don’t know how any of those things will turn out for me.
  3. Most importantly, I have made a commitment to staying true to the integrity, heart, and pacing of Oracle. I’ll hate myself if I betray that for a competition. My desire, underneath it is all, and the right thing to do is keep writing until the end.

When I started writing and talking about Oracle nearly two weeks before my birthday, I vaguely imagined how nice it would be to be picked as one of the Top 25 Authors but I didn’t expect any recognition. Even if I don’t come out as the author that receives this wonderful opportunity from 1888, I got so much more out of entering the Summer Writing Project than I imagined and I’m writing a story that I love.

Please follow and read Oracle on JukePop. Enjoy. Vote. Tell me what you think!

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….)

To Publish or Not to Publish Without Professional Editing (and Other Issues): Releasing My First Full-Length Novel

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A lot has been going on since my last post here at Sepia Heaven, including the passing of my grandmother.

Path of the Righteous is a story that begins, depending on how you look at it, with a girl who just wants to read some books and it seems her thirst for knowledge has led her into a bigger trap than she realizes at first.

I like the story because though Dahlia’s journey is harsh, it takes her to fantastic places and in the end she comes out stronger than any of her adversaries or obstacles.

Path of the Righteous is set to be my first full-length novel and I haven’t completely read through it for some cursory editing. I’d like to have a professional do it but hesitation and doubt just keeps winning in addition to literally not having the money to pay anybody to take the time to review and/or look over my writing. I have some inkling as to how to begin looking for an editor if I really want one and feel its necessary. I just want my first book to be kind of shiny and polished I guess.

In addition to living in an environment that’s counterproductive and sometimes even toxic to my writing process, I also want to roll out the book with professional cover art (more money) and a press release letter and everything. Though I want these things, I feel bogged down by my own ever-mounting delusions of grandeur that then collapse right back into the fact that I haven’t even finished editing yet and every time I look back at what I’ve already done, I see something new to edit. Something different to “fix”. There’s also an investigation into continuity with the sequel and a scene or two I’d like to add to Path of the Righteous (Book I) itself..

I’m so indecisive and emotionally and mentally constipated about the whole thing by now that I’m considering compiling a book of short stories to publish first instead.

But why? I think the reason is because it would take me even more time to write and compile those short stories, thereby preventing me from publishing anything for an even longer amount of time. Self sabotage. Doubt. Uncertainty. Attempts at perfectionism.

The truth is I just want to publish the damn book and forget about all this other stuff in my head. Shove it out there, edit as I notice stuff. Nothing like the pressure of sticking the book out there and trying to change typos and other editing issues before anyone else sees them, hahaha :-D. I don’t want my readers to have a potentially bad experience but this maybe the only way I can get anything out there without drowning in anxiety/panic attacks every five seconds and succumbing to procrastination and other forms of self-sabotage.

I’ll work through this, so please look forward to seeing Path of the Righteous on Smashwords in ebook format and available in hard copy probably on Lulu soon.

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