Frazzled Art Mom – Take Two

llrmom

Fingers crossed for lots of changes for the new year.

First off, I’m excited to announce that I have signed up to be a Lularoe consultant. I’ve always been wary of these sorts of things, but I have to say that since I started wearing lularoe I haven’t worn anything else since. I stand by the product as being some of the comfiest clothes I’ve ever worn, and after almost a year of being too sick to function, I am all about being comfy and stylish at the same time. In my opinion it’s totally worth it when I am no longer in a rush to get home and change into something more comfortable.

If anyone is interested in booking a party at some point in the future, please shoot me a message. No pressure. I am currently working on putting my facebook group together where I will host my launch party after getting my inventory. I can add anyone interested to that if you just want to browse or follow along as I figure all this stuff out.

I am also very hopeful about getting my cookie business off the ground and have some lularoe inspired ideas for that once I get my cottage license. Keep an eye out for updates on that as well.

HG Awareness Day

I’m taking a break from my usual art and writing to talk about something that’s become a big deal in my tiny piece of the world. This is going to be long and I apologize, but just try to bear with me if you can.

Today is the Ayden Rae Hyperemesis Gravidarum Awareness day. HG is classified as “extreme morning sickness”. Before a friend of mine posted about her experience with HG on her facebook, I had never heard of it. Before this pregnancy I still knew little about it.

I am currently pregnant with my third child and it¬†has been hard. My close friends and family only know how much. I start every day throwing up. No exceptions. My throat is raw and I throw up a little blood each time. I went through a phase where all I could choke down was cantaloupe and strawberries. My food aversions include almost everything. It’s easier to list off what I can eat, than what I can’t. I’ve had to flee from rooms because the smell or sight of pizza was such a powerful trigger. That’s finally improving a little, but I also¬†haven’t been able to cook a real meal for my family in months. I am three and a half months along now and I am losing weight, not gaining. This is probably due to the fact that¬†there are days that the thought of forcing myself to eat makes me so nauseous I can’t even try.

My doctor has me on medication for my nausea. Before he gave me the prescription, I was throwing up multiple times a day, couldn’t get off the couch, and couldn’t eat. Now that I’m on it, I still throw up one or two times a day, all the food aversions are still there, but I can at least eat a little. I discovered just yesterday that if I miss even a single dose, no matter how good I’ve been feeling, I end up back where I was two months ago. I wasn’t able to get off my couch until 2pm thanks to that mistake, because if I moved at all I threw up. Also, just a little too much physical exertion practically negates the affects of my medication, leaving me nauseous and on the verge of throwing up at any minute.

All of this has left me feeling hopeless, useless, and frustrated every single day. I’m not the mom I want to be, I’m not the wife I want to be. I get so hungry some days that I find myself snapping at my husband for the stupidest things. All I want to do is sleep. I look forward to bed time every day and I dread every morning because I know the moment I move, I’m going to be hit with a wave of overwhelming nausea. This has left me so sad and scared, because I would love to have four or five kids if my husband was willing, but I’m terrified of living through the sickness and the uselessness again.

Just thinking about it right now has me feeling defeated and on the verge of tears. I want so badly to enjoy what will be my last pregnancy, but I’m just ready for it to be over. That’s such an awful feeling.

Want to know something even more awful?

I don’t have HG.

I don’t fit the definition of HG.¬†I just have terrible pregnancy nausea.

I haven’t lost twenty to thirty pounds like women who¬†have HG do. I don’t throw up 20+ times a day like women with HG do. I have not been admitted to the hospital yet for severe dehydration like women with HG have. I don’t need a picc line or to have my meds delivered through an iv like women with HG do.

I am one of the lucky women with awful pregnancy sickness that can find some small relief when I eat or drink ginger. It doesn’t last more than ¬†minute or two, but in that moment, I feel better. Ginger doesn’t work for women with HG. I am one of the lucky women who can choke down a few sips of water, even though it makes me even more nauseous than food. Water is oftentimes a terrible trigger for women with HG. I am one of the lucky women who can still parent once my medications kick in. I am one of the lucky women that medications actually work on.

HG affects a small percentage of pregnant women and support from medical professionals is almost non-existent. Support from friends and family can even at times be lacking, because people simply don’t know or understand. I surely didn’t before this pregnancy.

When I started getting sick, I contacted my friend with HG to ask for her advice. She added me to the most wonderful support group for women who suffer from HG. Even though I am not as sick as most of them, they have been accepting, friendly, loving, and kind to me. They helped me figure out what medications to ask for when I finally saw my doctor. They offered me coupons to help me pay for my¬†medication because it’s¬†so expensive. They’ve listened to me complain about feeling sick, which is not something I am very comfortable doing around most people. In face to face conversations, I just say¬†I’ve been very sick. But no woman should have to go through this alone and in silence. My heart breaks just¬†thinking of these women who are so much sicker than me, suffering through something so awful, during a time that should be so wonderful and happy. Word needs to spread so no woman has to suffer through this alone.

If you can take just one minute to help spread the word, to help make sure there is no woman out there, facing this awful disease without any help, please do it. You could help a woman who is in pain. You could even help save a life, since many of these women end up in the hospital from HG, and many of their babies are born premature.

Support your fellow women today and spread the word about HG.

January WIP Joy

I did this little prompt on my twitter this past month. It was a lot of fun, inspired me to draw, think about my book, and search for new visual inspiration. I decided to bring all my answers together here in one blog post. Enjoy!

JanuaryWipJoy

1. Describe your story as blank meets blank. Grishaverse meets Graceling with Supernatural-like sibling bond.

2.¬†Why I love my protagonist. She’s not stereotypically strong. She’s scared, but steps up to save people when it counts.

3. Side character I love. Finton Leary: big teddy bear, poc, natural leader, bad-ass, a human in love w/a dragoness.

4.¬†Why I love my antagonist. Del seems powerful & dangerous but he’s really just a terrified boy mourning his brother.

5.¬†I hope someday Wellspring gets a review that says: They love Sera and Eva and couldn’t put the book down.

6.¬†Character I’d be Best Friends With: Adair. He’s sarcastic but kind, & fiercely loyal. We’d understand each other well.

7. First idea/inspiration for this WIP. Wellspring began as a 5min short about 2 sisters for my senior animation project.

8.¬†Favorite line from WIP about a character: “I think Adair likes to cause trouble,” Sera said. (That about sums him up.)

9. Favorite description from WIP. A laugh sent bliss into her heart, forcing a smile to her lips like an improper joke.

10.¬†Fav line of dialogue. Zen grinned, his eyes hooded in what could only be pleasure. ‚ÄúCome dance with me, Eva.‚ÄĚ

11. Favorite line about emotion.

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12. A cut scene I still love. Scene from my cut prologue. A child foresees thousands massacred.

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13. One beta could not stop thinking about my characters after she finished Wellspring.

14.¬†I’d love for readers to be immersed in this diverse world, & enjoy the non-stereotypical, strong female protagonist.

15. Animal I love in Wellspring. The Ferieve! Anthropomorphic wolves, that nearly capture my protagonist.

16. Sights to see in Wellspring. Anyone who comes to Shaolindia needs to see an Elemental in action.

EPSON MFP image

17.¬†Sounds to be heard: A ferieve’s howl as its hunts down prey, or an ayferi warrior’s call.

Ferieve&Ayferi_SM

18. Scents smelled: The unique floral scent in the Elemental throne room, where hundreds of flowers blossom all year.

19.¬†Tastes/flavors. Adair’s favorite meal: roasted pheasant topped with chopped nuts & drizzled w/tart cranberry sauce.

20.¬†Touches/textures Sera pleasantly discovers boys have very soft lips & aren’t just cold & calloused like she imagined.

21. I would love for my book to become a movie/tv show because I would die of happiness to see my vision come to life.

22.¬†Most epic thing about Wellspring is that it’s about two¬†sisters overcoming terrible odds TOGETHER, despite their differences.

23.¬†Cut my prologue. I love my prologue, still do, but it’s more of a short story.

24.¬†Some felt Eva was snarky and¬†rude, but that’s who she is. I ended up only toning down her attitude.

25. Shout out to the amazing ladies who encouraged me in my writing: Cathleen Townsend, Katherine Tree, Sameen Elahi, and Diana Debolt Johnson.

26. I’ve loved YA Fantasy since reading Tamora Pierce’s books. There’s so much magic and character development in YA.

27. These are some of my favorite images that remind me of Wellspring. I couldn’t pick just one.

28. Sera and Eva love and support each other despite major differences in life choices and outlook.

Twins01_SM

29. I’ve worked so hard on Wellspring and its world, Shaolindia, it’s like I’ve lived there the last eight years.

30. The family theme is so important to me. I wanted sisters who stick together no matter what; to set that example.

31. Writing Wellspring has taught me to think outside my own little box of world perceptions.

Commission Piece

I got my very first commission piece in a long while. I don’t take many on because of the tiny humans that have infested my house. They require large amounts of attention and time, so I don’t actively pursue commission work.

This piece though, was a lot of fun. A friend asked me to make her whole family into fantasy creatures that matched my usual style. I was so excited to work on it and my friend is so happy with how it came out. Definitely something I’d be interested in doing again.

JodiCommissionFull_SM

7 x 7 x 7 x 7

Thank you to my good friend and critique partner, Diana, for challenging me with this writing game. How to play:

Starting at the seventh line of the seventh page of your current WIP, post the next seven lines and tag seven more authors to join in the fun.

Title: WELLSPRING

Genre: YA Fantasy

The lines:

Eva sat back in her seat, brows furrowed, eyes flashing, her anger clawing between their minds. The look turned Sera’s stomach. Those green eyes, so full of disappointment, were so alike to another. Sera’s face burned and she blinked rapidly to keep back her embarrassed tears. A cold voice in her head sneered, such a childish response.

Immediately guilt rushed through their bond, tightening her throat.

I’m sorry, Eva said, flooding Sera’s sense with her shame.

PitchWars Mentee Bio

Carry on my wayward son!

…..no wait….this isn’t an episode of Supernatural. It’s just my PitchWars mentee bio.

You should go ahead and put that, or Supernatural Parody on while you read this and imagine a giant dork dancing around in her office chair while she writes this.

Anywho…hiiiii! I’m Tae!

SPNSamWaves

I know some of you can empathize, but it’s seriously hard to write one of these with a two-year-old climbing me like a tree.

So a little about me:

-I am a PROUD mama bear. My girls are my world and I tweet/talk about them often.
-I’m married to my manly man firefighter, who looks really good in uniform.
-I am a FANGIRL for the things I love. I squee over Supernatural and The 100. The¬†Bellarke hug, omigosh. Glad hubby wasn’t home to hear me giggling like a schoolgirl. I would need a separate blog post to list¬†all of my fandoms.
-I have a BA in animation.
-I love illustration and did all the art on my blog myself.
-I made my first book when I was seven or eight. It was a gift for my teacher, but I still have my second with its sad little duct taped, cardboard cover.
-I was raised Jewish and have been to Israel. I can’t even describe what that visit¬†did to me. I intend to go back, and to visit many other places. Ireland and New Zealand are at the top of my list.
-I am now¬†a Christian, though my heritage will always be a part of me. My faith saved me, literally, and I will shout that from the rooftops. But I will also chew someone out if they come after someone who isn’t. Some of my dearest friends live exact opposite lives from mine and I’ll go to bat for them every time.

HeadbuttGif

Skip past the demon Dean¬†gif if you don’t want to read my random babbling. I’m a rambly writer and my CP’s have had many a moment where they’ve reeled me in from my overzealous excitement. I apologize in advance for this if a mentor picks me.

So, moving on!¬†I have always loved the escape of storytelling. I’ve lived a dozen lives in my head through my characters, some who have never been put down on paper. My brain can hold onto a character for a decade, but ask me what time it is and I’ll check the clock repeatedly¬†before I remember the numbers I saw.

SPNUhOh

Since animators are basically shy actors, I act out a lot of my stories. Much of my dialogue began as conversations with myself. If my husband ever saw what goes on in this house when he’s not home he’d probably have me committed. My other source of inspiration is music. I listen to mood music on my headphones and walk my neighborhood with a note-taking app on my phone. This helps me really immerse myself in my characters and I jot down everything that comes to me. My writing might not be very flowery, but I’ve been told it’s incredibly cinematic and I’m good with that. I’m a very visual person.

Surprisingly, I was not always an avid reader. When I was young I was bored with the assigned reading at school, and my inherited stubborn streak had me refusing to read anything that someone pushed on me. It took me years to read The Hobbit and Harry Potter simply because my parents were insistent that I read them.

IDontThinkSo

Of course, now those are¬†some of my favorite books. What finally got me reading was a gift from my grandmother as I went off to summer camp:¬†Tamora Pierce’s Wild Magic.

I read it, then read the sequels, then read the Lioness Quartet, and I never stopped reading after that. My school’s copies of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern books spent more time with me than on the shelves, and eventually¬†the librarian stopped giving me a deadline on when to return them.

That’s how I found my true love: Epic Fantasy.

As well written as contemporary is, I need a book to whisk me away to another world, another life. I want to experience things I will never see or do in this world. I’m quite certain I was supposed to be a Viking. Archery and horseback riding are¬†two¬†of my favorite past times outside of drawing, reading, and writing.

BraveArchery

I love a good fight scene, and¬†writing romance is probably my greatest weakness. Developing love stories has been my most recent project. What really captures me is the way two characters look at each other when they’re falling for one another. That gets me every time and I’ve been trying to create that in my writing.

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I’m also a sucker for a bad guy falling for the good girl, and them meeting somewhere in the middle, not changing each other entirely. Sadly for readers, I’m also a sucker for tragedies. You’d think I grew up on Shakespeare with my affinity for killing characters, but I didn’t. It was all Joss Whedon. I honestly didn’t think I was that bad until recently my sister made me promise to make her one character that I did not torture, torment, or kill. Oops. I think I’m okay with that too.

SPNDemonDean

I want to create a book that takes over your mind, that keeps you thinking about it long after you’ve put it down. I consider myself a storyteller more than a writer because I will use any medium available to me to share the world I’ve created. I have been honing my writing craft for the last two or three years, and my dear CP Cathleen Townsend can attest to how much I’ve whipped myself into shape. I pretty much love her and would shower her in cookies for putting up with me. All of my CP’s have a special place in my heart.

So…enough about me. You’re here for my manuscript.

WELLSPRING has been a labor of love for the last eight years. It started as an animated short for my senior project. As I worked on it I fell in love with my girls, Eva and Sera. Two Elemental sisters, joined telepathically. One a Fire Elemental warrior and the other a Water Elemental healer, who tough it out despite all their differences. Stories of family always move me, and family sticking together in the face of supernatural forces call to me. WELLSPRING also showcases a shy, insecure girl becoming a strong, sometimes sassy young woman, because not every female protagonist starts strong, and even the shy girl can find the strength to change the world.

EvangelineTwins01_SMSerafina_SM

As I’ve polished¬†WELLSPRING for the last year and a half, I’ve dedicated a big chunk of time to flushing out their world and the mythology of it. I know I will never touch what Tolkien did, but his work is a huge inspiration. As is the GRISHA TRILOGY, GRACELING, and A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES. I’ve started developing an Elemental language, drawn¬†an extensive amount of art for the different creatures in their world, and even made¬†a map.

Icon_02Icon_01Zen01EstelliasMap

I’m very passionate about this project. Can you tell?

SPNDeanCrazyPeople

If you can handle working with a crazy person who is easily excitable, always sleep-deprived, and talks really fast in a high-pitched voice when she has caffeine, then we’ll be golden!

On the bright side for mentors, with my background in art, no mentor, CP, or agent could EVER give me crit I can’t handle. One professor of mine in college used to begin critique by going to the board and ripping down anything he didn’t deem worthy of his attention. Another time he basically told me the project I’d been working on for weeks with almost no sleep, was crap in front of my entire class and then told me to redo it. I have very thick skin and my inner crazy person is willing to do whatever I have to do to see WELLSPRING get published. I will work my butt off, I’m open to changes, and will love you forever for helping me make my work better. I might even send you Christmas cookies.

Not that I’m bribing anybody. ūüėÄ I would never do that.

TOKlaus01

From Paper to Published #4

I’m going to be a bit masochistic today and…

…I am going to share some drafts of my query letter, along with the thoughts behind edits I made, and what I’m striving to portray through my query letter.

I’m still sitting here, shaking my head at myself, and wondering why I would do this to myself. A bad query can be a horrible, messy thing, but hopefully this will help somebody. So without further ado, here we go…

Here is the version I whipped up about a week ago. I was foolishly happy with it until I sent it to friends for critique.

Original

Most fleeing from Estellias are defenseless, human–but not Sera. (Unanimous crit felt this sentence was awkward)¬†Raised markings and pearls embedded in her flesh mark her for what she is, an Elemental, with the power to command anything from a rain drop to a tidal wave. (Interesting world-building, though a bit long)¬†If only she could actually control it. Trouble is, (cliche)¬†even an Elemental with lousy skills is a dangerous one. Sera‚Äôs ability to reduce a body to a desiccated husk makes her a valuable weapon to the Elemental king.¬†(Interesting)

But Sera isn‚Äôt a killer or even a fighter, that‚Äôs her Fire Elemental twin, Eva, who the king will take from her forever for refusing to serve him. (Awkward)¬†Over the twins‚Äô dead bodies, of course. (Cut. Doesn’t flow)¬†Sera and Eva are linked; when Sera cries, Eva‚Äôs heart breaks, & when Eva decimates her enemies, Sera is strong. (Interesting concept)¬†They won‚Äôt let themselves be separated. (Meh)¬†The twins try to hide, hoping to buy Sera time to hone control of her power and add the wrath of a hurricane to Eva‚Äôs raging inferno.¬†(People loved this sentence) (One crit felt this paragraph focused TOO much on Eva and not enough on Sera. They wanted me to cut the entire paragraph)

As Sera learns to bend her power to her will, (Cut. Not a good segue)¬†the king turns loose men, other Elementals, and even employs the help of the Daemons (Shorten this list)–monstrous necromancers and manipulators of minds that kill without restraint. (Re-work sentence, awkward structure) Sera soon has enemies coming from all sides, but the king of all creatures should know best that a cornered Elemental is more dangerous than a force of nature. Sera will do whatever she can to stay by Eva‚Äôs side, and the cost could be catastrophic; for the king, Estellias, and even Sera herself. (50/50 on ending. Some liked it, some felt it was too vague)

Revised #1

Most fleeing from Estellias are helpless, human–but not Sera. (Find better opening line)¬†She is an Elemental with the power to command anything from a rain drop to a tidal wave, if she could control it. Someone bumps her and waterspouts form in a crowd; someone scares her and she draws the water and blood from their body, leaving a desiccated husk. (Very cool)¬†Sera spends every day fighting back her power, but her ability to inflict harm without even trying makes her a valuable weapon to the Elemental king.¬†(This is all set up, where’s the meat of the story?)

But blades, flame, and death are the world of her Fire Elemental twin, Eva; Sera belongs in the forest, growing healing herbs and dancing in moonlight. (Good, but long, telly characterization) Despite their differences, Sera’s mind is linked telepathically to her twin’s and the greatest punishment the king can inflict for defiance is separating them. (Meh) So when Sera says run, Eva is by her side, and when she needs help, Eva shows her how to hone control over her power. (This shows Sera doing something, but it makes her sound weak still) Sera strives to add the wrath of a hurricane to Eva’s raging inferno, to make themselves a force the king cannot contain.

Before Sera’s training is complete, the king turns loose men, (Still meh)¬†Elemental slaves, and even employs the help of Daemons–monstrous mind-stealers and necromancers who kill without restraint. (Better, but could still be simpler)¬†They attack innocents, burn villages, and force the twins to reveal themselves. Sera soon has enemies coming from all sides, but the king of all creatures should know best that a cornered Elemental is more dangerous than a force of nature. Sera will do whatever she can to stay by Eva‚Äôs side, and the cost could be catastrophic; for the king, Estellias, and even Sera herself.¬†(Ending still vague.) (This query is too long by at least 20 words so simplifying and cutting every possible extra word or sentence is very important)

Revised #2

To appear human and escape Estellias, (Identify if Estellias is a person, place, or thing) Sera must hide the bloodmarks and pearls embedded in her skin that reveal what she is–an Elemental. (Opening clause threw some critters. World-building was interesting, but sentence structure lacked)¬†In the eyes of her Elemental king, she is his weapon. (Meh)¬†He doesn‚Äôt care that she can‚Äôt control her power, only that waterspouts form when she‚Äôs nervous and when she‚Äôs scared people are drained of their blood, leaving desiccated husks. (This can be simplified and condensed)¬†Faced with being a killer or being separated from her twin, Eva, if she defies the king, Sera sees only one option. Run.¬†(Needs to be structured better. Some crit found this sentence confusing)

Blades and battle are Eva’s world as a Fire Elemental. (50/50 on cut or keep) Sera belongs in the forest, growing healing herbs and dancing in moonlight. But that life is gone, and Sera trains in hopes of honing her control so the king can never separate them. A glimpse of that life returns when she finds a channel for her power in the most unlikely form; healing. For once, her power doesn’t fight to maim or kill, and she finds solace in easing the hurts of others. (Information is good, delivery of that information could be better. There is no emotion, no mention of the bond between Sera and Eva, making the stakes a bit hollow)

Sera‚Äôs fragile peace is shattered (cliche)¬†when the king‚Äôs Elemental slaves and his Daemon allies–monstrous necromancers who kill without restraint–begin attacking innocents and burning villages. (No build up to hint that the king is still after the twins so this is jarring)¬†They force the twins to reveal themselves. (How?)¬†But the king should know that a cornered Elemental is more dangerous than a force of nature. Sera will add the wrath of a hurricane to Eva‚Äôs raging inferno if it will protect her twin–even if that means casting aside her healer’s heart and learning to kill instead.¬†(Woot! ::claps:: Keep this! One sentence locked. >_<)

(Are you catching on yet that queries are the devil? And there are actually about two or three other versions in between these revised versions, but the changes were too minute or confusing so there was no need to post them all.)

Revised #3

Sera laughs and even miles away, her twin sister Eva, smiles. (Interesting introduction of their bond. 50/50 on keep or cut)¬†Their joined minds share everything, but while her sister commands fire with ease, Sera can’t control a raindrop (50/50 on cut or keep raindrop)¬†or stop herself from reducing people to desiccated husks when she’s scared. (Cool)¬†They are Elementals, the oldest race, and the king of Estellias plans to use them as a weapon.¬†(Against who or for what?)

And worse– intends to separate Sera from Eva.¬†(Awkward. Why is this it’s own paragraph?)

When the king‚Äôs soldiers drag Sera kicking and screaming from her twin, her power lashes out, leaving only blood and corpses. (Cool)¬†Horrified, Sera‚Äôs guilt is rivaled only by her relief that Eva is safe. (Good relationship building)¬†Together the twins flee, hiding the bloodmarks and gemstones in their skin to appear human so they can escape Estellias. But the king‚Äôs Daemon allies–necromancers who kill mercilessly–give chase, going so far as to stab a merchant for withholding information. As Sera sobs over the dying man, her control wavers, but instead of killing him, she heals his mortal wound.¬†(Good details. Little synopsis-like. 50/50 on keep or simplify)

Now Sera sees a purpose for her power (Meh)¬†and the solace she finds in easing the pain of others is what she‚Äôs always wanted. (Good characterization)¬†But (Restructure to cut ‘but’)¬†healing won’t keep them free and the Daemons are closing in. There is only one truth in their world that gives Sera comfort¬†(find a stronger word than comfort): a cornered Elemental is more dangerous than a force of nature. She will add the wrath of a hurricane to Eva‚Äôs raging inferno if it will protect her twin–even if that means casting aside her healer’s heart and learn¬†(Someone commented that she already knows how to kill. Maybe a different word choice would be better)¬†to kill instead.

Revised #4

Sera laughs and miles away, her twin sister Eva smiles. Their joined minds share everything, but while Eva commands fire with ease, Sera can hardly stop a raindrop from falling or keep herself from reducing people to desiccated husks when she’s scared. They are Elementals, the oldest race, and the king of Estellias intends to use them as a weapon against his enemies, no matter what it costs the twins.¬†(Love the addition to the last sentence!)

When the king’s soldiers drag Sera kicking and screaming from her twin, her power lashes out, leaving behind corpses of friend and foe alike. (Nice!) Sera’s guilt is rivaled only by her relief that Eva is safe. Together they run, hoping to buy Sera time to hone her control so they can never be forced apart. (Adds more agency to Sera) The king’s Daemon allies give chase, going so far as to stab a merchant for withholding information. As Sera sobs over the dying man, her control wavers, but instead of killing him, she heals his mortal wound. (Still a little synopsis-like, but the details are well received by most)

The solace she finds in easing the pain of others is what she‚Äôs always wanted, but healing won’t keep them free. (Good)¬†When the Daemons catch up, there is but one inarguable truth in her world that gives Sera strength: a cornered Elemental is more dangerous than a force of nature. She will add the wrath of a hurricane to Eva‚Äôs raging inferno if it will protect her twin–even if that means casting aside her healer’s heart and choosing to kill instead.¬†(Nice change of words!)

 

So, there you have it. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the critique gauntlet I have run my query through. But trust me, even if this doesn’t read perfectly, my very first version was a hot hot mess. Now obviously this is just the story synopsis part of my query letter, but this is the hardest part. The book info and bio part don’t really need much critique since they’re so straight forward, and I don’t have any writing credentials to add. The only other thing I had to figure out was comp titles, and I decided that fans of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and Graceling by Kristin Cashore may¬†find¬†my book appealing. Perhaps A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas as well, though my manuscript is lacking the strong romance that is present in Maas’ wonderful book.

And now, after¬†much critique–and lots of tears, cookies, and way too much chocolate–revision number four is the query that I am going to take for a test drive. I’m happy with it, which is something I haven’t been able to say about¬†any of the thirty some odd versions I’ve written before this. Keep your fingers crossed for me as I jump back into the pool of ¬†agonizing torment–ahem, I mean, begin querying once more. I will be sure to update if this query falls flat or catches the attention of at least one agent.

On the bright side, I’m quite happy with my manuscript, which I’ve spent the better part of a year polishing and running through its own gauntlet of critique as well. I’m feeling pleasantly optimistic. We’ll see where I’m at a few months from now!

Until next time.

~Tae