Open Journal: Waiting to Wake

Recent-Past Me writes…

It is a day I wish I were writing.

I’m not currently, as I have other projects – some writing-related, some not – with more immediate deadlines that need my attention. I’m prepping for publications scheduled to come out mid-October and the start of December. And “prepping”, at the moment, means doing nothing.

I’m waiting on my next instructions for the October release (“Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions” via Xchyler Publishing), and waiting on the delivery of my first proof copy of the December release (“The Sun’s Rival”, Book Five of The Wilderhark Tales, via me) so I can seek out and destroy any inevitable typos.

Just Waiting

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Waiting is a part of life. But I would not call it living.

I’m waiting until November – the next National Novel Writing Month – to dive into a new first draft. I’ve chosen a project. I’m eager and nervous to begin. It shall be the last of The Wilderhark Tales – the seventh in what I’d long believed to be a six-novella series.

I’d known this part of the story existed. I just hadn’t expected I would write it. Thinking on it over the summer, though, the series arc wouldn’t be wholly complete without it. So I’ve got to get the story’s end down. And then there’ll be Book Five to release, Book Six to revise into a publication-ready state… Mercy, and there’s that other, entirely unrelated novel in need of revision, too.

But first we wait.

By the time this post hits the blog (whenever that will be), I expect I’ll have shuffled ahead some distance in the waiting line. Some tasks will be over and done. Others will loom just ahead, claiming their turn at the top of the priorities list. Items ordered will have hopefully arrived in the mail. November and its promise of writing will be that much closer. Maybe I’ll feel awake, finally. Awake and keen to be doing things.

At the moment, I’m not feeling much of either.

Edgwyn Wyle pats my shoulder. “You still have value.”

Thanks, buddy.

“Announcement, Part 1” or “The Wait is Half-Over”

Alright, I’ve teased you long enough. My gag has been removed. You want to know what big news has got me so excited?

Short answer: I’m going to be published!!!

Longer answer: …In a YA anthology by J. Taylor Publishing!!!

Even longer answer: I think I’ll let the official press release handle this one…

* * *

J. Taylor Publishing Signs Seven Authors To One More Day, A YA Anthology To Release December 2, 2013

Six authors to be featured with L.S. Murphy in Young Adult Anthology, One More Day, from J. Taylor Publishing.

Apex, NC – March 27, 2013 – On December 2, 2013, J. Taylor Publishing will release

One More Day, an anthology of seven short stories written for young adults, with a world’s end theme.

The anthology’s theme, centered around what would happen if ‘tomorrow’ didn’t happen, produced dozens of entries with seven stories selected. “We asked authors to think on a prompt, particularly what happens as characters feel the stop, feel the shift, as they realize, only they know how to make everything go back to normal,” says J. Taylor Publishing.

With a singular theme, one might expect all stories to be “the same”, but in One More Day, the challenge to create something completely unique was met by all authors. From contemporary to paranormal, fantasy to comedy and mixes of multiple genres, each of the seven stories represents the author’s interpretation and method of ensuring the world doesn’t end—somehow, someway.

The anthology will open with Anna Simpson’s Time PIece, a contemporary romance centering on a girl’s first kiss. Transitioning to a darker sci-fi, paranormal will be Marissa Halvorson’s Dark Rose. The anthology will then move into a more whimsical, twist-filled story, Dragon Flight by J. Keller Ford, perfect for those on the roller coaster ride of love. Anchoring the center is L.S. Murphy’s The 13th Month, a ready-made fight to the end. Following comes a different take on an old fairy tale with Kimberly Kay’s Sleepless Beauty, and afterward, Erika Beebe’s Stage Fright, which is exactly how it sounds. Rounding out the anthology is Danielle E. Shipley’s A Morrow More, concluding with a bit of humor intertwined with fantasy.

“In choosing the stories, we looked for diversity, unique, intriguing stories and solid writing. In our six additional authors, we found a wonderful collection to add to L.S. Murphy, who’s debut Young Adult novel Reaper, released in January 2013,” says J. Taylor Publishing.

[And then they go on to more fully introduce all the authors, including…]

About Danielle E. Shipley
Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it.

The cover for One More day, and short summaries for each story, will release on May 13, 2013.

About the Publisher

J. Taylor Publishing is an Independent Publisher who, thanks to the Internet, has a worldwide reach. Our debut authors are in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The company produces print and electronic books. For more information about J. Taylor Publishing, please visit www.jtaylorpublishing.com.

* * *

So, yeah! That! This is the biggest “yes” I’ve gotten from the publishing industry since I started submissions, and I am absolutely dizzy with delight!

If you happen to feel like going over and above in your extension of congratulations, I’ve got a brand new author page on Facebook in want of “likes”. https://www.facebook.com/Danielle.E.Shipley.Author

BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE.

…Which I will share with you on Monday, after we’ve all had a bit of time to digest today’s excitement.

Yes. I’ve known about this for weeks, and I’m still digesting. Happiness is a heavy meal, y’all. 😀

Author Pic, Danielle E. Shipley
Behold the author photo I had taken just for this. Thanks for the shot, my lovely photographer/sister!
Yay! Yay! I get to work with these people!
Yay! Yay! I get to work with these people!

 

“Motley” or “A Little Bit of This and That. …Mostly That, Really”

I chose today’s main title for a variety of reasons – which is only appropriate, given the word’s first meaning: “Having elements of great variety or incongruity; heterogeneous.”

A motley minstrel boy!"Air of Attraction" by Michael Cheval.
A motley minstrel boy!
“Air of Attraction” by Michael Cheval.

It likewise means “having many colors; variegated; parti-colored”, which I like for no better reason than that I like the idea of colors. This adjective can also be a noun meaning “the parti-colored attire of a court jester”, which I like mainly because court jesters often have a minstrel-like role, and if you don’t know I love minstrels, than you haven’t been reading this blog for very long.

Say, does this happen to be the first time you’re reading this blog? If “yes”, hello! Welcome to Ever On Word! Don’t be a stranger. ^-^ If “no,” things around here may still look new to you because, for the second time since this blog’s beginning, I have changed its visual theme.

That’s one of the motley things I wish to mention today. Goodbye, “Connections”, hello, “Rusty Grunge”! Like the background? It’s custom-made. More details on that in a future post.

I also thought it was high time I verbally celebrated my 200th post! It’s a bit past due, I realize; post 200 went up on Christmas. But I’d call late better than never, in this case. So here’s a huzzah for my little milestone. When I hit my first hundred, I celebrated with some personal blog-related stats. In the name of tradition, let’s do it again! In the past hundred posts…

8 were related to publication of short stories of mine. Those short stories include fairytale-based “Mercy Denied” and “Tale as Old as Time”, mythology-inspired “Shadow Lights”, and, what I guess could both be categorized as somewhat supernatural, “Superpower Outage” and “Train of Thought”. 2012 was a good year, Deshipley-short-story-publication-wise. I’ll have to restock my supply of short fiction and keep an eye out for more places to submit!

– (Speaking of fiction, as I usually do), 18 were episodes of two serial stories: The first eight a fairytale comedy, “Blood, Sweat, and Tears”, the latter ten a whodunit inspired by my summer employment at the Bristol Renaissance Faire.

– (Speaking of the Faire, which I also do a lot), 4 were dedicated to my real-life experience at Bristol, chronicling everything from my audition and the original monologue I performed to the development of my character and Rennie skills, and what a grand impact the summer has made on my life.

– Another 4 included pieces of non-serial original short fiction: The five-minute flash, “The Great Fountain of Dummar”; the spontaneous blog anniversary gift to myself, “The Mysterious Affair of Pansy’s Pearls”; modern parable “Belief or Truth”; and in the form of a poetic parody, my Christmas gift to my readers, “A Visit to Avalon Faire”.

– Another 8 included reviews: Seven book reviews (type “review” in the little search box if you wish to see them; there’s no elegant way to link to all that!), and one review of the latest (*cough* FREE *cough*) album from my favorite Christian rapper, t.Jay.

7 were “HYSRT!” (“Hey, You Should Read This!”) posts in accordance with my 2012 blog resolution to share posts by other bloggers that I felt, hey, you should read. I mean to continue such features throughout 2013, though I think I’ll back off the pressure of trying to find one for every time my posting day falls on a Saturday. Just whenever I randomly happen to find a gem I want to share will be often enough.

3 were guest posts by some of my characters, Bruno, Allyn-a-Dale, and Gant-o’-the-Lute. I’ll definitely have more characters do the talking for me in the future – one, because it’s fun to write in other voices; two, because now that I’ve let a few of the folks in my head have their say, I’ve got others who will be (and have been, Scarlet) clamoring for their turn.

So, that’s pretty much everything I wanted to say, and then some. To the readers who have joined me over the past year, thanks for coming along for the ride. To 2013, let’s do this thing!

“Reblogged” or “Never Mind Drafting a ‘HYSRT!’ Post, Just Read This”

***I call this a very promising idea. My mind boggles at the opportunities…***

~Deshipley

The Ink Caster

Ever wish you could decide what books got published?

Ever daydream about publishing your book with 35% royalties?

Yeah; neither have I. Both wishes are a little too absurdly great to even conceive of. But apparently, some folk out there have conceived of both, and those some folk were in a position to create a publishing house.

Meet Pubslush: beta win-win publishing model/international charity.

Sound too good to be true? Maybe not.

See, to get published with Pubslush, you have to post some back-jacket blurbs and an excerpt on their site, then get 1,000 pre-orders within 4 months. Yeah, that’s a LOT of work. If it were easy, I wouldn’t believe it.

But this way, the publishing house is guaranteed a good seller, the buyers get to decide what books come onto the market, the artist behind the book actually gets a fair cut, and third-world literacy…

View original post 55 more words

“Sabotage” or “ ‘Shadow Lights’ for Realz!”

Well, no thanks at all to typical Technology Fiend “treacherous action to defeat or hinder a cause or an endeavor; deliberate subversion” (don’t even front, buster, I know you’re behind it!), the Hogglepot sci-fi/fantasy journal is now featuring my short story, as scheduled. If you’ve been waiting patiently throughout the delay…you’re a better man/woman than I am.

One possible visual interpretation of my diabolical arch-nemesis. ...Or a completely unrelated sketch of mine, doctored to look extra creepy and vaguely "Shadow Light"-y.

So, on glorious display now through the 12th of May (barring more schedule screwiness) and archived ever after, here’s my mythology-inspired tale of great power bringing with it great responsibility and a choice that no little boy should ever have to face – a.k.a. “Shadow Lights”.

Thanks for reading, those who do, and I’d love to hear how you like it. (:

“Publication”

That’s right. The big “P”. The act or process of preparing and issuing printed material for public distribution or sale. The authorial Grail.

            I have been actively pursuing literary agent representation for various novels o’ mine since March of ’09. (2009, not 1909, though there have been times when it sure did feel like a century…) Does an author need an agent to make it in the biz? Not at all; plenty of authors who’ve done quite well for themselves without agents can tell you that. And there are also plenty of authors who love their fabulous agents to death. I want to be one of those.

            Query letter feedback has ranged from the “Dear author, better luck elsewhere” form letter to more personal “Dear Danielle, this was really good and would probably make a great TV show, but…”-type responses. The latter was slightly more encouraging than the former, but rejection is rejection. So if anyone wants to pull out a violin to accompany me, I can easily launch into a sob story of disappointment, dashed hopes, demoralization and— No violins? Moving right along, then.

            Over the past little-under-three years, I fell into a pattern of query, query, query, take a break to wait for replies and live life and feel a little sorry for myself over what those last few replies were, grit my teeth in a surge of confidence-slash-ironclad-resolve and query, query, query, take a break to write another, better, more immediately sellable novel, query, query, query for some other novel I’d had sitting around for a while, take another wait/live/self-pity break, query, query, query for that tidied up immediate seller, bash my head against a desk and wail because “‘immediate seller’, my eye!”… Okay, Lute, put the violin down. I’m not whining, here, I’m just giving the background.

            “Mm-hmm,” he says, making the catgut weep.

            Minstrels. Anyway. During my most recent break from agent querying, I started taking note of contests and online periodicals in the market for short stories. I don’t even remember what got me started – there was just a contest on a blog calling for vampire stories here, a magazine looking for fantasy there, and the next thing I knew, I was sending out shorts left and right, some previously written, some freshly made to order. I hoped and didn’t dare to hope, and wrote, and sent, and noted on Facebook, “Man, it seems like God’s just been dropping short-story submission opportunities into my lap, these past weeks. Wonder if I’ve got a morale boost on my horizon.”

            As it turns out, I did.

            Since the start of November (and following two rejections elsewhere), two of my short pieces have been accepted in two separate publications. (I pause to hyperventilate somewhere you won’t have to put up with all the squeals and excessive use of exclamation points.)

            One, a 100-word piece of “Wilderhark Tales”-inspired flash fiction, is to appear in the upcoming issue of the online journal, Luna Station Quarterly, due up on December 1st.

            The other story – just shy of eleven times as long as the flash, and its equal in Deshipley-approved quality – is also due out in December in “A Cuppa and an Armchair”, a collaborative venture joining writers and the charity, Equipe. The anthology will be available in both e-book and paperback formats. (It’s a good cause and I’m in it, so whaddaya say? Christmas presents?)

            I’ll not be receiving payment for either of these pieces, but at this point, publication is its own reward. I’m so excited, my brain has shut down and can only sporadically process how terribly excited I am. Goodness knows what I’ll be like when my novels start selling.

            The moral of this writerly fable? The same thing you probably already knew: Keep writing, keep submitting, keep praying like mad, and don’t bash your head against a desk in frustration too hard, ‘cause then you won’t have enough brain cells to fully comprehend how excited you are once you get good news.

            The End.

            Or The Beginning.

            One of those. (:

“YA”

Today’s title is not a word, but the established literary shorthand for two words: “Young adult.” The American Library Association (or so Wikipedia tells me) defines a young adult as “someone between the ages of twelve and eighteen”, but there are no real hard and fast numbers for this genre – ten to twenty, thirteen and up… with kids trying to grow up faster and some adults trying to grow up slower, it’s difficult to set anything in stone.

            In my early writing-with-an-eye-toward-eventual-publication days, I proclaimed myself an author of “juvenile fiction”, sort of subtitling that statement with the explanation, “Books about kids just being kids, without a lot of adult interference.” In this, my style was similar to my favorite work by L.M. Montgomery, “The Story Girl”. Montgomery is of course best known for her “Anne of Green Gables” series, but while I enjoyed the first couple of tales well enough, I disliked the drastic aging that inexorably took place over the books’ progression; all my adolescent chums from Avonlea were getting old and dull without me! “The Story Girl”, however – along with its sequel, “The Golden Road” – spanned no more than a couple years, if I rightly recollect, and the hijinks of the young protagonists were sidesplitting. Originally, that was what I wanted my own writing to be.

            Then I gradually became aware that my stories were becoming moodier. My characters had traded a measure of lighthearted, semi-plotless nonsense for romantic tangles, chronic angst, and other such melodrama (mostly courtesy of Jason “My Life is Blackest Hades” Nickels, I note). It seemed that, against my will, my sensibilities were trying to feel their way toward maturity, and “kids just being kids” wasn’t doing it for me anymore. So I amended my professional self-descriptive, this author now sailing under the “teen and young-adult fiction” flag.

            And a merry-mixed-with-moody voyage it was. …Until this very September. A few months prior to that, I had been involved for several weeks in an online community for teen writers (that’s teens who are writers, writers for teens, and the predictable overlap) called Inkpop. While I believe the opportunity to share a bit of my work and exchange critique with the other members on the site was beneficial, I ultimately decided that I needed to pull out and spend more time with my family. (It actually had nothing to do with my family. What I really needed was less writing about writing, and more writing!) One of those benefits was the planting of a seed that finally sprouted, as I said, in September, and that sprout was a ringing “a-HA!” of a realization: I don’t write for teens.

            Teenhood, as my guru Tirzah has remarked, is less a matter of age and more a matter of attitude. (Stop nodding like that, adults.) There are teenagers walking around in five-year-old bodies (my baby sister, anyone?), and seventeen-year-olds with an adult’s brain and a child’s heart (that was Tirzah). Teenagers want edgy, gritty, coming-of-age dystopia, with in-your-face heroines and heroes who take down The Man by making their voices heard. They love to hate cheerleaders, and are the cheerleaders for the games of “who’s hunting whom?” played with the supernatural bad boy, and want their most awful day ever in high school heck to hurry up and end so they can go home and read about somebody else’s most awful day ever in high school heck.

            That’s not me. I’ve read my share of that, and liked some of it; I’ve written a little of that, and have gotten some really positive feedback about it. But it’s not my primary style. I’m not a sensationalist. I prefer story over shock value, feelings over flash, characters over concepts designed to blow your mind – all liberally laced with fantasy, of course. What I write is for me, and for people like me – be they young ones with a bit of maturity, or adults whose hearts haven’t left their youth behind. As far as I’m concerned, those are the “young adults”, and I’m their author. So hoist the Jolly YA and bring me that horizon.