Sunday, June 10, 2012

Alice Intro

Muffins. That’s what I’m really good at. Forget the cupcake crap, give me a good muffin. When I retire from being the Alice, I think that is what I’ll do. Bake muffins.  Being the Alice is a job I’ve had now for longer than I care to remember. So many White Rabbits have died by my hands and still so many innocents have been lost. The job isn’t done and another will have to take my place. And so the chain continues. 
Nearly two centuries ago a young girl survived a harrowing experience in a world under the woodlands. A friend of the family, wrote her memoirs down as a warning to others. After pressure and possible persecution from the English Church the memoirs were written in the form of non-sensical fairytale. So Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland became a popular tale, but it’s true meaning was lost. The young girl decided that she would put an end to abductions. When she got too old, she passed her knowledge to another — one other. And so the tradition continues. Each new Alice adding to the knowledge of those that came before her. Over time the collection of memoirs and notes have become The Alice Chronicles. 
My time to retire is way overdue. I had hoped to be the last, but even with the chronicles there is much of Wonderland we don’t know. For every rabbit hole I close another two are opened. Like the first Alice I was a fool to think that I can stop Wonderland. I must find another — one other. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Days, weeks, and months pass and I have neglected my blog. What is the world coming to? Well, life catches up to all of us. So what has been happening in the world of The Alice Chronicles? Lessee...

August of 2011, Dawn Frederick @ Red Sofa Literary, has agreed to represent RABBIT SLAYER. She did, however, have a little suggestion. That suggestion resulted in a complete rewrite. I also hired an editor to review and um... edit the manuscript. That took the rest of 2011. This past weekend I have sent the completed, edited, version to the editor and now I am waiting to see what mistakes I've made. So now I am out to review my social media and begin building up a fan base. Got suggestions, please let me know.

So until next time....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Creatures in the Night

With many thanks to dear friends I have completed the rewrite of the first chapter to RABBIT SLAYER. The opening paragraph surprisingly turned out to be already written, but buried a page or so down the first draft. I wrote the passage, not realizing that it could be a great opening, but at the same time meeting my requirements for a chapter opening. Here is that passage...

Strange creatures of the city lurked in the night, especially on the subway. Near the middle of the car sat an albino with his head resting against the window. Though he moved with the rocking of the train, his red glazed eyes remained fixed on some distant point. The swirling illusion created by his hypnotic black and white striped vest forced Emily to turn away. Further down sat a large person in an oversized gray hoody. The hood cast a shadow over the occupant’s face, making it difficult to tell about the person inside. The hooded head turned toward Emily. A pair of green, glowing orbs stared at her from the shadowed face, a hungry wolf eyeing a lone rabbit. 

I have since renamed the chapter to "Creatures of the Night". I find that the metaphor being used here and within the chapter is reminisce the collection of subtle metaphors utilized throughout the book. The analogy used as the ending of the paragraph taking on a significance which is contradictory to the content. In all I am happy with this new first chapter. I just hope that it moves readers more than the original opening chapter in the rave.

As for status of the book. I have resubmitted (with permission) the revised manuscript to both the publisher and the agent that are currently 'considering' it. Once again I am having to exercise the single trait that haunts my life -- patience.

In other news.... I have been contacted by an upcoming musical artist from Georgia wanting to use RABBIT SLAYER as a basis of his band. He indicated that he was attracted to the 'dark' imagery I apply to the series. Before I'm going to provide an approval to use the character(s) I suggested he review the story. He has accepted is reviewing a partial and should be contacting me in a few days.


I have been working on developing an outline for the next volume of THE ALICE CHRONICLES. I do have a working title, FAMILY TIES, and have a basic concept of what will transpire (book objective). However, I am thinking that I may need to incorporate more darker themes than I did in RABBIT SLAYER. What those elements shall be I'm not certain.

Wonderland will also take a larger role in FAMILY TIES. I'm thinking that the areas traveled by the characters will paint a darker picture. Perhaps hints of a more vital, happier time should be presented. At the moment I have not decided. What I have decided are the characters that take a role in the majority of the volume. Emily will return as the MC. I'll bring back Dinah and the Mad Hatter, both with larger roles. Neko and the Caterpillar will also have supporting roles. I'm considering creating a character named "The Jack of Spades" (Jack for short) as the active antagonist. The Ace and Alice will have minor roles, but spear-head the story objective.

More to come...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Year

Wow - its been July since I posted here. Much happened in my life, but the book sits idle.

Alice Chronicles is an series wanting to be written, but I'm plagued with doubts and uncertainty considering Rabbit Slayer has not moved. One agent has the manuscript and comments that it is on her "shortlist". Until I get a phone call with an offer of representation nothing is done. Hopes and dreams remain as such.

In the latter part of the year I did join the local Writer's Workshop group. Prior to sending my manuscript to the agent I read the first chapter to the group. The beating I took was horrid. I almost didn't send the manuscript in due to the scathing reviews received. During the break a local writer and publisher offered some advice to me. Based on her suggestions I've decided to rewrite the opening sequence for RS.

The objectives of the chapter will not change nor will the end result. But the setting will be drastically different. I also plan on cranking up the suspense and emotions that will result in Emily's guilt being more genuine and endearing to the reader. I have completed the outline and will begin working on the three parts today.

Oh and in other news - I crossed over and bought a MacBook Pro. Why I never went Mac before is now unknown to me. I love the computer and the intuitive operating system. Not to mention I purchased a software called Scrivener. In my opinion the package is beyond any other writing software available today. I have imported all my ideas into Scrivener and have been working on learning the software. I just hope it helps me write better.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Days Continue

More days continue with more work to do in less time, more rejections on the book, and life sucking more out of me than I really want to give. I keep thinking that there is an end to all the madness at some point. An end that doesn't entell death. Hehehe... Yeah I'm morbid. Did I mention that I used to write macbre and horror in my youth. Perhaps that is why my mother never read anything I wrote... Go figure.

I've slacked off the writing for a few days while the air conditioning is restored to the house. Not that I am actually writing/editing in the house, but after spending hours in a hot house in the middle of summer I'm not really in the mood to write outstanding prose.

The air is fixed and I am in a better mood - now I'm just wondering where that outstanding prose is lurking. I've decided to visit my local Starbucks establishment for a bit of inspiration and an infusion of activity. And would you believe - its not an ice box today. Well think I'll sign off from blogging so that I can focus on the writing.

Monday, July 26, 2010

TX in July

Wow, it's amazing how hard heat is on things. Texas weather is hot - +95F and over 40% humidity. This weekend the AC on the house decides it is giving up and retiring. On a weekend. Couldn't have done it on a week day when we can call service. Really inconvenient. And to top it off SB has to crank up the AC so cold I can't sit inside for more than an hour without suffering hypothermia.

Oh was I supposed to write about the book??

It's there. Waiting patiently for me to continue editing chapter 16. Removing those pesky crutch words. Still no word for the partials I have out there. Guess its time to send out more queries.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

An Update

Into July 2010 and the weeks have flown by without a post to my blog. Life puts incredible demands on ones time and efforts. One must work to survive and to live one must survive. At this point I am stuck in the survival mode. Days pass by in a blur with only an occasional respite to reflect on the living part. I have not backed off from the RABBIT SLAYER - in fact I've been surging forward.

I currently have several queries floating out in cyberspace and have two agents currently reviewing part of my manuscript. Patience is once again a lesson I am having to learn. The two agents looking at the story have indicated it may be up to 10 weeks before I get a response. Ouch. Until then I'll continue to chug away and polishing the book. From past readers I have learned that I did not eliminate all of my crutch words. I use the pronoun "she" extensively - so I am rewriting many sentences to remove excess. Many of the critiques I received commented that I also rely too much on the passive "was". I've found it difficult not to use the word entirely, but I have learned how to use it sparingly. As for the "that" and "had" words, I've also learned that if the sentence sounds correct without the word - delete them.

I'm currently reviewing chapter 16 and seem to be able to do at least two chapters a day if I can remain focused on the task. I've gotten little response from the 25 or so Beta readers I gave the story to, but I think the work is at a point where the readers will not provide additional benefit. I know the story line is sound, the imagery is decent, and my character development is unique for each. Sub-plots and cliff hangers move the story forward and drive the reader to continue.

I think my trouble with getting responses from beta readers stem from reading online. Sitting at a computer for hours at a time reading a book isn't appealing to most people. I know that the eBook thing is kicking off and has a strong following, but unfortunately Kindle doesn't load pdf files - and even if it did none of my beta readers own one. I have promised a teenage boy in PA that I would send the book to him. Other than him and my wife I'll keep the story to myself and agents until it is published. (Notice I am trying to be positive in saying that it WILL be published.)

Oh and if anyone knows how to center the picture in the header - PLEASE tell me.