I Wish... (The Witches of Desire)I Wish... by Wren Emerson


Thistle Nettlebottom is not your ordinary girl. Her grandmother is a celebrity writer and Thistle has spent nearly her whole life on the road. She's excited when she finally gets the chance to settle down but she has a hard time fitting in. Soon she realizes that things in the town of Desire are not what they seem.

Regular high school politics are hard enough to manage, but in this town they are strongly tied to the small town's deeply entrenched political hierarchy. To make matters worse, Thistle gets the impression that some people in town want her dead, literally.

This engrossing first installment of the Witches of Desire by Wren Emerson is filled with teenage angst, the confusion of attraction, secrets, lies, exciting action and magic. My biggest complaint was that the story ended so soon. I'm anxious to read the next installment from this exciting new author. I hope you'l give her a try.

View all my reviews
 
Although I am sorely disappointed at the cancellation of the anthology, I am very excited that I can put “Jolene” back on the market, a haunted vision of Dolly Parton’s classic song.  The story was on hold for an entire year.  It is true that my newest piece “They” met a sound rejection in only 11 days by the good folks at Apex, still I do believe that I have grown tremendously as an author.  I look forward to bringing to bear the last year of experience on one of the first pieces that I wrote for the professional market.

With trouble brewing on every front, I could sure use a win right about now.  Then again, if there is one thing that I’ve learned in this last year, it’s that success is elusive, even when you do everything right.  The only thing we can do is keep reading, keep learning and keep writing!
 
While sales of Jade Dreams are languishing, I’ve done what I can to pass the time.  I realized one silly mistake that was holding back my smashwords premium listing.  It's amazing what a difference it makes when you read directions carefully.  I've been in contact with a few book review sites and a book blog tour site.  I'll let you know how that turns out.

The truly exciting motivation for me has been the story that I am currently writing.  So far the writing for RND has been flowing smoothly and I realized in the fourth scene that this story actually takes place in a world that I've already created.  It will fit beautifully in my AI: Genesis series.

I hope you enjoy as much joy in writing as I do.  Keep writing my friends!
 
A member of the #pubwrite community asks the question: “How do I begin to query for magazine editors”

Finally, a question I can answer.  Nearly every publication has a submissions section in small text at the bottom of a page.  Where it is exactly depends on the publication, but the more often you scan for them the easier it will be to find.  Often, there is information that is more comprehensive available on the publication website.  Again, you may have to search a bit, but I promise it is there.

While some publications require a query, many do not.  The most important thing, aside from careful attention to submission instructions, is to review past issues of the publication and ensure that your tone, style and subject matter of your story or article is attuned to what has been published previously.

Sites like Duotrope.com and HeyPublisher.com  can help you may help you locate publications in addition to allowing you to plan and organize your submissions.  Good Luck and remember rejections happen, don’t let it stop you.  Keep writing my friends!

 
Just a few moments ago, we were enjoying the cool refreshment of the pool a respite from the hot afternoon sun.  The sky was a brilliant blue and the birds were singing.  Then the birds stopped.  A siren, one that I've never heard before, wailed from the nearby army installation.  The sky darkened ominously.  The voice over the loudspeaker warned residents to take shelter indoors.

I ran inside to check the television news.  Having never heard the warning before, we thought it might possibly be a hoax.  The warning flashed across in clear white letters across a bright red banner.  The aliens had landed.  Okay it the television announced that a severe thunderstorm had moved into our county, but the way people scrambled you would think it was the former.  A few minutes later, the sky darkened to near blackness.  The predicted hailstorm was fortunately only heavy rain.  Still before, the storm passed it managed to knock out local power supplies plunging us into an eerie twilight.

I thought of the only thing that I could possibly do in a time like this.  I sat down to write.  This morning I received a form rejection for my paranormal romance Dream Lover from the new market Mixer Publishing.  The thing that bothers me about a form rejection is that to me it means that I haven't even come close to understanding the requirements of the market.  To be fair, Mixer is a brand new market so I couldn't see examples of what they were looking for.

At the same time, I've finished editing "Ex-Boyfriend" a crime thriller for Alfred Hitchcock Magazine. After a last read through, my manuscript is going in the mail tonight, or given the current power outage tomorrow night.  In preparation, I read four previous selections from the magazine including the amazing "When Apricots Bloom" by Ellen Larson a courtroom drama steeped in Islamic culture.  My next piece is a contest entry for Redstone.  I already have a plot in mind and I’m very excited to start working on it.

Keep writing my friends!

 
I started this morning in a serious funk, carried over from yesterday.  The frustrations of marketing were really working my nerves.  I decided to take my own advice and start writing.  I feel much better now!  My submission for the mystery/crime market feels something like a cross between Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” and Roald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter”.  I have a few more edits to do then it will be ready to ship off.

Lessons learned for today, actually a reinforcement of a previous lesson:  “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”  Author forums and critique circles are wonderful resources but you have to keep in mind that this is your story.  If you attempt to follow each opinion and suggestion, you will end up with Frankenstein’s monster where your original manuscript used to be.  A patchwork of pretty parts that, sewn together, looks ugly. 

The issue at hand was Becca and Timmy’s age.  I had a firm number in mind, but as each opinion came along, Becca became younger or older.   A reader friend of mine who is NOT a writer pointed out that each character we create comes from memory or piece of our psyche.   Reflecting upon that, I remembered exactly how old I was when these events took place.  Fortunately, only a handful of people have purchased the e-book and the reference to specific ages are very few, still I feel obliged to correct the story as soon as possible rather than waiting for the paperback edition.

My point is not whether changing a live book is a good idea.  I am sure many will say it is not.  My point is that nobody can write your story for you.  The road to becoming a better writer is not reading a bunch of books on how to write, but rather reading good books that you like, understanding what you like about them and integrating those principles into your writing.  I just finished reading Every Last Kiss by Courtney Cole.  What I loved most was the luxuriant texture with which she described the fall of Egypt without distracting from the primary plot.  I will try to apply that principle to my future stories where it is appropriate.

Remember, do not try to be the next Ernest Hemingway or Faulkner.  Be the first you.  Keep writing my friends!

 
I started this morning in a serious funk, carried over from yesterday.  The frustrations of marketing were really working my nerves.  I decided to take my own advice and start writing.  I feel much better now!  My submission for the mystery/crime market feels something like a cross between Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” and Roald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter”.  I have a few more edits to do then it will be ready to ship off.

Lessons learned for today, actually a reinforcement of a previous lesson:  “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”  Author forums and critique circles are wonderful resources but you have to keep in mind that this is your story.  If you attempt to follow each opinion and suggestion, you will end up with Frankenstein’s monster where your original manuscript used to be.  A patchwork of pretty parts that, sewn together, looks ugly. 

The issue at hand was Becca and Timmy’s age.  I had a firm number in mind, but as each opinion came along, Becca became younger or older.   A reader friend of mine who is NOT a writer pointed out that each character we create comes from memory or piece of our psyche.   Reflecting upon that, I remembered exactly how old I was when these events took place.  Fortunately, only a handful of people have purchased the e-book and the reference to specific ages are very few, still I feel obliged to correct the story as soon as possible rather than waiting for the paperback edition.

My point is not whether changing a live book is a good idea.  I am sure many will say it is not.  My point is that nobody can write your story for you.  The road to becoming a better writer is not reading a bunch of books on how to write, but rather reading good books that you like, understanding what you like about them and integrating those principles into your writing.  I just finished reading Every Last Kiss by Courtney Cole.  What I loved most was the luxuriant texture with which she described the fall of Egypt without distracting from the primary plot.  I will try to apply that principle to my future stories where it is appropriate.

Do not try to be the next Ernest Hemingway or Faulkner, be the first you.  Keep writing my friends!

 
All right, so I’ve finally decided to self-publish.  I went to Smashwords, formatted my manuscript according to their style guide and hit send.  I went to the Amazon Kindle and with some minor alterations submitted my manuscript there as well. 

Originally, I had planned to use a professional graphic.  After some advice that it wasn’t YA girl friendly enough I crafted my own graphic.  After being informed my attempt at a cover “looks like a two-year-old designed it,” I put the original cover back up.  Fortunately, my hideous cover attracted the attention of a graphic designer who has offered to create a cover that will both look professional and capture the spirit of “Jade Dreams”.  I am excited to see what she proposes.

I have one note on Goodreads.  If you are already a Goodreads author, wait until Amazon posts your kindle edition rather than manual creating an entry to avoid duplication.

After the mad rush of getting everything posted and adjusting all of my links, I found myself monitoring every little visit to my sample pages and obsessing over my visits to purchases ratio.  Meanwhile, the few people that I know who purchased the book haven’t offered me any feedback yet.  Thinking about things like that can drive a writer insane. 

My suggestion is to put it out of your mind.  I know firsthand that easy to say but hard to do.  Walk away and do what you do best, keep writing!

I just sent off my newest dark fantasy short story “They” to Apex Magazine.  As I mentioned previously, I am trying to tailor my stories carefully to each market.  I hope that the care with which I choose my markets and construct my stories will result in a higher acceptance ratio.  My next venture is a murder mystery. I’m still debating whether to set the story in Full Moon City, my favorite noir supernatural detective setting.

Keep writing my friends!

 
All right, I finally took the plunge.  I am now officially a self-published author.

  Formatting and uploading to Smashwords took a few hours of peace and quiet, which I was afforded while my wife had her nails done and my daughter went out with her friends.  Certainly, I am scared witless that I won't have a single sale or that I will get reviews along the lines of "That's why we don't read self-published authors." However, I have been editing the story for about a year and I am reaching the point of diminishing returns, the best thing I can do for Becca and her friends now is to continue their adventures in Book II Turquoise Wind.

I want to take a moment to thank all of my friends who have helped and supported me to get to this point.  I'm not going to do a roll call because I would probably leave someone out but those of you from Authonomy and the PubWrite group on Twitter who have encouraged me know who you are.  All I can ask now is please take the time at least to read the free sample.  If you buy it and like it or know somebody else who might enjoy it please spread the word.  I am not the most social animal in the herd so I need your help.

Thanks again and to all of my friends remember keep writing!

 
I've just finished reading another fantastic story from Daily Science fiction, this time by Brenta Blevins. DSF is working hard to bring back the heyday of the legends of speculative fiction. The influence of Serling, Beaumont, Matheson, Bradbury and more can be felt in each piece. I finally know what I want to be when I grow up, artistically speaking. The contributors to shows like "The Twilight Zone", "Star Trek", "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "The Outer Limits" used horror, fantasy and science fiction to address the multitude of issues facing generations of uncertainty. It is my dearest hope that some day I can join the ranks of such legendary pen wielders.

In keeping with the goals that I have set up I recently finished the edits on "Sleeping Giant" and sent it off to Analog. I'm now working on "They" a dark speculative piece for Apex Magazine. I'm finding that as I let go and embrace my true emotions, my writing has become more effective, more relevant and more powerful. Not to say that I don't enjoy writing fun stories as well. "Sleeping Giant" is an action thrill ride. I've just recently realized that my primary inspiration all this time has actually been the aboved mentioned authors in addition to Harlan Ellison, and Robert A. Heinlein.

Along with writing this week, I took the time to read "I Wish..." the first book in the "Witches of Desire" series. Don't let the title confuse you, this is a delightful YA fantasy piece. My complete review is available on GoodReads.(http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/172474819)

That's all I have time for today. If i can just have your prayers for my writer friend RZ, I would much appreciate it. The world is waiting to hear your stories, my friends! Keep writing!