My first release date!

The decision has been made.

Poplar and Mint will be released on March 31, 2012! Paperback and ebook versions will be available.

“The bodies of two pretty young women are found murdered and buried in a nursery. The owner is an emotionally frail woman with a high risk pregnancy and problems among her family. When the victims turn out to be high-class call girls with a list of wealthy and powerful clients, an investigation into their murders only gets that much more complicated, and the nursery‚Äôs owner turns out to be closer to the killer than she thinks.

Miguel Maserati is a middle-aged Homicide detective struggling to cope with the loss of his last partner, as well as trying to preserve what is left of her good name after her death. To make matters worse, he and his newest partner Spencer Snow have gotten off to a rocky start. Both of them will need to swallow their pride and put their differences behind them in order to find this killer.”

Be sure to pick it up when you can!

Advertisements

Week 2: Call of Poseidon by CP Bialois

This week, I finished with my book a bit early. I’m not sure if it was because I have an easier time reading books on a Kindle or not. That will remain to be seen.

This week, I read Call of Poseidon by CP Bialois. The book, and a review of mine, can be found here.

This story is equal parts police procedural and Dan Brown-esque conspiracy tale. As I said in my review, I like it when a story shows the culprit early on and still manages to surprise you.

Next week will be The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, another book that I’ve been wanting to pick up for a while. Until then, I’ll be focusing on editing Poplar and Mint.

Accomplishment!

Last night I finished an important milestone: The rough draft for Jasper City is now 100% finished.

I’m aware that it will need work and serious editing, but the words are down. That’s the first major step. I hung in there from the beginning to the end, and to be honest, I’m more proud of this story than anything else that I’ve written.

The city of Jasper once shone. Now it lies in ruins and rust.

The man known as Citizen 71 is exiled to the streets, where he watches the city continue to rot while raising his newfound family. He sees the plight of the citizens, man and machine, ruled by the greed and bloodlust of one man, and hatches a plan that he knows will fix everything.

Mayor Zero sends out the one man he trusts with his life, the decorated soldier A-17, to put an end to this plan. Haunted by memories of battles past and with the thoughts of his terminally ill daughter at home, all he wants is an end to the conflict and the city’s return to normalcy. Is he on the right side to make that happen?

Jasper City started out with one premise in mind: I wanted to take a heroic character, build him up into something like the setting’s Messiah, and in one final instant tear that image down. The story has since evolved, and the end result doesn’t quite have that formula.

I’m not ashamed to say that I was heavily inspired by a Nine Inch Nails album when coming up with the plot. Year Zero gave me a number of ideas, and some desert punk stories such as Dune and The Book of Eli gave me ideas for the overall, post-apocalyptic setting.

For the City itself, I actually based its culture on North Korea. Some time ago I read the account of an American citizen who took a tour through the insular country. (It can be found here.) This wound up working a bit too well: because it’s strongly implied that this story takes place after the wars on terror go horribly wrong, the citizens sound less like they swallowed a foreign philosophy and more like the craziest Tea Party members.

Now I’m taking a break from the story, and letting it breathe before I go back and try to fix it. But there is no way that I’m just going to let this gather dust now.

52 Books Challenge: Week 1

It would’ve been quite embarrassing (to me at least) if I started to lag behind in the first week of the year. To be honest, I’m usually not a very fast reader. One book per week is an ambitious goal for me, but I love a challenge.

So far, it’s running smoothly. Though saying that in week 1 is a lot like saying that you’re sticking to your diet after throwing away your chocolate and chips on January 1, it’s a good baby step. I just finished reading Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

For the first time, I made a conscious effort not to be spoiled by the ending. I had originally planned to see the new movie that had come out, and then made plans to watch the original trilogy on Netflix. I wound up passing on those for now. Usually, I like spoilers, and being aware of the ending before I finish reading does not ruin a story for me. It is still nice to see how a story leads to that conclusion. For this reason, I wasn’t upset when the ending to The Half-Blood Prince became such big news. (Spoiler alert! Snape kills Dumbledore!)

Not knowing the ending made it that much more exciting. The book is already a good read; I love how there are different plotlines going on at the same time, and multiple protagonists and viewpoint characters with their own motivations. The conclusion to the mystery surrounding Harriet Vanger made my jaw drop, and the end of the plotline involving Wennerstrom was especially satisfying after the slow building up.

I’m taking one day of rest before getting started on book 2 on Sunday: Call of Poseidon by CP Bialois.

New Year’s Resolutions!

This post is a day late, but these plans have already been in motion for some time. I also wanted to hold off until my other blog was ready for posting. Here is what I plan to have accomplished by the end of 2012:

-I have already mentioned the first one in my previous blog post. The 52 books challenge, for me, began this past Sunday. I am currently reading Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Next week’s book will be CP BialoisCall of Poseidon.

-Finish and polish my drafts of both Poplar and Mint and Jasper City. Poplar will be be self-published, mostly likely through Createspace, while I will take a more traditional route with Jasper.
–As a sort of “sup-resolution,” I’d like to have the first draft of Jasper finished by the end of the month.

-Write the scripts for a webcomic. I have the idea already forming, taking much inspiration from my experiences working at my current job. I’ll likely save this for Script Frenzy in April.

-Take on some more freelance jobs. Hopefully my new blog will help with that, but that’s also just for fun.

That’s actually about it. There are also some things that I’ll have to do this year, and soon, such as move out of this dorm and get an apartment once I graduate, and possibly take on another job to pay the bills once my loan payments kick in. It’ll be a busy year for me, that’s for sure.

The end of NaNoWriMo and future plans

National Novel Writing Month 2011 is done. Really, it has been done for a few weeks. I’m coming off of the writer’s version of a runner’s high, barely touching a pen except for school or work. I’m ready to start up again, so here are my plans. Much of it starts in 2012, so I guess this also counts as my list of new year’s resolutions.

-Starting January 1, I will be taking part in the 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge. I’ve accumulated so many books over time that sit in drawers under my bed, untouched. I keep saying “I’ll read that book soon, it’s on my list, I just have to finish this one,” but that never happens. This challenge will knock a huge chunk of those unread books out of the way.

Camp NaNoWriMo will run in June and August this year, with a break in July. This is as much a blessing for me (and many other participants) as it likely is for the OLL staff. I’ll participate as an ordinary writer, not an ML. Whether I will consider another crack at the ML position is a question for a much later time.

Script Frenzy in April. I tried this last year for the first time, learned the basics of writing a graphic novel script, and had a lot of fun. I plan on participating again, though likely writing for another medium.

NaNo 2012. Don’t even ask what I’d be writing about. That plot likely doesn’t exist yet. The real question is whether I will continue as an ML or not. Considering I won’t be in school anymore by then, it’s a definite possibility.

Before any of that, it is to be noted that even through two NaNo events, my favorite novel project so far is still far from finished. I’d like to finish that rough draft before another WriMo pops up, to avoid the temptation. Poplar and Mint is in the process of being edited, and I’d like to get that polished and self-published by the end of the year.

Job hunting in a tourist hotspot

Contrary to the other posts on my blog, my life does not revolve around writing. I think if that were the case, I would go crazy within a month, and eventually cease to use language entirely. Maybe I exaggerate.

As a baking and pastry student close to graduation, the pressure is on for me to find a job in my field. Rather than settle for any foodservice job, like a server or dishwasher, I’m more worried about finding a job in the back of the house, where I am putting my skills to good use. I had such a job a little while ago, but I was let go because of my own mistakes.

This is not the best time to be looking for another job. It’s only just before season starts, and nobody is looking at applications for at least a month. For now, this is the low season.

When I first started attending school here, one thing that was mentioned was that in my field, there would always be jobs available because everyone loves to eat. This would be especially true with the amount of tourists pouring in. I quickly learned that this was not the case, or at least that the jobs aren’t so easy to find.

“I told you being a grown up was no fun,” my mother once told me. I was reminded of all the times when I was a child, and adults said that they would love the chance to go back and relive their childhood years, while all I wanted to do was grow up in a hurry. I’m not sure if I feel the same way just yet, but it would be nice to be able to run around in my old backyard for a while instead of worrying about my next paycheck.