Hi friends! It's been a while since I've done one of these updates! I have been away from the internet for a good while (not really, but all author platform stuff I have...). Now that my favorite show is done for the season, I think it's time to come back into the land of the living again! Ahahaha.... it's been a good year, but I have some major stuff to talk/rant about with you guys. All the projects coming your way!
My sister's Make-A-Wish trip happened in July, and let me tell you, D.C. is not wheelchair friendly! My family had both my mom and sister in their chairs due to my sister's illness and my mom just had a heart attack (though she'll tell you it was a cardiac event). My brother and I ended up having to push them around D.C. because we were in the best shape (my dad was just diagnosed with two leg infections...so he was out of the question). The heat/humidity was AWFUL. Like, it was 90% almost the entire time we were there. It was insane.
Everything wasn't completely bad, though. The museums were great. I personally love the Museum of Natural History. My favorite exhibit was the bones section, and I felt super smart while pointing out why certain bone shapes were necessary, and why those humans weren't as advanced as us. I also loved making my siblings try to pronounce the skull names and then show them up. It was nice.
The coolest part of this whole trip was seeing the cool history stuff I've heard about my entire life. The Lincoln Memorial was one of the coolest things I experienced. It was a downer for most of my family as, unsurprisingly, the elevators weren't working. So most of my family wasn't able to see the memorial itself. It felt really cool to be up there and just experience a bit of history. We also walked to the White House and saw the protests taking place at Lafayette Park. They weren't as exciting as the news portrayed them to be. It was still cool to see.
So, if you're traveling with wheelchairs, I have a few quick tips:
Be prepared for cobblestone. It's not easy to push the chairs on. My sister almost got launched out of her chair a number of times because her chair got stuck in a crack.
People don't care if you're in a chair. My mom had people pass gas in front of her face, folks. They also cut you off in line. At Arlington Cemetery, we were given tickets for the tour by Make-A-Wish, and these tours were on the trolleys. They work like a hop on hop off style. Basically, there's six stops for you to tour. The first one is the Kennedy graves (sidenote: the wheelchair entrance to this grave is AWFUL. It's all uphill, and then going down, make sure your breaks are on). We were waiting for the trolley at the Kennedy grave site with the woman who works there. We were the first people in line, but we ended up having to wait not once, not twice, but three times to get on the trolley. Why? Because people are awful and wouldn't give up their seats for those in wheelchairs. At one point, there were three people with wheelchairs (two belonging to my group). The lady who worked at the cemetery was so mad. Her and my mom had a nice conversation about why people today suck.
Be prepared for inoperable elevators. Most of the train stations suck. Elevators and escalators weren't working at least half the time. My mom gets awful carotid pain when she exerts too much energy. This happened plenty of times.
Sidenote: this entire trip, I was a nerd and said I was in Ton, D.C. (reference from The 100). It also took my brother and me THREE HOURS to watch The Dark Year episode because the internet at our hotel was soooo slow. My aunt and uncle, upon hearing our reactions to certain elements of the episode, were all "and this is supposed to convince us to watch it?"
Fantasy Book Writing
I've started writing my fantasy book! This time, I'm almost certain it will stick, and that makes me sooo happy! I love the world I'm building, and my goal is to make it feel as real as possible. The main character is most certainly based off of Tasya Teles (Echo from The 100). I love her almost stoic personality and that she's willing to do what it takes to survive. That's really the embodiment of my character, and I am loving her to bits and pieces. The beginning is super slow for me at the moment, but I think I'm getting there.
The thing I've come to realize about writing after revising so long is that I absolutely despise drafting. I think it's the hardest part of the process, and this is probably because I'm primarily a pantser. I have an idea of where I'm going, but it's the getting there that is so hard. I think it's because I'm someone who is so used to revising that I no longer know what drafting looks like. It's fun, but it's part of the learning process again.
At the current moment, I'm going through my first chapter and the bit I've written of the second chapter, and changing it to third person past. Guys. This is probably the best decision I've made in a long time. I never knew how natural third person felt, and this makes me so incredibly happy that I've finally found the right point of view. The words and descriptions all seem to flow in a way that wasn't possible in first POV. It also gives me, the narrator, a reason to be a little bit snarky and utilize a little of my dry humor.
I am so excited to delve deeper into this book. It's definitely becoming a passion project, and I'm hoping to work hard on it and edit it ASAP. I think I'm gonna try to query this by next May (more on this a little later). My goal for writing this book is to have the first draft done by December 31st. I think this is totally doable, and I am so excited to see where this ends :)
I don't know if I've mentioned it on here, but I've been querying it. It's going okay. I had one full request (and a rejection to pair with it). I've sent out several queries, and I think I might be putting it on hold. I think I need to sit back and work on my fantasy project right now and then tackle reading through Vigilant once more. I fear that I'm losing passion for my passion project. Does that make sense? I love the characters so much there that I'm afraid of it failing. It's something that I hold dearly to my heart, and my dream is to get to write the complete story. Perhaps it's not meant to be my first published book. I've always wanted it to be that first book of mine, but I do think that the genre it is might not be a perfect match. It is a dystopian novel, and while me and many others love this genre, the publishing industry isn't loving it right now. It really sucks, but I'm hopeful to see it on shelves one day. It's my dream.
I'm definitely not done with this story. Not when I feel so passionate about Aurelia and her story. Plus, I have yet to write the ending of the love story, and I'm 100% in love with it. For now, I'm putting my querying process on hold to focus on my fantasy project, but it's not a goodbye forever. It's a "may we meet again."
What I've Been Listening To
People Disappear All the Time - Bear McCreary (Outlander OST)
The Exodus - Alexandre Desplat (Harry Potter OST)
Scotland - The Lumineers
Fallen Through Time - Bear McCreary (Outlander OST)
Truth - Balmorhea
All Debts Paid - Bear McCreary (Outlander OST)
A Gift of a Thistle - James Horner (Braveheart OST)
Despite what this list implies, no my book is not a time travel novel nor is it in Scotland (though the landscape is loosely based off of it).
What I've Been Reading
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Just Finished: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas (Audiobook version)
Reading Next: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (reread)
Currently Listening: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (relisten for the next book)
Next Audiobook: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
So, I love sharing lines/paragraphs from the work I'm doing. I'm currently changing my book from first person to third, and as I said earlier, it's my favorite thing I've done. Here is a sample from Chapter 1. I hope you enjoy!
Thanks for reading my update! See you next month with another update (and hopefully some other posts sprinkled in)!