We’re Done Here: Time for a Verdict

I lied. I told you it was seven (7) and it’s only six (6). So we’re done here.

Actually, I didn’t lie. I just didn’t know.

I had a seventh one lined up. Until last Thursday, I believed there would be seven. Then I started working with the seventh one and NO just no.

It’s bad.

It was my first real attempt at writing a novel, I mean, as an adult. It was the first time I wrote something down and thought, “This is going to be a novel. I’m going to make this into a novel.”

It’s painful.

It opens with a nightmare. A bloody nightmare with no real emotional content.

It proceeds almost immediately into a memory. A boring memory.

It’s trite and melodramatic.

I’m embarrassed that I actually shared it with someone once. Amazing he didn’t tell me to just quit now (thank you, Thomas).

I still like the concept. The idea was to write the story of the prostitute who washes Jesus’s feet in her tears. She gets like three lines in the Bible, and I want to know more. What it was like being a prostitute in New Testament times, how she came to be one. I want to know how it felt when the homeowner told her she was unworthy even to touch Jesus’s feet, and then what she did when Jesus praised her above the homeowner. What happened to her afterward. The story was going to be gritty and real and deep.

I did a ton of research for it. Maybe I’ll write it some day. But not now. What I have so far is too awful and I don’t feel like messing with it to make it un-embarrassing.

Important Point:

Someday I will be a successful novelist. Because I want it and I’m willing to pay in sweat and tears* for it. And once upon a time I was AWFUL. Let that be a lesson to all aspiring writers.

And when I’m a successful, published, independently wealthy author, maybe I’ll publish some of my awfulness so you can see. For now, though, you really don’t need to know.

SO. It’s verdict time. Your instructions.

  1. This is the participation portion of the game. HUGE thanks to everyone who has participated so far. If you haven’t and you want to, now is the time to step up.
  2. Leave a comment here, on this entry, telling me which of the seven six stories you are most interested in reading as a complete work, and why.

That’s it. So simple. The winning story will be chosen as follows:

  1. 10 points for being popularly chosen by participants
  2. 10 points for receiving the most interesting/compelling vote
  3. 80 points for being the one I generally feel most excited about when it’s time to get started

Your vote counts! But only because it will probably have an impact on how I feel!

Seriously, your voice does count. I love all of these story ideas, and want your input.

Oh, and you can read all six by scrolling backwards from the home page or clicking through on their titles here:

The Visitation

The Girl in the Goblin Tower

The Summer I Met Mercy

The Red Girl

Relief: A Place to Back Up (also known as Relief: A Title that Doesn’t Start with “The”)

Slave Chip

Let’s begin! And thank you, truly.

*maybe even in blood. A little blood. Like maybe a pinprick or something. But I’d rather pay in sweat. Or maybe cash if I had any. Wait. Can I pay in rotten apple cores pulled out from under my son’s dresser?

Candidate #2: Also Sci Fi

If you’re confused about this post, check this out first.

If you haven’t already, you can read the first candidate here.

And remember how I said the order was chosen randomly? It’s not any more. The random number generator told me to go from the previous story, about a stunningly beautiful slave, to a second story, about a stunningly beautiful outcast. Gag me.

So I cheated.

Alas, this heroine is probably beautiful too (I haven’t seen a photo of her yet), but only because she gets to pick her own body. If it were up to me, she’d have zits and bad hair.

This one is adult sci-fi with a suspense/mystery twist, about a woman in a hospital ward who discovers that she’s being held by authorities on suspicion of terrorism. Here ya go.

Relief: A Place to Back Up 

At 10:00 am precisely, 12 minutes and 37 seconds after Risha Lencionis walked through the front door of Kwahm Ca Sthaban, the facility exploded, killing her and all 67 clients and 12 employees inside. Unaware that this had happened to her, the chief thing Risha felt right now was relief. For all its excitement, foreign travel also entailed danger, the worst of it being the difficulty in finding a signal strong enough for data backup.

Standing there with her back against the old stone wall, listening to the sound of street vendors calling their wares, she took a deep breath of the heady old-world perfume—frying oil, fresh papaya, human sweat—and smiled at the message on her screen indicating successful upload. Thank goodness for modern hot spots.

Something was wrong, though. The noise and the light and the smells had been there a moment before, but now everything was dark and quiet. She was on her back.

Over the cool quiet lay a thin veneer of shushing—fans, murmuring bio-machines. Under the quiet was a layer of human voices. Her limbs felt familiar and relaxed, which was odd because rental units always had that fresh stiffness about them that felt exciting but never quite comfortable.

A port shushed open and shut, and soft footsteps approached.

“Can you hear me?” said a voice. She tried to form words to answer, but her lips felt thick and unwieldy, so she just nodded. “Great,” the voice was crisp and cool. “Do you remember what happened?”

She thought about that for a moment. She remembered the oppressive heat, the colorful bougainvilla trailing from the balconies across the street. Then this—the dark and quiet. She didn’t think that’s what the voice meant. She shook her head.

“Hm.” A pause. Then: “We’re going to begin the rewiring sequence now. It’s been a few weeks since you were in this Bod so it will take a little time to get all your systems aligned.”

A moment later, the footsteps retreated again, the port shushed open, and Risha heard her visitor speaking to someone as she passed through: “I know it’s not my job to call the shots, but really it would have been better for everyone if we had just left her dead.”

 

Game of Intros

By popular request (actually, by one request, that’s you Jaimie): The Game of Intros!

Here’s How It Works:

Over the next few days/weeks/however long, I’ll be posting the introductory scenes from several stories I’ve started and aborted over the past several years. ONE of them will be my next project, and will eventually (probably) end up a finished work.

YOU GET TO CHOOSE WHICH ONE.*

Rules:

1. There are no rules. These are just guidelines on ways you can be helpful in your feedback.

2. Feel free to comment or respond in any way you like to each entry. However, a few things I’m NOT looking for at this stage are: Grammatical feedback, ways to tighten the verbiage or sentence structure, line edits. I mean, if you want to tell me those things, by all means. It’s just not what I’m looking for. Yet.

3. Please DO tell me your gut reaction: Is this a story you would read? Are you eager to hear the rest? Is it your *type* of story?

4. I also want to know what your expectations are after reading each intro: What type of story you think it’s going to be, what questions you already have about the story, which character(s) you especially like/don’t like, etc.

5. Be brutally honest. It will do me no good to hear “It’s great, I love it!” about every single thing I ever write. If you don’t like ANYTHING I write, then you probably won’t help me much by telling me so. But if you like some things and not others THAT is useful information. I will appreciate it served straight up.

6. If you have a favorite, feel free to be vocal about it. At the end, I’ll ask you to tell me your top choice, but you can state your feelings on the matter at any time.

How The Winner Will Be Chosen

1. The decision will be highly subjective.

2. Based on perceived enthusiasm for any one story.

3. And what kind of mood I’m in when I decide to get started on the next project.

Everything clear?

Let the games begin–and may the odds be ever in your favor! Or the favor of the story most likely to be fun to write and engage a wide and enthusiastic audience while netting a hefty advance to the author! One or the other!

P.S. I’ll post the first sample tomorrow maybe. Look out for it.

*Sort of. No promises. However, all of these projects are hand-picked favorites of mine, and I’m excited about each of them. So whatever the general consensus finds most intriguing is likely to be pursued.

Which One

Sneak peak…