Hey, folks. It is I, Brigid, once again. Life has been absolutely nuts in the past three weeks since I've posted––and I don't really have one topic to focus on, so this is going to be a long rant about a lot of things that are bouncing around in my brain.
I thought I'd start off by giving you the bad news. Then I'll get to the good news. Then I'll tell you about some awesome stuff I've been doing for the past couple weeks. Lastly, I realize that I've never really posted any of my writing directly on my blog, so I figured I would share a snippet of it for once.
Alrighty, here goes …
The Bad News
The bad news is,
a) Kristin Nelson double-rejected me. You know how I emailed her back before, after she read my partial and said it was "relentlessly dark" and all? Well, then I got the reply back from one of her assistants or something, who was like "Kristin says thanks, but she has too much to read" or something. Oh, well. That's pretty much what I expected. If dark and depressing isn't her thing, I guess she just wasn't the agent for me.
b) Jason Anthony also rejected me––although as far as I could tell, he seemed to like the manuscript at least a little … He basically said that he was impressed I'd written it at my age, and that my writing style was good, but he didn't like the structure and thought the story was too clichéd. So over all, "You're good for a kid, but you're not good enough. *pat pat*" At least he said he's interested in future projects, so I'll have somewhere to turn when I finish/edit something else.
As for Walking Shadow … Well, I started frantically sending out queries again a few days ago. Which brings me to …
The Good News
The good news is, I sent out somewhere between 20-30 queries in the past two days. *whew* Today I sent out a bunch at about 4:30. I just checked my email like half an hour ago and found I had one response that came at 5:16. So I'm like, "Wow, that was fast." And then I just stared at it, not wanting to open it.
I hate hate hate that feeling of opening a response to a query. I always tell myself "It's a rejection, it's a rejection, it's a rejection" but there's always that part of me that hopes so badly that it won't be.
And this time, it wasn't.
I GOT MY SECOND FULL MANUSCRIPT REQUEST FOR WALKING SHADOW, PEOPLES!
So, Katherine Boyle of the Veritas Literary Agency requested my full manuscript. Woot! Of course I made sure she's an AAR member and looked up her background on AbsoluteWrite. From what I've read, people say she's friendly and enthusiastic, and she's willing to request revisions if she thinks a manuscript has potential. So, that's good. :) I'm trying so hard not to get my hopes up but … Maybe this time will be different? Maybe maybe maybe?
So, the past few weeks have been totally awesome because I've been hanging out with my ninja-writer friends: Acacia, Ilana, and Sella. Sella flew over here from CA and Acacia and Ilana both live in MA … So now we are all here in MA and it's been the greatest experience hanging out with all of them. I met all three of these amazing people through Goodreads.com––not that I am encouraging meeting with random people from the internet, because these guys aren't random. I've known them all for at least a year, and we've talked through Goodreads, Facebook, Skype, and over the phone pretty much every day since we "met". It's kind of an out-of-body experience though. You'd think it'd be weird, but when I met up with them in real life I didn't feel like it was any different––besides that they're even more amazing in person, but it's like we've been friends forever and ever. :D So yeah, since Sella got here we've had a bunch of sleepovers, and watched movies (and lightning storms, which Sella had never seen before :P), and stayed up all night … and oh yeah writing, that's pretty important too. ;) lol. It's been like the best summer ever! I love my ninjas!!!
Okay, so here's what's up with my writing.
First of all, I finished my book Jump! Yay! I have now completed seven novels :)
I'm now switching my focus between Sky-Fall, Unraveling, and Rage. Not really sure which one I'm going to focus on next. … I told myself for months that Unraveling was next in line, but now I keep getting ideas for Sky-Fall and Rage too. Dammit. Well, I'll probably end up sharing tidbits of all of them in the future.
For now, since I talk about it so dang much, I thought I'd share some of Walking Shadow with you. So, enjoy this little excerpt. Peace out! ;)
Jason stops dead in his tracks. He whirls around to face me again, so suddenly that it startles me.
“I don't know what I am, anymore,” he blurts. There's a wild, terrified gleam in his dark eyes now, like his fear is driving him into insanity. “I don't know what I've done. But I have to get back, somehow. I have to become human again.”
We're both silent, staring at each other like we're looking through a pane of glass––one of us on each side, separated but still able to see each other. The only thing I can hear is both of us breathing. My heart is pounding faster and faster in my chest.
I can tell that he's holding something back. I still see the image from him in my dream––curled up on the floor, bleeding, dying, so close to me but yet so far away, beyond my reach. I feel lightheaded, just thinking about it.
“What do you want me to do?” My voice is low, almost a whisper. “I don't––don't understand.”
His eyes go dull, like he's starting to get some of his sanity back. I can practically see it, when reality hits him. “I don't know, either. I don't know what you're or what I'm supposed to do. But I just can't keep living like this. Or not 'living', exactly, but you know what I mean.” He shakes his head. “I'm just really scared, okay? I know that maybe you can't help me, but if you could just consider it, at least. If you could just try …”
“You're not telling me something,” I interrupt him. The words burst out of me before I can stop them. He looks at me, taken aback. “Maybe I'm wrong, but …”
“No.” The surprise is gone from his face. “I mean, you're not wrong. You're right.”
“So, what are you not telling me?”
He closes his eyes, like he's trying to concentrate on something. When he opens them again, they seem darker and blacker than ever. “You have to promise that you won't be afraid of me, if I show you.”
I wrap my arms tighter around myself. The cold of the autumn morning presses in around me. I want to tell him that I won't be scared. Normally, it would be true. I've never been truly afraid of anything, except my own mind. But I feel afraid of him now, with an intensity like I've never felt. Still, I need to know who he is. What he is.
I don't promise anything, but I give the command, keeping my voice and my gaze steady. “Show me.”
Once again, the wind picks up, as if in forewarning. This time it's stronger, making my hair whip into my face, snatching the leaves from the ground and throwing them into the air. More leaves fall from the tree branches above us, orange and yellow, so it looks like fire is falling from the sky.
Jason is still standing there, like he's waiting for something. But what is he waiting for? Is he waiting for me to change my mind? Is what he has to show me really that disturbing, that dangerous? Violent shudders go up my spine. What's he going to do, grow fangs and eat me?
Jason doesn't change. He doesn't shape-shift. He doesn't burst into flames. He just looks down at the gloves on his hands––and slowly, he starts to take them off. When his hands emerge from the gloves, they look perfectly ordinary. No fur or scales or claws or anything. Just normal, human hands. What am I supposed to see?
Jason puts his gloves in the pocket of his denim jacket. He's not looking at me anymore; he's looking around at the ground, like he's searching for something. He walks closer to me, and the cold, Otherworldly feeling of his presence nearly overwhelms my mind, filling it with blackness. I'm dizzy for a second, but I force myself to stay alert, to keep watching him.
He kneels on the ground, so close to me. His head is bent, still staring downward. I can't see what he's looking at, so I kneel down too. My legs are shaking so badly, I'm afraid I'll fall over. But I manage, clumsily, to make it onto my knees.
I brush red strands of hair out of my eyes, my fingers shaking. The only thing on the ground between us is a small patch of uncovered soil. In the middle of it, there's an anthill. It's getting a little late in the year for the ants to still be alive, I think. But that's probably not the point.
The tiny black creatures climb in and out of the small, dark hole. I lift my eyes, looking at Jason. His face is a blank mask. It's like he's concentrating on something––something that is beyond my perception. Then he reaches down, and he brushes one finger over some of the ants.
At first, nothing happens. I'm about to decide, once and for all, that he's crazy and that I should just walk away. Then, I see that something strange is happening to the ants that he touched. They stop in their tracks, as if they've been frozen in time. One by one, they start curling in on themselves, their little legs struggling like they're trying to fight against an invisible, crushing force. They crumple. They disintegrate. Their tiny bodies burst, leaking black fluid. The ants that Jason touched lie in a miserable, messy trail of death.
I almost fall backwards in horror. I stare and stare, not knowing what to feel. I feel like I've been punched hard in the stomach, like I'm choking, like I'm going to throw up. This is not what I expected in the least. It would be an understatement to say I'm surprised, and hardly anything surprises me. I haven't even breathed this entire time.
I can feel Jason watching me, like he's waiting for my reaction, and his gaze––even though I'm not even looking at him––chills me to the core. What does he expect me to say? What does he want me to say? Is he hoping that this convinced me to try to help him? Did it convince me?
I'm starting to think that I'll never be able to look up, but at last, I let out a deep breath and I lift my eyes; they lock on Jason's. Right away, my breath catches again. It's not that he looks different, but that there's the hint of something new there, like he's scared of what he's just done, but there's another part of him that doesn't see the horror in the situation, maybe even a part of him that enjoyed it. But fear and desperation overpower that satisfaction, so strong as they reach me, from across the small space between us, that I can almost taste them. I've never felt fear like his.
Again, I see him in the middle of the white room, in my dream, his bloody hand prints streaking the walls, his fingers dripping blood as he reaches for me. I can see his eyes overflowing with bloody tears, leaving red trails on his face. I hear those words, repeated, even though he doesn't say them aloud this time. It's like his very soul, if he has one, is screaming and calling out to me.
Help me, it cries, tearing me apart. Help me, help me, help me …