Monday, August 26, 2013

It's Like a Basket of Puppies


Story ideas, to me, are like baskets of puppies.  You're looking down at four or five little furry faces, all adorable, every single one demanding attention, eager, and ready to go, and OMG, which one do you choose to play with first?  And then one particularly precocious pup scales the pen and climbs into your lap and settles the debate for you.     
Pick me!  No, wait, pick me!

Yeah, it's like that, except my story ideas don't chew the furniture or have accidents on the carpet.

I always have shiny ideas bouncing around in my head.  Last year, after my final revision of Knights of Avalon, there were several vying for my attention - the Medusa story, the Apocalyptic Pizza Delivery Girl story, the Shangri-La story...  but in the end, it was Medusa who won out.  Probably because she can turn people to stone.  Also, she has claws and her blood is poison.  In a cage match, she'd probably beat all my other characters, even Justine.  

I had tried to write Beautiful Medusa before, in 2009, but I couldn't do it, I wasn't a strong enough writer and I didn't know how to handle the material.  Now, the story grabbed hold of me and refused to let go.  That's how I know a story's ready to be written, when I can't stop thinking about it.  It's all consuming, both the best feeling in the universe and the worst.  There's so much joy in building a new world, in creating characters and imagining their relationships.  If I had my way, I'd lock myself in the house for three months and just create, create, create.

And at the end of three months, I'd look like Gollum.


But I'd have my precious story.

My precious.

Instead of being able to throw myself into my new world though, I had these distractions.  Bothersome things like a job and family...  Human interaction is so overrated.  How was I supposed to concentrate on spreadsheets when there were people in my head, demanding to be heard?  That's the downside of getting obsessed with a story.  Until the story's told, the thought of doing anything else becomes unbearable.  Every day I woke up wanting to lose myself in my writing, but I had to force myself to take care of responsibilities that couldn't be ignored.

From December to July, I balanced my need to create with my need to pay the bills as best I could.  I fought for time to write and bit by bit, the story in my head became words on the page, until Beautiful Medusa was a real, actual book, a book that I love.

Then again, I love all my books.  Still, I've been working on my writing and I like to think that maybe I've actually learned something and improved after all these years.  I suppose we'll see.        

If you're curious, here's the query:

In a land wasted and wrung dry, where happiness is as rare as any jewel, sixteen-year-old Alessia considers herself blessed to be a Priestess of Athena. But when the girl’s extraordinary beauty draws the unwanted attention of Poseidon, her life becomes a nightmare. Cursed for defying an immortal and cast out of her home, the gods transform Alessia into the legendary Medusa and condemn her to live life as a monster.

Snakes for hair. A gaze that can turn a man to stone. Razor sharp talons at the end of each finger. All Alessia wants is to hide herself away from the world before she hurts someone, or worse. Yet to the kings of ancient
Greece, Alessia's petrifying gaze makes her a weapon to be won at any cost. With the kings offering unimaginable riches to anyone who can bring them the head of the Medusa, the scared girl soon finds herself hunted by the all too clever hero Perseus and many others.

Struggling to hold onto both her life and her humanity, Alessia flees westward and finds the impossible: Sanctuary and a chance at love with a fallen god preparing to wage war on
Olympus. But are his feelings sincere or is he merely using her? And when the war comes, will Alessia, the once loyal priestess, exact revenge on the gods who turned her into Medusa?

Based on the legend according to Ovid's Metamorphoses, Beautiful Medusa is a YA Fantasy complete at 92,000 words. Though the story can stand alone, there is potential for a sequel. Thank you for your consideration!


I don't know what's going to happen with this story.  I'm sure I'll get rundown with rejections soon enough, but right now, I'm excited and it just feels good to be done.

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