“And when she grows to be fifty feet tall, turns green and shoots fire out of her mouth, will you hold her hand then and tell her it will be okay?”
“Nah, that’s my life,” she said, calming down enough to speak and pulling out of Braxton’s embrace. “I find out I’m half Seer and half Dragon, some kind of mega magical weapon and … instead of there being some sort of dramatic backdrop like a full moon or an ominous thunderstorm, some hobo pisses all over my cage,”
Yes and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
My hometown has gotten a bad rap for many years, whether it is due to crime, obesity or (as of late) sweats, we have seen our share of media bullying. Regardless of where we stand in the poll of the week I am proud to call Philadelphia my hometown. My City of Brotherly Love is always waiting for me to visit with open arms no matter how long I’ve been away. Friends I haven’t seen in years treat me as if it has only been days since our last hurrah. We are a city that embraces our communities and celebrates its diversity.
Now, I could go down the list of many different things that make Philadelphia or if you wanna go Greek Philos Adelphos (loving brothers aka City of Brotherly Love) great, like that it was the first Capitol, the birth place of our first American flag, the gorgeous Liberty Bell, the first American zoo, the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts was the first museum, birthplace of American Bandstand, Chubby Checker, Frankie Avalon and one of my favorites growing up Will Smith. The list is deliciously endless.
But, what made it great for me was just being nuzzled in her embrace. I remember walking the Italian Market when I was kid with my nose wedged in a book as locals and out of towner’s mingled, yelling their produce orders and waving their money in the air as I seamlessly weaved my way through, naturally stepping into the dance that was walking the market. I imagined the characters of my stories chasing each other down Carpenter St, meeting up at Montrose Pool, battling it out at Palumbo Playground and then begging for forgiveness at Saint Paul’s Church. It was a city that helped me believe that anything was possible, a place where your neighbors and friends encouraged you to follow your dreams. Grant it, they may call you a “Crazy Bastard!” somewhere in their encouraging speech but you knew they were behind you the entire time.
When I breathe her air it’s like an electrical charge that floods my entire body, reigniting that piece of myself I left behind when I moved as a teen. The cars circling City Hall sounding like ocean waves and the Bronze Angel that is William Penn standing tall above us reminding us of where we started and where we are. My city is a beautiful place and one of my first loves which makes it a perfect place for me to release my monsters.
Every time I introduce my characters to a new part of Philly I can’t help but reminisce and then I pray I can do my city justice and help others see in her what I do.
What is your favorite hometown memory?
Communication! As you have probably noticed I’m not very good at it. This blog, Facebook, Twitter all look the same. A word thrown in here or there, a picture with barely a caption, sometimes I cave and write a blog. My goal this year is to correct this.
It has been a great few months!
I sent out many query letters and didn’t get a bite from any of them. Not a partial request, not a full, nothing. It’s okay. Each rejection is a motivation to learn more so I have been working on fixing my letter.
The holidays were fantastic! With Birthdays on Halloween, Thanksgiving/Fall Festivals, Christmas and Winter Bell shows and pageants, and Three Kings Day the past four months have been a wonderful blur of Life, Love and Happiness!
I was lucky enough also to get my hands on some baby sitting and get to a Philly Liars Pot Luck. Usually with juggling my crazy work schedule and lack of childcare I miss out on everything including the Philly Liar functions but not this time. The stars lined up and I made it. I was very warmly welcomed by all and got to finally meet the absolutely fantastic Don Lafferty, the extremely talented and wonderfully down to earth Mr. Jonathan Maberry (OMG moment #1) who gave me the skinny on The Writers Coffeehouses the Philly Liars host in Willow Grove and possibly some new locations starting up soon. It really is a great opportunity to meet with other writers who understand what you may be going through and learn from each other. To learn more check them out here: http://liarsclubphilly.com
My OMG moment #2 was meeting Marie Lamba. Based on an Amazon recommendation I had actually just started reading her new young adult novel Drawn so when she was standing in front of me I tried very hard not to geek out and have her sign my e-reader. It was difficult but I managed to not embarrass myself. I think. I hope. I pray? Anyway, she was wonderful and friendly and made me feel right at home. Drawn was a refreshing twist on paranormal romance, beautifully written and captivating. I loved it!
I met so many wonderful people that night, Nate, Rachael and the wonderful J. Thomas Ross who is a member of a fantastic informative blog called The Author Chronicles, please check them out here: http://authorchronicles.wordpress.com
So even though I’ve been silent I have been very busy but I promise not to stay away as long as I have been.
Thanks for checking in!
Summer has been very busy. I happily focused on my family during the day and edited, rewrote, rearranged and polished every night finishing my young adult urban fantasy manuscript. I have also learned that sometimes manuscripts are never done but I forced myself to let it go.
My goal was to have it completed by mid August and a query letter written by the end of August. I failed. Query wasn’t completed and sent until Sept 1st but I did it. Once I sent it out I was sick with all of the things I did wrong. That feeling lasted only a moment because in the end I still did it. I let it go and it felt good.
I could have held on to the query letter picking it apart and gluing its bloody pieces back together every night forever. Procrastination is a mind trap that way and I didn’t want to do that to myself. I love this story and I want to share it and there is only one way to do that. I had to let it go. Grant it, it may come back with a big fat NO (I have mentally prepared for it). But getting a no now doesn’t mean never. Shut up! That’s what I’m telling myself and it’s working.
I have moved on to work on a novella and the second book in the young adult series and it feels great. Just because I’m waiting on a response doesn’t mean the story has to stop and wait with me. It must move forward and grow and with it so will I, or that’s the plan.
My beta readers keep asking for pages “come on you have to have something for me” one said just this weekend. It’s great to see them so excited they even asked for one of my older manuscripts and I may have to cave in.
I hope everyone had a great summer but now it’s time to go feed the beast. Last night I sent a character through a few of my old streets in Philly making myself homesick in the process. Tonight I play with Ducati’s. Yay me!
I know it’s been a while since I have posted anything and for that I am sorry. It appears that now since my Wee Ones are done with school for the summer they require constant entertainment from the first break of dawn until they fall from exhaustion 14 – 15 hours later. And you will never guess who is in charge of said entertainment… It’s me! My little ones are like two energizer bunnies hopped up on sugar fighting for attention. Sad to say they get it from me but I wouldn’t change it for the world. “DANCE FOR ME MOMMY!!!”
I’ll only get so much alone time with them before life takes them where they need to go so I will make the most of it. It’s a beautiful thing but it leaves little to no down time. So with summer vacation and an office job over an hour away the few hours of writing I steal in the middle of night before falling asleep on the keys and sending someone an embarrassing email is dedicated to my WIP.
Last night I was writing out a few back stories for a few side characters to go in my book bible when I realized one of them had a whole lot of story of his own. So I ended up starting a novella for him. It just flowed onto my screen and I’ll tell you this… it felt great. It connects smoothly to the original manuscript, adding another layer on its bones. Hopefully my Beta’s will agree.
The original MS is on its second go around with the Beta’s. I plan on having the novella finished by the time my Beta’s are done with the original story so they can continue seamlessly, if they choose to. Hell, they may never want to talk to me again. Wish me luck!
Oh crap, they found me! Hide-n-Seek only lasts so long. Gotta go.