Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Your Daily Digression: Self Help at its Zaniest

Need a little help being sillier? Is life a bunch of stern looks and red tape? Well I have the book for YOU! Or I will, a year from Christmas...

My Digressionista is a giraffe
See, I've had this idea for quite a while... know those calendars with a little inspirational quote every day? Something like THAT, but digressions... thinks or acts to make life a little more random, though not random in the mathematical sense, because all said, in a year of randomness, you are likely to end up with the same thing several times if it were truly random... random including some repetition and all... but I digress! (see how I did that)


ANYWAY... with my other writing and my LIFE interferences (gads, I hate that) I've decided the only way I'm really going to get this written is if I write ONE digression each day. Then I will finish in a year, just in time to format and get it ready for Christmas (which means it needs to be a 2017 calendar, yes?

Giraffe-necked weevil. Not nearly so cute as a giraffe.
BUT... (this is the part where some of you might be able to help me) it's be really cool if there were some art, yes? Photos or drawings or ink blots or some combination of the above? And IS THERE anywhere to produce something like this Indie, or should I start bundling this as a proposal for some publishing company? Who does this sort of thing? (and if I'm going that way, should I be thinking about a 2020 calendar #commentaryonthespeedofpublishing

Anything anybody knows about anything like this would be amazingly helpful.

And the OTHER One.

So I should finish the final (of this round) spit polish of Also Appearing tomorrow...

Here's the pitch at its draftiest:

Leia Clarence feels like an extra in her own life. A bystander. A bit part. An “Also Appearing”. Her friends and older sister have social skills she can barely understand, let alone display. To compound matters, her parents are relegating her to a summer at the lake, away from her friends, with poor internet and cell phone connections and no way to keep track of the social scene back home. It's going to be the worst summer ever.

Until she meets a cute guy who lives at the lake year-round. Trey is mischievous, charming and hot. And the crazy thing is he seems to like her, too. Not her friends. Not her sister. Her. She isn't a shadow, but the focus of his attention and affections. For the first time ever she has a starring role in her own life. At least until something goes wrong.

Back at home she tries to recapture that feeling of mattering, of being somebody, but it seems easier to just numb the fact that she doesn't. Alcohol, drug experimentation, and a different sort of boy all fail. Is there anything Leia can do to grab back that leading role, or better yet, write the script for her own life?

Also Appearing, at 59,000 words, is a contemporary young adult novel about a girl's struggle to break expectations that her friends have and to find an identity that not only fits, but allows her to soar.

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE feedback on this, especially if this is a genre you read or write in. And IFF anyone is honestly interested, I am looking for a couple second round readers.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Hart - I think if you've got the idea ... do it and then towards the end work out how and where you'll publish it ... obviously as you go along you'll be thinking along those lines anyway. Love the idea though.

Sadly I don't read contemporary young novels, nor write them ... but I enjoyed the concept and could see it developing ... good luck and I'm sure it'll make the light of the publishing world ... cheers Hilary

Denise Covey said...

Now this is an original idea when I thought there were none left. Go for it!

Jan Morrison said...

Love the digression calendar idea. Go to a print shop that an artist friend recommends. Ask them the how to. You can do them online too, but again get an artist friend to recommend a site.

As to your pitch -sounds great. All I'd want more is the age of the girl and leave us hanging a bit -i.e. "back home the magic blah blah falls away. Maybe hanging with the stoners will take away the loser feeling." Not that exactly obviously, but don't take us so far into the story. I'm a little confused about whether this is set at the cottage or the town.
And I'd be a second reader if you like. Still waiting news on my new ending. Gzh.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No idea on the calendar but it sounds like a great idea.
I don't read that genre but the blurb is good.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

My sister wants to put together a calendar of collies and kitties. She's already made note cards. I'll be interested on reading marketing strategies.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Oh and you have no idea how that weevil is creeping me out.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Do a Google search. I'm sure there are quite a few businesses that put together calendars. Compare and see who offers the best deal.

What kinds of pictures are you looking for? 25 years a pro photographer and I have a lot.

Diana Wilder said...

I like the idea, and you have a nifty way of writing. I don't read the genre, but I can tell if a piece of writing is bad or good, flows, snags, or whatever. As long as there's no horror or paranormal (I don't diss them, I just can't read 'em) send the story on and I'll read it.

Edited to add:
I hope you realize that your Captcha has just made me hungry for sushi!

Arlee Bird said...

Not sure how I can help with this, but I tend to be pretty random. And it's a pretty random world we live in. So a random book about random thoughts might just pierce the psyche of the American reading public.

Have you tried contacting Random House publishing company about this?

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I would go into the bookstore and look at the calendars and see who is publishing them. I'm sure you can find a few because it sounds like a terrific idea.

Susan Says

Helena said...

I wish I had more time to be a second round reader for you, but life is still to crazy busy for me right now. And that's too bad for me because I really love your stories.

I like your pitch and the story sounds good, but as you and I know from experience, these things have to be whittled down to something so very punchy. So PLEASE don't be offended if I give you a not very good sample of my own version of your pitch--I'm just being pushy here. And I know there are commenters who could do way better than I have. But hey, I'm trying.

Leia Clarence feels like an extra in her own life. A bystander. A bit part. An “Also Appearing”. She can’t even figure out how to get the easy social skills her friends and older sister have. Then there are her parents—they’re relegating her to the worse summer ever! She’ll be away from her friends, at a lake where internet and cell phone connections are a joke, and there’s no way to keep track of the social scene back home.

But everything changes when she meets a cute guy who lives at the lake. Trey is mischievous, charming and hot. And the crazy thing is he seems to like her, too. Not her friends. Not her sister. Her. For the first time ever Leia has a starring role in her own life, and she loves it!

But then she goes back home…

...And slips back into being an Also Appearing. Leia fails big time at writing the script for her life and falls apart in all the wrong ways--drugs, drinking, a wrong guy. What she needs more than anything is to figure out how to take back the leading role and this time hang onto it forever.