#PitchWars Mentee Bio

I keep wanting to write “Mentos” bio. Put me in a can of Coke and shake me up, then run away!

Who am I? I’m someone who is hopefully entering PitchWars, that’s who! OH. You want that other stuff, the boring “real life” stuff (though I would argue that the amount of time I spend writing is probably more than the time I spend at work…).

I’m a lab tech who really did not know what she was getting into 25 years ago when she went into the field. I just knew I loved chemistry. A LOT. Like, spending my lunch hours in the chem lab type of love. Working in a medical lab? That’s, like, *biology.* Shudder. I never liked biology. I didn’t even TAKE biology in high school. I skipped it and went to the chem and physics classes. Not that I really liked physics, either… Just give me chemistry. This is why I LOVE fabric dyeing. That’s more like playing in the chem lab.

Anyway, my chosen profession isn’t all that bad, and I’m pretty good at it, but I’d always rather be writing. To that end, I travel for work, doing short term assignments so I can take off time between them. I have an RV to use as my base camp, but this is my goal:


It’s a tent for the top of your car. My goal is spend two weeks in each of the National Parks while I’m writing the books in my novella series. Last year I spent a week in Terlingua and wrote a lot while I was there. No distractions except the birds and the sunsets.

My MS is a little bit cross-genre, but it basically falls under science fiction thanks to all the time travel (invented by humans, not magically brought on by the gods), space travel, and alternate universes. I found the genre “Science Fantasy” thanks to a fellow PitchWarrior, but then had a query critique and decided to stick with SF.

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Great query help


I have read through this blog a few times over the last couple of years – maybe not the entire blog, but large chunks. It has really good information, but it kind of dead-ended in 2012. Not that I’m one to talk… Anyway, I happened upon it tonight, and lo and behold! The author has a query critique service via Fiverr. Guess what I did? Yep. I was struggling with my query (who doesn’t?) (I don’t want to hear from you if you don’t! LOL), so I booked the service and got a fantastic query critique in the middle of the night. YAY! It went from an entire page of red “I don’t understand this at all” to managing to elicit a “Ha!” in the final draft.

I believe I have leveled up.

SO, if you need query help, you NEED this service!

And no, I was not asked to write this, and in fact did not tell the blogger I was going to do so. I’m just a very satisfied customer. 🙂

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Gotta love Heinlein…

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards. — Robert A. Heinlein #Writeometer

I downloaded the phone app Writeometer a while back and decided I should finally use it. When I set up my project it gave me the above quote. 🙂

I  have thoughts – MANY, MANY thoughts, happy and amused and OMG I LOVE THEM thoughts – about the two part finale of The Blacklist and their amazing lampshades, but I am at work and must get back, and therefore my thoughts must wait.

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Eleven hours and 6000 words

Am I the only one who gets full stories in dreams? I dreamed a story last night. I only “saw” the last few scenes, but the whole thing – backstory, the beginning, all of it – was there in the dream.

I got up, fixed coffee, and started writing. Since I work second shift, my “morning” started at 2pm, but still. 🙂 It is now after 1am. I have almost six thousand words written and the only reason I am stopping is that I’m going to stop making sense pretty soon. Or possibly I already have. I’m close to writing the end scenes now – hahahaha – I say that, but I didn’t expect the beginning to be nearly so long… it will need a lot of editing. BUT. Writing.

Now, sleep.

Edit – I’m a little disappointed that I only have 6000 words. I wrote a thousand in half an hour once. This is like 500 words per hour. Sigh. Well, granted, I did have to google things, and I forgot I stopped to buy jewelry, and eat… but still. I need to increase my word count.

OH. I didn’t write an outline first. That’s what did it. I do much better with an outline. I had one in my head, but not on paper. Hmmmm.

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Be Yourself

Lesson for the day: never try to make yourself something you aren’t.

I wrote a story at the end of March. I was pretty sure it was the best story I had ever written. Why was that? Because it was nothing like MY writing. A little bit of my humor* got through, but since I have failed to get any stories published with my normal slightly “off” humor, I tried to force this story into a completely different mold. I fought it every sentence and paragraph. It came from a dream, and the story really, REALLY wanted to be the dream, but I decided NO, I needed to write something more modern than what my subconscious gave me.

Apparently that was a bad idea. It was rejected a record twelve hours after I submitted it, albeit with good feedback for the idea and other aspects, and I wrote nothing else until the end of April.

DON’T BE ME. I’m not talking about putting away the pen (or keyboard and mouse)** – for a few days after a rejection – everyone does that occasionally. I mean DON’T try to change your writing style just because you think if you do, a certain publisher or editor or agent will suddenly like what you’ve written. You have to be yourself. I knew that before I did it, and I convinced myself I was just “tweaking” my style a bit. But I wasn’t. I was full out butchering it.

I’m still revising that story – I’m attending a two week workshop this summer and I need three stories, and thanks to my month-long “I am horrible and will never succeed at anything and where’s the ice cream?” binge, I only have that story, one I wrote last October, and the “prequel” story to my novel. I have two others partly started (ie, random bad jokes and dialogue scribbled in my notebook but nothing in the computer yet), but there’s no way I can get them done and on the site for critique in the next eleven days…


Carry on, my wayward internet.


*no judgments on whether my humor is *good* or not, you understand… it just is what it is.

**I did that for twenty-five years. Bad idea. THINK of all the horrible melodrama I could have produced*** while I was waiting for a sense of humor to develop… 😉

***if you’d read my poetry from the 90s, you’d understand.

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Social Media Sabbatical

Going to be off Twitter, Tumblr, etc for a couple of months. I need to spend this month reading, writing, and revising (thank goodness no ‘rithmatic!) and finishing up a critique that I really thought I was going to finish two weeks ago… Apparently I read a lot slower now than I used to. At least I only have two weeks left of my class. That class is killing me.

Have a good May, y’all. And June. And probably July and August, too.

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Actually, I was right. Mercury IS retrograde. I’m hiding for a while.

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Accessory Failure

I am completely failing at accessing JMS content this week.

I got my set of B5 DVDs – “CNN Documents Babylon 5” – but my DVD player is a country length away from me, so I need to buy one next time I go to the store (no offense to anyone involved, but I only leave the apartment to go to work, and that, grudgingly).

I wanted to have the three Superman: Earth One comics on my Kindle Fire (the physical copies are currently in a box somewhere) so I could re-read them, so I bought them on Amazon tonight. I have no idea where my charger is. It was here two months ago. I tore the place apart. It is nowhere. Found my checkbook, though. Yay! I ordered a new charger.

I bought the back issues of Dream Police on the Image Comics site… and have no idea what format I need for my Fire even after searching for it (and it gave me a headache) so I don’t know what to download, so I just downloaded the pdfs to view on my computer. THEN I saw his tweet about buying them on comiXology, went to it, and HEY. You can get them on your Fire… SO, I’m just going to rebuy them all. Because, like, it’s just EASIER.

Is Mercury retrograde???? Ooh – possibly not – I was able to download issue one of Dream Police to my phone, and my phone hasn’t let me download an app or much of anything else for quite a while. So, there’s that.

Electronics don’t like me. Which is bad since I work in a lab.


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Favorite link from twenty years ago

Back many moons ago, I found a website called “Ask Kosh.” Like a magic 8 ball, only with Kosh quotes. I had something like that on my computer – back in the late 90s and early 00s I copied my favorite quotes from my VCR to my computer rather obsessively – soap opera quotes, sci-fi shows, whatever shows I really loved and whatever quote I thought would really work. Sadly, the tech outpaced my learning curve, so I haven’t done that for a long time (probably a good thing), but the ones I do have make for a rather hilarious magic 8 ball when I’m really bored.

Anyway. I discovered that the Ask Kosh site is still live! Tons of quotes from the always direct, straight to the point Vorlon Ambassador on Babylon 5.


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Aeon 2.0

I just downloaded the new version of Aeon, the timeline software compatible with my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE software, Scrivener. I had the early version and gave up on it quickly, but that was my fault, not the fault of the software. The timeline was intended to be linear, as time most often is, and my series is about time travel and reincarnation. My character jumps around too much for a linear timeline.

However, when I looked at the tutorial, I realized that I hadn’t looked outside the box last time. Apparently, you do NOT have to give your various characters birth and death dates. I want to, but that’s the just the OCD in me. If I don’t give them birth or death dates, maybe the software won’t mind so much if they flit around in time. I won’t be able to use it to calculate their ages at each event, but I’ve used a calculator for that anyway, and I can always make a note at each event about how old each character is, if they happened to have been born or died at that point, and, you know, if it was in an alternate universe… Oh, and what book it’s in. Yes, I could make different timelines for each book, but the point of the software was for me to be able to see ALL THE THINGS in one timeline, without just painting a wall white and using sharpie on it.

Which I may still do.

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