Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Search for the Perfect Critique Partner Continues...

To be my critique partner, you must be:

1. St. Louis area-based (I want to be able to meet up in real life, and F.Y.I. I live on the IL side).

2. a writer who writes often (I'm looking to exchange feedback). I want to give feedback and get feedback with someone who takes writing seriously. 

3. an enthusiast of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, steampunk, and young adult, because that's what I write (click here to read about my current project). I will read almost anything but romance.

4. able to take criticism. If you cry because I pointed out a misplaced comma in your novel, then we're probably not a good match. I am very honest. If you tell me that you want to get this published, then I will look at your work as a marketable product.

5. willing to dish out criticism honestly. I have an iron gut for criticism, and I want blunt/honest thoughts. I want to know how to improve my writing. I don't like wishy-washy statements. If you hated my chapter 3, say so.

6. willing to read novel-length projects, since that's what I generally write. 

7. excited at the prospect of Halloween, because my writing is infused with the spirit of that season.

8. near my age. I'm 27. I would feel a little weird hanging out with someone who is 65. Just being honest. 21-39 seems like the ideal age range.

All that said, it’s also important that crit partners generally enjoy each other’s writing (and are near each other in skill level, so I don’t get jealous if you’re better than me or vice versa). I suppose that would come on a read-for-read basis. If you happen to read this and want to trade examples of writing, email me ( We can swap chapter 1s, and then either say “yes” and continue or “No, we’re not a match” with no hard feelings.

That’s what I’m looking for. If you seem to fit any of that, you should leave a comment or email me

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I bought a camera and I'm geeking out

Title says it all, really.

I blew my money on something I've always wanted: a nice camera. This is it:

I feel like a nice camera is a tool that every author (and author wannabe!) should have. Learning to speak publicly is something that contradicts the mentality of many writers. I mean, when we write, we get to edit. Backspace. Delete. Reword. Writers can be thoughtful and take their time putting their words together.

But public speaking is different; you can't take back the things you say in the immediate. You can't take back tone of voice and other nonverbal cues. Writers love to sit in their little offices and nooks and place one word after another in the comfort of their home computers. Public speakers have to be on target at all times. They must be clear, not jumble their words. They need the right tone and look good--that's another thing.

I've been working on making myself look better. There are so many things that owning a camera will teach me. An author must be able to go out into the public and speak to people professionally, with warmth, caring, vibrant virtues. I want to learn how to speak better so I can better promote myself and enjoy the community of book lovers that exist out there.