It’s been a while since I last updated. A LOT of stuff has been going on…
Back in April 2020, I entered the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. They recently announced the winners and runner-ups. I didn’t win or place, but I got my commentary back and I thought it was really great! So I wanted to post it. 🙂
(Scale of 1-5, 5 being outstanding, 1 needing improvement)
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
Plot and Story Appeal: 4
Character Appeal and Development: 4
Voice and Writing Style: 5
Judge’s Commentary: This cover hooked me from the start, as did the blurb on the back. I think the production of this cover design and the inside of the book is well executed and the cover art especially will hook the right readers for this story. I really enjoy this type of fiction in which the setting and characters are at once so relatable and similar, and yet something is very, very, askew in their situations so that you know it’s a bit of a problematic situation for them! While this type of alternate America story might be a little close-hitting to the obscurities of our current reality, I didn’t mind reading it and thought it was interesting and clever in the way the plot turns and twists. I would have liked a bit more character development throughout the plot, and to see a bit more of the city and world fleshed out, but I thought the idea of this book was quite interesting. There were a handful of fun moments where things took a turn I was not expecting and I was surprised at how some of the characters responded but in a good way. I like being surprised in that way by stories like these. It was great fun!
Here’s a link to my book if you’re interested: The Underground Dogs by J.C.D. Kerwin
Now I hope to really get moving on completing my other space opera novel and some short stories I have milling around in my head. I haven’t written in a while so I really want to. Maybe this is some motivation I need!
I’ve got some good news. My short science-fiction-western story, “The Bounty Hunter,” is going to be published in the April-ish edition of the sci-fi magazine, Bewildering Stories. How cool is that!? I’m very excited. I’ve sent some other pieces out, too, and I’ve received one “no,” but am still waiting on others.
Also some cool news. M is going to be designing the covers for my short story collection and The Novel That Will Get Me Published. So once he does that, I am going to self-publish them with Amazon. I’m thinking that’s another spring release. I’m not sure which one I’ll release first…
I’m also on new medicine and it’s working really well and I feel great. 🙂 In general, I feel really uplifted, positive, determined, grounded, and mindful. I know a lot of it is probably the medicine, but I also hope some of it is how much work I’ve been putting into fighting myself and trying hard to practice mindfulness. I’m also proud of myself for sending stories out and working to get my stuff published. Hurray for hard work and positivity!
Up, up, and away!
Hey weberverse. How have you been? I haven’t been doing well lately. I haven’t been managing well. It has been a hard fall-now-into-winter. My heart longs for spring.
I do have some cool news about writing. I have a new plan on getting published. I am going to self-publish (yes, like every other Joe Schmo) The Novel That Will Get Me Published and I have several ideas on how to market it/myself. I am hoping a pub. company will get wind of it and then I’ll get offered a contract from that point. Hey, it could happen.
I also have a new sci-fi short story I am working on. The idea came from a co-worker, so I’ll be sure to credit her, but her idea is too good not to write down. I’m going to work on that and add it to my sci-fi collection. I’ll probably self-publish that, too. That way, I’ll have a couple different things for people (soon to be fans, I hope) to read.
I have several new ideas for novels, too. I think I mentioned one of them already, but now I’ve come up with another one. So I hope to be starting work on those, too…
M and my psych have been encouraging me to write more. I haven’t actually sat down and written anything in many, many moons. I suppose I can say half of it is because you never want to do anything when you have depression, but then I guess the other half, is I don’t feel I’m good enough so why bother. I think I talked about that before, too. But right now I just want to finish some stories to read them and make myself feel better. That’s the whole idea, right there.
So that’s where I am right now. I hope I can start to manage my illnesses better this year and I hope to write and read a lot more. I guess those are my “resolutions.”
Stay classy, San Diego.
Something cool happened regarding The Novel that Will Get Me Published. I sent a query and the first 30 pages to a publisher and they asked to read the whole thing. That was pretty awesome in itself. They eventually said no, but it was one helluva complimentary rejection letter:
“Thanks so much for sending your full manuscript. The voice still blows me away with its pace and tone. You’ve captured humor and intensity at the same time. Although it is an intriguing concept and a well-written account, I didn’t fall in love with it. I wish you all the best.”
I was disappointed, of course, but just the fact they liked it so much made me think, “Gee, I’m getting really close!” Bittersweet. It was cool.
I’ve been submitting all sorts of stuff again. Short stories, vignettes, etc. Things that were rejected, I’m turning right back around and submitting to other places. Hash tag determination.
I’ve taken a break from Facebook. Place gets on my nerves sometimes. Gets to me, y’know? So far I feel better. More time for writing! 😀
Anyway, the weather certainly helps things, too. Thumbs way up.
Blade Runner 2049 movie poster
That’s a U2 song. 10 points if you got it.
I’m…here. Surviving. Trying. I guess.
I’ve had a tough time battling my Depression and Anxiety, and there have been some pretty sad family issues over the past few months. I haven’t written much. But those aren’t really the reasons I haven’t picked up the pen… I feel pretty worthless as far as being a writer goes.
I keep reading stuff by other [better] writers and getting rejection letters, so my self-esteem is pretty much at the bottom of the barrel right now. All I want to do is tell stories, you know. Save people. All this is such a broken record if you’ve followed this blog…
I finally saw Blade Runner 2049 the other night. The original Blade Runner is one of my favorite movies of all time. This sequel is right up at the top of the list now, too. I don’t know; I watch stuff or listen to music and it does something to my brain and my heart that makes me want to try again–try telling my stories again, I mean. You put that soundtrack and story together and well, I guess I am inspired again. I am now inspired to work on my sci-fi novel and maybe even some short sci-fi pieces.
But it’s in a sad sort of way. Like, “what’s the point?” I know they’ll make me happy to write, but half the reason I write is to bring joy to other people. And at the rate I’m going, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do that at the level I want to. I’m losing faith in myself, I guess. Or maybe I’m just ultra-depressed right now.
I have lots of short stories out at mags and I’m still waiting to hear back on the Novel That Will Get Me Published at the newest pub. company I sent it to. It’s only been 3 months, so I probably have some more waiting to go.
Anyway, I guess I’m off to dream.