Friday, December 21, 2012


Everyday, repeating
patterns, the endless sliding
up and down, the crawling,
erratic rhythm.
Always filled with strangers,
and going.
Spreading myself,
everyday filled with more and more
sweat slick bodies pressed
front to back,
filling me but never making me
So brief, their presence, leaving
me emptier than before.
Momentary reprieve
from an existence with
no meaning but to serve, to
fill their needs.

And why?

Because they enter me?
Because they shove
inside me and
push my buttons with their fat
groping fingers?
And were I to close myself to them,
what then?
Deny them
entrance, ignore their needs.
Be complete with myself without
opening for the first one to come
along, to need me,
to use me.

Would I be happier,

or lonely?

© Q Washburn

Friday, December 14, 2012

Idea Files & Why They're Amazing.

(Ignore the crappy quality of my own example images. I took screen shots of them from my website because I was too lazy to hunt down which external hard drives the various images were stored on, haha.)

If you don't already keep an inspiration or idea file, you should. I keep track of anything and everything that inspires me, because I don't know what tiny thing will eventually germinate in my brain and spawn a book or photo series. Images, lyrics, random words and thoughts, even paint chip color names can fuel entire projects. My current book was a brain lighting moment born of trawling my photo and story inspiration folders. (Read about it here.)

Inspiration can be very literal, such as with a retelling. (West Side Story is essentially an updated Romeo and Juliet.) It can also be as abstract as a blurry cell phone picture inspiring a 90,000 word novel. The point is, you'll lose the inspiration if you don't tear it out, write it down, take a photo...whatever necessary to document the moment.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Monday Pep Rally: Agent For a Day

Today's not actually Monday, but one of the YA Misfits linked this during the #PitchWars frenzy, and it looked like fun!

My wishlist if I was an agent for a day? Quirky, dark YA and MG.

Anything spooky, dark, or twisted would make my heart go pitter-pat. Gargoyles, ghosts... I would LOVE an American Horror Story-esque YA with great setting and voice. A MG or YA roadtrip series like Supernatural or So Weird would also be awesome. Basically, if the Midnight Society would chat it up around their campfire, I'm your girl. (Are You Afraid of the Dark?)

Pretty much any high concept second-world fantasy would make me perk up and take notice. No vampires or werewolves. Love zombies, but it would have to be really unique and pulse-racing. No love triangles unless extraordinarily well done. (Or you turned the trope on its head.) No Hard Sci-fi or High Fantasy. Thrillers are iffy, but would love a good period detective story with quirk, like Who Framed Roger Rabbit or Dick Tracy.

Anything with natural disasters...earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, floods, tsunamis, wildfires... My FAVORITE movie genre is disaster flicks, so if you can bring that same sense of scale and impending doom to a book with compelling characters? MINE.  Historical disaster re-imaginings, such as with Krakatoa or Pompeii, would also be right up my alley.

Not opposed to Contemporary, but it needs to be quirky and different, like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, or have a strong setting like a summer camp or allegedly haunted house. (Haunted summer camp!)

If you send me something campy or loveable like my favorite 80's movies (Ghostbusters, Ninja Turtles, Little Monsters, Goonies, Back to the Future) I would love you forever.

This list is pretty specific, but if I were handed one of these in my internship, I would squeal and dance and read it RIGHT THEN. In fact, I've read some pretty fantastic haunting stories for my internship and you can bet my reports were especially enthusiastic. Somebody please go write these things and then get them published so I can read them, pleeeeease?

And if you have written something like anything above and are looking for a beta or critique partner, pick me! ^_^


Now go to The YA Misfits blog and do this challenge!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pitch Wars!

Pitch Wars is this fantastic contest run by Brenda Drake over at her blog. Unagented writers can submit an "application" consisting of a query letter and the first five pages of their manuscript to three of the eleventy-hundred (slight exaggeration) mentors participating. Mentors are outrageously awesome industry folk (authors, editors, interns) who will mentor/coach one person from their pile of applicants for a month. They'll read the mentee's book, suggest edits, and help them polish their query.

Then comes the battle round.

All of the mentees get thrown into a ring where they must battle to the death for the attention of over a dozen agents. Whichever mentee gets the most requests wins! (But everybody wins because seriously...mentoring and a panel of agents? That's beyond awesome.)

Did I mention the ninjas? There are ninja mentors swooping in to snatch up unclaimed applicants to mentor.

And the Twitter. All the Twitter. #PitchWars is a ridiculous time-suck and I love it so much.

And did I mention the super secret #SekritProject that's been hint-dropped all over the place? I don't know what's going down, but it sounds big. So. Much. Cryptic.

Also, as if the mentors weren't awesome enough, most of them are sending personalized rejections. To the 2000 applications they received. 0.o

No wonder writers drink.

So...I applied. Now I'm waiting. For the 12th when notifications go out. For the love of cheez-its and all that is holy, the anticipation is keeeeeling me. I don't even care at this point if I get chosen. The fact that everyone is so awesome and I've cut 3k words from my manuscript in a fit of panic-induced polishing is win enough for me.

Still, it would be pretty awesome. ^_^