Still working on it!

Standard

I didn’t get my dev edits done by the 19th. 

But such is my life. I’ve been writing my thesis and marking for an engineering class, which I am finding extremely challenging. Good news first: I have finished the first draft of my thesis. It is done, and now all I need to do is revisions. Bad news: marking is taking up all of my time, and March is probably a write-off in terms of getting any revisions done. 

What does this mean for writing?

I get nothing done for writing for a very long time. Perhaps not even until summer. This makes me very sad, but there is nothing that I can do about it. Hopefully one day, I will be working less on my schooling and more on my writing. It would be nice, at least. 

My dev edits might take a while to figure out. Some of the things that need fixing are structural things, which means very carefully revising some sections so that the world makes sense again. I’ll talk more about dev edits later in more detail.

I accidentally started writing something new. It’s supposed to be a short story with no worldbuilding. It’s a contemporary story set in my hometown, so it’s more of an ode to where I grew up than anything else. I hope that I can get across to my audience what Prince George is like. I don’t know whether I will publish this novella or not. I guess I’ll ask beta readers about it.

Ace aro dragon story is still stalled.  Who knows when I’ll get back to that one. 

One day I’ll do a poll and see what people think I should actually finish and submit to a publisher.

I guess we’ll see what the future holds. Right now it’s not really clear.

Winter is coming…

Standard

Hello everyone,

So I’m updating my blog even though I have accomplished pretty much nothing writing-wise. I’ve finished two chapters of my thesis for my English MA, but I haven’t finished editing Yaliana even though it’s been since August that I was supposed to have finished them. 

I have a new Tumblr blog? I just created it after sadly deleting my fandom blog. If you want to go follow me on Tumblr, you can find me at alex-powell-author

I’m working on trying to finish the Yaliana edits today and tomorrow. Sorry to my Less Than Three Press people who are working on edits and wanted them back ages ago. I hope I can finish them soon.

As for my depression, it’s had its ups and downs. I was basically useless the entire summer because of fatigue, but hopefully I can finish some projects.

I hope everyone is getting their own projects done! Good luck!

End of Summer update

Standard

Hello all! I’ve been MIA for a bit, and I want to explain a bit.

I’ve been having a hard time with chronic exhaustion, which as of yet does not have an explained cause. I’ve been to the doctor, had numerous blood tests and even undergone a test for sleep apnea. The doctor is still trying to diagnose me with something so that we can treat my tiredness. Just so you all have an idea of how this is affecting me, I haven’t been able to concentrate or focus on anything for any length of time. I’ve been missing work, haven’t been able to do any of my Masters coursework and haven’t done any writing or editing since late July. It’s been very stressful and frustrating for me. I’ve been slowly trying to do some work again, and I hope by September I’ll at least have a doctor’s diagnosis for my problem.

Now that that’s out of the way, on to more happy news.

So, a little while ago I put out a call on Twitter for artists to do an art exchange with me – my writing in exchange for art. To my surprise, someone actually answered me!

Reiko Meyer was interested in doing an art exchange with me, and nothing could make me happier, because I’m actually terrible at art. There’s nothing I want more than to have amazing fanart of my characters, but my artwork is laughable. So, in the hopes of finally having fanart, I made a call, and Reiko answered.

Ta-da! This is Yaliana. Reiko did an amazing job. I love it an incredible amount, and I hope to do many more art exchanges with her in the future!

Yaliana

This is also a call for any other artists out there who would like to do an art exchange. I’m a writer who is willing to write from pretty much any prompt in exchange for artwork.

If that’s something you are interested in, email me at aa.powell.author@gmail.com

And lastly, I have the final cover art for Yaliana! I’m really excited about it as well, because as usual, LT3 Press has outdone themselves with their cover art.

Here it is!

Yaliana final

So I’m still doing my best to get the editing for Yaliana finished so that we can get a release date for it. I’m getting it done slowly, but it’s been difficult, as outlined by my tiredness issues above.

I hope that next time I talk to you, I’ll be able to tell you that I’m back on track!

5 Year Anniversary!

Standard

Hey all!

So, it’s my five-year anniversary for signing a contract with Less Than Three Press this month! It’s also Pride Month! Woohoo!

giveaway

Five years ago this month, I signed a contract for Across Borders, which is one of the novellas which is no longer in print. I’m going to do some major revisions on it and resubmit it! I’m very excited about this project.

Also, I want to hold a giveaway to celebrate my 5 year anniversary!

So, here are the details!

On June 10th, I will hold a draw for my book All the King’s Men. I will pick 3 people to receive a print copy, shipping included, to anywhere in the world.

giveaway1

On June 17th, I will hold a draw for the anthology A Loose Screw vol 2 or Damsels in Distress vol 2 (out of print). I will pick 3 people to receive a print copy and you can choose whether you want A Loose Screw volume 2 or Damsels in Distress volume 2. 

giveaway2

On June 24th, I will hold a draw for a $30 gift card and a $15 gift card to the Less Than Three Press book market. I will pick 2 people, the first person will be the winner of the $30 gift card and the second person will be the winner of the $15 gift card.

So, how do you do get into the draw?

All you have to do is comment below, and your name will be added to the draw. I will be using a hat to draw the names the old fashioned way. I will be using the same group of names for all the draws, so you don’t have to comment again to be entered again. Also, I will also be counting only one comment per person, so even if you do comment again, you will only be entered once.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you share this post and link me to proof that you have done so in the comments, I will send you a FREE EBOOK COPY of Rangers over Regulus, which is no longer in print.

If you have any questions about the draw, please ask in the comments or email me at aa.powell.author@gmail.com

Good Luck!

Fall Projects 2016

Standard

Hello all,

It’s been a while since I updated you all on the projects I’m working on. Sadly, it’s been a bit slow going because of grad school. It will probably continue to be a bit slow going as time progresses.

With that in mind, I have to say that I probably won’t do NaNoWriMo this year. Sadly, I will be mired in schoolwork during November, which will make it pretty much impossible to complete NaNoWriMo this year.

But on to other things.

I have several projects that I’m working on!

First, I submitted one of my short stories, 15 000 words, to Less Than Three Press for their anthology call Hearts of Steel. I wrote about knights on an alien planet trying to save someone from the death jungle that covers the entire planet. It was fun to write, less fun to edit, and nerve-wracking to submit. I haven’t yet received a response, but I have to wait a few weeks to hear back from them.

I wrote another short for a charity anthology that I was invited to be part of. I’m not sure how secret it is, so I’ll stay hushed about it for now. But it’s 7 000 words long, just a teensy one, so it was finished quite quickly.

I have a few different stories on the go right now. I foolishly started an enemy-to-lover story in which the main characters are forced to marry against their will. I think it will be fun to write, but I’ve only got about 8 000 words in. I’ll tell you all how that one goes. 

I’m also working on doing research for a greenpunk story set in an alternate Victorian London in which green technology became important rather than industry. That’s just the backdrop though, the real story is about a trans woman detective who is trying to catch a serial killer who is murdering prostitutes. This one is a lot more developed than the other one, mostly because I spend a lot of time thinking about it. Murder mysteries are hard to plot out though. This is a hard one to write on, because it’s so complex.

I’m working on the sequel to my ace aro dragon story still. It’s also slow going because I seem to have hit a wall, which is probably why I’m working on the other two more than this one. The first book is great, it’s all contained, it sets up everything, but now I’m floundering in the middle. I hope I’ll be able to fix it soon.

That’s it for now, I’m deeply mired in numerous projects as well as grad school. Hopefully I’ll get some time to write in between assignments.

Anyone working on anything interesting right now? Feel free to comment!

Read and Write with Pride

Standard

Guess who’s going to Edmonton?

I’m going to be taking part in the Read and Write with Pride event taking place at Audrey’s Books Ltd on June 9th. The event starts at 7:00 and runs until 9 pm.

Read and Write Write With Pride-2 copy

So what’s going on?

Seven different local authors will be sharing their fiction, memoirs, and poetry. Who are those authors?

Heidi Belleau
Bio: Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, but now lives in Beaumont,
Alberta. A proud bisexual woman, her writing reflects everything she loves: diverse casts of queer
characters, a sense of history and place, equal parts witty and filthy dialogue, the occasional
mythological twist, and most of all, love—in all its weird and wonderful forms.
Chosen Work: Wallflower

Rob Browatzke
Bio: Rob Browatzke (born 1977) is a proud Edmontonian, proud homosexual, and proud writer. His reading and writing tastes vary though, so some books might take you on a comic journey through classic Bible stories, some might be filled with graphic sex and drug use, some might mash-up cherished childhood tales. You never know what you’re gonna get.

Rob has been writing since he was able to pick up a pen, and is excited to finally be sharing some of those words with all of y’all.

He has been working the club scene in Edmonton since the late 90s, and that has definitely enabled him to create some authentic nightlife in his works. Four years sober as of March 2015, he thinks the stories he’s lived himself add some true color to the stories he’s now sharing with the world at large.
Chosen Work: Through the Mirror Ball

Sheldon L’Henaff
Bio: an author blogs through the age of sex, drugs, and techno
Chosen Work: Joy (Maybe This Christmas)

Marc Colbourne
Bio: Originally from Newfoundland, Marc Colbourne comes by his love of tea and storytelling honestly. His non-fiction and fiction addresses themes of social justice and LGBT culture and history. His latest book, Exiled for Love: The Journey of an Iranian Queer Activist, is the memoir of Arsham Parsi.
Chosen Work: Exiled for Love

Marina Reid Hale
Twitter
Bio: Marina Reid Hale is an Edmonton spoken word poet and writer. She can’t remember a time when
she didn’t want to be a writer (with the notable exception of a week in grade two when she wanted toMagazine, the Rat Creek Press, and the #yegwords Coffee Sleeves project, and she has co-written
plays for NextFest, KidsFringe, and OverActing Imaginations. She performs and competes at open
mic nights and poetry events all over the city, and was a 2015 Edmonton Poetry Slam semi-finalist.
Chosen Work: slam poetry piece

Laurie Macfayden
Bio:LAURIE MACFAYDEN has lived in Edmonton since 1984. Her second poetry collection, Kissing
Keeps Us Afloat , was released in September 2014 (Frontenac House). Her debut collection, White
Shirt , won a Golden Crown Literary Society award and was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary
awards. A painter, poet and photographer, MacFayden spent more than 30 years as a sports journalist and continues to work as a copy/web editor at the Edmonton Journal. Her poetry has appeared in The New Quarterly literary journal, FireFall, Queering The Way and DailyHaiku I: A Daily Shot of Zen; and has been performed in Edmonton’s Loud & Queer Cabaret and at Calgary’s Q The Arts cultural festival.
Chosen Work: Kissing Keeps Us Afloat

Alex Powell (pronouns they/them/their)

Bio: Alex Powell is an avid writer and reader of sci-fi and fantasy, but on occasion branches into other
genres to keep things interesting. Alex is a genderqueer writer from the wilds of northern Canada who
loves exploring other peoples and cultures. Alex is a recent graduate of UNBC with a BA in English,
and as a result has an unhealthy obsession with Victorian Gothic literature. Alex has been writing from an early age, but is happy to keep learning to improve on their writing skills. Feedback and comments as well as any questions are appreciated! You can reach Alex at aa.powell.author@gmail.com
Chosen Work: Sky Knights

 I’m really excited for this event, and I’m stoked that I was invited by Heidi to attend!

Anyone in the Edmonton area who is interested in attending, the event is at Audrey’s Books, 10702 Jasper Ave NW.

Here’s the Facebook event if you want to join!

 

 

On Not Giving Up

Standard

Okay, so your submission to a publisher came back with a rejection. Not only does it happen to the best of us, it happens to all of us. The vast majority of writers have publishers reject one of their works at some point or another.

It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad writer, necessarily. There are many reasons for a publisher to reject work.

One of them is that the work that you’ve submitted isn’t exactly what that publisher is looking for right at that instant. Sometimes it’s harder to figure out what a publisher is looking for when they have a general call out. Try again. Just because that publisher rejected it, it doesn’t mean every publisher will.

It could be that the publisher has limited space, and that they can’t publish everything that comes their way, even if it is good. It might be just that they’ve decided to go with authors that they are already familiar with, or that your work is similar to another author’s, so they went with the other one. It happens.

And I know you dread to hear it, but sometimes it is because of the writing.

So, I have a couple of questions for you, if you suspect that this is the case.

How long have you been a writer, and how much are you practicing? I’ve been a writer since I actually could write, and I get feedback from fellow writers at regular intervals. Are you taking any writing courses or following any writing blogs? Getting advice from others who can give you critical feedback?

The only way to get better at writing is actually writing. I’ve looked at some of my old work, and it’s just horrendous. But that’s looking at it from now. You can only get better with practice. That, and reading. Please read as much as you possibly can, because that’s how you can tell if you’re improving.

Don’t give up on writing because you got one rejection letter.

Other questions to ask yourself:

  • is my story predictable or typical? What can I do to change it up a bit, to make it different from all the other stories?
  • did I revise my story? How is the pacing, are there unnecessary scenes, or did you leave any out?
  • how’s your opening chapter? Do you have a good hook? What kind of scene do you open with? A lot of editors judge a book by its first chapter, and if that doesn’t impress them, they won’t read any further.
  • did you edit properly? Remember when I said editors can tell if you didn’t edit it? Yeah, they really really can, and dislike it immensely.

Any way you look at it, you shouldn’t take a rejection letter as a cue to throw in the towel. It is not a sign of failure unless you give up afterward.

Never think that writers are born. Writers create themselves.