Saturday, October 18, 2014

SECOND VERSE Wins!

Hey blogger friends!

Just getting home from my first day at the NJRWA conference. Can't wait to head back for a full day of workshops tomorrow. I left all the sessions I attended today feeling inspired to write, revise and brainstorm! Plus, it was fun to hang out with so many amazing and nice writer folks.

But the most amazing and surprising thing of all happened tonight as day one of the conference was winding down with the last event of the evening - the awards ceremony . . .

SECOND VERSE won the NJRWA Golden Leaf Award in the Young Adult category! I was in shock. I am in shock!

Well I better get to sleep. Conference starts early tomorrow and I want to be ready to dig into the conference sessions and be inspired some more!

Happy weekend, friends!




Tuesday, July 1, 2014

On the Ups and Downs of Writing: A Writer’s Guide to Surviving the Emocoaster. Plus, How Reading Helps and Hinders Us.

Writing and self doubt go together like Nutella and a spoon.

Writers, naturally full of doubt, introspection, and self-criticisms, are often strapped in tightly to the emocoaster (emotional roller coaster). The range of emotions over the course of a writing project, or a period of querying or editor submission, or even a single week or day can vary wildly. One minute you’re in love with a project, it’s the greatest thing you’ve ever written no seriously I love this story, and the next, you’re ready to tear out your hair, gouge your eyeballs and drink a drano cocktail to rid the world of another hack writer (okay, a bit dramatic, but you get my point.).

The highs are high, the lows are low, the little self-doubt monster continues surfing on the swell of emotions that comes in droves, driven by the constant back-burner wrangling of fears: will I make it? Will I ever be good enough?

On a good writing day, you’re riding high, and it’s easy to banish the thoughts, but one little slip up: a bad writing day, a batch of particularly negative beta comments, an agent/editor rejection, a bad review, whatever, can send the emocoaster plummeting once again.

And then there’s those times where you’re stuck in one pattern or another, either sailing on the whoo hoo my writing rocks breeze or sloshing through the I suck sewers and just trying to get through the fricken first draft, when you happen to read a great book, one that grabs you and pulls on every emotion, has you rereading lines and whole passages because the language is that beautiful, but you’re flying through it anyway because the plot and tension are amazing too and you finish and put it down and are so smitten with the book that you broodingly stare at it and want to break down in tears because:

Damn it will I ever write like that?

Here’s the thing about reading. For a writer, there is nothing as useful as reading, and reading a heck of a lot. It keeps ideas fresh, keeps us current on what’s happening in the reading world, and, duh – writers are readers – it’s fun, too. Plus, there are things you really can’t just know or learn any other way. It’s one of those you’ll know it when you see it things. Things like story flow, plotting, pacing, dialogue, tension, action, emotion, relationships, climax, characterizations, sentence structure, plot structure, mythology, and gosh, the list could go on forever. These things soak in when you read, whether you're consciously looking for them or not.

But reading can hinder us too. I tear through books pretty quickly but I find that when I read too much, too fast, my head starts getting too crowded with ideas. If I’m really taken by one author’s metaphors, but the next book amazed by another’s tone, and the following week swimming in awesome voice and dialogue and next floored by descriptions… etc., I start looking at my ms like I need to fix everything at once. It’s overwhelming.

I know many of us do this comparison thing, so here’s what I’ve learned to remember:

When I am first drafting, I have to slow down my reading DRASTICALLY. Too many different voices interfere with mine, and if it’s anything even close to my genre/story, my muse is off balance, stumbling along like she sucked down way too many books at last call.

Also, when reading a published novel, it’s good to always keep in mind: it’s been written, rewritten, revised like hell (most likely) and edited by many industry professionals. Your book? The one you’re crying and thinking sucks? Most likely it’s a draft – go easy on yourself. Just finish the thing, then freak out.:D

Relax. Ride the emocoaster when you have to, allow yourself to feel whatever you need to feel before letting it go. Like I tell my kids, we can’t control the outside forces that make us feel what we feel, we can only control our reactions to them. A rejection, beta comments that bring us down, or a beautifully written book we feel we can never aspire to. Whatever it is, let it soak in, accept it, have some chocolate/wine/cheese doodles/etc. and then move on. We all have our down days and rejection and writing can beat us up, but just keep pounding away at the keyboard and finish that draft so that someday, it’s your book people are sighing over and underlining in and putting on the shelf for a second, third or fourth read someday.

So up up up we climb again, until the emocoaster takes another dive.




(Reposted from April 2011)

Friday, February 21, 2014

ALAN Picks Review of Second Verse!

So excited to find out SECOND VERSE got a really nice ALAN Picks review. Here's an excerpt of what they had to say:

Second Verse has ghosts, murder, a tantalizing romance, past lives and a shocking conclusion. Walkup has an enticing writing style that will keep all who enter her haunted world glued to the page. Some readers may find the ending unsettling but others will relish the unexpected twist.

The rest of the review can be found here.

Happy weekend, friends!


Buy Second Verse:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Nuvo Newsweekly Review of SECOND VERSE!


This Nuvo Newsweekly review of SECOND VERSE made this snowy day a little warmer!


Twisting through past and present is a chilling experience for two teens on a quest for truth. Walkup's Second Verse edges between Agatha Christie and Tony Hillerman, with themes touching on alienation, rebirth, the occult and destiny, setting the scene with intensifying turns of strangeness and familiarity while leading us deeper into the evil that lurks among us. … Hang onto your seat as pages turn."


Buy Second Verse:

Monday, January 6, 2014

School Library Journal Review!


Hey friends!

Here's a peek at the School Library Journal review of Second Verse from their January print issue.:)


“Walkup ratchets up the tension effectively through contrasting the past and present, building empathy for both couples and making the denouement all the more shocking. A chilling, accessible read.” ~ School Library Journal


Buy Second Verse:


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year, friends and readers!:)


Sunday, December 15, 2013




For supernatural detectives Thulu and La Fi, “normal” is a relative term. La Fi is a medium, Thulu is a finder, and their usual clients are already dead.
But when their friend Reo is shot, and a group of stranded angels show up at their house for help to find a missing child, things are striking too close to home.
And now the portals that let the magical races return to Earth have started opening on their own.
With trips off-world, a kidnapped psychic and changes to their own abilities, Thulu and La Fi are hit with a lot more than they usually handle. Of course, their magical friends are there to help, but even they may not be enough to save an increasingly unstable Earth.
Portals is the sequel to Relics and is Book 2 in The Thulukan Chronicles.
 
After a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she's a writer. She's always loved stories, especially fantasy, mystery and sci fi. Maer was born in the Year of the Dragon and has a dragon-themed room in her home, but sadly no dragons in the back yard. When she's not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. She also co-hosts the literary podcast, MythBehaving and writes for two gaming fansites. Maer lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her two dogs, a chihuahua and a poodle. Portals is Book 2 in The Thulukan Chronicles. You can find all books and novelettes in The Thulukan Chronicles at Amazon. You can visit Maer’s website at http://maerwilson.com/.


Contest!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Where to Find Maer Online:

Maer’s Website: http://maerwilson.com/










“Ghost Memory” (A Thulukan Chronicles Story, #1)

“Unwanted Ghost” (A Thulukan Chronicles Story, #2)
 
 
Excerpt from Portals
That night Parker had popped in to wake us at two in the morning to tell us our best friend, Reo, had been shot. The young ghost was distraught and panicked.
“They're on the back porch! You have to go help.”
“Where is he?” I asked groggily, as I jumped out of bed.
Thulu was instantly awake beside me, although he didn’t seem any more alert than I did.
“Back porch.” Parker enunciated each word in slight exasperation. “Go, please!”
Thulu looked at me, and I told him what Parker had said. Thulu can read lips, but even with a night light the room was too dark.
Thulu threw off the sheet and we both ran from the room. I was briefly glad we’d been wearing PJs.
Heart pounding, I took a few precious seconds to check on our three year old son, Carter. His night light showed him blissfully unaware of anything. Whatever happy dreams he was having made him smile slightly in his sleep. I sighed in relief that he wasn’t having another of his nightmares.
Downstairs, Thulu had turned on the kitchen and porch lights. In spite of the panic moments before, none of the three people on the porch seemed frantic when I joined them.
 Thulu looked relieved, Reo was on the floor, but seemed stoic, and Sloane knelt beside him, brow furrowed only slightly in concentration as he dealt with the wound.
My heart rate slowed down and my own fear started to slowly dissipate. My heart gradually dropped from my throat back to its accustomed place in my chest. Still my hands were shaking, and I felt the slight chill from outside. The porch was screened in, and the late August day had been hot, but the night brought a cool breeze that made its way along my arms.
The scent of flowers from the backyard didn’t quite mask the smell of the blood that pooled on the porch floor around Reo. Sloane, his partner and an elf, had already removed Reo’s jacket and shirt. A bullet lay on the floor, and I could see the shoulder wound was already healing and closing up. In a few moments, only the blood would remain as evidence that he’d been shot.
Reo's face was white. The strain showed around his brown eyes and his handsome face had the sheen of sweat on it.  His short brown hair that was usually spiked, lay damp and flat against his head, but he gave me a shaky smile.
“Bastard ruined my favorite jacket.”