Rejection letters are par for the course in the writing game.  I can’t think of very many writers who never received one, but they still hurt.  This latest rejection letter has me in a conundrum, though.

To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish?

I just received my first such letter for the Theodore Erickson book.  That makes me sad in and of itself, but it also told me that they will not publish anything that has a piece of something that has been published before.  The first chapter is the short story that was published, more or less.  So, what do I do?  I was looking around and it seems that is the case with most publishers.

This leaves me with a couple of options: to try to convince the Neoglyphics people to publish the larger series or to just do it myself through Book Baby or Amazon or something.  Have I explained how much the idea of self-publishing terrifies me?  If I self-published, I would be responsible for advertising my books, convincing people to sell them, etc- not to mention the costs up front of doing those things.  Forgive me as I try to dispel the icy bubble of terror that has solidified in my stomach.

I’ve had quite a bit more interest in the Theodore Erickson story than I could have ever anticipated, so I really want to get the first book out there, at least.  If I do that, I will publish the entire series because that is how I roll.  Still working on book #2, but it is pretty exciting stuff for me.  Fun to write- I very much have the opportunity to do whatever I want with great joy in these worlds.

If you all have any input, I would welcome it, because I just don’t know.  Self-publishing feels, more-or-less, like I would be creeping up to a publishing cliff and flinging myself off, desperately hoping that my jet pack works as well as I want it to.  Tweet me @S_A_Rohrbaugh or message me through the site.

Book Corner

Remember that book I was finishing last time?  I finished it (a while ago, honestly, but life has acquired a pace I could have never anticipated since).  Everyone needs to read this book, as soon as freaking possible.  What is it?  “The Parable of the Sower” by Octavia E. Butler.

This book is everything to me right now.  It is scarily realistic in its depiction of the very near future: huge inflation, a drug epidemic and neighborhoods forced to protect themselves because capitalism has eroded formerly public services…sound familiar?  The issues it deals with are so incredibly pertinent to what we are dealing with today.

However, at the core of the story are people who find a way to adapt no matter what.  They learn to trust each other despite everything going on around them.  It is a rather hopeful story in the midst of horrific circumstance.  Don’t get me wrong, it is as dystopian as it gets, so if that is not your thing, you might not be interested.  However, it is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

If you prefer lighter fare- I also finished a historical fiction/romance book that was pretty good- “Mistress Shakespeare” by Karen Harper.  It didn’t impact me the way that “The Parable of the Sower” did, but it blew my mind a little.  Did you know that William Shakespeare married two Annes?  Yeah, read that.  Very interesting.

There are really great female protagonists in both books, by the way.  They are real people in every sense of the word- hard to find books that do such a good job, so I recommend both, even if I have a slight preference for Ms. Butler’s work.

That’s All Folks

Well, I think that’s about everything reading and writing-wise for the moment.  I am working on Ava Hill, too, but I am dong about a million other things as well.  Never has my brain been pulled in so many different places at once.  I will try to get Ava up for you guys soon.

Remember to be kind to each other and keep reading.  Wishing you very well until the next time!


Long Time No See

Hello out there, book world.  It has been a long time since I posted, I know.  I am terrible at this blogging thing, but I have a hard time writing on here when there is nothing to update on.  However, good news!  I figured out who I am going to send the Theodore Erickson book to first!  (The crowd goes…eh?)

Now, I know that doesn’t FEEL like progress, but trust me, just as much of the writing world is figuring out what the heck you are going to do with your manuscript.  I am an incredibly indecisive person, so to have SO MANY options was pretty daunting.  So, basically, I narrowed my choices down and made an educated guess.

So, I will be printing out the story with this particular publisher’s formatting in mind and off it goes, probably tomorrow.  Then I get to cross my fingers and wait for three months for a response.  It feels like a long time, but it really isn’t.  A lot of publishers have you wait 8 months to a year, so I will wait patiently and hope.

Short Stories for the Blog

Last time I updated this thing, I asked if you guys wanted short stories related to the Theodore Erickson world, I got several responses (surprised the heck out of me to get them, really, but thank you very much for reading).  I did get some interest in Theodore Erickson, but I also got equal interest in furthering the short story I posted on here back in October- telling Eddie Hill’s daughter’s story.  I kind of liked that, since I had already posted his short story, I think that makes the most sense.  It will probably be a series of stories until she gets her life figured out (if I didn’t write, I swear I would be put into an insane asylum- they are real people to me).

When I have told her story as fully as I want to, I will move onto little jaunts into other worlds, dimensions and time travel for Theodore Erickson.  Fun stuff.  Looking forward to it.  I am thinking about making a specific Sunday of the month, Short Story Sunday.  It will depend on how fast I think I can crank them out as to when, so look for that.

Book Corner

I just finished an amazing book and EVERYONE needs to read it, especially if you live in America.  “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead is freaking amazing.  It follows the life of Cora, a slave on a Georgia plantation, and is absolutely breathtaking.  I do not think I fully appreciated the level of danger in using the Underground Railroad back when slavery was legal.  I knew it was dangerous, but this book really leaves you with your heart in your throat.

I will leave you with the quote that stuck out in my mind the most, but really you should just read it.  Amazing stuff.  “The great war had always been between the white and the black.  It always would be.”  Powerful themes resonate in this book concerning what it means to be free, what it means to be American and what forces still shape our race-relations today.  I highly recommend it.  If you’ve read  it, I would love to hear your thoughts- comment on the blog or tweet me @S_A_Rohrbaugh.

A Note About Our 45th President

So, back in November after Donald J. Trump was elected to the office of the presidency I cautioned that we needed to wait to see what he did before we passed any judgments.  Well, he’s been in office for about a week now and he has:

  1. Declared his intent to Repeal the Affordable Care Act
  2. Expedited Environmental Impact Reports thus Endangering the Environment at the Expense of Increased Business for Him and His Friends
  3. Declared his intent to Ensure the Dakota Access Pipeline is built
  4. Opened the Door Again to  the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline being built
  5. Instructed Congress to Appropriate Funds to Build a Wall Along the US/Mexico Border
  6. Targeted “Sanctuary Cities” and Undocumented Immigrants
  7. Halted Federal Regulations Until They Can Be Reviewed By the Administration
  8. Withdrawn from the Trans Pacific Partnership Officially (It was never ratified so not sure if this qualifies as doing something)
  9. Instituted a Government Hiring Freeze
  10. Placed a 90 Day Ban on People Coming from Muslim Countries He Doesn’t Have Business Ties to (Consequently, all the countries he did ban actually produced no terrorist attacks in America).
  11. Refused to extricate his family from his business
  12. Nominated People Who Range from Unqualified to Downright Dangerous for Cabinet Positions (Betsy DeVos, Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions and Steve Mnuchin spring immediate to mind, but almost all of them are the definition of terrible)
  13. (For Whatever I Forgot, I Am Sure There is Something)

What to make of all of this?  Honestly, it has me more than a little scared that America is going to cease to be the shining beacon it once was.  So, now he has done some things.  He only has so much power, though, so call your Representative, if you are moved to- protest (peacefully), but more than anything be kind.  Even to people you don’t agree with.

As Americans, we have a right to advocate for what we want from our government.  The representatives we elect stand for our interests not their own, and not the interests of big money.  We are possibly in for the most corrupt, discriminatory presidency in America’s recent history given the way Trump has behaved until now.  So stand up and fight if this is not the America you want to live in.  Perhaps even more importantly- vote the members of Congress out that don’t listen.  2018 is vital because in 2020, redistricting for the next ten years will happen.

This week has been incredibly overwhelming- for me and for millions across the country.  People are scared.  People are depressed.  I know.  I feel it, too.  However, the first amendment guarantees our right to free speech and our votes guarantee us the right to change the powers that be in two years and then four.  And remember, you have control over your own actions: be a force for good in your community and family life, take what control you have and use it.

Until Next Time

Alright, rant over.  I hope you all have a great week.  Keep reading!

What is Happening?

Hi everybody!  I know I have been gone from the internet for a bit again, but it is hard to write a post when you seem to travel every Sunday to a different place.  I should be home for a little while now, so the posts should get more consistent again.

So, while I was away on vacation the world decided to take a turn for the chaotic.  What with the recent events in Baghdad, Bangladesh, Istanbul, Dallas and France it seems you can hardly read the news without bearing witness to the hatred and rivalry brewing worldwide.  Not to mention the growing tension between American police and minority communities (a tension that has been around for a long time, might I add).  Remember that “otherness” I was talking about?  It doesn’t seem to be getting better.

Hatshepsut and Why I Love Her So Much

However, I did read a really good book, so let’s focus on that.  I recently finished a book called The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt by Kara Cooney, and I have a whole new appreciation for my favorite ancient monarch.  The author sets out to explore why Hatshepsut’s reign alone seems to have been successful in the ancient world.  Other female rulers only lasted a few years at best and always rose in a crisis.  Hatshepsut rose to power in times of peace and then maintained that power for something like twenty years.

I won’t tell you how it ends or even really the details, as I couldn’t possibly do it better than Kara Cooney, but you should definitely consider reading it if you have any love for ancient cultures or have any interest in feminism/the female role in modern society.

I will say that I have held great affection for Hatshepsut since  was about eleven and I first heard of her.  In 9th grade I named my bottle rocket Hatshepsut in her honor.  This book has made me love her even more.  I had no idea the level of religious ritual associated with being pharaoh in Egypt before reading this book.  I knew that pharaoh’s were religious figures as well as leaders of the Egyptian government, but I simply had no idea how time consuming the rituals they performed were before reading this book.

However, it was clearly Hatshepsut’s religious associations that allowed her to ascend to power without causing societal turmoil back in her day.  It appears that she merely used the system in place to her best advantage and it is remarkable.  She had to do more maneuvering as her reign continued, but in the beginning it was simply a dynastic and religious necessity that promoted her to power.  Then, in one of the greatest ironies, despite the groundwork she laid for Thutmose III and his success as pharaoh, women are systematically prevented from ruling so completely that it isn’t until well into the Ptolemaic Dynasty and Cleopatra that we see one.  Basically, you should just read it.  It’s absolutely fascinating.

It made me think about what it means to be a woman in Western society and why it is still so difficult for women to hold and maintain power- even in democratic societies.  Of course, many democratic societies around the world have voted women into powerful positions (and many have a far better record of doing so than the United States), but I am now curious to see how well-received these rulers have been and whether they have been judged by the same standards that their male counterparts have been.  I know for a fact that isn’t the case in the United States.

As many issues as I have with Hilary Clinton, the last thing I want being discussed about a female candidate for presidency is how Elizabeth Warren and she matched at the event they were at together.  I’ve never heard the fact that ALL male candidates tend to wear black or blue suits and red or blue ties as they are on stage together being discussed.  Talk about the things that really make a difference in the substance of her proposed policies and/or political actions- not the way she looks.  Please.  (I am also tired of hearing about Donald Trump’s orange skin and hair, by the way).

Neoverse December 2015 Anthology Update

Anyway, you should definitely consider reading that book.  As for “my” book, I have no clue when it will actually be released.  I have been put in touch with a PR guy (which feels really weird to say) and have answered a questionnaire, so I know that they are focusing on marketing the book now, so I am crossing my fingers that it will come out soon.

I think that’s all for this week, folks.  Here’s hoping a happier world emerges soon.  Even if that doesn’t happen- happy reading!  I will talk to you all next week!




Anthology News and More!

Hello again!  It has been an insane week, guys.  Although, I feel like I say that a lot, but life really is just getting crazier and crazier.

Cha-Ching- The Thing is Really Happening!

Perhaps the thing that blew my mind the most this week was that my very first paycheck as a writer arrived at my house.  I took a picture and everything (although I am not posting it because that would make me an internet idiot).  I also got a letter from Neoglyphics Entertainment saying that the Anthology is really close to being ready for publication.

As has been the case, you can preorder the book on Amazon.  The description on Amazon says it will be released on June 1st and I actually believe them this time.  If you are interested, here is the link again: Neoverse December 2015 Anthology.

In the writing realm, I have been working on a book and finally finished the rough draft this week (more to come about this later, hopefully).  I am trying to revise it in order to get it to my amazing friend who reads everything I write to make sure I don’t do something stupid.  Thanks Amanda!  So, who knows?  Maybe more things will happen.

In Other News…

This past week marked a month until school gets out for my girls.  Where did all the time go?  Am I the only person who feels like they blink and suddenly five months have passed?  My current Kindergartener and 3rd Grader are going to be in 1st and 4th grade!

My house is not suffering because of my obsessive need to write now.  It actually looks pretty good ALL the time now (I make the bed every morning, guys- what is wrong with me?).  I make no promises to maintain this level of clean, but it makes me feel good to be able to keep it looking nice.  I really do love my house and it does deserve to be treated well.

Game of Thrones!

I really enjoy the books, but right now I am talking about the TV show that I can’t watch until it comes out on DVD because I don’t have HBO.  However, I do read the internet and I just have to say, (Spoilers) I am so happy- we all expected this, right?- to hear that Jon Snow has risen from the dead.  I am totally looking forward to him uniting the Wildlings and kicking some White Walker/Other butt.  Now, I am just waiting for “Winds of Winter” to come out.  I don’t feel like I can watch Season 6 until I do.  (Yes, I am one of those people who have to read the book before the movie/TV show).

Book Review- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

I found another winner, guys.  This book still has my mind reeling and I feel like I need to tell the world about it…or at least my corner of the world on this tiny space on the internet.  This is a heavy book again (why are the best books so darn heavy?), but you have the time you should definitely read it.

It is about a man in the South (I am guessing in the 30’s, maybe 40’s) who is sent up to New York after he does something to earn himself being expelled from the college he is attending.  The crazy part is that they don’t tell him he can’t come back!  They just let him go.  His adventures in New York cause him to have a crisis of identity and realize some pretty mind blowing things.  I won’t say more about it than that, but if you haven’t read it, you need to read it before you die.  It is good, powerful stuff.

I think that’s everything for now!  Hope everybody has an awesome week!  Happy reading everyone!