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!

Feeling the Love

Happy Mother’s Day!

To all you mothers out there, today is your day.  Don’t be afraid to celebrate it.  Today, my daughters woke me up with breakfast in bed (which consisted of a peanut butter covered rice cake, sliced apples and turkey sausage) and thrust about twelve different pieces of paper at me.

So, I discovered that my oldest daughter believes that the best part of herself is her ears and she is extremely pleased that they resemble mine.  Also, I found out that my youngest daughter thinks the best thing I do is cook.  These things are adorable and I will remember them for a long time to come.

And it hasn’t just been today.  The girls started off celebrating Mother’s Day by coming home on Tuesday and vacuuming the house for me.  Almost everyday since they have offered to do something  I would normally do.  We went to Red Lobster yesterday for my Mother’s Day meal, but today my husband is going to make the dinner and dessert of my choice.  I feel like I am a pretty lucky lady right now.  I must have done something right, you know?

Neoverse Anthology Update

Speaking of doing things right, this week I got to see the future layout of my story in the Anthology I am being published in, and I am pretty stoked about it.  It looks like the paragraphs will be formatted much as they are here: no indents with spaces in between the paragraphs.  For a short story it seems like a good way to go, not sure I would be too keen on it for an entire book.

I also received my copy-edit notes this week, which were much less harsh than I anticipated.  I guess I am my worst critic.  I actually sent in further changes they should make because I just can’t help myself.  Honestly, I am not sure if that makes me look better or worse in their eyes, but I can’t help it with my perfectionist impulses.

A couple weeks ago, I got to send in illustration ideas, so it feels like the project is coming along quite nicely.  They haven’t told us what the updated publication date might be, but I am crossing my fingers for June 1st.  That feels like enough time, but then again I am not dealing with all the behind the scenes stuff, so don’t quote me.  My impatience is probably getting the better of me, so it really is a wait-and-see situation.

My Oh My!

What doesn’t appear to be a wait and see situation is how well the Mariners are playing.  I am trying not to get my hopes up, but gosh darn it!  We are doing fantastic right now.  Never in a million years would I have dreamed we would be 18-12 and leading the American League West by 1.5 games right now.  Needless to say, I am thrilled.

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

I just finished reading this book and I wanted to recommend it to anyone who is interested in expanding their reading repertoire.  It seems to be geared towards a teenage audience, but is definitely worth reading even if you an adult.  It is one of those books that should be read at least once in your life.  I should probably make a whole separate list of books that I feel fall under that category as I have read quite a few.

I don’t want to give a summary of the book, necessarily, because I feel like the book’s blurb does a fairly good job of that.  I will say that I did find the narration by Death to be a little odd.  Also, I did really dislike that the ending was stated fairly directly both at the very beginning and throughout the book.  Despite those things, I feel like it is worth the time it takes to read it.

Well, I think that is it for this week’s round-up.  Enjoy the coming spring and happy reading!