Jean Marie Ward

fiction, nonfiction and all points in between

Six Sentence Sunday: Highway From Hell

Sunday, June 10th, 2012 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | 2 Comments

Let’s see if I can squeak in under the Six Sentence Sunday wire with the first six sentences of my ongoing WIP, Highway From Hell–the story of Orpheus from Eurydice’s POV. Enjoy!

Snakes. Why did Orpheus have to collect snakes?

“It slithered right past me. It’s a miracle I’m not dead!” Our housekeeper was screeching so loud my phone couldn’t handle it. Her distorted voice hooted in my ear like she’d pushed it through a wah-wah pedal.

#

Posted 5 years, 1 month ago at 8:00 am.

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It’s done! It’s done! It’s done… again.

Thursday, August 6th, 2009 | Author: jmward14 | writing | Comments Off

Finished the rewrite of Highway from Hell, which is now 82K and stuff. (Nothing like having to rewrite 40K to add 12K.) The next step is to let the manuscript rest a few days before reading it over and offering it up for beta.
Or maybe zeta. Some folks have really gone above and beyond on this one. But if there’s anyone out there who hasn’t read it and would like to dip their toes in the pond, please, let me know. The only hitch is I want to get this to the editor who requested it before I leave for DragonCon, so I’ll need it back by August 24.
Cheers,

Posted 7 years, 11 months ago at 4:56 pm.

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Heroes & Villains

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

It’s Greek mythology day at the Fantasy & Enchantment Blog.  Trust me, you’ll never see Hercules and Orpheus quite the same way ever again…unless you had my warped view of the legends to start with.  Mwahahaha!

Posted 10 years, 2 months ago at 3:46 am.

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Wednesday, May 16th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

In fact, if you aren’t in the mood for a little cranky, you might want to leave right now.
A little cranky.  I can’t complain about life in general.  Not when I’m wrestling with plot bunnies–or in this case, plot bonobos wearing baseball caps of invisibility–for My Big Fat Olympian Wedding From Hell.  But all the ducks Denny Crain hasn’t shot seem to be nibbling the parts not wrestling with over-sexed pygmy chimps.
First, I don’t know whether to be worried about Duzell the Wonder Cat.  In the way cats do, he’s just missed the litter box twice in three days–almost like a guy who overshoots the rim.  Since the litter box is downstairs, and he’s still burying his solids, I’m hoping he’s merely decided to get finicky about the litter.  Even so, it’s a nuisance, and I’ve called the vet, just in case.  Duzie never ate any of the contaminated pet foods, so the problem should be, um, general pissy-ness on his part.  But I’m a Virgo.  Worrying is part of the job description.
Second, I’m really disappointed in the Compton Crook Award.  I’d hoped to submit With Nine You Get Vanyr for consideration in the 2008 awards.  I thought it met the qualifications.  It was a first novel for both 

and me.  It should be just the ticket.
Just received word they don’t accept collaborations.  Wha?  I can understand that if the collaboration is between an experienced author and a newbie.  You wouldn’t want to judge a book written with Anne McCaffrey or John Ringo as a first effort.  But when the book was written by two newbies who planned to write as a unit indefinitely?  That’s just not fair.
I know, I probably should rejoice.  My first solo novel will be infinitely better than my first effort.  I know so much more than I did when qnotku and I wrote Vanyr–not only about writing but also about the peculiar prejudices of contest judges.  (Yes, I include myself in the peculiar part of that number.)  There is an art to contest submission, and the longer I work it, the better I’ll design my books to win.
But the ban against all collaborations is flat-out unfair.  It’s unfair to 

who will never have a book to call entirely her own.  With Nine You Get Vanyr and Highway from Hell were both written in collaboration.  Even if 

finishes They Shoot Fairy Godmothers Don’t They for her, it will still be a collaboration, which won’t qualify.  Under this scenario,

‘s freaking genius for comedy and dialogue will never, ever get the recognition it deserves.
It’s also unfair to the other submitting writers.  It’s like the bad old days before the better micro presses were recognized by Romance Writers of America.  For many years it was impossible for even the good small electronic and electronic-to-print publishers to meet RWA’s sales requirements.  That meant writers working for good small presses with professional editing were eligible to compete in the Golden Heart (RWA’s big unpublished writers contest) against people just starting out.  
With Nine You Get Vanyr has all the joy and love inherent in first novels, but I sincerely hope it’s not the best novel I ever write.  

and I never planned it to be.  It was merely the best book we could write at the time.  It should be allowed to rise or fall against others of its tribe, not dismissed on a quirk which sets up a less than level playing field for future competition.
*insert grim laughter here*  You know, the whole thing seems so very Red State–give the goods to them that has.  And I’m just ornery enough to object to something that gives me a leg up…to someone else’s detriment.

Posted 10 years, 2 months ago at 2:40 pm.

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Done

Friday, April 13th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

At long last the revised version of Highway from Hell is done.  All except for two small descriptive paragraphs I’ve decided to change tomorrow–er, later today.  I plan to let it sit while I finish a copyediting job to die for (another Kate Johnson!)   Two days of proofing, and it’s off to the beta-readers with thee.  
I’m more relieved than happy.  This is the last book I’ll ever work with 

on.  I think that’s one of the reasons it was so hard to finish.  Finishing it means letting her go–writing solo forever, when all I want to do is sit down and swap stories with a friend.  
But stories don’t get told unless you tell them.  I hope the beta-readers will like our take on Orpheus and Eurydice.  Even more important, I hope they’ll tell me when I’ve screwed up the pacing, the dialogue and the bits that hurt.  I’m still a newb when it comes to the craft of writing.
Or should that be the Craft?  Stories are magic  The word gives meaning to the event, as qnotku always said.  I can only hope a little of her magic rubbed off on me.
Be good–or be bad if it’s more fun.  Just try not to exceed the bail fund.  And be sure to tell me all the juicy details.  ;-)

Posted 10 years, 3 months ago at 12:04 am.

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Poking my nose out of the writing cave

Thursday, April 12th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

Very briefly–to remind everyone it’s Thursday Thirteen over at the Fantasy & Enchantment Blog.  Today it’s fantasy names, and as a bonus, you’ll find introductions to writers Dayna Hart and Melissa Lopez.
Yeah, I need to become a more active presence on F&E, but I’m trying to finish Highway from Hell and get it to the betas next week, and I’m crashing and burning on some copyediting jobs for Samhain.  With Jana Oliver (Sojourn), I’m also prepping a program for a high school in Richmond next week on history in sf and fantasy–two hours of unfettered access to all those young and pliant minds.  Mwahahahahaha!  Should be a great talk.  We plan to cover everything from Blood Ties to The X-Files, with a few kitchen sinks thrown in for good measure.
Will post more when I catch my breath.  Meanwhile, hope you’re enjoying the return to more spring-like temps.

Posted 10 years, 3 months ago at 1:05 pm.

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