Sunday, December 18, 2016

Bullets and Ammo

Well, I did it. I qualified for my CCDW at Louisville Armory in an eight hour long class surrounded by different people, some of whom I truly believe don't need to ever have access to a weapon.

Why did I do it? It wasn't because I wanted to, let me tell you. 

I took my kids to the downtown skate park a few weeks ago. The place was covered in graffiti, had some overflowing trashcans, but in a place that's the domain of our youth, I pretty much figured that was the norm. We were concerned,though, and I had that little worry in my belly that accompanies being a mom. So, I called my hubby who said he hadn't heard anything about the place. I took a breath and went anyway.

We were there for maybe half an hour before two guys walked in. First they intended to walk past the place but looked up to see us. So, instead, they came in. We didn't see them again until I decided it was time to go, and I looked back to see them following us. 

I told the kids to go, but my kids didn't read the urgency in my voice and weren't moving as fast, so I really had to push them to get their butts in gear because the guys? They were moving faster. Finally I practically dragged the youngest one into the car and threw her in while the oldest jumped in the other side. 

We left, and I called my hubby.

It wasn't until later that I spoke with different people who knew about the skating park, that it's drug infested, that the area can be violent, and its not a place to take your kids to. 

It's beautifully made, has all types of different structures for kids to enjoy, it's large and it's not fair. But, when is life ever fair? 

That night, my hubby and I talked about getting my CCDW. He's been after me for a year to do it. I can shoot and shoot well, but it wasn't something that I wanted to do. Still, as a parent, there's things I don't want to do, but my little people take priority. I do what I must when I must to ensure their safety.

I'll follow through with the paperwork, will probably even get a gun, but will I carry it? I just don't know. 

A bullet doesn't solve the problem. But, maybe the presence of a gun can stop someone from doing something that would harm my family. I just don't know. Handling a weapon is a huge responsibility, and using it to harm others can be the very thing that takes me from them. 

Now for writing.
A Chance for Hope is out, and Jaymie at Bayou Book Junkies wrote a lovely review for it. Pumped!

A Chance For Hope by Deja Black 

4 Stars

Paul lost his husband, the man he'd spent the last 14 years loving to the Orlando Tragedy. Weighed down by his grief, Paul is wary of Brad, a freelance writer who introduces himself as wanting to be a friend. Paul has no idea that as Brad has seen him dealing with his loss and drawing inside of himself, Brad has longed to be a shoulder for him. Paul accepts Brad in his life and slowly Brad is able to help him learn to live again.

This is a sweet story about tragic loss and healing, a second chance at love story. I was a tad apprehensive at first, because I saw Brad almost like a borderline stalker. He's sweet and sincere and a good person, so I let it go. I just focused on how he took care of Paul and the fact that the two of them were good together.

I do believe though that if this were at least a novella as opposed to a short story and we could have gotten more substance and death with the characters, this could be an incredible story. 


This week, the beta readers have begun sending my chapters back to me for Getting There, and I'm truly pumped. First, I had to remember the rule of using beta readers:

So far, I've had to rework the first chapter, remember the cat is a boy and not a girl, that Anthony went into law enforcement after the military and not immediately after high school, and a few other choice items.

The most significant issue is backstory. Before my published work makes it to you, the betas have already done an excellent job of pointing out the areas of backstory rather than action. Backstory slows down the story and really needs to be included in dialogue or discovered by characters rather than narrated by some unknown speaker that takes away the energy of the story. Me.

When you find yourself writing, and no one's doing or saying anything, you've probably just written back story.

Need an article on it?
Check out this one:

Teyla Branton gives some excellent advice there. 

Something else to remember when going through beta reader comments? Don't try to attack everything all at once. Give yourself some time. Me? I save all of them with the beta reader's name. Then I go through them in order according to the beta. If you try to make the changes all at once from all of the betas at once, you'll lose your mind. 

I'm honestly considering just submitting Broken Pieces to another publisher, two actually. I've been told it's a good book. However, since I had no idea how to get Broken Bones, the first one, out there when Dreamspinner published it, it didn't do well. Broken Bones is a solid story, but I had to do the work of selling it. I realized a little too late that marketing is about what the author brings to the table and not about the publisher. Interested in knowing how to get your platform started? I provided several articles in my blog hopping, a few blog posts back. Check them out when you have a moment.

I was told by Dreamspinner that Broken Pieces is good, but it's not for them right now particularly because Broken Bones didn't do well. New author, new book without an established platform? Welcome to the reality check. Now, I have a few books under my belt, a platform and Broken Bones has an audience. I've also reworked the book. But, I'm ready to let it go. See what happens. I have a beta reader who's combing through it now. As soon as she's done, and I've made the final changes, I'll put it out again and see what happens. 

Then, there's the problem of what to write next. Well, I have it, and you won't believe where I got the idea. Okay, maybe you will. 

At the Louisville Armory CCDW class!
As a writer, we find stories everywhere. There were two men talking at the class. For now, I'll call the guys Flirty and Red. I loved watching Flirty reel Red in. It was like magic, and I can't wait to bring a little of that magic to paper. It's going to be so much fun. I wrote their outline while we watched the video on laws, the laws that were completely written out word for word in the manual that we had just gone over. 

Now, should Red be a shifter? Hm, I'll have to think about that.


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