As previously said, today I'm taking you through a mini-journey of my life. Why? Because for the moment I'm bored of recommending stuff to you and want to be a little more personal. Also, I'm now leaving for my freshman year of college in less than a week, and you're supposed to do sappy stuff like that.
So here we go...
OK, I'm not going to talk too much about location and all because, hey, internet creepers, but I will say that I have lived in New Mexico all my life. So yes, I was born in New Mexico, in one of the larger cities of the partly-desert, more-cattle-than-people state. The picture at left shows what I looked like. I was a cute baby. I know it's real blurry, but you're gonna have to deal with that.
From birth up through my toddlerhood, I was an adorable little thing, super talkative and all. Even when no one could understand, I was talking... because words are the most important thing to me, ever. Besides love. Anyway, I learned how to talk for real relatively fast. Both my younger brothers had speech defects, but not me. I had to communicate. But I wasn't so good at how to walk and stuff. I had this amusing habit of shuffling along on my knees instead of actually walking. Therefore, we see that I am more mentally oriented than physically.
I started off at a nice little preschool, which taught me nothing, to my mom's dismay, except how much fun it was to play with other girls. One of my brothers was born about this time, and I became extra talkative to make up for the lack of attention I was getting. Apparently. I was also obsessed with The Little Mermaid. I like to think this was because of me being a romantic who likes to believe in equal sacrifice in a relationship. You know. Cuz she saves him first.
Kindergarten, I was at a normal elementary school and had a great time. I was pretty precocious from a young age. Loved to be read to, and was the first one to learn how to read in my class (the first word I ever really read was "armadillo"), to the shock of my teachers. I was very bored whenever we had to do math. I had a kindergarten boyfriend, who I thought I would marry, but he dumped me at the end of the year for being too smart. :( :( :(
First grade, I ended up at a new, special school. Here, you were homeschooled half the day and taught at a mixed-grade classroom (first through sixth grades) the other half. It was actually really cool, although my mom and I had issues with the homeschool part. Her tests were the only ones I ever failed. I got an F in Spanish. Yes. Straight-A Kira was flunked by her mother. Anyway, I liked that school because it actually worked to the fact that I'm real smart and all. Because you could work at a whole variety of grade levels, which worked to my advantage.
That year was the year I officially discovered writing. I'd always liked words and writing and all the school stuff other people hate, but at the end of the year, we all did separate projects to wrap it up. My mom and I decided to do writing. We went through poetry, short stories, picture books, and diary writing of all kinds, and I was immediately hooked. Since then I've written in diaries consistently, and I am now on my 58th. (Don't judge me cuz I'm awesome. *hair flip*)
Part of the reason I loved writing so much was probably because I got to read one of my picture books to my brother's preschool, and I felt all loved. I was a bit of an attention glutton, and at that point, my second brother (whom I loved like my own actual child back then--the home videos are almost creepy, I was so devoted) had been born and all my attention at home was thus stolen, haha. But it's gone far beyond that. Writing tapped into my natural creativity/imagination and my desire for communication. And I loved to read, so why not do some stories myself?
It wasn't until third grade, when I moved to the smaller town I now live in (one full of geniuses, making me less ostracized than I had been), that I started trying to write full novels. Fantasy, of course, because that's what I loved. Fantasy has always spoken to me--first because of the, well, fantastical nature of it, and because of the power it has to show truths in a new, deeper light. Of course, writing a novel, especially when you're that young? Not so easy. I probably wrote five or six novellas before I got to the full length thing, finally in sixth grade (the same year I fell for my first real serious crush--who wasn't interested). That was THE DRAGON CATCHERS (MG epic fantasy), and I actually threw it away pretty soon after because my friends started arguing about it.That was the stupidest thing ever. I'm more thick-skinned now, for certain sure.
Immediately after, I finished my second novel, THE ICE ENCHANTRESS'S PLOT (also MG epic fantasy), and in my Gifted and Talented class, I got to work with a publishing publicist. She found me very hard to work with because I was all over the place, but she also admired (and was surprised by) my gift with writing. From her, I learned all about query letters and all the fun, hard stuff in an authorly career. That summer, I started sending out to publishers for the first time. Not so successful, given that I, you know, hadn't edited TIEP at all. I was rejected twelve times before I moved on with my life. Which brings us to...
Ah, the worst years of a child's life. Just look at that picture: me with my cello (which I've played since fourth grade), looking beautifully awkward.
OK, so, middle school was tough. Not as bad for me as for some people, but that's the year that everything gets wonky. But they're also really the formative years, you know? I wouldn't be who I am without middle school, and most importantly, a very intense first love.
Yes. I fell in love in seventh grade, and it drove my existence for the next four and a half years, even though nothing really happened. What can I say? I'm a romantic. Hence the fact that all my novels are not only fantasy-focused (sometimes sci-fi, as I grew older) but full of romantic flourishes. I love love.
This love was a very frustrating, emotional, but true one, and it gave birth to the most prolific period of writing in my life so far, which was also assisted by my first experience with the online writing community (hi Write It friends!). First, I finished THE FOUR ELEMENTS (YA fantasy), later abandoned. Then THE GHOST CATCHERS (MG fantasy), also abandoned. Followed by THE LAST HOPE (MG sci-fi), and then FITNESS DAY AND THE END OF THE WORLD (YA contemporary), immediately abandoned due to the fact that I seriously fail at realistic fiction. And those novels? Those were just the ones I finished, just in seventh grade.
Then we get to eighth grade, which was the worst year of my entire life. That was where I became me through the fire and brimstone of questioning everything about yourself and your life. Happy days. So that year I finished TWIST (YA fantasy fairytale retelling), THE WALLS OF DREAMLAND (YA fantasy, abandoned) and then THE PSYCHIC STORY (YA fantasy romance), which was my first major project. My piece de resistance of the moment. I edited it thoroughly, turned it into something I considered amazing, and then in high school, I started sending it out.
I sent PS out for about two years, got rejected forty-six times, and decided no one wanted to publish fantasy romance thanks to stupid Twilight and the paranormal romance trend. YAY. Bu, there was more to high school than that, of course. Here's a summary.
Freshman Year: My life stunk. I wrote two novels which would later become the beginning of the YA fantasy/sci-fi CHOSEN FOUR series--THE CHOSEN FOUR (later split into ON THE DAWNING and ON THE BRINK) and BLACK SUN (renamed ON THE RUN).
Sophomore Year: Life was a little better, and mostly I was focusing on getting over my severe self-confidence issues that I won't bother you with now. Let's just say it didn't work out as much as I wish. I wrote the final book of the CHOSEN FOUR series, ON THE OUTSIDE, as my first run on National Novel Writing Month, which is now my vessel for writing novels as I focus more on editing/publishing the rest of the year. I also was accepted by a literary agent for THE PSYCHIC STORY, got some editing in, and then was promptly abandoned by said agent. I don't know what happened; they just stopped e-mailing back. That was when I gave up on that for the moment.
Junior Year: I became severely ill, which developed into fibromyalgia, YAY!!!!!! So now I had to deal with adjusting my whole life to a chronic pain and fatigue syndrome that would most likely never go away. It still wasn't as bad as eighth grade, but it was pretty terrible. Just imagine, every day, realizing ten new things you'd never do again/ever, while having to deal with just getting through the freaking day without collapsing. It's NOT FUN. That year I wrote THE PROPHECY KEEPER (YA epic fantasy), which showed my romantic transition of the year, as I painfully got past my big love and moved on to another unrequited thing. Thank goodness for college and new starts. I also edited and began sending out THE CHOSEN FOUR, which has now had somewhere in the whereabouts of seventeen rejections.
Senior Year: This was a good year. I got on meds for fibro, I was accepted to college already by the time I started the year (yay for being obsessive with planning!), and it was senior year. Chill time. Of course, there was the usual romantic stress, plus the fact that I don't like goodbyes. But overall it was a really good year. I wrote WHAT IT TAKES TO DEAL (YA medical spy-fi) in honor of my fibro, and then finished the long-in-progress sequel to THE PSYCHIC STORY, PERISHED (also YA fantasy romance). And then I split THE CHOSEN FOUR into two books, which puts me at having written sixteen novels in the first eighteen years of my life. I am a winner. You know, besides the fact I'm not published and all.
So here we are now. Sixteen novels. Around seventy-five rejections. About to move out on my own (by which I mean not with my mommy) and start my college career, where I'm majoring in creative writing and minoring in the glorious subject of music. Who knows what's going to happen, really? I just want to get published soon. So I leave you with this...
What do you think my next NaNoWriMo novel should be? :D *Poll now closed*
I'm an unpublished novelist, primarily of YA fantasy, and a freelance editor. I love psychology, cats, social justice, and love! I'm also a huge fangirl. Basically, stories are my life.
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