Posts Tagged ‘family’


gypsy

This morning, we lost one of the lovingest, fiercest, itty-bitty, little forces to be reckoned with since pets were domesticated.

Gypsy’s Vixen ala Mode–aka Gypsy, aka Mrs. Loud, aka Little Houdini–passed away suddenly at approximately 7:20 this morning, after a short and unexpected bout of weakness, labored breathing, and sudden fatigue.

Gypsy was unusually small, even for a toy poodle, but her spirit was as big as any Great Dane’s. She enjoyed giving high-fives, rubbing her head on things, eating cheese with her daddy, cuddling with her mommy, and minding everyone else’s business. She had the temperament of a hunter, often seeming to be unaware of her petite size, and frequently getting in over her head because of this oversight. But she always prevailed.

gypsy2

Gypsy also loved having her head kissed, getting belly rubs, running like the wind, and giving hugs. Despite her sudden illness, she endured long enough to pass away in her favorite place–her mommy’s arms. And at 8:30 this morning, we took Gypsy to the place she knew as home, and buried her with her green flannel pet pillow and her favorite black and white blankie.

We adopted Gypsy in 2000 from a resident at the Heritage Eastridge rehabilitation and retirement center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her owner was progressing in age and having trouble caring for her. Although he called her Patricia, we changed her name to Gypsy partly because of the fact that ours was the fourth home she’d had in her short life, and also, we named her after the Fleetwood Mac song, Gypsy, which we are both fans of.

gypsy3

(Gypsy with her mommy–her favorite place to be)

She is survived by Sven, her brother and companion of almost thirteen years. He will miss her dearly and her absence from our family will leave a hole that will never be filled.

gypsy1

(Gypsy goofing off with her daddy)

We love you, Gypsy. We will always miss you and always love you. Rest in peace, Sweet Eyes.

Gypsy5

Advertisements

It’s been said that it takes more than one person to write a novel, and that is the absolute truth. Beautiful Monster was of course, written by two folks, me and Mimi A. Williams, but what I’m referring to is all the people along the way who have made the book possible and who supported this project. With Beautiful Monster having just been released, it’s hard not to think about the journey, and more importantly, the people who helped make it happen.

I’ve worked very hard for the past several years to make this happen, and now that it’s here, I realize just how many people were a part of it. Since there’s only enough allotted room in any given novel to acknowledge a handful of people, I am writing this now as a way of (hopefully) including everyone who helped this dream become a reality, and to let all of you know that you mattered in making this real.

Thank you to:

Heather ~ for your unending support, your great management skills, your hard work, and the genuine respect you have for mine.

Mimi A. Williams ~ my co-author, for teaching me everything I know about this game, and for staying up with me till the middle of the night on numerous occasions to make sure we got it right. Thank you for creating such wonderful characters who worked so well with my own. Thank you for believing in me enough to put so much of your time and energy into me. None of this would be possible without you. We did it.

Mom ~ for reading Beautiful Monster (and loving it) even though I told you not to.

Kim Johnson ~ for reading, and for telling me when I’d found my voice.

Dawne Dominique ~ for the kindness, the great interview, and the amazing cover art.

Erin Lale ~ for delivering such good news.

Sherrie Hill ~ for being the first person we met when we arrived. Thank you for your style, your charm, your belief in me, and your friendship. Thank you also for handing out the postcards and spreading the word.

Kim Richards ~ for slipping in that ‘yes’ amid the endless sea of ‘no’s.

Tom Brown ~ for reading, for running, and for spurring me on in both.

Lori Clark ~ for the friendship, the interview, and the book review.

Tamara Thorne ~ for the great blurb, the great friendship, and for being a hero who doesn’t disappoint.

David Hansen ~ for being around after all these years, and for showing me New Orleans, and always knowing who I was.

Todd Tapper ~ for your great sense of humor about what you do, and for the invaluable information you gave us. You didn’t bat an eye, no matter how silly (or morbid) the question.

Sally Franklin Christie ~ for your great marketing.

Karina Fabian ~ for your kindness, support, and for trying to help me get into the chat room.

Roberta Antunez ~ for your keen eye, your hard work, and your support.

Everyone at Damnation Books ~ for your great support, and for seeing something in us.

The Fiend ~ for surprising me with your existence and taking Beautiful Monster to a better place.

****

Also, I would like to give thanks to some people for their genuine support and enthusiasm, and for the inspiration and guidance they’ve given me.

Thank you to:

Holly Malcom ~ for being an amazing reader with an editorial eye that could put the best the shame.

Dayle Sant ~ for your support and your knowledge of the English language.

Marlene Anderson ~ for loving The White Room, and wanting more.

Becky Herron ~ for actually reading me… and encouraging me.

Joe Ostler ~ for sharing the passion and the good times.

Pam MacDonald ~ for your investment into our futures.

Annie Valenzuela ~ for your excitement and your encouragement. You have always had the crown, Annie… and you always will! Your enthusiasm has motivated me in wonderful ways. Thank you.

Linda L. Bennett ~ for your unwavering loyalty to me. Thank you for always reading my blog and for leaving me such kind comments.

Care Patton ~ for always telling me to dream, and for introducing me to Kim Williams-Justesen. You’ve pointed me in a lot of directions over the years… and they’ve all been right.

Bradley “Awesome” Newsome ~ for being a great reader and a great guy. Thank you for being the first person who called me your favorite author.

Elizabeth Hamre ~ for finding me, and for reading The Vagina Monologues to me when we ran out of things to talk about. You were there in the beginning of all this. I’ll always remember our talks.

Eva M. Lietz ~ for spreading the word.

Arin MacDonald ~ for showing me New York City through your eyes, and introducing me to even more strange novels, both of which have inspired me greatly.

The folks at Candle Bay (especially Juicy Lucy and Poison Ivy) ~ for giving me an interesting place to stay. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be immortalized. You all gave me some great new ideas.

Anthony Berge ~ for saying I should go for it many, many years before I actually did. You’re a muse.

Tim Campbell ~ for your great art, and for always telling me I could and should do this.

Doug and Sonya Malcom ~ for your constant encouragement, and your help along the way.

Debbie Rocco ~ for all the years of unrestrained imagination, and for wanting to read my books.

Sheryl Thornblad ~ for your support… and for introducing me to the “underground,” where so many of my ideas have come from.

Jamie Thompson ~ for reading my stuff back in the day, when I really, really sucked at it; and because you’ve always been the best personal assistant ever.

Brad Sant ~ for unwittingly giving me “Winter.”

My family ~ for being so supportive. I sincerely appreciate all of your excitement and enthusiasm. All of you have been great readers, brainstorming buddies, and awesome supporters.

All of the great authors who have supported me, encouraged me, and allowed me entrance into your worlds and your minds. You are the ones who made me want to do this in the first place. You are my heroes.

All the players ~ for teaching me beforehand to keep my hands to myself, my feet on the ground, and my eyes on the road.

****

Beautiful Monster is now available in eBook format at: http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Monster-ebook/dp/B00948Q0DK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1346686182&sr=8-3&keywords=Jared+S.+Anderson#_ and at: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727742. It will be available in paperback in a few weeks!

 


 

Of the various steps a writer should take before handing his or her query letter or manuscript over to an agent or publishing house, probably the most important one is getting raw, honest feedback from a few trusted readers. These lucky folks are called Alpha and Beta readers.

An Alpha (Alpha meaning first) reader is the first person who gets to see your work. This person has the responsibility of stopping you from further embarrassment before anyone else gets to see it. The Alpha reader should therefore, in my opinion, be your strongest critic. This person must be wholly comfortable telling you what sucks about your manuscript and what doesn’t. An education in English and Grammar is also a plus.

In my case, my Alpha reader is Kim William-Justesen, author of My Brother the Dog, The Hey! Ranger series, and co-author of Love and Loathing. Kim acquired her MFA (Masters of Fine Arts in Writing) from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2003. Not to mention, she has been circulating throughout the literary world for a good number of years, so she kind of knows her stuff – and, as it should be, she is probably harder on me than anyone else.

Kim is really the only person who gets to see my work in its most unpolished and unrefined state. However, knowing that she will be reading it, I work hard to keep it clean and neat, and to follow the rules of writing fiction, which automatically puts me in better shape. A typical page that’s been critiqued by Kim usually comes back to me with plenty of issues. Unnecessary words are called into question, 90% of all adverbs are slashed, question marks indicate a characters inconsistent voice or behavior, and of course, misspellings, grammar issues, and improper English is marked. Not to leave out issues with paragraph breaks, timing, dialogue, too much exposition, tense shifts and logic flaws. The point is, at first sight, the returned pages are often intimidating and discouraging but this is probably the most important part of the process.

After the necessary changes are made, my wife Heather is next in line. Heather isn’t really an Alpha or a Beta reader really, but (even though I am her husband), she is honest with me. Heather has a keen eye for small details that often get overlooked by me (little things like a murder scene in which the victim falls the opposite direction he should have after having been struck by a pissed she-vampire!) This is Heather’s strength and it has come in handy many times.

After Heather, my manuscripts go to a few trusted friends. Some of them are writers and some of them are not… but all of them are avid readers who know why something does or doesn’t work. These are my Beta readers.

Beta readers are, in some ways, the most important of all, because they are not looking for grammar and spelling issues. They are literally sitting down with your book and reading it front to back, and giving an opinion of the overall feel of the story. And it’s amazing sometimes what a Beta reader might catch. For example, it was my sister who caught a major discrepancy in time while reading The White Room. Speaking of sisters, family will often want to read your work, and that is good. But keep in mind that often times, they are not going to be as forthright with you as someone who is unrelated to you. That being said, I have received quite a lot of good feedback from family and close friends. Still, for purposes of critique, I rely more heavily on people who didn’t change my diapers and see me through that nasty adolescent stage!

Having Beta readers is fun too, because you get to revisit your story with a new eyes, so to speak. Right now, my friends Tom and Sherrie are in possession of The White Room. Tom is freaking out about the spider in Gretchen’s hair (a scene I’d pretty much forgotten about) and I am cracking up because I can’t wait to see how he acts when he gets to the other spider scene (insert evil laugh here).

After a manuscript has been through several hands, professional and unprofessional alike, a writer can now submit his or her manuscript to an agent, editor, or publisher without fear of being rejected due to sloppy errors and lazy plot holes. Now, when you receive your rejection letter (and you will), you will have the confidence to continue submitting, knowing that no matter what anyone else says, your story is a good, strong one… and one day, the right person will see that.