book gift

photo source

If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or G+ you *might* have noticed me squealing about some news in the last 24 hours.

OK. It’s not HUGE news. I don’t have an agent (yet) and I’m certainly not published (yet). But I hit another milestone on my way there.

Last night I put the final touches on Memento Mori, a fantasy novel about a man who harvests souls for a living. It was started as an “off the cuff” writing exercise that I dashed out as an entry for Lillie McFerrin’s “Five Sentence Fiction” weekly challenge in June 2012. Out of all the flash fiction I have posted since beginning my blog in 2010, that one entry has received the most comments, and the most “Say, did you ever do anything with….?” follow-up questions and comments from readers. Obviously, Welsan needed a complete story of his own.

So I gave it to him.


The flash fiction photo that started it all. The Five Sentence Fiction prompt was “harvest” and I was trying to get out of the box…. [photo source]

Memento Mori went out to beta readers last night. It was the 6th draft in two years. It currently stands at 61,601 words and 237 pages (double spaced). In it, a soul harvester and a sin eater find themselves on the wrong side of the necromantic laws that rule their land, and are forced to flee the very system they have served for so long.

It’s a much darker story than I originally intended, but after so many drafts, I think the story finally flows the way it ought. It asks the right questions. It pays out the right conflict. The characters who ought to do the telling, do. At least – that’s what I hope.

That’s where my beta readers come in. They are all very different people from wildly disparate walks of life, and I like that. I am sure they will tell me where my story has gone astray, and I am eager to know what the full spectrum of feedback will be. Regardless of how positive or negative the feedback, it will all go toward making Welsan’s tale a stronger, more dynamic read.

Is Memento Mori ready for querying yet? Oh no. Not by a long shot. I still have another round of edits, and one more battery of “inner circle” beta reads left. Maybe….just maybe….by early fall I’ll be ready to query. We shall see.


Look! A teaser pin for my upcoming rough draft. No hashtags on this one yet – the story is still very VERY young. [photo source]

In the meantime, I’m changing gears on the writing front. I have a quite different novel idea that’s been pestering me since college, and in the last few weeks I think I have FINALLY settled on how best to tell the story. One of my writing groups meets tonight for a write-in, and so….I’ll be pulling out this New Old Idea (or is it an Old New Idea?) and starting up the plotting furnaces. I’ve got playlists and pinboards ready for inspiration.

And the #amwriting journey begins again.

Where are YOU in your #amwriting journey? Let me know! You can post in the comments, or follow me on Twitter. Let me know where the muses are taking you!