Tag Archives: in pursuit of jenna mae

2013 In Review: Writing

Last year I resolved to finish a first draft of any of my novels. I even went as far to say that if I didn’t finish one, I’d throw in the towel.

 

It was a foolish resolution.

 

Not necessarily because it’s unachievable, because it could be, but to just give up writing altogether over not finishing a first draft in a year was just stupid of me to say. Writing will always be a part of me, no matter how long it takes me to produce a final product. And I shouldn’t put such ridiculous limitations on myself so that I feel like a failure when I don’t meet them.

 

I refuse to feel like a failure.

 

So, what did I achieve in 2013 writing wise, if I didn’t complete a first draft? Lots, actually.

 

First, I wrote two short stories this year, just like the year before. And I sort of like this “habit” of writing two a year. It’s a good way to remind myself that I can in fact close a story and in less words than feels necessary for a novel. If by some chance you missed those short stories this year, you can find them below.

 

In Pursuit of Jenna Mae 

 

The Christmas Ban 

 

Also, that last short story became a sequel to a short story I’d written back in 2010 and I’ve already got a third and final installment to this Christmas collection planned for next year. I might even try to publish them all together for real. I really might.

 

Overall, I wrote 51,798 words this year. That’s more than the last two years combined. This might not seem all that impressive to all those writers who can churn out 90K manuscripts a year, but it’s big for me, that I wrote so much more than I have in the past two years combined. That’s quality progress.

 

Also, about those 51,798 words, with the exception of the short stories, almost all of those words were for Dreamsters, which I had started in the beginning 2012 and sat aside for the rest of the year. This is the first year I’ve successfully overcome my seasonal writer status and worked every month of the year on the same project. I miss my other stories, I do, but Dreamsters will be the first one I actually finish. Now that I know I can stay focused on the same story, regardless of the weather, I refuse to stop working on this one until it’s finished now.

 

I owe a lot of my accomplishments to a writing group I’m a part of on Facebook – Grapemo – hosted by author Jeannine Garsee. Not only are the weekly check-in’s about our writing progress a motivator, but the Teaser Tuesday and Thursday Specials have really opened me up and encouraged me as a writer. I’m grateful to be surrounded by so many like-minded folks.

 

I also gave Victoria Schwab’s star technique a shot towards the end of the year (and not just for writing) and found that seeing my daily success on a calendar really helped keep me focused. I plan to practice this again in 2014 for sure.

 

So my goals for 2014… well, I just hope to keep writing. I’d love to kick out another two short stories and I do have two ideas brewing, but I won’t punish myself if they don’t happen. That takes all the fun out of writing. And ideally it would be nice to finish Dreamsters in 2014 because technically I’ve already written more than half the book, but again I won’t punish myself if this doesn’t happen either.

 

I will write in 2014, that is all I’ll hope for. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll report an even more successful year to you next January.

 

 

In Pursuit of Jenna Mae

I’m not exactly sure what classifies a person a nerd, or who it was that came up with the title, but according to everyone else, Jenna Mae is one. I, on the other hand, am not. In fact, I’m as popular as it gets in our school. Now, you’re probably thinking –Wow, Trevor, cocky much?—and I’m sure that does sound cocky, but I’m just stating the facts. If Jenna and I were being rated on a scale, we’d be on completely different ends of the curve, with me soaring to the top and her sinking to the bottom.

 

I’ve known Jenna for a long time, though. Her family moved across the street from me when we were ten so it made sense that we’d mingle in the beginning. Popularity doesn’t matter when you’re kids; anyone can be friends. But high school adds a whole new level of social status once you cross those front doors and like I previously stated, Jenna and I are on opposite sides of the bar. Naturally, at home, we drifted apart as a result. Still, I’m cordial with her and have taken a secret pleasure in watching her grow into a body better than any of the popular girls could ever dream of having. It’s just one more reason her nerd stigma is so strong; girls can be such jealous things.

 

The Valentine’s dance is a week away and I intend on crossing the border that separates us socially to ask Jenna to the dance. Most would say this was cause for social suicide, but it won’t apply to me. It’s senior year and there are only a few months left of school. It’s highly unlikely I’ll even see half of my supposed friends after graduation, and besides, part of the reason I’ve always been so popular anyway is because I just don’t care what other people think. I dictate what’s cool and people follow.

 

Now, before you go judging me and assuming this attempt to take Jenna to the dance is just another one of those stories where the popular guy asks the dorkiest girl in school to the dance just to humiliate her, think again. This won’t be Carrie, there are no bets. The truth is, I actually like Jenna Mae – nerd or not.

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Playlist: In Pursuit of Jenna Mae

I don't typically post playlists for my short stories. Sometimes there isn't one, or it's just a lone song that lived on repeat while I wrote it and that's usually stated at the end of the post. But this particular story used three songs to write itself and so I thought it'd be fun to share ahead of the story in case you wanted to listen while reading! 

Arctic Monkeys – "R U Mine?"

The Black Ghosts – "Anyway you chose to give it"

The White Stripes – "Fell in love with a girl"

Do you sense a theme here? You should. 😉

Click HERE to read In Pursuit of Jenna Mae!

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