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…and again.

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Last time I was able to blog here was over a year ago. (Insert frowny emoji here.)

Worse, the content of that entry was being happy that I was back from a distraction that took me away from The Other Realms for a while and I was ready to focus on it again.

The good news is that I have gotten to focus in the last year and the result is a revamped edition of Book 1 with more words for Lucy (much to Emerson’s delight) and a focus on the duality of the savior that has become both girls.

The Book (in the book) changes when Ally meets Lucy and the “girl of the dark” is promoted (almost) to full savior status like Ally. While this makes it easier for the girls to work together to defeat Mordrew, it does change some important themes in the book.

No longer does Lucy need to feel jealousy of Ally’s status. Well, not as much, anyway. Because while she is also declared the savior by the book, she does not receive magical powers like Ally does. But more interestingly, now Ally has her own feelings of jealousy. She’s from a long line of saviors (oops! you don’t know that yet 😉 )… so why does she have to share it?

That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s been a year since I blogged here. Life stepped in once more, this time with health issues, but I’m on the mend once more. (And walking on my own which is probably something many of you, like me, have taken for granted…)

So, I will hopefully be able to blog her more frequently with stores of Ally and Lucy and Cody (wait. who’s that?) and progress on the books. Which, thank you for asking, is currently sitting at:
– Book 1: edited and ready for Pitch Madness.
– Book 2: revisions are underway, about to go to editing
– Book 3: first draft about 30% complete
– Book 4-7: outlines are adjusting themselves as I write

Thanks for stopping by and inquiring about Ally and Lucy. They appreciate your visit!

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I’m back!

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So life happened and I found I needed to take a little time off of my Jordan books to work on another project. (More on that at davidburgett.com) But, I’ve missed Ally and Lucy and Raymund. They’ve been calling out to me and I just let them all know that I’ve come back to Ouverture and I’m ready to continue the first draft of Book 3.

When I left it off, Ally was starting to have doubts about Lucy as she continues to struggle with having been the only kid in Ouverture for the last nine months and what she learned about her family during that time. Meanwhile, Lucy is jealous of the “normal kid” activities that Ally got to do in New York.

So, dear readers, rest assured that I’m working on The Other Realms series again, which Emerson is greatly overjoyed at! (Although, she’s worried about the turn Book 3 is taking, of which she’s heard bits and pieces, because Lucy is, ironically, her favorite character. (So far!)

More to come from Ally and the gang soon!

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A great Writers Conference!

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Yesterday I attended the 2017 Kansas City Writing Workshop. It was great!

Marisa Corvisiero was the main speaker, and I enjoyed listening to her talk. She was energetic, friendly, and enthusiastic. Her instruction rambled a bit from as she directed her speech at once squirrel after another, but much of that was audience-driven. The members of the Standing Room Only audience asked a bunch of questions, and she answered every one honestly (sometimes, perhaps, too honestly). That took her off course on more than one occasion, but I thought it was great because most of the questions were ones I wanted to ask anyway.

I was in and out of the room where she was speaking since I was pitching agents (more on that in a moment) and it was hard to find an open seat. At one point, I knew I wasn’t going to be in the room for long, and I didn’t want to disturb a whole line of people to get to an open middle chair, just to have to disturb them again in 10 minutes. So I just parked it on the floor at the back of the room with a few other people. I scooted over so that I could see Marisa (yes, we’re on a first-name basis now–that’s how nice she was) down the aisle. She stopped her presentation to ask if I was okay and if I needed a chair. Very cool!

So I got the chance to pitched Book 1 to three agents:

  • Reiko Davis of DeFiore & Co.
  • Whitley Abel of Inklings Literary
  • Justin Wells of Corvisiero Literary Agency

First and foremost, all three were great. They were each friendly, personable, and (in the 10 minutes I was allotted), showed great interest in learning about my book! In fact, all three asked for more (either pages or conversation), so it couldn’t have gone better! Reiko (each of the three introduced themselves by first name, so I feel safe using it here) even read my email query pitch and offered some suggestions, which I’m working on now.

The best part, perhaps, was when the conference was wrapping up for lunch, I went up to talk to Marisa. She was just as nice in person as she seemed when presenting. I apologized for interrupting her presentation by sitting on the floor in her line of sight. She laughed and said she was just worried about me. What I really wanted to tell her was that I had spoken to Justin earlier (who works for her agency) and he had asked to see pages, so I hoped that I would be seeing her again. (Not so subtly suggesting that I’d like to work with her agency and I hope that Justin likes my pages…it never hurts to get in good with the boss from the start. 🙂 )  As soon as I mentioned that Justin requested pages, she immediately gave me a high five and congratulated me! It really seemed like she was able to step out of her position as owner of the company and just be happy for me as a writer. Awesome!

I ended up at a Chinese restaurant across the street for lunch, by myself. As I was waiting to be seated, a pair of nice ladies from the conference came in behind me. They saw my name tag and aloneness and immediately asked me if I wanted to eat with them. I did, and we shared a great conversation that ranged from writing to politics, and topics in between. I also made friends with some of the volunteers working the show…to the point that the lady giving the introduction spiel to the writers about to go pitch, asked me to do it for her at one point since I had been there twice before.

Everyone was so nice and it was great networking. Now I remember why I love writer’s conferences….but I can’t remember why I keep forgetting that.

Book 3

Getting back into Book 3…

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I’ve spent most of my writing time over the last two months on Book 1…final edits, preparing a Query letter to agents, finding agents who might be interested. It’s been exhausting and wonderful and terrifying. Intellectually, I know and understand why my book will get rejected 50 times. Even the best book ever written would likely get rejected due to varying interests, competing titles, agents having a bad day, etc. Book 1 is not the best book in the world (Book 2, at least, is better 🙂 )…so I know it will get rejected a bunch. Yet, still, I die inside a little each time.

The key is perseverance. The key is perseverance. The key is perseverance.

So I’d mentally prepared myself for this, but not the psychic pain of having to put down Book 3 for so long. I completed the first draft of 8 1/2 chapters back in November…and haven’t written since. 🙁

I picked it up again this morning and found an old friend. Right where I had left her. Ally is in the middle of playing with her newfound magical ability. And possibly burning the house down. And she’s been standing there in her bedroom for the last two months.

But like any true friend, she has waited patiently for me. And she smiled on my return, ready to pick up right where we left off.

She really is a good friend to me.

Jordan

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A SENSE OF MAGICK – Update

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It’s been a while since I’ve had an update on Book 1, A SENSE OF MAGICK. That’s because I’ve been busy revising, fixing, correct, tweaking, and hopefully improving it based on feedback from a very nice agent who helped point out some of the flaws, both in the text and in my query. I have addressed those flaws (hopefully addressed them well…) and I am officially now looking for an agent for The Other Realms series.

So any well wishes and happy thoughts you want to send my way on this strange and tumultuous endeavor are appreciated.

–Jordan

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The Other Realms Book 3 – Untitled Progress Update

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I just made progress on The Other Realms Book 3 – Untitled! So far I’m 85% complete on the Outlining phase.
[mybookprogress progress=”0.85″ phase_name=”Outlining” book=”1″ book_title=”The Other Realms Book 3 – Untitled” bar_color=”CB3301″ mbt_book=”140″]

The good news is that I’ve made enough progress outline to support starting NaNoWriMo in just 27 hours and 32 minutes!

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Bleeding from the eyes…

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So I’m not a huge horror movie fan but I don’t actively avoid them either. As such, I’ve seen a few zombie movies and some hack and slash gory movies in my time. You would think that the goal of these movies would be to prepare you for real life. You want to be ready when the zombie apocalypse happens, right?

Well…I can tell you that the opposite is true at least in one case.

This weekend, my son got a nosebleed. No big deal. He gets them from time to time. His older sister got them when she was younger, not so much now. My wife and I both got them when we were kids.

We were hanging out, having a quiet Saturday evening watching a movie. Nothing active. My son had played in a soccer game earlier in the day, but he didn’t get hit in the face or have any falls. So his nosebleed was surprising. Not in the fact that he had one, but in its fervency.

This was a gusher.

So he was sitting on the floor in the living room holding a Kleenex to his face and I was on the couch. He turned to say something and then turned back. Slowly, my brain processed what it had seen, but it was refusing to believe it. Blood had welled up in his left eye and had just started to overflow his lower lid, spilling onto his cheek.

We pulled the Kleenex away for a moment to look and it just gushed. This wasn’t a trickle. Not a “one little tear at the end of a sad movie” type of thing. It was gushing blood almost as fast as his nose was.

So we put the New Kittens away and bundled my son away to the ER at the local Pediatric hospital.

It was surprising how busy the pediatric ER was at 9:00 on a Saturday night. Apparently, there are a lot of hard-partying children in our area. We waited for about 90 minutes in the waiting room, during which we finished off half a box of Kleenex as his eye and eventually his nose slowly stopped bleeding.

We were finally shown to a room and pulled the last Kleenex away from his nose literally less than a minute before the doctor came in. At this point, it was 11:30 at night and his nosebleed had lasted just over three hours. And there was basically nothing left to show the doctor. Fortunately (and I never thought I would utter these words prefaced with “Fortunately…”), there was some residual blood on his eyelashes to prove to the doctor that it had happened. Also, three of the intake nurses had seen it. Neither the doctor nor any of the nurses had ever seen that happen before.

But none of them were terribly worried about it, either. The tear ducts are connected to the nasal passages so it stands to reason that if you block an excess of blood from coming out of the nose, it would try to find some other way out. A lot of it went down his throat. And what was left found its way out of his eye.

So they sent us home with a nice pat on the head and a follow-up visit with an ENT this week. We got home and got the kids to bed.

And as they were sleeping peacefully in their rooms, I lay awake in my own bed with every image of a eye-bleeding zombie I’d ever seen in a movie flashing through my head…with my son’s face. ‘Twas a fitful night’s sleep to say the least.

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New Kittens

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I mean, seriously…is there anything better in the entire world than kittens?

Their playful curiosity, unabashed enthusiasm, and overload of cuteness. What could possibly be better?

Yesterday, we stopped at the pet store to pick up a new fish for my son. We walked out of the store 2 hours later with a fish…and two new kittens. We’re still working out the names, but we’re closing in on them as a family. And this morning, when the black one stretched out across my chest and fell asleep for nearly an hour…everything else just sort of melted away. Thoughts of mowing the lawn and cleaning the house and my son bleeding out of his eye (that’s for a different post)…they all just sort of floated away. And for that hour, I couldn’t have been happier.

Here’s a pic of the newest additions to the family:

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The kittens purr when I hold them and all is right with the world…

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Redemption comes in the form of…a soccer ball.

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Yesterday, my son’s soccer team suffered their first loss of the season. It was a 3-1 thrashing that wasn’t nearly that close.

The problem wasn’t the skill of the other team; it was the lethargy of a hot, late afternoon game and the inability to overcome adversity. The other team was definitely a good team. Good skill and good coaching. They jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first minute because we just kinda watched the first couple plays of the game. It was like we weren’t quite ready to start yet, so we just watched as the other team played without us.

The biggest problem, I think, was that we never recovered from the mental goal they had scored on us. No matter what I did, I couldn’t motivate the boys to run faster, pay better attention, move off the ball. All the same things we’ve been practicing for the last 5 weeks.

In the second half, I shook things up and pulled one of my players aside. I told him that if we were going to get back into the game, it was going to be up to him. He responded, scoring our first (and only) goal less than 2 minutes later.

But alas, it wasn’t enough. The other team (they were red dragons compared with my team’s Emerald Dragons) scored again, immediately eliminating our momentum.

I stewed over it all night and couldn’t sleep…not because we lost (we’ve lost lots of games in previous seasons)…but because of how we lost. And I prepare my speech. I put on my best Coach’s voice and warned them of the Wrath of Coach.

Today, we played the same team. But today, we played. Hard.

Each and every boy — including the sick one who probably should have stayed home and the one who took a ball to the face during warmups before the game and played with a swollen eye — played with intensity for the full 50 minutes.

Walking away with a 3-0 victory, I think I did some of my best coaching today. And I hope that this is a lesson the boys will remember as they grow…when someone knocks you down and takes advantage of you having an off day…the only way to respond is to get back up and show them who you really are the next day.

Tonight, I will sleep soundly.