Wednesday, May 29, 2013

a social media guru ... well, I want to be anyway

Updated the links section! You can find me on twitter (@ea_whitehead) now :)

Say it with me now: "By our powers combined, we are Social Medialites, ahoy!" /needs sleep.

ea w

PS, I updated my links page to also start linking some of the great indie authors I've had the privilege to 'meet' over the last few months, check them out please, they are all amazing!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

a teaser, a milestone, and a huge mistake.

I feel silly saying this, but did you know I only came up with the idea to write a book in January? Only 5 months ago. And now here it is, budding at my fingertips and slamming its way onto the keyboard keystroke by keystroke. Ok, I'm being slightly melodramatic. But, it's for a reason. I have a new found appreciation for the book. I know what you're thinking, "Uhm, it's your book, shouldn't you love it already?" I love it, yes. I love my story, my characters, my deliciously crafted twists. But today I have a new love for it. A love that one can only have after they've lost something and it comes back to them. Lost you say? Tell us more! Oh yes, lost. Somehow my computer illiterate and semi-malfunctioning on little sleep self managed to delete an entire chunk of the story yesterday. I was heart broken, I screamed, I had tears in my eyes. Then I slammed my forehead on the keyboard, and I sh-t you not the whole thing reappeared. Ok, I'm slightly exaggerating, I think I must have managed to hit the shortcut key for undo with my large forehead.

It was an eyeopener. An experience of my first ever Writer's Lament. I thought I had lost a tiny piece of my soul. It seems I've grown incredibly attached to my story over the last few months. More so in the last weeks now that I've actually been sitting down to write it. Anyways, since I can't rely on a forehead slam every time I make a stupid mistake, I decided to do what all experienced writers do ... use Dropbox like I own the b*tch. If you aren't familiar with this program, it's essentially online cloud storage. Similar to iCloud but less ... sketchy. It's super Apple friendly, it linked my MacBook directly, my iPhone and my iPad. It saves the master file right to the folder in your online storage, so if you mess up, have no fear, Dropbox has the last 17,392 versions you've had since it saves a different layered copy every time you hit the little floppy disk save button. Life lesson, equals learned.

So with this great malfunction of twenty thirteen I managed to completely miss a huge milestone for me. I have written over 10,000 words. TEN. THOUSAND. Ok, to writers reading this, or people that don't know their a-- from their elbows, that may not seem like a lot to you. BUT THIS IS HUGE FOR ME. I don't think I've ever written 30 pages or 10, 000 words in my entire academic career COMBINED. I feel a victory dance coming on. Hold on, be right back. Alright, that was awesome, and well deserved.

Anyways, I celebrate my birthday this week! My mom and dad are awesome. They have like 8 kids between them (no joke, we can talk about that another time though) so sometimes birthdays just kind of get lost. But, my mom, being awesome. Decided she was going to get me my first real desk. A writers desk. I'm official.

Isn't she a b'yoot? *Dreamy Sigh*. Gotta love Ikea...

So, with all these crazy happenings, I thought I'd give you an unedited teaser. This is Jackson's POV (point of view) and it's probably one of my favorite scenes with him and Penny so far. They have just started to hang out and are on their way to a party ... enjoy! (and don't forget to read chapter one here!)

* * *

            She made small talk look good. She laughed at my stupid jokes, and quirked an eyebrow when I made comments about her being the prettiest girl in the restaurant tonight.

“Boy, you sure lay it on thick.” She shook her head and laughed toward the open window.

Maybe I was, I didn’t want her to feel cheap. I wanted to tell her I was nervous, but truthfully I had a feeling she had a thing for Boone and I wanted to look more like a man and less like a pussy driving a beat up Jeep Wrangler as we followed Boone’s lifted Chevy C-10 pickup. Every time he revved forward the vibrations of his truck reverberated through the Jeep making my manhood grow a size smaller.

“Naw, just want a pretty girl to feel appreciated.” Ok, Jack, don’t listen to yourself or anything; keep laying it on thick like an asshat. 

I reached over her lap and dropped down the glove box; fishing around for the pack of gum I knew I had thrown in there. “Can I get this for you, please? You’re going to kill us.” She put her hands over mine and pushed me away. Her hands felt small and warm, but her grip was fierce. It instantly made me imagine her hands elsewhere.

“Thanks.” I couldn’t look at her as she handed me the piece of gum, putting one in her mouth also. It had been so long, I was sure if I caught her glance the wrong way in my direction I’d end up springing attention right here in the car. “So where do you go to school?” I decided to change the topic to something so far from sexual it would take a miracle to relate it back.

“I don’t right now. I took a year off. I was going to the community college for Human Sexuality, though.” She looked at me and I could feel my mouth dropping lower as she spoke. “I want to be a Sex Ed teacher eventually.” How in the fuck is this my life?

“That’s an um, odd,” I paused with question not wanting to offend her “vocation choice.”

She nodded. “Yeah, but, there’s too much teen pregnancy and I know most of it is teachers going at it in a most archaic way. Kids don’t relate to movies and putting a condom on a banana anymore.”

I choked on my excess saliva from the gum chewing.

“Yeah, well I understand where you’re coming from, but you think you really wanna teach all those kids The Way of the Warriors?” I hope she got my sperm joke.

“Someone has to teach them, Jackson. I’m not saying I’ll be the Mother Theresa of sexual indemnity. But, I hope to at least help them understand it’s ok to love someone and still say safe.”  I couldn’t take my eyes off her, she was surprising me I hadn’t expected this from her.

“JACKSON!” she yelled and my eyes whipped forward as we almost crashed into the back of the gigantic pick up truck.

I slammed on the brakes. Boone had slowed down to find parking on Duncan’s packed suburban street. “FUCK!” I reached across and slammed my right forearm into her chest. “Sorry!” I pulled in behind Boone in the line of parked cars. “I’m sorry you distracted me.” Better be honest from the starting gate, Jackson. I stared at her still breathing a little heavier from the adrenaline.

She looked back at me, calm as a cucumber. “Its just sex, Jackson,” she climbed down from the Jeep, turning back, looking at me with soft eyes and a hard smirk “don’t be distracted by it.”

Oh, but I was. 

* * *

Thanks for reading, see you next milestone (or mistake)! 

     ea w

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A preview, and an assertion

"To build an audience you must first create the show."

I don't know if that's a real quote or not. I just made it up. I should have Googled first. (sidenote: is Google a proper thing now? Do we capitalize it?) Alright, anyways. Here you are, yes you. MY AUDIENCE! You make me nervous you know, I feel my palms getting sweaty. I have something to share with you, my audience. I feel like I have to share it because it's going to ease my mind to know that you've read it. 

How is it supposed to ease one's mind when they subject themselves to critics? Listen, I never said we were going to do this the straight forward way. I'm completely ass backwards and I'm aware. But, I have to do this you see. I have to share this with you. Because until this point in my life I never allowed myself to be subject to anyone's opinion of my writing. No one knew I could write, hell, I barely knew I could. So then I begin to tell people, "I'm writing a book!" and they look at me like I have a shoe horn sticking out of my nose and the boot is still in my a--.

So, here you go, here is the first chapter to a book that has been named, but I have yet to decide whether or not to share that with you. We'll see. A name is a serious thing, all ridicule starts with a name. Ask my friend Myrtle.

Without further ado: READ CHAPTER ONE 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A new beginning.

Does every artist paint the same picture? Does every musician construct the same melody? What inspires me? Being different. Not for anyone else but myself. To be able to say I that I am a writer and that I have a story (stories!) to tell is something I have always cherished. But to be able to tell that story and be different is an obsession. 

My whole life has revolved around words. Speech is something we take for granted, ask my father who was unable to speak for 2 years after a stroke, and still suffers with Aphasia. Words are a gift. Am I saying I am gifted, of course not, but the ability to appreciate them and yield their power into my own creation is something I enjoy. 

When I was little my aunt used to let me drag out milk crates full of children's books and allow me to ignore the world for awhile. I would get lost in Ramona Singer's life (Airmail to the Moon) or Amelia Bedelia's tedious chores. Loved by a little girl in a dark bedroom closet with a flashlight, they were my friends. 

The idea stuck with me then and has always stayed. You could do this, you could tell a story and let someone fall in love with your words. 

A few months ago I started an idea in my head. I wrote out a "logline": a one page stream of consciousness of the story and how it would flow from start to end. I began showing my friends and family and, whether they were blowing smoke up my a-- or not I'm still unsure, but they all filled me with the same enthusiastic encouragement. You can do this, you NEED to do this. So I did, well, I am. I began researching tiny towns and music venues and even which trees grow during certain seasons. I loved this part. Then one night I got bored of research. The story literally tapped my fingers against a table one night. Ok, this is it, here goes nothing...and I wrote for hours. My eyes actually bled. Ok, they didn't, but it felt like it. I had written a few chapters over the course of a few days. Then, I named the book. I gave the people in my head a name, a home. 

This is happening too fast. I thought, this can't be real. I emailed a few close friends and my cousin the first few chapters. "Do I suck, just get it over with." Again, not sure if they're just blowing smoke up my you know what but the general consensus was, "I want more!" So I started writing more. I sent it to my good friend for some editing (which by the way is a completely underrated job I mean I freaking love comma's so God Bless her heart). And then it took off. I researched cover artists, and booked a vacation to Birmingham, Alabama where my sorry a-- decided was a great place to plant the people in my head. 

I'm excited for this adventure. No! I'm OBSESSED with this adventure. This might end up failing miserably and my book will suck and never see more than a Barnes and Noble clearance rack. But, I will be able to say I did it. Like any musician, artist, painter, photographer, or trapeze artist who can say they made something of their own. I will be proud of my creation.

...And my father will continue to be proud, because we both know what words mean when you take them for granted. And what it means to have them as a gift.