January Update & Grant Winner

January Update & Grant Winner

Hi friends! It’s been a busy holiday season, hasn’t it?

I just wanted to take a moment and give a huge “Thank You” to Ms. Katharina (Cat) Gerlach. Due to her generosity, four people were awarded a grant to assist with writing courses. I was lucky enough to be chosen and I picked the course “How to Revise Your Novel” presented by the extremely talented Author, Holly Lisle.

As many of you already know, I love writing and I have quite a few first drafts hanging around. However, when it comes time for the second draft I always get stuck somewhere about the middle and for some reason can’t push beyond that point.

I have done a ton of research on why I have this reoccurring issue, and everything points to having major plot/character issues that overwhelm me to the degree of which I have to walk away from it. A cycle that has been repeating for seven years.

I first learned about Holly through her free course “How To Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck”. (If you haven’t tried it yet, I’d suggest taking a moment to look at it on her website.) After I took the free course and perused her blogs, I ran across  “How to Revise Your Novel”. The course schedule and testimonies let me know it would help me break down my ideas into more manageable bites, focusing only on the important information in a step-by-step manner. I knew right away I needed to take this class.

I was all in to take it, however, my bank account wasn’t. It’s pricey. It was too pricey for me to justify. But I signed up for her email notifications, and even when I didn’t feel like it, I would read every single one — just waiting for an opportunity to be able to afford this class.

After waiting more than a year, I finally got the email which explained the grant hosted by fellow author, Katharina Gerlach who was graciously taking money out of her own pocket to give back to others to help them improve their writing.

After chewing all weekend on what I wanted to say in my message, I finally sat down and typed up my correspondence, and a few restless days later, I got the good news that I was picked as one of the recipients. The grant brought the price down to a place that I could afford and because of the timing of the grant, I now also receive a free developmental edit of whichever novel I choose to work on.

It was the best Christmas present ever! I just want to reiterate: Cat, you’re awesome!!! 😀

I think the biggest takeaway I’ve gained from this experience is that you don’t have to aim to spend thousands of dollars to make an impact in the world. You can help in small ways by pouring energy, time, skills, or even help fund a lesson/class that someone is passionate about learning.

Now, I just need to figure out which novel I want to use during the course first. I figure it might be fun to include you guys in my decision-making process.

Here are some of my first drafts with their working titles and descriptions:

  1. Kingdom Saga: Journey to the AbyssAfter the sinking of the innovative city of Sian, all inhabitants are now able to breathe underwater. When three teenagers sneak too close to the edge, they stumble across an unknown danger which lurks in the depths of the abyss.”
  2. Tracking a Change “Sixteen-year-old, Sarah loves to explore the thick woods in her small town of Brilliant, Ohio. But when she stumbles upon a decrepit house, she finds herself in a secret war that has been waging for centuries.”
  3. Lost Weregirl Fifteen-year-old, Emily Leonard learns she is descended from an ancient werewolf tribe and must find a way to survive middle school without being discovered or accidentally hurting someone in the process.”

Let me know in the comments below which novel you think I should start on first. I plan to pick one in the next week or so.






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