Monday, November 16, 2015

THE WAXLING Inspired Art by Terry Bell + and EXCERPT

My friend and fellow Pitch Wars mentee Terry Bell created this for me because I was in the right place at the right time. It's Blake and Sarah from my novel THE WAXLING.

I LOVE it so. I love how Blake is in so much shadow here, with Sarah hovering over him like she's haunting his thoughts. I love how its so black and white, with Sarah being the pop of color and light. It's just perfection


Here's an excerpt from Waxling to go with the picture.

Her eyes alight with color and warmth, her lips sliding into a smile as slow as the sun peeking over the trees. Her smile was a sunrise warm, and common, miraculously filling in the darkness with vibrancy and light. She made me long for morning, a new start, a fresh day.  Her smile felt like a hope I didnt have to fear.
 I smiled back. For the moment, the Waxling was forgotten. 
 There was only the girl.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Pitch Wars Reenactment Starring Adam Levine

As soon as I heard about Pitch Wars, I fell in love. This is Pitch Wars in .gif form...

Pitch Wars is a contest where would be mentees submit for the chance to be mentored by AMAZING writers who are in that next level professionally. After the mentors help you through your manuscript, there's an agent round, and a party, and friends... and possible weight gain.

But we're not talking about that last one right now.

So a few months ago I thought I was ready for Pitch Wars.  I searched the mentors, fell in love with several of them, and then I clicked submit.

And then I ate my feelings.

Then the day came... and...

THIS HAPPENED!  I still can't believe it. My dream mentor MEGAN FREAKING GRIMIT chose my weird little story. She said she believed in me. She said she love it. She gushed hard core, and then put me to work.

And by put me to work, I mean she put me to work. She suggested I go from five POV's to two, make major revisions through the entire manuscript, and veer from the plot completely and rewrite the entire second half of the book. Basically she was like, I LOVE YOUR BOOK, NOW REWRITE IT.

And she wanted me to do it in two and a half weeks.

And then I ate my feelings.

Honestly, I was so excited to get started I probably weirded Megan and my mentee sibling Isabel out. I didn't even pause. I just happy clapped and said "Let's do it!!!" and ignored that tiny whisper of a "Can I really do this?"

I loved my book. I believed in it. But I knew there were things that weren't working, and before Pitch Wars, I didn't know how to fix them. I've been searching for answers for so long that when Megan gave me my nine page long (single space) edit letter full of, THIS IS HOW YOU FIX IT, the flood gates opened, and the words flew out. 

I made my deadline. In fact, I finished two days early.

 And I was like...

But she didn't say anything. She didn't... like read it in the next ten minutes, and then say, "It's gorgeous and amazing!" She actually took her time and went through it. Because it was written in two weeks.

And it was not gorgeous.

It was exactly like Adam Levine just shaved his head not gorgeous, like you could see the potential underneath, but come on, Adam, your hair is your pretty, don't shave it off.

I'm not posting an image. You're welcome.

Meanwhile, while Megan was working, I did this...

AND I ate my feelings...

Then finally, two weeks later, she sent me the most detailed line notes ever, with more major changes suggested... AND she gave me another two week deadline. 

Basically she did this.


I knew my story was definitely on the right track, but it was a first draft that I needed to make agent ready in two weeks. I had to do the amount of revisions that usually would take me months to do in two weeks. Revise an entire novel in TWO WEEKS. I cried. I kicked things. I ate my feelings.

And then I went to work.

Megan was there for me, helping me calm down when I was panicking. Cheering me on. Giving me suggestions and high fives and "You can do its!" 

I made my deadline again. 


(I may eat my feelings some more.)

(Oh who am I kidding, I will definitely be eating me feelings.)

I'm going into it slightly nervous, but mostly just grateful. I feel like I won the lottery and the prize is a better book. It might not be a prize for anyone else, but it's life changing for me. It's amazing the amount of work and time these beautiful mentors and organizers volunteered. I've learned so much, not just in how to write, although that can, and WILL be a blog post for another day, but also in how to be a writer. I want to be just like these kind phenomenal people who deserve all the good things.

 I adore them. 

Especially my favorite, my mentor Megan.

Thank you! There's no thank you big enough.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Pitch Wars Mentee Wannabe- Sheena Boekweg

Hey there Mentors considering my weird little story, THE WAXLING, to be your Chosen One in Pitch Wars!


The Waxling is a story about a girl made of wax and the broken boy who falls in love with her while trying to steal her heart. It's a slightly creepy, character lead YA fantasy heavy on the romance (sweet), with lots of world building, set in our contemporary world.

Here are my characters in gif form.


He's not just the bad boys trope (He doesn't even wear a leather jacket, so you know he's original. Snort.) But he's a lonely broken boy desperate to save his mother, and trained to steal, or kill.

Sarah (The Waxling):


 Sarah is sweet, creepy, innocent, and ethereal, all at the same time. Her choice will determine if she will save Blake's heart, or the world. (I love a girl with the ability to choose)

Speaking of which, meet...


Ari is my favorite character in the book. She's Sarah's Protector. She's been in a world of pain herself, and she carries a secret, even from herself, that will change Blake's life.

Ari's best friend Henry:

I have nothing to say. *sigh*

Okay, I have a few things to say. Henry is an artist. An awkward, slightly chubby dorky artist. He's loyal and kind, but not actually very brave, not the way Ari is.

But he stands with the Waxling no matter what, no matter what knife is pointed at him.

Blake's Uncle Cease-

Blake's uncle has ruled his family for a long time. He will get his hands on the Waxling's wish, no matter what he has to do to get it.


I'm Sheena.


I've subtly inserted my fandoms into the gifs and videos. But there are more.  I adore Neil Giaman, Mean Girls, Steven Moffat in all his forms, Jane Austen, Terry Pratchett, Maggie Stieftvater, Library Cards, Netflix, PLL, FNL, Parenthood, Downton Abby, Agent's of Shield, Agent Carter. I grew up on Harry Potter, Gilmore Girls, and Roald Dahl. I fell in love with Shakespeare because Shaun Hunter fell for a girl with a book of Shakespeare's sonnets in her purse, but stayed for the iambic pentameter. 

I have a type. Shaun Hunter, that broken wisecracking loner who just needed a hug started it, but Jess Mariano set it in stone. I can write Blake because I've done extensive lifelong research into this type of a character.

*Blink, blink*

Luckily I read a lot,  and while Jess imprinted himself into my head at a tender age, so did Roald Dahl's Matilda, Terry Pratchett's Granny Weatherwax, and Jane Austen's Every Female Character. 

I'm married to my absolute best friend, (who has gorgeous brown hair, makes wisecracks, and occasionally needs a hug or a smack on the back of the head, how'd you guess) and we have three kidlets. I stay inside and write all day while the kiddos destroy my house, unless the weather is gorgeous, and then I stay inside and write with my windows open while the kiddos destroy my backyard.
Actual footage from my house. No, wait I'm lying.

I believe in honesty in all things, except Driver's Licences ( Yes, Officer. I do only weigh that much) and I love people who are real. I love truth. I consider Luna Lovegood a close personal friend.

My first published novel, Funny Tragic Crazy Magic has sold more than 15,000 digital copies. My second novel, Alchemy (Cowritten with Melanie Crouse and Sabrina West) made Amazon top 100 Hot New Releases, and was voted # 42 (Don't Panic!) of Indie Authorlands top one hundred Self-Published books worth reading.

The Waxling is my eighth completed novel, and I'm ready to find my agent.


 I've written a million words in my lifetime, so I know the power of the right one, and also how common they can be. I've rewritten a chapter eighteen times before in order to get it right, and if I get feedback that I believe in, I won't hesitate to go for nineteen.  I fall in love with my story, not my words, so I'm not afraid of changing anything in order to unearth my story's truth. But mostly, I write because it's fun.

*Yes, sobbing alone in my room about the death of a fictional character I created is fun. I knows how to party.*

 I've co-written three novels, so I've learned to listen, learned to work in a partnership, and also I've learned to trust my own gut on what's right for my story.



 In all things.

I'm a low maintenance Introvert, but I'd like to make a friend here, and not just until the Agent Round. I'd like someone who can help me navigate the the unknown of the Call, and someone I could talk to about making decisions in the future, or someone who can tell me to keep going when I strike out. Someone I can cheer on, and who will cheer me on. I'm looking for a big sister, really. And I have the best big sisters in the universe in my own family, so I know whereof I speak.

Yes, I secretly love most Disney Channel Movies. (Have you seen the descendants? SO GOOD!)

I speak music. ( But to be clear I don't adore the Cheetah Girls, or anything pop screech) So if you ask me to add a little more "Hozier, Wrecking Ball, or Arcade Fire" to a scene, I'll understand that you want a bit more guilt, desperation or just pure destruction.

I want feedback, in any form you can give it, because I want to make my story the best I possibly can, and I know it will get better with your help.

So pick me.


Here's the link to more amazing mentees-in-training, hosted by Christopher Keelty.