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Everything posted by btjeppesen

  1. Hey fellow Storyists! I recently completed the final draft of my horror novel and am about to submit query letters. I'm posting my query letter here, and hoping for some helpful feedback. Thanks much! Dear Ms. Agent: Three days ago, Chuka awoke in a lake on the outskirts of North Platte, NE. Two days ago, two fishermen attacked a family in the park, littering the yard with their bodies. With them, they brought a squid-like parasite. One day ago, all across the city, the infected went insane. It’s kill or be killed for them. The whole town is aware of this. Except Charles. He spent the morning arguing with his wife about an affair she’d had that summer. Now, Charles stands in his living room, staring at his son’s body in the doorway. His wife, Deborah, fights off their attacker in the kitchen, a boning knife buried in her calf. One problem. Their attacker won’t stay down, even after Charles bashes his face in. He grabs his son, and he and Deborah drive into town as quickly as they can. I’d like to tell you about my latest horror novel, CHUKA (80,000 words), a bloody novel about a leviathan, insane cowboys, funerals behind convenience stores and one messy love affair that threatens to rip Charles and Deborah apart. I am writing to you because [reason]. I hold an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside. I am enclosing an SASE and the first five pages as a sample. May I send you the full manuscript? Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Brian Amaro-Jeppesen
  2. I sure am, Steve. Thanks!
  3. Thanks for the congratulations and well-wishes, everyone. And M, Happy Birthday to your mom! Brian
  4. Hey everyone, I just gotta brag, 'cause I am one proud daddy. My baby girl, Esme Marie, was born January 6, 2013, 11:34 PM. She was 20 3/4 inches and 7 lbs, 12 ounces. Just three days old, she holds her own head up and already flips from her back to her side. That's talent! But if you don't believe my word for it, check out the image I'm attaching! She'll knock your block off. I should add that I am absolutely the happiest man on Earth right now. I never knew it was possible to love someone so. Brian
  5. Orren, now that I have your approval, I shall proceed with the plans. . I just came up with the idea of having a reese's cake and a kit Kat cake, and she loved it. Now we have to produ the recipe. M, I love shopping more than she does, so I'm fine with this.
  6. That is most likely the path we will take. We've considered doing a dessert buffet of some sort. Definitely Reese's (my favorites) and Kit Kats (hers). Then add in some fancier things. Brian
  7. Thoth, That's fantastic! I love how customizable it is. She's latin, and I'm super white, so it's been difficult finding anything. Also, she's taller than me, which is another thing working against us. The ideal topper would have a pregnant latina six inches taller than her caucasian groom, and they'd both be in dark blue. That's not likely. But the link you posted is so close! Thanks, Brian
  8. Thanks, T & M! As for marriage, we signed up for a two-year engagement because we wanted to enjoy the engagement while it lasted. The two years ends on December 11. We will get married on that day. Hopefully, the baby decides not to come too early. Either way, everyone who knows us already sees us as being married, and even the most religious and pious of them have no problem with it. So, I figure, we're in the good with God, unless he decides to check with the U.S. Government to see what date our marital papers were signed. --B
  9. There are times when life kicks you in the groin, and then times when it kisses ya on the mouth and leaves you blushing in a corner. This is closer to the latter. One week and five hours ago, my fiancé and I went into the bathroom and took a scary little test, and after a few minutes, were met by two pink lines. My fiancé's response puts it best. She hesitated, then said in a weak, soft voice, "What the ****?" I should note here that it was a happy sort of "what the ****," if you can imagine it in the happy way. It was the overwhelmed sort of "what the ****," said not necessarily for its meaning but for the confusion and excitement that hid behind it. It's taken us the past week to get our heads together, but with us celebrating her first Mother's Day today, and our first prenatal appointment scheduled for tomorrow, this couldn't be a more exciting time for us. I've always loved my parents, but I've never fully grasped, nor do I grasp yet, what it means to actually be a parent. They are beautiful things, these parents; are they not? They bathe us and dry us and send us on our way in a nice pair of jeans. My mother was particularly fantastic, and she will always be tied wife my fiancé for the spot of #1 Woman. I've learned much from her, and I imagine that I will learn so much more as I draw on her for advice in the coming months. So, to all the fantastic mothers out there, know that we boys appreciate you more than anything, even if we sometimes don't express it. I have so much love and respect for every one of you. Happy Mothers Day! Brian
  10. For me, I'd go with "Desperation," by Stephen King. I get a little creeped out whenever I see a police cruiser behind me now. And because of "IT," I can never look a storm drains.
  11. The title says it all. I'm curious to see what the Storyist community is afraid of. Name a book that scared you. It doesn't have to be horror. It need simple to have scared you.
  12. Ouch! Thoth, come on now. Get down off of those pins and needles. They're poking you. Now, if you insist on staying up there until you know, then here you go--I made it to 125 Saturday, then 130 Sunday. Now, I get to revise and revise and revise some more, and just keep right on revising until my committee and graduate division approve it. I'm so close. So, I say, throw a celebration in my honor. Praise me for the awesomeness I possess. And I shall see to it that one of my servants rewards you. The King of Randomness, Brian
  13. Looks like I missed a day of posting. I got called in for a meeting with the instructor for the course I teach. She needed help fixing some other TAs grade books. That derailed me a little. Nevertheless, I'm at 112 pages. That means, if I write 16 pages today, I'm golden. 16 pages in a day is not the simplest undertaking, but it can be done. I have 8.5 hours left in the day, so two pages an hour should do it. Will Brian push forward and reach his target, or will he miss his leap and fall into the fiery chasm of chasmness and flames? Find out next time on "Master of Fine Arts and Thesis."
  14. Happy birthday, Ginny J! Take it easy today and do something nice for yourself.
  15. 89 pages. Right on track. Barely, though. Tomorrow, I'm shooting for more. Let's see if I can get 15.
  16. Thanks, everyone. I appreciate the vote of confidence. Orren, that grad thesis sounds amazing. I love both of those writers. I have several collections of both of their works, including the Norton Critical Edition for Coleridge. Those are my favorite pre-modern authors. I should look up your thesis sometime when I have that thing they call "time." Marguerite, as a teenager and child, I wrote all of my stories and novels on an old manual typewriter made by Casio. We got out first computer when I was eleven, but with five siblings, it was never available. I didn't switch to writing on computer until I built my first computer in 1996. Just like you, I never looked back. So, yesterday, I finished up to 76 pages. That's exactly the 13 I needed. Today, I hope to do more. I am now upgrading the caffein to include a Starbucks Doubleshot Energy & Coffee. (While I don't condone write while abusing substances, I've never been one to take my own advice--so, why should I start now?) So, by the end of the day, I need to be at least to 89 pages. Warmest, Brian
  17. Hey everyone, So, here I am, finished with Winter quarter and just one more to go. In 12 weeks, I will be walking across the stage again, shaking more hands than I care to shake, and snatching a decoy diploma; the real one comes five months later. I will be a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts with an emphasis in Fiction. That's one wordy title, and one I've worked hard to achieve. However, I'm not there yet. I have this one more round of courses. History of Fantasy and Horror Literature, bumped from undergraduate to graduate with a supplemental two units. Fiction workshop with Nalo Hopkinson. And Thesis Hours with Laila Lalami. But those aren't the biggest tasks. My thesis has to be submitted to Laila, Susan Straight, and Michael Jayme six weeks from now. I need to submit fifty pages of that, revised from earlier submissions, in two week. The final thesis in Storyist needs to be 128 pages, and I have 63. That means I have to write 65 pages over the next 5 days. That's 13 pages a day. Then, I have a week to revise all 128 pages. After that, the quarter begins, and time may become sparse. There will be much work to do over the coming three months though. I wish to hold myself accountable for these pages, so I will be posting at the end of each day my ending page count. If I reach my goal, give me a pat on the back. If I don't, heckle me or throw me into the pig sty. They're getting a little hungry anyway. So, I set out for a marathon of writing, with Target's Cupid Blend coffee in one hand and my apple wireless keyboard in the other, and I beg that you all wish me luck in this endeavor. Luck and effective caffeination. Warmest, Brian Jeppesen
  18. Hi Vanessa, I tried to replicate the issues you specified, and here is what I've come up with. It looks like Storyist might not be recognizing the "Place In:" option for automatic sheet creation. I will create a bug report for Steve in case this can be addressed in a future update. As for manually creating and adding sheets, this should work fine. Here are the steps I used. I created a new Novel document. In it, I created the following: a manuscript with a chapter (Chapter 1) and a scene (Scene 1), two sections (Section 1 and Section 2). Now, In both Section Sheets (normal view), I fill in the Summary with some text. If I switch to collage view, I should see an index card with the sheet title and summary. Now, I go to Scene 1 (collage view), and drag Section 1 to the collage area. It pops up a box asking if I would like to Attach it. I click Attach. That scene is now titled Section 1 instead of Scene 1. Also, it's index card now shows the Section 1 summary. Additionally, the Section appears as a tiny icon where I had dropped it. Now, I drag Section 2 on, but this time, I choose "Don't Attach." The scene remains named Section 1, but now I have two little section icons. At this point, both sections are linked to the scene. For added benefit, I right click on the Section 2 icon in the scene's collage view, then select "Display Selection As" and "Index Card." Now, I can see Section 2's name and summary as well. Does this work for you as I've described? If not, what isn't working? Do post again to let us know how this is going. Brian
  19. Hey Joel, First, I wanted to say that Steve has fixed the one big issue I mentioned finding before. At this point, Storyist seems to me to run perfectly in Lion. All features intact. I'm not Steve, nor am I affiliated with him outside of Beta testing, so I can't give any official ruling on the matter, but my stance is that Storyist is better on Lion than on Snow Leopard. As for Lion, I've been using it since the second Developer Preview, and I must say that I am in awe. At first, I was a little iffy about the interface additions, like Mission Control. I never used Spaces or the little feature that shows you all windows on Snow Leopard (activated with one of the Function keys), but with the integration of Fullscreen, Mission Control, and Launchpad, my workflow has changed completely. Apple can do a lot to enhance Launchpad, but it is nice as a simple application launcher if I don't want to touch the keyboard for some reason. All of that said, these features are not the most exciting features in terms of Storyist-enhancing features. Granted, the fullscreen is great, but the real magic comes in the state-saving features in Lion. I can type in a document, not save, reboot the computer, and find everything intact. It is genius. No more lost data due to power outages. Also, the new auto-correct features are great. If you've used an iOS device, you will recognize the word box that pops up as you type. There's so much more to be said for Lion, but I can sum it up by saying, "Get it." Simple as that. Brian
  20. Lion doesn't do this, actually. The disappearing scrollbars have to actually be implemented in the code for each application. I've mentioned these a couple of times to Steve, so hopefully I'm annoying enough to get him to comply. Brian
  21. Hey Joel, Steve already responded, but I just wanted to add my voucher. I'm using Storyist in Lion right this minute. (Well, I'm writing this, but I'll return to Storyist after.) So far, there's only one issue I've noticed, and Steve will be on top of it, I'm sure. Otherwise, Storyist is in working order for Lion. Brian
  22. Congratulations, TR. The first novel is often the hardest. I'm sure you don't need this advice, but edit the heck out of that thing. It's tough enough to write a book, and tougher still to get published. Don't give up. I'm thrilled that Storyist worked so well for you. It's nice to see novels being composed with this application. Best, BT
  23. Hey TAS, I just wanted to make a quick note, and you may already have this covered. Since Thoth and M already answered your question, I won't do that. I will warn against a mistake I see often in my workshops. Many new writers will have a character use no contractions to distinguish them from other characters, but this is a bad reason to do it. Very few people actually speak without contractions. They may write without them, but language condenses over time, particularly in speak. People take shortcuts in speech, because saying it faster allows you to move on to something else. If I walked around saying things like, "I can not enter the house, because my mother does not appreciate the things that I have done for her, and she is furious with me," if I spoke like that, people would look at me like I was trying to imitate a robot. "I am a member of the Borg. All your base are belong to us!" My biggest suggestion for any writer is to make sure there is a clear and logical reason for any decision you make. Don't cut contractions for the sake of cutting contractions. Now, if you have a good reason, such as if the character is a robot, then by all means, cut the contractions. hehe, at first, I was going to be a smart... butt and say, "Well, if she doesn't use contractions, how's she gonna push the baby out? Does the doctor have forceps handy?" Brian
  24. Or, while we're at it, an option that prints random insults through all attached printers whenever Storyist is idle, like, "ONLY MORONS STOP WRITING!" And the text could be laid over an image of Thoth sticking his tongue out and pull his ears to the side like a monkey.
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