Welcome to Jamie’s Verse

I’ve been writing for many years, and feel it’s time to share what I’ve written. I intend to start with my poetry and go from there.

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Voices of YA Tag

Thank you to Kristen Martin for pointing out this YA Tag created by Caitlin Lambert. To see Martin’s responses to the questions below, you can watch her video here.

ABOUT THE WRITERS:
What draws you to YA?
I usually read YA because a young person I know (niece, godson, etc.) suggests a book to me, or a parent does. They’re often quick, easy reads, which is a fun change of pace for me from the books I normally read.

Describe your writing process. Do you like outlines and structure, or seeing where the story takes you?
I prefer to have a general idea about the story I’m going to write before I start it. There has to be something in the story that intrigues me, or I won’t continue writing it. The hardest part about writing for me is thinking of a storyline that keeps my interest. I start with a concept, and then write to see where it takes me.

How long have you been writing? Where are you in your journey?
I wrote for my school newspaper in 7th grade, but I know I journaled and told stories verbally for years before that. I began writing consistently at 14, when I started writing poetry. I finished my first novel in 2014. Currently, I’ve joined a local writer’s group and am in the process of learning how to write scripts.

What do you need to write? Coffee? Music?
I need a good idea. If I have something nagging at my thoughts, then I have to write it. I prefer silence when I write.

If you could offer one piece of advice to another writer (OTHER THAN “don’t give up”), what would it be?
Read more. The more you expose yourself to the written word, the better you’ll be at writing yourself.

ABOUT THE BOOKS:
What book still has you reeling from its plot twist? (*no spoilers please*)
Whether good or bad, I cannot say, but I have the habit of putting a book down whenever something interesting happens in the story and thinking through all the possible outcomes I can imagine before continuing. For this reason, I cannot think of any books that had a plot twist I didn’t anticipate. Movies go far more quickly, and I was surprised by The Usual Suspects and The Game. I can’t think of any movies that left me “reeling,” but those two had good twists. I also really loved finding out what the Matrix was.

What books are you most anticipating for this year?
I don’t read YA regularly, so the only book I’m anticipating at the moment is Kristen Martin’s next book, Shadow Crown.

In your opinion, which YA book/series has the most unique premise?
I loved the Little House on the Prairie books growing up. I can’t think of other authors who’ve written embellished versions of their childhood and life in the way Laura Ingalls Wilder did. It’s unique to me, at least.

What is your all-time favorite quote from YA lit (I know, I’m cruel)?
From Little House in the Big Woods, Pa tells his daughter, “But Laura, I have brown hair too,” and Laura realizes she has no reason to be jealous of Mary for her blonde hair. His response has always stuck with me.

What book do you most hope will have a movie adaptation?
I enjoy reading books for their own sake. Books are written to be books, and I’m happy with them being books. If they become movies, that’s great, but they’ll never be how I imagined the story when I read it. While I don’t spend time hoping for movie versions, I’m always happy when an adaptation is done well.

If you’re reading this, tag! You’re it! Go forth and write your own response to this tag challenge. 🙂

A Writer’s Life for Me Tag Questions

This is in response to Kristen Martin’s vlog post, which you can watch here:
TAG | A Writer’s Life For Me

1. What kind of writer are you? (Fiction, poetry, plays, screenplays, non-fiction, more than one of these?)
Poetry is how I started writing regularly. I also write fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, and fantasy (short stories and novels).
I’ve posted over 100 of my poems here. Each word under PAGES along the right-hand side is the title link to a different poem. Click the link to read the poem. 🙂

2. When did you start writing? What made you want to try it?
I wrote for my school newspaper in 7th grade, but I know I journaled and told stories verbally for years before that. I began writing consistently at 14, when I started writing poetry.

3. What inspires your stories (or poems, plays, etc.)?
With poems, it’s usually a word, scenery, song, dream, or an idea that sparks a need for me to write about it. With novels, I generally want to tell stories I’ve never heard before, so I think of some idea that interested me and how that could be applied in a narrative way. With short stories, I’ve usually had writing prompts that caused me to write a short response.

4. What themes do you like to explore in your writing?
I don’t really think thematically yet when writing.

5. Are you a pantser or a plotter or a bit of both?
I was very much a plotter in my youth, but I never finished any of the novels I started. The first novel I did finish I totally pantsed. I think pantsing works better for me, but I’m such an organized person I still enjoy plotting.

6. Where are you at in your journey? Querying, agented, published?
I’m going back and learning the fundamentals of storytelling at this point. I’ve always written things that interest me, but I’ve found they don’t interest others. I’m learning how to express the same idea from multiple views so that my writing engages more readers.

7. Have you ever entered any writing contests? Finaled? Won?
Yes, I entered many in my youth. The newspaper I wrote for took first place in the state of Texas that year for middle school papers. I wrote an essay in high school that took third place in the state of Texas, and I won several poetry contests I entered back then. I stopped entering contests when I went to college, though.

8. Who are your writer heroes?
Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury were huge influences on me in my youth. I still adore them both.

9. Have you been to a writing conference?
Nope.

10. Top 3 tips you’d give to newbie writers?
Read. Write. Repeat.
Seriously, though, you do need to read to write better, and you do need to practice writing to be a better writer.

Feel free to respond to these questions yourself! 🙂

Autumn Arrives

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been here! This year has gotten away from me. Still, Halloween is tomorrow, and then NaNoWriMo starts for many authors. I don’t think I’ll be doing that challenge this year, but it stands as a reminder to me to focus on my writing.

To get in the mood, I’m going to post some more of my poems from my book “To Thine Own Self.”

Here’s a list of the seven poems I’m posting this week:

Secrets

Snow

Autumn Nights

White Feathers

Little Lives

All He Asks

Beauty

This Leaping Year

I blinked, and it’s the end of February. This year is flying by in leaps and bounds! I’ve thrown myself into my day job, and am happy to report that it’s going well. I’ve made friends there, and will be hired on permanently when my temp assignment ends. I’m looking for a place to live near work, and I’m delighted to be moving closer. The 90 minute morning commute to work, along with the 90-120 minute evening crawl, is exhausting! All of this has kept me occupied, so I haven’t written much this year.

After a lot of back-and-forth with the publishing house that published my book eight years ago, they finally acknowledged that my copyright is expired. My poems are mine again! So I’m going to post some (maybe all) of those poems on my website. Wee!

I named my book “To Thing Own Self” after my poem by that name. I’ll post it and six others tonight. WordPress has changed how their website works, so here’s hoping I post them correctly!

Here’s a list of the seven poems I’m posting this week:

“To Thine Own Self”

Stay

My Friend,

The Gasp

To the Windswept Evening

After You’re Gone

When I Can’t Sleep

These are some of my favorite poems, so I’m excited to share them with you! I hope you enjoy them. If so, please leave a comment and let me know!  : )