Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Current Listen:  Falling In courtesy of Lifehouse

I belong to several writing groups. SCBWI and Romance Writers of America (RWA) being the hub, with "spokes" Young Adult RWA, Future Fantasy & Paranormal RWA, and my local Utah RWA chapter. All help roll my stories along from the throes of creation, to the oh so scary time to expose them to the harsh, cruel world of finding an agent and publisher. The latter two will serve as the final spokes in my custom crafted wheel, pushing my tales to places where they can be shared.

Being a part of these wonderful organizations has opened up endless doors and windows for me as a new writer. One of the well traveled highways I use on my journey for knowledge, are the many blogs and websites of my fellow writers. I am fascinated by the individuality of each cyber page these creative minds have constructed, and the information they offer.  No two are alike, and I'm not just referring to the visual display. The content is unique to each individual owner. Two blogs or websites can focus on the same subject, but the perspective will be totally different.

The same holds true to stories. Ideas are not original, but the stories told are unique to each author. The game "Gossip" runs parallel to this concept. An idea is whispered into one person's ear, who in turn, whispers the idea to the next, and the next, and so on. The last person being told reveals the secret and nine times out of ten, it's completely different from the original spoken idea. Each person was given the idea, but when they shared the idea with someone else, they added their own individual spin.

The book MATCHED came out recently, and I panicked when I read the short synopsis. "...futuristic...dystopian (government controlled basis)...matched mates." Several sleepless nights ensued. I bruised my best friends' sympathetic ears with my paranoia. 

DESIGNER GENES ...futuristic...dystopian...matched mates. Someone stole my idea! And published!

So many emotions ran rampant inside me. Once I found my lost mind and dialed up my maturity level a few notches, I downloaded a sample to my Kindle. I had to know. Not just for myself, but now that something similar is out there in my genre, I have to be able to say why mine is not like MATCHED.

The story is totally different. Same concept - different spin. I've locked my jealous green monster back in its cage, bolstered the locks and taken away the daily feeding of paranoia and self doubt. Two very powerful and self destructive snacks.

I've now downloaded the entire book and am invested in the story. Do I like mine better? Silly question. Is mine better? Even in my humblest of opinions, I can't or won't answer that one. To me, every story written is good. Someone has put their heart and soul into sharing a written piece of their imagination. I've been in awe long before I took up the mighty pen (or keyboard) of those who are brave enough to write and finish a book. I bow to those who are published, in any format. You're out there!

My idea was never really mine. To this day I could not tell you where it came from, but the story created from the idea, is all mine. Its a part of my crazy imagination now immortalized in written form. Do I wish I'd got it out there sooner? Hell yes! Funny thing is, "Matched" was one of the titles I played with using.

Good luck Ally Condie! What a wonderful imagination. Visit her website: 

To those of you starting out as writers, I cannot stress the importance of joining a writing group. If I could set fireworks off the attract you to RWA, I would. It is a wonderful organization to belong to, and the branches reaching out from its base are equally invaluable to join. SCBWI is a must if you are writing anything related to children and young adults. Joining one of these powerhouse organizations is like belonging to an online university, specialized for your talent. The online classes are phenomenal, and the members blogs and websites are endless sources of information and fun. Check out my list to the left. I've added some more I've found helpful and enjoyable.

Again, thanks for stopping by! Leave me a comment. If you've read MATCHED, let me know. Just finishing HALO (love the cover!). Another's idea with a twist.  Later cyber friends!  Joelene, the sensible side of Harley Brooks

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