Pitch Wars (Unofficial) Mentee Bio

Hey y’all, this is my potential mentee bio for Pitch Wars.  If you aren’t sure what Pitch Wars is, check out Brenda Drake’s website for more information.  Basically it’s a contest for writers looking for an agent, where we hope to get matched up with an awesome-sauce mentor to help us polish our queries and manuscripts.

So, for anyone who happens across this blog post, here’s ten random things about me:

  1. My name is Joni.  I was named after the singer Joni Mitchell.  True story.
  2. I live in Texas and I don’t normally say “y’all” (see above) or have a drawl in any way.  I’m a native Alaskan, raised in Oregon, went to university in Oregon and Utah, and have lived since then in Colorado and now Texas.
  3. As you can see, I don’t tend to use gifs when I blog.  I don’t have anything against then, I just don’t have time to figure it out.  It’s hard enough just trying to sound somewhat witty.
  4. I am an unpublished, unagented writer.  I have four finished manuscripts in various stages of revision, and a fifth one in the works.  They are all YA or MG.
  5. My favorite books are:  The Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Prydain Chronicles (The Black Cauldron, etc.), the Percy Jackson books, The Giver, and anything by Jane Austen.  I do prefer fantasy-type things, but I read a lot and enjoy a little bit of everything.
  6. My own writing also tends to be more fantastical in nature, but my latest WIP is contemporary…no magic, wizards, fairies, or mythical beasts.  Yes, I’m shocked, too!
  7. I’ve been married for 21 years and my husband and I have three teenage children, two boys and a girl.
  8. I’m kinda shy, both in real life and online.  But once I get to know you I’ll talk your ear off.
  9. I’m not fond of cooking, although I do it every day, but I do love to bake…cookies are my specialty.
  10. Pick Me! (sorry, I had to say that at least once)

The manuscript I’ve submitted for Pitch Wars consideration is titled TIME GUARDIAN.  It’s a retelling of Jane Austen’s NORTHANGER ABBEY in a Victorian-ish imaginary place where the people are obsessed with time, including the main character.  So there’s lots of clocks and a little bit of time travel (a very little bit, not overwhelming or anything).  Mainly it’s a romance, but there’s actual story to it besides the lovey bits.

I’m under no illusions that it’s perfect so I welcome the opportunity to get another set of experienced eyes on it.

That’s it!  To read more potential mentee bios, be sure to visit Dannie Morin’s blog and browse the list there, it’s pretty fun.  And big huge thanks to Dannie for doing this, by the way, it’s been fun!

PS–also feel free to say “hi!” here on my blog or find me on Twitter @LittleJoni00


Why I Love Robin Williams

“…medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

So Robin Williams didn’t write these words, but he’s the one who said them (as Mr. Keating in Dead Poet’s Society) in a way that made me pay attention and remember.

I first heard these lines as a senior in high school, sitting in a movie theater with several disgruntled friends (they wanted to see some shoot-em’-up blockbuster movie, I don’t remember which now, but I insisted we see Dead Poet’s Society.  I was so stubborn about it, I flat out told them I’d go alone if they weren’t going to be persuadable, and I got a lot of heavy sighing and eye-rolling in return…but to this day I don’t regret standing my ground to see it even if I had to be pretty annoying to get what I wanted at the time).  Those lines, and so many others from this single movie stuck with me for years and years and I truly believe that a lot of what I took away from it made me want to be a writer in later years.

Because (from the same movie):  “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”  More lines delivered by Robin Williams.  His is the voice I hear in my head telling me these words are true.  I credit him for making me want to share my own words.

Robin Williams made me laugh.  A lot.  And that’s a beautiful thing.  But he also made me think and feel.

“To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?’ Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”  —Robin Williams as Mr. Keating, Dead Poet’s Society

What will your verse be?