Wilderness

Have you ever wondered why it took so long for the Israelites to go from Cairo to Jerusalem? 40 years, that’s a long time. Granted they didn’t have Google maps to tell them that it should only take about 149 hours or about 17 day if they walked for only 9 hours a day. But 40 years, that just blows my mind and I know hindsight is 20/20, but even if someone were to go back in time and tell them, they’d probably be in the same situation that they were in for 40 years.

I feel like that sometimes. I can see myself in the future, relaxing while my books just fly off the shelf. People eating up my books while I sit there on my laptop, writing the next great masterpiece. Then I realize that I’m still wandering around in the desert, trying to figure out which way I should go to get out of this desert. I’m like Anikin, hating the sand, “It’s coarse, and rough, and irritating. And it get’s everywhere.”

But here I am at last. Looking back at my author journey, I have written several stories, some of which have been published, self-published, and more that will be published in the future. I had plans for some that end up changing, but that’s life.

I know I’ve been rambling on for the last three paragraphs and I thank you if you’ve made it this far. I couldn’t be where I’m at without my wife, family, and friend’s support. So, what is the message of this blog post? Why did I decide to write it? In all honesty, I’m still enjoying writing and after many many many rejections from agents, I still love the stories that I’ve written. I’m writing one that I can’t wait to share with you. I really hope this one ends up on Nickelodeon and I get an action figure of the lead character. That would be awesome.

I feel like I’m still wandering around wondering why I don’t seem to go anywhere. I should have had agents begging me to represent my work, but instead I’m just waiting and submitting. But I wanted to get out how I am feeling at this current moment. I just felt like I needed to let it go and continue walking, and writing helps. Thank you for listening (reading).

-Stephen McMurtrey

P.S. Gwendolyn Moon – She even sounds like a cool Nickelodeon character (wink, wink).

Sick Day

So, I am home from work with my sick 3-year-old son. He had a high fever, which broke though the night, but has been not feeling at 100%. With this time that I’ve spent watch Mickey Mouse Club House, I have some opportunity to catch up on some writing goals. I thought I’d share with everyone on those goals.

I am working on polishing my, now finished but never finished, novel Jake Fields. I’m so incredibly proud of writing this novel and I plan on continuing with his story. With this, I am entering Pitch Wars again this year and have selected my top 4 mentors. The enter date is September 25th and I couldn’t be more excited.

I am also still querying my children’s picture book, What Goes Up. I have received a few no’s but am still hopeful and pumped to share this book with y’all once it finds the right publisher.

I also have another children’s picture book that I am working on. Once I feel like it’s in a better place, I’ll share, I promise (there’s a hint in the picture above).

That’s all for now.

Until next time,

-Stephen McMurtrey

Jake Fields – Update

I have successfully finished writing Jake Fields! My first novel, start to finish. I am excited. I get to go back and tie us some continuity issues and check for grammar errors, then share the book with my wife and a couple of book lover friends I know. Form there, I’ll be submitting to Pitch Wars in September. I’m super excited for the future and see where God takes me and my family.

One more update on What Goes Up. I have submitted to many agents, have received a few rejections and am still hopeful. I’ll be submitting to some more this month.

Thank you everyone for your support.

-Stephen McMurtrey

Day Off

About a week ago I decided that I was going to take a day off from work so that I can have a mental day and work on my writing and website.  It’s about 8:30am and I am at a coffee shop that I’ve never been to before, typing away and enjoying every minute.  Usually, I try to squeeze in as much writing as I can, during lunch, or right before bed when my son is asleep. Today is refreshing so I’m not going to spend too much time typing up an update blog, however, I did want to provide a little update.

I have officially been submitting to agents for my children’s picture book, What Goes Up, a story about a kid trying to prove that what goes up, doesn’t have to come down.  So far, I have submitted to 7 agents and received some awesome feedback from a reviewer at this year’s OKC Lit Fest.  I am also working on my first young adult novel, Jake Fields.  This novel will be the bulk of my day with my goal being to finish by the end of August.

So, I look forward to today and the work that I can get done.  Until next time, thanks for the support.

I Wrote A Book, Again!

Now what?

I am officially on the hunt for an agent.

I wrote a children’s picture book called What Goes Up. It’s based off of an idea that I had about a kid attempting to prove that gravity is wrong.

I wrote it a few years ago, then put it down to focus on other projects. Recently, I picked it back up and rewrote most of it. But now it’s done, well, as much as I want it to be. The next step is to find an agent. As of right now I’ve submitted my query letter and manuscript to two agencies with seven more added to my list so far. I’m excited and hopeful. It would be dumb for me to think my books is perfect and how dare they reject suck a magical piece of literature. In the end, I love the book that I wrote and I know that one day I will be able to share it with everyone. My dream would be reading it to Olie and Archie.

Until next time,

Stephen McMurtrey

Jake Fields

A really quick update. If you haven’t already read the last part of my blog, here’s the synopsis for my first novel, Jake Fields. I hope you like it.

Jake died five years ago, but standing at his own grave, he relives the final day of his life. As a ten-year-old, Jake is on his way to the theater when he is teleported to a dark and cold version of Earth. He encounters two cloaked figures fighting with magical symbols, but that is where his memory stops. Jake is left to pick up the pieces of his life and figure out the meaning of the symbols and the mysterious figures as well as where he’s been for the past five years.

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

1804499_L.jpgSo, what now? Why have I told you all of this? Writing has become very important to me. It has allowed an outlet for my imagination to thrive and given me a voice. I wanted everyone to know where I’ve been over the past couple of years and where I’m going.

I’ve written several comics and hope that they will one day see the light. I am going back to my novel to finish out the first part of Jake’s story and start the second. I am also going to work on some of my other stories to get polished and published.

Which is where you come in. Over the coming weeks I plan on being more active in social media for my writing and want to give you more on what I’m working on. With that being said, I present to you the synopsis for my novel, Jake Fields.

Jake died five years ago, but standing at his own grave, he relives the final day of his life. As a ten-year-old, Jake is on his way to the theater when he is teleported to a dark and cold version of Earth. He encounters two cloaked figures fighting with magical symbols, but that is where his memory stops. Jake is left to pick up the pieces of his life and figure out the meaning of the symbols and the mysterious figures as well as where he’s been for the past five years.

You Shall Not Pass!

2021410_L-1.jpgI have a new book, working on short stories and am writing a novel. Wait what? Novel? You didn’t say anything about a novel? What is it about? Can I read it? When’s it coming out? So after my book, I decided to enter into another contest, but this one’s quite different, Pitch Wars. The idea is that you enter in the first chapter of your book, a summary, and a pitch and several published authors read through them all and pick one they like. The one picked works with the published author on their book, and polish it to be its best to present to publishers and agents.

I did everything to get this looked over and perfected. I took all the advice from everyone I could think of and picked the authors I wanted to work with, but it wasn’t enough. When the time came, I wasn’t picked. I worked so hard for what seemed like nothing. The stories the authors picked seemed to be the same kinds of books. Either gender swapped character reboots or retelling of common stories. Nothing new and from someone who has an original idea, I felt cheated. Here I am with a novel, granted only about 80% written, and I was mad, heartbroken. But it would not be the end.

After feeling discouraged, I focused my energy to my next adventure: Okie Comics. After seeing a post looking for Oklahoma writers and illustrators on a writing group on Facebook I reached out to the editor. I had an idea, which he loved and no idea how to write a comic. But yet again learning everything I could about a new format and using my skills of writing a short story, I wrote Something More. With the help of my wife and editor, we were able to turn it into a solid story and provide it to an illustrator. It finally came out August 2018. I have never been more excited to see my work published.

I worked on another project, From the Sky, which came out in February 2019. It’s a Transformers like story based in Oklahoma City featuring the Skydance Bridge and I am so proud of the work that poured into it. Every scene is beautifully drawn and and colored. My props got out to Kent Clark who illustrated it.

I Think I’m Quite Ready For Another Adventure

The inevitable question you may be asking me is why am I here writing this when I should be writing the next Harry Potter series? Mainly because my project is going slower than I thought and I need to address it. Maybe it’ll help to identify where I’ve been and where I’m going. Or maybe I just want to talk for a little bit.

It’s been an interesting journey ever since I decided to write my first story. I got an idea for a unique kids picture book, on the way from a funeral, and have been running (more like power walking sometimes) ever since. The story is about a kid who decided he wanted to prove that the law of gravity was wrong. It was the first story that I completed outside of school and would love to see it in bookstores someday.

From there I participated in a challenge where I wrote for 30 days coming up with a new story every day. It was difficult but satisfying when I accomplished each story. Granted, I didn’t end up with 30 stories, but 20ish was a great number. It taught me to use my imagination and finish my stories. As an INFJ, I have big dreams and goals, but I also have a hard time finishing once I get started. To this day, I have a few stories that I haven’t finished, but after the challenge, I came up with several completed. They are far from perfect, but I adore each of them.

Fast forward a few months and I entered a contest put on by the local library. I knew this would be what I needed to get recognized and start my life as a published author! And it wasn’t. But out of all the stories I had written, this is what I was most proud of. And not wanting to leave it sitting in the cloud, I took all those stories and brought them together for an epic book with the contest story being the star, I created The Meow Effect and Other Short Stories From My Mind. It took a lot of time, energy, and learning to put this together, but I did it! I was finally a published author

The inevitable question you may be asking me is why am I here writing this when I should be writing the next Harry Potter series? Mainly because my project is going slower than I thought and I need to address it. Maybe it’ll help to identify where I’ve been and where I’m going. Or maybe I just want to talk for a little bit.

It’s been an interesting journey ever since I decided to write my first story. I got an idea for a unique kids picture book, on the way from a funeral, and have been running (more like power walking sometimes) ever since. The story is about a kid who decided he wanted to prove that the law of gravity was wrong. It was the first story that I completed outside of school and would love to see it in bookstores someday.

From there I participated in a challenge where I wrote for 30 days coming up with a new story every day. It was difficult but satisfying when I accomplished each story. Granted, I didn’t end up with 30 stories, but 20ish was a great number. It taught me to use my imagination and finish my stories. As an INFJ, I have big dreams and goals, but I also have a hard time finishing once I get started. To this day, I have a few stories that I haven’t finished, but after the challenge, I came up with several completed. They are far from perfect, but I adore each of them.

Fast forward a few months and I entered a contest put on by the local library. I knew this would be what I needed to get recognized and start my life as a published author! And it wasn’t. But out of all the stories I had written, this is what I was most proud of. And not wanting to leave it sitting in the cloud, I took all those stories and brought them together for an epic book with the contest story being the star, I created The Meow Effect and Other Short Stories From My Mind. It took a lot of time, energy, and learning to put this together, but I did it! I was finally a published author.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

It’s been a crazy couple of months for me.  I have to admit, I haven’t done much writing.  I’ve come up with plenty of ideas, but the process of sitting down and writing has been lax in the past 2 months.  Writing is not something that I want to stop doing, and I’m so fascinated by the stories that I see all around me that I just want to share with the world.  I often think about the “wouldn’t that be nice” scenarios that I forget to try.  I’m excited about the work that I’ve done and am going to do.  I’ll do better about updating everyone, and not only dream but do.  I do have some stories that I have worked on, and will let you know once I have an update.

Until next time,

Stephen