Writing Every Which Way

Novels, poems, and writing tips


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Why being a teenage author sucks

Don’t get me wrong, being a teenager and writing books is great! The look of astonishment and concern when you tell someone you’re 17 and have two published novels is gratifying. Having so much free time to write is amazing. Having 700 people in a high school to beg to read your book is a gift. Alas, like any coin, there are always too sides.

Seeing as I’m a teenager in the middle class who has no job because high school is a (excuse my language) bitch, I don’t necessary have the greatest following and here’s why.

1. Teenagers are stingy.

Teenagers usually either don’t have a job at all, or don’t have much money coming in from their job. It’s not that they don’t want to fork over $0.99 it’s just that they don’t see a point in giving their money to some student author who’s book could be crap for all they know.

2. I don’t have a job.

A day in the life of Madison Uram is generally busy. I’m not saying I go home to three kids, have to make dinner, give the dog a bath, and pack everyone’s lunches. I’m saying that I have to finish up my after school activities (directing a One-Act play), I have to consume dinner, finish homework, and try to keep my life situated in the meantime. Once all that is done, there’s no time for a job and who would hire a 17 year-old girl with no experience? Not you.

Why do I need a job? First off, publishers expect drafts to be submitted by an agent and without an agent self-publishing is basically your only choice. Then, if you want to run ads you have to pay money which I have minimal of because I’m trying to pay for prom. And lastly, to even put your novel on iTunes you need to pay for a memebership… AKA why I’m not on iTunes. Sorry.

3. Literally no one cares.

I can scream from the rooftop until my voice is gone about my novels, but I promise you that I will be extremely lucky if even one person buys my novel. This isn’t a pity party, it’s just how people are.

Has someone every advised a TV series to watch for you and despite the fact that it sounds perfect for you, you’re just too darn stubborn to watch it?

That’s how everyone feels about novels.

No matter how blown away they are that you wrote a novel, they don’t have the time or care to read it. And I can’t even blame them. I’ve read the short stories and poems my friends have written and if I heard one of them had written a novel, I wouldn’t pay money for it either.

Long story short, I love writing and I love when people read my book, I just wish more people would! If you feel the same, leave a comment below telling me of your plight. If you pity me, here’s the link to buy The Little Paragons and here’s the link to buy The Little Villains vvvvvvvv

The Little Paragons

The Little Villains

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How to promote your book while annoying everyone you know…

The struggle self-published authors are very familiar with, is the task of getting people to actually read their book. I mean, no doubt there are hundreds of Best Sellers out there that aren’t Best Sellers yet because it’s impossible to get an audience cheaply. You either have to pay a bajillion dollars for ads or annoy everyone you know with shameless self-promotions.

Seeing as I’m a 17 year old trying to survive high school, I’m in the portion of the self-published author population that drives everyone crazy.

Now, it’s probably become prominent at this point that as of this morning, my novel The Little Villains is available on Amazon.com. I’m thrilled that the year and a half of work has paid off, but now I’m faced with a problem: how do I convince people to buy it?

Here’s what I did:

  1. Made an extremely annoying post on every social media platform I own. Yes, that includes everything from Snapchat and Facebook to Instagram and my blog. Annoying? yes. Necessary? No doubt.
  2. Became a walking billboard. Thanks to my brother and his skills with an iron, I was able to acquire some t-shirts featuring the covers of my two novels. I consequently begged one of my friends to wear one and it got a good bit of attention.
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    Disregard me being an idiot.

  3. Put myself out there in front of my high school. My school has a morning announcements class devoted to creating funny videos and filming a news broadcast that includes the daily announcements. Due to my love for the film industry, I am in said class and decided to anchor for the day wearing aforementioned billboard shirt.
  4. I didn’t shut up. The shirt was a good conversation starter and once people saw that they usually asked how I managed to write a book and what it was about. From there I would persuade them to buy my book! Screaming “Buy my book!” also helps.

In total, I see nothing wrong with being extremely annoying when it comes to promoting a self-published novel. Self-published authors put just as much (and sometimes more) effort into creating our masterpieces, and we’re overlooked because we can’t afford fancy advertisements or simply just don’t want to take that route. Who can blame us for accidentally driving all our friends and family insane for one day?

 


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“The Little Villains” is available for purchase!

As of last midnight (and early this morning due to me noticing one last typo that made my OCD go crazy), The Little Villains is available for purchase from Amazon.com!

Feel free to let me know what you think by leaving a comment on Amazon. And remember, any publicity is good publicity when it comes to novels.

Also, thank you so much to everyone who has supported me while writing this novel. It has sure been one eventful year and a half with this project. So thank you everyone! I hope you love it as much as I do.

Love you all,

Madi Uram

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The Little Villains available now!


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Almost done!

Coming out this Friday will be my second novel: The Little Villains. This book is the sequel to my first novel: The Little Paragons and will be available for purchase on Amazon.com!

If you want to learn more about either of my books click here.

If you want to purchase The Little Paragons click here.

Stay tuned for more information 🙂

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The Little Villains. Coming out this Friday.


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Updates and tears

I… kind of… survived rereading all four Twilight books. By “kind of” I’m referring to the fact that I could only bring myself to skim the ending of book three and all of book four. I

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mean, once Edward spills the beans to Jacob about getting hitched, there excitement scale sort of drops below the freezing line…

I’m not saying that the last book doesn’t have its moment in the beginning, but personally I haven’t been able to forge through that book even a second time. I’m not even sure how I managed to do it the first time.

At no point is it necessarily boring, but my teenage self is just less amused by a steady marriage and a kid. Call me crazy. I won’t disagree.

But anyway, after rereading most of The Twilight Saga in about a week, I discovered a few things about myself:

  1. My dedication to young adult romance is frightening. Like I know how the book ends, why is part of me STILL rooting for Jacob?
  2. These books mess with my head. This has happened before. Every time I read these books they get into my head and suddenly I’m living in a world of the supernatural and I’m comparing my family and friends to the characters. IT’S NOT NORMAL.
  3. Reading them a sixth time has led me to appreciate my own writing. Those books are massive. I mean you could kill someone with my hardback copy of Breaking Dawn. Stephanie put years of work into those and even if they could have been SO much better, she was dedicated. Every writer needs to have that kind of dedication. If you don’t spend at least one summer hiding in your room writing, then it’s hard to imagine you’re getting anything done. 😉
  4. I can grudgingly see where Fifty Shades of Grey came from. One of the things I respect most about Meyers is that she isn’t one of those authors obsessed with sex. She skips sex scenes all together, sparing us the details. I’m sure some people think 16389173506_4bf3d6cc1c_bthat’s a tragedy (*cough cough* Fifty Shades) but I like it. I don’t need to read that kind of crap, I don’t want to read that, and it frightens for that there are people out there who are addicted to reading that. This is a judge free zone, but I’m just expressing my own terrified teenage opinion.
  5. I really want to write a spoof of those entire novels. They’re SO CLOSE to being hilarious! Every scene with Emmet is super funny, but if we could enhance that humor over the entire novel, it could be great. I probably will never write that spoof but as a writer it’s fun to dream.

Welp, now that Twilights over with I think I might move on to rereading Harry Potter. This series may take me a tad longer, but don’t fret, I’ll give you updates as often as possible.

Speaking of updates: I’m ahead of schedule and The Little Paragons is about to go into Stage Two of editing. I’m not entirely sure how long that will take but I’ll keep every one posted. Until then, you have the title reveal and the new cover reveals to look forward to. You also have plenty of time to reread or finally read The Little Paragons. I’m always excited to hear what you think.

Happy blogging!

**Confused on why I was rereading Twilight? Click here**


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I survived!

So here are my final thoughts on rereading Twilight nearly five years later:

  1. It’s not nearly as bad as my snobby 12 year-old-self liked to think. It was around that time that I started trying to write my own things. Back then someone expressed their opinion that the novels were bad and I listened to them. Excuse me for being young and impressionable.
  2. I’m not very patient. Knowing the plot, I found myself wanting to skip to my favorite parts. I even wanted to skip the ending entirely because I remembered it frustrating me…
  3. I became a little depressed. I don’t remember feeling quite so depressed when I read it the first time. Probably because I didn’t know what was to come and I didn’t know I was going to be made very sad and frustrated when I did get to those parts.
  4. It actually inspired me to write and work on my own novel. I didn’t expect this because usually when I start a book I don’t put it down until I finish. In this case though I was satisfied with reading a couple chapters and then editing for a couple hours before returning. In general, I didn’t feel as rushed to finish it and knew I could return to editing at any time.

Oh, and I know these posts aren’t really supposed to be “book reviews” but I just want to remark on one thing: The endings of these books suck. The first one does at least. I mean the whole novel is happy go lucky until this stupid baseball game. Then, suddenly the villain is introduced and it’s a mad chase. I mean, she could have at least introduced the villain sooner…

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the novel for the sixth time. But I wouldn’t use it to base my own novel on (as many new writers do). If simple things were changed these books could be rocking! They’re fun to read, but they could be so much more.

I’m interested to read some of Meyers newer stuff now, though. I’m sure just like all writers, that with each novel she writes, she’s better. It’s on my to do list to read more from her.

Anywho, now that Twilight is done I’m going to start on the other three books. I’ve got 13 days left for my editing deadline, though, so that comes first.

Posts about the next three books won’t be nearly as frequent as they were for Twilight. I don’t want to bore anyone to death with love triangle drama, so perhaps I’ll work on some poems to stay active.

Until then,

Happy Thursday!


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Freedom bought with a quarter

There was nothing special about Mathew Barns. He had a place to be and a time to be there. Sadly he had no means of getting there.

A plane brought him so far and then he was on his own. He was left with the clothes on his back and a small suitcase, but it felt like more than that to him. This was his new life, his adventure.

He pulled a map from a pocket in his thread bare black jeans, studying its features like a new language. Everything seemed foreign. Even the typical looking mini-golf center before him was like an alien.

The hot winds of summer tugged at his jacket, egging him to remove it. He discovered he was soaked with sweat when he did. He hadn’t realized how hot it was, but he didn’t have a way to escape it. He was standing in the grass beside a highway, staring across the street at the blinking sign of the mini-golf place. From there he could see a simple blue telephone fastened to an alcove in the wall.

That telephone was his goal.

There wasn’t a lull in traffic for awhile. It seemed like ages that he stood in the heat, sweating so much that the ink of his map stained his fingers. It was only minutes later, though, that a break appeared and he made his way across the two lanes. His little suitcase was tight in his grip, bouncing against his chest with each hurried step.

He reached for his pocket, searching for quarters, but his hand came out with only a gum rapper and a crumpled receipt. His heart stopped. Just one call and his friends would be on the way. He didn’t even need money for a cab. Just a quarter. One quarter.

Feeling as if he might faint, he dropped his suitcase onto the ground beside him, searching the gravel for abandoned coins. Just one would be enough. He only needed a few minutes worth of talking. Just one quarter and his adventure could begin.

He quickly discovered that there was no hope. The ground was clean.

Mathew Barns leaned his head against the cold brick wall. He could feel the sweat running down his back, the clothe of his t-shirt clinging to his body. He felt he may scream. All his preparation and he had forgotten a quarter.

Suddenly, there were whispers behind him, hushed but frantic like an argument. He opened his eyes enough to see two girls standing a few feet away. They were young, obviously here to golf and they were giving him strange looks. Upon catching his eye, though, the one stepped forward. Her eyes lingered on his suitcase and then returned to his face.

“Do you need help?” She asked. Her voice, he noted, was high and sweet was the falsehood one owns while talking with a stranger. “You look a little- Well, frustrated.”

It was then that her friend approached, giving him a wary look. “You ought to get out of this heat as well, hun. You’ll melt in those jeans.”

He felt his face burn with embarrassment. He had always been the helping hand to a distressed stranger. Never had he been the distressed stranger. He didn’t like asking for help. He didn’t like being a freeloader.

“Yes,” he said before he knew what he was doing. “I mean, do you have a quarter? I seem to have forgotten to grab one when I left. You see, I just arrived here by plane about ten minutes ago. My friend’s going to pick me up, but he hadn’t known what time I would be getting in so I was supposed to call him when I got here and… You don’t care about all that… I’m Mathew. I really just need one quarter, if you have one.”

Mathew Barns knew his face was red. He just hoped they mistook it as a symptom of the heat and not his embarrassment at his own foolish rambling.

He knew he wasn’t usually like this. Usually he would have had a better plan. He would have thought to bring some quarters, maybe a few dollars for emergencies, but here he was, stranded. And two girls were helping him make something as simple as a phone call a reality.

While he had been lost in his head, the first girl who’d spoken had been rifling through her purse. From it she pulled a handful of quarters and a couple dollars. She took his sweaty hand in hers and folded his fingers over the money. She smiled at him, sweetly, with teeth that were just a little crooked, and before he knew it they were gone. He hadn’t even gotten the chance to thank her and now they were gone.

Mathew Barns debated chasing them down not only to thank them but to return some of the money. He had only needed a quarter anyway, not the rest. But as he looked down into his sweat soaked hand at the money, he found himself turning from the door they had entered and to the phone.

It had been an act of kindness and who was he to interrupt that?


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Karma

The girl with the brass ring was no older than ten many believe. With dark hair coming to her hips, she would weave among the passing strangers with her hands clamped over a satchel tied to her waist. In this satchel it was rumored there was a brass ring that granted the wishes of the beholder.

She spoke of a boy to her family sometimes, a foreign boy on a mission to right wrongs. He was lost and got answers from her with the help of a riddle. Pitying him she directed him to the answer of his riddle and in return he gave her a brass ring.

The ring, he told her, held a genie that would answer her wishes.

But the little girl had yet to use it. Instead, she held onto it and rarely showed a soul. Even her family had only fleetingly seen the metal band when she thought no one was watching. They’d see her take it out of her satchel and try it on. It was always too big, always just asking to be lost, but she’d never lose it. Instead, she would stare at the chilled metal as if pondering it’s secrets.

Her family always humored her, telling her to wish for fame or money. Some would tease her about the faith she put in it and try to take it from her when she wasn’t paying attention. It always returned to her, though.

Not even her closest friends knew why she still carried that ring around. They’d whisper behind her back, claiming she was insane for not testing it out. Some would even try to bully her into using it, but none could sway her opinion.

The little girl was no fool, though. She knew others would misuse the gift the foreign boy had granted her. And it was because of his gratitude that she never used the ring. It made her realize that only through good deeds was one rewarded. She had done a good deed, she had been rewarded with the ring, but that didn’t mean she had the right to use it.

So, many watched as she grew up and continued to hold onto that brass ring. Many presumed she had lost it as she grew, but those close to her knew otherwise. Eventually, they stopped bugging her about the ring and its wish granting powers. They’d still see her take it out sometimes, but they’d never say anything.

It wasn’t until she was aged and tired that her husband noted its absence finally. He questioned its location, but her answer was unclear. She was tired and losing the will to live quickly and her answer was lost beneath the sound of her own unsteady breathing.

Her husband never found out what happened and later she died. The ring was supposedly lost to the world and no one thought of it anymore.

That is, excluding the little girl who helped an aging woman answer a riddle.

 

**This is actually an extension of a character mentioned only once in my novel The Little Paragons. I was re-editing some stuff and came across where the character shows up and it made me think about how I could write a whole novel around this one insignificant character. Anything can be a novel, but sometimes it’s simpler to write a short story.**


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A best friend for later

As a kid you never realize how lucky you are until it’s too late. Rather you’re so distracted by trying to find as many friends as possible that you never take advantage of the fact that your best friend lives so close you can say her name and she’ll probably hear.

My best friend was a girl I thought I knew, and perhaps I did once, but now I’m not so sure.

I knew that her favorite time to be awake was when no one else was. She loved being out when the stop lights no longer waited for traffic to build. The blinking of these eternal flashlights kept with the beat of her slow, tired, heart and guided her to a quiet home.

A scrap of metal dug up from the yard became a bullet that parted a soldier from his family. She’d cry over something that never happened and she’d convince you to cry as well. By the end of the night we would have buried the bullet just as the imaginary soldier never was.

Christmas letters were sent in the mail even though we lived near enough that we could have hand delivered them. These overstuffed envelopes would reveal inside jokes and knick knacks found in the closet. After a week or so, we would forget where we placed these things and guilt would compel us to never mention them again.

That is until we were old enough to mourn the times wasted. We’d reminisce on silly things we knew we shouldn’t have done. We’d cry over things we knew we should have done. And too late  we’d realize our time together could have been spent better.

First I moved away and then she did, too. We knew how to reach each other but as days went by we began to not bother. Perhaps we even began to forget about each other. New best friends arrived and we’d whine over the distance between us and them. We’d yearn for them to be as close as the friend we never completely allowed into our lives. And one day, when we are changed nearly beyond recognition, we’ll pass each other in a store. Our eyes will meet. A double take may be done. But we won’t do anything.

Later we’ll realize what we should have done. We’ll phrase the words we should have spoke. We may even dial the number we once had memorized, but it will turn out not being theirs anymore.

It will happen again. And again. And soon we’ll forget the friend with so much guilt over us.

 


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The seamstress next door

There’s a home beside mine that’s been empty for years. Its walls have turned pale and the windows foggy. A sign still hangs over it but the paints have faded to near oblivion. Only myself and those who cared enough to notice remember that it once advertised the humble services of a seamstress.

The seamstress seemed young when I met her, but I now realize that the color faded from her face and hair showed her age better than her mind did. Her mind was still set at an age around my own as I leave this house for the first time in my life.

But as I leave this house, all I can think of for some reason is the seamstress missing from the house next door.

I remember the first time I went there. I must have only been three, but I remember being enthralled by the pretty colors of dresses and gowns. Hours were spent rushing through the aisles of fabric as my mother dealt with more adult-like things. I still remember the feel of silks, velvets, and cottons beneath my pure skin.

By the age of twelve I had convinced myself I wanted to be just like that seamstress next door. My plan was to first be an apprentice to her. Once I got the hang of things I would open my own shop in somewhere “cool” like Florida or Italy.

I used to always see the spare threads hanging from her clothing and imagine myself looking the same. I saw myself with the indent of scissors forever pressed into my thumb. Yearning for the day I’d open my own shop didn’t make the days go faster and soon I realized that wasn’t my dream at all.

By the time I was graduating High School, the seamstress next door was no more next door, but in the hospital. Her back had given out and she could barely see. It seemed her job had begun to kill her. Those late nights when I could see her up in a window with merely a dim light on, must have had more effect than she let on when I visited.

I never really got a chance to say goodbye. No one did.

She had no husband, no kids, and no pets. She managed to get herself to a hospital one day and she could never get herself back once her ailments began to consume her. On my first day of college I got a call from my parents saying she had passed away with no will and no living heirs.

The seamstress next door was gone and I hadn’t even gotten a chance to say goodbye. Her estate was cleaned out by the government and the building was left to rot. I can picture in my mind how bright that building once seemed. Even though she was its only worker, the business ran like clockwork and everyone knew where to get a dress that was worth your money.

But now she’s gone and I’m about to leave, too.

I’m no seamstress but I’ve got a job I love and a fiancé to head home to so I’m not so sure why that boarded up shop makes me so sad. Maybe one day I’ll better understand why the seamstress next door could stand to be alone and work such a lonely job her whole life. Maybe I won’t ever understand. But unlike the rest of this town, I’ll never forget her.

 

 

**Here’s some late night fiction. It’s a little rough around the edges, but I like trying new things!