Cover Reveal for Facsimile by Vicki Weavil

So this week is just an embarrassment of riches it seems.

In addition to revealing my own cover I get to reveal one for my incredible critique partner Vicki Weavil! I will be upfront, when she told me she was writing sci-fi I was worried. Not because I didn’t think she could handle it, but because I worried I’d be a terrible critique partner for her. Despite being really into Fantasy as a kid, sci-fi never did it for me (I prefer magic over lasers!) However, I can tell you this book really made me love sci-fi! Vicki created a great story with a cast of characters that I instantly wanted to spend time with. Another great thing about this book is the diverse cast. The protagonist is Latino, and two guys she spends the most time with are Indian and Asian. It really made a nice change, particularly in science fiction. So much incredible representation is in this book. So pre-order your copy today! It’s an easy sell with a stunning cover like this!

 

facsimile ebook final

 

 

Title: FACSIMILE

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Publisher: Month9Books

Publication Date: March 8, 2016

Format: Paperback and E-book.

Preorder on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Facsimile-Vicki-L-Weavil/dp/194266446X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449082288&sr=1-2&keywords=weavil

Goodreads Listing: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18249272-facsimile?from_search=true&search_version=service

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

 

For a ticket to Earth, seventeen-year-old Anna-Maria “Ann” Solano is willing to jettison her birth planet, best friend, and the boy who loves her. Especially since all she’s required to do is escort Dace Keeling, a young naturalist, through the wilderness of the partially terraformed planet Eco. Ann‘s determination to escape the limitations of her small, frontier colony never falters, until Dace’s expeditions uncover three secrets. One offers riches, one shatters Ann’s perceptions of herself, and one reveals that the humans stranded on Eco are not its only inhabitants.

 

Ann’s willing to sacrifice friendship and love for a new life on Earth. But when an entire species is placed in jeopardy by her actions, she must make a choice – fulfill the dream that’s always sustained her, or save the planet she’s never considered home.

Vicki Weavil 11

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Vicki L. Weavil turned her early obsession with reading into a career as a librarian. After obtaining a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Virginia, she continued her education by receiving a Masters in Library Science and a M.A. in Liberal Studies. She is currently the Library Director for a performing and visual arts university. She is the author of the YA Fantasy, CROWN OF ICE, published by Month9Books in 2014.

An avid reader who appreciates good writing in all genres, Vicki has been known to read seven books in as many days. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend her time watching films, listening to music, gardening, or traveling. Vicki is a member of SCWBI and is represented by Fran Black of Literary Counsel, NY, NY.

 

Website/blog: http://vickilempweavil.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VickiLWeavil

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/VickiLempWeavil?ref=hl

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7091425.Vicki_L_Weavil

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/vickilweavil/

 

 

Here is a photo of Vicki and I when we met in NYC this summer!

 

IMG_0580.2015-05-31_233226.JPG

196 days A/K/A The day we finally get to share the good news — WE ARE PREGNANT

For the past few months I’ve been doing something very out of character for me. I’ve been keeping a secret. Generally, I like to live life as an open book, and despise secrets (unless it’s an attorney/client thing). So I am happy to finally reveal some very big news to all of you!

 WE ARE PREGNANT

196

 

For people who’ve been to our home, you might have noticed an odd number on the blackboard wall. This number is a countdown to our due date. In about 196 days (March 13, is our due date) we hope to welcome a new life into our family.

 

I hope you are as excited as we are about this, and I’m certain some of you might have some questions. Here is some basic information, that should field some of the basic ones:

 

  1. So you’re not adopting…you’re having a baby. How exactly is that happening?

 

Brian and I decided that if we were going to have a baby, we’d like it to be biologically related to one of us. The biological connection was more important to Brian than it was to me, so he is the sperm donor. My best friend (aside from Brian) is the egg donor. We are very similar so I figured this was as close as we would get to an “egg” that represented me. To our delight, she was completely on board with donating her eggs for us to start a family from the minute I finally found the courage to ask her.

 

  1. Does that mean your friend is carrying the baby too?

 

No. In most instances, it is encouraged to keep the egg donor and the carrier separate (it helps avoid legal issues). We received several eggs from our donor. Those eggs were fertilized and, those that made it to the “blastocyst” stage of embryonic development, were frozen until we were ready to transfer them to the woman who would carry the embryo to term. Fortunately there was not a lot of waiting. Our carrier is a wonderful woman who has two children of her own. She lives in Oklahoma. We found her through an agency that specializes in helping couples have a baby via surrogacy. We’ve met her and her husband several times, and are excited about going to Oklahoma to visit her when she has her 20-week appointment.

 

 

  1. Do you know the sex yet?

 

No, not yet. While there has been a lot of amazing science going on with the birth of our baby, we must wait the same amount of time as everyone else. That said, at 10 weeks we got to see an ultrasound. Our child was very active that day. He/She kicked hard (both the doctor and our carrier felt it) and we got to see her/him very clearly. The carrier and I felt that he\she looked like a boy, but that could easily change as the baby develops more. Brian and I don’t care what sex the child is, only that it is healthy and that it will grow up happy.

 

  1. Do you have names picked out?

Yes, we do. However, we’re not sharing that information just yet. However, I can tell you they are wonderful!  

 

  1. So what’s the baby like now?

 

At 12 weeks the baby is about the size of a lime. Almost all baby literature likes to compare babies at various stages to food, I assume because they are generally spherical in nature and are a good point of reference for everyone. Anyway, the baby essentially looks like a very small version of a newborn. Bones are forming, fingers and toes have separated, and even things like fingernails are beginning to grow. 

 

  1. What’s it like being so far away from your Carrier?

 

As I’ve never had a baby before, I’m not really sure what it’s like to live with a pregnant woman. My sisters had 2 children each, but I was a tween/teen for most of it. I will say we are incredibly thankful for the carrier’s husband and family for helping her through the day-to-day trials of pregnancy. Our carrier has had some rough “morning” (but really all day) sickness, however she has been a real trooper about it. We hope that now that she is entering into her 2nd trimester things will be easier for her. As for communication, we do a combination of texting, e-mailing, and facetimeing.

 

  1. So what’s next?

The next big milestone is going for the 20-week visit in October. We will get to meet the doctor who will most likely be delivering our baby, learn the sex of the child, and also get a bigger glimpse into the daily life of our carrier and her family.

We hope you are all as excited as we are about this big life change! We’ll be more forthcoming with updates from this point on!

Rewriting vs. Revising

So it has been a long time since I blogged. Part of the reason is dealing with my job (I had a lot of great paid work come in, which is now sadly going away) I also have been at a standstill with my novel. All of the agents I queried rejected me. I’m not shocked by this, I expected it to happen. It is easy to expect the worst, that way you won’t be disappointed. But there was a silver lining. Due to the great reaction of my friends, family, and fans I was able to get some critical feedback from the agent Linda Epstein.

Linda is the kind of agent I want, because she is interested in representing the type of material I write. It is very rare to find someone to represent such a niche market, so I was hoping she was going to read my first five pages and ask me for more. Sadly, she did not. She pretty much hated my first five pages. I was wounded very deeply by this, but she made something clear to me.

I needed to step away, and come back much later. I felt that there was something wrong with my opening, but I had no idea what it was. I revised and revised and revised, but nothing seemed to work. When I opened up Linda’s comments a month later, I saw the answer clearly. I couldn’t fix what was there, because it wasn’t workable. The opening didn’t really have the same tone as my piece. It was trying very hard, and instead of coming off as sophisticated it came across as clunky and desperate. So I decided not to remodel, but tear down and start basically from scratch. The only thing I kept was the basic plot point (Main characters is reunited with a friend who offers to change his life for good)

I’m happy to report it worked. The new opening does everything I wished the old one did. It introduces one of the major characters up front, instead of waiting several chapters. It also moves at the pace of the rest of the novel, which is nice.

Now I’m at the stage of “Okay, I like this new open. If I want to keep it, I need to do something similar to the next few chapters.” So of course now I wonder whether I want to do that.

Click here to read the new opening!

A Specific Blog Term

holdinghandsgay-main_full

So, I often try to think of this blog as being more about my own life/reflections than about the people who I am connected to. Unfortunately, sometimes it is just impossible for me to write about things without talking about who else was present. Whereas it is easy to refer to most people as “my friends” I personally feel the need to differentiate my fiancé from the rest of the crowd. He is the most important person in my life, and while I think it is important for him to remain as anonymous as possible I am tired of constantly saying “My Fiancé” to describe him. I like to use that term in conversation to describe him initially, but after that I normally refer to him by name. Therefore my fiancé shall henceforth be referred to as “BBE” BBE is my acronym for “Best Boyfriend Ever”. I will continue to do so, unless he reads this and would prefer to be referred to by some other title.

Starting The New Year in a Gay Way

So I am a little late on posting for the New Year. I wanted my first post of the New Year (my review of Thais was supposed to be done before 2009) to be one of the gayest things I’ve seen in quite some time. I am not sure why I didn’t know or remember this scene from “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” but I was unaware of it for some reason. I felt for all of those who might be similarly afflicted we could start this new year off with a big laugh. This scene has everything. Music, Dancing, Homo-eroticism, and best of all NUDITY.  Viewers beware.

Hoboken

We have a place

Outside our Apartment

Outside our Apartment

It is in the lovely city of Hoboken, NJ:

I am so excited! The place is a 3 bedroom, but really it is a 2 bedroom plus a study. That is a lot of space! We move in September First

It is strange to have been so lucky to get MORE space than we had in Houston. It is true we are paying more than Houston rent, but I didn’t see ANYPLACE in New York or New Jersey that we could have feesibly lived in for the low rent of Houston. It is so strange how you pay more to have less in New York. However, I’ve been surpisingly lucky!

Law School Decision

So many people are interested in where I plan to attend law school. Currently I have been accepted at:

  1. Hofstra
  2. New York Law School
  3. Rutgers-Newark School of Law

I’ve decided to attend:

RUTGERS-NEWARK SCHOOL OF LAW !

According to “www.top-law-schools.com” this is the lowdown:

While the school’s Newark location may not be ideal, Rutgers-Newark School of Law still has plenty to offer. The school is especially attractive for financial reasons, offering both low in-state tuition and very high starting salaries.

Admissions standards at Rutgers-Newark are slightly lower than those of its sister-school in Camden. The Princeton Review gives the school an “Admissions Selectivity Rating” of 84 out of a possible 100. Roughly 29% (863 out of 2,893) of applicants were granted admission last year. For those who were admitted, the 25th to 75th percentile GPA range was 3.08–3.55 and the range for the LSAT was 155-161—with medians hovering around 3.3 and 159, respectively (USNews).

Rutgers-Newark also has a part-time program available. While admissions standards are usually much less stringent for part-time programs, at Rutgers-Newark, they differ little from the full-time program’s standards. Last year, GPA’s for part-time admits ranged from 3.06 to 3.59 for the 25th to 75th percentiles, while LSAT scores ranged from 153 to 158 (USNews).

Most people are delightfully surprised to learn that Rutgers is a state-institution. As a result, in-state students enjoy a healthy discount. Last year, New Jersey residents paid $21,302, while out-of-staters paid $30,307. “Room & board” is estimated by the school to be just over $10,500. So, out-of-state students can easily expect to spend over $40,000 per year. While tuition is low, so is the amount of financial aid generally received by Rutgers-Newark students. The 75th percentile grant was $6,000 last year, while the median was $4,000 and the 25th percentile was $2,500. On the plus side, there is a loan repayment assistance program (LRAP) in place.

Bar Passage & Employment Prospects

USNews reports that 80% of Rutgers-Newark graduates pass the Bar the on their first try, just beating the state-wide passage rate of 79%. This is a fairly weak passage rate; and so it is not surprising that about the same amount of students (82%) are employed at the time of graduation. Within nine months, however, 95% of Rutgers-Newark graduates are employed. This is a testament to the strength of the Rutgers brand throughout the state of New Jersey, where the majority of Rutgers-Newark graduates (63%) are employed.  It may seem like a Rutgers-Newark degree is quite exportable, as 37% of graduates end up practicing outside of New Jersey. Further analysis reveals, however, that almost all of those who find work outside of the state end up in Philadelphia or New York, two cities that share borders with New Jersey. A few students (4%) found work south of the Mason Dixon Line, and some (1%) ended up in New England; but Rutgers-Newark is, and will remain to be, a regional law school. Prospective students should keep this in mind as they decide where to attend.

While Rutgers-Newark graduates may not be represented all over the country, they are represented in almost every field of law. Consistent with nationwide trends, more Rutgers-Newark graduates (43%) work in private practice than in any other field. Judicial clerkships are also quite popular, employing 31% of RU-Newark grads, while 15% went to work in business. The remaining graduates generally divide themselves among public-interest, academic and military jobs. One look at starting salaries reveals the reasoning behind the popularity of private practice work among RU-Newark graduates: those who enter private practice enjoy a median starting salary of $115,000—quite a high figure compared to that of schools similarly ranked to Rutgers. Such a high salary is most likely a result of the healthy legal markets in New Jersey, Philadelphia and New York.

Academics

Rutgers-Newark provides an academic experience that is ample with opportunity; it is the type of opportunity however that must be sought after. Whereas top-14 schools are full of nationally-ranked programs and students are heavily recruited for internships and jobs, Rutgers-Newark has few outstanding programs. The school does have a strong clinical training program, however (ranked 28th in the nation by USNews); and this program, combined with the school’s proximity to both New York City and Trenton (home of New Jersey’s State government), provides students with the type of training and opportunity that can lead to a wonderful career in law.  It should be noted, however, that when it comes time to apply for internships and jobs in the New York and Trenton areas, competition may be fierce. Positions in the New York area are some of the most sought-after in the nation, if not the world.

Students brag about the school’s “excellent and approachable” faculty and “remarkable” new library (six years old). A 2L had this to say: “for pretty much every resource I have needed, I have had no trouble finding it… the faculty and the administration are relentlessly helpful, and this has had a big effect on my experience here so far”.

Quality of Life

Adding to the list of commonalities between the two Rutgers Law schools, the Newark campus, like its counterpart in Camden, is also located in a city which leaves much to be desired. Crime is high, the city is unattractive, and there is little in the way of social life. Many prospective students brush this aside, assuming they won’t have much free time in law school anyway. While this is certainly true, it would be a mistake to discount the effect that a school’s location will have on one’s experience.

Students are able to get out and enjoy nearby Hoboken, however; and many decide to live there and commute to Newark. In Hoboken students can find a growing population of young professionals and increasing night-life, mostly revolving around local happy-hours. Students also always have the option of hopping over to New York City for a weekend, which offers infinitely more opportunities for social life than anywhere in New Jersey.

As far as life on campus is concerned, competition seems to be moderate, if not low, and this helps to create a less stressful environment. As one student put it, “Competition exists… but not so much in the classroom as in the hunt for jobs”.

Conclusion

Certainly the school has its setbacks—most of which stem from the Newark location; but Rutgers-Newark is a gem of a prospect for any student hoping to enter private-practice in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Quick Reference

U.S. News Ranking: 77
LSAT Median: 159
GPA Median: 3.34
Multiple LSAT scores: Average
Application Deadlines: 03/15
Application fee: $60
Entering class size: 195
Yearly Tuition: $21,302 (In-state) $30,307 (Out-of-state)
Bar passage rate: 80.0%
Percent of graduates employed 9 months after graduation: 95.3%
Median private sector starting salary: $115,000

I have visited the campus, and whereas Newark is not exactly the most beautiful looking city in the world. It is not as scary as say….the TSU campus.

Reviews

I’ve decided to add reviews of shows and restaurants as a part of this blog. It might not actually reference my southern background, but it is a review from my perspective. They can also be found on YELP.

Grades

TSU lounge

So this is a blog about my experience in New York. Well….in order for me to keep having experiences in New York I need to successfully transfer from Thurgood Marshall School of Law to a law school here in New York. To transfer I need good grades.

WELL I GOT THEM!

Criminal Law (Fall Semester) = B-

Torts (Year Long Course) = B

Lawyer Process 1 (Fall Semester) = B+

Civil Procedure (Spring Semester Only) = B+

Contracts (Year Long Course) = A-

Property (Year Long Course) = A

Lawyer Process II (Spring Semester only) = Unknown

Cumulative GPA = 3.41

I want to Celebrate!!!!

Welcome to In and Out of Place

Welcome

Hey Readers!

I’ve decided to start this wordpress to chronicle the experience of a very atypical southerner has when he moves to New York. On many occasions in the south I have found myself out of place, and longing to be a part of the North. Now that I finally am here, I am still not entirely “in” but I feel more at home.  Here is a little information about me:

Name: Richard aka Kyoske

Birthday: September 10, 1981(age 26)

Relationship Status: Engaged to the sweetest boyfriend on the planet

Hometown: Little Rock, Arkansas

Area of New York currently living in: Upper Westside

College:

  • Undergraduate: Rhodes College ’04 – B.A. in Anthropology/Sociology
  • Law School: 1 year at Thurgood-Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University

Interests:

  • Theatre
  • Opera
  • Writing
  • Law
  • LGBT Issues