Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘contests’ Category


A few months ago, I submitted a short story to Glimmer Train for their “Family Issues” contest.  For this contest, I took an actual family event from my own life and I created fictional characters, changed a couple of things, and wrote a short story.  I never heard from Glimmer Train and I apparently did not win.  I was disappointed, of course, but rejection is part of the writing process.

I had my memoir writing group look at the story, but not before I had a chance to submit it to the contest.  They gave me great feedback.  They loved the dialogue, enjoyed the interaction between the two kids in the story, but they thought the emotion at the end of the story needed to have a bigger punch.  There were a couple of other comments, but pretty good feedback overall.

I then submitted it to the Arlington Writer’s Group.  I have been with AWG for a couple of  years now.  AWG is a very large writers group.  Almost 200 members, and we can get 30 people plus at any given meeting.  Receiving feedback can sometimes be overwhelming and the conversations can very easily veer off course.

We have worked very hard over the years too keep the feedback process focused and make sure people give a useful critique.  That can be a daunting task for whomever is leading the group when you have 30 or so people giving their opinions. 

I have to say, I’m very lucky with both of my writers groups.  Wonderfully thoughtful people in both groups.

So, last night I had my story critiqued by AWG.  I don’t want to describe it too much as I want to try to get te story published.  Basically, it is a story about one girl’s broken dreams.

Just like my other writers group, AWGers liked the dialogue, the interaction, between the sisters, and the story overall.  But they did pick out some major holes in my plot and made great suggestions.  I have a lot of work to do, but I think the story will be a lot better once I’m done. Then I can enter it into a couple more contests.

On another note, this is what my day has been like.  Everything I do seems to run into some kind of complication.  It’s really too bad too because I would have enjoyed discovering alternate uses for lederhosen while I wait for train schedules to appear on my screen.

Read Full Post »


I have been doing a lot of writing recently, which is part of the reason I have not blogged quite as much.  I submitted a short story to the Washington Post Humor contest and I have written another short story.  I have also been working on my children’s novel.

One of my goals was to finish the first draft of my children’s novel before my surgery.  Well, the date for my surgery has now been set for September 26, 2012.  That is a tentative date pending final approval from the insurance company and pending the other stuff I need to get done before surgery (surgery related stuff…not writing goals).

I am mostly done with the first draft, which is good because I only have a month to get that done.  After surgery, I am going to do a complete read through and take notes.  Then the editing process will begin.  Once I’m recovered from surgery, I will be heading up to New Castle, PA to get pictures of the park I use in the novel.

I am excited about finishing the first draft.  It will be good to have that done.  It has been a bit more difficult to write than I thought it would.  Also, there were some changes from the original vision I had for the novel, but I think those ideas only made it better. 

Right now it’s crap and kind of all over the place.  But after I do the editing and more editing and even more editing, I’m sure it will be a little better.   🙂

Read Full Post »


Several years ago, while I was living in Phoenix, my sister and I drove from Phoenix to California to site-see.  We had a list of things we wanted to see:

  • The Hollywood Sign
  • Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
  • The Stars on Hollywood Boulevard
  • Disneyland
  • The Duran Duran Star in front of Capitol Records
  • The Pacific Ocean

The Duran Duran Star was really the only thing my sister absolutely had to see.  She was happy to see the rest of the sites, but seeing the Duran Duran star was #1 with a bullet on her list.  It was all she talked about during the drive to California for 5 hours and the entire time we were in LA seeing other things.  She was so excited to have the chance to see the star.  She is a huge Duran Duran fan, but I’m sure that much is clear by now.

Since I was driving, we did the saw Grauman’s theatre and the other stars on Hollywood Boulevard first.  The Duran Duran star was not on Hollywood Boulevard, but in front of Capitol Records on Vine Street which crosses Hollywood Boulevard.

We drove down Hollywood Boulevard towards Vine.  There was a parking lot on the right, so my sister jumped out of the car so that I could park and she ran up Vine Street towards Capitol Records.

I park the car and start walking up Vine Street when I see her walking back towards me with her head hanging low looking sad and dejected.  When we meet up, she says to me, “Let’s just go home!”

“What?  What happened?”  I asked confused.

“There’s construction in front of Capitol Records!”  She tells me barely holding back the tears.  “All I wanted to do today was see the Duran Duran star!”

“Oh my God!  Was it gone?”

Without saying a word, she pulls out her digital camera and shows me this picture:

After that, we drove back to Phoenix in silence.

Read Full Post »


I know I have not been writing much of late on this blog.  So what have I been doing with myself?

Mostly, I have been preparing for my upcoming surgery.  The surgery has consumed a lot of my time and mental thought recently.  As a result, I have been doing a lot of blogging on my other website where I discuss my pre-surgery progress and my thought, fears, and hopes for the upcoming big day.

Writing updates:

My short story did not win the Glimmertrain Family Matters contest.  Oh well.

I have started writing another short story, although I am not quite certain what it is about yet, so it is kind of hard to finish.  I had a really great idea for one scene and one other event.  I wrote the scene and the event, now I have to figure out what to do with it.

The idea for the scene has been in my head for a while, but I did not quite know what to do with it.  I did not write it down because I didn’t have a story to go with it. Now I have written the scene and I have one character at least.  If I cannot think of anything to do with it, I may just set it aside and wait for my writer’s group to have a Flaming Fragments session.

WTF is a Flaming Fragment, you ask?

Well, one of the original members of the writer’s group had this great idea for a workshop.  She called it, Fanning Fragments into Flame.  During the workshop, you share bits of a story, an idea for a story, a character that’s been stuck in our heads looking for a story, a scene with nowhere to go, whatever with the rest of the group and see if they can give you an idea or direction.  Sometimes it works.

Well, you cannot expect to put the words “flame” and “fragment” into a title and expect it to stay intact.  Plus, the originator of the session moved back to Canada.  Top that with no one could remember the very long, artistic title of the workshop, so it very quickly became “Flaming Fragments.”

So, I might just set the idea loose during one of those sessions and see if anyone has any good ideas.

The third thing I’ve done is work a little on my youth novel.  I am almost done with it.  I had some huge gaps in the plot and with the last few scenes and I was pretty stressed out about that.  I had a great idea on how to fix it.  I had an epiphany after my sister and her family subjected me to 14 hours of Doctor Who this weekend during the DC power outage.  Either that, or I just went a little crazy.  Perhaps a bit of both.

I have updated the outline and started adding to the plot in my current location.  I still have to go back and insert the idea in several other places.  Mostly, the idea will help me finish the story and bring the kids back home in a semi-believable yet fantastical way.   My original idea was a bit too boring.  If I can pull this idea off, it can be a connecting thread throughout the entire book.

I would like to get the book finished before my surgery.  The surgery will be some time in August.  After the surgery then, I can read through it and see what I need to fix.  Then the re-write process will begin.

Even though this is a kid’s novel, it has been harder to write than I thought it would be.  It’s been good though.  I really had to think through a large scale plot.  I wrote a poem the kids have to figure out.  And I wrote a song.  The poem is short, just a few lines, and it is more of a riddle than a poem.  The song is longer and actually kind of bad, right now.  I don’t imagine that it will ever be a top ten hit or even set to music, but I’d like it to be not bad.  I am going to have to have someone who writes poetry look at it to see what I can improve.  A poet, I am not.

I think the story is fun and I hope that I can do something with it once I’m through writing/editing, etc.  We shall see.

Have a Happy 4th of July!

Read Full Post »


It has been some time since I’ve blogged.  A couple of weeks at least.  I would like to say that I have not been posting because I’ve been slaving away at my novel or some other writing project, but that would not be entirely true.  I have done some writing.  Entered a contest.  Worked on another story for another contest.  And jotted out a rough outline for the last part of my youth novel. But that’s not what has been keeping me from blogging.

Excuse #1

I could blame the beautiful weather that has hit the DC area.  I even escaped outside to try to get some writing done today.  See here’s the proof:

I’ve done everything but write today, actually.  I read a bit of that book next to my computer (more on that book later).  Had a great lunch.  Walked around my neighborhood.  Now I’m sitting in front of the library sucking in the sunshine and warm weather that has finally come to the area.  I seem to only go out when it has been raining, so it’s nice to be outside for once.  It seems to rain every Wednesday, which is when I go to my writer’s group.  We even joke about it.  “It’s raining, must be Wednesday!”  or “Oh yuk, it’s raining!”  “Of course it is, it’s Wednesday! Time for writer’s group!”

Excuse #2

Work has been extra stressful recently and I’ve been pretty crabby about it.  And when work is extra stressful…

Excuse #3

I have a tendency to use video games to de-stress…after work of course.  Specifically, games that have loads of destruction, explosions, or pvp.  (that’s player vs player arenas for you non gamer types.)  Yes, the secret is out, I’m a gamer. “But you’re a girl!”  Yes, yes I am and I have a wicked backstab, so watch out.

But these are simply excuses.  The truth is, I could do all of that and find time to seriously focus on writing and blogging.  So, I guess it is time to face the music and admit the real reason I’ve avoided blogging recently.

Fear.  Yes, I said it.  Fear.

Let me explain.  I’ve had another idea for another project recently.  One that is much more personal that will force me to discuss very personal issues that I have been dealing with recently.  Well, more than just recently.  But it has been recently I have been actively working to do something to solve a huge obstacle in my life.  And I have spent a lot of time considering whether or not I should blog about it.

My idea would require that I create a separate blog plus a huge time commitment, the willingness to stay focused, and the promise to be open and honest about what I’m experiencing.  It is my hope that what I am doing will be a profoundly life changing event in a very positive way.  I think it will be.  But it has already proven to be much different than I thought it would be.

I will still be doing this blog 2-3 times per week as I promised at the beginning of the year.  I will probably link the blogs.  I have not worked out all of the details yet, but I will probably be getting it started this weekend.  So, stay tuned.

And since my laptop is not solar powered, I have to regrettably find my way to an outlet, which is probably inside.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  🙂

 

 

 

Read Full Post »


Glimmertrain is a publication that has regular monthly contests for writers.  Each month has a theme.  April’s theme is “Family Matters.”   I have three short stories nearly ready to go for this month’s contest.  Well, OK, two that are nearly ready.  They just need a good once over for fine tuning.  The third is only half written, but I can finish it in time.  The deadline is looming, however.

The Glimmertrain deadline is April 30.  Three days, three stories to finish.  I was originally only going to submit one, but I think all three are good enough for consideration.

A bigger deadline is looming on May 1.  That is the early bird deadline for the Writer’s Digest contest.  The actual deadline is May 15.  I have a pretty good story I can submit for that one, but it needs some editing.  I don’t know if it will be ready for May 1.  It might be, but I can definitely have it ready for May 15.

I have a lot of writing work to do this weekend to get ready for these contests, but I am up for it, definitely.  Wish me luck!

Read Full Post »


I just entered a short story in the Glimmertrain new writer’s August contest.  Wish me luck!  🙂

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »