Today by venturing down from my mountain retreat I became caught up in the bustle of a Sunday market–lots of fresh flowers, organic produce, strolling people, freshly made crepes–Yummmm. Walking back to my car with my clutch of tulips in one hand and a bag of pears in the other I ran into a church congregation walking out the church and around to the side grounds. Everyone carried palms. A bagpiper lead the way. His sound was breathtaking amid the churn of cars, the laughter of bicyclists just down from their morning trek and all the other noises around a town square on a Sunday morning. I stopped and listened to the piper, soaking in memories of Scotland and appreciating all that wonderful flavor of my town.
I may live. I had good or at least not such bad news from a friend I was concerned about. The sun is out–well, I’m in California and that’s not news, but still sun out helps the mood. I haven’t been rejected by an editor or an agent yet this morning, and some flowers I planted are blooming.
Today is not a good day. Today is bad day. You can tell by my simple clauses. Either that or I’m into alzheimers. Either way it is not a good day.
Here’s my philosphy for today: Everybody can write. There are a few who can write brilliantly. Some who can write well. Many who can write and get published. But even if you write brilliantly you will never be published unless you try.
I’ve got it! The contest bug. I’m on round two of the Snoop Red Light Green Light. I’ve entered YAfiction, and I’m honing a ms. for W.I.N. How did this happen?
I’ve gone from never entering a contest, oh one, but that was so long ago I only remember I won something–a hundred dollars actually and for something that I wrote under the influence of youth. So I do remember that contest now that I’ve reached into the back of my brain. And, guess what, I’m going to do it again. Maybe I’ll even enter more than one. Up my odds. I could use another hundred dollars.
I did it. Chapter One is exactly one thousands words, and, surprise, it’s far better than before. I’ve decided that writing under pressure of word count has merit. It’s just like writing grants, just like writing conference proposals. Choose those words with care. Use those structures wisely. Think about what is really important and cut the heck out of everything. I love it when I only have four words to add the lace I want. Yeah!
Oh my gawd. They only want 1,000 words! In those few words have I made the character engaging, launched the conflict, established the setting, drawn the reader into the story? Whew! So maybe this is why contests are worthwhile. Instead of wasting time in self-absorbed drivel, I’ll have to actually appeal to my readers. Nice concept.
So another way to show that you can write or want to write or think you can write or think you want to write is by entering contests. From what I’ve read so far they are good and they are bad. I suppose the way to approach them is to go in with a why-not- try attitude and see what happens.
What is a blog supposed to do? I’ve read all kinds of things:provide cheap therapy, promote sales for books, write something other than what you usually write, bare your soul and become one with the universe. My goodness what else?