My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

Posts tagged ‘contests’

Launch Celebration of Jeannie Lin’s Butterfly Swords

So, I’ve been looking forward to this book forever. I’ve been following my good writer friend Jeannie’s publication journey for awhile now and I’m incredibly excited that her book, Butterfly Swords, is coming out October 1.

Jeannie’s got a great giveaway going on her blog and I highly recommend you check it out!

Also, here’s her awesome book trailer. Enjoy!

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Contest Entries

OK, so I’ve had some readers express interest in reading my entries for the contests I took part in this week. I was hesitant at first, because my writing is still (I believe) sub-par and in great need of work. But I might as well post, right?

Here’s the first one, submitted to agent Nathan’s contest this week. You had to write an entry from a teen’s POV in the form of a diary or unsent letter. Mine was one of the *many* unrequited crush types, but it’s the only thing that came to me at the time.

*****

Dear Diary,

Two years ago today, I first started liking Luke. The sad part? I still don’t think he notices me. At least not in “that way.”

Why do I torture myself then, by hoping, wishing, praying he’ll feel the same way in return? Why have I taken every smile, every glance, every time he’s offered me a ride home and think it’s something more? Apparently he doesn’t feel the same way about me. Right?

I thought I was getting over it. Especially after every girl friend I’ve talked to has admitted they’ve all liked him at some point or another—and yet he’s never had a girlfriend. No, he isn’t gay—I know that for a fact when I watch him eye pretty girls at church when he thinks no one’s looking. Yet he never says anything.

I’ve seen him look at me too…I’ve watched how he will playfully “fight” with his other buddies about who sits next to me in the church pew. I’ve held my breath as he accidentally bumps his knee into mine.

Melanie told me he’s shy. She said he’ll always be the one who will have good girl “friends” but never a girl friend. She should know—she liked him for a year before she gave up on him (at least that’s what she’s told me, but you never know with these things—I’ve told people the same but obviously that’s not the case).

And here I wait, still boyfriend-less, still pining after him for TWO YEARS.

Yet I can’t let go. Why can’t I let go? Is it wrong of me to dream? Is it wrong of me to hope that one day, those dark brown eyes of his will stare into mine and he’ll claim he loves me?

I don’t know what to do any more. I guess I’ll just have to admit that I’m pathetic. And that some things will never be…

But then I remember his smile and the cycle starts all over again.

****

Yeah, not that great 😛 But it was still fun to write!

The next one was submitted to Natalie Whipple’s contest in which you had to come up with a story behind a picture. I came up with one…and realized I’m still quite a novice writer. It’s difficult to get a really get a good story written in 500 words.

It’s called “The Other Realm.”

*****

“Dust of moonflower, shade of nightsong, succumb to slumber.”
 
Thump.
 
The last of the Guards of the Fairy Ring hit the ground. Ellethwen grabbed the enchanted key from the head guard’s pocket and unlocked the gate that blocked the forest, and the entryway to the Other Sphere, the home of her beloved Tristan.
 
Tonight was her only chance to reunite with him.
 
She had to summon the fairy Roseblossom. She was the only one who could bridge the divide between the Elven Lands and Other Realm.
 
Ellethwen spotted the pale blue mushrooms marking the fairy ring. Her heart echoed in her ears. Thalion, her betrothed, declared any one seen near the fairy ring would be sentenced to death.
 
She closed her eyes. “Roseblossom, Princess of the Land of Fae, I call upon you.” She opened her hands, palms upward, hoping and praying that she would hear her. Please.
 
A small orb of light appeared just above her hands, bringing the warmth of a candle’s flame. Ellethwen opened her eyes and saw Roseblossom’s bright red hair, vibrant green dress and translucent wings reflecting light which surrounded her.
 
“I’ve been waiting for you,” Roseblossom said, her voice as soft as bells on the wind. “Are you sure you want to travel to the Other Realm? Once you leave, you’ll lose your immortality.”
 
“What is immortality without love?” Ellethwen said. “I’d sooner embrace death than live with Thalion forever.”
 
“That is your decision?”
 
“Yes.”
 
“Very well,” Roseblossom said. “Now, close your eyes and concentrate. Envision Tristan as if he were standing in front of you.”
 
Ellethwen did as she was told. But all she could see was a formless shadow.
 
“Hurry now. Someone’s coming,” Roseblossom said.
 
“I’m trying,” Ellethwen said, shutting her eyes tighter. “But I can’t see him!” The  snapping twigs grew louder..
 
“You can’t escape me, Ellethwen!”
 
Thirion.
 
“Concentrate on how he made you feel,” Roseblossom said. “Only then will the rest follow.”
 
Ellie, I love you. His voice, deep and mellow, came to her as if he were whispering in her ear. She could almost feel his breath on her skin…
 
Dark blue eyes, the color of the deepest ocean, pierced her soul; remembering his touch sent fire through her veins. Her body grew lighter with the memories, as if she were becoming as weightless as fairy dust.
 
Suddenly, her head was yanked back, breaking her trance.
 
“It’s over, my dear,” Thirion said, and pulling her hair tighter. “You know what happens to those who betray me.” The cool blade of a knife rested beneath her chin.
 
“No!” She screamed as her eyes watered with pain. “I won’t let you win!”
 
The edge of the blade drew across her skin, bringing with it a searing pain. Darkness consumed her as she tumbled through the void, joined with the fabric of the universe, unaware of time or place.
 
Have I died?
 
“Wake up, Ellethwen.”
 
She opened her eyes and saw Roseblossom’s fire-colored hair.
 
 “Welcome to the Other Realm.”

******

I’m thinking this might have been a little on the angsty side for the drawing, but it’s the story that came to me, so it’s what I wrote. Also, my MC’s name is taken from my character’s name in the game of D&D I play. The characters are completely different 😛 My half-elf ranger in D&D is definitely NOT the romantic type. In fact, she’s quite the loner and a story like this would probably make her gag. 🙂

My entry for Chase the Dream is long and since there’s a small chance it may get chosen over the next coming weeks as a mini-critique entry, I’ll wait to post it.

Working Out

The working out I’m talking about isn’t what you think. I can’t stand exercising 😛

I’m talking about working out the writing muscles.

How does one do that? By working on writing prompts and contests. There was a time where I used to “work out” every week doing a weekly writing challenge over at FaithWriters. Over time I’ve neglected that aspect and I think I’ve been suffering because of it. However, this week, I’ve really been jumping into an “exercise regimen”, thanks to a few blogs having contests.

The first contest is over at Natalie Whipple’s blog, Between Fact and Fiction. Natalie’s not only a talented writer but an artist as well. She’s holding a contest where you have to come up with a story by Thursday, 7:00 PM MST–in 500 words or less–about her latest sketch. She’s giving away some pretty aweseome prizes too; if you place in the top 3, she’ll either critique a work-in-progress or draw a character sketch for you. Simply awesome. 🙂 I’ve got a story mostly done; it’s around 580 words and I’m trying to chop it down. It’s not that great, but it definitely helped me work out a little.

Another contest is being held over at agent Nathan Bransford’s blog, in celebration of his client Jennifer Hubbard’s book, The Secret Year. Again,  in 500 words or less, you are challenged to write a diary/journal entry or letter of a teenager, due by Wednesday, 4 PM Pacific. This one for some reason was much easier for me. I used some of my own personal diary entries from high school as inspiration and went from there. The grand prize winner of this contest gets a signed copy of The Secret Year, plus a choice of query critique, partial critique or 10 minute phone conversation with Nathan. Runners up get a signed bookmark for The Secret Year plus a query critique or other agreed upon prize.

And finally, there’s the Chase the Dream contest, held by authors Leigh Michaels and Rachelle Chase. I was alerted to this fantastic contest by Jeannie Lin and Victoria Dixon. For eight weeks (until March 3) authors send in the first 1000 words of their manuscript. Each week they choose a finalist and some to give a mini-critique. The complete rules are here. The best part of this contest is you can enter your entry each week–assuming you don’t win or get chosen for a mini-critique.  From March 3-March 10, readers will vote on their favorite entries. The top three will be read and reviewed by agents and editors from the Panel of Experts.

Anyway, all of these contests have helped me work out my writing muscles, making it easier to write my first draft. I’m at 70% complete now after the 2K I wrote yesterday. Here’s hoping that I get even closer today 🙂

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