October 4th, 2012

Storm Chaser

Contest Brings Out Writer's Non-Competitive Side



            I’ve never been a competitive person. You’ve heard of the Class A personality? I’m more like a Class C.

            In fact, I almost didn’t enter a contest that was in theory right up my alley, just because I found the name particularly intimidating: So You Think You Can Write.

            I felt like Harlequin’s novel writing contest was sneering at me: “So … you think you can write, eh? I’ll chew you up like paper and spit you out like ink!”

            Worse, it required me to do more of that thing I’ve never much liked to do: Sell myself. In the first phase of the SYTYCW contest (hey, I didn’t name it), authors submit the first chapter and a 100 word synopsis of their novel, and readers vote on which of the chapter ones they like the best.

            Self-promotion time again, only “Look at me, look at me”, becomes “Vote for me!” But, hey – competing and promoting are part of the writer’s job, these days. That being the case, here’s the internet link to my particular entry, which will be open for voting from October 2nd until October 11th:


            (You can, and most certainly should, look at a bunch of entries and pick the best one. But I’m okay with you only looking at mine.)          

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book cover humor

Probably looked funny to other people

Beaned myself on a low hanging branch while mowing the lawn today. I mean thigh-thick branch to the skull, head over heals Three-Stooges style crashing to the ground. I was going to joke that I was thinking of ways to publicize that writing contest when I should have been concentrating on the job at hand, but when the stars and little birdies cleared I remembered I'd been thinking at the time about my little nephew, who's having an operation on his heart in the morning. Made me feel guilty that I whined over a little gash and goose egg, although that doesn't mean I won't turn it into a column.

I should apologize to Emily for all the curse words I used when she poured alcohol on my head.

(Oh, don't forget to vote today in the writing contest:  http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/manuscripts/coming-attractions/ )

Surgery and Voting

I wanted to make a quick announcement and an appeal. First, the not so important thing: Starting tomorrow I'll start a series of posts telling of the development and writing of my novel ​Coming Attractions​ -- some looks at how it came to be, details about characters and locations, and so on. As you know, that novel is my entry in Harlequin's So You Think You Can Write contest, here:


Now, for the much more important thing: Please send along your hopes and prayers for my six year old nephew, Christian, who's having an operation tomorrow at Riley's Children Hospital in Indianapolis, to repair a hole in his heart. It's a routine operation, but there's no such thing as routine when dealing with a relative of that age going into surgery. Emily and I will be staying behind to take care of the family tykes who are even younger than Christian, but of course our thoughts will be down there with them, and I hope yours will, too.