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Posts Tagged ‘Contests’

When I was a kid, I hated P.E. I’d do anything to avoid it – hide, duck, dodge…take cover in the outfield…behind a tree if at all possible.

 

Not much has changed. I’m forty-three and I’ve dropped the ball. It’s been eleven days since I last posted something to my blog and even that post was only a simple snap of my husband’s conveniently timed typo’d text.

 

I’ve been neglectful of reading blogs, answering messages, posting to my facebook page and I haven’t checked my Hazy email in months. I opened it the other day, saw that there are over five thousand tidy little envelopes in my inbox to sift through and quickly closed it again.

 

I’d like to say that it’s because I’ve been buried in writing, but that wouldn’t be the truth. I haven’t been writing. I haven’t been doing much of anything. Trapped in a roundabout, I keep missing my exit, running the vicious circle without escape.

 

I get overwhelmed by having so many projects that I don’t know where to begin and end up not starting, working on or completing any of them. My kitchen cupboards need a good gutting of all the cumulative bits and bobs that somebody, not me of course, keeps sneaking in, I have a desk to paint, I need to dismantle my son’s massive loft bed so he can stop sleeping with his nose half an inch from the ceiling, I have an office that has morphed into one over-sized junk drawer and don’t even get me started on the garage. No really, I don’t want to start on the garage.

 

And I can’t type of course, while all of these undone tasks have my fingers tied together with their loose ends, but for the one thing I have no choice in, (thank goodness for deadlines!) my upcoming interview on WOW. My runner-up short story, Magic, and my ridiculous bio, can be found HERE. The interview itself, should be published sometime in April or early May.

 

If it weren’t for my blog and contest excitement, I’m not so sure I’d be writing at all, so today I give thanks for the side of me that apparently wants people to know my name and to the entities that grant me a voice, ensuring I’m heard above my own silence.

ribbon_red_runner_up_to_customize_ornament-r64d1819344ff431bb8a3d9d87817d545_x7s2y_8byvr_512

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Can I just say that I love Ellen? I rarely catch her because I don’t have the luxury of sitting around to watch daytime television but, while I was in the massage chair getting my toenails polished yesterday, ahem, Ellen happened to be on.

 

She was visiting with Mark Whalberg and Taylor Kitsch, discussing their movie Lone Survivor. The two actors were reliving the training they endured to pull off a convincingly realistic Navy Seal facade.

 

During the interview, Ellen proceeds to give credit to the Seals, by recounting a story of a hike she took the day after seeing the movie. She tells of how she developed a blister on her foot while walking, but felt she had to trudge on because of all the selfless work the Seals do. And as a result, she managed to push through it.

 

The humor was there, but it was clear she was serious. Their nobility and valor had inspired her to realize she was capable of completing the hike despite a little pain.

 

Only Ellen can get away with equating something as trivial as a blister with the work of Navy Seals and not be offensive.

 

Now, believe me when I tell you that all I ever do is clean, work and write, but the other night, while my daughter and I sat on the couch, listening to the pouring rain, eating bon bons and talking about how I was about to start the laundry, we happened to come across the movie One Chance.

 

It’s about a bloke from South Whales who loved to sing. Maybe you’ve also happened upon it while couch surfing, popping bon bons and counting raindrops.

 

It turns out the movie did not get good reviews, but you may or may not know, I’m a sucker for singing and an eternally easy mark for an optimistic underdog so I handcuffed my daughter to a Mars bar and…we watched.

 

Paul Potts endured a lifetime of physical and mental abuse from neighborhood bullies, not to mention an unsupportive father. He withstood personal and potentially dream-dashing dogging from Pavarotti himself, plus extreme health and financial challenges, but, like Ellen and the Navy Seals, he kept on climbing.

 

Paul went on to win Britain’s Got Talent in 2007 and is now a successful multimillionaire.

 

Yesterday marked my second wordpress anniversary and the start of my blogging in general, so I wanted to celebrate with a taste of inspiration. It’s easy to let things get under our skin, stop us from chasing what it is we want most…our passions, our dreams and our quests.

 

But when that happens, we need to remember we’re no different than Ellen, Paul and the Navy Seals.

Listen, I got a paper cut on my tongue yesterday, but no way was that stopping me from posting today!

We know we’re also equipped with tenacity, training and a voice. We’re just waiting for the world to know it too.

keep going

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Although laundry as whole has not been a favorite pastime of mine, it has its rewards. Sure, I dread the collecting and sorting, but I don’t mind the washing and the folding quite as much. I despise the putting away, but love the fresh scent that I get to place in the drawers as a result of a task I saw through to completion.

However, I do find that things never quite look the same once they’ve been hung out to dry. That white shirt is never just as crisp and that black sweater always ends up a shade lighter than it once was.

It’s somewhat the same for me, when it comes to writing. I adore the process, but there are things about it that leave me feeling faded and worn.

That story that creeps in and convinces me it’s good, those lines, those words that shout, “I’m the one!” The subject that feels interesting and unique, the characters that promise to slay souls and sink ships.

They are silenced when suspended on the line to be judged. They become meek and mild when unpegged and pulled in. They stop clamoring for first and many times, let themselves fall down into the dirt below.

Luckily though, passion is persuasive and begs to be picked up, shaken out and washed again, as a clean slate offers endless possibilities.

You can read my (yet again) RUNNER UP short story HERE.

Fall 2013 Wow Contest Photo

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Some time back I held an “appreciation” for the growing audience my blog was accumulating. I had hit 400 followers and in my euphoria I offered Stephen King’s book “On Writing” to the first person to like and comment on that particular post.

A man named Jim over at “Life Choice” won, but when I contacted him for an address, he, very generously, asked if I could please donate the book to someone who may not be able to buy it for themselves. He also asked that I name him and myself, and include the story of how the book found its home.

I was thrilled. And then…

I waited.

Why? I don’t know. Procrastination, had a headache, needed coffee, had to go buy gum.

It took me way too long a while, but with the help of a friend, I decided to gift it to our local library. The way I see it, many, many people will then have access to a wonderful book they otherwise might have never come across.

February 2nd, 2014 Dear Reader, This book was gifted to you by a man named Jim. We both have blogs on WordPress and a while back, I held a contest of sorts ~ the prize being this book. Well, Jim was the winner, but when I contacted him for an address, he, very generously, asked that I give this book to someone who may not be able to buy it for themselves.  The library was decided upon as it may now fall into the hands of many who might otherwise have never come across it. It’s one of my favorite books on writing and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Happy reading from: Jim  http://jimlifechoice.wordpress.com/  and  Hazy  www.hazyshadesofme.com

February 2nd, 2014
Dear Reader,
This book was gifted to you by a man named Jim. We both have blogs on WordPress and a while back, I held a contest of sorts ~ the prize being this book. Well, Jim was the winner, but when I contacted him for an address, he, very generously, asked that I give this book to someone who may not be able to buy it for themselves.
The library was decided upon as it may now fall into the hands of many who might otherwise have never come across it.
It’s one of my favorite books on writing and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Happy reading from:
Jim http://jimlifechoice.wordpress.com/
and
Hazy http://www.hazyshadesofme.com

I’m happy with this and I hope Jim is too.

The air is cold and crisp, the sun is bright and I literally woke to birds singing. It’s a stunning day. The kind of day that shouldn’t be taken for granted because tomorrow there is a Celebration for a life that ended far too soon.

Appreciate today. Don’t live to wait.

 

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Like I said before, sometimes the universe, even if it’s just that little writing corner that you frequent, seems to instinctively know when you need a little oomph.

I’m sending out a quick Friday post to let you know the long-awaited results of that writing contest I mentioned a while back came in. I managed to sink my claws into the rallying rung above and somehow clutched runner-up this time.

Here is a link to my SHORT STORY.

I’m thrilled, but I’m sure I need not point out the pattern forming here and the expectation it lends. I’m really not that tall, so I hope to grow, only of course, to reach the next notch up. I’m quite happy with my height.

Runner Up 1

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It should be no surprise when I tell you that my good friend Jim won the little contest I held the other day. Actually, I’ve never met Jim, nor had any kind of interaction with him until my post (and his comment) on my last entry, but I’m hoping, as I am with many of you, that we will now share a bond through writing (and reading) and the hike we are all on towards our own personal summits, wherever we wish to end up.

The deal was, the first person to like and comment on that post would win a highly acclaimed book that I have read, enjoyed and learned from, called; “On Writing” by Stephen King.

On Writing Stephen King

As soon as there was a winner, off to Amazon I skipped to order a brand-spankin’ new copy. Mine is hi-lited and marked up the yazoo and although I’m sure I’ve picked only the utmost important snippets, I was positive Jim would prefer a shiny new one. Generous of me, huh?

Well, Jim one-upped me with this:

“What I would appreciate you doing is donate it to a group or agency that you think would really enjoy it and put my name inside it along with how it got there. That would be great. it’s not that I don’t appreciate the gift but I would like to give it to those who are less likely to be able to obtain a copy. When you find a home for it could you let me know where it went.”

I know, right? I’m a schmuck! I knew that most writer’s would already own a copy of this book (duh) but figured that would be the case with most any writing book I picked and I was particularly entertained by this one, so I figured, meh – he’ll gift it to a friend or simply accept the fact that he now has two copies and move on…as I often do when I accidentally by a book that I already have. (Oops, was that my outside voice?)

But no, not Mr. Jim. He came up with a much better, much more grand-hearted idea than mine and it’s not because he already owns it. In fact, I don’t think he even clicked the link to find out what he’d won. (In his email he also admitted to being a tad challenged technically) He just genuinely wanted to give the book to someone with less resource and I am grateful for his outside the box thinking.

The giveaway thing was exhilarating and I will be doing it again, but my eyes are now open to a fresh myriad of modes. How cool is that? It’s proof there are benefits of connecting, gathering and collecting here other than to tout our own trips. At the risk of a little cheese, we can also learn from one another beyond a writing aspect. Now, if only Jim would follow me back…

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