Posts Tagged ‘Progress’

Hey kids! How do you feel about contests?

I’ve been looking for ways to move forward. I want to sink my teeth into this writing world…sport a bite worse than my bark. I want to make sure I’m a part of ‘it’ and genuinely working towards achieving more than writing a blog post here and there. (Which I absolutely love doing, by the way)

So…I entered a contest; the criteria – flash fiction, open prompt, a minimum of 250 words and a max of 750. A dreamy drool formed at the corners of my mouth as I pondered the possibilities. It was the first time I’d ever entered a writing contest and it was, although nerve-wracking, exhilarating.

I took a previously written (by yours truly) story called “That’s The Spirit”, tweaked it, paid a ten-dollar entry fee and chose to shell out an extra ten for the optional critique. After several minutes of water-gauging, I shouted heave ho, pressed firmly on the send button and…waited.

Apparently it takes a couple of months to read through, critique and judge several hundred stories. Who knew?

I submitted in January and went about my life sipping a cocktail of denial and disregard with a splash of dementia, and of course, the assumption that my story had been fed to the fishies. Until, one fine day, April 18th to be precise, the sails flapped in the wind, we changed course and before I could yell; “Jibe!”  This popped into my box:


You’ve successfully made it through First Round Judging in the WOW! Winter 2013 Flash Fiction Contest. Your entry has officially been given the thumbs-up, and you’re well on your way!”

Whoa. Say what? I was taken completely by surprise. I thought I’d capsized long ago. But, I won’t keep you in suspense. I didn’t win. On May 21st, I received notice that I’d placed as an honorable mention. I’m thrilled with this. I entered to gain experience and something else that’s crucial – feedback. The ten bucks I spent on that critique was invaluable. Through it, I found out that I would’ve placed higher if it weren’t for a handful of technical errors. I scored 5’s on everything, but a 4 in the technical department. These are things that I would’ve thought could be overlooked if my story were good enough. I was wrong.

You don’t win with 4’s. You don’t win with meh. You don’t win with good enough. You require 5’s. You want wow. You need great.

I enjoyed the journey this voyage took me on and I will set sail again, regardless of a calm or cragged sea. After all…

A smooth sea

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No really, things are going well.  Sure, my husband has been away for weeks on end, I’ve had the mother of all stubborn head colds – you know the kind where your skin and hair follicles weep when touched  – and a Bubonic Plague type flu has molested everyone else in our house Grim Reaper style, but…things are getting done.

I have made more than a dent in the Christmas shopping.  Of course there’s way too much for one and not enough for another, but still, achieving, and…I’ve wrapped pretty much everything I’ve purchased so far.  Oh, I said it.  Oh yes I di-id.

I’ve already mailed my parcels overseas (at least a month early for me – yes, they usually get there in January provided I’m ‘on the ball’) and I even managed to throw a few lights up on the house front.  Well, two mini trees, some sparkly snowflakes and a couple of LED wrapped urns to be exact.

Mini Tree

Mini Tree

Sparkly Snowflakes

Sparkly Snowflakes

LED Lit Urn

LED Wrapped Urn

I’ve been giving my dining room a facelift and we’re finally (after more than two long years) filling what I have affectionately dubbed the exposed beam and insulation display room upstairs with stuff to make it, well, you know, a bathroom once again.   We’re doing all of this now, after waiting all this time because right before Christmas is the perfect moment to start big projects, make an enormous mess and spend even more money, yes?  No.  But it’s all happening, regardless.

Chair Before

Chair Before

Chair After

Chair After

Bathroom Before

Exposed Beam & Insulation Display Room

Extra stress and every spare moment spoken for aside, it is awesome to be accomplishing so many things.  After all, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and at the risk of sounding all too presumptuous, I will live to see another tomorrow.

(Please excuse my shoddy snaps ~ a photographer I am not!)

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