Archive for the ‘Contests’ Category

March 16, 2010

Contests

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The dialogue presentation I’m giving to NARWA on Saturday is almost ready. I’ve practiced it more than once (once in front of a human audience and twice for my cats, who didn’t seem impressed) and keep finding things to change with each telling.

I’ve also been plugging away on my WIP — Meg and Matt are a bit above the 40K-word mark now, so I only have between 15,000 and 20,000 to go. It might be time for them to stop with the deliriously happy lovemaking and get back to being in conflict. (… If only I were better at conflict — but that’s another post.)

The one thing I haven’t been getting ready for? The possibility of getting THE CALL that I’m a GH finalist. A part of me thinks I have a very good chance; another little voice says “not a snowball’s chance.” All the see-sawing is starting to make me a nervous wreck — and there are still several days to go before the calls go out.

For those of you not plugged into the whole Golden Heart experience, March 25 is the big day. (But I have to ask, are you living under a rock?)

Last year’s finalists are having a big countdown on their blog, the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood. I’ve been checking back there more often than usual because their excitement is infectious. (In fact, until they started their countdown, I’d managed to not think too much about the fact that March 25 was inching ever closer.)

After reading Monday’s entry on things you should do to get ready for THE CALL, I Googled myself (no, it didn’t hurt a bit!) to make sure people — important publishing-type people — could find me. I also checked the RWA Web site to make sure they had the correct contact info. (I’d hate to miss THE CALL because they had my now-defunct home phone. We switched from a land line to just our cells quite some time ago.)

Guess that means I’m as ready as I can be. Less than 10 days to go!

February 12, 2010

Contests, OSNB, Stories

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Based on the contest feedback I got on “Operation Snag Mike Brad” today, there’s no way in hell it’s going to final in the Golden Heart.

Guess that means I don’t have to worry about coming up with $425 to pay for Nationals, eh?

I got scores back from a contest I entered right before I sent everything off for the GH. One judge gave me an 80 out of 100. The other two? 60 and 57.

I can buy 60’s assertion that there may not be enough conflict to sustain the story. (She should have seen it BEFORE I beefed up the conflict in one of my rewrites!)

However, I find 57’s comment that I don’t know how to use punctuation insulting. It reminds me of my freshman year of college when my World Cultures prof (who taught art history) tried to tell me I couldn’t write an essay.

I know punctuation, darn it. I’m a freakin’ copy editor for God’s sake. I may not do old-school punctuation, but what I do is perfectly acceptable in journalism. And I should think that if my punctuation was that darn bad, someone else would have pointed it out to me when they were proofing my GH entry for me.

Nary a peep, though. So I’m inclined to write that one off as ravings.

Guess I should be thankful that all my scores were at least a 2 (shows promise but needs improvement).

I’m sure I’ll be able to look back at the scores with more detachment later, so I can get more out of them. Next week … maybe next month … Right now, however, I’m still smarting.

November 20, 2009

Contests, NaNoWriMo 09

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This time, I mean my Golden Heart entry — all 246 pages of it, plus the disk with  my full MS on it. I dropped it off at the post office sometime between 11 a.m. and noon.

It felt like such a momentous occasion. I was so darn proud of myself I had to call the Boyfriend right away and tell him it was done.

It wasn’t until I drove back across town that I had a moment of panic. Did I really put the disk with my full MS on it in the box? I know I did … because if I didn’t, where is it? Not in the car … So I’m sure it’s right where it’s supposed to be — on its merry way to RWA HQ.

I had some credit on my Picazzo’s loyalty card, so I treated myself to one of my favorite lunches — a slice of pizza and caesar side salad. Delicious! And the momentous occasion of entering my first Golden Heart competition deserved to be celebrated.

So celebrate I did. Now, on to the next project: Trying to catch up on my NaNo word count. I should be able to make good headway this weekend, because I’m not working. Not only am I not working, but I also have a NARWA meeting — and I always get fired up to write when I go to those.

My problem is that I usually have to head back home and go to work … and by the time I get home after a long day/night at work, I’m too tired and/or have lost that motivation. Not this time. A weekend stretches before me with just two commitments: the meeting Saturday morning and Boyfriend time Sunday evening.

20,000 words, here I come!

November 19, 2009

Contests, Progress

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That’s how much my Golden Heart entry weighs. It’s 36 pages of 6-page synopsis and 210 pages of the first 42 pages of my MS.

How do I know how much it weighs? Easy — I put it on my trusty kitchen scale. (I knew there had to be a use for it besides weighing food!)

I have decided it’s time to let my entry go. I can’t read through it one more time without going absolutely bonkers. Besides, If I hang onto it much longer, I’ll be paying extra for express shipping — and since the Boyfriend is fronting me the money to pay for the mailing, he’d appreciate it if I didn’t have to do that.

I felt an enormous sense of accomplishment after printing out those six copies. I called one of my NARWA friends and told her that it was done. She’s still working on her entry (in a different category).

As an aside, my Brother laser printer works great. I bought it a couple of years ago, fairly cheap. At the time, I had an iMac still running on OS9, and it was one of the few printers that was OS9 compatible. I’m glad, because my pages look beautiful — much better than they would on an inkjet printer.

I plan to head to the Post Office either Thursday or Friday, depending on when the Boyfriend gets me that money. My next NARWA meeting is Saturday, and I have the weekend off.

Now, instead of devoting it to finishing the GH entry, I can concentrate on upping my NaNo word count. I managed to break 14.5K today, but that’s still low compared to everyone else.