Whew. It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I just have not had the time to stay as active on my blog as I would like. Thankfully, today is part of a long relaxing holiday weekend and I'm getting a chance to try and get caught up on some things.
I have three things I'd like to hit today:
I. Blogfest Wrap-up:
First off, thanks again to everyone who visited and commented on my submission in Cherie Reich's Second Annual Flash Fiction blogfest. I really appreciated all the kind and supportive comments! There were many, many excellent pieces of flash posted by all the participants, and Cherie announced the six finalists yesterday HERE. Congratulations to the writers who had their work selected – there were some extraordinary entries. Each of you deserves to win! I urge everyone to visit Cherie's blog and vote for your favorite.
Also, I mentioned in some of my entry comment replies that I'd talk more about my story after the finalists were selected. I didn't want to sway Cherie's opinions beforehand. So OK, here's the deal:
When I signed up for this blogfest, I had visions of me carefully crafting an entry well in advance and then tweaking, refining, and honing it over several days until it was razor-sharp. Well, uh – that didn't happen... Real-life intruded, and then there I was, 10 PM the night before the start, scrambling to throw something together. So I borrowed an idea from another short story that I currently have out in submissions, focused in on what is only implied in the short story, moved the setting to the old-school backwoods crossroads, and added the dialogue.
So then was my blogfest entry a legit, original piece of flash? Well, I stole the concept from myself and added and revised, so I'm going to argue that, “yes” it met the guideline. And as for the choice that Vince had to make and what he decided? Ah – that's something that you'll have to read about in the original short story, should it ever get published. ;^)
II. Kreativ Blogger Award:
Next, I've been (twice!) nominated for a Kreativ blogger award and I'd humbly like to acknowledge and accept that now.
Both Gina over at the Diary of a Writer in Progress and Charity at Charity's Writing Journey awarded me a Kreativ Blogger Award!
Thank you so much, Gina and Charity – I really and truly appreciate your support and kindness!
So here are the award rules:
1. Thank and link back to the person who presented you with the award.
2. Answer the ten questions below.
3. Share ten random facts/thoughts about yourself.
4. Nominate seven worthy blogs for the Kreativ Blogger Award
Well I definitely and deeply thank Gina, and encourage everyone to visit her awesome blog. She stirs together an entertaining and enlightening mix of interesting topics covering writing, novels, fiction, movies and videos. She's also a wonderful person. Follow her blog – you'll be glad you did!
So now the ten questions:
1. What is your favorite song?
– Geez, I love so much music that it's hard to pick just one song as my single 'favorite' but to stick with the spirit of this award, I'll say “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” by The Allman Brothers. HERE's a old version from 1970 with Duane recorded at the Fillmore East. Horrible sound and video quality, but a kick-ass song with some amazing guitar playing.
2. What is your favorite dessert?
– How about some awesome moist German Chocolate cake with dark-chocolate frosting and some Hagen Daz chocolate ice cream on the side?
3. What ticks you off?
- Conceit, arrogance, bigotry, pomposity, pretentiousness, bullying, snobbery, and hate.
4. When you're upset, what do you do?
- Stew and brood about until it either goes away or until I finally start snapping. Luckily it rarely happens. I try not to let too many things get to me.
5. Which is/was your favorite pet?
– Wow, that's like asking which was my favorite child. I've loved all my pets deeply. I currently have a black lab / border collie mix named “Max” He's very energetic and high-strung, but extremely loving.
6. Which do you prefer to wear, black or white?
- Well, I guess this is better than then the “boxers or briefs” question, but I wear both, although I guess I lean more towards white.
7. What is your biggest fear?
– Bad things happening to those I love. I tend to worry more about others than I do about myself.
8. What is your attitude mostly?
– Optimistic and easy-going. Or at least that's what I strive for...
9. What is perfection?
– Usually an unobtainable ideal for us mere mortals. The secret instead is to cultivate contentment – the richest man isn't he who has the most; it's he who is most satisfied with what he has.
10. What is your guilty pleasure?
– I try not to feel guilty about the things that I like, but among my broad tastes, I do enjoy some things that others might think are 'uncool' or not edgy enough – Star Trek, Jeopardy, Supertramp, Sade, fantasy football, and others. But if you feel elitist and think less of me for the things I enjoy, see my answer to number two above.
OK, now ten random things about me:
- I was born on the same day that a swamp in New Jersey was established as a protected area. I'll let you gather your own inference about the cosmic significance of the two events occuring on the same day.
- I was a National Merit scholarship award winner based on my ACT scores, but then dropped out of my scholarship-funded college to try and 'make it' as a guitar player. Sheesh, was that a stupid mistake that was, lol!
- I've never seen the Rockies or been west of them – traveling is one of the things I would very much like to do more of.
- I grew up and lived most of my life as an only child, but then discovered only just a few years ago that I actually have a half-sister (Hi JoAnn! Love you!).
- I was married on my wife's birthday, which is also April Fools Day. Now I can never think of 4/1 as a day of inane jokes or lame pranks – instead, for me it's a celebration of the best thing that ever happened (Love you, Tracey!).
- I am blind as a bat without glasses. Wore them since kindergarten, although I had contacts for most of my life. But now that I've joined the bifocular crowd, I'm back to glasses.
- The first concert I ever saw live was Kiss with Bob Segar and the Silver Bullet Band opening. Musta been like 1975 or so, I think... My tastes have evolved a little since then, lol! But I do remember it as an amazing show.
- I enjoy a wide range of taste when it comes to eating, and love so many different kinds of food, but I cannot stand mushrooms or bleu cheese.
- I got my first car at 16 (in 1977 – my grandfather's used 1970 Chevy Malibu), and have owned a car ever since, but I've only owned a total of six cars in my life (counting the ones I've owned with my wife as 'mine' if I'm the primary driver and 'hers' if she is). That's six cars in thirty-five years, an average of almost six years per car... I drive them until they drop!
- I wish I could sing. I've tried many times, but while I think I have a pretty good ear for music and pick up things quickly on the guitar, I can't sing my way out of a wet paper bag. I make Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Joe Walsh sound like the Three Tenors. ;^)
And now, I'm supposed to nominate seven other blogs for the Kreative Blogger Awards. Well, this is hard, because most of the blogs I would nominate already have this award, or are new bloggers I've just met through this most recent blogathon. It seems a little presumptive to nominate someone who I've just started reading. But I will mention two blogs that I've followed for at least a while who don't already have this award, and who surely deserve it:
– Jes at “.a sort of mental squint” She's been a bit AWOL recently due to having bought a house and other things, but her blog and her writing are definitely creative!
– Tonja at “Tonja's Musings”. She has an engaging, entertaining blog and I want to recommend her to you also.
III. Writer's Lucky Seven Meme:
Finally, Mina Lobo tagged me with the “Luck Seven” meme in the comments to my blogathon post. Thank you for the recognition and your kind thoughts, Mina! So according to this meme, I have to:
-- Go to page 77 of your current MS
-- Go to line 7
-- Copy down the next 7 lines as they're written-- no cheating!
-- Tag 7 other writers
Well, my current WIP MS is kind of a combination mystery / father-son relationship / delayed coming-of-age story. Going to page 77 is a slight challenge because I have each chapter in separate files right now. But if I add up the chapter pages, my SWAG ciphering tells me that page 77 should be a page near the end of chapter 6, and so jumping down seven lines, we get a conversation between Detective Clark and my main protagonist Justin:
"(...we're) hopeful that someone will tell us that they saw something."
"But so far no-one has?"
Clark scowled. "Unfortunately, no. Not yet." He pulled a small spiral notebook out of his pocket.
Justin looked downward to hide his smile. As a kid, he'd seen his father carry the same stupid notebook with him wherever he went.
"Did your father ever say anything to you about his job?" Clark asked. "About the people he was working for? The neighborhood?"
Justin looked up. Clark held a pen at the ready.
"No, not really. We didn't talk that much."
So now I have to tag seven other writers... But I think I'm going to wait a bit. This post is more than long enough, and I also want to build the suspense, lol.