Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Update: Quest for Story and WRiTE Club

Hi!  Just wanted to give an update that I WILL be finishing the last two posts in my ten-part Quest For Story series, and that part Nine should be up in the next day or two.

But in the meantime, I'd like to once again plug WRiTE Club 2012 over on DL Hammons blog and encourage you to visit, read, enjoy, and vote.

DL started this contest between anonymous 500-word writing samples way back at the end of July, and it's been going ever since.  There were originally over 70 contestants who were whittled down to 36 preliminary-round winners, 18 first-round winners, and now just TEN contestants remain (9 winners and a wildcard).  These five bouts are running this week and for this round, the writers have submitted NEW 500-word entries, and it is really interesting to see the new pieces:

Bout one was Monday (HERE), bout two was yesterday (HERE), and bout three is up today (HERE).  And then you can pop into DL's Blog tomorrow and Friday to see the next two bouts -- voting on all of them ends Sunday at Noon.

This round will result in five winners and another wildcard (the highest vote-getter among the non-winners), and they will go head-to-head in three bouts next week.

Then, the week of 11/25 will see those three winners and another wildcard go through two bouts where the two finalists will be chosen.

The final winner will be selected from those two by a panel of professional agents, editors, and other writers.

If you have not been participating, I encourage you to do so -- the entries are great, and through these next few rounds where wildcard winners are chosen, every vote carries a lot of weight.

Come and join the fun!  Just click HERE!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Resurrection Blogfest: I Am Not Unique

Welcome to the Resurrection Blogfest 2012, sponsored by Mina Lobo at Some Dark Romantic!  This is Mina's first blogfest and I'm happy to take part!

The specifics for this are pretty simple: Resurrect a blog post you created during your first year of blogging.

So, revived from 3/30/2011, just a short while after I first started blogging, I give you the post below -- discovering I am not unique.  

I hope you enjoy this blast from the past.  Be sure to see Mina's Linky-List to visit all the bloggers taking part in this blogfest!

Thoughts at Large: I Am Not Unique 
(Slightly updated -- originally posted 3/30/2011)

After setting up this blog and working with it for a couple of months, I've confirmed something I had suspected for a while: 

I am not unique.

Not in the "Hey-I-started-a-blog" way, or even the "I'm-an-aspiring-writer" sense -- those I already knew.  There are a multitude of blogs out there, and you can't kick over any Internet rock without a horde of wannabe-writers swarming out.

No, I mean in the way that a kid christened "John Smith" encounters very early in his life: 

What the Hell are all these other people doing with my name?!?

I grew up in a small town, and while I can remember a few other kids named 'Chris,' there weren't very many people named 'Fries,' and I was definitely the only 'Chris Fries' that I knew of. 

A one-of-a-kind. 

But now, after doing some research to see if anyone who knew my name but not my blog address could find this place, I've realized there are many other people named 'Chris Fries' out there.  A whole slew of them:

  • There's a guy who does professional voice-over production (HERE).  Looks like he does some pretty cool work, and he has a very impressive resume and client list.  But he has a picture of french fries on his page, and a "you want fries with that?" blurb, so I wonder if he pronounces our last name as "Fry-es" instead of "Freeze," like my family always did (the old-country German way, evidently).
  • There's a guy in Washington, DC who has his own blogspot blog (HERE) that he evidently regularly maintained for a couple of years, although it hasn't been updated since last May.  Not sure if that's because he just decided to quit blogging or because something happened to him.  Either one is a sobering thought about the potential longevity of this blog...
  • There's a guy in Cincinnati who does real estate, although it looks like his domain name ('') may have expired.  You can see the real estate site under the 'cached' entry in the Google search, but the live URL takes you to a 'domain available' blurb.
  • There are twenty-five other profiles for 'Chris Fries' or 'Christopher Fries' on Linked-In (HERE) besides the one I created and never completed.  Looks like I'm not even the only 'Chris Fries' who's an Engineer.
  • And I found at least thirty 'Chris Fries' pages on Facebook, and I know there are probably a ton of others, including all the versions of 'Christopher Fries'.  But I don't have my own Facebook account, so it won't show me the full list unless I create one.  No thanks.  Not today...


In some ways it's a little disappointing -- we all want to know that we're unique and special individuals, and it's a bit disheartening to realize I'm not as unique as I once thought. 

But still -- overall, it doesn't really bother me that much.  I know that what makes me special and unique is much more than just my name.  Every 'John Smith' had to learn that early in life, and it's probably a little easier for me to process at age 50 than it would have been at age 5.  So, despite being just one in a herd of people named 'Chris Fries,' I am still a totally unique person (and you can ask my wife -- she'll tell you just how frustratingly unique and quirky I can be).

Plus, in some ways it's kind of cool.  All these other 'Chris Fries'es and I may be related through some twists and turns of our family trees, and so having a sense of being connected to a larger, extended family is sort of nice. 

And I can't help but think that if we ever combined into a unified collective, we could probably conquer the world...


Thanks for stopping by and taking part in this Resurrection Blogfest!  Remember to go HERE to see more resurrected blog posts!