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http://www.jacketblind.com/contest.html

I’m hosting a 50-word story contest on my site, for the debut of “False World,” the second book in the Joe Daniel’s trilogy.

Contest starts on November 22, 2009, and ends on December 28, 2009.

How to enter: Email contest@jacketblind.com your name (or your alias), your age (or the age you wish you were), and a 50-word count mystery, thriller, or suspense story. OR you can post it as a comment on this blog. Enter here or there.

Rules: Write a tight 50-word count story around an everyday object in the mystery, thriller, or suspense genre. 50 words, no more, no less. Has to be exactly 50 words. Did I mention the story needs to be 50 words, and only 50 words?

More rules: Entries are unlimited, just like your creativity. Must be 18 years or older. Prizes will be shipped within 6 weeks of contest’s end.

Even more rules: All authors agree to have their stories showcased in a special section on my website UNLESS story is picked up for publication elsewhere. If it is, I’ll celebrate with you.

Judging: Make us go, “Did I lock the door behind me?” Look at the examples at the end to get an idea of what we like.

Prizes: The winner will receive a signed copy of False World and a surprise gift.

Email your entry to contest@jacketblind.com, visit my website (listed at the beginning), OR post in comments here.


EXAMPLES:


Air Freshener

One night, I decided to get on with my life.

I had been sad for decades.

I wanted to be happy again.

A week after my decision, I ran out of air freshener.

My neighbor complained about the stench.

She joined my husband’s cheating corpse.

I need more air freshener.


Garden Hose

Turning on the hose, water hit the flower bed with full force.

Fresh dirt went everywhere.

She plucked a pale stick from the upturned earth.

It was smooth.

It looked odd and disturbing.

This isn’t a stick, she thought a second before

a shovel hit the back of her head.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FALSE WORLD
Published by Second Wind Publishing http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/FalseWorld.html

Yeah, I’ve been out of the loop for awhile. Haven’t been anything other than too busy to write. That’s not the thing you wanna be when you are a writer LOL

My latest book is coming out as soon as I finish reading the 2nd proof. I love the cover: it’ s a composite photo that includes an eye. Guess who’s eye? Pops from an old WWII picture when he was coming off a field in Guam.

There’s a treasure hunt starting around 10-26-09 involving 2nd Wind Publishing. Basically, it’s a Blog Hop. My blog will be included. Good luck, have fun, try not to kill anyone.

Before drifting off to sleep one night last month, the idea for a new novel came to me. In my head, I played the first chapter and the beginning of the second chapter like a movie.

 

I was so tired I could not move to turn on the light and write down my thoughts. No matter, I thought, I will remember everything and put it to paper in the morning. This is so interesting and new, how could I forget?

 

Yes, how could I forget? Very, very easily. When I woke the next morning, only fragments of the novel were floating around the bubble of my memory.

 

Did I learn my lesson? Maybe. I thought I would recall, in detail, everything. I was so wrong. It’s funny how your mind can trick you. My sleepy brain was saying, “No, you don’t have to move. I’ll keep it all in here for you. Just go to sleep.”

 

Next time this happens, I hope I can goose myself hard enough to get out of bed. Next time, I won’t listen to a sleepy brain.

 

How do you deal with ideas, solutions, grocery lists, etc.,  you have right before sleep?

 

 

(Cross-published at secondwindpub.wordpress.com)

Writing has to start somewhere.

In college I was taught to kick-start the process by free writing. The inspiration was supposed to come from the flowing gibberish I wrote and would congeal into a coherent paper eventually, or so my literature professor told me.

I was an abject failure at free writing.

I am hit by inspiration. I can’t squeeze it out of the pen if it’s not there to begin with. I don’t write nonsense hoping that it will spark a fever of writing.

My own personal muse comes from the good old what-if question. What if the world was square instead of round? What if the war to end all wars started on American soil? What if survival depended on the untouchables? What if the key to world peace was locked in an imprisoned mind? What if squirrels were actually smarter than dolphins?

The list is endless.

For me, possession is nine/tenths of the writing process. Not the kind of takeover by the ghosts of Forester or Fitzgerald, but the takeover of my own imagination. The characters in my stories come to life and I see what they see, hear what they hear, and feel what they feel.

In my mind, my characters live their experiences and adventures. As a participant in every little thing they do, I become deeply involved. Their pain is my pain.

The whole writing process is exhausting. When I get on a serious roll, I suffer the consequences, usually in the form of a writing hangover that lasts for a few miserable days.

But it’s worth it. Someone once told me that writing is birth and death with the broadest spectrum of human emotions in between. For me, this is true. I run the written gamut of feelings from fear and absurdity to anger and hilarity, sometimes within the same paragraph.

Life is such a candy shop. Inspiration is all around, waiting to be picked up. The wonderful thing about inspiration is that it is different for each of us: I see an apple where you see the beginnings of life and love; you see torn, dirty jeans where I see a struggle for world domination.

I have to be careful and keep my imagination on a short leash, else the candy bar I’m eating becomes the catalyst for the collapse of modern society or the calendar I’m looking at morphs into a countdown to apocalypse.

It starts with a single grain of sand. That’s how my inspiration takes birth. A single act, a single look, a single mistake – all have the ability to snowball into a story.