Sunday, October 7, 2012

9th New Thing ~ Releasing the Outcome

For New Thing #9, I have no pictures to offer, at this point.

And very little story to include, at this point.

I've never entered a writing contest. 

Recently a friend sent me a link to a writing contest being held by a well-known magazine. This periodical displays, glossy, on the shelf of most of our library branches.

I linked to the periodical's site, clicking to Rules for Entry.

Contest Opened: May 12, 2012. 
Closed: September 13, 2012. 
Word Count: 1500 maximum.
Topic: Something you would go back and change 
First Prize: $3000 and a trip to NYC

I started working on my entry (or full-blown shitty first draft) on September 8th. Six days. Yikes!
Not much wiggle room for my standard writing workflow, which looks like this:

  1. Let an idea sprout: Germination
  2. Watch it take shape and grow in my head for a week or two: Cultivation
  3. Chew on it a bit: Rumination
  4. Get it out into the open to breathe fresh air: Exhumation
  5. Then reshape and prune it painfully: Reconstruction
  6. Repeat Step #5: Asphyxiation 
  7. Repeat Step #6: Resuscitation
  8. Reach the elusive decision that 'enough is enough: Revelation
  9. Send it out on its own: Emancipation
  10. Done: Celebration
You can imagine how long this flawed and ridiculous masturbatory process takes. Many of my pieces still waiting to get beyond Step 3. Weeks, months, years. 
(There is definitely something here to look at more closely. Honestly.)

I had only DAYS to draft, edit and submit. Plus I had regular real-life stuff to work around. (Including Happy Polaris Upgrade Day!) 

With the help of a last-minute Fairy God-Editor, I wrestled it under the 1500 word limit, formatted it according to the rules and submitted it with thirty-three minutes to spare. Eastern Standard Time   


Of course, it doesn't feel like my best work because I had to spin it out so fast. BUT perhaps, it will be exactly what I needed to write. Without the self-indulgent luxury to overwork and pulverize my original words, maybe the true story will stand a chance. We will see.

The winners will be announced January 2013. The top three articles to be published in the magazine. 

I'm not at all sure what to hope for. 

Do I want to hear "We loved your story! You are the first place selection." 

Do I want to say "I won a Writing Contest in a national magazine? 
I do.

Do I want to win $3000 and a trip to New York City? 
Yes and Yes.

Do I want anyone reading that piece? 
Honestly? Maybe not. I might be counting on coming in fourth or lower. The piece is very personal. A bit raw and naked, when I look straight at it.

The 9th New Thing:
Enter a Writing Contest 


1490 Words

First Line: For years, I've known the answer. 
Last Line: "What course was altered?"

Submitted: Thursday September 13, 2012 07:26 PM 

I did my part. The end result is out of my hands now. I will keep you informed here, either way.

Keep your fingers crossed...  

...I'm just not sure for which outcome.  
Scaredy-Cat Barbie

1 comment:

  1. I find myself wishing for top 3 for you... and for myself so I can go out and purchase this magazine and see how a winning entry reads. It's probably very much like this... your style. Which I love.

    And I think that maybe, the content was meant to be brought into the light.