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I made $30 from writing this year!

Why the haunted house icon in the midst of the winter holidays, you ask? Because way back around Halloween, I won the haunted house short story competition at TheNextBigWriter.com, my workshopping site of choice. Prize was $30 and I'm much delighted. Before you get too ecstatic for me, I'll mention there were only 11 entries total. All the same, I happily invite you to read my entry, "Mr. Flannagan's Garden," which has finally after a long delay been put up on TheNextBigWriter's sister site, Booksie.com.

Word count is just under 5000. Rating is PG for "some scary images," as the movie biz would say.

I'd like to fix it up for a dark fantasy fiction magazine if anyone has suggestions for a good one. Asimov's?

In any case, happy holidays (late or timely), and stay out of the creepy gardens.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2007 10:25 pm (UTC)
As I mentioned before, I really love this story.

You should look at Dark Discoveries. From what I remember when I was shopping around a story back in 2004, it was the type of magazine for which you're looking. They welcome "new" writers as well as "established" ones. If I remember correctly, they are also based out of your neck of the woods...

Way to go!

Dec. 29th, 2007 05:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks again! Ooh, that magazine looks like a good fit. Longview, WA; yep, just down I-5 a couple hours. Cool.

Meanwhile I'm taking your long-ago advice and converting 'Tourist Attractions' into a young adult novel proper, with many other changes along the way (including the title). Will see how far I get...
Dec. 29th, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC)
If you need someone to edit it, I'll be happy to offer my take on certain aspects. I already know the story...
Dec. 29th, 2007 09:41 pm (UTC)
Cool! Thank you--it will be handy to have input from someone who works at a real live high school. :) I'll be tinkering with it for a while yet before putting it up for editing (might do NextBigWriter again too), but in the meantime, you can answer this timeline question for me: when are most college applications due? Early January? Late January? With the characters now being just out of high school and taking the year off to travel, I realized they'll have to do their apps from overseas.
Dec. 30th, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)
Most applications have to be in by October for early decision and Jan. 1 for the rest...

I had to write 35 letters of recommendations this year. Oy.
Dec. 31st, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
Oof! Quite the load of homework over break. When a student wants letters for more than one school, can you at least basically reuse the same letter over again? Or do different colleges ask for wildly different types of recs?

Also, do I recall correctly that many universities don't require a student essay, and that the essays are more for the higher prestige schools?
Dec. 31st, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
Most of them make you do "extended" responses now to--say--three questions (500 or less words).

The higher prestige schools and smaller "private" colleges/universities require personal essays/statements.

UVA, for example makes kids write two or three short responses on things like: a. What work of art, music, science, mathematics, or literature has surprised or unsettled or challenged you, and in what way?
b. What is your favorite word, and why?
c. “We might say that we were looking for global schemas, symmetries, universal and unchanging laws – and what we have discovered is the mutable, the ephemeral, the complex.” Support or challenge Nobel Prize winner Ilya Prigonine's assertion.

One of the essays I had to write that I re-adapted for my responses was "Education and Life: A Personal Statement." This seems to be an often used concept.

Here's a link for colleges in VA
Jan. 2nd, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you! That helps give me direction, and some ideas. Also gives me the chills at the reminder of the kind of essays I used to have to write... :)
Dec. 28th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)
Cool story! Congrats on a well deserved prize. :)
Dec. 29th, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It was inspired by a weird dream I had. Guess it's worth writing such things down once in a while. :)
Jan. 4th, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)
Nice story - congratulations!

"I wondered if everyone thought things like that, or if I was just weird." That's why I'm not brave enough to write fiction -- you have to let people see more deeply into your mind than I'm comfortable with. Scary.
Jan. 4th, 2008 06:02 am (UTC)
Oops -- that's me, forgetting to log in.
Jan. 7th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
That's why I'm not brave enough to write fiction -- you have to let people see more deeply into your mind than I'm comfortable with.

It has taken me years to get past that notion, and I can still be temporarily paralyzed by the idea that my parents (or parents-in-law) could and probably will read everything I get published, so how in the world can I ever include a sex scene or other intimate thoughts? But so far they have only congratulated me, so I guess we're all human after all...

Anyway, thank you! :)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )