Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May 7th Challenge

Hi it’s Christina –

Good Morning and Happy Hump Day!

I had me critique group at PPL last night. The group was small again, so we did not have to split into two rooms, which was great. Plus, there were only four of us who read, so we even ended up finishing early.

The lady, Tamara, I met at the Author’s Day, who came to the last meeting, came again last night. You always wonder if someone new will keep showing up, and I’m glad she did. She’s a sweet woman from Israel, who doesn’t feel her English is good enough, but she is really doing a wonderful job. Granted, some of her phrasing and word choice is a little off, but that is something easily fixed during the editing stage.

We also got to know a little more about the new guy Brian. He has written and published a slew of cookbooks. I’m talking, this is his full-time job, and he’s making a living off of it, so he’s an accomplished author. To be honest, cookbooks are the last thing I would have pictured Brian writing. He has that either mystery or horror writer look to him – kinda Stephen King meets Dashiell Hammett. Goes to show, you can’t judge a book by its cover… (LOL, sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Even though it was a small group last night, we had another first timer. His name is Buzz. Yes, as in Lightyear, and I did ask him that. I know he said he was a college professor, but I’m not sure if he said he was retired or not. He is writing something I had never heard of before. It’s called a microhistory, which is where you take one object, event, person, place, whatever, and literally give every possible fact about it. He didn’t bring anything to share with him last night. I guess he wanted to get a feel for the group and how it works first. It will be interesting to hear what he brings next time.

I got home around ten, and even though it was late, for me that is, I couldn’t go right to sleep. I need a little time to unwind first, so I usually play on my Kindle for a little bit before I shut off the lights. I decided to check my email and this is what I found:

I am writing with great news! Your book has been named a Finalist in the SECOND NOVEL category of the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.  Congratulations!

Last year, A Second Chance, won in the romance category. Even though I am thrilled to be a finalist, I was a little surprised, because I honestly feel Taking Chances is a better written novel. I’m also surprised at the category, because “Second Novel” could be any genre, fiction or non-fiction, and I would think the competition would be even stiffer than in the Romance category, and yet I didn’t even place in a category I won last year.

Although I am still invited to the awards reception in NYC on May 28th, I think, because I’m only a finalist, and the event, in my opinion only, should be for the winners, I don’t think I’m going to go. Now, if word comes in that I am a finalist in the Romance category as well – the emails come separately – then I may change my mind.

Okay, I need to get to work early again today, so I have to boogie. I hope you have a wonderful day, and happy writing!

Your Last Challenge was:

If you could be in a play, what would it be?

When I was very young, I was enamored with the Wizard of Oz. I tried to learn all the songs, and practiced Dorothy’s unusual skip for hours. 

Then when I was a tween, I was lucky enough to see a production of Annie, and that’s it, I was hooked. I walked around the house belting out “It’s a Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow”. I could picture myself up on stage, as one of the orphan girls, or maybe even Annie herself. Oh how I wanted to be part of a production.

In high school, I got the opportunity to audition for Funny Girl – “Nicky Arnstein, Nicky Arnstein, what a beautiful, beautiful name” – but I got myself so worked up over the audition, I landed myself in the hospital with stomach issues. The biggest case of stage fright ever.

I never did audition for Funny Girl, and I have never auditioned for anything since, but someday, I will get up the nerve to try it again. This time though, I think I’d want to be in The Christmas Carol as either Mrs. Cratchit or one of the ghosts.

Your Next Challenge was inspired by the newest member of our critique group:

Share a brief microhistory on any subject you know about, because you could hardly do research in the ten minute allotted time. Make it as interesting as possible so it does not read like an instruction manual.

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.