Monday, January 15, 2007

Sorting, Sifting, Drifting

I've been putting some more thought into the fiction contest idea, and it seems as though I can send Amazon gift certificates virtually anywhere in the world, to anyone with an email address. So those seem like likely prizes, as well as some sort of badge for those winners who have websites or blogs. Not that having a site or a blog will be a requisite to entry.

Yes, I know that AP,
Wired and the Chicago Manual of Style all agree that it's "E-mail" and "Web site." Well, this is not how these words feel to me.

I'm thinking of ways to make both submissions and voting as accessible as possible, and of potential topics or themes. I should have these things sorted out within a week or so. Plenty of time to sharpen your pencils.

Hmmm. This post is awfully short for my only one of the day. Better stretch some.

I found the following, written in December on a day which felt an awful lot like today.

They announced the nominees for the Golden Globes this morning. Clint Eastwood is up twice for Best Director, Leonardo DiCaprio is up twice for Best Actor. I'm not exactly a huge fan of Mr. DiCaprio, and he's up against Forrest Whittaker in Last King of Scotland, so blah blah blah blah blah blah. I guess I don't care about the Golden Globes. I was trying to, 'cause I clearly have nothing to blog about, but I got so bored writing the last paragraph that I literally wandered away for an hour or so. So while this may not stop me from writing about them again later, let me just say that I don't care about the Golden Globes.

Pretty much still don't. 85 people vote for these things. And while there was some truly great work done last year, and some truly deserving winners at their little ceremony, it doesn't really change my day much.

I've been...I think the word is tetchy. Restless and grumpy, moody and irritable. My brain isn't doing things properly. I can only concentrate for moments at a time, which means I can't get anything done. I cannot find any words to write today, and my novel is stuck in exposition purgatory at short story length. I've been sleeping an awful lot, and having the kind of dreams I normally only get when wearing a nicotine patch: vivid, weird, and long.

Unrelated, so far as I know: winter has returned to Chicago. Snow and cold and, right now, a lake effect snow advisory. The lake has an effect, and we are advised.

Bear with me, Blogreader. I get like this sometimes, and then I pop back out again. Sometimes it makes a sound.


heartinsanfrancisco said...

Ohhh, a contest.

The Golden Globes is pretty much a big yawn. Plus you have to get past Joan and Melissa, which can't be done w/o earplugs.

Feel better.

The Periodic Englishman said...

Hello there. I've been snooping around your blog again and just wanted to say how much I like it. Interesting, inventive, funny. Stop it.

No suggestions, I'm afraid, for your contest - but I'll get my thinking cap on. Best keep the word limit down, though, or you'll never be done with judging the submissions. Yay me, I did have a suggestion after all. Good luck with it, anyway.

Kind regards etc

The Moon Topples said...

HinSF: Thanks for the good wishes. I'm feeling proud of myself that it took me several seconds to know who you were referring to with "Joan and Melissa."

PE: I shall consider your request to stop publishing my blog when you start allowing comments on new posts or publishing more than once a fortnight.

I agree with keeping the word count down. I'm thinking 500 or 1,000 words max. Hope you'll consider submitting something.

(Turns to camera) I hope you'll all consider submitting something.


Unknown said...

You have January brain....deaden from grey awful theory anyway.

have you tried the egg time timer trick to get words on the page? If you haven't basically set the timer for twenty minutes or so then sit at the puter and write. Do ask me why it works but it does for most people - i am not saying what comes out is good but it normally breaks the block.

Anonymous said...

Hooray, a contest. I agree on the word-count thing. Perhaps you already figured this out but you should also make sure that the prompt is something that will make it difficult for people to submit stuff they have already written. This preserves the contest as a spur to motivate people to write, and it keeps the number of submissions down to a more manageable size.

I'd be happy to help promote the contest on my blog.

Have you tried "Light Therapy"?

Liz Dwyer said...

Only 85 voters for the Globes? That seems ridiculously cliquish. On another note, I can't commend you enough for rolling full steam with this contest. In honor of "The Hawk" coming back with the artic air, you should require submissions feature seasonal affective disorder or lake-effect snow.

The Moon Topples said...

The suggestions as to whether or not I have Seasonal Affective Disorder notwithstanding...

Liz F: Seems like good a idea. I appreciate you stopping by to help. And I really like the notion of "January Brain."

Caveblogem: good points. I'd much rather promote the idea of getting folks to write than to become a sort of clearinghouse for stories that never found a home. I'm doing this as a writer. I'm not a publisher. I like your note about keeping submissions more manageable: I'm just as worried that no one at all will enter.

Having won NaNo myself this year, I'm a little skeptical about the motivating power of a certificate. I may take you up on your four-leaf clover. But aren't you worried that you'll need the luck later?

Liz: Yeah, 85. You have more friends on MySpace.

Nice attempt to guiding the topic. I just know you're trying to get a jump at the writing of your piece.

Anonymous said...

so . . . can I submit my grad school papers to the writing contest? they may not meet the fiction criteria, but I seem to be spending a lot of time writing them. maybe my personal reflection papers? I can change my name to protect me.

The Moon Topples said...

"I can change my name to protect me." That made me laugh out loud. What a kind offer you've made yourself.

You may have to scratch up some actual fiction, Ian. But that doesn't mean your characters can't be spouting sentences from their grad school coursework, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Moon Topples,

I have several four-leaf clovers, and a five-leaf I found two years ago. I just seem to have a knack for spotting them. And my wife says that it's double luck if you give them away.

If you want one, (offer for Moon Topples, for the contest, and is not open to all) send your snailmail address to