Monday, February 27, 2006

Octavia Butler

has died as well.


A goodbye to Dennis Weaver (I preferred "McCloud" over "McMillian and Wife" [but not "Columbo", sorry])

and to

Darren McGavin (I LOVED "Kolchak: The Night Stalker").

Come December, "A Christmas Story" will be watched with even greater fondness.

The Official Announcement

Sponsored/Judged by Carolyn A. Clark

First Prize: Gwendolyn Mintz of Las Cruces, NM for Tears
Second Prize: Tara L. Masih of Andover, MA for Catalpa
Third Place: Peter Nash of Petrolia, CA forThe Secret Place of Sparrows

Honorable Mentions:
Bonnie Lurie of New York, NY for Destination; Ruth M. Ward of Mountain View, CA for She Opened Her Eyes;
Gwendolyn Mintz of Las Cruces, NM for The Woman Who Gave Birth to Stones;
Jenny Lentz of Philadelphia, PA for Late
Iris V. Gray of Millis, MA for Cadence;
Carolyn Son of Mississauge, Ontario, Canada for Instant Piano

I don't believe this

but I have a chapbook ready to send to a contest tomorrow :)

Well, okay, I'm mailing it on the postmark deadline, but still. . .

Writing quote for 2/27/06

If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.

~~ Lillian Hellman

Quote for 2/27/06

And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.

~~ Paulo Coelho
From The Alchemist

Every freakin' show ever on tv

Well, almost every one I can recall --coming out on dvd.

"Little House On The Praire"
"Gimme A Break"
"Third Rock From The Sun"

Some I'm grateful for. Others, I'll pass the digital rerun, thank you.

What I want is only one thing: for somebody, somewhere to GET SMART!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

I feel sorry for James Frey and I don't

It is called karma. You can't lie in a book about recovery which is so dependent on telling and owing one's truth.

Still, it would stink to be a writer that possibly no publisher would touch.

Though you've got no agent to approach them anyway.

But you do have some money from your books 'cause they're still selling.

But, of course, Oprah doesn't like you no more.

Real estate

In yesterday's NY Times, there was a page of homes for sale. One, in NJ, was going for Over $9 million!!

Suddenly, the $1 mil place in Vermont seems somewhat accessible.

you just have to

& say

Writing quote for 2/25/06

An absolutely necessary part of a writer's equipment, almost as necessary as talent, is the ability to stand up under punishment, both the punishment the world hands out and the punishment he inflicts upon himself.

~~ Irwin Shaw

Quote for 2/25/06

Live as if you like yourself and it may happen.

~~ by Marge Piercy

rain, glorious rain

Thursday night, it rained, strong enough to knock out the power in some places. But not my home. Still, I sat in the dark with the door open, listening to the sound of it.

Friday morning, the sky was sun-filled; though by early evening, the luminary gave way to dark clouds.

I left the house around five to run an errand, the only thing I *had* to do that day. The bus service here is very limited; I timed it so I could do what I needed to and use the transit system to get home.

Done, I was rushing to the stop to catch the bus that would connect to the one I needed. It started to rain again.

I couldn't help but stop, lift my face to the sky and just stand there.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Writing quote for 2/23/06

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.

~~Norbet Platt

Quote for the rest of 2/23/06

You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.

~~ John Wooden

We know how I feel about mornings

not my thing and last night, my children and I stayed up late watching "My Bodyguard" 'cause I found it on dvd at Hastings and I was anxious to see it 'cause I loved it when it first came out in 1980. My oldest daughter was there and she said that the guy playing Ricky Linderman, the outcast, was from another movie.

We finally determined it was from Independence Day. Adam Baldwin (evidently no relation to the other ones) was the army (or whatever military service) guy working at Area 51 or whatever number it was.

He grew up to be a f***ing hottie.

But I digressed--

Try as I might, I could not ignore the knocking at the front door this morning. On my way up the hall, I glanced at the microwave in the kitchen. It was just past 11.

In the living room, I opened the door, saw my boss standing there. I promptly closed the door.

She laughed. "Gwen. . ."

I opened the door.

"Can you work?" she asked.

I was tired but said yes.

I once heard this man talking about lifestyle changes and he interviewed people in some of the more desperate situations.
Prostitutes, he said, had a hard time leaving and staying away from that particular business because of the money.

I so understand that. The instant gratification of waitressing (leaving with $$$) has me hooked.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Ever want to kick yourself?

The complete works of Nikki Giovanni and collected stories of Reynolds Price in the bargain bin at Hastings. I decide to not get either-- next time-- or to ask to have them held

-- now both are gone:(

Local news

Keith Wilson has been named Poet Laureate of Las Cruces, New Mexico.

A former professor, he is the coolest man. He and his wife have always been kind and generous to me; they give me books, invite me into their home and feed me. Mr. Wilson is always after me to call him "Keith" but I'm not feeling that I'm at his level, that I'm truly a collegue, though he's always treated me as such.

It is an honor to have been taught by him, to know him, to be enriched by his work.


The Charles Baxter lecture was cancelled. Bummer. I didn't attend the reading 'cause I borrowed "Napoleon Dynamite" and I wanted to watch it. What a goofy movie. Someone told me I'd only be able to watch it once, but it was still funny the 2nd time around.


I am applying to three writing conferences: the one at Sarah Lawrence (which I've attended before and absolutely loved), the Juniper Summer Writing Institute and AmiGals Literary Retreat, which is just for women. One or acceptance to all three would thrill me.


I have found my dream house in Vermont. Five bedrooms, a master bedroom with a jacuzzi, 3 and 1/2 bathrooms. Three- story with hardwood floors and a grand staircase. I come up with $1,050,000 and I can start unpacking.


I am going to learn to knit and crochet before I go. "Unravel" -- a wonderful yarn store, here in Las Cruces, offers short courses and I'm going to take those two and a spinning and tatting, if I can. My bears will soon be "dressed" for Vermont weather.

Quote for 2/22/06

The stories of past courage... can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.

~~ John F. Kennedy

Writing quote for 2/22/06

All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.

~~ James Baldwin

Everything is laminated

That was easy. And the artwork that was to be matted and framed is. Just need the $$$$ to pick it up.

Photo albums today and wooden frames, etc. as I can afford.

Still, I'm really getting organized-- submission guidelines in notebooks in alphabetical order even. (well, I'm anal like that)

The energy in my home has changed and I'm not frustrated-- always looking for stuff-- WHERE THE HECK IS IT???-- though I get a little annoyed with myself-- why didn't I do this earlier?

But maybe I didn't know.

Maybe I wasn't ready.

Because I was, as a child, a victim of so much, sometimes I just sit *there* -- in victimhood. Wallowing in whatever, waiting for someone to save me. To clean up the mess. It's easy to just sit and wait, to pretend, to wishful think. I'm lazy too. Not a good trait but I understand. It's safer.

I know that the behaviors I adopted were intended to keep me safe. I admire my ability to make myself override them -- to move forward, to try again, but that's only because I got hit by a car once and I know that life can end just that quick.

The truth is that sometimes, probably a lot of the time, I'm afraid. So very, very afraid.

Monday, February 20, 2006


Reserved a truck this morning.

I'm going to move myself. I've driven as far as Illinois. NY may be tricky. This should *really* be interesting.

Writing quote for 2/20/06

When I don't write, I feel my world shrink. I lose my fire, my color.

~~ Anais Nin

Quote for 2/20/06

There are two primary choices in life; to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.

~~ Denis Waitley

Vermont on the line

So this morning, I talked to the manager of the gift shop where I hope to place some bears. Can't follow through 'til I get to Vermont 'cause they have to be made there but, at least I know the opportunity exists.

I talked to a weekly newspaper. I wanted to send a résumé but they also need writing samples. I haven't written for a newspaper in about five, six years but they said that's okay. They'll accept samples that old. Yay! Résumé and stuff out mañana.

Also talked to someone in Richmond about a job. Another résumé out tomorrow as well.

I'm hopeful something will bloom from these seeds I'm planting.

Friday, February 17, 2006

If you write erotica. . .

Dear Writers,

Don't forget to submit to our second short story contest! The subject is completely open - whatever you can come up with that is hot, sexy and will appeal to women! Only two weeks left. And the sweetest part of it all, the $500 grand prize.

Entries due by March 1st!

How hot is too hot? Oysters & Chocolate is asking is for you to warm us up so we can make it through this cold, Colorado winter! That's why we want you to submit the hottest erotica that you can imagine. We're looking for a story that will make us sweat. We want a story that's so hot and sexy that when we read it, we just can't wait to take our clothes off!

The hottest story earns a $500 cash prize and will be featured on our homepage.

There is a $10 reading fee to enter. We will be accepting contest reading fees by check or money order, and Paypal. The reading fees must be postmarked by March 1st in order for your submission to be considered. You may enter multiple stories at once into the contest, but please send $10 per each submission.

Payment methods:

Please make check or money order payable to JordanSade LLC, and mail it to:
JordanSade LLC
1630A 30th Street
Boulder, CO 80301

To submit via Paypal, please send a $10 payment/story to In the email subject, type "story contest" and in category of purchase, choose "services." Yes we are Paypal Verified

Submission requirements:

1. We highly suggest that you submit your short story electronically by emailing your story to: Attach your story to the email, and paste it in the body of the email. Please type "Contest Submission" in the subject line. Please note that we will not read your submission until we receive your check or money order by mail, or payment via Paypal.

2. If for some reason you are unable to email your story, please send it in with your check by mail. Please include two copies, and send your submission typed, double spaced, with your name and the title of the story on each page.

Other Requirements:

1. Your story must be original and previously unpublished.

2. There is no official word limit for your short story entry. Suggested word count is 500-10,000 words, but we'll seriously consider any erotic story of any length, as long as it's h.o.t.!

Contest winner will be announced and published April 1st!

Please contact us if you have any further questions regarding the contest. We look forward to reading your submissions.

Get crackin' and good luck!

In the "out" box for today

Resume for a freelance writing position.

A story to an anthology.

Writing quote for 2/17/06

The most original of authors are not so because they advance what is new, but more because they know how to say something, as if it had never been said before.

~~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Quote for 2/17/06

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived, are the moments when you have done things in a spirit of love.

~~ Henry Drummond

Little brothers!

My son's friend (who was again spending the night) was in the family room talking to my 15-year old daughter.

My son came into the room, spent a minute or two in the room, saying nothing, then he rushed back to his bedroom.

I followed him down the hall, thinking he was upset with his friend, but he swore nothing was wrong.

He did, however, have that I'm-doing-something-I-shouldn't-be look on his face.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"I'm just using her phone."

Using her phone to get the number of this boy my daughter likes and talks to and may possibly date at some time.

Using her phone to get the number of this boy so he can call and text a message that reads "Do you want to hook up with my sister or not?"

Using her phone to get the number of this boy who doesn't get the messages but, for whatever reasons, his mother does and she calls my daughter in response.

"WHAT DID YOU DO???" my daughter roared.

"I'm Cupid!" my son said in his defense.

"You're stupid!" my daughter responded.

And she plans to tell her guy friend that when she sees him today when she and her friends meet up at the mall.

Her brother is stupid, she will claim.

And surprisingly still alive.

** and the friend engaging in conversation was just a diversion to keep her attention from her cell phone.


My 15-year old and I were waiting for the bus. As I was telling her something, she looked up the street.

"The bus is coming," she said. "Hurry up with your story 'cause once we get on, I don't know you."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The very last


I hate to see mags fold/end-- especially ones I like :(

Let's make a deal

I was in Pier One the other day and fell in love with this candelabra. In Bed, Bath & Beyond, I fell in love with a bedding set I want for my new bedroom. And then I had to find some matching curtains.

Since I'm planning to share the said room, I momentarily thought I was being selfish. So, I'm willing to negotiate this:

If I can decide what the bedroom looks like, my guy can most decide what we do in it.

Writing quote (for the rest of) 2/15/06

You have to protect your writing time. You have to protect it to the death.

~~ William Goldman

Quote for (the rest of) 2/15/06

Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well/

~~ Josh Billings

His father went to jail

for beating up his brother.

So getting my son's friend out of that house might be that much easier.

In my past, I've been prone to "saviour" tendencies so I did some soul-searching.

I realized the difference is this: I used to try to save others at my expense and those individuals were old enough to fend for themselves.

But I've saved myself (for the most part) and this is a child. If I can help, I will. I go around saying that "they are all our children" so I have to live that, if possible.


The deadline for the contest has been extended. Hallelujah for me!

I'm a procrastinator-- have you gathered that;-) ??

I said I'd work when I shouldn't have 'cause I had those bears for Valentines to do and I've been awake forever these past days and I only want to sleep now but the school system has figured out a way to give the kids a week off every month-- no school Thursday; no school Friday; Saturday & Sunday off; Monday, President's Day.

Spring break is in March. And the next month, the time off is so conveniently scheduled around Good Friday and Easter, though they don't say that 'cause our schools are separated from religious ideology (cough, cough).

Anyway, I don't see peace and quiet in my future these next few days.

And today's lesson is

I flunk again and again when it comes to saying "no," especially when it inconveniences me .

I'm not even in kindergarten with this -- I'm playing in the sandbox with the preschool kids.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Feb. 15

I will absolutely meet this contest deadline.

If only because I've missed so many others while writing this particular story;-)

Quote for 2/13/06

Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you'll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.


Writing quote for 2/13/06

Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.

~~ Henry David Thoreau

Another child for me?

My son's friend went home and his father apologized for throwing him out, but he did it 'cause he was "having someone over."

"I've slept in the car before, " the boy had told me the night he stayed over.

Can we say FUCKER?

I thought about calling social services but really that whole agency stuff is bullshit. A kid in the housing project just down from us hung himself this past summer 'cause he didn't want to go into foster care even though his father beat him and terrorized the whole family. No, me and my kids have decided on a grassroots approach:

My son's friend can stay with us as much as he needs to. Today I'm buying a roll-away bed.

Like in the movie, Matilda, I want his son's absence to be convenient for his father. When we're ready to move, the hope is that the father will willingly/gladly let him go with us just 'cause it's easier for him.

The boy's mother is apparently in another city, homeless, but this child doesn't have to be.

Charles Baxter

is reading at the university Friday and giving a lecture about craft the afternoon prior.

Jot that down on my calendar.

In my heart of hearts, I knew, of course

I was at the nursery and fell in love with a gorgeous plant I had to have to put on top of my desk. At the register, I asked about lighting and watering.

"It's a fern," the clerk told me.

Please, don't tell me that, my heart pleaded silently.

"It would do best in the bathroom," she said.

"I don't want to put it in the bathroom."

"Then mist it, keep it in bright light, but not direct. . . "

It was so green and vibrant. I felt a bit of despair creeping through me. It's a fern, she'd said.

But I had to have it. There was just this perfect spot where I could enjoy its beauty while I wrote. . .

"Are you going to take it?" the clerk asked, having rang up the other plants.

I was momentarily undecided. So many times (plants) before. I took a breath and nodded. Life, I thought, is about other chances. Trying again and harder.

Several weeks now and it's still green and it's flourishing. Okay, it's in the shower with me daily, but whatever it takes, you know.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Visualization for today

Me frolicking in snow.


Last night, my son called me at work to see if his friend could spend the night, stay awhile, possibly move with us to Vermont, 'cause the boy's father kicked him out.


My son's friend is only 13 years old.

I wish I could slap his father. Children are not that dispensable.

New York, New York

Last year when I went to NY, I met this retired policeman who helped me find my way to Cornelia Street--babysat me from the airport to Penn Station and beyond.

I was thinking of expanding this story and this story into a short novel, moving it to the man's pov.

I'd asked Jerry, the former cop, if he might escort me through Brooklyn (where he worked) on a future visit to the Big Apple and help me with the enforcement side dealing with the drug world and he said he would.

An unexpected note from him this morning. Maybe this is another reason to head to NY -- soon.

The streets of San Francisco

Great show. Loved Richard Hatch but rumors were he never quite fit into Michael Douglass' old shoes.

But I'm looking forward to roaming them (sans Karl Malden) next month. I think Spring Break runs just after the date of the awards ceremony so I won't have to be in a hurry to get back home 'cause my kids won't have to get up for school and such.

Am taking the bus--it'll only be a day's ride. Everyone I've told about my trip who's been to San Francisco is telling me that I'll love it. No doubt about that.

I'm paying my own way, but I don't mind because I view myself as a band looking for gigs wherever one may be found in order to develop a fan base and create name recognition. PLUS there's that vacation from motherhood and I can just go off and be Gwendolyn instead of Mom.

I wish Maya still lived there, but she's off to China. Still I may get to meet this man I know via an online writer's workshop. There are some people I know from online interactions that I would love to meet in person and Bill Robinson is one of them.

Talented writer, very kind and supportive guy. He has these wonderful tales he occasionally shares with me-- I wrote a story about Superman (the George Reeves one) and it turns out that Bill used to be a postman and delivered the mail to Mr. Reeves' mother who spent a good deal of her life trying to prove that her son did NOT commit suicide, but was murdered.

An old codger, Bill is. Wise and generous to boot.

Again, with the serendipitous events

I have never been more joyous than I am at this time in my life:)

2005 Soul-making Literary Competition Awards Ceremony

This year, the Soul-Making Literary Prize Awards Reading for winners of the 2005 contest will take place on Sunday afternoon March 12, 2006 at the Koret Auditorium in the new San Francisco Main Library, Civic Center.

Doors open at 12:30 and program begins promptly at 1:00 PM. A reception follows the program in the Latino/Hispanic Room
(across the hall.)

Program will include art exhibit, dance and music performance and literary flyers, brochures and other hand-outs relative to individual writers, as well as groups and organizations that support them, will be available.

The event is free and open to the public and will be taped for future viewing as a two hour special on Access San Francisco Channel 29.

Writing quote for 2/12/06

If we had to say what writing is, we would have to define it essentially as an act of courage.

~~ Cynthia Ozick

Quote for 2/12/06

There is a very real relationship, both quantitatively and qualitatively, between what you contribute and what you get out of this world.

~~ Oscar Hammerstein II

Friday, February 10, 2006

Nominate an online story or a print one just as long as it's nasty, uhm, erotic

The Rauxa Prize for erotic writing carries an award of $1,000, given annually for an erotic short story of exceptional literary quality. An additional prize for erotic poetry carries an award of $300. The awards are judged by a select jury, and chosen from work nominated by editors and writers. All entries are read "blinded" (without author's name available). Publications of any type are encouraged to nominate qualifying material. Each publication may nominate up to five stories and three poems for inclusion; any individual may nominate a single story and/or poem.

The 2005 judges were:
Steve Almond
Leigh Davidson
Bill Noble

Judges for the 2006 prize will be announced soon.

Nomination Guidelines (2006)

The short story award is intended for erotic fiction; therefore any story submitted must have a strong erotic element involved. A short story is defined as a story up to 10,000 words in length. We will consider any original stories which fall within this length limitation, including short-shorts and novel excerpts. Stories nominated for the Rauxa Prize should be from work published in the previous calendar years (August 2005 - July 2006).
The poetry award is intended for erotic poems; therefore any poem submitted must have a strong erotic element involved. Poems up to 100 lines are acceptable. Poems nominated for the Rauxa Prize should be from work published in the previous calendar years (August 2005 - July 2006).

To nominate, e-mail attached .rtf or .doc format files (in standard manuscript format, double-spaced, etc., suitable for print-out) to If the work appeared online, you may alternatively simply send us the relevant URL(s).
Work printed out in standard manuscript format, or tear-sheets from publications, may also be mailed to The Rauxa Prize, P.O. Box 4741, Englewood, CO 80155.
For all nominations, please include a statement of where and when it was published, and any copyright or contributor info if you have it.
Nominations must be received by August 15, 2006.
Please note that nomination by a publication also constitutes permission for us to list the publication's name as a participating publication. Please direct any questions to Kate Redfern, Rauxa Prize Administrator, at

Eligible Publications

The work may have been published any place, in any form: from the Internet to traditional print, from self-published to mass market. We do not accept unpublished work.

Nominate an online story

The storySouth 2006 Million Writers Award for Fiction

The purpose of the Million Writers Award is to honor and promote the best fiction published in online literary journals and magazines during 2005. This year the award is sponsored by Spoiled Ink.

The Reason

The reason for the Million Writers Award is that most of the major literary prizes for short fiction (such as the Best American Short Stories series and the O. Henry Awards) have ignored web-published fiction. This award aims to show that world-class fiction is being published online and to promote this fiction to the larger reading and literary community.

How It Works

The Million Writers Award takes its name from the idea that we in the online writing community have the power to promote the great stories we are creating. If only a few hundred writers took the time to tell fifteen of their friends about a great online short story--and if these friends then passed the word about this fiction to their friends (and so on and so on)--this one story would soon have a larger readership than all of the stories in Best American Short Stories.

To help promote online stories, the Million Writers Award accepts nominations from readers, writers, and editors (and volunteer judges who assist with the award). There is no entry fee. The only entry requirement is that anyone making a nomination agrees to help promote the winners of the award by sending an e-mail about the winners to at least fifteen of their friends, with the added message that they hope the friend will pass on the information to more people. It is also hoped that nominators will help promote the winners through other means, such as linking to the stories, posting the information on message boards, and so on.


This year there will be both a main cash prize for the overall winner and for the ten finalists (the authors of the top ten stories of the year). The overall prize will be $300 in cash, which will be transfered to the winner's PayPal account. Each of the ten finalists will receive a membership to Spoiled Ink, an online writing community. Each membership is valued at $50. All prizes are provided by Spoiled Ink, which is the sponsor of this year's award.

Best Online Publication Award

In addition to the award for best fiction, the online magazine or journal that ends up with the most stories selected as "Notable Stories of the Year" will be honored with an award as the year's best publication for online fiction.

Why Should I Do This?

The general gripe among writers is that no one pays attention to quality writings, while bad or mediocre writings get lots of attention because they are published in prestigious magazines or written by authors who are good at gaining media attention. This award is about countering this trend by promoting the best online writers. If enough writers, readers, and editors agree to help promote the winners of this award, then all online writers will benefit from a greater acceptance of online publications.

The Rules

1) Only stories published in online literary journals, magazines, and e-zines that have an editorial process are eligible for nomination. This means that an editor must have selected the story for publication. Self-published stories are not eligible. Stories published in the online versions of print journal or magazines are eligible provided that the online version of the journal or magazine is accessible by the general public.

2) Anyone may nominate ONE story for the award. This means that readers of magazines can nominate one story and that writers can nominate one their own stories, provided the story was published in 2005 in an online magazine. Editors of online magazines and journals can nominate up to THREE of the stories published in their magazine during 2005.

3) To be eligible for nomination, a story must be longer than 1,000 words.

4) Any writer, reader, or editor who nominates a story agrees to help promote the winners to their friends and/or e-mail mailing lists. The more publicity gained by these winners and the online magazines that published them, the better all online writers will do. In addition, the editors of storySouth will promote the winners in press releases which will be sent to various media outlets.

5) In addition to nominations from writers, readers, and editors, the Million Writers Award will also use a small number of preliminary judges to nominate stories for the award. The names of the preliminary judges will be released after the award has been announced.

6) From all of the nominees, the judges will select the "Notable Stories of the Year." From this list of notable stories, Jason Sanford, the fiction editor of storySouth, will chose the top ten stories of the year. The overall winner of the year's award will be selected by a public vote from among the top ten stories of the year. The public vote will use a secure voting system.

7) The online journal or magazine gaining the most "notable story" selections will be named as the Million Writers Award publication of the year. The editors will also select one publication as the Million Writers Award new magazine or journal of the year. Other awards for excellence may also be given out, if the editors feel there is a reason for doing so (such as highlighting a journal or magazine for doing something new or unusual which added to the overall prestige of online publishing).

8) Stories originally published in storySouth are not eligible. While stories from storySouth are naturally the best fiction being published anywhere (in the humble view of storySouth's editors), it would be a conflict of interest to nominate or judge fiction we originally published.

9) Nominations of stories will begin February 15, 2006. The list of notable stories of the year will be released on March 15, 2006, with the top ten stories released on April 1, 2006. Voting on the top story of the year will begin April 1, 2006, and will end April 30, 2006.

10) Any attempt by writers to distort or manipulate the public vote will result in the disqualification of their respected stories. Writers are allowed to promote their own stories during the vote and to ask others to vote for them. Attempts to repeatedly vote for their own story or to compromise the secure voting system will result in disqualification. The editors of storySouth have final authority to determine if any writer is attempting to distort or manipulate the public vote and the editors' decisions regarding disqualification are final and can not be appealed.

11) Anyone nominating a story agrees to abide by all of the rules described here. Writers whose stories are nominated for the award are not required to agree to abide by these rules. However, prior to selection of the ten finalists all potential finalists will be contacted and asked to e-mail acceptance of these rules. Any writer not accepting these rule will not be selected as a finalist (but their story or stories can remain as a notable story of the year).

To Nominate a Story

To nominate a story, readers and editors will submit their name, a valid e-mail address, the name of the nominated author, the name of the magazine or journal, and a URL hyperlink to the story. The URL must go directly to the story's page in the online magazine or journal that originally published it. Links to author home pages where the story is posted are not eligible. DO NOT e-mail the entire story to any storySouth editor. Doing so will guarantee that a story is not considered for the award.

The URL for making nominations will be posted at the top of this page on Feb. 15, 2006.

Please make sure that the e-mail you use to nominate a story is the same e-mail the judges can contact you with later on. Your e-mail address will only be used to contact you with information about the award and the winners. It will not be given out to anyone else.

How Can I Help?

If you want to help promote this award and online writers in general, please pass the word about this contest or link to this page.

For more information, please e-mail Jason Sanford at

Writing quote for 2/10/06

No artist tolerates reality.

--Friedrich Nietzsche

Quote for 2/10/06

Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.

~~ Sandra Carey

Thursday, February 09, 2006

And of Mrs. King (but non-related to the Mr. mentioned before)

Final farewells.
You gave it all.
Thank you.

And speaking of Mr. King

I couldn't buy a single ticket to see him in Muncie. Tickets are sold in pairs or even-number multiples, except for his April shows at his club in New York. Found a ticket agent that sells odd numbers-- the shows are general admission so perhaps that's why.

The tickets are also a Lincoln short of two Ben Franklins.

Digging in the couch cushions for that.

An autographed guitar courtesy of B.B. King

if you find his


Hmmm, a bit of maturity may help

Last week, actually Tuesday, when I was having my little tantrum, I chose to disregard the note to myself reminding me of what submissions I was to make and the contest I was going to enter.

I was to write the cover letter and e-mail the work in the "draft box" to Quick Fiction, send a story to Pindeldyboz and send a writing blurb to Bylines for their 2007 calendar-- all which had a Feb 1 deadline and all of which I'd been diligently working on in order to complete by said date.

I guess I blew that.

The Byline calendar uses advice/antecdotes from writers-- I was writing about handling criticism.

I'll send one next year--about how to effectively and maturely deal with frustration.

Quote for 2/9/06

After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.

~~ Nelson Mandela

Writing quote for 2/9/06

No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published.

~~ Russell Lynes

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Quote for 2/7/06

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.

~~ Oprah Winfrey

Writing quote for 2/7/06

Pen, paper, perseverance, and proficiency.

~~ Duane Alan Hahn

Next month I'm reading in San Francisco 'cause I WON! I WON! I WON!

the flash fiction category for the 2005 Soul-Making Literary Competition sponsored by the San Francisco branch of the National League of American Pen Women. A second story received an honorable mention-- so I get to read twice during the awards ceremony!

Yay! Yay! Yay!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Quote for 2/6/06

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.

~~ Colin Powell

Writing quote for 2/6/06

The author must keep his mouth shut when his work starts to speak.

~~ Friederich Nietzsche


Intent. That's the key. I need to act with intention in order to realize my writing dreams. So it's RE-EVALUATION time. And that's a good thing :) 'cause evidently I've stepped off my true path and I need to find my way back to it.

This time last week, well Tuesday actually

I was frantically trying to get my contest subs together. I wanted to enter two fiction chapbooks in the Nerve Cowboy contest, although last year when a poetry entry won, I'd stated I'd be entering a fiction and a poetry the next go-round. But I sent my poetry chapbook to a small press and they: didn't receive it (sometimes I forget to put in acknowledgement postcards so I don't know), haven't read it (it’s still in their open-reading slush pile) or are considering it so that's why they're still holding onto it (yes, I’ll forgive that it’s been over three months)-- whatever.

So it'd be two fiction chapbooks. I had decided what stories would go in which book but I didn’t have a feel for the order that they should appear and I started freaking out. I hate it when I proscrastinate and then start throwing things at the wall and hoping they'll stick.

In addition there was a Feb 1 contest deadline I wanted to meet, thinking I might finally get this one story done that I’ve been working on, but not really—several contest deadlines have passed and I’m still only halfway there.

Plus, I’d received an answer to a query about a story (which had been at a mag past the stated guidelines) and the response was simply, “I’ll read it.” Huh?

AND when I was looking for a cool quote, I came upon this one:

"The problem with writing is that there's not much money in it." -- Reaction by highly-paid model, Cheryl Tiegs upon being paid a $75,000 advance for a book.

Yes, I know it's old, but still. . .

and I read an entry at Susan’s blog

and I understood her feelings and I thought of all the Ethan Hawkes and Jessica Simpsons and whoever’s who get book deals for flimsy reasons or turn down book deals ‘cause a million isn’t enough for you to write about having a successful marriage even though you don’t have one and this funk came over me and in the end I just said, Fuck it.

Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Quote for 2/05/06

Where there is no vision, there is no hope.

~~ George Washington Carver

Writing quote for 2/5/06

The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power.

~~ Toni Morrison

Thieves Jargon & Matt

Matt is the ultra-cool editor @ Thieves Jargon. His rejections are honest and thoughtful, the acceptances, so much sweeter.

I have a story there this week and Matt said to tell everybody about it.

So I'm telling.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Writing quote for 2/3/06

Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.

~~ Francis Bacon

Quote for 2/3/06

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.

~~ Frederick Douglass

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Writing quote for 2/2/06

Art hurts. Art urges voyages - and it is easier to stay at home.

~~ Gwendolyn Brooks

Quote for 2/2/06

The shadow of a mighty Negro past flits through the tale of Ethiopia and of the Egypt the Sphinx. Throughout history, the powers of single blacks flash like falling stars, and die sometimes before the world has rightly gauged their brightness.

~~ W. E. B. Du Bois

The real McCoy

This is Black History Month--go here and learn yourself something.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Quote for 2/1/06

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.

~~ Emily Dickinson

Writing quote for 2/1/06

Learn as much by writing as by reading.

~~ Lord Acton

State of the Union address

Didn't watch the President 'cause I know the state of the union:

Long as he's in office, we're screwed.