Writer’s Digest Entry (Your Story 62)

Your Story 62 has posted the top five winners. As I was not one of them, I am now free to share my story with you. As a quick reminder, the story rules were:

Write a short story, of 750 words or fewer, that begins with the following sentence: I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over. You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.

You can check out the top five winners on Writer’s Digest and vote for the one you think should win. I cast my vote for: Patience. My entry, and this week’s blog post is below:

                                                      Penelope

I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over. The way she looked at me, shame and embarrassment all over her face, I knew I was wrong. The way she was feeling was all my fault. I’d put her on display for everyone to see and she was humiliated. I, on the other hand, was being applauded for her efforts. I’d talked about her as if she wasn’t there, as if she didn’t know what was happening as everyone watched. And I was so showy. I practically paraded her around in front of the group of them. Her trust in me has always been boundless and I can’t say that I have ever really felt like I deserved it. Not like that.

I’ve certainly gotten better over the years. I am more attentive, more loving. In fairness, we have both grown with time, though she certainly needed less training than I did. There are days I’m barely able to care for myself, let alone the rest of the house. A few days ago, Leo escaped; he loves to run in the yard; but he’s not allowed out there alone because the road is so close. I didn’t even notice he was gone until she leapt up, running with such intensity I couldn’t fathom where she was headed so quickly. I hadn’t even noticed he’d left. I felt utterly useless that day.

I forget to eat, I drink too much coffee, I don’t keep a schedule of any kind, and all along she stays by my side. I’ve always tried to treat her well. Punishment is not something I have to dole out often, as the guilt she feels when she’s disobeyed a direct order is often worse than anything I could imagine inflicting upon her. Though in truth, why she ever has listened to me – I can’t fathom. We both know she is the better one of our pairing. I am undisciplined. My moods range from sugary sweet to RedRum level screaming. Sometimes, a deep darkness sweeps through me, and in a way only she can, she senses it, comes to me, and lays by my side as I rage at the world in my mind.

She quiets me in ways I cannot describe. She is always in a good mood, despite the trappings of our lifestyle, and her lack of freedom to do as she wishes. She maintains a level of happiness and excitement that I envy daily. I can’t recall a time when she wasn’t cheerful or loving. Even after her surgery so many years ago, one I insisted she have, she was quiet, barely a complaint out of her where most would whine and moan. She has few friends, little Leo her closest companion aside from myself. She would make more friends if I let her, but she’s rarely out of my sight for more than a few minutes and the rare occasions I do let her wander on her own, she’s never far enough to get into a great deal of trouble.

I slid to the ground as she walked to me, slowly, head down, begging me to make it all end. I reached for her, the row of bows bright pink against the dark ring resting around her middle. I undid the snaps, one by one, relief flooding her little face. She spun in a circle as soon as she was undressed, and I was again, forgiven, instantly.

I leaned down and whispered in her ear, “My Princess Penelope, I’m so sorry; I promise, I’ll never put you in a tutu at the park again.”

Her tail wagged rapidly and her wet, black snout ran across my face. She really is the best dog ever.

*********

I hope you enjoyed my take on the story prompt.

Your writing homework: Go to Writer’s Digest and vote for one of the entries for any contest, it’s important to support your writing community.

Saturday: The Spark, your weekly writing prompt, will update tomorrow. Come back next Friday for a new blog post!

This blog updates each Friday with writing resources, prompts, and of course, the random things I decide to post. Feel free to contact me here or find me on GoodReads @ https://www.goodreads.com/hkidder. Follow me on Instagram at: Everythingonpaperisperfect or on Pinterest @ paperpinning

Contact Email: everythingonpaperisperfect@yahoo.com

Conference Time!

Each time I tackle Sarah Blue, I do it from a different angle. I use an iPad to type and take notes but I still prefer to print my story and hand-edit it. For me, it’s the only way to do in-depth reviews of my work. I like feeling the paper in my hand, I like tabbing pages, and color-coding my notes. The first wave usually just hits me. I hand wrote the first draft of Sarah Blue in a journal, over the course of a few days. I remember the flood gates opening and the words rolling out. As I refine and grow the story, I focus on individual parts of it (strengthening my characters or adding in more details about the city), and then re-read the entire thing to make sure it flows. Reading out loud to yourself is important to assure your sentences read the way you want them to. That’s a little piece of helpful advice that I picked up at my Manuscript Critique (October, 2014).

I attended the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop which was held in Myrtle Beach. I met several aspiring writers and enjoyed listening to the speakers at each of my sessions. There’s a great energy in the air when you are surrounded by those who share a passion with you. People did not hurry; they were animated, and positive. It reminded me of SIGGRAPH, an animation festival I attended in a past life, because of all the excitement around me. I attended two sessions at the SCWW and wish I had signed up for a few more. It’s one of the reasons this blog exists.

In truth, the only thing I retained from SIGGRAPH was an angry liver. SCWW was a vastly different experience, mostly I believe, due to my true desire to learn and the thrill of being around professionals. The amount of information I received and the knowledge I gained from that conference makes me itchy to attend another one. As I was researching writing conferences I came across: The Writers’ Police Academy. It’s a site dedicated to helping writers get it right, when it comes to crime. I haven’t been to one of their events but after reviewing the itinerary, I’m anxious for the 2015 dates to be released. A sample of the event information from 2014:

– Ride a-longs with police officers and deputy sheriffs.

– Jail Tours.

– Interview and Interrogation.

– Fingerprinting.

-Bloodstain pattern investigations.

 

 

The plans for 2015 can be found here: WPA 2015  and include such things as a Boeing 727 and a water rescue pond. That’s right. A water rescue pond. Even if you don’t write, you want to go, don’t you?

There are conferences galore (for writing, dedicated to specific authors, or genres); something, I didn’t realize. If you aren’t surrounded by people who share your passion, or you’re stumped about how to write a query letter, go to a conference! It’s an excellent way to meet people, network, and just learn aspects of your work you never considered. Here are a few other conferences I stumbled upon that are worth mentioning:

Boucheron ,
Paris Writer’s Retreat,
Writer’s Digest Conference

I also want to take a moment to make mention of: The Five Two. I’ve been following this blog for a few weeks. With a variety of contributors, and weekly prompts, it’s a site well worth bookmarking.

Saturday: The Spark will update tomorrow. Come back next Friday for a new post!

This blog updates each Friday with writing resources, prompts, and of course, the random things I decide to post. Feel free to contact me here or find me on GoodReads @ https://www.goodreads.com/hkidder

Contact Email: everythingonpaperisperfect@yahoo.com

Need motivation? How about a challenge due January 15th, 2015?

The right words can bring tears of joy or inspire a new passion. The wrong words can wound you with pain deeper than anything physical you’ve endured and make your mind stutter with confusion. Words are powerful. They flow in and out of us all day; often without a great deal of thought or effort put into them. There are those times you do hear something that makes you feel, makes you remember, and makes you smile at a memory you’d long forgotten. Remember those times. Connect with them. Feel them. Write them.

Write every day. Find something to inspire you and write the lines that make you feel. To help you along, I’ve started an Instagram account (@everythingonpaperisperfect) dedicated entirely to helping you write. Each day I will post a quote or a story prompt. These posts are meant to inspire you to create, to love, and to believe in yourself.

In addition to those daily motivations, I have found several excellent resources for keeping the ink flowing and I’ll share them with you each week. I’ve entered two contests and I am working on my entry for a third. The first contest was for the 9th Annual Writers’ Digest Poetry Award and it closed on October 31, 2014. The requirements for submission were simple. The poem could be in any style and had to be 32 lines or less. The Winner receives:

A $1,000 in cash
Their poem published in Writer’s Digest and promoted on WritersDigest.com
A copy of the 2015 Poet’s Market

I honestly haven’t written a great deal of poetry in recent years. I wrote a lot of poems during the Angst Age (any year ending in teen) and into my early twenties, but not as much in the last decade. This contest spurred me to pull out some old favorites, re-work them and even produce a few new ones. The poem that I selected for this contest was one that I originally wrote at the age of 17, though I did make some changes before submitting it.

Once you’ve submitted an entry to Writers Digest you can’t print it anywhere until the winners are announced. When the required time is expired, I’ll post an update with a link to the winning poem and a copy of my submission ( only slightly terrifying, but, moving on- ). One of things that I like about the contests on W.D. is that they don’t claim life-time exclusive rights to your work. They do request certain first-print rights; however, those aside, your work remains yours. The specifics can be found under the terms for each contest.

I also entered the shorty story contest that closed on November 24, 2014. The challenge and prompt:

Write a short story, of 750 words or fewer, that begins with the following sentence: I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over. You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.

I love the prompt. My story took a bit of a turn and I hope the judges (and you when I can post it) get a kick out of it. I enjoyed writing it and I’m anxious to share it with you.

My third submission is for the Your-Story contest which closes on January 15, 2015. You can enter it by going here and following the directions. As with all of the contests, once the winners are announced and I’m allowed, I’ll post my submission along with a link to the winning entry.

These contests are a great way to keep your pen moving and to step outside your comfort zone by trying something new.

Your homework: Pick a contest and enter it!
Click above or go to WritersDigest.com and search for their competitions.

Don’t forget to follow on Instagram @ everythingisperfectonpaper for your daily writing inspiration.

“See” you next Friday!

 

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