Patience seems to be the word of the day, and here’s why:
Waiting on the Word
I need to be patient waiting to hear from the publisher about my second book. I submitted Sliced Vegetarian several months ago, and dutifully put it out of mind as all the writing magazines suggest. I tried focusing on the next project, Pot Shots, but to be honest, there is always a thought pushing through my subconscious–“will it be accepted?” It’s like the first months of pregnancy, where you’re sure something’s happening, but the wait to confirm all is well is excruciating. You just need to “be patient.”
Prophet the Patient
Then, I am still worrying over Prophet, my German shepherd. For those new to this blog, Prophet is the dog I base a character on in my first book, Faith on the Rocks. He’s also a great friend and constant companion. I love my pup to the extremes. Well, I don’t tend to dress him up like other doggie “parents,” except on Halloween sometimes, or Christmas, but hey, he’s so cute, right?
Anyway, I tried stepping down the Prednisone on my patient yesterday. By four in the afternoon, he was having trouble standing up. He started crying again. It wasn’t the screaming howls of a couple of weeks ago, but it wasn’t him being a drama queen either. After all the X-rays, pain killers (which a friend told me I’d be paid $15 per pill “on the street”), and steroids, I’m at wit’s end again. It feels like I don’t have a pet, but a chronic medical condition. The stress of trying to guess what’s wrong is yuck stuff.
My vet said on one visit, “It’s a shame they can’t talk.” Ta-dah! Enter your friendly neighborhood novelist. “I’ll interpret,” I thought. Proph is saying, “Owwwwch! My aching back is causing my legs to tingle and itch. Thus the biting of my feet, my haunches, and everywhere else I can get into my mouth. By the way, sorry about that nip, Mom. You may have touched a sensitive area there, and I just want to stop hurting.”
It would take a year’s worth of posts for me to catch you up on all of Prophet’s ailments. I’ve been watching a British television series called Merlin lately, and am feeling like the practice of medicine hasn’t made much progress. We can take “pictures” of our pets’ insides, but it’s as mysterious as me checking under the hood of my car when a funky sound starts in. Do you have any ideas?
Patience. He’ll get better.
And now that you’ve been patient enough to read through today’s bits and pieces, let’s get caught up with the “Resentment Writing Challenge.” Last week we talked about Larry Brooks’ writing book, Story Engineering, Mastering the 6 Core Competencies of Successful Writing. Be sure to check it out, if you haven’t done so already. In the book (page 83 to be precise), Larry suggests writing out a list of resentments and thinking them through for character development.
Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to write an 800 word (or less) story between two characters that shows the concept of resentment in play. I don’t count the title in the word count, but no cheating and using it to get a few hundred more words in.
Here are the other rules:
- Be original–no copying from somebody else’s stuff
- Be broke–sorry, I don’t have any give away items or money for this contest
- Be on time–Deadline is June 9, 5:00 pm mountain time.
- Be resentful–No, you don’t have to use the word “resent,” but it must show in the story. Choose your words carefully.
- Be happy–this isn’t a big contest with awards, fame and fortune. We’re just doing a writing exercise together. Have fun with it.
Cool News! Larry Brooks himself has agreed to comment on the winning story, which will be published on this blog Wednesday, June 18th. You know the truly great of famous people are also very nice. Thanks, Larry!
HOW TO SUBMIT: This is awesome. Last night I was able, with the help of my good guy, to set up a special email address just for this contest. Please send your work as a Word attachment via email, to email@example.com. The subject line should say, “Contest Entry,” or if you have any, “Contest Questions.” The next thing is VERY IMPORTANT: Do NOT put your name on your document. All the stories will be printed before review, so that no author will be identified before judging. If you put your name on your story, you will be disqualified.
Copyright issues. Goodness, I’m no pro here, but with your patience we’ll get through this. Publishing on a blog is still considered “publishing.” Please do not send a story that you plan to send elsewhere for North American first publishing rights. While you remain owner of your rights, your story will technically have been in print if you submit here. ALSO, lots of people think that editors, agents and others in publishing will “steal their ideas” if they submit a story. Ideas are not copyrightable, but even so, I promise you I am not going to steal any of your thoughts or story concepts that you send my way.
So, hopefully we’re good on this. Please let me know if you have any questions. For now, you may want to start typing. I am patiently waiting for your words.