Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"Where's the snow?"

Tuesday.  And my office is closed because it will start snowing at any minute.  Any minute now.  Snow.  Momentarily.  Keep your eyes peeled.  It’s about to start.  The snow.  Any second.
While we wait, let me catch you up on this week.  This is the last week of minority for #1.  I’m thinking that might be a big deal for his parents, or not.  It’s sort of in the middle of things.  It won’t be as terrifying as graduation.  He’s got some plans for his party and we’ll be going on a field trip later this afternoon to get the supplies.  (Because my office is closed.)  (Because it’s going to snow.)  (Any second.)
I write on a train.

I entered a contest last week.  (In addition to 5 minute fiction).  It’s the Glimmer Train Short story competition.  Entries close January 31.  GlimmerTrain is probably the aspiring literary author’s best friend.  As such, everyone wants a piece of the pie.  Harvard has a higher acceptance rate.  But the difference is that Harvard’s applicants are prescreened and anyone can give Glimmer a whorl.  I never have.  It’s always been a bit too lofty for me.
                But not anymore.  You have the option of just submitting to the magazine or entering into one of their many contests.  I went for the contest because the reading fee is very low and I’m starting to come around on the idea of contests.  Why?
                Quite simply, a contest creates focus.  You have a deadline, often a specific format and topic, and you need to do your best.  There are stakes so it makes a difference whether or not you actually try.  It also gives you a chance to see if you’re making any progress.  Now, most contests are a bit arbitrary (all of them, quite a bit, actually) but so is the publishing market.  And a win in a respected contest is a great way to get meaningful journals (and anthology collections) to publish your work.  And the snow ball grows.

                Once the snow starts, anyway.  Which could happen At. Any. Second.

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