Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Sunday, April 09, 2006


I got some lovely news.

Miss Snark ran a little writing contest last weekend. It wasn't so much a contest as it was an exercise in playing with words. We were invited to try to come up with stories shorter than 500 words which utilized a number of insane phrases -- Miss Snark's choices.

My sister Amy told me about the contest at 12:30 Sunday morning, and I dashed off a story right then. *That* was fun. Seriously. Oh, I do so love the English language.

I slept on the story that night, and the next day as the deadline loomed, I edited it to death. I finally sent it off to Miss Snark feeling like I had just dredged the floor of a NYC taxi cab for flavorful gum.

I shared the story with a small group of friends, one of whom wrote back, "That's the strangest thing I ever read." Well, gee, I didn't think it was *that* bad. None of the other gals said anything positive or negative, which just chipped away at my confidence even more. It no longer felt like fun. It felt like failure, even though Amy reassured me the story was darling and clever and made perfect sense.

Monday, Miss Snark started posting the entries in the order she received them. I was about a quarter of the way into the lot, with 110 entries joining mine. I was more and more horrified with my drivel as I read through the entries. Most of the writers wrote clever, funny, darling stories about literary agents and their poodles. There were a lot of fantasies and sci-fi entries, and some were so bizarre and creative that Kafka would have wept with jealousy.

One of them was so stunningly perfect, I knew it was the winner and gnashed my teeth and pulled at my hair.

Then the comments started trickling in, and I was overjoyed to receive praise from six different readers. No one said, "That's the strangest thing I ever read," either. They said my story had a nice voice. One reader declared it her "new hot favorite."

I could drag this out forever, but the good news is that Miss Snark posted her winners today, and my story -- out of 111 entries -- garnered an honorable mention.

Considering that Miss Snark keeps her gin pail filled by selling real books to real publishers, I am overjoyed. An honorable mention. Me? My drivel? I could die happy right now. And I mean that. Die. Happy. Deader'n four o'clock. And smiling while expiring.

I have to go cry now. I'm sure y'all understand.


At 10/4/06 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, I {heart} Miss Snark. Which story was yours? I will have to go check it out. I admit that I didn't read most of them -- when she said she had over 100, I just couldn't do it ...


At 10/4/06 8:45 AM, Blogger Bay in TN said...

Ann, Ann, Ann -- what on earth is your email address and WHY have I lost it? Very annoying. We really need to get together someday!

My story was #27. I can't figure out how to link to it from here, but Amy has a link on her blog.

Please send me a note so I can write back to you!!! My email is linked on this blog somewhere, but it's the same as always --!


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