cricketmuse

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “contests”

Sully and Alien Parents


For those who appreciate writing contests you will want to scamper over to Mike Allegra’s site for his Sully Writing Award Competition. Lots of nice swag if you’re a winner. 

NOTE: this Sully is not to be confused with the heroic pilot from the recent Tom Hanks movie. This Sully is from a salamander. Yeah, I know. What was Mike thinking? I hope the hero Sully has a sense of humor. 

Part of the competition is to pingback Mike’s site. I think we’re supposed to post our entry here as well.  

So here is my entry, an excerpt of a work in progress:

ALIENS AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE

There were aliens sitting at the breakfast table. I don’t know when it happened but aliens came and took up residence in my mom and dad’s bodies. Admittedly, they looked and acted quite a bit like my parents. They even got that one mole that sits on my dad’s neck just right. It’s raised and kind of hangs there, like a fleck of ear wax. They copied how mom’s left nostril is larger than her right one as well. All in all they are very good imitations. Not like the guy from Men in Black, whose skin didn’t fit right. No. These look, sound, and act like my parents. I still think they are aliens.

    Why?

    The real question is why I didn’t notice earlier. Maybe there is some sort of cosmic ray they used to shoot my milk with so I didn’t notice. Now that I’m in junior high I don’t drink as much milk. It may do my body good, but it’s havoc on my intestines. Lactose intolerant. Bad gas is not cool in eighth grade. Sixth grade maybe. Not eighth grade. Okay, in the locker room. Not in science. Especially standing next to Heather Fortuna. I may not end up marrying her, or even like her by the time we get into ninth grade. All I know is drinking milk at lunch with my pizza slice has its consequences a half hour later. Which would be in science class.  

    Let’s get back to my alien parents.

    I think when I stopped drinking so much milk I caught on to the fact my parents had changed. They may be onto to me so I better stop staring at them and slip into my usual morning scowl of indifference.

*********

This story idea is based on the fact that teens and parents are truly different species. I know this. Not because I’m an anthropologist, but because I’m a high school teacher and I work with both teens and their parents. After 20+ plus years of observation, I’d say they are truly from different planets since they do not understand each other, and certainly do not speak the  same language.
 

Will see if this is Sully worthy…

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Of Hamlet, Conundrums, Cost Factors–oh my


I have decided that now and then it’s important to dip into the retirement fund to fully appreciate opportunities I may not be up for when I do finally retire. When the opportunity came up to apply for the first ever Folger Shakespeare Library Summer Workshop, I swiftly wrote up my reasons why I should be among the coveted twenty-five teachers who will get to study Hamlet. I don’t know if Midsummer Nights Dream or even King Lear would have caused me to leap without much looking. I don’t even recall what I wrote, I was in such an unmitigated hurry to apply.

Whatever I wrote worked for them.  Come July I’m heading out to Washington DC to learn how to teach Hamlet to my students. Even though it’s costing me about a month’s salary (tuition, airfare, hotel–ooh, I have to eat, forgot about that) my hubs and family and friends convinced me to commit by saying: “Just go already.” They’re right. I would be full of regrets at having turned down the opportunity just because I like to save money instead of spend it. ‘Tis better to be filled with memories than regrets. Shakespeare didn’t write that, but I’m sure he thought along those lines when he trekked off to London for the theater.

I will keep you all informed as I get closer to the event.  I think I’m getting excited–reality emails are arriving about getting prepared for the big trip. 

1. I must supply a recommendation letter in order to secure my Reading Room pass. My local library card will not be sufficient. This puts studying Shakespeare into a totally different realization of *special event*.

One thing I’ve noticed as July gets closer and my departure date, I’m more enthused about seeing Washington DC in movies we watch–“Hey, don’t blow up the White House! It’s on my tourista list.” Or a poke to the hubs “I’m gonna get a photo with Abe. I’ll give my regards.” The MEPA is an excellent fellow allowing me to gloat like this.

I’ve only dipped my toe back East briefly when I attended a Chautauqua workshop back in 2008. Is the east coast still muggy in summer? My part of the planet sports dry  and hot summer fun. Humidifiers and air conditioners are standard issue. 

As for tripworthy goals and accomplishments: I’m hoping Jude Law will stop by. Makes sense doesn’t it? He just did Hamlet on Broadway. I would settle for Patrick Stewart peeking in. David Tennant? I’m also hoping to dig in and get some amazing research done on a Shakespeare project I’ve been toying with the past five years. That Reading Pass will definitely come in handy. Of course, I really hope to bring back such astounding Hamlet lesson plans that they will transform my seniors into iambic spouting Bardinators.

We interrupt this post with an important update:
“participants should pack loose, comfortable clothing for stage work, including a workshop on swordplay.” SWORDS! 

Being a West Coaster, I am so open to suggestions of what I should REALLY see when finding time to be a tourist in Washington DC.

a bit about cricketmuse

I intend to pack a bit more…

Wish Me Well…


A couple of years ago I participated in NaNoWriMo and even have a manuscript and certificate to prove it. Day Two

Considering it took about two years to untangle the 1,600 words I wrote everyday for 30 days, I decided to pass on attempting NaNo this year. Instead, I entered the New Look Writing Contest sponsored by WestBow Publishing (connected to Thomas Nelson/Zondervan/Harper Collins).  The specifics couldn’t be resisted: at least 10,000 words, inspirational or positive message, YA acceptable, and it’s FREE to enter. Plus, the winner package had quite a few attractive options including publishing packages. I’m in. I have to admit I squeaked in under the deadline of 11/30 by submitting my manuscript on 11/29.

I hope to have good news to share with everyone!

Last Call for YA Writer Hopefuls…


 

Tomorrow is the deadline for the Writer’s Digest 15th Free Lucky Agent Contest.

Free definitely caught my attention.  The fact that the contest is focusing on Young Adult helped motivate me to enter.  Who could resist the prize:

Three  winners  will be awarded the following:

1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of their work, by the agent judge

2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com

The critique will be given by agent  Andrea Somberg, a literary agent who represents various fiction and non-fiction projects including those aimed at young adult and middle grade audiences.

I selected one of my YA manuscripts, spent some time polishing it, and submitted it.  It’s not too late! If you are a YA writer  go to this link for my details.

  Hoping to have good news about my submission.

 

Now–back to poetry and National Poetry Month.

A Brief Interruption to Our Scheduled Poetry Programming


One of my goals for Spring Break is to knuckle down and really get productive on my own writing.  I have been more reader than writer of late and I need to reverse that status. However, here it is Friday and school starts again Monday. Never fear, I still have great hopes of revising and sending out more manuscripts. I have to remind myself to keep working, even though that little voice  in the background keeps sniveling: “But I’m on vacation!”

Fortunately I found some needed motivation in Writing Like Crazy’s post for the day.

Writer’s Digest, who always has the best writer’s advice, also runs fabulous contests.  Currently offered is their 15th Free Lucky Agent Contest.

Three  winners  will be awarded the following:

1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of their work, by the agent judge

2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com

The focus of this particular agent contest is Young Adult.  The agent is Andrea Somberg, a literary agent with close to fifteen years experience, and represents various fiction and non-fiction projects including those aimed at young adult and middle grade audiences.

I plan to spend the next couple of days fine-tuning my YA manuscripts and submitting them before the deadline which is  Wednesday, April 9th. For more details on the contest go to this link

Doodle-Doo, A Contest for You


image:mikeallegra.com

The above is Mike Allegra and he is a children’s writer.  Yes, he is a wild and crazy guy.  Kind of Steve Martin and kind of Billy Crystal– entertaining ,witty and the author of :

 Which is about how one lady, namely Sarah Hale, got Thanksgiving on the calendar as a national holiday.  Even if you aren’t into picture books, you should stop by and say “hi” to Mike. For one, he is very friendly and will say “hi” back.  For another, he tells great stories–they are hilarious more times than not.  And the best reason is right now he is offering a free personal doodle for some lucky winner.  Check out the details here.

for YOU

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