amusing musings…considering conundra…dark sparks

Archive for the ‘Contest entry’ Category

My 2 Minutes of Instant Fame

Look over on the side bar and you’ll see my little video of reading a story embellished and condensed from a story told to me by Bruce Cannon some years back. Is it True? What is truth? But it does describe a life-changing experience, and fiction is allowed in the rules of the Simpleology Best Selling Blueprint contest at

I want to acknowledge the use of a portion of  “Say Old Man Can You Play that Fiddle” performed by  EJ Ouellette & Crazy Maggy as the background music,  available at  Fiddle rock jam is a perfect description and it was perfect for the story, most of which was left out for time.

Maybe I’ll post the rest of it here one day, but Idon’t want to squander my best source of narrative all in one day.


Publisher’s Weekly Review of Maven Fairy Godmother Excerpt

I am so thrilled to get a pre-publication review of Maven Fairy Godmother from Publisher’s Weekly on the Amazon Breakout Novel Award promotion!   I am certainly willing to “smooth out the prose.”

Manuscript Review by Publishers Weekly, an independent organization
Maven, a dissatisfied middle aged woman with dismal job prospects, gets tapped for a new job-fairy godmother in the Faery dimension. The job comes with nigh-limitless magical powers and a set of carefully defined rules. Senior Fairy Godmother Fiona firmly believes in upholding the archetypes of stories and doesn’t like how modern-day Maven breaks the rules, forcing her charges to acts of self-realization and independence. Fiona’s other charge, Tulip, struggles to come to terms with her changeling birth and must commit to a life in Faery or in Mundane. Ultimately, the novel follows Maven’s training, as well as the deftly interwoven lives of her “clients,” or women whose wishes she has granted. This fairy tale world, while somewhat self-aware, has a keen understanding of the roles archetypes play in fiction, but manages to subvert them. The author raises questions about the absence of middle-aged women in fairy tales that draw obvious parallels to modern-day existence. A bit of work on smoothing out the prose and explaining the world in greater detail would go far in making this novel a remarkable piece.

 You can help me build my platform for Maven! Please go to Amazon, download the free excerpt of Maven Fairy Godmother, and if you like it, write me a review. (the more stars the better… :-))

Semi-Finalist at Amazon!

Maven Fairy GodmotherI got word today that my novel, Maven Fairy Godmother, is a semi-finalist in’s Breakout Novel Contest. By all means, go over a give it a free read, and tell me what you think.  I am glad to have made it to the first round, and would like to move up. The comments so far have been very helpful and mostly positive. I am so excited.

I’m also concerned that there may be some serious re-writes ahead, but that is okay. I’ll have some good feedback before I take another look, and in the meantime, I can work on the sequel, already about 25% in first draft.  I am doing more writing than I have in most of my life, now that I have two of my own blogs and one for my job. Research takes time, but it pays off in more ideas and more resources.  Any by the time Maven is in print, I’ll have the platform up and going for her to stand on. 

The comments so far indicate that Maven is not far enough from the stereotype of fairy godmothers in Disney movies to be interesting. I may reevaluate that, especially in the first 50 pages of the book, which is all that is presented at Amazon.  If an editor reads that far into a book, then the writer has a good shot. From my own experience, I won’t read that much of a book expecting it to get better, and the few that I have read because it was required, never got better, and some that stated out with promise never delivered. So I am very glad to get this kind of feedback.

 The semi-finalists collect votes, and from there the finalists are chosen. The final winner will get a publication contract, and the 9-runners up will be able to publish through Booksurge, the Amazon Print on Demand service. 

The writers group that published Port Nowhere used Booksurge, back before Amazon bought them, and they do good work. Their templates are easy to use so that you can make a decent looking book with in a reasonable amount of time, although it helps to have a deep knowledge of some of Word’s advanced features.  

 I also have some other stories, though not about Maven, at my website , These are the stories from Port Nowhere, and are not fantasy but space opera. They were a lot of fun to do, and I hope sometime to revise the proprietary bits out and republish them in a new setting. Now to spam all my friends and get out the votes.  This is one candidate I am completely behind–unless that means I am beside myself!

Give a bunch of incoming links to win an Amazon gift card! has a new creative challenge. Just use the words given in a story or poem posted on your blog, with each word linked back to its page on, and you can win $100 gift certificate from Amazon. It’s  a great way to get free incoming links. I wish I had thought of it!

 The guidelines are below, copied verbatim from the site along with the give words and phrases. You might want to click on each one to find out what it means unless your vocabulary is in the top 5% of the nation. I say that because I have a two masters degrees (one in education, one in humanities) and a BS in English, and I’m not sure of the meanings of at least two of these words.

 But I’ll give it a lick and an promise anyway, to see if my praxis  for sapid prose is up to snuff and to assure my ataraxia.  If I can crank up my mantic pendulum and spew out some of my zeitgeist about subjects often considered contraband, I’ll relax with a semilunar bite of halva and enjoy the serendipty of contests.  

  • Be creative.
  • Write an original composition using no more than 750 words. Entries may be poetry, prose, fiction, essays or any other form of creatively written expression.
  • In your submission, correctly use each of the words or phrases below and hyperlink each one to the corresponding entry.
  • Please keep it clean. We’re a family-friendly site.
  • Post your submission on your blog or website. We must be able to access the entry from a direct link.
  • Fill out the entry form so we can judge your work.
  • Entries must be submitted no later than December 21, 2007.

Your creative and original submission must include each of the following words and phrases with hyperlinks to the entry for each one:

Tag Cloud