Anybody in the Writers of the Future circle knows what today is. It’s the last day of the third quarter–and the last day to send in entries to one of the best science-fiction and fantasy contests for new writers in the world.
I don’t actually know how many entries I’ve written by now? I’ve slowly risen in the ranks from “please no” to “honorable mention” to “silver honorable mention,” always vying to be in the top round of finalists–and yes, I confess, fantasizing about the Golden Pen Award.
But award or no award–I’ve gotten a lot better thanks to WOTF. Seriously, would I have ever written my Twizzler-eating, rooftopping, good-hearted science fantasy protagonist without the deadline? Or figured out what it is that I really want to write?
I owe them more than even I realize. Even without making it to finalist.
But on the other hand, it’s about seven years since I started this. Who knows? Maybe this will be my lucky number.
(cue sounds of Fate laughing incredulously in the background and bookmarkedone continuing to type and studiously ignoring it)
So! You want to know about the story, right? Or at least how it is that I’ve submitted my story ten hours before the actual deadline? Who even am I? Not smacking the keys at the very last moment? Letting go of it in the middle of the afternoon instead of seconds before midnight? Who is this, and what has the vile impostor done with your beloved bookmarkedone?
Okay, to be fair, this story has been written since the middle of May. I wrote four all-new short stories for my senior creative writing portfolio-something-something class so I could graduate uni, so all it needed was a last proofread and erasing my name from any cover pages.
I also feel like pointing out this was four roughly 5-6,000 word stories in sixteen weeks, drafted and revised, or one story a month. If you ignore the fact that my WOTF stories are usually 2-3x longer (whether or not they should be)…I did the work of a year in four months.
Which is great, because now I have my WOTF entries ready to go and can focus on other projects–but it’s also why I’ve been kind of zonked and have written Little of Any Great Significance for the last month.
As for the story itself…I can’t tell you.
But WOTF is supposed to be judged blind, and since some former contestants follow the blog (and I’ve reviewed the anthology three years running, so administration is Very Aware of me as well)…I can’t really tell you about my favorite parts of the plot without risking being busted for it.
So–now you get to wait for the results with me, after which I can tell you all the little backstage details.
…in about three months.
I said I’m sorry!
But if turning it in with ten hours to spare is any indication…I do feel pretty good about this one. Hopeful, I guess. I could use a good break.
BookmarkedOne has gotten a redesign!
Don’t tell me you didn’t notice.
It’s actually the second redesign for the site, so by now I’m pretty used to the Dread Rearranging of All Content. Resizing, redoing the menus, deleting things that suddenly are in way the wrong place, wondering where the follow button went–
It’s a pain. I know very little about design and even less about coding, so this was…not something I was looking forward to. But I gritted my teeth and did it yesterday, and yes, stayed up until 4:00 a.m. tweaking until everything was to my satisfaction, but now it’s done.
And gang, I’m so happy about it. It’s sleeker, it’s still Dark Mode, I finally figured out how to get the blog feed to show just an excerpt instead of the entire monster post you’re scrolling forever, please, I got rid of the grainy photos that were all different sizes–it looks like I’m running a real blog here. No more teenage reader in the kitchen vibes! Only ageless Fey in the garrett style here!
Also serif fonts have no right to make me as satisfied as they do. It feels like I’m inside a book again and I am very, very happy about that.
And shoutout to the visitor from Greece who decided to pop in while I was in the middle of site construction? First off, I’m terribly sorry that you probably debated your sanity as photos disappeared and I moved That One Block slightly to the right five times and added a “that” to a paragraph but made no other alterations and wasn’t something there before that isn’t there now?
But seriously. How do you guys know? How do you pinpoint the exact moment I’m making changes? What primal instinct strikes between midnight and four o’clock in the morning of must read bookmarkedone? What sort of readers have I created?
And I know you’re there because I clicked over to my stats for something and saw thirty hits?
In retrospect, I’m wondering if WordPress is counting the times I check my own pages to make sure they’re working properly…but I know I wasn’t the only one there because I saw the link referrals from The Beauty of a Story.
I’m glad to have the visitors…but it’s also the mood of me stuffing pillows over messy piles of junk and saying “Oh, wow, hi, so great to see you, come in, have a seat, I just wasn’t expecting company.”
It’s fabulous now, so chill here at gremlin hours anytime you like.
Until next time,
The very best luck to all the Writers and Illustrators of the Future entrants out there, and a wry thank-you to my lovely readers. Here’s to what comes.