Friday, June 22, 2007

Finalists announced

As it was, I didn't make the cut this year, but a big shout out to those who did! On a personal note, I can't wait to get my critiques back from the judges.

The thing that surprised me about this contest; I thought this was an amateur contest, as in only unpublished authors. Apparently not so, as at least one of the finalists in my category appears to have a book out. No, it's not sour grapes, but I'm still surprised, as the major prize at this conference (very small cash prizes) is meeting editors and agents.

Why do you think, is it a good practice to toss amateurs and professional writers in the same ring? Does it just sharpen our young claws, or push us out of the way of potential breaks into the industry?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Genres ... oh the misery

Ok, maybe someone here can help me.

I am almost done with my WIP, which is a thriller novel. I consider it mainstream fiction, and it has the literary form of a thriller, one set in the near future (next 50 years).
So my question is this: Is "thriller" its own genre in the genre fiction range, or is it a flavor of mainstream commercial fiction? Also, do you think that its setting being in the future means that it by definition needs to be classified as science fiction?

Monday, June 18, 2007

PNWA contest

I just heard that they have sent all the finalist their notification, so if I am a finalist, I should know this week. On the downside, apparently they don't notify non-winners until after the conference. I have to say that that kind of irked me. Now, before I get flamed, I actually acted as a judge this year (no, I'm not saying what category, except it was not the one I entered), so I know that all my critiques went back to the category chair months ago. So what's the problem with just sending out a rejection notice? If anyone if reading this because they are looking for more information, this is a great blog to look at (for many reasons beyond the contest, too).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Audio Books

I have long held a prejudice against audio books. It wasn't a terribly rational prejudice (are any such things really?), but all the same there it was lurking around in my consciousness. I did make one exception, which was for Lord of the Rings. My husband really wanted me to read the books with him, but I was in school full time, and working the rest of the time, so I couldn't figure out how to squeeze time in for a book that I really didn't care that much for--I know, how could I, but I couldn't get past the language issue. So, in short, he bought the audio book for LOR, and every night before bed, I would lie in bed and listen to the story. I liked it, the book, and the practice. Still, I didn't buy another audio book, well, until last month.

What changed my mind is simple; I have a 20 minute commute to work every day. It takes 20 to get there and more like 30 to get home. The first weeks I would call my mom on the way home (hands free device, I promise); she likes to talk on a daily basis, so I figured it was a good solution to commuting boredom and mom's desires (no offense mom). Still, after three weeks even she was tired of the daily calls. I tried the radio, which never works for me, as my taste in music is a bit off the pop beaten path. NPR gets old, and I commute at off times, etc, etc. So it was, as I was wandering the aisles of my favorite Seattle bookstore (Elliot Bay Bookstore) that my husband brought up the idea of audio books again. On a whim, I bought one. It was a reading of a book, A Wild Sheep Chase, that I've wanted to read for about seven years now, but for one reason or another, I never got to it.

One week after getting the audio book, my husband got a contract at the same place that I was working, so we began commuting together. With each other to talk to, the grand plan of enriching myself on the way to work was cast aside for the more entertaining talk about friends, our house, and our nutty dog. I swear, Mr. Murakami, it isn't you; it's me.

All this lands me to today, when I finally decided to upload the book to my iPod, so I could listen to it while working on some of my more mundane tasks. While uploading it, I starting listening. The book, and the reading, is just brilliant. All of my snobbishness about audio books flew out the window as I found myself drawn into the story within five minutes. Now, I can't wait for tomorrow's commute.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Under the veil

Wow! I'll have to comment on this later, but for now, go read it.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Stay on target

I am now officially in my literary contest target zone. Or better put, they are announcing the finalist in the next couple of weeks. I am super excited! This one is through the writer's association (PNWA) I am a member of here is the great NW. I go to the conferences every year, as they are always fun and helpful.

What about you all contests? Conferences? Seminars? Bueller?