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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Weekly Writing Recap: Amazing Writers

I love reading the work of amazing writers.

This week I've been privileged to enjoy the work of five different writers. One is my Pixie pal CJ Redwine, whose stories I help edit. (2008 GH finalist = Pixie.) In describing her stories, amazing could be considered an understatement. Her Voice is unlike that of any other writer I know. Creative. Clever. Comical. I couldn't write like her if I tried. Frankly, I'm not that quick-witted, and I'm certainly not that funny. CJ tells an action-packed, tremendously entertaining story that keeps me scrolling as quickly as I can. I feel certain that one day soon her stories will be on the shelves, and I've no doubt scores of readers will be posting glowing reviews.

Reading contest entries is like tearing open the prize in a box of Cracker Jack™, a special treat my dad used to bring home for my sisters and me. As was the case back then when I ripped open that colorful envelope, I never know what to expect when I open a contest entry.

This week I got a sneak peek at the creations of four entrants in a contest I judged. I marveled at their creativity. All show promise as writers, and I look forward to the time when I can tell each of them I enjoyed their work back in the days before they were published.

One of these writers did something that rarely happens when I read an entry. I was swept into the story and forgot to judge it. I read for sheer pleasure. The writer pulled me in so fast my internal editor shut down. In order to complete the score sheet, I had to go back and read the piece more slowly. Even then, I savored the wonderful writing and forced myself not to break one of the Commandments, the one that begins "Thou shalt not covet . . ." God didn't happen to finish with ". . . another writer's Voice," but it would have fit. Reading that entry was like tearing open that little prize package and finding a treat far better than I'd expected.

In between my reading and editing, Gwynly and I helped the Fashion Queen celebrate her 19th birthday on January 1st. Yup! We had a New Year's baby. It's hard to believe our one and only has begun her final year as a teen. Then again, it's hard to believe I passed the half-century mark last summer. Where did the years go?

As is the Fashion Queen's tradition, she was up early to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade with bleary eyes. The phone rang near the end of the telecast. I assumed it was a birthday call for her. Nope. It was the historical category coordinator for The Emily. V&V finaled again. I really didn't expect it to do so since this contest doesn't have an inspirational category. I entered this contest anyway because they take sub-categories into consideration, among them inspirational. I thought it might be fun to see how my story would do outside its usual genre. Guess it has wider appeal than I thought.

All in all, it's been a fun week, and the year is off to a great start. I look forward to working with my agent and getting V&V revised and ready for submission. I also look forward to hanging with you, my blogging buddies, and sharing in your happy dances. And I can dance. Just ask my cats. I've sent them flying numerous times this past year as I shook my booty of your behalf.

I wish you all the very best in 2010!


C.J. Redwine said...

Wow! Thanks for the words of high praise. I'm honored. :)

Hope your 2010 is a year where more dreams of yours come true.

(Is it wrong that I'm worried I'll leave off a comma somewhere in this comment? lol)

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

That's the best New Year's gift of all! Did you hear about the twins who were born, one in 2009 and the other in 2010. They are a decade apart! Pretty cool too!

I want you to have reason to do a happy dance for me! Especially since I can't dance! I'm praying this will be the year.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Happy New Year, Keli. Glad to hear more good news for V&V. It must be pretty terrific!


Keli Gwyn said...

CJ, wishing great things for you in the new year too.

And not to worry. I've called off the comma patrol. LOL.

Keli Gwyn said...

Kristen, that is a cool story about the twins. Sadly, one is a tax deduction for 2009 and one isn't. That's the former bookkeeper in me talking. :)

I'm ready to dance my heart out for you, so be sure to share your good news with me as it pours in.

Edna said...

hummmmmmm cracker jacks, loved them as a kid, always thought the prize was worth gold. Don't like them now though but they are still out there.
enjoyed your blog

May God bless


Keli Gwyn said...

Sue, I hope 2010 holds great things in store for you. You write very well, so I expect to squee with you about your first sale anytime now.

Thanks for the kind words about V&V. It's done well. However, it didn't final in the Beacon Unpublished's inspirational category. The work of three talented, award-winning writers did. They've all placed in multiple contests. Bet we'll see their names on the book store shelves one day soon. I love that there are so many great writers out there producing wonderful books for us to enjoy.

Keli Gwyn said...

Edna, I'm like you. I enjoyed Cracker Jacks when I was young and they were a special treat from my dad, but they've lost their appeal these days. Interesting how my tastes have changed as I've gotten older.

Cindy said...

Wow, sounds like a wonderful week! That's great news about V&V as well. Congratulations. I love books that can sweep me away as well. Sounds like some very talented writers out there!

Keli Gwyn said...

Cindy, it is fun when I read a story so captivating that my internal editor takes a vacation and I can just enjoy myself. What's the last book that swept you away?

Cindy said...

You know what, Keli? I think it's been a long time since a book has done that. I'm really bad about comparing my work to what I'm reading. But right now I am reading The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry. I found myself doing that a bit in the beginning, but once I got further into it I was totally swept away. I stayed up way too late last night reading because of the amazing twists. I am definitely going to finish it tonight and I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Awesome that your story has a wide appeal. When it gets published it will get into so many hands that need to read it! God is great! :O)

Terri Tiffany said...

I am soooo excited for you and the good news about your story! I can't wait to see it published, read it and watch it take off!! Congrats again to you!!

Carla Gade said...

That was interesting to learn about your experience judging the writing contest. I'm sure you were an excellent judge as you have so much experience yourself. I can't wait to see your work in print, Keli!

Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Keli!
Wow, you have really raked in the contest finals!!! Hope 2010 brings you the best of all--a book deal!!