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!