Saturday, July 14, 2012

Short Story Writing Contests

If any of you are interested, here are some short story writing contests (all three are free to enter) with deadlines coming up at the end of July.

1.  Mormon Mommy Writers (MMW) is calling for entries by July 31st.  They can be fiction/non-fiction/poetry, and winners will be published in an anthology later in the year.  For more information, check out this page.

2. If you are a Canadian writer, you should visit the Poetry Institute of Canada's contest page, which is also accepting short story submissions.  Just click on this link.

3.  Finally, a Canadian press called Polar Expressions Publishing is also accepting Canadian entries for their yearly anthology (of which I have twice been a published finalist, including once as an honorable mention).

Contests can be a great way to take a break from novel writing and hone our skills with quicker fare.  Consider it the fast food of writing, except that in this case (if you enjoy it) it's actually healthy for you.

Best of luck!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Revisiting Resolutions

So here we are.  July 2012.  The beginning of the month brings both the big National Celebrations for the USA and Canada.  July 1st (Canada Day) and July 4th (Independence Day) and their associated fireworks displays mark exactly half a year since the last big sparkly night sky bash - New Years Eve.

Image used with permission from
Do not repost without permission.

With six whole months, three seasons, and countless days filled with joy, and trial and work, it's time to reflect on where we were the last time we watched the fireworks.

It's time for a check in on our New Years Resolutions.  Sadly, I actually had to look mine up to remember what they were.  Gratefully, I'm not doing too bad.  Here's where I'm at:

1.  My first goal was to finish my Nano manuscript and edit it.

Well, that fell by the way side by February.  But between February and the end of May, I managed to write consistently every evening after the kids went to bed and finished a manuscript (different than the Nano one) for the first time ever.

2.  My next goal was to prepare for NaNoWriMo 2012. 

Yah.  Haven't even started thinking about that yet. 

3. My final writing goal was related to improving my skills through my critique group, my reading, and my blog.

I'm proud to say I've made a more consistent effort to post.  Consistency feels good.  It feels like a small measure of success.  And I've read so far 21 books this year.  Won't ever complain about reading.  And I continue to be a staunch believer of how important writing groups can be.

How about you?  How are your goals coming along?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Liebster Award

I've been honored with the Liebster Blog award:

Liebster is a German word which means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome. The Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers and fit the definition

Carolyn Frank at Frankly Creative gave me the award.

The rules:
1. Each person must post 10 facts about themselves
2. Answer 10 questions the tagger has given you and give 10 questions for the people you’ve tagged.
3. Choose a few people and link them in your post.
4. Tell them you’ve tagged them.
5. Remember, no tag backs.

10 Facts about me (Mandi):
1. I am the mother of three.
2. I was born in the Northwest Territories, Canada (think Santa's turf - okay, not quite so far north, but in the neighborhood)
3. Despite my snowy beginnings, I graduated high school and promptly flew south to the warm and sunny beaches of Hawaii, where I attended my first year of college.
4. I went to Hawaii to learn Marine Biology.  I wanted to be a dolphin trainer.
5. I quickly discovered the program was not for me, but could not abandon it without fulfilling that dream.  So I worked for a summer at the Dolphin Lagoon and Sea Life Caverns at West Edmonton Mall.  Pretty much in the top ten list of coolest jobs ever.
6. I then changed my degree to Education and went on to teach grade one and kindergarten.  Again, in the top ten list for coolest jobs.
7. I'm not a fan of candy.  But I will never balk at dark chocolate.  Mmmm.
8. I can't stand creamed corn or cucumbers.  Uhhhhggghh.
9. I finished my first novel in May.  Felt pretty good.
10. I don't watch television.  Okay, I don't have television, which is why I don't watch it.  Which is why I actually have time to write. 

Blogs I've tagged:

Jolyn at Jolyn Brown's Blog
Kasey at the Beautiful Thrifty Life
Stephanie at Write Bravely
Cindy at Writers Mirror
Jaima at Words
Char at Chimney Sweeper
Jessica at Breathings

Here are my questions to them, along with my own answers.
1. How long have you been blogging?
I actually started blogging July 2007, but due to privacy concerns, changed to a different system about two years ago.  Now I keep my family posts and writer posts separate.

2. Why did you start up a blog?
It seemed like a fabulous means of sharing pictures and stories of my growing family with friends and relatives too far to visit on a frequent basis - much easier than trying to email people.  I also loved the visual appeal, and the chance to journal/write using technology.  Once I started, I was addicted.

3. What has been your weirdest experience with blogging?
Realizing just how dangerous personal information on the web can be - which is why my family blog is private now.  Don't worry, nothing bad happened to me, but to some friends of mine.  It's a long story, and not really mine to share.

4. What is your favorite book? 5. Who is your favorite author?
One of my favorite books is 'The Alchemist', by Paulo Coehlo.  Authors I love are JK Rowling, Jane Austen, JRR Tolkien, Regina Sirois, Mitch Albom, Kate Morton, Lauren Oliver, Monica Hughes, Shannon Hale, Eva Ibbotson - how do you make a comprehensive list on this topic?

6. What do you want to be when you grow up/what is your profession?
I am a teacher, a mother, and a writer.  Someday I hope to be an Author.

7. How many books do you think you might have?
Do the stories in our heads ever end? I hope not.  We'll see how many of those stories are actually translated to paper.

8. Do you prefer reading a proper book or a ebook?
I thought ebooks were a bad idea.  Until I tried one.  Now I'm hooked.  I will, however, always love my ink and paper books.

9. If you could choose to live one character's life in a book, who would it be?
Probably one of Shannon Hale's heroines.  I love her stories....

10. If you were stranded on a desert island what 10 items would you want to have with you?
It would go something like this: 1. My family 2. My books  3.  Scrivener  4. One seriously cool tree house (think Swiss Family Robinson) 5. palm trees  6. Basic necessities (food, clothing, shelter) 7. Dark Chocolate  8. a camera 9. a notebook (I'm a list girl) 10. my friends
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