Sunday, July 25, 2010

Drumroll Please! (Or not...)

Well the contest results are in and…

…I can’t reveal them.

I know, I know. I’m frustrated too, because I was anxious to let everyone know, no matter what the outcome. But the sponsoring companies are planning on making their big announcement at a festival in Toronto come the end of August and asked the two finalists not to make any public announcements until then. So of course I’ll respect their wishes.

What I will say is this. Thank you so much to everyone who supported me throughout this very long process. Your kind words, your encouragement and your willingness to help out a fellow writer made me feel like a winner no matter what. So thank you. And I promise as soon as I'm able, I'll let you know the results.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Well This is It!

For those who have been following along on my journey through the Fresh Blood contest, we have almost reached the end. Today is the last day of voting and the winner should be announced in the next few days.

So in light of that, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has supported me through this contest!

And if you haven't voted yet, please, please, please do! It only takes a few seconds (no registration required) and each vote could potentially make a difference.

To vote, just send a blank email to freshblood@chizinepub.com with Fresh Blood Vote - Heart of the City in the subject line. You can vote once per unique email address (so multiple votes are welcome as long as they come from separate email addresses) and voting closes tonight at midnight EST.

Thanks everyone!

I'll let you know how it all turns out!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Contest Countdown: Less Than a Week to Go!

It’s been a whirlwind of a week (so much of a whirlwind in fact, that I couldn’t even remember the word whirlwind, I must admit. Was it worldwind? Whirlwin? Whorlywind?)

I think the contest has fried my brain.

What contest? you ask. If you’ve been following my blog at all over the last few months, I’d venture a guess that you won’t be asking--freshbloodfreshbloodfreshbloodfreshblood--but if you’re just stopping by for the first time, I’d direct you here to find out a little more.

I’ve been doing my best to put out a last-minute push, doing a mini blog tour and sending out emails and just generally making a pest of myself *I say this last while ducking my head and smiling sheepishly.*

I did want to take a minute to say thank you to everyone who has jumped in during this final push to help me out with the contest promotion, most notably (Sia McKye and Helen Ginger and Spencer Seidel), but a lot of other great folks as well. And you can be sure there’ll be a HUGE thank you post after the contest, no matter the outcome.

So anyway, I feel like I’ve lost touch with the real world, particularly in the last few weeks--as a friend said, contests like these are a huge time-suck (in a good way though)--and I’m really looking forward to getting back to some form of normalcy. After so many months of focusing on this contest, I don't think I'll know what to do with myself afterwards (though there’s this funny little voice in my head shrieking: Synopsis! You will finish that synopsis! I wonder what that’s all about. Hmmm…)

In the meantime, our newest four-legged addition is getting so big. I thought I’d share a new picture of her.



She’s gotten so pretty. The dog we thought was solid black now has the most beautiful silvery markings on her face. It looks like a ring around her nose and mouth. And just today I noticed a few silver furs starting to show up on her back paws. She’s just been a bright light in my life these past few weeks.

Anyway, I’m going to try my damnedest to update my blog at least once more before the contest is over. Voting closes on the 14th of July and the winner should be announced on the 15th or thereabouts. It’s hard to believe that next week we’ll know who the winner is. I’m still digesting the fact that I made it to the Final Two.

And I also know that I’m okay with whatever the outcome is next week. While I’d love to win--it would be the fulfillment of a lifelong ambition--I’ve taken away some wonderful things from this experience: great feedback, more confidence, a better understanding of self-promotion, and most importantly, a whole bunch of wonderful new friends.

Of course with less than one week left I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw out my little plug one more time… So if you haven’t yet voted in the contest, I would be grateful for your support, or if you would even be so kind as to give a shout-out for the contest in your tweets or on your blogs or other social networking sites, I would really appreciate that!

Voting only takes a few seconds. It’s as easy as sending a blank email to freshblood@chizinepub.com with Fresh Blood Vote - Heart of the City in the subject line.

Voting ends on July 14th at midnight EST and they’ll accept one vote per unique email address so multiple votes are welcomed as long as they’re coming from separate email accounts.

You can read more about the contest as well as excerpts from both the remaining competitors and comments from the judges here.

Thanks again everyone. However it turns out, I can’t wait to let you know the result!

I also wanted to take a minute to share an award. The awesome Versatile Blogger Award below came to me from two wonderful bloggers: VR Barkowsi at VR Barkowski: a Writer's Blog, and abitosunshine at abitosunshine Love and Writing. There are four rules that go along with this great award. They are as follows:

❦ Thank THE GIVERS and link back to their blogs.
❦ Share SEVEN things about myself.
❦ Pass along to SEVEN bloggers. (Okay, I'll admit, that's not the original rule, but I like the symmetry of all the sevens!)
❦ COMMENT on their blogs to tell them of the award.



Versatile blogger award

❦SEVEN (pretty random) THINGS ABOUT ME:

- I hate peanut butter. I will not eat it. If someone uses a knife in the peanut butter jar and then uses it in the jelly jar, I will know.

- Though I've always loved words, my best subject in school was, by far, math.

- When I was three years old, I stepped in a wasps’ nest that was hidden beneath fallen leaves. To this day I am phobic about wasps and bees.

- After a challenge from a writing group member, I have written something every single day (including holidays) since April of 2004. The only exceptions have been maybe four or five days when I was too sick to even lift my head off the pillow.

- Men’s neckties are one of my favorite fashion accessories, and I have some pretty crazy ones: dinosaurs, UFOs, alien Christmas lights.

- In college I took a weaving class as my art credit because, frankly, I suck at art. Strangely, it was probably the hardest and most time-consuming class I ever took, but to this day, my family makes fun of the fact that I took “basket-weaving” for college credit.

- I am more comfortable with animals than with people.


❦PASSING THE AWARD ALONG TO SEVEN VERSATILE BLOGGERS.

Tiffanie Minnis at Writers Movement
Zoe C. Courtman at No Letters on My Keyboard
Creepy Query Girl at Creepy Query Girl
James Baron at 4 Books in 1 Year - A Writer's Challenge
Hart Johnson at Confessions of a Watery Tart
JC Phelps at JC Phelps
Sandy Shinn at Sandy Shinn

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dear Blogging Community: I Really Need Your Help!

Okay, so here's the thing. I just added a post about how wonderful everyone has been and here I am about to test that in a way that's so not in my nature.

But after I added my last post, I engaged in a bit of nosiness, checking out my competition in the Fresh Blood contest since he has a Facebook fan page.

And what do I see but a whole post talking about how he's been written up in a bunch of local papers and blogs. Yikes! I knew this guy was tough competition but I'm feeling now like he might just be unbeatable!

So I'm reaching out to the blogging community, which has been so wonderful and supportive and welcoming, with another plea for help.

I know many of you have put in votes for the contest, but would any of you be willing to help spread the word about it on your own blogs or social networking sites? I know it's a lot to ask, and I wouldn't ask if I didn't really, really need your help.

I know there's a very good chance I won't win this contest, but I don't want to just roll over without a good fight! So if you would help me out (or know someone who might be willing to), I would be so grateful! And I would be willing to provide any information you'd need.

The basics of the contest are this: Fresh Blood is an international fiction contest sponsored by Dorchester Publishing, ChiZine Publications, and Rue Morgue Magazine. My book is one of two finalists competing for the grand prize of a publishing contract with both Leisure Horror (mass market paperback) and ChiZine Publications (limited hardcover run).

It takes only a few seconds to vote. It's as simple as sending a blank email to freshblood@chizinepub.com with Fresh Blood Vote - Heart of the City in the subject line.

You can vote once per unique email address, so if you have more than one email address, you can even vote multiple times!

Voting closes on July 14th at midnight EST.

Thanks again to everyone for your support. And feel free to email me at: iamstereotomy [at] gmail [dot] com, too!

Feeling the Love

I’m learning something through the Fresh Blood contest. Something that has nothing to do whatsoever with writing. Something very exciting.

Do you want to know what it is?

I’m learning that people can be pretty wonderful! In the last few days alone, two friends who I haven’t seen in years have been ceaselessly promoting the contest and soliciting votes for my novel on Facebook, a fellow writer has taken to consistently bumping the thread I posted asking for help on the ABNA forums, a published author on Gather has exchanged numerous emails with me, offering her knowledge on self-promotion as a former contest winner (different contests), and the editor of Murky Depths, a publication that has published two of my short stories has sent an email to everyone in the magazine’s Facebook group with news of the contest.

And that’s only in the last few days.

So I just wanted to take a minute to just say thank you to everyone who has taken time out of their busy lives to vote, to send words of encouragement, to help me drum up support for my novel, or to offer some of their wisdom on self-promotion and networking. I can’t say thank you enough times. But I want you all to know that I’m grateful, sincerely, truly grateful.

And if you’re just stopping by for the first time, I would really appreciate your vote in the contest. I won’t bore everyone by going into my whole spiel here again (you can read all about the contest either at Chizine or in various posts on my blog) but the short version is that I’m a finalist (one of two) in an international novel competition where the prize is a publishing contract with Leisure Horror. The winner is determined by popular vote so I need all the help I can get!

To vote, you need only send a blank email to freshblood@chizinepub.com with Fresh Blood Vote - Heart of the City in the subject line.

You can vote once per unique email address so multiple votes are welcomed as long as they each come from a unique email address! Voting closes on July 14th at midnight EST.

Again, thank you to all of you, for not only following/reading my blog, but for offering your encouragement and support through this. This is such a wonderful community, and I’m so appreciative of everything.