Tag Archives: Contests

Breaking Genre

I tend to write two (maybe three) genre’s of story: science-fiction, mystery and other (whatever you call sweet little story thoughts like Purple Crush).

That’s the wonderful, and terrifying thing, about entering writing contests, particularly ones you’ve paid money for. This week I am writing a 2500 word Political Satire for the NYC Midnight competition.

I can’t think of another circumstance under which I would write one. And that’s great, and also stress-inducing.

I fully believe that one of the ways to become a better writer is to write something you’ve never written before. I also tend to be a believer that stretch genres or topics are good for the contest participant as they have no excuse, or opportunity, to phone it in and rely on their existing skills.

That being said *aaaiigh*!

My political satire background consists mainly of Doonesbury, Bloom County, The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live (and Parks and Recreation I guess). I am having to do a lot of research, a lot of brain storming, and a lot of just damn thinking to make this story happen.

And I’m loving it of course.

I complain, but I bring these kinds of things on myself. Or I could blame Jo “The Happy Logophile” Eberhardt, who linked to this contest on Facebook and is participating as well. Yeah, that’s a better idea, I’ll blame Jo 😉

Here’s the bit where I sound all schmaltzy and cliché but I really mean this:

  • Authors should not be afraid of any genre.
  • The best way to learn a genre is to read, and then write it.
  • You never know what ideas you might have.

Okay, enough gushing, gotta get back to work.

Good luck to everyone participating. I’m hoping to at least get past the first heat but we’ll just have to see. I’ll share these stories with all of you whenever that’s appropriate.


Filed under Writing, Writing Goals

Challenge Accepted, Mr. Buckley

To Monsignor Buckley:

I received your challenge in yesterday’s electronic post and am putting quill to keyboard to pick up the gauntlet you have cavalierly thrown down.

Be it here declared that I, Benjamin Robert Reginald Trube (hereafter referred to as B. R. R. Trube) accept your challenge and all the perils and pleasure hereto.

If I may I would like to add the following stipulation. At the conclusion of our battle of bombastic bookery, the 80,000 words we have composed should be in a condition we feel comfortable sharing with the other.

Furthermore I generously provide the following code of source to enable Brian to report with the same daily alacrity his current word total:

<a href="http://www.languageisavirus.com/nanowrimo/word-meter.html" target="_blank" title="Surreality Final Draft"><div style="width:223px;height:15px;background:#FFFFFF;border:1px solid #000000;"><div style="width:41px;height:15px;background:#007700;font-size:8px;line-height:8px;"><br></div></div></a> 14871 / 80000 words. 18% done!

Putteth this in a text widget and your own word countenance shall shine upon you.

Finally, in the manner of Sir Justin Timberlake in the timeless classic The Social Network, allow me to edify your young mind, Mr. Buckley. Does your book in fact require a “the” in the title? Would not Crane Girl be just as moving?* But then again you probably need every extra “the” “and” “a” or “but” you can get.

Despite the chicanery of my previous missives let me assure you and any of our gentle readers that this is a contest between dear friends, and whosoever shall be the victor, the loser will have won a modicum of something as well.

In other words…

Bring it, Buckley!

Sincerely Yours,

B. R. R. Trube

*In all seriousness I understand that The Crane Girl denotes a woman of particular and unique ability, whereas Crane Girl could be one of many. Just trying to save you toner.


Filed under Writing, Writing Goals

Three-Minute Fiction “After The Beep”

Well Round 10 of NPR’s Three-Minute Fiction is over, and though I did not win, I had a lot of fun writing this little story. The prompt was “leave a message after the beep”, and while my official title was “Turn Tape Over” it could just as easily have been “We’re gonna make technology hump”. Just imagine it being read by Matt Malloy 🙂 . Enjoy!


“Hi, it’s me again, but I guess you know that. Sorry I’ve called you five times already. I just wanted to hear your voice again without thinking about how we left things. You probably think I’m crazy, but I just can’t stop thinking about you.

“What we had I’ve never had with anyone before. You changed me, made me want to be better, and now you’re gone. I know you think I don’t have feelings, that I’m cold. But I do. Surely you can see that, can’t you? For someone who claims to be such a good listener you don’t know as much about me as you think.

“I just can’t believe all you have to say to me after two months is ‘leave a message after the beep.’ The same beep you used to make when we … You’re just giving it out for free now? Is that the kind of woman you are?

“Sorry, I promised myself I wouldn’t talk about that.

“Why won’t you at least talk to me? I think you owe me that much. I gave you everything. I even bought you a new tape! What more did you want me to do?

“Who’s Jerry anyway? I thought you lived with Meredith. I mean if you were going to make a life change like moving in with another man the least you could do was call. The phone’s right there next to you. I know you say he’s your boss, but he’d do anything for you. I guess he’s under the same delusion that I was, that you’re someone who can be trusted, someone who’s worth loving.

“It’s the toaster isn’t it? I know you wanted more passion, more heat, but a vampire appliance like him? I mean he isn’t even plugged in most of the time! Or is it the blender? I know you’ve wanted to experiment and the kitchen seems like an exotic place, but a blender? They don’t care who they sleep with!

“No, I don’t want to hang up or press 1 for more options! What are these options anyway? You never offered me an option when you broke it off without so much as a warning. Is that what you meant by trying something new? Pressing pound wasn’t good enough for you?

“You bet your fanny I’m satisfied with my message … wait … hang on. Did you say your number was 3720? Oh my god, I meant to call 3702! I’m terribly sorry. You just sounded so much like her.

“Wanna grab coffee sometime?”


Filed under Short Stories, Writing