Winner, Winner – Chicken Dinner (or On Submitting)

This photo is gratuitous and has nothing to do with this post. You’re welcome.

Short, sweet and to the point. We have a winner in my latest fiction contest!

Congrats to Kristen with a whopping 16 comment votes! You’ll see her story printed below for your literary enjoyment.

Now – a teensy Bitch Slap for the rest of you: the voting had rules. Some of the entries had quite a few people who clicked on “LIKE” by your post. That was not the ticket. Your voters had to leave a comment with WHY they liked your story. There was a method to my madness and I’m not just being bitchy.

When I started writing and submitting content, I didn’t realize that submissions had to be in a certain format. I kept getting no answers or rejections. Sad writing panda, was I.

When I started reading submission guidelines and adhering to them…well, I’ll be damned – I started getting targeted rejection letters (“Loved this piece -it’s not for us, but submit again”)…and some acceptances, too!

If you’re going to make an attempt to break into any industry, you have to follow the rules. And for those who received comments on their pieces, isn’t it COOL to find out what people liked/didn’t like/felt? That’s better than money in the bank for a writer – when you know you’ve hit a chord. Agents, managers and editors will appreciate that you presented your materials in the format they requested – it’s a show of respect, that you did your homework and you appreciate in advance the time they will take to consider what you have to offer. It’s the same with resumes, interview requests and new connections in the business world. Submit humbly. Be grateful when others grant you their time. I was VERY grateful when each of you granted me the privilege of reading your words, all prompted by a dilapidated bus stop photo.

So if ya thought you SHOUDLA won, you didn’t. You can review the rules here. And then leave a comment below for Kristen who dotted her I’s and crossed her T’s – and hit one out of the park with you, my readers.

Kristen – you’ve won a $150 VISA gift card. Use my contact form to ping me. Please spend it on something ridiculous like a pair of Charles David strappy sandals or a brand new pot-bellied pig.

And now, HER story:

Cry.

Please cry. No one will see you if you don’t cry.

Noah stood across the street from the desolate bus stop. Window busted out. Weird graffiti spray painted on the plexiglass.

No one there. Well, that wasn’t true.

CRY! Dammit, cry!

He knew he’d done the right thing. Sarah would know this was the right decision when she woke up. She loved him and said she trusted him. They weren’t ready to be parents. She knew that. Hell, they’d already talked about it. They’d made plans to give the baby up for adoption. Found a couple that said they’d wanted their baby but didn’t want to go through the hassle of using an agency.

They seemed serious.

But when Sarah went into labor at frickin’ 3:00 in the morning, they couldn’t be bothered to come and get the baby. Said they’d had a change of heart. Probably didn’t have the money.

Noah knew he’d acted in the moment. Made a rash decision. But it was the right one. Right?

The birth had been quick. But hard. Sarah screamed bloody murder.

Bloody. Noah had to clean all that crap up while he tried not to look at the squished up face of his baby girl. No. Not HIS baby girl.

A baby girl. She’d be someone else’s baby girl.

“Just cry,” he whispered.

Sarah had passed out after the ordeal. She didn’t see him wrap up the product of their behind-the-football-stands encounter of last fall. Didn’t see him place the bundle under the busted out panel of the bus shelter wall. Didn’t see him kiss the little forehead.

But she would know this was the right thing to do.

He’d keep vigil until someone came. It was almost time for the early commuters to get to the bus stop.

14 comments
Kristen
Kristen

Thank you! I'll connect with you on resoures and connections. I appreciate your willingness to help! :-)

The Redhead
The Redhead

If you'd like, I'd be happy to make a $100 donation to the family. Just send me the deats. I'm also closely connected with the Morgan Adams Foundation>/a> - please let me know if their resources could be of any help to your friend's family. I'm lucky to say the founding family are people I can can friends. As a matter of fact, I'd love to connect your friend's family personally. You've got my contact info - drop me a line as to how I can make that happen.The potbellied pig will find a good home ;-)

Kristen
Kristen

Thank you Carrie. Kinda' want to keep playing with it and see where it goes.....

Kristen
Kristen

Redhead, when you get a million to give away I will be submitting, no doubt. I will let you know that I thought about your challenge to spend your money on something ridiculous. Seriously thought about it. But this story at it's heart was about giving a kid a chance. So I'm going to make sure the money does something similar. Good friend of my son's was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer (Ewing Sarcoma). His family's got some significant bills to pay in the coming months. This money will go to that. My small way of giving a kid a chance -- or at least his family some breathing room.Thanks again for the opportunity!

The Redhead
The Redhead

I'll call Guido and let him know you're takin' care of da family and to fuggedaboudit ;-)

The Redhead
The Redhead

You may want to look into a site called FanStory.com. If you don't get all wrapped-up in the pay-for-play hype, you can actually get some pretty good feedback!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Well deserved, Kristen! Congrats. And the day I can GIVE a million, hopefully you'll be in the running ;-)

The Redhead
The Redhead

Hey - we ALL get writer's block. Don't be so hard on yourself!

Kristen
Kristen

Thanks Erika! I've pinged you. :-) And thanks a million (well, $150) to those who took the time to read and comment!

Carrie Turner
Carrie Turner

Sometimes I fancy myself a writer but then I get on here and can't even get a decent comment put together...not a bitch slap but definitely a hard landing on reality's doorstep. Freakin awesome story Kristin...very well deserved.

parkridgedds
parkridgedds

Kristen, that was a great story...you definitely are a winner!! Congratulations !!! Erika, I am so glad that you had this contest. It was, for me, a definite eye opener...kind of my own personal "bitch slap" into reality. My entry didn't even get a well intentioned "well at least you tried". And that's okay...it just says to me that I need to reevaluate my writing. It won't stop me...in fact it may motivate me. I love to write but, let's be honest here...it's always my family and loving friends who cheer me on. When I posted here, I purposely didn't tell any of my biased friends and I am glad. I now have an honest view of how others see my writiing. A good lesson. Onward...

Hal
Hal

i'll take my $15 vig for referring her :-)

christina mccarthy
christina mccarthy

Thanks for the picture :-DNow, to read, or see if anyone posted anything about my story, where do I go?