A HUMPDAY CHALLENGE
But, first you’ll have to put up with a little palaver, only indirectly connected with my challenge. I am a member of and a hearty advocate for a site called FanStory. Some of you may be familiar with it. I’m a writer — by hobby, if not yet by profession. Most of my follower/friends are writers, too. Writing can be one of the lonliest passions around. You know that. Most of us need to feel the warmth of kindred spirits. I find that warmth in FanStory.
When I was a kid ( which was up to about ten years ago), I took pride in going it alone. I fancied myself a literary outlaw. I kept an eagle eye open for any new banner, such as: “I march to the beat of a different drummer.” And, because none of this got me anywhere, I naturally fell into the joy of thinking of myself as a misunderstood genius.
I hope most of you are brighter than that.
That’s a lie! I hope there’s at least one or two of you to stand as a reminder that I was not alone in being a self-inflated, adlepated waster of God’s precious time. C’mon. It’s lonely. I’m a little cold. I could use a hug.
There are two things I wish I had done when first I got the harebrained idea of being a writer. First, I wish I had spent more time studying the definition of “a writer”: A writer is one who writes. It is not one who wants (read that as needs!) to convey the impression that he’s a writer. I talked about it before. If I had the Don’t Break the Chain Calendar back then, and the determination to follow it, I’d be well on my way to doing that first thing, above.
The second thing I’d wished I’d done at the outset was to have said: “I’m a beginner. I’m a greenhorn. I’m not all that good … but with the help of a lot of people someday I’ll be great! And, then had the humility to look for those people.
I personally found them — only forty years later than I should have! I found them in FanStory.
FanStory is a community of, and for, writers. There is also FanArt. And, most recently, FanMusic. A man by the name of Tom (I don’t think anyone knows his last name — just Tom) runs the show. An extremely patient and personable guy, always there to answer questions promptly.
What is FanStory? It is a site with a duo-purpose. It’s a place where your writing is displayed. Once posted, your shortstory, novel chapter, poem, script or screenplay will be reviewed. You are guaranteed one review, but you can also “pay” to guarantee more exposure, hence more reviews. I wrapped quotes around “pay” because you earn FanStory Dollars by also reviewing other writer’s works. You get anywhere from 52 cents a review up to a couple of dollars. Plus other perks called “reader Member Pumps”, banner adds, etc.
Now, don’t give up, sigh, and go shopping other blogs. Promise me!
I’ve paid for nothing but my annual membership ($48, or under $5 a month to try it — and you should!) yet in a little over a week and a half I’ve accumulated almost a hundred FanStory dollars through my reviewing. I insist on calling it “critting”, but perhaps that’s the outlaw coming out in me.
NOW THIS IS IMPORTANT!: That week and a half of work is enough to promote two or three chapters of my novel for review — and pretty well guarantees from thirty to fifty “crits” each.
At the end of each month there are nominations (by members) for the best short story, best poem, best book-in-progress, etc., with a hundred dollar Visa Card as the award!
If that’s not enough, what do you get for reviewing? Each time someone is impressed, or helped, by your review he/she can recommend you for the monthly reviewer’s award. Another hundred dollar Visa Card. The results aren’t out yet for March, but I have 9 recommendations. Stay tuned.
And, as that annoying salesman on TV says: But wait! There’s more!
There are contests galore on the FanStory site with payoffs being anywhere from FanStory Dollars to $100 Visa Cards!
Is this starting to sound like an advertisement? ” Heh-heh,” he says, eyes darting all over the place. Well … in a sense it is. From the bottom of my heart, though, I think you would find bountiful help on this site. Yep. But … (in the interest of transparency) if you’re convinced to try it out anyway, why not link to it from here and give your ol’ Blogster $10 FanStory dollars for recommending you? I can’t spend it on licorise or a couple of cups of Starbucks, but I can use it to get my book chapters reviewed by more people.
Remember I mentioned the FanStory contests? Well this takes me back to the challenge I spoke of in the first paragraph. See, FanStory has a contest in July that I reserved my sp0t in. It’s a nifty little contest where the winner is the one who writes what the members consider the best story in 50 words. Not under 50 words. In precisely 50 words. The title doesn’t count. I played around with it last night and came up with what I think is a pretty good one. If it’s voted the best, I’ll have a nice little plastic Visa Card for my wallet loaded with enough to by about 20 lattes from Starbucks!
Anyway, I’m going to include it here for you to cheer … or mock at.
And, I’m tossing out the gauntlet. I challenge my follower/friends to send in your best story in exactly 50 words. I can’t afford to give the winner a Visa Card, but I will award you with the choice of any of my three E-books (shown on the sidebar, here). That’s better than a kick in the teeth!
Meanwhile, here is my entry in FanStory’s July Contest:
Ice Sculpture Shrine
“Why’d she break the ice and dive? He’d been down three hours.”
“Misogynist! I understand. See? His arms upstretched. His smile!”
“Romance! Ha! Ice captured him like that. Rigor Mortis smile. Romantic suicide, hers! Look … Her frozen arms reaching down for him!”
“Infidel! Skaters will worship them—enshrined ’til spring ….”
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Send in your entries, folks!