I Love Contests

Not the themed kind though. The ones that remind me of school.

500 words on faith.


Write a short story using the words taxidermy, malevolence and mauve.

Restrictions that send the truly creative on an eye-rolling bender and cater to the concrete-sequentials of the world – of course, it’s their world, so why not.

I don’t mind parameters, but it’s guaranteed non-participation on the part of the majority when the rules try to control the outcomes to suit a purpose that has nothing to do with art or the creation of it.

Last month, I may have mentioned it even, Nathan Bransford held a contest with the prize being the chance to fill in for him on his blog for a day. He asked his readers to write a post that could strictly, or not at all, visit a topic in keeping with what he does, which is to share his wisdom and experience as a literary agent with writers.

He’s holding another contest this month ,and I am tempted to enter again though I don’t know what I might write about. All I know is being an unpublished and struggling writer. Topic?

Below is what I wrote for the last contest, and for the record, Nathan gushed about the quality of entries, so I didn’t feel too bad when he choose real writers and such for winners.

A Point of View

Recently I asked my blog readers to ask me anything. Not because I am that kind of a no holds barred blogger, but because I was as tapped as a pony keg in a fraternity house closet. They did not disappoint and inquired in ways that lead to great fodder, but one question stood out from the rest.

If you had to choose, werewolf or vampire? He didn’t ask about zombies because they are so not glam, but I will ponder it for a nano-sec anyway before utterly discarding because in order to rise above the standard Swine Flu model of infection that often involves various government incompetence or evil banality, one would have to explore an urban setting where zombies are common place which, to my mind, involves temporal distortion and a FWB’s vampire sidekick for the hero and simply needs to be told not explained.

Therefore it’s tempting to go vamp because of the brooding glamour thing. But the angst scale is chartless, and the hours are bad, and there is the whole transmission issue again. Whedon did the parallel universe and Stoker covered the “gripped by darkness” Frank Langella route, and Twilight can’t be mentioned, nor would I personally want to go down the misogynist as romantic hero road, so I went werewolf for reasons that are quite simple and more logical than my husband was able to believe.

First, it’s a once a month thing. As a female, I have been afflicted once a month since my teens. A spiritual oneness with the phases of the moon and the cycle of life is second nature to me now. My husband, Rob, is an extremely handy fellow. Constructing a werewolf version of a red tent wouldn’t be an issue. He could probably convert my office, but I don’t want to take a chance that my manuscripts could end up doubling as litter. But I am totally okay with spending some down time all alone in a small windowless room because – aside from the windowless thing – I do this already as a writer, and as long as Rob takes care and has me secured during my monthly, I won’t be a danger to anyone. No arousal of angry mobs or hunters with dead sisters to avenge. Very low key. Not a hint of angst, which is probably as bad for werewolves as stress is for the whole girly PMS thing. Do werewolves have pre-moon-symptoms?

The hairy thing is something I deal with now as I march towards menopause, and shaving is likely a quicker fix than plucking one pointy strand at a time, but also very unnecessary because, I believe, the fuzziness is a 24 hour affliction.

As a werewolf, I would retain my reflection which, as annoyingly teenage as vampires are, it surprises me how easily they do without it. Vampires are portrayed as preening and foppish, but it’s werewolves who can primp and prance in front of a full length mirror. Not that I do that. But other werewolves might want to admire their coat, impressive musculature and fabulous nails.

I would have the  ability to eat garlic. I can barely cook without it and even as a werewolf, I need to keep those irritating vampires at bay. And unlike them, I would not be restricted solely to the night or have to worry about bursting into flames. Spontaneous combustion could be hazardous to my loved ones and just doesn’t look fun. And, of course let’s not forget that I would not have to die, be buried, resurrect soulless and be compelled to dig my way out of a coffin and grave with my bare hands (here is where those long, strong werewolf fingernails would be exceedingly useful). And I don’t have to be more pasty looking than I already am. Deathly pallor is likely the only reason vampires don’t miss mirrors.

And suddenly there is story. A strikingly beautiful middle-aged writer dealing with the genetic heritage of her people (I did mention the DNA thing right? And think Mary-Louise Parker in Weeds only minus the Latin mafia lovers and the weed and the widowhood and set in Canada, not Mexico). I’m thinking paranormal romance.

A new perspective. It’s all point of view and a bit of twistedness.

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