Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marissa Squeaks In!

Congratulations Marissa! I received your entry of "There She Goes". I knew that you wouldn't disappoint us! I sure do have my work cut out for me! But with my computer up and running - full of all - and I do mean all - of my old files - I have a renewed hope and attitude! I'm just looking for that last entry from Benjamin! It's not too late to get it in to me. Here is a reminder of why I selected Ben to be a finalist in the first place!

Benjamin Brindise:

“My life’s ambition is to write something that would influence people to stop for a moment and think about the underlying things in life. The darkness that surrounds us, but also the endless possibilities the world has if you can break free of the mundane and focus on your own course. I believe strongly in something Stephen King once said, “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”

It is a lot of hard work, but definitely worth the cost!!!

I will post the winner as soon as I make my decision. I expect to have the winner selected by no later than mid November so that I can begin the cover work as I await the completed manuscript.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

An American Writer

The days of my First Annual Rogue Bud Writing Competition are drawing to a close. It'll soon be time for me to make a final decision as to whom I will come alongside and help to actually create a book. It is a very long and complex process, most of which is the working of the words - getting them on a page. Not only does the story have to compel the reader forward, but the story lines have to be consistent and also believable.

I have come to be quite fond of all of you. It's a two way street here. Not only did I have to see value in you and in your work, but you also had to step out and trust a total stranger with your precious hard work. I will not abuse that trust.

I am going to share a piece that I wrote a couple of years ago. It will be included in a book that I am currently working on called Crooked Places Straight: Straight Talk About Hard Places. It's one of the many things that are hidden in the hard-drive of my now deceased computer. I had blogged this short exhortation on my other blog, The Road Less Traveled, or I might not have had a copy of it at all. I don't always write in my hard copy notebooks like I use to... Ah, technology. I'll know tonight if my files are retrievable. I try not to be anxious. I'm grateful for the few things that I know are not lost.

I understand the hard work and hours of effort that has gone into your work. Here is a short piece to help you to have a little better understanding of me and of who I am.

An American Writer

Now what in the world could a blue eyed all American girl know about being An American Writer? How does one get to be An American Writer? Must one go abroad? To be culturally savvy surely one must be a world traveler? Is that not true? But how about the mean streets of indifference? Can not a person gain insights and understanding in the stained and dirty suburbs of any given city within the parameters of any given society?

Are not the basic needs of any culture centered upon humanity as a whole? People need to feel included and accepted and understood. People need the warmth of a touch; the healing mercy of a smile; a compassionate glance of tolerance.

Is there not a oneness with creation that begs belonging?

You can teach me about all of the pain and the suffering and the great injustices of the world. You can teach me about all of the world religions and belief systems. You can teach me about Socrates and the great minds of days gone by. But can you teach me to care? I mean to really care: To reach out my hand to the helpless; to the desolate; to the rejected. Can you show me the way to right all of the past wrongs? Can you show me how to restore lost cities, lost hopes, or lost dreams? Is there anything that I could possibly have to write that would matter? What kind of a message can a girl from the city, from the country, from the uppermost part of New York have to say?

A world traveler? No, I am not. As a young divorced mother of three I did go to Mexico once. I saw the poverty and the lack. I saw the hopelessness and despair. But these things I saw on the memory of the back hand of a less than honorable man. These things I saw firsthand as macaroni and cheese, out of a box, no less, was a mainstay in my children’s diet for lack of education, income, and opportunity.

And how about intolerance? That I experienced outside of the conventional box of religion or politics. That I experienced at the back of the line; the welfare line as I was forced to ‘apply’ for State assistance. Was I greeted with compassion or care either one? No. I was greeted by an overworked paper pusher that most likely could afford Velveeta cheese with her macaroni and not much more.

And my tears? They were wasted on indifference and a harsh predetermination that surely I was from poor stock or just lazy. How about abused? Was my pain no less real than any others that had suffered before me? Did I need to know of far away and far reaching social injustices and calamities to experience my own devastation and sorrow? What atomic bomb had savaged my childhood, and what ghastly plague had robbed me of my dignity? What greater loss can one experience that equals the loss of one’s own self?

Do I, a woman, a mother, an American, dare to compare my suffering with the great travesties of the world? Not even. My pain was only a scratch compared to the gaping wounds of those who have gone before. My pain had remedy; resolution; an end. So much suffering goes uncharted for the vastness of the wound – a world of pain and suffering, winked at by a society that considers their Starbuck’s coffee a cultural experience.

Am I naive? I am. Apathetic? Sometimes. Observant? Always. Am I an American Writer? I guess not. But what am I really? I am a voice; a voice of compassion; a voice of concern; a voice of hope: A voice of an American. I am the voice of a writer bleeding red, for the slaughtered, bleeding white for the innocents, and bleeding blue for the honest and true.

(C) Audrey Semprun
Joyful Noiz Ministries

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Welcome aboard, Brenda!

Brenda Hernandez has made her timely debut! I'm glad to see that you have met the deadline, Brenda! I look forward to reading your submission of, "Blood Tempted". Sounds a little graphic! I think I was pre-warned, now wasn't I? That was a while back for sure!

I'm hoping that my last two contestants meet the November 1st deadline! Come on, Ben and Marissa! I watching and waiting for your requested material!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Welcome Vivian, Contestant Number Six

Vivian Kimi Tozaki has thrown down the gauntlet with her requested first three chapters of her "Untitled" submission. I can't even begin to tell you all how much I appreciate the time and the effort that you have put forth for this competition! It's really going to be fun to actually produce a book for one of you!

As far as my own projects go I have had to endure a delay as I had a bad storm take out my computer! I'm happy to say that I have a different system now, but my files are still in limbo... For a writer I can say that the agony of the unknown has been quite difficult! I get pretty busy with my writing, and I'm working on a gal's memoirs that is kind of 'lost' for right now too... I guess we all have to endure our own trials and tribulations! Hang in there is all that I can say! And for the remaining three of you, I encourage you to step on out there and send me your requested material!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Welcome Aboard Contestant Number Five!

I am happy to announce that I have received Julianna DelVecchio's requested material, "Out of the Ashes"! The time is running short folks! I expect to be receiving the rest of my contestant's material no later than November 1st! Anything later than that deadline will not qualify for consiseration.

One thing that I have noticed consistantly is that these submissions are very short! The first three chapters generally means about forty-five to sixty pages... I have received as few as fifteen pages, which gives me very little to judge the writing on. Some publishers only want to see the first five pages, but I am not cut from the same cloth or mind-set. I've also seen a lack of character discription in some of the submissions. I would welcome a revised submission from the first five contestants if you feel that you could improve upon your offering... I will send this blog entry to all nine of my contestants in an email so that I know that everyone has a fair shot at becoming The Rogue Bud for 2010. I continue to wish each and every one of you the very best!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Two More Entries!

I'm excited to announce that two more pieces of the puzzle have surfaced! Welcome aboard Adithya with your submission of "Sophia Learns to Smile", and also Miss Cassandra with your submission of "The Mentors". You have all given me much to think about! It's going to really be hard to choose just one winner, but that I must!
I see that some of you have been chatting and making friends. I think that's wonderful! Friendship truly is a special gift! Be good to each other!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

And Then There Were Nine

Ursula Wong has had a different and exciting opportunity presented to her for her current work in progress and had to step away from our competition. I know that everyone wishes her the very best!!!

Good Luck Ursula!