Summer Scribbler 2011!!

   The month of July is much too hot to play video games or run around outside, right? It is a great month to write, however! From July 1 until midnight on July 31, I will accept entries into this year’s Summer Scribbler contest. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Write your own original piece. It can be the opening paragraph of a longer story, or a descriptive scene, or a chunk of humorous dialogue, or a poem, or anything that motivates you to compose.

2. Post it below as a comment.

3. Whichever piece receives the most comments by July 31 is the winner, so tell your family and friends to log on and comment on your piece! You can comment on other pieces, too, but please keep all comments appropriate and constructive. Try to say something nice as well as offer suggestions for improvement.

And what is the prize? The winner will receive a free copy of the second Priscilla the Great book, The Kiss of Life. If you haven’t read the first one, Priscilla the Great, there’s still time before the contest ends!

Mostly from Amazon: Priscilla Sumner, or Priscilla the Great, is an ordinary seventh grader with a blowtorch for a finger. As if middle school isn’t hard enough, not only does Priscilla have to fight pimples and bullies, but genetically enhanced assassins trying to kill her and her family. Armed with wit, strength, and a genius best friend, Priscilla must defeat the Selliwood Institute, a mysterious organization with a mission of turning children into killing machines.

Check out more about Priscilla at her website, where you can friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, watch her book trailer, and read a teaser paragraph from The Kiss of Life. After that, get busy writing for the contest!

In paperback: The Grateful Undead: They’re so Vein by Susan Stec (adult book)

8 thoughts on “Summer Scribbler 2011!!

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  1. Swimming out further in the deep blue sea, I saw Tentashark right in front of me with Liah wrapped in his tentacle. He turned toward me and nashed his teeth, like he was getting ready to bite. I almost screamed but ended up gasping for air. I quickly swam up toward the surface as Tentashark followed, an inch away from my feet. I gained speed and jumped out of the water as high as 5 feet! After I swam of to the side, Tentashark lept out of the as tall as two, two-story houses! I saw Liah inhale deeply, happy to still be alive.

    As Tentashark flew down from the sky, he gasped for air. Finally, he landed with a loud smack. Liah and I stared at him, float on his side. A seagull came and tried to peck at his eye, but before it could, Tentashark chomped it and swallowed it whole. He got back on his stomach and looked at me, furious.

    “Swim!” Liah screamed.

    I swam as hard as I could as Tentashark followed, trying to chomp off my feet. I tried to out-swim him, but with Liah on my back, I got tired easily. So I stopped, panted, and saw Tentashark open his giant mouth full of sharp teeth.

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  2. Paulo made his way up the street, pushing his wares, not caring what or whom he would run into. He had a mission; a one man show, one that started before the street awoke. He knew if he wasn’t constantly alert, he would be shuffled, pushed to the side, just as he was in the money-pits that sucked away his youth. He had long lost his prideful stagger, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at him. Paulo held his head high, daring those who now stream by in a lifeless gait to match him eye to eye. He knew better. They never did, how could they? Self absorption blinds all and this new crowd was no different. He’d seen it all, Young, old, it didn’t matter, their only concern; making their way to daily prisons, walking in worlds only they see, paying no attention to anything or anyone. As if what they were off to do really mattered.

    He laughed to himself, having walked these very paths so long ago. Paulo now was a captain commanding his vessel, constantly scanning the horizon, looking for a corner where he could drop anchor. These days though, his vessel had become a steam wagon loaded with tasteless franks. Tasteless yes, but to the masses, which flocked to his cart like gulls cleaning up after a fresh haul, quick and filling.

    Paulo enjoyed this time of his life. He wondered why it had taken him so long to see it. Why he once was driven to walk the same corridors of these self-proclaimed captains of industry. He never felt satisfied, always worrying if his boss was happy, never stopping to take time for himself or those he cared for. Paulo knew his place, knew his responsibility: to push ahead, grab for the next rung, reach into a void that could easily be erased at the announcement of a thoughtless merger. It was one of those mergers that caught Paulo unaware. Unaware of his next move, unaware life around him had dissolved, left with sons whose only contact involved a parting of his money and pride and a wife who long ago left him for a window installer.

    Paulo, who could have easily disappeared into a bottle of misery and denial, now was thankful of how simple life had become; simple in that once his wagon was picked clean, usually before 1:00 P.M. each day, he was free. Free to do as he pleased, free to wander over to the park where he and fellow captains of the street would meet for rousing games of chess, played with an endless patchwork of voices and bravado. Paulo never missed an opportunity for a good game, never missed a chance to lord over his next opponent. This day was not going to be different. Sitting down to play, Paulo was soon lost in his own world, a world he controlled, an ending he could orchestrate. In Paulo’s mind, life could get no better.

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    1. Jebus, this is quite insightful and well written. The first paragraph really draws me in. The rest of it seems to be the heart of the story, which means it can really be drawn out and given more detail as you SHOW the reader instead of TELLING.

      For example, when you say: ‘Tasteless yes, but to the masses, which flocked to his cart like gulls cleaning up after a fresh haul, quick and filling.’ I’d like you to SHOW me that. Write some dialogue, an interaction with a customer who wants only a filling meal, not to know about Paulo’s life history or experiences. Make the customer light and vapid and stressed, and Paulo warm and friendly and happy. It takes practice, but you have a really good start here!

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  3. The first day of school and the last day of school have a lot in common. Both are beginnings, yet both are endings. I look forward to beginnings with mostly excitement, and a little fear. Endings I usually dread because I like things the way they are.

    Hot weather accompanies the first day of school as well as the last. In August, I walk to school with a new backpack filled with sharp pencils and a binder and paper, all blank. It’s hot, but I am eager to see my friends and meet my teacher, and even check out the new textbooks. On the last day of school, heat rises from the cement, pushing me away from the completed year. Books have been turned in and paper used up. My backpack is empty again. I am eager for summer vacation and swimming until late at night.

    That’s just the beginning.

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    1. Maya, this is a great idea! I like how you compare the hot weather in August to June. I assume ‘that’s just the beginning’ is not part of the essay, but a note to me. 🙂 I would love to see more of your comparison.

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