Sunday, March 02, 2008

James: Phase 2

Around the end of January I had a bit of a breakdown which led to the realization I had gotten away from doing things I love and that I was not happy with where I was headed as a person. This bundle of realizations motivated me to begin a program of changes in my life. The purpose of these changes is to allow me to get back to a James that I like. A James who is more confident in who he is and who is willing to let his freak flag fly.

Last month's obsession with dieting and getting healthier was the first phase in the program of changes I want to make. I decided to concentrate on my physical well-being first since this would be rife with challenges for me and is the single biggest change I need to make. Not to mention that I suspect it will take the longest time to reach my goals in this area.

Phase 2 of this process is getting back to being creative. I love to write however over the past year I have not completed a single writing project besides missives for this blog. I have started and stopped on more projects than I will admit to even thinking about however I have not seen any of them through to completion. I am going to change that starting this month. Beginning with March I want to do my best to produce one work of creative writing a month. Depending on the length of the project will determine how complete it must be by the end of the week. In the case of poems, short stories, and essays I feel it is not unreasonable to have them ready to be submitted for publication by the end of the month, however in the case of my still-dormant Starship Farragut script having the script ready to go out for a first pass by my readers is acceptable.

To this end I am looking for three or four people who are willing to read and critique my rough drafts. The first of which I plan to have done in about two weeks as I want to submit it to the contest detailed below. Contact me via the usual protocols if you are interested in editing my crap. Thanks!

The Fourth Annual Equivocality Writer’s Travel Scholarship

Once again, we’re doing the Writer’s Travel Scholarship. Once again it’s
very simple: you write something, and if it wins you get a round-trip
ticket to anywhere in the world. Really.

In the contest announcements for previous years, I penned elaborate
discussions about why I would do such a thing. Why it might matter. This
year, I don’t feel the need to explain why I think writers need to travel,
and hence why I would want to support that. If you don’t already know,
that’s an even better reason to go abroad. Instead I’ll just say:

I think travel is good. I think writing is good. I think it is important
that writers travel.

As before, I would like to make it clear that I am not specifically
calling for travel writing. Write about your pet dog, if you can do it in
an interesting an enlightening way. This contest is not about travel
writing but writers travelling.

On to the details:

* Applicants must submit a short piece, 10,000 words maximum. Fiction,
non-fiction, whatever, poetry or prose, on any topic.

* Also tell me a little about yourself, where you would go with your free
ticket, for how long, and why. You can’t ever have been to that country
before — I impose this restriction to encourage people to go somewhere
new, rather than using the ticket to visit their overseas girlfriend.
Also, you don’t have to write about your destination. I just want to know
why you want to go there.

* Email entries as an attached document in text or Word format to wts (at)
equivocality (dot) net by April 30th 2008. They will be judged by myself
and my writer friends, the winner to be announced on May 15th 2008.

* To keep things fair, I will not consider pieces I know to be written by
friends or acquaintances. What this means is that if you know me, you must
anonymize your submission (including your email address!)

* Entries must be previously unpublished, there is a limit of one entry
per author, and the ticket is limited to $2000 US. I will work with you to
book the cheapest available round-trip ticket, based on departure and
return dates given to me by the winner. I will try to accomodate these
dates and other preferences as much as possible, but I reserve the right
to shift each date plus or minus up to a week, and to make other choices
such as routing and airline, in order to find the best fare. Other travel
requirements, such as additional destinations or an open return date, may
be accommodated if the winner wishes to make up the difference in cost.

* By submitting a piece, you grant me (Jonathan Stray) limited
web-publishing rights, specifically the right to display it on and any other sites of I may have some degree of
editorial control over. I reserve no other rights. If someone sees your
work here and wants to publish it, fantastic.

* All decisions are final, and by submitting a piece you agree that I am
under no obligation to award any prize at all. The idea is also to fund a
developing writer who might not otherwise be able to afford to travel, so
please keep this in mind when considering whether to apply. I have no
funding, no committees, no mandate. I’m doing this just because I think
it’s a good idea, so let’s keep it simple

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