March 5, 2014 at 12:43 pm , by Alyce Wilson
For several years now, I’ve been participating in an online writing contest called The Real LJ Idol that is the creative equivalent of the Olympics plus the Iditarod. While I’ve never placed higher than 5th in the competition (and that on my first year competing), I have made countless connections with wonderfully talented, creative and generous writers. I would also say that some of my best work from the past several years has come from responding to the LJ Idol prompts.
This is sign-up week for Season 9, which founder Gary Dreslinski has announced will be the final season. What are you waiting for? Hop on over to the main page, read the LJ Idol FAQ and cast your hat into the ring! The more
cannon fodder participants the better!
A couple other people have published serious interviews with Gary in the run-up to Season 9, so I thought I’d just have a little fun. Following in the footsteps of Entertainment Weekly, here are some stupid questions with LJ founder Gary Dreslinski.
When it comes to LJ Idol strategy, which American Idol finalist would be best to imitate: Sanjay Malakar, Adam Lambert or Candice Glover? Please answer in the style of an American Idol judge (past or present) of your choosing.
(as Harry Connick Jr)
I think the critical error of this question is assuming that I’ve watched every season of American Idol. You really need to work on your basics here: the lead-off question is what gets people into an article and can help establish a really one-on-one emotional connection with your reader. There were a few that I missed. Including Adam Lambert and Candice Glover’s seasons. I did see Sanjay’s however, and was following “Vote for the Worst” in their campaign to get him there. So I’d definitely say that no one should attempt to imitate him.
Given that Candice’s album had the worst debut in American Idol history, I would have to go with telling people they should emulate Adam Lambert. He’s probably seen Keith Urban naked!
(as Paula Abdul)
Wha? Is this thing on? *falls down drunk*
Some have said that LJ Idol could be better compared to Survivor or even Project Runway than to American Idol.
I think Project Runway and Top Chef are probably the best comparisons, although the voting is very much modeled after American Idol.
To what non-reality show or shows would you compare LJ Idol? Why?
Game of Thrones. Many people are going to die trying to seize power.
Have you ever dreamt up a plot twist for LJ Idol that was too evil to use? Discuss.
Mass eliminations in Week 1. I’ve had that on my “to do” list since Season 3. I’ve never ended up pulling the trigger on it, because when it comes right down to it, I want people to have a fair shot.
How would life be better if everybody participated in LJ Idol?
They would lead richer, happier lives — full of laughter and mirth. Money would rain from the skies. Poverty and hatred would be completely eliminated as all of humanity put their collective beings into being the best Idolers.
What question should I have asked you but didn’t?
What has it got in its pocketses?
February 19, 2014 at 10:55 am , by Alyce Wilson
Thanks to a tip from a friend, I entered a video competition held by an organization called Baby Steps. Finding out about the contest just 48 hours before the deadline, I still managed to put together a decent two-minute video. Fortunately, I had plenty of raw footage, and KFP readily helped me shoot some more to fill in where I needed it. Maybe my undergraduate degree in Broadcast/Cable will finally pay off!
Please pop over to Facebook and check it out. Hopefully, you’ll like it. My entry is called “Puppet Problem Solving”:
Scroll to the bottom of the screen and look for a still showing KFP with two puppets.
After you’ve viewed it, if it made you smile, please vote by clicking on the box in the upper right-hand corner of the video. Judges will select the top prizes based on criteria such as creativity and production values, but they’ll also award a special prize for the video that receives the most votes.
January 24, 2014 at 2:20 pm , by Alyce Wilson
The new issue of FIVE Poetry Magazine features five of my poems about the theme of Spring. These poems span my life events from young romance to pregnancy at age 39, all reflecting on the tumult and promise of the season. I actually get a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this issue, so please share!
January 12, 2014 at 8:48 pm , by Alyce Wilson
I just received a form rejection from “Silver Pen” magazine, run by Silver Blade, which was one of the magazines I’d submitted to in October as part of 31 Queries in 31 Days.
Five more poems available to send out again!
January 2, 2014 at 12:47 am , by Alyce Wilson
Looking back at 2013, I had many successes. I built on my existing author’s platform, connecting with more users/potential readers on Twitter, Google Plus, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest.
Thanks to the 30 Queries in 30 Days Project and its extension, the 31 Queries in 31 Days Project, I received acceptances from Miracle magazine and Five poetry magazine and secured an editing gig for a series of children’s books.
I published my second non-fiction book, Dedicated Idiocy, a Kindle-only book, and made progress on my current work-in-progress, Now with Kung Fu Action Grip, a collection of writings about my 3-year-old son.
This year I have two main goals:
1) Complete and publish Now with Kung Fu Action Grip.
2) Complete and publish my new poetry anthology, Owning the Ghosts.
In addition, I want to build on my successes by sticking to three good habits:
4) Write at least one poem a week.
5) Apply to at least one writing job or send at least one submission a week.
In general, I will also be striving to continue to build my author’s platform and to find creative and results-driven ways to promote my published works.
And an exciting update: I learned that I’ve been selected as one of the finalists to be included in the Project REUTSway anthology, from the November YA writing challenge. I will keep you posted on the book as the project progresses!
December 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm , by Alyce Wilson
It’s taken a while, but I’m finally getting some results from the action I took during my 31 Queries in 31 Days project.
Some of the responses have been rejections, such as from “Poetry” magazine and “Literary Mama.”
However, I’m starting to get some good news, too! I was contacted in response to one of the Elance jobs for which I applied, and I’ve just signed a contract to edit and format several short children’s books.
And just last night I learned that two of my poems, “How to Name a Cat” and “For Lack of a Wheelbarrow,” have been accepted by Miracle ezine. I’m very excited about it, because their mission (and feel) is similar to mine at Wild Violet. Plus, these two poems are personal favorites of mine that I’ve been sending to different places in hopes of publication. It’s great to finally place them somewhere.
News now about my November writing challenges. I wrote stories in response to three out of four of the story challenges of Project REUTSway. I was halfway through the fourth story when I had to throw in the towel due to sickness and an emerging migraine.
I didn’t do as well with Nina Amir’s Write Nonfiction in November challenge, mostly because I spent a lot of time promoting two Kindle promotions: one over Philcon weekend for “The Art of Life” and one over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend for “Dedicated Idiocy.”
For the month of December, I’m going to focus on putting together “Now with Kung Fu Action Grip.” Right now, I’m still compiling all the possible material (essays, journal entries and poems about my little Kung Fu Panda). Then I’ll get to the rewriting/editing phase and finally the design phase. While I would have liked to have it ready for the winter holidays, I’m going to shoot instead for January or February, when people will be burning through their gift cards. I intend to put together both ebook and print versions of the book.
I’m also going to try to start blogging here about other subjects that catch my interest, so it’s not just about my writing career and writing tips. If you have any suggestions of things you’d like to see me write about, please share them in the comments!
November 29, 2013 at 9:41 am , by Alyce Wilson
Joy and happiness! It’s Black Friday, the day that retailers entice shoppers into their stores with deals, hoping to make up for the entire rest of the year.
Well, if you’re one of those shoppers, have fun and good luck! And when you’re done, put your aching feet up, pull out your laptop and hop on over to Amazon to pick up a Kindle copy of my book, “Dedicated Idiocy: A Personal History of the Penn State Monty Python Society,” at bargain basement prices.
(And if you don’t have a Kindle device, don’t worry. Just search for “Free Kindle Reading Apps” and download one of Amazon’s apps for smartphones and PCs.)
From today (Friday, November 29) through 6 PM (EST)/3 PM (PST) tomorrow (Saturday, November 30), you can nab a copy of that silly, colorful look at my shrimp salad days for just 99 cents. Then the price will step up incrementally to $1.99 and $2.99 before finally returning to the standard price of $3.99 on December 3.
The sooner you get there, the more you save! Give yourself the gift of laughter. You deserve it.
November 8, 2013 at 11:12 am , by Alyce Wilson
A few years ago, I embarked on a personal project that gave me a great sense of empowerment. I combed through more than a decade of my newspaper columns and online writings to put together a collection of essays and humor, titled The Art of Life.
The collection represented some of my best creative non-fiction and humor to date: including an essay on Marilyn Monroe and body image; ponderings about the conspiracy of giant cows on the American roadside landscape; and musings about my late dog, Una, who taught me to appreciate the little things in life: to smell (and lick) life’s goodness.
Since the collection addressed such a broad range of topics, I opted not to approach a traditional publisher but instead to go the self-publishing route. Because of The Art of Life, I not only got a chance to reflect on my writing up to that stage in my career but also dipped my toe into the modern age of self-publishing.
Of course, self-published books don’t have giant marketing operations behind them, and I happened to put the book out the same year that I gave birth to my all-consuming bundle of bouncy boy energy, Kung Fu Panda. I sort of fell down on the marketing aspect of it.
But you know what? I’m not giving up. And now that my son is entering preschool (and my gluten-free, dairy-free diet has cleared the cobwebs from my postpartum brain), I’m giving it another shot. In fact, I’m so convinced that you’ll like the book that I’m giving out free Kindle copies this weekend.
From November 8 (today) through Tuesday, November 12, stop by the Amazon.com page for the Kindle version of The Art of Life and snag a free copy. Then tell all your friends. And if they tell two friends, and if they tell two friends and if they tell two friends… an exponential number of people (or at least, what, 32? 64?) will give the book a read.
Ideally, that might lead to sales. But at this point, you know what? I just want people to read it. I guarantee you will find something within these pages that will make you smile, ponder and perhaps even turn to your companion — be they human or dog — and say, “You’ve got to hear what I just read.”
(And if you do like it, I’d like to encourage you to write reviews on Amazon.com, Goodreads or any other book review site. It’s good karma! Or, for my canine friends, good dogma.)
November 7, 2013 at 11:25 am , by Alyce Wilson
I've received my official Philcon schedule and am on two panels this year and am officially the moderator of one of them (huzzah!). Check it out:
Sat 6:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Two (1 hour)
BECOMING A FULL TIME WRITER (1496)
[Panelists: Alyce Wilson (mod), Alex Shvartsman, David Sklar, D.L. Carter, Thomas Willeford]
How do you become a full time writer? Is that a good idea for you?
Sun 10:00 AM in Plaza III (Three) (1 hour)
USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO PROMOTE YOUR CAREER (1543)
[Panelists: KT Pinto (mod), Christine Norris, Alyce Wilson, D.H. Aire]
Whenever a writer is on Facebook, he or she is not working on their writing. What are the potential advantages and distractions of social media?
So my questions to you: What information would you like to hear on these two panels if you were attending? And do you have any insights that might be useful (such as specific books or online resources) to share?
October 31, 2013 at 10:59 pm , by Alyce Wilson
Striving to finish up the 31 Queries in 31 Days project:
28) Submitted a proposal for a job via Elance, writing a custom poem for a client.
29) Submitted a proposal for a job via Elance, converting children’s stories into publishable short stories for a collection to raise funds for a charity.
30) Submitted a short story to Cricket magazine (one of my favorite magazines as a child).
31) Proposed a product name for a new style of boots, posted by a client on ODesk.com.
And that’s it! And just before midnight, too!