Last month’s guest blog contest resulted in some stellar entries and the creation of one completely indispensable blog. Let’s do this again, shall we?
– Please e-mail a guest post between now and noon Pacific time on Thursday to email@example.com.
– Please limit yourself to one entry.
– You may enter a post that you submitted for the last contest but it’s probably best to send something new
– Please do not e-mail entries to my work address.
– Make sure to format your blog post in block formatting (i.e. single spaced, double spaces between paragraphs, no indenting, plain text) for easy copying and pasting. No attachments, please.
– I will choose the five best, most helpful, funniest, awesomest posts to run next week and link to the guest blog author’s blog or website or Amazon page or favorite charity or what have you. The topic is totally up to you, although some relevancy to this blog’s themes will probably receive preference (but not necessarily!).
– I regret that I will not be able to run every post, and thus some blog post writing may be in vain.
– Winners will be announced on Friday.
– Rules and guidelines subject to change without notice.
Can’t wait to see the entries!!
Blog note: I’m afraid that due to repeated misconduct by one individual I have to disable anonymous comments until further notice. I really regret that I’ve had to take this action because so many people use the anonymity responsibly and to register constructive dissent.
Until we’re able to restore anonymous commenting please be assured that I’m not going to hold it against you if you disagree with me about anything, and feel free to use your own identity to do so. Constructive criticism, disagreement, and polite expression of opinion are always encouraged. Hopefully we’ll be back to normal as soon as possible, and thanks for understanding.
Thanks, Nathan! Can't wait to read the winning entries.
Oh wonderful =D I wish I had the time to participate in these.
Last time the entries were fantastic.
Thanks so much Nathan!
Ink and Mira, whichever way the ice cream is flying, drop some on me. It's 10:00pm and still 82 here.
But, you know what they say, its DRY heat, so it isn't so bad. Ha. The sagebrush doesn't seem to mind, anyway.
Thanks for the welcomes. Who knew decloaking could give a person such a warm fuzzy feeling.
Um, by the way, could we make that ice cream low fat? If I ever post a photo, it could be important.
Other Lisa says
Greetings to all the de-Lurkers! It's a good thing.
Bane of Anubis says
CharlieMac, I'll show you where to put that ice cream 🙂 — it's now 90 or so degrees here and my wife and I are sitting out on the porch b/c it's 97 inside our house (it got up to 106ish today in Portland – my wife is giving me no end of grief for choosing a house sans AC and a house that gets south facing sun all frickin day long)…
Oh, and it's not a dry heat either… I almost miss Houston.
Laura Martone says
Steph said: "Go to bed Laura, it's okay, I won't tell anyone. I'm about to do the same… I'll have the coffee percolating bright and early tomorrow!"
Well, good morning, Steph! I just wanted to let you know that I did, in fact, get up bright and early. I've been up since 3 a.m. – it seems my internal clock is all confused by my earlier-than-usual bedtime. Sigh.
But the good news is that I actually saw the sunrise over Big Bear Lake. True, I fell off my mother-in-law's hammock, and the early morning mosquitoes nibbled me mercilessly, but the sunrise was still indescribably beautiful… and the wisps of fog drifting across the lake's surface were truly lovely. No wonder you love getting up at 6 a.m. – it is inspiring to see the world awaken.
If only my back wasn't sore from falling off the hammock.
Oh, well. Here's to a good morning for everyone!
P.S. So, Steph, where's my coffee?
Woohoo! Another contest.
Thanks for putting up with potentially rude comments and allowing us to comment on your blog AND submit material for a blog post.
I hope it goes well and that one bad apple doesn't spoil the bunch.
Looking forward to the valuable resources this blog has.
Rick Daley says
Laura / Steph,
I am a creature of habit and I try to establish routines. I posted on it recently, if you want a peek:
Managing the Slushpile isn't that hard. I create very little content for it. Posting a query only takes a minute, two if it's a revision and I'm adding links.
Sounds like fun! I may have to try and put something together.
Laura Martone says
Yup, I read all about your time management skills the other day, and I was very impressed by your knack for juggling so well. 🙂
So impressed, in fact, that I shared the saga of my own time-management deficiencies at my new blog. Sad, but true.
P.S. Speaking of time-management issues, I am woefully behind in my Public Query Slushpile critiquing duties, and I'm really sorry about that. I promise, as soon as my mom's visit is over, I will happily return to the PQS and critique everything in sight.
Steph Damore says
Laura: Sorry to hear about falling out of the hammock – ouch! But the sunrise sounded spectacular and "the wisps of fog drifting across the lake's surface," perfect! – well, sans mosquito bites of course.
I too got up this morning and have been writing in earnest (okay, make that editing) from my front porch. I purposely avoided NB's blog this morning trying to get some work done. It's a gorgeous morning in Michigan, isn't it?
Bane and other Pacific Northwesters – I feel your pain. I don't have ac either, but it's only 80 around here – perfect t-shirt and shorts weather (I'll quit rubbing that in now). Hopefully relief will be on its way soon!
Rick – thanks for the post, I'll go check it out.
Steph Damore says
Oh Laura, here's your coffee.
I wasn't sure if you took cream and/or sugar, so I left it black – enjoy!
Laura Martone says
Thanks for the coffee, Steph!
Actually, being a Southern girl at heart, I drink cafe au lait (half coffee, half milk)… but I've already got the milk, so no worries.
Good luck with the editing!
Well, I had a nice experience this morning.
I came into work so exhausted all I could do was stare into space – I can't think when I've been this tired.
So, naturally I wasn't going to get any work done. Besides the auditors will be here soon. So, I decided instead to pull out a partial piece I started for Nathan for the last blog contest.
This blog contest is too wonderful an opportunity to let it pass – no matter how tired I am.
I've worked on it for a half an hour or so. And now – I'm all energized. I'm still tired, but not like before.
Who knew that creativity was such a pepper upper. Wow. I really, sincerely didn't.
Anyway, I suppose I should get some work done, but at least I'm through the basic draft of the blog entry, and I'll work more on it tonight.
After I take a nap. 🙂
Ouchie! See they went and ruined it for the rest of them!
Anyhow, I'm so glad I managed to see this challenge before the cutoff! I missed the last one. Yippie!
Although I have no idea what I would even write. Hmmm.
Bittersweet Fountain says
Do we email our post to you as an attachment, or do we copy and paste it directly into the email?
I was not sure what your policy was.
Nathan Bransford says
No attachments, please.
Oops. Just totally changed my topic. I'm going from funny to serious.
Once again, this is very fun, Nathan. And so generous of you. Really.
Thanks for doing it – although I miss it when you don't post. Just for the record.
Just sent mine! I hope you enjoy it even if it doesn't make the final cut. I went for funny. hehe.
Bane, if you are talking Portland, Oregon, I sympathize with you. Portland is like Seattle, muggy and not a lot of air conditioners. Do yourself a favor and head out to Cannon Beach for a few days. I'm in Yakima with central air but it isn't enough. And my husband and I are dreaming of the Oregon coast right now. I wish we could go.
I see no reason one needs to be annonymous to register dissent.
But I sure wish I didn't miss all the fuss. Those deleted posts are so intriguing, aren't they? Gets the imagination going.
Jan Markley says
Does no attachments mean no links?
'Cause the 'elvis sighting' or 'whatever happened to baby jane' links are dying to insert themselves into the blog post I'm working on for the contest! Please advise. ;-j
Man, Nathan has a zillion readers these days. But in case you do see this, Nathan, I was wondering if you could address a few questions I had regarding writer's stylistic choices and how they may affect what agents perceive to be “good writing” or not. (AKA, do these things I list below mean I'm probably going to get a form rejection?)
To be upfront, I write literary fiction, but I bet style choices like these may apply to genre writers, too.
1) If sentence fragments are used frequently, would that mean a form rejection from you (or other agents)? Or, does it depend solely on the way it's done?
2) If some proper nouns are purposely left uncapitalized, such as “mom”, “dad”, or, ahem, “god,” would that equate to “bad writing” and result in a form rejection?
I know a lot of great (and popular) authors genuinely "break the rules” of the English language. Cormac McCarthy uses sentence fragments and omits commas on a regular basis, for instance. I'm wondering though, if an unpublished writer makes choices like these do agents frown upon this behavior, or confuse these deliberate choices with "bad writing" even if the rest of the writing is good?
Okey dokey. Done and sent. I went with silly.
Such a fun contest, Nathan, thank you.
The problem I have with 'registering constructive dissent' is that it's not dissent.
It's kinda like this:
Say you have two political parties. One party is in power, while the other merely stands in opposition, waiting for the day when the tables might possibly be turned.
The party in power has been provided with a mandate by the people, to construct a road.
Construction of the road, however, is costly, and so, for economic reasons, the road can only be built in one of two directions, either north or south.
The party in power might eventually decide that the road must be built in the northerly direction, while the opposition might have decided, long ago, that the southerly direction is the only reasonable choice.
This northern road will undoubtedly have many obstacles before it – a mountain range, say, or a canyon – and in order to circumvent those obstacles the road will have to branch off in one of many different directions.
The party in power, if it's not completely fascist or totalitarian, will often say something along the lines of:
"We welcome all debate in this matter. Our preference is to send our new road around the canyon by going to the east, but if some of you believe that we must got to the west instead then we're perfectly willing to have that debate. We allow all kinds of debate here."
And of course they actually do believe that.
But the real problem here, at least for the opposition, is that they believe that building the road to the north is completely the wrong thing to do and that construction must cease immediately. In other words, they're not interested in having this east-west debate in which everyone else is presently engaged in.
Any dissent that the opposition registers will not be viewed as being 'constructive' since their dissent will not fall under the terms as outlined by the party that's presently in power.
Indeed, those in power, struggling to build this road, will merely be irritated at the suggestion that they should stop what they're doing and begin to build the road in the opposite direction.
Indeed, if the opposition continues to advance dissent, then the party that's in power will likely say: "Stop it with your continuous badgering. You're deliberately attempting to promote discord. This road is going in the northern direction whether you like it or not, and unless you have something constructive to add to this debate then just buzz off."
If the party in power has the ability to silence its opposition by pressing a button – then at this point that button will often be pressed.
In American society, because of the great foresight of the founders, this button, for all intents and purposes, does not exist, which is one of the reasons… indeed, it may be the chief reason… America has become such a great country.
A young man, in 1989, became a worldwide hero when he stood before a tank in a square called Tiananmen.
He was fighting for certain basic freedoms, which he felt were being denied to him by the government in power.
This wasn't 'constructive dissent' – it was just dissent.
From his perspective, there was no other option but to stand in front of that tank.
When the person who is in control does not allow for complete freedom of expression then there is no longer the possibility of true debate or discussion.
The phrase 'constructive dissent' is paradoxical, and quite frankly, rather wishy-washy.
I don't become involved in debates with people on their terms, I debate with them on my terms. If I believe that the road should be built in the southerly direction, then, whether it irritates people or not, that's the argument that I'm going to advance.
(And by the way, let's not forget what happened to that young man who stood before that tank.)
(I think that those presently in power would also do well to keep in mind that one day the gods might decide to turn the tables on them. It has happened before.)
Nathan Bransford says
Well, I know I'm impressed by your incredible bravery in the face of a possible comment deletion. Exactly the same thing as the guy who stood in front of the tank. Exactly.
Marla Warren says
It's good to remember the difference between speaking in a public square, or speaking in someone's living room, where the host is trying to maintain a civil atmosphere.
It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable. In fact there is a book on that topic.
Marla Warren says
“I regret that I will not be able to run every post, and thus some blog post writing may be in vain.”
Writing is never in vain. If nothing else, it always serves as practice. I remember Sue Grafton wrote that her first three novels were not published, but they were necessary practice for her fourth, which did get published.