20 September 2009

My Award-Winning Writing

When I was in fourth grade, I was in the University Interscholastic League Ready Writing competition. UIL is a statewide academic competition for public schools throughout Texas.

I don't really know how I got chosen to compete in the Ready Writing competition. Two other classmates competed with me, and another friend from another school.

The specific writing prompt is lost in my memory, but it was about finding a treasure chest in your back yard.

And I won first place!

Here is the winning entry from my nine-year-old self, copied word for word including any grammatical errors.

Treasure Chest

One day I was digging in the back yard, when suddenly I found a treasure chest. There was a not on the chest, and it said: The key to this chest is fifteen feet deeper than the chest.

So I started digging, but what I didn't know is that the key was one yard away from where I was digging. I didn't find the key.

So I went into the house to get a fingernail file. I got the fingernail file, then I went back to the chest.

I got the chest open. I had to dig through six inches of mud. I thought whatever was in there was going to be muddy. But when I got finished digging through the mud I to dig through three inches of loose sand.

I got through the loose sand. Finally I got down to see what was in it. They sparkled in the bright sunlight, and they were reds, blues, and greens.

They were Rubies, Garnets, Saphhires, Peridots, and Emralds. I went to see if they were real or not, if there were I was going to make jewlry out of them. If they weren't I would just keep them as gifts from the treasure chest.

I finally found out that the Emralds were fake. But the Rubies, Garnets, Saphhires, and Peridots were real.

The man said I would have to give 1/8 of it to the goverment. I didn't want to do it, but I had to.

Then I found out that I didn't have to give them the fake Emralds. But I wish I had to. I did not want to keep those Emralds.

Then I finally found out that I had more of it than the goverment did.

And that won first place! Even with all those spelling errors. Yeesh, those errors are embarrassing, but at least I can justify it by saying I was only nine.

What do you think of the story?

16 September 2009

Buckling Down

I really need to establish a writing routine. I've tried various things at different times, but none of them have stuck.

I read somewhere that Kate DiCamillo writes two pages a day. That seemed attainable, and I made a valiant effort. I worked on it during lunch at work. But then I just petered out.

Sometimes, I write or edit during my lunch break. That works, but I find that by the time I get into a groove, I've got to go back to my real job.

What works best is for me to sit in front of the television and write on my laptop. Commercials are particularly wonderful when a good show is airing. I know it seems like I'm not concentrating enough on the writing, then, but that is how I did my homework throughout my entire academic career. And I was an A student.

I already get up at 5 a.m. on weekdays to exercise, and I just cannot get up any earlier than that unless it's an emergency or I have to catch a plane. So, getting up early to write is out of the question.

When I get home from work, I have good intentions and plan to sit down and write until I go to bed. But then I get on my computer, check my email, Twitter and Facebook, and before I know it, two hours have passed, and I've lost all motivation.

I'm open to any and all suggestions.

And now, I really am off to write!

08 September 2009

Another Agent, Another Partial

I sent a partial of my YA novel to an agent today. She also requested a synopsis. I really hate writing those. They seem so much like a book report that I can't stand it.

When I was in elementary school, we participated in the Pizza Hut Book It program. There were a few problems with this program as far as I was concerned.

1. We were reading for free pizza coupons, and I didn't eat pizza at that time.

2. We were supposed to read a certain number of books (I don't remember how many) and write a book report about each one.

3. When you read your book and wrote a report, you got a gold star on a board.

I always read the books - often more than the requirement. I rarely wrote the book reports. I just never saw the point. Plus, I wasn't interested in the pizza.

Oh, well.

Wish me (and my book report synopsis) luck!