Saturday, January 31, 2009

So Close, Yet So Far Away

Yup. That’s right. So close, yet so far away.

I wrote a story last year for a prompt in a writing contest, held with a private group, a members only kind of thing. It was called the Long Write. It’s kind of a Survivor meets King’s ‘The Long Walk.’ It had an immunity challenge and a story challenge, basically giving us two prompts to write on in one week. If you won the immunity—yeah, you guessed it—then it didn’t matter how much your story sucked in the main competition, you were through to the next round.

The competition was stiff, with some pretty good lesser-known writers—like myself—involved. John Lovero, Jamie Sunshine, Shanna Wynne, Michelle Garren Flye, Erik Smetana and several others. There was even a bit of trash talking going on. That’s right Lovero, just keep looking over your shoulder, I’ll be back.

I participated in this competition twice before those involved had to shut it down due to time constraints. I came in second in the first one behind Lovero and third in the second one, behind Lovero and Smetana. Winning the competition would have been cool but competing in it was a blast.


Simple. The prompts were unique and challenging. And the fact that I am ultra competitive helped. There were the standard prompts like write a story in the style of Poe or Lovecraft. Then there were the not so generic ones like the one where we had to write a humorous piece on a dog having a conversation with his heartworms. Oh and the one where we had to write a bizarro style story. My head hurt after that one.

Then there was the horror golf prompt. Ugh . . . I really do not like golf. I had to research a little bit about the various terms used in the ‘sport,’ as well as other things about it. I started two stories and didn’t like either of them. Then I started my third one. It was an erotic horror story titled “Sarah’s Course of Pleasure and Pain,” where playing only one hole mattered (Yeah, bad pun. Sorry). I don’t remember how I fared in that round—I made it through to the next one and that’s what mattered.

When the round was over I stored the story in my “I Will Never Find A Market For This” folder. Hmmm . . .

It seems I was wrong.

I had read some stories in an e-zine called SNM Horror a couple of months ago. So, I checked out the submissions guidelines and saw that they were running a contest for erotic horror stories for their February issue. I read over the very few erotic themed horror pieces I had and didn’t think they would be good enough. Then I remembered the Long Write story. I found it, opened it, read it and thought that it may have a shot. So, I edited it and sent it off.

To my joyous surprise, it came in 2nd place. Hey, that sounds about right. Second place in the Long Write, second place in the horror erotic category. And second place is money, so there’s an added bonus.

So, for anyone who wants to check it out (subliminal message: ALL OF YOU WANT TO READ THIS), it was released this morning. So, head on over to SNM Horror Magazine and peruse the stories, including ‘Sarah’s Playground,’ the story’s new title. You can find it here:

SNM Horror Magazine

You have to scroll down to find my story, but it’s there in all its glory. Check out the winning story as well, ‘Immortal Stone’ by Elizadeth Hetherington. Yes, that is the right spelling—I had to double check to make sure. Then when you are done, peruse the rest of the stories and the other things the site has to offer.


One other note and I’ll leave you for today.

My story ‘Laying Down An Old Friend’ is up at Six Sentences. This is a cool website and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of writing a story in just six sentences.

Check it out here:

Layind Down An Old Friend

Read it, rate it, leave a comment if you will.

For now I am done. I’ll be back tomorrow some time, probably after the Super Bowl with my wrap up of January and a few funny little stories for you all.

Until tomorrow, I am AJ and I’m out.


  1. Good going, AJ! I, too, am not a fan of the 'sport' of golf. But what you did with your research is awesome! And I loved "Laying down an Old Friend" - it is so poignant. Losing a good friend, man or beast, is sooo sad; we have few enough of them.


  2. Congrats again, AJ! You're taking them by storm, my friend.


  3. Your competitive spirit is the wind that fills the sails of success, we're all sure. Driven. That's you. And talented! That's you, too.