Alice’s Restaurant

September 29, 2006


Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 6:44 pm

Every entry I have made in the FanLit contest so far has received a large number of both zeros and fives. As near as I can tell my averages seem to be between 2.2 and 2.9. Why is this?

I know a lot of it is a matter of taste. I’ve always had a strong effect on my readership, like it or not and the better my writing gets the more polarized the reactions to it. I don’t really mind that some people hate me, so long as there are just as many who love me.

But I think there is more to it than that.

I think the way the contest is set up brings out things in ourselves … ugly things. I am quite proud of myself for having NEVER given a 0. I did give a few .5’s, but that was to people who not only didn’t follow the assignment, but don’t write that well either. Otherwise they’d have gotten a 1 from me. I’m proud of this because boy is there a temptation to do it!

When I play the game straight – going through the vote process through the Vote button, I find myself skipping a lot. Sometimes I even skip things that MIGHT be interesting because I don’t want them to do well when I’m not! I dislike this in myself.

That’s why I like invitations. They keep me on the level. I’m not skipping so I’m not hurting anyone, and I actually give more generous scores because I always leave a comment when I’ve been invited. I like myself better that way.

The thing is, if my own scores more closely reflected where I expect my entries to be – with at least one in the top 100 – I would be a lot more generous with my scoring all the way around.


September 28, 2006

“Best of Luck”

Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 2:11 pm

There’s a lot of that going around on FanLit right now. (Would you stop groaning already? I know I’m obsessed with it. FanLit, FanLit, FanLit. So there.)

It occurs to me that luck has a lot to do with it. For instance, I had terrible luck the day before yesterday. I didn’t have enough time for that third entry. Then I got bumped off the computer by family members a dozen times. And my scores are getting the usual trouncing – only with not so many 0’s this time.

I did not have enough luck to get into the top ten this time. I’m hoping I had enough for a decent showing.

Wish me luck!


September 27, 2006

Top of the World

Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 1:10 am

I am having so much fun!  I got into the invite option on FanLit, and spent part of yesterday and all of today talking people into letting me invite them to rank my entries, and getting invites from them.

I’m a lot nicer to people who invite me.  I am much more likely to read them all the way through.  I don’t skip at all from an invite.  I leave comments on invites where I don’t leave any without.  And the ranks I give are likely to be closer to what I think with no reference to how low everyone’s averages tend to be.

Invites bring out the good in me, and I love the interaction.

Yep.  Hanging out in the forum exchanging email addresses and permission to invite was a real good idea. 

But now I have to hustle over there and do some ranking.  Gotta go!


September 26, 2006

Just when you thought it was safe to drop by

Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 2:22 am

FanLit again!!!

Oh quit cringing.  At least most of my FanLit blogs have been short.

I am finding this FanLit thing a very humbling experience.  It is teaching me that umpteen million years of writing and a vast amount of education in the field of writing is not enough to overcome reader apathy.

In other words, trying doesn’t necessarily make you a good writer.

Wait a minute.  Exactly what was the smelly stuff that just hit the fan?

It’s true.  Having spent 30-60 hours a week for 40 or 50 weeks out of each year since 1999 in front of the keyboard, not to mention many, many hours in front of a typewriter over the years before that, isn’t enough to make me any good at this.

Books, classes, and critique groups seem to have helped, but they are not, in and of themselves enough.

I can not write a fabulous FanLit entry.  I CAN write at the drop of a hat.  I can come up with something that isn’t a complete waste of time to read.  But I can not make the readers stop for my promo and rave to one another that they loved with I write.  And that’s what I want.

To heck with the prizes!  I don’t LIKE Saks clothes.  I consider a contract to do a TV show a derailment of my career.  And I don’t have to do anything special to get the Border’s gift card.

So what’s the point?


I’m sick and tired of writing for myself.  Writing for yourself is like playing tennis with a wall.  Sure, it can be done – and enjoyed –  but it’s not the same as the real game.

I want to make people laugh and cry and talk about how much they loved what I wrote.  I want them to tell their friends to not to pass it up when they get the chance because it’s so good.  I want to know that what I am doing with my life is worth while.

I don’t want to win.  I just want to do really, really well.

God help me, I’m not sure it’s possible.


September 16, 2006

Avon FanLit – of course.

Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 5:11 pm

I know, you’re sick of hearing about it, but it’s what my world revolves around for the moment. 

It occurred to me that I hadn’t really described it.  In the couple of weeks before the first assignment a bunch of people signed up to participate, and to vote for which combination of setting and premise we were going to use.   The winner was a Regency in which a darling of the ton may or may not be a fraud and the hero suspects her.  Over 2,400 people signed up for this.

So far there have been a little over 350 submissions.  Considering they gave us two weeks for this first chapter and how many people signed up, and that each could submit as many as two entries, this seems low.  Maybe a lot of those signing up only planned on voting.  Or maybe a lot of those who signed up got to the moment where they had to actually write and found it a lot harder than they expected.  Then again, we have until Monday to get them all in.  I expect the number of entries could double in that time.

Next week won’t be so easy, for the writers.  They post the next assignment on Friday afternoon and expect a maximum of three per person to be in by the following Monday.  Good thing I write fast.  I just hope it’s fast enough.

So far the scores given have been wild.  I have a few fives and a bunch of zeros.  This seems to be par for the course.  Considering my first entry was put up within 24 hours of the assignment being given out and was mostly a response to stuff said in their forum, I’m quite pleased.  I mean, someone who doesn’t know me from a hill of beans gave me a top score!  More than one did it!

As to the zeros, apparently everyone is getting slammed by them, even entries I gave high marks to are getting them.  Either someone is trying to build themselves up by damaging everyone else, or tastes are wildly off.  But I figure since everyone’s getting them it just means the highest scores will look low, but will still final.  The cream rises no matter how sour the milk.  Also, mine got slammed a couple of times for not fitting into the guidelines the way people expected.

Raven, I think you would like that first entry.  It features a vampire.

September 13, 2006


Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 6:45 pm

Avon’s FanLit had triggered my obsessive tendencies.  I haunted the site for three days after I made my first submission.  I feaverishly started working on my second submission.  I voted like crazy and posted comments all over the place, and generally made an idiot of myself.

I totally neglected my blog, my bloground – such as it is – and my crit group.  Not a good thing.  But at least I still got dinner on the table and didn’t call in sick to work.

This hasn’t always been so.  I get hooked on computer games the way some people get hooked on gambling.  The worst was part of a “mojang” game.  It didn’t use the usual tiles, just colored squares.  You line them up in rows of five or more and the come off the computer screen.  Each time you move a tile, three more go on the board.  It’s a race against the forces of chaos.  While I could play it for hours on end.  While playing, I would forget to eat.  Unluckily, the kids didn’t like skipping dinner.  They nicknamed it “The Evil Game” and likened it to drug addiction.

I’m going to assume this obsession will go the way of previous obsessions – a burning intensity gradually replaced with a quiet devotion and eventually a passing interest.

Until then, my apology for the obsessive and hit-or-miss blogs.


September 8, 2006


Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 9:02 pm

I did it!  I got my first submission done and in.  I get one more chance at it, and I’m planning on doing that right before the deadline. 

They had an “invite a friend to vote” thing at the end of the submission form.  I don’t know if I have to actually invite people through it in order for them to vote, or if you can simply go and do it.

Anyone who feels like voting, I’d be much obliged.  If you can’t get in directly, let me know you want an invite and I’ll get you in.


September 6, 2006

Big bites bite big

Filed under: FanLit — aliceaudrey @ 9:17 pm

I never bite off more than I can chew, but sometimes I fill my mouth a little more than is pretty.  This is one of those times. It all started with Avon’s FanLit contest.  Avon is a house I have drooled over for some time.  So far I have sent then two submissions – a query that received my fastest ever rejection and a partial that got swept out with the rest of the slush pile when the editor who requested it left.  I would really like for them to actually look at my work, and this is my chance.The contest looks like it’s going to be intensive.  We are supposed to write a chapter a week and vote on the chapters we like.  The prizes are mostly things I have no use for – coupons to Saks, which is not my style and a Fox TV contract, which would be wonderful if I were a script writer – but my interest is in getting some attention.

I’d like to be able to put a link to my web site on my signature line so the editors can look over what I have.  Thus the effort to get my web site up.  My travails with HTML is a blog in itself, as you will probably see tomorrow *grin* 

And if I’m going to do the web site thing I should certainly blog.  I was kind of inclined to try the blog thing anyway. 

And of course I want to have stuff ready to submit.  At the moment the only book that hasn’t been torn to shreds and is in the process of being re-built is Serpent’s Teeth, which I’m eyeing with an eye to another revision, and which they have already rejected anyway.

So I have committed myself to the following this month:  Writing up a storm for the Avon contest.  Spending time on Avon’s FanLit board voting and generally talking.  Putting up a GOOD web site.  Blogging.  And Completing the revisions on Zackly Right.

Hmmm – doesn’t look like nearly as much on paper.  I guess I shouldn’t be nervous about getting it all done after all.

Blog at