Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
I'm baaaaaaack... And I've brought some friends!
FIRST QUARTER FINALISTS
Jeremy Brink from Texas
Holly Heisey from Arizona
Marina J. Lostetter from Arkansas
Sean Monaghan from Manawatu, New Zealand
Tina Smith from California
Martin Shoemaker from Michigan
Stephen Sottong from California
Chris Stamp of Perthshire, United Kingdom
Congratulations to my fellow Finalists! And especially Jeremy, Holly, Marina, and Tina!
My thousandth post on WOTF:
Here it is, a milestone. I wondered and wondered what I could do for my thousandth post. I didn’t realize it was close until I made that little joke to Martin a while back. I’m glad he held back his 2000th for a special occasion. Yes it’s true, I’m a Finalist this quarter, but I didn’t want my 1000th post to be about me, how I got the call, the story behind my story, or anything like that. I wanted this post to be all about you. All of you. I think I’ll only mention a few, the ones I feel helped me and others in some way, but that doesn’t mean if I don’t mention you, that I don’t notice you.
So here we go:
Rebecca— You have become an awesome online friend. The moment we started our 500-words a day challenge last fall and we both stuck through it-- dental crisis and all, I knew I’d found a kindred spirit. You have a gifted voice in your writing. I’m swept away every time I read your words. I learned so much from you and doing daily “positive” critiques of our 500. It was nice to know what was going right for a change, rather than focus on what was wrong.
Dustin—You have a gift on seeing potential in words and stories. You know exactly what to pick out as the elephant in the room. You have no mercy, yet you deliver the words in a way that make it seem doable. We haven’t exchanged much, but I’m so impressed with your energy to help others on the board, by helping those who’ve only gotten rejections up to this point. When I came on this board I felt that was missing. Oh, and that first 450 version of your story I read back in October or November? That story had Hollywood power. That story would impress David Farland. Just my 2cents.
Kary—You are so incredibly awesome. I feel you might be at an unfair disadvantage having been the only person I’ve actually met. So I’ll try not to overload you with too much praise. You are as funny in real life as you are on the board. Your focus is amazing. You just keep on going, through any setback. Your stories, OMG-- they blow me away. I get drawn right in and forget to breath sometimes. Something you have is special and it will get noticed.
Elinor/Gator—You’ve made me laugh so many times, I can’t count. You did one critique for me a long, long time ago, for no exchange whatsoever. I don’t think people realize how talented of an editor you also are (as well as noticing the evidence of your skill in writing. I still haven’t read any of your stories, but Martin says you wrote a story he wished he had). I don’t know which one of you has the sharp eye, you or the gator, maybe it’s you both together that makes it work.
Michael—You’re going to go very far, very quickly. You have a work ethic on writing that matches our super stars like Annie and Thomas.
Annie and Thomas—Thank you both for coming on this board and sharing your business perspective. I’ve learned a lot. I know others are benefiting from your posts. I also hold the successes you’ve both had highly in my mind…..which goes with my next one:
Success and self-pub thread participants: I’ve read as many stories I could that were published by WOTFers. I feel this improved me the fastest. David Farland said that there is a secret language to writing in each genre and you can only get that by reading those works to get it. Reading all your publications, not only affirmed to me that hard work will pay off, but taught me a little about that secret language and what it takes to float to the top.
Stewart: I think you rate as the top person I exchange with. I remember the day I first got a PM from you to exchange. I believe it was Michaels “exchange” forum that lured you over to the WOTF board. You weren’t on the board yet and I had no clue you were a semi-finalist before and I sat my mouth agape, thinking, Oh god!! How will I ever get to this level of writing? I thought “oh dear” I’ve exchanged with one of those grammar Nazi types I avoid like the plague. Your sharp. You notice things on the board and its fun to have someone to secretly speculate with and I guess we did sort of chase off that one guy together, but he needed to go, anyway. He felt having smilies available were showing our lack of professionalism. Which was awesome because it brought on Bob Writer and for that I will always suspect you….
Krystal: We’ve exchanged quite a few times as well. I think we were the first on this board to take a plunge in critiquing along with Michael and for that I’m internally grateful. YOU are the plot credibility master. Logic is your strong suit and a beautiful writing style to go with it, deadly combination. Remember that dream you’d mentioned about being at the awards ceremony? I think it could come true.
Amanda- When you vowed to win this contest for KD I think I stood up and cheered. I want so many of you guys to win. I want to hear the acceptance speech you’ll write one day soon. Really soon.
Jeanette: I’ve come to look forward to your enthusiasm on the board. We’ve exchanged once and I’m so impressed with what you have to offer. There are so many talented people on this board. It’s nice to have fellow moms (Kary, Rebecca, Krystal…I guess I’ll have to add on Stewart because he IS a feminist, but he’s the only guy I’ll allow to sneak on our “mom” list) on here trying to write around naptime, bedtime, fighting and crying times.
Holly—My secret Finalist phone sister ☺ I think by now you’ve all figured the “conference” call he was alluding to on Facebook was mine and Holly’s. If there are any surprises left after we’ve all secretry secret-ed emailed each other.
Marina—I cant believe I’ve only ever read the first 450 words of your stories, but you have a sparkle in them and a special something that is obvious, since you’ve landed Finalist multiple times now. I really want you to win; your professionalism and your ability to keep your cool have earned huge respect from me.
Martin – I consider you a mentor of sorts. Especially with the encouragement you’ve given me the last few weeks. And you always have the right thing to say to keep the energy on the board. When George said you were like a spokesperson for the board, it felt right. You are a leader. If you shine this much on a computer screen then I fear what your full wattage is in real life.
Everyone: You are someone I like to call “Glue” everyone of you represents a type of person that is essential to any community. You make jokes, you pull people into conversations, and you ask the questions I don’t think of. It takes more than one person to develop into the positive community we have here.
Here’s to defying probability, statistics and laws of gravity! I’m so happy I think I could float!!
(So there you go—A thousand (plus) words for a thousand posts. I dedicate them to all of you....which I had planned before I found out, so I guess that makes 1K even more special. You can go to my blog --link in my signature-- if you want the Story behind the story).