First off... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 2014! Let's make it a good one! I know it's late, but I couldn't help it.
I've been traveling. A lot. Back in mid-December, we headed off to see my wife walk in her graduation ceremony (12 hours away). Congratulations, dear! We now have another PhD in the world to make things a little bit better. On the way we stopped off at her cousin's place and met her fiancé. Between the adults we had 6 kids to handle. It was fun! Then it was time for Christmas traveling. My 2-year-old daughter is just starting to understand what Christmas is about (at least in terms of Santa and toys), so of course everyone wanted to spend it with her. We traveled another 6 hours to see my wife's grandparents and extended family as well as her brother. This is the first time we've been able to see him in several years, as he is an officer in the Army and stationed in Washington state. Being the Aide de Camp means he had a lot of stories to tell! And from there we drove 6 MORE hours (possibly more) to DC, where both of our parents live.
This is the last time our parents will be near each other, however. Soon, her parents are moving, and we are trying to encourage my parents to move to a lower cost of living as well. We needed to spend as much time with family as possible, and I was lucky enough to get to see an old friend while there. Sadly, it didn't last as long as I would have hoped. I was also tired from driving (I DID just drive 24 hours in less than a week).
After our long trip home (only took about 11 hours), we crashed, and that was a week ago today. Since then we've been cleaning, putting away our presents, preparing to potty train, looking up beer recipes, getting food back into the house... oh, and celebrating New Year's. But while doing all of that... I was writing.
I finally finished my Dark Crystal Author Quest entry! With about 2 hours to spare! The changes I made were a little risky... it'll either solve all the problems in the story or make it more confusing. Without having a chance for someone to read it over, I don't know which it did. But there is no point in mulling over it now. My entry has been submitted! I am proud of it! Sure, it took up a lot of time and that's why I haven't updated, but it was worth it!
On January 7th, they'll reveal who the 5 finalists are. I have a feeling there are several thousand entries, so they either have a huge team of people reading these or they will only be glancing at the first few words before deciding whether to spend more time on it. Sad, but there aren't many other options. I know there's a very small chance that I'l be in the top 5, but I hope and pray that I am. I also know that they are judging the entries based on voice, trying to get one that will match with their idea and world the best, so not being selected does not necessarily mean you aren't a good writer; you just aren't the right fit. The top 5 will be reviewed by professional editors. I assume there will be a chance for revisions before the winner is chosen. Whoever it is, good luck to everyone who entered! We all shared in a love for this world and we all helped to expand it. Since our entries are property of the Jim Henson company, I will not be posting it up anytime soon. But I do hope that they at least come out with an anthology of the best entries. I think it would be simply amazing to have even a small chance to expand the world of Thra, and I can't wait to see how other people tackled it.
No, there will be no short story today. I simply will not have the time to finish one. Perhaps I will try to make one later in the week. I really need to get back into the practice. In a few weeks I will be going on a writer's retreat, where I will spend as much time as possible revising my novel. Not sure I'll be able to post a short story then, either, but we'll see. Maybe I can post one early.