Sunday, September 25, 2011

Platform Building Campaign 2nd Challenge & Douglas County Writers' Conference

Better last minute than never, I finally had a chance to sit down and write my piece for the 2nd Campaigner Challenge. First, the rules, as copied from Rachael Harrie's blog, Rach Writes...:

Write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should:

*include the word "imago" in the title
*include the following 4 random words: "miasma," "lacuna," "oscitate," "synchronicity,"

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional and included in the word count), make reference to a mirror in your post.

For those who want an even greater challenge (optional), make your post 200 words EXACTLY!

Yes, I fulfilled all of the challenges, optional and otherwise. It's just more fun that way! My entry is number 105, so please "like" it HERE if you enjoy it. **Note: When I posted this, I was #106. Apparently, someone deleted an entry, so my number was changed at one point. Not sure whether that might have an impact. :( It's 105 now, though.

My Cherished Imago

As I look into the mirror, I consider the lacuna of my life, as it’s been indicated to me. Where did the missing time go? How is it these others know more about me than I, myself, do? My past is nothing but love, joy and pleasure when I look back, flowers and butterflies, but as it’s explained to me, it comes across like a miasma born of a million putrid swamps.

How can they tell me my mother and father weren’t the saints I believed them to be? After all, they aren’t here to defend themselves anymore. There’s no way they could have done the things Sinclair claims. Then again, I know no other reasons for the multitude of scars my body bears. I’ve always attributed them to a clumsy childhood or possibly an illness.

As I look forward, my past looms behind me, seeming to oscitate, black as night. The synchronicity that brought Sinclair to me at just the right time, when my best friend also returned from a chasm of years, shows me I must continue to dig. I yearn to learn the truth about my past, at the same time fearing it with all my being.

For those of you who can't enjoy this until you know what the heck those words mean, here they are, as defined by

Imago: An adult insect or an idealized concept of a loved one, formed in childhood and retained unaltered in adult life.

Miasma: Noxious exhalations from putrescent organic matter; poisonous effluvia or germs polluting the atmosphere or a dangerous, foreboding, or death-like influence or atmosphere.

Lacuna: A gap or missing part, as in a manuscript, series, or logical argument; hiatus or one of the numerous minute cavities in the substance of bone, supposed to contain nucleate cells or an air space in the cellular tissue of plants.

Oscitate: To gape; to yawn.

Synchronicity: An apparently meaningful coincidence in time of two or more similar or identical events that are causally unrelated.

Yes, I stretched the meaning of a couple of those pretty far!

Before I go, for those in Colorado, especially those close to Douglas County, there is a writers' conference in danger of being canceled for low attendance. The information is below (copied and pasted from a CAL email):

The 5th annual Douglas County Writers’ Conference “Writing Your Way into the Winner’s Circle” is Saturday, October 8 to be held at Castle View High School in Castle Rock, 8 am to 4:30 p.m.

As of Friday, we had 27 registered attendees. We must have 100 registered attendees by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27, or the conference is in jeopardy of being cancelled.

The cost is $75. The faculty has 19 workshop presenters, and we have three agents from NY, Colorado, and California. Kate Chenery Tweedy, author of Secretariat’s Meadow: The Land, The Family, the Legend, is the dynamic keynote speaker. London photographer Victoria Carew Hunt will be there to do head shots for $25.

Click HERE to go to their website.

Have you ever been to a smaller conference? How did you like it?

May you find your Muse.


Doreen McGettigan said...

I enjoyed this; very mysterious and left me wanting answers...

Katharina Gerlach said...

Loved this. Very deep psychologically. Well done.

jasonbeineke said...

Leaves one wondering what else is in that chasm of forgotten memories. And who is the mysterious Sinclair?

Samantha VĂ©rant said...

Great job with the challenge. I wonder if you'd be able to use those words in your MS. LOL Maybe synchronicity!

I went to a smaller conference in Illinois. It was great-- more one on one time with the agents/editors!

Anonymous said...

Most enjoyable - great use of the mandatory words...:)

Maeve Frazier said...

Nice job! Great use of the words. I could read more.

K.T. Hanna said...

Not only did you weave the challenge words seamlessly into the story - but you also used putrid, one of my favourite words ever.

You are my hero. I loved this piece.

Rebecca Emin said...

This is great. It left me thinking at the end; wondering what would happen next. I enjoyed this a lot.

Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic slant on the challenge....well done, it was very moving and left me wanting to read more. I still have yet to do it but life and work have got in the way. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and commenting. I'm finally getting somewhere.
Hugs eve x

Crystal said...

Awesome job! I want more!! :-)

F.E. Sewell said...

Wow! What a cerebral piece. Now I really want your MC to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Mark said...

Very good, but gosh that's quite a challenging bunch of word requirements:) I love using words like these, but I find that more often than not it loses the reader over time, but that's just been my experience.

Catherine Johnson said...

Very intriguing and unexpected. Great job!

Sheri L. Swift, Author said...

Very interesting, disturbing and made me want to know more! ; )

Sonia Lal said...

Very mysterious ending! Great use of the words though

Jen said...

This is scary stuff -- the mention of the scars sent a chill down my spine. I definitely want to know how this will be resolved.
Mine is #3.

Jo Schaffer said...

Ooh! Coolness! (= And I love the challenge words.

Camuesque said...

Mysterious. I like it, especially the memories, half-hidden.

( Mine is 112.)

Join me at the Rule of Three Writers' Blogfest!

Anonymous said...

Nice job. You managed to make the words not stick out like sore thumbs. Mine is #29

Unknown said...

Well done. I liked the way you balanced the sad tone with a sort of silver-lined hope that maybe the implication of abuse isn't true.

Thanks for reading mine :)

Shannon Lawrence said...

Doreen, thank you!

Cat, thank you!

Jason, I'm glad it creates those questions.

Samantha, it definitely sounds like you'd get more personal time with the reps there, which sounds awesome. Yeah, as fun as the words were, they're not really ones that sound natural in a MS.

TF, thank you!

Maeve, that's wonderful to hear!

K.T., LOL, I enjoy that word, as well!

Eve, I can certainly understand life getting in the way. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to pull this one off.

Crystal, awesome, thanks!

Shannon Lawrence said...

F.E., the thing about flash is it makes me want to answer the questions, too!

Mark, I tend to agree on the word usage. It was fun to try and use them, but I know that I had a hard time sticking it out sometimes when reading, and not because of bad writing. Still, it was a great challenge!

Catherine, thank you!

Sheri, I can get behind disturbing! ;-p

Sonia, thank you!

Jen, thank you, great to hear! I will be by after I've finished responding.

Jo, they were fun words!

Camuesque, thank you! I will be by shortly.

Bridget, that is certainly good to hear!

Steph, thank you!

Arlee Bird said...

You created a very mysterious scene here and did well with the words.

I've never been to any writer's conference but I'd like to one day.

Tossing It Out

The Blogger Girlz said...

You covered so much, yet there's so much more to cover. I want to read more!


David P. King said...

You've covered a lot of emotional ground, here. I'm quite curious as to what happened in your character's past to carry such a well.

Great job, Shannon! :)

Sher A. Hart said...

This is heavy stuff to someone missing time in their past. Lucky for me I know it was my dad's death that caused it. The only scars were emotional. Maybe that's why I write mostly fun stuff and puns. Mine is #52 last I checked. Imago Fly Away.

Tara Tyler said...

the brain has a protective mechanism to block horrid memories for some.
well done!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Lee, I hope you get the opportunity!

Aaron, great to hear!

David, thank you!

Sher, I'm so sorry to hear that. I read your piece and enjoyed it!

Tara, very true, and sad when a situation exists to create that.

Author A.O. Peart said...

Very moving and mysterious. Well done.

My entry is #157

I attend SCBWI conference in Seattle every year. I'm also planning to sign up for PNW writers' conference next summer (also Seattle)

Shannon Lawrence said...

Angela, thank you! A conference in Seattle would probably be fun (and huge?!).

Anonymous said...

Great job! You left me wanting more. Fantastic take on the challenge.

Christine Rains said...

Nicely done. Good use of the words and I love the mystery.

Unknown said...

Very nicely done. Thanks for sharing the link with me.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Raelyn, thank you!

Christine, thank you!

Mary, my pleasure!

Karen deBlieck said...

Great characterization! You potrayed her confusion about reality and what she perceives. Great job.


Shannon Lawrence said...

Karen, thank you!