Jenna Black's Blog Experiment

Wherein romance author Jenna Black plunges into the terrifying new territory of blogging . . .


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I Bet You Think This Blog is About You

Insert the tune to "You're so Vain" here.

So last night on our way to dinner, my beloved husband informed me he'd read my entire blog. Fool that I am, I asked him, "so, what did you think?" His response: "It was good, but you didn't talk about me."

Well, first I informed him that yes, I had indeed talked about him in one of my earlier posts (he actually didn't read the whole blog, he just read the recent entries). Then I set about trying to figure out if he was serious or not. This isn't as easy as it sounds. He used to be a stand-up comedian, and he has a dry wit with a deadpan delivery. There are many times when I just don't know if he's joking. This was one of them. I honestly still have no idea.

But, just in case he wasn't joking, I figured I'd go ahead and talk about him. (Be careful what you ask for . . .)

I'll tell you about the writer's nightmare I lived through with the man who owns the keys to my heart.

I used to write exclusively science fiction and fantasy, and I wrote a lot of short stories. There's a very well known contest for f/sf stories, called Writers of the Future. They have four quarterly contests per year, and then a grand prize contest for all the quarterly winners. (These are not insignificant prizes--the quarterly winners get $1,000, the grand prize winner gets an additional $4,000. All quarterly winners also have a chance to be published in the yearly anthology, for which they are well-paid. )

As you can imagine, I entered this contest frequently. I hadn't even made the quarterfinals. Enter my dear husband, stage left.

In addition to being a comedian, he's also a writer, though he wrote almost exclusively humor and non-fiction. After editing one of my novels for me, he decided he'd have a try at writing a science fiction story, just for the heck of it. (I bet y'all know where this is headed, don't you?)

Had he ever written a science fiction story before? No. Was he a reader of science fiction, other than mine? No. Hell, he didn't even know if he was going to make it a short story or a novel. He just started writing and continued until he stopped.

He decided he'd go ahead and enter it in the Writers of the Future contest. I read his story, and I had a real sinking feeling. Because, you see, it was really, really good. It was weird, it was outrageous, it was hilarious, and it was like nothing I'd ever read before.

To make a long story short (especially when I know everyone has guessed the ending by now), he won first prize for his quarter. He got the $1,000. He got a 1-week all-expenses paid trip out to LA for a writing workshop and schmooze session. He got a really cool-looking trophy, awarded to him at a ceremony that you might have mistaken for the Oscars if you'd happened upon it. And he got the publication in the anthology. I was positively green with envy, though I tried to be happy for him.

Naturally, during his acceptance speech (I told you this was like the frickin' Oscars, right?), he told this story about how I'd been entering and entering and not winning, and how he'd won on his first try. He got a really good laugh from the crowd when he said, "Fortunately, she let me live."

I'm glad I let him live, because he is kind of nice to have around, what with him being my soulmate and everything. But there were times when I was tempted . . .

So, should I tell him I put up a blog entry about him, or should I wait to see if he finds it on his own? What would you do in my shoes, gentle readers?

P.S. You can read this prize-winning story by going to Click on "Also by Harper Scott," and then click on "A Conversation with Schliegelman." Be prepared to laugh yourself sick.


At 7:40 PM, Blogger Kevin Paul Tracy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Jenna Black said...

Kevin--Keep your chin up. It took me 16 years to sell my "first" novel to a commercial press. And, although you probably know this, comparing your success to other writers is the shortest path to madness. Try your best to stop yourself from doing it. (I had to learn that lesson after living through this situation, and it made me stronger. At least, that's what I like to think.)


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