I Won


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Read the official statement here!

See my winner’s page here!

When it was announced that I was the official Soundtrack Winner of the Hugh Howey Booktrack Contest, I tumbled down the stairs to my mom and managed out, “I won it!” We started jumping up and down and hugging each other. It felt surreal yet thrilling, especially on top of my poor nerves. I’d been apprehensive the day before and slept so badly that entire night. Not even Lady and the Tramp had helped calm my spirit enough to sleep soundly. Somehow, all the suspense was both lifted yet escalated at the same time!

I feel so blessed and incredibly excited and even surprised that Hugh Howey liked what I’d added to his story and thought it worth the grand prize. As a writer, I know the protectiveness one can have over how someone else is interpreting or viewing your story and characters; so when I added the music and sound effects, I wanted to honor and build up what he had already so skillfully written, while having fun myself. I feel so happy that that must have come across in my work in some fashion! That feels very fulfilling–especially against so much good competition!

So, three months since first learning about the contest and thinking “ooh, sounds fun, what’s stopping me from giving it a try”–I’ve won 5,000 dollars! On top of that, I’ve won an opportunity to co-produce another Hugh Howey book on Booktrack! How quickly this changes everything! I have money I can save for editing and publishing purposes, money that I can put into making myself a real author in the near future. I have the opportunity to work with a well-established author as well, which will be so good for me and I hope I learn a lot from him! This all IS HUGE, especially since I come from a background where I was told by authority figures and the pulpit it wasn’t God’s will for a woman to have a career outside of marriage and motherhood, leaving me so insecure about my abilities. What an incredible boost this is!

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I want to say a big thank to my two test readers; my sister Kayla, who told me it sounded great when I was insecure about the music selections, and James, who pointed out a couple spots of inconsistency that were easily fixed and also assured me it sounded great! Your feedback was very encouraging to hear before I hit that publish button! I would also like to thank Booktrack and Hugh Howey for hosting such an amazing competition! What a summer this has been for me!

I hope to very soon write a post on my process and tips for creating a Booktrack; I think it would be fun and I hope to encourage any of my fellow writers to check this program out if they haven’t already. I also hope to claim my prize money soon! Haha!

When it gets down to it, I’m feeling so stunned and thrilled and curious about the future and just–wow. I’m really floored.

I know I will sleep good tonight.

~Jamie

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Currently:


 

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Currently liking: my new bedroom–the ceiling is higher so it feels more airy and I have a closet and dresser again. A proper bedroom just makes life nicer! So glad I put the work into all that painting when I did–and see my wall of posters^^?! Also currently happy that I remembered the children’s mystery book series Nate The Great that I grew up reading. Nate dressed like Sherlock Holmes and ate pancakes with his dog Sludge and solved quirky mysteries that happened around his quirky friends. I put a whole bunch of the old books on hold at the library to read to Nathan. He’s at the perfect age for them!

Currently listening: to several songs on repeat: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift–because that song is just awesome–and Chandelier by Sia because it’s tragically gorgeous and rather hypnotic. Also lots of Ghibli movie soundtracks, because sweet feelings! This piano medley is especially relaxing and comforting.

Currently drinking: lots of water to help get the very last of this cold to go away!

Currently reading: Journeys of Four on Kindle by my friend Rebekah Jones; I’ve been enjoying it so far!

Currently writing: I got stuck in my blog writing this past week (you probably noticed it was quiet around here!) and you know what I did about it? I opened a word document, picked up a fan fiction story that I had dropped about four years ago and actually wrote something for it! It felt very weird but the words flowed and then I was able to write/finish several big blog posts afterwards! So, that is my current advice to my writer friends who are feeling stuck: flashback to something old you used to write and dabble with it–it will feel so new you might awaken your creativity again!

Currently sitting: in my new room!!!! I have my white board up in front of me telling me I need to hang up laundry and watch more anime after I finish this post. 😛

Currently watching: Psycho-Pass on Netflix. I’ve been a little obsessed with it recently. While I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone as it’s TV-MA, it’s a great watch for mature viewers so far. It reminds me a teeny bit of my sci-fi short story I’m writing right now, at least with the atmosphere of the city and the technology level in society.

Currently obsessed with: PC computer game Fate: The Cursed King. While I was sick I remembered that I used to like the old version and so I and my brother have been playing this new one together. I like seeing all the magical creatures as they’re giving me ideas for my novel-on-hold, The Twisted Book. 🙂

Currently tired: from staying up later than usual the past two nights. Friday night I stayed up till 1 watching Return of the King and last night I was up till 12 finishing my Studio Ghibli post. Hopefully I can get to bed at a decent time tonight so I’m fresh for tomorrow.

Currently excited: about tomorrow! The Hugh Howey Booktrack Contest Winner is announced tomorrow and I’m very excited! Much of my summer was with this contest, so it’s thrilling for it to be nearly over, especially since I’m a finalist! Looking forward to what tomorrow brings, no matter the outcome.

Currently failing: at getting to this Netflix DVD that has been sitting on my desk all weekend. I really need watch it and send it back…. I should write that on my white board…

Currently scaring myself with: I’m not scaring myself with anything at the moment–I suppose redoing the room mostly by myself was a little scary for fear of messing something up, but that was a couple weeks ago already, so I don’t think it counts any more.

Currently stuck in my head: Shake It Off, of course! That song is so fun and catchy!

Currently wishing: good luck to all the finalists, including myself, over tomorrow! There was some very good competition, so I feel blessed to have gotten this far in the contest!

Currently praying: that I don’t miss the contest announcement tomorrow while I’m at school! It would be my luck to be gone for two hours that morning and miss it! So, praying that it gets announced either before or afterward! 😛

~Jamie

I’m A Contest Finalist!


 

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I found out this evening that my entry into the Hugh Howey Booktrack Competition is one of the five finalists! My work is a finalist! To see the official announcement, check it out here! You can find my entry there as well!

I’m rather speechless right now. I’m very very excited but I’m scrambling for words to describe how I’m feeling right now. Every time I enter a contest on Booktrack, I find that I put pieces of myself out for all to judge–it is scary sometimes. To have my work validated, in a sense, on a larger scale: it feels amazing.

I’m so excited for September 8th to find out the Official Winner!

~Jamie

I’m a winner!


abstract-19616_640_Fotor_Fotor - CopyI didn’t plan on posting anything today but this can’t wait! Do you remember this blog post about this short story which I entered into the Booktrack contest? Well, I just found out today that my story is one of the top winners–Unearthed Magic, which is only about 300 words long, won a cash prize!!

DO YOU KNOW HOW EXCITED I AM????!!!!! I couldn’t believe it when I saw the list of winners, I kept thinking, “Did I really win? No way, this must be a mistake” until I got a private email with a private congratulations!

I’M ECSTATIC RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THIS MEANS SO MUCH TO ME. I CAN’T REMEMBER THE LAST TIME I ACTUALLY WON SOMETHING. AND THIS IS TWICE AS SPECIAL BECAUSE I WON SOMETHING DOING WHAT I LOVE. PUBLISHING A STORY–BUT WITH MUSIC! SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD, I AM A SUCCESS.

I’m bouncing off the walls over here; I just needed to pause to blog this about this so when I get frustrated with myself and my writing in the future, I can come back here and remember that I do have the capability to succeed because I did it today!

Of course I can’t end this without linking back to my story; so here it is! (remember, if it doesn’t work then you might need to open it on Google Chrome.) If you excuse me I’m going to run about my house before I explode here on my chair!

~Jamie

 

Edited Photograph


One of the blogs I quietly follow is Fixed Focus Photography, and the author Savannah Jean announced a photo challenge called Edited Portraits. I’ve very recently taken some pictures of my sister Kayla and had had a great time editing them, so I thought I’d enter one.

I didn’t use any special editing software to do this, I only messed around with the color, lighting, and contrast. Below is the original picture if you’re interested.

~Jamie