First of all? Y’all ROCK! I got such great entries for this contest, which made it really fun to host but also made it hard to pick a winner. All of your character journal entries were so fantastic! I feel like I know something about your stories now, and what’s even cooler is I’ve gotten to hear your writer voice. Man… you guys are good. Seriously.
There was one entry, though, that really stood out to me. After I read it, I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach because I could feel her character’s pain without her having to tell me about it. I could see her character with only one or two physical characteristics included.
She did an AMAZING job with this. So, who is my winner?
Congratulations, Penelope! As promised, here is her entry. You can also find her at her blog here
and on Twitter here
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Date: Not really sure
Thoughts from this morning:
I rolled over lazily, groping to halt the insistent beep of my alarm. Head lying against the pillow, I racked my brain to figure out why the alarm was set for 10 am, why I had an alarm set at all. Having already hit the snooze button twice, the clock read 10:18 am.
As I sat up, my soft stomach spilled over the top of my faded pajama pants, and I finally remembered that I had a date with my niece. It is the one fact that made this day a little less painful than all the others. Stepping over a pile of old newspapers and yesterday’s outfit to get to my closet, I wistfully remembered days of daily alarms and keeping the house tidy for my bouncing son Troy.
The morning look at his three-year-old sparkling eyes picture in its dated oak frame caused my breath to catch momentarily. The jagged hole in my heart still feels as though someone took a smashed beer bottle and raced into my organ, full throttle. It is a permanent hole, I’ve decided, one that seven years has not touched in an attempt to heal. I used to be complimented that my eyes were mesmerizing but I know when I glance in the mirror that they have been shadowed with a hopeless, faraway look.
I attempted to focus on my closet, the half that does not hold several movie theater uniforms. Though the scale said I’ve gained 15 pounds over the past few years I’ve not bothered to frolic about the mall, shopping for new things.
Even though I’m never in the mood to deal with my cold, superior sister, I could feel involuntary heat rise in my cheeks just thinking about not having my niece in my life. I begrudgingly selected brightly colored pieces from my cluttered closet and summoned the effort to put myself together for the sake of my adorable nine-year-old niece, the only child left in my life.
After getting dressed I pulled my frizzy hair back so that the offensive roots were obvious on the top of my head. One of my three cats, the active one, brushed by my leg, meowing a request for breakfast. Though I could see to the other end of the trailer from my doorway, the other two weren’t visible yet. Typical.
Now: 3:30 pm
I’m back from the date with the niece, which was fantastic. I can’t stop thinking about how this morning was just like every other morning. The lack of hope has me tapping bubble gum pink fingernails against the scratched kitchen table while I let my mind wander to the pills in my bathroom cabinet. I’ll have to avoid Troy’s picture to get to them, because a look at that face will bring on a bout of guilt. But the pills are always worth it. Always.
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Hey… I didn’t say it was going to make you chuckle. But wasn’t that amazing? Great job, Penelope. You absolutely deserve to win the prizes for this contest, which are:
- Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, and n>
- The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman.
Hooray! If you haven’t read Bridget yet, I know you’ll love her as much as I do, and the Lukeman book is one of the best ones out there for new writers. Congratulations! Now all I need is your address, and they’ll be on the way!
Thanks again to everyone who entered – I really loved reading your entries. You guys are so talented!