Disappointing news for would-be campaigners

September 11, 2012

I’ve had a lot of fun in Rachael Harrie’s platform-building campaigns (or crusades, which is what they were called before all the bad press around the crusades got the name changed. 😉 ) I was looking forward to the Fifth Campaign in the second half of 2012, but apparently, like Patrick Stewart’s visit to Toronto, it’s been postponed until 2013.

Now, I can sympathize with whatever else Rachael’s got on her plate at the moment, and nobody else can really run a full Writers Platform-Building event like she can, but if there’s any other blogging crusaders-at-heart out there, maybe we can still get together and have some bloggy, Platform-Building fun this fall. To start with, I’m hereby opening applications for a new Crusader Spotlight series, running from now to October 30th 2012. If anybody wants to start a Crusader Challenge blogfest, count me in! And let me know about any other Crusadey fun you can think of.

Crusaders ho! Who’s with me?

It’s Blog Awards time again!

September 14, 2011

Notes from Innisfree passed me the Versatile Blogger award – thanks so much! Turns out that I last accepted this award one year ago yesterday. So I figure that it’s a new awards year now, and anyway, I couldn’t resist the chance to take another chain award and pass it on to some of the cool Campaigner blogs that I’ve discovered recently, so here goes.

The rules for accepting the award:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass this Award along to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it.
And of course, if you don’t want to pass it along to anybody else, or even to accept it, I don’t mind. But I think it’s fun, at least once in a while, so here goes:

  1. I only just finished reading the third Harry Potter book last month.
  2. I’m very tall, around 6’3″ though I haven’t measured myself recently enough to remember precisely.
  3. I look very ‘academic’, though I only have a Bachelor’s degree and never held a real teaching job.
  4. I love to cook spaghetti and meat sauce.
  5. If I pick up a penny on the street, I often throw it back over my shoulder for fun.
  6. I mix fiber powder and sugarfree drink powder into my water every day at work.
  7. I take plastic bags back to the grocery store to save the local five-cent bag fee.
And it pleases me very much to pass the Versatile blogger award along to: Read the rest of this entry »

My flash fiction for the first Campaign Challenge

September 8, 2011

I think that I’ll reverse the usual pattern that I’ve seen before, and give you my story first, and then the challenge rules:

The door swung open, and a beautiful girl hurried inside, her finger held up to her lips and her eyes asking me an urgent question. For a second I was confused, and then I lifted the far section of the sales counter to let her come back behind. She crouched into the storage cubby under the cash register, and I was just starting to get naughty thoughts about the whole situation when a hand reached out to stop the door from quite closing.

The man who came in next had periwinkle blue eyes and his feet didn’t seem to quite touch the ground. “Excuse me, sir, did you see a…”

“She went out the side door, didn’t even close it behind her,” I blurted out, realizing that I could use the fact that I’d left the door open for the summer breeze to the girl’s advantage. “Why are you looking for her?”

His eyes rested on me for a moment, but he didn’t answer, and took a moment to close the front door behind him, then stepped calmly over to the side exit. I busied myself with an order form to avoid giving the girl away. The door swung shut.


First Campaigner challenge:

Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: “the door swung shut.” (also included in the word count)

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!

(And just for the record, I achieved the highest level of the challenge – at least, according to MS Word’s wordcount.)

Insecurity and Support

September 7, 2011

Starting my rounds for the Campaign, I happened upon something interesting just in time to join in – Alex Cavanaugh is now running The Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

I wouldn’t say that I’m a terribly insecure writer, but I’m not that secure in my success either, and there’s a lot of stuff that’s been going on in my creative life the last little while to make me more uncertain of things that I’d trusted in before. More than that, though, I’ve been a big believer, for months, in the value of writers supporting other writers, and it’s really hard to get powerful support if you’re not in a space where it’s safe to let your insecurities out.

So, I guess that’s what I should be doing here. I feel like going to Kansas this summer, for all that I learned, was a big one-two punch to my self-confidence and showed everybody there that I don’t really know how to put a short story together. And then there was the Storywonk class, in which I dissected one of my favorite novella manuscripts and realized that it had too little conflict running through its veins, and a somewhat misshapen skeleton.

But I do know that none of this is a reason to stop trying, to stop engaging with my stories. I’ve resolved to go back to the short story side for September, to keep working on editing all the shorts in my portfolio that I don’t feel completely hopeless on, and to kick ass critiquing stories for other people, on critters.org, in the Kansas online alumni circle and for the Toronto convention writers triangle.

And I will always remember, if not the exact words, the sense of the message at the bottom of the congratulatory certificate that my local Hamilton ML’s, Gale and Rhonda, gave me at the National Novel Writing Month TGIO party last winter:

“We who are about to write, salute you.
We who have written, envy you.
We who will write, will support you in all your writing endeavours.”

A self-introduction for my campaigner friends.

September 1, 2011

Hey there, I’ve noticed a few people already dropping by from the Platform-building Campaign. I’m afraid I won’t be able to make the rounds myself until I’m back from Dragon*Con, so I’ll be starting around Tuesday, but I thought I’d say a few things about myself so that fellow Campaigners, especially my group-mates, will be able to get a sense out of who this Chris Kelworth guy is.

I’m Canadian. I get a steady paycheque for programming field service technician websites. I write science fiction and fantasy, for middle grade through adult readers. I’m trying to focus on rewriting my collection of short stories and submitting them to publishers.

I’m a huge fan of many things: Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Doctor Horrible, Doctor Who, Star Trek. I love to read Diane Duane young wizard books, just about anything by Larry Niven but especially Known Space, and also Madeleine L’Engle, Anne McCaffrey, Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea books, and Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni series. I’ve recently discovered the fun of going to fan conventions – which is what brings be to Atlanta this coming long weekend. (Never been to a convention as high-profile as Dragon*Con before, though.)

I have created fan fiction, fan art, and fan videos. I have a fairly impressive collection of portable digital electronic devices, and love to write my own apps for them when I can. I’m love National Novel Writing Month, Script Frenzy, and several other online writing challenges, and belong to a few local writer’s circles and critique workshops. I love playing games of many types, though I’m not a serious gamer in any particular type, such as console or tabletop RPG.

Thank you so much for dropping by. If you’re a campaigner, please use the ‘follow that blog’ widget or the NetworkedBlogs box to subscribe to the Kelworth Files, and leave a reply telling me something about you!

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