You know me. I'm not big on pushing my own stuff. Nor am I very good at it.
But I'd like your help with this:
Yes, you're going to need to go vote. But let me ask this favor of you by saying this first:
2011 has been a good year for me and my writing projects. At my political blog, the Spencerian, I've had a number of posts selected as the Post of the Day from the Florida Progressive Coalition. My friends at Progress Florida have also picked posts to be highlighted in their weekly Best of the Blogs roundup. In both cases, these are top-notch political organizations, and I always end up in good company.
In August, Chris Cillizza, who is running one of the best political media teams in the nation over at The Washington Post's the Fix blog, picked the Spencerian as one of nine of the best Florida had to offer. That was huge for me, and I'm still humbled every time I think about it.
In October, the Spencerian became a Newstex syndicated blog. I was deeply honored that they reached out to me, and I'm glad to be a part of their team.
Back in February, I started Clintonaut, which I have billed as a blog for fiction and the occasional anecdote about my time in the Clinton Administration. Clintonaut has been home to lots of flash fiction challenges from a website I love, Terribleminds, honcho-ed by an accomplished writer named Chuck Wendig. Chuck doles out lots of advice for writers, and I gobble it all up nearly as fast as he can write it.
It was November when I started publishing, chapter by chapter, a novel I started nearly twenty years ago: The Deal. I realize it's far from perfect -- in fact, I figure it's probably marginal, at best. It certainly flies in the face of a lot of the conventional wisdom Chuck offers on his site. But I felt like I had to do it, and with only a few chapters to go, it feels good to have it out there.
It has been a good year for me and my writing projects.
Really, it has been a great year for me and my writing projects, and I want to sincerely thank you for reading, whether it's fiction or politics or both. It means the world to me.
This brings me to the favor, which I will not ask for in the traditional way.
Over at Creative Loafing Tampa, they had a fiction contest. You had a 3,000 word limit (which isn't just a whole lot, trust me), and the theme was "Heat." That was it: incorporate "heat" into your story, and keep it to 3,000 words. Cost five bucks to enter.
Three judges -- Jeff Parker of the University of Tampa, CL columnist Catherine Durkin Robinson [who I should say is an acquaintance by blogging and a Facebook friend of mine], and CL Editor-in-Chief David Warner -- chose their top ten out of the more than 80 they had submitted. By the way, you submitted anonymously, so no one knows who wrote what.
So here's the news: my story made the top ten.
The winner of the most reader votes gets $250. The judges choice gets $500. Both get published in the January 5 issue of CL Tampa, and get to read their stuff at an event on January 8.
The thing is, voting closes at 12:00 pm tomorrow, Friday December 30.
A normal person would tell you the name of his story and have you go vote for it.
You and I both know that I equate "normal" with "easy" and easy is no fun. I am in good, even great company with those other nine stories. You'll see.
Here's my proposition. Go read the stories. 3,000 words is a lot, but it's not that damn much. Remember -- there are no names associated with any of them.
And try to guess which one is mine.
And then vote for it. Or decide it's crap and vote for something else. Or, if you'd really like to vote for mine and want to make sure you got the right one, you can email me and request the name of the story. I'll tell you, and I will thank you most sincerely and profusely for your vote.
bkirby816 [AT] Yahoo [dot] com
In fact, I thank you in advance.
Remember, you've only got until 12:00 tomorrow, so email me tonight or tomorrow morning and I'll get back to you.
Here's the thing: I'm not in it to win it. I mean, I'd love to win, but truth is, I've already won. The top ten? Out of 80? Are you kidding me? That's great, and I'm flyin' high, gang. It's wonderful to have that much recognition. Anything more would just be gravy.
2011 has been a great year for me and my writing projects. But it would all be meaningless without you.