Wordy Wednesday: The Sun and More

I’m in Michigan! I moved back to my apartment at school a couple days ago (but as of an hour ago I’m home-home again for a couple days, to get caught up on doctor appointments and family time and all that).

At this point, I have less than a week left before senior year begins, which is CRAZINESS. I’m honestly terrified for how I’m going to handle everything I signed on to do this year, but almost all of it’s fun stuff, so fingers crossed everything works out.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying to get ahead on reading for my literature class (it’s on film adaptations, so we’re reading The Great Gatsby and Emma and a ton of other fantastic works) and getting back into a regular routine of eating decently and working out. (Although also, I ate nothing but takeout and barely exercised AT ALL while in NYC and I lost seven pounds, sooo.) (I mean, I’m pretty sure it was seven pounds of muscle.) (But still.)

It was while I was on the treadmill today that I got an email from Writer’s Digest letting me know that my short story “The Sun and More” received an honorable mention in the Children’s/Young Adult category of the 84th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition! (Wow, that was a mouthful.) I’d honestly forgotten I’d even entered anything, so it was a surprise (and such a good one).

People have been asking where they can read the story, so I figured I’d post “The Sun and More” as a special Wordy Wednesday. (I’ll write the writing process post that won last week’s poll next week.)

Without further ado:

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[Pulling this down for a lit mag submission. Sorry, but thanks for your interest in “The Sun and More”!]

 

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Thanks for reading!

~Julia

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The Big News Post

So, I’ve been hinting and promising at news for a few weeks now, and it’s kind of crazy because what started out as one announcement I needed to make has now stacked up to several. I keep waiting for someone to tell me that all this has been a mistake, because there’s no way it’s happening to me, but sure enough, every morning when I wake up it’s still true. (So unless I’m in some insane Inception universe, I’m going to assume this is real. Which is nuts.)

In no particular order…

Work on This is a Book Too has begun!

After lots of conflicts with too many classes and far too much homework last semester, Mel and I have finally begun work on This is a Book Too, the sequel to our multi-genre, crazy beauty of a blog novel from last school year (remember this?). Watch for the first chapter and other updates coming soon on the blog dedicated to the This is a Book series, here.

Girl Rising is featuring Hannah and me on their blog!

After Hannah and I made our Youtube video supporting Girl Rising for Project for Awesome last month, we got into contact with the organization, and they decided to absolutely MAKE OUR DAY by interviewing us on their blog. Make sure to check out and support Girl Rising here, and you can read the post about us here. (If you don’t already know, Girl Rising is an organization out to change the world by educating one girl at a time.)

The 82nd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition Collection is now available!

I’m pretty sure I already mentioned this a couple weeks ago when they released the anthology, but now I’ve got PICTURES of me posing with a BOOK that has MY SHORT STORY IN IT! (WHEEEEEE!)

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(Five points to anyone who notices the word I managed to mess up twice in “The Things I Leave Behind.” How that thing made it through all the rounds of critique and revision on the story, I will never know.)

This semester I’m completing a remote internship with a literary agent!

I am SO PSYCHED to announce that this semester I’ll be working as a remote intern (aka: from the comfort of my futon) for a literary agent superstar who is AWESOME. I can’t wait to learn from her.

And last but SERIOUSLY NOT AT ALL least: I won a Hopwood Underclassmen Fiction Award!!!

Few outside of the University of Michigan probably know what the Hopwood Awards are, but they’re a really huge deal here. You can read the Wikipedia page here or an article about them here. Basically: winning a Hopwood is like winning an Oscar (except, you know, for student writers at U of M). I’m still kind of numb about it all, because OHMYGOSH A HOPWOOD AWARD WHAT IN THE WORLD HOW DID I DO THAT. But I’m also elated, obviously, and so thankful, and whoa: I WON. A HOPWOOD.

And now, with that, I bid you good night (or morning or afternoon or whatever). Byeee!

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~Julia

I’m in Writer’s Digest Magazine!

You may remember how a couple months ago I found out I won first place in the Children’s/Young Adult category of the 82nd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.

Well, check out what came in the mail this weekend.

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Magazine Large

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And if you’re interested in getting your hands on a copy of my short story “The Things I Leave Behind,” Writer’s Digest is going to publish an anthology of the winning stories, probably sometime in November! Keep a lookout for a link to the order page on the blog.

Off to have a dance party with my copy of the magazine! (Because having my name in it makes that 10% less weird.)

 

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday (“Stupid and Young”)

So. Things that have happened since last Wednesday.

A) A massive storm blew through my area and tore out seven of the trees in our yard (we’re in a woodsy area, so there are a lot more where that came from, but still). My backyard looked like the set of a disaster film over the weekend. We’ve got it mostly cleaned up now, but there are still a couple of dead trees that we just aren’t quite sure what to do with, so hopefully no more storms come through and decide to make the already crappy situation any worse.

B) That same storm also blew the power out, and we were without air conditioning or freezer-type food (read that as ice cream) for two days. During which we were outside in the heat, chopping up fallen trees. NO ESTUVE UNA CAMPISTA FELIZ.

C) Because of the lack-de-electricity, I also couldn’t work at all on writing-related stuff over the weekend. Which made me look like this:

Snapshot_20130724_1I really need to learn how to use GIFs so I can stop posting such terrible pictures of myself.

D) But then the electricity came back (air conditioning! hot water! iPhone and laptop and AIR CONDITIONING!), and yesterday I got an email with some pretty freaking awesome news which kinda, sorta made up for all the bad stuff over the weekend.

My short story. Won first place. In the children’s/young adult category. Of the 82nd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.

MY. SHORT. STORY.

Please bear with me as I burst into tears.

I spent the better part of yesterday alternating between floating on cloud nine and trying to figure out what exactly winning first place means (apparently Writer’s Digest is publishing a collection of the winning stories in November? what?). I’ll make sure to keep you updated on what happens. (And if you’re looking for getting news a little quicker, these days I’m sharing more of these small-detail types of things on my Facebook page than here.)

In other news, though, it’s time to move on to what I’m actually writing this post for: this week’s Wordy Wednesday. We had a tie for short story and poem/song lyrics, so–since we just had a short story last week, let’s go with a song this time.

This is “Stupid and Young,” which I wrote earlier this summer. I was trying to tell the story of someone who was falling in love with their best friend, only to have him leave. (I feel like we’re on an especially depressing stint of WWs here. Sorry about that.)

UPDATE: Here’s a really crappy recording of the song. I did it in one take, without warming up or tuning my guitar or anything, so emphasis on the “crappy.” But it’ll give you an idea of how it should sound. (Also: I look like I’m in pain throughout the majority of this video. I’m not really sure why. I apologize.)

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VERSE1 [D, Bm, G, A – D, Bm, G, C]

Everything’s been silence since you left

Crazy how quiet things get without your breath

We try to fill the emptiness with empty words

But the truth is your absence is all that’s heard

And it’s stupid how we go through our lives

Wishing to speed up, wishing for more time

And then you wish to go back

And do it all the same

If I could wish on raindrops

And have it come true

You’d have a thousand million wishes

For just one more day with you

And how stupid is that?

When all I wanted was for you to leave

So I could get on with my life,

But all that’s left when you’re gone

Is to believe, to believe that

CHORUS

You and I

Could have learned to fly

If we’d tried to

But we never pumped our legs that high

And you and I

Could have learned to swim

All the way across the ocean

But instead all we ever did

Was learned to love and then we hid

And how stupid is that?

Being stupid and young

Stupid and young

VERSE2

And now you write a letter from across the sea

With a wish in a bottle that it’ll reach me

And it takes five years to make it past the tears

In my hands

And I’ve bitten my nails down to stubs

Thinking about the waves in your definition of love

And no two friends ever loved each other more

If I could wish on starfish

You’d have all the stars in the sky

Asking for you to come back,

And I wouldn’t have to wonder why

Because, because

[Repeat CHORUS]

BRIDGE

I see you in the mirror

When my reflection isn’t clear

When the steam from the shower

Makes the clock tick back the hour

And you might think it’s nonsense

All these words that I am saying

But they feel the way I feel

Like I am empty without your hand in mine

Which is stupid because we never did find

The answer to that question of

What is love?

Is it just chemicals inside my brain

Or is it something more we can’t explain

That somehow explains my reasons

For missing you

Like a flower in wintertime,

Does this song exist without my mind

And does the happiest thing, the sun, shine

In Heaven?

[Repeat CHORUS]

ENDING

Silence is all that’s left without you here

I try to fill it with this song to make it disappear

But all that happens when you fill emptiness with empty words

Is you hear a lot of nothing, and nothing is all that’s ever heard

And I miss you, just thought I should let you know

That I miss you

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~Julia

PS. Figured I’d mention just one more thing: Cadence was in the 2013 Xmas in July novel pitch contest, which happened last week, and it garnered requests from three awesome agents! If you’d like to go check out what that’s all about, here’s a link to my entry.

PPS. There are currently a bunch of birds chirping right outside my window. I feel like a Disney princess.