Thursday, March 25, 2010

Using Life Experiences in Your Writing- A Contest!

We've all had that day that is quite unbelievable. The moment that you stop what you're doing and say "This can't really be happening." Stranger than fiction indeed.

I had a moment like this (not really strange mind you, but was a total face palm moment) last weekend and one of the first things Tracy said to me when I told her the story was something like, "you have to find a way to get that into a story." I wanted to share my stupidity, because I thought it would be fun to hear your stories of 'ohmygod, why did I just do that?'

The commenter with the best story will win one of the books below! All you have to do is tell us a short story or moment that was stranger than fiction, or was something you needed to write in one of your stories. The contest will end Tuesday, March 30th at 10pm PT. Good Luck!

Now, for my story!

My husband and I just bought a 1950 Chevy 3100 truck. Now, this truck is currently 60 years old, so there are a few things that are a little different than cars produced today. For example, the starter is on the floor. To start the car, you turn the key to the "on" position and then step on the button to the right of the gas pedal to start the car. Weird, huh?

Anyway, so we got it home and parked. Since it was parked outside, instead of the garage at that moment, we wanted to make sure it was locked. My husband rolled up the window of the passenger side, looked the door (by pushing the door handle down) and then slide out on the right side. We then proceeded to push the handle down on that door and slammed it shut. Perfect, the door was closed and locked!

Not so perfect once we tried to unlock the door with the key. The cars back in the '50s, or at least this one, only has one keyhole on the whole truck, which is located on the passenger side. We slide the key in the lock and turned, hearing a click! Sweet, the door is unlocked again...or so we thought! After a good five minutes of wiggling the key, we solemnly walked to the phone and called the previous owner. "What's the trick?" we asked, hoping he would tell us you have to give it one turn to the left and two to the right, or something fancy like that. Nope, of course not. We aren't THAT lucky. So, the previous owner drove the 15 miles to our house to try to get it open. Again, no such luck. We ended up calling AAA (which we didn't have, but he did!). AAA...not so helpful in the whole opening the door thing. The guy thought it was a cool truck and then proceeded to tell us he had no way into it and all he could do is tow it. An hour later, it was on the tow truck, pulling away.

We owned the truck for two hours tops and had proceeded to already lock ourselves out of it, with the only solution being to tow it to a shop that could pop out a back window to get inside. I'm happy to announce that we now have the truck back, with a new seal on one of the back windows. We learned our lesson, and also you can't lock a 1950 truck door from the inside and then unlock it from the outside.

Now, I must find a way to write the story into a book. Who locks themselves out of their new vehicle less than an hour after owning it? Apparently us!

Can't wait to hear all of your crazy stories! The books to choose from if you are the lucky winner:

Eight Grade Bites by Heather Brewer (Paperback)

From Amazon: Thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod really hates junior high. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has a secret: His mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he faces a much bigger problem: He’s being hunted by a vampire killer.

I heart you, you haunt me by Lisa Schroeder

From Amazon:

Girl meets boy.

Girl loses boy.

Girl gets boy back...

...sort of.

Ava can't see him or touch him, unless she's dreaming. She can't hear hisvoice, except for the faint whispers in her mind. Most would think she'scrazy, but she knows he's here.

Jackson. The boy Ava thought she'd spend the rest of her life with. He's back from the dead, as proof that love truly knows no bounds.

My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger (hardback)

From Best friends and unofficial brothers since they were six, ninth-graders T.C. and Augie have got the world figured out. But that all changes when both friends fall in love for the first time. Enter Alé. She's pretty, sassy, and on her way to Harvard. T.C. falls hard, but Alé is playing hard to get. Meanwhile, Augie realizes that he's got a crush on a boy. It's not so clear to him, but to his family and friends, it's totally obvious! Told in alternating perspectives, this is the hilarious and touching story of their most excellent year, where these three friends discover love, themselves, and how a little magic and Mary Poppins can go a long way.

The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty (paperback)

From The Ashbury-Brookfield pen pal program is designed to bring together the two rival schools in a spirit of harmony and "the Joy of the Envelope." But when Cassie, Lydia, and Emily send their first letters to Matthew, Charlie, and Sebastian, things don't go quite as planned. What starts out as a simple letter exchange soon leads to secret missions, false alarms, lock picking, mistaken identities, and an all-out war between the schools--not to mention some really excellent kissing.


Surbhi Jain said...

I have a write up after my failur to convert any call from any B school. I never thought it will happen!!

Bee said...

Great choice of books. Would love to win!

Here's what happened when I was, like, 14.

It was one of those family vacations. We had a late night train to take, so we were at this station around dinner-time. Dad was carrying most of the luggage and walking before the rest of us. Mum, my brother and I were behind him. All of a sudden there was this huge roar and cries of "Bull on the loose". Then it all happened so fast. Everyone in station was running and Mum started doing the same, pulling my brother and me along with her. I don't know what she did exactly, but in a blink my brother and I were on the floor, Mum cowering over us and then, oh my god, this huge black bull came charging toward us. I literally had my heart in my mouth. Christ, those horns! I was so sure I'd be knocked out. And then the bull jumped right OVER us and disappeared out of the station. We'd actually fallen right near the mouth of the station and since the bull was looking to escape, it came charging right down our path. Honestly, I'll never forget the fright that overtook me. Thank goodness, I didn't get holes in my stomach!
But, seriously, whoever's crazy enough to be almost run over by a bull?