PB and J…and other thoughts

a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, top slice ...

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In the middle of nowhere, far from anywhere really interesting there is a field full of weeds. Some of these weeds grow to be taller than a man. But those weeds hide something that is at once serious and funny. It holds the key to the most awesome sandwich ever created…I am of course referring to Peanut Butter and Jelly.

Seriously, there are huge, and I mean gigantic, peanut plants setting seed every single year. That’s peanut butter just waiting to happen. Further, there are wild blackberry bushes, just don’t touch the thorns and you get jelly! See…PB and J is just waiting to happen out there in that field. Score! And what’s better, family owns that land. Double Score.

But this got me to thinking, what if there was a PB and J forest? That would be uber cool. Or maybe I’m just nerdy that way. Better, while thinking about this idea, I formed the forest. At first, I was thinking that the plants had pods that you could squeeze out the peanut butter and the kind of jelly that you want. But then I thought that might be too much work. What if the PB and J sandwiches just grow fully formed right out of the plants. And they grow in different varieties for your eating pleasure. Grape Jelly sandwiches grow on vines. Apple jelly (one of my personal faves) grows on trees. Blackberry on bushes. And strawberry on low growing plants. So now that I have a huge forest of PB and J, I have no idea what to do with it, but it got me thinking about something else I saw recently…

Writer’s Digest has a whole new load of Short Story contests from Romance to SF to Thriller and more. They all have different dates so you could, theoretically enter them all. 4,00o words or less and you could be that much closer to publication, and the first prize for each includes $1,000. Sweet! For a full list of WD competitions go here: http://www.writersdigest.com/Competitions/.

I’m thinking that I might enter the SF/F category. Heck, I might enter two short stories (each entry has a separate fee). I’m also looking at the Romance category. I have my short story outlined for SF/F, and I have until September 15, 2011 to finish and polish. If I can have it done by the end of the month, then I can put it aside for a little while.

Also, the WD short shorts. 1,000 words or less. I’ve never been good at keeping my stories that short but I can certainly try. Maybe I’ll do something with the Peanut butter and Jelly forest for a short short. I can’t see that idea going too much further than 1,000 words, maybe not even that much; but it’s still an interesting concept. Hmm…that made me hungry. Maybe I’ll go get a PB and J.

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3 Comments

Filed under Writing, Writing Contests

3 responses to “PB and J…and other thoughts

  1. Hey, for F&SF short stories, I’d think you’d want to enter the “Writers of the Future” contest. It’s a lot higher-profile in the F&SF field, and no entry fee! Plus, the prizes are better ($5,000 Grand Prize, if I recall correctly).

    I basically don’t enter consests with entry fees, myself. It feels to me like getting scammed to pay a fee to enter a contest. (I’ve been scammed before, so I know what that feels like. Luckily they weren’t big-time cons and didn’t cost me much…) And when there’s an entry fee, you sorta know, even if you win, that basically your prize is getting everyone else’s money who entered… Somehow, that just kind of feels sad.

    Either way, good luck. There are a lot of young, unpublished and undiscovered writers out there (such as thee and me), so the competition on these tends to be tough…

    • Hmm…yeah, I’d thought of that. But my understanding was that the “Writers of the Future” contest was more geared toward SF than F. I could be wrong, obviously. Since I’d say I definitely lean toward the F side than SF (although the story that I have been writing is definitely SF).
      You have a point about contests with entry fees. That the money you get is from other people’s entrance fees. Plus, it would get expensive after a while.

      • Yeah, trying to break into the business by paying your way in (through multiple contest fees) doesn’t seem like a good way to go. In the business and politics world, that’s called “pay-to-play”, and is generally considered unethical (i.e. unethical to demand payment).

        As for WotF, the name of the contest does suggest it (as in “The Future!” = “Sci Fi”), and I think that’s an intentional aspect of the name, but for submissions it doesn’t work that way at all. Consider, for instance, past winners Jim C. Hines and Patrick Rothfuss. Both are popular Fantasy authors. Hines’ winning story was called “Blade of the Bunny” (I haven’t read it, but the title suggests a humorous fantasy story) and I believe Rothfuss’ winning entry was actually a chapter or three from what eventually became his bestselling debut fantasy novel “Name of the Wind”.

        My own “Honorable Mention” entry from last year was a contemporary fantasy story. My next entry, which I am working on, is probably technically SF, but is flavored as though it is Fantasy. Several other winners in the past have published both SF & F. I’d say there’s a strong tradition of “WotF” launching Fantasy careers just as much as Sci-Fi.

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