Friday, March 16, 2012

Shameless Self-Promotion and Other Gold Stars

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The photo that launched my award-winning story

When I was busy following my passion around Chicago a couple of weeks ago, my inbox got even more full than usual.  That meant I didn’t even see until almost midnight on the Monday after I got home an e-mail informing me that I wasn’t absolutely insane for believing that I could possibly be a writer.  Well, more to the point it was an e-mail from the intrepid Larry Habegger of  BestTravelWriting.com (the group of folks who put out the fantastic collection of Travelers’ Tales books) saying the list of winners from the 6th Annual Solas Awards had been posted.

Now is the time for that shameless self-promotion.

I won Best in Category for my Travel and Shopping tale about my first attempt at trying to buy a dress in France when my French was very bad and the salesman was very, very good.  Hop on over to their site and read my story here.  Leave a comment there.  If my story does end up in one of their travel story books, I’ll let you all know so you can buy a dozen copies a piece. This recognition gives me great energy to keep writing and keep traveling and keep shooting for the Grand Prize.

(Of course, I was so flustered about winning that when they asked for a short bio I completely spaced out and forgot to include my blog url.  Duh.  Opportunity lost.  You see, I’m still not very good at this shameless self-promotion stuff.)

Let's hear it for some other writing this week worthy of gold stars:

Susan Bearman contributed a beautiful and thoughtful piece to Write It Sideways.  In “Finding Extraordinary in an Ordinary Life” she reminds us that everyone’s story is worth telling.  So many would-be writers believe they have nothing to say because their life has not been worthy of headlines or a center seat on the Dr. Drew Show.  For all of those out there waiting to claim their writer cap, chew on this:
“I’ve come to understand that extraordinary doesn’t exist without ordinary. And I’ve come to believe that it’s a writer’s job to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, to see the ordinary through the eyes of an artist and reflect the extraordinary back to our readers.”

(Come to think of it, we ALL could stand reminding that our lives aren’t that ordinary.)

Amber West tackles a common concern among those who write, for the most part, non-political blogs in “The Controversy Over Controversy.”  For those who regularly blog on political topics – or even those non-political writers who from a first blog post showed they were all over controversy, no matter the topic – it’s no big deal to take a very public stand on topics well beyond abuse of impossibly cute kittens.  How do the rest of the less controversial bloggers handle topics on which we feel compelled to make a statement, even though it might alienate some of our readers?  Read her take on this.

Becky Green Aaronson and her husband, photographer Jeffrey Aaronson have just published on e-reader Steve & i: One Photographer’s Improbable Journey with Steve Jobs.  Jeffrey Aaronson had an opportunity to photograph Jobs before he became a global turtlenecked technology icon.  Becky has told the story before on her blog, but now the whole story and the pictures are available for all.  If you don’t have an e-reader, you can also download it to your computer.  The the story, the writing, and the photography are remarkable.

Who have I missed that you think deserves a gold star this week – your 6-year old, another blogger, an activist you support?  Tell us in the comments box so we can all give a cheer.

Another, less engaging, character found in the market
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You can read another story about the charming vendor pictured at the top of this post in a story I wrote last summer.  He and his friends kept me entertained in the market all the month I was there.  Read all about Trois Beaux Garçons.
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21 comments:

Barbara Forte Abate said...

Super fabulous for you, Julie! What a thrill it surely was to come across the unexpected--so unexpectedly!--in your email. Just the sort of surprise I love best :-)

Going over to read your essay while the coffee is still hot and the morning is not yet crazy :-)

And good gracious, not to worry-- joy and elation over words well written, that earn gold stars and encourage pirouettes around the room, is definitely not in the category of shameless promotion --it's inspirational :-D

Jenny said...

Congrats Julie that is so wonderful! It's always helpful to get a huge push forward when you are questioning if you're crazy for calling yourself a writer. I'll be sure to check out the story.

Nancy said...

That's fabulous news, Julie!! I'm so happy for you. What a feather in your cap! Just the boost that any well-deserving writer like yourself needs ~

Laird Sapir said...

Congratulations, Julie!

olgagodim said...

Julie. Fantastic story! Funny and full of emotions. I'm not surprised you won.

Stacy S. Jensen said...

Congratulations Julie. I will stop by to read your essay.

Becky Green Aaronson said...

Julie, a hearty congratulations to you. How exciting! I can't wait to hop over and read your piece. And many, many thanks for mentioning our ebook about Steve Jobs. I had no idea you were going to do that. What a fun surprise to see it mentioned in this post. We both really appreciate your kind words of support!

Laura@Catharsis said...

Congratulations, Julie! Very well deserved. I'm sure you will get more opportunities to plug your blog. Keep it up!

Mike Schulenberg said...

Congrats, Julie...that's awesome!

monicastangledweb said...

Way to go, Julie! Congrats to you! And I really like your idea of rounding up the best of the week. It's fascinating and very helpful. Thanks!

MuMuGB said...

Congratulations, Julie! A well-deserved award for a talented writer.

tamiclayton said...

That is so awesome, Julie! Congrats! A zillion gold stars for you and there's no shame in sharing such good news. :)

Melinda Farrar said...

Sorry I hadn't read this post last time we talked so I could congratulate you on the award in person. Somehow I had missed that post when it was originally posted. Sure made me laugh!

Julie Farrar said...

Thanks for all the good wishes. I would have replied sooner but I was out of town and away from the computer. This little things make it easier to get up and write on Monday.

hmcmullin said...

I'd probably have ended up with the pig's head. Great story, Julie, and I really enjoyed reading it.

Liv said...

Strong work, Julie! Nice story. I hope it ends up in one of their books.
;)

April Plummer said...

Congrats Julie! I'm not surprised you won AT ALL! What a great story. You deserve the gold stars and the award and all sorts of applause! And of COURSE you can self-promote! No shame in that, sweetie!

Annette Gendler said...

Congrats, Julie! It's great to hear that you're foray to Chicago & AWP spread good karma!

Alina Sayre said...

Congratulations, Julie! That pig head sure doesn't look so appetizing, though...

Julie Farrar said...

Yeah, Alina. The French will cook just about anything. While I'll never cook a pig head, I do love watching the butchers at work in the market.

Margaret Miller said...

Congratulations Julie - It's wonderful. And thanks for all the other links to explore.

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