Friday, September 30, 2011

The Splintered Lands Results or A Surprise Outcome

I wanted to thank all of you who voted for my story, “Blessed,” for the Splintered Lands contest. I truly appreciate the time you spent to vote and for the support you have given me in regards to this story.
This contest was a fiasco of epic proportions. Not only was it mishandled, Deepwood Publishing all but admitted through a tweet that “They could change the votes if they had to.” Well, perhaps they did.
What the results boiled down to was three of the four finalists being “disqualified,” leaving the sole author as the default winner. Not how I would have like to win, but a publishing credit is a publishing credit. They claimed that there were too many “voting inconsistencies that led to multiple authors being disqualified.”I did email Deepwood asking why my story was DQ’d, but have heard nothing from them. Unfortunately, I really don’t expect to.

For the record, despite the insinuation, I am not a cheater, nor did I ask anyone to cheat for me. Mostly, I am angry because I spent over six days crafting a story worthy enough for their anthology, only to have them toss it out for reasons beyond my control.
So, when play is not fair, how do you hope to win?
I am left with a story I am immensely proud of. When time allows, I’ll tear it down and build it up in my own world, with my own rules.
Varinia Sulan shall live on!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Shout Out to My Honey or Married Seven Lucky Years!

This one time, at summer band camp, I met the man who would become my college sweetheart and eventually, my husband.
The first day I met Mega Man, it was like I had known him all my life. It was strange and kinda cool in my eighteen-year-old mind. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend, but I wasn’t going to not take a chance on him. With that being said, my college relationship with Mega Man can be defined by one break up and reconciliation after another. We were young and selfish and not sure if this love thing was the real deal or sparked by infatuation. But over the years, we grew up and realized that if we wanted to be together, that we were going to have to fight for each other. 
And fight we have.
No one tells you that you will be asked to compromise or surrender all together to keep your relationship on track. You might be called upon to make a sacrifice for the good of your marriage.  We’ve made it seven years and have had to do all of these thing and more. Trial by fire will either strengthen your relationship or burn it to a crispy crunch.
We’ve encountered many challenges and heartbreaks — surviving Hurricane Ivan during our Jamaican honeymoon, joblessness, lean financial times, and fertility issues. It’s easy to see why people don’t want to commit to their marriage when life tries to beat them down.  A 60% divorce rate says a whole lot about people’s willingness to honor their marriage vows of “for better or for worse.”
But despite the struggles, we have had some great fun. Road trips to triathlons, an Alaskan cruise, buying a house, having our daughter, Princess (yes, she's named after a princess, but it's not what you think), and getting the chance to fall in love with each other again and again. There are many more adventures for us to have and many more struggles to endure. But with Mega Man by my side, we have more than a fighting chance.
Thank you to all of our friends and family who have supported and loved us all these married years. Couldn’t have made it without you all. We owe the strength and deeping love of our marriage to God, who has guided and protected us through the years.
I love you, sweetheart! Happy Anniversary.