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In 2009 and 2010 there were lots of fun contests that I amazingly kept winning. Most were promotion for and by writers, but some were writing contests. I think that those were my favorites. My most valuable prizes were my Kindle that I won from writer Moses Siregar III and the Ipad that I won from some writing website not a personal author and I don't remember which one(bad Ardee) However the prizes I won for my writng really jazzed me up.

I think that I won books as prizes for all of the writing contests which is certainly apropos. The best of the best though to me was a signed copy of an autobiography of Gertrude Stein. I won the book because whatever I wrote, a paragraph or two, impressed Ms. Stein's biographer as being the most like Ms. Stein's style of writing. Well, to me that was AWESOME!!! I got first place...so very awesome!!!!

You see when I first "met" Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, it was "love at first sight." I was in high school at Mount St. Mary. I think I was in the ninth grade.(The year I also met Richard Brautigan, but I digress.)I can't remember how many times I read "The Autobiograph of Alice B. Toklas" but I was entranced. I wrote page after page of stories in the style of Gertrude Stein. I read everything I could find about she and Alice B. Toklas. I wanted to move to Paris. I wanted it all. This was in the early 70s so there was not nearly the information availabel back then that there was now but obviously all of that writing practice in years back paid off because when I wrote my paragraph(s) for the contest I just sat down and wrote them. It all came back to me at the time and it was quickly a done deal...a WINNING done deal.

My fifteen year old self did happy dances in the middle of the street when I found out I had won. She had practiced Ms. Stein's style of writing day in and day out. She had learned to let the stylist prose flow freely and about 35 years later after no practice for many decades was able to produce a satisfactory sample again. It was so wonderful.

Now I don't know if I could pull it off again. I was just inspired and on fire. It was such fun.

I keep practicing my craft. I write every single day. I don't always write well but I do write. My novels are getting bogged down by real llife and many days I struggle to pound out 500 words. My goal is to write a minimum of 2K a day. Some days I breeze along and can do that. Ohter days, well not so much but I #amwriting. I love to write. It is my soul and has been for many, many years. I know I started making up stories in my head when I was very young at least five or six, maybe even before that. I started getting them on paper around the sixth grade. I probably would have managed sooner but handwriting did not come easily to me and was a source of much emotional and verbal abuse by teachers especially in the fourth and fifth grades(except the last six weeks of the year because I transferred schools.)The issues with actually writing via pen and paper persisted throughout the years even though I have volumes of poorly written pages in smeared ink and pencil. When I learned to type I got an old fashioned typewriter and began to pound out my stories on it. I am so grateful to have a computer to write on these days because "arthur" has made even signing a check difficult so I rely on my computer to continue to produce written words when I can squeeze them out of my brain.

I so love to write. I am glad that even though I could once write in the style of e.e. cummings, Richard Brautigan and Gertrude Stein that I have developed the bohemian, grammatically incorrect and poorly punctuated style of one Ardee-ann Eichelmann. Her style seems to fit me the best.




Sesame Street Ninja

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