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ARMY OF DARKNESS, I salute you

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Aug. 31st, 2012 | 07:42 pm

I didn’t win The Real LJ Idol.

My team won it.

There were three parts to this eleven-month journey: writing the best pieces possible (which is hopefully overlapping but definitely not identical with “best pieces in the competition”); being engaged in the LJ Idol community; and enlisting a support team of friends, fans and fellow writers.

It doesn’t take a village. It takes an ARMY.

And now is the time to salute the ARMY OF DARKNESS (AND WINNING!!!), as the team was only-partly-jokingly-dubbed.

Thank you so much to the Lieutenants, that core group of friends and colleagues who have been with me since October, reading drafts, giving feedback, encouraging, cheerleading, and having great discussions about hundreds of entries beyond mine—what I could learn from, what could push me to work harder, what could be appreciated and enjoyed!

Charlotte Croson
Todd Espeland
Heather ‘Sora Sol’ Iriye
Stanley Kuznicki
Richard Oaxaca
Marina Petrano
Erik de Waal
James Warfield
Zay Weaver

And a special shout-out to M.A. Wyatt, who not only read a ton of drafts shoved in front of her at a moment’s notice, but was by my side, cell phone in hand, for the final five hours of frantic calls and Facebook announcements until the polls closed.

I salute my Champion, Christopher Buehlman for writing an amazing horror tale for Champions’ Week, and whose new book, Between Two Fires, comes out October 2nd.

Thanks to the incredibly helpful and supportive friends who promoted my work to their friends—I appreciate your faith in me, and your willingness to stake your own reputation on my work:

Melissa Knowles
Michael O’Hair
Sadye Paez Erikson
Stephanie Mowry
Lisbie Rae
Riki Robinson
Khrysti Smith
Cassie Truskowski


Thanks to beta-readers and fellow contestants whose wonderful eyes and suggestions let me know that this was a group effort and not just a shove-people-out-of-the-way competition: ellakite, whirlgig, everywordiwrite, drjeff, n3m3sis42, pixiebelle, halfshellvenus, blythe025.  Thanks, dblicher and imagemirror for jumping into the madness with me.

Real-life friends, LJ friends, fellow contestants and community members, street performers, Starfish Circus kids, Aerial Angels fans, and colleagues from high school to grad school, I am grateful (and astonished!) at your joyful support of my work, and your inspiring comments – thank you!

Fuck you, Gary Dreslinski, for not only managing this huge undertaking, but dragging me into this time-suck that’s caused me to question my life and change my path to focus on my writing. I’m taking six months off this winter to finish my YA novel and go back to India and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT.

And finally, I could not have come this far without the incomparable Corporal kathrynrose and her Battalion of Cats, whose knowledge of previous seasons, strategy consultations, cheerleading, and willingness to “beta-listen” over the phone at 2AM kept me on the right path. I’m so grateful to have won not only Idol, but your friendship.

Now comes the tough part—keeping the momentum going! I will still be posting to this journal, as well as attempting to embed it as the blog in my new writer website (announcement coming soon!). Travels begin in October; I hope I can continue to surprise and engage you as readers. I hope I can keep showing up.

Whatever happens next, thank you—all of you—for what has come before.

Let’s keep showing up for each other. We win—we all win—by writing, by reading, by showing up.



_________________________________________________
whipchick is the Season 8 Winner of The Real LJ Idol.


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Comments {43}

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Adam

(no subject)

from: spike20
date: Sep. 1st, 2012 12:01 am (UTC)
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Yay!

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Sep. 8th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
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Thank you for supporting!!!

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Ellakite

You still earned it.

from: ellakite
date: Sep. 1st, 2012 12:05 am (UTC)
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I'd say more, but I'm tapping this out on my smart phone because the power is out in my building.

Thank you for being an inspiration.

Thank you for being a friend.

Please stay in touch. I'd miss you.

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whipchick

Re: You still earned it.

from: whipchick
date: Sep. 8th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, you're welcome, you're welcome, and HECK YES :)

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tigrkittn

Mazel tov!

from: tigrkittn
date: Sep. 1st, 2012 12:17 am (UTC)
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You are seriously a class act. I'm ridiculously happy to have met you, even just virtually :)

I had no doubts you deserved to win, only regrets I wouldn't get to read your pieces in season nine. I hope you keep sharing your work with LJ now and then.

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whipchick

Re: Mazel tov!

from: whipchick
date: Sep. 8th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! What a fabulous compliment, and I'm thrilled to know you, too! I'm planning to continue writing to this blog, and it will get embedded in my new writer website. Breathing a little right now, but I don't want to lose the momentum!!

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(no subject)

from: faerie_spark
date: Sep. 1st, 2012 01:10 am (UTC)
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and right to the end she's a classy lady!!!!

I *need* to be able to read more of your writing....and if you ever get up DC way (a long way from India, I know) I hope we can meet.

ONly sad thing is that I'll miss you in the next season of idol. I'm sure Gary will have some special task for you...by the way, is that why you're escaping to India? *grinning*

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Sep. 8th, 2012 08:42 pm (UTC)
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Awww, thanks!!! I do get through DC every now and then, and I'll holler :)

Hoping Gary will draft me - so far I've volunteered for a couple of admin things, and there may be something new on the LJIdol front very soon...shhh!

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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors

(no subject)

from: halfshellvenus
date: Sep. 1st, 2012 01:15 am (UTC)
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Congratulations once again, for a season hard fought and hard won, but always with class and style!

I tell you, this all makes me feel like a total n00b (which I am) for wandering into Idol and just flailing away week after week with no betas, no guides, and very little in the way of strategy. But Gary was right-- you came to win, and you had an incredible plan to do it.

And the hardest part of all was doing all of the writing, with such excellent quality, week after week after week. No half-efforts, no stories that fell flat. That's the most amazing thing of all, really, because this season went on for.e.ver.

Hope you'll still come around once in awhile. I'd sure miss you otherwise!

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Sep. 8th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! I respect you and your work and your feedback so much, and I'm so glad to have this lovely compliment from you! (And to have you on the flist - yay!!)

I felt like a noob, too, and I think I was lucky to pick a strategy that worked and play it as hard as I could (though of course, step one, Write Good Pieces, was the hardest to actually accomplish!).

I'm planning to continue writing to this blog, and it will get embedded in my new writer website. Breathing a little right now, but I don't want to lose the momentum.

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Amenquohi

(no subject)

from: amenquohi
date: Sep. 1st, 2012 01:20 am (UTC)
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Congratulations! And I'm glad to hear this helped springboard you forward to more writing for the lucky masses!

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Sep. 8th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
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Thank you!!!

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blahblahblah, whatever

(no subject)

from: kathrynrose
date: Sep. 1st, 2012 01:39 am (UTC)
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I didn't do anything I wouldn't do for any other amazingly talented, wonderfully supportive friend. You rocked it.

Hey, did you get your icon?!? Inquiring minds!

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Sep. 8th, 2012 08:45 pm (UTC)
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I got the icon but I'm a little embarrassed to use it - it feels so self-congratulatory :)

Thank you!!! For everything!! And I'm so glad we're continuing to support and challenge each other!

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Laura, aka "Ro Arwen"

(no subject)

from: roina_arwen
date: Sep. 1st, 2012 03:15 am (UTC)
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You and your team did an awesome job! Congrats again, and good luck with your writing endeavors!

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(no subject)

from: whirlgig
date: Sep. 2nd, 2012 10:55 am (UTC)
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icon stealing x

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C.S. Inkheart

(no subject)

from: frecklestars
date: Sep. 1st, 2012 04:09 am (UTC)
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Count me in as somebody else who never had a doubt you'd win this. You are absolutely bloody completely and utterly amazing.

My icon, it's you. ;)

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Sep. 8th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
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Thank you!! Thanks for being a supporter and challenger and an awesome writer yourself!

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Vice Captain of the Universe

(no subject)

from: sweeny_todd
date: Sep. 1st, 2012 05:27 am (UTC)
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well then, congrats to you and the team :0)

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Sep. 8th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
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Thank you :)

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Kizzy

(no subject)

from: xo_kizzy_xo
date: Sep. 1st, 2012 07:44 am (UTC)
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Congratulations! I knew you had a plan without Gary even saying anything ;) You played it well, and you have the talent to back it up. I hope you continue posting here from time to time!

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Sep. 8th, 2012 08:47 pm (UTC)
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Holy crap am I glad it worked, it was totally draining to be trying to write my best every week AND mobilize the army :) Thank heavens for good friends and amazing fellow contestants and the opportunity to write write write!

I'm planning to continue writing to this blog, and it will get embedded in my new writer website. Breathing a little right now, but I don't want to lose the momentum!!

Thank you so much!!

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Lose 10 Pounds of Ugly Fat...  Cut Off Your Head.

(no subject)

from: n3m3sis42
date: Sep. 1st, 2012 01:03 pm (UTC)
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You did so amazing. Congratulations, awesome lady! :)

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Sep. 8th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
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Thank you - and thanks for being a terrific challenger who prodded me to do my best work! I am so glad and grateful to have met you through this :)

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Pika the Brazen Ninja

(no subject)

from: porn_this_way
date: Sep. 1st, 2012 06:01 pm (UTC)
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You have so many fascinating perspectives on so many different things, and it seems like you've mastered the high wire act in more ways than one! IDK how in the bloody fucking hell you managed to post consistently high enough quality stuff to win this thing, without using a bye, while commenting to everyone, and traveling the world as a circus performer. Just...what? So friggen cool.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Sep. 8th, 2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
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Mostly, I shortchanged my job and trusted my colleagues to pick up slack....ahhh, the advantages of being the owner :) Plus, downtime in the airport lounge is primo for reading 200 entries!

Thank you - and thanks for being someone whose sharp wit and awesomeness inspired me to work harder!

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theafaye

(no subject)

from: theafaye
date: Sep. 1st, 2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
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Congratulations! I must admit that I"m a little irked that I didn't get to vote, despite asking Gary whether the final would come while I was away and being assured it wouldn't, but I would have voted for you anyway, so it's all good.

Now go finish that novel, woman!

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Sep. 8th, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! Thanks for your support, your awesome writing, and your insightful feedback - you're one of the people who really drove me to do my best work :)

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(no subject)

from: whirlgig
date: Sep. 2nd, 2012 10:49 am (UTC)
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This may be my favourite tag line of yours yet.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Sep. 8th, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
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Me, too :)

Thanks, thanks so much for everything :)

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