I joined Gather.com a while back, mainly to comment on a story I heard on NPRs "The Splendid Table" (they totally threw me for a loop when they said that mushrooms don't have to be brushed or pealed and can very easily be washed when all my life I have been taught not to wash fresh mushrooms! Blew my mind!). I then found a Gather group called Creative Genre Challenges which picks a genre each month and people have to write a short story about it. For instance, November was a "Western Thanksgiving" and December was "Love's First Kiss."
Well, I entered a silly little story I've been working on for a while for the December contest and I won! There were about 11 entries and the reviews can be read here: http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977550395&grpId=3659174697248803&nav=Groupspace
First, second and third place should be published by Second Wind Publishing in a Valentine's Day Anthology called "Love is in the Wind."
You should all VOTE for the cover here as the people who help choose the cover will be entered in a drawing to win a free copy.
The bad news is, I have been offline since New Year's taking a break since both my cats decided to get sick and start puking and pooping up a storm. I took them to the vet 2X and, after numerous tests and many $$, we have decided they had a coccidia outbreak and are now on meds. They are sleeping and finally seeming to keep down food. Sigh. Still, since I didn't get on line in time to realize I had won, I did not get the chance to choose the theme for January's writing Genre contest. I would have chosen "This World to Other World Fantasy" where someone goes from this world to a fantasy world a 'la Wendy from Peter Pan or Dorthy in the Wizard of OZ. Oh well. Just goes to show you that you should never assume you're not gonna win something. Even if you have never written a romance before and think it's kinda lame