This is going to be shorter than I want it to be... it's late. I'm tired. I'll have to come back to this topic another day. But...
See, here is why you need to learn your own voice when you write:
I held this contest, the Great Chocolate Contest, for people to write stories based upon the Imagination Room from The House on the Corner. It's hard to know what you'll get when you do something like that. But, see, that's part of the cool of doing it. Seeing what you get. How will someone else interpret what you've done, and how will that be different from what the next person does. Seeing the different voices of the different stories that all come from the same place. It's cool.
I had hoped for better participation, of course, but I'm learning I'm not really very good at hosting the contests. I mean, if the BEST chocolate in the world (that I've ever tasted) can only get two people to enter, then I don't know what else to offer. Well, I suppose there's cash, but, man, that's so... uninteresting. Or something.
So, yeah, two entries:
You can find Briane Pagel's entry here. Okay, you can't actually find it there, but you can find his link to it there along with an introduction. I have to say that Briane's story is so Epic. It's nothing I ever would have thought of. And I'm completely saddened over the fact that I did not think of Seal Team i, because that idea is just awesome. You should go read it; you might recognize some of the characters.
You can find Rusty Webb's entry here. He really gave it the full on horror movie kind of treatment, and darn if I don't want to know what's gonna happen with Ricky and Dale. He has another take that I never would have thought of, because he steps backward with the story of the Imagination Room rather than forward, and, now, I want to know how that interweaves with my story.
Seriously, it's really cool to see what people will come up with when you let them, and now I really do understand why Lucas let's all those people write books in the Star Wars universe.
Because there were only two entries, I was able to pick a winner rather more quickly than I thought I would. They both get to win... the chocolate. Well, Rusty will get a proof copy of Shadow Spinner, anyway, since he's doing the cover, and he's already let me know that he wants one with the cover, not the proof cover I have on them at the moment, so he gets chocolate. And Briane doesn't like "real" books; he just likes those new-fangled e-doodads, so he gets to have chocolate, too. The BEST chocolate in the entire world (that I've ever tasted)!
Go read their stories. You won't be sorry you did.