Archive for the ‘Gather First Chapters Contest’ Category

The other day I saw an advertisement for a movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman’s latest movie, entitled: “The Bucket List“. Apparently, each of them are ill and want to experience adventures before they “Kick the Bucket”. Hence, “The Bucket List.”

It got me to thinking about my own Bucket List. I haven’t really made one, but I have thoughts and ideas tucked away of things I would love to do and accomplish. So, without further adieu:

My Bucket List

1. Win the Pulitzer Prize for Best Fiction
for “The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road”

2. Write a One Woman Show for Broadway
Subject is in my mind, but yet to put pen to paper.

3. Create an Invention, Patent it and Sell it.
In progress (beginning stages)

4. Play in the World Poker Tour
In progress (beginning stages)

5. Travel to Thailand to actually walk Loi Kroh Road
We’ll see, not sure I could fly for that long.

6. Create a Creative Writing Camp for Kids
Would love to take those “odd ducks” and have them realize how unique they are.

7. Have “The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road” made into a film.
Anyone know how to contact Sir Anthony Hopkins?

8. Learn how to fly an airplane
I think that would be so cool!

9. Be Invited to Oprah’s show to discuss “The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road”
C’mon, you knew that was coming didn’t you?

10. Tour Ernest Hemingway’s home in Key West, Florida.
I want to see his 6 toed cats too!

11. Last but certainly not least, Before I die, I want to belly laugh.

Really laugh where the tears come and you are holding your stomach.

I want to appreciate the greatest of gifts as well as the smallest.

That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Taryn Simpson is a full-time ghostwriter specializing in writing of novels and marketing pieces.

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Over at gather.com the second round of the contest has started. Amid much hullabaloo, the 20 chosen out of 2,800 entries have moved on and will be available for voting until April 25th.

To those that entered the contest and didn’t make it ahead, much success to you on getting your novels published elsewhere, and to those that are in the top 20–much luck to you in the competition!

I received this e-mail from Eric D. Goodman, among the 20 to move ahead, and will pass it along here:

From Eric D. Goodman:


First, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to read, rate, and comment on chapter one of TRACKS in the novel contest called “American Idol” for writers by the New York Times. The winner gets a book contract with Simon and Schuster!

Second, I’d like to share my good news …

Out of more that 2,800 entries, only 20 chapters were selected to move on to round two.

TRACKS, my novel in stories, was one of them!

A press release with our names and chapters will hit the newspapers tomorrow. But I wanted to let you know first.

And I’d like to ask you to help me make it to round three.

Just read and rate chapter two, “A Good Beer Needs a Good Stein.” Since this is a novel in stories, you can read chapter two without having read chapter one first.

If you’ve already joined Gather, just log in with your username and password.

If not, it only takes a minute to register. You can do so at www.gather.com.

Then, go to this link where you can read and rate TRACKS:


Rate it on a scale of one to 10 on the bar between the text and the comments. The closer to the right of the bar, the better.

And feel free to leave a comment, too!

Thanks again for your support — and wish me luck!

Take care,


P.S. Here’s the announcement from Gather, in case you’d like to read it.


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I received this from Eric D. Goodman, author of Tracks, and would like to pass it along to all of the readers, writers, authors, etc. that visit The Writers’ Block. You can visit his blog, www.writeful.blogspot.com, to read more about him and his work.

Hello! I need your help, and it will only take a moment.

Tracks, my novel in stories, is a contestant in what The New York Times called “American Idol” for writers. Winning would mean a book contract with Simon and Schuster.

I need you to read and rate chapter one. Just go to the link below, register (it only takes a minute). Then read & rate chapter one of Tracks.

Here’s the link.


Tracks takes place on an Amtrak train traveling from Baltimore to Chicago . Each chapter is told from the perspective of a passenger on the train.

The chapters stand alone as stories, but they become stronger when linked together. A secondary character in one chapter becomes the main character in another. Some stories offer new insights on others. The stories look at the decisions each character faces and how those decisions, as well as each character’s interactions with the other passengers, alter the path ahead and cast past experiences and choices in a new light.

Chapter one, “Reset,” Opens with Gene Silverman, a shady character who has learned to restart his life when he needs to. Before the novel ends, he’ll need to reset his course once more. Tracks focuses on Gene again in chapter three … through another character’s eyes.

Although entirely unique, Tracks is similar in nature to Joan Silber’s National Book Award finalist Ideas of Heaven: a ring of stories.

Hop aboard! Visit the link to read and rate Chapter one of Tracks! Invite your friends to do the same.

I hope you enjoy the ride.



Eric D. Goodman


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