Okay I won't MAKE you read the whole story just to get to the contest winner. But you know you want to..
The winner is: Well, there are two. It's a tie! Because I realized that I wanted to write an interview w/both at the same time. That is, a nymph and a satyr! Congrats Abigail and Bookaholic!! Let me know which book you pick... I'll feature the interview one week from today on my Thursday blog. Thank you ALL for participating and if you leave a question for the interview and I use it I will link to your blog. Now enjoy the fairy tale:
The Ogre and the Slushpile
Once upon a time there lived an ogre named Stan. Now, Stan wasn't exactly your typical Ogre. Sure, he had scaly green skin, huge hairy knuckles and was roughly the size of a baby elephant. But, Stan also had something the other Ogres did not: A brain bigger than a peanut.
It occurred to Stan one day, while chewing on the bones of the census worker who'd braved his swamp, that he ought to get a job. Then he could afford some seasoning. So Stan started looking. He tried many things. He was fired from the local fast food store after eating the first customer who complained his order was wrong (though really, could you blame him? The guy was obviously an idiot to complain to an Ogre). Then he was turned down for the role of Hagrid, being that the job was already taken. Finally, Stan ended up at a small publishing company, which shall remain nameless.
The editors at this house hesitated only moments before hiring Stan. He was, after all the perfect fit for the position. So, Stan the Ogre started work going through the enormous slushpile that was taking over the front office.
The first day Stan was thrilled. He always liked reading stories. After the fifth one about the handsome brooding vampire and helpless girl in love, he knew just what to do. He happily devoured any and all of these stories, being sure to send out the requisite form rejection he'd so carefully put together:
YOUR BOOK SUCKS BUT IT IS YUMMY. DON"T SEND MORE. ME HAVE PLENTEE.
Mind you the editors found this brilliant as they were only going out to the worst of the slushpile. (note: if you have received one of these letters I mean you no offense).
The second day Stan found his head hurting. How many books could people write about the end of the world? And those adverbial dialogue tags... Well, every sentence? Stan gobbled them all up and sent out more of his form rejections.
By the third day Stan was in a very bad mood indeed. He'd barely cleared one of the fourteen teetering piles and had found only one book that could be passed on to the editors. He started on the second pile and had the talking squirrel book half-way to his mouth when a woman burst into the office. She was clutching Stan's form rejection in her hand and her face was bright red. Stan licked his lips.
"How dare you! I spent weeks on that manuscript! Don't you know it was the best thing ever written? Didn't you see my letter? I told you it was like Hemingway meets J.K. Rowling! I demand justice!"
Stan was confused. Was the screeching Ogress talking about the one where the vampire goes to school with the wizards and they see him sparkling in the sun? Or was it the one about the girl who follows the boy in the woods, sees he's a werewolf and falls in love with him only to be kidnapped by the mailman? Either way, it was very tasty.
"Are you listening to me?" The Ogress snapped. "Who is in charge here?"
"You talk too much," Stan said.
"How dare you! I"ll sue! I just know you're planning on stealing my idea! I put a copyright on it you know!"
Stan really wanted her to shut up. So he ate her. The editors found him just after he took his last bite. They saw the purse on the ground and heard him burp. They asked what had happened. Stan told them the story, only to realize he probably shouldn't have eaten the woman.
Sadly, Stan hung his head and told them he would go. He had really enjoyed the job too. But the editors told him to wait. They conferred amongst themselves and returned with a deal. If Stan promised not to eat any more authors - angry or otherwise - he could keep his job. He was the best Ogre they'd ever employed and they were glad to have him.
So, to this day, Stan works on keeping the slushpile down to two teetering piles and has earned enough money to buy all the seasoning he wants. The only down side? His office can't go paperless. The editors have assured him it would cost too much to buy a new computer every time he gets an email.
The moral of the story is this: Even an Ogre knows when you take your time and do it right. Also, don't storm in a publishing house like a lunatic because the Ogre might eat you.