Thank You to My Readers!

Today is the final day of the Long Short Story Contest on Freeditorial. If you've spent any time with me during the past few months, you are already sick of hearing about this contest. And I don't blame you! I've been fanatical, like a dog with a bone, trying to spread the word and win some big bucks for akita rescue.

Unfortunately, as of this morning, I am in fifth place. Only the top three stories will win the prizes, so it's not looking good for me. Despite coming up empty-handed in the money department, I have learned a TON during this process.

I've learned, given the proper circumstances and motivation, I am capable of self-promotion. Some people are natural salespeople. In fact, plenty of people never stop promoting themselves; it's as constant as the breath in their bodies. I've never been one of them. I've always found it repugnant to ask anyone for anything. But this contest, and the selfless goal of donating all the prize money to akita rescue, allowed me to explore a side of myself I didn't know existed: the obnoxious, pushy side!

Besides the non-stop posting of photos and pleas on Facebook, I explored some old-school methods for getting the word out. A large, full-color photograph of my daughter and my male akita was printed, along with a story, in our local newspaper (The Howard County Times). I was interviewed (for a full 30 minutes!!!) on a live, internet radio program. (The interview is now archived and can be accessed anytime at under Dialogues with Dan.)

But the most important thing I learned during this process is that I have some unbelievably supportive friends. Some of them so kind and caring I was brought to tears more than once. My amazing friend Patti took the time to videotape me (it was more difficult than it sounds!) and then posted it on Facebook where it eventually received more than a thousand views! Patti made it her life's mission to help me help the akitas. My writers' group repeatedly hounded their friends and fan base to get me more downloads while offering me numerous suggestions for marketing my story and spreading the word. The students in all my classes were also supportive and gave me lots of feedback and advice.

Winning thousands of dollars to donate to akita rescue would be amazing, but realizing how awesome my friends are: priceless.

If you haven't read my short story, FACEBOOK CAN BE FATAL yet, it's not too late. The contest ends at midnight tonight, but my story will remain on the website for free download. You can find it here:

Thanks again for your support!