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Green Room - Idol Minor - Week 1 - Day 3

I'm not sure when I knew that I liked girls, mostly because I don't recall a time when I didn't. In kindergarten, I was the boy playing house with the girls - because I wanted to be around them, and maybe one of them would become my girlfriend. According to my Mom, it started much earlier than that with any female "play date" that came across my path.

Those boys who "hated girls", until they got older - I never understood them. Girls were always the best.

So it's really not much of a surprise that I ended up with rocks in my head.

But that requires a little background.

I am the oldest son of my father, who is the oldest son of his family. His youngest sister was only a few years older than me. She was the coolest, and of course, she lived at my Grandmother's house, and when I was kid - after my parents got divorced, my Dad lived there too. So I spent every other weekend over there. It was a magical place where I could sit around watching monster movies all day long, eating directly out of the carton of ice cream - and whenever I wanted to go outside, my Grandfather owned a campground, that was located within walking distance of the house.

Big D's Campground was the world of adventure that opened up my youth. It's weird to think about just how unsupervised I was, in the middle of nowhere in Ohio, running through the woods and sometimes just walking the creek on my own. (or with my cousin who was a year younger). It should be noted that I'm not talking about "when I was a teenager. I'm talking about since about 5 or 6, I had the run of the place.

There were two paths down to the main campground - one was a rocky incline that my Uncles would sometimes take their 4-wheelers down but most people avoided. Then there was the "main road", which was a dirt road that also had a steep incline. It barely fit two vehicles across and at some points you just had to pull over and wait for the other car to pass.... and you could only do that on one side. That side was pulling into the woods. On the other, you only had a narrow stretch of trees before it plunged off the side of a pretty high sheer shale cliff into the shallow creek below.

That second road was where it happened.

I was pretty late when it came to learning about to do anything. If there is a "technical excuse", that would be it. I didn't really know how to do things that I "should have" known. Including riding a bike.

I got my first one when I was 7. It wasn't until I was 8 that I was really doing anything with it other than trying not to fall over. That younger cousin? He loved his dirt bike and would later go on to be involved in the BMX community. Me? Let's just say it "wasn't a dirt bike" and leave it at that. ;)

Which is how it happened.

The why it happened? Well, that goes back to having that young aunt. Who, of course, had friends her age. She was 15. I was 8, and her best friend was beautiful and always really nice to me. I wanted her to like me in the way to only a truly delusional person would think that a teenage girl would ever think a 8 year old boy was worthy of their attention. (What would have happened if - for some insane reason, she *had* decided that I was truly the one for her... I apparently never worked out that part!)

They were hanging out at the house one day, and I was tagging along. Then they decided that they were going to drive down to the campground to meet up with some friends... and I couldn't come because I was "just a kid".

Yeah, that went over about as well as you think it went.

I decided I was going to show them. I was going to ride my bike down the hill to the campground. Somewhere in my 8-year old brain I had decided that was the most manly and grown-up thing I could do. The girl would certainly be impressed with me.

I rode down to that first path, but it was short and didn't seem impressive. Which is weird, because looking back, it would have been the more difficult ride.

So I rode over to the main road, up to the where the decline started. I stared down it, making sure there were no cars coming... and started off to my destiny!

About that... as I said, there were things that I never quite got the handle on, that I should have known... simple stuff... like how went going downhill, you pick up speed as you go. And of course, how to use my brakes.

By the time I was almost down the hill, I was freaking out. I put my foot out a little, but it didn't slow enough... I was trying to keep to the middle of the road, because only in that moment did it occur to me that if I went too far to the right that I would be going off the cliff. (I didn't occur to me that I would probably DIE, but I knew it would be bad)

So I hit the brakes. Hard.

And went over the handlebars and hit the ground on my left side.

One of the campground regulars found me. I can't recall if they called my Dad or took me back up the house themselves. Pretty sure it was the latter.

The entire left side of my face was covered in blood, and my clothes were a mixture of rips, blood and dirt.

My Dad helped me get cleaned up and had me change my clothes.

The next day he took me back to my Mom's.

That "next day" part is more important than you would think... because with the blood, he didn't notice/do anything about the fact that there were visible pebbles embedded in my head, just over my left eyebrow.

My Mom noticed.

She brought out the tweezers and peroxide and got to work.

It was awful. It hurt so much and yes, I cried quite a bit. Eventually she just gave up and decided that what was still in there would just work its way out on it's own.

Spoiler - it didn't. There is still one. Right above the left eyebrow. The reminder of what happened, and everything that means about me.

I don't know if that girl ever even heard that it had happened. But if she did, I guess she wasn't impressed. ;)

***

The new topic is up: https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1050256.html The deadline is Monday.

Which is also the deadline for people to sign up https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1049456.html so that they can get in on the Community Chest (you need to complete all 4 weeks).
I bounce when I walk. That's what I've always heard from people who know me.

So it's not surprising that one day when I was stepping off the bus, and not wearing a belt, that I caught my pants just as they were falling down. By "caught" I mean "just before they passed my knees". :O


***

If everyone who has said they will be participating in Idol Minor this season ends up showing up for Week 1, we will have passed our first season! Which is awesome, and exactly what I'd hoped would happen.

This is a "niche idea" and I'm not expecting a lot of people showing up for it. But I really believe in the value of it for young writers and hope that they will get something. Part of that though is going to be on the adults in the Idol community showing up to support them. So I hope that anyone reading this does that - and spreads the word so that other people do it as well. And of course the young writers reading and supporting each other!

***

I've always been awful at skating.

Except once.

In my entire life there has only been one time when I actually stayed upright and got around the rink (more than once). It was early middle school and it the highlight, and "low light" of my time at the skating rink. I wish I could recall what song it was.

All I know is that by the end of it my friends were teasing me, because I hadn't heard the announcement that it was the "ladies only skate".


***

There is still time for people to sign up for this season: https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1049456.html

The new topic is up: https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1050256.html Entries are due next Monday.

And of course the Community Chest will be open all season: https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1049645.html I really hope that people take the time to "give back" to the next generation of writers that will be entertaining us this season. The more who sign-up and do all 4 week, the smaller that $25 that is currently in there will be divided by - so let's do what we can to make those shares a little larger! :)
Just to remind you - the new topic is up: https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1050256.html

and sign ups will continue until those entries are due: https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1049456.html

Thank you to everyone for spreading the word! We had some more folks show up yesterday and per a post I was tagged in on Facebook it seems like there are a few others who will be sending along their young writers to join our ranks!

Community Chest update: Thanks to 2 new donors (I don't know if they wanted their names mentioned, so I won't unless they want to out themselves) we are now up to $25! I'm hoping to see that number continue to grow over the course of the month, so that we can have a decent "prize" for those who make it all the way to the end! https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1049645.html for more details.

***
I was one of the fastest kids at my elementary school.

My middle of nowhere, smaller-than-small, rural Pennsylvania, elementary school. So of course they asked me to join the track team.

And it wasn't really a surprise when I was selected as one of runners to represent the school at the District competition.

I wasn't one of the fastest kids at the District level. I wasn't "one of the slowest". My first, and only, time competing I was blown out so badly that by the time I finished, the next race had already started.

Let me repeat that - when I crossed the finish line, they had already started the next race.

The judges called me over and took my information. I was confused, but embarrassed enough that I just wanted to get the whole thing over with as quickly as possible.

Somewhere there was a mix-up.

When they called my name over the loud speaker as *the winner* of the race I wasn't sure what to do... so I went back to the judges and tried to explain that I didn't win anything. Unless being *really bad* was a victory. In which case, I was a huge winner.

They nodded and smiled and said they would take a look. The kid who *did* win was also there disputing the results. They told him the same thing.

It turned out they thought I had won the next race. They gave me a medal, even after I talked to my coach and had him go talk to them as well.

I'm still not sure what happened - maybe they were embarrassed as well and didn't want to disappoint a kid who thought he had won something, so they gave both of us the victory... and sent both of us to the Regional competition.

Where I was destroyed worse than before. (because my "qualifying time" was so good - being that it was for finishing the race after my own - I was put in the very back of the pack.)

That was the last time I ever ran track.

I was in middle school in Florida when my PE teacher noticed that I was really good at the hurdles and tried to recruit me for the track team. But that earlier embarrassment stuck with me, and I decided not to go down that road again.
Idol Minor has started!!!

The new topic is up: https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1050256.html

and Sign-ups will continue until the first entries are due: https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1049456.html so if you know anyone who might be interested, this is would be the time to do it. Anyone (of eligible age) can sign up during the course of the season. But to be part of the Community Chest reward https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1049645.html you need to complete all 4 weeks!


***

A couple of "house-keeping items": It occurred to me this morning that LJ Idol will be turning 12 years old on May 31st (the date of the sign up sheet for Season 1). So the game itself is older than most of the Idol Minor contestants! When I picked May, I wasn't even thinking about that. I can't think of anything more fitting though, than for us to be celebrating a new generation of talent.

Also - this week's topic *wasn't* going to be the topic. I moved everything back this morning... why? Because I had my own embarrassing moment.

Every weekday morning, I walk a mile to the bus stop. I'm usually half asleep, and fall back to sleep as soon as I get on the bus. At least that's the plan.

Because of that, I might not be as aware of things as I should be... like today for instance. I sat down on the bench and felt something cold on my upper leg.

I got up quickly, thinking I had sat in water (or worse, it is a bus stop after all), but didn't see anything.

I went over to another seat, carefully examined it to make sure it was OK, and sat down again... this time I felt the cold, but also a breeze. A breeze on my leg.

Puzzled, I reached my hand up and felt that there was a hole in my pants! I got up and realized it was a GIANT hole. Not just a "I split my pants open", the bottom was completely shredded!!! What had happened? I have no idea.

So I walked the mile back home to change... which makes 2 miles of walking with my underwear exposed! :O

Embarrassing? Absolutely. Funny? Well, yeah... definitely funny! I'm just glad it was still dark when I was walking, but I wonder what people thought as they were driving by me!

Week 1 Topic

For those of you who have never participated in either the "regular version" of Idol or Idol Minor - first of all, welcome. But also I wanted to take a moment to let you know what is happening. :)

This is the Topic thread. In it I will tell you what you will be writing about this week. It could be a word or a phrase - but most importantly, this is your inspiration. "Topics" are just jumping off points. You can take them in any direction. As long as it makes sense to you!!!

You take the idea, and write something inspired by it over in your own LJ/blog/other space you are using for Idol Minor.

Then you link it back here as a comment.

I will also give you a deadline. If you want your entry to be included in the voting poll that will be posted, you need to submit it by that date/time.

This week our topic is

An Embarrassing Moment

The deadline to link your entry back to this thread is Monday May 7th at 8pm EDT

Have fun!

Tomorrow!

May 1st is the start of Idol Minor Season 2!

You *don't HAVE* to sign up in order to compete for this season, if you are eligible, you can go "week to week", but in order to be eligible for the Community Chest https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1049645.html, you have to be signed up by the deadline for the Week 1 topic!

So make sure you get signed up today! https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1049456.html

Or, if you know a young writer, help them get signed up today! :)

PLEASE spread the word - to young writers, and people who you know will love reading and commenting on their work!

Idol Minor - Community Chest

Good evening,

Anyone who signs up for Idol Minor, and who completes all 4 weeks of the challenge will receive their portion of the Community Chest.

What is "the Community Chest" you ask? Anyone wishing to donate via paypal will have 100% of their donation (minus the fees, if applicable) used toward buying Amazon gift cards for the Idol Minor "winners". How much that will be per contestant depends entirely on how much is raised and how many end up finishing.

If you want to contribute - just click the link! paypal.me/GDreslinski

Parents/guardians will need to contact me at clauderainsrm@gmail.com to make sure that I have their email addresses for the gift cards.

Hopefully, having a little extra to buy books (or games, or whatever, I won't judge) will encourage more young writers to participate this season.

Any money received via paypal between now and the end of the season (end of May) will be part of the Community Chest, unless specifically otherwise indicated. (just in case someone happens to send me some unrelated cash during that time period. :D)

If people have other "kid friendly" items they want to donate, let me know and I'll throw them in the Community Chest as well!

There's still time to sign up! https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1049456.html

Idol Minor - Season 2 - Sign Up Sheet

Good Evening.

The rules for Idol Minor are simple:

It was open to any writer, or creative person, between the ages of "old enough to tell cool stories" to 12. While everyone understands that the younger participants will need the help of an adult to post, the less "Adult editing" of the work, the better.

I will post a topic once a week. The writers will use that topic to inspire their creation. They will post (or someone will post for them) in a journal/blog and link that entry to the original topic post as a comment.

There WILL be a poll. But no one will be eliminated. There is no "winner", other than us for getting to read bright new talent, and them for creating stuff, and hopefully having some fun at it.

The season starts May 1st and will run 4 weeks.

If you want to sign up (or sign someone else up, in the case of a parent/guardian) post your intentions in the comments below!

Apr. 12th, 2018

Idol Minor Season 2 is still on track for the May 1st start date!

So tell a friend. Or two friends... I'd say to tell random kids on the street, but that's kind of creepy and could get you in trouble. So tell their parents to let them know!

It's a 4 week adventure that I'm hoping will be as fun for the young writers involved as it is for me to run. Actually, I hope it's even MORE fun for them! :)

***

Thank you to our Patrons, who make things like this possible, and have made it easier for me to keep Idol going over these last few years. If you are interested in joining their ranks in supporting Idol, and are in a position to do so: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=70027

I need to update the rewards to reflect the upcoming season. Is there anything that might interest you as a "reward"? Trying to come up with ideas, but finding out what people actually want is better than guessing. :)

Idol Minor

Good evening,

People have been asking when the next season of LJ Idol is happening... and I've been all over the place with it, but have finally been locking some important details down, so I should be able to make an announcement about that in a month or so...

In the meantime, I DO have an announcement about Idol Minor (the kids mini season).

It WILL be happening.

Here.

Kids old enough to tell a story to 12 year olds are invited to participate.

We had one of these before and honestly, it was one of my favorite experiences. I really hope that even grownups without young kids stick around to check out the work and encourage the next generation of writers, because if it's anything like the last time, you will be in for a treat!

May 1st is the start date. I was going to do it in April, but that got away from me, and I want to give people enough time to spread the word and tell their friends about it!

I have something in mind that I'm still working out the details on to make things extra special, but we will see what becomes of that idea over the next month. :)

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LJ Idol: a writing rollercoaster with iffy brakes

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