About my last post: if you interpreted it as whining, that's your interpretation. I call it problem solving. Something was bothering me and I worked through it. Whether it was "deep" or whatever is not my concern--what constitutes "deep" nowadays anyway? It originally meant introspection. Now that definition has been marred by the mass media; now it encompasses any triviality held up as revelation. Case in point: Eat Pray Love , beheld as the be-all end-all of life. To hell with that. Life is about achievement, what you accomplish, and the content of your character.
Anyway. I'd like to highlight one of my favorite contests: The Writers of the Future Contest. (http://www.writersofthefuture.com/)
It's a science fiction/fantasy short story contest for fame and glory and plunder.
I've only entered twice (rejected the first, still waiting on the second), and--as you could guess from a contest this size--it takes forever to hear back. Four quarters a year = four stories a year. Good fun, good practice. Long story short: if you like writing science fiction or fantasy, you should join. Worst that can happen is a rejection.
Only thing I don't like about their website are the forums; practically a barren wasteland compared to this place. However, you can find links to other contests and anthologies and such, like the Mirror Shards Anthology, which I'm finishing up a story for right now (by right now, I mean right after I write this).
I'm thinking about combining my short stories and selling them on Smashwords--too early to consider that though, since I haven't even heard back on a couple stories from other sites like Raygun Revival and WoTF. It seems like a kewl, hip site (though filled to the proverbial ceiling with stupid erotica), but the stigma against self-publishing is a great one.
Eh, what am I talking about. Nothing wrong about self-publishing to earn a little extra money; not like it's my day job or anything (not yet).