Becoming a writer of fiction is a difficult task.
Getting your name out there takes a certain amount of bravery and Smithers secondary grad Emily Kendy has proven she has enough to pass literary muster, while holding down day jobs.
Kendy has recently thrown a short story into the latest installment of Broken Pencil’s Deathmatch, an annual online, no comments barred short story battle.
Eight authors are paired to duel with keyboards at-the-ready in separate week-long skirmishes until one story and its author remains.
Visitors to the Deathmatch website are asked to read both stories and vote for their favourite online.
Kendy’s story, Trying, about a woman in search of an affectionate partner who buys a doll-sized man at a flea market, jumped ahead in voting early on, but ultimately lost to Brittany Smith’s, Muscle Man.
“The story is partly autobiographical,” she conceded about Trying.
“I dated a very short man once upon a time.”
Kendy had attempted to submit Trying previously and had to do some retooling to get enough votes from judges to make it to the formal Deathmatch arena.
Once her round began Feb. 4 it was clear the gloves were off.
One commentator, with the moniker Emily’s BFF, wrote about Muscle Man, “If you had tried harder, or were a better writer, it wouldn’t matter that there is absolutely nothing original to your story.”
Another critic of Trying claimed Kendy used the thesaurus in every sentence making the story clunky.
And it grew more colourful from there.
Deathmatch is merely Kendy’s latest foray into fiction and writing in general.
She was encouraged by her mom to have a back-up plan if writing didn’t ultimately make ends meet.
Journalism became the back-up plan of choice for Kendy, wanting specifically to write music and entertainment pieces.
“The turnover rate for those positions is non-existent,” Kendy said.
“People seem to hold onto those jobs for dear life.”
Freelance became the only option available and she submitted to Lower Mainland publications, such as, the Georgia Straight, the Courier and Adbusters magazine, among others.
The freelance gigs were not stable enough, so when an opportunity to write for her hometown newspaper arose she took it, but only for a year because she longed for a return to the city life.
“I wrote for a series of underground music magazines,” Kendy said about her return to Vancouver.
“Which paid virtually nothing but I was having a great time.”
Eventually Kendy needed more of a stable income than writing could offer and she landed a project co-ordinator job with SolarBC.
She has since moved on and is currently business development manager for Terratek Energy Solutions in Vancouver.
But she has held true to her passion for writing all along.
She has managed to find the time to write a novel, What She Left Behind, about a woman who dropped out of journalism school to write for underground music rags and eke out whatever existence possible.
Kendy appears to follow the ‘write what you know’ adage that binds most fiction writers together.
Kendy is currently putting the finishing touches on a second novel, which is now in the editing process.