We have had a few conversations over the past year here at popcorn about how difficult it is to self-promote. We all want to increase our readership, both here and in our other ventures, but one of the ways to do that is to boldly, arrogantly–nay, self-confidently–go forth and ask people to read us. And then, of course, to tweet us, Facebook us, and generally use all media channels to spread the word. I think for a bunch of reclusive (women) writers, it all l feels a little…difficult.

And so it is here on Christmas Eve that I shamelessly ask for your help.

A short story of mine, “Shunyata,” is one of 65 entries in the first Medium’s Fiction Writing Contest. (What’s Medium? A very cool, contemporary, newsy blog-cum-social-and-pop-culture-commentary site, which you can check out here.) My story needs to be in the top three in order to be read and judged; it’s been hovering between #2 and #5 for the past week. That’s so close! Doesn’t that make you want to read this tale of mystery and intrigue? (Actually it’s a story about a guy who doesn’t know how to hold on to the one person he’s ever really loved and needed once she turns to Zen Buddhism in the wake of her mother’s death.)

If you would like to read it, and I hope you would, you can do so here. You need a Twitter account to vote; once you’ve read it (and don’t wait–if your vote and your reading time don’t match up, your vote won’t count), click “recommend.” It should prompt you to log in to Twitter. Et voila. Voting is open until 12/31/12.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And lest I forget, may I say from all of us: Happy Holidays! We wish you and your families all the best.

Now go have an eggnog.