Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Happy Birthday Writing Contest winner!

Of course the special birthday celebrant is the lovely and talented Rachelle Gardner!

Thanks to everyone who entered.

I really liked these lines:

"java in Java" by Stephanie Thornton 12:36am

"puddle of nun" by Rachel Searles 12:59pm

"the snakes were restless tonight" by Janet T 2:09pm

"I'm no jumped up java drinking labradoodle either" by Alex 2:18pm

"Times, they hadn't changed; they'd revolted" by Rebecca LuElla Miller 8:45pm

Most Terrifying: Tom M. Franklin 12:36pm

Most Enticing: Michael G-G 12:34pm

Most poetical!: jdh 7:36pm

Great word play from Catherine 11:44pm

Great punch line: Sue Harrison 9:41pm

Disqualified for word count but very nice: JenninReality 10:45pm

The four stories that stood out are:

Justwritecat 12:42am
“What’s that, dear? You’re a gardener?”

“No, ma’am. My name is Rachelle Gardner.”

“And you’re looking for your Labrador today? Be a miracle if you found him here, what with my hundred cats.”

“No - Labor Day parade. I can’t read this map. Do you know—”

“That’s considerate, but my cats don’t need a nap. Serve you some tea? Or are you one of those hippie java types?”

“Um, tea is fine, but I don’t really have—”

“Course not, dear. Go find that dog of yours. Such devotion. Be sure to take him round the corner - there’s a parade going on.”

Matt 2:26am
Java is a clueless dog. I consider it a minor miracle every time he finds his way back into the house from the yard. However, you train him in a few simple tasks, serve doggie treats as rewards, and he'll carry them out with a boundless, simple-minded devotion.

For example: Did you know that many banks allow seeing eye dogs on their premises? And with proper motivation, a two-year-old Labrador with a canvas tote bag will go to every guard in a room and retrieve their guns for you?

In theory, anyway.

See you in ten, three with good behavior.

Abogash 3:03am

"Doesn't matter how much devotion he shows to his family. Look at that cute black labrador puppy in the yard, for God's sake! Or if we like it...can't think about it, we still have to serve him." Rachelle slumped in defeat against her squad car's seat, gripping the foreclosure summons tightly.

"Yeah, I know. But still, we could go get some java and forget the whole thing- you know- pray for a miracle or something?"

Neither felt up to shattering yet another American dream.

She shoved the summons into his hand. "You serve, I'll buy."

Phoenix 8:57am


The dog whines at her name and paws my hand.

She's a Labrador. Black, like uncreamed coffee or the fading night.

Hope had been a Golden, a sun-filled garden, her bright devotion burning like Hannukah oil for eight precious years.

Black, though, is a color I understand. A bond buds where I thought no new would grow.

She waits patient in her harness. I take up the handle, eager yet cautious, aware she's my freedom, my salvation. My own miracle worker, ready to serve.

"Forward," I say to Java -- but what I'm really saying is good-bye to Hope.

The winner of the last writing contest of the summer, the Happy Birthday Rachelle Gardner contest is Phoenix.

Phoenix, drop me a line at and we'll figure out what delicious prize you've won!

Thank you to everyone who entered (these are a lot of fun to read!) and congratulations to all who were singled out!

And Happy Birthday old did you claim to be??


Angela Robbins said...

way to go phoenix.
these were great entries.

kely said...

Wait. This was supposed to be serious? I spent at least 3 minutes on mine...

DeadlyAccurate said...

Those were all good, but Matt's made me laugh out loud.

Tom M Franklin said...

"Most Terrifying"?

Well, okay. I'll wear the honor with pride!

-- Tom

JennInReality said...

Thanks for the recognition. I'm sorry I went over on word count. I knew I should have written in Word so I could see how long it was. Oh well, it was fun! Thanks again :) And Congratulations to Phoenix!

Michael G-G said...

Nice job, Phoenix! I loved the line "black, though,is a color I understand."

Can this really be the last contest? Now we know, more than the clangle of school buses and drooping of leaves, that summer is officially at an end.

Enjoy those early autumnal days in Alaska, Janet. Swimming with the halibut?

Marjorie said...

Good job, Phoenix!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention!! I love these contests. I think I'm facing a serious addiction here...maybe I need to find a support group.

Phoenix said...

These were all great! A ton of fun to read and, I hope, a ton of fun for Rachelle, too. I wonder how many of the things said about her here are really true? :o)

Thanks for the place to play, Janet!

Simon Hay Soul Healer said...

Phoenix, that's beautiful, well done. I missed this one, but thanks Janet, keep them coming.

Robin B. said...


As usual, your prose sings, my friend!

sue harrison said...

Thank you for the punch line designation! What a fun contest. Great reading!

Alex said...

More contests please. let the words come out and play.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

I really enjoyed reading the entries. Some fun, witty prose. (And I laughed out loud more than once).

Thanks for the mention, Janet.

Phoenix, congratulations on your yet-to-be-determined delicious prize. Well done.

Matt said...

Woohoo! Cracked the top 4. That's going on the old resume. :)

Congrats Phoenix. Beautiful writing.

Chris Eldin said...

Phoenix, That is beautiful. Really really beautiful.
So glad you won!!
The prize? Wasn't it dinner in New York with a couple of agents?

wizardonskis22 said...

Great job, Phoenix, that was really amazing. Congratulations :-D You earned it.

Kim D. Baldwin said...


Such a lovely job you did, you deserved to win. Great job!

I hope Rachelle had a most lovely and wonderful birthday!

Terri Coop said...

Yay Phoenix! What a great win and a great birthday present for the divine Ms. Gardner.

I have to confess, this contest threw me and I blame it all on JustWriteCat.

I was reading entries and suddenly, without warning, I was standing on the pier dripping, just having been blown out of the water by that stupendous entry.

Anything I typed just didn't cut it after that and I wisely decided to watch this one from the sidelines.

A Snoopy happy dance to the winner and kudos to all the finalists!

::taps fingers impatiently waiting to hear if there will be a first writing contest of the Fall::


Feaky Snucker said...

Congratulations to Phoenix, and those mentioned!

*runs away crying about her resounding loss*

abogash said...

Thanks for the contest and the mention. These are so much fun both writing and reading!