Monday, January 20, 2014

The Lost Phone Writing Contest results!

Losing my phone was a total pain in the asterisk but y'all sure were the silver lining in that cloud.  Some terrific entries, and some hilarious scenes, and remind me not to ever get on a train with a couple of you!! Yikes!!

The prompt paragraph

"Reacher took his seat on the train, leaned back and shut his eyes. He felt something underneath him, in the crease below the seatback. He reached down and took hold of it: a cell phone someone had lost. Well, it shouldn't be hard to locate the owner, and returning the thing should be pretty straightforward. How much trouble could he get in?"

was written by Fabulous Patrick Lee as a few of you sussed out on my Facebook page (and here.)

Herewith the results:

Utterly brilliant inside baseball references deserving a huge huzzah:
Alec Breton 7:10am

Hilarious if you're in on the inside joke:
Jed Cullan 5:57am (known to those of us who know, as Dead Jed the cake thief)

The stuff of which nightmares are made:
Carolynnwith2Ns 7:32am

Nikola Vukoja 2:37am

Deliciously surreal
donnaeverhart 8:30am

Michael Seese 3:53pm

Absolutely amazing work on Lee Child titles
Kitty 11:06am

Rivka 2:22pm

Insane but amazing
Kregger 11:15am

Thought provoking
Constantine Singer 11:39am

Rakie 3:00pm

Hey! It's no HUGGING the shark, but clearly we need to add no KILLING the shark!
laura 12:32am

Great line:
"Tempt fate and fate is more than happy to slap you silly, and then come back for another round."
Kristine Poptanich 2:00pm

Wren Wilkins 2:12pm

A line that really needs to be seen more often:
"RC: Keep the corpse in the cellar, I'll deal with it tonight."
Joe Smith 8:32pm

Cracked me up completely;
Delaney 3:42pm

Foxcreek 4:53pm

Lenny Liang 7:09pm

BonnieShaljean 6:17am (that's queen of the known UNIVERSE!)

Chris Christie should be so lucky!
Amelia 9:38pm

What an image!
"Now I’m just an unmarked shopping cart away from being mentally homeless."
 George Djuric 10:29pm

Not quite a story but terrific entries!
ashland 7:33am

Karen McCoy 2:14pm

the start of a story I do want to read!
Gigi Kern 7:37am

Alex Sheridan 8:53am

SiSi 5:55pm

And here are the five finalists:

(1) Kristine Poptanich 2:00pm
How much trouble could he get in? In retrospect, the answer was obvious. Tempt fate and fate is more than happy to slap you silly, and then come back for another round. That's how Reacher felt right now, like a piece of meat fresh from the jaws of a Doberman. If only he'd sat somewhere else on the train. If only he hadn't answered the stupid phone. If only he'd listened to the voice on the other end of the line. He looked past the barrel of the gun to the phone's owner. If only . . .

(2) Amy Schaefer 2:00pm
“Bait taken,” Kerry muttered into her throat mic.

Two rows ahead, Reacher toyed with the phone he had found before tossing it into his bag. Kerry smiled. Tracker activated.

She strolled toward the next train car. As she reached the lavatories, a hand covered her mouth and shoved her inside.

Wedged against the sink, Kerry grimaced as Reacher patted her down. Still holding her close, he found her ID. His eyebrows lifted slightly. “ATF, huh. Talk fast.”

“Your ex-girlfriend is running AK-47s into Mexico. Help us.”

Reacher sighed. “I liked you better when I thought you were a bad guy.”

(3) Terri Lynn Coop 3:26pm
Finding the orphaned phone's owner would have to wait.

Reacher compared the description to the man who just boarded the train.

Polo with popped collar? Check.

Tom Cruise smile?

Knock-off Vuitton briefcase?

Reacher worked the straps until he was behind the target. The knife slid in between T-8 and T-9. He'd probably live, but he wasn't walking out on any more wives.

His favor to Conway Sax paid, Reacher got off the train and thumbed through the phone's screens.




My kind of woman. I wonder if she likes tall guys?

Reacher clicked “Home Reef.”

(4) Calorie Bombshell 10:26pm
I saw her through the haze of cigarette smoke and roughneck bikers. I gestured and she sashayed towards me in the kind of skirt that could coax the cash right out of a man’s back pocket.

“Reacher?” Her eyes traced the chiseled scar on my forearm.

I nodded and handed her the phone. “Want a drink?”

“Bourbon. Straight up.” But she smelled of vodka and lies.

I grabbed her wrist and twisted. “Who are you?”

She grimaced a smile. “Francis Xavier Quinn. Remember him?”

Bikers toting pool sticks approached.

I had less than one second to react. I needed two.

(5) Jared X 10:28pm
Reacher stepped off the train, someone’s lost phone buzzing in his hand. Manhattan number, ‘SFerrell’ the caller.

“Shark?” said SFerrell.

“I found the Shark’s phone. Are you the SFerrell who wrote NUMB?”

“Yes! SEAN Ferrell!” he gushed.

“Not my thing,” said Reacher. “I’m in Philadelphia. How can I reunite your Shark and this phone?”

“Stay there. I’ll make a call,” Sean said icily.

A glint of light from the escalator caught Reacher’s eye. He slinked behind a steel column. “Insulting an author while unarmed,” he muttered. “I’m slipping.” He opened his foldable toothbrush like a switchblade, coolly mapping an escape.

And the winner in a VERY tough decision is Calorie Bombshell.  Ms Bombshell, if you'll send me your mailing address, and a rundown on the kinds of books you like to read, we'll get you a prize in the mail.

Thanks to all who entered!  You were sharkolicious!


Kitty said...

Congrats to the finalists and Calorie Bombshell! I just love these contest. And the next one will be...?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Calorie Bombshell! And many thanks for the mention! (When I read my entry to my husband, he said, "Will anyone get it?")

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Congrats Calorie Bombshell.
My dear your blog is calorically hysterical. I should know because I went from 22 to 8 and I'm not talking state highways; sizes baby, sizes.

Thanks for the mention Janet, this was soooo fun.

Michael Seese said...

"Deliciously surreal" People often say that about me...only without the "deliciously" part.

Seriously, Calorie Bombshell's entry was a good one. The last line is a keeper.

SiSi said...

Congratulations Calorie Bombshell (also: great name) and the other finalists! Thanks for mentioning my entry--great way to start the week.

I loved the surreal and/or meta twist to most of the entries--very fun to read.

Jared X said...

Well played, Calorie Bombshell. "...she smelled of vodka and lies." If the Hold Steady is reading this blog, I bet they're kicking themselves for not working that line into one of their songs.

french sojourn said...

As usual a blast. Thank you for putting in the time to make these mental exercises so fun.

Congrats to the finalists and well done Bombshell.

Cheers Hank

Colin Smith said...

Great finalists! Well done, Calorie Bombshell, and thanks Janet for another stimulating contest. :)

LynnRodz said...

Congrats to all the finalists and to you, CB! Great job.

@Just Jan: Just wanted to say I enjoyed your story as well!

Terri Lynn Coop said...

w00t! Thank you for turning the lemons of losing your phone into lemonade and to Patrick Lee for kicking off one of the funnest contests ever!

Calorie Bombshell! BAM! Like a BOSS!

The line:

“Bourbon. Straight up.” But she smelled of vodka and lies.

Just killed me dead.

Thanks to the Shark for the shoutout and everyone for all the incredible takes on Reacher.

Lenny Liang said...

Congratulations to Calorie Bombshell and all of the finalists! These contests make winners of all of us, as they challenge us, force us to grow as writers, and also offer some awesome fun. Thanks to all of you.

Kitty said...

I wonder if Lee Child knew there was an actual military guy named Major General Francis Xavier Quinn? He was USMC retired and passed away on May 5, 2009 at the age of 82.

Jed Cullan said...

Congratulations to the winners, special mentions and everyone who entered. There were so many great entries. Everyone was awesome.

Nikola Vukoja said...

Firstly congrats to everyone who took part.
And a WOOHOO to the finalist's and winner!

And now a Thank You to Madame Shark, second mention in a row.

The stuff of which nightmares are made:
Carolynnwith2Ns 7:32am

Nikola Vukoja 2:37am,

Hum-does this count as a writing credit?

Looking forward to the next (I'm getting closer)

Calorie Bombshell said...

Thank you Janet (aka Her Majesty the Shark) for selecting my entry. This is so much more fun than drafting legal briefs and outlining deposition questions! I so look forward to these contests. They take me out of the world of the mundane and into the world of fantasy. Kudos to everyone for writing such entertaining stories.

Amy Schaefer said...

I loved the last line about having one second but needing two. Nice work, Calorie Bombshell!

Lance said...

Incredible stories. Congratulations to finalists and Calorie Bombshell. Great stuff. Thank you, Ms. Reid for this first contest of 2014.

Just Jan said...

What fun (both reading the entries and writing one)! Congratulations to all who were mentioned and especially to Calorie Bombshell.

Laura said...

Lest anyone think I was advocating sharkicide in my entry, a dead shark really was found on the subway this past August!