Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Monday, August 17, 2015

Vacation Can't Come Soon Enough Writing Contest results!

I'm counting the minutes till I make my escape from the office for a week. I love my job, I really do, but oh man, I'm looking forward to this break.


It actually takes about two weeks to prepare to go on vacation, and that doesn't count packing or planning, just filing, updates, and getting the requested mss a bit more caught up! Oh and determining the winner of the writing contest of course!

Herewith the results of  the last writing contest of the summer!

Ohh, this sweet revenge story makes me v.happy!
Deborah Hert 8:31am

Wonderful use of the prompt words
Steve Forti 9:46am
flash Friday 2:27pm

It says absolutely nothing good about me that I thought this was hilarious!
allierat 9:49am


Dena Pawling 11:54 am elicits a wail of anguish. Nooooooooooooooo!

Not quite a story, but delightful!
Marie McKay 1:36pm

The terror factor on this is pretty much 100%
Steve Cassidy  9:27pm
Suzanne LaCroix 11:15pm


Normally I go for elegant and subtle, but this one is above my head
 (although Lull is a brand of equipment, which I didn't know till I started my google decipher)
Karen McCoy 9:28pm

Always nice to "sea" a shark story!
Charlie Bell 10:25pm


And talk about tugging my heartstrings (if I actually had any)
JustJan 12:56am


Here are the ten finalists:
(1) Michael Seese 8:21am
When there is no prison, there is nothing to escape from.

Except boredom.

And loneliness.

And emptiness.

And Corn Flakes for dinner. Again.

And the occasional blissful bout of silence.

And the screams masquerading as lullabies.

And the fists which, I came to learn, sting less with each passing year.

But other than that, nothing.

Out on a lonely highway, I finally found freedom. Unfortunately, freedom also came with a flat tire, and no spare. I'd had to remove it to make room.

The flashing lights circling like vultures told me I won't be getting away.

But neither did he.

Very noir. It's always amazing how much atmosphere can get packed into so few words.


(2) Kregger 10:01am
    Who would’ve thought summer bowling league and murder were synonymous?

    Not I!

    Forget first place, which disappeared when none of us ever converted a spare.

    Our pleasure to escape the summer heat turned into a raging inferno to remove ourselves from last place.

    We lulled the competition with gutter balls and fouls until no one took us seriously.

    In Kung Fu fashion we struck Ninja style: poison shoe spray, arsenide finger hole paste and best of all…cyano-acrylic alley wax.

    They were doomed!

    The takeaway?

    *face-palm*

    After custom hole-drilling the team ahead of us, we were still in last place.

I love the twist here, cause you have to think about it for a second. If you knock off the guy in front of you, you're still last. Just last of nine, not ten.

And honestly, a story about bowling and murder? The Dude Abides, man.


(3) Brian Schwarz 10:15am
Remote Access to C:/OSP/ granted…

cmd> remove /root/ admin
…complete…
cmd> /root/:OSP
cmd> Password: ********
**Access denied**
cmd> Password: *********
**Granted**
cmd> run /root/: hBlk/climatecontrol/heatwave.exe
…running…
…complete…
cmd> c:/OSP/cBlk/
C:/OSP/cBlk/> install pwr
lulltimer.exe
…installing…
…complete…
cmd> C:/OSP/cBlk/> set pwrlulltimer.exe run to 23:00
…complete…

*****
OSP Log
10:47pm – thermostat deficiency in h-block. Guards lose
spare layers.
11:00pm – unexpected power failure.
11:02pm – Generator kicks in. Fifty-four doors in C-block malfunction. Riot ensues.
11:23pm – All guards
away to C-block. Prisoners disorderly but contained.
11:38pm – Brief failure h-block cell door #385.
11:45pm – Guard uniform missing.
11:58pm – Prison break suppressed.
12:01am – Shift change.
*****

cmd> [
Esc]

During the course of the contest I skim through the comments to remove spam, or anything that isn't an entry. My eyeballs snagged on this and I was nano-seconds from clicking delete when I realized it was an entry, not spam.

Which is pretty hilarious when you think about it.

And I love how artful this is.

BUT, and this I don't know what I think quite yet: [ESC] is not the whole word. It stands for it, but does [#] mean number?  

I'm ruminating. I think I'll put this out for the blog commenters to weigh in.


Actually I just went away and thought about it for awhile. Amazing what a nap and an iced
tea can do for clarity!

 I love this entry but [Esc] is not a prompt word. Thus, a finalist  because the entry is amazing and imaginative, but not actually eligible to win.

(Sorry B)




(4) Marc P 10:25am
Some stories start… ‘Once upon a time.’

But when?

Here?
7/15/2015. When I removed my gun, put a bullet in my sick son’s head.

Or here?
1/8/2015. Discovery of his incest with Bella, my daughter. Fourteen.

The months planning? Hiding the knapsack bomb? Slipping the detonator in his dead hand?

‘Lives spared...’ the citation said.

I stayed away; escaped the ceremony. My FBI colleagues thought they understood.

I wasn’t hated. Everyone blamed the fundamentalism that nobody, including him, had known anything about.

I snuggle in closer to Bella. Hot, lullaby breath. ‘Once upon a time…’

It starts now.
10:24am  8/15/2015

Ok, this is great, but holy moly, CREEPY AS HELL! And the thing is, it only too ONE simple word to make it creepy. "Hot" Without that one word, this is such a sweet story. Add that one word, and this is complex, creepy and GREAT.  


(5) Jennifer R. Donohue 10:41am
When Becca was removed from her family and set up in our spare room, she was too old to be a kid and too young to be on her own. The only comfort she accepted was the lullaby of Grimalkin's burbling purr.

A person's ghosts are hard to get away from, but she was almost okay. Then the whispers started again. The knocking. Grimalkin hissed arched-back at empty corners, a tuxedo asterisk.

We labored over her escape plan, and there was no margin for error when we sent her off to prom, barred the doors, and set the fire.

"A tuxedo asterisk" is such a great description! 
And the ending has a great twist to it.


(6) Jenny C 11:39am
Lulled into a stupor on the subway, I noticed the book before I noticed the girl. DUNE. Hardly an escape read. “Great book.”

No response.

Two days later, same train. “Ever try THE GONE-AWAY WORLD?”

Ignored.

The following week, desperate. “My uncle knew Robert Heinlein.”

A sharp elbow stabbed my ribs. “She’s deaf, seaweed-brain.” Ugh. My ex. Not one to spare feelings.

Months went by. My future girlfriend devoured the RED RISING trilogy. I took online classes. Practiced signing “Coffee sometime?”

Finally articulate, I straightened my tie. Removed my sunglasses. Boarded the subway, heart racing.

But her seat was empty.

I love love love this. BUT, that last sentence! See how much stronger it is when you take out the "but"?  I rail against this with writers all the time. All those extra words are just dragging down the energy of your sentences.  Leave them out! Cut! Snip! Chomp!



(7) sdbullard 6:33pm
Whitewash on the walls removes the stain of powder-blue hopes.

Toys, smiling in plush anticipation, escape in Goodwill bags.

Runaway dreams cling to disassembled furniture.

Echoes of a lullaby never sung drip through the nursery.

Not a nursery.

Nothing, now, but a spare room.

There's the added challenge here of doing the prompts in order listed. 
"Powder-blue hopes" is a great phrase, as is "plush anticipation"  Both uses words
in a distinctive way; I really appreciate that.



(8) Wendy Nikei 8:26pm
I was born in a collision of ice and rock.

I hurtled through space, away from the bleak sphere where I'd been stuck. Removed from its orbit, I no longer was bound by the noose of its gravity.

Freedom! I'd
escaped!

I was elated—for the first few thousand years.

In the vacuum of space, rushing past stars, I fell into a tedious
lull. There was little to interest me, not even a spare space probe or misplaced satellite.

Then the cobalt planet drew nearer, bigger. Its atmosphere burned my tail and shattered me senseless, but I'd never been happier.

I think this is our first story from the point of view of an asteroid. I love that!



(9) kdjames 9:05pm
During a lull in the visitation, I escape out the back door of the church mom hadn't attended since I was a child. October gusts push at fallen leaves that reveal the spare Minnesota landscape. It all feels wrong.

Accidental fall.
Nothing could be done.


I've been away too long.
Not long enough.

Dragging in a shaky breath, I turn to head back inside.
Back to cloying display, numbing grief.

We're orphans now, my sisters and I.
The fresh air did nothing to remove the certainty.
One of us is also a murderer.

There's really nothing quite like a good twist at the end to make me sit up and take notice. This is very lean and elegant writing, spare one might say, but oh so evocative.



(10) Sam Hawke 5:50am
The great Zulu Llewellyn, they called him. Bear trainer, entertainer extraordinaire. Really just Joe: captor, tormenter.

She fooled him with small gestures. Pared back the snipping. Kept her claws out of sight. Obeyed meekly as they were moved from cage to ring and back again. Gave the people their show.

Her chance came with a wayward breeze; it caught Joe’s cape, masked her quick movement. Lumbering like lightning.

A great story has three parts. He had his beginning, from Joe to Zulu. Now he had his end. Of course, she observed, taking another bite, he was missing his middle.

 This is brilliant. It's a complete story. It uses the prompt words so deftly that I had to look VERY carefully to find them. And it makes reference to an ongoing question: what makes something not-quite-a-story in these contests. Also it's funny.




As usual, this was not an easy call. I liked all the finalists, each for different reasons. In the end though, I have to recognize the dexterity with the prompt words, and the multi-level story that
is Sam Hawke 5:50am.


Sam, if you'll send me your mailing address and the kinds of books you like to read, I'll send you your prize.

Congratulations to all the finalists; your work was wonderful.  Thanks to all who took the time to enter. It's always a pleasure to see what you think up for these things.  Well...scary as all get out much of the time too!

This is the last writing contest of the summer.

For the next two weekends I'll be away, and the blog will be staffed by Other Voices.

75 comments:

Kitty said...

Congrats to Sam Hawke (love that name)!
And to all the finalists.

Now go, Janet, and have a well earned vacation :)

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Congrats, Sam, fantastic.

When I started to read I was totally bowled over by Michael S's story. Mike, I loved it and thought there is no way I can better that. I tried and I was right. The caliber is high guys. Kudos to all those mentioned, you make it hard to beat.

Sam, what a mind you have :)

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Brilliant entries. Congrats Sam. Have a lovely vacation QOTKU!

Amanda Capper said...

I totally agree with this pick for winner. Congratulations, Sam, and I look forward to reading more of your work.

Tough competition.

Marc P said...

Ha ha, good call Janet. That was my favourite .. and usually I will probably just say such things, but that one made me laugh! Well done everyone - I am playing for maple syrup - just so you know Janet - as I am in the UK but will travel to the US to collect in the unlikely event I ever win :) Probably take about five to earn enough stars for a proper bottle.

Meanwhile have a great, hot holiday!

And yeah, creeped me out :(



Steve Forti said...

Congrats Sam! I loved that. Also a big fan of Michael Seese's and Brian Schwarz's.
(And still grumbling at myself for not noticing that a broken html tag turned my "crisp area" into a meaningless "cria". Bah.
Enjoy your vacation Janet!

Sam Hawke said...

This has totally made my night. Thanks Janet and thanks everyone for the kind words. Last night I had just been reading Mr Galliano's Circus to my sons before I saw the competition and then the prompt words seemed to have a circus theme to them... :)

I actually can't stop grinning now. Thanks guys.

french sojourn said...


Congrats Sam, nice win.

My favorite was Brian's. Incredible. Tone, format, and final escape. But then again it's my take on it...someone who leaves out prompt words altogether.

Well done to all mentions and all entries. There were a ton of them that really stood out as I read them.

Have a great vacation QOTKU. Don't worry about us, enjoy...you earned it.

Cheers Hank.

Colin Smith said...

Actually, I thought Brian's was a sure-fire win until I came to [ESC]. I understood [ESC]=Escape but I scanned back hoping he'd used the full word elsewhere. Alas, he took a risk that was clever and worked with the story, but, as I thought, got him disqualified. But kudos to Janet for giving him finalist acknowledgement. :)

Well done Sam and the other finalists! :)

Looking forward to what the week away holds for the blog. Hopefully nothing that will distract you from your rest, Mighty QOTKU. BTW, knowing how much you love to observe others in torment, you aren't planning a stop in Carkoon while you're vacationing, are you? If so, let me know and I'll have the high schoolers put on something special for you... :)

Brian Schwarz said...

Congrats Sam! :)

Sorry for breaking the rules Janet! :) I knew using the [esc] would warrant a ruling, but it was too perfect to pass up. I played with the word, putting it back and forth between where it ended up and 2 lines prior, but I decided (potentially) breaking the rules was more fun. I figured 8 would suffice for the prompt word "eight" so why not roll the dice? :)

Really great entries all around, everyone! So much great writing talent!

And thank you Colin and FS! I figured there was a 50/50 shot I'd get the dq, but I kept thinking about number abbreviations and the universality of computer keys and their meanings. Alas, I had to stick to my gut. And my gut said do it.

-NotSpamBrian

Julie.M.Weathers said...

What a great bunch of entries. Sorry about that, Captain. It was a great story. I have to say that Sam's did bowl me over.

Good job to all.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Ah, Capt. BS, I think it should be -NotSpamBS

Timothy Lowe said...

Congrats to all the finalists - Sam's was awesome - love the last line. I also loved the one about the imperative sentences (don't remember who did that one). Brian, yours was brilliant. The fact that ESC is an abbreviation improves in in my opinion, although I do understand the DQ. I appreciate the fact that you rolled the dice and left it.

SiSi said...

Congratulations to Sam and all the finalists! Another great week of entries.

Janet, thanks for a summer of fun contests. Enjoy your well-earned vacation.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Well done, everyone! I loved Sam's entry. I loved Marc P's, too, but in a different way. Still shuddering....

Marc P said...




(PS Janet .. you snipped off the end of my one.. the time at the end as entered was part of it :) )

Only saying cos of the Brian Esc debate! And he gets my Vote big time for tumbling the dice. It's not just the story it's way he rolls!

Sorry. ;)

kregger said...

Great job everyone!
Kudos to Sam and Brian's close second.
I think the difference for me was that I finally wrote a story instead of a scene.
Believe me people, it helps.
Now, let's check the inventory...
Exploding pens and pencils...
Check
Tetrodotoxin laced printer ink...
Check
Computer monitor app to induce epilepsy...
Check
Alright, I'm ready for my next summer writing contest!
Say what!?

Donnaeve said...

Congratulations to all the special mentions, finalists and the winner, Sam Hawke!

Karen McCoy said...

Beautifully done, Sam! These contests are a riot, and I always learn so much from them. And thanks for the mention! Based on a true story, when someone came back to their hotel room and found the, er, "head" missing.

Theresa said...

I loved reading the very creative entries over the weekend. Congratulations to Sam. I hope Janet enjoys her vacation.

Jenny C said...

Congratulations, Sam, on your much deserved win!

Thank you Janet for some excellent editing advice right before Pitch Wars! Cut! Snip! Chomp! Is my new mantra.

Have a wonderful vacation.

Janice Grinyer said...

Ah Animal Vengeance - thats always a winner in my book too :)

Congrats to Sam, to the finalists, to the mentionables and everyone who entered! Its always fun to read everyone's entries - a fun collection of short shorts!

CED said...

Congrats to everyone!

Hope your vacation's great, Janet.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congrats Sam. And to all the finalists. What fabulous entries.

I started a story but didn't have enough mental space this weekend to work it over. I am in awe of folks who split the prompt words and create natural sounding sentences. And so many good entries period.

CynthiaMc said...

Congrats, Sam! And all others mentioned. Great job!

Janet Reid said...

Vacation starts this coming Thursday when I decamp for beautiful downtown Appleton Wisconsin. Yes, I know how to pick the hotspots!

Actually, I'll be there for a writing conference. Well, sort of. Mostly I'll be there to hang with Terri Lynn Coop. The writing conference was just kind enough to pay the freight.

I'll be away from Thursday 8/20 through Monday 8/31. There will be posts but they will not be answers to questions as they are normally.

Marc P said...

My favourite word... well not really absolute favourite word... is Absquatulate

Which means decamp!

Happy Holidays!

Elissa M said...

Sam's was my favorite for the same reasons noted by Janet. The last line cinched it for me. All the finalists are great, though, so I'm glad I don't have to decide these things.

Have a great vacation Janet!

Just Jan said...

Congratulations, Sam! I laughed out loud when I read your entry in the comment section. The ending appealed to my bizarre sense of humor. Congratulations to the rest of the finalists as well and everyone mentioned.

I'll miss the weekly challenge of these contests. Janet, hope you enjoy your vacation and may it be everything you dreamed it would be.

Janet Reid said...

Marc P, entry updated. I wondered about that date stamp, but of course missed the point entirely. Great subtle touch!!!

Marc P said...

Shucks... I am blushing now. Mainly for using the word shucks! For an Englishman it doesn't really sound right lol. But thanks and shucks!!

(probably used it wrong anyway! )

Colin Smith said...

Marc: It's like a Brit saying "y'all"--which is very hard to do without an American accent. Trust me, I know. :)

Marc P said...

Shucks is a BRILLIANT word though, if we are not going OT? Purely American and purely descriptive. It is emotionally onamatapoeic (spell check did't help) and there aren't may of them!!

Colin Smith said...

OT Marc: Y'all is also extremely useful, especially since English dropped "ye"--the third person plural pronoun. "Y'all" fills the gap very well.

Dena Pawling said...


Congrats to Sam and all the mentions and finalists.

Janet, I hope you don't come back from your vacation to the scenario in my story! Sorry I elicited a wail of anguish right before you leave =)

And oh, by the way, I found a photo of you in my Twitter feed this morning. You sure are excited about this vacation, aren't you?

http://www.wired.com/2015/08/watch-leaping-great-white-shark-get-serious-air/?mbid=social_twitter

Colin Smith said...

Dena's link:

http://www.wired.com/2015/08/watch-leaping-great-white-shark-get-serious-air/?mbid=social_twitter

Janet Reid said...

Man oh man, that's a BIG leap for a shark!
think of how fast she had to be going to get that high!

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Well done everyone and YAY to Sam and the other finalists. The winner shone like a diamond. Very clever and very subtle.

I just had nothing for this one. Nothing. So I applaud all the very clever entries for this closing act of the summer contest season.

Terri

Jenny C said...

There's a writing conference in Appleton? Will Google immediately!

Donnaeve said...

@JR - the calculations below the video indicated about 17.5 mph. I.e. FAST!!!

Jenny C said...

That sounds like a FABULOUS conference for someone editing a novel about jewel thieves (ME). I even follow Writer's Police Academy on Facebook and I still missed the info on the conference.

CLEARLY I need to devote many more hours of my day to social media!!!

Janet, you are so incredibly nice to come all the way to the middle of Wisconsin to teach a class on writing queries!

Theresa said...

Wow, I'll have a near-miss with the Shark. I'll be driving through Appleton (home of the lovely Lawrence University) on Thursday after wrapping up another summer on the lake shore.

So close and yet so far!

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

I checked at 7 something when I got up to take Miss Elka out, no post. Back to bed. Well, after checking my vaults in Fallout Shelter. What a fun little game that is!

Then I wake up, and there's a post, AND I'm a finalist! Lots of great writing here, maybe it's good there's no contest for awhile, let our blades dull a bit ^^


Congrats to everybody, and really, I'm in awe of Sam's "Zulu Llwellyn".

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Holy mack-a-noly Dena, when she breaches she breaches.
Last day of vacation for me today so I toss the baton to...maybe that's what the shark was leaping for.

John Frain said...

Congratulations, Sam, you da man. Unless you da woman, Samantha. In either case, what a finish!

Impressive entries for the final fling of summer.

debradorris said...

Congratulations, Sam! The last line made me shudder.

Good work everyone.

Christina Seine said...

Congratulations to Sam and all finalists and mentions! Well done!

Janet, we will miss you terribly of course but can't wait to see what pops up on the blog in your absence. Hope you have a wonderful vacation!

Terri Lynn Coop said...

The WPA conference is my vacation as well and I can't wait to jump into a margarita with the divine Ms. Reid!

A bunch of my other favs will be there as well, including the writer I consider to be my mentor, John Gilstrap, who told me several years ago that my critique sample, and I quote "sucks." He was right by the way. Allison Brennan and Robin Burcell are icing on the coolness cake.

It's a good thing I'm driving, because I plan on loading up on swag.

See ya Thursday! Terri

Colin Smith said...

TLC: I checked out the website--it does look like a fun event, even minus QOTKU. Police drive-alongs, prison tours, interrogation techniques... a cool opportunity for crime writers, certainly. Kudos to the genius who came up with that as a writing conference idea! :) Having Her Sharkiness there too makes it all the more cool. I hope you have a wonderful time!

Kate Larkindale said...

What a great bunch of stories! I'm so glad I don't have to choose a winner. I'd be flummoxed for days.

Congratulations Sam and all the finalists!

Have a wonderful vacation, Janet. I hope the sun shines for you.

Jenny C said...

I just might head up to Appleton on Saturday - provided they haven't sold out. Only about an hour and a half away.

Ginger Mollymarilyn said...

Nice little story, Sam. I really enjoyed it. Congratulations. Have a great vacay, Janet.

Debra Giuffrida said...

I loved all the finalist! Wow...each contest the bar is raised ever so slightly higher. My pitiful tries seem insipid and dull in comparison. What inventiveness! Congrats to you Sam!

kdjames.com said...

Congratulations on the win, Sam! Very well done. Although, I have to disagree with Janet. That was NOT FUNNY. Because, OMG, BEARS!!! *shudder*

And I'm a finalist? Does this mean I managed to write a story?! WOOHOO! That's a surprise. Thank you for the lovely words of compliment, Janet. Couldn't have come at a better time, as it feels like I'm writing pure dreck lately. I will gather them up like little glowing coals and carry them back to my garret to keep me warm while I continue to slave away at this mess of a ms.

Have a wonderful and relaxing time in WI. You do not want to exceed the posted speed limit in that state, and that's all I'm going to say about that. We will be on our best behaviour in your absence. Really.

Julie.M.Weathers said...

"Vacation starts this coming Thursday when I decamp for beautiful downtown Appleton Wisconsin. Yes, I know how to pick the hotspots!"

Nope, I was wrong, it's 185 miles. So close! The shark will be in Patrick Rothfuss country!

Amy Schaefer said...

Brilliant stories. These are always so fun to read. Way to go, everyone!

Michael Seese said...

"Appleton Wisconsin"

Hey, I jammed with some guy from Wisconsin this weekend. If you see Sam, tell him I said Hi.

On another note, thank you (Janet) for naming my story as a finalist, and thank you (all) for your kind comments.

LynnRodz said...

Congratulations, Sam, great job! And Congrats to the finalists and honorable mentions.

Have fun, Janet, enjoy your time away!

Julia said...

Sorry, all,

Just popping in with 2 things...
1) Congrats to all entrants, esp mention-ees, finalists, and winners; Marc, that was incredible, I thought - totally gripping; SDBullard - how desperately sad... I loved it; and Kregger? TOTALLY COOL!

2) My own update. I know it breaks rules and if it gets deleted, okay, but I wanted you to know. I'm on hospital day number 5. They finally got my GI involved (gastroenterologist - takes care of belly).

They want to take out my pancreas.

Maybe transplant, maybe not; maybe do this in Boston, maybe Philly, maybe NYC.

I've been working so hard to avoid this, and this spring, I thought it was off the table. Permanently. I thought I'd won. Thought we were done, game over, all better.

This is a declaration of a lifespan-reducing therapy. He came in and his words essentially meant, "We're going to shorten your life by ten to twenty years. It's the best thing at this point."

I'm terrified.

c) Everyone on this admission has been incredibly kind.

d) It comes on the 10-year anniversary of the first really bad admission that I was going to talk about today, but will just say now that I was pregnant and intubated because of pancreatitis. The chances that Patrick and I would survive largely intact from that admission were less than 0.1%.

And I've been fighting to save my pancreas and protect my son ever since.

That's it. Sorry... but for me, this was the only way I could reach all of you who know me without typing it a million times. I hope you understand.

Janet, delete as you wish.

Thanks,
J

AJ Blythe said...

Brilliant entries yet again. Well done all, with a special congrats to Sam for a great story. It tickled my funny bone but some of those other entries *shiver*.

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Dena, I couldn't watch that shark video. Just hearing that they mouth things to see what their made of made me think of voracious toddlers. No offense QOTKU. I was also listening to Game of Thrones audiobook and the shark vid audio was disruptive to the point of panic.

BTW Brian, I loved your entry, so creative. But Sam's was a hors classe. Is it Sam who wrote that story about the U-haul that died in no reception zone?



Do they have an aquarium in Appleton?

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Julia, a bazillion prayers on wings for you.

Colin Smith said...

Julia: So you might get a return trip to NYC. Yay *!* So sorry to hear this. I pray that whatever you all decide to do, no matter how bad it might seem, that it really is the best option. My heart goes out to you, my friend! Thanks for the update. :)

kdjames.com said...

Julia, sending strong healing thoughts your way. None of us can ever know how much time we really have, but facing that kind of decision is devastating. A harsh reminder to live life with no regrets. Thank you for letting us know.

Donnaeve said...

Julia, may the hands of anyone who touches you, or your pancreas, find they are only guided by all the hopes and dreams you've held. May they all come true.

AJ Blythe said...

Julia, my thoughts and prayers are with you (and your family). Sending big (((hugs))).

Brian Schwarz said...

Julia! I too will be praying for you!

Thanks Angie, Julie weathers and Timothy! I appreciate the wonderful support!

And 2n's... I about split my middle laughing at NotSpamBS. For some reason I read it with a comma. Not spam, BS. Too funny! :)

debradorris said...

Julia, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. *Healing energy sent your way*

Sam Hawke said...

Julia, that is crappy, crappy news and so unfair. Thinking of you over here as well. *hugs*

Marc P said...

Thanks Julia and my goodness what terribly sad news. Prayers are with you x

CynthiaMc said...

Julia, hugs and healing prayers. Hope all goes well for you.

french sojourn said...


Julia; My thoughts and prayers will get there eventually. It's a long way from France, but just know they are strong thoughts and stronger prayers.

Thank you for the update.
Be well. Hank.

I dropped my laptop, ( lost 40k words (2- m/s) and three months of revisions...every one back up on an exterior memory card, or cloud.)and I am using one that is archaic, rotary dial up...ooof And each letter has to be typed three times in order to "catch"..as it were. (Just saying that so you know how tough this note was.)

Laura Mary said...

Julia, I'm so sorry, that really is crappy news. I hope you get some better news soon, either way, you have a multitude of support all around you xxx

Panda in Chief said...

Well done, Sam, and of course I always love a story with bears. (Especially when the bears get the better of the humans.)
Be the Bear.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

T-17 hours until Operation Appleton commences . . . .

Terri