"Writing is not for wusses."--Lynne Main
Heavens, it's Monday...coast along the coast for a bit.
And here I was, still awake for once!
Jeez, it's not like you've got nearly ninety entries to go through, comment on, and pick between. Surely it doesn't take THAT long. Nice horsie, pretty horsie, please don't bite the woodland critters... Remember, you're a vegetarian...
oh Maximus, Maximus. There's a lot to chew with all those contest entries. And why yes, it is Monday. Enjoy. I'ma gonna order another caffeinated something, while I wait for the others to arrive.
The horse looks like it's been spurred. It wasn't me. Honest.Take your time...I'll just be over here. Hyperventilating.Seriously, SO MANY GREAT ENTRIES. And there was SB.
I love that we had so many new names give it a go. That was awesome. Can't recall; what's the record number of entries for a contest?
Good morning, all. I'm going to have a stretch and a cup of tea and not hit refresh every thirty seconds. You?
You mean I have to actually work at work today? Oh well, with all you do, it's the least I can do. They do pay me...and I'm patient.(NOT!)Really, I am. :)
Yeah, Janet, I mean, it's not like you've got other things to do... ;)Seriously--chill. No sweat. I'm sure I'm not the only one who remembers past contests where the results weren't posted until a good few weeks after the fact. :)Your Majesty Heidi: Ooo... that's a stat I need to add to the spreadsheet--number of entries. I'm sure we've surpassed 100 a couple of times.
So coffee and that sinking feeling of failure and obscurity. Oh wait, it's Monday and that's how Monday's at the Day Job feel. Regardless of contest results. There are many brilliant entries this week. No wonder our amazing QOTKU needs more time to ponder. And it's nice she opened this blog so we could all exchange pleasantries. Morning Reiders, and have a glorious start to your week.
E.M.: I don't think I have a pleasant tree for this exchange of yours. I have some nice oranges, if those will do..? :)Just FYI, if you recall, my contest prize a few weeks ago was BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT by Neal Griffin. Well, I was up until late last night/early this morning finishing it. My goodness. When Janet loves a book enough to offer it as a prize, she ain't kidding about it being a good page turner! Just a warning to whoever wins ORPHAN X. Prepare yourself for a long night's reading... :)
Okay so I write when I can usually early in the AM when its quiet and I have my run. My Friend mister coffee pours life's elixir in my cup and I greet the screen with a curious look; wondering if it will give me answers to questions I haven't asked yet. What I see instead is Maximus glaring at me for asking if the list was up yet. Of course I didn't voice my question but my computer and Maximus seem to know that I would and thus the glare. So until it's ready ill be over here waiting for my computer to yell at me some more for not asking the right questions.
Colin, oranges are exceptionally pleasant fruits as are all the varieties- tangerines, mandarins, clementines. Yum. Colin is right about prizes for these contests. They are terrific and sleep robbers. When I won in contest in November, Janet sent me Patrick Lee's Breach trilogy. That kept me up many nights. Also, my writerly self studied the thing ad nauseum because the pacing is done so well. It had that wonderful page turner, can't put it down even though it is 2AM and work starts at 6:30 Am quality about it.I envy the winner this week in advance, I suppose I will just have to buy Orphan X- love the concept. And all the books Janet has recommended have been amazing reads. And as you can't win the author, I will have to employ other tactics on that front. *baits writer trap with whiskey and cat*. Now to burn some kale to flush out my delicious prey.
This was my first time entering, so I have no expectations over how long to wait for the results. I KNOW that there's no hope of winning or even getting a mention your first time out, but still --- gonna set a timer, won't check more than every 10 minutes. Really.Janet, take your time. Sip your coffee, gently file your teeth, whatever you do on a lazy Monday morning. No hurry.
Another snowy morning here on the east coast of school closings and delays. A results delay, seems appropriate considering all the flakes around here.
Is it appropriate to seize the moment to say hello? My blog and comment etiquette isn't very practiced, as I usually just lurk around and take in the wisdom, have occasional participatory flashes (oh! oh! I have something to add to that!)... and then end up too nervous to post. It's so lovely to read all the advice and ideas and encouragement, from Janet and from the whole community here. Hope everyone has a lovely Monday...
2Ns: You talking about me? :D
Anjeana: Totally appropriate. HELLO!!! :D Thanks for poking your head up out of lurkdom! Nice to meet you. :)
Anjeana, hello and welcome. No need to be nervous. This is a lovely group and really only the shark bites, and those do us more good than harm. Wordwacker- don't be so sure. My first entry exiled me to Carkoon. It wasn't a win but still, any attention from the shark is instructive. I learned that if you are not Brandon Sanderson, you must not write about evil librarians. Entering the contest will improve your writing no matter what you write. So it's worth it no matter what.
Hi, Anjeana. Greetings to a fellow lurker as we both, blinking, step into the sun....Sorry, no, that's the Lion King (and THAT'S yet another reference, I'm tumbling down the pop culture hole today!) Anyway, hi. Celia (aka WordWacker)
Third post, so I'm done for today --- but thanks, E.M., for the encouragement. I agree, writing is all worthwhile and if I catch any mention from Her Sharkiness it will be glorious, even if it sends me right to Carkoon!
I'm doing a day job version of a flash fiction contest over here, but there's no way the department who's article I'm slashing will be happy about the concise version, nor will there be clever comments or flashes of insight.And definitely no gory ending.
Welcome Anjeana! We love debut commenters! :) And Celia (wordwacker) is not only now commenting but entering FF's! As are many other lurkers.All of us are brave to be swimming around with a shark. Her bites are really just nibbles on our wee critter behinds. Well, sometimes it's more than a nibble, but you'll know that when she drops the f bomb.:)2N's - haha! Good one! I"m happy to be a flake. I think I proved my flake status yesterday when I spoke of the flip flops. (Love you back CynthiaMc)Now off to Raleigh - to see what Mom has planned for me today! So, I won't see results until...Ya'll have a great day!
EM, your Day Job comments always feel like I could have written them. I think a lot of us around here have day jobs? I enjoy the camaraderie.Wordwacker, congrats on your first FF entry. I think This is my third or fourth? They get a little less nerve racking the more you enter :) Date has been set for my brother in law's funeral. Friday. It's my first time attending a funeral with military honors. Tracy was a Afghanistan and Iraq veteran, just retired from the Marines at 36 two years ago. Thanks again for all the kind words, songs, and poems you all have shared with me. Ill be leaning on them come Friday.
Welcome, Anjeana! I always struggle with writing concisely, so I'm excited to be more active in the flash-fiction contests from now on. Hopefully, I'll learn a little something!I think I'm probably going to buy Orphan X once I whittle down my TBR pile a little. It sounds amazing!
We may never know for sure but I have a likely scenario. Last night was the Stupor Bowl and the Broncos kicked the upstart Panthers to the curb. This would have greatly pleased my Queen because those Panthers beat her beloved Seahawks a few weeks ago. It is easy to imagine a shot a point for the win.I have decided that if I ever win one of these contests I shall not ask for an eight by ten glossy for the shrine. I do appreciate the work it takes to hold onto the image of a semi-mythical beast. You can't leave any anecdotal evidence (road kill) behind.Because of this I now fantasize about parlaying a win into the prime, grade A, number one spot on QueryShark.I do have the ultimate morning after the Stupor Bowl story if any has the desire to hear it.
Racherin, would they really MIND if you added a surprise slasher ending?You can't tell me it wouldn't be satisfying.
Craig: As a major Seahawks fan, I was honestly conflicted about the Panthers' loss. They had a lot of heart this season and played really well. But I also feel that, after the whooping the Broncos got last time they were in the Super Bowl, they earned a victory. Lucie: Best wishes for this coming Friday - military funerals can be hard. You and your family will be in my prayers.
E.M."And as you can't win the author, I will have to employ other tactics on that front. *baits writer trap with whiskey and cat*."Youngest son was at a bar wearing a cap someone had given him. It had "cougar hunter" on it. The cap gift was a joke. Anyway, an older, very attractive lady came up to him and asked, "Are you really?""Am I what?""A cougar hunter.""Sure am. Want to see my trap?"She laughed and bought him a drink, but declined seeing the trap.Anyway, that horse always reminds me of a horse a friend of mine owned. She was the prettiest little cutting mare. Then Tommy would call out her name. She'd look at him. He'd point his finger at her and she'd back her ears and give him the most hateful look. She was the funniest little thing. So much personality.
Somebody sneaked in and took a picture of my horse when I was late getting out to the barn yesterday.
Craig,You can't tease us like that and not follow through. The story, please! Inquiring minds and all. Of course, I have to run to a meeting since it's Monday morning so I won't get to read the story for a while, but I'm hoping it'll be here!
John...exactly! Come on Craig, spill it.Also welcome wordwacker, and Anjeana. Just keep an eye peeled for a dorsal following you...otherwise kick back and enjoy one of the finest communities on the innerwebs.
Craig,Of course we want to hear it.Julie
Lucie- big hugs for this week. Funerals are never easy. Julie- my aunt had a horse like that- by the name of Annie, the pride and joy of my aunt's stable. I used to muck out stalls for her when I was a kid. One day, got surprised by a snake in the hay loft and fell into Annie's stall. Dang mare kicked me. One of the trainers showed up in time to stop Annie from trampling me. I ended up in hospital with a concussion and some cracked ribs. My aunt fussed at me for being so clumsy (and I was). She railed that I might have hurt the horse. Well, I think the horse did more damage to me than I would have ever done to her. And what's more, Annie knew it. I swear that mare giggled every time I was near from then on. Annie glared like a thing possessed whenever I approached her. I think it delighted the trainer to see me start shaking when she'd tell me to saddle Annie on up after that. Ah well. I suppose there was some lesson learned there. When the mare died, I think more people showed up for thar horse's funeral than most of my relatives funerals. She was an ornery old nag, but I don't think my aunt loved anything more in her whole life than that beautiful chestnut mare. And she was a thing of beauty.
And Craig, do share your story. I am in a bit of a stupor bowl today so I could do with a good tale.
Okay, sort of OT but really? I get probably 6 recipe blogs in my RSS that I peruse once a day if possible, but today? Out of the 15 recipes listed amongst all of those blogs...THEY'RE ALL KALE!!! Seriously? Can we please get past the Kale fascination now? It's way worse than spinach ever was. It's pervasive. It's insidious. It sneaks in and attacks when you least expect it. And it appears to be sticking around for the long haul. I hate Kale. I really do...
R.E. that pissy glare on Maximus;When we were growing up in Brunswick, Maine...longer than I care to recall, my sister Sabrina "acquired" a retired sulkie horse. (Maybe you know em as Harness racers.) Brilliant horse, and as stubborn as their long eared cousins.He knew how to manipulate the door handle of a 60's VW bug, in order to get the grain stored in the back seat. One winter morning, Sabrina came tearing into the house screaming. We thought the worst and raced out to the converted garage, stall.There covered with a half inch of snow, stood Lawrence Brewer (The Horse) with it's lips frozen to the garage's door knob. Ears back, sulking at being caught after raiding the VW's grain stash. After a few cups of warm water all was fine. A few years later, in the winter, we discovered it standing upright in the pasture, dead from a heart attack. We buried it in that spot. (My stepfather ran a construction company, so a huge back how was dispatched.) The apple tree still stands there marking his final resting spot. But that was the look!
E.M.Your aunt was wrong. Horses, even accidentally can be dangerous and a child is probably not going to hurt them. Someone I used to do stories on had a lovely stable of horses. Her nine-year-old daughter went out to look at a new baby before she had to go to school. The girl didn't come back in, so Mom went out to the mare barn. The mare had kicked her in the head and killed her. They looked at video tape later and the mare was just kicking at a fly and the little girl bent down at the wrong time. She was still just as dead.Mom told the trainer to load up every horse on the place and haul them to a sale.Your aunt's trainer needed an attitude adjustment. What you needed was another horse to build your confidence back up. Bullying a child does nothing.
Janet: I think nightsmusic is asking for the words "kale" "lima" and "bean" to be in the next writing contest. :)
Colin! NO! Nonononononooooooo. No. More. Kale!! Ugh. Ptuiii, ikka, ewww...no. traitor...
Julie- I was very afraid of that horse. No doubt. Always preferred geldings after for reasons that probably have no bearing in fact. My dad told me the trainer saved my life. When I fell into the stall, I was disoriented, wouldn't have defended myself if trainer had not pulled Annie away from me. And she was a big girl. The rest of the horses never bothered me although I preferred the ponies at that age. Annie was a big quarter horse and I was undersized as it was- all knees and elbows as the saying goes. I think my aunt understood the danger - she just wanted to toughen me up a bit, and make sure that never happened again. At least that's how I saw it. My aunt and the horse had approximately same personality in a way. My aunt often says things that sound looney, trying to get the proper result. And I would have worried more about the horse than me. It made me feel guilty, and made me a heck of a lot more cautious in the hayloft after. My aunt had always told me to stay out of the stalls unless a trainer was with me. I just fell in that day. And I reckon it scared my aunt. Both she and my mom get a bit crazy when they're scared. They both just start yelling and snarling like a cornered beast. I just felt stupid at the time. I was old enough to know better- 14 I think, but I looked about 11. And I do think, if I had been killed, my aunt might have put Annie down or sold her, and it would have killed her to do it. Oh, I don't like to think about that.
nightsmusic: Oooo... great suggestions! kale, lima, bean, ptuiii, traitor.Wow--you think "diddy" was hard, using "ptuiii" would be nigh-on impossible!:D
You know, Colin, I can think of a really good use for some wet Kale right now...and food isn't the use...*taps wet kale leaves against thigh...**wonders what kind of marks it would leaf...*
Wordwacker/Celia - I got a mention with my first story, although I kinda cheated because it had a shark in it. Craig - yep I wanna read your SB day-after story. Lucie - funerals are hard. My prayers are with you.
E.M.I remember a friend had someone drive through their front window. The car wound up in the living room barely missing killing her son who was playing in the floor. Once the mother realized the boy was OK, she started screaming at him, why wasn't he outside playing like he should have been? Adrenalin I guess.My son bought his little girl the cutest little pony who adored the little girl. Snickers followed Stormie everywhere. Stormie wouldn't have anything to do with Snickers, she would only ride Greta, the Quarter mare. Stormie was four so her legs pretty much just stuck straight out on the mare, but that's what she wanted.
Loved your Quarter mare story, Julie! Not sure if I've told this one before, but a friend of mine thought Shetland ponies were quarter horses because they were a "quarter of the size."
This is the happiest place I know of on a Monday morning, even if we're all just waiting around for contest results. Woodland creatures really are a cheerful lot. =)Hope your Monday is going well, Janet. Hope everybody has a wonderful week.
Julie- your granddaughter must be so precious and precocious. Wow! I wanted to ride in rodeo. My mom and my aunt had delusions about turning me into a proper Southern lady. My aunt trained riders for horse shows- jumping and prancing in fancy costumes- all English saddle - yuck. Not my thing. My aunt said it would teach me discipline, posture, confidence, and all that. I am sure it would have, but horse shows bored me. Horses, however, I loved. Even the ones I was afraid of. My dad took me to my first rodeo when I was about six. After that, well, my aunt's pretty, refined horse shows seemed decidedly underwhelming. I never did get to ride in a rodeo and probably just as well. Most of the time I can stay in the saddle as long as horse doesn't make any unexpected moves. This is why I am so fascinated by our Julie Weathers and other cowgirls that frequent this blog. Also, it's why I can't wait to read everything Julie writes.
FYI: Janet has posted the results:http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2016/02/orphan-x-contest-results-yes-this-time.htmlCongrats to another worthy winner! :)
Four score and a dozen Stupor Bowls ago the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a brief foray into respectability and made it to the Big Game. The party that was the whole block I lived on didn’t really start until the once and future Yucks beat the Raiders back to the Stone Age.But this is a story of aftermaths, not celebrations.I was in the environmental business at the time and I had two industrial landfills to monitor starting in the morning. The problem was that those landfills are within spitting distance of Georgia and I live in Tampa.I started scaling back on the alcohol around 1. At 2 I drank a couple of gallons of water. 3 o’clock began coffee. At 4 I started the truck and headed north. The temperature wasn’t bad but Florida is a different world.At Ocala the temperate had dropped by 10 degrees. It dropped twenty more at Gainesville and another ten at Lake City. It was in single digits north of White Springs.I drove onto one landfill to find the compressor I needed to run an air lift pump was frozen. I moved on to the second landfill where a battery operated pump could work. I could not get the truck to go around the edge of the landfill. It was too icy and the truck kept sliding down toward a swamp.
I changed tactics and went straight up the side and onto the top. I made it about seventy feet when there was a massive crack and the truck dropped about a foot. The ice on top had pulled all of the water from the clay. There was absolutely no way I could get the truck out without help.I made my way off the landfill and started walking. Old equipment was buried her because phosphate is slightly radioactive and machinery builds up a charge of it. It was about five miles northwest of nowhere. I started walking because the nearest cell tower was thirty some miles away.I staggered about a mile before looking back. On my trail was a panther. I turned to start walking again and saw another on a low ridge to the side. I turned a corner and there was a third in that direction. An old battery shed left from when a Dragline dug here was between the two on either side. The smell of old sulfuric acid almost denied me entrance but I got inside.Through the ventilation slats I could see that the panthers were hanging around. They didn’t get too close to me or each other. I settled in to freeze to death if the acid fumes didn’t get me first. About three hours later I was awaked by the sound of a vehicle. It was Game and Freshwater Fish Commission truck.A week before they had brought a dozen panthers from Texas. They had put them here so they could get acclimated to Florida before they moved them down to deepen the gene pool of the inbred Florida Panther
nightsmusic: "what kind of marks it would leaf"?Thanks for the chortle this morning!
Craig....wicked pissah story.Thanks for the share, made me chortle.cheers Hank(So where are your Buccaneers?) an old joke.
E.M.,Stormie is a quite the little cowgirl. She's already barrel racing and roping, but I hated to see Snickers go. He was such a sweet pony. My oldest son's two kids have horses, but they are small Quarters, almost ponies.It's a shame you didn't get your dream. I would have liked to have shown.
Craig,Well, I'm sure that got your blood pumping. What a great story. Thanks for sharing. So...did you live?
"So...did you live?"Classic! Fun story, Craig. Well, fun once you got to tell it. I imagine for a few hours "fun" was the furthest thing from your mind.
Craig, that's definitely not where I thought that story was going. Yeesh. It's funny, I didn't have too many problems with temperamental horses while I was riding (god I miss it), but both times I fell off could've gone horribly wrong. The pasture I'd practice in had one of those giant electrical towers in one half of it. We'd ride around it, and the grass had a path down the middle, where the tall arches were, but not the other way because the side arches were low enough that you'd hit your head even riding a pony--which I was. Baby Blue and I were cantering around the tower when something spooked her. My trainer was in the barn at the time, so what it was will be a mystery to all but lil Baby, but she darted straight for the side of that tower. She was a little pony, I was a little teenager, and the bar came exactly throat-level at gallop speeds. I half jerked myself out of the saddle in time to miss the bar, hung there sideways for another couple beats, then landed right under the tower while Baby ran off without me. I talked to my trainer, got back on, and the rest of the lesson, Baby was fine. The next horse I rode was an ex-racehorse, and Eddie was a fraidy-cat diva. Get him in the saddle, and he'll freak out about anything you let him. "What's that by my hoof? IS THAT A DANDELION? GET IT AWAAAAY." Of course, he stands next to the damn things every day while chowing down, and they don't bother him none. Wuss. In particular, he shied away from anything we asked him to walk over, like poles. My trainer gave me some advice that because I expected him to freak out, he did. So, I had to act like the poles were just blank ground, and he'd ignore them, too. I tried it, and the next thing I knew, he reared in panic at the sight of it and I was on my back looking up at hooves bigger than my face. I didn't remember falling. And I couldn't figure out how I'd gone from sitting on top of a horse to being on my back on the ground, and what was wrong with Eddie? Again, I didn't get hurt, but this time it was only because my trainer was standing right there and yanked me out of harm's way. I decided to avoid poles for the rest of that lesson.
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