Monday, September 26, 2016

Dixie Dupree writing contest finalists! WINNER

And once again, the winner of the Steve Forti Amazing Word Prompt Machinations is Steve Forti himeself. 10:25am

My parents called me Worm. Said I was the wriggliest baby they’ve ever seen. Dropped me so much it wasn’t worth the effort to pick me back up. Or do anything for me, really. A burden under heel even before I could crawl.

Spilled her chamomile tea on my arm, made me ride my bike to the burn unit. Burst my appendix, I even had to call the ambulance myself.

Never fathomed I’d amount to much. Maybe they were right. But at least now I’m not the one under heel.

Pops it in reverse. Bump. Bump.

Or rather, under wheel.

Special recognition for a great phrase
Marie McKay 10:28am
Home smells of cat pee and cheap perfume, and everything is the colour of used.

An exquisite  pirouette of expectations
Beth 10:56am
“What have we here?” Dixie’s thin-lipped warden inspected the bag. “Broccoli, seven-grain bread, fresh fruit.” A rare smile appeared. “Good to see you’re finally eating healthy, Mom.”

Megan Laughman 8:57am

Brady was a boy at eleven; now at seventeen he was just shy of becoming a woman.

This isn't quite a story yet, but it's the start of a fun one!

Rene Saenger 10:16pm


Fred the Dragon heard the child’s call. He turned and saw a small dog chasing butterflies.

Fred swooped down and caught the dog. He walked over to the little girl keeping his expression neutral. His smile often frightened humans.

The little girl reached out and Fred handed Dixie over.

“My name’s Breleven. Mom says dragons are mean, but you’re nice.”

He smiled.

“Will you walk me home?” she asked. “Can we be friends?”

“Someday – when humans aren’t afraid of dragons,” he said, breathing fire on a bundle of sticks to light her way home.

“I’m not afraid,” she said.

this isn't quite a story, but I love it very much

CynthiaMc 10:16pm
We must've looked like easy targets - three old ladies laughing, holding each other up as we headed down the deserted street after Homecoming at Southern Miss.

One moment we were swapping lies. The next we were looking at the guy with the gun pointed at us.

It was way after eleven and I was two hurricanes over the legal limit for dealing with this nonsense.

"On one," I said.

Three perfectly timed kicks to tender parts of his anatomy put him out of our misery.

We are Dixie Darlings - Rockettes of the Gridiron.

Still kicking after all these years.

Here are the finalists:

Jennifer R. Donohue 9:00am
First we were twelve, then eleven, bodies counting down like moments on the hour.

Ten. Nine.

Every new place, new names. Lies are our sustenance. Our purpose varies, based on payment.

Eight. Seven.

Clandestine drinks in airport bars, a nod on a city street. There is no home port.

Six. Five. Four.

Inscrutable messages from those who fell before. Disjointed sound clips, scratching through speakers in the blue hours of dawn.

Three. Two.

I’m the last, left holding the puzzle pieces of our lives. No edges. No corners.

Too late, I know. The one who comes for us whistles Dixie.

When I talk about rhythm in a story, or in a sentence, this entry is what I mean. 
I don't exactly understand this story, but I like it.

Linda Strader 9:02am
Who knew it would take eleven lies to make me run home to mom down in Dixie? The eleventh was the one that made my insides turn right-side-out, so what else could I do?

The bus ride was long, smelling of stale men and soiled babies. Perfume that had gone off hung like smoke around the woman next to me.

Home meant apple pies and deep red raspberries, warm hugs, and non-judgmental talks.

“I’m fine, hon,” mom said, offering me a pie slice.

Lie number twelve. I had much to do here.

Oh boy, how I love those twists that change the whole meaning of a story! In this case of course, I assumed  the "eleven lies" were something the narrator had been told by a boyfriend/spouse. 

And that second paragraph is as perfect a description as we've seen here in some time. It's brilliant.

And then the end. Oh boy. This is a perfect story.

lizosisek 9:11am

times she said I warned her not to text while driving
vertebrae shattered
minutes for her to bleed out
times I actually warned her not to text while driving
stitches to patch up the other driver
people told me they saw her with Dixie
characters in her unsent text – omw lo
lies she told me before going out
days since she said, “I’m gay,” and I said, “You’re sixteen.”
minutes from home when she ran the light
childless mom who’d let her marry Dixie if it brought her back.

Here's a box of tissue. I'll wait. No, wait, give it back, I need it too.
This uses rhythm to convey tone. Reading it is like being inside a bass drum, you're literally
vibrating with the beats of the sentences.

Mark Thurber 10:11am
Di Xieyan applies brush to paper. As a girl she loved landscape painting, but her mom pushed her into sports. She was good at them, and even better at flying.

There are no trees to paint here, but the ridge outside and lustrous orb above it are subjects enough.

Her companion looks on. “It is good, Colonel Di,” he says.

Di exits the lander of Jingpeng 8, China’s Apollo Eleven. She bounds to the ridge and plants the tripod holding her painting. Let the Americans leave golf balls. The first Chinese visitors would leave art.

“Let’s go home, Major Zhang.”

I can't tell you how much I love the idea of marking explorations with art. And of course, the clever use of the prompt word Dixie makes me very very happy.

Colin Smith 10:19am
"Home is where the heart lies," Mom always said.

I took her meaning from the way she ironed our clothes for school. The way she made sure we had a hot meal every night. The way she kissed and fussed over Dad when he came home from work. The way she made sure we brushed our teeth and rinsed our mouths with Dixie cups of water before bed.

Then she was gone.

June eleventh.

She left a note. Said she’d had enough, said she was following her dream.

"Home is where the heart lies."

I guess I misunderstood her meaning.

The only thing I would edit here is leaving off the last sentence. Let the reader make that "aha!" realization of the other definition of "lies."  Trust your reader to get it.

Rosanna M 12:04pm
I wanted to see the rabbits in kindergarten,
Dad explained we’d moved to Cedar Rapids.

I ran away to Dixieland at seven,
Dad flew me to see Mickey the next year.

I picked fruit flies from smuggled wine at a shleepover,
Dad dragged me home at eleven.

I drove my rust bucket to college,
Dad followed me Justin Case.

I married my soul mate in Maui,
Dad walked me down the isle.

I checked into the hospital, a patient,
Dad paced the hallway, impatient.

I placed my son in his arms,
Grandpa—the best mom a girl ever had.

This entry took me three reads to fully get it.

Cedar Rapids/rabbits didn't reveal itself till this morning!
At first I thought "shleepover" was a typo. Then I thought it might be on purpose: slurring

And "Dad walked me down the isle" instead of aisle, that I wondered about. Was it on purpose? I see a lot of these homonyms that aren't. I'm always tempted to see it as an error.

But, I love the whole idea of this story, and the punchline is perfect. I decided to trust the writer: these aren't typos, they're chosen for effect.

I think there is real bravery in taking risks like this.  Bravery can't be taught or revised. You gotta do it on your own.

S.D.King 4:06pm
Aunt Dixie never had kids, a real job, or a skirt longer than eleven inches.

Mom’s twin. None of Mom’s executive suite polish.

Dixie? Babysit me? Other way 'round, I think.

“Sis’s in a pinch,” Dixie said squealing from my private school lot.

The Walmart run for Lucky Strikes was a Tilt-a-Whirl ride. Then instead of heading home, she hit the interstate.

“Tired of the lies, kid.”

“Me? Lie? I’m an honor student.”

“Not anymore.”

She pulled over, unzipped her pants, pulled up her shirt.

“See that?” Stretch marks covered her wrinkly abdomen.

“Time for you to come home.”

That first line knocked my sox clean off.
I like the idea for this story a lot. And boy oh boy, do I wonder what happens next!

Since my brain has been affected by paint fumes this weekend, I'm just going to sit over here on the snot-green couch for a minute (or ten) and let y'all  weigh in with your opinions.

Final results by the end of the day. Slinking in to the office should help to clear my head!

It took me a while to figure out the winner.
The entries were all amazing in their own right, and all together are an awesome display of talent. Quite a number of very good entries didn't even make this list too.  Ya'll are just getting better and better at tormenting me.

This week's winner, chosen for both great writing, and taking big risks is Rosanna M.  

Rosanna, if you'll email me with your preferred mailing address, I'll have our very own Donnaeve send you a PERSONALIZED copy of The Education of Dixie Dupree.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to write entries. It's a real pleasure to read your writing.


Kitty said...

Congrats to all who entered, but especially Steve! I love your use of the dixie prompt ;~)

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Let it lie like a rug, lie like a pregnant virgin, Colin all the way.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Well, other than mine, I guessed the finalists for once. Holy smokes, does this make me happy!

lizosisek's just took my breath away the first time I read it, and continues to. But I'm glad it's not my decision, amongst that field. Great jobs, everybody!

Scott G said...

Great entries. Congrats to all the finalists.

I like S.D. King's. Straight-up, in-your-face subtlety that lets me know everything I need to know without telling me everything I need to know. Great writing, in my opinion.

I've been out for a while so I never got to say congrats to Donna, the impetus behind the contest. What an honor!

Steve Forti said...

I still can't get over having an honorary award. I think that's gotta be on my tombstone. Always makes my day. Thank you.

When I read all the entries, two stood out, so I'm glad to see them both in the finalists. With all kudos to lizosisek as my runner-up recommendation, I gotta vote for Linda Strader in this one.

Great job all!

Just Jan said...

These are all so good. But I am partial to Linda Strader's--great imagery!

CynthiaMc said...

It'a a great start to the week when Janet says she likes your stuff.

Congrats, everyone!

Colin Smith said...

Oh my Googliemooglies! Finalist? I'm honored! Especially to be listed with these entries. My opinion? Well...

Steve: Well deserved. In fact, I would have made his a finalist simply because I think he surpassed himself with his clever use of the prompt words. I love it when a) entries don't use prompt words as proper names, and b) the story reads so naturally, you can't tell what the prompt words were. Steve did exceptionally well with b) this time.

I smiled at Rosanna's use of "Justin Case"--that came up in the comments last week. I like it when entries subtly slip in references to comment discussions.

S.D.'s has a nice slow build, laying down hints about Auntie's reckless and promiscuous lifestyle in the first three lines. Slipping in the fact that Auntie's a twin. Then the final punch, which is a surprise, but not really. I also like the fact that, apart from "Dixie" (which stands out as a word anyway), the required words get lost in the story.

Mark's has a clever take on this week's oddball word ("Dixie") by using it as a Chinese name (even though I don't usually like prompt words used as proper names). Again, the required words are lost in the story. And the idea of leaving art instead of debris in space is a nice touch.

Linda's is subtle, and I like the juxtaposition (ooo--don't I sound like a real literary critic now!) of the smell of the bus ride and the "smell" of home (apple pies and deep red raspberries), the stale smell of the woman on the bus versus the warm hugs from her mom.

Which would I choose? If you pointed a gun to my head and forced me to choose... I'd be dead. Have fun with this, Janet! ;)

Donnaeve said...

They all win!

*Splash* *Swirl*

Lordy, those teeth.

Well then, good luck all!

DLM said...

Just glorious reading, everyone takes these prompts to such fascinating places. Thanks to EVERY entry for giving me a peek into a new world, a new story, a new character!

LOVE Mark Thurber's entry. I'm a space nerd and sinophile, and I want to get to know Col. Di. "Let the Americans leave golf balls." Hee!

S. D.King's opening line is GOLD. I'm not sure whether it's pure comedy gold or twisted or sad. Which is why it is gold.

lizosisek's rhythm is the drumbeat of tragedy. So strong.

So much to choose from; I think my vote is for S.D.

Kregger said...

I'm voting for the sweet factor and Rosanna.
Congrats to all, great and worthy stories.
Side note: beware paint fumes! They ruin good single malts and cause undo pressure to reevaluate the oldest paint in your apartment for a touch-up.
Tough decision.
Choose your new paint color wisely.

Celia Reaves said...

Another marvelous collection of gems! Like Janet, there wee some lines I particularly loved: Mary McKay's ("Everything is the colour of used") and SD King's ("never had kids, a real job, or a skirt longer than eleven inches.") They paint such vivid images in so few, perfect words. Colin Smith's double entendre on "lies" was masterful, as was Mark Thurber's juxtaposition of leaving golf balls versus art on the moon. I also want to send shout-outs to a couple that didn't make Janet's list. In kkellie's entry, I can hear the cheery jingle playing in my head. Claire Bobrow's epic blow-dry battle made me giggle. The tension between firsts and lasts in Ashes's entry made me sniffle. And the creepy factor in AAGreene's gave me the shivers. Finally, I loved the literary references in Calorie Bombshell's story (and I also love that name).

Pick a winner? Not me, no how. Good luck, Janet!

Nate Wilson said...

Great entries, all. (No surprise there.) I'm split between Jennifer R. Donohue's and Mark Thurber's entries.

As for amazing word prompt machinations, I'm still a little surprised no one managed to use homeliest. (I wanted to, but it didn't fit the pattern my brain had me following for the other prompts...)

Dena Pawling said...

These are all great [no surprise] but I'm partial to Rosanna M.

Congrats all!

Linda Strader said...

Wow! I made the finalists! I'm deeply honored. Thank you, Colin, for your astute observations. I'm at a loss to pick a winner...everyone here is so good, which is why I am so deeply honored...

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

These are all amazing!

Two stood out to me, though - lizosisek's and Linda Strader's.

And yeh for Donna! I entered the giveaway for Dixie over on Goodreads - fingers crossed. :)

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Hmm... just one? Linda Strader's, Mark Thurber's, and Colin's are the three stories that grab me this morning.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

I keep thinking I have a favorite from the finalists, then reread them (in a 'savoring a delicious meal' kind of way) and change my mind. Bravo to everyone who entered. Congratulations to the finalists. And good luck, Ms. Janet, on picking a winner. I simply can't decide.

The Noise In Space said...

I have so many favorites, but I have to give my vote to Mark. The imagery of art on the moon is just fantastic.

DLM said...

It's worth saying, there were so many entries that were REALLY good, but Janet couldn't possibly mention them all. It's so worth going back to the original post, because above and beyond the ones pointed out here, there are some stories that will really catch you or take you places. Great reading, it's always so impressive to see everyone's work and the inspirations everyone finds.

My own entry was completed at three a.m., and re-reading it today for the first time, I'm not even hating it entirely. (Only two edits leap to mind. I will probably put those in my blog entry on this contest.)

We have an intriguing community here. Stunning talent!

Colin Smith said...

Amen to Diane's comment above. I remember Janet once commented how the finalist and winner selections are the kind of thing she does every day as she goes through the query inbox. The difference between two equally worthy entries might be the way one happens to strike her that particular day. And a different agent would probably make a different choice.

JD Horn said...

I'm torn between Jennifer R. Donohue's entry and S.D.King's entry. I read S.D.'s yesterday, and it stuck with me.

Claire Bobrow said...

Congratulations to the finalists, and to all who entered! I loved reading every single one.

Congrats also to Donna - I can't wait to find out all about Dixie Dupree!

As for winners, hmmm, it's really too cruel to make us choose. But with a shark tooth to my head, I might say S.D., in honor of a great surprise ending. The finalists were all fantastic, though.

And Celia Reaves: thank you! You made my day :-)

Bethany Stefanski said...

Congratulations! It was amazing to see what everyone did with the prompt and 100 words. Impressive creativity!

Mark Thurber said...

I love all of these. Also, thanks to Claire Bobrow and Nate Wilson for making me laugh with their verve and voice!

JulieWeathers said...

Great entries as usual and Steve did a masterful job.

I loved Marie McKay's phrase as well. I thought at the time it was something very special.

Steve's entry caught my attention immediately, so I'm not suprirsed at the win.

Congratulations to all!

I hope Janet got her apartment painted and rescued the poor couch off the fire escape.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

btw Janet, ARE you going to let us know what color splatters you'll be showing up to work in?

Janice L. Grinyer said...

Colin's writing hit me the first time I read it as an entry in the contest. It's a phrase I used as a single parent to my kids when they were 5 & 7 and we had to sell our home due to the divorcing. I never ever thought of it in any other way ("home is in your heart, always") until I read Colin's entry...

Excellent entries, mentionables, and finalists! You have a tough job there, JR and I am not talking about rinsing out the good paintbrushes.

Claire Bobrow said...

Mark Thurber: thank you! And I, in turn, was very impressed with your "Di Xieyan." Not only the incredibly clever use of the prompt word, but the mental picture you created for me of an astronaut with the soul of an artist. Bravo!

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

When I read lizosisek's on Sunday it was my favorite. I love Colin's twist. They are all excellent.

I also love Marie's line "...the color of used."

Good luck deciding.

Beth said...

I'm honored at the mention and thrilled to see my favorites made the finals. Love SDKings first line so much I read it aloud. Fifteen words, and I have a complete picture. Mark's story of the Chinese artist/astronaut was amazing. Rosanna's story had such an interesting form and flow, but most importantly, it made me sigh with pleasure. Were I deciding, Rosanna would be the winner.

RosannaM said...

Wow! What an honor to find my story among the finalists. It is so fascinating to see how the same five words can paint such vivid and different stories.

I always find myself oohing at an unexpected twist, marveling at the unique use of one of the words. Nate homeliest would have been perfect, two words knocked out at once!

I, too, am curious to know your paint colors, Janet. I'm one of those people who are tempted (and sometimes succumb to temptation) to buy paint based on their descriptive names and wines by their artistic labels. And sometimes regret my foolishness.

But I am also driven to distraction by such things as seventeen choices of off-white...

Beth said...

Rosanna, I know exactly what you mean about paint names. Sometimes it works the opposite, too. I wanted a peachy, southwest desert sand color for my bathroom walls. Orange Chiffon sounded exactly wrong, but it was perfect. I just pretend it was called Sedona Sunrise, or something like that.

I forgot to mention how much I loved Collin's sad twist on a familiar phrase, and how the Rockettes of the Gridiron made me laugh. I swear, I get more entertainment from many of the 100-word entries than entire books I've read.

Sherry Howard said...

I'm always amazed at the extremely different entries, with the restrictions of the word use and length limit. Congratulations to all and good luck to Janet picking a winner. Like Colin took the time to point out, there's something to love in each entry!

Marie McKay said...

Thanks Janet for the mention. Always grateful. Thanks Angie, Julie and Celia for commenting on my wee phrase. Congrats finalists. I do love them all. Mark's is incredibly beautiful and original so I might go with it. But it's really tough. Good luck, all!

Calorie Bombshell said...

I'm partial to Colin's but I just love Rosanna's for the clever word play. It's so hard to choose.

Celia Reaves - thanks for the kind words about my entry. Been "teaching" my seven-year-old daughter about Bronte and Dickens. The story was her idea and she chose the references!

Peggy Rothschild said...

These are ALL amazing. I tip my hat to you guys -- and to her Sharkliness who must make the final decision.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I could never pick and often I love entirely different entries than Janet picks. I am glad I don't have to pick. Great job finalists whoever wins. It's always lovely to get shark bitten at the Reef.

Celia Reaves said...

I've got to share one thing with this logophilic group, since the naming of paint colors has been brought up: the color of many walls in our house is named "Wingspan." That's it - just the one word. I sympathize with people who have to come up with thousands of color names, but I have to call that one a fail. It offers no hint even of the general color family. (The color? It's a neutral gray-beige, a little too dark to be off-white. If it were up to me I'd probably call it #832 or something.)

Karen McCoy said...

These are all fantastic, but I'm leaning towards either Mark Thurber or lizosisek.

Colin Smith said...

Celia: How about "off-off-off-off white" or "Industrial White" or maybe "Smudged White"? :)

Anonymous said...

As usual, there's so much talent here! My vote is for Colin Smith, though. I love the play on "lies." Well done, all!

Lennon Faris said...

These are all too impressive. I can't choose. Congrats to everyone!

I love the writing in Jennifer R. Donohue's but can't quite catch the story. Nevertheless, I am still totally creeped out. I imagine the 'Dixie' song in a minor key, like the beginning of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Can someone explain that one? Sorry I'm a doofus here :)

And congrats to Donna for having a writing contest in your honor! wish I could've played but I was at my Grandmother's farm with no internet this weekend. Maybe a good thing, with all the talent as usual :P

Colin Smith said...

We have a winner!

Congrats, Rosanna!! :)

And I got a Janet Reid edit! How cool!! ;) It did cross my mind to drop the line, but I went for the mirroring "meaning" from the second line. I'd probably agree with you, though. Trust the reader. :)

Andrea said...

My favourites are Colin's and lizosisek's. Both have a powerful ending, full of understated emotion. If these two entries were openings of a novel, I'd probably read them.

I had a go myself but I got stuck with the word dixie. Even using it as a name felt weird to me, and eventually I tried to make it into a code of Roman numerals and the mathematical constant e. If I ever write a sci-fi novel or thriller with the name Dixie in it, that will probably be the plot twist...

Congratulations to all the entries mentioned above!

Andrea said...

Posted my comment above at roughly the same time as the winnner was announced...

Congratulations, Rosanna!

Janet Reid said...

Andrea, that would have been a BRILLIANT use of DIXI !

Steve Forti said...

Congrats Rosanna!

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Congrats, Rosanne. I am still trying to figure out the story but sleep deprivation makes me dopey, sleepy, and grumpy and any number of other dwarves.

Colin Smith said...

Andrea: "DIX (i.e., 509)..." Oh my! That would have been good. Oh well... next time!! :)

And thank you (and others) for your kind comments about my story. From you guys, especially, it means a LOT.

S.D.King said...

A big CONGRATS to Rosanna!

It takes a lot of talent to stand out in a field like this.

And Congrats to Donna on Dixie Dupree - so very happy for your and wishing you lots of success!!

Colin Smith said...

BTW, I've just updated the Contest Spreadsheet in the Treasure Chest. RosannaM now joins the illustrious list of winners. Congrats again! :)

Steve Stubbs said...

What a sad story. That reminds me of what Woody Allen said, how his parents bronzed his baby shoes while he was still wearing them.

He also said they put a live teddy bear in his crib.

He must not taste good to bears since he survived to make a lot of movies.

And the first few were funny, too.

Janice L. Grinyer said...

Rosanna, congrats! Love your use of words at the end of each sentence; didn't quite catch that until JR pointed it out. Just goes to show that's why she is a Shark of all sharks.

And paint color names? I painted the interior of our house with an old line of RL Americana series. When our neighboring rancher whose an old time cowboy asked about the colors, I told him "well, the paint on the baseboards and doors is called "Red Glory", and the wall colors...well, Ralph Lauren calls it "breadbasket" but I call it "calf scours brown""...he looked at the walls again and said, "I like it" :D

Yep. Representing the West one paint can at a time.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Congratulations Rosanna M!

On the topic of paint color names, I've considered gathering paint chips from the various paint emporiums around town and then using them as writing prompts for my unsuspecting library workshop. Just tossing them all in a big paper bag and having everybody take three (no looking!) and pass 'em.

Mark Thurber said...

Congratulations, Rosanna! I thought your word play did an amazing job of establishing the voice of the narrator and the tone of the piece.

Colin, this is the rare occasion when I'm going to differ with her Sharkliness. I thought your story was perfect exactly as written. I can see how one might view the last line as redundant, but to me it played a crucial role by bringing us back to the narrator's heartbreak at the end.

Colin Smith said...

Mark: Hence the dilemma (short-lived though it was) in my head. Another factor that would swing me toward Janet's view is the fact that, without the last line, the story starts and ends with the same quote. However, between the two quotes, the story takes us on a journey, so what it means in the beginning is not what it means at the end. Perhaps it's not so much a case of trusting the readers, but of trusting the Reider--I should know better that Janet LOVES that kind of thing. :)

Mark Thurber said...

Colin, maybe another way to look at it is that both ways work, but they have a different inflection. Ending with the same phrase results in a story that (to me) is more cutting and ironic. Ending with the line you chose makes me want to cry.

DLM said...

A feature wall in my bedroom is a particularly vivid (and, oddly enough, incredibly peaceful and relaxing) purple. The rest, up to the ceiling (it's a dormered room), is the world's most soothing pale, pale, pale silver-grey.

The paint color was called Bashful Peach.

Wouldn't you be bashful to eat a silver-grey peach?


Congratulations to RosannaM, that is a tour de force in syncopated sorrow.

Colin Smith said...

Mark: Yes! Excellent way to put it. :)

Claire Bobrow said...

Congrats Rosanna! I thought your story was great on the first read, but after Janet's comments I loved it even more. I had to look up Justin Case, but now I know I can find one at Walmart :-)

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congratulations, Rosanna M. And also to all the other finalists and mentioneds. It is amazing to read through all the entries and realize the same words were used to such different effects.(. . . ohoh . . . affect?)

BJ Muntain said...

Great entries - congratulations to RosannaM, all the finalists, the mentionables, and all who entered.

I understood RosannaM's entry to mean that Dad was a single father. I know enough single mothers who get Father's Day cards from grateful kids, so calling Dad the greatest mom a girl ever had felt the same way to me.

Mark Thurber said...

Diane, since you mentioned you were a sinophile, I thought I'd note that my wife helped me pick the (bird-themed) names:
Xieyan = harmonious swallow
Jingpeng = revered legendary bird (i.e. roc). Jingpeng was actually the name of my wife's great grandfather, who was a Chinese landscape painter (among other occupations). We have a very nice book of his paintings, which, as I understand it, he put together to help instruct his students.

DLM said...

Mark, *thank you* so much for that detail. That sort of provenance deepens a story for me as a reader; it's like an excellent author's note or the nonfiction "for further reading". It's especially lovely that you used a family name. I have a fondness for that as inspiration.

RosannaM said...

Thank you, Janet for this huge honor. I was out and about for the last few hours and got back here just now to see the news. You could have scraped me off of my Merlot wall (except I wasn't in that room) or Ponytail wall (except I wasn't in that room), so you'll just have to pick me off of the cold tile floor of the kitchen whose paint color I can no longer remember (I would call it buttercream).

I would just like to say that this is a great group of people who also happen to be outstanding writers. Thank you for your support, and being so fiendishly good that it inspires me to up my game.

And Donna I will cherish my Dixie Dupree book!

And Colin thank you for your HTML help and adding me to the list.

Amanda Capper said...

Wow. To all the finalists, congratulations!
To Rosanna, congratulations and thanks for this, I enjoyed looking for the hidden surprises.

Donnaeve said...

Just got home from Raleigh (I've been everywhere man, ear worm courtesy of Julie W the other day)...


And congrats to all mentions, finalists, and Steve Forti.

Y'all did a stupendous job on the entries!

And thank you all for the good wishes on Dixie Dupree!

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

And I guess now is as good a time as any to mention to Donna that at least two libraries in my system (so far) have Dixie Dupree on order ;)

T.C. Galvin said...

Congratulations Rosanna! And congratulations to all the finalists - absolutely amazing entries!

Lennon Faris said...

Rosanna - congratulations! very well done.

Mallory Love said...

Rosanna, congrats! Loved your play on words. I also loved Colin's and Mark's. Great work from all the finalists.

Congrats to Donna, also. I will definitely be a customer when the book debuts. It looks like something right up my alley.

Colin Smith said...

Mallory (and others considering buying DIXIE: Might I suggest you go ahead and pre-order? Publishers love pre-orders, and we want our Donna to find great favor in the eyes of her publisher so they invite her back. :)

Here's the Amazon page: Order from Amazon
Here's the B&N page: Order from B&N
Here's the Waterstones page (for our UK friends): Order from Waterstones
And here's the Book Depository page (free delivery worldwide): Order from Book Depository


Claire Bobrow said...

Great suggestion Colin: done!

Anonymous said...

It felt really nice to enter again. ^_^ And boy, did I lose to some spectacular entries! Congrats to Rosanna and all of the finalists!

V Brown said...

congrats rosanna! a well won entry!

John Davis Frain said...

Rosanna (but not Roseanne Rosanna Danna),

Superlative entry against incredible competition. Wow. Congratulations.

Also, congratulations to Donna for the entire contest. I thought you were going to break into some Johnny Cash above ("I've been everywhere man,") when you were recognizing Rosanna for her victory. And that woulda been just fine.

Tip o' the cap to the finalists. I'm gonna read Jennifer Donohue's AGAIN to see if I can figure it out, but I'd be open to a hint.

BJ Muntain said...

Can't help you there, John. Sorry. I know that Dixie is a tune about the South, but I don't know who specifically whistles it when killing bad guys...

french sojourn said...

Rats, a day late, Congrats to Rosanna M. Cheers.

Incredible writing again all. And Congrats again to Donna!

Back to the salt mines.

Calorie Bombshell said...

Rosanna - loved your entry. Congrats on a wonderful story!

Joseph Snoe said...

For those like me who didn't understand these lines:

I wanted to see the rabbits in kindergarten,
Dad explained we’d moved to Cedar Rapids.

Read it without the words "in kindergarten"

Beth said...

John, thank you. I saw that the baseball team there was the rabbits, but with the double meaning, it's even more delicious.

About Jennifer's entry, I may have it completely wrong, but my take on was that these were a group of assassins, and their employer was slowly eliminating them, possibly by having them kill one another. “The one who comes for us whistles Dixie,” I assume refers to the phrase “You ain’t just whistling Dixie” meaning you’re right on target. So the one who whistles Dixie isn’t just fooling around, but means business, in this case to eliminate the last person. Or something like that.

JD Horn said...