Sunday, July 09, 2017

Contest results-preliminary FINAL

Yesterday's blog post asking for caption suggestions was really illuminating. Some of you were very practical; very literal in your answers.  Some of you were a bit more fanciful. And some of you, writers to the bone, couldn't help writing stories. I've said it before, I'll say it again: you guyz are fiercely talented and amazing. Never doubt that for a second!

Megan V
I do hate to point this out, but unless that's Mosag then your she is a he. Poor Aragog. Always getting confused for something he's not. First an octopus, then his wife.
My spider is not restricted to just one gender. In fact, today she's wearing a black garter.

Now, I can hear you all thinking "oh that's just Janet making something up to amuse herself on a Sunday morning."

But no no no. The spider is wearing a black garter. How did she get a black garter? Well, the awesome Meredith Barnes stopped by last week to talk to our interns about publicity and marketing. Mer-Bear brought a copy of Karen Robards new book The Ultimatum, and the publicity materials that had been sent out with the ARCs. Instead of a paperclip, the publicity materials were held to the book with a black garter. (If you read The Ultimatum you'll know why this was a stroke of pure PR genius.)

I of course snagged the book
The spider snagged the garter.
With eight legs, one can always use an extra garter.

There were some hilarious suggestions as to the box's contents:

E. M. Goldsmith
Jeff Somers' missing pants

Steve Forti
The obvious answer is Gwyneth Paltrow's head.

But since it's Brooks, and he was the librarian at Shawshank, I'm gonna say it's a rock hammer hidden inside a bible.
I must be missing the joke about Gwyneth Paltrow's head, but any reference to The Shawshank Redemption gets my vote!

Update: Steve has now clarified the reference. I will NOT be viewing this on YouTube! WAY too scary.  I prefer to be the scarer, not the scareee!

Writer of Wrongs
Shrodinger's Cat. Not to be confused with the Duchess of Yowl. I hope.

Confuse me with some OTHER, lesser cat? I should think NOT.

Your order for Waffle House
I haven't been to The Waffle House in far too long. I better track down a writing conference near one and beg for an invitation!


TS Rosenberg
The Macguffin, of course!

It's the crushed hopes and dreams of a thousand writers, lightly seasoned with their bitter tears.
Nah, that's your favourite snack food.
Plus, probably he has his own.

Oh, the irony of it all! It's heavy, it's's none other than my great-grandmother's special recipe Christmas fruitcake that I sent you back in December. It's obvious the spider knows a good thing when he sees one. And you didn't even have a piece. At least Brooks knows what goes good with a nice bourbon.

Happy Christmas in July, Brooks! Enjoy the fruitcake.

It's me.
I am in the box.

I guess poor Mr. Sherman didn't realize when he cheekily told you, "Feel free to send along anything off-beat, slightly disturbing, and/or not quite right in the head you run across," you'd take him literally.

Colin Smith
It's John Frain's manuscript of course. And Sox the Spoctoper (spider-octopus) knows that NOTHING is worthy to share a box with THE MANUSCRIPT.

(Yes, I named him Sox, because every flash fiction contest, he gets blown away.)

Terri Lynn Coop
To be using a flat rate box for crosstown, it is something heavy.

For the pet spider to be terrified to enter the box, it is something spiders instinctively fear and avoid at all costs.

Duh, it's obvious.

You're sending Brooks Sherman a vacuum cleaner.

Don't feel bad folks, I'm a trained professional.


Kathy Joyce
Uh, guys? I think you're missing the obvious.

Byobrooks is an agent. What do agents need more than anything else?

Honestly, it's not that tough a riddle!

Agents need MORE TIME. Janet is sending him more time.

Why the flat rate envelope? To disguise it, of course. Most people want more time, so Janet has to pretend it's a box of books, so no one will steal it.

Why didn't the spider climb in?

Geez, do I have to do all the thinking here? Did you ever see a spider wearing a watch?

He didn't climb in because SPIDERS DON'T NEED MORE TIME!

You're welcome. ;)

Jenny Chou
Okay, so I really want to know what's in that box.

Everyone who has read Harry Potter knows that spiders flee from a basilisk, but why would you be sending Brooks a deadly snake? You like Brooks. You would not want to see him petrified.

I hear there are ARCs available of Nick Petrie's new book, but if you got your fins on one I can't imagine you sharing it.

So now I've determined the two things that are not in the box.

Though you share Sean Ferrel as a client, I know he's not in the box because he tweeted something today that was not "Help! I'm n a box."

Liquor you would have packed and shipped directly from the store.

Spider is afraid of it. Not an ARC. Not Sean. Not alcohol.

So obviously it's ---

*background noise of ferocious struggle as beloved iPad is ripped away*

Hi. This is Jenny's daughter. Mom made me promise to keep her off Twitter and all other forms of social media until she's completed draft 1 of her WIP. And besides, it's a beautiful day. You people should be outside or something.

I can't tell you how delighted I was with these entries. Hilarious and imaginative. And oh so illuminating!

It's almost impossible to pick just one winner.

How about you guyz weigh in in the comment column today, and I'll announce the winner tonight?

UPDATE: ok, I've read the comments, and mulled this over.
There's no way to choose one winner, so there are two:  KathyJoyce for what is IN the box, and Jenny Chou for what is NOT in the box!

As usual, you guyz just blow me away with your talent! Thanks to all who took the time to enter and comment.

Kathy and Jenny, drop me a line with your preferred mailing address.  Jenny, boy oh boy, do I have a  good prize for you!


Steve Forti said...

Janet, look up "What's in the box?" from "Seven" on Youtube.

I wish I'd gone with a Little Miss Giggles reference, in hindsight. But I dunno how many toddlers are out there.

BJ Muntain said...

You mean it's not Gary Corby's ARCs? Well, dang.

There are about 5 of the ones you shortlisted that I read and said, "Yes, that's the one." For all 5. And I'm just as certain every time I read them.

So.... you're on your own. Sorry.

Claire Bobrow said...

Same as BJ. I read each one and said to myself, "That's it!" - but each subsequent entry was just as funny. The phrase "Jeff Somers' missing pants" does make me crack up, as does Lynn's fruitcake (always a winner imho).

Good luck, Janet! And thanks for the laughs, everyone :-)

Dena Pawling said...

My vote goes to Colin because I had a good laugh visualizing John Frain's manuscript in a LARGE flat rate box. That must be WAY MORE than 100k words. I guess he has some editing to do.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I really loved Colin's. The spider-octopus hybrid was brilliant.

These made me laugh from captions, to the stories, to those who literally tried to guess. How much fun these little caption contests are. Now back to my eternal battle with the Oxford comma.

Craig F said...

Very, very late last night, or early this morning, I came to the realization of what it is. It is the KISS action figures (dolls) that Brooks had hidden in a safe place after being teased to within an inch of his job about them.

My Queen found them when she moved. Now, after using them for target practice, voodoo pincushions, traction for hand trucks and the occasional shark gnashing, he finally worked up the nerve to ask about them and it is time to return the remains to their original owner.

If'n I had the choice it would be KDJames.

CynthiaMc said...

As someone who has been brought back to earth by my children, my vote is with Jenny. But they are all fabulous.

I still think it's liquor.

CynthiaMc said...

OT but writing-related: I went to a book festival yesterday to hear a talk by one of my Twitter friends. Turns out he's famous. I am still laughing (not at him, at me for not knowing). Details on my blog and my Twitter.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

This was so fun... What a bunch of clever and witty stuff. Love!

Colin, kdjames, Lynn, Kathy Joyce, Jenny And more...Whew. I can't decide.

Janet, Are you going to reveal the contents? :-)

Lisa Bodenheim said...

There were so many I chuckled at yesterday. And still today. I loved reading the many different responses to one prompt.

Pick one? hunh-uh, not me.

Thank you, Janet, for this impromptu guessing game.

Megan V said...

Janet, I love that your spider is gender-fluid!

Terri has the win in my book. Who wouldn't flee in terror from a vacuum cleaner? I avoid mine at all costs. Just ask the dust bunnies.

And your spider is smart to grab a sacrificial garter—it's perfect for jamming the vacuum. I can imagine the spider issuing the ultimatum now: "stay back or the carpet roller gets it."

Donnaeve said...

I laughed out loud at Elise's guess - Jeff's pants, and at flashfriday's too. And then, here comes k.d.james. And then...

Oh shoot. IDK. They were all good, and we have about 24 people showing up here at 4 and I still have a peach cobbler to make!

Can't wait to see who wins, and...what's in that box!

TS Rosenberg said...

I live in the UK so shipping me a prize would cost $$$ so I'll recuse myself from the competition.

I shall instead bask in the joy of having my witticism mentioned in dispatches by La Shark.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Does this gender-fluid , self-packaging, scrupulous spider have a name?

Unknown said...

I think Kathy Joyce is on the right track. Agents need more time, therefore Hermione's Time Turner is in the box. Why is the spider afraid? Because Hermione is the greatest witch of her age. No one, not even a giant spider, messes with her.

Why is it in a large box when a time turner could fit easily in a small box? Lots of bubble wrap. Even La Sharque is afraid of Hermione's wrath.

Glad to have that mystery solved. Good work, Kathy!

Anonymous said...

Karen Robards has a new book out?

Wait. More important, Brooks Sherman has KISS action figures? In the office?

So many clever imaginations we have over here. The ones that made me laugh out loud were Flash Friday, LynnR and Jenny Chou (I can easily imagine MY kids asking, "Are you talking to people on the internet? Again?") But really, I thoroughly enjoyed all of them.

Thanks for hosting these day brighteners, Janet. I've been sick as a sick dog all week with the cold from hell and the chance to intersperse a few laughs among the coughing was appreciated.

Theresa said...

Writer of Wrongs, because every time I see a sealed box I think of Schrödinger's cat (and unfortunately not DoY, but don't tell her that).

Beth Carpenter said...

I'm no help. LOVED them all. All I want is the assurance you're going to tell us what was actually in the box. I need closure, dammit.

Timothy Lowe said...

Nothing like a closed-box mystery to bring out the best in a bunch of writers. Flashfriday's is my vote - she always has such a quirky take on things. Fun stuff!

Ok - off on vacation. Catch you all on the other side!


Colin Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen McCoy said...

Kathy Joyce gets my vote! Time is something all of us want back.

Reading the entries was so much fun! Looking forward to seeing who is crowned as the winner.

Colin Smith said...

Lots of fun suggestions! Jeff Somers' missing pants was a great one. That would explain Sox the Spoctoper's reluctance to share box space. :D

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Phew, this is a tough one. All have their strong points:

Goldsmith: Short and sweet and exhibits knowledge of the Shark chum's habits.

Forti: Total bonus points for the callback reference to Shawshank.

Wrongs: Any reference to the Duchess of Yowl is a good one.

Lizosisek: Excellent attention to detail, and, Waffle House reference!

2Ns: Short and sweet pop culture integration.

Rosenberg: A Deus Ex Machina entry of the Macguffin into the story.

kdjames: Speaks truth to power.

LynnRodz: Perfect integration of the evergreen fruitcake trope.

flash: Schrodingers writer, both in the box and not.

Colin: Best award for naming a stuffed spider.

Terri: Hey, y'all, that's funny. Who among yee has not suctioned up a spider?

Kathy: Kudos for turning it into a Potter-style fantasy.

Jenny: Academy Award for excellence in red herrings.

Contests on this blog are hard . . .


Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Without a doubt, Steve Forti, SHAWSHANK man.

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Loved Colin's suggestions. Frain's ms really gets around.

(My brain is still in 1856. Perhaps I should not be using technology until it returns.)

John Davis Frain said...

Kathy & Jenny,

Congratulations! And now there's a new mystery ... boy oh boy, what's Jenny gonna get in her box? I think it's nothing more than a red herring intended to make us forget about what's in the original box. Because we still don't know!!!

french sojourn said...

Congrats Kathy and Jenny, what a fun little contest.

Unknown said...

What a great way to wake up! Thanks Janet, and to all for the fun comments. Nothing better than writers with a mystery to solve!

No doubt my entry came from my current situation: county fair week with an avid animal-raising daughter. Such a packed week. It's only Monday and I'm already exhausted! (No, we don't live on a farm; we're suburban dwellers with a big-ass chicken tractor in our backyard. But that's a different story). Anyway, thanks again. Have a great day all!

Unknown said...

Congrats Jenny. It took me a minute to get that your daughter didn't actually write the last part!

Kitty said...

Congrats to both kathy joyce and Jenny!

HOWEVER, Janet never told us what was in the box! What's in the box, Janet?

CynthiaMc said...

Congratulations to Kathy and Jenny. Well done!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

I had to come back here this morning. Is the mystery solved? No! It's not! What kind of time is in the box? It's the wrong shape for a mini-TARDIS.

Congrats to kathy joyce and Jenny for your winning entries/guesses.

LynnRodz said...

Congrats to Kathy Joyce and Jenny! So many fun entries that were a pleasure to read.

BJ Muntain said...

Congrats to Jenny and Kathy-of-the-Joyce!

(I still say it's Gary Corby ARCs in the box.)

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Congrats to Kathy and Jenny!!! *kermit flail*

Now . . .


Anonymous said...

YAY!! Congrats to Jenny and Kathy! Sounds like Jenny will be getting that Petrie ARC after all...

Terri, I just read your earlier comment where you said my entry "speaks truth to power"-- that's a really nice compliment and it's true that probably I wouldn't hesitate to do that in some situations, but that's NOT AT ALL what I did here. That would mean I said something uncomfortably true that Janet didn't want to hear. I was being affectionately sarcastic and, in fact, using terms that Janet herself uses quite frequently when talking about how she lives for chomping on writers and crushing hopes and dreams. Anyone who hangs out over here knows that's not true and can tell how much she appreciates writers. She goes out of her way to encourage and help us. So I was being silly and wry and turning her words back on her, with great affection and respect, as an acknowledgment of her sarcasm. I'm fairly confident she knows that, but I wanted to clarify for anyone else who might not realize.