Sunday, January 07, 2018

Holiday Flash Fiction results- Round 1

I am just amazed at what you guyz did with 30 words. There were some really outstanding entries on this first round, and I was delighted to see some new names in addition to the known suspects of previous contests!

These are the entries that stood out for me:

James Leisenring 8:42am
Bird: “Should we tell them about us?”
Bee: “We don't have the time.”
Bird: “We should try.”
Bee: “Okay, where do we start?”
Bird: *sighs* “So there was this flower.”

Barbara 9:08am
Was a Christmas Miracle, for sure. Hadn't et in eight days.
Slinked to the neighbor's pear tree 'cross the way, but weren't a pear on it.
Was a bird, though.

Colin Smith 10:40am
We tried warning him, but he kept peering into binoculars,
scribbling his notes. He didn’t see it coming. Bludgeoned from behind. He
thought we were serenading him with birdsong. Ornithologists!

Jeffrey Schaefer 11:28am
“Lenny, whatcha’ looking at?”

“I’m not looking. Bird-dogging.”


“See that telecommunications van?”

“Yeah, so? They’re just cleaning up from the storm.”

“No. They’re…”


“Shit Lenny, hadda’ poke around.”

Beth Carpenter 12:53pm
Swans? Now? With a foot of ice on the lakes? Way too many
birds in this stupid song. Wait – got it. Seven Swanson dinners swimming in
gravy. Next…

Dena Pawling 1:24pm
Blitzen kicks me. Hard. “Why'd you pick THAT paper?”

“It was on top!” I splutter.

But he's right. What can we give four calling birds?

@%^!# North-Pole gift exchange.

Gabriella 7:33am
How can your uncle Vito want his firebird back? He’s been
dead twenty years.

What do you mean ‘presumed’?

Cecilia Ortiz Luna 11:39am
Bird saxophoning Summertime

That handsome boy with the jaw
Crooning about someone laughable, unphotographable

I dance in their veins
And their notes soar

I smite

Steve Forti 9:41am
Dec24: Yitzhak caught me escaping the robbery. Made up story
about following star to magic baby. The gold a gift? Y-yeahhh… (Is now.) He and
Hebir decided to follow. Ugh.

Timothy Lowe 9:30am
“Early birds!” Gregor scoffed.

Dominic’s was a sea of blue-hairs. So much for Christmas Eve dinner.

Marie sighed. “You never plan ahead.”

Surreptitiously, he pocketed the ring.

“You’re right.”

Results for the rounds, and then results for the whole contest will be posted later.
I'm working on results for rounds 2-4 and as usual, you're being very difficult with all this display of talent.

More to come!


french sojourn said...

This had to be one of the most difficult contests. Pacing went out the window, for me anyway. I read quite a few that were sublime. What a group. Congrats to all.

Janet, good luck wending your way through the matrix of entries, especially as they stack on contests 2-4.

Cheers Hank.

Kitty said...

God help me, but during Mass today, this being the Feast of the Epiphany, I had to suppress a laugh thinking of Steve Forti's story.

Beth Carpenter said...

Thrilled to make the finals. I'm amazed at the word acrobatics that goes on here, even with tiny allotments.

It was interesting dividing the 100 words into 4 parts. I have more sympathy for TV series writers who are creating a season-long story, but must create a satisfying story within each episode as well.

Timothy Lowe said...

I agree with Hank - this made writing a query look easy. Good luck, Janet.

Steve Forti said...

Happy to help you commit sacrilege, Kitty :)

Steve Forti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CynthiaMc said...

I totally missed the last round. I had the story done but it wasn't open. Work was hell and by the time I had a chance to check back in it was over. Good holiday fun. Had a great time seeing everyone's entries.

Beth Carpenter said...

I can't decide if my favorite twist is Steve Forti's or Barbara's. Both turn a familiar story inside out, and do it with such lovely economy.

Amy Johnson said...

What great entries! Congratulations!

Kitty: You're not alone. :) Last week at church, the congregation was still singing Christmas carols (which I was happy about). After a line about the three kings, I found myself sitting in the pew, thinking about Steve Forti's story instead of church, and wondering, Does this mean I'm a bad person?

Lennon Faris said...

OK, I'm also still snickering at Steve's "Y-yeahhh… (Is now.)" line.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

These are brilliant. So much in so few words. Congratulations to all nominees. This multi-tier contest was hard. So great job everyone.

Colin Smith said...

Wow! Here I was wondering how I'm going to represent this contest on the Spreadsheet, and Janet goes and picks mine as a round one "stand-out"! Thanks!! :D

Megan V said...

It's James Leisenring that still has me smiling. I laughed the first time I read it. Such a great use of the prompt.

Karen McCoy said...

These are great! James Leisenring's totally cracked me up.

Ashes said...

Dena's was the one that made me smile. I am a sucker for a good concept, and North Pole Gift Exchange certainly fits the bill.

This contest was a challenge to approach so I guess it's only fitting that it be a challenge to judge.

Claire Bobrow said...

Congrats, finalists! Your entries were fantastic, funny, and clever. What I really loved about this contest was getting to see the early entries again and again as stories unfolded. Great work all!

Barbara said...

Congratulations, everyone. This one was fun, but I'm glad it's over.

My favorite was Cecelia's. Beautiful language, and 30 words that say so much more than 30 words.

AJ Blythe said...

Congrats to all those flagged by Janet as "standing out" =)

I always find FF tough, so I am chuffed to have met all the guidelines and finished the contest. I deliberately didn't read anyone's entries until after it had all finished (the talent in this pond scares me - I would never have entered if I'd read them) so am still making my way through the rounds. There is some stunning writing. You guys totally rock!

James Leisenring said...

Wahoo! Honored to be included as a stand-out. I will say the Swanson dinner lines was definitely on my list of favorite lines so that probably gets my vote.

This was definitely an interesting contest from a word count standpoint. These contests are always lessons in revising and polishing, but that was especially true this time around. About halfway through round two I went "oh. I could have cut half the words from round 1 & 2 and had more room for rest of the story." (I actually created an entire second version of the story because this was bothering me so much)

Oh well, glad people enjoyed the story as is