Monday, August 05, 2013

I Spy a Writing Contest results!

 Honest to Murgatroyd, you guys really amped it up this time. Collectively, these entries were probably the best we've had so far.   Congrats to all the entrants for making this a damn difficult choice!

Special recognition for a phrase that we really need to use more often:
"the boob tube of soiled love" 9:31am

Special recognition for a phrase the describes a lot of things very well:
"We’re about to be mauled at the Freak Bowl."
shtrum 10:46am

Special recognition for a phrase that is both perfect and gross at the same time:
"The fart of her dying toothpaste tube jolts me awake"
Jared X 7:46am

Special recognition for entries with a great line or lines:
"Finest Gal sailed towards the dance, wearing nothing save her threadbare jib"
french sojourn 9:31am

"The grandfather clock that once lived in the parlour strikes eight. The notes bounce away over a sea of snoring bodies, over displaced belongings, tumbling off the platform edge and into the river of darkness that is the Tube."
Claire Gregory 10:53am

"Life was nicely blurred around the edges, like a hipster picture on Instagram."
Julie O'Connell 6:26pm

"An hour later, he woke up inside the arteries of the Jolly Green Giant."
Naomi 10:26pm

Special recognition for a great entry with a fatal flaw

Isabel awoke on the Tube. The canned voice came over the speaker “Mind the gap,” as the train pulled in to the station. Another blackout, it seemed. She tried to recall where she’d been. Eating a blitz, with Peter.
“Hey, you okay?”
She gazed at the young man staring at her, his eyes blue, just like Peter’s. She glanced away, looking down instead. In her hand she clutched an empty bottle. It once held the finest whiskey. That’s right, she’d found a bar. It had been happy hour.
She asked him, “Why? Why would you care?”
“Mom. It’s me, Peter.”

(you eat blintzes not blitzs---this entry would have been a finalist but for that)

Suzanne 12:23pm
"Tu-be or not tu-be, zat is ze question, no?" the wizened shopkeeper asked, handing Charlotte the hourglass.

"I want to be the finest spy in the world," Charlotte replied. "I'll be my own blitzkrieg."

The sand in the hourglass sparkled alluringly. A sudden gust of wind rustled through the blackout curtains.

"Turn ze hourglass twice, mademoiselle," the shopkeeper said.

Charlotte turned the heavy hourglass. A flash of light filled the dim room. The hourglass slipped, shattering on the floor.

As she bent down to examine the pieces, she immediately noticed her lack of arms, legs and body.

“Invisibility!” she cried.

I'm still not sure if tu-be qualifies as use of the word tube (let me know what you think in the comments column) but we had so many really good entries this time, I just decided this would

be in the heartbreaker category for now. 

Special recognition for entries that weren't quite stories, but were enticing or compelling or both!
CJKeats 1:09pm

Calorie Bombshell 6:07pm

JD Paradise 8:13pm

Naomi 10:26pm

Ashley Whitt 11:27pm

Lance 12:41am

Not quite a story, but the writing, oh yes, the writing! YUM!
Writer of Wrongs 8:24am and honestly, what a great nom de plum too!

Not a story, but absolutely stunning, and if this isn't the start of a high wire suspense novel, I don't know what is:
Terri Lynn Coop 1:47am

Special recognition for sentences with great rhythm
 Carolynnwith2Ns 2:01pm
I did not want to give birth on the street during the blitz.
I did not want my baby born in a world of madness.
I did not want my child’s first breath to be of sulfur and the dust of humans laid waste.
And then, in the stillness of St. James, his cry was heard

If I were Tim Gunn on Project Runway, and this was the workroom review, I'd have said "change this to first person POV"
Sheila JG 8:42am

Herewith the finalists:

(1) Joel Freiburger 9:03am
I'd already served in a war when I started moving art through the London blackouts of '39. Uniformed and barking the ARP slogans, I banged about their flats, herded the gentry to closets and cupboards, nabbed their finest paintings. Growled past the constables of a hooded city, angled down the hidden stairs inside Bob's Goodtime Blues. American, Bob was, whereabouts unknown, nominal boss of an earthen intestine cut beneath the Twopenny Tube – empty during the Blitz, when the music ceased. Humid storage fixed at one hour: midnight.

Come bleary morn I’d ransom the art back to the owners.

(2) Curtis Moser 9:06am
The surgery would take an hour. A deep breath, the encroaching darkness, an anesthesia-induced dream, and then a return to consciousness with the finest face money could buy.

Antonio thought the scars from the aerial blitz would scare Maria away. She had stayed, however—had assured him that she wasn’t with him just for his money. But the revulsion he saw in her eyes when she looked at him told a different story.

So he had decided without her. He’d blackout, wake up, and be broke but beautiful. Wouldn’t she be surprised?

He smiled as the doctor fitted the tube.

(3) Michael Seese 9:10am
April didn’t want to leave. This had been a great life. The finest one yet.

“I wish I understood this,” Jeff said.

She wanted to explain. But people from her world had trouble comprehending space-time travel.

“I have to go,” she said. “Our enemies have started an all-out blitz. It’s up to me. I’m the only one who can save my people from extinction.”

A portal opened.

“I thought you said we had an hour.

“They’re unpredictable. I love you.”

“Please come back.”

“I’ll try.”

She entered. Just before the blackout, April heard Jeff’s voice.

“She’s in. Destroy the tube.”

(4) Sam Bohrman 10:22am

A Drive-through Confession

Jim stuffed their twin paychecks from Poplar’s Finest Elementary into the plastic tube just as the teller started gabbing. “This could take an hour,” he said to his wife.

Shannon responded, “What do think of Blitz? For a boy’s name.”

“Uh ...”

“It’d madke him sound like a quarterback.”

“Honey, I’m 120 pounds.”

“Genetics are funny.”

“I know you didn’t blackout during biology.”

She hugged her belly and opened her mouth to say something, but the words seemed to lodge in her throat like a … and it hit him. … Boris, the new Russian gym teacher.

(5) Amy Schaefer 3:37pm
I stumbled along the frozen path. Mother nudged me onwards, hours becoming days as we fled the cacophony of bloody death. Exhausted, sick on rotten tubers – still everyone limped on. The news blackout was meaningless; the war filled our world.


The nightmare shapes of the Easter 101st Rutting
Finest leapt from the shadows. I shrank back from their infamous pink-and-purple Egg eyepatches. Had they really each sacrificed an eye to the Bunny?

Blitzen stepped forward. “There’s no ransom here. Santa won’t bargain.”

“The Pole fell two days ago.” The three-stripe bunny flashed sharpened teeth. “And we’re having venison tonight.”

(5) Nate Wilson 11:05pm
It was supposed to last a day, maybe two. To divert electricity to the hospital till the heat wave broke. So they could attend to all the wounded.

Lizzie cleared out the fridge. Spent her days at the makeshift shelters.

As usual, Martin said it didn't concern him. Didn't know any of 'em. He grabbed their finest bottle of scotch--the one she'd been saving--and spent the entire blackout floating in an inner tube blitzed out of his mind.

He never saw her drop the downed power line into the pool.

Three hours later, the power came back on.

This was a very difficult choice.  Kudos to all the entrants, and particularly those who used the prompt words in unexpected and delightful ways.

The winner is: Amy Schaefer 3:37pm

Amy drop me a line with your email address and I'll send you your prize.  If you already own Mr. Churchill's Secretary and/or Princess Elizabeth's Spy, we'll find other books for you.

Next contest announcement is Friday August 9th!


french sojourn said...

When I read Amy's I knew. Great Job.

Fair winds Papillion

Joel Freiburger said...

Thanks for the contest!
Great piece, Amy -- congrats.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Janet - I'm THRILLED for any recognition whatsover..., I actually "researched" blitz before I used it. ('cause there was some confusion in my head over blintz, blitz, but something told my feeble brain I'd heard of eating a blitz before...) ANYWAY, for what it's worth, this is the result of my research:

CONGRATULATIONS AMY!! I read your story, and like the others I was like, "oh yeah, she got this one!"

Colin Smith said...

Amy is definitely a deserving winner--great job! But I have to add my hat-tip to Terri Lynn Coop's effort. I would have made her a finalist and sod the rules! That was one creepy and well-written piece. :)

And another contest on Friday? Excellent!!

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Another superb round of finalists, I don't know how you sorted them. As you ramp up the stakes, the talent certainly ramps up the entries.

And Amy knocked it out of the park.

Thanks again for the shout-out. The concept is from an old trunker. When the current WIP is finished, I may revisit it.


JD Paradise said...

Nicely done, Amy!

Claire G said...

Congratulations Amy, and to all the finalists and honourable mentions!

I am totally over the moon to get a mention in the great lines category :) Seriously, made my day. Thanks Janet!

Unknown said...

Thanks for another great contest!

Janet Reid said...

Ms. Donna, I looked at the recipe on AllRecipe from the link you posted.

That's for a puff pastry called a blitz puff pastry. Blitz is used as an adjective to modify the kind of puff pastry you'd make.

Thus, you wouldn't eat a blitz, any more than you'd eat a speedy, fast, quick or glacial.

So, sadly, still in the heartbreaker category.

(but man oh man, what an entry!!)

Suzanne said...

I don't mind being in the heartbreaker category at all...I knew I was on the edge of breaking the rules with tu-be! The finalist spots are very justly deserved. :)

These are so much fun! Thanks for the opportunity to flex our creative muscles.

Lance said...

Thank you, Janet, for another great contest. I appreciate the time you spend on these. Well done, Amy. Terri Lynn, just great.

Cindy C said...

Congrats to all the finalists. These contests are fun--thanks, Janet, for taking the time.

Anonymous said... research skills will certainly be tightened up! You went a step further, I just took what I saw for granted!

Thank you for responding and taking the time, not only to do that, but with these contests, which are so much fun...
I'm still thrilled... regardless!

Janet Reid said...

Donna, been there and done that myself.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Thanks for the shout out regarding rhythm. Great entries, congrats to Amy.
Are these entries better or is it me?

Calorie Bombshell said...

Congrats to Amy!

Thanks for yet another great contest, Janet. The quality of entries is quite impressive.

KarinB. said...

This was one of my favorites of the year. I'll never look at a dying toothpaste tube or the Easter Bunny the same way again.

Thank you Janet for these opportunities!

Amy Schaefer said...

W00t! Thanks, everybody! These contests are always so much fun.

Michael Seese said...

Congratulations to all, but especially Amy. Kudos for TUBErs. I amSO jealous about that one.

Janet Reid said...

TUBErs won my heart too.

Amy Schaefer said...

Heh heh. I was proud of tubers, myself. And choosing that word helped me make the choice to turn my refugees into reindeer.

The evil Easter bunnies were just a natural anti-Santa. I loved the idea of cute, fluffy death.

french sojourn said...

Ah!....the cottony warmth on the grim reapers embrace.

So many great entries.

And Thank you Madam Reid for all your effort and kind words.

Tubers well played!

french sojourn said...

"of" the grim reapers.....merde'

Curtis Moser said...

Thanks for the contest and the recognition. Always a good time.

Mark Koopmans said...

*Always* fun to participate in your contests:)

Congrats to Amy :)

Naomi said...

LOVE your contests! They always make my weekend.

Big congratulations, Amy!

Deniz Bevan said...

Congratulations everyone!

Gina Wane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Amy. What an entry. Congratulations to all the great entries. I love these contests. I love reading the entries. I am motivated to ramp up my dedication to this craft. Thanks Janet.

Janet, I'm sure it was a typo, but being Canadian and the French and all,

nom de plume, and not plum, but a beautiful image of plums being eaten as the plume slides across the page.

thanks again for the time you invest in making us strive to be better.


Nate Wilson said...

I'm a couple days late, but congratulations, Amy! 'Tis a fantastic story.

And thanks, Janet, for yet another great contest (not to mention the finalist designation). It was fun as always.

Kate Outhwaite said...

Congratulations Amy - a standout entry in another strong field. Well done to all the finalists and thanks again to everyone who takes part because I just love reading the entries in all their varied glory.

Thanks Janet for another weekend of mental fun!