Monday, November 18, 2013

Contest results

Thanks to everyone who entered for giving me such a lovely respite from PaintPocolypse (and no, it's not over yet!)

Special recognition for the people who identified the prompts as paint colors. 7:15am
dylan 4:48pm
Naomi 8:55am
Terri Lynn Coop

Special recognition for getting everything right but the name of the store!
fiercelyyours 7:02am

Special recognition for getting everything right including the name of the couch!
Kitty 7:57am

Special recognition for entries that weren't quite stories but had compelling writing and imagery
Anna Roberts Moore 7:10am

Special recognition for entries that weren't quite stories but really caught my eye
Foxcreek 9:08am
Kristine Poptanich 9:35am
The Magic Violinist 9:48am
Amy Schaefer 1:19pm

First prize in the "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" category
LynnRodz 7:40am

A phrase we need to see more often:
Hell hath no fury like a goat in love
kari Lynn Dell 10:47am

swarms of venomous butterflies
dylan 4:48pm

What a great line:
Patted me on the back and congratulated me with peach schnapps; the sweet aftertaste of my own murder.
CalorieBombshell 1:19am

Not a story but a GREAT closing!
steve Forti 2:13pm

Not a story but deliciously creepy (and topical!)
Patty Blount 6:26pm

Not a story but holy fuckamoli
Kelli Carley 7:18pm

Not quite a story but absolutely delightful
Kirsten 8:35am
JaredNGarrett 9:36pm
Julie Weathers 1:26am
Phoenixwaller 4:14am

Here are the semi- finalists:

(1) Kari Lynn Dell 10:47am

“Dammit, Peach, this is the last straw.”

I made a grab for the goat, but she hopped to the top of the haystack light as a butterfly on the wing. I inhaled the sharp tang of sagebrush, the sweetness of greasewood in bloom, surveying the wreckage: tack and feed scattered and stomped.

“I told you not to cozy up with the neighbor goat. I warned you how it would end.”

Peach bleated, plaintive, pitiful.

I sighed, resigned. Hell hath no fury like a goat in love. Wallet in hand, I hustled down the road, to a white sign lettered in red paint.

Meat goats for sale. Butchering tomorrow.

 **sadly this is DQ'd for word count but I loved it

(2) Sisi 7:18am
Jeri dipped her brush into the paint can. When her husband lived here, he only allowed Boring Beige. Now that he was gone she needed more color. Winter Sage didn’t work. Neither did Southern Peach. She had high hopes for Strawberry Wine.

As she reached for the spot she’d missed, she imagined herself a butterfly stretching its wings, breaking free. She couldn’t wait to start her new life.

But first she had to finish painting this damn wall. She examined her latest effort and smiled. Strawberry Wine worked.

No. Wait. She could still see the bloodstains.

She opened another can.

(3) Deborah Holt Williams 7:59am
The painter settled his bulk on the stool.
"This lady's the last straw," he begins. "I ask her what color she wants her bathroom, and she says, 'delicate.'"
"Delicate?"says the bartender.
"'Like a butterfly wing' she says. So, Joe, you got any sage advice?"
"Here's what you need, Scully. A soft, sweet peach daiquiri, maybe five or six of 'em, with a straw."
"That'll lead me to 'delicate'?"
"No, that'll lead you to the urinal."
"Yeah, but Joe, I need to come up with a color."
"It's art, Scully. You'll know it when you pee it."

(4) Just Jan 10:56am
He sucks on a wing. "There's something different in the marinade."

"Sage," I murmur.

He points to the salsa. "What kind?"


He crams an overloaded chip into his mouth. Some of the juice dribbles from his lip and assimilates into his beard. "What did you do today?"

Besides nurse a black eye and a couple of cracked ribs? "I learned how to butterfly shrimp. Taste them."

He shovels in one, then another. "Coconut-battered?"

I nod and twirl my diet soda straw.

He wheezes. His face turns an exquisite shade of eggplant.

"With ground peanuts," I whisper.

(5) french sojourn 12:35pm
“Elmer, you can’t un-ring a bell.” Lloyd said.

“Say I was to go back… like twenty years, and yank out them strawberries by the sage bushes over ta Fred’s backyard. And… perhaps I planted a peach tree they-ah.”

“Well there’d be a fuckin peach tree they-ah, it’s called the butterfly effect Elmer.”

“Then I could change history...wouldn’t have to worry bout the possibility of a time line paradox?”

“Elmer…Einstein’s Closed time like curve wouldn’t allow it.With all due respect to your Appalachian American heritage…there ain’t no way you can wing it back to your prom night… and un-kiss your sister.”

(6) 1:35am
The living room was done in awful shades of ivory, sage and peach - like stepping into an episode of Miami Vice, she thought.

It did have an almost-view of the water. That was something.


“I love it,” Evan said.


Evan spit out his straw. “We’ll paint. Come see the balcony.”

Evan pulled her outside, and she leaned against the sun-warmed railing. She could smell the beach. A half-dead butterfly, its wing smashed against the wood, fluttered once. Poor thing. As she reached for it, Evan brushed it away. It fell. And fell.

“No,” she said.

To everything.

(7) Constantine Singer 5:16pm
Painting a Room
A Story Told in Five Haiku

Gracefully painting
Each brush stroke butterfly light
F*&K! The Color’s Wrong

Aimed for a light sage
With quiet hintings of peach
Looks like rotten quince

A second attempt
More furious with my strokes
Brush tips stiff as straw

New color choice, too
No sense painting subtle hues
For a rented room

Walls are now complete
Brilliant white like a stork’s wing
Like a hospital

Here are the two finalists:
(8) Shaunna 10:34am
“Short straw goes in,” Alice said.

Fiona shrugged and strapped on her wings. In moments she was gliding over the canopy, her bio helmet feeding her a constant stream of readings. Two humans. A snake. A peach tree?

“I’m in position.” The message crackled back through Alice’s earpiece.



“It’s just -- well -- what about the butterfly effect?”

“Just a theory,” Fiona said.

“But this is Eden.”

“Exactly. Good place to start over,” she said, and vaporized the tree in front of her.

The next instant, they had never existed at all.

(9) Kate Outhwaite 5:04am
11:07. She's late. I order sparkling water with a hint of peach.

11:32. She's really late. The cafe is filling up with the smell of pork and sage pie. I’d like to take one home for Dad and Harry but wish I could have something for myself, just for once.

11:42. She's beyond late. I stir shards of ice with the straw, recalling her soft touch, silky as butterfly wings.

11:56. She's not coming. I head home.

12:18. She was here. Harry is gone and Dad slumps lifeless in his wheelchair. She's left a note: "Happy Birthday. Be free. Mum."

Both finalists are superb examples of elegant writing and story telling.  I think it was harder to choose the winner than it has been to choose the paint color for the accent wall....well, maybe not since I still don't have that color right, and we do have a winner:

The winner is Shaunna 10:34am.

Shaunna if you'll email me with your mailing address I'll send you the prize. No it is not an empty paint can or a used brush (although I have several of those should you desire them!)  No, send me a list of the kinds of books you like to read and we'll figure out something fun for you.

Thanks to all who entered!  This really was the highlight of my weekend. You bedazzled me with your colorful writing (see what I did there!!)

(Remember there's usually a preview of the upcoming contest on my Facebook page a couple days before it gets posted here)


Kitty said...

Congratulations to the winners!

I'd like to point out that my answer to "the common thread" question was in acrostic form. It wasn't a story but it was fun to compose. Reminiscent of Arnold Schwarzenegger's infamous acrostic message.

Thanks for another great contest, Janet!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to finalists and winner Shauna. Sometimes when reading these, it's astounding what you all do with 100 words.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to all. Good, challenging contest, and so much fun to read all the entries. I especially enjoyed those from KrisM 9:16 AM, Michael Seese 11:36 AM, and Kirsten 8:35 PM.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the competition, Janet. As always, it's so much fun to enter and read everyone else's. I'm sure it's a very tough job doing the judging.
:) Love the special recognition!!

JustJan, yours was my fave.

Until next time . . .

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Congrats to the winners/people who got mentioned! I enjoyed reading all of the entries.

Just Jan said...

Congratulations, Shaunna!

It is a pleasure to be mentioned as a semi-finalist, as this is always a tough crowd to compete with!

And thanks for the shout-out, Anna!

french sojourn said...

I imagine in a couple-few years as I read the bestseller list there will be some of you here on that list. I am awed by some of the imagery that flashes from so many of you writers.

Like: He traipsed into a sage field, Sharpie nostrils wide, he reached.

It's up there with "A conga line of black suburbans."

Thank you Ms. Reid for the time you is so helpful.

Cheers Hank

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Another excellent field! I loved all the entries, light and dark. These prompts were open enough to let the ponies run on the variety of stories.

Total shout-out to Shaunna and all the finalists and semis.

I got to meet Brooks Sherman at Killer Nashville and told him that Ms. Reid turns out a pro-level flash anthology with every contest and he agreed. And I'm sure my fellow flashers agree that anything that makes a paint job go smoother for our favorite-finned-one was well worth the time.

LynnRodz said...

Congrats to Shaunna! Great job everyone, as always I enjoy reading every entry!

Janet, you are too much!!! Even van Gogh himself would have said, "Huh?" I had the first laugh, now you. Perhaps (and I say this only because you mentioned it in your comment from your last post) you're reading too much Tawna Fenske! But, hey, why not?

Calorie Bombshell said...

Congrats to Shaunna. Thank you Janet for the "great line" recognition

Cindy C said...

Congratulations, Shaunna! Another fun contest with great entries. This is a truly impressive group of writers.

Thanks for the contest, Janet. Hope it helped your painting day be a little smoother and a little brighter.

Lance said...

Wild congratulations to Shaunna, the finalists, and the shout-outs. A great contest with terrific stories. Thank you again, Ms. Janet.

Colin Smith said...

Wow--another field of excellent entries. Well done, Shaunna! :)

Maple and Baobab said...

Congratulations to Shauna, the other finalists and to all for sharing your writing world every time there is a contest a la Janet. I am inspired to work harder at my writing to reach the level at which you write. 100 words with images, laughs, creepy, subtle, wild. What a learning platform Ms. Reid offers to all. Thank-you again Ms. Reid. Gina

Kate Outhwaite said...

Congratulations, Shaunna! A worthy winner.

I'm thrilled to be a finalist, especially given the overall standard of entries.

As always,it was huge fun to both write and read and, also as always, a big "Thank you" to Janet for running these contests.