Monday, December 12, 2016

The Love Love Me Lou Writing Contest results FINAL

Some very fine work this week with some entries that just totally cracked me up! You guyz are surpassing yourselves regularly here!

Herewith the results:
A perfect example of a very clever entry---except it's so clever I didn't get it.
Timothy Lowe 9:34am

Here's what I think the crossword puzzle answers are:

1. Ten

2. Angels

3. Buried

4. And here's where you lose me because I am the only person in the world who cannot quote anything from Monty Python except "no one expects the Spanish Inquisition"

5. Times

6. Storage/Basement?

This isn't quite a story but it cracked me up completely
Stephen G. Parks 9:51am

Not quite a story, but I really appreciate the liberties taken with Santa in this one!
Mon (Moniza) 10:25am

Not quite a story but drop dead gorgeous writing

Lucy Crowe 11:01am

Not quite a story, but a lovely use of form here (and a nice twist on our expectations)
Amy Johnson 12:23pm

A line that I think we need to use more often
AAGreene 10:32am
“Let me play Devil’s avocado,” he said. "

An entry that is beautiful and heartbreaking
LynnRodz 10:21pm

Here are the entries that made the long list

Em-Musing 9:25am
Mike 10:44am
Craig F 12:29pm

And here are the entries that made the short list

Mallory Love 10:12am
We watched my mother-in-law, Sandy, whip and nae nae on the dance floor, speechless. Straight gin and an open bar inspired the gut-wrenching booty shaking for all to witness. But I couldn’t blame the poor woman. She was jilted at her own shotgun wedding years ago.

“At least she’s not as bad as my Uncle Louie,”I consoled my new husband. Louie’d left three women at the altar and nowadays was always half tipsy.

We looked over at him. Louie flashed a smile, stumbling over.

“You Sandy’s boy?”

My husband nodded.

“Nice to finally meet you...Son.”

Of course, the twist at the end is both horrifying and hilarious, the best of all possible twists. There are clues in the story too, which is a real feat with so few words available. The writing is vivid and clean. Really really nice entry.

Beth 12:38pm

She shouldered the shotgun and fired, the kick knocking her whippet-thin body into a rosebush. In a flash, my new gutter became a colander. Fortunately for the squirrel, Mom couldn’t shoot straight. “That damn squirrel in your attic is driving me insane. If you won’t call the exterminator, I may have to move to town, with your sister.”

I pulled her from the thorns. “Let’s get you patched up.”

“I’m fine.” She stomped into the house.

Once she'd gone, I brought out the live trap and opened the door. “Okay, squirrel. Girl squirrel and peanuts in the attic. Party on.”

Of course, this made me laugh out loud. I particularly liked the gutter becoming a colander. This is a delightful entry, and the descriptions are perfect.

Rkeelan 8:08pm
You read it all night.
The pace and the plot, the whip and the lash, you couldn't stop.
Your eyes bloodshot and your gut clenched, you can barely think straight.
Who sent this?
Nobody you've ever heard of.
But on the Internet he's called Manuscript. Not even 'the.' He doesn't need it.
You must have this manuscript.
You can't wait. You must have this manuscript.
You call him.
The phone rings.
He's got to pick up.
The phone rings again.
Why won't he pick up?
The phone's still ringing.
So this is what it feels like.
Fucking John Frain.

This cracked me up completely (sorry JD(ms)F!) Of course, I revel in any entry that employs the second person (so rarely used well like it is here) and it has a lovely ironic twist at the end that will make every writer cackle with glee.

John Davis (manuscript) Frain 8:25pm
Was she monkeying around?

Juliet! Papa grunted. Be straight.

If he only knew. She lumbered around the enclosure. Devoured four bananas. Two chocolate chimp cookies.

Mama said, Do we get to meet him?

She considered the pronoun. Hmm. Not exactly.

Papa shot Juliet a look. Mama said, If you’re happy, we’re happy.

Juliet smiled. Meet Romeo. She’s the gorilla my dreams! Out pranced one-hundred-fifty-nine pounds of orange-haired orangutan.

The jolt gave Papa whiplash.

She’s not a baboon, Mama cried.

She’s not a he, Papa snarled.

But I love your daughter, Orangutan said.

That’s enough for me, Mama and Papa sang.

You had me at "Gorilla my dreams" and the prompt word gut in orangutan makes me quiver with joy.
This cracked me up completely. It's hilarioius but it's also brilliant writing. 

Claire Bobrow 9:31pm
“Fruitcake?” offered Pamela.
“No, thank you.”
“Try it dear,” insisted Mama. “Pamela doesn’t serve that cheap kind, preserved in rock-gut whiskey.”

“I’d rather be whipped.”
“Oh, honey,” tinkled Mama, “don’t worry - you will. Fifty lashes! What a joker.”

“Or shot by firing squad.”
“That’s enough, young lady! Pamela - give her a slice of your fruitcake!”

Rosebuds of uncertainty colored Pamela’s cheeks. The plate trembled.

Stomach rumbling, I swallowed it straight down.

“You see?” said Mama. “A bit of fruitcake might even improve your manners.”

“But not necessarily your appearance,” I gagged, fruitcake re-emerging to decorate Mama’s Sunday best.

This just cracked me up completely. And what holiday writing contest would be complete without fruitcake!

ScottG 12:29pm

“Dude, somebody shot you!”

I know who did it. I’d tell you, if I could talk.

“Damn, man. The bullet went straight through your gut. Your insides are spilling all over the place!”

Yes. Those are my intestines.

“Hold on! A car just whipped into the driveway!”

I see flashing lights. I can’t keep my eyes open.

“Hey! You got a cellphone? Call an ambulance!”


“Oh my god! I’m his wife. What happened?”

“I was driving by and saw this man lying in a pool of blood next to his car! Somebody shot him!”

That’s her.

That’s . . . her.

That’s . . .

You've really got to admire the POV choice here. Very hard to carry off with complete clarity. Very nice work.

Dena Pawling 12:47pm

Megan brushed the rat's nest, then curled the straight sections. Satisfied, she whipped out the spray-o-perfection. A little pouf, a little tease.

Passable, but still a teen from the gutter.

She applied concealer to hide the lines and blemishes, foundation, some blush-o-temptation for color. A little lipstick. Eye liner. Shadow.

Still needed something.

Rummaging, she found false eyelashes. Perfect.

She stood back and admired her work.

Megan changed into a black suit and set out refreshments.

Family and friends gathered, offering condolences.

“She's beautiful,” the mother said, weeping. “Thank you.”

Megan smiled. This was why she became a mortician.

Very nice twist at the end makes this a lovely story. Very nice rhythm and pacing too. Subtle writing always makes me very happy! And blush-o-temptation for "shot" is exquisite.

I have a couple I'm leaning toward but I like to hear what you think first. Any I left off the list that you think I should have included? Have a fave among the finals?  Let me know in the comments

Further results later today! 

I just had to go with the entry that cracked me up this time, and with such deft word play and clever concept. That's you John Davis Frain! All the other finalists were just terrific and it's hard as hell to choose. I may resort to eenie-meenie-miny-mo one of these days.

JDF, I have your mailing address so the books will be out in today's mail to you.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to write and enter the contest. I really love reading your work!


french sojourn said...

For me, it's between Mallory and Beth.

I cracked up the first time I read them, and again in the finalist list. Job well done all. Congrats to all the entries and congrats to the one that gets the brass ring.

Lynnrodz, that was gut wrenching.

Cheers Hank.

Theresa said...

I loved them all, but Rkeelan's was perfection.

Colin Smith said...

My pick? Well, first off, you say it's not a story, but Lucy Crowe's entry made me feel like I came to the Governer's ball in a tank top and jean shorts. That's the kind of writing that makes me question what I'm even doing here. Still trying to figure out why it's not a story, but I thought it was, so it would get my vote to win.

However, of Janet's picks, my vote goes to Dena. Lovely twist at the end. :)

Donnaeve said...

Great choices - I went back and read a few. Like Theresa, I have to say I really love Rkeelan's. We joke about John (MS) Frain all the time, and to twist it into a story like this - perfection!

Next is Dena's for me. What a twist!

Good luck to those on the short list, and congratulations to all the special recognitions, mentions and long listed!

And a special shout out to Craig for being on the long list!

Just Jan said...

RKeelan's entry is perfect! I really liked Scott G's too.
Congratulations to all the finalists and mentions.

Just Jan said...

RKeelan's entry is perfect! I really liked Scott G's too.
Congratulations to all the finalists and mentions.

Kitty said...

I vote for Beth's story.

Adding to Timothy Lowe's Monty Python quote: "Just a flesh wound," plus "And now for something completely different."

Timothy Lowe said...

The Knights who say "Ni" - inverted, "in"

Seven - bodies - buried - in - Times - Basement

The crossword author is the murderer.

Any joke you have to explain is a poorly written joke. I wondered if it was too clever or just clever enough. Oh, well. It's what came to me this week and I went with it.

I loved Marie McKay's - took my breath away.

Thanks for the contest, Janet. They really give the weekend a snap that I wouldn't get from anything else.

Lennon Faris said...

Wow! They are all fantastic. I think I lean towards Rkeelan (haha!) and ScottG (for some reason the drunk/ surfer dude/ bro finding the guy really cracked me up), although I'm not sure I'd want to pick. Congrats to all!!

From those that didn't make these lists I also really enjoyed Madeline Mora-Summonte. Creepy and intriguing, like folklore come to life.

Well done, everyone.

Amy Johnson said...

Congrats to all. Like Colin, I enjoyed Lucy Crowe's story. It grabbed me, kept hold of me, and gave me that "oh to be able to write like this" feeling. Such beautiful writing, and such a terribly, terribly sad story. I wonder if the narrator's "sari" is more truly her "sorry."

Also, on second reading, Mark Thurber's line "Then you should have let sleeping dogs lie" made me laugh so loudly I think one of the pet rescued steers out back heard me. He looked straight at me through the window.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Well done, everyone!

Of those that didn't make the final list, Amy Johnson's was one of my favorites, as was SD King's and Rosanna M's.

Of the finalists, I'm torn between Scott G's and Dena Pawling's.


Lennon Faris - thank you! "Creepy and intriguing" is music to my ears. :)

Scott G said...

It's not often I get to read a story about gay primates, so I'm going with that one. F***ing John Frain. He cracks me up.

Amy Johnson said...

Thanks, Madeline. And, of course, thank you, Janet--for the mention and for the contest.

Steve Forti said...

Glad to see Em-Musing on the long list. Gave me a laugh to start things off.
Tough choice this week since no one entry jumped out ahead of the others, but I'll cast my vote for Dena simply because I liked that one the best.
Good work all, as usual.

Mark Thurber said...

More beautiful writing. RKeelan had me completely in stitches. I'm glad to see the viral marketing of soon-to-be-NYTBA John Davis Frain continues apace.

My non-prestigious sci-fi/fantasy world-building award goes to Madeline Mora-Summonte.

Timothy Lowe, great stuff. To be perfectly honest, I'd say the story works much better on a meta level precisely because you had to explain it. Was Will Shortz in on it?

Thanks, Amy, I love the image of the bemused steer outside the window! I thought I out-obscured myself this week with my narrative non-fiction about Louis "Lou" Pasteur's first rabies vaccination, on 9-year-old Joseph Meister. Apparently Pasteur's partner Emile Roux refused to participate, and Pasteur could have faced serious legal repercussions for performing an unethical experiment. Of course, the vaccine worked, and he became a hero.

Mark Thurber said...

I forgot to mention that Craig F. had one of my favorite flash fiction lines of all time: "I hove to and let her carry me along." Just a beautiful nautical metaphor.

S.D.King said...

Great job, all!

I think I like Scott G best. It has that 'Sixth Sense" appeal.

Em-Musing said...

*smiling* Thanks Janet for selecting my story for the long list. And thanks Steve Forti for the shout out. My choice for the short list is Mallory Love's story.

Michael J. Craft said...

I thought for sure Colin would get a shout out for his entry. I liked it, anyway. Nice bit of writing.

But from the finalists I'd go with Beth's. Hilarious, and I love the line, "whippet-thin body."

Janice Grinyer said...

I agree with others - Lucy Crowe's entry pretty much mentally stuck a fatal sword in my mind of my feeble attempts at writing. When you read something like that, you sit and savor the phrases. I think I read it three times at the least, and each time I enjoyed it more. Excellent piece, Lucy C. !

Janet, no matter who you select, you always break it down for us to see why. We are all winners because of this :). Well, except for me. See above.

Congrats everyone!

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Man, so much good stuff. I loved John Frain's and Timothy Lowe's.

But the hands down winner for me was RKeelan. Hilarious.

Way to go, everyone... and congrats to the mentions and the finalists.

John Davis Frain said...

I'm flipping a coin between Mallory Love and RKeelan.

Always enjoying a challenge, I'm already coming up with explanations to my wife how I'm gone from being Ms Frain (I dropped my voice to a baritone for that explanation) to Fucking John Frain. Forces me into my own creative writing exercise.

I'll know she's truly, madly, deeply if she sticks with me after that explanation.

And the coin? It landed behind the radiator. Some things in life should remain a mystery.

french sojourn said...

Nice win J.D.(Manuscript)F.

Well deserved!

Michael Seese said...

John's entry left my mouth ag-ape.

Nice work, to John and to all.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Congratulations, John!


Mark Thurber - thanks for the "award" - I'll totally take it. :)

Colin Smith said...

Michael J. Craft: Thank you! Very kind of you to say. :)

Congratulations, John D "Manuscript" Frain!

I'll update the spreadsheet ASAP. :)

Claire Bobrow said...

I really liked Timothy's crossword entry. I got the Knights of Ni bit, but tripped up on pirate treasure (buried - duh!) and Milton.
Devil's avocado is now on my shopping list - thank you, AAGreene!
Mike's story was sweet - gotta root for the shy guy :-)

Although I have no clue what the whole John Davis Frain joke is all about, Rkeelan's entry is funny and well-crafted, and it made me laugh.

I could go on - so much fine work to discuss in these entries and mentions - but I'll just say that Beth and those squirrels won me over completely. As someone who grew up in a house with squirrels in the attic and squirrels in the walls, I loved that story. "In a flash, my new gutter became a colander." :-)

Janet, thanks so much for the contest and the mention!!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Another great weekend of reading these flashfiction entries.

Congrats John MS Frain! And to all of the long and short listeds and the others mentioned. What fabulous writing and stories.

Kate Larkindale said...

Congratulations, John! And to all the other authors who gave it a shot. Such great little stories.

Julie Weathers said...

I couldn't pick a favorite this time. I kept going back and re-reading then changing my mind.

So, that's a really good sign about how great they all were. I am always impressed by the talent here. Congratulations to all of you and I see while I was vacillating, Janet made a decision. Congratulations to John.

Marie McKay said...

Thanks Timothy. Really appreciate it. Yours is chilling. Love it.
Well done John. Fabulous work.
Thanks Janet, once again, for such a great contest.

Craig F said...

Congratulations Mr. Manuscript

Further congratulations to all who entered and all who got a mention

I wish to thank all of you who noticed mine, especially those kind enough to mention it.

On that:almost

Mon said...

Oh my goodness, that Lucy Crowe entry was breath taking. Feel very stupid about entering my dumb Santa story in a competition that also included that entry - Moniza

Craig F said...

Oh, I also wish to thank my Queen for putting the contest on.

Colin Smith said...

Mon: I know what you mean. I felt like taking a cloth to the comments and wiping my drool off... :)

RKeelan said...

"I lost! I lost! I can't believe I lost! Fucking John Frain!"
- The John Frain Refrain of the Eternal Lament of Writers

Congratulations to the entrants, mentionables, finalists, and of course, John Manuscript Frain himself.

From the unmentionables I liked Timothy Lowe's entry.

Karen McCoy said...

Loved these entries! Congrats to the finalists and Mr. Frain! RKeelan's cracked me up, and reminded me of when my grandpa used the shotgun to get rid of the rats in the garage. Not a single rat was caught, but the bicycle tires went ppsssssssssst....

Lennon Faris said...

Congratulations, John (mss) Frain! Very well-deserved!! Loved it.

Claire Bobrow said...

Congrats John Davis.Frain, MS ! I raise a Chocolate Chimp Cookie in your honor for a well-earned win. Hilarious story, and a perfect ending. :-)

Additional congrats to all who entered, and to the mentions. Time to go feed the squirrels now...

Beth said...

A finalist! I'm honored. Thanks so much Janet and everyone who commented. You've made my day.

I loved Mike's, with the eyelash wish. "Gorilla my dreams" and "Devil's avacado" are my new favorite lines. The crossword idea is brilliant, but I couldn't solve it either (kept wanting to make pirate treasure booty). So many great stories.

Steve Forti said...

So when do we all get to actually read the infamous manuscript, dammit?

Dena Pawling said...

Congrats to John-of-the-perpetual-manuscript Frain!

And I'm a finalist???!!! Thanks Janet and everyone in the comments who liked it. I almost didn't enter because nothing came to mind. But I finally got that idea at about 6pm.

So many excellent stories. Congrats to all !

AAGreene said...

I look forward to reading these entries every contest, especially the creepy ones. We are all weird, and I love it :-)

Congrats, everyone!

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Congratulations Manuscript. Well done.

Lucy Crowe said...

I love Dena's! What a fantastic twist! But also Manuscript's - wow, so creative. Thanks Janet and all who liked my entry. Your generous words literally revived what had been a kind of crappy day up until this moment! I am returning to my current work-in-progress with renewed vigor! Also, I've been lurking around the sidelines for awhile here with only a couple of comments here and there. It's nice to jump into the action whole-heartedly, and also to "meet" all of you!

JD Horn said...

Congratulations, John Davis Frain!

Colin Smith said...

The Contest Spreadsheet is now up to date in the Treasure Chest. Mr. Manuscript is now a THREE-TIME winner!!

Here's the spooky thing... John's last win was on 12/11/2015. That's exactly a year ago!

Are we suspicious?

Did the Russians influence the vote??! 8-O

Was Janet drinking vodka last night???!!! (8-O

Anyway, Congrats again, John D. Frainov... I mean Frain...! ;)

Mallory Love said...

Congrats John! Yours and Rkeelan's made me laugh out loud. Beth, I cracked up reading yours. Lucy's was breathtaking and lyrical, a style to aspire to for sure. Timothy's was so clever. I kind of want to read a mystery based on crossword puzzles now. I'm honored to be a finalist. Thank you, Janet. I tried to put the fun in dysfunctional this time around. Glad I hit my mark.

Stephen G Parks said...

Congrats one and all.

I second Mallory's comment above. John well deserved, RKeelan was my second choice.

Somehow I missed Timothy's crossword puzzle entry. Would have enjoyed decoding that.

I don't post often, so if I don't before then, Merry Christmas everyone.

Timothy Lowe said...

Congrats Mr. manuscript! Can't wait for the day when I can purchase one!

Ginger Mollymarilyn said...

All were great entries. Congratulations to JDF. From the short list, I'd have to say Dena's was my fave. Really resonated with me.

CynthiaMc said...

Congrats John and all the mentions!

LynnRodz said...

Congrats to John D. Frain and all the finalists.

Thanks for the mention, Janet, and to you, Hank.

John Davis Frain said...

I am so late to show up, it's been a long and winding Monday. Thank you for all the kind and flattering words.

When I realized that "gut" ran right down the middle of orangutan (both physically and in the spelling) I knew where my story was going. I just had to figure out how to get there. And then edit out about twenty-six words, of course.

Ironically, I heard the results from Rkeelan because I had emailed him on his classic entry Saturday night and he was kind of enough to email me congratulations this afternoon. I just couldn't get to Janet's blog until now.

Michael Seese, love that the story left you ag-ape!

And Colin, that's a little eerie on the timing. You're quite prescient. Believe it or not, "Frainov" has quite a story behind it around these parts, but I'll go way over my limit if I tell it now.

Keep writing, everyone. And if ever find that fucking Rkeelan ... well, I'm gonna shake his hand!