Monday, April 03, 2017

Contest 99.75 results (or wrap up, really)

Honestly, I wasn't expecting anything in the comments section other than some form of ha ha but of course, as usual, you surprised me with your wit and ferociously talented writing.

The rules just had to go out the window, given the contest opened and closed at the same time, and there was no way to keep to the 100 character limitation.

So, what the hell, here are the entries that I thought stood out in some way.

The Great British Bake Off Next Idea

Jennifer R. Donohue 8:07am
parmiginano rhubarb petit-four

Homage to a classic Star Wars line
french sojourn 8:23am
My entry above is a cautionary tale of what not to do. You didn't see this comment.

It's not the comment you're looking for.

Go down to the next comment.

Let it pass.

I just loved this line.
Carolynnwith2Ns 9:23am
Failing has never been so much fun.

And poor ol' John (manuscript) Frain!
E. M. Goldsmith 11:19am

No contest. I bow to Steve Forti.

And mourn the loss of John the Manuscript Frain. It wasn't me. Yes, my air conditioner was missing between midnight and 6 AM, but I am told it only went North hoping to find friendly working conditions. After all, the South is only marginally cooler than the surface of the sun in the summer.

Amy Johnson 12:25pm
Just let that little incident with Frain teach yous all a lesson. You make a bet with me, you lose, you pay up. Accidents happen. I'm just sayin'.

Claire Bobrow 2:15pm
There was a young fellow named Frain
Whose Starbucks went right down the drain

When he turned round the bend
And met his sad end

With a Frigidaire whack on the brain.*

"I'm not even close to mere" is my new motto!
Terri Lynn Coop 11:58am

"Rhubarb is not fuel," yelled Ava Rice.

Parm Igiano smugly replied, "It is when Liverpudlian immobilization is the goal."

Carry on . . . .

F1: I know I'm over the character limit. I scoff at character limits. Rules are for mere mortals. I may be mortal, but I am not even close to mere.

F2: Rhubarb can so be used for fuel. But Parm is an arrogant asshole and won't listen to Ava. He's like Paul Ryan that way.

F3: Thank you for all the fun and these contests over the years. It's sharpened my writing and my contest winner books are treasured on my shelf.

Kate Higgins 6:27pm

Curt: I thought 9:26AEDT was 'Alternative' Eastern Daylight time :)

This  cracked me up! AEDT is Australian Eastern Daylight time, but I think alternative is MUCH better!

In an astonishing feat that had to be seen to be believed, the amazing Steve Forti not only used the prompt words, he used them backwards. I am in awe.

Steve Forti 9:43am
“U still Republican?”
No, I Taz. I Lib.”
“Mm. I
“Wait a sec. I ra-”
l, u raised me. But I own man now.”
“Is this cuz that new girl showed you her bra?”
“B- uh, r
eally? No, that's stupid.”
“Well, it's something. Ur serious?”
“Ya, me opinions are nail'd up, re: vil
e actions by old regime.”
“Vile? U f
orget this new guy is on a power trip?”
On a...? I... gi...”
“Mr. Ap
pointed Lib Leader at loss for words?”
“Just one more. Bye.”

ec. I ra-”

“B- uh, r

On a...? I... gi...”
“Mr. Ap

No, I Taz. I Lib.”
“Mm. I

nail'd up, re: vil (liberpudlian)

le? U f (fuel)

No two ways about it, Steve Forti sweeps all categories on this one.
I'm not sure there's a prize worthy of this entry!
I'm going to have to really think about next year's contest if I'm going to fool any of you at all.

In the meantime, thanks to all who commented, and particularly for those of you who mentioned the value this blog has had for you. I appreciate your kind words very much. 

Now, back to the blood letting!


Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Humbly, I bow.
Congrats to the master, Mr. 40.

Lennon Faris said...

Hey, didn't we decide (per EM's great idea) that Steve Forti himself was the prize? Did he just win himself?? Maybe he should take himself out to dinner, or on a little vaca.

Ha, congrats, Steve. Well deserved!

These all cracked me up! And Cheryl for some reason I am still laughing over yours.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congrats, Steve Forti! It was a great April Fool day contest and comments!

Kitty said...

Congrats to Steve, even though he blew past the "100 characters" limit like a Hennessey Venom GT ;~)

BJ Muntain said...

As great as all the 'entries' were, was there any doubt who would win?

Steve Forti - who will forever be Mr. 40, now, thanks to 2Ns - wins his own bits and pieces, which I'm sure he's quite happy about.


Steve Forti said...

Huzzah! And woo! So glad I get to keep all my parts. I'm fairly attached to them, you see, as they are, well, literally attached to me.

This was a fun one to find a way to write. Especially having to change things constantly when I'd realize I wasn't spelling correctly. Thank you to everyone for your kind comments. And to Madam Shark for holding these contests and helping me hone my words.

Theresa said...

Congratulations, Steve! It was a brilliant entry. What a great start to the week.

DLM said...

Holy FRIJOLES. Steve. Everyone. Terri Lynn Coop, that turn of phrase is glorious indeed.

Reasons I'm not entering #100, redux. Seriously, y'all.

Colin Smith said...

Janet: Typo in the title? "Contes" as opposed to "Contest"?

John Davis Frain said...

Forti's a jolly good fellow,
Forti's a jolly good fellow,
Forti's a jolly good fell-ell-ow
And he's out of his mind!

But he gets to keep his own mind, being both prize and prizewinner. Steve, I think back to Angie's French lesson: "You stand outside the classroom above!" I mean that literally.

And Janet, I may have neglected on contest day to try and use words to express how thankful I am for this blog. I don't write well enough to explain how much it has meant to me. The contests, of course, but even more, the knowledge and enthusiasm and camaraderie of the group you have gathered here. Bravo!

For she's a --
okay, okay, I still have to learn to quit before I overwrite.

Colin Smith said...

Just like it's namesake at King's Cross station, contest #99.75 was magical, mysterious, and painful if you run into it when the portal is sealed by a house elf. Seriously, it was a lot of fun, and a real brain-stretch to try to take the rules seriously. Well done Mr. Forti for another spectacular feat of word splicing gymnastics! :)


DLM said...

John, maybe don't get too excited about the camaraderie here, coz there's a shoulder-punch headed your way after that first ditty. :)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I bow to Forti once more. And I am pleased he got to keep all his parts....for now.

I love the smell of blood in the Reef in April. Let's hope it is a good one. So is anyone besides the Manuscript and Dena doing the A to Z challenge? Maybe?

Colin Smith said...

As for tributes to Janet, I refer the reader to my previous comment (see my 1:20pm comment on that blog article). :)

Colin Smith said...

Totally off-topic but I said I would keep y'all updated on my Sarah's audition progress. She heard from Carnegie-Mellon, and they turned her down. :( She has an interview with Meredith College in Raleigh, NC today, and there are some other irons in the proverbial fire. But she was quite disappointed at the C-M response. Her sisters gave her hugs and encouragement, which warmed my fatherly heart. :)

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

I think Steve Forti is wired differently from the rest of us and I look forward to reading his first published work.

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

I just realized why Steve Forti's works seem so familiar.
The Larger Person, who is dyslexic with English as his second or third language (if English with a Scottish accent counts as second), is going around the house singing to the cats.
You two would get along just fine.

Timothy Lowe said...

Forti for president!

Steve Forti said...

Sharyn - thanks, that means a lot :) (and makes two of us eager to see something of mine published.) Nice to know when that day comes, I'll have an audience of at least one!

Donnaeve said...

Congrats to Mr. Forti, or 40! Gosh, that almost made my head hurt.

I'm sorry Ms. Janet, but I'm a rule follower, and being a rule follower, I can't "officially" thank you until...


Colin I'm sure Sarah hearing a no from C-M was really tough, and props to her sisters for sympathizing.

OT: Mom's place is shaping up and we're down to 30 boxes or so. We're getting there.

Donnaeve said...

Ha - Steve's entry, not the congrats...made my head hurt. :0)

Megan V said...

Way to go Steve! I don't know how you do it! Clearly you are not mere anything either.

This was a ton of fun everyone. Some really great entries. And loved the nod to Star Wars!

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Congratulations, Steve... But that was a no-brainer. Not your entry, your entry was brainy. The win was a no-brainer.

Colin... Thanks for the update on your Sarah. Thank goodness for sister hugs. Onward, right?

I mentioned I was attending a friend's book signing up in Asheville Saturday evening. Interesting to note - my friend is "around" 60 years old, and this is her debut novel. She said it was 27 years in the making. University of SC Press picked it up, Story River Books, Pat Conroy - founding editor. Never give up...

Julie Weathers said...

"In the meantime, thanks to all who commented, and particularly for those of you who mentioned the value this blog has had for you."

I think that goes without saying.

The conversation I was having with some very talented writers a couple of days ago, God bless skype, pulled in some Janet advice as I said before.

We've got some conversations going on about evoking emotion and description in a couple of different threads in which Herself has popped in a few times or some old classes Diana has given have been linked to. (Or threads.) Whenever a conversation pops up about writing, synopses, query letter writing, marketing, etc, invariably, someone will similarly invoke Janet's name and quote some advice or link to threads or the blog.

That's a remarkable footprint to have authors, aspiring authors, and agents leap to name one person like that.

It's a misty morn, a perfect day for maudlin meanderings of the mind...or reading Poe.

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

The Larger Person does not read for fun (dyslexia) but I will certainly get him the audio book.
He's currently listening to Barkskins. He reads technical manuals and remembers everything.
We're a few hours away from you in the Frozen North where today it might hit 60 and the snow is MELTING!

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Congrats Steve!

LynnRodz said...

Congrats, Steve, I knew you had it, but it was fun participating once again.

Kate Higgins said...

I think Steve has done something very few people have done before!

In 1996 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin invented Google and made it into a verb e.g. "He googled it".
In 2017 the woodland creatures of her Sharkiness's reef have made Steve 'Forti' into a verb; e.g. "He fortied the flash fiction words into a prize winning story!".

Congratulations Steve, may your brain take a deserved vacation!

Julie Weathers said...

All right, I'm through racing around. I'm going to pin cushion in a little bit and the doctor will say, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I know it hurts."

So, while I wait for the taxi since I can't drive home and they will only release me to a responsible driver later, that's my son, (little do they know) I have a few more minutes to comment. Yes, Forti outdid himself and that's a pretty high bar.

There were a lot of really fun entries, though. Y'all are so much fun.

And now, poof!

Claire Bobrow said...

Yay, Steve! What a fantabulous entry! And I love your new nickname :-)

Cheryl: like Lennon, I'm still laughing over your entry. A limerick for the ages.

Colin: our son's high school coach has a saying - "Put your foot in the circle." Sarah did that and then some. She should feel proud of herself. Too bad about C-M, but Sarah will find her path elsewhere. I'm glad she has sisterly support, but tell her to just keep putting that foot in the circle!

Janet: our treasure chest flow-eth over. Thank you for your wisdom, and all that you do!

Claire Bobrow said...

Julie: you kill me. I'm going to totally steal that sign-off.

"And now, poof!"

Craig F said...

My brain revolted at trying to figure out the Forti. Even though it has been kindly pointed out to me I still have a hard time with it.

I was, however, taken by the great chicken-pox holdup. I'm sorry Rosanna M didn't get a mention.

Colin Smith said...

Of course, the April Fool's joke to top is the classic news story presented by the BBC's "Panorama" team in 1957 concerning the Swiss Spaghetti harvest. For those that don't know, Panorama was/is a serious news program, hosted at that time by the much-respected former war correspondent, Richard Dimbleby. His voice leant a lot of gravitas to this piece that broadcast on Monday, April 1st.


Unknown said...

Wow! All I can say is wow! Congrats to all. Used to be we aimed for a hundred. Now, we just have to beat 40!

Colin, you get a vote from me just for typing all that backward! I still haven't finished it all; I got a headache trying to figure it out.

Colin, for your daughter: When we were adopting our kids, someone wrote on a listserve, "Dear God, please close every door but the right one." I clung to that like a kitty to a window sill, and the way things worked out was just perfect! Disappointment stings, but life blooms anyway.

Colin Smith said...

lent, not "leant." *sigh*...

RosannaM said...

Steve I tip my hat to you sir. How you can take words, scramble them up into mere letters, rearrange them, remembering to put them in any semblance of sensical order boggles my mind. I mean literally my mind is so boggled, I doubt I can make sense!

Hugs to your daughter, Colin.

Craig, thank you for the mention. Chicken pox as a weapon kinda cracked me up.

Julie, I hope your Dr. visit brings relief. Poof!

Soooo. What exactly is the A-Z challenge?

Colin Smith said...

Thanks, Rosanna, and others for your hugs and support for Sarah. She's trooping on, pursuing her dreams no matter what. :)

For those who don't know what the A-to-Z Challenge is about:

Casey Karp said...

I'm going to offer congratulations to everyone who was brave enough to participate in the contest. It took a lotta guts, and y'all showed you got 'em.

Uh...not literally. Thank you for keeping your demonstrations figurative.

And, of course, thanks to our fearless leader for providing the kind of space that makes us want to do well by it.

french sojourn said...

To Colin; I echo Kathy Joyce's comment, "When one door is closed, another is opened..." not exactly what she said, but it was my first thought about your daughter. Good luck to her.

Steve, (American top ) 40, again. Well done. Cheers.

Janet, interesting, you mentioned my Star Wars line, and wrote French Sojourn...then two inches of blank page? Odd...however I enjoyed the next comment.



Jennifer R. Donohue said...

see, what we take in does have an effect on our writing! I've been bingeing Netflix's (very scantly offered) seasons of the Great British Bakeoff (though really, bingeing cooking shows is kind of a hobby of mine at this point. I haven't been livetweeting the GBBO ones like I did with Worst Cooks in America, though)

And yes, because I think I didn't mention it again before now, thank you, Janet, for all that you do! Any time people ask me questions about Publishing Things™, this blog and Query Shark are both on the list of where I send them.

Brigid said...

Steve 40, well done. It's a joy to watch you work. I'm tickled that you won yourself in a contest. Now you can tell your wife she's got a prize!

Colin, I wish Sarah well. Looking back, I'm so glad that certain doors weren't open to me. My life is turning out in exactly the right way for me. I hope it doesn't take too long for Sarah to feel the same way about C-M.

Off-topic, scenes from the Brigidian household this morning:

Husband is dressing the baby in a Pooh sleeper. He exclaims, "I know what you need! You need POOH! Do we have any Winnie the Pooh?"
"Of course, white bookshelf bottom right."
"Original Pooh?"

Later he walks into the room bouncing the baby, muttering, "You're okay, you're okay, little turtle you're okay. Yertle Yertle little turtle, you're okay, you're okay."

Brigid said...

(Also, if we have any Reiders for whom baby stories hit a sore spot, please email me. The youngest Reef member can enjoy silently, if it's a tender subject for anyone.)

Beth Carpenter said...

Brigid, you have a keeper, there.

Seeing the results of this contest was a little like staring up at the roof of the Sistine Chapel. How did he do that?

Joseph S. said...

Yay Steve Forti.

RosannaM said...

Thanks for the A-Z link, Colin. That looks like fun or maybe a ton of work! Good luck to all of you who are participating.

Brigid, I think you are a kind and empathetic person and I doubt anyone will fault you for sharing snippets of IJ.

Cheryl said...

Lennon and Claire, that one's been cracking me up since I first heard it 20 years ago. I'm just happy to spread the joy.

Kregger said...

Not only is "Forti" a new verb, but an active verb to boot.

I also am starting a new religion, in which at 7:26:01 (EDT) I bow to the east and at 9:26:30 [(AEDT) the following day] I bow to the west. That way I pay homage to the mighty wordsmith, Frain no matter where he is typing.

Not that it would have made a difference, but I didn't see the non-contest until it was already over (literally). I was recovering from the worst performance by professional actors over the age of ten, ever, and enthralled in the semi-finals of March Madness.




Of course, I'm glad Ms. Reid explained it to us. What I really mean is me.

Next time don't mail it in. Try to quatraindize (I don't know what that means) the prompts in monosyllabic verse in Klingon or in that Elven language Tolkien made up.

Other than that, I got nothing.

Great job.


Craig F said...

No, Forti is not a verb it is now a one word moniker. In this instance I would compare that to trying to figure out an Escher lithograph. I like both but they each give me a headache.

"Neat story."
"It is not a story it is a Forti."

Anonymous said...

Steve, congratulations on yet another magnificent entry! I finally made myself slow down and read it, something my brain wasn't capable of doing over the weekend. Just remarkable.

Janet, I too have been remiss in expressing gratitude for all you do. I was derailed this weekend by death and taxes. As others have said, it's not just the wise advice and insider information and endless patience with which you answer our ceaseless questions. It's also the tone you set and the rules you enforce and the respect you've earned that make this a civil and professional, yet caring, comment section. Probably you don't have time to wander the interwebs reading comments and so perhaps don't realize what a rarity that is. But we do, and we appreciate it. Thank you.

Off topic: A gentle reminder to all of you not to hesitate to say the things you want to say, do the things you want to do, let the people you care about know how you feel. The days all run together and we take for granted that, just as yesterday led to today, tomorrow is a given. But sometimes you're faced with the sad realization that yesterday was the last day. Live your life with no regrets, my friends.

Gingermollymarilyn said...

Whoa, Steve Forti, to describe your entry as brilliant is an understatement! Which science lab are you bequeathing your brain to?

BJ Muntain said...

Actually, Ginger, I think Mr. 40 just won his own brain in this contest.

Mr. 40: I think Ginger is laying dibs on your brain.

KD: (((hugs))) I'm so sorry.

Kae Ridwyn said...

Reiders, you leave me in awe; so many phenomenal entries; Steve's in particular :)
Thank you, O my Queen, for encouraging such talented and inspiring chum in these waters. Words - well, my smithing of them, anyway - are inadequate to express my appreciation.

And yes, Australians - we're often 'alternative' down here! [Where else would the motto "fish are friends, not food" come from, I ask you...]

Kregger said...

My bad for calling you John, I guess I had John "the Manuscript" Frain on the brain.

That's what I get for writing at work.

Old neurons firing blindly.


Kae Ridwyn said...

KD James I'm sorry for your loss. Sending the kindest of thoughts and the warmest of *hugs* your way.

Claire Bobrow said...

KD James: So sorry to hear you've suffered a loss. Sending warm thoughts your way.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, all, for the condolences. I'm not the one experiencing regrets (this time), but the unexpectedness combined with it being someone from my "generation" made this a tough one. I'm feeling steadier today than I was this time yesterday.

Gingermollymarilyn said...

BJ & Mr. 40 - I could sure use some of that brain power today. Some days, my brain doesn't get the memo - turn the power 'on.'

CynthiaMc said...

Congrats, Steve!

KD - hugs

Julie - owie!

Janet - adding my thanks to the rest. You're in Writer's Digest best websites again - I'm behind in everything lately.

A-Z - did it last year. Not doing it this year - working on things that I hope will be marketable instead. Good luck to everyone participating!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

KD James: My sympathies for your loss. Your first comment tugged my heart, The days all run together... I found I did not want to turn the calendar to April because it makes yesterday so much further away. Hugs.

Megan V said...

KD--I'm so sorry for your loss.

Steve Stubbs said...

Here are some word suggestions for contest # 100.

Use all of te following words:


The contest rules are all these words have to be used entire and in appropriate context and you only have 25 characters (not words) to do it in. No word may be used more than once, including a, and, the.

Plus it has to make a complete story, with complex, three﷓dimensional characters.

The genre is science fiction, so the contest ends twenty-five minutes before it begins. Time's up.

I expect to see some tall writing in short form, contest fans!

Anonymous said...

Oh geez. I didn't intend to hijack the comments (sorry, Janet). Just didn't know how to express the message of not taking things for granted without putting it into context. I do so appreciate all the compassion and will just assume the rest of you all are (silently, invisibly) sending best wishes too. *hugs right back*

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Mr. Forti . . .

I am not worthy . . .


Panda in Chief said...

Hey, checking in late, even here on the left coast.
kd, so sorry for your loss. The older I get the more people I lose from my life. Thanks for the reminder that life if short and can change in an instant.
Colin, so sorry to hear of Sarah's disappointment with CMU. I was rooting for her. She will get accepted to an awesome school and do amazing things. In the arts we learn to let our disappointments fuel our inspiration. Still, the first big disappointments are hard to swallow. Good luck to her from here on out. Maybe a little baking will cheer her up.

french sojourn said...

kd: sorry for your loss, but thanks for the advice, and how you worded it. Time is fleeting, be well and stay strong.

fondly Hank.