Monday, June 19, 2017

Contest results

As usual, you guyz were in amazon form on this contest! No surprise there of course, each contest seems to get better and better.

Sadly, our own Kate Higgins had her entry dq'ed for time. (Cue wailing from professional quality mourners, and rending of garments)  Kate, it looks like you posted twice, deleted the two (maybe for a typo?) and the third and final post was at 9:02am.

Special recognition for using words I had to look up
pogonip (Kerry Bernard 9:02am)
Amontillado (D. Willadsen 10:34am)
rime (Amy Schaefer 10:47am)
luchador (Shaunna 11:26a)--which I first read as luNchador, and thought it was competitive lunching.

pogonophile (Terri Lynn Coop 5:52pm)
pomodoro (Lisa Bodenheim 8:15am)

Special recogniton for innovative use of prompt words
Hypogonadism. (Cally Orr 11:47am)
Hippo goop (Karen McCoy 1:46am

Not quite a story, but zowie, evocative!
Emalborn 9:06am

Not a story in the slightest but cracked me up completely
Steve Stubbs 12:23pm

Steve Forti does not disappoint with his dexterous use of prompt words. I tried to foil him with "pogo" but got him instead with letter! as in Let'er ride, not Lett' er ride!

AJ Blythe's entry about Steve Forti's entry cracked me up
A shark once thought she'd have the last laugh
But with
letters Steve's too clever by half
po Gone" he wrote
eased he could gloat
lime” carved the shark for his epitaph

An idea whose time has come: slalom pogo
Dena Pawling 7:55pm

Not to mention: pogo-a-gogo
John Davis (manuscript) Frain 2:01am

I'm pretty sure this is brilliant but I didn't quite get it
Lisa Bodenheim  8:15am

Long list
Just Jan 8:44pm
Scott Sloan 10:51am
Megan V 11:20am
Madeline Mora-Summonte 4:19pm
Marie McKay 5:33pm

And the short list
Timothy Lowe 9:18am
Approach plotted, Excelsior. Commence flameout.

(A murderous tempo. Going down fast.
No way to attain the speed of the last
Man to fall from the sky like a sublime lost sun -
Shot from a gaping black hole like a gun.)

You’re too shallow, Excelsior! Pull up!

(Streaming down from the stars, a diaphanous cape
Filled with burning unease and a need to escape.
It’s like killing a miracle, just give in and pull it.
It’s dancing with fireworks, ballet with a bullet.

Terminal velocity: so easy, achieved -
But beginnings are deadly if not well conceived.)


“Fuck off, pickup artist!”

You have to read this carefully and realize there are two points of view. One is a guy getting shot out of a cannon. (Or so I surmised. There are a couple interpretations possible.)

Amy Schaefer 10:47am
“Get up.”
“Get out of bed.”
She staggered as another blast rocked the building. The glowing letters on the skyscrapers outside disappeared under rime.
ease. The city needs you.”
He hid under a pillow. “I won’t fight Captain Cold. He’s bush-league.”
She grabbed the pillow. “You petty… The city is trapped in an ice fog!”
“It’s called
pogonips,” he muttered. She flared her nostrils. “What?”
She sighed. “Fine. I thought asking you was a comp
liment, but they’d better find someone else.” She paused. “Maybe Batman—“
Lois caught her balance and smiled. “Faster than a speeding bullet.”

 This cracked me up. It's a complete story with a delicious little twist.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna 2:04pm
“Where did Mr. Hippo go?”
Michael talked about hippos . I reached for the phone inside my pocket, pressed the letter S - just as Mama taught me.

Last night, while Mama hid her laptop behind Mr. Hippo, she said Michael might show up in my room and invite me for a ride.
“He’s creepy”. I said.
“Go with him”.
“Please, sweetheart. Do this and Papa will be gone forever”.
I like that. Gone forever - Papa, his guns, his hairy hands.
Mama said she’ll find me. “Just keep Michael talking”.

“… lime sherbet.”
“That’s my favorite!”

This one stopped me dead in my tracks. At first I thought "oh no, someone is actually duplicating another entry!"  We'd never had that happen before! I was aflutter. Then I realized that far from lifting someone else's entry, Cecilia had written her story around Michael Seese's entry:

Michael Seese's entry at 9:35am
“Where did Mr. Hippo go?”

Children lack the capacity to understand “gone forever.” So you ease them into it. With a story, perhaps.

“Hippos are what's called an endangered species. To protect them a man takes them somewhere safe. Like a zoo. There they practice the letters of the alphabet. And eat lime sherbet.”

“That's my favorite!”

“It is? Imagine that. So I think Mr Hippos’s at the zoo, with his friends. Koalas, tigers ...”

“No. He's at my house. When are you taking me home?”

I imagine her parents will have trouble wrapping their heads around “gone forever” as well.

This is utterly brilliant and a deft feat of imagination and SPEED!, given Cecilia had to first read Michael's entry and THEN compose her own.  As I said, this knocked my socks off.

flashfriday 8:34pm
You want fellas, this is the happening place, the matchmaker says. No more boyfriend roulette.

Really??? I say.

Yep. Og—

Ogres? No way, I say. Dated those. Scars to prove it. See?

Ogres’ll never hassle you here, I was gonna say, she says. And that’s gross.

I want brawny knights, princes on horseback, fellas like that.

Huh, she says. You got expensive tastes for a scaly ol’--

Please, I say. I’m so flaming hungry.


Lonely! I meant LONELY! I shout, but she’s already gone.

I weep a little for myself. Slim, exotic, gorgeous—so why’s my love life draggin?

I'm a sucker for a good pun, and anything with dragons has my vote, and Hungry? I mean lonely, just cracked me up completely.

This week it wasn't hard to pick a winner.  It's  Cecilia Ortiz Luna for her amazing imaginative work.  Cecilia wins the prize, but Michael Seese also gets a prize since he was provided the spark.

Thanks to each and every one of you who took the time to write and enter this contest. It's always a highlight of my weekend to read your work and see what new and amazing things you come up...not to mention new and amazing ways to make me laugh. You are a talented bunch, even the ones not on this list.


Kitty said...

Congrats to Cecilia and Michael!

french sojourn said...

Congrats Cecilia, quite a feat! Michael, nice assist...and to win as well. Nice job by all, as usual. Thank you QOTKU for your wonderful contests, and the time you give to us.

Cheers Hank

CynthiaMc said...

Congrats to both of you! Woo hoo!

Julie Weathers said...

I agree that was a brilliant entry. Great job to all as usual. I am always amazed at the talent here.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Congratulations to Cecilia and Michael!

Excited to see my entry made the Long List! :)

Steve Forti said...

Congrats Cecilia. Nicely done. And to Michael, too. His stopped me cold when I read it yesterday.

And dammit. I knew I was over the legal limit with "lett'er", should've trusted my gut. But totally flattered by AJ. :)

AJ Blythe said...

Happy dancing at having cracked Janet up =)

Michael, your story made me gasp, and I thought Cecilia's entry very clever, so both deserving winners.

Congrats to everyone who made the short and long list. I spent too much of my Monday reading all the entries because I was enjoying them so much (which is why I'm still working and not in bed).

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Congratulations to winners. How cool that one entry spawned a winning entry. What fun. I am mid-move so haven't had a chance to read all entries yet. My life is in boxes.

Steve Stubbs said...

Congratulations to Cecilia and Michael. Brilliant.

You wrote: "You have to read this [Timothy Lowe 9:18am] carefully and realize there are two points of view. One is a guy getting shot out of a cannon. (Or so I surmised."

All these entries are over my head, but the word "flameout" indicates something to do with an airplane crashing.

Theresa said...

Wonderful entries, topped with the Cecelia/Michael combo. Congratulations!

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congratulations Cecilia and Michael. Creepy and then a happy twist? So cool.

For mine, I had assumed Pomodoro would be a familiar term. It's a timer method some authors use to sit butt in chair and write: Elizabeth Spann Craig and Writers Write

Amy Schaefer said...

I loved Cecilia turning Michael's entry around. Amazing work.

Kregger said...

Woo hoo!
A Monday morning twofer. It don't get any better than that.
Congrats to Michael and Cecilia.
All of you guys rock!

Timothy Lowe said...

Loved PAH's playful language and humor ("throat-punch from a grandma"?) and Megan V's parallelism. As for the winners, obvious once I reread them. I have to admit, I missed Seese's brilliant twist the first time.

As for mine, I'm blown away that Janet recognized the POV shift. I thought it was too dense and obtuse to mean much to anyone, but what the muse hands you, you gotta go with. To clarify, I imagined a pilot trying to bring a ship back through the atmosphere without burning up. But the end reveals that he's really a pickup artist going down in flames with a shitty "approach." The slap is the woman giving him what he deserves.

Susan said...

Hooray! Thanks to everyone for participating and sharing their stories, and to Janet for hosting The Last Letter for this contest. I'm beyond thrilled and grateful.

And congrats to Cecelia and Michael! Outstanding entries, everyone!

Colin Smith said...

Congratulations, Cecilia and Michael! A neat idea well executed, Cecilia. :)

The contest spreadsheet is up-to-date in the Treasure Chest.

Megan V said...

Congrats to all, but to Cecilia and Michael especially.

Some fabulous work as usual!

Thanks Timothy for the shout out.

I really liked Amy's entry this time around. I've been in a DC mood lately, though I'm generally more of a Marvel gal. I blame the recent Wonder Woman movie. Thanks Amy for the laugh!

Dena Pawling said...

Thanks for the shout-out!

And congrats to Cecilia and Michael. Well-deserved.

This time I also liked Amy Schaefer, Deb Smythe, and RosannaM.

Very good stories all.

Michael Seese said...

I can now officially say I have FanFic! 😀 Nice job, Cecelia.

And thanks to all for your kind words.

Just Jan said...

Impressive feat, Cecilia! I didn't get the connection until this morning. Michael, what a creepy story--loved it! I had a few favorites this contest, including Amy Schaefer and flashfriday. Thanks again to Janet (for sponsoring) and Susan (for the inspiration). And congrats to everyone mentioned.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Thanks to everyone for the kind words.

I was actually planning to write about Ogopogo, the Canadian Loch Ness monster. But when I read Michael Seese's entry, my heart stopped because of its brilliance and the way it resonated with me.

For the last few years here in Alberta there has been a spate of abduction/murders of little girls the most gruesome of which is the one involving Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette. As a mother of two girls, this terrifies me.

When I read Michael's entry, I thought "Hey, this is the same creep from Noise In Space's winning entry a few contests ago!And now he's taking her away!"

So I entered Michael's story world to give this fictional girl the way out that I wish Hailey and all the other real abducted/murdered girls had.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

And Michael, thank you:) Your stories always rock, dude.

John Davis Frain said...

Brilliant work, Cecilia. On top of already brilliant work from Michael. And anyone can tell you that brilliance squared puts you mathematically ahead of everyone else.

Also, shout out to Susan for the inspiration behind this weekend's contest with The Last Letter. Don't forget to order your copy!

Janet, you exhaust me with these and I'm so happy for it. Thank you.

Michael Seese said...

Cecelia. I'm flattered that you found it so moving. Thank you again for your kindness.

RosannaM said...

As soon as I read Michael's story, and terrifying ending, I knew this was the one. Then later in the day, I read Cecilia's and had the same reaction as Janet, for a split second. Then it was holy smokes-land.

Very creative!

Congrats on the win you two!

And Cecilia, your explanation is truly sobering and terrifying.

RosannaM said...

And Janet? Yeah, letter was the tough word for me too. Other people used it so well, though. You just never know what direction your brain wants to go in, and sometimes you're dragged there whether you like it or not.

Thanks for these contests. It is challenging to try to craft something fresh and unique, but also it is a delicious little thrill to check back through the day and read the entries a few at a time. Usually with my breath held. Quite a lovely community you've built here.

Unknown said...

I thought that it was a duplicate entry too. But I loved how she gave another view point to the story. Very clever :)

Claire Bobrow said...

Congratulations Cecilia and Michael! I like what John Davis Frain said: "brilliance squared." Yes, indeed. Both entries were perfection, especially Cecilia's happy ending.

Dena's slalom pogo had me laughing. Such an inspired idea :-)

Thank you, Janet, for another great challenge - as always it was a mental workout and so much fun!

Karen McCoy said...

Absolutely inspired, Cecelia! So glad you're bringing attention to this issue. I read a newspaper article the other day about an abducted girl who's been missing for three weeks. Bone-chilling. Thanks for a happy ending to stories that often aren't.

And thanks to Janet for the shout out. Made my day.

And good luck with the move, E.M.!

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

OH NO I was working on a project (8k words in a day and a half working-on-a-project) and I somehow forgot about the contest until 8:58 a.m. Sunday morning! I sighed mournfully and resigned myself to reading the results and HOLY SMOKES THEY ARE AMAZING. Such a great job, everybody!

Also, my latest short story "Daddy's Girl" just went live at Syntax & Salt. I haven't read the issue yet, but they've published some pretty choice stories in the past!

Colin Smith said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Jennifer! I've added it to your growing list of published works in the Treasure Chest.

Lennon Faris said...

Congratulations, Cecilia and Michael! Awesome all around.

All of these were fantastic. I had visitors so couldn't join the fun this time, but like John (mss) Frain suggests, I already ordered my copy of LAST LETTER. FlashFriday, that was hilarious.

BJ Muntain said...

Congrats, Cecilia! What a perfect twist to Michael's story. And Michael, that was a rather chilling moment you gave us. Congrats to you, too. :)

If you ask me, both stories are made better by the other.

I had an entry written and just in need of a revision before posting... and then I took an allergy pill, fell asleep, and forgot about the contest until it was too late.

Good job, everyone!

BJ Muntain said...

Regarding Tim Lowe's (and Steve Stubbs' suggestion for meaning):

I think it was a rocket ship. Of course, I write science fiction. Everything is science fiction to me. Except real life, unfortunately. I really liked the poem... now THAT's cadence AND rhythm. You're getting the guy's heightened pulse rate and excitement here, and the 'command' voice was a brilliant off-set. Everything works so well together here. The adventure sets up the misadventure we see at the end, and ... well. It really works.

I was just a little disappointed to find that his crash-and-burn was less spectacular than the poem leading up to it... but it does fit, and it's very well done.

Congrats on your short list placement, Mr. Lowe!

BJ Muntain said...


Celia - whereabouts in Alberta are you? (If you don't want to give the exact place, even the nearest city would be interesting.) I have friends and relatives all over the province.

I'm in Regina, SK. But there's a pretty cool conference in Calgary every year called When Words Collide, and I was wondering if you've ever been. I've only been able to go once, a couple years ago. It's mostly for fantasy and science fiction writers, though they have workshops on tons of stuff. And the conference itself is fairly inexpensive (the hotel is a bit expensive, but you don't have to stay there.) It happens in August, but it's already sold out for this year. You could try for next year, though, if you're interested.

If you want to chat, you can e-mail me at bjmuntain [at] sasktel [dot] net

Timothy Lowe said...

Jeez, BJ - thanks! I'm blushing over here!

I can't believe how perceptive Janet is to pick out all these lovely twists. Thanks again, host of hosts!

Kate Higgins said...

Aarrrgh...That's what I get for sleeping in on the West Coast on a Sunday (9am is 6am)
And yes, you are correct, Your Sharkiness, I am a slave to typo correcting...sigh.
And I had such a good short entry too.
But my timing sucked...
...oh, well there's always next time.

I couldn't have done any better then the winner(s) anyway.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Hey BJ,

I live in Calgary and guess what? I've registered for When Words Collide as well- my first time.

It would be lovely to meet with you. Will email within the day:)

Barbara said...

Congrats to Cecelia and Michael! And as Janet said, Cecelia coming up with her entry so fast was amazing!

Loved lizosisek's entry. Young love, forbidden love, and so much said with so few words.

A fun challenge, and great stories all around.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

I also loved Cally 's and Shaunna 's entries :)

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

As always, thanks very much for your Treasure Chest husbandry, Colin!

Michael Seese said...

Colin, I never realized there was a treasure chest. How do I get on it? Send you a list with links?

Marie McKay said...

Congratulations Cecilia and Michael. Both so clever.

Colin Smith said...

Michael: Really? Janet has been mentioning it on contests for the past few years. And I keep gabbing on about it, asking for gems to add, etc. So, yes! There is a page in the Treasure Chest where I list the published works of blog readers. This includes books (trad or non-trad), short stories, flash fiction, newspaper columns--if you've been published, we want to know! Just drop me an email with a list of your published works, and where people might find them. If they're available online, please provide a link. Thanks! :)

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Since pogo is a word that doesn't exist in the worlds in which I write, I hung out to see how others would use it.

Took me a good half-hour to find something that I could Forti in my own entry, so I'm impressed to see what others came up with.

The winner for me was Terri Lynn Coop's pogonophile, being one myself.

Craig F said...

Here's to the very creepy couple. Bring in the clowns.

Congrats to both of you.

Unknown said...

Congrats to Cecilia and Michael! And thanks for the shoutout, Cecilia :) It was so fun reading everyone's imaginative entries. My first time entering, definitely not my last!

Shaunna said...

If you're interested in finding out more about the world of the luchadors, may I suggest the film Nacho Libre? It's not a Cannes Film Festival candidate, but it's awfully fun, if it's late at night and you've had a rough day that you just don't want to think about anymore.

Claire Bobrow said...

For a great kid's book about luchadores, check out Yuyi Morales's book: Niño Wrestles the World. There's also a wonderful YouTube video of her reading it aloud. I believe she won an award for the illustrations, too.

AJ Blythe said...

In my head I was thinking luchadors were a type of dog (not sure why, maybe because it sounds like lurcher?). So I consulted google... not even close, but I learnt something new - Mexican wrestlers (I assume of the American wrestling variety and not the Olympic wrestling variety).

LynnRodz said...

¡Felicitaciones, Cecilia!

Terri Lynn Coop said...

I'm late to the game because my blood line and life line, the great and grand internet swooned for almost 24 hours. I had to do things like, you know, clean and stuff. In the words of Grumpy Cat . . . It was awful.

Congrats to one and all - Cecilia and Michael and all the shout outs. For such seemingly simple words, the breadth of the imagination and tomfoolery was amazing.