WRiTE CLUB – Round 10


We’re getting down to the nub with just three more chances to make the semi-final rounds and I guess it’s time to start talking about what the next phase holds.  Once we have identified our twelve semi-finalists, they will have the choice of using their previous submission or asked to submit a new writing sample.  In either case the word count will be expanded to a 500 words!  The twelve of them will be paired up (by random drawing) and a different bout will be held every day the week during February 6-11.  On Sunday February 12th the six winners will be announced and again paired off (using the same 500 word writing sample) for bouts to be held every other day on starting on February 14th.  Three winners will be chosen from those matches, along with one wildcard selection who’ll be the WRiTER who scored the most points but didn’t win his/her bout.  The winner with the most points will be face-off against the wildcard selection, and the other two contestants will duel it out.  Those two matches will take place on February 20th and 23rd.  The final clash between the last two standing will be on February 27th for all the marbles.

Wait a minute…there’s marbles?  Well…I’m keeping mum about that for right now.  But before we get to any of that we first need to wrap up round 9 and get the next round kicked off. The official score from round nine ended up:

LILY MASON – 22 votes     MANON LaMUSE - 8 votes

LILY MASON becomes our ninth semi-finalist!  As always, you can check my WRiTE CLUB page for a breakdown of all the winners along with links to all of the writing samples.

No new submissions last week, so both of this week’s contestants will come from the open pool.  Here we go, without further ado....

Here are this week's randomly selected WRiTER's.
Standing in the far corner, weighing in at 250 words, please welcome to the ring……..
ART GALLERY
I've been stealing glances at him for the last two weeks.  Always reclined back in his chair with his elbow resting on the table, his cigarette perched between his finger and his thumb. Most of us are just so stiff and formal in here, especially me with my hands crossed demurely over my velvet coat and my hair pinned up properly under my hat as I sit on the terrace with my baby sister. His aspect is much more appealing. I wish I could lounge like that in a rumpled white T-shirt and rowing pants, smoking a cigarette and relaxing with friends.
We're both part of the permanent collection here but have frequently been on loan to other museums, so we've rarely hung for long in the same gallery. I learned from the docent who leads tours through the Impressionist wing that he's a Renoir, like me, so I always figured he was just the same old, same old. But now that I look—really look—I see that we are quite distinct.
It may have been his suave nonchalance that drew me in, but it's his entrancing, cerulean eyes that keep me looking back. I know he's comprised of the same sweeping blurs of brushstrokes as I am, but from the distance between our opposite walls, he's a defined, striking figure, and hiss ang-froid eyes are as beautiful as anything I've ever seen.
I thought I'd been discreet in my glances, but one day he caught me.  And winked.
And in the other corner, weighing in at 248 words, let me introduce to you ……..
STELLA GRAY
Out in the distance, the trees are parted overhead, creating a vast view of what has to be the start of the Ashland desert plains—nothing but waves of golden sand as far as my eyes can see. To the east, the sand meets the long narrow edge of Lake Everlasting, where it drops off into the black water.
Then I realize what Addra’s really pointing at and stumble forward, falling to my knees. Two tarantula-looking spiders the size of brontosauruses dipping their front legs into the edge of the lake “Are they coming this way? We gotta hide …”
Addra giggles. “Don’t worry, they’re desert rogues. Gentle creatures.”
“Gentle?”
“Very gentle, and perfectly harmless.” Addra smiles at them. “The desert is their home, usually under the command of Plainspeople who harness them for transportation across the sand. But these two look untamed, free.”
I can tell from Addra’s voice she admires their freedom.
“So these guys aren’t aggressive, like spinners …” I try to convince myself. Their size alone is freaky enough.
“Not at all,” she says, starting down the slope in the opposite direction. “Come, Vortex Valley is right down here.”
We arrive at the edge of our hill and slide down the sandy side to a deep valley surrounded by large rocky cliffs. Once past the trees from the lake’s edge, the towering blue-gray mountains come into view from behind us. The valley looks nothing more than desert sand, empty of any life or vegetation.
Anyone can vote, so leave yours for the winner of round 10 in the comments below, along with any sort of critique you would like to offer.  Please remind your friends to make a selection as well.  The voting will remain open until noon Sunday. Remember, you can throw your pen name into the hat anytime during these last six weeks by submitting your own 250 word sample.  Check out the rules by clicking on the badge below…then come out swinging!
 
Remember, here in WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!

Where words are the true knockout!

29 comments

  1. Every week this becomes more difficult. My vote goes for the second one.

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  2. Both are well written - and such different styles! I think my vote will go to #2 though.

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  3. Giant spiders has me intrigued. I vote for Stella Gray this week.

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  4. I really liked them both, nicely written. Hard choice, but I'm going with #1.

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  5. Both great selections. I had to re-read a couple of times each to make my selection. I am going with Art Gallery because of the poetic descriptions and creative premise. Even though I won first place in a short story contest writing about giant spiders, I got a little messed up with the logistics in Stella Gray (the relation of the characters to the mountains, trees, water, sand, spiders, how far away the spiders are that one character sees them right away and the other doesn't.) But I love giant spiders.

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  6. oh, wow. Dang! These are both written very VERY well. Strong writers here... So I guess I have to go with what's most appealing to me, and that first one made me laugh.

    So my vote's w/#1---out of two very strong fighters! :o) <3

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  7. I can tell it is going to be a tight race this week. Both selections are great; each was smooth to read with interesting settings and characters. I liked the originality in #1, so my vote goes to it. Loved the wink at the end!

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  8. I'm going to vote for Stella Gray #2.

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  9. My vote goes to #1 ART GALLERY, loved it!

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  10. Gotta go with Stella Gray! It's hard to pass up a scary spider snippet. :)

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  11. This one's a fight to the finish. Hard choice, but good. I'll go with #1 Art Gallery.

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  12. Great descriptions in both, but I'm going with Art Gallery. What a great concept! I want to read more -

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  13. Two good choices this week - which made it hard to choose. But since I have to (or should, I guess), I'll go with Art Gallery (#1).

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  14. both are well written, but Stella Gray really peaked my interest.

    (Did anyone else notice both titles have almost the same letters in them?)

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  15. The first one is very intriguing. But I'm going with #2 for the fantastical images.

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  16. Both were so wonderful. But as much as I liked Stella Gray, My vote goes to Art Gallery. Something about it really gripped me. Perhaps it was the voice or the scene...just a great sample.

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  17. I'm going with number 1 for the great descriptions.

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  18. Wow - I think this one was the toughest decision yet. I'm going to go with #1, though - so original!

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  19. I really liked the first one, great descriptions.

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  20. I'm just popping in and both are worthy entries. The concept of winking paintings in the first though... :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  21. Number one really grabbed me and made me smile. I liked the voice and the creative idea behind it.

    Number 2 was well written and the description fantastical, but I wasn't as invested in the story by the end.

    My vote is for #1. Great job to both writers though.

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  22. Tough call. I think I say that every time I vote, but I REALLY REALLY mean it this time. Since you won't let me vote for them both (will you????) I'll go with #1

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  23. Ooh, marbles! Two interesting and very different entries here - although both get props for vivid yet succinct descriptions. Y'know what? I'm abstaining from casting a vote this week. Sorry! But to make it up, I'll tweet this post right now. ;)

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  24. Although, I found the concept in the first one interesting... my votes for second one. I won't even remark this week about how difficult the choice was, oh wait, I just did.

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  25. I like them both, but I'm going with #1 - what a brilliant concept!

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  26. I vote for Art Gallery - wow, what a great premise! Made my mind start spinning.

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