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……..
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 ……..
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.”
“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!