With WRiTE CLUB now hosting three contests a week, it can become a bit confusing as to which rounds are still open for voting. To help everybody out I’ve created a tab at the top of my page entitled WRiTECLUB 2012 – Results. What you’ll find there is a link to every round posted, and the respective winner. If there is no winner listed, voting is still open. Pretty simple. That should help any of you who can’t visit for a while and need help catching up.
In previous rounds a good litmus test for deciding victory is whether or not a writing sample leaves the reader wanting more. If nothing else, this should illustrate how we must each strive to adhere to this guiding principle in every phase of our work. We've seen some awesome 500 word snippets, but what about the next 500 words...and the 500 after that? We as writers cannot afford to coast, or compose filler to simply serve as a bridge to the next major plot point, character interaction, or dramatic encounter. Our standards must be set higher than that and the luxury of complacency a foreign concept. A tough task indeed, but one we all embrace willingly.
Are you ready for an awesome mid-week battle?
Here are this week's randomly selected WRiTER's.
Standing in the far corner, weighing in at 432 words, please welcome to the ring……..RingGirl
There’s a “one who got away” in every girl’s life.
You know who I’m talking about.
You doodled his name on your geometry notes. You sat behind him in study hall, where the only thing you studied was the way his hair curled at the nape of his neck.
Fora lot of girls, this story is over on graduation day. The boy slides into a vintage Mercedes to spend the summer sailing in New England,never to be seen again. That’s where it usually ends.
But when you’re me, life pretends to continue on its merry way, then turns around and bitch slaps you, just for fun. And the “one who got away” becomes “the one who reappears just when you’re looking particularly gross and haven’t had time to shower.”
Because when my plane landed on Anchor Island, the first person I saw was the one I had obsessed over for four years. Garrett Patrick, he of the artfully tousled hair and crisp linen shorts embroidered with tiny seahorses. His eyes widened when he saw me stumbling down the stairs with my enormous carry-ons.
“Alex!What are you doing here?”
God, he was perfect. But why, oh why did I have to run into him with unwashed hair and my rattiest t-shirt? I pinned my arms to my sides to hide the yellowed armpits.
“Mom... new fiancé lives here,” I babbled. Where the hell was my vocabulary when I needed it? I killed AP English but still couldn’t talk to him? I tried again. “They invited me to stay for the summer.”
“My family’s here for the summer, too,” he said politely. “I’m waiting for Sally.”
My stomach lurched. Of course Sally McKenna would go wherever Garrett went. No doubt her family owned a sprawling hundred-room “cottage” right next to his.
Before I could respond, a flashy white limo pulled up and a window rolled down to reveal my mother, pretty, blond, and windblown. “Alex!”she shouted. “Over here, honey!”
I gawked at her. What was my mother doing in a limo? Where was her beat-up Chevy? When my eyes flickered to Garrett, I detected a look of dawning amusement on his face. He looked as though he knew something I didn’t…
“Come over and meet your new step dad-to-be!”
The limo belonged to her new fiancé? She hadn’t ever mentioned that he was loaded.
As I reached for my bags, I saw a man appear in the window beside her.Only five words in the world could describe him: Richard Simmons in a suit.For one heart-stopping moment, I really thought it was Richard Simmons until I realized that he was much too young, though he had a similar halo of ginger hair. He gave me a fluttering wave bedecked with gaudy rings.
And in the other corner, weighing in at 403 words, let me introduce to you ……..Cyan
Midnight has come
a drop of vodka drips to the tile floor
the buffet has been emptied
human lips open no more
the mountain of strange shoes by the hall
has retreated like waves from the shore
there is no noise at all
except for a drunkard's snore
The light flickers in some distant room
a pop-up picture book lays at the foot of a bed
ruffled dresses are tossed into fire
and memories of laughter are now dead
aliens and Barbie dolls look to retire
in contorted mounds of half decayed plastic
she aims to murder the silence
Only a blond haired child,
she is no more or no less
the chiffon of her nightgown torn at the edge
she spits out a ball of gum, adheres it to a chair's leg
the spirits pity her tack of patience
as the peony blossom in her juice glass shrivels dead
She runs out her bedroom door
thumping through the hall
her speed ravages the kitchen floor
she tries not to fall
there is silence no more
The drunkard brings his head up, eyes big, round
his breath panics softly
his head throbs from all her sound
the child approaches him in her torn nightgown
he scolds her with vulgarities tightly bound
She yells, she screams
"father, father, why did you imprison me?"
her lashes are beaded with tears like nerves with dreams
"father, your silence hurts me!"
and the drunkard grasps her arms
shakes her in one violent caress
pulls her toward his chest
A hickup, a cough
her heart palpitates against fragile bones
of fear she had enough
he digs a deep red scar into her neck
listening to the vodka drops ticking upon the floor keeping time
she can't name what she feels
speculator shadows appear in the distance
they watch as she struggles
in awe of her persistence
only a blond haired child and yet so brave
she swallows fear in resistance
only a blond haired child
the tear in the corner of her eye evaporates
Silence returns again
the clicking of pen tops and fingernails
welcome the scratching of ink on paper
a chorus of thoughts radiates through motionless tongues
and the one second rattle of a stapler
metal clanging from heavy chains
binds two wrists together
The drunkard blinks bloodshot eyes
loud screams and the appearance of sunlight
in the corner the child cries
Another tough choice for you. Before you leave your vote for the winner of round 4, make sure you’ve pre-registered to vote here. Any sort of critique you would like to offer are most appreciated as well. Please tell everyone you know about WRiTE CLUB and get your friends to make a selection as well. The voting will remain open until noon next Tuesday.
Remember, here in WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!