Technically the voting for round 14 is open until noon today, but one of the contestants has a comfortable lead over the other, so I'm going ahead and calling it now. Congratulations to Not Loretta Lynn for winning the round and moving onto the play-off rounds. Her opponent, Mara Jade, will have her piece returned to the pool for a chance at re-selection for a future bout. Make sure you check my WRiTE CLUB 2012 results page for a breakdown of all the winners, along with links to all of the writing samples.
Reminder: I'm posting a day early this week because I'm taking part in Justine Dell's book tour tomorrow. I'm interviewing Justine about her upcoming book release, so make sure you stop on by and say hello.
As promised, today I spill a few of the details about how things will work in the play-off rounds, which is now only six weeks away. With the expanded format, there will be 36 submissions vying for the WRiTE CLUB belt this year. The first playoff round will pit original submissions against one another...again by random draw...in daily bouts. This will yield 18 winners. Those winners will then have the opportunity to edit their submissions, still remaining under the 500 word limit, possibly utilizing some of the suggestions made in the previous rounds. Then those 18 will be paired off, randomly, and nine more daily bouts will take place. This will yield 9 winners...and a 10th wildcard winner who will be the loser with the most amount of votes in their bout.
After that, it really gets interesting. But more on that on another day. :)
Here are this rounds randomly selected WRiTER's.
Standing in the far corner, weighing in at 495 words, please welcome to the ring……..Camille Atwood.
The minute Janet waddled from the lunchroom, my boss and her lackey
admin whispered venomously about the carb heavy contents of her
non-recyclable lunch container.
“Oh. My. God. Did you see what she was eating?” said my boss.
“She is poisoning that baby,” added the admin.
I watched as these two women assembled complex organic salads with
measured portions of heart healthy proteins and little or no salad
dressing. I took a bite from my ham and cheese sandwich, feeling
anger bubbling inside of me like acid indigestion of the soul.
“No, she’s not,” I said with a mouthful of sodium infused deli meat
and processed cheese.
“Well, if she wants her baby to be as fat as she is, whatever,” said
The two women huffed out of the room, clutching their salads to eat
in the safety of their offices—alone.
There was no enjoyment in their choices—food was merely fuel for
their hour-long daily workouts. And because of the tiny confines of
our office space, their decisions unwittingly affected my own. Food
was no longer enjoyable, it was political—what we ingested in front
of our coworkers defined our placement in the hierarchy of office
I don’t know how this happened. At first it was who makes healthy
food choices? Healthy could mean an occasional salad or a sandwich on
9-grain bread. Then, the ante was upped—who eats healthy, buys
organic produce, and eats free range chicken? Ridiculously it
elevated to who makes their own yogurt or cultures their own
probiotic drinks at home? Many of my fellow office mates entered
this unspoken competition to secure uneaten brownie points in our
boss’s eyes. It sucked. Food and companionship in the lunchroom
ended. Lunch time socialization was now an eating competition that
was judged by not how fast we ate but by what we ingested.
When my boss had the snack machine removed because it “undermined
the health standards of our company,” I’d had enough. With a
defiant middle finger raised at our boss, one of my coworkers
brought in a dozen donuts. The news traveled fast throughout the
office. When my boss entered the crowded room, she admonished her
admin who was eyeing the glazed and sprinkled treats.
“Don’t do it,” my boss warned. I quickly grabbed the only chocolate
cake donut and wolfed it down in front of them.
“Om, nom, nom,” I purred between bites.
My boss looked at me like I’d just kicked a puppy and marched towards
her office. The admin followed. I imagined them inside those closed
doors doing three sets of crunches to repent for our gustatory sins.
I felt sorry for them in that moment. Eating had once been a joyful
act, but now it was intertwined with fear, guilt, and a superiority
complex that they had to uphold. I didn’t want a second donut, but I
took one anyway—I decided it was time that somebody took back thelunchroom.
And in the other corner, weighing in at 494 words, let me introduce to you ……..Sophia.
I don’t like you.
My head throbs whenever you’re around. You think I don’t see you, that I’m oblivious. Wrong. I know what you are. Your nails draw blood, your mouth breathes fire and now, as I hold my dad’s hand and stare into my mother’s eyes, I cringe at what I see inside them.
“Go to your room, Serena. Your father and I need to be alone.” Her voice has an edge. It teeters on the brink of madness. I know the moment I leave, my father will turn mad as well.
“No,” I whisper.
“What did you say?” she hisses.
“I said no.”
She freezes like a cobra, coiled and ready to strike.
I inhale. Where did this woman come from? Who did you leave when you took her body? This is not the woman who buys me cute clothes and gives me hugs when I’m distraught. This is not the cool mom who taught me how to put on lipstick and flirt with boys. You’ve stolen her.
“Please, Mom,” I say, glancing at the clock. “Leave Dad alone. So we’re five lousy minutes late. What’s the big deal?”
“Jon,” she hollers over hers shoulder.“Come here and help me!” Figures she’d use my sleazy stepdad like an armed guard. Why am I even surprised?
He walks from the kitchen to the living room, thick-soled boots thudding across the hardwood floor. Unlike my real Dad, everything about him screams phony, from his ultra-white car salesman smile to the thick gold chains that hang around his neck. The man is creepy, and not just because he’s ten years younger than my mom. When he looks at me, every hair on my body prickles. And when I tell him to stop ogling, he shrugs and says I should take it as a compliment.
Yep, those are his exact words. “You’re eye candy, Serena. Take it as a compliment. What do you think women were born for?”Creepy.
“Take her to her room,” Mom says.
His gaze crawls up my leg, and a shiver runs up my spine.
My real father squeezes my hand. “Go ahead, I’ll be fine,” he says.
If lying were an Olympic sport, my dad would win a medal. He may be good at pretending, but fine he is not. There’s a wobble in his voice as he releases my hand. His gaze is guarded, cautious. Silence before the storm. I stand on my tiptoes and kiss him on the cheek.
“I had a good time this summer,” I tell him.
He smiles and hands me my suitcase.
The creepy man takes two steps forward before grabbing my arm.
“Ow!” I say.
For you newcomers out there...if you wish to vote you first must sign up on the Linky List you’ll find at the end of the link provided on the badge below. Please remind your friends to make a selection as well. The voting will remain open until noon Thursday.
Remember, here in WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!