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WRiTE CLUB 2012 – Round 32

A rousing boo-yah for the winner of round 29, Matilda Maxwell!  He/she has now been added to the list of all of the winners on the WRiTE CLUB 2012 results page.  

Once again, if you missed Monday’s post you might want to drop back and check it out because I detailed how we will transition from the regular bouts into the play-offs and the format we will use.  Whether you’re a contestant moving on or just a voter, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with it so you don’t miss out.

Also, did you catch Nicki Elson blog post yesterday?  Nicki is a former WRiTE CLUB contestant who took her 500 word sample she submitted in the last year’s competition (Art Gallery was her pen name), polished it up and it’s been accepted for publication in the debut issue of Insatiable, a new literary magazine by White Cat Publications. She posted about her experience and the part WRiTE CLUB played on her blog yesterday, so I hope you dropped by to congratulate her. 

Just five more preliminary bouts to go! 

Here are this rounds randomly selected WRiTER's.

Standing in the far corner, weighing in at 398 words, please welcome to the ring……..June Gloom.

I have attended several “Cons” with my husband over the years and enjoyed myself. These events have covered video games, anime and sci-fi. There have been times when I’ve also NOT enjoyed myself. Being a semi-attractive female at these things is dangerous, with a capital “D”. (Thanks for the warning, dear…NOT!) I’ve had my ass grabbed, my boobs grabbed (all “accidental”) and some VERY obvious staring and following. *squick* Not appropriate. At All.

What I’ve found at these events are a lot of kids dressed up in really bad outfits (I have a thing against cheap textiles, sue me) but KUDOS to them for showing up, and dressing up. It’s more than I can say for most adults at “special events” and clubs nowadays. These kids “try”. It seems most of the kids are hopped up on sugar (can you say Pixie sticks and Mountain Dew?)  or at the very least, hormones–and running around like their leash is off for the weekend. (Well, to some exhausted parent, I’m sure it is!)

It’s terrifying, annoying, hilarious and a train wreck all rolled into one. Sometimes I like it, most of the time, no. I like the vendor rooms (because I can SHOP, duh!) and some of the displays (if I can get close enough to see them, I am Short, people, move!). Otherwise, I go for My Man. The Singular Most Important Person In My Life. I would do anything for him, as he does for me. He has been dragged to numerous fashion events and had to help out when others flaked (AND HARD) at events I’ve worked on. Bless his big heart, I do it for him. I compromise. He deserves it.

But, I draw the line at frippy cons- for example: faerie cons, cons that have the word “vagina” in them, and other randomness that is under the guise of “let’s dress up and get wasted, and HOPEFULLY get laid or learn how to write about getting laid in a pool of blood and shredded fae”. Oh SNAP! Enough. Shall we start a con for lint? YAY! Let’s all dress up like lint, because We Can. YAY. It’s Lint Con 2012. *headdesk* (This also applies to music festivals: Sasquatch? Really?! Wasn’t Lollapallooza enough, people?!)

But, seriously, if it floats your boat, I say do it. Just don’t invite me. kthxbai.


And in the near corner, weighing in at 496 words, let me introduce to you ……..Stargirl09.

Mama and Daddy don’t know this about me, but every night since I was sixteen I’ve been sneaking out of the house. At first, I did it just to get away from them. They’d keep me locked up in a cage if they could. But that night, the night of my eighteenth birthday, I did have a particular destination in mind. A small bar named Earl’s.

It was already late, probably around nine thirty or so, because I remember the stars in the sky were bright and twinkling. I took my sweet time as I walked as if I was walking down a sidewalk made of gold. I could feel the earth through my worn sandals. I even got some dirt in them, but I didn’t give a damn. Mama and Daddy wouldn’t even notice that I was gone for two whole hours, and that was enough cause to enjoy my night out. No one could tell me anything when I was out on my own. I was my own woman. I was Shelby Porter, 5’5; blue eyed with hair the color of whiskey.

Being outdoors, under the sky, was the only time I got to be alone. The only time I had with my thoughts, thoughts Mama and Daddy would’ve called vulgar. At home, all I ever talked about with them was boring school stuff or boring bible study stuff.

That’s why I liked Earl’s Bar. I got hit on a lot by men. Not boys like at school, real, tall, handsome men. That night I thought about one man in particular. His name was Richard, Richard Johnson, even thinking about him now makes me smile. The way he’d flirt with me, he had to be the worst of them all. He’d walk up to my table with his guitar slung over his broad shoulders, pull out a chair, and sit while I tried hard to pretend I didn’t see him. He’d lick his full, brown lips and smile anyway.

Richard was only twenty-one, and I knew his mama well. She used to babysit me. I’d always had a crush on him.

“You’re Josephine’s girl?” he asked me the first time I snuck into Earl’s.

I was so shocked that a man as good-looking as him would talk to me; all I could do was nod and tuck a loose strand of hair behind my ear.

He eyed me while he chewed on the end of his toothpick. “Do your mama and daddy know you’re here?” he asked.

“I’m almost eighteen,” I said. “Besides, my mama and daddy trust me.”

Every night after that, he’d always come over and talk to me. Although, I could tell he was flirting it wasn’t as outright as some of the other men who I wouldn’t have given the time of day anyway. Richard seemed nice enough, and when I walked into Earl’s the night I turned eighteen it was like I’d gone from a girl to a woman.


New voters must sign up on the Linky List found by clicking on the badge below.  The voting will remain open until noon next Thursday.

Remember, here in WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!


  1. Stargirl09 has my vote today.

    I couldn't connect with the first piece, not having been to any cons. To me, it was all telling.

    The second piece grabbed my attention better, although it too was more telling. I'd like to see more action in that piece.

  2. The first piece feels a bit more like nonfiction commentary to me (though I really enjoyed it and laughed out loud several times!), so I'm going with Stargirl09

  3. My vote goes to Stargirl09.

    The first piece read like a blog entry, and a jumbled one at that. The second one read better (which is why it got my vote), but I would have preferred more action and less backstory.

  4. Both were a lot of tell, but I vote for Stargirl09.

  5. My vote is for Stargirl. Others have mentioned the lengthy exposition. I think you could drop the reader right into the middle of your piece and weave the first few paragraphs' backstory into subsequent pages. I went back and tried reading from the line: Richard was only.... I felt immediately engaged and didn't think I needed the previous to understand what was going on. Also, read aloud so you can catch stumbles like: ...walked as if I was walking...

    June Gloom - I suspect how your piece is received is going to depend on the audience. I get the impression there are a lot folks here at the Club (oodles o' paranormal writers) who do or want to attend cons. I'm not a big fan of rants myself and was distracted by so many all caps words. Others have mentioned the telling - I would have enjoyed an actual scene. A takedown of someone who grabbed your ass would have been entertaining.

  6. Stargirl09 for me. The first one was just a little too much like a diary entry - not enough emotion to draw me in, just telling.

  7. Stargirl09, definitely. Hope it's not a small town - what if word gets back to her parents?

  8. Voting Stargirl09, I felt I connected with it more than the first piece.

  9. I did enjoy the first one (as a geek who would go to a con), but the second one was more of a story with actual narrative, so Stargirl gets my vote.

  10. I haven't been to a con and have heard several hilarious tales about what goes at them so I definitely thought the first piece very humorous. But oddly, I thought I was reading someone's blog post for the day instead of a sample of a writing piece or a short story.

    I'm voting for Stargirl09 this round. A lot of exposition, but you get a chance to connect with the character nearer to the end.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Sorry about the deleted comment. I was logged into the wrong account. Oops.

    Neither of them really move me but I vote for Stargirl

  13. Although the first piece is funny, I'd rather not see so many words in all caps. I'd also rather read an actual scene. So I have to go with Stargirl09, if only because it's a story.

  14. Voting for Stargirl09. I felt connected to the character and wanted to read on. Great job!

  15. I vote for Stargirl09. Smoothly written and a nice set up for what promises to be a steamy romance.

    The first piece would make an excellent blogpost - but even then, far too many parenthetical asides, that although funny, were very distracting.

  16. I've been to sci-fi cons so I can absolutely get the humor that June Gloom is going for, but I'm afraid that as a piece of writing this entry just doesn't grab me. There are just too many parenthetical asides, too much artificial capitalization and quotations to try and add emphasis, and entirely too much lol-speak. This is more like a casual journal entry or a facebook post. My suggestion would be to simply streamline everything and write more of a scene in straight-forward sentences. The author definitely has a sense of humor and some nice insights and this could be an amusing piece. It's kind of a paradox, but the best writing is usually that which is invisible -- it simply lets the story comes through without calling attention to itself. Unfortunately, this sample needs some work to reach that ideal.

    Stargirl09's entry has some issues, but I like the drama established. The writer does well at conveying that teenage mix of ignorance, fear, foolishness, and arrogance. It's clear that Miss Shelby Porter is flirting with danger as well as with Richard -- I'm intrigued and worried for her (and also want to kick her in the behind for being so naive and stupid, lol).

    So today my vote goes to Stargirl.

  17. Stargirl gets my vote today.

    There are already several good comments to help June, so I'll try not to be repetitive. Try adding some dialogue, it really helps break up narrative and is an easy way to introduce some action and showing as opposed to telling.

  18. stargirl09 , good job to both but stargirl09

  19. Stargirlo9 for me. I didn't get a strong connection to either piece but the second had more of a story and premise in it for me. Although I applaud June for submitting something a bit different. Good luck guys.

  20. June Gloom had a strong voice, but the end made it clear that this wasn't part of a story, and the writing degraded a bit.

    Stargirl09 gave us a character full of bad decisions, and kept it up.

    Stargirl09 for the vote.

  21. I liked both of these but I'm voting for Stargirl because I found myself wanting to know more

  22. I vote for Stargirl. I'm worried about her character!




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