Monday, December 17, 2007


Long-eared owl,
photo by Robert McCaw.

With the winter storm and shovelling out every two hours, yesterday I identified with the white rabbit.

Today I feel more like the Lord Kitchener-style owl.

Each story submitted to the Weirdly contest had its strengths -- magic writing bits that made me go whoo! and tempt me to enthuse at length.

This contest, however, was set up as a conditional give-away and not as a critique exercise.

Nevertheless, I will post praise/critique/tweak if any of you wish to be subjectively dissected -- with emphasis on the subjective -- to explain what I liked/made me go humm about each entry.

Faced with choosing a winner among so many excellent entries led me to understand (finally) what was meant when they say that agents/editors look for reasons to discard submissions -- based often on mere personal taste/mood, rather than on objective standards.

Still, it was very hard. I liked nearly all for different reasons -- for high, ringing drama, for achingly beautiful lines, for endearing characters, for wit or style or voice, for their soul.

I even enlisted the aid of a qualified assistant. He had the same difficulty.

So, who?

The winner of a copy of Weirdly: A collection of Strange Stories(Tales) is:


Writtenwyrdd beat out Jason # 16 by a hair -- largely because I couldn't stop chortling over the sly line "Set, who generally chaired..."

Again, thank you all for the opportunity to enjoy and showcase your wonderful and diverse stories.


writtenwyrdd said...

OMG! Bernita, I am flattered beyond belief-- AND floored! Because you know when you dash something off and send it, about a half hour later you think of all sorts of ways it could have been better.

Bernita said...

Written, I liked the way you cheerfully integrated the pantheons - and that line still makes me laugh!

Send me your address and I'll mail it out today ( I think the storm has passed, so I can.)

Church Lady said...

Congratulations!!! That entry made me howl, it was so funny!
All of the entries were awesome, but Writtenwyrdd's stood out for me as well.
Nicely done!

Vesper said...

Congratulations! A very funny and witty entry! :-)
Bernita, imagining you as that owl made me smile on this post-storm morning. :-)

StarvingWriteNow said...

Hey great! Good for you, Written!

And thanks again Bernita. I enjoyed it!

Bernita said...

Chris, your Jay was a wonderfully captured character and the dialogue was just right.

Vesper, your "druwid" still cracks me up.

I was enjoying it too, Starving - until I had to choose.

Sarah Hina said...

Wonderful choice, Bernita! That piece was so clever, and funny.

Congratulations to writtenwyrdd!

And to Jason, whose story definitely deserved singling out.

Scott said...

No surprises here. Well deserved first place and honorable mention. It was fun just to be involved.

Jaye Wells said...

Congrats Writtenwyrdd! I loved the humor and the sly word play.

Bernita said...

Yours was beautiful too, Sarah.

Scott, I think your scene deserves to be expanded.

Jaye, it won me in the end.

Julie said...

Loved the 'get a grip', folks.


jason evans said...

Congratulations Writtenwrydd!! Yours was filled with so many clever descriptions. Loved that!

Thanks Bernita, for mentioning me in such a strong group of entries. Although I would have loved your autograph, being recognized is itself a great honor.

I had a blast participating! I still have a couple more groups to read and comment on. Can't wait to see what else folks dreamed up.

strugglingwriter said...

Thanks for hosting the contest. It was great fun and writing 250 words was a nice change of pace compared to NaNoWriMo.

I'm sure it was extremely difficult picking a winner.

SzélsőFa said...

Congratulations to WrittenWyrdd!

And I would like to thank Bernita for hosting the 'show'!
I had great time reading the entries!

Hoodie said...

Congrats to the winner!

You chose worthily, Bernita. I hope this contest will spur you to host others. Great fun!

Bernita said...

I'm so glad I warned everyone I might be capricious in my choice, Julie.

I have to tell you Jason, the "hair" was an extremely fine one.

Struggling, I had at least a dozen "finalists."

Szelsofa,yours contained some exquisite lines and images, and conveyed a theme that resonates in every mythology.Impressed my "assistant" as well.

A very clever, well-written entry. Visuals conveyed entirely and brilliantly by dialogue.

Jeff said...

Congratulations Writtenwyrdd! Witty, humorous, and well written.
You deserve the award!

Thank you for the time and effort you put into hosting this contest,Bernita. You did a good job! It was fun to be a part of it. :)

Billy said...

Congrats to Writtenwyrd and Jason. Richly deserved, and once again, thanks to Bernita for her time.

Chumplet said...

Wonderful! It must have been so hard to choose -- they were all excellent in their own way.

spyscribbler said...

Congratulations, writtenwyrdd!! I enjoyed one!

Bernita, I was reading all week, wondering how in the world you were going to choose. It was a great week of fiction, though. This contest was a treat to read! I'm so glad you shared all the entries.

Sam said...

Bravo Writtenwyrdd!
I would not have been able to choose, but reading the winning story made me nod and think, yes, that's the one!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jeff and Billy.
I am so grateful to everyone for making it exciting.

Sandra, you have no idea...!

Bernita said...

"It was a great week of fiction, though"
Indeed, it was, Natasha!

Sam, I came perilously close spreading them out, closing my eyes, and tossing a coin.

Wavemancali said...

Way to go Writtenwyrdd.

Growing up a mythology freak I loved the gathered pantheon take as well.

Well deserved.

Gabriele C. said...

Congrats, Writtenwyrd.

That entry gave me a good laugh, and we can never have enough of those.

Bernita said...

As I recall, Wavemancali, you had a killer ending!

Particularly in the middle of a howling blizzard, Gabriele!

Ello said...

Congratulations! It was a terrific entry and very clever! Bernita - this was awesome that you did this! Terrific fun for all of us!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Ello!
Such a richess of stories, like jewels.

Charles Gramlich said...

A worthy entry. Congrats to Writtenwyrdd.

Gabriele C. said...

Lol indeed, Bernita.

Check my blog, I gave you another of those online blogger awards. :)

Bernita said...

Charles, I loved the vivid drama of your entry.

Gabriele, I am highly complimented.
Thank you.

Lisa said...

Congratulations to Jason! What a great piece and what a fantastic prize!

Bernita said...

Ahem, Lisa....

raine said...

Congratulations, Written! Your story tickled me as well. :-)

And to Jason, and all that participated...thanks for giving us a great week of reading.

(We had a blizzard yesterday, Bernita, and I'm firmly of the opinion that should be IT for the entire winter!).

Bernita said...

Raine, my aching back agrees, emphatically.

Scott from Oregon said...

I think you got it right... but then again...

It was fun to see the different minds at work on this. I liked the way the branches became the circulatory system for Jason and legends for others...

writtenwyrdd said...

Thanks for the compliments, folks. I'll shoot you an email tonight, Bernita.

Nothingman said...

sweet, i knew that story was gonna win...lot of gods in there!

Congrats to Wyrdd!


Wayne said...

I like that. Witty, clever, touching.

the walking man said...

Bernita...first thanks for the opportunity to write some flash fiction. A habit I had gotten out of for the poetry, now maybe I can find some more in here somewhere.

congratulations to Writtenwyrrd and the second placer Jason. Both far above average in being able to hold the attention and convey more than what was on the page.



Carla said...

Oh, congratulations to WrittenWyrdd! That was my favourite too.

Bernita said...

Yes, Scott. Jason's image was particularly unusual and highly effective.

Deserved, Written.

Yours would have worked very well as blank verse, Nothingman.

I certainly hope you will, Walking Man!

Still makes me smile, Carla!

SzélsőFa said...

Thank you, Bernita!

Rob said...

Whoops, I'm a bit late to the party.

Congratulations Written and good choice Bernita. Loved that entry!

Bernita said...

Rob, thank you. "We never close."

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

A brilliant win for a wonderful piece of very funny writing. Congratulations WrittenWyrd and thanks again to you Bernita for hosting the competition!

Bernita said...

Vanilla, the first part of the contest - reading the wonderful entries - was a real pleasure.
Trying to choose one, wasn't.