I wanted to be all avant garde and announce the winners in silence today, but hanged if I could figure a way how to do that. Words are just too powerful, it would seem (much as I would appreciate the irony). And so please allow me to express aloud the gratitude in my heart to all of you for sharing your stories with us this week. Thank you!
This week’s swan song is sung by Sweet Songstress Beth Peterson, whose love for beauty and elegance has seeped through every pore of her judgery this past year. Thank you, dear Beth, for giving of your time and self so graciously and eagerly. We’re forever grateful!
THE COUNTDOWN GOES WILD! Flash! Friday Flashversary Festivities launch in one tiny week, Dec 2-6, and Year 2 will kick off Dec 13 with a brand new judge panel. You will get to know our first quarter judges better in the coming months, but for now it is with tremendous honor & excitement I introduce their (familiar) names to you: M. T. Decker, Whitney Healy, Erin McCabe, and Nillu Nasser Stelter. Welcome aboard, dear ones!
Judge Beth Peterson says, You, yes, YOU, have so greatly enriched my life this past year! THANK YOU!! It has been such an honor for me to be a part of Flash! Friday! (And I’m looking forward to this coming year!) 😀 All of you have produced some wonderful work in this past year of Flash! Friday. There have been *so* many stories I’ve read that are honest-to-Pete gems.
But not only that…. I also want to congratulate *each and every* person who has put their work out on the line (because, hey! It’s *tough* to present your creative work to strangers for evaluation…even when you know the people involved are supportive and want to see what you are doing). And further, I congratulate all of you who have entered Flash! Friday multiple times, whose work I have seen develop and deepen over this past year!
Writing is a skill! Never, ever let anyone tell you it isn’t! In addition, like all skills, it is work to begin, and work to build those skills to ever-higher levels. It helps to read about skill-building in writing, but it also *requires* practice. And not talking about “I’m writing in my head”, LOL…. I know we all do that. I am writing in my head all the time! BUT… that is a mere shadow of writing for real. Whether you’re writing on an electronic tablet, an old yellow school tablet (like we had when I was a kid), on a really old schoolhouse slate, or even writing in cuneiform on a clay tablet! Practicing our writing skills is the only way to truly improve our writing.
SO KEEP IT UP, you wonderful, creative, courageous people!!!! 😀 As we enter Flash! Friday’s second year, I can hardly wait to see what wondrous, thought-provoking, rib-tickling stories are shared!
M. T. Decker, “Singing a Dragon’s Praise.” This was well-drawn writing, but the crazy humor of the twist had me laughing and then smiling for quite some time! Thank you!
Marie McKay, Untitled. I love how the prompt led to this unexpected story! The moment of quiet, yet shattering, realization. The decision to revive some of that which has been lost. It speaks to me, for I, too, mourn the passing of the handwritten word.
Joidianne4eva, “And At the End (Let Us Meet Here).” You chose a very interesting concept to write about and wrote it well. Love the turn of phrase, “In this place where the living and the dead collided…”
Betty Copeland, “The Photograph.” This was some really great descriptive writing of “innerness”! And your last sentence summed up everything wonderfully! A strong and definitive ending to your story. 😀
Ian Martyn, “Choosing.” This really captures that moment of life when we are at a true crossroads. I like the sense of contemplation and the straight-forward, striped-down-to-the-essentials question of direction facing the narrator. I think the use of the first-person POV heightens that impact.
SECOND RUNNER UP
Erin McCabe, “Liminality.” From the title (liminality: the sense of ambiguity or disorientation that often occurs during the middle stages of rituals), through to the stop-and-think “allusions of ubiquity” I was drawn into the rather self-conscious and self-consciously “apart” world of the initiate…in this case, Tenzin. The use of language really works well to impart that sense of separation between Tenzin (encased within the monastic life and Buddhist expectations) and the experience of life as a human being.
The last paragraph poignantly touches on that conscious decision that Tenzin makes, leaving the teachings behind and stepping into the embrace of what he is experiencing. I have to wonder how this will change Tenzin. Will this decision lead to other, perhaps life-defining, decisions?
FIRST RUNNER UP
Jacki Donnellan, “Connection.” This is a lovely use of language, in and of itself. Just a piece of that is the phrase, “He glides slowly down the gravel path…”. It immediately sets the tone for everything that follows…almost, hehehe! A wonderful story of quiet observation… AND, what an absolutely ~masterful~ twist of an ending!! 😀
And appearing for the FIRST time as Flash! Friday
DRAGON WINNER IS….
for “The Transition”
The prompt is redolent of contemplation. And this is a wonderfully written piece of the deepest contemplative issue facing all of us. I love the detail given of the here-and-now – poetic and deeply observant. The transition to the look back at a life of choices is seamless, as is the transition right back to the here-and-now observations. And the words!! “tiny veins interweaving…a shadow of his long life lived.” “black branches decked in yellow” Glorious word-pictures! But much more than that as you take on the deep and deeply meaningful transition we all will experience: philosophical contemplation of great degree, welded with magnificent writing. *happy sigh*
Congratulations, Jackie! Here is your thoughtful Winner’s Page, a dreamily contemplative yet loud dragon eBadge (below), and your winning Tale. Please contact me asap here so I can interview you for Wednesday’s #SixtySeconds feature.
Withered fingers dig into the damp soil mixed with decayed leaves. Breathing in a lung-full of earthy richness, he sighed.
Bones creaked as his head rested against upon the earthen bed. Emerald fronds waved over his face in the breeze.
The tiny veins interweaving along the ferns underside were a shadow of his long life lived. A series of crossed paths and chance meetings, journeys down twisting and turning roads. In the end, they all returned to the earth and she welcomed them, making them a part of her core.
Above, black branches decked in yellow shimmered against the blue expanse. He contemplated his folly. The incessant planning, scheming, striving… only to return here in the end. He should have simply breathed in… and out… and in… and….
Release from the earth’s constraints. Bindings broke. He extended wider and wider to accept what lay beyond. Free.