Flash! Friday Vol 2 – 2: WINNERS!

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR! In honor of you, valiant writers that you are, unfazed by crowds, snow, sunburns, or stray cats your children (not naming names) dub Cleopatra that insist on visiting your door every day for a meal no matter how insistent you are that she is not your cat, and no matter how far from the front door you place her dinner dish, Flash! Friday will still run over the holidays as normally scheduled. Interviews and other features may pop around a bit–and we will ring in 2014 with the long-awaited, multi-day interview with our first-ever Flashversary winner, Jacki Donnellan. Yeehaw! 

Did I ever LOVE what you all did with the snowman and the Dragon’s Bidding of duty in your stories this week. How the judge managed to choose winners, I can’ t imagine. Oh wait, yes I can: Here are comments and results from snappy and sparkly judge Whitney Healy:

 

She saysThis was truly an awesome experience (and I can’t wait to do it again!). Many thanks to all participants–seasoned, new, and returners–for a very enjoyable weekend read. To the three judges that participated: Shame on me for not writing a “for your entertainment” entry! I wanted to enter the contest completely blind, so all I did was look at the picture when I got up Friday morning–I read no entries until 7:30 AM Saturday.

 

A little about my process: I judge blindly, ranking the entries with a plus sign, minus sign, or nothing (indicates neutrality). After each title, I make a few notes–what stands out, what techniques I appreciated, what they made me think/feel, etc. Then, I go to all of my minus signs and draw a single line through them. I then reread all entries that received “plus” status. (This weekend, I sifted through 10 entries a second time).

 

There are two writers I really think deserve shout-outs, aside from the winners. None of you knows this, but I have a private obsession with Norse Mythology, going so far as to create an entirely new world as a setting for the fantasy work I’ve been writing based on the realms found in such myths. For that, I tip my hat to SparkyGetsTheGirl.

 

Secondly, I must mention judge M.T. Decker‘s entry. This piece of writing creates an incredible contrast between what is seemingly innocent/good (the snow and snowman) and what is reality and, in many ways, corrupt (the hidden soldier in the snowman). It was a piece that left my jaw drop. And now:

 

♦♦♦♦♦

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Kristen AFC, “The Thawing.”  A haunting take on the prompt that shows what we will and won’t do for love. This piece made me want to know the young girl’s other secrets. An excellent piece of writing. 

Zevonesque, “Coffee Shop.” Your use of long, near run-on sentences may be frowned upon by some, but is embraced by me: when a reader sees a long sentence, it makes them read on and on, wondering what is next. With that technique, you created a stream-of-consciousness in your main character…and then broke that thought with fragmentation (the way the waitress interrupts the traveler’s thoughts). A very mature, distinguished piece of writing.

Marie McKay, “Icarus.” You had me from your title, as I love mythology of all shapes, creeds, and sizes. I appreciated the naivety you produced in Icarus, and how much is parallel beyond his name: wings melt, snowmen melt. A very upper-level connection between two seemingly unlike things.

SECOND RUNNER UP

Dan Radmacher, “The Sentry.” Flashback to wartime with Sergeant and Private Jones: the character development in this piece was exceptional. I really appreciated how you developed Private Jones into an innocent, dutiful soldier, whereas the Sergeant was portrayed as a dutiful, no-nonsense superior. The inclusion of things like the Sergeant switching his cigar from left to right or the Private explaining he was only trying to find someone for watch overnight created a perfect foil between your protagonist and antagonist. Excellent, well-developed writing. Impressive, advanced use of dialogue (an approach I almost always support with bells and whistles!) I look forward to reading more of your work (In fact, I believe I’m following you now!).

FIRST RUNNER UP

Ian Martyn, “Goblin’s?” In the comments I alluded to the fact that your writing made me think of a piece of writing/movie/something I recalled from childhood or adolescence. When I read your piece a second time, I realized it echoed of Sherlock Holmes and Watson, two characters I have always adored. At a very first glance (simply structurally, that is), there was something very unique about your writing: your syntax is not unlike my own! With your use of both long paragraphs and short, specific lines of dialogue, you managed to create a fast-paced, believable story with great character development and an entertaining ending. I wanted to know more of Harold and the Inspector, and I look forward to reading more of your work. 

And now, at long last, for his very first time as 

DRAGON WINNER

KARL A. RUSSELL

for

“The Climb”

Of the entries presented, this was one that stood out because of its use of a third-person omniscient narrator. This entry powerfully depicted what a mother would do for her children. I think this entry in particular exemplified what this week’s prompt intended: a story about the elements and carrying out a duty. The urgency of the mother rabbit’s need to find food for her young was mirrored in your intentional syntactical choice: to use run-ons when necessary to show how quickly time was slipping by, and how soon her time could run out, especially when this mother was combating the elements and struggling without water, food, or shelter. There is so much power in your 160 words: we see pride, love, the shadows of loss, and the power of perseverance. It was a read that touched my heart and made me cheer for the mother rabbit and her babies. A very emotional, symbolic read that (perhaps) signifies all we will do for love (and children). 

Congratulations, Karl! Your winner’s badge waits happily for you below. Here is your winner’s page and your winning tale on the winners’ wall. Please contact me here asap so I can interview you for Wednesday’s #SixtySeconds feature, which this week will (hopefully) post Tuesday. Well done!

FFwinner-Web

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3 thoughts on “Flash! Friday Vol 2 – 2: WINNERS!

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