As someone who has not often been on anyone’s short list, at least to my knowledge, my recent elevation to the FBCW’s short list for its 650-word fiction/non-fiction literary contest, “How I Choose to Hibernate,” was a delightful experience, albeit somewhat short lived.
The mystery is over, and I did not win. I do offer my sincere congratulations to the winner, Ariana Townsend, for her story, Bury Me, as well as the other short listians (sic) who kept me company along the brief autumn trail that wended its way to Winter.
Almost simultaneously, another of my flash fiction forays elevated me to the position of one of the five finalists in the Carrot Ranch Lets Get TUFF Rodeo.
This on-line excursion was pared down on Monday, October 29th, to three writer-survivors. We had begun, after the initial selection, with a new tale of 297 words…thematically featuring a “mudslide.” The next week, we had to whittle that effort down to 99 words. The following week, we had to carve that sculpted endeavour down to 59 words. The final reduction, pretty much a full deboning, was to take it down to 9 words. Two different 9-word slashes.
With emotion. Two different 9-word emotions.
The surviving three were then tasked with a 24-hour turnaround. Take the original fleshy 297-word story and enhance it to 495 words…
I feel fortunate to have finished in 1st place.
While I like to add the occasional win to the column, I truly didn’t expect it or even relish it. I am not sure that has always been my mindset but these days, in all of the writing I do, the two completed books, the two and counting which present creative challenges daily, the flash fiction I so enjoy, the dribs and drabs of poetry I haul out from hidden recesses, all of it means, to me, that writing is pretty much my greatest pleasure. After Pickleball. And Anchovies. And Grape Expectation Red Wine. And Volunteering with the HDCHCS…I guess there may be a few others. I am so fickle.
I offer a borrowed image from a distant European galley. It may or may not have anything to do with me.