The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Winning Writers

            Recently I followed in Becky Povich's footsteps and had a writing contest.  There was a 200-word limit, it had to include a poem/bit of poetry, and the photo below was provided for inspiration.

           It was really hard judging, because they all came from such creative (and unique) perspectives.  (I mean, how do you compare an apple to an orange?)  After some scratching and biting (amongst the judges), T'Mara Goodsell's piece was chosen as the winner. However, I wanted to publish all four, because I was amazed by all of them...


I dreamed of finding serenity, but it always seemed to elude me. I wanted to live near the beach someday. The beach
was serene---not like here, in a weird little neighborhood near the mountains. Across from my house was a field, and at the far end, a red chair sat all by itself with nothing around but a stop sign. No road, just that sign stuck in the grass. What  kind of nut does that?

During one hot afternoon, I decided to clean up my view a bit and throw that junk out. But when I jogged down there, I discovered that the wind seemed to hit the little chair straight on, and it was cooled by the fields of grass. I did what the sign said. I stopped. I sat. The experience of being perched like a lifeguard at the edge of that ocean of grass was exquisite. The constant, cool breeze sent ripples through the grass like waves. And the fragrance! Green, herbal...fresh.

I closed my eyes and wrote this haiku:

I am on the shore
Of a sea of discovery
The tide brings wisdom.

The chair remains. And I've decided to obey all stop signs.

                               ----T'Mara Goodsell of Message in a Bloggle


Think It Through

Life gets hectic at times we know.
We're always doing something, always on the go.
It pays to stop every now and then,
Perhaps sitting, reading, or talking to a friend.
There is a difference when we make the choice,
Rather than being told by someone else's voice.
We don't want to hear we're not doing our best,
Especially when our days are already full of stress.
The doctor telling us we need to pick and choose,
So our quality of life is not something we will lose.
Another voice we hear is the one inside our head.
We need to stop and listen to what is being said.
Most of the time we know what we should do.
But there are moments we avoid this truth too.
It may call for changes we don't want to make,
When in our minds there's too much at stake.
Taking the time to think things through,
May help us make decisions that are long overdue.

                       ---Barbara Hodges and her purple pen


Stubborn Ain't Good

      Grampa were stubborn, and stubborn ain't good.
      He shoulda bent a little, but no way he ever would.

      There were this field, ten acres of tall grass and stickers. Grampa loved it.

       "Boy," he said to me. "There's memorable  things happened under the stars in that there field." And he spat his chaw juice, hitched up his overalls and marched off.

       Few years back some company were gonna plow up the field and build a Wally-Mart store. Grampa got his stubborn on.  He unloaded a chair from his truck and set it next to the stop sign in front of that field.

       "Ain't nobody diggin' up nuthin'," he said.

       Well, Grampa plopped hisself down in that chair with his coon dog settin' to his right and a cooler full of beer to his left. Weren't nobody surprised Grampa wouldn't move for them diggin' machines.  When a three day rain started he still didn't move, jest set there gettin' wet.

       Course, no one were surprised, 'cause Grampa was stubborn.

        When the rain stopped he jest set there dryin' in the sun. Turns out Grampa were three days dead 'fore anyone knew it.

         And that's why stubborn ain't good.

                             ---Lisa Ricard Claro in her writing "attire" 


"You can run, but you can't hide
Once you get in you can't go back...
A secret passage took you right here
You came in freely, lured by the breeze.
The sound of music, the smell of me
Your dreams of freedom, to escape from thee;
But there is no breeze, there is no shining sky
No grass that is greener, no better life.
You were unhappy, selfish and mean
Nothing was ever good enough for the queen.
The trick was easy; I just followed your lead
Made myself available, you saw me in every scene
The perfect handsome stranger that night at the club
The extra drink, why not, if it is free
The feeling of greatness inhaling a line
Nothing could stop you, not even a clear sign
That you were indeed secretly, sealing my pact.

Yes, the cozy sofa seemed somehow so real
The dark shadow in it so eerie, yet friendly and sincere
All was part of your magic-pill field trip.
If you are reading this, stop wondering: It is rather clear
That your trip is over, that your end starts here.
Welcome to my world, make yourself at home;
Because now you are mine...and mine alone."

      ---OJ Gonzalez-Cazares and her brilliant blog

        If you have not had the good fortune to stumble upon these writers' blogs, please do so immediately. 

        And Jennee--I'm sorry I never got your piece. If you email it to me again at I will be glad to publish it on my blog, and if you send me your snail mail address, I will send something your way...

        Thanks again for the submissions.  It is always great when one is inspired to write.

      So, I followed Becky's lead... Who will host the next writing contest?


  1. Wow--after reading those brilliant entries, I am all the more flattered and humbled that you chose mine! Thanks again for making my week!

  2. I sent my prompt again..and I see why you had a tough time deciding...these are really good!

  3. congratulations to Tammy! it was a fun exercise, the promt was unique therefore the unique points of view (mine was so dark, now I see!!) - it feels good to see my name under a publication at a third-party blog!!! Thanks a lot for the recognition ;)

  4. I think one of the reasons why it was so difficult was--as OJ noted--the tone was so different in each one. Lisa's had an O. Henry twist at the end. Barb's was very introspective (and she manages to work rhyme in perfectly). OJ's was dark, but that was what made it so cool---it was insidious...sinister. Tammy really used the physical components of the photo in a unique way. I loved reading the pieces, but I hope I am on the other side next time, which means somebody else has to have a contest. There doesn't have to be prizes; just the spur to write is enough...

  5. Awesome stories and awesome judging, Sioux! Yes, it's difficult being on the opposite side, isn't it? I hope someone else will host a contest...and maybe this time, I'll REMEMBER to enter it!! Acckkkk!!!

  6. Thanks for the fun contest Sioux! Congrats to Tammy for her win with an awesome story. :D


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