Magazines & Anthologies
Rampant Loon Media LLC
Our Beloved Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Follow us on Facebook!


Read them free on Kindle Unlimited!





Blog Archive

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Friday Challenge - 6/25/10

Kersley Fitzgerald discusses using real people as the basis for your fictional characters. In particular, she delves into the perils and pitfalls of making the fictional character too much like the real person. Join the discussion...

Bruce Bethke muses about the lazy days of summer, weather around the country, short growing seasons, and why following the latest writing trend isn't likely to end in a book contract. Join the discussion...

Henry Vogel explains why talent matters far less than dedication. Then, just to be sure he got his point across, he pounds on it a bit more. Now go write something. Or join the discussion...

Splattering Guts for Fun & Profit traces the history of the mounted warrior, a military unit of incredible power through out much of human history, and how the military hung onto cavalry just a few decades longer than was practical. Join the discussion...

Ultimate Geek Fu treats us to an excellent comparison between the original Karate Kid and the new Karate Kid. You know, the version without any actual karate in it? Join the discussion...

Also, Fitz of Distraction explains why you should keep your day job, Avery takes the win in the 6/11/10 Friday Challenge, "The Western Pitch" and the inmates discuss the view from their respective locations in the asylum. All this and more, this week in THE FRIDAY CHALLENGE.

"Meet My Strange Family"
Turning now to the 6/18/10 Friday Challenge, "Meet My Strange Family," as of the deadline we have received nine eleven entries! They are:

Avery, untitled #1

Avery, untitled #2

M, "Java Step"

M, untitled

Miko, "Stride"

Miko, "Exerpt from Scribbler's Forever Now" (same location as Stride, just below it)

Sean, untitled #1

Sean, untitled #2

Sean, untitled #3

Arvid Macenion, "Nambwii's Birthday"

Waterboy, untitled

If we've missed any entries, or if anyone has snowdogged in an entry after the deadline, please let us know so we can fix this list. As always, even if you haven't posted an entry this week—even if you never enter in any week—you are invited to read, comment on, and vote for your favorites. Don't be shy about leaving feedback on the writer's sites, either. Writers thrive on knowing that somewhere out there, someone is actually reading the words that they have written. The winner will be announced Sunday evening.

And now for this week's challenge, we turn the microphone over to Henry.

Folk Tales of the Electronic Frontier

Let me tell you a little story.

In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon. Everyone knows his famous line about the small step and the giant leap. What fewer people know is his next line, "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky."

Confused, NASA officials tried to figure out who Mr. Gorsky was. He wasn't a Soviet cosmonaut nor a Soviet scientist. He held no position at NASA, not even as a janitor. He wasn't even one of Neil's former commanding officers, college instructors, or school teachers. When questioned, Neil refused to identify Mr. Gorsky, saying it was personal. This, of course, did not stop speculation, and Neil was regularly asked about Mr. Gorsky after speeches and during other public appearances. Every time he was asked, Neil politely refused to answer the question.

Then, in 1996, while Neil was taking questions after a speech in Florida and was again asked about Mr. Gorsky, he said, "I've been asked that question for the last 27 years and have always refused to answer. Well, Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky have both passed away and they had no children, so... The Gorsky's were our next door neighbors when I was growing up. One day, when I was nine, my brother and I were out in the yard throwing a baseball back and forth. My brother threw one over my head and into the Gorsky's yard. As I was picking the ball up, I overheard Mrs. Gorsky saying something to Mr. Gorsky. She said, 'You want oral sex? You'll get oral sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!'"

I loved this story. Truly and thoroughly loved it. I stumbled across it on the internet many years ago and took great pleasure in telling it to friends, family, and co-workers. I was really disappointed when I discovered it wasn't true. It was one of those folks tales for the electronic frontier, otherwise known of as an urban legend.

I'm sure most of you are familiar with some of the more famous urban legends. There's the guy who strapped JATO rocket to his car and ended up smashing into a mountain going a couple of hundred miles per hour. Then there's the one about rattlesnakes in the McDonald's ball pit. And who could forget about the poor guy waking up in a tub full ice with both his kidneys removed?

What do all of these stories have in common? They combine just enough details to imply reality with just enough imagination to grab our attention. The best of them have just enough of the ring of truth that people the world over forward emails recounting the urban legends to all their friends and family. Those of us who are less gullible always have snopes.com bookmarked in our browser.

As you've no doubt guessed by now, your challenge for this week is to write an urban legend. No topic nor person is out-of-bounds. Remember, though, that a true urban legend is rarely, if ever, graphic in its descriptions. You will lose major points if the judges can find your entry at snopes.com now. You'll score major points if your entry ends up on snopes.com sometime in the future. (That won't help you win next week, but it would still be pretty cool.)

As always, we're playing by the loosely enforced and rarely updated Official Rules of THE FRIDAY CHALLENGE, and playing for whatever is behind Door #3. The deadline for this one is midnight Central time, Thursday, July 1.
blog comments powered by Disqus