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Friday, August 19, 2011

The Friday Challenge — 8/19/2011

This week in The Friday Challenge:

Daniel Eness hits skunks and bathes his car in tomato soup. • Join the discussion... part 1 and part 2 (of 3)

Henry Vogel continutes the exploration of a lifelong quest. • Join the discussion...

Allan Davis sends one of the kiddos to college. • Join the discussion...

Bruce Bethke geeks out over goofy guns. • Join the discussion…

M goes to Renovation/Worldcon69 (but there isn't a discussion... yet!).

Sean wins the Getting Off the Label challenge. • Join the discussion...

All this and more, as Bad Poetry Day perpetuates the college dream, and the inmates discuss the view from their respective places in the asylum.

Two Out of Three (a.k.a. "Don't Advance the Plot")

As of the deadline for our current challenge, we have received the following entries (listed in their order of appearance within Files > Friday Challenge 2011 08 19):

  • “Brother Anders approaches God” by Ryan J

  • “A Cool Breeze” by miko

An enthusiastic “Huzzah” to all who have entered! The judges are now considering your submissions. A winner will be declared by the evening of Sunday, 21 August 2011.

Sniff the Gift Fish

And now it is time for this week's Friday Challenge, courtesy of Sean:

I want to use this challenge to introduce everyone to my favorite author, Patrick McManus. Lately he’s been putting out mystery books about the Sheriff of Blight, Idaho. However, what I love is the humorous short stories that he would write for Outdoor Life. Most of the stories are about his childhood growing up in Idaho or his present occupation as the neighborhood curmudgeon. His stories are full of great characters and hilarious misadventures. What’s really great is that they are always family friendly.

I actually got to meet Mr. McManus one time on a book tour. When I found out he was coming to Arizona I sent him an email saying how excited I was to finally meet him. His reply was short and nice and had several misspelled word. I got the biggest kick out of that for some reason. Maybe it was because Mr. McManus didn’t know how to set the email to always spell check before it goes out. I printed the email off on nice card stock and had him autograph it at the book signing.

He has actually wrote a book called The Deer on the Bicycle to help people learn the art of humorous writing. In that way he is like our illustrious Friday Challenge founder Mr. Bethke.

So the mission this week, if you choose to accept it, is to tell us a humorous story about your childhood in the McManus spirit. The important thing is to make us laugh, and it has to be family friendly. And since Patrick McManus is an avid fisher, you are absolutely allowed to stretch the truth.

If you would like an example of how he writes check out the Google preview of a couple of his books here and here.

Anyone can enter, except for Sean. You may enter as many times as you wish, but each entry must be independent of the others. There are no length restrictions, but you are still not allowed to build on anyone else's setup.

Everyone is asked to vote, and to say a few words about what they liked, and why. Or to say a few words about what they disliked, as the case may be; by submitting an entry, you implicitly agree to accept criticism, because there will probably be some handed out, and no one is immune. When voting, please rank a work as either “0” (not so good), “1” (not as bad), “2” (could have been better) or “3” (pretty good stuff!). If you give either a “0” or “3” vote, feel free to argue in support of your reasoning.

Don't like the negativity? Feel free to think of the levels as “0” (Not bad for a first attempt), “1” (Right on!), “2” (Holy cow, I wanna buy this now...) or “3” (Sweet mother of God, how did you write something this awesome?!!). The point is to clearly differentiate, and rank according to your own preference.

For the purposes of this challenge Sean will be serving as Ye Olde High Marker, Voluntarily Walking th' Plank.

As of now, we are playing by the loosely enforced and slightly modified rules of The Friday Challenge. All entries are due by 6 AM Eastern time on the morning of Friday, 26 August 2011. A winner will be declared by the evening of Sunday, 28 August 2011.

Oh, there is one more thing... but it is the most important! Have fun. Always have fun.
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