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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

And the winner is...

In the matter of the 4/20/12 Friday Challenge, "What Earth Day Means To Me:" 

Wow. Five entries. It's been a while since we've had this much competition, as well as this good of a demonstration as to how people can start with the same Friday Challenge idea and end up with vastly different results. Tackling the entries in no particular order, then:

Anatoly Belilovsky, "untitled:" Thanks for showing us a fascinating series of snapshots of places that most of us will never see and for telling a story in five paragraphs. Your writing is as always very deft and effective. The comparison of the smokestacks of Donetsk to the fumes rising from beakers of nitric acid in Chemistry class is really good, but the piece as a whole sort of peters out in the last paragraph.

N.M. Whitley, "Earth Days:" Good beginning of a story. You catch my attention, you pull me in -- but in the end I'm left thinking that there's lots more story left to be told. You've started a good tale. Now develop and finish it!

Kevan Chandler, "Remembering Earth - Remembering Treachery:" This one puzzles me. The writing qua writing is very good, but the general feeling I'm left with is one of having read an elaborate inside joke and not quite getting it. This does not happen to me often.

Jack Calverley, "Earth Day:" Wow again. You wrote this in a week? I'm impressed. Not completely swept away, mind you; while there are some very cool ideas and terrific turns of phrase in this one, there are also places where your prose is badly in need of a tightening and polishing edit. But still: to have produced the first complete draft of a fully developed 3,600-word story, complete with beginning, middle, and end, in one week? Seriously: wow.

J. M. Perkins, "A Word a Day: Earth-Day:" And now we come to the part of the Friday Challenge that's both fun and frustrating. As a story, Mr. Calverley's entry is more developed and more complete. But as a soliloquy, I love the idea that's expressed in this one more. Yes, it's a monolog. Yes, it needs a refining rewrite to clear up a few confusing bits. But, damn, I would love to hear a tightened-up version of this one read aloud!

Therefore, after one more round of behind-the-scenes discussion, it is my pleasure to announce that J. M. Perkins is the winner of the 4/20/12 Friday Challenge, and the rightful recipient of all rights, privileges, and abundant egoboo associated therewith. Congratulations, J. M. Perkins!

And now on with the 4/27/12 Friday Challenge, "For Hollas, Who Will Be 20 In The Year 2032," which is already in progress.
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