September 20, 2014
Hey there, fellow judges!
You may recall that I’ve been running a flash fiction contest to give away a 50% discount to Scrivener, a very rad writing program. Tonight, I’m more than pleased to announce to you your lovely champion. Drumroll please!
The winner is Em, with a lovely little story titled “The Women’s Studies Major’s Break-Up Story”.
As promised, Em will be receiving a code for 50% off her download of Scrivener, for added ease and organization on her continuing path of literary genius. Also as promised, her story will now be shared with all of you!
P.S.: If you like Em’s story, which I think you will, you can follow Em’s real-life adventures over at her highly entertaining blog, Tales from Hipster College.
Without further ado, I give you: “The Women’s Studies Major’s Break-Up Story”.
Tuesday night wasn’t a busy night at campus pub, but the Women’s Studies major needed to relieve her heavy heart and her roommate’s friend, the English major’s, poetry course was canceled. You can guess who dragged whom to the student-run restaurant.
“So,” the Women’s Studies major said to her friend for the evening. “You wanna know about the lovely, radiant, thoughtful, red-head that shall forever be known as ‘that beautiful-piece-of-scum.’”
“Well, when you put it that way…”
The Women’s Studies major sighed. “How far back should I go?”
The English major shrugged. “Well, where did—”
“Other-Prom.” She continued. “We met at Other-Prom, this dance for LGBTQ teens in Columbus. I was wearing this dressy-vest and black slacks and she was wearing this flow-y, glittery dress that could have slid off her body like cream. And her curly red hair was all over the place. You know what we had in common?”
“You were both gay and single?”
“Well, duh,” The Women’s Studies major grinned. “No, we were both wearing red converse sneakers. And we both noticed. And we were both Seniors at our respective high schools. And we both knew how to swing-dance.”
“I didn’t know you danced!” The English major piped cheerfully.
“Actually, I didn’t, but I was strong enough to lift her over my head and around my body and what have you. People thought we were the shit: instant favorites. We were joined at the hip all evening.” The Women’s Studies major took a sip of her illegal pint. “At the end of the night, she found a sharp-y and wrote her phone number and Facebook name on the bottom of my shoe. I was so busy flirting that I hardly noticed. And high. I could’ve been high.” The English major giggled. The Women’s Studies major didn’t care. “Three dates later we were ‘official’, or as ‘official’ as the close-minded community we lived in would allow. We graduated from our respective high schools. Attended each other’s grad parties. Went out. Snap chatted. Sexted, but you don’t know that. We were regulars at the sushi place down the street from me. Did you hear that? Regulars at a sushi place. Good God, I really changed for her. I mean, I was nice to people. I was even bubbly. I don’t know what the fuck she did to me, but I was a nice person to be around. I wore those fuck’n converses everywhere; so did she.”
“So then college?” The English major assumed out aloud.
“I’m gett’n there!” The Women’s Studies major insisted. “So, then, college. She was going to Cincinnati for statistics and I was going to this lovely hipster college for, what? I didn’t even know. Point is, neither of us wanted to call off the relationship because we thought we were in love. First love, you could say. She was patient with me and our personalities did that whole yin-yang deal; it worked. We said we’d get through college, see each other as often as we could, and then we’d be together again in a quick and easy four years. And so we split off.”
“Like cells in mitosis,” the English major mused.
“Quit being poetic.” The women’s-studies major playfully retorted. “At first: constant communication. I mean, all the time. Texting, phone calls, the works. Saw her at Thanksgiving break,” she paused. “For about an hour.” The Women’s Studies major took another sip of her almost drowned pint. “I visited her for spring break Freshman year, and it was like the time and distance wasn’t a problem. We hit it off great. Her friends loved me. She still loved me.”
“Oh,” the English major sighed.
“With or without her, I wore those fucking converses around all the fucking time, trying to feel close to her on this campus full of dykes, pardon my French.”
“Lots of lesbians here, you know, but I didn’t go for any of ’em in the past two years I’ve been here. I’ve been waiting out for my lovely lady, who kept promising me that she’d come. I’m the one who believed her.” She sighed. “For summer break, that prick got an internship in Louisville; I visited her for a weekend. After that, she promised me, promised me, that she’d visit this year.” The Women’s Studies major ordered another pint; fake ID to the rescue. She continued. “You know how many fucking dates I passed up because I thought she’d come see me? I did the solo-lesbian gig at a school where much of the student body is gay. You know how shitty that feels?”
“I’m sorry,” the English major frowned sympathetically.
“And, to no one’s surprise but my own, she never came. That lying bitch never called it off either; always kept me hanging. So you know what I did on our ‘two year’ anniversary?” The second pint came.
“What’d ya do?”
The Women’s Studies major grinned. “I walked my ass down to the mailroom, barefoot, boxed up those red converse sneakers, and sent them on their way to Cincinnati. I was done. Two years after that fucking prom, I freed myself.” She smiled. “I am a free woman, I’m 20 years old,”
“Don’t say that too loudly,” the English major advised, eyeing the beer.
“We gotta live while we’re young! We can’t go wasting our time with people who don’t love us! Two years of my college life are gone, I won’t get ’em back, and now I’m gonna enjoy myself, damnit! Here’s to singlehood!” The Women’s Studies major raised her new pint just as a thin, red-headed woman walked in the door of the pub, carrying a pair of worn, red converse sneakers. The English major first glanced at the red shoes in her grasp. Then the red shoes on the woman’s feet. Then at the Women’s Studies major. The Women’s Studies major dropped her pint.
July 31, 2014
I’m a winner! And I want to share that experience with one of you!
This month, I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo, an international online writing challenge. I set a goal to write 30,000 words of a novel in the thirty-one days of July. And I did it!
Because I made my goal, I was given a package of special prizes and promos. One of these prizes was a 50% discount on Scrivener, a writing program with lots of tools to help novelists, students, intellectuals, etc. A program which I’ve actually been very interested in this month. And which I purchased full price… yesterday.
But after I finished weeping and kvetching over the missed opportunity to save a few bucks, I realized there was a way I could turn the situation around. Scrivener normally costs $40. It has completely changed my writing experience, and I’m never going back to MS Word. I want to give my winner’s discount away to a fellow writer who can use it.
Enter: The Flash Fiction Flash Contest.
Here’s how it works: Send me a piece of your own original flash fiction. Flash fiction refers to a complete, self-contained story that is (for the purpose of this contest, at least) 1,000 words or less in length. Your submission should be based one of the three following prompts:
Escape from something is symbolized by getting rid of an item
Something unexpected becomes powerful
Someone saves the day by doing nothing
Click here to submit your piece via Surveymonkey. The reading process will be blind and anonymous.
In keeping with the “flash” theme, I’m going to make this a relatively short time frame. All submissions will be due no later than 11:59 pm on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. So sit down today and whip up that mini-story. Don’t be afraid to make it shorter than 1,000 words; concise style is the goal here. I will announce my decisions on Saturday, September 27.
One submission per person. In addition to the first prize of 50% off your purchase of Scrivener, the top three submissions will be published here on I’ll Be the Judge (unless you request that they not be for whatever reason). They will still be the sole property of the writers, of course. The first prize winner will receive via e-mail my code for 50% off Scrivener, which will need to be used before October 1.
Here is that link to submit once again. One submission per person, please. Don’t hesitate to comment with questions if there are things that are still unclear, or alternately, you can contact me by e-mail at email@example.com.
(Note: SurveyMonkey only allows 100 responses with the subscription I’m using, and I’m only one girl, after all, so at least as of now, this contest will be limited to the first 100 entries.)