Where WWW Means Wretched Writers Welcome
Once upon a time, there was a writer named Edward Bulwer-Lytton. While some of his product is acceptable, Lord Lytton is responsible for the opening line “It was a dark and stormy night”. Years after his timely demise, an English professor, at San Jose State University, chose to name a contest for bad writing after Lord Lytton. Scott Rice recently overcame his embarrassment to announce the selections of the 2012 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.
PG has written about BLFC before. The announcement of a new crop of perps is a good excuse for text to go between the pictures. These pictures today are courtesy of “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. This post is written in the style of Margaret Mitchell. After the 4800 word clunkathon published yesterday, the contest selections will be edited. If you want to see it raw and uncut, go here.
A special category, neglected by the Grand Panjandrum, is the funny names that some of the typists own. The use of pseudonyms has a long, cherished history. Some could benefit from using a pen name. Leah Sitkoff, New York, NY, Amy Torchinsky, Greensboro, NC, D. M. Dunn, Bloomington, IN, Emma DeZordi, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec, Mark Wisnewski, Flanders, NJ, Jeff Coleburn, West Chester, PA, Guy Foisy, Orleans, Ontario, Leslie Craven, Hataitai, New Zealand, Jon Maddalena, Mesick, MI.
There is a writer from Atlanta GA this year. This piece would be included even is it was not geographically advantaged. ~ ~ Ronald left this world as he entered it: on a frigid winter night, amid frantic screams and blood-soaked linens, while relatives stood nearby and muttered furious promises to find and punish the man responsible. — Rebecca Oas, Atlanta, GA
The official first place this year (somehow, it doesn’t seem right to say winner) is from England. This might say more about the contest judges than they realize. ~ ~ As he told her that he loved her she gazed into his eyes, wondering, as she noted the infestation of eyelash mites, the tiny deodicids burrowing into his follicles to eat the greasy sebum therein, each female laying up to 25 eggs in a single follicle, causing inflammation, whether the eyes are truly the windows of the soul; and, if so, his soul needed regrouting.
Cathy Bryant, Manchester, England
And the world turns. Here are the rest of the entries that PG was amused by. There is at least one more bad writing contest, Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award. They don’t announce the results until December, so you can relax.
As an ornithologist, George was fascinated by the fact that urine and feces mix in birds’ rectums to form a unified, homogeneous slurry that is expelled through defecation, although eying Greta’s face, and sensing the reaction of the congregation, he immediately realized he should have used a different analogy to describe their relationship in his wedding vows. — David Pepper, Hermosa Beach, CA
The shallow cave behind the mighty river’s thundering waterfall seemed more like a damp, cold, misty, poorly lit hallway leading from the shower room in some cheap-dive gym under the Elevated train where mugs who couldn’t crack the glass jaw of some washed-up palooka on their best sober day still deluded themselves that they could be somebody; and yet, Bill thought, “at least it’s got runnin’ water.” Warren Blair, Ashburn, VA
She slinked through my door wearing a dress that looked like it had been painted on … not with good paint, like Behr or Sherwin-Williams, but with that watered-down stuff that bubbles up right away if you don’t prime the surface before you slap it on, and – just like that cheap paint – the dress needed two more coats to cover her. — Sue Fondrie, Appleton, WI
Inspector Murphy stood up when he saw me, then looked down at the lifeless body, crumpled like a forlorn Snicker’s candy wrapper, and after a knowing glance at Detective Wilson pointed to the darkening crimson pool spreading from the stiff’s shattered noggin, and said, “You settle it, Gibson; does that puddle look more like a duck or a cow?” — Carl Stich, Mariemont, Ohio
The blood seeped out of the body like bad peach juice from a peach that had been left on one side so long the bottom became rotten while it still looked fine on the top but had started to attract fruit flies, and this had the same effect, but with regular flies, that is not say there weren’t some fruit flies around because, after all, this was Miami. — Howard Eugene Whitright, Seal Beach, CA
Primum non nocere, from the Latin for “first, do no harm,” one of the principal tenets of the Hippocratic oath taken by physicians, was far from David’s mind (as he strode, sling in hand, to face Goliath) in part because Hippocrates was born about 100 years after David, in part because David wasn’t even a physician, but mainly because David wanted to kill the sucker.
David Larson, San Francisco, CA
William, his senses roused by a warm fetid breeze, hoped it was an early spring’s equinoxal thaw causing rivers to swell like the blood-engorged gumlines of gingivitis, loosening winter’s plaque, exposing decay, and allowing the seasonal pot-pouris of Mother Nature’s morning breath to permeate the surrounding ether, but then he awoke to the unrelenting waves of his wife’s halitosis.
Guy Foisy, Orleans, Ontario
“I’ll never get over him,” she said to herself and the truth of that statement settled into her brain the way glitter settles on to a plastic landscape in a Christmas snow globe when she accepted the fact that she was trapped in bed between her half-ton boyfriend and the wall when he rolled over on to her nightgown and passed out, leaving her no way to climb out. — Karen Hamilton, Seabrook, TX
Tucked in a dim corner of The Ample Bounty Bar & Grille, Alice welcomed the fervent touch of the mysterious stranger’s experienced hands because she had not been this close with a man in an achingly long time and, quivering breathlessly, began to think that this could be the beginning of something real, something forever, and not just a one-time encounter with a good Samaritan who was skilled at the Heimlich Maneuver. — Mark Wisnewski, Flanders, NJ
Their love began as a tailor, quickly measuring the nooks and crannies of their personalities, but it soon became the seamstress of subterfuge, each of them aware of the others lingual haberdashery: Mindy trying to create a perfectly suited garment to display in public and Stan only concerned with the inseam. — D. M. Dunn, Bloomington, IN
Though they were merely strangers on a train, as she looked North by Northwest though the rear window, Marnie knew beyond a shadow of a doubt the trouble with Harry was that he was a psycho – his left and right hand middle fingers (formerly extended in the birds position) were menacingly twisting a rope in the form of a noose; certain of her impending death as surely as she could dial M for Murder, she was overcome by intense vertigo. — Amy Torchinsky, Greensboro, NC
Professor Lemieux had anticipated that his latest paper would be received with skepticism within the small, fractious circle of professional cosmologists, few of whom were prepared to accept his hypothesis that our universe had been created in a marijuana-induced industrial accident by insectoid aliens; nevertheless, he was stung when Hawking airily dismissed it as the Bug Bong Theory.
Alan Follett, Hercules, CA
Milton’s quest for the love of Ms. Bradley was a risk but no sorry trivial pursuit yet he hadn’t a clue why she had a monopoly on his heart’s desires – in fact, it boggled his mind and caused him great aggravation because, in his checkered and troubled careers, he had always scrabbled hard and it drove him bonkers that she considered life just a game. — Linda Boatright, Omaha, NE
Her skin was like flocked wallpaper and her eyes had seen better days, but when her bloodless lips murmured “Hi, Sailor,” my heart melted from the inside out like one of those chocolate-covered ice cream bars on a summer day that runs down your arm and gets all over your new shirt.
James Macdonald, Vancouver, B.C.
The syncopated sound of the single-cylinder steam motor, designed by Mier Vander, reminded Mier of the time his father took him to the Mollen Bros travelling circus to see the “Corpulent Lady” and to sit upon her lap immediately following her lunch of sauerbraten and ale. — Jim Tierney, Murrieta, CA