Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Part Two

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on August 15, 2021

Part Two of the 2020 chamblee54 report on The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is here. Part one is there. Pictures for this affair are from The Library of Congress.
With one bound she was at the bookcase reaching for the heaviest book she could find to halt her attacker, a thesaurus of indeterminate, inconclusive, or unstipulated weight, ponderosity, or heftiness, with which she intended to pummel, lapidate or belabor her assailant’s skull, cranium or brainpan. Stu Duval, Auckland, New Zealand

As the two beheld each other, Lady Asthenia’s bosom swelled with love like two perfectly popped pans of Jiffy Pop while Lord Mycort’s heart melted like butter, making their union complete.
Roni Markowitz, Brooklyn, NY
Brigid O’Hanion was the fairest flower of Southern womanhood, and Lt. Lance Beauregard was almost blind with lust for her, but after he slipped off her hoop skirt, unbuttoned her lacy blouse, untied her incredibly tight corset, dove beneath the rustling crinoline petticoats, and laboriously inched off her pantalets, he realized his mood had shifted and he now wondered if there was still some cold ham on the sideboard downstairs. Randall Card, Bellingham, WA

He had never seen such a beautiful woman, he thought to himself as his blind date was being escorted to their table at the restaurant, although unfortunately he hadn’t seen her yet and was just staring at a framed photograph taken three years earlier of a famous actress standing awkwardly with the restaurant manager. Izzy Maurer, Lincoln, England
The door to happiness, which was now closed so cruelly for Clare, had been slammed shut the day Jimmy died, yet she lived in hope that someday somewhere someone would come, not perhaps with that superior key of Jimmy’s, the one that fitted the compatible lock of her affections so perfectly, but one like the card-key that finally manages to open the door of your dreary motel room after a whole heap of jiggling and fiddling. David Hynes, Bromma, Sweden

Believe it or not Ripley refrained from firing her laser at the alien creature lurking in the starship’s ceiling above the crew’s happy hour gathering, its dripping secretions burning through the titanium floor like it was made of cheap wet toilet paper, when she discovered by sheer accident that just one drop of the oozing substance reacted with the contents of her cocktail glass to produce a martini so perfect that 007 himself would have betrayed Queen and country for just one sip, as long as it was shaken and not stirred. Reinhold Friebertshauser, Chagrin Falls, OH
Astronomer Herschel Williams deeply regretted notifying the Interstellar Patrol that he had discovered a microwave-emitting star, as his new duties consisted solely of piloting the cargo ship *Redenbacher* around the star three times a week, its holds filled with popcorn and that rancid-smelling butter substitute. Randall Card, Bellingham, WA

Post-game cake, long a clubhouse tradition for the Mudville Nine, was taken off the menu when new manager Sperb Farquhar made it clear that everybody, including the team’s sluggers, would be called on to sacrifice bundt. David Laatsch, Baton Rouge, LA
Virginia knew Gerald would make love like a recently released convict, probably because he was a recently released convict, and Virginia always fell for his type, not the least because the diner where she worked was between the gates of the penitentiary and the bus stop.
Peter Skrzypczak, Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Rocking contentedly on the front porch while watching Marvel’s pretty little baby girl pluck dandelions in the yard and poke them up her nose, Granny Witherspoon fondly recalled her wild weekend at Woodstock. Anna Franklin, Lubbock, TX
I’m a very smart and loyal dog, but when I found out that the average lifespan of a dog is about thirteen years and a human’s is nearly eighty years, I didn’t see the fairness in that at all, so on the day after his fourteenth birthday I lured Timmy to the old abandoned well and when he looked in I jumped on his back and knocked him in, his final words echoing from below: “Why, Lassie, why?” Randy Blanton, Murfreesboro, TN

Sonny hated life on the farm — the cloying reek of overripe figs, the acrid stench of chickens, the tangy funk of oxen, and the malodorous attitude of his older brother; nonetheless, he was grateful to be home after some riotous living abroad which had left him denarii-strapped, and his stomach growled at the sight of the fetid calf. Patrick James Plunkett, North Vancouver, Canada
“You’re a lazy, indolent, slothful, idle, good-for-nothing, work-shy, sluggish, inactive, bone-idle, inert, skiving, lackadaisical, listless, apathetic, lumpish layabout!” exclaimed Mrs. Roget when she saw the state of her son’s bedroom. Nick Stevenson, Sevenoaks, Kent, England


Posted in History, Library of Congress, Quotes, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on October 19, 2018

#WhyIWrite is trending on twitter today, the #NationalDayOfWriting. A lot of the tweets are the sanctimonious, pseudo-inspirational crap that you might expect. A few others are posting inspirational thoughts by famous authors, usually with a picture in the background. Posting memes about writing is not the same as writing. Especially when the famous author never said it.

@girlsreallyrule “In honor of this National Day on Writing, I submit this quote from Dorothy Parker, who sums it up perfectly. #WhyIWrite” This tweet gets the party started. The *quote* was a bit of photoshop nonsense that PG has written about before. There is no source for the quote, “I hate writing. I love having written.” (If someone knows a source, please leave a comment.) PG left a comment. @chamblee54 “Dotty never said that. An old school manual typewriter only produces one size of text. I have learned when someone says _____ _____ perfectly, then the object in question is full of errors.” When writing this report, PG clicked on the link to the original tweet. “You are blocked from following @girlsreallyrule and viewing @girlsreallyrule’s Tweets.”

The next meme is blamed on Ben Franklin. “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Quote Investigator has a report on this Benjaminism. It turns out that the real quote is better than the meme. “If you wou’d not be forgotten, As soon as you are dead and rotten, Either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.”

@Gaming_agent99 “You can make empires rise from ashes. You can make heroes fall and villains rise. You can bring all your thoughts and ideas to life, what’s more fun than that. #WhyIWrite” This thought was illustrated by a C.S. Lewis meme. “You can make anything by writing.” Once again, the manual typewriter produces perfectly centered text, in two sizes. @chamblee54 I searched the C.S. Lewis wikiquotes. I used make, anything, and writing as search words. This quote did not appear. @chamblee54 #WhyIWrite I found this in my search “The trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.” The Magician’s Nephew (1955), Ch. 10: The First Joke and Other Matters.

@simpsonlibrary posted a tasteful graphic featuring this quote: “I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.” William Carlos Williams. PG had never heard of Dr. Williams, and thought the quote was real. Usually, the less famous the name, the greater the chance that the quote is legitimate. A bit of research turned up page 498 of The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams: 1939-1962. Dr. Williams had translated Fragment 31 of Poems in Folio, by Sappho. “I’m 73 years old. I’ve gone on living as I could as a doctor, and writing poetry on the side. I practised to get money to live as I please, and what pleases me is to write poetry.”

“I don’t speak English, but the American Idiom. I don’t know how to write anything else, and I refuse to learn. … All my life I’ve never stopped thinking. I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Bulwer Lytton Part Two

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on September 2, 2018

The good always wins out when you observe matters from a distance, gasped Detective Inspector Fred Pickle, dangling from a meathook in a disused Balham slaughterhouse, but it didn’t, really, not for him, nor yet for the guy on clean-up. John Holmes, St. Petersburg, FL

It was a dark and stormy night: the wind whistled like an old man with drugstore teeth trying to teach his grandkids to say, “She sells sea shells by the sea shore,” causing the little shavers to wonder why Peepaw was suddenly talking like Daffy Duck, whether he’d just had a stroke, and if any of them was in the will. Mark Schweizer, Tryon NC

Under a lurid dawn sun, the Usher Property was less baleful than it had been during the past evening’s abode-splitting weather event, and my practiced realtor’s eye – have I not mentioned my profession already? – recognized development potential once the tarn was drained and fissure remediated, perhaps to build an outlet of shopping at which consumers would dawdle, aghast at the scale of discount savings. Brian Brus, Oklahoma City, OK

Although widely despised by his own kind, Kazimir Kilcescu was a hero to a few uninhibited vampires who adopted his “baby talk and Ugg boots” method of victim selection which, when applied correctly, largely eliminated the blood-curdling screams that otherwise left them the choice between letting their swooning prey go scot-free or choking down two liters of curdled O-pos.
Drew Herman, Port Angeles, WA

The summer afternoon was so fierce, Italy pulled off its boot, to wiggle toes in the cool blue sea, as hot Contessa Ravioli slid off her pantyhose. Don Hansbrough, Seattle, WA

He was a bold man, thought Arial Calibri, the typesetter’s daughter, but he wouldn’t recognize a superscript if it was underlined, believed that “strikethrough” was a baseball term, thought italics were people from Italy, and that sans serif was a Caribbean island. Sara Hough, Blacksburg, VA

Even in the noisy gloom of the Oyster’s Pearl, the most frequented bar in town, Sergeant Pete Harrison spotted her the moment she walked in–the young, tall blonde in a tight red dress that clung to her the way those stringy bits stick to a banana after you peel it.
Sylvi Warshaver-Stein, New York, NY

Unlike the effete bun-coiffed duennas back at the English Department, she was just the kind of unassuming dame you liked to find holding down a stool and nursing a smoke at the end of the bar — no more likely to decline a drink than a noun, casual when it came to conjugation, and disposed to end a sentence with a proposition. G. Andrew Lundberg, Los Angeles, CA

Priscilla was a persnickety, perspicacious, and petulant old prude, with a parsimonious purse brought on by pernicious poverty, prone to pettiness, and with an air of pusillanimous if not precarious ways, all proving that the worst things in life are pure pride of place and a pretense of presumptuousness brought on by pouting at the people who preferred prune juice over pilsner.
Linda J. Ashmore, Lynnwood, WA

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Part one was published Friday.

Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest 2018

Posted in GSU photo archive, Undogegorized, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on August 31, 2018

The Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest for 2018 has finally been relaeased. It usually appears the first week of August, but for some reason was late this time. “Since 1982 the Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest has challenged man, woman, and (precocious) child to write an atrocious opening sentence to a hypothetical bad novel.” It is named for Sir Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, a Victorian novelist of some note. This year, we learn that EGBL wrote the phrase, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Rumor has it that the space after pen was a post mortem bowlderization.

PG has been writing about the BLFC for many years, and was anxious about the late arrival this year. The contest web page has a new look, which is appreciated. Sir Bulwer-Lytton cleaned up good when it was time to paint his portrait. Unfortunately, the overall contest winner is presented as a .jpg, which means the text cannot be pasted. Here is the 2018 winner.

As a value added feature of BLFC coverage, PG compiles a list of contestants with funny names. Inclusion on this list is not an indication of being a bad writer, or a good writer of bad prose. Here is the cheat sheet: Shelley Siddall, West Kelowna, BC, Canada, Bridget Parmenter, Katy, TX, Mark Wisnewski, Flanders, NJ, Aasha Sankpal, Monroe, CT, Thomas Purdy, Roseville, CA, Ralph Cutting, Kingston Upon Thames, England, Jay Dardenne, Baton Rouge LA, Talha bin Hamid, Karachi, Pakistan, Peter Seakat, Rochester, NY, Shea Charkowsky, Santa Clara, CA, Hwei Oh, North Balgowlah, Sydney, Australia, Marsha Engelbrecht, Lafayette, LA, Sylvi Warshaver-Stein, New York, NY, Ava Zaleski, Lisle, IL, Brent Guernsey, Springfield, VA, Ben Handy, Philadelphia, PA.

Two of the writers this year are from Georgia. One of them is somebody. They are given special status in the Chamblee54 BLFC report. This year, the C54BLFC confab is posted over Labor Day weekend, along with Dragon Con, The Dickhater Book Festival, Burning Man, and more fabulicity than most people can process.The pictures for the post today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Phoebe sighed happily as she read the text from Mark asking her to be “friends with benefits,” as she thought maybe, just maybe, she would finally get that 401k and dental insurance.
Amber Burns, Calhoun, GA

In preparation for visits by African dignitaries, we had redecorated the West Wing of the White House in an African motif with numerous artificial plants and animals, but the President asked that we remove the papier-mache wildebeests, saying he was “tired of fake gnus.”
Wm. “Buddy” Ocheltree, Snellville, GA

Dreaded Pirate Larry was somewhat worried, as he looked down at his boot, where his first mate was stretched out, making whooshing sounds, attempting to blow him over, that despite having the fastest ship, the most eye patches, and the prettiest parrots, his crew may need a few lessons on the difference between literal and figurative, as evidenced by the rest of the crew applying ice to the timbers. Shelley Siddall, West Kelowna, BC, Canada

I knew that dame was trouble as soon as I set eyes on her, see: there was a stain on her clingy dress, wine, difficult to get out (you notice these things when you’ve been in the business as long as I have); there was a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of her high heel, cherry, that would leave a gristly pink trail following her every step (you pick up on these things when you are as experienced as I); and when she coolly asked me directions to the detective’s office, I pointed her down the hall and went back to mopping the floor. Bridget Parmenter, Katy, TX

Nothing looked familiar to Travis, who, recalling a favorite line from Tolkien — “Not all those who wander are lost” — reckoned the “not all” part implied that most who wander, like himself, are in fact lost, yet buzzards would pick his bones before he would think to ask for directions.
Dr Joel Phillips, West Trenton, NJ

My escape from heavily-guarded Cochon Island, a Hungarian penal colony founded by the Gabor sisters, would have to be well-planned and faultlessly executed, I thought to myself, “and I’m just not the right man for it,” so I stayed and lived out my days there, because having a Gabor slap you around wasn’t that bad, especially when they said “dahling” afterwards. Kevin M. Kinzer, Spokane, WA

“Pooh,” said Piglet inquisitively, “I don’t believe the quantum interplay of dark energy and black holes allows for the anti-matter superposition of a Higgs-Boson vector that you are postulating transported you thru an n-dimensional carbon lattice and got you stuck in the hunny tree . . . just sayin’.”
Tim Metz, Kokomo, IN

For rookie detective Lara Stinson, the hardest aspect of her most recent case was not discovering that the adolescent victim had been thrown from the tenth story of the apartment building by his own grandmother, but rather trying to spell “defenestration by octogenarian” in her subsequent report. Thomas Purdy, Roseville, CA

Inspecteur Rollin of the Paris murder squad lit a cigarette as he stood over the body of la prostituée engorgée (to those readers who don’t know French, a prostitute with her throat cut and, indeed, how else would one describe her — la pute, la fille de joie, la vendeuse de sexe, la travailliste de la rue?) which lay on the Voie Georges Pompidou under the arches of le Pont Neuf on the rive droite of la Seine which flows through the most beautiful city in the world.
Ralph Cutting, Kingston Upon Thames, England

Who knew what answers the elongated, odd-shaped gray trunk would reveal, but there was no doubt that in solving the mysterious homicide at the zoo the great weight of evidence pointed to the elephant in the room. Jay Dardenne, Baton Rouge LA

Egress Over Logos

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on March 25, 2017

This story starts with a break. When listening to a podcast, there usually comes a time to pause the show. Do you go back and finish, or do you let it slide? The show today is Negative Space: Logo Design with Michael Bierut from 99 Percent Invisible.

The graphic designer interviewed has a delightful way of talking. He avoids cheap obscenity, but gets the point across. An example is the first Trump-Pence logo, which many observers saw as depicting a naughty activity. “For many, the T/P ligature in particular called unsavory associations to mind, quickly resulting in animated versions (and ultimately the disuse of the logo itself).” In talking about implied sex, and in drawing logos, less is more.

It turns out there was not much of the interview after the break. The designer, Michael Bierut, used the exit sign to discuss the cosmetic nature of graphic design. “if you can read the exit sign then you can find your way out of the building, whatever typeface it happens to employ. But if the exit door is nailed shut, you may have a serious egress problem.”

Show notes for this episode linked to a related episode, Good Egress. This episode dealt with the issue of getting out of a burning building. A prominent incident, in the evolution of fire evacuation, was the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. This tragedy took place March 25, 1911.

While stumbling in the breaktime wilderness, PG found this week’s five minute writing challenge. The photo prompts this week start with a children’s party, seemingly set in Eisenhower America. The other picture has a travel bag, lying in the middle of a dirt road. Just set the five minute timer, and go.

Why did I loan the bag to Alphonse for his photo shoot? He is off somewhere, on a dirt road, taking pictures of my bag for a client. What I should have told him was that there was a birthday present in that bag. The party is going on right now, and I can only stall for so long. Maybe a costume jewelry ring is not a good idea for a little girl. It wasn’t my idea, nor was it my idea to put it in a vintage makeup kit bag. The birthday girl … why can’t I remember her name, they all sound alike anyway … is not going to appreciate how cool that bag is. Maybe it should stay in the dirt road, and let somebody run over it with a tractor. Which does not solve the problem of this birthday party. Maybe if they blow on those party favors long enough they won’t notice.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. John Collier took the pictures in November, 1942. “Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (vicinity). Montour no. 4 mine of the Pittsburgh Coal Company. Coal miner at end of the day’s work”

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2016 Part Two

Posted in GSU photo archive, The English Language, Undogegorized, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on August 10, 2016








This is the rest of the published entries from the 2016 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Part one hit the ether yesterday. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. The Atlanta Crackers played ball at Ponce de Leon Park until 1964. If you get tired of the text, skip over it and look at the pictures.

There are no bad writers from Georgia in this contest. This is the fifth year of chamblee54 coverage, and there has never been a Georgia writer mentioned. Maybe Florida, and North Carolina, were too productive, and exhausted the southern quota.

PG read all of the material, and should recover. What follows is the product that got PG’s attention. The samples here are in alphabetical order, starting with “Knowing well.” The winner for most popular first word is the, which begins five entries. The next most popular first word is she, which is utilized four times. Maybe we should just start the bad writing party.

Knowing well the hand signals of his platoon leader, Private James Dawson silently dropped to the dirt, concealed and motionless for what seemed an eternity, a move that he had learned, coincidentally, from his parents whenever the Watchtower ladies would ring the doorbell.
Peter S. Bjorkman, Rocklin, CA

Little Jenny would stop at nothing in her ambition to become an astronaut—that way she wouldn’t end up as an unfulfilled cashier married to a dweeb like Colin Snodgrass, with a sizeable mortgage and four lazy kids who couldn’t even be bothered to pick up a book like this, never mind become astronauts. — Julie Crowley, Ballyphilibeen, Ireland

Osgood knew he wasn’t popular, well-liked, or even very good looking, and could suck the life out of a room like a fat kid sucking the filling out of a Twinkie, but surely a date with the beautiful blonde in the corner wasn’t out of the question, he thought as he licked the cream from his fingers.
Marie Gaither, Asheville, NC

Patrice— the most-feared henchman of the global terrorist mastermind Ivan Terrible—staggered back to his car, wiped the dead cocktail waiter’s blood from his hands, picked up his smartphone, and texted a terse status update to his employer’s personal assistant: “Tell IT that our server is down.”
Gwen Dallas, Austin, TX

Quiet mornings, long lazy afternoons, and spectacular sunsets were de rigueur for Elbert and Ethel Salipit since their early retirement and internment at the Happy Valley Cemetery for Eternal Rest and Relaxation. — Tim Petteys, Malden on Hudson, NY

She couldn’t decide whether it was the tail-less rat devouring another neighboring rat’s brain in his glassed cage, or just the way the doctor and his white-haired assistant were applying the saw to Aslan’s skull casing as he lay dismembered on the great table, but something told Lucy they’d tumbled through another portal and out of Narnia.— “Lionrhod,” Winter Park, FL

She walked toward me with her high heels clacking like an out-of-balance ceiling fan set on low, smiling as though about to spit pus from a dental abscess, and I knew right away that she was going to leave me feeling like I had used a wood rasp to cure my hemorrhoids. Charles Caldwell, Leesville, LA

She was like my ex-girlfriend Ashley, who’d stolen my car, broken my heart, murdered my father, robbed a bank, and set off a pipe bomb in Central Park—tall. — Rachel Nirenberg, Toronto, Canada

She was uncertain how or when it had happened, but over the years her svelte figure-8 frame had gone lopsided and become a wretched parody of the symmetrical numeral—indeed, the bottom oval was as lumpy and pear-shaped as the carelessly-thrown-aside velour sack of the average mall Santa.
April Olion, Gainesville, FL

The evidence at Evan’s Seaside Bird Sanctuary was mounting: the scattered precocial plumage, the tidal pond encircling a quartet of lifeless birds, the brine-soaked ascot, the cane—could it be that Maurice Chevalier sank Evan’s four little gulls? — Peter S. Bjorkman, Rocklin, CA

The girl screamed, the wind rustled, something moved in the night closer and closer; the moon hung heavily over the night, white as a pearl, blood dripped from Vlad’s mouth, the girl’s pale body hung in his hands, sparkling in the moonlight—he was a vampire, after all.
Heather Fougere, Center Conway, NH

The Halkan prediction of galactic revolt did indeed come true when Han Solo seized the throne of Gandolf, was overthrown by Captain Jim Kirk, all the Wookies were slaughtered by a ragtag band of renegade Hobbits, Tribbles were ground up and made the sixth flavor of Skittles, and Saurian brandy was sold as a premixed chocolate-flavored cocktail by the Martian partners of Nestle.
David S. Nelson, Falls Church, VA

The jar was oozing, and the ooze was jarring: a dank fetid oleaginous slime that slapped and slithered across the bourgeoisie marble countertop like loathsome Gerber’s Lovecraftian puree.
Marlon McAvoy, Oak Ridge, TN

The sea roiled like water in a pasta pot about to boil, an apt simile thought Captain Samuel Turner, because if they didn’t fix their engine soon he and his crew would be floating face down like overcooked manicotti—bloated, white, limp and about to be consumed by something that wished it were eating ahi tuna instead.— Alex Bosworth, Ketchikan, Alaska

Tinkerbell the Fairy and Amy the Elf were BFFFs (best fairyland friends forever), and they loved having adventures in Big-People Land, like eating marshmallows for dinner, galloping fast on the backs of tiny lizards, and taking naps on the pillows of very important people like Judges, Mayors, and Millionaires.— David S Nelson, Falls Church, VA

Watching Emily sleep in exhausted, naked bliss while bathed by the soft shower of lucid moonlight that titillatingly teased glimpses of her supple features he had come to know, Sebastian tried to remember the last time he had seen a woman’s body so beautiful, but after the collision of his ’02 Pontiac Aztek with a Bug-X exterminator truck on East Hermosa Vista Drive in Mesa, Arizona, two months ago left him with long-term memory loss, he couldn’t. — L.A. Jackson, Apex, NC









Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2015

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress, Undogegorized, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on August 15, 2015









It is August. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the day Elvis allegedly died, and the day Madonna was allegedly born. But that is tomorrow. Today is part one of the annual chamblee54 celebration of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. This is a celebration of bad writing, coordinated through the English department at San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192-0090.

BLFC is named for Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, a 19th century perpetrator of bad fiction. Mr. Bulwer-Lytton is blamed for starting a novel with the phrase “It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents.” As an added bonus, there is a quiz, Dickens or Bulwer? People with too much free time can read a quote, and choose to blame it on either Mr. Bulwer-Lytton or Charles Dickens.

Here are the funny names for 2015. No winners will be chosen. They are presented in the order in which they appeared in the BLFC post. Laura Ruth Loomis, Pittsburg, CA, gets special notice for being having two entries in the swinging 74. The 11 funny names: David Laatsch, Baton Rouge, LA, Myriam Nys, Mechelen, Belgium, Hwei Oh, Sydney, Australia, Rahul Kak, Ann Arbor, MI, Yap Tee Giut, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia, Austin Stollhaus, Louisville, KY, James Pokines, Boston, MA, Kathy Minicozzi, Bronx, NYC, Anna Sagstetter, Fort Wayne, IN, Laura Ruth Loomis, Pittsburg, CA, Joseph Pramuk, Napa, CA, Susie Gawriluk, Presque Isle, WI, Clark Snodgrass, Huntington Beach, CA.

One of the value added features of this report is the list of funny names. Many of the contestants have names that make you wonder what their parents were thinking. Surprisingly, many of these odd names produced really bad prose. One of the chamblee54 value added services is to read all 74 entries (4137 words) in the 2015 “winners.” Out of all that punctuation, 26 entries, and a list of names, were chosen. Here is the first installment of the chosen entries. The first one recieves special notice for using the name Caitlin, and spelling it the same way as Miss Teenage South Carolina. The other Caitlyn receives enough publicity. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Caitlin was a Pop Tart kind of girl, but Kyle always ate four Aunt Jemima pancakes with Land o’ Lakes unsalted butter and Mrs. Butterworth’s maple syrup, so they knew they would never marry because of their differences, but they could still fool around. — Kathy Minicozzi, Bronx, NYC

After weeks at sea, Captain Fetherstonhaugh and his hardy crew had at last crossed the halfway point, and he mused that the closest dry land now lay in the Americas, assuming of course that it was not raining there. — David Laatsch, Baton Rouge, LA

Walking through the northernmost souk of Marrakech, that storied and cosmopolitan city so beloved of voyagers wishing to shake the desert dust off their feet, Peter bought a French-language newspaper and realized, with dizzying dismay, that “Camille” can be a man’s name.
Myriam Nys, Mechelen, Belgium

The doctors all agreed the inside of Charlie’s intestinal tract looked like some dark, dank subway system in a decaying inner city, blackened polyps hanging from every corner like tiny ticking terrorist time bombs, waiting to burst forth in cancerous activity; however, to Timmy the Tapeworm this was home. — E. David Moulton, Summerville, SC

Shortly after that interfering do-gooder Snow White had introduced Sneezy to non-drowsy antihistamines, he had to change his name to Brian, where he then left the mines with Ray (formerly Sleepy) who was now a caffeine addict and Bob (formerly Grumpy) who was on 100 milligrams of Prozac a day, and Doc whom Snow pointed out had never actually graduated from medical school and was being sued for malpractice–oh how he despised that high and mighty ho.
Hwei Oh, Sydney, Australia

As Granny sewed the bloody wolf pelt onto the stained red cape, Little Red downed another shot, reminding herself that even alcohol has a better taste than the gastric acid of a wolf.
Rahul Kak, Ann Arbor, MI

When the corpse showed up in the swimming pool, her dead bosoms bobbing up and down like twin poached eggs in hollandaise sauce, Randy decided to call the police as soon as he finished taking pictures of his breakfast and posting them to his Facebook wall. — Laura Ruth Loomis, Pittsburg, CA

When private detective Flip Merlot spotted the statuesque brunette seated at the bar of his favorite watering hole, he was drawn to her like a yellow cat to navy blue pants, and when he sidled up next to her he felt fuzzy all over, kind of like dark blue corduroys get when they’re matted with yellow cat hair.
James M. Vanes, La Porte, IN

With his lamp giving off a dull yellow glow General Washington sat up late into the night contemplating his problems: Not enough food, not enough clothing, not enough men, and that idiot Private Doodle who kept putting feathers in his cap and calling it macaroni.
Dan Leyde, Shoreline, WA

If Vicky Walters had known that ordering an extra shot of espresso in her grande non-fat sugar free one pump raspberry syrup two pumps vanilla syrup soy latte that Wednesday would lead to her death and subsequent rebirth as a vampire, she probably would have at least gotten whipped cream.
Margo Coffman, Corinth MS

He typed like a ninja with no arms, and the text flowed like a drop of blood down a katana blade sharpened with one of those automatic kitchen things you can buy on late-night television when you’re drunk but not too drunk to read off your 16-digit credit card number and security code.
Alex Dering, Brooklyn, NY

I never did see the last thing I saw, the truck and the red light, the last thing I saw was a plus-size girl in a petite ensemble, giving her the appearance of a marshmallow tightly wrapped in dental floss.
Ted Wise, Hanover, PA










Boring Season

Posted in Poem, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on July 25, 2015





Internal Genitalia

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on July 2, 2015





The current episode of the Bret Easton Ellis podcast features Jonathan Ames, who probably writes entertaining word product. Maybe the Chamblee library will have one of his books some time. Until then, this hour of conversation will suffice.

BEE likes to talk about political correctness. There was discussion of a newspaper article, What Makes a Woman? The acronym terf (Trans exclusionary radical feminists) devolved into comments about turf battles. Some men have an instinct for making tacky jokes.

“In January 2014, the actress Martha Plimpton, an abortion-rights advocate, sent out a tweet about a benefit for Texas abortion funding called “A Night of a Thousand Vaginas.” Suddenly, she was swamped by criticism for using the word “vagina.” “Given the constant genital policing, you can’t expect trans folks to feel included by an event title focused on a policed, binary genital,”…

Let me get this right: The word “vagina” is exclusionary and offers an extremely narrow perspective on womanhood … should describe ours with the politically correct terminology trans activists are pushing on us: “front hole” or “internal genitalia”? …

“Abortion rights and reproductive justice is not a women’s issue,” wrote Emmett Stoffer, one of many self-described transgender persons to blog on the topic. It is “a uterus owner’s issue.” Mr. Stoffer was referring to the possibility that a woman who is taking hormones or undergoing surgery to become a man, or who does not identify as a woman, can still have a uterus, become pregnant…”

PG has a knack for trouble with SJW. He is a person of interest for the Pronoun Police. Just yesterday, there was a facebook thread for a heart circle. PG noted that a shart circle was not a good idea. Within minutes, the comment was taken down, by request.

Whitehall Street was a 42 word poem for a writing contest. It stated that MTF transpeople do not get pregnant. There was soon an e-mail from the contest.

“Your submission this week is unsuitable for publication and has been removed from the grid. Our editorial standards respect the diversity and dignity of our audience. I know it seems desirable to appear “edgy” but _____ does not accept posts which insult or demean any person based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits. Based on the nature of your post this week, your entries will no longer be welcome at yeah write.”

Few people like to be persona non grata. PG was really more puzzled than hurt. A letter to the contest was ignored. A couple of weeks later, another letter was sent to the contest. This one got a reply.

Whenever we receive a submission that pushes the boundaries or is of questionable taste or quality, the editors all weigh in. In this case, our submissions editor brought your post to the attention of the editors as soon as it was submitted. We discussed the content, and all agreed that it was hurtful and demeaning and did not represent _______ well. What you said, essentially, is that a trans woman is a fake woman.

Frankly, we have never felt the need to specifically articulate that hate speech is unwelcome in our community. It seemed obvious to us and, indeed, to nearly everyone who submits posts.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. These men served as Confederate soldiers.





Timmy Liberate

Posted in Poem, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on May 2, 2015






Existential Cellophane

Posted in Poem, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on April 30, 2015








Insatiable Sexagenarian

Posted in Poem, Undogegorized, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on April 20, 2015