DISCUSSION -- JULY 2018 300-word Writing Challenge (#30)

Cat's Cradle

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I voted a few days ago, so the current tallies will not change...just now finding time to put up my lists. But first, another shout-out to Erin Presley-Froemke for providing us with a photo that inspired such diverse, interesting stories.

Shortlist:
SPoots, Cathbad, scarpelius, M. Robert Gibson, Vaz
Filled with enjoyment from reading...

Votes:
Rafellin, Cory Swanson, The Judge
Filled with envy from reading...

Lots of good tales, well done all! And best of luck in the voting...looks like it'll be a close one.

Finally, a huge thank you to SPoots, Luiglin, and Peter V for the votes!!!
 

The Judge

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Oof. Something of a difficult one this quarter to choose, and I've had to be rather harsh in stripping out some good stories otherwise my shortlist would have gone on forever. As it is, it's a bit longer than usual:

Cathbad -- The Alien Threat
Cat's Cradle -- The Bathroom Speech
Cory Swanson -- Gruv in an Elevator
LittleStar -- My Dorian Gray
Peter V -- A River Runs Through It
Phyrebrat -- The Eternal Beachcomber
Rafellin -- Going Down
Shyrka -- Hair Apparent
Vaz -- Wreathed in Stone
Victoria Silverwolf -- The Masquerade
The first vote was easy, as I loved LittleStar's reverse Dorian Gray from the start, with its haunting images and the too-believable inaction of a sufferer of awful domestic violence (with very many extra bonus points for its being woman-on-man abuse which is so rarely considered). The second was nearly as easy, as once again I fell for Vaz's fantastical lyricism. The third vote, well that's taken a while. Each of the other stories had something special about them which might on another occasion have won me over, but this time it came down to a dead heat between Victoria's (Audenesque?) masque and mask and Phyrebrat's wanderer among the flotsam and jetsam of life. I re-re-read both stories, hummed and hawed, but eventually it was Phyrebrat's last line what won it.

And a special mention to Shyrka for a deadful punning title!


Gosh. Just seen the voting.

I was miffed at myself at yet again failing to get a story together until the deadline was almost on top of me, since it meant precious time to hone the piece wasn't available, and -- of course -- after the editing window had closed I saw multiple ways I could have improved the story. So I'm gobsmacked that even in its not-perfected state it's had this much attention. So many Benevolent and Wise thanks for the shortlistings and mentions Stable and Vaz, and mega six-fold Lady-like Truth and Judgement thanks for the wonderful votes Victoria (thank you, too, for the lovely words), SPoots, LittleStar, Abernovo (also thanks for the praise!), Shyrka and CC (envy is a terrible thing ;)), and for the stealth votes nixie, Robert and Joshua!
 

The Judge

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@The Judge Did the poll thread ever make it to the front page?[/USER]
Sorry, MRG. I tend not to come into Discussion threads once voting has started, so I've only now picked this up. Anyhow, no, I don't think it did. The Challenge thread itself was there, of course, and stayed there for quite a while at the top, but not the poll.

Give me a kick up the backside when we're getting close to closing the Challenge thread for the next 300 worder, ie before the poll goes up, and I'll have a word with Brian to see whether he'd put the poll on the front page, too. And thanks again for thinking of this!
 

Cat's Cradle

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A late vote, and mention! Thank you to farntfar, and TJ! :)

(And you're very welcome, Vaz! Always enjoy your wonderful stories.)
 

Ursa major

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Here are the full results of the Ursa jury, with the stories in posting order within the categories:


Honourable Mentions:
  • Gruv in an Elevator by Cory Swanson
  • FAKE Story!! by mosaix
  • Interspecies breeding by dannymcg

Runners Up:
  • O. unilateralis by HoopyFrood
  • The Masquerade by Victoria Silverwolf
  • EE Con – The Return of Malicious Malevolent Mayhem! by Luiglin

Winners:
  • Going Down by Rafellin
  • Hair Apparent by Shyrka
  • Orison – To The Lady of Six Aspects by The Judge
 

TheDustyZebra

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I very nearly forgot to vote, and oddly enough it was an @ of me in the 75 discussion thread that reminded me. Somehow. I read frantically at lunch, then nearly forgot again until it was almost time to go home, but I managed to finish reading all the stories again and get my votes in. I *may* manage a shortlist, but in the meantime, I voted for TJ, Cory Swanson and Phyrebrat. Well done, all!
 

Cathbad

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Congrats to The Judge!

I had more votes than in any previous challenge, so I'm stoked! Thanks to those who took pity on me and gave my story a vote or mention! :)
 

Cat's Cradle

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It's a good story, Cathbad! :)

Congrats to TJ, and commiserations to Rafellin...it was close right to the end. Great stories, both. Another fun 300 Worder. I wish we could do these every month.

Thanks again to all who voted for, or listed, my story.
 

Peter V

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Congratulations TJ and well done too to Rafellin for a worthy challenge.

Least said about my performance the better but thanks for the two or three mentions and the stealth votes TheEndIsNigh and Luiglin
 

The Judge

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Thank you, all!

Well, if this isn't the Golly Goshness.

I was very chuffed to be joint leader last night, but I fully expected Rafellin to have pulled ahead or at least for there to have been a tie-break which I would -- as ever :rolleyes: -- have lost. So this has come as a great and very lovely surprise.

So large and bountiful Goddess-like Six-Aspect thanks for the further votes Ursa and TDZ, and for the stealth vote farntfar!

Thanks to everyone who took part, and most especially to Rafellin -- I'm sure the bridesmaid's dress will look absolutely gorgeous on him! (I've already got my bridal gown sorted, thank you for asking. M&S sale.)

I also need to thank pyan for giving me the title. Some years back we had a member whose posts and PMs were somewhat... um... eccentric and who referred to me, for reasons best known to himself, as The Grand Countess Mod. I sometimes replied to him in kind, on one occasion by giving advice and comments from six personae, including, yes, the Lady Compassionate and the Lady Giver-of-Judgements. So pyan promptly coined "The Lady of Six Aspects" and I've been looking for a story in which to use her ever since!

If anyone was confused by my sources of last-minute inspiration for the piece, the Thai boys rescue story to which I referred said they were going into a monastery for a short while, which reminded me of an idea I'd once had as a riff on (ie ripped off from) the old Kung Fu TV series. Then another news story referred to women being allowed into the Gurkhas for the first time -- for those who haven't heard of them, the Gurkhas are Nepalese soldiers with a well-deserved reputation for courage, martial ability and general want-on-your-side-in-a-battle-ness whose signature weapon is a blade. So that gave me a monastery, women warriors, and the kukri. And eventually it all came together! (Still would have preferred the inspiration to have come well in advance, though...)
 
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Shyrka

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Congratulations to @The Judge - as soon as I'd read it I knew I wouldn't be able to resist voting for it. The world & culture it evoked was so rich and different from the norm that I was already taken in and the added revenge/coming-of-age plot was just the icing on the (delightfully moist, no doubt) cake.

Huge thanks to the folks who thought my own entry worthy of a vote or mention. I'd had the idea early on but I was away with work for a week in the middle of the challenge and that and the associated jet leg had me knocked me for six and left me scrabbling around to make something that worked. I was fairly happy with the result but felt it was a bit formulaic and didn't expect much so the votes were a lovely surprise.

I remain unrepentantly proud of the title. :D
 
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