DISCUSSION -- JANUARY 2019 300-word Writing Challenge (#32)

Cat's Cradle

Time, now, to read...
Mar 3, 2014
Just spent an enjoyable bit of time reading through the stories - well done, everyone! Thank you, MRSQ8GEEK, for an inspiring photo.
I decided to go with a top ten, so here we go:

scarpelius, Cathbad, drmatteri, Dan Jones, Luiglin, dannymcg, The Judge.

There were three stories that really stood out for me this Challenge; I thought all were beautifully written, and had terrifically interesting ideas:
Victoria Silverwolf, Phyrebrat, LittleStar.

Good luck in the final hours of voting to one and all!

I want to thank scarpelius, Ian Fortytwo, Daysman, and johnnyjet for the listings; and Perpetual Man, D3athwalker and Ivy Moser for the votes. :) As it's fair to say I'm not in the running for victory this Challenge, I'll mention I tried for a bombastic, Classic SF feel for my story. I'm glad it appealed to a number of people.

The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
Staff member
Nov 10, 2008
nearly the New Forest
Quickly passing through to vote.

Shortlisted: Rafellin, elvet, danny, Peter V, LittleStar.

Votes: Victoria, Luiglin, Phyrebrat.

Many golden whiskery thanks for the mentions/shortlistings, Heijan, scarpelius, Ian, elvet, Chris p, Parson, farntfar and CC, and 100% proof Walkabout thanks for the wholly unexpected votes Vaz, Phyrebrat, nixie, Abernovo and Cathbad. Thanks, too, Peter V for special mention and lovely comment.

Ursa major

Bearly Believable
Staff member
Aug 7, 2007
Here are the full results of the Ursa jury, with the stories in posting order within the categories:

Honourable Mentions:
  • AFGNCAAP by elvet
  • Want everything by Luiglin
  • The Story of Rumpel's Still-Gin by The Judge

Runners Up:
  • Clean bill of health by Scarpelius
  • Looking Forward by Rafellin
  • The Test. by Peter V

  • The Clockmaker's Daughter by Victoria Silverwood
  • It Has Your Eyes... by D3athw4lker
  • Dead on Seven by Phyrebrat


Independent Author & Publisher
Oct 29, 2013
West Sussex, UK
Congrats, Ms. Silverwolf.

Huge thanks for my stack of honourable mentions/near misses: chrispenycate, johnnyjet, Phyrebrat, Shyrka, The Judge & Ursa major.

Even bigger thanks to scarpelius for my vote.


Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2011
Congrats, Victoria. And to Phyrebrat, for a very close run second place.

Thanks to everyone who mentioned my little tale. And a huge thanks to those who liked it enough to vote for it:giggle:

I’d had the idea to mix the genres for a while. And paying homage to Don Quixote at the same time seemed natural, it had the feel and emotion I wanted.

Im happiest with one of the names though, a happy accident. I wanted something musical, a bit classical sounding, and fitting with the continental setting. So I googled some terms, and Andante popped up. A great name for my character’s horse... which then became perfect when I saw what the website said Andante means, ‘At a walking pace’.
So as with Rocinante, which means something along the lines of ‘previously a work horse’ I stumbled on an fitting knightly name, which I felt actually gave a hidden honesty and deeper sadness to the piece. He always knew this was never going to be the quickest horse, but chooses his friendship and companionship, knightly duty, perhaps, over a modern convenience of speed.

Like I said, a happy accident:ROFLMAO:

I’m certainly thinking of taking this story/characters further at some point.

M. Robert Gibson

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that
Feb 10, 2018
Discovery One
Well done @Victoria Silverwolf
I like it when something I voted for wins, shows I must have good taste

Just for the record, and on the off chance anyone cares, the songs I obtusely referenced in my effort 300-word Writing Challenge #32 (January 2019) -- VICTORY TO VICTORIA SILVERWOLF!
  • Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun - Pink Floyd
  • Fly Me To The Moon - Frank Sinatra
  • Venus in Blue Jeans - Jimmy Clanton/Mark Wynter
  • Is There Life On Mars - David Bowie
  • Saturn's Pattern - Paul Weller
  • Valleys of Neptune - Jimi Hendrix


by day Stuart Orford by night Dark Lord's scribe
Mar 22, 2012
Mercia, UK
Congrats @Victoria Silverwolf.

I think that's the best haul I've ever had and I'm chuffed to garner that many amongst so many good tales. Thanks to @chrispenycate @The Judge @Rafellin @Dan Jones @HazelRah @Graymalkin and @Ivy Moser plus the mentions folks.

Just by chance I was listening to Radiohead's The Bends while thinking about the image and My Iron Lung came on. Now the song is all about them riding the popularity of their first hit, Creep, but the first line got me thinking. It stuck and I had to include it as my opening line. I so wanted it to be a Lovecraftian nightmare but came out as a little kid being brought in to see his Dad.

As a byproduct, I had a search around YouTube for iron lungs to try and find what they sounded like. I came across a touching interview of one of the last people still living in an iron lung

Cat's Cradle

Time, now, to read...
Mar 3, 2014
Congrats Victoria Silverwolf, commiserations Phyrebrat. Great stories.
Looking forward to the next one, CC
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Feb 13, 2011
In your bedroom wardrobe...
Congratulations on a runanway win Victoria, although...

It's very validating to get so many; I was in a bit of a writing-insecurity slump earlier this week and talking to some friends about my lack of vision or creativity, in comparison to other chronners and other authors. That was about my WIP, though not the challenge entry, which I'd already posted.

When I'd posted this entry I wasn't particularly proud of it (or ashamed) and was surprised when several people said the final line was a surprise. I felt readers would be thinking; Yeah, we get it, he's in the electric chair, get on with it (mostly re the dollish cotton shoes and the briny pate).

Also, I struggled with having to keep the natural world out of a story, which is a bt of crutch for me when it comes to writing. ;)

I wasn't intending to enter, but when writing of a character being hanged in my WIP, I used the phrase 'air dance' to descibe his jiggling legs on the gallows, and the story came from there.

I was buzzed to get so many votes; I'm not sure if I was happier with the amount, or that it meant depriving my sworn enemies of them... :sneaky:

So, huge thanks for the votes, chrispenycate, mosaix, Ursa major, The Judge, TheDustyZebra, LittleStar, johnnyjet, farntfar, Cat's Cradle, Dan Jones, Vaz, Shyrka, Heijan Xavier, Peter V, D3athw4lker, Daysman - and polite, passive-aggressive ones for the mentions that I didn't manage to convert :D

I think when it comes to art appreciation, Chrons is sooo close to getting it right :D