DISCUSSION THREAD -- November 2021 -- 75 Word Writing Challenge

Bowler1

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Whoa there everyone... just take it easy now.

I'm all for aimless mobs and lynchings (we never really catch you, the fun is in the chase), but fire is a step up even for me. Someone talk the Bear down, and hide those matches before this gets messy.
 

Astro Pen

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I am grateful for the mentions @Bren G and @Justin Swanton . (y)
I just had a bit of fun with this months challenge, with no expectations. :giggle:
However looking at the current vote profile I think we should, perhaps, consider making all challenges 3 vote?
 

Phyrebrat

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Hello,

I've stopped stamping my feet and I've run out of toys to throw out my pram, so I've had to vote. I did get a bit fascisty with the interpretation of speculative fiction as I felt a few stories missed on the speculative side. Anyway, I have my genre and theme for winning this month. I call it in my favour now. As of this moment. I am the winner. And if not I shall demand recounts, appeal to the SCJ and SCOTUS, and any petulant behaviour of mine that might resemble recent political events is purely coincidental and unintentional. :D

My list

Mon0Zer0
CC
Dan
Mosaix
Johnnyjet
Chrispy
VB
Luiglin
Ursa

Out of my 4 faves I gave it to @VenusianBroon because he voted for me.

On a serious note, VBs story has the elements I like. Horror and reads like a Twilight Zone punchline. Nice one.
 

Hugh

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My two contenders were @The Judge 's wonderfully crafted entry and @Starbeast. Starbeast got my vote in the end: I'm not really sure why I liked it best of all, but I think it's the essential simplicity of the prose and the juxtaposition of grateful dragons and being able to buy towels before the world ends.
And now that I've voted, I see the Judge really doesn't need my vote anyway.

Overall I struggled more than usual with the entries, but these caught my eye:
@Justin Swanton
@BT Jones
@DF17
@Guttersnipe
@JS Wiig
@chrispenycate

And I'm very sorry @Phyrebrat I didn't understand your story. It's probably really obvious...

I'm truly surprised and delighted to find you've given me your vote @Mon0Zer0 . Much appreciated.
And many thanks also @nixie for making me your runner up. Likewise thanks @Victoria Silverwolf and @Dan Jones for the listings.

We're nearing the voting deadline and I'm not going to trouble the leader-board so I'll say something about my story. The first night I moved out of London to the south coast in the early nineties turned out to be the August full moon and it was particularly epic. There's something truly remarkable about a summer full moon just risen above the waters and the silvery path it creates leading towards it. At that time I'd also recently read Apuleius' "Golden Ass" (an unexpectedly rollicking good read, as I remember it) in which the main character finds spiritual meaning in initiation into the cult of Isis, and moon and sea were involved.
 

Cat's Cradle

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Nice genre/theme choices, Betok_Haney - they inspired a good Challenge.

It's late where I am, so quickly, here are my lists (very tough culling this month, so - long lists)...

Honorable mentions:

Mon0Zer0, Astro Pen, Valtharius, Simbelmynë, Starbeast, worldofmutes, therapist

Semi-finalists:

Dan Jones, BT Jones, johnnyjet, Wayne Mack, Betok_Haney

Vote:

The Judge. Loved the word-play, loved the concept... I don't think I'd mind falling to a group with an anthem such as this. Loved it, TJ!

I want to thank @Daysman, @Victoria Silverwolf, @Justin Swanton and @Phyrebrat for listing my story.

I'm very grateful to @DF17 and @Simbelmynë for the votes. :)

Finally - @Phyrebrat, I'm sorry, I also didn't understand your story. The writing, as always was lovely... could you possibly explain what Hugh and I missed? CC
 

Starbeast

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The Judge

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A number of stories went over my head this month, and rather too many to my mind didn't really hit the genre, generous as that was, and there were even some I thought a bit lacking in the theme-department, so my shortlist isn't quite as long as usual:

Betok_Haney -- My Final Gift -- a poignant tale of gratitude for a long life as the leaving of it approaches​
Cat's Cradle -- Synesthesia -- a multi-coloured story with gratitude for life and senses​
johnnyjet -- Thanksgiving Day -- gratitude is always due to those who do the work that holidays require​
nixie -- Harvest Festival -- as in real life, gratitude is blind to the atrocities committed to bring it about​
therapist -- Gratitude Day -- humour shows that gratitude is a double-edged sword​

Of these, CC's tale stood out for me in its sheer loveliness and the underlying message that a seeming fault can possess beauty of its own for which we should be grateful -- with an extra point for its lovely title -- so that's where my vote went.


Well, knock me down with a gratitudinous feather! I'm stunned at the reception my secret anthem has received and Grateful Thanks hardly seems to cut it, especially when votes have been made in the teeth of threats and prognostications from Dr Beeching Beechers Brook and talk of pitchforks from his torch-bearing buddy!

So many attitude-of-gratitude thanks for the mentions/shortlistings johnnyjet, Daysman, sule, BTJ, nixie, Dan, Bowler, chris, Hugh and Starbeast, and a magnitude-of-gratitude-in-plenitude thanks for the wonderful votes therapist, AnRoinnUltra, Ian, Justin, Betok, Parson, CC, and for the stealth votes Peter, Artoriarius and G.T.
 

The Judge

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Apologies for the double-posting, but I wanted to get my voting post done and then come back to Parson's comment:

Overall, I was saddened to see the number of stories about twisted gratitude. In a world filled with a lot of "What have you done for me lately thinking," being hopeful and grateful for so many good gifts seems to be the right thing to do, and I was hoping to see a bunch which explored that. I guess that's just me.
Sorry that I added to the twisted-gratitude pile! I agree with Provincial that it's usually harder to write a story about Good of whatever kind. When it comes to the 300s I actually do strive to write feel-good stories wherever possible, but for the 75s to my mind it's necessary to write something with immediate impact, which means it's often easier to go for something that's a bit dark.

I wonder, too, if there is something of the same negativity bias which has led to the axiom that good news doesn't sell newspapers -- we might get the odd story of cats trekking hundreds of miles to be reunited with their servants owners, but you're never going to see headlines of Thousands of Flights Are Incident-Free or Billions Of People Haven't Died of Covid. We want to hear good news, but we actually read bad news. So when it comes to stories, we might want one with a happy ending (cat trek ends in reunion!) but we're not likely to read far if little or nothing happens to the characters en route -- we want them to have problems and dangers which they must overcome, which means having darkness in the story, even if light ultimately wins.


Ended up voting for the judge. It was too stylish to ignore. Someone please put some music behind it and have a computer sing it. Would make a great theme song for the 'Portal' computer games.
Ha! No chance. I'm still waiting for someone to do the music** for a rap song I did back in 2013!

** and still waiting for the choreography, come to that. ;) At least this time we won't need to call on Dr BBB for an AI march past!
 

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