Last Monday's round was a little lopsided, with Digigal winning in dominating fashion. Her opponent, Chloe Hart, will have her piece returned to the pool for a chance at re-selection for a future bout, or she has the opportunity to submit a new writing sample. Make sure you check my WRiTE CLUB 2012 results page for a breakdown of all the winners so far, along with links to all of the writing samples.
It was interesting to see how the fact that a previous contestant earning a second bite at the WRiTE CLUB apple sparked so much discussion on Friday. No, I'm not changing any of the rules and losers will continue to be placed back in the pool for possible re-selection (once), but the comments will definitely be considered for next year. But for now, here were my thoughts about why I allow losing entries a second chance. First and foremost, it addresses the sting and perceived inequity associated with the 'luck of the draw'. Some of you have already said in some bouts that both contestants were probably potential finalist and you hated having to choose. Allowing the voters the opportunity to choose the loser in a subsequent round, should they be selected, could help to resolve that issue. Secondly, we have already seen a significant drop-off in voting, so what do you think would happen if contestants were one and done? We've had 20 rounds so far, would we have lost 20 voters if they didn't think they had a chance of coming back to fight again? And to those who lament the fact that new entries are being forsaken for others being used twice, I'm trying to balance being fair against 100% participation, which is only one of the goals, and will not happen no matter what I do. That's why we are still accepting submissions, because it's not fair to exclude those who just found out about WRiTE CLUB. But let's not open this up for discussion now, when WRiTE CLUB 2012 is over I will once again call for input and suggestions for improvements (which some of you have already provided), take that time to express your opinions again then.
How about we get to what you're really here for anyway?
Here are this rounds randomly selected WRiTER's.
Standing in the far corner, weighing in at 500 words, please welcome to the ring……..Wren Tyler.
I don't remember leaving London. I don't remember anything, except for the letter left on Charlie's pillow. The moment I closed his bedroom door behind me, I must have drawn into myself, away from the sights, the sounds, the memories. I didn't want to feel; I just wanted to walk. My legs, fat and tender from a fortnight's furlough, screamed for me to stop. Slow down. Find an inn and stay there. But my brain told them to keep going, one foot in front of the other, even as the city fell away. I think I walked through the night, and the next night, too; but as I said, I don't remember.
I only stop when my legs crumble beneath me; I land on my knees in the middle of the road, and I don't care a bit that the mud has begun to seep through my muslin gown. Charlie never should have bought it for me; he knew all along that I'd manage to soil it. Dirt, ink, blood -- they'd all find their way onto the dress eventually. Stupid Charlie.
No, not stupid Charlie. Stupid me, for letting him slip into my thoughts again. Stupid me for letting him toy with my heart in the first place; I've known for years that he's going to marry Harriett, so why was I fool enough to believe that would change? Especially when I'm...when I'm...Well, when I'm me.
"Stop it, Pippa. You promised yourself you'd never think of him." I say the words out loud. Big mistake. Without anybody to answer, they hang heavy in the air. So stifling I can't breathe. Great. Now even my own words are trying to kill me.
My own words? Who am I kidding? It's Charlie's words that strangle me. Or rather, their absence.
"Stop it! Stop it!" I press my palms over my ears, slam my eyes shut. Then I take deep breaths: in, out. After a minute I'm almost calm, lost in a dreamy haze through which I can see my little cottage, and next to it, Father's forge -- until the ground starts to rumble and I jolt to my senses. My hand flies to the knife in my skirt; my fingers wrap around the handle, and --
And it's just a coach passing along the road. Nothing to worry abou --
A coach! I scramble to the side and duck behind the treeline, then fall flat on my stomach without putting away my knife. Three minutes later a black carriage rolls by. None of the passengers take notice of me, so once its clatter fades, I push myself from the ground. Try to, at least. My arms wobble under my weight, until finally I give in and let my face rest in the leaves. They scratch at my skin and cling to my hair, but there's something comforting about them. Their warm colors, the earthy aroma. Not at all like the pillows on which the Woodwards had me rest my head.
And in the other corner, weighing in at 350 words, let me introduce to you ……..Stormy.
The pain jolted through Anasta’s head so suddenly that she crumpled to the deck in shock. Someone was screaming. After a few seconds, she realized it was her. She shut her mouth, biting her lip so hard that she could feel blood trickling down her chin.
“What’s the matter with them?” She heard voices coming from the comm in her helmet through the fog of hurt.
“I’ve lost control of the ship!”
“We’re gonna crash!”
“We have to jump,” Laban’s voice crackled through the comm in her helmet. She focused on his words to try and escape the fire in her head.
“I can’t get the hatch open! Someone else is controlling the ship!” someone yelled.
“There’s a manual release!” Simpson yelled, and Anasta heard the scream of wind as someone opened the floor hatch.
“We have to jump, now!” the pilot’s deep voice commanded.
“I’m not leaving them,” Laban insisted.
“No time!” Simpson said, and Anasta heard the rush of air as two people jumped out of the ship. She forced her eyes open, and though she wanted to close them and fall into blissful unconsciousness, she concentrated on staying awake. Laban grabbed her and hooked his belt to hers with a cable, then did the same with Dirk, who was crumpled on the ground, unmoving.
Laban was going to try and jump with both of them. Anasta had no idea if one chute could hold all their weight. She doubted it.
Laban pushed them all out of the hatch and they were falling. Pain was searing her head, wind was howling around her—she could hear it even through her suit. They weren’t slowing down.
“Chute… isn’t…”Laban’s voice came through the comm. An explosion sounded from nearby, and fireworks lit up her visor for a moment. She saw the ground rushing towards them at an alarming rate. She wondered if the snow would cushion their fall at all, then caught a watery-eyed glimpse of patches of grey rock below the snow. Nope.
Slow down, she told it through the pain. A few moments later, they hit the ground.
Not to sound like a broken record (ok...maybe a little bit), anyone can vote, newcomers first must sign up on the Linky List you’ll find at the link provided on the badge below. Please remind your friends to make a selection as well. The voting will remain open until noon Thursday.
Remember, here in WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!