Category Archives: Contests

My Blog is in the Doldrums

Doldrums ExperimentFor those of you who haven’t read much about maritime sailing, here’s the definition of doldrums from Wikipedia: “The doldrums is a colloquial expression derived from historical maritime usage for those parts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean affected by the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone, a low-pressure area around the equator where the prevailing winds are calm.”  This typically meant, to sailors at sea during the age of sailing vessels, that the ship didn’t move much unless they towed it with rowers in boats out front.  Very exhausting work.

Well, I have been very busy lately with building projects and writing my novel and have basically neglected my blog.  I do apologize to those of you who look forward to hearing from me daily.  I’ll try to do a better job of keeping the blog current.  Lately it’s been too much like work and I hate rowing.

I had an idea this past week that I am hoping you will all respond to and maybe we can work together to get the momentum going again.  Here’s the idea.  Let’s make a list of all the different writing challenges and prompts we know of.  It doesn’t matter if it’s poetry or prose, short or long.  I’m interested in hearing about your favorite weekly or monthly writing challenges.  I like flash fiction and poetry, but feel free to stretch our imaginations.  If you know about a writing challenge, let’s hear about it here.  (10 extra points if it’s on a WordPress blog)


100WCGU is a 100 word challenge for grown ups based on the one for schools.  It is held weekly.  There is a text prompt of some type given.



Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Challenges, Contests, Inspiration, Prompts, Writing


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PoetryWell, Valentine’s Day is all over but the dancing, so now I can safely post this poem with its “anti-romance” theme without fearing the ruination of any lovers’ dreams for the holiday.  It’s written for the Poetry Challenge – Week 2 over at ClownRhymes’ wonderful poetry blog.  The challenge was to use the words “…last words…” as the title, the theme, or in the poem itself.  I hope you enjoy it.


Last words are forever so easy to say,

And yet they’re so hard to receive.

How could a person with so little faith

Be so instantly and easily deceived?

I try to acknowledge it every day

But there never comes any reprieve,

from knowing that I was her patsy, her rube,

for not seeing what hid up her sleeve.

Now I sit mourning, and here I will stay.

What good reason do I have to leave?

It’s my best friend that now foolishly walks in her way

and I know one day he too will grieve.

The stiletto remains in my heart ever grey,

till the day it can finally be sheathed,

when she does it to him like an instant replay

and my suffering, to him I’ll bequeath.

“You’d take her back if you could get her to stay?”

He recently said. I said “Do I look that naive?

Trust me.  You dallied, and the devil you’ll pay.

Your comeuppance you’ll surely receive

and then we’ll drink wine with a perfect bouquet

and our mutual disturbance bereave.

Meanwhile I will just wait for the day

Her unfaithfulness makes you believe. ”


Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Contests, Poetry


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Story Competition

I found another writing competition to enter.  I like these things.  This one has nine story cubes, like dice, that generate nine little pictures as prompts.  In addition, there’s a 350 word limit.  Good idea for a creative writing competition, Hannah.

Here’s my entry.

The Book

By Roger Engle

(345 words)

The shooting star arced across the sky.  It seemed like a streak of light, but that’s because it was moving so fast.  There was a roar, the ground trembled and they realized it was approaching, not simply crossing their field of view.  A thundering roar, the fireball skimmed the treetops, crashing a half-kilometer from them.  The explosion knocked them down with a shockwave and heat from the blast.

Tommy woke up first.  He aroused the others.  Corey was covered in ashes and debris.  They found him, shoes knocked off, red socks showing.  Derrick slapped him to wake him.

Corey looked at Tommy, Simon and Derrick, puzzled.

“Come on, man!  Get up!” said Tommy.  “Where are your shoes?”

Corey noticed his feet with surprise, and then found his shoes.  Putting them on he suggested they go examine the crater.

The boys ran through the woods until they reached a steaming furrow in the ground, uprooted trees, piled dirt on both sides, marked the spot clearly.  Steam and smoke obscured their vision.  They followed the furrow and saw an object glowing at the bottom of the crater.  Sheep from a nearby farm could be heard bleating senselessly

The object was shaped like a rectangular box with glowing symbols on it. As they stood there watching, it opened with a hiss.  They were surprised to find a book inside.  On the cover was printed, in English, the words, “How to Save Your Planet”.

“What the heck?” said Simon, wonder in his eyes “Really?”

They heard a crunching noise, saw a man touch down through swirling mist, his parachute falling behind him.  He had a patch on his shoulder in the shape of a lightning bolt.  As he slipped out of his harness his weapon came up.  “You boys will have to come with me.”

Ten minutes later a troop transport truck cleared the rise behind them and stopped within yards of the crater.  Soldiers poured out, surrounded them, weapons at ready.  Following the orders given them, they climbed the ladder into the truck.  Where were they taking them?


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Trifextra: Week Two

I found this blog today and figured I’d try their Trifextra Challenge.  I’m always looking for some good writing exercise in which to engage.  The challenge is to “give [us] a complete story in three sentences.”

I attempted to make this an ode to the approaching holiday; to honor lovers everywhere, while bringing to mind the euphoria that accompanies the reward for having bested every obstacle in the path of young love.  This is entitled “First Kiss”



First Kiss

Peter waits as Kelly’s lips, poised in a perfect kiss, hesitate just fractions of an inch from his.  He braved the torturous deriding of his competition, even a thrashing from her strongest pursuer, Bill Simmons, and conquered the fears and insecurities within his own heart to be under this apple tree, on this secluded hill on the backside of Mr. Hastings’s orchard watching her as she brings her lips to his to reward him.  Now his senses explode as his head swims, his heart pounds and he, lost in time and space becomes nothing but lips, tongue, the smell of blossoms and co-mingled bliss!


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WWE’s Ryder harnesses Web to boost his career –

WWE’s Ryder harnesses Web to boost his career –

I don’t follow professional fighting of any kind, fake or real.  I’ve seen a few interesting matches and been entertained a time or two by both the fake stuff and the real.  What this guy has done with his Youtube account is simply amazing, though.  It’s the kind of thing we all want to do with our projects/products.   There’s a lesson to be learned here.

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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Authors, Blogs, Contests, Sports, youtube


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100 word challenge

This is my entry for the 100 word challenge at Julia’s Place. I originally wasn’t sure if poetry was allowed, but she sent me an email assuring me it was.

The prompt was “You bought her what…”  There was purposely no punctuation so as to leave some freedom of interpretation.


Y0u bought her what she couldn’t buy;

sweets and candies, true delights,

a four-post bed with sheets so white,

a pony that she’d love to ride,

a gown to dance in through the night,

a house upon the riverside,

a swimming pool with a bright blue slide,

a beach to stroll and watch the tide,

a forest where the faeries hide,

and in their secret vales reside,

a magic palace in the sky,

fantastical on clouds up high.

You bought her things to satisfy,

Or so you tried to justify,

But all that really qualified

was a friend in whom she could confide.


I’m going to have to continue doing these.  This was fun!


Posted by on January 29, 2012 in Authors, Blogs, Contests, Poetry, Prompts


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