Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Featured Writer - Challenge No 30 - Learning to dance when it's over...Update on next two posts!

Hello fellow RFWers!

The entries this week were full of life and hope. I loved reading them all and am doing the judging alone this week as I wanted Donna in the mix with her online dating story, well, it was a lot more than that!

I always find it terribly hard to choose winners and this week was no exception as even though there were only 10 entries the quality was high. Going back for multiple readings was no chore.

I know not everyone gets around to read all the entries, so I'll give everyone a shout out here and perhaps if you haven't read some, you'll take the time to pop on over, read and say hello. We all crave encouragement, don't we?

So, in no particular order:

  • Janu's poem, 'No Regrets' was powerful with her message of 'I learn to walk, then dance.' I loved 'After the night is a promise of a New Dawn.' Janu has just started writing for us and was the recipient of the Encouragement Award last week.
  • Roland went over the word limit, rebel that he is, but his 'Danse Mardi Gras' was gripping, as is all of Roland's work. Captain Sam has Mellori back in his arms at the haunted jazz club in New Orleans. Alice is flowing by in a black sleek dress with a tango slit (tango was a popular dance this week!). She was surely 'dressed to kill.'
  • Anna's entry was an endearing sweet piece. The message was that love is eternal and who can argue with that in any language? Anna received many complimentary comments on her prose. Considering Anna is Swedish we are all amazed at her swift improvement in writing in English.
  • Donna gave us something different this week, with her (or Brenda's) foray into online dating. That's what a lot of people do nowadays 'after the dance is over' so very up to the minute. Donna portrayed Brenda's anguish, indecision and uncertainty throughout the piece. I hope Donna works on this story as there's a lot more I'd like to read about.
  • Laura melted me this week with her hot chilli-chocolate tango and her killer last line - 'It seems that a broken heart dances the perfect tango.' Wow! Laura received several in-depth comments and suggestions to make a great story even better. 
  • Kiru touched a chord with her extract from her new book, A Valentine Challenge with her two endearing characters Kaisie and Michael. She raised the issue of family estrangement which many of us could relate to. Families need that central character to be the 'glue' but when that 'glue' is no longer there, how do families co-exist?
  • Adura had us all amazed with her 'Auto Tango' poem. Adura said in a comment - "Auto Tango" is probably one of the most technically difficult poems I've ever written. Each stanza is linked - starts with seven syllables which reduces until it becomes one and then it starts with seven all over again and repeats the process until one word at the end of the last stanza." It was high energy poetry reflecting the tango as a high-energy dance - the stanzas dance within the poem.
  • Scherherazade delivered romance, conflict...then murder! Pow! She caught us all! What an ending! I'm still not sure whose severed head was left lying at the end of the story, so I'm hoping there's a follow up to this! What's going to happen at the cabin?
  • Andy's 'Like a Harlot' was quite different from what we've come to expect from Andy, and that's great. Mix it up friends! Surprise us! This vision in Andy's poem becomes 'like a dying flower she withered before my eyes.' His last line was full of humor - 'Perhaps tomorrow I will try Ballroom Dancing instead.' 
  • Well I guess I should mention mine...I loved writing this positive piece about a woman who's been downtrodden but is finding her feet again. Love the idea of belly dancing. Not that I've ever tried it, so a bit of research went into the story and it must have convinced those who read/commented. Ah, I love the reality of hope!
So you can understand my problem in choosing a winner. I want to award you all. You are all superstars!

This week I'd like to award Anna the Encouragement Award again for the vast improvement you are making in your English, Anna. We all loved your story. I'm excited to see what you're going to write in the future. You just get better and better.

Runner Up? I loved Janu's 'No Regrets.' Beautifully crafted, beautiful heart-felt message - walk, then dance.

Featured Writer? Oh, I'm torn. I had to keep going back and forth between so many of you but I couldn't settle on just one. I'm awarding the accolade to Adura for 'Auto Tango' and Laura for her heart-breaking story of the broken hearted still able to tango. 

So if you didn't get awarded this week, I hope writing is reward enough. The bar was raised this week and I hope we can keep producing such high-quality entries.

Thank you!

Now on to the next two challenges!

Apologies to those of you who had already taken the badge for the next challenge (9.5) and posted it on your blog. That was tremendous and I'd love it if more of you would do that so we can spread the word. But I had the wrong date on it - forgot momentarily that it's not weekly any more, lol! I'd also overlooked the fact that it's Valentine Day on February 14th, and our next challenge is just before that. I thought The Long, Cool Aphrodisiac would be more fitting if any of you lean towards a Valentine Day's type story/poem. 

So members and friends, take the two badges and post them on your site and spread the word for our next two challenges. Don't forget to check the Challenge page for that little bit extra to get you thinking...

Welcome to new followers and members. I hope you will throw aside the curtain and join us! We want to read your stories or poetry!

Happy writing!

Denise (l'Aussie)


  1. The excerpts this week were all very strong writing. I was almost grateful to Roland for going over word count so he put himself out of the competition. (He's a tough act to follow, lol) Andy really stretched himself too this week.

    I was torn for a favorite too. I would have just awarded everyone because the stories were so moving and delightful.

    Congrats to the winners :) And thanks Denise for the awesome recap. This was a lot of fun to write to.


    1. OOOOh the reply button is working again folks!

      Donna, it took ages to do the recap and I can't every week, but all of you deserved to be winners this week.

      I'm glad you agree the stories were all moving and delightful.


    2. And you wouldn't have been much help in choosing either! It was soooo hard and I hope I didn't upset anyone who thought they should have got the FW award because they probably should have! :D

  2. Dear Denise, Donna and all other RFWers,

    Congratulations to the winners! I have not read everyone's text yet, but will do this during the week. This is a fortnightly/biweekly challenge, so I should finish reading before it's time to read the next set of posts.

    Thank you for the encouragement award, again. Actually I am still working on my 'dance'-text even though the contest is over. Donna Hole had some interesting thoughts about how to improve my story, and I am going to write a third version with these changes. Learning to write is all about learning how to edit and rewrite!

    Hope you all are well and happy.

    Best wishes,

    Anna's The Last Dance - RFW challenge No.30

    1. Anna, you're right. If someone has great suggestions, go with it! I'd love to read your reworked version. All writing can be improved.


  3. Thanks for recognizing and appreciating my work. I am honoured. Hope to ride on the good luck.

  4. You're welcome Janu! You were amongst excellent entries this week.


  5. Denise - thank you so much! I absolutely loved the stories this week - I noticed that some of my comments didn't make it through onto people's sites - internet was hit and miss again, so I'm going to do a second read around asap... and sorry if anyone's missing my comments!
    Laura x

    1. Hi Laura. Yes, google is a bit dodgy with comments lately. I notice my Reply button is working again so they must have been working on the comment system lately.

      Yes, great stories this week.


  6. Hello Denise & fellow RFWers.
    This really was a great week for turnouts & entries.
    Many congratulations to Adura, Laura, Janu & Anna and also well done to everyone else!

    The next challenge sure should be fun!

    I'm taking a mini hiatus to do some maintenance on my blog/catch up on reply comments/visits.

    Have a great weekend & see you soon!

    Denise, thanks for the email & the lovely comments. You're a real gem! ;-)

  7. Thank you, Denise, for the great words. My work at the blood center is draining me with the extra hours driving in terrible weather. That and THE RIVAL is consuming my writing time! Getting Victor in and out of trouble is tiring. You should try being me! -- he says!

    I am honored to be mentioned in such company, Roland

  8. And thank you, Donna, for the very gracious and great compliment. Alice blows you a kiss -- safest token you can get from a ghoul!!

  9. Congrats to the Featured Winners and those who've had honourable mentions. WEll done everyone. I've been poorly *again* [Doc tells me it's my age :O(]so not been on blogland recently but will try to catch up with everyone's entries as soon as I'm able. Of those I have read I loved Laura's piece though, so I'm not surprised she got a Featured badge.

  10. Congratulations to all the winners and runner ups. The next 2 challenges def look interesting. Will post the badges up.
    Enjoy your weekends, y'all.

  11. Where in the world have I been?!!!!
    Last week was a killer (workwise) and I have not been able to access blogger for a few days.

    Thank you so much, Denise, for the featured writer badge. Means a lot particularly as that was technically/creatively a challenging one for me to do. Hope everyone is having a great weekend. We're having a white February in the UK, it seems.

  12. Congrats to Laura and Anna too. I enjoyed reading their entries.

  13. Congrats to all the writers.
    I just got my flash fiction piece finished and scheduled. I look forward to reading the other submissions.

  14. Oh, I'm so looking forward to this challenge. I'm hoping we get a lot of entries.



Join in the discussion. We care about your opinion.