Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Featured Writer for Challenge No 32 for Friday Feb 24 - The Perfect 9.5. A critique of each entry. And Challenge No 33, 'I Love You Because...'

It's that time of the week again! It was great to have our usual amount of entries for such a difficult prompt. 

I confess I struggled for weeks thinking about this one, but I finally got an idea and my story grew from there. Thank you everyone who commented favourably on my hot little passionate flamenco dance number, especially for those who thought I could/should be the Featured Writer. I like to hear that, but I'm not in the competition.  
Like most of our 400 word stories and poems, there is room to extend my story. I find it helpful to read the comments then take my story away and improve/extend on it, as I plan to e-publish a book of my flash fiction before the year is out, and they can be any word count under 1,000. 

If I manage to work out the e-pub system, I'll also be asking for your best stories to be considered for a Romantic Friday Writers e-book, and looking for a tres clever arty person to design our cover.

And thank you everyone for making the time to visit more stories/poems this week.

No glitches this week that I know of, just some imaginative treatment of the prompt. Not surprisingly sport (including dancing) was featured, as for this numbers game we often think of competitions.

Now, apologies for the length of this post. I want to demonstrate to you how thoroughly your stories are considered for FW and RU. 

I colluded with Donna Hole again this week. Donna does a lot of critiquing for her fellow blogger/writers so I respect her expertise. She read every story/poem and sent me her ruminations. This week I'm going to reveal Donna's summations, then give her her head with the decisions. I think she deserves this after all her hard work.

Over to you, Donna...

Ms Queenly has a great sniping story of competition, and I liked that the love interest stood in the sidelines to encourage her through the difficult task of admitting faults.

 - Roland's characters are flawed by nature; the excerpt didn't show a distinct flaw that showed devotion despite the flaw.  They state they love each other and that is all there is to the relationship, at least in this excerpt.

 - Andy's poetry is a celebration of women.  There is no specific "relationship" there; women are loved because they are women.

 - Denise's setting and dancers were exquisite.  Based to set the heartbeat, the sweat of exertion, the love of a man for a talented beauty.  I can see passion igniting at the end of the night.  An excellent emotive vignette, a flash fiction worthy of publication for its heart and passion.

 - Anna's story of sibling love was beautiful, and I hope she develops that into at least a flash fiction piece; it would take very little tweaking to evoke more passion. But again, they are together because they are siblings and already share a bond.

 - Nancy's blind date really captured me.  I loved it.  But it was in all essence, a perfect date.

 - Weissdorn was truly inspired.  I loved how she showed a relationship building around the sporting event.  Phillipe was perfect for her, I could really see why that relationship would work.  But, the 9.5 was for the competition, not the relationship.

 - Linda's "gossipy" take was so much fun.  I about p***d my pants laughing at the twisted ending.  I liked how the imperfections of the showcased relationship were witnessed by an outside party.  Made it that much more juicy.  But what I was looking for in this excerpt wasn't there at the end: why would the wife stay with a such a lout?

 ** Laura's love letters were funny and heartfelt.  I could see myself as this wife, frustrated but not at all ready to give up.  What is love without conflict to make up :)  And his response had me crying with joy that he took it all in stride, and eloquently blew kisses back at her.  Truly, who could resist such a strong relationship?  

 * Adura's about tore my heart in two.  And I liked the almost flat, matter-of-fact voice of the narrator.  I wasn't sure how to leave feedback to Adura; but if the paragraphs had been rearranged just a little so the story did not start in flashback, but followed from meeting, to dating and uncertainty, to his untimely death just when they were getting comfortable, this would have been even more powerful.

*** Janu's was poignantly nostalgic; it captured the essence of lifetime commitment, from both perspectives.  She loved him by caring for his needs while he loved her by providing for their family and future.  Then the tables turned, and he loved her by repaying all her care and selflessness.  This was a complete history of love, endurance, and sacrifice.

 So there we have it. I may/may not have chosen the same two winners but it is so difficult to decide.You may/may not agree with Donna's POV, so I'd ask you to have your say next challenge - (only if you read ALL the entries.) Please leave in the comments who you think should be FW or the RU for the prompt. I'm giving you notice so you can think about this while you read next week.

So after much rumination, the runner up this week is Adura Ojo! Congratulations on your prose Adura. Please display the harlot on your blog!

FW this week is Janu. I don't know how you were affected by Janu's poem this week, but it had a great impact on me, more so when an email from Janu revealed this is a true story. 


For the next few prompts, I'm going to do a song series. All prompts will be titles of songs (there's no copyright on song titles.) Starting with 'I Love You Because...'

What do Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jim Reeves have in common? They all recorded 'I Love You Because...' I like all versions, but the one I recognise is the Jim Reeves version from the '60s. Go to youtube and listen to each if you want further inspiration for this prompt. I think these words really suggest poetry to me. I might have a go at some more prosetry or I may stick to prose. I think the prompt speaks for itself and shouldn't need further suggestions...


The words 'I Love You Because...' must feature in the poem/prose at some point - be as imaginative as you wish with this. It doesn't necessarily have to be in first person (I know some writers hate first person, I'm sure I don't know why.) Make it whatever person you wish. Just write us a lovely poem or story. Don't forget to include a romantic element...hmmm, can't wait to get started...

L'Aussie Denise


  1. *blushing* I'm feeling the tinsiest bit naked :)

    Congratulations to everyone who participated in this weeks prompt. You are all winners with your excellent stories. I'm hoping to see announcement posts of these that they've been further developed and submitted to poetry, flash fiction or short story publications. Or, as in Roland's writings, in larger published works.

    I'm eagerly awaiting the next prompt, and to see how everyone casts their votes for FW/RU. That adds an extra element of intrigue to the writing :)


  2. Congratulations to the well-deserved winners, Janu and Adura.

    Thank you everyone who left helpful and encouraging comments about my story. Special thanks to Linda Katmarian and Donna Hole who suggested changes and ignored the fact that I had written "NCCO" after the wordcount. Donna came back several times to read my revisions, that I left open for anyone to read.

    I really liked Laura's story written in two letters. If I had been judging this contest, I would have given her one of two runners-up-award.

    The idea of writing a novel in the form of letters is nothing new. One of the first novels, written by Samuel Richardson (19 August 1689 – 4 July 1761), Pamela: Or, Virtue Rewarded (1740) was written as a series of letters.

    I would love to try this form myself, if I found that a subject matter seemed to fit it.

    Best wishes to all until next time.

  3. Hi Anna. Don't worry, Laura was in the mix for the RU! It was a difficult choice. Laura knows how much we loved her story form. D.

  4. Hello.
    Congratulations Janu & Adura!
    Well done to everyone else. challenge should be a lot of fun!

    Denise, I have changed my blog address. Please can you update my membership details in the blogroll/membership. New address is:
    Thanks a lot.

    Have a great weekend everybody & see you all soon!

  5. Oh Donna, what a great job you did. Your notes blue me away.

    Congratulations to all the winners. Each story was well worth the read.

    I admit, my romantic bone is a little dull from illness. I will give this next challenge my best effort. It brings to mind the hope and tenderness of my youth when I believed love could conquer all.

  6. Did I say blue?..well of course, I was blue from not picking up on such great observations. But alas, a massive fan took shape and I was truly blown away by Donna's expertise. Great job again.

  7. Congratulations Janu and Adura - I adored both of your pieces! And thank you Ana, that's really a lovely comment! And three cheers for Donna for individual feedback - that's impressive :)

    Looking forward to next week's, though heads up that there are a few stormy waters a-brewing in Laura land, so if I'm missing, it won't be for long.

    1. Laura, I hope all is okay. Ride out that stormy weather. Hope we see you and everyone else and more next week!


  8. Thanks everyone. I can't wait to see how your reviews and favorites turn out :)


  9. And I hope you aren't frightened to post,worrying about giving your opinion about who you think should be the FW. You don't have to, it's just an option...

    Once again, thanks Donna for your critiques.


  10. Yay! Thank you so much for the harlot badge. I shall display with pride. Interesting feedback - I think it's great to have critique like this. And Congrats to Janu.

  11. I hope I remember this Friday!

  12. Hey Joy, I just left a comment on your blog and here you are! I hope you remember too! D.

  13. Thank you so much for the honor...thanks everyone for the wishes.


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