Wednesday, 18 July 2012

GREENER PASTURES WRAP-UP, Upcoming Guest Post and Next Challenge!

Hey RFWers; thank you to everyone who participated in the Greener Pastures Challenge.  A lot of really good concept writing was submitted.  This Challenge was eligible for Featured Writer and Runner up award; and as such had a few special rules added:

-          word count up to 600
-          prose or prosetry
-          1st posting only judged

. . . and since I forgot it was scheduled for Friday the 13th when I set up the Challenge, I threw in a last minute $3 gift card to one lucky, randomly drawn winner who managed to use the superstitious theme within their excerpt.  But lets get to the wrap up and see what tales were told (in submission order) . .

Denise – posted a continuation of last weeks’ Stuck in the Middle concept, focusing on Marsilia this time.  Marsilia is considering moving on from her marriage to Greffon, and all signs point that James is about to be a replacement. James has turned up the charm – and smothering-type attention – to win her.  A wiser Marsilia may focus instead on the new relationship growing within her . .

Donna – wrote a new excerpt, with a gritty older male POV, who's love is tied to his deceased wife, and the routine that drove their relationship.  The new love, developed from mutual loss and a steady pharmaceutical purchase, has enough similarities to his deceased wife that the differences are a constant reminder of his former love.

Sally – wrote a poem of abiding love in the aftermath of war.  A family saga, that followed the life of a pretty young maid through maturity, marriage, divorce and in the end, full circle to the first love.  Life was the second love in this heart warming tale.

Adura – poetry was completely unique in “replacing” an old, well loved image with a newer version, a yearning for the 'good old days' reflected in old photos. Is the changing world better?

Kiru – wrote an intriguing excerpt of broken promises, and a life long edict to be “the good wife.”  At the moment of truth, the work mistress that distracted her husband became the wife’s new mistress also.  Justice chilled with wine – on Friday the 13th . .

Rahul – a newcomer to our RFW ranks; made our hearts bleed with the callousness of the wife’s final goodbye.  But who was at fault we wonder; the wife who tired of sleeping alone in the luxury provided, or the husband who finally remembered the love that inspired his climb to the top?

Crystal – also posted a new excerpt, focusing on the stagnation of marriage and a woman with a demanding career.  A modern tale of changing roles, a missed opportunity, and an unexpected twist at the end to seal the theme.

Andy – stretched his writing abilities outside his usual box of poetry and adoration of the feminine mystique with a heart breaking narrative of love interrupted by fate.  As our scarred beauty confronts her destiny, whose life will change – or end - with her forsworn despair?

Madeleine – posted a short, poignant snippet from her novel that depicts a heart unwilling to move on, though all the charm and affection of a favored friend are not completely unnoticed.

Heather – took a risky spin away from the norms of her world, and ended up somewhere much less pleasant than the status quo; proving that sometimes the same-old same has its own rewards in continuity.

Radwa – a recently new member, wrote of deep pain and the renewal of love, life and the birth of a new day on the bay. The tides of life endlessly wash out the old pain, leaving clean sands for a fresh beginning.

CandiLynn – is also a relatively new member, writing of the sacrifice of one love for the other, an elemental dream exchanged for the trappings of mortality.  When the tides of the dream wash ashore, and a decision must be made, it is the heart’s mistress that makes the final choice.

Anna – also continued her story from the Stuck in the Middle challenge; with a heart breaking decision to return to what has been lost and found, or carry on into the uncertain future.

So there it is, a recap of the submissions for Featured Writer, Runner up, and the bonus $3 Amazon gift card.

Denise and I have collaborated extensively over wine, sun bleached beaches, and the virtual world of e-mails, and come to the difficult decision of choosing the winners in all three categories.  And here is our picks (without drummroll or fanfare) . .

Although some thought Donna's post integrated the Friday the 13th concept by mentioning the lingering memories of the deceased wife, the post did not embody the essence of the superstitious date with any freaky bad luck, or even mention the auspicious date.  And while many of the excerpts were of a darker nature, with open endings left to reader interpretation, only one blamed the date for the bad luck.

Congratulations Kiru; I will e-mail you with the gift card within the week.  If you don't receive an e-mail from me, please nag me in an e-mail, as sometimes I forget.

Next is the Runner Up award.  This is awarded to a member who just didn't quite make the cut as Featured Writer, but only because it came down to a choice, and a final decision HAD to be made.  There can be only one Featured Writer.  

The judging criteria for Featured Writer was pretty stringent for this challenge.  WE (meaning the hosts Denise and Donna) required writers to stay within a 600 (or less) word count, adhere to prose/prosetry writing style (no poetry), be well polished on the first submission (no revisions based on comment feedback), and incorporate the Greener Pastures theme (some amount of contrast between old love/new love).   The rest, as the saying goes, is up to interpretation.

And WE agree that the wide variety of interpretations all stayed within the Greener Pastures theme.  

  • Abstract: ideas: Adura, Kiru, Heather, Crystal, Radwa
  • reminiscent perspective: Donna, Sally, Rahul, Anna
  • the here and now: Denise, Madeleine, Andy,
  • paradigm shifts:   CandiLynn, Madeleine
Every concept was unique in its interpretation.

The Greener Pastures Runner Up posted within the required word limit, stayed (mostly) within the perspective character's view point, was a complete scene with a beginning/middle/end, oozed that all important romantic element, and was so well developed WE took a mini cruise on an imaginary bay liner (boat).  Congratulations CandiLynn; you are RFW's Runner up for Challenge #40, Greener Pastures.  Please proudly post the RU Harlot on your blog, with the title of the post you received it for.

Our Featured Writer did all of the above, AND went that little extra mile to stretch his writing skills not only outside of his chosen genre, but also outside of his normal writing style, to post a writing specifically for the RFW Challenge.  This dedication to craft truly deserves recognition.  Andy David, please accept the RFW Featured Writer award for your dedication to craft, and your unique perspective on a difficult writing challenge.

WE would like to thank everyone who took the time and effort to not only post a writing excerpt, but also to polish and present with heart and style.  Thank you all for your contributions to Romantic Friday Writers.

Next Monday, July 23rd, we have a special Guest Post by new member Charmaine Clancy. Charmaine will be letting us in on many of the tricks of publishing your own ebook. There's an especially helpful section on Book Covers. Don't miss it!

And let's start working on our stories/poems for our next Challenge -  Three Things You Could Have Done Better. There's no special guidelines for this prompt - those suggestions offered are only that - inspiration if you need it. Write it your way, but it must relate to the prompt and contain a romantic element...


It's not always easy to say how you feel, so sometimes it's a good- or really very bad idea- to write it down. What has happened in the past to lead you to this point - pen poised, hovering over notepaper? Maybe you communicate better on paper than face to face...maybe you should have acted differently...but should you be sitting here writing it all down...should you be jumping in the car, heading off to see him/her face to face, sort things out? Your call, your story - just make sure there are Three Things You Could Have Done Better.

And Members - be looking in your e-mails for an opportunity to shout out your writing goals/accomplishments in a special post at RFW (publication date to be announced).  Denise is working on an e-mail to collect RFW member achievements.  If you would like to submit your writing accomplishments - from publication, to agent achievement, to writing goals on a work in progress, be sure to sign up on the member linky thumbnail in the right column.

Speaking of writing accomplishments - please take a moment to notice some links in the right sidebar under the member thumbnails for easy targeting of publishers, magazines etc for submission of your work.

Be sure to gather here again on Monday to read Charmaine's Guest Post.


  1. Congratulations guys! cheers!

    1. Hey Genskie, let's hope you can pen something for the next challenge? Missed you!! D

  2. Congratulations Andy, CandiLynn and Kiru! I'm looking forward to Charmaine's post and the upcoming challenge

    1. Charmaine's post is awesome Heather. I always learn so much from her.She's a clever cookie. D

  3. Congrats on the winners, Andy and CandiLynn.
    Yay to Kiru! Bravo!
    Looking forward to Charmaine Clancy's post.

    Thanks for mentioning Ultimate Sacrifice, too.

  4. Very many congratulations Andy and CandiLynn and to Kiru. Well done. See you all next time.

    1. Sally, we loved your entry. Can't wait to see what you come up with next! D

  5. Congratulations to the featured writer!!! Andy! You are amazing all the time and you truly deserve this!! I'm so happy for you my friend!!

    Candilynn, your post was amazing!! It was a beautiful story and the ending was so romantic! I love how the wife came to her senses and realized who was most important to her-her husband!!

    Congratulations again to the winners of this weeks writing challenge!! I couldn't imagined anyone else who deserved it more!!

    Also congratulations to Kiru!! Too bad I didn't see the Friday The 13th bit!! HAHA! I'm happy for you all!!

    1. Crystal, I saw the Friday 13th bit at the last minute too and you did cross my mind with your love of the dark side! LOL

    2. Crystal, you are very generous in your comments to our winners! Thank you! D

  6. Hello.
    WoW! I am speechless for the second time this week!
    Congratulations CandiLynn & Kiru! Well done to everyone else.

    I have to take a moment to bask in the glory of this one (smile). As some of you know, I am not good at storytelling and some of these challenges have had me tearing my hair out, but I've received nothing but positive feedback and encouragement from you all. Thank you so much Denise and Donna. I shall grab the badge with the highest honor. I'm going to have a few more sleepless nights agonizing over the next challenge! LOL
    Thanks again. See you soon!

    1. Congratulations for all of you and specially my friend and teacher Andy,you deserve the best,you have taught many things,and made me participate at such great challenge and it was my first and my writing have been seen as abstract ideas,so iam very happy,wishing you best of luck


    2. Now Andy, don't let all this celebrity go to your head! Now the bar has been raised. How can you better this for next entry? D

    3. Congrats dear andy , yiu have been simply superb !

    4. Congratulations, Andy! Well deserved my friend, I really enjoyed reading your entry.

  7. OMG, OMG, OMG!!! I just happened to check by and see if there were any stories added later so I could read them, and found this! I'm so uber excited. Thank you, I'm honored and now, blushing.

    Congrats to Andy and Kiru as well. :)))))

    I enjoyed every single entry, and their unique spin on the challenge. Well done, everyone!

    1. Hey Candilynn dear,congratulations,i loved it really and it deserves such award,

      so nice meeting you and waiting to read yours at the coming challenge :)

    2. Candilynn, congrats! Well deserved. And thanks for checking back for late entries. There's always one or two! D

  8. Dear RFW

    I `d like to thank you for giving mine as abstract ideas,you have made my day,its my first participation and iam really honored and wish to get better through your &Andy fruitful guidance

    have a wonderful day and thank you Both so much

    1. Dear Radwa, we welcome you to our group and know your writing will improve with every entry. It's a great way to practise! D

  9. Hello All!
    I must say it's wonderful to hit 'Publish' on this for Donna before I went to bed, and to wake up to so many happy, collegiate comments. You writers are all winners in my book! You're so generous with your accolades to each other.
    Andy, the FW couldn't have gone to anyone else. We all applaud your dedication to craft and this is acknowledged.
    Candilynn, go girl! Love the romance!
    Kiru, always wonderful. Clever late addition of Friday 13. If Donna and I had thought of it earlier we could all of us had a bash. Next year, huh? Or let's not forget Halloween! (I'm currently working on a Halloween story already for a publication.)

    So, thanks all, again! Please return for Charmaine's post, and get cracking on your stories/poems for Three Things...


  10. Congrats Andy , Candi and Kiru.
    You all have been different and quite inspirational !!!

  11. Hello everyone, sorry I'm so late to the party.

    You writers all rock, and each deserve an award. Andy, I admire the skill it takes to write completely out of your comfort zone. And Candi, even my less than romantic heart was moved by your story.

    Kiru, I will send the gift card soon. Thanks for using that extra theme in your post.

    I appreciate all the support and encouragement RFWers are lavishing on the winners, and all the fellow writers.

    Thanks again y'all :)

  12. HELLO! If anyone has time, Linda wrote a late entry. I just picked it up here on the left in the blog feed. Please visit Scheherazade and comment! D

  13. Congrats to Andy, Kiru and Candi. Well deserved, all round. Well done, Denise and Donna. I applaud you for your hard work, making RFW what it is.

    'A great weekend to all RFWers.

  14. Yay! Well-deserved, Andy. You really pulled out all the stops with your entry. Congrats too, Candi!

    Thank you, Denise and Donna for picking my entry. I look forward to spending my gift card. :)

  15. Linda's excerpt was great. Loved the sensually-creepy feel to it. I want to know what is on the other side too :)

    Kiru: the gift card has been sent. Let me know if you don't receive the e-mail, or can't access it.


  16. Yes,Linda' story was amazing. A pity so many won't get to read it.


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