Thursday, 30 August 2012

WRAP UP - ROMANTIC PICNIC and new challenge guidelines, I Should Have Kissed You.

Ah, what a great turn-out for The Romantic Picnic. Thanks Andy for all your promo efforts  *high-fives*

Welcome to several new followers - Cluelessincairo, Elen Lackner, T Roger Thomas, A J Locke, and Anne @Writers Space. Welcome new contributors Sulekha Rawat, Nilanjana Bose, Anne, Elen Lackner, Michael DiGesu, Suzy Que; and to JL who has been gone awhile.  Glad you all could join us.  And a big thank you to all our returning contributors, you know you rock!

I always marvel at how a simple theme can have so many wonderful interpretations.  Few of us – myself included – actually incorporated the picnic as more than the setting, and I was surprised there were not more children and families depicted.  Even more interesting: only one person included the Ants.  Picnics must be fun to write, cuz many excerpts were over word count!  I was impressed with the awesome landscapes - beaches, mountains, and gardens - and a variety of rich cultures to fascinate us.  My weekend reading was filled with wine and potato salad . .

Francine: used the picnic throughout her writing.  The setting and picnic spread were romantic, the Marques and The Lady unchaperoned, and a matter of social etiquette to discuss.
Sally:  had a special invite, a beautiful day, and a bad childhood memory on the horizon to spoil the lover’s time together.  Except; this beau knew how to get to a picnic with the hood down, and holding hands, and an unexpected proposal to rival the shining sun.
Sulekha: wrote of a mid-day, Valentine’s Day getaway with a busy corporate husband.  As a good wife, our pov lover fulfills her duty, as unsatisfying as it is, all the while thinking her husband has no time or caring for her.  Until the moment he proves he listens to every word she speaks.
Madeleine: treated us to a lesson in perspectives; writing out the same scenario from differing POV.  Interesting; all the different ways to ask a person on a picnic, and all the emotions and possibilities from just a subtle change.
Anna: continued her story of Paul, Jenny and Priscilla, this time adding in the responses of the kids to the return of their mother.  She leaves us hanging with the possibility that the picnic reunion may not be as happy as hoped, or may not happen at all.
Adura:  took us on a sensual journey into the botanicals with a long time crush on a competent co-worker.  The picnic seemed the perfect setting to take a plutonic relationship to its next level.
Nancy: set us atop the Grand Canyon, with the wind blowing in our hair, a child who wants to learn to cook, and the love of a dad for the helpful neighbor.  Seven years is a long time for a love to grow.
Roland: gave us the gift of “finger” foods for a midnight picnic in the cemetery; complete with the insanity of long dead spirits to cheer the happy couple through their long night of running.
Denise: took us back to the islands to wait with Inya for his tourist attraction to return to him.  Trusting the endurance of the fling, Inya returns to the place of their first meeting; papaya, wild ginger, wine and a trusting heart exposed to the sea, and fates.
Linda: offered a cultural feast, complete with a rebellious teen, a forbidden love affair, and a risky chance at an alternate life.  She left us all with aspirations for the mysterious future.
Andy: deviously allowed the female lover to stew in her own cooking as he purposefully arrived late, then sweet talked her into a white limousine .  Within was a romantic picnic complete with pink champagne, roses, and a pink diamond to ensure a long, full night.
Nilanjana: filled the night with stars, wine, and fine poetry to lift our mood and leave us breathless in the moonlit air.  A feast for the soul.
Anne: wrapped us in a memory of the perfect day, overlapping the picnic of past and present to build a dream world where the spirits of loved one dine on remembrance.
Suzy: tricked her lover into revealing her perfect date, then flew us off to a romantic location, all perfectly set up with music, fine cutlery, and all the alone time anyone could wish with such an adventurous, handsome man.
Crystal:  watched our lovers play with the family at the park; a family and a love that was rejected for more immediate concerns, now looked upon with regret and a taste of jealousy.  We were left with the consequences of choice, an ache for things that could have been.
Radwa: walked the shoreline, taking note of all stages of love from new romance, to comfortable passion, to sharing of family and growth.  We fed on the waves, and the salty air, and drank in the soothing wonders of life in its unguarded moments.
Elen: reunited us with a long lost love; recapturing a moment in time as if it had never escaped loving arms, sensual kisses and silvering moon lighting the way to wild abandon.
Joy: lingered on the rebound; a heart breaking dilemma of doubt and mistrust where the past over shadows the present, the future a turned back walking into the horizon without a glance back, leaving only the ants and crumbs to share the loss.
Michael: swept us away in a gusty moment of passion; the wind and fingers in the lovers hair stirring breathless kisses and waves of desire with a wet “I love you.”
Donna: undressed our lovers for an afternoon delight; surfing the years of togetherness as well as the enduring waves change.

As you can see, we met our challenge goal of 20 entrants, gathered some new friends, and fed our passion for Romance in a variety of flavors.  What we didn't obtain is a clear winner for the People's Choice award.  Part of the reasoning could be the technical errors Denise had in getting the poll up, and then the inability of mobile apps to view the sidebar; or perhaps it is just that our writers are so awesome it is difficult to pick only one winner.  I think I'll go with that one.

Thank you all for joining us for The Romantic Picnic.
* * *
Our next challenge I SHOULD HAVE KISSED YOU, is eligible for the Featured Writer and Runner Up awards, so you may want to start creating/polishing your 600 word (or less) prose or prosetry excerpts now.  Challenge #44 was inspired by Glorianna’s song I Should Have Kissed You.

What we are looking for is the hesitation, the uncertainty, and the (however temporary or permanent) consequences of the missed opportunity TO KISS.  We want our lips to feel it, our tongues to taste it, our bodies and minds to be so involved in the anticipation that we have to kiss our hand (or our uninterested significant other) just to be fulfilled . .

Read the full details by clicking on the Challenges page up top. All upcoming challenges have been posted, so check out the guidelines on the page. 

You do not need to be a member or follower to sign up on the linky and post your vision of the Challenge Theme, but you DO have to be a MEMBER to be considered for FW/RU, so if you haven’t yet joined, now is a good time.

Challenge Schedule:
Challenge #44 -  Sept 7 -    I Should Have Kissed You   FW/RU
Challenge #45 -  Sept 21 -  Oh How I Hate My Beautiful Friend
Challenge #46 -  Oct 5   -    Birthday Madness 
Challenge #47 -  Oct 19 -    Halloween – House of Horrors.  FW/RU


  1. Good job Donna. I had such a hard time voting. Loved the romantic reads this challenge. Can't wait for the next 'kissey' one. My story is already written - the saga of Inya and Sally continues...

  2. Hi Donna,

    Lovely write-up! Hee hee, vote polls rarely come to a clear conclusion. In the early days neither Denise or I could win a thing: we were the judge and jury!

    As for the next challenge prompt. Oh boy it describes a scene in my latest novel. So I'll be taking everyone to Italy...


    1. I well remember Francine. These pills suck but at least the hosts get a little kick out of getting a pat on the back occasionally, lol! D

  3. I wonder if the poll voting should be on a separate post so that it pops up in people's feeds rather than relying on people going back to the original post? We may be able to get to more people that way and even people who haven't written anything but like to read all the contributions might be able to vote as well.
    Well done to everybody, I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the entries.

    1. Good suggestion Sally but I did go around to EVERYONE personally to tell them. But it was late and its never conclusive. Nice to be democratic we think.

  4. Great wrap-up, Donna!
    As far as the poll is concerned, I had a hard time choosing between about three or four finalists after I deleted the texts that went over the word limit.

    I am flattered that two people voted for my story. Since I never ever vote for myself, I know it had to be two other RFWers. Thank you so much, whoever you are!

    Best wishes,

    1. Just goes to show Anna, people like your story! Go with it!

  5. I agree with Anna, there was atleast 5 or 6 that I just hated choosing between because they were really really good!! I wish we could atleast vote for our top two!! LOL! That would definitely be interesting.. but congratulations to everyone!! Thanks to Donna and Denise for another really awesome challenge and I'll get started on my draft for the next challenge!! :) Have a great weekend everyone!

  6. Congratulations to everyone, I hope i could join in the next challenge cheers!


  7. Hi, Donna and Denise,

    Okay, I couldn't find the poll BECAUSE I kept looking here and at Denise's blog.... stupid me.. sorry Donna.

    Geez. But the writing was awesome this time around and I certainly would have had a hard time choosing.

    Trying to think of something to top my last entry... it will be hard. I hope I didn't peak too early... LOL.

    1. I love your writing style, Michael. I can't wait to read yours, and everyone elses' entries for our 'kissy' prompt. D

  8. Nice wrap-up. I am so disappointed that I missed you this time but I did read all the entries. So much diversity! I am looking forward to the next one.

  9. Hello all.
    What's up with Blogger today? Haven't been able to access my blog since earlier this evening & when it does load, half the posts are missing...can't access FB either! :-(
    Nice wrap-up Donna. It was good to meet out 20 goal. I don't know if I'll be in for the next challenge. I've got maintenance & workmen scheduled for that week, so blogging might be near impossible. I'll have to see. Anyway, nice job this week everyone. Have a wonderful weekend! For my regulars, don't forget it's Blog Hop Saturday! this weekend. Linky will open at 9:00am Saturday - 9:00pm Sunday.

    1. Well it certainly will be strange with no beautiful Andy post, but you have the perfect excuse. Penning romantic poetry while the tradies trounce around would be a challenge.

  10. Hi everyone ,i enjoyed reading alot
    Sorry for being late and not replying as from mob its reallly Different tjan the pc
    Hopefully wizin few days i will be having ma pc bk and be able to be wiz u all

  11. Great wrap up. I've already prescheduled my next entry, as I'm starting my new job from next week I'm not sure whether I'll be able to sign up to the linky, but I'll try.

    1. Maddy I can do that for you. Good luck with the new job!

  12. I had a great time doing this. Hopefully, I can come up with something for the next one. Loved reading the other posts and meeting new people. Thanks for this opportunity.

    1. It was great having you write for us Anne. Hope you get inspired for next prompt.

  13. Denise and Donna, our two D-beautiful writers who come up with brilliant ideas and inspire us all. This wrap up is so awesome, how you manage it I will never know. Thanks so much for all your hard work.

  14. I guess I should have read the comments first but since I didn't I want to put in my two cents on the voting. As far as having it attached to the comments section, that wouldn't be fair. Many of our regular followers wouldn't bother to read anyone else's story and so their votes would have an unfair advantage. I think the current system is good, but I do think that we should eliminate those over the word count, those who don't include the theme and we should not vote for ourselves. I never do. Just my thoughts.

    1. Thanks for your input Nancy. That is how Denise and I judge the FW/RU challenges, but we had hoped for the people's choice to be less restrictive so that possibly more people would vote. We do hope everyone reads the submission before voting though :)


  15. I have got here a bit late, sorry, though I came in early to vote. I had a fun time reading all the posts, and the awesome wrap up. It was very difficult voting, but in the end I followed Denise's instruction to go with my gut :) Thanks for everything and hope to be in on the next challenge.

  16. Thanks for all the encouragement folks; and I'm excited already about reading the next round of submissions. Y'all keep getting better and better each week :)

    Have a great weekend.



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