Monday, July 23, 2012

Congrats to the Follow My Lead Contest Winner!

Thank you to everyone who submitted entries. They were all fabulous! Judging is the hardest part of a contest. I want everyone to be a winner! I hope you will help me in congratulating Jennifer from  A Creative Exercise . Her piece moved and shook me. The image I selected for July's contest is to the right. The mood of Jennifer's piece haunted me; it led my mind to so many imaginable places. 

The 4th of July was one of better days to come for our country. Renewal. Hope. Freedom. Independence. It's obvious in Jennifer's story that Daria and her people are on the brink of new beginnings. Every time I read the piece, I'm left with hope that the Guardians will release them to go back to the lives they once knew and loved. But, is that really the best thing for Daria? *See my note below. 

Well done, Jennifer. You nailed it. :)) Bazinga! Without further's her entry.

The fireworks flashed silently in the night sky.
Daria watched from her window, the air hot and sticky on her bare arms and legs. Calvin had once asked if she ever got bored watching the same show every night. She never did. She couldn't even begin to remember how many times she had watched these lights bursting outside her window.

Calvin crept into her room. He always seemed to think he could sneak up on her, but she knew when he was there."

Hey,” she said softly.

“Hello.” He approached the window on silent feet, his movements smooth and fluid. “Are you watching the show?”

Daria responded with a shrug as a new flash of silent light burst across the sky

“The Guardians are debating whether to remove the time lock.” He said.

“Why?” Daria straightened up, no longer focused on sky. “I thought the lock protected us.”

“It does. The question is how much protection do you need?” Calvin was watching the sky, his unnaturally smooth brown face lighting up in the flashes. Even in the dim light it was obvious he wasn't human. The Guardians had stopped far short of creating a convincing likeness of a man.

“Some have decided that a thousand years is enough time. If the lock is removed, you and your people will be returned to your home. You will rebuild and live on.”

Daria tried to imagine returning to a world where days moved on to weeks and years, where she would finally grow old, and eventually die. She didn't know how she felt about the prospect.

She turned back to the world outside her window. The fireworks were over, the sky still and black. A new day had begun.


Jennifer, I encourage you to consider the idea of lengthening this into a longer story. I wonder if Calvin, even though he isn't human, loves Daria? I get the feeling they are very connected, and their relationship is deep. Ah, the possibilities are endless for the conflict that would arise with her being set free of the time lock. Does she go or stay with Calvin? I can see a YA novel centered around this premise.

I will be emailing you a copy of FIRESEED ONE by Catherine Stine. Enjoy!!


  1. Congrats to Jennifer! It is such an interesting story with so much more going on than we are privileged to. It would be great to see it expanded!

  2. Thanks Candice for choosing my story. As I was writing it so much background popped into my head. I saw it all so clearly, and I think I may expand on the story in the future.

    I look forward to reading Fireseed One. The synopsis you gave sounded very interesting.

    1. Thanks, Michael!!
      Jennifer, no thanks needed. But, you're welcome! I agree with Michael, there is much more going on in your piece. Isn't it fascinating when story unfolds in your mind?!

  3. Just want to add, all the entries were great. I'm still new enough at this to be amazed by how people can come up with such different ideas from the same prompt.

  4. Congrats, Jennifer! I agree. There are some fascinating elements in this story with much potential for a longer piece. Great job!

  5. Congratulations Jennifer, very well done.

  6. Congrats to Jennifer! AND TO YOU! Being a judge is hard. Now, you know a bit how editors feel!

    1. Thanks, Nick and Sally for stopping by and congratulating Jennifer!
      Roland, yes, if I had to critique or judge daily, it would definitely take its toll on me. But, what fun it is when you have such fabulous entries. :)

  7. Congratulations, Jennifer! Most of the entries were excellent.

  8. Congratulations Jennifer. What an amazing story! I loved it, and like Candilynn suggests, keep writing this story. We all want to know what happens...

    And Candilynn, I'm sorry. I meant to get an entry in, even got one started, but I missed the deadline! Next time!


    1. No big deal, Denise! There's always next time. :)

  9. Congrats to Jennifer! T'was an excellent read and she deserved the win. Also, kudos for doing this, Candilynn-exposing other writers to a new audience is a lovely thing to do.

    Crankypants :D

  10. great piece! congratulations!

    i hope to take part again soon =)
    have a nice weekend!

  11. Sweet comments, Randi Lee. :))
    @Jennifer, you deserve all the kudos. :)
    @Tara, thanks! and have a super wknd too. :)