Friday, January 22, 2010

Bulwer-Lytton Contest from 2009

I remembered the other day that this past fall I failed to post some of the winners from the annual Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest.

Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton penned the famous (or infamous) "It was a dark and stormy night," as the first line to a novel. This contest is for people who come up with their own "bad first lines" of a story. Here are my favorites.



"How to best pluck the exquisite Toothpick of Ramses from between a pair of acrimonious vipers before the Guards of Nicobar returned should have held Indy's full attention, but in the back of his mind he still wondered why all the others who had agreed to take part in his wife's holiday scavenger hunt had been assigned to find stuff like a Phillips screwdriver or blue masking tape." (Joe Wyatt, Texas)

"In a flurry of flame and fur, fangs and wicker, thus ended the world's first and only hot air baboon ride." (Tony Alfieri, California)

"Darnell knew he was getting hung out to dry when the D.A. made him come clean by airing other people's dirty laundry; the plea deal was a new wrinkle and there were still issues to iron out, but he hoped it would all come out in the wash ... otherwise he had folded like a cheap suit for nothing." (Lynn Lamousin, Louisiana)

"Towards the dragon's lair the fellowship marched -- a noble human prince, a fair elf, a surly dwarf, and a disheveled copyright attorney who was frantically trying to find a way to differentiate this story from 'Lord of the Rings'." (Andrew Manoske, California)

"Using her flint knife to gut the two amphibians, Kreega the Neanderthal woman created the first pair of open-toad sandals." (Greg Homer, California)

"There were earthquakes in this land, terrible tsunamis that swirled flooding torrents of water throughout, and constant near-blizzard conditions, and not for the first time did Horatio Jones wish he did not live inside a snow globe." (Rich Buley-Neumar, New York)

"As always, that morning he awoke to the melodious sound of a stream of water cascading into a still pool, punctuated by several ominous silences -- and he could judge, by the length of the silences and the volume of the cascade, just how much of his three-year-old son's urine he would have to wade through to get to the sink." (David Pellicane, New Jersey)

[selected from San Jose State University's Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest; beware - not all entries are family friendly]


Not much going on this weekend. A little work, a little church, a little family. And that's pretty much my life.

I'll see you on Monday.


WEB SITE of the WEEK: I haven't written anything about Haiti because, well, there is so much other coverage that there's no way I could do it justice. But let me just send you to, a list of agencies put together by MSNBC that are providing help, aid, support, and succor in the aftermath of that devastating earthquake.


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WORDS for YOUR WEEKEND: "Be sincere, be brief, be seated." (Franklin D. Roosevelt)


SusanB said...

I, too, am glad to see more people reading and responding in your blog. I'm just sorry to see that it's to nitpick. Funny how people can go out of their way so much to pick at others, but can't seem to find the time when it comes to uplifting. No, actually it's not funny at all, it's very sad.

Mark said...

Oh, I don't mind so much. It calls me to a higher standard and anything that increases the integrity of what I do can't be a bad thing.

Besides, you encourage me enough for six people!

God bless.

SusanB said...

Aaawww, gee thank you! I do try, .. but then again, encouraging **you** is easy! < =D