Things Remembered 

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Procrastination
TV
Internet surfing
Writer's block
Reading
Lack of Self-Discipline
Inner Critic
Gaming
Bad grammar
Lack of imagination
Chores
My day job
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Chocolate!
I write 24/7 - doesn't everybody?
other
  
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Special Note to Contestants:

We're proud to announce our second contest has been an enormous success! We want to thank all of you who entered and wrote on the prompt. As the contest grows, so does the competition. Entrants consisted of first-time writers to published authors, all leveled to the same playing field by a string of words...otherwise known as the prompt. This is where we have to take other things into consideration: style, voice, plot, character, and most of all, originality. A writer can concoct delicious prose, but without a unique storyline, they may not get as far as you think. To keep things fair, all aspects of writing are considered. And as entries grow, our judging must get tighter, more organized, and well rounded. Who knows...if we ever get enough entrants to cover all of our contest fees, we may open another one!

***

We enjoyed reading your stories, each and every one of them. Although Beryl and myself do not judge the entries, we take time to read them all - we laugh, cry, and call each other on the phone to share in the experience. That's how much your stories touch us. We recognize names of previous contestants, now etched into our memory banks. We are getting to know you through your writing, and both of us have our own personal favorites we hold dear. Each one of you is a winner in our book. We hope that you continue to enter so we can watch you grow as writers and storytellers, because each season is a rebirth of opportunity.

Thanks to Our Guest judge, Betsy Gallup:

Betsy did a wonderful job choosing the winners. It's not as easy as you may think! But she's a seasoned pro at judging flash fiction. Whim's Place has been holding flash fiction contests for years. That experience enabled her to provide us with winners in a timely fashion. Thank you Betsy for all your help and your expert eye!

Now, on to the winners!

Drum Roll Please...

1st Place goes to:
Jane E. Johnson

Olathe, Kansas

Congratulations, Jane!

Funding a Memory
By Jane E. Johnson

Three-hundred dollars a month and a paid off car might have been something to celebrate, if JB hadn't just driven that paid off mini-van 800 miles to help her mother bring her step-dad home from the hospital.

The final payment was made automatically and would have completely slipped JB's mind if her brothers hadn't started reminiscing about the famous 1974 trip.

"How many of us did we have in that broken down VW Pop-top camper?" Mark asked.

"I think there were twenty kids, two dogs and three cats," Mitch answered.

Sitting propped up in the hospital bed, their dad laughed, the slow hum of the oxygen machine almost smothering the quiet sounds of his once resounding voice.

As the others continued to share the story of the family vacation that had included all nine siblings, steps, halves and wholes, JB found herself staring at him. Her mind could not wrap itself around the idea that this man whom she had called father since she was six years old could possibly just not be there any more. Life had been all about making memories. Did the last memory of him have to be watching as he slowly wasted away?

"Dad?"

Everyone kept talking.

"Pappaw?"

He had been called that for twenty-two years now.

Everyone stopped and looked at JB.

"We're taking a trip."

"JB, you know his health isn't . . . "

"Let her talk Reb," he said, his raspy voice spoke his wife's pet name while he smiled at JB. "What do you have in mind?"

"Where do you want to go?"

He stopped and looked at the T.V., which was still reporting about the life going on all around them, though no one was watching. "I've never been to Reno."

"Reno is several hundred . . . "

"Reb. . . "

"We will wait and see if the pneumonia subsides and get an okay from the doctors, Mom."

"He has to take twenty medications, check his blood sugar, blood pressure . . ."

"You have to consider his comfort on such a long trip," Mark sent JB a 'have you gone mad' look.

"Where will the money come from?" Mitch asked.

"I will take care of everything," JB said, catching a look of hope and confidence in her dad's eye.

Three weeks later an old man walked slowly to his front door. His wife scurried around, quickly gathering up his medications, diabetic paraphernalia, blood pressure cuff, thermometer . . .

"I hope the two of you enjoy yourselves," she said.

As he opened the door the bright rays of the sun glistened off a shimmering recreational vehicle.

"JB, what have you gone and done now?" her mother exclaimed.

JB's smile glistened more brightly than the shimmering recreational vehicle.

"Well, Jitter Bug," he said, "it's not a VW pop-top camper, but it'll do."

***

What Jane Won:

  • $200.00 Cash Prize
  • Publication of winning story on WOW-WomenOnWriting.com website
  • A Prize Pack including an e-book combo and a surprise gift bag of goodies totaling over $100.00
  • $50.00 certificate to spend at the WOW! Boutique

2nd Place goes to:
Donna Wilkins

Flora Vista, New Mexico

Congratulations, Donna!

Donna's Bio:

Nearly Rich and Famous
By Donna Wilkins

"You see, Dr. Belcher, my problems all started a while back when I decided to celebrate making my final car payment by taking a vacation. I chose to go to a peaceful lakeside resort where I could get some much needed rest, enjoy the sunshine, and catch up on some reading."

"I thought it might be more fun if I took a friend with me. And that's what started this whole mess. If only I would have taken one of my friends! But, Beth talks too much, and I figured I wouldn't get any rest with her around. My friend Christy only wants to eat in expensive restaurants, and I can't afford that. Julia complains too much, and Kate is too bossy.

So I decided that instead of taking a person along, I would take my dog, Duke. That way, I could have things the way I wanted them, and still have company."

"The day started out beautifully. The weather was perfect and I was feeling great. Duke loves to ride in the car so he was real excited about going. We were about an hour into the drive, and I was listening to some music, when suddenly, Duke spoke. And I don't mean that he barked, I mean he said words."

Dr. Belcher cleared his throat and tried to appear undisturbed by the last comment. "And exactly what do you think it was that Duke said?"

"Duke said, 'Now don't jump out of your skin because I'm speaking, but I want you to take that next exit. I'm not eating this stinking dog food anymore, and I want you to get me an order to go from that steakhouse over there.'"

"Well of course, I nearly had a wreck! After I got the car stopped I asked

Duke why he had never spoken before. He said that until now, there was never much point. But now that he was taking his first vacation he was going to have it his way! Naturally we argued about that point, and I said that I was in charge of this trip. But then I caught myself."

"Oh, that's good," sighed Dr. Belcher.

"That's right. I told Duke we were skipping the vacation, and we would be heading straight home. I was going to call reporters and TV stations and tell them all about my talking dog. I would be rich and famous!"

"But then Duke said, 'Yeah, I don't think so. Because if I don't get my vacation and have everything exactly my way, when we get home I won't speak if anyone else is around. Then everyone will think you're crazy.'"

"You did the right thing coming to me for help," Dr. Belcher said reassuringly. "Are you ready for me to explain to you why you think your dog talks?"

"Heck no! I want you to help me figure out what it's going to take to get that dog to talk in front of others!"

***

What Donna Won:

  • $150.00 Cash Prize
  • Publication of winning story on WOW-WomenOnWriting.com website
  • A Prize Pack including an e-book combo and a surprise gift bag of goodies totaling over $100.00
  • $50.00 certificate to spend at the WOW! Boutique

3rd Place goes to:
Jodi Henry

Eugene, Oregon

Congratulations, Jodi!

Jodi's Bio:

www.writerswelcome.com Writers Welcome is a professional editing and critique service for writers of all levels striving to be "a cut above the rest."

Jag Meets Iguana
By Jodi Henry

Sandra held the sleek Jaguar XKE to sixty-five. She'd made the final payment. Her widowed neighbor, Ruby, dozed in the passenger seat, a gigantic flowered bag clutched to her bosom. Yellowstone, where Sandra's ex-husband never wanted to visit, was two days away. The Jag purred along I-84 out of Portland, toward Wyoming. Sandra checked the side mirror as she passed a semi. She looked again; an iguana was crawling out of Ruby's bag. Sandra jerked the wheel and the Jag swerved toward the guardrail.

Ruby's eyes popped open. "What happened?" she said.

"Get that thing away from me," Sandra screamed.

Biggs Junction truck stop loomed ahead. Sandra cut in front of the semi and careened down the off ramp.

*

Sandra glared at Ruby over the rim of her coffee cup. "What's with the damn iguana?" she said.

"That's Puzzy, my dude magnet. Nothing breaks the ice like an iguana." Ruby pulled a pint of Jack Daniels from her bag and poured some into her coffee.

She patted the bag. "Puzzy won't cause any trouble."

As if on cue, the iguana clambered onto the table, ran along the back of the booths and onto the counter, skittering across a state trooper's pancakes. A waitress dropped a stack of plates, a trucker swatted Puzzy with his baseball cap, the cook ran out of the kitchen, brandishing a greasy spatula.

The trooper jumped up and grabbed for the iguana, perched on the cigarette machine. The room fell silent. The grim-faced officer walked over to Sandra and Ruby. He held the animal in his left hand; its tongue flicked the trooper's nametag - J. Reed.

"This belong to you?"

"She's mine," Ruby said. "Hand her over."

Officer Reed picked up Ruby's coffee cup and sniffed. "Ma'am, have you been drinking?"

"No officer, she's fine," Sandra said. Nice hands.

"I'd like you both to step outside."

"I'm not going anywhere," Ruby said.

He grabbed her arm, pulled her from the booth and marched her toward the door. Sandra followed, eyes downcast.

*

Officer Reed leaned into the Jag's window, reached across Sandra and handed Ruby a ticket. "Exotic animal possession and public intoxication. Animal control will confiscate the reptile." He looked into Sandra's blue eyes. "Unless you want to see my lights in your rearview mirror, keep it under sixty-five."

Half mile down the road, the women looked at each other and smiled. "Sorry about Puzzy, but you don't need a dude magnet. You're one foxy grandma," Sandra said.

"You're the one Officer Reed was checking out," said Ruby.

That week, the two shared their stories and finished off the Jack Daniels under a Yellowstone moon.

*

Before they knew it, the Jag was back on I-84, closing in on Biggs Junction.

"This is Officer Reed's territory. Remember what he told you." Ruby winked.

"I sure do," said Sandra. She pushed the accelerator down-seventy, eighty, ninety. She glanced in her rearview mirror and smiled.

***

What Jodi Won:

  • $100.00 Cash Prize
  • Publication of winning story on WOW-WomenOnWriting.com website
  • A Prize Pack including an e-book combo and a surprise gift bag of goodies totaling over $100.00
  • $50.00 certificate to spend at the WOW! Boutique

DONATIONS & PRIZES THANKS:

It is the sincere desire of the contributors, listed below, that each writer will keep his or her focus. Be wholesouled, never give up. Because here's your proof that there are many, many people who want to see you succeed.

As much as we all value words, the right ones, we acknowledge that actions speak louder than words. So, as each of you receives your gift, listen carefully to the encouragement and write, write, write.

We all thank the following: 

Amy Tan, Ellen Moore, Charlotte Powell (Random House)

Margo Candela, Sulay Hernandez (Kensington Publishing)

Cynthia Kadohata

Diana Abu-Jaber

Steve Colca of W.W. Norton & Company

Mary Rosenblum

Kari Caulfield

Emily Mitchell

Leah Hager Cohen

Maralys Wills

Sandi Ault

C. Hope Clark

**** See our " Something Special " Section Down Below for more prizes! ****

RUNNERS UP (In no particular order):

Congratulations to the runners-up! It was very close, and these stories are excellent in every way. Enjoy the read!

Click on their entries to read:

A Faded Oasis by Stephanie Haefner, Depew, New York

Lucky by Sarah Dawn Wingfield, Aurora, Colorado

Fate's Hand by Donna Piazza, St. Clair Shores, Michigan

Nor Iron Bars a Cage by Rebecca Gray, Thorsby, AB, Canada

June Bugs n' Ice Cream by Jennifer A. Daniels, Alabama

The Sign by Carrie Hulce, Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Whitewater Romance by Tracy Horan, Waukesha, Wisconsin

 

What the Runners Up Won:

  • Publication of winning story on WOW-WomenOnWriting.com website
  • A Prize Pack including an e-book combo and a surprise gift bag of goodies totaling over $100.00

SOMETHING SPECIAL This Time:

Each season we try and offer something different to contestants, so previous winners don't receive the same thing twice!

We love variety in stories as well as prizes; and considering how talented you all are, we knew if we armed you with an extensive supply of markets & resources... there would be no stopping you!

So, while you're waiting for your prizes to roll in via snail mail, you can have a quick fix of all-the-markets-you-could-ask-for delivered right to your e-mail inbox.

C. Hope Clark Helps Jumpstart Your Writing Career!

Top Ten Contest Winners Receive:

MASTER COMBO EBOOK PACKAGE: A $92.40 value if purchased separately! All of the Books Featured Below.

Honorable Mentions Receive:

EBOOK SET: 3 e-books: Just Hit Send, Funds for the Fiction Writer, and Get Paid to Write Book Reviews!

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Just Hit Send

230+ places to just hit your enter key and make a submission. Just think...no SASE and no postage. Updated every six months. $8.95 - ebook in PDF format (80 pages)

Laughing Markets

170+ markets to send your writing humor. Editors who love to chuckle. $6.95 - ebook in PDF format (62 pages)

Short & Sweet - Markets for Fillers

Short on words and sweet on payment. Puzzles, jokes, anecdotes, little known facts, newsworthy snippets, book reviews, lists, recipes, even editorials pass as fillers. Some pay only $5 to $25, but the per word rate is way up there! Then there are the publications that pay $1/word. One little market in this book pays $3/word. 160+ markets that accept filler submissions and pay in cash.

Learn what fillers are, what they pay, where they live, and how to mentally challenge your mind in writing them. The ideas for them exist all around you. $7.95 - ebook in PDF format (52 pages)

Markets for the Young Writer

You love to write with a passion! You write poetry that no one reads. You design stories that no one sees. You are a young writer, still in school, with no place to send your work other than English class or the school newspaper. Hope Clark raised teen writers. Hope mentors teen writers. Hope believes in teen writers, so she wrote this book.

232 markets and 118 pages of opportunity for you to get started with that writing hobby - maybe even a writing career! Markets for the Young Writer gives you guidance on what to expect when making submissions in the real world. Here you'll find more than enough help in getting started. $7.95 - ebook in PDF format (115 pages)

Publishers for Poets

You have written poems as long as you can remember. You wish you could display these visions to others, but where do you begin? You begin right here!

Hope brings you 467 poetry markets for your verse, and all pay in cold hard cash or publisher's contract. $7.95 - ebook in PDF format (145 pages)

Funds for the Fiction Writer

You live to tell stories. From flash fiction to 50,000 words, you spin tales. Now you want to hold them in your hand with a byline screaming your name. Where do you start? And better, yet, how do you get paid doing it?

Funds for the Fiction Writer comes to the rescue with 130 pages of 400+ listings from contests to literary journals; from publishers to magazines. Receive compensation for your words from $10 to thousands. There are enough places in this world paying for words so don't give your work away for free. Hope Clark offers opportunity here. You will be amazed. $7.95 - ebook in PDF format (139 pages)

Funds for the Essayist

Here is a compilation of markets you probably did not expect. But essayists love their craft! The thought of stating a case, fleshing it out, and proving a point is an addiction to some. Essays are often considered intellectual pieces and at other times considered just simply nonfiction. Either way, they are wanted in a good number of venues from literary journals to contests and magazines. And some like The New Yorker, pay pretty darn well.

Funds for the Essayist contains 280+ listings for your opinion pieces. Never thought you could earn income from your essays? Think again. This ebook opens doors and proves that opportunity exists for the essay writer. $7.95 - ebook in PDF format (98 pages)

The No Fee Contest Book

You are a struggling writer trying to call the little money you make from your passion an "income." You'd give up your best pen to win a $1,000 writing competition, but the fee is $25. All of them charge fees, so you quit considering writing contests. Well - don't.

C. Hope Clark comes to you with an alternative - The No Fee Contest Book . In her research through FundsforWriters, she's identified over 270 writing competitions that don't charge even a single dollar - your hard-earned dollar - for your contest submission. The contests, including available online links, comprise an ebook that not only includes these golden opportunities, but also contains Hope's usual opinion and advice on writing competitions. $7.95 - ebook in PDF format (93 pages)

Tis the Season

Twelve months of seasonal ideas for articles. Each month lists dozens of ideas on holidays, events, religion and off-the-wall ideas like Thomas Crapper Day. Following each chapter you find nine markets accepting seasonal type writing. A fun little book to spark your muse. That's 108 current markets - current PAYING markets - that seek writers. Not only do you get great seasonal ideas but you get over a hundred markets! Do not underestimate the power of this 68 page book. Tis the Season is a powerful tool for the freelance writer.

Tis the Season is the perfect brainstorming guide for writers needing fresh material and those wanting a novel idea to use on those editors forever seeking unique angles. $4.95 - ebook in PDF format (64 pages)

Get Paid to Write Book Reviews

Sick of editors thinking a free book is ample paying for your book review? Here Hope Clark offers the serious book reviewer 70+ publications that pay for book reviews. Never look at book reviews the same again after you read this guide on submitting quality book reviews and book review pitches to editors. $7.95 - ebook in PDF format - 41 pages

Grants for the Serious Writer

600+ grants aimed at writers. Attend conferences, gain project funds, or just earn money to write. All 50 states arts councils represented plus many more opportunities for grant seekers. Our most popular ebook in its 6th Edition. A must primer for writers who dabble in the grant world. This is not a nonprofit grant book. This book's message is directed at the individual writer seeking funds to meet a writing goal. This book caters to you. $8.95 - ebook in PDF format (175 pages)

The Shy Writer - by C. Hope Clark, Founder of FundsforWriters

As a shy writer you feel like you have to choose the lesser of two evils - marketing your words to hoards of people ogling at you, or putting your writing on the shelf and seeking other employment. Wrong!

The Shy Writer gives you options - lots of options about meshing your personality with your dream of being a writer. You don't have to sell your soul to sell your words.

Forget those people who tell you to change, to put on a dog-and-pony show, or to stand on your head to sell a book. Hope Clark gives you the support you need to be the person you are - The Shy Writer. $6.95 - ebook in PDF format (180 pages)

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(Note: You will receive an e-mail Wednesday, April 4th, with instructions on where to go and how to download your prize pack of e-books. Please download them within 48 hours, or they will expire. If you can't meet the deadline for download, please let us know and we'll work something out. We wouldn't want you to miss out!)

HONORABLE MENTIONS (In no particular order):

Congratulations to the Honorable Mentions! Your stories stood out and are excellent in every way.

Swimming with the Miami Dolphins by Bonnie Lou Olander, Glendale, AZ

Deep in the Heart by Kristen Lamb, Fort Worth, TX

Mama Rose and Her Flower Children by Linda Cook, Fortuna, CA

Cat's Meow by Danette Haworth, Orlando, FL

TP-ing Casa de Clooney by Charity Tahmaseb, Minnetonka, MN

Paradise by Debi Ellsworth, Pomfret Center, CT

Priceless Dreams by Trudy L. Duhon, Houston, TX

The Writer of a Paid-for Pontiac by Marla L. Cordle, Rosedale, VA

Come What Mae by Brenda Franklin, Colorado Springs, CO

Two Girls, A Car, and a Plan by Shayna Hefner, Huntington Beach, CA

Aloha, Elayna by Jeanne Oravec, Crescent City, FL

My Gift to Ginger by Muriel Alkire, Commerce City, CO

My Guardian Angel by Jenna Masson, Mandeville, LA

A Mini Celebration by Suzanne Lilly, Dixon, CA

Road Trip by Dana Mentink, San Ramon, CA

Roulette by Susan Nitz, Malawi, AFRICA

Just Call Me Murphy! by Bonnie Fraser, Snohomish, WA

Reaquainted by Kristal Arsenault, Bedford, IN

The Happy Dance by Kimberly Sherrell, Athens, TX

Breaking Through by Kerrie Turcic, Maple Valley, WA

Passing the Wheels by Emily Offshack, Kingston, ON CANADA

Chasing her Dream by Shawna Pham, Vancouver, WA

Homeward Bound by Sally Watts, Charleston, SC

The Time of Our Lives by Kaely Horton, Salt Lake City, UT

Four-Legged Therapist by Heidi K. Brown, Laguna Beach, CA

 

What the Honorable Mentions Won:

  • A Prize Pack including an e-book set of 3, and a surprise gift bag of goodies!

IN CLOSING:

This brings our Winter (and second-ever!) Flash Fiction Contest to a close. While we’re not able to send something to every contestant, we will always give you our heartfelt thanks for your contribution and for your part in making WOW! all that it can be. Each one of you has found the courage to enter, and that is a remarkable accomplishment in itself. We’re looking forward to receiving your entries for our/your Spring Contest. Thanks again.

CHECK OUT OUR NEW CONTEST PROMPT:

www.wow-womenonwriting.com/contest.php


 

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