Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Second to None

This week's post comes from HFC member and SPLIT contributing author, Gary Denton. Please do not send him money. No matter what he says, we don't have a treasurer.

I have great luck with the number two.

I have two children. I have two dogs. I have worked in Medical Imaging for two decades, and, for some cosmic reason, I have an amazing ability to come in second in writing competitions.

If you look back through my previous post, or read Sheltered Path, my short story in the Humble Fiction CafĂ© anthology Split, you will find that I entered the Fort Bend Writer’s Guild Spring Short Story contest last year, and came in second place.

This year, I entered a novel, and guess what?
I came in second.
Again.

It wasn’t an ordinary novel, mind you. No, it only contained six words.

Here is the back-story: Ernest Hemmingway, the master of brief, short, terse sentences, was once challenged to write a novel in only six words. He considered it for a moment, and produced the following gem: “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.”

As far as I’m concerned, he nailed it. In short, (literally) he created all of the wonder, strangeness, comedy, tragedy, and conflict found in almost any novel, and only used six little words.

I'm no Hemmingway, and, if I needed proof, here it is in the form of my award winning, second place entry in the Fort Bend Writer's Guild Srping 2008 six word novel contest: “Read Road Less Traveled. Now lost.”
For those of you who’ve read M. Scott Peck’s classic, I apologize.

In hindsight, I decided that my entry was flawed, and should have been edited to read thusly: “Took road less traveled. Now lost.”

I think that works better. Heck, it may even have won first place.

So, I’m out five bucks for the top prize.

But I’m still second, and surprisingly- consistent.

Gary Denton

1 comment:

Sheryl Tuttle said...

Coming in second - and especially consistently - is a very good accomplishment indeed! Congratulations!