Phew! You all brought your A-game! That was TOUGH! Cheers all around. Seriously. If you missed any of them, go read them here. Below is what the judge (who gave himself one of the hardest jobs ever) had to say:
by Geoff Holme
It is important to be confrontational in a certain sense as an artist. A rebel. I like that you questioned. Allen Ginsberg used a ship in a bottle as an exercise for his class when he taught at Brooklyn university. He told his class that there was a ship in a bottle with no opening and told them to write something on how to get it out of the bottle without harming or altering the bottle. He used this to get them to use their imaginations. My thinking was along those lines when trying to come up with something for this. Maybe I will use that next time. I look forward to reading your writing in the future because it is always fine. There are only a hand full of great writers that are known on the various writing sites for their consistency of excellence, and your name is one of them. And I would love to discuss this over lunch with you. Thank you for the kind invitation. Can we go to Kettners? Are you buying? Great. Also, I found all the comments that you didn't leave additionally well written.
by Geoff Holme
You know his work well. So many great references. Like the way you use chess idea to end it. Glad you wrote another piece, though the other was acceptable. You have a great eye for detail and it shows in your writing. Hope this wasn't too painful for you to write. I thought there was a mastery to it. Handling the drug imagery and placing it in the context of a yarn isn't easy. I wish I didn't have to judge. I tried not to win. Maybe I will do better next time.
by Lauren Greene
Liked that you expressed what many would feel about such an odd arrangement of introductory words. It is a sign of an excellent artist to convey what others feel but cannot articulate. Liked the way you embraced the challenge to form a full story; the use of a diary was a very clever idea to base your story around. And the use of language in the piece to bring about a real and authentic narrator was masterful! I couldn't do that in a million years! Furthermore, your embracing of the language of the opening line and the interspersing of it through-out the tale without letting it take over, was excellent. Your work, that I have seen so far, is always well written and expertly done. I feel it is a privilege to be able to read it. Thank you.
This Dreck has no Title, Just Words and a Tune
I am feeling very mimsy and it isn't the cheese spread! I enjoyed your feeding of the Jabberwocky some very good jabber. I just want to say that personally I feel that flash can be much more than what people pigeon hole it into. Having said that, I enjoyed the lion and his mounting of this challenge. Everyone has a way to react when slapped with something like this and I wanted the reaction. I think I remember reading that Dave has not been writing fiction that long. I was surprised. His work is always a special benchmark of quality whenever it is present. I was honored when he picked my story as a special challenge winner. And his appreciation of Hot Wheels only shows a broad minded genius of unparalleled taste. I red through his story here about 100 times and found countless little pieces of gold in it. The long sentence thing was my nod to Virginia Woolf, Scott Fitzgerald, and a few others. It forces you to focus and let loose at the same time. Also, Jabberwocky's hate periods they are like seeds in grapes to them. To conclude, Dave has a brilliant way of bringing light out of darkness. Like with those little chicks and the roadkill men. He has a wonderful sense of humor with pitch perfect writing skills. And that is on display here in a somewhat obscure but delightful fashion.
by Rebekah Postupak
I posted on micro-bookends a little shout out to this site. My first time judging and all that. And Ms. Postupak was nice enough to take the time to post specifics. I like her ability to structure sentences and to bring them around a specific idea like an accomplished engineer would give specifics on how an elaborate building must be formed using concrete rules and laws. I enjoyed the beginning a lot. The words do have a breezy feel to them. So much of the roots of language can be found in the garden and in the woods. I like to sit in the woods and listen to novels all day long like books on tape. I appreciated the prequel element to the tale. What exactly was Alice doing before her journey? It is nice to come up with different theories. The obsessive sandwich counter seemed real and possessed an intensity of sandwich purpose. The writer knows her way around punctuation. A seamless barrage of flowing questions and exacting exclamation. There is an exactness to her writing. I am happy she threw her support to this contest and that I was lucky enough to be judging when she did.
Special Challenge Champion
by Holly Geely
I liked that you kept to the spirit of Carroll while at the same time letting your own voice shine through. I enjoyed the way you rhymed, sporadically, enhancing a sort of non-structure structure. Nonsense that makes sense. Keeping it together as it flies apart. Also, I loved how you related a love letter, having to do with the desk, and the raven using feathers to attract a mate; a great slanting angle on the riddle. I found that particularly inventive and very nice. So many people write as if trying to impress and it is not impressive. They write as if it is being read while they are writing it. That was what I meant by writing as if no one would read it. I feel it is like being in love, the process of writing; you do not think of anything else and it is unconditional. I thought you captured that spirit wonderfully of just doing it with a certain abandon. I wish you the best of luck with your new book.
Fair is Foul
The beginning made me laugh. Poor teachers, such a tough job! I have been in that class. Eyeing the red head while reading "A Fan's Notes" under my desk. A tricky play to balance it all out and I thought you did it well. Liked the little touch of his wife being a brunette. You used the last word, my homage to Richard Brautigan, nicely by fitting it into the broad spectrum of the work. Also, I loved the way you twisted around the meaning of writing desk and raven using it as a flowing part of the tale. You are only paranoid if you are wrong, as they say. Also, I feel there is a poets touch here. A sort of instinctual weaving together that happens when heart flights of verse flutter build beautiful light nests. I am guessing that you are a wonderful poet. Also, liked the title.