Friday, April 14, 2006

It's time for bad writing, and for me to get a routine!

I don't know if anybody out there is still listening -- I'm sorry I've been sooooo quiet. Burn-out from resume-writing, car problems, Doc landing in the emergency room with a leg injury, and oh everything. I need a house, a car, a schedule!

At any rate, I'm happy to report that I did manage to submit my entries to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest today. You remember him right? The guy who gave Snoopy his start as a writer by coining the opening line, "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night."

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest challenges entrants to outdo the old fellow by writing bad opening lines of their own. The deadline is tomorrow, but it sounds like they're pretty loose about it.

Here are my entries, just for fun. I didn't manage to hit every category, but I got most of 'em.

Bulwer-Lytton writing contest entries

Sci-fi. As the hatch opened, a creature with one foot and four long toes danced down the ramp like drunken slugs trying to find their way home after a bachelor party at a strip joint, leading me to wonder if the Pony Lounge does catering, and when the thing caressed my cigarette with one finger and murmured “Mmmphlgmmmlpht,” my jaw dropped like scabs from an eczemic rabbit.

Children’s. As Cinderella’s stepmother stared down at the knife buried deep in her own aging breast, and as the crimson blood and green bile poured from her hanging entrails onto the freshly scrubbed stone hearth, she realized that she probably should have said “please” when she asked Cinderella for yet another crumpet.

Dark and stormy. It could have been any dark and stormy night, except it was about eight in the morning and there weren’t any clouds except for a wispy thing on the horizon that reminded me of my grandmother’s hair (except that it wasn’t blue), but still, my heart was dark and stormy because of the terrible loneliness that comes with getting more than your fill, as only Michael Jackson knows, and now me.

Western. The cowboy was thin, as thin as a jackalope that has been chased by a coyote for three days, except that there’s no such thing as a jackalope so you really can’t imagine it, but if you could, its ribs would show three sides to Wyoming in a bucket of spurs.

Detective. The face of that dame was stuck in my head like a scab on someone’s nose you’ve just got to pick, like spinach in somebody’s teeth that you try not to look at, like a hair in somebody’s mole you’re longing to pluck, somebody like that dame with the scab and the mole and the spinach in her teeth.

Romance. “I love you,” Sevilla whined, and she dropped her eyes and her pants; but while Marvin’s virile masculinity wished he could love her femininity, it was Ted’s virile masculinity that stimulated his own masculinity, which was unfortunate because Ted was four hundred miles away having a sex-change operation so he wouldn’t be all that masculine when he got back.

Romance2. Marynda looked adoringly at Jean-Pierre, but when she saw the disappointment in his face she cried out in anguish, because she knew that by failing to forward his email to fifty friends, she had revealed herself to be utterly contemptuous, and she knew then that she would die an old maid, dried up like an old, unchewed-up raisin.

Adventure. On a breezy summer day thirty-five intrepid souls waited for the beginning of the 24th Annual Around-The-World Pencil-Flipping Tourney; but while thirty-four of the adventurers held regulation number-two pencils, they couldn’t know – nor could the enthusiastic crowd – that the thirty-fifth contestant, one Sludge T. Hardlip, held a cleverly disguised number-three.

Adventure2. "Heigh-ho," said the knight as he rounded the corner on his steed of gray, not the gray of an unpainted old Studebaker that's overheating but gray like that moldy stuff that grows in coffee when it’s been sitting around for a few days because the boss is too lazy to empty his own cup and the secretary won’t do coffee and rightly so.


  1. I love this contest and your entries are great.

    Did you know your previous entries have changed colors and have faded into the background?

    Or is it just me?

  2. Hey, glad you're back and hope everything goes a bit smoother for ya...burn-out is a pain, but you'll pull out of it. Strong people do that ;)