Tuesday 1 July 2014

ROMANCE challenge wrap up. Winner of the $10 Amazon Gift Card announced...July's challenge - A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.

Hi everyone!

I hope you enjoyed the June ROMANCE challenge as much as I did. I gave no specific guidelines as I wanted you to take up the challenge and run with it however you wished. Some of you wrote a disclaimer that you weren't overly comfortable with the romance genre--that was fine--but I think you all gave your entries due consideration and posted something true to the prompt.

I'll run down the list in order of the sign up. In case you haven't read all entries, I hope to pique your interest and you will seek out these interesting posts if you haven't already:

ANNA: Anna experimented with sci-fi. It's great to move out of your comfort zone, and here Anna presented us with a story which included elements of survival and romance. The addition of a child's swimming pool for a boat added tension as I wondered if the talking cat had claws that might puncture it. Where would Klara be then? Obviously, the love interest, Jakob, would rescue her...Anna? 

DONNA: Wrote a non-fiction entry on ROMANCE, and raised some interesting questions. In her own words--"The HEA requirment escapes me, and I always end up with something twisted." Donna used the real-life example of her grand niece's love life to discuss a modern perspective on love. Donna's post garnered a lot of discussion, so she obviously raised questions that other's have their own perspective on.

LISA: Lisa definitely believes in the HEA. Her story was a romantic dream that took the reader's breath away. I loved the way Lisa portrayed this love story, going from scene to scene very deftly. Many readers hope things work out for Lila and her soldier.

RAELENE: A delightful steam punk original which raised some questions from readers: do robots have hearts and souls? Will humans be replaced by robots? Raelene told the story through dialogue which was very effective. Loads of irony and subtle humour.

LINDA: Martha and Rhonda and their ungrateful sons! Linda crafted interesting characters and settings as a backdrop for a realistic portrayal of the  culture of entitlement. Most of us recognise Martha and Rhonda...heck, we might be them, but let's hope our children treat us much  better! I loved the twist in the tale!

D.G. HUDSON: As D.G. claims in her preface to her story, "Anything can happen in Paris"...and it does. Ah, so romantic, from the chivalry on the staircase to the dinner followed by a moonlit walk. Of course, this scenario could happen anywhere, but to Francophiles, the Paris setting just adds that joie de vivre. 

ROLAND: A night of magic and death are always exciting when Roland holds the pen. The description of Meilori's gown got me going--loved it--one of those images I won't forget. Roland knows how to include a romantic element or two: "She smiled, and my world was made whole again."

NANCY: Oh, didn't we all love the world Nancy created--an enchanting tale of faerie love between Wisteria and Zinnia, filled with delightful imagery, set in her beloved Colorado.  Just proved that chocolate speaks all languages, especially love languages.

NILANJANA: An excerpt from Moonlit Waters, a story of heartbreaking angst, was Nila's entry this month. As D.G. Hudson commented: "You write the bittersweet so well, Nilanjana! I didn't know whom to feel sorry for, the man or the woman. Two hurting souls and neither is able to express their need for comfort." I couldn't say it better.

SALLY: A  ‘billet-doux’ – a love letter. Delightful entry from Sally, beautifully presented with images of the old love letters, along with her interpretation. The letters were full of that old-fashioned language which seems to never be written in a hurry. What is the younger generation going to wrap up in satin ribbons to keep for posterity? Print outs of emails/facebook posts?

LAURA: Laura was very brave, publishing a disturbing story of a girl being held without consent. This resonated with readers big time--some judged it on moral grounds. others appreciated that it was fiction where at times a world is twisted, creepy, horrific. Reminds me of the best-selling Room, by Emma Donohue. I recommend that as required reading for all. How many girls are currently enslaved around the world? We'd be surprised and very disturbed. Thank you Laura for confronting us with this story.

JYOTSNA: Jyotsna, a first timer to WEP, offered us a different take on romance -- marry one person while remaining in love with another. The story was told from a cultural perspective which would be little understood by many of us, yet judging by comments, not completely unfamiliar to some. 

TRISHA: Loved Trisha's Harlequin-esque romance, complete with the hottest kiss scene!! Hand me a fan material! Way to go, Trisha, you responded to the ROMANCE challenge with great aplomb. Do let us know when Harlequin accepts your manuscript! I was pretty caught up in the sensuality and didn't care whether they were at the door or on the couch, but editors do worry about these 'minor' points, lol!

DENISE: I reinvented a romance set around the love locked bridges of Paris. I doubled the word count, so I did do some work. I also posted photos which I took at the time I visited Paris and dreamed up this story. 

When I did my second, or third run through your entries, it was sad to see that not all entrants visit each other. One of the unwritten rules of blogging is to reciprocate when others visit you. It bolsters us all to receive comments when we've taken the time to create and publish a story for a challenge. Thanks so much for those of you who DO do the rounds and comment on each post. Don't forget to ask for feedback if you want it. 

More positive: I see the C-Box is taking off as the preferred communication system for 'I just posted'...

It goes without saying (but I have to say it anyway), that I loved ALL of your entries and why I don't offer prizes more often, is the angst I go through choosing a winner. I know that whoever I choose, there will be those who don't think I made the best choice...and I get that...but I can only do what I can to choose the one I consider the most creative.  

The prize for this month goes to what caught my eye as the most creative entry. 

There were so many contenders for the 'creative' prize. In the end, it was a toss up between the creativity of Sally who gave us the 'billet doux', and Nancy's lovely created world of faerie. After an unacceptable amount of angst, which included much thumb biting, cravings for chocolate and sunny winter walks, I decided to go with...more thumb biting...


Please, fellow creative scribes, let's give Nancy huge applause. I love where your creativity is taking you, Nancy! Please copy the badge for your blog. I will organise your gift card asap as soon as I know which of your email addresses is the current one.


From the UP-COMING CHALLENGES page above:


A picture is worth a thousand words. Choose a favourite picture and use it as a prompt. You may respond in fiction, non-fiction or poetry – be as creative as you like!
If you don’t have a picture you wish to use, you may choose the WEP-provided picture.


For those who support WEP, I would appreciate it if you would take the July prompt badge and post it in your sidebar to help spread the word about our latest challenge. 

And if you've missed it, there is the list of the challenges to the end of the year in the sidebar here. Please copy and paste it in your sidebar if you wish. If you click on the Up-coming Challenges page, you will see a short line or two about each month's prompts.

Looking forward to having you join us for the next challenge!!

PLEASE leave  a comment and tell me your thoughts on WEP, on how we can improve the experience, or perhaps suggest some challenges to save my little brain!!


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    1. Congrats, Nancy! Your story would be a great animated movie short.

      And Denise--loved the way you gave each of us a little blurb line. I do have some romance elements in my scifi, subtle rather than overt. I like the badge for July. Thanks for keeping WEP going! Had to redo the 1st comment. Person Error.

  2. Congratulations, Nancy, very well deserved. Yours was my favourite as I read through the entries. Thank you, Denise, for all the hard work you put in to running and managing WEP every month. All the challenges are exciting and push us in directions we didn't know we could go. I'm looking forward to July - another great prompt.

  3. Awesome Nancy.

    So many great entries this month. Such diversity. It was a pleasure reading them all.

  4. July 2nd, 2014

    Dear Denise and other WEPers,

    Congratulations to Nancy. A well-deserved prize for her lovely faery-story.

    Great wrap-up Denise. But a minor correction. I chose not to let Klara escape the floods in a child's pool. That was one of my earlier options, but in the end, I gave her a rubber row boat to make her watery journey. A trip that should take several days. The children's pool would not have lasted long enough. I need more time between Klara leaving her flooded home and her meeting Jakob.

    Mathilda, the talking cat, will have more to say and do if I extend the story.

    Lots of interesting posts this time. I also liked Sally's documentary post of short love notes.

    Best wishes,

    1. I'm sorry for getting that wrong, Anna. I must have misread the story on that point.

  5. Congratulations to Nancy!
    I'm looking forward to writing my piece for the July prompt :)

  6. All the entries this month were esp marvellous, great variety. Congratulations to Nancy! and thanks Denise for creating the space and community, and a brilliant wrap. On borrowed connections now, so will catch up when I can. Have a great week, all of you.

  7. Wow! I am thrilled. Just so you know, I'm going to be putting my entry into an e-book. So excited. Thanks so much Denise ad everyone who stopped by.

    email at: author-n-r-williams@hotmail.com

    1. As you can see Nancy, a popular choice. I hope you find many excellent books to buy. Happy reading !

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  9. Congratulations, Nancy... And congrats, Denise, for keeping the spirit of "writer challenges" as a marker for fun and a great way to learn the art of honing written work, no waffle! ;)

    1. Thanks for your comment Francine. I find setting and participating in these challenges very worthwhile.


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