Friday, December 05, 2008

I won something

For something I wrote. It was no big shakes. Jessica Zafra in her blog decided to put up a prize for the best story one could come up with about that piano in the forest in Harwich, Massachusetts. The rules were simple enough:
Here’s the situation: A piano is found in the middle of a Philippine
jungle. How did it get there? Write a story of 1,000 words or less (The
less the better; no minimum word count) and post it in Comments.
Fantasy, SF, romance, horror, all genres accepted. The deadline is
November 30.
Right from the start, I decided to write an entry in two or three sentences. This means I should use a ready-made story arc with known characters so I could dispense with the introductions and background. I came up with:
“Holy crap-in-a-box… Where’s my house? The aliens took everything but my piano!”, Fox Mulder cried.
Not exactly Shakespeare, and I didnt have high hopes for it. I was just having fun. I debated whether to use Fox Mulder or Roy Alvarez. I decided against Alvarez because I thought he was too obscure and most people might not get the Pinoy pop culture reference, but that meant I had to explain what Mulder was doing here, like for instance how he retired from the FBI to a cabin in the Philippine boondocks out of disgust with the FBI and all that, but that would defeat the two-or-three-sentence limit. So I left it at that. Like I said, I wasnt really going for a prize. Truth be told, writing good prose based on a limited set of rules is hard and I salute those who tried their darndest to come up with a short story that introduced new characters and plots and situations. Next to the other entries I almost felt like I was cheating.

Ms. Zafra then announced in another post that she was going to let the readers decide on the winner. And wouldnt you know it, someone nominated the Mulder 'story.' He totally got what it was about. Anyway, I still didnt think it would win, but, yes, it did. It won a special Brevity prize.* I am now the proud owner of a DVD of Penn Gillette's The Aristocrats, a documentary about the filthiest joke in stand-up comedy.

I'd like to think that this is a good omen, seeing that I submitted an entry to that Neil Gaiman contest at Fully Booked about which Im not at liberty to discuss as it would violate judging procedures -- the judges arent supposed to know anything about the authors as they read the entries. Not that knowing that one entry was written by a jabroni with a blog only his pals read is going to make a hell of a difference to them anyway, but it's the principle of the thing. I dont have high hopes for that entry either, since I suppose the judges are going to look for something more literary instead of something on the pulp-y side. I'd like to think it's good pulp, though, or else I wouldnt have submitted it. Personally, I think pulp is underrated as an art form.

*The winning entries are this one, for readers' choice, and this one, for the special Jurors prize.


cvj said...

Wow, congratulations Jeg!

R.O. said...

I was right about you and your writing. ;) Congratulations.

Jego said...

Haha. Thanks, guys. It really is no big shakes. It's just the first time I won anything on the internet.

grifter said...

really? don't you win new fans everytime you get on the internet? wink, wink.

GabbyD said...