Slurry Beta

Infrequent ruminations on nothing.

Monday, August 13, 2007

They Give Awards for This? Alternate Title: My True Calling.

Lately, a significant part of my day involves perusing the daily newspaper, which around here is usually the Star Tribune. Actually "perusing" may be a bit misleading. I read the whole damn thing, front to back and sometimes the classified section for no good reason at all. I look forward to Thursday's Taste section like it's the new Harry Potter book and I'm an awkward kid willing to put a striped tie and glasses on and wait or camp for hours in front of a bookstore.* I realize, as a blogger, I should be rejecting the print medium altogether and embracing my contribution to this populist movement but I need to get out of the house sometimes. Unemployment can get a bit lonely.

The point is, I read the hard copy. So why didn't I just get right to the point and say that directly instead of wasting your time insulting Harry Potter fans and revealing that I'm the only one I know that gets pumped for the Taste section? The answer: I'm a skillfully bad writer. That's right, it's not an oxymoron. Apparently they give awards out to those who can compose poorly written fiction. Since this blog is basically fiction, I may have found a literary award I'm capable of winning.

I discovered it while I was reading the paper about a week a ago because someone from Wisconsin won it, which means it was nearly front page Strib material. It's called the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest and it gives out an annual award to the individual who can write the most horrendous opening sentence to an unrealized novel. It was apparently inspired by Edward George Bulwar-Lytton's book, Paul Clifford, which had the famous opening sentence, "It was a dark and stormy night..." Yeah, I didn't read it either nor do I care to. But I do like awards and I think I'm going to give it shot.

As such, I will be posting a few possible contest entries over the next week or weeks or years (Slurry Beta time cannot be restricted). Your job as an active reader of my blog is to read up on the award's past winners (you'll actually enjoy reading them, trust me) and let me know what you think of my possible submissions, which one is the strongest, weakest, etc. Keep in mind, I have a massive ego and will not tolerate criticism so, Moroni, I will blocking all of your comments. In fact, I may block all comments and keep my brilliance to myself if you all can't behave. I have reservations opening this up to input from readers, anyway, because I have less than three and I like to think of my blog as ridiculously popular. Hey mom, you might want to create a few more blogger names.

Just to give you an idea of the quality I'm aiming for, here's this year's winner:

Gerald began--but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them "permanently" meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash--to pee.
Jim Gleeson, Madison, WI

A truly inspiring piece. Of course, throw potty humor into pretty much anything and I'll be inspired--to pee.

*Okay, that was a bit of an unnecessary Potter jab there. I know some of my readers are Potter fans but you have to admit, it's a little ridiculous for people to dress up like Harry Potter or another character and wait in line for hours for the new book. It's not like there are a limited number of copies, folks. In fact, you could've saved time by pre-ordering it or possibly reading it on the internets earlier than the release date, albeit illegally. But what do I know? I'm equally perplexed by Star Wars, Star Trek, and Grateful Dead fans. I suppose we're cut from different cloth. The cloth I'm cut from is made out of bear skin with "Slurry Beta" inscribed with intricate embroidery surrounded by flames and barbed wire while your cloth is most likely a poly/cotton blend. But enough about you, this is my blog.


At 7:51 PM, Blogger mindy said...

Slurry, I don't think anyone here doubts your ability to write bad fiction. :) I look forward to more samples.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Moroni said...

I use the sandwich criticism method when critiquing writing. Terribly negative comment, backhanded compliment, negative comment. Nothing to worry about.


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