I should have posted this six months ago. Oh well.
In the 2017 San Mateo County Fair Literary Contest, I won first prize for my audio reading of “The Intellecta Rhapsody.” Holly gets into a big argument with her Batman-esque boyfriend’s car during her driving lesson. The background music is The Hungarian Rhapsody, a tune to which Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry, and Woody Woodpecker have all danced.
I also won third prize for my short story, “The Lutefisk Door.” My Trumpy villain Billington Stumpfinger builds a nasty wall to trap Super Holly Hansson: the old trap-Batman-and-Superman-in-a-steel-and-kryptonite-vault trick. Can Holly’s boyfriend, Cal “The Intellectual” Critbert, save her before she succumbs to the deadly rays of the green lutefisk?
Maybe I could have been clearer about my Batman guy, Cal Critbert, becoming lots more human after I made him a Roger Ebert type movie critic. I forgot Sarah Kuhn’s name (she wrote Heroine Complex). I insulted Atlas Shrugged’s John Galt, I never get tired of that! I read The Intellecta Rhapsody (01:19:03) and the end of The Malevolent Mystery Meat (01:31:40) (scroll to a little before the Lone Ranger tag in the text).
This book has plenty of great stories, essays, and poetry from local writers. I highly recommend “Character Flaws” by Sumiko Saulson. A short story that lets non-writers feel how characters run around in a writer’s head. It’s educational, a little scary, and a lot of fun.
P.S. When my dramatic and exuberant audio reading of my story goes online, I will post a link to that. I read parts of “The Malevolent Mystery Meat” at the San Mateo Fair. The audience liked it.
My short story, “The Puppy Brothers in: The Malevolent Mystery Meat!”, won two prizes at the 2016 San Mateo County Fair literary contest. The text story won honorable mention in a short story division. And my reading won first prize in the audio story division.
The honorable mention and the first prize shows the differences between a text story and an audio story. In my case, the story really came to life with my reading, although the story was exactly the same, word for word, in both versions. A judge said of the text version, “Great creativity but the story needs work. So much emphasis has been placed on the comic book style that story elements suffer. Please share this comment with the author.”
Message received with thanks! I am thinking that an audio story needs to be lean, while text needs the usual description, internal monolog, and other literary stuffing that good prose needs. My 2500 word story reading came in at about 15 minutes; getting a lot longer would really push the listener’s patience. Comic book style leans toward a script style of writing, but prose needs proper literary trickery to be fatter, juicier, BIGGER! So I will rewrite accordingly. My Kittygirl and Puppy Brothers stories would make a great story bundle.