Tiffany checked her in box, and I have checked mine: not so easy to do … here at the towers we are quaffing smoke from wildfires in Washington blowing this way. (the OTHER Washington also blows smoke, but beneath the surface!) I was missing California, and now that I can’t see the sun for all the smoke I feel right at home….oh…the boxes are empty…meaning ALL the stories have been posted!
Our contest was about discovering what lies Beneath the Surface, what is hid by the Id, how vast the chasm can be between what is seen and what is actual. We’ve had about 40 entries, and they have run the gamut; horror, war narrative, homespun, poetic, funny, poignant.
So our finalists, having broken the surface, have a ready made prompt:
Over the Top
Here is what I pulled off the internet: Over the top.
To an excessive degree; beyond reasonable or acceptable limits.(por ejemplo, the editor-in-chief’s seventh grade humour)
In the First World War the phrase was used by the British to describe the infantry emerging from the safety of their trenches to attack the enemy across open ground. An early example of that in print is from a 1916 edition of War Illustrated:
“Some fellows asked our captain when we were going over the top.”
More recently, with allusion back to the WWI usage, the phrase has come to describe excessive or foolhardy actions. This figurative use originated not long after the war and the earliest record of it that I’ve found is in Lincoln Steffens’ Letters, 1935:
“I had come to regard the New Capitalism as an experiment till, in 1929, the whole thing went over the top and slid down to an utter collapse.”
Since the 1980s, in the UK at least, the phrase is often shortened to OTT.
O. T. T. was the adult version of the anarchic children’s TV show Tiswas. It was broadcast by the UK television network Central Television in 1982.
Barr and York’s Official Sloane Ranger Handbook, 1982, included a definition of OTT:
“OTT, over the top – outrageous. Usually ‘absolutely’ or ‘totally OTT’.”
And so… our finalists have until 6:00 pm, Tuesday, August 25th, Moscow time to submit up to 350 words using this prompt. The words must appear in your submission.
Everyone who entered the contest has three votes: two for their favorite, one for the next favorite. Finalists may vote, but not for themselves. No votes accepted until all entries have been posted. Votes sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Three finalists were chosen by me based on my taste and professional judgment, and two were chosen at random.
Finalists are Mac Eagan for “Marcus”, Nicole LeDonna for “To Buy a Coat,” Katie C. for Annie Anyoka, Mike Stang for “Child”, and Grant Laurence for “Remembrance.”
Winner will be announced at the book launch for Tiffany Vakilian August 29th. Thanks, Tif, for helping me post some of these stories!
Soooo, my pretties, Fly, Fly, Fly! (but nothing over the top…oh! …wait!)