I swear it’s not too cold!

(what air looks like when it is three degrees outside my office in Moscow)


This is the final evening that I will be posting the stories submitted for our First Annual Peggy Dobbs Write-of-Passage Contest because…It’s Over!  The deadline to submit to the editor-in-chief (moi) is never over, but the deadline to submit a contest entry passed on Thanksgiving Day.  I have six stories still to post that beat the deadline.  I will get three stories posted tonight, and three in the morning. I would like to have given these remaining stories more hang time, since so many of the other stories were well hung.

Although I have support from all over the globe, I am the entire staff here in Moscow posting the stories. Right now the very manly day-job supports this site, but that means I only have time to play at night. The towers that are A Word with You Press are undergoing a renovation, and subsequently there has been no heat in the building except for a small electric heater the cringes every time the door gets open and the three-degree outside temperature invites itself in for a hot toddy.  Not complainin’–just esplainin’!

And tonight’s posting almost got derailed as my keyboard decided that 26 letters in the alphabet were just too many.  Thank goodness there is a Wallyworld not far from here, and I was able to plug in my little Chinese import a few minutes ago and am back on line.

I will announce the finalists tomorrow at 8:pm Pacific Standard Time.

For those of you new to the process, I pick three entries based on my own tastes, and three at random. I swear, it’s not too late to attempt a bride–oops!–BRIBE! I would sincerely like to thank all of you who offered chocolate, Sam Adams, money and/or my favorite position in order to make the finals.  But the actual winner will be chosen by someone other then Moi.  This is the first time A Word with You Press has offered a prize of $500, and if I am going to do something scandalous, I prefer the scandal involves naughty behavior rather than money.

This has been (and remains) an amazing contest. Use the comment box on this posting to declare who you think the three finalists chosen from merit will be, and any thoughts you may wish to share about Peggy Dobbs, who inspired us so.

OK…home stretch begins momentarily.

Wish me luck;  the temperature is dropping.

Still have stories to post by Gary Clark, Julie Mark Cohen, Stefanie Allison, Kenneth Weene, Christopher Delicino and perhaps one or two others.

Pass me the oreos and beer, s.v.p.  I got work to do!








42 thoughts on “I swear it’s not too cold!

  1. Glclark says:

    Did Admiral Perry whine when it got a little cold on his way to discover the North Pole and give us Santa Claus? Did George Washington puss-out and wait until Spring Thaw to cross the Delaware? Did Joe Bob Evans cry when he fell through the ice on Bosque Creek trying to save his prized golden retriever from drowning and all us guys standin’ by the campfire laughed our asses off? Nay I Say! It was their destiny, their curse, their pride that drove them forward, not seeking fame or fortune, but just doing what needed to be done. Don’t let a little cold keep you from discovering the next greatest author.

  2. Diane Cresswell says:

    Ok Editor in Freeze Frame Icy Thorn Chief…I’m from Minneapolis and 3 degrees above zero is a heat wave. Wait until you experience wind chills and below freeze your ass off minus double digit numbers…then I’ll send you gloves with fingers cut off. Woolies optional…did I mention so cold you can snap your nose hairs off? That’s when you will know what cold is!!!! This is why I live in So Cal. I’d be in Hawaii first – So Cal second. Working my way back to Hawaii again.

  3. Salvatore Buttaci says:

    Does your Moscow cold compare to my childhood Utica cold? It was frigidly cold; in fact, Mr. Franconi next door, while shoveling snow, scratched his ear with his heavy glove and snapped his ear off. Years later the Marc Antony speech in Willy’s Julius Caesar called to mind the one-eared Franconi: “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.” The poor guy after that several-below-zero weather could only half-hear his wife’s nagging. Boy, was he grateful.

  4. Laura G says:

    If I had know you were cold and not actually posting from the giant suburban castle pictured on the site, I would have let you post from my cozy, warm writer’s nook! At least your keyboard wouldn’t have frozen up.

  5. Michael Stang says:

    In my day job I get to make my own hours, but if you think that means having any extra time to play your sadly mistaken. I’m going through the stories from the beginning having taken a rare Sat. off. The sheer volume is daunting, the volume of talent and creativity staggers but isn’t surprising. I am delighted there are many entries from new writers, very exciting. This is a grand event, Thorn, to be sure. Thankful to be a part of it.

  6. KYLE Katz says:

    I feel as if Peggy just took her jogging clothes off, removed her cross trainers, grabbed herself a cold one as she finished the marathon with us. She’s laughing at Thornton and deliriously happy, we all got together for the holidays. Now we’re all in better shape! What muscles we developed. Love you all. KYLE.

  7. Pingback: And then there were THREE! Kenneth Weene is onufum… | A Word with You Press

  8. Pingback: Editor-in-Chief (Moi) errs! Sorry about that, Christopher Delicino | A Word with You Press

  9. FJDagg says:

    I don’t envy Thorn, having to choose three finalists from among all of these winners. So many different voices and original premises–it just ain’t fair to pick! But if you held a gun to a bunny’s head right in front of me and said,”Pick three, right now, damn you, or the cute little bunny gets it!” …I’d probably suggest Beverly Lucey’s “Yosemite Scam,” for it’s mature, professional voice and the author’s skill in developing two so very different characters in such a limited space. Then, Stefanie Allison’s, “Broken Seashells,” for the mood of restrained sadness and the deep pain shown, not told with such subtle, atmospheric strokes. Finally, Kenneth Weene’s “Round ‘Bout Forks” for the masterful command of voice and, like the other two, a fine development of subtext. I’d probably try to figure out how to scam my way out “just three,” though so I could sneak Mac Eagen’s “Katie,” in there, too, because it sorta yanked my heart out of my chest, but…I know, I know… Anyway, loved all of those. But I loved a whole lot of the others, too.

  10. Michael Stang says:

    Okay, this is what I got.
    Kristy Webster’s “Paradise” left me on my knees
    Miryam Howard’s Turkey adventure set me on my ear
    Claudia’s sledgehammer “Endless”
    Wendy Joseph’s hillarious wolfe
    Parisianne’s “Gender Conversations Across Time” as only Madam can write.
    Jean Rodenbough’s surprising “Flushed Out’
    Stefanie Allison’s talented beyond what we know to be, “Broken Seashells”
    Thadeus Koerner’s “Time To Refrain” for the best story telling.
    That’s three, right? Knew it. Whew, i’m so proud of myself.
    Bought oreos to throw up in the air at eight for those six who will enter the cave. Good luck and (Peg’s term) blessings.

  11. elizabeth sloan says:

    A bribe by any other name is still a bribe? Whatever…here’s mine: are your AWwYP towers in that cool (literally frigid these days) retro building (by CJ’s)? I’ve always been intrigued by it, and I see work going on at all hours and in these sub freezing temps. If it is, and you want to have an open house once it’s complete, meaning at least walls and doors, I’d be happy to be involved. And/or, I have lots of art, mostly mine, some others, I could loan to adorn the space. Just sayin’. It’s fun to see our Moscow continue to rock, and I think we’re lucky to have you land here, Thorn. (There, go ahead and call it a bribe then.)

  12. Kenneth Weene says:

    You want a bribe? I think some wood for the old Franklin might be a better idea. Having grown up in New England, I no longer do cold.

  13. barbkeeling says:

    I wanted to thank you all for letting me play in your yard. It was a great honor to do so. Your kindness to say nice things about the pieces I added here gave this ole girl chills of delight. Thank you for making me feel so welcome. Hope you will have more play ‘daze I can join.

    Have a joyful Holiday, (don’t know what happened to my picture on the comments page…and it was a lovely one too. Ohhh well.. ) Best, Barb Keeling

  14. Parisianne Modert says:

    You asked for our finalists Chief so here are mine in order of finish in my opinion after reading and reviewing every single story. 1) Kristy Webster 2) Kyle Katz 3) Gary Clark 4) Caitlin Hornshaw 5) Madame Parisianne Modert (moi) 6) Michael Stang . There you have it with a final plea to choose the six top finalists not some random method of drawing names from a bull’s empty testicle bag. There are clearly at least six authors who stand out from the rest in quality with or without me.

  15. KYLE Katz says:

    I have no idea who is in the finals. But for me, I’m sitting on my sofa wearing my royal blue sassy boots, A glass of merlot, pretending its the Academy Awards. I have my final 250 words in hand. I may have to read it to my cat..but she loves everything I write. LOL!

  16. Jean Rodenbough says:

    I would hate to have to choose among these stories — they show creativity, skill, diversity, and any would honor Peggy. So choose away, Thorn. I swear, it’s not too late to make your decisions. . .

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