To say the decision for the finalists has put the weight of the world on my shoulders is an understatement…now I know why Thorn accepts so many bribes! Not to mention I could spend time eating chocolate instead of buying it myself!
I created this contest with one purpose: to help close the gaps between people. To show that our cultures are not walls but bridges. To show that we have more in common than we have in difference. To show that there is not many people, but one. Only one race: the human race.
My literati, you did not disappoint. You have demonstrated time and time again that we are a family (yes, family) of passion, truth, tenacity, bravery, spirit, mystery, strength, and love.
You give me hope.
And that is just as much a gift to myself as it is to you.
And before I announce the winners, I have a personal announcement to make.**
Many of you saw the video I posted on the contest page when this all began. If you didn’t have a look:
This is what inspired this contest.
This is what has inspired me.
This is what has inspired you.
A few weeks ago, I have decided to embark on my own ancestral journey. I have completed a DNA test through Ancestry and I am now awaiting my results. When they arrive, my plan is to record my reaction IN REAL TIME to my results. Even though I know a lot about my heritage, some of it–especially my European heritage–starts to get a little sketchy and I find myself having to fill in the blanks. Also, there is still a chance I have heritage in places that I never once considered in my life. We’re all going to find that out together in several weeks once my DNA sample is processed.
Oh, FYI: I had to spit into a tube just like the ones in the video.
Also FYI: It was seriously the grossest thing I’ve done to myself this year.
BUT TO THE WINNERS!
The three contestants battled it out for the win, and I’ve mulled it over the last few days, watching each contestant duke it out; I’ve seriously considered each and every contestant for first place and this might actually be the hardest batch of finalist entries I’ve judged!
But. There can only be one. Well, maybe not. If each of you got considered for first, maybe you ALL are winners! But SOMEONE has to win the mystery prize Thorn has picked out! No, seriously, it’s a surprise. I’m literally going to be surprised when it eventually arrives at my house. To quote one of the great philosophers of my time: “If it’s a severed head, I’m going to be very upset!”
Oh, go watch “Wayne’s World”.
The winners and their corresponding finalist entries in ascending order are:
3) MICHAEL STANG FOR “FUKUSHIMA”; a bomb that REVERSES the effects of a nuclear spill? SHOULDN’T YOU BE SHARING THIS WITH OUR SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY?!
2) JEFF SWITT FOR “HOW I WOULD CHANGE THE WORLD”; I just want you to know I expected pixie dust to fly out of my laptop.
AND! Ladies and gentlemen of the A Word With You Press family…our winner…is the ethereal, bubbly, and madly in love
1) DIANE CRESSWELL FOR “WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO CHANGE THE WORLD?”! For the change ALWAYS begins with YOU FIRST!!!
The two runners up shall receive gifts from the countries they were assigned at the start of the contest! Please e-mail me your mailing addresses so when they arrive, I can send them!
Thank all of you so much for reading and participating! I hope to see all of you (and many more) for the next one!
Now, maybe I should spend this following week doing what I’ve been promising myself for months I’d do: write.
I guess we’re big and I guess we’re small
If you think about it, man
You know we got it all
‘Cause we’re all we got on this bouncing ball
And I love you free
I love you freely…
— from “The Riddle” by Five for Fighting
**TL;DR: I took a DNA test and you’re all going to watch me ugly cry on YouTube when I get my results.