Living in Infamy. Yes! December 7th!

(Satikush Hemingcat oversees the random selection at the towers)


Good evening from the towers that ARE …A Word with You Press!

I shiver…but deliver! I’m telling Santa (seen here in the photo out of uniform) if you scroll by all of this to see if your name is among the finalists. “Read this, O Caesar, that you may live!  If not, the Fates with traitors doth contrive!” (Artemidorus , side kick to James West in the TV series The Wild wi—? Oh? Really?  Artemidorus, warning his emperor, Julius Caesar)

I will defer making  comments about this contest and site being so kuhl to all of you.  I am strictly about biznez now!

You, who are finalists, will write no more than two hundred fifty words to the prompt: “…but by then, it was too late.” Entries must be sent as a word attachment and include a title, sent to no latter than midnight, December tenth Pacific Standard Time. Winner will be announced on Sunday, December 15th. If the winner has a Paypal account they will be issued $500 in full immediately. If not, then by Western Union less the Western Union fee.

The plan was to select three finalists based on merit, and three randomly. Random means I am looking at folded pieces of paper on my desk at the towers, and I am about to draw three names out of the empty oreo box to add to the ones that are my personal favorites. No finalist will know if they were chosen by chance or by design.  In the past, twice have authors who were randomly selected ended up finding their stride and winning the contest.

The dilenema is the obvious one; with so many good stories, how do I choose? Could stories that did not make the cut be substituted for one that did?  Absolutely.  So there is at least a chance of justice in that a very fine story may be selected randomly.

My own preferences?  First, the story needs to be a story. A beginning, a middle, and an end, and not just an anecdote. Secondly, the creative use of language always sucks me in. I reviewed a book years ago about William Daumier(A Pirate of Exquisite Mind) who did not have good press, but managed to circumnavigate the globe THREE TIMES before Magellan. Daumier added over a thousand words to our vocabulary from his travels. (chopsticks, yahoos, avocados–which was an Indian word for testicles, etc.) But Daumier changed the way we used language.  No one had ever thought to link the words “gentle” with “slope” before when he described anchoring in a harbor. Language evolution and creation is beauty to behold and it is shown in abundance on this site.

Mostly what I look for is emotional authenticity, and work that is not done in expectation of an audience response, but is a genuine and truthful expression of the author. Given the choice between a story that makes me feel and one that makes me think…well, I am a touchy-feely kinda guy. “The world is a comedy to those who think, and a tragedy to those who feel.”

But the point is, my tastes are subjective. A Word with You Press exists to allow each writer the freedom to write as THEY see fit, and on subject matter that THEY deem important.. We just try to help them do a better job of it, by holding contests such as this. We are not censors; we are editors.

I was asked by one participant if we are a writers’ critique group or a support group.

We are both, and one does not exclude the other. What I have found is that it is far more productive (with the goal of creating better writers) to emphasize what the writer does WELL!  They will replicate that automatically rather than focus on their flaws. Like an old Jackson Brown song “Don’t you confront me with my failures. I have not forgotten them.”

As the Editor-in-Chief, I have certain rights and perks.  One is to change the rules on whim. And I have done just that.  I chose my three finalists according to the parameters I just gave you. Madam Parisianne Modert was not in the three, though as several of you commented, she well could have been. Rather than leave it to chance that she will be selected as a finalist, I would like to acknowledge the phenomenal job she has done giving comments to everyone’s entries. Her depth and insights far exceed my own abilities, and as a result of her participation, all of us have benefited tremendously. I am inviting her to participate in the finals which will be independently judged.

Therefore, instead of six finalists, there are seven. and those would be:

Madam Parisianne Modert,

Stefanie Allison,

Claudia Barillas,

Miryam Howard,

Kristy Webster,

Mike Stang,

Elizabeth Sloan


Best of luck to you all.


Oh!  And I am posting now instead of 8:00 pm!  Outta oreos!

65 thoughts on “Living in Infamy. Yes! December 7th!

  1. Glclark says:

    A good list of some truly good writers. I’m so glad that Parisianne is in there. Thorn is right – she gives good critique and writes great stories. I’m pullin’ for her!!!!!!

      • Glclark says:

        That last story went over like a turd in a punch bowl. Never meant it to be porn – just thought it was a fun story and besides it was a re-write of the first story I ever submitted to AWwYP all those years ago……….got me in the finals and I ended up winning that contest. Guess tastes change over time………… And don’t make any stupid comments about ‘taste’ 🙂

        • Parisianne Modert says:

          Madame Parisianne turned into a madam somehow, so I got the heat of your story. Yes, the first three where a lot more powerful to me, but speaking as a fallen woman of questionable origins, I really enjoyed your tale of what a woman will resort to when her biological clock cow is stomping in two step mooing all about. She was ready for her ride in the give me the next generation rodeo. Remember also that I placed you first in the last contest and second in this one. I remain a fan who will miss reading another story from you until the next contest.

          • Parisianne Modert says:

            None taken, because I was greatly influenced and encouraged by Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” to transition as I have even though it bugged a lot of people that I did back then. The past standard for women was one of being innocent, pure, saved for one’s husband’s pleasures as obligation in her boudoir. Inside those suites was the limit allowed a lady if her gentleman allowed. How I glorify the changing of a woman’s station in life where she can openly be both a lady dignified with manners referred to as Madame and a wildcat claiming her sexual desires, encouraging others to misbehave referred to as Madam. One of my favorite movies is called, “Madam Satan” Sounds like the beginning of the perfect pen name…Madam Christina Satan is born.

        • Michael Stang says:

          If I remember okay, I judged that story to be a winner cause of the hillarity of you and granny making the jumps over the ruts in the truck (forgot the truck’s name). Never nothing about some spurred X Y-ied little feller. That was one hell of a story. This one is too.

          • Glclark says:

            That was a later story – called Grandma, Sparky, and Me. The one I was talking about was called “In the Throes”

  2. Parisianne Modert says:

    Thank you Mr. Editor for including me in the finals, but I have to inquire if my early entry counts or if you require a separate piece of writing? Was that in question form Alex Trebek? No! Do I need to submit a separate story Thorn?

  3. Michael Stang says:

    Some of the cookies stuck to the ceiling, guess to give me a map of what to do now. I can make out a rough star constellation Orion. I named my only son Orion, I will call and ask him what he thinks. Thank you either way, Thorn. Of course I wished I would have entered on merit, but to be here at all, against folks like these, I’m dancing on air.

    • Parisianne Modert says:

      May I suggest “Oreo Orion” as a character, cookie, if you are stuck for a name. Young Mr. Orion has been sent on a pilgrimage to the pyramids that his ancestors commissioned as a saucerport and to discover the origins of oreo cookies. Naturally he has anti-gravity capacities which allow him to dance on air.

  4. elizabeth sloan says:

    Wow. Happy happy, honored, encouraged. Thank you. And on to the next round we go then! Whoooweeeeeee (she says with a big smile).

  5. Diane Cresswell says:

    Congratulations to all of you and Mike you’re in a circle of women…your dream come true!!!! LOL Let the games begin.

  6. Parisianne Modert says:

    My finalist story, now submitted, was written in five trying hours immediately following the generous announcement to include me. As a labour of love to honour a most remarkable lady, I can tell all of you that the editing took up 90 percent of the time. With this story lovingly offered, I wish to once again thank all of you for sharing yourselves with me. There is much we can learn from each other in writing skills, styles and human life experiences. Each and every one of you, therefore, are winners to me. I am sure there are countless publishing websites, but I seriously doubt that any are as welcoming to new writers, free of censorship and encouraging with good humour towards this growing community of writers and readers whom I consider most of my dearest friends in spirit and intelligence.

    • Michael Stang says:

      I feel a group hug coming on. I think it is in part the way you share yourself with the rest of us that is exemplary. The rest is your obvious passion. And yes, there is that you know what you are talking about. Wonderful to share this place with you.

      • KYLE Katz says:

        Can I get a group hug too! I wrote my final entry two weeks ago. Positive thiinking and all. Now I have to post on facebook for my fans there. LOL. Can’t wait to read all the stories. good luck Mike

  7. Jean Rodenbough says:

    What a glorious list of winners. Congratulations, and I truly believe it’s never too late for the rest of us to enter the next contest, or to submit during just a regular time.

  8. Timur Iablokov says:

    Well done to all the finalists but also to all the participants in general, I must say that I read some amazing stories.

  9. Mike Casper says:

    Grats to the finalists! I KNEW Kristy Weber was going to be there…and was happy us boys have an entry in Mr. Stang. I have faith in you, Mike…make us proud.

  10. Jodi DOBBS McDanal says:

    Just checking in on the finalists and I know Mother is pleased and honored!!! It truly makes all of our family SO PROUD! Again, thank you…thank you ….thank you! Also, in case any of you step away from your computers to watch some football, let me be the first to say:
    WAR EAGLE!!! I’m a huge Auburn fan as was Mother and Daddy.

    • Michael Stang says:

      Thank you, Jodi for your interest and support. Speaking for myself, and I think a rounding cheer from the rest of us, Thorn’s creation of this contest to honor your mother has attained legendary status. For most of us it is the best we can do to remember Peg.

    • Michael Stang says:

      Wendy, actually…lets walk in the sun for a moment and sit here on this park bench. No, you are not the only one. My hands shift back and forth in my lap not knowing what to do. Clark numbered my losses at 39 ( I think) until I hooked a trophy. You have bowled me over with your stories again and again. I so appreciate the wit and intelligence and that easy flow that can encompass a longer effort. Please stay and lose another one with me. The difference is the music we can make

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.