Thursday, January 30, 2014

Monday Mixer Winners 01/27

I never cease to be amazed by the wonderful offerings I receive to the Monday Mixer each week. I pulled no punches this week when I trotted out the words. These were some tough ones to work with and yet each and every one of the stories I read was a real treat. There are some excellent and very inventive minds out there to include the regular contributors and especially first-time participant Rebecca.

Cara Michaels for her untitled story. I have long been familiar with Cara and her writing and this tale was a fine example of her skill at telling a crisp, tight story with just the right blend of gritty and sublime. She wove five of the prompt words in seemingly effortlessly and that's impressive. This reads like a part of a much larger work and I found myself wanting some more context to fully appreciate it.

Alex Brightsmith for her story The Stoker. I absolutely adore how Alex always manages to work such delightfully devious quirks into her offerings. The language was both fluid and expressive and the ending caught me entirely off guard. I suspect this young woman may have severely underestimated her rival.

Lizzie Koch for her story Witchcraft. I like to pride myself on finding some words that are exceptionally challenging to try to work into a story without some real flexing of the writerly muscles. No stranger to top honors here, Lizzie somehow manages to work those words into a fun, quirky little tale in such a way I wonder if I'll ever stump her. This humorous twist reminds us all to be VERY careful when we call someone names.

Abbi Knight for her story Stace and Geo. To have wrangled eight of the nine prompt words into a coherent and unforced story is word artistry at its finest. The interaction between the two sisters was engaging and fun. When the mystery of the project is factored in then the story had my imagination running amok wondering what the implications of it might be. While I might have preferred a tad more context the story stood out enough to survive on its own merits.

Rebecca for her story Chunky Monkey. As a first-time contributor to the Mixer, Rebecca dove in with impressive abandon. This was a very bittersweet and poignant tale that addressed the issues of body image, self loathing and the desire to be accepted as one is in a very compelling manner. In the Chunky Monkey character we can all find some reflection of ourselves to some degree. I couldn't help but notice Rebecca characterized her writing skills as "rusty". Given the quality of her contribution here, I hesitate to imagine what she might be capable of producing when she considers herself back up to speed. I think the level of competition just got a lot more intense for the other competitors here.

Please bear in mind my decisions are entirely subjective and may not find favor or agreement with all, but decisions are like that. For those writers not mentioned, no slight is intended and I hope next week will find you back for more.

Here is the link to view and read all of the truly inspired offerings for this week.  Please show a little Monday Mixer love and make a point of clicking on each entry and checking them out. Remember, each link clicked on takes you directly to that particular writer's page and provides them blog traffic and, hopefully, feedback to encourage them to come out & play next week.

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