In spite of the special difficulty factor I imposed on the latest challenge, the wonderful writers who came out to mix things up performed admirably. While there were some misuses here and there, they were nothing to detract from the quality of some really inspired writing. A few bits of business before we get to the fun stuff of winners: Abbi Knight, our most recent Over-Achiever pointed out I had missed the fact she had included all nine of the prompt words in her winning piece. I apologize for that oversight. Finally, I will be discontinuing the Monday Mixer upon completion of this round's results. Personal and professional limitations have made me a less-than-attentive challenge host. I apologize to those who, in good faith, entered the competition expecting better. I may re-visit the challenge at some point in time, but feel it best for all if, for now, I discontinue things
Laura James for her story Death Chant. This was a truly eerie and fantastic tale of a man seeking absolution from Powers he does not even truly believe in. It left me pondering the philosophical question of whether the Gods did, in fact, exist or whether it was the old man's faith in such that gave them reality?
Lizzie Koch for her story Treasure Seekers. Having spent my fair share of years as a soldier this story struck a chord with me although I never went on a mission to plunder dragon eggs. The feelings of tension, regret and justified fear were very nicely embodied by the descriptive wording and subtle phrasing.
Abbi D. Knight for her story Heatheranne Harking's Bad News. While this story could have just as easily been named another Over-Achiever victory, I thought it more proper to pay tribute to how skilfully those words were woven. The story of Heatheranne's reluctant, albeit essential, transition to a healthier state of being took the shape of free-form poetry and wound things out through her transformation with a style that encouraged me to keep reading to the end to see how it resolved.
drmagoo for his untitled story. In addition to the masterful encorporation of the prompt words, this was a just a fun little story. I liked the gritty, street feel of this tale of a pudgy purloiner of things being stuck for allies since he'd burned as many of his bridges behind him as his career choice required. It was a nice ending for the consummate professional to have dismissed out-of-hand a possibility that was all too real a thing when he made it to his objective only to find he'd been beaten to the punch.
Alex Brightsmith for her story Still Family. I have become accustomed to the quirky and delightfully unusual tales Alex has contributed to the challenge in the past and this latest offering certainly caught on with me. Not only were there enough of the prompt words included to reach Over-Achiever standards they were worked into the story so cleverly I was forced to go back to my own word list and check to see what words had been used. That is the mark of an exceptionally well-written and thought out story. Very nicely done!
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.