Friday, October 23, 2009

Our Fearsome Write-Away Winner

The Write-Away ContestThank you to Allysha at Bells on Their Toes for judging this month's Halloweenish writing contest (you'll get to hear more about her next week) and thank you to jaC Jewelry for providing the gorgeous Chocolate Cherry Swirl pendant as the prize for the best entry on the topic of "Fear."

If you didn't win this gorgeous pendant don't worry, jaC has giveaways here and there and to find out when sign up for the newsletter which will give you all the upcoming events.

And of course thank you to all who entered, there's nothing so fearful as putting up your writing for someone else to judge!

Anyone want to suggest a topic for next month's contest? I'm wide open . . .

. . . And the winner is:

Wonder Years with Fear a la Edgar Allan Poe

Sonja is a wonderful writer, photographer and mother with a house full of beautiful little blondies. I've subscribed to her blog for about a year now and highly recommend it--you'll love this creative post. I do believe it's the first time a poem has won the Write-Away Contest.

Honorable Mentions

Stories to Cheer People Up with To Catch a Thief
My Neurotic Spot with Description of a Night Terror
Glacier Racing with Floyd the Coward


Here are a list of the entries in the order they were received:

1. Babysteps with Flying Away
Last night Zaya said, “Mom, I don't want to ever fly a kite again, because it might fly away.”
He said this with tears barely restrained and his voice cracking a bit, as if we were discussing something truly terrifying, like tornadoes or spiders or newborn babies. (Hey, we're all afraid of something.)

2. All Stace, All the Time with Childhood Phobias That Linger On
Okay so I know nothing is sleeping under my bed. I never have to check the closet for the boogie man. These are things that I outgrew YEARS ago. I'm not afraid of the dark. Thunderstorms don't scare me. I can watch a scary movie, most of the time, without lingering effects.

3. Warm Chocolate Milk with I'm Back
It took going away last weekend, driving up north to my friend Sarah's remote cabin in the woods where there was no Internet access, and I could only get a signal on my phone by standing on my tiptoes in the middle of a field with my arms reached out high above my head, removing myself from my life was required, for me to see the possibilities in the center of it.

4. Flea's World with Posthumously
Many a book and screenplay are written by shrinks – excuse me, licensed therapists – who think they’ve cornered the market on crazy. I’ve read quite a few – in my profession I’d go nuts if I couldn’t laugh at myself. They’d lock me away if I couldn’t laugh at my patients. Privately, of course.

5. Momish with Home Base
Our house was one of the few row homes left that still had a wall separating the living room from the staircase. In most of the houses, the wall was taken down so the staircase stood open, overlooking the living room. But not our house, our house still had the wall. And boy do I remember that wall.

6. I Most Definitely Control the Spice with Tortoiseshell
I am typing this currently in very small, very unassuming font into a Word document at work. After lunch, after the morning tumult and the relaxing walk outside after sharing a packed lunch at the library with Gary, my stomach begins this horrible decline, this needful feeling of want and regret and envy. Of lonesome feeling for my son.

7. Flip Flop Mama with Conquering Half Dome
Yosemite has to be one of my all time favorite places--right up there with the Big Sur coast and North Shore, Oahu. The first time I visited Yosemite was about 11 years ago. My family--with the exception of my sister who was on her mission in Spain--and another family from my home town took a vacation there. We went in August and our plan was to backpack throughout the valley.

8. Fear Realized with Fear #045 Drown Deep
For a long time, I couldn’t swim. There were a myriad of reasons why and they varied in legend: I couldn’t get my hair wet (I’m black. It’s a long story.); my eyes couldn’t take the chlorine; my mother never continued lessons for me as a baby since, back in those days, they threw you in and said “swim”, and it freaked her out. This is how the legends go. Some I’m told, some I’ve lived.

9. Confessions of a Narcoleptic with Faith
Let me start at the beginning. Being pregnant, all of my emotions are heightened. A lot. I am normally a worrier, and lately, I think my worrying has kind of gotten out of control. Mostly about my children. I worry that something, anything, will happen to them. I would lie awake at night, my stomach twisting in knots over the thousands of ways my children can be harmed.

10. Wonder Years with Fear a la Edgar Allan Poe
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over all the fears that make me tremble to my core.
(I thought of wars, I pondered needles and those freaky little beetles,
that I hear will nearly always crawl by hundreds on the floor.)

11.Emzeegee and the Hungry Three with Don't Let Go
The spokes of my new $99 blue Sears bike gleam in the sunshine as they wobble back and forth. "Dad?" "Dad?! You're still holding on, right Dad?" I asked with a waver in my voice. "I don't want to fall off! I'm scared!" "I'm holding, I'm holding!" he pants, as he runs along behind me, one hand on the back of the bike and the other helping him keep his balance.

12. Warm Chocolate Milk with Calming His Greatest Fear and Mine
My son Weston screams out in the night. Visions of hungry wolves terrorize him as he sleeps. I leap out of bed when I hear his panic-stricken cry, I come running from down the hall and into his room to hold him, to awaken him from his nightmare and bring him back to the warm, tranquil setting of his bedroom. "You're safe," I whisper as we rock.

13. Stories to Cheer People Up with To Catch a Thief
We had just gone out and had one last family dinner and were now stopping to buy some groceries to decorate our empty cupboards and refrigerator with. It had been a long day and I had decided to stay in the car at this last stop so I wouldn’t have to hurt my back any more by stooping and bending to get in and out of the vehicle.

14. Gritty City Woman with Hapuna Drowning: Reflections, Revelations and Respect
Hapuna Beach on the Big Island is a life altering experience. Fantastic waves, warm waters, cool, soft sand, whales breaching on the horizon, and warm tropical sun ease the body, mind, and soul. My family and I have been coming to this beach for years and we eagerly anticipated our homecoming, Sunday morning, February 8th. Little did we understand that our beach routine would change dramatically this day and that our eyes would see too much.

15. Short Stop with Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie
The day my first son was born, I was sitting in my hospital bed blissfully staring at the tiny wonder that was my new baby when my husband returned to our room from dinner. All smiles. “Guess what? Mom and Dad wanna go to our house and clean it for us while we’re here in the hospital. Cool, huh?”

16. I'm (Not) Crazy Mommy with Waking Nightmare
When I was in high school, one of my best friends (we'll call him Skippy) was the son of a rose grower. His dad and grandfather owned a huge compound of greenhouses that grew the most beautiful and fragrant of flowers in every variety and color imaginable. The facility was composed of two long rows of greenhouses, stacked like the rungs of a ladder with access at the ends.

17. Parent Club with Mourning a Baby
I wasn't going to write this. I thought it too raw, too personal, too painful to put out into the blogosphere...but it was actually my prince who said I should blog about it. We have both received so much support from friends (twitter & non-twits alike), family and co-workers.

18. Baby Makin(g) Machine with The Selfish Fear
This is a very difficult, extremely sensitive topic to blog about. I'm almost ashamed to write it. It's something I've been thinking about, pondering over, dwelling on for the last couple of years.

19. Notes of Jubilee with I Was Ratted out by My Five Year-old Son
My kids' love the library. Whirling Dervish and I haunt the library frequently during the school week. With all the neat toys, story time, and enough picture books to claim sensory overload as a medical condition, it's a big draw.

20. Glacier Racing with Floyd the Coward
Foolhardy, that's what it was. We were stopped at the light on Old Lake Road behind a whiny piped pickup full of side-hatted teenagers when a wadded Lota-Burger bag flew from the truck window. Floyd muttered from my passenger seat. He threw his door open, strode purposefully to the opposite lane, gathered the grease stained paper, and tossed it back into the truck bed.

21. Ad Libitum with False Evidence Appearing Real
I read somewhere once that FEAR stands for “False Evidence Appearing Real”. I have to agree with that, in retrospect, that is. But when you are lying on your bed, staring at the ceiling, heart pounding at the very thought of that awful thing you fear so much, the evidence you dig up from the recesses of your mind seem anything but false…. You know what I mean, right?

22. My Neurotic Spot with Description of a Night Terror
Her sleep is a portal. She’s not known a full night’s peaceful sleep since that moment in childhood when they first found her and filled her with visions of her bed crawling with spiders and other such creepy crawlies to taunt a small girls mind. She’s an adult now, but that doesn’t mean she’s any less immune to them when they choose to approach. When she sleeps, somewhere within a dusty window into another dimension opens, and things cross over.

23. Life with Boys with A Fright in the Night
It was a quarter 'til midnight and I was lying in bed, trying to go to sleep. Then I heard it ... the sound that could be innocuous, or could be the beginning of a long, scary night. I waited with baited breath for more clues as to what my night would hold. The rustling continued, but on its own that was still innocuous.

24. Just Mom's Musings with In Which I Owe My Newfound Courage to Pooh
I have a theory. You know those cute little stories we read at bedtime to our children? I think they're actually written for "grown-ups." No, don't laugh. You see, just recently I was plagued with making a decision that would have life altering consequences based on what I decided.

25. Adventures of Howler and Toad with Fear
Growing up, I was afraid of the dark. My sister, brother, and cousins made fun of me. There was nothing that was more terrifying to me than the deep darkness that was bedtime at my house.

26. Shelly Munro with Fear
Fear–it’s the gut-wrenching anxiety that strikes us all in moments of extreme stress, when our limbs tremble, our face goes pale, and we scream until we’re hoarse.

27. My Left Hook with He's Gay or Weird or Weirdly Gay or Whatever
The Pterodactyl wants me to buy him a purse. Obviously he’s gay. Which would explain his fascination with the hair dryer, his weird attachment to anything fuzzy, and his tendency to sing along to Taylor Swift songs. He’s almost five years old and he loves rainbows. Can there possibly be a gayer sign?

28. Army Wife Quilter with Fear
OK! So here is the thing. "Fear!" It is the time of year when we pull out all the stuff that makes us scream, laugh, and say wow how did they do that. It's Halloween the one time of year when the fears of others are displayed on the lawn to scare us all. I have one big huge fear that drives my family crazy all summer. I don't need to go to a haunted house to be scared.

29. Mozi Esmé with Filling the Gap: Time
I am not a fearful person, I don't think. I like heights, I'm fascinated with snakes, and I still want to skydive some day. Even goblin masks and pumpkin guts don't scare me. But I fear one significant thing.

30. Divergent Pathways with The Bogeyman of Edingurgh
The idea came to us in the hallowed halls of Cambridge, where I totally imagined Fagin to be collecting orphan boys, and Macbeth lurking in the next cloister. Just as our semester was coming to a close, my friend Dottie and I stuffed our Sidney Sussex towels into our duffels, and conspired to tour the UK for a few weeks on a Brit-Rail pass. (It’s a great way to travel when you’re young and foolish.)

31. Just Mom's Musings with The Night I Saw a Spookable
JS asked me the other day if ghosts are real. I knew it was only a matter time before I was asked that question. After all, it is almost Halloween and we have been watching Winnie-the-Pooh's "Heffalump Halloween," complete with "spookables." But I didn't know how to answer and simply came back with, "Well, what do you think?"

32. Dancing with the Daffodils with Fear Is Just a Bad Dream
I’ve had my share of bad dreams. As a child, I remember having dreams of a steamroller overtaking me - leaving me flat as Wile E. Coyote in the Road Runner cartoons. (No doubt that’s where that dream originated!) Later my bad dreams were not of falling or monsters or things that go BUMP in the night.

33. Lifepoint with Beverly Dru with False Evidence Appearing Real
Fear is a thief; stealing your energy and creativity and leaving you despondent. Conversely, it can be the tool that sharpens your perception and propels you to success as you use the edge of fear to sharpen the blade of faith.

34. Merge with My Best Friend's Dog
My best friend, Nova and I met in college. We weren't exactly friends from the start, rather our friendship evolved over time once we realized how much we had in common. We both had birthdays in June, this made us Cancers, which, we both agreed, was the best astrological sign out there. We both also agreed that anyone who wasn't a Cancer was not someone to be mocked, but rather pitied.

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Patricia Linehan said...

Now i'll have lots of new reading material! I came up empty on the "fear" topic...not that there's nothing I fear, just nothing I thought anyone else would find remotely interesting or unique. :)

I think November's write-away should have something to do with Thanksgiving (but that might be too obvious).

Susan Berlien (warmchocmilk) said...

Looking forward to the next one. Wow, what a lot of great entries! :)

Momish said...

Congratulations to Wonder Years! Wow, that is a lot of entries and reading material. Good thing I have the morning off work today ;)

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

HURRAY for Sonja! A very deserved win. I loved the poem when she posted it last year and still love it now.

Beverlydru said...

You are the most faithful blogger I know! Consistent- always responding and commenting. Thank you for all that, on top of a very interesting blog!

Robin said...

wow, what a great post! Love your etsy products too:) My name is Robin and I have a family run business that started in the UK and has just launched here in the I live here now. Our website is Would love your feedback! Always happy to provide samples and/or content for your great blog. Be well!

Allison said...

Hi Michelle! I did a random search for a Mom blog from Alaska and came across yours! I'm Mom to two girls in Alabama. Anya is 5 and Arwen is 10 months. I, too, hold a BA in English and have also read Atlas Shrugged! There are so few of us out there that have made it through that book! Just wanted to say hi and that I love your recipes. You can follow my blog at...

Danielle a.k.a Yellie said...

Very cool. Lots of talent and interesting writing. This is fun!