:::this is the way the world ends:::

Month: January 2010 (Page 1 of 2)

something a little fun.,

Fortunately, our writing is much better than these contest winners! However, these provide a wonderful laugh.

Bulwer-Lytton Contest Winners

For all lovers of good writing, here are this year’s winners of the Bulwer-Lytton contest, (aka “It Was a dark and Stormy Night” Contest) run by the English Department of San Jose State University, wherein one writes only the first line of a bad novel.

10. As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it.

9. Just beyond the Narrows, the river widens.

8. With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description.

7. Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along the East wall: “Andre creep… Andre creep…Andre creep.”

6. Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back alley sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved.

5. Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eking out a living at a local pet store.

4. Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do.

3. Like an over-ripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor.

2. Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn’t know the meaning of the word “fear;” a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death — in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies.


1. The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog’s deception, screaming madly, “You lied!”

and these: The new 2009 crop of Bulwar-Lytton winners are pretty good, too. Here’s the winners in the Detective category:

She walked into my office on legs as long as one of those long-legged birds that you see in Florida – the pink ones, not the white ones – except that she was standing on both of them, not just one of them, like those birds, the pink ones, and she wasn’t wearing pink, but I knew right away that she was trouble, which those birds usually aren’t.

Eric Rice
Sun Prairie, WI


The dame sauntered silently into Rocco’s office, but she didn’t need to speak; the blood-soaked gown hugging her ample curves said it all: “I am a shipping heiress whose second husband was just murdered by Albanian assassins trying to blackmail me for my rare opal collection,” or maybe, “Do you know a good dry cleaner?”

Tony Alfieri
Los Angeles, CA

Dishonorable Mentions

The appearance of a thin red beam of light under my office door and the sound of one, then two pair of feet meant my demise was near, that my journey from gum-shoe detective to international agent had gone horribly wrong, until I realized it was my secretary teasing her cat with a laser pointer.

Next stop, J.E.’s alley…


For some reason, I can easily imagine J.E.’s art interposed on this, and him cranking and flinging the trebuchet with glee.  I can imagine all of us doing this, but especially J.E. (I hope I don’t misrepresent).

I hope you guys enjoy this web game as much as I did.  I finished it all in one sitting, due to my addiction to it.

Click on the image above to play.

Sketchbook Fridays

I know there has been a flurry of activity lately that we can hardly respond to but I wanted to keep this up (at least for now).

 SB 09 004

 This was the result of some accidents playing with ink recently.

Decade’s Art


I suppose this could category could designate different things for different people. It could mean art or shows that you’ve seen in the past decade, art that’s been created in the last decade, performing arts, movements in art, news about the arts, etc.

I used a photo of Kara Walker’s artwork, because I think I remember Shotts talking about seeing her show at the Walker in 2007-2008.

Let’s talk about your favorites over the past decade….

Extracurricular Music Thursday

It’s not Thursday, but I’ve been meaning to post this for about a month.

I heard the following interview and performance with Patrick Watson and the Wooden Arms on NPR in early December.  It was a fantastic piece, but for some reason I thought it would totally be up Ned’s Alley.  Not that I’m all that interested in Ned’s Alley…if he enjoys this I’ll be happy. 

I’ve been listening to their album Wooden Arms and been liking it quite a bit.  If it would have come out sooner in the year, it might have made my Decade’s Top Ten or So.

This one’s for you, Ned.


Here’s an NPR page with links to other Patrick Watson videos and audio.

Decade’s Books

Book Handwritten

This should be a lively discussion…the quantity of books published in the last decade, and amount of time invested in reading them means there will be far less “shared” time with the same books as our fellow Hollow Men.

Elvis Ate America


"Overman would be proud," I mumbled to myself after hearing the second Elvis song in a row at 8:05 yesterday morning.

Yup, he would be ecstatic that if there was one thing carried over from my high school education, that I could recall Elvis Presley’s birthday with minimal prompting would be it. So I thought about Elvis, quite a bit, in fact. He was hard to escape yesterday, his music on the agency’s sound system all day. I think I may have been growing a bouffant hairdo during this barrage on my sanity.

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