Winning Stories

As promised, here are the winning entries for the writing contest.  You know, the one I didn’t win.  That’s the way these things go sometimes.  But, don’t worry, I’ll be fine.

http://www.isabelladogbiscuits.com/2014-writing-contest.html

bestdog makeoverdogI was tempted to close comments on this post…  But, curiosity is going to get the better of me, as is its way.  I would appreciate any honest feedback you have on my piece:  After reading the winning submissions, can you see something in my story I could have improved upon?  Something that might have turned the judges off?  Anything you can provide to help me with my writing?

Quest

Today, I’m embarking on a very different quest.  Today, I’m channeling all the Sparky goodness I can muster and I’m venturing forth to win a prize.  I understand that some of you (I’m looking at you, Le Clown) will not understand what is going on here, and I’m okay with that, but as it is my role to entertain, how about you read this instead.  Or, if that’s not your thing, some have enjoyed this post (which was Freshly Pressed if you haven’t been paying attention) and others have enjoyed this page (which should take you less than five seconds to read).  I wouldn’t want to leave you with nothing.

Still here?  Okay.  Moving on…

Oh!  And before we get back to me WINNING, I want to take a moment to do a quick shout out for Alice.  Have you met Alice?  She lives in a place called Wonderland.  Everything she writes turns to fifty shades of perfection.  Often, I can’t keep myself from laughing for the rest of the day after reading one of her posts.  I’ve been asked to leave work before.  Not that I’m complaining.  Her posts are more important than work.  Her writing could sustain me.  It’s.  That.  Good.

She’s the best.

Well, except for me of course.  I truly am the best and I’m on a quest to prove it, a quest for all the winning.  The quest for the ultimate prize!

Part of this quest involves recognizing others for their brilliance.  So, the following seven eight (updated to include Guap) bloggers are hereby declared ALL THAT IS AWESOMESAUCE.  They don’t have a choice in the matter, they have to accept the award, display it on their blogs, answer the following seven questions, and then nominate 49 other bloggers to receive the award.  (7 x 7 = 49 – the math makes sense to me)  (The math no longer makes since because I added in an eight recipient, but that’s okay because it never really made sense to begin with.)

ATIA Award

Award recipients:
Alice – because she, as already covered, is fifty shades of perfection
Le Clown – because he tries hard and he means well
Miss Four Eyes – because she has four eyes, that’s two extra ones to help her kick butt
Rara – because she’s both a dinosaur and a dragon
Grayson Queen – because he puts up with all of Rara’s shenanigans
Revis – because he is the first knight of the matticus kingdom
Twindaddy – because he is awesome and stuph

and

Guap – because he asked for it, personally, pleadingly, punctually

Questions to be answered:
How do you define your awesomesauceness?
Are there some who call you “Tim?”
What is your favorite movie and why (please answer in the form of 12 page essay)?
Why doesn’t Le Clown visit the matticus kingdom very often?
Does Baby C ever wonder why there is no Baby D (like Baby A and Baby B have each other)?
How have your movements been recently?
How many projects can Queen Creative juggle at any given time?

There!  Wasn’t that fun.  And with that, my quest is almost complete.  Plus, I know you all love getting awards so I can’t wait to see how you answer the questions and who you pass the award to.

Just think, soon the blogosphere will be overrun with jars of awesomesauce.  When that happens the kngdom will have taken over completely.  I, in all my jester glory, will be the ruler of all things blog!  And that is my prize.  That is me winning.  It is inevitable.  It has already been set in motion and cannot be stopped.

Badge of …

honor?  accomplishment?  success?  triumph?  time wasting?  insert appropriately vague word here?  wordiness?  something else that sounds exactly like any of the other responses I’ve listed out here?

Winning! Winner! Won!

 

I do promise that eventually all these NaNoWriMo posts will go away and I’ll return to whatever I used to post about.  October seems so far away at this point I’m not even sure what that means… rants, football/soccer updates, daily post challenges, and other randomness I guess…

Based on the results of my impromptu poll conducted at the end of my “I wrote, I wrote some more, I NaNoWriMoed” post, the consensus is that I should continue to fill this blog space with segments from my other writing projects.  I’m mostly okay with that… It does mean that need to get back to work on those writing projects though. 

Luckily, I’m still caught up in the inspiration and motivation and other such driving forces and factors left over from my NaNo sprint.  I pulled up the comedy western I’m in the middle of yesterday and started familiarizing myself with the characters again.  I plan on getting some words added to further along that plot this afternoon.  If I get far enough I’ll post a new chapter into the Writing Segments section of my little blog world tomorrow.  In the meantime you can, and should check out the three chapters already sitting there waiting to be devoured.  You know you want to.

“This is the blog you are looking for…”

However, while I will work on the comedy western, I don’t want to drop the ball on my NaNoWriMo story either (which I’m going to refer to as Sierra Storm from now on, because the titled I’ve decided to label it with forever more, which you would know if you had visisted my page (djmatticus) at http://www.nanowrimo.org/.)  Last night I printed out the entire story and began attacking it in earnest with one of those red pen things.

If you do happen to stumble upon my official NaNo page, you might just notice the recently acquired halo hanging over my picture (pats self on back).  It is a really good organization and I was more than happy to send them some funds to keep them operational going forward.  If you have also donated to them, then we should definitely be friends.  If we are of like minds but you haven’t sent in your money yet, I promise it was completely painless.  You can trust me.

Well, probably.

….

Okay, okay, you caught me.  This entire post was just a bunch of rambling to show off my “Winner” badge and try and gear up the comedy side of my brain so I can get back to writing my western.  Tongue firmly in cheek now, off I go… hmm, after I do something about the need for food to quiet the rumblings in my stomach.  Priorities, right?  Right.

Still a champion.

So, the International Cycling Union has stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour titles…

But, they haven’t stripped him of those victories.  No one will ever be able to take that way from him. 

I find it interesting that a court of law lacked the evidence to find him guilty of doping but a separate governing body has enough evidence to ban him from the sport for life.  How can that be?  They obviously don’t hold themselves to the same standards. 

(As an aside, this situation is very similar to something that just happened in England as well: John Terry was found not guilty of racism in a court of law, but the Football Association chose to hold their own inquest and found him guilty.  At least the FA admitted to not having to hold themselves to the same standards as the courts.  Still, it felt every bit a witch hunt – they wanted a high-profile player to get called out on racism so they were going to find him guilty no matter what.)

Armstrong has been under heightened scrutiny since before the first of his seven tour victories.  His meteoric rise through the ranks to become one of the dominant forces on the uphill portions of the Tour singled him out for extra surveillance and extra tests.  Time and time again he was accused of cheating and time and time again his doping screening results came back clean.

Okay, so he found a way to beat the tests, right?  That’s what the USADA is alleging in their 200 page report.  So, he cheated, and got away with it for a decade.  Really?  That’s kind of a black eye for all the companies that have been in charge of doing the drug tests over the years…

But, I digress, so let’s get back to the point at hand.  The USADA claims that Lance Armstrong doped, the International Cycling Union read the report and decided there was enough evidence to wipe out Armstrong’s tour results and now Lance is a 7 time Tour champion no more.

Except, that he still won those races.  The official records may no longer show that he was the winner, but he is still, and always will be, a legend in the sport because of what he accomplished; doping or not.  Wiping out his official results won’t also wipe out our memories of his victories, his opponents memories, his own memories, etc… 

I haven’t made up my mind yet on Lance.  I’m not so naive as to believe that the USADA was determined to bring him down no matter what (a la the FA and John Terry), but it certainly does hint at a witch hunt, doesn’t it?  I mean, test after test after test came back clean and it wasn’t until a disgraced rider, who got caught cheating, called Lance out by name that the naysayers had a leg to stand on at all.  But the sheer number of people who have come forward since then make it mostly likely that he did dope.

That hasn’t changed my opinion of the man though.  For his feats on the bike and off, he is a fierce competitor, an unrivaled athlete, and a dominant force in the fight against cancer.  People may argue that he has let his fans down, that as one of our sports heroes he has an obligation to hold himself to a higher standard.  I don’t believe that.  I don’t put sports figures on pedestals.  I don’t engage in hero-worship like that.  He is human, just like the rest of us: prone to the same frailties and desires.  His desire was to win and he found a way to do that consistently for seven years in the hardest physical endurance competition in the world while simultaneously being a champion for and raising awareness of his LiveStrong foundations work related to cancer.

I’m not condoning “winning at all costs.”  But, the man has done more good for this world than most of us can dream of. 

I’m also not saying that his good behavior gives him a pass on his bad behaviors.  But, for me, the name Lance Armstrong will always be synonymous with Champion.