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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Writing Challenges » 13 line trigger challenge: I am in a bad mood (Page 1)

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Author Topic: 13 line trigger challenge: I am in a bad mood
axeminister
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Based on new WotF judge, David Wolverton/Farland's recent comment about only reading around 300 words or so before deciding to quit or continue, I say high time for a 13 line challenge!

Edited to add: With no objections, I'll be running two more of these in the near future.
One starting July 6th.
One starting July 22nd.

Trigger:

I am in a bad mood.


or 3rd person:

X is in a bad mood.

This is the trigger, do what you want with it. i.e. use the exact words, or allude to them. Just keep it in the ballpark.

For the new folks, here's the

Rules:

1) 13 lines only. Make it a beginning of a story, (this is a hook challenge, designed to make your readers want to read more!)

2) Format as on the entries thread:

http://www.hatrack.com/cgi-bin/ubbwriters/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=7;t=000208;p=0&r=nfx

Time frames:

Contest starts now, Wednesday, June 20, 4:00 post meridian, eastern standard time.
Ends precisely 7 days later.

Voting will be open from 4PM, Wednesday June 27th to the following Wednesday 4pm... oh you can add.

Scoring system:

5 pts for 1st place votes, 4 pts for 2nd, 3 pts for 3rd.

What's expected of you if you enter:

You are expected to vote for your top 3 favorite entries.
Please e-mail me your votes.

For fun, give a mention of your favorite title. (Optional)

Crits are also optional, but highly valued. We are a writer's forum, after all. Also, feel free to mention if you're intrigued, i.e. would you read on or not?

Comments on this thread...entries on the other.

Axe

[ June 23, 2012, 07:09 AM: Message edited by: axeminister ]

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axeminister
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bump
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snapper
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Do we send our entries to you, Mr Grumpy pants, or do we post them ourselves? You going to start a new thread for the entries?
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axeminister
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Non-anon.

Just a 13 liner for practice. No prize this time other than a hypothetical, digital olive wreath.

Axe

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Rhaythe
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Any problem with changing around that first line? I write in third-past, and the passive tense of "X was in a bad mood" gives me the hives.
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axeminister
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Ryathe,

The trigger is written in sand.

I'm in a bad mood.

My mood is bad.

Cindy's mood? Awful.

Charlie's black hair draped over one eye. He sighed as a teardrop fell onto his latest diary entry. No one understands me. (showing, not telling.)

I was merely trying to say one need not write in first person.

Go nuts!

Axe

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Rhaythe
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Word.
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axeminister
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Roxy, that's just wrong.

Hilarious, but wrong. [Razz]

Actually, knowing this challenge might bring out the funny, as it seems to be doing early, I mentioned the next two challenges because those are intended to be more serious.

Maybe I'll have giveaways again. [Cool]

Axe

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rabirch
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Oh, dear. I'm in serious trouble. I can't do funny to save my life.

Now I'm in a bad mood.

[Big Grin]

(I wasn't kidding, though.)

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pdblake
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Hmmm, a funny bad mood. Ok, I'll bite.
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axeminister
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Rebecca,

Please feel free to post a serious entry. We know quality when we see it. Plus, these challenges are about practicing the art of the hook.

Win or lose, you'll get crits, so put your best foot forward.

I believe my story openings are pretty strong and these challenges are why. I certainly didn't get better on my own. [Smile]

Axe

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Rhaythe
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Eh. Something different.
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RoxyL
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Axe,

What? You think that was about you?

Coincidence, I assure you. Pure coincidence.

[ June 23, 2012, 11:56 AM: Message edited by: RoxyL ]

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Rhaythe
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Are we crit'ing on this thread, or in the email?
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axeminister
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Rhaythe.

We will crit in the entries thread when the contest ends.

My votes: x x x
Fav title: x

Crits:

1. blah blah blah

2. blah blah blah

3. blah blah blah

And so on.

[ June 23, 2012, 07:04 AM: Message edited by: axeminister ]

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axeminister
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We have a troll sighting!
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pdblake
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Trollist [Roll Eyes]
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RoxyL
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Oh no, Brendan, no ruffled feathers. I was just making a joke (apparently not a very good one) to acknowledge your joke. See, I made the bad joke go all away.

I like your 13 plenty. [Wink]

[ June 23, 2012, 12:08 PM: Message edited by: RoxyL ]

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Brendan
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RoxyL, I hope I didn't ruffle your feathers. [Confused] I mean... I certainly have observed your talons, er... talent. And the entry was simply a flight of fancy, er... I was just cracking a yoke, er... [Roll Eyes] and you were only named as the protagonist, an innocent victim of Slush Harpie, that, um, considered the story on the table... Hey! Look over there. [Eek!] (Points to corner, then sidles away into the closest crag in the cliff.)
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axeminister
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Edited the opening post to add a suggestion about critiquing.

Would you read on - or not?

Can sometimes be a very helpful crit, especially from a group of readers, not just one.

Axe

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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People!

There are entries that are extremely questionable, and I am finding myself strongly inclined to delete them.

The purpose of this challenge and any other should not be perverted to score points off of each other, even in a allegedly "humorous" way, especially when the way you do it is "salty."

Please regulate yourselves, or you will learn what my bad mood looks like.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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quote:
Originally posted by axeminister:
Edited the opening post to add a suggestion about critiquing.

Would you read on - or not?

Can sometimes be a very helpful crit, especially from a group of readers, not just one.

Axe

By the way, some of these entries are more like 13-line flashes than 13-line openings, in my humble opinion. Read on? Why? What is there seems to be enough.

Just thought some of you might want to consider writing 13-lines that actually sound as if there is more to the story.

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snapper
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Got it KD. Less salt, more pepper. Appetizers - not a half eaten portion of the 3rd course.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Thank you, snapper.
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MattLeo
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Is haitch-ee-double hockey sticks too salty?
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snapper
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If its a large Canadian pretzel it might be. Although one with melted cheese and mustard sounds really good about now.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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If it needs asterisks, it's running the risk of being too salty.

It wasn't just the "salt" that bothered me, though. It was "salt" in combination with the use of fellow Hatrackers as "characters" in 13-line posts that aren't really intended for this challenge.

If you need "salt" to tell your story, that's one thing. Using "salt" on a fellow Hatracker is another thing entirely, and I wanted to head things off before they got worse.

The thing about humor is that it can range from just being fun to disguising truly negative things. And when someone on the negative end of the spectrum complains, the fallback is usually, "I was only kidding!" Well, kidding or not, humor can be painful if you're on the receiving end.

So let's just tone down the 13-lines about each other, okay?

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LDWriter2
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Besides being salty and an excuse to use screen names I the various openings sure are different.

One reminds me of Xanth .

A couple go beyond just an ordinary Bad Mood. But that's up to Axe and the critiques to say if that is bad or not.

One sounds like a good opening for one of the newer UF books I've been reading. It has everything it needs for that type of tale.

Oh, just thought of something. I've noticed that various writers like to do a bad mood opening. Butcher has--probably more than once--C. E. Murphy has, as well as many others. Usually they say the MC is in a bad mood and they show it.

I must say I am tempted to show how it should be but more then likely my try wouldn't.

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Brendan
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After reading above, I sent an email to KDW last night (local time) but have not yet received a reply. So I am taking action anyway.

Roxy, the only reason I used your name was because you used Axe's, and there was some fun reparte between the two of you. I wanted to join the fun. I was actually a little surprised when you pointed out the ambiguity in the title - I thought it was obvious that the harpy was the critical voice in my head. In your reply above, you seemed to have taken it well, so I played along above, thinking there was humor in a bumbling attempt to dig a bigger hole. But the ambiguity was there in the story, and given what KDW has said above, I feel I need to act.

I apologise to you, Roxy, for the implication, and sincerely hope you weren't offended by what was said in my story. Even if you weren't offended (which I suspect is the case), I think I need to disambiguate (is that a word?) any message of the story and state that it was not a veiled attack on you or anyone else. I have always enjoyed your stories, and do hope you continue in these challenges.

I apologize to anyone else who may have been offended. This is a public forum, and therefore I should have realised that I may have offended others even if Roxy was not offended.

Thanks KDW for maintaining order here, and pointing out above where you thought it stepped over the line. My apology is extended towards you, too, for causing you to have to take such steps.

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RoxyL
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Oh, ugh, now I feel awful. Brendan, you did just fine in your 13. It was hilarious, and I was just trying to play along with the joke, too. No apology is needed as far as I'm concerned.

As in all things Hatrack, I, too, bow to KDW's wisdom. This is an incredibly friendly forum, and I'm glad she keeps it that way. For my part in this debacle, I also apologize.

Sigh. The only reason you used my name was because I used Axe's. And the only reason I used Axe's was because I thought it was funny before when Snapper used someone else's in his stories...

Therefore...it must be all Snapper's fault! Yes, that's the ticket. [Wink]

(You're okay playing the scapegoat, aren't you Snapps?
Or am I just digging the hole deeper, opening another can of worms, fanning the flames...)

Anyway, on a very serious note, sorry all. And sorry Axe for turning this into one of the most...uh, interesting... 13 contests I've seen in a long time.

[ June 24, 2012, 08:06 PM: Message edited by: RoxyL ]

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LDWriter2
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Actually snapper has been doing it for a while so it is his fault since he started it--even if he copied someone else he still started it. [Smile]

And he has been used as a scapegoat before so he might be used to it.

Glad I decided I didn't feel cool enough to join in. [Smile]

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axeminister
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Actually, this is all part of my master plan

because now that all my competition has disintegrated

I'm gonna win!

Bwa ha ha!

Axe

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snapper
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Oh take it easy everybody. There is only one person around here who knows how to cross a line and ruin a good thing for everyone else.

In case you didn't read my entry, it was about a Paris Hilton-esque diva - named Roxy El (good name for a spoiled diva - don't you think?) - who was just ambushed leaving out the backdoor of a nightclub by a bunch papparazzi. I wrote her reaction as an appropiate one for a spoiled millionaire using c**se and s*ea* words with a not so clever use of astericks. That's the problem with being the class clown, it isn't until after you pull a prank that you realize that you went too far.

I may be overstepping my bounds speaking for Kathleen, but I believe the content and tone of my entry exceeded the standards Ms Woodbury was hoping to maintain, AND my use of a name used as alias amplified her discomfort. The later comment she made I believe was an observation that our tuckerizations (term for using names of people you know for fictional characters) was not what these exercises are about.

I don't think KDW is that upset. If she were, she would have written me personally and out of the public eye(like she has done before) and erased my post (like she has done to others in the past).

So there is no reason to start changing your entries and apologizing to the teacher. I'm the guy who stepped over the line. My entry didn't have the impact I was after anyway (and I don't mean ticking off the admin). I need another 10 lines for it to work.

I wasn't intending to insult our last contest winner. Roxy El (although close to RoxyL - whose real name is Susan) is a great name for partygirl superstar, and partygirls get angry when some tabliod hack ruins their fun. Now my withdrawal of a submission I probably shouldn't have posted has made everyone else feel bad. You're fine. Don't start making KDW feel bad because her post sounds like a lashing of the entire class because one prankster went too far.

So to Kathleen, sorry for a making a mess of things. Sorry Roxy if I insulted you. I'm sure you know I wasn't making any sort of commentary of your moral character. I happen to know you're an upstanding mother and wife living in a quiet Northwestern city. Not many diva's out there. Sorry Brendan if you got hit with some guilt shapernel. That grenade was aimed at me but a prankesters skin is resistant to those types blasts anyway.

We're all good, and if not, I'll likely get an email in my box from a certain woman from Utah really soon.

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LDWriter2
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And I think I missed that posted opening too. So everyone but me knows what it said. But I'm just a hanger on this round butting in on a discussion for the cool dudes and dudesses. [Smile]
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RoxyL
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D*ng it, Snapper, I didn't even see your entry. And now I've lost an opportunity to be mortally offended. When's the next time that's going to come around again, I ask you?

Now I am in a bad mood.

But at least I was correct, it is all Snapper's fault after all. [Smile]

(You know I'm just kidding, right? Right?)

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LDWriter2
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Around here do you really have to ask that question?????
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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So, can we now look at axeminister's challenge and take it seriously?

Consider this an opportunity to convey in a 13-line post that the point of view character is in a bad mood, and see if you can do it without the pov character actually acknowledging (to him or herself) that it is a bad mood.

I think that's a worthy challenge, and I think it would be interesting to see how you all would actually go about it.

Would it be easier if the 13 lines didn't have to be the first 13?

[ June 26, 2012, 01:03 AM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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pdblake
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So, are we changing the challenge now?
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Brendan
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quote:
Would it be easier if the 13 lines didn't have to be the first 13?
Probably not, because it would still have to state some context in order to understand the strength of the mood.

quote:

So, are we changing the challenge now?

I don't think KDW meant you can't use humor. I think she meant take the challenge seriously, rather than converting it into a farce full of in-jokes.
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pdblake
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I was thinking more about the MC not acknowledging the fact they are in a bad mood. Don't know about you, but I tend to know when I'm in a bad mood because something has happened to cause me to be in one.

That and the fact that a few of us have already posted entries and the deadline is tomorrow.

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MattLeo
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quote:
Originally posted by pdblake:
I was thinking more about the MC not acknowledging the fact they are in a bad mood. Don't know about you, but I tend to know when I'm in a bad mood because something has happened to cause me to be in one.

While I'm sure that you are aware of it in some of your bad moods, I'll bet in other cases you think people are just being unreasonable. I warn my kids about every time they've been up the night before. They roll their eyes, and I say, "There! That's what I'm talking about."
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pdblake
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That's beside the point. My point here is that the deadline is tomorrow and the goalposts seemed to have suddenly moved.
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Brendan
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Take it as simply a suggestion about an approach that would work. The direct approach ("I'm so annoyed") seems to have gotten so much play, many more will be edging on narcissistic. The most powerful characterisations rarely have the MCs go about self-assessing their current moods - particularly bad ones.
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snapper
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So, can we now look at axeminister's challenge and take it seriously?

quote:
Consider this an opportunity to convey in a 13-line post that the point of view character is in a bad mood, and see if you can do it without the pov character actually acknowledging (to him or herself) that it is a bad mood.

I think that's a worthy challenge, and I think it would be interesting to see how you all would actually go about it.

I'd rather you show us how it's done, Kathleen. [Big Grin]
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axeminister
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Consider this the warm up challenge.

Shake all the tomfoolery from your system because very soon I'll be challenging you, and inviting others, and paying around $.10 a word, (in the form of a gift card) so get ready to bring it.

And you retain rights. How's that for a deal?

Stay tuned.

Axe

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LDWriter2
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Actually I thought it was a serious challenge, it can be done because it has been done by the pros--as I said in an earlier post. So go for it. Humorous or serious.

The last axe post though sounds intriguing.

That is go for it for a few more hours. [Smile]

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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quote:
I'd rather you show us how it's done, Kathleen.
Well, how about this, as a quick and rough draft?

quote:
What in the world was the matter with the stupid lake this year? The sun didn't sparkle on it the way it had in past summers, it stabbed right into my eyes. The breeze across it didn't carry gentle pine scent, it choked me with the stink of pond scum and rotting fish.

I must have been crazy to think coming up here to the lake would do any good. This place was no escape, it was a prison, an assault--the last place on earth I want to be. But I'm stuck here.

And because I've posted it in this topic, I hope to make it clear that this is not an entry.
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Utahute72
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So you mean I can't suck up to the teacher, so to speak, and vote for Kathleen's entry?
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rabirch
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Just want to clarify, Axe. We email you our votes and our favorite title selection? Do we email your our comments as well, or just post those on the other thread?

Thanks!

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LDWriter2
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utahute

I think snapper has done that already.

I don't mean the voting part.

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