Congratulations again to the winner Mike Robertson of Missouri for his story Festival of the Lift, to second place David Barber of Crieff, Scotland for The Millennium Princess and finally third place to K.M. McElhinny of Ohio for her story The Light and Shadows of Independence. You will be happy to know that an intrepid member of the Land's Edge staff dropped those in the mail on Thursday. The package to Scotland was going to cost so much that we considered offering the boy to Canada post in trade. They would have nothing to do with it. Not because of slavery laws against such actions, but because they had heard that he eats so darn much! We have opted to ship Mr. Barber's package via the cheapest means possible: solar powered fishing boat. And the propeller is broken. And the skies over the Atlantic will be cloudy for weeks...
A shout out also to the honourable mentions: Pedro Gully, Cathy Olliffe, John Wiswell, Anthony Venutolo, Michael J. Solender and Anton Gully. My heart-felt appreciation to everyone who entered the contest, even those whose stories were not selected. You are all a valuable part of the process.
Also, a big thanks to the lovely ladies who helped me judge the submissions. Laurita Miller and Ellen O'Toole added another dimension to the process and I couldn't have done this without them. I look forward to continue working with them in the future.
And while I'm in the thanking mood...I'd also like to thank everyone who took the time to advertise this contest. Be it by email, carrier pigeon, blogging or Twittering. It was all very helpful. Remember: networking is good. I tried to keep up with the re-Tweets on Twitter and thank those in question. If I missed any of you, consider yourself thanked. You all helped make this a success (at least in my books).
We on The Rock have been moaning about the late arrival of summer this year. It has come at us with a vengeance the past few days. As my father-in-law would say, "It's some shocking hot today!" High temperatures and humidity have had many here shedding their winter parkas, exposing their pasty, white underbelly.
In celebration of the weather I decided to shave off my beard on Thursday (to the annoyance of my wife). This is the first time I've shed the winter coat in 3 years. It's a nice change, but my tendency towards laziness will rear its ugly head and longer intervals will pass between shaves until the beard is back on. I figure I now look 40 years younger and bear a striking resemblance to Tom Selleck, where Sean has been laughing at me, saying that I now look like Saddam Hussein. Not true, I protested...he had black hair. And a beret.
I present you with the photo below. Consider it 'freshly killed', taken a mere one hour ago. Please pass along your opinions below. Beard on, or beard off? Loose paper bag over my head, or plastic garbage bag, tied off at the neck? Thumbs up or down?