Category: contest

Mad as a March Hare

The brackets are set. The madness is ready to begin. And that means it’s time for another Tournament Challenge! As always, I’m setting the blog challenge up through ESPN’s site. You go, you make your picks, and then you sit back to see who ends up winning. You’d like to think it takes skill and basketball smarts to win. You’d be mostly wrong.

It’s really mainly for fun.

To enter, click this link and use the password vodnik. (Or just go straight to ESPN and search for the group. It’s called Bryce’s Ramblings.)

This year’s winner will join last year’s runner-up Scooter123000 in the acknowledgements page of MEMORY THIEF 2 (which has a title, but I am not yet allowed to share it.) Your name in print, guaranteed. That’s a pretty good offer, right? Not to mention I’ll note how you are a better person at picking brackets than I am.

You need to enter before Thursday at noon, as I recall. But better to be safe and do it by tomorrow at midnight. I have no control over when they close the entries. He who snoozeth, loozeth. One entry per person, but individuals can enter on behalf of others. Any and all are welcome to play.

Good luck!


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Hail the Conquering Hero

Another March Madness came to an end last night. I had a particularly good run this year, up until the finish. I had successfully picked 3/4 of the Final Four Teams, and I called the final two as well. Until the finish, I was ranked 12,000th out of something like 15 million participants on ESPN’s system.

But I had picked Gonzaga to win it all, mainly on the theory that if they did, then BYU would have been the only team who would have beaten them this year, so this was BYU’s last kind of sort of way to win anything. And in true BYU style, the team blew it at the last possible moment.

I can’t really complain too much, though. I still managed to win half of the groups I entered, and I came in second in the other two. My early game was strong enough to even win over people who had picked UNC to win it all. And yes, I won my blog bracket group.

As promised, I’m still giving the runner up a prize. The Real One (Scooter12300), would you please identify yourself? You’ll be in the acknowledgements page of THE MEMORY THIEF 2, though since I won, I get to note that you came in second to me. 🙂

Overall, it was a good year for the blog challenge. 22 entries total. And I want to particularly congratulate MC, who managed to come in 10th despite only being three years old. She made her own picks, though I did ask her to start if she wanted to have all the higher ranked teams win in the first round. She agreed to that, and then chose each game after that on a case by case basis. Not bad for a girl her age.

In any case, thanks everybody for playing, and tune in next year for another shot! (And if you haven’t seen the movie “Hail the Conquering Hero,” you really should. Just saying.)

Let the Madness Begin!

Okay peoples. It’s March Madness time, and that means the annual contest on my blog is up and running. Click on over to make your entry. As always, there’s a fabulous prize on the  line. Up this year? I want to make something special. I’m tired of promising scenes in books or character names. I’m going to put the winner in my next published acknowledgements page.

Got that?

You win this time, and your name is going in the acknowledgements page of the next book of mine to be professionally published. Not only that, but I’ll publicly state how you are better than me when it comes to picking brackets. (Unless I win it all myself, in which case I will acknowledge the runner up, but note that I’m just a bit better at it than they are.)

Sound like a deal? Your name. In print. With me explaining how you’re better than I am.

It doesn’t get better than that, people.

To enter, click here. The group name is Bryce’s Ramblings. The password is vodnik. Enter by this Thursday when the brackets close. Don’t forget!

May the picks be ever in your favor.

The Groundhog Limerick Winner

And here we are at the end of the contest. I didn’t push it quite as hard this time as I did before. Too many other balls in the air at the moment, and often when I have to choose which ball to drop, the blog takes one for the team. But after all the votes have been cast and the dust has settled, the winner is . . .


Once an old groundhog from PA
Snuck into the garden to pray
While there on a stump
He just thought of Trump
And gave up and moved to Bombay.

Let’s face it, people. Trump has invaded pretty much every part of our lives. Even my groundhog limerick contest. You can get a lot of votes by drumming up the anti-Trump crowd, it seems. 🙂

In second place, we had #9:

I recently started to worry
That if things don’t change in a hurry
We’ll be doomed to repeat
Sins we thought we had beat.
Just like that film with Bill Murray.

and #3 came in third:

There’s an animal hogging the news
And casting shadows on views
It’s the groundhog, of course
Our annual source
Of featherbrained seasonal clues

I have to admit that my personal favorite is #3. It was on point, and all about the groundhog. But my opinion doesn’t matter in this case. The people have spoken! And I’m actually pretty at peace with this winner, because it’s the same winner as the Groundhog Haiku from years ago. She got her name in a book that has yet to be published, so I’ve always felt kind of bad about that, as far as prizes go. Now she can have her name in a second book.

Here’s hoping it might get published . . .

Thanks to everyone for playing along. There were some great entries this year. Go groundhogs!!!

Groundhog Limerick Finalists

Sorry for the delay in getting these posted. Snow days messed with my timetable a fair bit. However, I was really happy to see the excellent entries from this year’s contest. As I said before, I’m here today to post the top 5 entries, as judged by me. That was the plan, at least. But I didn’t anticipate there being as many great entries as there were, so I’m going to up that number to 10. My blog, my rules. (I eliminated 4. One of them was great, but pretty much taken from a well known limerick, one was mine, one person submitted 2 entries so I took the one I liked the most, and one of them had the word “Groundhog” ten times . . .)

Now you get to vote. I’ll open voting for a week, so any votes cast by Thursday 2/23 at midnight Eastern time will count. There’s only one way to vote: leave a comment here on this blog entry. It’ll be easy for you to tell who’s winning. One vote per person, though I will allow entries to cast multiple votes for each family member. (In other words, if there are 5 people in your family, you can let me know all the votes from your family when you submit your vote.) Voting campaigns aren’t just allowed. They’re encouraged. Next Friday, I’ll count up the winners and announce the lucky entry.

At stake is naming rights in my current TOP SECRET project, which I still can’t tell you about. I guess I’ll just have to leave you in suspense.

In any case, without further ado, here are the finalists:


This rodent from old Punxsutawney
Considers himself rather brawny
But I don’t agree
Between you and me
His heart and his brain are both scrawny


Once an old groundhog from PA
Snuck into the garden to pray
While there on a stump
He just thought of Trump
And gave up and moved to Bombay.


There’s an animal hogging the news
And casting shadows on views
It’s the groundhog, of course
Our annual source
Of featherbrained seasonal clues


When pulling me out of a log
Let’s hope there’s not much of a fog
Shadow, I may see
Lest you pay a fee
I’m February’s fat star hog


Here we are at the house of Bryce
To celebrate groundhog on ice
Hit by the big truck
Head off like a puck
This poem is not very nice.


Fateful day this groundhog delay
Groundhogs keep winter at bay
Blinded by the light
Of shadows in sight
For his shadow was seen at midday.


In days of old, when Grandpa Jack was not old,
And hunting laws were not invented,
The groundhog would die,
And on his stove they would fry,
And Jack’s stomach would be most contented.


My friend Phil that lives in a burrow
Comes out once a year to say hello.
What he saw means more cold,
Or so I am told.
So the next six weeks I’ll forego.


I recently started to worry
That if things don’t change in a hurry
We’ll be doomed to repeat
Sins we thought we had beat.
Just like that film with Bill Murray.


There once was a groundhog from Spain
Who stepped in a trap and had pain
His shadow he saw
Six more weeks for pa,
Unless it was starting to rain.

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