Category: contest

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:

1

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

2

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.

3

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

4

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

5

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.

6

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.

7

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.

8

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.

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.

10

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.

Groundhog Limerick Contest

Faithful readers will remember that five (five!) years ago, I ran a groundhog Haiku contest here on my blog. It was well received, with a big campaign effort by some of the contestants. It came right down to the wire, and I had a  lot of fun with it.

For this year’s Groundhog Day party, I decided to bring back the poetry, but to keep things lively, I switched the poetry format. That’s right, folks: limericks!

I made the stipulation that they had to be clean. No dirty groundhog limericks on my watch, people. But other than that, the sky was the limit. I wasn’t sure how many of my party goers would enter, but I was really happy to get 10 entries in the space of about 15 minutes. Limerick’s aren’t the easiest things to write off the cuff. Harder than haikus, at least.

So once again, let’s have a contest. I’m going to follow the pattern I set five years ago. This post will collect all entries for the contest. You can enter as many times as you like. I’m going to leave this open for a week. A week from now, I’ll select the top 5 entries and create a new post just for them. At that point, you all get to vote for which one you like the most.

But a contest wouldn’t be a contest without a prize. I gave away naming rights in my latest novel last time (TARNHELM, for those of you playing along at home.) So I’ll do the same thing this time. The winner can name a character in my current work in progress, which is top secret for now, but which will hopefully not be top secret in the very near future. Simple and straightforward. Win the contest. Have your name (or a name of your choosing) in my book. (I reserve the right to veto any names, assuming they’re not your legal name . . .)

For a refresher for those of you aspiring poets, here’s a quick rundown of what a limerick is. And without further ado, I present to you the entries so far:

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.

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

Groundhog groundhog groundhog groundHOG
Groundhog groundhog groundhog groundBOG
Shadow shadow GROUND
Shadow shadow ROUND
Groundhog groundhog groundhog groundlOG.

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.

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

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 once was a groundhog with a beard
Who said “it is just as I feared!
Two owls and a hen
4 larks and a wren
Have all built their nest in my beard!”

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.

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.

There once was a groundhog named Phil
Who lived in a hole in a hill.
He ate and he ate
Until he felt great,
But Denisa wanted to kill.

All Hail the Mighty Victor!

March Madness has come to a close. It was a strange tournament this year for me. My picks were really spot on for the most part, with one glaring error: my pick to win it all (Michigan State) lost in the first round. Despite that, I held on with my other picks so that I ended up coming in 3rd place. It’s a moral victory, really. Though in my immediate family, TRC beat me to come in second, and then of course, there’s the grand prize winner: TommyBoy#Happy=)

(Did I spell that right?)

He was the only person to actually believe Villanova would win it all, which I find odd. I mean, they were a #2 seed, and out of 16 entries, only 1 person went with them? Tournament brackets truly are a strange science.

What does TommyBoy win? The right to design a post-apocalyptic character for my UTOPIA book,  of course. Think of it as sort of a Mad Max-esque, body modified, steam punk-ish person. Maybe he/she has a metal clamp for an arm, or breathes through a ventilator, or has a flamethrower built into their body somewhere. Tattoos? Crazy hair? Go for it. I might have to tweak things to make it fit with the story (no guns, for example. There are non on board the ship.), but I’m going to try and work with whatever I get.

Also, name the character! So far I’ve got one called Albert the Dog Faced Boy, for example. There’s also the Oversir. Go to town! Get inventive! You deserve it, TommyBoy.

What will I do to keep myself busy now that I can’t vicariously live through the brackets? Play fantasy baseball, of course. My team (the Punxsutawney Groundhogs) was just drafted on Friday, and they already started up their season. In true Bryce-fashion, they look great on paper and have promptly underperformed for the first two days of action.

Go Groundhogs!

Be a Post-Apocalyptic Mad Max-esque Character in My Book

Psst. Hey you. Yeah! You! You’ve always wanted a post-apocalyptic version of you to exist, right? Something that could be immortalized in literature? Well do I have good news for you . . .

It’s March Madness time again, and that means I’m running my yearly blog bracket challenge. The rules are easy. You create a bracket (one per person, please, though there’s no age limit or restrictions other than that), and the winner of the whole shebang gets the prize. Last year, it was the chance to be violently killed in MAGIC AT 30,000 FEET, a feat that went to James Jackson Sanborn, one of my coworkers. The year before that, it was the chance to name the parents in THE MEMORY THIEF. (A book which, by the way, is coming out this fall, with the named characters totally in place.)

The project I’m working on at the moment is codenamed UTOPIA. I haven’t spoken too much about it on my blog, but I can tell you enough details to make it interesting. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic society with a Mad Max feel. Crazy people, quite violent, lots of body modifications.

And now you can be part of it.

Win the contest, and you can create a character of your choice. I can’t promise a huge role, but I guarantee the character to have a (mutually agreeable) appearance that you determine, the name you want, and at least a few lines of dialogue.

Interested?

Then head over to espn.com to enter the bracket today! Entries are due before the tournament starts on Thursday at noon EDT. Don’t miss out like some people did last year and procrastinate away your chance at immortality!

Here’s the link and all the details on how to join:

Group: Bryce’s Ramblings
Password: vodnik

Announcing the Winners of My Blog Tournament Challenge

And here we are, another March Madness in the record books. We had some great participation this year in my tournament challenge. It was a lot of fun to watch the leaderboards keep switching around. In the end, I have to brag a bit, because me and my kids definitely cleaned up, sweeping the competition to take the top three spots. It all came down to the Kentucky/Wisconsin game. Whoever won that, would win the challenge.

I’ll admit that I was pretty sure Kentucky would win. How sure? Sure enough that I already wrote a scene with DC’s fight to the death. (Her weapon of choice? A magical paint brush.) And then wouldn’t you know it, Wisconsin pulled out a W, which means . . .

TRC is the ultimate victor of the tournament. Which also means that he gets to die a violent death in my book too. That’s the kind of dad I am, folks. I’ll be interested to see what weapon he chooses.

But wait! I promised there would be another prize awarded to a random participant. I’m officially ruling out anyone immediately related to me (meaning Denisa and MC are out of the running), but everyone else who played had an equal shot at this. I assigned numbers to each person and then used a random number generator to find out who the winner is.

Without further ado, many congratulations to . . . JamesMJS! I’ll be in touch via email. Always a pleasure to kill a key player in the Maine library scene. Very curious which weapon you’ll choose . . .

Thanks for playing, all. Tune in next year to see what crazy prize I come up with next.

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