Thursday, August 11, 2011


The annual Bulwer-Lytton contest inflicts itself on us in the name of Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, the man who penned that immortal line, “It was a dark and stormy night.”  The challenge is to write the worst possible opening sentence for a novel.  Those of you who have an excellent chance of winning (and you know who you are) may enter at

This year’s winner in the Purple Prose category is Mike Pedersen of North Berwick, ME:

As his small boat scudded before a brisk breeze under a sapphire sky dappled with cerulean clouds with indigo bases, through cobalt seas that deepened to navy nearer the boat and faded to azure at the horizon, Ian was at a loss as to why he felt blue.

Among the Miscellaneous Dishonorable Mentions is Betty Jean Murray of Richland, TX:

Maggie said they were birthmarks and they very well could be, but the three very small black moles in a horizontal line just above her right eyebrow looked like an ellipsis to some, but to others who did not know what an ellipsis was, they looked like three very small black moles in a horizontal line just above Maggie's right eyebrow.

All this brings me back to my glory days in 2008, when yours truly was named the runner-up in the science fiction category: 

Lightning flashed from the blue-black sky of this alien world and shattered the engines of the spaceship, destroying Reninger's last chance of escaping and reminding him of the time his sister returned from New York with the tips of her hair dyed blue, except for the part about the lightning and the spaceship. 

You’re welcome.  

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