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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Vivid Shade of Violet: Purple Prose Entries

What a blast! We had over 100 entries in our purple prose contest. We had so much fun reading through all of them. It was hard for us to choose the 15 most ghastly...I mean the best.  Wow, you guys are fantastic!

If you didn't final, don't despair. It might mean your writing was too good!  It also might mean you neglected to use the word "QueryTracker" in your sentence. 

All the entries were fantastic.  Thank you to everyone who played along.

All 100 contestants who entered the contest have had their names put into the drawing for the grand prize of a free writer's website design by Purple Squirrel Design.

Please vote for your favorite sentence by using  this form.  (You must be logged on to QueryTracker in order to vote.  Membership is free.)

The entries are in random order.   Sometimes punctuation goes wonky when transferred from the form to Excel.   If your entry is below and the punctuation is off, please email me (Mary) using my email address in the link bar to the right and I'll repair it.

Thanks to everyone who pulled out the purple.  Winners will be announced Monday, June 1.

1. The stars twinkled above like tiny diamonds caught in the fabric of the night sky, or possibly they could have been fireflies stuck in the black expanse of the night, either way the stars twinkled and glittered like finely cut gems from the most expensive jewelry stores, the kind where people pass by and gaze with wonder through the glass windows as they wish for something incredible, wonderful, and unexpected to happen--just like they do on stars; so Querytracker, here's me wishing on those exquisite gems that are really giant balls of flaming gas situated farther from earth than I'm comfortable in traveling, that perhaps, if you are quite agreeable, that this dreadful purpleness that is not quite mauve may be acceptable to you.

2.  Her laugh spilled from vermilion lips like a waterfall rushing, heaving, crashing into a deep cataract of stone, into a pool of endless depth, ringing eternally in the night air, stirring the music of the cicadas ebbing and flowing with their throbbing, undulating dirge in the deepening, empty darkness, as she smiled wistfully, her lips curling into a subtle, voluptuous hallow, like a half-moon draped provocatively over a deep-blue sofa amid the glowing, phosphorescent stars, and whispered with a breathy huskiness, "Query Tracker is having a carnival ... how delightful, dahling!"  

3. The day the world ended in a blaze, not of glory but of discontent, found me wordsmithing at my keyboard still trying to find the purest, most perfect and absolutely quintessential (but not redundant) words to fully and effectively articulate a lifetime’s worth of moods and feelings about the most hideously interesting thing that had ever happened in my whole entire sad and sorry existence that I amusingly call a life – which, by the way, is not now, never has been or ever will be anything more than a frustrating attempt to stop holding my breath while waiting for the nod - a life which has never conformed with other peoples’ standards and guidelines nor confirmed my own, bringing me back to my original dilemma – how does anyone, with all the do’s and don’ts, and guidelines, and suggestions from experts (who might or might not be published) about style and 12-point fonts, and Times New Roman versus Courier, fashion a kick-ass query letter or pitch line for the QueryTracker Princess without kissing a frog or turning purple?

4.  The hellacious darkness of my work chamber, illuminated solely by the flickering soot-capped flame of the reeking oil lamp, mirrored the black hole depth the muse in my mind had descended into as hour after drearisome hour slipped inexorably and unproductively by, the accursed blinking cursor of my word processing machine ticking off the damnable seconds until the deadline of the Query Tracker contest would bear down on me Sisyphus-like in excruciating finality dashing my quixotic dreams of fame and literary eclat.

5.  Candice and Raul's passionate love train, super heated, steaming, an unquenchable fire of passion, surged like a tsunami-birthed tidal wave along parallel tracks, inseparable, homologous, their hearts, their tenders containing all of the ingredients, the fuels they would ever require to feed their love's firebox: passion, compassion, commitment, sacrifice, trust, selflessness, and truth; that is, until Candice found QueryTracker whose magnetism lured her from the exotically handsome Raul, begging her time, her unbridled attentions, derailing the love train.

6.  The fundamental blackness that made up the shining orbs that were his eyes deeply penetrated the illuminated almost phosphorescent computer screen as he pulled at his spiked, gel infused, platinum blond coif and shouted, "Damn you Query tracker, damn you to hell for your good news stories!"

7.  With a cup of freshly-brewed coffee clutched in one hand and ready to read the morning's QueryTracker blog entry, the sleepy writer cast a glance out the square, multi-paned window at the lawn beyond and watched a small and energetic red-breasted robin hop on his tiny feet among the freshly-cut stalks of dew-clad grass, the bird's yellow beak furiously seeking any unlucky earthworm that happened to accidentally poke its doomed, brownish-pink and blind head above the earth's moisture-saturated surface in search of fresh morning air after a long and stormy night which nearly drowned the three-inch long legless and slimy creature before it could breach the crust in a desperate, instinctual quest for the necessary oxygen required to hold onto precious life.

8. It began one sultry mid-August afternoon, whose ominous, bruised Manhattan skies and sweltering, stultifying Big Apple pavements drove yours truly into the air-conditioned comfort of Macys Fifth Avenue with no particular destination in mind, consumed, in fact, by idle thoughts of entering the Query-Tracker Purple Prose contest (though it seemed to me that given my dedication to prose clarity and syntactic precision, it was laughably improbable I could be physically or mentally or, for that matter, emotionally, capable of constructing such an entry, let alone do so in a manner calculated to achieve some sort of buffoonish recognition) when, out of the blue, I was seized unaccountably and without warning by the urge to embark upon a casual stroll through the ladies' lingerie department, unaware, sadly, that had I been adequately prepared — though, now, in twenty-twenty retrospective hindsight, through the cruel, pellucid lens of reality as well as the stark prism of senescence, I realize there could have been no such preparatory experience, and furthermore had I not at that very moment found myself sitting on a razorblade of indecision (lingerie? shoes? lingerie? shoes?) — I would have disdained notice of the mammiform apparition that exploded from the fetid bowels of a changing room – in front of which (I was subsequently required to explain to a battery of unsympathetic security personnel whose rude and intrusive conclusion-jumping and absence of good will spoke volumes) I'd happened to drop my car keys, and had as a consequence fallen to my knees in search of them — like a Wagnerian wood nymph whose diaphanous wings had been wickedly bound by mischievous gods and secured by a gilded undergarment that left so little to the imagination it evoked from within my innermost being a carnal ululation so intense and released a gushing flood of unabashed desire so overwhelming that I was sucked headlong into the maws of an enormous black hole of desire, thus occasioning what became, at length, one of the most profound mistakes of my entire life, that is to say, one whose reach and magnitude cannot be overstated, as — with the gravity of heavy water and the unabashed existential momentum of a meteor on an ineluctable trajectory presaging the utter destruction of life on this planet as we know it — I extended a hand palsied by desire and, my voice unable to suppress the husky susurrus emanating from stalactites of passion drip-dripping deep within the echoing caverns of my fevered id, I helplessly intoned, "Madam, my card!"

9.  The turgid clouds set aglow by the hungry sunset, like a flashlight beam illuminating cheeks full of air, bobbed in the sky like bouys in a bathtub, while the glossy sun cleaved those wanting cotton-like puffs as a Samuarai sword would soft flesh, for this was the time of day Joe dropped to his knee in front of Mary to profess eternal love (except for the two page prenup that he submitted through QueryTracker, for a book deal was an acceptable alternative in case the proposal went south), and reveal his three-months pay non-conflict diamond as big as all outdoors... "I love... you!" he sneezed.

10.  With ever-diminishing hope, I was struggling on in my grueling search, much like some sweat-browed miner laboring in the dark, dank bowels of the earth to uncover a shining, precious nugget portending a golden future, when suddenly, I stumbled upon a rich treasure trove of heart-warming hope and spiritual encouragement in the cunning guise of the quintessential Querytracker, the perfect literary beacon to guide me down a rosy path directly into the welcoming arms of that judicious agent of published felicity, who would not, could not fail to appreciate my fabulous fable concerning a winsome Welsh dragon with a penchant for pyrotechnical pizzazz. 

11. When he heard about the empurpled contest on Query Tracker, the coils of dark, multitudinous hair which made up his eyebrows knit together in fury, like a spry grandmother’s knitting needles, clicking incessantly and rapidly, the sun’s rays illuminating them with a silver gleam, like the gleam of a young child’s brand new bicycle bedecked in all its glory with lemon-colored streamers and chiffon paint with stripes of lavender that shimmered like the violet hue of his eyes which were now thoughtful; the wrinkles around his wide, pupil-inhabited orbs seemed pensive as he considered how he might win Query Tracker’s contest and emerge a champion like a magnificent Olympic sports-star—but not like Greg Luganis because he hit his head—instead his own powerful kind of win—the kind to fill a man’s soul with joy to overflowing like a large bowl of Rocky Road ice cream with ostentatious helpings of steaming hot fudge, but not butterscotch because it would contrast with the rich hues of the chocolate which was so sweet as would be his joy when he won—like a bareback rider in the National Rodeo Finals hanging on for dear life to a fraying strap of yellowed rope—he imagined this with fervor, gripping the gleaming pen in his hand as he began to write.

12.  The upcoming, highly-anticipated, second anniversary of QueryTracker had elicited such strange, foreign, off-the-wall, yet kinky responses, in some cases,  that, dare I say,  the judges of the contest were beside themselves wondering, marveling, sometimes thus far questioning their own sanity, to the point that they were not sure that they were still capable of, or equal to the task of selecting or singling out to just one, out of the many, until at almost the final moments of the contest,  a quiet, unassuming girl submitted her entry in the hopes that maybe, for once in her lifetime, someone would see value or worth in something, or anything, for that matter, that she had to offer, for not once in her life had anyone, young or old, spoken a kind word, performed a kind gesture or looked kindly upon her since the day she was born, and her mother had unfortunately, tragically died giving birth to her, causing her father to leave hastily, departing from the city altogether, which left the burden of her upbringing and care upon her wicked, overbearing, abusive grandmother who was feared, hated and reviled by her servants and  the townspeople as well, which is why the girl had decided to enter the contest in the first place, hoping against all hopes, that if she were to have one thing go her way, it would once and for all, forever and ever, change the tide of her luck, so that maybe one day she would meet the man of her dreams, fall in love, marry, have the children that she had always longed for, and then she could live happily ever after, finally saying hallelujah and amen.   

13.  Carla professed to her shrink her feelings of paranoia, of being followed, tracked, even, like a bear in the woods followed by three bloodhounds, one more blood-thirsty than the other, until he discovered that her suspicions were warranted since Carla is listed as an agent on QueryTracker and therefore hundreds, if not thousands, of people were indeed tracking her every move.

14. The antique fountain pen (one whose handle had been carved from a single piece of illegal ivory and inscribed with the serpentine symbol of the tribe that nearly killed its procurer, handed down generation to generation in a near-sacred and solemn ceremony relaying the harrowing tale, one that had caressed countless scrolls and parchments and leather-bound journals while committing secrets and dreams and grocery lists to final, unforgettable form) poised over the pristine paper, precariously, hesitating with a foreboding sense of anthropomorphic insight that any day--any moment--it would be recklessly abandoned, having had finally outlived its utilitarian usefulness; and in a final sweep of calligraphic desperation, it accusingly pens the name of the agent of its awful demise: QueryTracker.net.

15. In a manger scene, ugly and horrible and stinking of an immensely grave animal truth, they sit and stand in an implied embrace, holding their terrible grief in their empty hands and seeing their In Box replete with voiletly purple prose—and even poems, for Zeus’ sake—as Patrick McDonald, a clean-shaven, cleanly spoken hull of a man, queries his boldly brave partner (disguised as a woman dressed in an unpleasant peasant skirt with brown, not black, Birkenstock sandals—the woman, that is, not the skirt—who looks just exactly like Carolyn Kaufman, strangely enough) seemingly endlessly and voraciously angry, and asks rhetorically and again and again, repeatedly, “Whose stinking idea was this, anyway, because real true writers are far too busy writing their fictional novels to waste their all-too precious time on an exceedingly and immensely frivolous and wasteful QueryTracker contest,” and she replies, querulously, “Don’t blame me because I’d really much rather have stayed at home and pigged out on pizza and YouTube shorts, and you damn well know it.”

Please go vote for your favorite HERE.  

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