Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night . . .



Oh, joy! The results are in from the annual Bulwer-Lytton bad openings contest, honoring (in a way) the Victorian novelist Bulwer-Lytton who first used the immortal opening lines: "It was a dark and stormy night . . ."


Here's a goodie by Warren Blair of Ashburn, VA. Not the grand winner but a runner up.

The wind dry-shaved the cracked earth like a dull razor--the double edge kind from the plastic bag that you shouldn't use more than twice, but you do; but Trevor Earp had to face it as he started the second morning of his hopeless search for Drover, the Irish Wolfhound he had found as a pup near death from a fight with a prairie dog and nursed back to health, stolen by a traveling circus so that the monkey would have something to ride.

You can read all the winners here and you can learn more about the contest at

http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/.


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15 comments:

Martin H. said...

Vicki

I'd never heard of this competition before now. Just been reading through the list of winners. A great start to the day.

Margie said...

Hi Vicki,
That is an interesting competition. Your photos seems a perfect accompaniment to the competition.
Hugs, Margie.

Vicki Lane said...

Hi, Martin and Margie, Oh, it's an annual pleasure to see what folks come up with. This year's crop didn't seem quite as good as previous years -- you can check the Bulwer-Lytton archives for more silliness.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Morning Vicki!
I have a VERY old copy of Bulwer's Works Volume II.I occasionally take it out and read some in it. I had never heard of this contest. I loved the one from Baton Rouge that ended with " I had folded like a cheap suit for nothing" !

Vicki Lane said...

Hi, Carol, I have my grandmother's copy of THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII which I adored when I was young.

This contest is beloved of English/writing teachers as a fun collection of horrible examples.

Merisi said...

It WAS a dark and stormy night, was it not? ;-)

Victoria said...

OMG, some of those made me laugh until I had tears, not the big, drippy tears of bosom heaving sorrow, but the little - no, more medium sized, but not where your nose runs, just the kind that sort of drip out the corners of your eyes and run down your cheeks until they get diverted towards your ears by a darn wrinkle and then you have to get a Kleenex otherwise you have wet ears.

OK...I think I read too many of those things. ;-)

Vicki Lane said...

You're cracking me up, Victoria! Well commented!

phyllis w. said...

The novel I just started began with, "The Good Lord giveth, and most women piss it away."

I'm not sure if that's really good or really bad...

Vicki Lane said...

Actually, I love it.

Quilter Bear said...

Oh, I love the entries in the contest! Brilliant! I thought the one you quoted was especially good though.
Remember Hank Kimble from Green Acres? (we relate a lot to that show because our house is like theirs, only not as bad, but nearly!) He'd write a wonderful entry, don't you think? Or maybe he wouldn't. Well, he might... if he wrote, but he probably doesn't. Well he doesn't write because he's a fictional character, but he.....

Victoria said...

Thanks, Vicki! :-)

Vicki Lane said...

Oh dear, Quilter Bear has caught the infection! Well, not so much caught, maybe, as been blindsided by though that-

Stop. Must stop the madness. ;-)

quilterbear said...

LOL!

Vicki, I wanted to say that I am making myself read In a Dark Season slowly and that is hard to do! I want to make it last because it is the last I'll get of Elizabeth and the gang for awhile. It is absolulely EXCELLENT! Each book truly gets better than the one before it. I'm having my husband read them now... my personal aide (I'm disabled) read the first one and now he's next!


I tell everyone I know about your books -- They have been such a joy to read!

*hugs*
kathryn

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, Kathryn, what kind words! Many, many thanks!

xox, Vicki