Friday, November 9, 2012

Trifextra: Week Forty-One

Welcome back, friends!  It was, as always, a pleasure to read through your responses to this past week's prompt.  I was surprised by how many of you took to the future with the word year.  It was an interesting week of time travel.

First place this week goes to JannaTWrites who gave us what she describes as potentially "too sappy."  Commenters argued that it wasn't sappy at all, just romantic.  We agreed that it was a successful piece of romance, making us feel without forcing anything on us.  Here is Truth of Promises.
Norma looked down at her lap, at her daughter’s fingers wrapped around her own hands.  “Patricia, it’s not what you think.”  She contemplated how much truth to reveal.
“Mom, Dad’s been gone six months and now you want to marry this guy.  Just take it slow, is all I’m asking.”
Norma laughed.  “I’m seventy-five years old.  I take everything slow these days.”
Patricia frowned.  “Mom—“
“Let me tell you a story,” Norma interrupted.  “At thirteen, I’d fallen in love and wanted to get married.  Grandma Rose disapproved and said he was too old for me.  An eighteen-year-old had no business around a child of thirteen, she said.  I couldn’t get a marriage license without her signature, so I had no choice but to wait.  Then war happened again.  I cried when the Army issued his deployment orders for Korea.  The year was 1950 and the Korean War raged.  He promised he would return, but I’d heard enough on the radio…”
“Mom.  Are you okay?”  Patricia handed her mom a tissue and draped an arm around her mom’s bony shoulders.
Norma sniffed and rubbed her eyes.  “Grandma Rose got a letter in March 1951.  Said he died in the Battle of Chipyong-ni.”  Norma shook her head.  “Hearing the news almost killed me.  I couldn’t bear to see the words.  I always regretted that I hadn’t read the letter myself.”
“Did you love Dad?”
Norma lifted her guilty gaze.  “Of course.  But not like Richard.”
Patricia stared, slack-jawed.  “I can’t believe…” her voice trailed.
“Grandma Rose lied.  Richard had been taken prisoner but was released in 1956.  I’d already married your father.”
Patricia gasped.
“Richard kept his promise.  When he called three months ago, he said he’d been waiting for me.”  Norma looked into Patricia’s eyes.  “Truth is I’d been waiting for him, too.”
Second place this week goes to Draug who told us in frightening detail the lengths a writer will go to in order to be heard.  And third place this week goes to Steph at People Do Things With Their Lives.  Like Janna, she gives us a heartwarming reunion with really relatable dialogue.  Excellent work, guys.

If you follow us on Twitter or on Facebook (and we'd love it if you did), you may have heard us complaining about the moderation process and how it was creating rather than solving problems.  You may have then heard us say that we'd stopped moderating posts and that we'd go back to the way things used to be.  Sorry for the confusion, folks, but it turns out this was not the solution we were looking for.   We wanted a way to ensure that everyone was following the guidelines and adhering to copyright law, but it turns out that the role of police doesn't suit us so well.  Thanks for bearing with us as we try out new things, some of which will (hopefully) work and some of which will. . .not.

Which brings us to our quick-fire Trifextra challenge.  Andy Rooney created something called “The 50-50-90 rule: anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.”  We want you to give us your own probability equation.  Use whichever numbers suit you, and make it about whatever you like, but give us something to think about.  In 33 words, of course.  Good luck!  And we will see you back here on Monday for our Anniversary Challenge!

38 comments:

  1. Gah! Second place! >__< You guys are so awesome, thank you!!!! And a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to read (and comment on!) my piece! You're all so awesome, and I'm blown away again to be flanked by two of my many favorites from this week. ^__^

    I hope other new things work out better than the moderation attempt. It's fun to try new things and methods. I, for one, am glad you guys recognized something that wasn't working for you instead of stubbornly sticking with it and making yourselves and possibly others miserable.

    ...Math and I don't get along >__> lol I will try my best with this week's prompt but I was only very good at Geometry. All those pretty shapes... :)

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  2. No. Way. My story took first place? I've never been first before so this is really awesome. Thanks to the editors as well as everyone who took time to read and comment on my story. That's what makes this so much fun!

    Congrats to Draug and Steph - great writing!

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    1. I LOVED the rest of the story!! SO FREAKING AWESOME.

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    2. Brought tears to my eyes... never too late to be with the right person!

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    3. It was a well-deserved win! ^__^

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    4. I loved this one Janna! YEA YOU.
      Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

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    5. Congratulations to all the winners but Janna, your piece was superb. Like the others, I was choked up. Beautiful writing. Sorry I didn't comment sooner. I've been swamped with work this week.

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    6. Janna! I'm late with congrats, too, but I wanted to echo what everyone else has said. I LOVED this because I believe in true love with all my heart. The ending made my heart clench...in a fantastic, heartwarming yet wrenching way. When I can feel strong emotions like this, I'm thrilled. Thanks for that.

      AND great job as well to Draug and Steph!

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    7. Janna, this was a real tear-jerker for me. The whole idea of someone waiting it out, of the deceit of a mother who wants her girl married no matter what, and the still-happy marriage she got despite the one that got away... all of it, marvelous. Damn, just so fine! Amy

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    8. Oh, man...that was awesome. Such a heartwarming story. *sniff*.

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  3. Some great reading this past week. Congratulations to all.

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  4. Thank you, Trifecta for the 3rd place recognition. And thanks to all my fellow writers for their comments, congrats and support. Congrats to Janna and Draug - awesome! Outstanding stories and writing. I lacked the courage to enter the Anniversary challenge, maybe I'll find it next time. I look forward to reading the entries.

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    1. Yours was awesome too! :D Congrats!

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  5. Do hyphenated words count as one or two words? Thanks!

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    1. I usually put a space between them, since Word WILL read them as one word. Typically I will have them as 2, just to be on the safe side.

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    2. As a copy editor, I agree with the second answer. As long as the words are supposed to be hyphenated (grammatically correct), it's a compound word.

      There. My OCD is now satisfied!! (wink) Amy

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    3. Ha! Oh, don't you worry, Amy. There have been many an argument on this matter. Perhaps a former Trifecta editor would like to chime in on how many hours I fought this one and refused to let it go. It's one word. That's the point of the hyphen.

      (waits for someone to debate with)

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  6. Do titles (Ms., Dr., Jr.) count as words?

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  7. Yay Janna! Congrats to Draug and Steph too.

    Write on!

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  8. Perhaps if you limit your selection of winning entries to those that comply with the rules, it will achieve your objectives without having to actively moderate. Like word counting potential winners and applying the correct definitions. And, for example, if you don't want installments in serials or cross-posts with other competitions, then don't select those. The matter, in my view, is about setting up the rules and then judging by them. If people grown up enough to write a proper entry for this exercise cannot police themselves, then they won't be featured as winners. It doesn't have to be that difficult.

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    1. I think the Trifecta editors already do that...? I mean, they don't give us such specific prompts and word counts just to say, 'Haha we're picking so-and-so because we like him/her the most even though his/her entry doesn't fit the prompt's rules.' That would be like a slap to the face for everyone.

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  9. Sometimes Word and blog services count words differently. For example, Word has my entry at 33 ; my blog counts it as 30. I went with Word because from prior challenges Word's count has been accepted as valid.

    Is the discrepancy between the programs perhaps fueling all the angst and confusion? :)

    Cheers!

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    1. I'm wondering the same. I don't even have Word installed on my computer, I have Open Office. I use Scrivener for all my writing, though. Scrivener, Open Office and Wordpress gave me three different word counts for this challenge. A Trifecta, if you will. (Yes, I went there! LOL)

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    2. To be honest, it's never been an issue before last week. Usually what we do is we narrow our favorite posts down to our top three. We'll run the top three through a word counter and get our number. If it's within a few, we assume a discrepancy between counters. Is that holding to the fast-and-true rule of 33-333 words? No, I suppose it's not. But our interest here is not to be outrageously draconian with our rules. Our interest is to motivate a group of writers to keep producing to the best of their ability. We always assume that there's a discrepancy with word counters rather than a Trifectan trying sneakily to throw a few more words in there.

      In the past, we have disallowed entries that are more than a few above or below the limits, particularly when the upper limit is 33 and there are no hyphenated words in the post. In that situation, it's most likely a writer error not just a casual discrepancy.

      I would personally like to continue in this way, rather than forcing everyone to use the same word counter/word processor. I'd love it if we could keep it about the writing and not about the rules. And I don't think I'd like to be part of a group where I'm constantly policing people who are one word off. As several people have noted, all the processors give different word counts. It'd be mayhem to chase after everyone who was off by a word or two.

      Thoughts?

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    3. Sounds reasonable to me. Legalistic creative spaces are so not delicious.

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    4. I know I've only got ten fingers and ten toes, but even this mathematically challenged old bat can count! Maybe even as far as 333, but it's not often I write that many.

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    5. Bahaha! Or there's that. :-) What's that whole Keep It Simple, Stupid thing? Yeah, that.

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  10. I'm experiencing gremlins: I posted my link early Saturday morning, but it disappeared. There is also terrible difficulty posting at PAD. Woe is me!

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    1. That's the second time in two weeks that someone has said their post got deleted. That's very strange. For us to delete a post, we have to go in through Inlinkz and click through several steps, so it's not something that can happen accidentally. From your end, all you would have to do is click the X next to your link. I wonder if that's what's happening? More likely, I wonder if Inlinkz is having problems. I'll shoot them an email and see if they have any ideas.

      I'm so glad you went back to see it was gone and reposted it.

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  11. Hey, Fanci Ranci, your link isn't working!

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  12. We saw that, too. And fixed it. Thanks for keeping an eye open!

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  13. Cobbie's World: wanted to commend your take on the prompt but the system suspects i'm a robot and won't let me :( hope you'll read this- terrific take on the prompt. my fav is the second stanza and i really like how the spacing increases as the poem progresses.

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  14. Yey! Congratulations, Janna! and to all the winners too.

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