Keeping It in the Family: Nepotism and the Intricate Matrix Dialogue of Contests

Running contests keeps me amused. As such, the most recent contest was in honor of AWP.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to come up with the name and description of a conference panel that describes your writing life or work in progress. This is your chance to be funny, pretentious, truthful, and/or chock full of lies.

Well, Cougar Clause took a break from her babysitting duties to help judge the contest.

Cougar: I can tell that winter is getting long. [Indy to self: That’s not a good sign.] Maybe you can reassure your readers that autumn is coming to the antipodes. I am sympathetic.

Indy: Shut up, Cougar, you know you’re not allowed to talk to me about weather during the winter.

Cougar: You asked me to judge…

Indy: Right, sorry. Please, go on, dear sister.

Cougar: You have to disqualify Sarah W. She entered three times.

Indy: But I just won her poetry contest, and I liked her entries!

Cougar: I did laugh at “Darwin’s Synopsis: How Agents and Editors Thin the Herd.” But you still have to disqualify her.

Indy: Fine. *heaves a sigh*

Cougar: I liked yours the best “Biting the Bullet, Drinking the Bulleit: AWP for Poets and Cranks.

Indy: I can’t win this. Even I am not that corrupt.

Cougar: But you had to explain to me that Bulleit is a kind of bourbon. Otherwise I thought it was a lexigraphical error. [Indy to self: who the hell calls it a lexigraphical error???] So it was obtuse, which is fitting given the circumstances.

Indy: Cougar, focus.

Cougar: Okay, okay. If I had to choose one that wasn’t yours, I’d go with Teri. You know why? She has a 26-year-old son but looks 18. I hate her by the way. You tell her that if I met her I wouldn’t like her very much. I too have a 20-something…well, maybe I’m lying a little [Ed. note: he’s 33]…son. But I don’t look 18.

Indy: But did you like her entry: “F176. No Way Out, Or Is There?: Innovations in Endings.”?

Cougar: Yeah, it was funny. But you tell her that, cougar to cougar, that I’ll bet I ride a mountain bike up hills better than she does, even if she does look 18.

Indy: You’re getting off topic. Didn’t you break your ribs a month ago?

Cougar: Yes, but they healed so quickly. The doctor said he had never seen…

[rest of conversation redacted for general ridiculousness]

So, Teri, I’ll be in touch about swag. Congrats! How is your ending going?

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14 responses to “Keeping It in the Family: Nepotism and the Intricate Matrix Dialogue of Contests

  1. 1. I love Sarah’s.
    2.Thank you for explaining Bulleit. I too thought it was a “type error” as my son calls them.
    3. No one who meets Teri doesn’t like her. It’s impossible not to.

  2. Dear lord how I love photoshop …. and thanks for the vote on “no way out.” It’s no “bulleit” (which I had to look up) but I swear there’s no f-ing ending to this story, nor to the writing of it.

    Here’s to the healing of Cougar’s ribs — you’d kick my ass on a mountain bike, or on any bike.

    • Is that really you? Really? I guess the beanie could be hiding the grey, and the jauntily tilted chin might be concealing, well, you know what. But you should see my quads! (sigh…) Ribs just about healed. thanks.

      • You couldn’t pay me to bike up or down a mountain, Dr. Cougar, so you win, killer quads and all !! Yes, that is, in fact, me under the raspberry beret, and I can only credit good genes. Aunt Mary called me up a few years ago to rant about her first wrinkles and the fact that her Avon age-defying cremes are no longer working. She’s 68.

  3. Damn it Indy! Why can’t we just tell everyone who we are and get to be friends with all these people? They probably think I am a patchwork quilt! They don’t know I wear hip blue glasses with sparkles in them, and am not (really) old enough to be your mother. (even though when you were little enough to be thrown over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes, I was big enough to hoist you there. In fact, I was already [and am still] 5’7″!).

    At least Downith knows that my true self is not snarky (i was very civil when I visited her blog). I just do snarky to reinforce your (very real) persona.

    Yours in twelve stitches to the inch (and sorry for all the parentheses),

    Dr Cougar

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