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My Two Cents on Writing Contests--AGAIN

Globe Soup 7 Day Story Writing Challenge— “IRISH WHISKEY”

Following an extended hiatus from blog posts, today's will be slightly different than you're used to, but similar to one you've seen before. Today I'm giving you My Two Cents on Writing Contests--AGAIN...


The following short story was submitted to the Globe Soup #7daystorywritingchallenge


It was another attempt at a writing contest and unfortunately again I didn’t win (or even place). I found the experience unique and challenging, and I am sure I will do it again. In fact, on the day this post is scheduled I will likely be feverishly editing my new entry. Even though I didn’t get recognized by the contest, I’m still happy with my submission. In fact, I felt pretty confident about this one. Would I maybe change a couple of things? I'm a writer so... Probably...

Like most writers out there, I feel like there is always room for improvement and my work never feels 100% DONE. But I was proud of this one.


One of the unique things about this writing contest is that it's condensed into seven days. So it doesn't give you a ton of time to belabor edits or make overhauls (that's not to say edits aren't CRITICAL). But it forces you to go with your gut instinct for the story, which could probably be both good and/or bad. Also, like everywhere in the industry, there is so much left up to preference/interpretation, so who knows why the judges didn't like it.

I did choose to ramp up the spice level of my romance story, which was a risk, but who knows. Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of feedback on this round from other writers either. I had a ton going on, so I didn't have time to read other people’s work, and therefore I didn't ask for much feedback either. One universally mentioned thing from the feedback I did receive was that I could have probably leaned into the ‘moral dilemma' more.


I chose to keep it morally grey, but in a place where most would understand why my main character made the choice she did. In my opinion, readers liking the protagonist was more important to me than playing into the moral dilemma. It was another risk, so if I had to guess, I’d say that had something to do with my not placing as well. Ultimately, I guess I'll never know, but let me know what you think!


Anyway...


The challenge was to write a story in seven days given a mystery genre and theme. All contestants were split into 12 teams and assigned one of the following genres:


DYSTOPIAN

CRIME

HISTORICAL

HORROR

ROMANCE

MAGICAL REALISM

THRILLER

EPISTOLARY

HUMOUR FANTASY

SCIENCE FICTION

PARANORMAL


I was assigned Romance


The theme was ‘An Ethical Dilemma.’


Please feel free to email/comment your opinion of my submission! Hope you enjoy it!


**You’ve been warned, but here it is again, this story is slightly spicy (sexy). I give it 🔥/3, but your opinion may vary... Just beware***

 

CHALLENGE #6

Group: Romance

Theme: ‘An Ethical Dilemma’



Irish Whiskey


Sarah

“Do you think it’s possible?” Jameson asked, taking a step closer to the bar that separated us, before he focused his incendiary glare on me.


“It’s not…” I whispered. But the heat that pulsed through my body, told me I was dead wrong.


He could more than possibly have me, he could definitely have me if he wanted me. In fact, I think that’s all I wanted too. But it wasn’t going to happen.


Not today, Satan.


I took a step back, bumping into the shelf of alcohol which hung on the wall behind me. I nearly knocked over the bottle of thirty-year-old Glenlevit Michael had been saving for a special occasion, which would never come. I took a deep breath, shaking away the thought as I inched forward to be sure I wouldn't bump it again.


The only solace I had was this bar.


The three-foot piece of wood was all that protected me from the man who I'd been eye-fucking all night. Actually, all month. If it weren’t there, I might just melt right into him and find out what it felt like to run my hands through all that thick brown hair. All it would take was for the wood to be gone and I could feel the ripples of his hard pecs. The ones I could tell through his crisp white, skin-tight, t-shirt he spent time on. If this stupid barrier were gone, I would finally know what it felt like to have those plump lips on me.


“You don't even love him anymore… Do you, Love?” he growled in his deep Irish brogue. “What does he have that I don't?”


I swallowed hard and twisted a piece of my hair. Nothing.


“My loyalty,” I sneered, picking up a glass and wiping at the non-existent water spots. I was rubbing so hard, and staring at it so intently, I felt like it might crack under the pressure. I just needed to stop myself from thinking about how amazing he smelled, how sexy his accent was, and how fucking kissable his stupid face looked.


“Ayyyyee, come on now, Love,” he mumbled, his accent pronouncing all ‘o’s’ with the hard ‘o’ sound. “We’ve been doing this dance for weeks now, we both know your restraint is wavering. I think tonight’s the night.”


I huffed and slammed the glass on the counter with a loud clomp. I leaned up against my side of the bar, staring into his ridiculously blue eyes with renewed strength. “Look, Jack…”


“It's Jameson, Love…” he smirked, leaning in close and whispering in his low sexy tone. “But I think we both know, you know that too… You know I'm the smooth Irish kind, not the American…”


“Whatever!” I huffed, pushing myself off up the bar and attempting to reign in the lusty thoughts I couldn't seem to stop having about the Irishman; who just happened to be named after my favorite whiskey. “Last call was over an hour ago, the bar closed ten minutes ago, and I'm married. So close out your tab and move it along, you’re barking up the wrong tree…”


“I think I’m barking up just the right tree, Love.” He slowly walked around the bar, coming around to my side and stopped less than a foot from me. “I think you want me every bit as much as I want you.” He lightly brushed his fingers up my forearm. “I think you’re burning for me,” he jerked on my wrist, crashing me into his chest, while wrapping one arm around my waist. He whispered into my neck, his hot breath sending tingles skating across my entire body. “I think you want me to fuck you right here on this bar like you’ve never been fucked before…” He brushed his lips ever-so-lightly across my neck as he gripped my hip tightly and pulled me against his huge package. “I think you’re as wet for me as I am hard for you.”


I pulled back quickly, and my stomach immediately dropped from the loss. He wasn’t wrong. I was completely wet for him. And every nerve in my body wanted him to fuck me like I hadn’t been fucked in at least the last three years since my husband disappeared. Hell, who am I kidding? Jameson would likely fuck me better than I’d ever been fucked before because it wouldn’t be that hard. But I was still married, at least until my bastard husband granted me a divorce, or died, whichever came first.


“You’re wrong,” I grunted, jerking out of his grasp and taking several steps away. I breathed in deeply as I attempted to steady myself and not to give in to him. I walked over to the register and pressed several buttons. “You owe me $65.80” I held out his receipt. “And you need to get out from behind my bar…”


“Ok, Love.” He took the receipt, strategically brushing his fingers over my knuckles.


Electricity pulsed between us as he gripped my wrist and slowly slid the receipt along with his credit card back in it. He held my wrist longer than necessary, before he walked back around the bar and swiftly settled on the stool nearest to the register.


We had been doing this dance for months and he was right, I did want him. Bad. But I couldn’t have him, I was a married woman.


Even if it wasn’t happily.


My husband, Michael, was in a car accident three years, two months, and fifteen days ago. He was on his way to see the skanky diner waitress he had been sleeping with for months, when he crossed the center line and ran head-on into a Mac truck. Talk about karma.


Our marriage wasn’t entirely happy before the accident, obviously. In truth, we were definitely headed for divorce. But now, he was in a coma, and the likelihood that he would ever wake up was slim. So what kind of wife leaves her husband when he’s in that state? Not this one, that’s who. I wasn’t the kind to walk away from my responsibilities and I’d never cheated on anyone. Who cared that this hot Irishman might be my sexual soulmate? I already married the guy I was ‘expected’ to marry. I couldn’t go back. This was my life.


“Here…” I slammed his credit card down on the bar in front of him. I turned my attention to Paul, the other bartender, who was across the room from us wiping a table. “I’m going in the back to start closing. He's the last, and everything looks good; you can leave as soon as he does, lock the front door behind you…”


He mumbled his response but I didn’t hear it as my heart thumped in my ears. I turned and stomped into the back, refusing to say another word to the sultry Irish tempter.


Jameson


“What are you doing?!?” She screeched as I followed her through the swinging door which led to the back office.


“Look…” I breathed, taking several steps closer to her, the heat from her stare pulling me like a magnet.


There was something about this woman. I met her almost a month ago, and I’d thought of little else since. The run-down, hole-in-the-wall, ‘bar’ reminded me of a proper Irish pub, and I came in every night just hoping to get a glimpse of her. And maybe, if I was lucky, have her use her sassy bite on me, over something stupid I said or did. I’d never experienced a draw to a woman like her. I thought it might just be the fact that she kept saying no, but the more I learned about her, the more I liked her. And crazy as it seemed, I thought it was possible, she was my soulmate.


“You can’t be back here!” She squeaked, her tiny hands landing on my chest as she attempted to push me out. “Paul!” she yelled.


“Paul left, Love. It's just you and me, but I'll go if you really want me to.”


Her eyes dilated and her breath hitched. She lingered, close to me with her hands on my chest for way longer than was necessary. When I flexed my pec, her eyes bolted up to mine shooting me a pissed-off glower.


“Sarah,” I whispered, grabbing hold of her wrist. She let out a long breath and her posture was instantly more relaxed. She ever-so-slightly leaned in closer, relenting to her urges. “The guys at the bar told me about your husband. Why are you so loyal when he obviously wasn’t?”


“Shut up!” She yelled, yanking her wrist from my hand and taking several steps back. She turned her back to me and rubbed her forehead before bracing herself on a stack of boxes against the wall. “You don’t know anything about my life.”


I closed the gap between us and wrapped my hand around her waist from behind, whispering in her ear, “I know you’re a good woman, and you deserve better…”


“And you think you’re better?” She huffed, whipping around and showing me the first crack in her formerly tough demeanor. Her eyes were glossy and her shoulders slumped.


“Yes…” I murmured, kissing her cheek gently. “And I think you think so too…”


“I don't know you. You're just a customer in a bar I work in…” she scoffed, refusing to let her eyes meet mine as she stared off in the distance over my shoulder. “The only thing I know about you is you like Irish whiskey and you sound like you're from Ireland.”


I hooked my finger under her chin forcing her eyes to meet mine. “You’re right, Dublin to be exact.” I leaned into her, caging her against the wall of boxes. “Let me tell you five things I know about you, Love… One–You smell like vanilla and coconut…” I leaned in and took a deep breath, inhaling her scent which I was quickly becoming obsessed with. “Two–You’re strong and feisty, but your eyes tell me you’re actually very fragile. And maybe you need someone to take care of you for a change…” I brushed my hand up the outside of her arm. “Three–You twirl your hair whenever you're trying to think of a comeback… or when someone makes you nervous.” I brushed a stray lock of her red, curly hair behind her ear. Her vibrant green eyes—which reminded me of the sprawling green hills behind my childhood home—closed at the light brush of my fingertips on her cheek. “Four–Your lips taste like strawberries…”


“You can't…” she breathed, but she was cut off by my lips crashing into hers, inhaling the words.


The kiss was instantly needy as she spread her lips, allowing my tongue to find hers. She wrapped her hands around my neck and tangled them in my hair, pulling me tighter and moaning into my mouth. The noise was all the ammunition I needed. I ran my hand up the outside of her thigh, the need to ravage her becoming overwhelming. She moved her hands, her fingernails tracing the lines of my abs through my t-shirt. This spurred me on, as I continued north, sliding my hand underneath her short skirt as she rocked her hips towards me.


I yanked my lips back, taking a deep breath. “And number five, Love…” I pressed my thumb down hard, finding a place that made her squeal with delight. “You’re completely fucking wet for me…”


Any amount of resistance she had was completely gone as she surrendered to me in the back of that bar up against a stack of Jack Daniel’s. When we finished, I was sure she learned that the Irishman, just like the whiskey, was smoother and more equipped to handle her needs than the American.


And what did I learn? I learned that Sarah was every bit as fucking fantastic as I imagined she would be. Also, she might be the woman who would be my undoing…

 

That’s it today folks! Another one-off weird post, but here are my final thoughts on writing contests.


They're definitely a great way to work on your skills as a writer and they give you the ability to connect with other writers and hopefully reflect on some of your shortcomings. I tend to be a wordy writer. That's often ok, but specifically, in this writing contest, there is a 2000-word max, which can feel limiting. But it forces me to condense and make my writing succinct. It's also allowed me to find out where I can improve all my writing not just these short story submissions.


If you want to be a published author, I recommend finding a contest! They really push you out of your comfort zone and force you to examine your writing skills outside of your chosen format. Also, I highly recommend Globe Soup, their group is supportive and creative and very easy to submit to.


Find their contests here: https://www.globesoup.net/writing-competitions


And join their Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/globesouplovetowrite/?ref=share



The only thing that would have made this one any better is if I got feedback from the judges… but alas, it was a very full contest so I’m sure they don’t have time.


If you’ve read all the way down here, thanks for taking the time out, and have a good week loves!


XXX

Rose Rayne Rivers

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