A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

04 April 2006

The Best at Being Worst...and Proud of It!

Well, seems it's that time of year again...the dreaded deadline looming ahead like so many ravenous vultures...like so many you lose count - even if you have one of those fancy hand-held metal clicker things that can be punched to 999 before it resets back to zero...then I guess you have to mentally remember that it spun around one whole time already, kinda like when you're dealing out cards and the phone rings and interrupts you midway and you forget who gets the next card, so you just start all over again because someone probably looked at your cards while you were gone anyway. Yep, the 15th of April is fast approaching and soon everyone will be asking each other, "Did you get it in on time? Did you get your entry in?"

"What the heck is she saying??" you might have asked yourself...and what about vultures? Is she talking about the IRS? Accountants? Huh...cards??? "Nay", say I...I'm talking about 'The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest' also referred to as the 'It was a dark and stormy night' competition. You might have read about it when I won the Grand Prize in 2003. Oh, c'mon...it was on the front page of the Montgomery Advertiser...surely you couldn't have forgotten that? Well, okay...maybe you did. Sigh. Let me then enlighten and elucidate...

You see that long sentence I started my blog off with? The one that goes on and on and on and on. Well, that was intentional..and not just because I am a bad writer (oh, keep the remarks to yourselves) but because I was, at least in 2003, proclaimed as the BEST at being the worst. I won the dubious distinction of writing the worst opening line to a fictional novel...and that opening sentence, above, is a little bit like what you'll see in the competition. Need a better, er...um...worse...example? Here is my winning entry:

They had but one last remaining night together, so they embraced each other as tightly as that two-flavor entwined string cheese that is orange and yellowish-white, the orange probably being a bland Cheddar and the white . . . Mozzarella, although it could possibly be Provolone or just plain American, as it really doesn't taste distinctly dissimilar from the orange, yet they would have you believe it does by coloring it differently.

The rules can be found on their home page...but they are relatively simple. Write the opening line for a fictional novel...make it bad...but make it enjoyably bad. Longer is not necessarily better, but it seems they do tend to favour longer entries...but be careful on your punctuation...there's only so many words you can string together before it gets too monotonous. Monotonous doesn't cut it...badly well written does.

So, do you have what it takes to make the cut? Cut might not be the best choice of words...don't cut...but rather elaborate. Can you write famously bad...to get 14 minutes of fame? All forms of glory can be headed your way...I was interviewed on CNN Live (yes, in the daytime)...and a bunch of other radio/tv stations from California to Australia...I showed up on over 7000 hits on Google...more than Alex Trebek; less than Mel Gibson...my name and entry was in newpapers, literally from Albania to Zimbabwe...I even made the front page of USA Today. In a nutshell, I loved it...can you tell? Okay, so Letterman never called...and Conan O'Brien's people said I probably couldn't fill up six minutes of airtime. Uh huh...right. And Craig Ferguson wasn't around yet...what a pity. But I do try my best to get the word out to people who might not necessarily know about the contest because it really was both a fun experience and an honour to be chosen. Thank you again, Scott Rice.

(Professor Scott Rice, of San Jose University, is the originator of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest which has been running continually since 1982.)


  1. My father is an avid fan of BLFC. He sort of got me hooked aswell, and nn occasion I "Inflict" (as Mr. Rice, likes to put it) my own submission on him. I enjoy the blog.

  2. Thank you...I have also enjoyed your blog as well. I was wondering if I could privately email you regarding a couple things...I haven't been able to find an email listed at your blog...and maybe you'd rather it be that way. But the only way for me to know is to ask...so I'm asking.

  3. Hello & congratulations for winning that contest! FYI: gave you a mention here …