Morty has gotten dressed up this week to announce the winners of the writing contest. They are....
First Place: "Coping Mechanism" by Adam Padgett
Second Place: "Jolene" by Ethan Willis
Third Place: "Master of the Marshes" by Danny Cove
Once again, thanks to everyone who submitted! The stories themselves will be published next week individually. Congratulations!
Tales from the Other Side
With Uncle Morty
Some of you have been asking about your Uncle Morty’s condition. How? You ask. Why?
No offense, but the flesh-covered are dense, stuck in the material world like flies buried in Jello. I’m not sure I can really explain my condition to you. As to how? It’s complicated, technical and a little boring when you get right down to it. Why?Let’s just say I might have crossed a few metaphysical boundaries here and there while I was embodied. I might have broken a teensy rule or two on the other side too. Anyhoo…my bad luck is your learning experience. I’ve decided to publish a few tidbits of conversations from the other side.
Here begins Morty’s transcription of messages from beyond.
After listening to this set of songs the first time through, my first thought was that these would be great as a soundtrack for a couple trying to make their relationship work while dealing with depression or struggling through a break-up. When I looked up the husband and wife duo that are the broken fits, (yes, all lower case) I was pleasantly surprised to see that's exactly what they're aiming for with these songs. Steven and Amanda of the broken fits are advocates for mental health and believe "that an open dialogue can help to remove the stigma of mental illness, and quite possibly save a life." (Quote from their website.) All of these songs have an undercurrent of "this is us, this is how we get past the bad times, this is us surviving and remaining in love," feel to them. Singer-songwriters as wellness advocates. But not gurus: This is the two of them trying to explain how they make it work, through honest expression, with artistic merit, that they may not have all the answers, but this is what works for them, and they're trying just as hard as each and all of us to get by. That they're doing this through their music makes it all the more poignant and beautiful for the rest of us that get to hear their work. (Yes, art is work, in case you didn't know.)
Don't go to your local medium!
Just check your email. Uncle Morty has commissioned Jarad to inform the winners.
We want our winners to give us bio information, a photo or other art work they want to display with the writing, if they so choose, and how they would like to be paid.
We will announce at the end of this month and begin publication of the winning stories!
Why is Morty playing a celebratory fugue? Because we FINALLY know the winners to our first annual fiction contest.
We hate to keep you in suspense, but Jarad will be contacting the winners for their information and preferred payment methods. We will also check to see if the authors have any preferred photos, art work, and bios to go along with their entries.
We should be able to make final announcements on August 30. We will publish first, second, and third place stories on this very site!
Thanks to all our submitters for your weird and wonderful stories!
In the meantime, we'd like to thank friend of the chickens, award winning author, Jeff Weddle, for judging the contest.
He was a Good Father
Written by Mark Borczon
Review by Julie Carpenter
This book is an ode to middle age, to understanding without excusing the mistakes of forbears, to the dawning perception that the path of acquiescence, of having the edges rubbed off is inevitable. Borczon pays tribute to a strange kind of peace, the acceptance of the inevitable, the poetry of honest reflection, even if the view is through a liquor bottle or the haze of exhaustion from hard labor.
Many thanks to Friend of the Chickens, Paul Leach, for taking in the submissions! Paul was our go-between guy who made sure the contest was fair to entrants. Not that Uncle Morty isn't totally impartial...but still...
Paul received your submissions, assigned your entry a number and sent it to our judge, Jeff Weddle. Jeff has no way of knowing who you are, whether you've submitted here before or whether any of us likes, dislikes, or is just kind of meh about you.
When our judge has time to go through our submissions, we will announce the winners! And, Morty wants me to add as a matter of greater importance, dole out the dough.
So good luck to all our entrants. You will be hearing from us soon!
This blog post is an older one, but I've been thinking a lot about narrative and empathy lately. In fact, Jarad, Morty, and I are thinking about doing a series of posts about the intersection of narrative, literature, politics and reality in general. So I decided to repost.
I wrote my master’s thesis on the use of narrative as an argumentative device. I believed then, and still believe, that stories are the best way to convince someone else of your truth, the best way to come to any idea at all of what the truth might be. Stories add layers of complexity.
Narrative allows us to see that every person has choices to make but at the same time they are victims of the choices of other individuals, families, and societies, or even the natural world. Story embraces the paradox of life. Many things can be true at once when you see them in a narrative context. Life is messy and much more like a web than straight line. Stories create empathy and acceptance. Teaching your child to read, especially stories that are written with the perspective of a particular character or characters in mind, not only promotes academic success, but also empathy.