12/10 Weekly creativity contest winner & new prompt
A warm glow — and ominous smoke — from this week’s contest entries for the prompt “fire.” Our winner is Juliet Bell, who sent in a beautiful pen-and-ink drawing from her archives. Juliet writes: “I was never happy with the tree reflection, and I can see now there are other things that need fixing, but I did like the way the fire came out.” Totally dreamy, I say. Juliet, your $10 amazon.com gift certificate has been issued.
From Cathy Coley, a poem (glad this particular scenario didn’t turn out differently!):
Prometheus’s booty set loose amongst us.
Evidence: a match tip burn on my bed.
Who was in my room,
struck one for the hell of it
and walked away?
Apparently those invisible devils
Huh, Not Me, and I Dunno.
From Karen Winters, a scary take on fire that I hadn’t even considered:
When I was younger, growing up in Southern California, I don’t remember the wildfires becoming such an annual event, like the tornadoes of the midwest or the hurricanes of the gulf coast. Yes, there were the occasional big fires, like the one that swept through Bel-Air, or the Malibu conflagrations. But they weren’t a ‘given’ with the advent of every Santa Ana wind.
Times have changed. With so many more million people living here it only takes one or two small accidents to spark a firestorm. A welder’s spark. A bird landing awkwardly on a power wire and blowing out a transformer. A carelessly put-out cigarette. A car parked on dry grass where the catalytic converter can cause a sudden flame. And those are accidental starts, we’re not even considering the cases of arson.
When the Santa Ana winds blow in October and November, nowadays the smallest error can cause hundreds to lose their homes and even some loss of life.
I don’t see a solution to this problem. We are out of dwelling space as homes are built among chapparal hillsides. Even with a defensible space, embers fly for miles, igniting rooftops far away.
Several years ago there was a big fire in Ojai. I don’t live there, but we were driving up the coast to Santa Barbara and saw the plume soon after it had begun. I painted this in my sketchbook to remember the occasion.
From me (Miranda): My firstborn son, Russell, turned 18 last night. It was hard not to focus on the fact that I probably won’t be seeing him on his birthday again for quite a while — at least for the next four years. A happy birthday evening, but bittersweet.
This week’s prompt: “Waiting”
Use the prompt however you like — literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to email@example.com by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, December 16. The winning entry receives a $10 gift certificate to amazon.com. Writers should include their submission directly in the body text of their e-mail. Visual artists and photographers should attach an image of their work as a jpeg. Enter as often as you like; multiple submissions for a single prompt are welcome. There is no limit to how many times you can win the weekly contest, either. (You do not have to be a contributor to this blog in order to enter. All are invited to participate.) All submissions are acknowledged when received; if you do not receive e-mail confirmation of receipt within 24 hours, please post a comment here. Remember, the point here is to stimulate your output, not to create a masterpiece. Keep the bar low and see what happens. Dusting off work you created previously is OK too. For more info, read the original contest blog post.