The Jacket: A Call To Arms

(Drum roll please…)

Announcing the first, ever, Peg-o-Leg writing competition!!!!!

Here’s what it’s all about.

I was strolling through the Goodwill Thrift Store a few weeks ago when I came across the great, vintage blazer pictured here.  I am all about the vintage. 

When I got it home and tried it on again, I discovered that in addition to mad style, The Jacket harbored a secret.

Hidden in the pocket was a folded slip of paper.  On that slip of paper someone had handwritten just a name –  Tom Wojciechowski.  There was also a (clean) folded Kleenex in the pocket.

Not only did I have a groovy fashion accessory, I had a mystery.  Who is Tom Wojciechowski?  Of course I immediately started working on theories.  I had 2 possible scenarios drafted and was going to write a whole series of posts on the topic, when it occurred to me that this was way too much work. 

Why not have my readers do it?

What: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to craft a story to explain how The Jacket and the slip of paper are connected.

How: Submit your original story, which should be 400 words or less, along with your name and contact info on the form provided here.

Why:  The winner will be entitled to bragging rights, accolades and the universal adoration of the bloggy world.  In addition, the talented writer will win….wait for it…The Jacket!  That’s right.  You get The Jacket, which is sure to provide a style boost for any wardrobe. 

Who: You!  Any and all are encouraged to submit an entry.  You can use your funny voice, your macabre voice, your indoor voice or any other style you want.  This could be an epic love story (soon to be a made-for-TV movie) or a tale of alien abduction.

When: Entries must be received by Friday, March 9.  I will publish every entry I receive on Fridays.  By next week I hope to have figured out how to have a picture/link thing-a-ma-bob set up in the right-hand column of this blog.

I’m probably going to have to make up some WordPress IDs and submit my own ideas just to make it look like people are playing, but on the off chance I get a multitude of legitimate entries, I will select a short-list of finalists.  Then all y’all will vote to determine the ultimate winner.  This way I figure I’ve got about a month to figure out how to get one of those PolliPapa things into place.

The FAQs of Life:

–         “What if the winning writer is a 300-pound lineman or 90-pound waif, thereby making The Jacket a poor fashion choice?”  You could make a bomb, retro pillow out of the fabric.  Or you can choose a $20 gift card to Applebees instead.

–         “What if the winning writer doesn’t like The Jacket?”  In the immortal words of Mr. T, I pity the fool.  But there’s no accounting for taste.  Anyone can choose the $20 gift card and I get to keep The Jacket.

–         “What if the winning writer lives in Outer Mongolia, and the only way to get The Jacket to them is by overland elephant caravan which costs approximately 83,246 sheckles?”  I’ll pay up to $20 for postage.  That seems fair, don’t you think?

–         “Are you getting it all cheesy?”  No.  I only tried it on for the picture.  Sorely though I may be tempted, I will NOT be wearing it again.  It will hang, unmolested, in my closet until it is awarded to the uber-talented winner of this competition.

–         “Can I use lots of bad words in my entry?”  No.  Risqué=good. Obscene=bad.  Remember, this is a family blog and it is entirely possible that my parents will someday figure out how to get on the internet and read it.  I reserve the right to edit (or ask you to edit) your submission.

–         “What’s so special about this jacket?” It’s bright green polyester, ladies size 8, made by Aileen and washable. Based on sophisticated fiber analysis and hazy memories of my own closet, I figure it enjoyed its fashion heyday sometime between 1975 and 1985. 

–         “What’s to keep you from just awarding the prize to a bloggy buddy?”  I promise to be an impartial judge.  Friendship means nothing to me.  My word is my bond.  Contributions to my Swiss bank account, however, will be duly noted.

–         “You’re not qualified to judge Judy, let alone a writing competition!”  That’s not a question.

If nobody sends in an entry, it will feel like throwing a birthday party in 7th grade.  At a roller-rink.  And your mom cooked up lots of brownies and stuff, and you invited the whole class and had a new, olive-green wool outfit for the occasion, and as the minutes ticked by and nobody came and you realized that a form-fitting, knit top and pants was NOT a good look for a fat girl, the color was not at all flattering, besides being itchy and hot and way too dressy for roller skating, and the brownies turned to sawdust in your mouth as there wasn’t anybody there to skate with, except a couple of your brothers and sisters who were going around and around the floor under the disco ball, while the DJ played “I Think I Love You”, and your mom stood by the brownies with that “my-heart-is-breaking-for-you-but-I-don’t-want-to-show-it” encouraging smile on her face…

That’s just a vague guess of what it MIGHT feel like if nobody sends an entry to this contest. Nothing like that ever really happened, of course.  Ha ha!  Of course not! 

This may be just the shot-in-the-arm your writing career needs.   It is probably just how Euripides and Jane Austen got their starts.  Get going on your own version of “The Jacket”, and soon YOU may be the lucky stiff sauntering down the streets of her (probably “her” – unless you’re a really small “him”) town, proudly sporting The Stylish Jacket of Bloggy Writing Fame.

Don’t delay!

HEY!  THIS FORM RIGHT DOWN HERE IS FOR STORY ENTRIES!  Comments go somewhere down below that.  Some of your wonderful gems of Comment gold are getting sent to my inbox instead of my blog.  I truly appreciate your words, but nobody else can see them.

OOPS!  Sorry, folks, nothing to see here.  The deadline to enter is past.  But check out the entries posted so far and get ready to vote once all the entrants have had their day in my bloggy sun, and the finalists have been selected.

The Jacket: Entries, Post One

The Jacket: Entries, Post Two

The Jacket: Entries, Post Three

The Jacket: Entries, Post Four

The Jacket: Entries, The End

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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102 Responses to The Jacket: A Call To Arms

  1. notquiteold says:

    I’ll play! Ninety percent of the men in my family are named Tom… so this is probably a relative.

    Like

  2. Hey, what just happened to my comment? Here goes again: I seriously know someone with that same last name, although you might tell me that that name in Poland is equivalent to Lee in China. I will think of a story. Meanwhile, check out my new Blogger of the Week and start popping the popcorn. And if this comment is a duplicate, send to to another blogger,

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Aw, thanks so much for the shout-out, Renee! Can’t wait for our sleepover – we can French-braid one another’s hair (except mine is short), eat popcorn (although the doctor really doesn’t recommend that with my diverticulitis), stay up late (I tend to fall asleep in front of Little House On the Prairie reruns around 8:30) and talk about boys we like – for office in the 2012 elections. Yup. Gonna be a hot time in the old town.

      Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I found your comment – it was in the story submission comment box instead of the blog comment box. Sorry – I got too many boxes going on here!

      Like

  3. This is a fantastic idea, Peg. What a great way to finally destroy that writer’s block once and for all.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      When you get writers block, Darliciousness, it means your wonderful writing is blocking every reader from even noticing that the rest of us are trying to put cyber pen to paper. Get those pencils sharpened!

      Like

  4. edrevets says:

    If I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again:

    I’m doing this. I never say no to writing challenges or pancakes. Personal policy.

    Like

  5. joehoover says:

    oooh, great idea! I love peoples competitions, I did one you had to hunt on about 60 blogs for the answers, in the end no one else bothered doing it (it was a lot of work).

    Like

  6. Margie says:

    I had a dress and matching shoes that were about that colour – in the late 60’s. Is it possible that your jacket is even older, and therefore more valuable, than you first thought!

    Like

  7. Spectra says:

    My brain has been all knotted up lately, but I will give it a try. I promise no good results – just an entry, made for The Cause. And as much as I do so love that mucky green jacket, there’s an Applebees across the road from my town, and I get hungry, almost every day. I also eat, almost every day. So I am in it to Win IT for the Applebees gift card 😀

    Vote For MEEEEEE!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      If people start voting for you before you’ve even written anything, that would give the impression that this contest isn’t on the up-and-up. And those of us in Illinois are kinda sensitive about that kind of allegation. Especially if it isn’t true.

      Like

      • Spectra says:

        Oh. Now, let me get this straight; You mean I actually have to write something to be a contender? I can’t just direct my legions of followers over here to vote for me? Garsh diggetty dog. Best get down to work, then (already practicing my PG rated rants).

        Like

  8. Off the Wall says:

    Ok. I wrote it. I hit submit.

    Gulp. Please be kind. lol

    Like

    • Off the Wall says:

      Ok, once I posted my comment, my submission disappeared! Was that supposed to happen???????????????????????

      Like

      • pegoleg says:

        I think so. It didn’t disappear; your submission showed up in my email inbox. Whoo hoo – it works! Thanks for being the virgin sacrifice, as it were.

        I also got stuff from other people that I think were supposed to be comments. Unless several people had the same clever idea of writing a one-line story that didn’t mention The Jacket at all, just the contest.

        Like

        • Off the Wall says:

          I was the virgin sacrifice?? Woo Hoo! I’m never first! But I am a quick writer and typer, lol. Quick, not necessarily good!

          Like

        • Off the Wall says:

          Now I have writer’s remorse. WHY do I submit so quickly? WHY don’t I take my time, since now I have to wait TWO WEEKS to find out the results! You’d think I learn my lesson from the last time, when I entered a guest blogger contest on wordpress and not only did I not win, I had to wait for WEEKS to be humbled by the actual winners who really did know how to write! But hey, there is always an upside, right? Right? Right! Meeting other bloggers who are AWESOME! Like you!

          Like

        • pegoleg says:

          It’s better to be the virgin sacrifice on my blog than when they’re looking for someone to toss into a volcano. You’ll be great – don’t sweat it!

          Like

  9. Lenore Diane says:

    Ooooh, I like it. Your own fiction contest. Yep, I hope to enter. Excited!!

    Like

  10. Tar-Buns says:

    OK, I’m thinking…thinking…thinking…what would be a great story about the jacket and a name of Tom? Hmmmm….. Must give this some effort. Maybe after I shovel the first 5″ of snow 🙂
    Great idea, Peg. But the roller skating party story was very sad. Was it real or Memorex?

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Didn’t you have a Tom Wojciechowski in your class?

      The story is partly true – people came, and I actually slow-skated (holding hands) with a boy at that party. But the outfit was all too real. Can’t believe I can still remember my brand-new, hideous, olive-green wool outfit. Fashion choices were limited for the fat girl down at the Sub-Deb shop ( which you wouldn’t know because you were always the skinny sister.)

      Have fun digging out from lovely, Michigan weather.

      Like

      • Tar-Buns says:

        I was also escorted to THE Chub-ette store in downtown BC. Although, when I look at Carolyn’s First Communion pic, I didn’t look too bad. Fast forward to MTU, then I really got trim, walking everywhere. Before bad knees….

        Like

  11. TotallyTawn says:

    Reblogged this on totallytawn and commented:
    Ask, and ye shall receive! While considering suitable subject matter for my next blog post, I happened across this! Thank you, Peg! I will post my entry on TotallyTawn before submitting it, just to prove that I’m not cheating on my promise to post twice a week – I realize that this doesn’t count. I’ve already got something squirming through my imagination waiting for its turn in the spotlight 😉 Tawn

    Like

  12. Pingback: The Jacket: A Call To Arms (Challenge Accepted) « totallytawn

  13. Angie Z. says:

    Great idea! Holy crap, I laughed so hard here. The part about creating other WordPress users to submit entries is fantastic. Now why didn’t I think of that when I had my Halloween costume contest that received one lowly entry from my husband?

    I died a thousand deaths when I read the roller rink saga. I’m so relieved to know it was not based on actual events that might have happened to anyone I know, particularly any bloggers that I know.

    If your parents (or anyone else of that era) can figure out how to get on the internet, I’m certain the world will end at that very moment. Facebook at the very least.

    Will my jacket, um, the jacket arrive before St. Patty’s day? If so, I’m definitely in.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      You mean your hubby actually reads your blog? (that’s what my ADD brain got out of all the above). Next time you have a costume contest I’ll be sure to send a picture of myself in my Blogger outfit. It always gets rave reviews – people stop me in the streets and say things like “Is this First Street?”

      I may not be able to get your jacket, er The Jacket out by St. Patty’s if I only post entries on Fridays. But maybe nobody will enter and I’ll have this all wrapped up by next week – try to think positively!

      Like

  14. k8edid says:

    I’m in – just let me have a nip of this cough syrup, a snort of Vick’s VapoRub, and refill this humidifier and I’ll be trippin’, I mean writing my entry tonight.

    Like

  15. pattisj says:

    I love it here! By the time I get to the comment box, I’ve been every animal in the barnyard: cackling like a chicken, snorting like a pig…you get the idea. I might have to enter, The Jacket is stirring a memory somewhere deep in my brain. Well, maybe not so deep, it’s not a very large brain as you can see. Won’t GG be jealous when he sees me stylin and profilin in this on my blog. He’ll be shoppin’ down at his local Goodwill, trading in the smoking jacket in record time.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Welcome to my barnyard! I’ll try to think of that as a compliment. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a smoking jacket at the Goodwill. Just about every other fashion statement one could make, but not that.

      Like

  16. HA! That roller rink paragraph is fabulous, as well as the note that followed it. 😉

    I’ll let the idea roll around in my brainpan and see if I come up with anything. Whether or not I do, I’m excited to read folks’ entries!

    Like

  17. Angie Z. says:

    Okay, I submitted mine! Please let me know if you didn’t receive it!

    Like

  18. Karaboo says:

    I wanna play!!

    Gotta think of a good story first…..I’ll get back with you……

    Like

  19. Sandy Sue says:

    Hey, Peg!
    I sent my entry, but it looks like none of the paragraphs translated. Poop. Hope you can still read it.

    Like

  20. Amy says:

    That jacket is awesome. I may have to submit an entry.
    And that roller-rink story made me uncomfortable. I have never thrown a party because I have a terrible fear of no one showing up. And I will never say I will be at a party and not go.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I have a feeling 7th grade Amy was an uber-cool rebel. I’m thinking of rewriting my own personal history so I was way less of a nerd and more like that. But I’m sure you were a kind uber-cool rebel.

      Like

  21. I did it. It’s in your box. It doesn’t look formatted and I hope you can distinguish the title from the rest of it. If you want me to send it via word all formatted let me know. You may have some editing in store, editor lady.

    Like

  22. gojulesgo says:

    Awesome!! I’m thinking…although worried it will take me as long to come up with a good idea as it will for me to fit into a size 8, LOL

    7th grade me would have totally come to your party. That would have made you even more uncool though 😉

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I like to think I would have been friends with all the wonderful people I know today, but I suspect 7th grade me was too conventional and insecure to pull it off. We can still have sleepovers, though.

      Can’t wait for your entry, Jules!

      Like

  23. notquiteold says:

    Like everyone else, I sent you my story, and it looks completely unformatted. But from the other posts, it appears that it gets to you in good shape.

    Like

  24. Tar-Buns says:

    OK Peg, I’ve done it! I posted a little ditty from my imagination. Looking forward to reading all the entries! Love ya, T

    Like

  25. Elyse says:

    Hi Peg,
    I just submitted the award winning entry. No one else needs to bother …

    Seriously though, this was SOOOO much fun. You should be really tacky and enter it in every comment you make on anyone’s blog. Because it is great fun and I almost forgot to enter!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I got it, Elyse. Thanks for playing along! You mean it’s tacky to mention this in every comment? Jeez, I’ve been doing that all week! 🙂

      Like

      • Elyse says:

        You didn’t on mine — and I nearly forgot to enter. And I had such fun.

        Another thing I would suggest — to get more play — is to have people post it on their own sites. That way all my readers will know about it — more importantly the millions who also read Darla and Angie will.

        Then again, the more entries, the less chance I have so strike that ….

        Like

  26. Bob says:

    Tawn made me do it!!!! She threatened to sick her Muppet-minions on me.

    Like

  27. Lenore Diane says:

    I just submitted my story. Let me know if you didn’t receive it, Peg. Thank you!

    Like

  28. snhamlett says:

    Oh! I think I’ll play… Looks like I have about a week to turn in an entry, right?

    Like

  29. Chrystal says:

    OK – how firm is the 400 word limit? I have written what I think is a fantastic entry, but it is 469 words. I’ve tweaked as much as I think I can without losing vital detail to the story. Will that be OK? If not, I will do my best to do a re-write.

    Like

  30. Lenore Diane says:

    Ding-dangity!!! I just read the rules again to see if I could post it to my blog. The I realized…. I’m disqualified!!! I thought it was 500 words. Frack. That’s what I get for sped-reding. Ding dangity. Oh well. I had fun playing.

    Like

  31. Chrystal says:

    Just wondering… how many submissions have you received to date? Just trying to get a sense of how many are ahead of me, so I will know when to look for my story…

    Like

  32. I love this. Of course, I find it 24 hours before deadline. Great concept.

    Like

  33. Pingback: {Short Story} Works without Faith « Being is a Verb

  34. Michelle Gillies says:

    This is a great idea. Sorry I missed it.

    Like

  35. kofoadebiyi says:

    wow i missed this! when’s your next competition

    Like

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