Last week, John of Pairs With: Life won Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #28 (#MWWC28) and just like all previous winners of the Challenge, his “reward” was to choose the theme for the following Challenge (in this case #MWWC29).
A few of us started the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge a couple of years ago with the desire to promote more creative wine writing. The thought was that we get caught up in tasting notes, winery visits, and the occasional food porn and we soon forget that part of the reason we put in all the hours that we do on these silly blogs is that we love to write!
We had ten submissions last month’s theme “Smile” which was a bit of a drop off from previous months. During the last couple of weeks, I have done a bit of soul-searching in order to try to ascertain the reasons therein. Was it the fact that I berated Beth of Traveling Wine Chick to produce a theme that was not quite as dark as the theme she had submitted for her previous win? (It was “Solitude” for those of you scoring at home—or even those of you who are alone.) Perhaps it was some sort of karma-induced retribution for my flippant (but good-natured ribbing?
Or else it could have been a result of the collective fatigue that the current election cycle has caused? Sure, that is a rather lame excuse, but it seems that is the way this country is headed—why blame yourself when there is at least one other person who you can “tag” with the blame?
Or, could it be as simple as the fact that the Russians have hacked this Challenge, due to its overwhelming popularity, hoping to deprive all from quality wine writing?
Take your choice.
Regardless, after a bit of prodding, John (yes, I discovered his name finally) produced a theme for this month’s Challenge. Before I reveal it, however, I opt for a public service announcement to underscore the main idea behind the Challenge:
I want to stress that the goal of this Challenge (at least for me) is to, well, challenge myself to get out of the norm and produce something I would otherwise not write, be it fiction, non-fiction, whatever. Recently, I have been falling into the trap of making the theme fit into my writing instead of having the theme inspire me to write.
Last month, many of you heeded this plea, which was wonderful to see. There were still detractors, though, that chose to produce the same drivel that is all too familiar. I won’t name any names (other than the Food and Wine Hedonist and the Sahmmelier—both of whom are far too talented to be bothered with our little Challenge), but I hope people take this monthly Challenge to jump out of the bottle a bit and challenge themselves.
OK, enough of the soap box.
The theme? Like many relationship statuses on FaceBook (is anyone on FB anymore?):
Instead of trying to try to provide a synopsis of what John sent me, for the first time ever, I have decided to quote his email verbatim:
One of the best things about the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge is that it was developed with the purpose of making us better wine writers, i.e. the accent is on the writing, not on the wine. Being a better writer takes a lot of study, a good amount of practice, a fair bit of introspection, and after deleting that fourth draft, a bottle of wine. How ironic.
Being a better writer means being a better story teller. So, for this month’s Challenge, the theme is:
You can look at it as History, or Herstory. It’s the story of why you’re a wine writer, or what lead you down this sick and twisted UHHHHH totally awesome path. Was it a person, a place, an event, a bottle…all of the above? A series of fortunate or unfortunate events? At some point in our collective lives, we decided we love wine and we love to write, and then some bizarre and quasi-narcissistic force reared up and told us that other people really want to read what we have to write. How did that happen for you?
Or, in the words of Yoda, as he starred (sic) at Luke Skywalker after he crashed his X-Wing into the swamps of Degobah in Star Wars Episode V, “I am wondering…why are you here?”
Yes, you are correct if your first reaction is: “Not a word.”
All I can say is roll with it, Sparky.
A quick recap of the rules:
- The Challenge is open to anybody and everybody. It helps if you have a blog, but that is certainly not a requirement (contact me if this is the case).
- Write a post based on this month’s theme: “WINESTORY”.
- The post should be at least tangentially related to wine (after all, it is the name of the challenge).
- The post should be more or less around 1000 words (I routinely violate this rule, so it is just there as a “guide”).
- Include the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge badge (above) that was designed by the very first winner, The Armchair Sommelier.
- Remember to vote!
- Once you post on your blog, please do at least two of the following and I will be sure to include a link on all subsequent posts about this month’s challenge:
- Include a link back to this post in your entry.
- Use the hashtag #MWWC29 somewhere in your post.
- Tweet, using the #MWWC29 hashtag and include a link back to your post.
- Send me an email: jeff(at)thedrunkencyclist(dot)com
- Include a link back to this post in your entry.
The all important dates:
Deadline for submission: Monday, December 5th, 2016
Voting Begins: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
Voting Ends: Monday, December 12th, 2016
Winner Announced: Tuesday, December 13th, 2016
If you’re looking for some inspiration here are the links to the previous winning posts:
MWWC1 – Transportation
MWWC2 – Trouble
MWWC3 – Possession
MWWC4 – Oops
MWWC5 – Feast
MWWC6 – Mystery
MWWC7 – Devotion
MWWC8 – Luck
MWWC9 – Fear
MWWC10 – Value
MWWC11 – Friend
MWWC12 – Local
MWWC13 – Serendipity
MWWC14 – Tradition
MWWC15 – Success
MWWC16 – Finish
MWWC17 – Epiphany
MWWC18 – Crisis
MWWC19 – Choice
MWWC20 – Variety
MWWC22 – Second Chance
MWWC23 – New
MWWC24 – Pleasure
MWWC25 – Travel
MWWC26 – Solitude
MWWC27 – Bubbles
MWWC28 – Smile
Please contact me if you have any questions: jeff (at) thedrunkencyclist (dot) com