We will announce our winner at our HistoryMiami event this Thursday, 6-8pm! Join us and join your friends in support at this fun event open to the public!
Name of Event: WLRN-Miami Herald “South Florida Flash Contest” Event
Date: November 17, 2011
Address: HistoryMiami is located in the Miami-Dade Cultural Center, 101 West Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33130.
Event Information: (below)
WLRN-Miami Herald “South Florida Flash” Writing Contest!!!
What were the rules: WLRN-Miami Herald News asked for brief stories that would linger in the mind.The finalists entries were all 305 words or less — “3-0-5” being at one time the area code for entire state of Florida. Submissions were fiction, non-fiction, poetic prose or prosaic poetry – the creative sky was the limit!
Their stories were on the air! Every day leading up to the book fair, we’ve read their South Florida Flash pieces on air at WLRN 91.3 FM and published them online at www.miamiherald.com/wlrncontest.
What are they winning: A very special guest literary judge, John Dufrense, will pick the winner at the History Miami Event. The grand-prize winner will get a grab bag of goodies during a 5-star dinner with Christine DiMattei, afternoon anchor of WLRN-Miami Herald News.
Emily Webber, Plantation FL , “Everything Comes through Miami”
“Everything comes through Miami. Here is where you can find the impossible.”
This was how the last letter from Paul began. While reading it she imagined a giant funnel of people, animals and fantastic creatures being poured in through South Florida.
Paul loved birds, even though as a child he paid mightily for this. He was always looking up, scanning the sky, and this made him an easy target. But the secret he kept inside himself was that one day he would find something magnificent. He was small as a boy. The only thing big about him was his head. Adults told him it was because he had a big brain and knew lots of stuff. Kids never said anything about brains or being smart. They taunted him with words, in addition to their hands, and they never grew tired of it. So he kept his eyes on the sky. Some birds were ordinary and even ugly but they could always go wherever they wanted. And then there were some that went wherever they wanted and were magical. So in the end he wrote about the birds.
"There are some birds you always hear before you can see them and you only see them if very lucky. Green parrots are one of those - loud and cackling as if in a constant state of bickering - when you look up at the sky most of the time you see nothing but flashes of green or even more rarely pairs of them sitting on a wire. Legend has it these parrots are here because of a hurricane’s path of destruction that ravaged South Florida. So whenever I hear their loud cackling and look up at the sky to catch a glimpse of them, I’m reminded that out of the chaos can come something beautiful."
Erica Sklar, Wilmington, NC , “In Orbits”
It seems that we are in orbits that met for a time and are drifting away from each other, like the street between our buildings is the border of some undrafted territory that we are discovering now, separately.
"Neptune and Pluto have orbits that overlap, you know."
"You know that because you’re a scientist now, huh?" There is a half-smile there, and I feel an itch at the corner of my throat, in my fingertips. It floors me, how much we express with our pairs of eyebrows, the thin pallet of skin below them.
"Which would you be - Neptune or Pluto?"
"Pluto, I guess. Cold and distant, right? Uncommunicative?" We laugh, together, and then I say I ought to be going. Our kisses feel different now, now that I have an apartment fifty steps away. The dog goes insane when she sees me, and her insanity feels like my entrails, which have not been right for weeks now.
"So I’m Neptune? That’s the planet I can’t remember."
"That’s perfect. Now you’ll never forget." He looks, to me, like a cross between a duck and a bulldog. His smile is wide and his arms moved most of my furniture across the street. Later, he stopped by unannounced, and said, "I wanted to be your first houseguest."
Sue Germain, Miami, Fl, “The South Meets Cuba”
It is July 10, 1993 a Sunday night in Miami. I had recently joined a telephone dating service where I placed a long term relationship ad which said I wanted the all American dream, marriage, little house with a white picket fence, kids and a dog. The ad also said if the person listening does not want the same thing “please don’t waste my time or yours”.
Two men left me a message to call them. One I didn’t call and one I did. The one I called back left me a message which simply said “Sue, call me”. It was more a command than a request. After a lot of self talk and picking up and putting down the telephone I finally dialed the number.
After he remembered he left me a message he told me someone gave him a free coupon to join the dating service. We talked until it was time for both of us to get ready for work. We met for dinner at Penrod’s on South Beach on Wednesday July 14, 1993. Penrod’s restaurant is now Nikki Beach. He wore glasses, very handsome and carried a Time magazine. I was so nervous I just ordered mineral water. He leaned across the table and said “I think you are lovely”. That was it, I was in love.
It is October 17, 2011; my husband, Miguel, and I have been married for ten years. We have been together since that night at Penrod’s long ago in 1993. Our love for each other has never wavered and each day when he comes through the door I thank God. We have the little house, the white picket fence is brown, we were not blessed with children, but we have two Chihuahuas and they are our spoiled little babies.
Patrick Conner , KEY WEST FL, “A Flash of Insight “
It’s four in the morning. I can’t sleep in the heat, so I climb out into the cockpit where it’s cooler. The lights of Key West burn brightly from my spot in the harbor. The noise from the island is more low frequency throb than gleeful celebration. It sounds like an engine, like an immense machine, moving money around and squeezing out memories and regrets. I stare at the lights and imagine the bartenders announcing “last call.” I can imagine the strippers with their gym-bags quietly leaving the clubs by the back doors. I can imagine a drunk tourist from someplace in the Midwest not being able find his room key and wondering who he gave it to. I can imagine groups of tired bartenders and waitstaff agreeing to meet at so and so’s place for after work drinks… all of this, just an insignificant moment on a stiflingly hot night.
Suddenly Mr. Christian jumps onto the cockpit table. He’s aware of something. It’s dark but I can see him doing that cat radar thing, where he rotates one ear opposite from the other. He’s sailed in ten different countries and knows many secrets of the world, so I listen… There it it, a faint raspy exhale. There is a dolphin in the neighborhood. My cat probably smelled the creature’s breath before he heard it. I listen as the dolphin gets closer. I’m concentrating on my cat. This is all a part of his secret life. I just happen to be awake witnessing it. The dolphin swims under the boat and Mr. Christian follows him to the port rail. He may sit there all night. I don’t know, but he has reminded me once again not to be a curmudgeon… that in this life there are no insignificant moments.
Darah Zeledon, Hollywood FL , “A Lucky Girl”
You don’t know what you’re made of until you are ripped apart. I should’ve suffered a nervous breakdown, or at the very least, divorce, years ago when my seemingly perfect world began to tumble to the ground. But that hasn’t happened. And despite five agonizing years battling adversity, like the Palm tree, I continue to bend, but break, I will not.
It all began in 2006 when suddenly, I was diagnosed with a tennis ball-sized brain tumor while pregnant with my 4th baby. What followed was the abrupt suicide of an adored younger brother and violent armed home invasion. Six months after the robbery, we lost our business overnight. And fell into financial ruin.
Our hopeless situation forced us to abandon our comfortable life in Panama. With nowhere to go and in spite of everyone’s discouragement, we returned to the US—-marching straight into the worst financial crisis since The Great Depression. Here we set out to start anew with nothing more than a will to survive and five young children to care for.
Through it all, I came out fighting and keep fighting my way out, in search of tranquility and stability for my family and me. I manage to keep everyone united and happy by living a philosophy that kept me and keeps me sane and resilient—-the Seven Universal Pearls of Wisdom. My theory was put into practice recently when once again, my life hung in the balance. A weekend road-biking excursion turned tragic when I unexpectedly lost control of the bike, went flying off and landed face-down in the middle of A1A. I suffered multiple facial fractures, skull injuries and lost teeth. Still recovering from three extensive reconstructive jaw surgeries, I “walk the talk” and do what it takes to keep my family strong, and press on like a warrior.
Ricardo Rovira, Miami FL 33143 , “Mangrove Trail”
The mangroves at Matheson are heavy with morning light trying to break thru the spindly branches bundled with the night work of a thousand crab spiders that watch us as we bike past them with their thousand hungry eyes. My son, the arachnophobe, pedals faster and again asks why we didn’t take the high road, the smoothly-paved one without the rooty bumps or the pools of briny water or the broken branches groping at our feet, the high road that takes you where you want to go fast, no questions asked, no thousand eyes staring back at you, demanding that you slow down, that you dismount, that you stare right back and take it all in.
Grace Denny, Kendall — “Night Swimming”
Each November, the Miami International Book Fair brings some of the greatest stories ever told to South Florida. Now we want to hear your story.
Introducing the “South Florida Flash” writing contest. WLRN-Miami Herald News wants brief stories that linger in the mind. Very brief. As in 305 words or less — “3-0-5” being at one time the area code for the entire state of Florida. Submissions can be fiction or non-fiction, poetic prose or prosaic poetry — the creative sky’s the limit!
Every day leading up to the book fair, we’ll read some of your South Florida Flash pieces on air at WLRN 91.3 FM and publish them online at miamiherald.com/wlrncontest.
How to Enter:
Fill out the form below and hit submit. By participating in the contest, you become part of the Public Insight Network, which allows you to inform Miami Herald and WLRN stories through your insights. To learn more about your membership perks, visit miamiherald.com/insight.
-Entries must be 305 words or less.
-Entries can be in English, Spanish, or Creole, or some combination thereof.
-To be considered for the contest, the entry must be received by 6pm, Sunday, November 13, 2011.
-Employees of WLRN and the Miami Herald are not eligible.
Sunday, November 13, 2011, at 6 pm.
A very special guest literary judge, John Dufresne, will pick the winner.