Monologging.org is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 “Pictured Pause Contest” in collaboration with Hoot. The contest prompted writers from around the world to react to a photograph or painting with measured prose or poetry. We received many excellent images and accompanying writing. Throughout the contest, entries were posted on social media so that Monologging followers could also participate in the contest, deciding a “People’s Choice,” winner. Mandy Stango’s entry, “Jaundiced” takes first place. This humorous tale muses about the slimy texture of an undercooked egg, fusing a mundane cafeteria scene with wonderful family reflections and hinting at the existence of several strong characters. Likewise, an excellent “Pause” by Regina Stribling, titled, “A Greater Place of Peace,” pairs text with imagery in a creative format, winning second place. Coming in third, Kelsey Dean’s, “Melting” presents a loveable voice full of humor and bright energy. Lastly, Eric Dean’s story and painting titled, “Clinging” is the winner of the People’s Choice Award.
The winners will receive incremental cash prizes, artwork by Dara Lorenzo, and subscriptions to Hoot. Scroll below to view their entries.
-Pictured Pause by Mandy Stango awarded 1st place-
My father, born yellow, slid from Grandma
pale and slime covered. Undercooked eggs oozed
yolk from his eye crusts, moist and glistening
like albumen. An old woman, scalp flaked
with dandruff, drizzled Hollandaise on stale
bread in the cafeteria beneath
the delivery room. Doctors drained pints
of blood from my father’s legs, sucked poison
from his arteries. Grandma wouldn’t eat
omelets for weeks.
A Greater Place of Peace
-Pictured Pause by Regina Stribling, awarded 2nd place-
-Pictured Pause by Kelsey Dean, awarded 3rd place-
After Marianna won her arduous struggle with puberty and settled into the pleasing shape of a full-figured young woman, she found herself saddled with a problem: she had to eat ice cream in heaping spoonfuls to cool the constant heat rolling off her tongue. It was particularly obnoxious on glorious summer afternoons, because she required at least three scoops to keep her teapot-steam smile under control. She spent every July sighing with exasperation as she licked rainbows off of cone after cone. The boys gathered like sprinkles just to watch her mouth, strawberry-pink and twinkling with the promise of laughter.
-Pictured Pause by Eric Dean, awarded the “People’s Choice” Prize-
I awoke from a nightmare once in my early 30s and realized that I was still a kid, and that I might always be. This is something I’d always suspected and feared. Maybe sanity, stability, and the comfort of familiarity, are all just a thin veneer beneath which we are all shivering and clinging to one another in terror at the unimaginable chaos of the universe. Maybe everything falls apart, and you can never go home again. Maybe love and relationships are just a protracted way of saying, “Please… hold me while I die.”